Wednesday, April 28, 2010

It's a BOY!

Early Monday morning (1:53 a.m. to be exact), we finally got to meet our new little one! He's a healthy, happy little boy with lots of spiky dark brown hair. He was 8 pounds, 1 ounce in weight, and 21 1/4" in height.

mama and baby boy
Big brother is thrilled to have his new little brother home now too!

After a super smooth and quick delivery, we're now safe and sound at home and are hard at work taking care of each other and finding our new groove. I rather expect this blog is going to be a little quiet for awhile. But I fully intend on coming back soon! :)

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Jane Stickle Quilt: BR-3

Jane Stickle block BR-3Block number/name: BR-3 “Attic Window”

Date completed: April 24, 2010

Number of pieces: 14

Notes on block: I’m really pleased with how this block came out, but I feel a little cheater about how I went about it. Maybe I should have tried piecing it with all those inset seams, but it just sounded too tough. So I went with appliqué everywhere but in the narrow band of triangles near the bottom. Though I love the look of this fabric (especially the pretty gold gingko leaves!), I really wish I knew which direction the characters are supposed to go. Though I seriously doubt anyone is going to be attempting to read them, so it probably doesn’t matter.

Saturday, April 24, 2010


I may not be able to fit a thimble on my finger, but I can still use my machine! (Albeit, only for short bursts.) So I did a little Pinwheel Party catch-up last night.

Block 6:
Pinwheel Party block 6
I really like this one.

Block 7:

Pinwheel Party block 7
But I love this one!

Block 8:

Pinwheel Party block 8
This one isn't as exciting, but I still like it. (It is square in real-life... the perspective got a little askew in my picture.)

Really, what's not to love about pinwheel blocks?

No baby yet. Today is the official due date. Here's hoping that baby decides to make an appearance soon!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Greenpiece: Applique block 12

No baby yet. Sigh... Hopefully, soon! But, I was actually able to fit my thimble on my finger the other day and finished another Moda Greenpiece BOM block. Woo hoo!

Applique block 12:

Moda Greenpiece applique block 12
There's just something about gingko leaves... I rather like this block.

(Feel free to send happy labor thoughts my way!) :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Happy and bright!

Even though I haven't been doing much crafting, I have managed to do a little shopping! A couple of weeks ago, one of my favorite online shops, Shabby Fabrics, had a fabulous sale and I picked up these:

Woo hoo!!!! That's 88 fat-eighths of bright fabrics in a rainbow of colors. I'm afraid my picture does NOT do them justice. What a treat! In person they are absolutely gorgeous. My initial thought is to use them to try and make one of those gorgeous patterns from Kellie Wulfsohn of Don't Look Now (I'm thinking about the Rainbow Lollipops... but I haven't decided for sure). I'm not quite ready to commit to that yet though. So for now, I'll just gaze happily at my pile o' happy brights.

Also, kind of hiding to one side in that pile, is a pattern I've been eyeing for some time, the Happy Stacker Ring Toy by Heather Bailey. I think it will be a lot of fun to make for baby sometime in the near-ish future.

Friday, April 16, 2010

A whole lot of nothin'

The title pretty much sums it up over here. No baby. No craftiness. Just big belly and swollen sausage-fingers. Lots of tiredness too. Last night, I did get to go to the Moda Greenpiece BOM meeting at my local quilt shop, which is always fun. Unfortunately, it is also the first month that I didn't manage to get all my blocks done. Boo! At least I finished the pieced block for the month.

Greenpiece pieced block 7:

Greenpiece pieced block 7

I still have two applique blocks to complete in addition to the new blocks I received yesterday. I'm not making any bets as to when they'll get done though!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Jane Stickle Quilt: I-10

Jane Stickle block I-10Block number/name: I-10 “Iris’ Medallion”

Date completed: April 11, 2010

Number of pieces: 25

Notes on block: All of the inset seams made this block tricky, so I’m really happy with how well it turned out. It seems like about all I have in me these days is maybe one block in an evening, or a little bit of appliqué. My poor fingers are like little sausages by the time evening rolls around, making stitching a lot more challenging for me. It’s really forcing me to slow down, and I’m finding it kind of frustrating. The whole end-of-pregnancy thing leaves much to be desired. I know you're not "due" until the 24th, but feel free to come on out any time now, baby! :)

Sunday, April 11, 2010

The joy of instant gratification

Another project I managed to complete during my camera's demise was a little quilt for Project Linus using the dreaded (seemingly neverending) roll o' fabric. It was awesome because I started cutting on a Saturday afternoon, and had it quilted and bound by Sunday evening. Truly, it was instant gratification!

Happy Charms quilt front
The pattern is by Elizabeth Hartman of Oh! Fransson, created for Sew, Mama, Sew! The free pattern is called "Charm Squares Baby Quilt." It was simple and fun to put together, and it let me use up a little of my stash.

Happy Charms quilting detail
It's a small quilt (about 30" x 40") and it was a perfect little weekend project. I was really feeling the need to actually finish something, as all of my current projects are pretty long-term affairs. So no fancy quilting here-- just some happy stippling.

Happy Charms quilt label
I was able to turn it in at today's Project Linus workshop. Woo hoo!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Greenpiece catch-up

Because of my camera woes, I wasn't able to share my completed Moda Greenpiece BOM blocks for last month. Since I just finished up the center block, it seems like a good time to do a little progress report and share the ones from last month and the center together.

Pieced block 6:

Greenpiece pieced block 6
Applique block 11:

Greenpiece applique block 11
I am so bad at centering these appliques. Ugh! Fortunately, the blocks are cut nearly 2" larger than needed, so I should be able to center the designs better when I trim them down.

Center block:

Greenpiece center tree
I think I'm a little in love with this tree. I'm so happy with how this block came out! It is about 23" square and will be the centerpiece of the quilt. I added a lot more leaves to the original design, because I wanted a fuller-looking tree. I also added more fallen leaves, just because.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Jane Stickle Quilt: G-12

Jane Stickle block G-12Block number/name: G-12 “Gloriae”

Date completed: April 6, 2010

Number of pieces: 25

Notes on block: I really love this block design, but I am not in love with my version of it. I think the fabric is really pretty, but I don’t love it in this block. However, I don’t dislike it enough to re-do it. So it stays.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Snip. Sew. Send. April

I can't believe I managed to finish a Snip.Sew.Send. block in a timely manner. Yay! April is Heather's month, and she sent me a pile of happy aqua fabrics to use in her block.

Snip.Sew.Send. Heather's block
For this block, Heather provided very explicit directions on what she wanted. So there wasn't really a lot of creativity involved on my part-- but really, it was kind of a nice break for me (my brain is just tired lately!). Her instructions were very straightforward, the block went together quickly, and I love how it turned out (such pretty fabrics!).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Jane Stickle Quilt: K-9, LS-3, M-5

I managed to complete some Stickle blocks over the weekend...

Jane Stickle block K-9Block number/name: K-9 “Scout’s Honor”

Date completed: April 1, 2010

Number of pieces: 21

Notes on block: It’s hard to believe it has been 2 weeks since completing my last block. Exhaustion has set in and I have a hard time staying up past 10 now, really limiting my stitching time. On the one hand, it would probably be good for baby to hang out and cook a little longer. On the other hand, I’m feeling ready to meet baby! My due date is 3 weeks away now. Hopefully, I won’t have to wait quite that long. :)

Jane Stickle block LS-3Block number/name: LS-3 “Connie’s Brownies”

Date completed: April 2, 2010

Number of pieces: 16

Notes on block: This was a fun block to put together and it went together very quickly. A great combination! I probably should have spent a little more time prepping the melons, but I was in a hurry. They aren’t too bad, but I know I could do better. Right now though, I’m just excited to have another block done!

Jane Stickle block M-5Block number/name: M-5 “Mother’s Point”

Date completed: April 5, 2010

Number of pieces: 18

Notes on block: Oof. I think I overdid it today. The boy and I spent 3 hours at the children’s museum, I did lots of chores (including finally getting my hospital bag all packed), and then I topped it off by making a few casserole dinners to freeze for us to use once baby arrives. It was quite a relief to finally take a sit this evening with some stitching. And now, it is time for bed!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter treats!

Last week, the wonderful and talented Carrie P. of A Passion for Applique had a fabulous giveaway-- and I won! Look at all of the lovely treats:

treats from the lovely Carrie P.
I received the package on Saturday-- just in time for Easter! How gorgeous is that tea towel? Ah, prairie points, how I do love you... And look-- she included some charm squares so I can make even more if I want to! I can tell you, the chocolate didn't last long. And the boy has already laid claim to the cute little bunny (fortunately, she also included the pattern, so I can always make another). I've actually already read through the magazine too. It's a really interesting publication-- it's really geared toward the quilting lifestyle as opposed to being a project-oriented magazine. I'm curious to see how it fares in the marketplace (this is the premiere issue)-- it seems really different from anything else available right now.

On Sunday, we headed to my in-laws' house for some Easter celebration, including an egg hunt!

egg hunt, 2010
I hope all of you had a wonderful weekend as well!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Pinwheels galore!

Though I haven't been sharing them, I have been keeping up with my twiddletails Pinwheel Party quilt along blocks.

Block 3:

Pinwheel Party block 3
Block 4:

Pinwheel Party block 4
Block 5:

Pinwheel Party block 5

Have I mentioned how much fun these are? So happy and bright!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dragon's Moon

I mentioned before that I am entering two quilts in my guild's first-ever show this month. The first is "Tyger! Tyger! Burning Bright" (my Star Quilt Along quilt). The second is called "Dragon's Moon."

Dragon's Moon, front view
This quilt was started in a class I took back in 2002. The design is from the Marge Edie book, Bargello Quilts, and is called "Fractured Rhapsody." I finished the quilt top pretty quickly, but then was feeling really uninspired by it. Later that year, I took a beading class from Nancy Eha at the Houston International Quilt Festival. That's when I decided the quilt needed BEADS!

Dragon's Moon, dragon body close-up
The Asian fabrics prompted me to check out a Dover clip art book titled, Chinese Designs, from which I adapted the dragon design.

Dragon's Moon, dragon head close-up
Then, thinking the quilt seemed a little unbalanced, I decided that the dragon needed something on which to focus his rapt attention...

Dragon's Moon, moon close-up
And so the moon appeared. It's an appliqued organza circle surrounded with beads.

I completed all of the beadwork and quilting in 2005. (I have no idea how many beads are in that dragon... but there are a LOT and it took a LONG time to do.) I even got most of the binding sewn down. But then I stalled, and the quilt sat in my UFO pile until I decided to enter it into the show. Last month, I finally finished the binding, got the sleeve sewn, and made the label.

Dragon's Moon, label
It only took me 7 years!

Dragon's Moon, full front view
It's funny... looking at this quilt now, there are a lot of things I would have done differently. The moon would be bigger and have a lot more beading (it's just way to subtle compared to the dragon). I would have added a weight to the bottom right corner to balance the weight of all the beading. I would have done a lot more quilting (the quilting is pretty minimal on this... just following the wave pattern of the bargello design, and pretty sparsely at that. The weight of the beading really called for more quilting, I think). But one thing I wouldn't change is the dragon. I just think he's pretty darn cool. And that's why I want to show off this quilt at the quilt show.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The big sleeve

My quilt guild (Stray Threads) is hosting it's first-ever quilt show this month. Woo hoo! It is not only exciting for my guild, but for me too-- I've never entered anything into a show before, and this seemed like an awesome opportunity. As it turns out, the show is taking place the same weekend the baby is due (April 24-25), so I have a feeling that I may not even get to go. But I decided to go ahead and enter a couple of quilts anyway, one of which is my Star Quilt Along quilt from 2008, Tyger! Tyger! Burning Bright:

Star Quilt Along quilt
It's not a judged show-- more of a showcase of members' works. Since I love this quilt and am still so proud of it, it seemed like a natural one to enter. Of course, had I known at the time that entering it would require adding a sleeve to the already completed quilt, I may not have done it. But, because the forms were already in when the committee decided they wanted sleeves on all of the quilts, I bit the bullet and did it...

the long sleeve
...all 85" of it. At least it didn't take too long. Less than hour to make it, and then a couple of hours to stitch it on. But, that's what I spent my sewing time on yesterday. Not particularly glamorous, but I'm happy it's done!

Another requirement for the show is to submit entries in a "securely closed and labeled fabric or clear plastic bag." Though I know a fabric bag would be best, I didn't want to have to take the time to make one. So, I headed to Bed, Bath, and Beyond and picked up a couple of those giant comforter storage bags. (I really wish they came in smaller sizes too.) Then I used some vinyl and single-fold bias tape to add a pocket for my contact info:

altered comforter bag
Simple but effective, I think.

The other quilt I decided to enter was a long lost UFO I was motivated to finish for the show. I think it deserves a post of its own, so I'll share it with you tomorrow.