Thursday, August 16, 2012

Hello, Kitty Quilt!

Bye-bye, UFO:

The blocks for this top were made for me (yikes, two years ago!) by my quilty friends in the Nittany Quilt Bee.  Meanwhile, the embroidery squares were made by myself and my four sisters.  This quilt will be going to niece, who loves kitties and pink, just turned 4, and also just moved into her big girl bed. 

The back is a oh-so-soft pink and white stripe vintage sheet, so I kept the quilting lines wide to avoid stiffening up the quilt.  It drapes beautifully, which matches just right with sweet colors and lovingly made embroideries.  I incorporated a little hand-written label into the binding: 

And I sent it off for her birthday.

It was well received:

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Big Upside Down Squirrels

 If you understand that title, I love you.  If you don't, you need to discover Eddie Izzard.

A few months back, I went on a mini retreat to Gold Country with some of my Bay Area Modern buddies... it was awesome. There was a lot of fabric shopping and a lot of getting to know four great ladies. Annnd we decided to start a bee. Well, a round robin, really, but we kept calling it a bee. We named it after our host's dog, Boo. Round Boo Bee. Yes, we are that mature.

Mature or not, we managed to get this thing off the ground.   Mallory started her quilt with Elizabeth Hartman's Metropolis block:

I was really inspired by the black and white divide in the background, and I decided to play off of that in my round.  Mallory mentioned that the elephant stripe was her favorite part (and it's mine too!), so I continued to feature the little guys: 

Mallory, if it makes you too dizzy... I could keep it, I suppose...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Orphan Block quilts

A few months ago, my local MQG had a sew day just for charity, complete with challenges, prizes, clippies... and tons of fun.  Our charity group collects scraps and orphaned blocks from guild members, so one of the challenges that day was to take on some orphaned blocks and make them into quilt tops.  I loved that idea so much that I ended up taking home two projects to finish up.

The first was a little stack of blocks that just needed a few friends, so I whipped up a couple of additional blocks and then sashed it all together.  I quilted this one with close, wandering diagonal lines.  So easy to do and it gives a bit of organic texture to the top.  I don't even mark at all, just eyeball my basting pins in straight lines and then use them as a guide to keep me from getting too off-kilter as I move across the quilt. 

The other project that I took on was a set of three coordinating star blocks.  I put one in the center and cut the other two each into quarters (one on the bias and one on the straight).  I love the overall design that resulted, although it's a little sad that most of the triangles lost their perfect points when I chopped the blocks up and added more seams. 

 I quilted the whole thing in close-spaced echos.  I adore this quilting style, though it is so time consuming if your project is large since you have to constantly turn the quilt.   In fact, this little guy is probably one of my all-time favorite quilts.  The color combination is just lovely and the way it crinkled up in the wash is so perfect. 

For the back, I cut strips of the two green solids used on the front, then cut the ends at 60° and sewed 'em up Jelly-Roll-Race style. 

Pretty, pretty.

Both quilts will be donated through Bay Area MQG to the Stanford NICU program Blankets for Babies.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Henrietta is finished

Poor Henrietta lived for about 6 weeks next to my sewing table, looking like this:

Which seems finished, until you remember those little things that animals sometimes have... ears. I cut them out and then when I was doing final assembly and decoration, I forgot them on my little side table. Which meant that I ended up putting her eyes where her ears were supposed to go. Woops. I say again - poor Henrietta.

I finally fixed her up last weekend. There, now she can see AND hear... 
 She has button joints

And the cutest little tail

And her face is a bit crooked.  Just like mine.

I won this pattern in the Sew, Mama, Sew giveaway event.  The only change that I made was to trim the ears into a rounded shape that is more authentically hippo.  (They are still a bit big, though... I might have made an error cutting them out).

Overall the pattern was really easy and went together quickly.  The only thing I will change next time is to add registration marks to the pattern (like used in garment sewing) so that I can match the sides better.  That way Henrietta's little siblings will not have her crooked face.

You can get the pattern for yourself on etsy