Friday, May 29, 2009

Some treats!

Mother's Day was a few weeks ago now, but I still wanted to share the fabulous treats I received. One was a gift certificate to the Fat Quarter Shop, and my order arrived just a few days ago.

mother's day fabric-y goodness
The only plan I have thus far is for the beautiful April Cornell charm pack ("Nostalgia"). I'm going to use that for (yet another!) baby quilt. I'm not sure what will become of the rest, but it's exciting to have some new fabrics to play with!

Then, taking me completely by surprise, my mother-in-law gave me a beautiful necklace.

AnnMarie necklace
She designs and creates jewelery, and this necklace is a gorgeous example of her work. And it is so me! She sells some of her work to friends and has participated in a few craft shows, but I keep telling her she needs to open an etsy store. She is so talented, it blows me away.

I am so grateful to have such a loving and supportive family. Thank you for a wonderful mother's day and for all of the love and appreciation you give me all year long!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Pretty Petals

Yay!!! I finished the coin quilt! Thanks everyone for the positive thoughts-- they really helped motivate me to get off my duff and just do it!

Pretty Petals quilt
I'm calling it Pretty Petals.

Pretty Petals quilt front
Amandajean's Stacked Coins Baby Quilt pattern (available through the Moda Bake Shop-- a great resource!) was just awesome, and really does make a perfect baby quilt.

Pretty Petals quilting detail
I decided that with all of the various fabrics and the narrow strips between them, I'd just go with an all-over stipple. Simple and effective, I think. For some reason, I got it into my brain that it would be better not to use my stitch regulator. But it turned out alright (so what if the stitches are a little big, right?).

Pretty Petals quilt back
Another awesome thing about this quilt: it was nearly all made from stash! The only fabric I purchased was 1/3 yard of the Alexander Henry multi-color floral print (because it had all of the colors I wanted to use in one fabric). And I used every bit of that.

Pretty Petals quilt label
I really hope baby Claire likes her new quilt!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Putting off...

I've been putting off working on my stacked coins baby quilt. There's probably about 30 inches of binding left to stitch before it's done...

stacked coins baby quilt
...and there's been about that much for about 4 weeks now. Since baby Claire was born 5 weeks ago, I seem to have lost all sense of urgency regarding finishing this quilt.

Do you ever have this problem? The project that is just-so-close to done, but you can't seem to get to it? How do you get yourself re-motivated? I'm stuck (so much so that I'd rather write a blog post than finish it!).


Friday, May 22, 2009

Jane Stickle Quilt: TR-12

Jane Stickle block TR-12Block number/name: TR-12 “Jane’s Oak”

Date completed: May 21, 2009

Number of pieces: 4

Notes on block: A block (a triangle, no less!) with only four pieces hardly seems possible. It is probably one of my favorite blocks in the quilt—I just love that wonderful leaf shape. It seemed appropriate to try and find a fabric with a kind of leafy quality to it. I really like how this reproduction vine print calls to mind the veins of a leaf.

I completed the leaf with needleturn appliqué using freezer-paper-on-top. Then I reverse appliquéd the white onto the bottom section. Finally, I pieced the triangle to the top.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Autumn House - Block 4

By the hair of my chinny-chin-chin! Block 4 of my Autumn House project is complete and I can still say that I'm on top of this BOM. Technically the next block was most probably already in my mailbox, but since I hadn't picked up the mail, I figure this still counts as on time.

Autumn House block 4
The block is titled, "For the Birds."

The picture included with the pattern shows the stem on the acorn house actually touching the checkerboard section. But, the pieces as I traced from the pattern didn't actually fit on the background that way. It's all good though-- my acorn house may be a little shorter, but it is still super cute.

I'm really loving this project.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Purple Patchwork Panda

The fact that I've been slacking off and playing video games instead of using my time productively and finishing projects has not stopped me from starting a new project. When I saw this fabulous panda at AJ Quilts and found out that there was going to be a quilt-along too, I just could NOT resist.

AJ Designs patchwork panda
How cute is that??? There are more friends with babies on the way, and this fellow will be perfect for one of them.

AJ posted multiple color options for inspiration, but I just loved the one above. I think it is a fun gender-neutral option, which is perfect for the little mystery-baby due in June. As a bonus, I actually have those colors in my stash:

Panda fabrics
Week 4 of the quilt-along has been posted. Of course, I'm a little behind. I just finished week 1:

Panda head, week 1

Hopefully, I'll be able to do some more catch-up over the weekend.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Jane Stickle Quilt: C-13

Jane Stickle block C-13Block number/name: C-13 “Lakota Sioux”

Date completed: May 16, 2009

Number of pieces: 25

Notes on block: Rows A, B, and C are complete! Woo hoo! Now I just need to get all the blocks stitched together. It’s weird that sometimes I don’t really realize how tiny the parts are until after the block is complete. Those triangles are itty-bitty!

And since I'm at the half-way point, here's a picture of my progress thus far:

my Jane Stickle progress, 5-17-2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Jane Stickle Quilt: C-12

Jane Stickle block C-12Block number/name: C-12 “Family Reunion”

Date completed: May 13, 2009

Number of pieces: 39

Notes on block: Lots of little ladybugs. Lots of little seams. This one took a few days as I have been spending lots of time playing a certain video game. (Too much time? But I am having fun doing it.) But it finally done and is a happy block, I think. It’s crazy to think that I’m nearly at the halfway point in this quilt. Wow!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I haven't been terribly productive lately, but I did manage to make my first set of 16 nine-patches for the Three-by-Three swap.

nine-patch pile
I'm really happy with how they turned out. Hopefully, the recipients will like them too!

a vetter view of all of the nine-patches
I was able to use up the last of some fabric bits too, so that was awesome. I think my favorites are the brown and green ones. I'm just a sucker for green.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Jane Stickle Quilt: C-7

Jane Stickle block C-7Block number/name: C-7 “Megan’s Mountain Laurel”

Date completed: May 8, 2009

Number of pieces: 45

Notes on block: Slowly but surely… it took a few days to finish this one, a little bit each day. I was surprised at how well I was able to do on it, what with the bazillion pieces and all. This is one of those blocks that once I saw it, I knew just what fabric to use in it. That is a rare event for me! It’s funny because I was thinking about setting this fabric aside altogether because it is such a funky yellow-y green color. But I’m so glad I didn’t! I think it looks spiffy.

I noticed the name after it was all put together. My sister-in-law (who is traveling about in New Zealand at the moment-- lucky girl!) is named Megan. She called today to chat, just as I was working on this block. How cool is that? Serendipity.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Feeling swappy

Last week, I decided to join in on a couple of swaps.

3x3 button
The Three by Three swap is being hosted by the ever-amazing Anina. There are 50 of us participating in this two (maybe three) month nine-patch exchange. The blocks are all supposed to include 2 different fabrics. I've been seeing lots of fabulous scrappy nine-patch quilts lately that have me feeling very inspired. It should be a lot of fun seeing what we all get at the end. I definitely need more scrappy fun in my life!

Snip.Sew.Send button
Snip.Sew.Send. is a virtual quilting bee organized by Adrienne. Each of the twelve participants will be sending out fabric and instructions to the other members and then in return will receive twelve blocks. It's a lot like the block exchange I'm doing with my guild, except that it's all by mail. The bee is starting up next month, but "my" month isn't until January, thankfully, so I have lots of time to figure out what I want to do. I'm really excited about this one. It is going to be a lot of fun "meeting" other quilters and being involved in such a collaborative and creative venture.

Swaps are pretty new to me. I've only participated in two previous ones, and those were for fabric-- so all I had to worry about was cutting an appropriate sized rectangle. Making and sending blocks is definitely a little different-- I haven't even started and am already feeling the pressure of creating perfect 1/4" seams! But at the same time, I'm really excited about trying some new things, and having some new crafty experiences. I can't wait to get started!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

May block exchange

The start of another month means it's nearly time for my next guild meeting and for the next block exchange block. (If you're interested, you can read about how the block exchange works.) This month was kind of fun. The box was full of lovely purple, green, and blue batik strips.

box o' happy Bali strips
According the instruction sheet, the batiks were from a Hoffmann Bali Pops pack-- essentially a jelly roll, but all Hoffman batiks. So pretty!

This is the block she had us make:

KH's block exchange block
Simple, but so effective! (More so in real life... the colors are much more vibrant in person.) I love the batiks with the pretty white-on-white print she included. I'm thinking I may have to file this idea away in that "quilts I want to make someday" file in the back of my brain.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Jane Stickle Quilt: A-13

Jane Stickle block A-13Block number/name: A-13 “Starlight - Starbright”

Date completed: May 3, 2009

Number of pieces: 21

Notes on block: Considering all of the inset seams, this block came together super smoothly for me. It always feels so good when that happens! And this block completes Row A!!! Now I really need to get off my duff and start putting some sections together, I think.

In other news, both Keith and I have rediscovered the World of Warcraft. I have a bad feeling that this is going to kind of cut into my stitching time. Hopefully, I can balance the two and not get completely sucked into WoW (as has happened in the past). At the same time, I’ve been so focused on my quilting lately, it’s kind of fun to be doing something a little different.

Some stairwell improvement

It seems I have been taking a little inadvertent blog break. It's not that I have been doing nothing. It's more that I've been doing a lot of the same thing, namely, quilting the Mod Sampler Quilt. I finally completed the quilting over the weekend and did the first stage of binding. Now I just need to do all the handstitching on that. Of course, I haven't finished the binding on my Stacked Coins Quilt yet either. Hopefully, I'll get some binding action going and have a finished quilt to share this week!

In addition to lots of quilting, we finally managed to get one of my quilts hung. Woo hoo! We've only lived in this house for 2.5 years now. I figured it was about time we finally get a quilt on the wall.

hanging the quilt
Yay for handy husbands! (Thank you, Keith!)

My Cat's Garden, full front view
It is hanging on the landing between the first and second floors of the house. It's kind of tough to get a good picture.

My Cat's Garden, slightly better side view
I started this quilt as a block of the month back in 2001. It is a Maggie Walker design called My Cat's Garden. It is all machine appliqued using a satin stitch. It was a lot of satin stitching. I have a pretty awesome thread collection as a result. The quilt was completed in 2005. I kind of chickened-out on the quilting and just outlined all of the applique. I really wish I had done more. Despite that, I am crazy proud of this quilt and am so happy that it is finally hanging up where I can enjoy it every day.