Thursday, June 26, 2014

Quilts for the Triplets!

Back in March, I made three quilts for the triplets my sister and her partner were having. I posted some in-progress shots of making the quilts but no pictures of the finished pieces. Unfortunately, the pictures I did get were on the day I was shipping them out. And we were having some weather, so no lovely outside shots. The tops were made before we knew the sexes of the babies, so I went with (what I consider) gender-neutral fabrics and colors. I am pretty happy with how they turned out!

I machine quilted them with cotton thread in straight lines, following the flow of the block seams. I wanted to add a little texture, so I tied all three with the same golden yarn. It was a wool mix, and got a little crazy after the final wash. I was hoping they would felt more after the wash, but nope. Definitely need to keep trying different yarns for tying. I do still like the pop of color and texture.

I backed them in a mix of fun and colorful flannel fabrics, but I didn't get any good shots of the finished backs! I used about 5 or 6 different flannels and pieced them in big stripes for each quilt. You can see a few of them in the last picture in this post.

After I finished the tops, but before I pieced the backs and quilted the quilts, my little nephews and niece were born premature and spent almost 3 months in the NICU, but all three are now home with their mommies! Yup, two boys and a girl. They are the cutest little things...though they aren't so little now and are getting bigger! Nothing better than chunky, roly-poly babies! Here are the quilt labels I was able to make, since I knew their names before I finished the quilts. I designed the labels on my computer and them printed them out in the approximate size I wanted to make them. I turned the paper over and copied the labels with an iron-on pencil for transferring embroidery patterns. Then I ironed them on to the gingham and started embroidering.
I can't wait to meet them! And see them with their quilts (which I hope they will cherish as much as I did making them). Thanks for stopping in. Have a great day!

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Beautiful, Creative Mess

I was checking out my usual blogs this morning and was inspired by Carina (over at Carina's Craftblog) to post a couple of photos of my stitching "mess". I think Carina's pictures are prettier, but this is what it looks like in my living room these days (when we have no scheduled guests!)...

We recently purchased a new couch, a sectional, which I love. It is super cozy and will be awesome for our long Maine winters. But due to arrangement, I lost my large side table, where I kept everything contained (mostly). The yellow basket above is pretty much full of all of my hand sewing supplies (for hand quilting, embroidery, and english paper piecing). The second picture is pretty much where I have a stack of books/magazines that I am currently reading and my most current project in progress. I had a lovely wooden tray I bought for putting all of my in-progress supplies on while I am on the couch, but it got reassigned by my husband for his projects (cheeky monkey!!)! Now I am on a hunt for another cool tray.

Anyways, I was just inspired to share this today. I like looking at other people's creative messes/processes so I thought it only fair to share mine. :) If you have any "behind the scenes" photos to share of your creative process, please share the links in the comments!

And now, a couple of pretty macro shots of my current little sampler. I just got some Sublime Stitching floss to try out (they were having a big sale on the floss) and I am currently using the Breakdance Palette (which has some neony colors).

I also have an in-progress shot of the Star Trek baby quilt I am working on, which I NEED to finish this week. The mom is in labor as I type this!

Thanks for stopping in. Have a great day!

Friday, June 13, 2014

&Stitches Embroidery Swap

Hello! This May I was part of the &Stitches blog embroidery swap. The theme was "places" and my partner was the wonderful Christine from Chrissie Crafts. I had a lot of fun coming up with ideas and deciding what direction to go in.

One of the best things about this swap was meeting Christine and discovering her blog. She is super creative and talented! One of the things that struck me was all of the wonderful photos of her garden she has throughout her blog. So I picked four photos I really liked and printed them on fabric. My idea was that her garden was the "place" of the swap and I was going to sew the picture into a patchwork project bag for her and embellish the fabric photos with embroidery. I really like the idea of having a useful piece that is also pretty and fun with embroidered details.

Here are some pictures I took of the project bag when it was done. Unfortunately, I packed her box up late one night and didn't think to get any photos of some of the extras I sent along. But I had so much fun putting the box together thinking of things Christine might enjoy based on our emails and her blog.

From Christine, I received an amazing little embroidery that I truly adore. She describes her thought process and shares some in progress photos here. Here is a macro picture I took of the piece. It is fantastic, her little stitches are so neat (the hoop is only 3 inches across!). And the fact that it is a ticket really fits into our home here. My husband does a lot of SFX makeup and props for local Maine movies and theater (and I help him sometimes), so this little 'ripped' ticket was just perfect.

She also sent along some beautiful charm squares of Liberty fabric. LOVE!And the cutest card...(I love tea and I love that tea cozy.)I had a great time, I met a great person and I got a wonderful, original piece of embroidered art! Thank you &Stitches team for hosting this swap. I hope there will be more in the future.Thanks for stopping in. Have a great day!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

WIP Wednesday (on Thursday)

Popping in to upload some pictures of a New York Beauty block I made recently. I am very excited with how it turned out. I paper pieced it using templates from here. I am not the quickest paper-piecer...but the block did go together smoothly. I didn't have any trouble with the curved seams and they ironed down beautifully.

If you haven't tried a New York Beauty block, I highly recommend it at least once! If nothing else, you will get a great, unique pillow or mini quilt out of it. I am using the one I made as the center of a quilt I will be working on this year. My friend and I will be each making a center block for a quilt and then switching each month to add to each other's quilt. Like a two-person travelling quilt. :) We have done this once before, years ago. And, as much as I do dig the first experiment, I am excited to do it again as our piecing has improved greatly and our taste in fabric changed quite a bit.

I am also plugging away on my scrap/orphan block quilt. I finished piecing the top and back and finally sandwiched it together yesterday. I pinned it every 6 inches or so, as I was out of spray baste. I decided to hand quilt it using a basic running stitch and probably some tying. Here is a (bad) photo of it laid out on my kitchen floor. It will measure about 68x92 when finished. A very generous and cozy couch quilt for our long, cold Maine winters. I will say though...I am totally in love with it! 

And finally, a little 'Throwback Thursday' is a (really bad) photo of the round robin quilt I mentioned up in the second paragraph. I really need to try and get a good photo this summer. This one was taken quickly on a cold and windy day in February 2013. Though the top had actually been finished for years, I only completed the sandwiching and quilting last winter. The theme was Mexican Day of the Dead, as I have always been drawn to the colors and imagery of that holiday.

Thanks for popping in! Have a great day!

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

WIP Wednesday!

It is WIP Wednesday. Joining in the fun at Freshly Pieced.

I am starting another baby quilt this week. It is a special request from the mother and I am so excited to work on it! She fell in love with some Star Trek fabric that she had seen me use in another project and decided she wanted that for the main fabric for the quilt. She says, "I want to get our kid into geek stuffs ASAP!" So here are a couple of shots of the Star Trek fabric cut out and the solids I will probably be using. By next week, I should have the top done and will share here.


I found some great felt coasters (already die cut) at the local dollar store and I have been working on attaching them to another piece of colorful felt. The colors and shapes are really fun to work with. And super fun to photograph. 

Thank you for stopping by! Have a great day!

Thursday, April 3, 2014

throwback thursday

Hi! Sorry I have been away from this blog for awhile. Trying to get some projects finished. I will definitely be back next week with some finishes! Yay!

For now, here is a picture of me (shorty with those big red bangs) and one of my older sisters, circa 1978.)

Thanks for stopping in! Have a great day!

Friday, March 21, 2014

a few friday photos

Hello! Just popping in to post a few pictures from this week.

 My helper, Sven. He is inspecting my work.

Shadows on my patchwork.
Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend!