Thursday, February 27, 2014

A Baby Boy Quilt

Last August my best friend had her first child, a sweet baby boy. We were pregnant at the same time, she was just a couple months ahead of me, and it was a blessing to have a friend to go to with the strange parts of pregnancy (moms you know what I'm talking about!). And now she is a blessing to me because I can ask her all kinds of 'first time mom' questions, it's all very fresh for her too!

So naturally I had to make her a baby quilt. Awhile back we both loved and bought fabric from a Connecting Threads line that had robots and circuit boards (don't remember the name now), in case either of us had a boy. My friend began making a sweet baby quilt from her robot fabrics, so instead of going with that theme I picked a boyish color scheme. A quilt that maybe he could grow with. Or at least a quilt that wouldn't look bad on the couch if it came to it ;-).

I really liked the look of patchwork around that time, especially smallish patchwork.
So here it is:

 Love that quilty texture! A local long-arm quilter quilted this one (she did my modern maple quilt too) and she did a beautiful job. I came up with a relatively quick way to make these blocks. By creating strip sets and then cutting them into rows I was able to get two blocks of opposing order from each fabric pairing. Any interest in hearing more about my method? I'm sure it's not new but I could post a tutorial...

 I chose blues, greens, teals, greys and a little white to give it a look of variety while still playing in the little boy blues and greens realm. The dark navy wasn't in my original plan, I was trying to pick 'baby boy' colors, but I ended up adding it to give more contrast and 'pop'. I like that navy in there.

By the way, has anyone noticed the comeback navy blue is making? I'm starting to see it everywhere. And I like it :-).
Isn't this robot print perfect for the back?! Ahh...back when there was lush green grass and above zero temps. Miss those days!

Friday, January 31, 2014

The lost quilt

Remember these blocks? They were born from a color palette I was interested in exploring. I blogged about them here and here. I loved the color combination, but was having trouble with the to turn the blocks into a finished quilt top. It didn't seem sufficient to just smash the blocks together...I wanted something more interesting.

After quite a bit of playing around, and adding another block, I finally came up with something I like. Here's the finished quilt:

I really like the chunks of solid color...I think the original blocks had too much off-white negative space for me on their own. I like color.

I quilted this one with soft wavy lines. I really like the effect, and plan to use this quilting pattern again in the future.

 I even hand-embroidered a label on the back. I used Pearl cotton thread. It took way too long! And my embroidery skills are sub-par. So I either have to get much faster or invest in some printed labels :-).

I made this quilt 'just for fun' so it doesn't have a home yet. I'm sure the right opportunity will present itself, and in the mean time, I don't mind have extra quilts in the closet!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Mother's Day/Father's Day Quilt

Last winter I decided to make my parents a quilt and give it to them for Mother's and Father's Day. Now that it has long been gifted, I can share it on here!

My parents love the fall (like me) and have their house decorated in beautiful fall colors. So of course I had to make a modern maples quilt and my palette became burnt oranges and reds, tarnished golds and deep, rich forest greens. Here's the stack I started with:

I wanted a mix of off-white neutrals for the background rather than just one solid color. The effect I was going for was a kind of shimmery, subtly variegated background. The backing would be the colorful leaf print sitting on top.

I made the leaf blocks at a weekend quilt retreat so it seemed like they came together in a snap. We did have Downton Abbey to keep us going too :-). I decided to place the leaves haphazardly throughout the quilt to make it look like they just fell that way. Please forgive the photo quality below-I was sewing on the binding on the way to my parents house to gift it so no time for lots of photos!

My mom snapped this picture, I'm holding it up with my lovely sister. I'm about 3 months preggo here :-).

I think my parents really liked this quilt, it sits on their couch now. I found myself craving a throw like this...maybe some day.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


She's here! Our little cupcake made an early debut on Saturday November 9th 2013. Meet Lorelai.

 She definitely took us by surprise! We didn't have a hospital bag packed, no car seat in the was a bit of last minute scrambling but everything went smoothly and she is very healthy. We are so blessed.
These last 2 months have been a whirlwind-but a good one. Somehow I have managed to work on a few sewing projects here and there, namely Lorelai's quilt. My goal is to get back into a rhythm of blogging soon. Once Lorelai is on more of a schedule it should (I hope) be a little easier to do this. Babies-they do what they want!

I hope you had a peaceful and blessed holiday season :-)

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Hello again!

It's been awhile...a long while. But if you haven't guessed from the photo above we've had some big changes to prepare for around here. Yes, we're expecting, and it's a girl! We are so excited to welcome Baby Hardcore and we're now only three and a half weeks away from her due date! It seems like this pregnancy has flown by, almost as soon as we found out we were expecting we started renovating our house. We added a guest room to our finished basement, so with that project and getting Baby Hardcore's room ready...we had one busy summer! I'm glad it's all done now and we can relax for a few weeks before she makes her appearance.

I'm working on a baby quilt, hoping to get it done at least near the time she's born, but I've also been busy scheming plans for all the cute clothes I want to make her. Girls are so fun to dress! Now, I've been pretty much terrified of apparel sewing, but I thought sewing for babies has to be easier. They are small...and they don't have as many curves and angles to work around-right? So I tried a simple dress first.

I'm in love. I'd been waiting for the perfect project for this adorable gnome fabric and the idea for a Christmas dress was born.

Those little gnomes kill me! So cute. And I love the added detail along the hem that the rick-rack provides.

I used this tutorial which was very easy to follow and comes with a pattern to print out. I highly recommend trying this dress if you have a baby girl to sew for. I'm pretty sure I'll be making more! Now to make her a little gnome hat...

Monday, April 1, 2013

Two More

Two more Farmer's Wife blocks done! Top-duck and ducklings, I love that yellow polka dot. The second block is darting birds.

I've already cut the pieces out for two more-I'm on a roll!

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Farmin' Along

Happy Resurrection Day! I love celebrating how Christ conquered the grave-what an awesome event!

About this time last year I started the infamous Farmer's Wife sampler quilt. Have you heard of it? The book includes letters from 1920s farm wives who responded to a question posed by The Farmer's Wife magazine-If you had a daughter of marriageable age, would you, in light of your own experience, want her to marry a farmer? The letters are pretty fascinating, but then I've always had a flair for history and trying to imagine another place and time. Anyway, along with the letters are instructions and templates for 111 different blocks (eee-gads!) from that time period. Quite a challenge. Most definitely a long-term project. As in, hopefully done before my hair is grey. I first saw an online FWQA here, and was inspired by all the beautiful blocks people were making, pairing traditional block designs with contemporary fabrics and colors.

So one year later and I've got 25 blocks done. Not quite a quarter of the way there-ha! But it's all about the enjoying the process, right? And I LOVE these blocks. Even though they're time consuming, they're still so fun to make. I like choosing the fabrics and seeing each block take shape.

Here are a few close-ups of my favorites so far. This first one is cut glass dish. I love that Nicey Jane fabric in squares.

Second is country farm. The deep navy blue really makes this star pop.

Finally-country path. When I first saw this block in the book I wasn't sold. But after seeing translating it to fabric form-lovely.

This weekend I've been working on these next two blocks. Lots of little pieces to cut! Which, by the way, Camille has some nice time-saving tips for cutting and assembling these blocks which I've found really helpful.

More FW blocks to come!