Friday, June 13, 2014

Friendly Inspiration

The thing about belonging to this crafting, sewing, quilting community is we are bombarded, constantly, with inspiration and ideas.  

The sound of thunder and a steady rain early this morning started my day.  A quick glance at the radar map showed a heavy storm over top of my immediate area, as well as lots more headed over from the west.

Perfect.  I could, in between the rain showers and lightening crackles, walk the dog, complete some early morning chores, and eventually, sit for a few uninterrupted hours at the sewing machine.  

However, after I plugged in the laptop and grabbed a Coke, I was instantly caught up in reading about and seeing the creativity of some of my friends.

Wendi, who lives a hop skip and a jump from my children's school, had just posted about a new pattern she secretly tested this week for her daughter Amanda.  

Wendi's quilt, made from Amanda's pattern, Treasure Hunt, and with tons of saturated Anna Maria Horner fabrics, is inspiration number one this morning.   The PDF can be purchased from Amanda's online store Westwood Acres.

The second piece of inspiration comes from my online friend, Erica, whom I started following a year ago.  We like the same things - bright, colorful, happy fabrics.

Straightaway, I was drawn to the scrappy vibrant hues used for this block.  It's also easy - being strip-pieced on phone book pages and made from random width scraps!  One which BabyBird and BigP and I could make together this summer.  Quality sewing time with my two + easy + scrap usage = winner!   

Two new additions to my ever growing "Quilts, Inspiration, and Fabric" Board on Pinterest.  Thanks ladies!!

If I'm going to sew, I need to leave the computer.  Happy Friday!  

Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm a Fan of Easy

I am a huge fan of easy.  

I like being able to look at something complicated and figuring out a way to make it easy.  I like making easy quilts.  

For me, nothing is easier than making string blocks.  Just slice fabric into long thin strips, and sew it back together on foundation paper.  Almost any paper works - copier paper, an old phone book page, or even lightweight non-fusible interfacing.

I started this quilt a long time ago.  It was another Gala donation.  Our theme that year was heavily influenced by the colors and feel of Mexico.  I pulled fabrics from my stash in our chosen colors of lime, turquoise, deep red, and white.  My favorite fabric was a turquoise and white sand dollar print because both the color, and the sand dollar, represent our school.  

Piecing this quilt happened rather quickly.  Quilting it, not so much.  But, one day this past October while I was spray basting outside, inspiration, literally, fell from the sky.  The shadows of the screen enclosure made great intersecting angles!  I immediately grabbed my water soluble marker along with my 8' straight edge, and traced what I saw.

Again, because I love easy, I knew I'd quilt straight lines.

Instead of dense straight line quilting that I am a huge fan of, I chose to keep it even simpler.  Each angle was initially stitched, and each quadrant filled with stitching lines about 2.5 inches apart.  That wasn't quite doing it for me - the quilting was a little too sparse - so I went back and quilted .25' from each of those lines, which added the extra texture I wanted.

As it so often is, the quilting lines, in white, are subtle on the front and more pronounced on the back.  Once again, pulling from my stash, this time my BATIK stash (Oh, no!  Batiks aren't modern, so goes the old argument), I matched our theme colors, even inserting another good-sized chunk of that sand dollar fabric.

I chose Warm and Natural as the batting because it's lightweight.  No one in Florida wants a heavy lap quilt!  We just want something to cover our legs when the nights turn cool.

The binding is a gloriously scrappy with lots of red prints.  Once again, I chose easy.  The machine binding method learned from Amanda Jean at Crazy Mom Quilts is my favorite.  

When I mentioned to a friend I was using so much red, and even red batiks, with a mostly white top, she thought I was crazy.  Never fear, cold water, and three Shout Color Catchers in the first wash left the top free of bleeding.

This quilt measured 54" x 54".  So why did something with so many easy parts, take so long to complete? Because Trish said she'd wait forever.  And I'm real good at finding something else to do.

I 'm glad I gave it to her this past October and she had it to wrap up with during our unseasonably cold winter.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Gala 2014

After lamenting yesterday that I'd misplaced my camera, I said as much to my husband who replied "Oh, it's in the back of the car.  Along with some other stuff."

These were what I was looking for.

Pictures from our school's fundraiser a couple of weeks ago.

We rent a venue way in advance; choose a theme; decide on catering; and go to work. 

Work the day of Gala, means hauling in all of the children's individual artwork and displaying it.

Same with the classroom art projects.  

Each classroom designs and creates, over many weeks, several pieces for our Live Auction.  

So many different mediums and techniques are used.

Children from as young as 18 months to as old as 15 years collaborate on all of these pieces.  

In addition to the Live Auction pieces, parents, friends, and local businesses contribute items for our Silent Auction.

This is my third year making items for Silent Auction.

Of course, I wouldn't be true-to-form if I didn't wait until the last minute.

So last minute in fact, I finished them Friday night.  

Actually, the wee small hours of Saturday morning.    

I mean, I knew I was making pillow covers.  The easy envelope kind, because with Kona White as a background, you know they're going to get dirty.  

I knew what fabrics I was using.  

I knew I wanted them colorful, and I also knew I wanted to use a pieces from our theme fabric.

Other than that, I had no idea what I was going to do until very late Friday night. 

My description for the Silent Auction table was something like this:  "Two, 18" Modern Geometric Quilted Pillow Covers with Inserts."

 "A color palette of tangerine, lemon, lime, avocado, and turquoise make you think of sipping cool citrusy drinks, poolside, on a hot afternoon."

These are just a little bit of the sewing I've done this year.  I am very glad my camera's been located and pictures downloaded.

Friday, May 16, 2014


It's hard to write a blog post when your camera's missing.

Even if it wasn't missing, I think I'd still be behind.

Because, as a friend just said recently about herself "I'm just a classic overachiever."

I have that trait too.  

It gets me in trouble more times than I can count.

Because I think I can do it all.


I should know better.

Deadlines and commitments for all of those things I said I could do, or THOUGHT I could do, come calling.

Which leads to clutter, and chaos, and sleepless nights.

And creativity.  Which is how this happens in the first place.

I am either around creative women because of my ECMQG affiliation, or I'm tuned into a vast network of creative folks because of IG and Flickr.

I get pulled in by the beauty and enthusiasm of their projects that I want to participate too.  

So I sign-up and commit and create.  But I've lost my real camera.  I know there are pictures on it.  I have my iPhone, which has tons of pictures.  But I have to sync it.  Maybe I'll do that tonight, once it's all quiet.

Or maybe I won't, because I'll be sewing or playing with fabric.

Friday, January 3, 2014

HST Love? Maybe.

This is a little pillow top I started the first week of November as a Christmas gift.   

I'd just finished a last minute (selfish sewing!), Halloween HST pillow and I wasn't quite ready to put away the Halloween fabrics.  Besides, my VGF loves Halloween as much as I do, so receiving a Halloween pillow in December is no big deal.

I wanted to make it different than the one I'd just completed and I've always loved the medallion layout.  

With a few scraps she'd just sent me, as well as a selection of purple, orange, and black charm squares from two of Moda's Halloween lines - the Boo Crew by Sweetwater and Monster Bash from Sandy Gervais - I put this together really fast. 

Simple straight line quilting  a quarter inch apart also made this a really quick finish.  Just a couple of lines in the white bands and denser quilting within the colored bands added subtle texture.  I like how this doesn't scream Halloween.

So in the space of about a week, not one, but two HST projects finished.  

I can't say I like piecing and trimming HSTs any better, but I can say with practice, their precise lines look pretty darn awesome.  

While I'm playing catch up, I really really wish I had my sewing machine on this trip.  But if I did, I wouldn't be posting.  

Happy New Year y'all!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Cross Something Off

My friends that know me, understand that being late is part of my charm, personality.

I go full out, often over committing, and consequently, run smack into deadlines like a speeding car hitting a brick wall.  It's not pretty.  However, I recover nicely and continue on as if nothing happened.  For this reason, I work best independently.  No point in frustrating others because of my idiosyncrasies.

Now that Halloween has passed and all of our school and family activities are completed, I've had time to actually sit and sew.  Sew for some of the swaps I signed-up for. 

This is a pillow cover I started the first part of October.  It was for a private swap from the Modernista Homemade Flickr group.

This morning, I finally finished all of my items. 

I know we said we'd do small things, but I just love pillow covers.  

Erica is receiving a pillow cover, a small lined container, and a QAYG potholder.  And a pair of cute Halloween spider socks because 1) I can't resist cute socks and 2) I don't wear them because I live in FL.  

I also have TONS of Halloween scraps, strips, and stash.  Sadly, this didn't even make a dent in it.  

From Erica, I received this adorable spider pincushion (we even have some of the same stash, just different colorways!), a crocheted dish towel, and a medium size goody basket. 

I love how she echo quilted the spider webs! 

More spiders on the goody basket, as well as hand quilting!  The lining fabric is something I also have stashed.  

I think I made out pretty good.  I hope Erica likes her items as much as I LOVE mine.  The best part though, came in the note Erica wrote.  "I had intentions of getting this sent earlier, but things got crazy."

Obviously, she and I have similar worlds.  It's okay to be late.  

I'm linking up to Amanda Jean's Finish it Up Friday because I really did just finish today!

Happy Friday!!