Elizabeth for Charlotte…

Turns out I will go to damn near any length to avoid basting. Because last week, I didn’t touch the 2 finished baby tops- but I did complete an entire NEW top.

Actually, I was just really inspired. I’ve had a large pile of Tula Pink’s Elizabeth since right when it came out. I LOVE that line. But I haven’t had a plan for it. I just needed to own it and pet it. You guys understand, right?

So my husband’s first cousin, much younger than him, just had her first baby- a little girl. We’re totally not close to them- didn’t merit a wedding invite or anything. BUT. A baby girl is an excuse to make a quilt. A baby girl named Charlotte is an excellent excuse to use fabric inspired by English royalty. And, it’s never a bad thing to make a gesture that could bring a family a bit closer together, right?

Once I got the idea to make Charlotte an Elizabeth quilt, I just couldn’t stop. I browsed my Pinterest boards for ideas, and I found the perfect one.

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This Moda Bake Shop pattern was perfect- they used a blank center square, but I thought it would be the perfect spot to stick Elizabeth herself! It’s technically a charm pack pattern, so I pulled fabrics and cut my own squares. Fabrics range from really old AMH to really recent modern prints, and tons in between.

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I modified the pattern one tiny bit- I added a row of the background fabric as a border around my center square. I needed it to balance the pattern after I swapped the center out from plain to pattern…

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Once I got going, I had to tear myself away. It was a work night. It was bedtime. I did’t want to stop. It was such a fun project- so fast and satisfying.

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Later in the week, I got the top completely done.

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It looks super ripply, but I’m blaming my very ripply design wall for that.In retrospect, I’d leave out the two paler purple fabrics and use two darker purples, but it’s really fun and happy. If I can bring myself to baste it, sigh, i will have it done so fast. (Especially as this baby is already here, and the other 2 quilts are for babies due later…) I have my binding fabric picked out- the Tula pink from the squares- but not sure what to do about the back. Maybe I’ll use more of my precious Elizabeth? I did buy it in 2 of the color ways…

And if I finish it before 9/4, I may still not pop it in the mail. Why? Oh, you know, because I’m going to get to MEET TULA PINK that night. It’s so awesome- her new line, Eden, contains a print with what can only be described as a fancy tiger. And my amazing LQS/LYS is called- wait for it- Fancy Tiger. So Tula herself is having a lecture and release party at my store! And I bought my ticket to the now sold out event the minute I heard about it… Does anyone know etiquette for this kind of event? Can I bring a quilt or two to show her? (Thinking specifically of my City Sampler top…) Can I bring books for autographs? Can I get through this without embarrassing myself? (Yeah, I think we all know the answer to that…) Also- what do I wear?????

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.

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The end of the rainbow…

A few weeks ago, I managed to quilt and bind my rainbow star quilt. It was a quick quilting project- I just did crosshatch through the middle of the blocks, but- I didn’t go through any of the white star pieces, so there were a LOT of ends to bury. A LOT. I finally managed to get photos of the finished project, and I got it shipped off to the new arrival. Since it arrived yesterday, I can finally share it here! (I’m feeling extra warm and fuzzy because, aside from the fact that this is one of my fave finishes ever,  my cousin said receiving this makes her want to keep having babies. Best compliment ever?)

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I took the quilt up to Breckenridge with us for our mini-break, and enlisted my campers to help take photos when we picked them up. (That stunning backdrop is just part of the glorious place they spend a week each summer… poor kids.)

I ended up using a black and white original pearl bracelet for the binding- thank you for all the suggestions!

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And the back came out nicely too-

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Happy friendly monsters all around. They always make me think of the classic The Monster at the End of This Book– I loved it when I was little and read it to both my kids. Maybe I should make sure the new baby has a copy?

Hopefully soon I’ll have a photo of the wee one with her quilt- but at least we have a trip planned for a family wedding in October, and we’ll get to meet her then.

Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday.

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A perfect pair

No excuses for the length of time between posting. I just have to accept that summer and blogging do not go well together for me. (We DID have a lovely weekend in the mountains, where we discovered a new hot springs retreat and spent our 16th anniversary sipping daiquiris in a natural hot tub…)

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But you didn’t come here for the gratuitous anniversary pix. Did you? I mean, if you did, that’s cool. I have more I could show- oh, no, you’re not interested after all? ;-)

But what I really wanted to show you is that I managed to finish the 2nd baby top of the pair I’m working on!

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I got the rows of HSTs together, with fairly decent points. Good enough that I can live with them, anyway…

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I put on the borders, again, directionally. You can see that there are some- gasp- cats in these particular cuts of the “doggy” fabric. Since the mom-to-be receiving this quilt isn’t JUST a dog person (like the other mom) I made certain the cats ended up in this quilt, at least as much as I could.

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So here they are together- a nice, complementary pair. I got the back for the first one pieced, but gave out before it was time to baste it. Possibly because I hate basting? I had some of the doggy batik left, and I pulled in some very precious yardage from a piece of Anna Maria Horner’s bohemian (I bought 5 yards of it years ago, and decided to stop hoarding it…) I didn’t piece the 2nd back, yet, but I will. After I force myself to baste the first one.

Meanwhile, my youngest starts middle school this week, so I’ll be quietly having a nervous breakdown over there in the corner. At least school start dates are staggered so I have nearly 2 weeks until my oldest starts high school. If it was the same day, I might never recover…

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.

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Ennea-quilts

Maybe I should just give up on summer blogging? Even when I manage to find time to sew, I can’t find time to type. But at the moment, my kiddos are BOTH away at camp in the mountains. Husband had to work late last night, and I got an entire quilt top done in one night*! And dammit, today I’m going to tell you about it.

I went back to the pair of baby quilts mentioned in my last post. I figured out the layout for each one. And each has a sneaky little inside reference that is making me so happy. The professional development group that I am in with both moms-to-be has often worked with a very cool tool called the Enneagram.  When first introduced to it years ago, I worried that it would be too touchy-feely for me. I was so wrong! Each personality type is assigned a number. I’m a textbook 5… And one of the moms-to-be is a 3, the other a 7. I managed to work out my designs to reflect that- and to not have a single block leftover!

Our first mom is a type 3. So she gets 3 rows of chevrons!

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The border is the wonderful doggy batik I showed you up close last time. I noticed that there are actually 2 different cats hidden in the pattern. Mom #1 is totally a dog person, so I tried to cut the borders carefully to include as few cats as possible. And I did cut directionally…

Mom #2 is a type 7. My original layout was set 6×6, but, I had enough blocks to make it 6×7- so she has 7 rows.

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I actually like this one a lot better as a rectangle. It seems to work with the reverse layout. This one is also getting borders- a tiny bit skinnier than the other one- but as you can see I didn’t get to it last night.

And it will take another few days to get back to it. Somehow, when planning the kids’ week away at camp, I didn’t even notice that they would be gone over out 16th wedding anniversary. So we’re sneaking away to the mountains for 2 nights all by ourselves! Whoooooo!

* btw I did finish quilting and binding the quilt for my new cousin- and I’m planning to mail it this week! And hopefully even blogging about it.

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Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.

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I’m dog-tired!

I’m ba-ack!

Since last I posted, I’ve watched my daughter kill it as Lancelot in Monty Python’s Spamalot,

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watched my son play innumerable little league games,

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gotten promoted at work, and also been to California and back…

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Zoinks. What I have not done is had time to sew, or to post on the blog.

Last week I tried to finish the rainbow baby quilt for my new little cousin (due today, but SHE arrived early, while we were still in CA…) And the screw for my walking foot had somehow vanished (never fear, I got a new screw earlier this week.) But because I actually had some time to sew, I decided to start on the next 2 baby quilts on my list.

I have two friends, work friends (but not at my actual place of work) who are due 2 weeks apart. Both are having boys. Both are in a professional development group with me. So, they know one another. I decided that I would make semi-matching quilts for them, from the same batik roll that inspired my rainbow star quilt.

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When I cleaned up scraps and stash earlier this year, I found an old piece of batik that I’ve always loved. And it’s PERFECT for these 2 moms-to-be: both of them are serious dog lovers. In fact, I just found out today that one of them actually had a dog-themed shower.

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I went through my pinterest boards and found some inspiration, and settled on a great tutorial by Amy at Stitchery Dickery Dock. I love projects that can be completed from stash! So I cut strips from my batik roll, and matched them up, and then sewed them into HSTs. Now comes the fun part- so many layout possibilities!

Here’s what I’m playing with for the first one:

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It’s just an idea at the moment. I should have enough squares to actually set them each 6×7, but this one is currently 6×6. The blocks finish at 6″ square, so it will be 36×42.  A decent size for a baby quilt… But should I use the dogs on the front as a border for a little more size, or just as the backing? I do love border-free quilts, but sometimes they are fab for adding size.

I ran out of time to try more ideas, but rest assured I’ll be playing more, hopefully this weekend. After the end-of-season little league tournament and party, that is!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social.

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Kids, Quilts, Travel, WIP Wednesday

The Quilt at the End of the Rainbow

It seems like lately my life has turned into nothing but little league- up to 5 days a week between games and practices. Henry and I are both wiped out to say the least… But this past Sunday was indeed a day of rest- and I spent it locked in my sewing room. I only came out to eat, and move loads of laundry around.

It paid off!

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I have a completely done quilt top, and am hoping to get it basted and quilted this upcoming weekend. But, it’s the midseason little league tournament, and if the kids do well, I could be at the field Friday-Sunday. Yikes… send sunscreen and bug spray…

Again, choosing fabrics took as long if not longer than sewing the blocks. And most of the blocks have some cute surprises.

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The light green block has 2 dogs, words about space and science, and a dinosaur. The dino is my only regret- I put it in because I love the fabric so very much, but it’s really too light and blue in tone. It pops out too much. Sigh.

IMG_6318I learned I really don’t have a lot of deep, dark greens in my stash. I had to struggle to find these. Some of them are very vintage, from back in my early quilting days. BTW, my newly organized scrap bins are wonderful for this kind of project. It was so easy to find what I needed! The only sneaky novelty in this block is the lizzy house mineral/gem fabric. Though I guess that black and green Kaffe is also funky…

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Deep blue was fun- but I nearly exhausted my options with just this small block, which is why I put out my call for help with deep blues for a special project… I put the dinos in here again, and here, they work! Also gems, stars, flames, a lucky cat, and even outer space.

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Pink! Almost completely from my scrap bin… some more very vintage pieces in here. The funky glasses kind of represent me. And there’s some very special Heather Ross in here as well.

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Red! I always feel like red is lacking in modern fabric lines, and a LOT of the reds here are from my black and white and red quilt phase- more than 10 years ago! Yikes! But there is one very modern piece of Tula in there, too.

I finally grabbed a photo of the backing fabric, and I’m really happy with it- not the least because it’s very old stash fabric. It feels so good to use what you have- and be happy with the outcome!

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I’m thinking white of some sort for the binding- I know it sounds weird, but I’m not sure what else might work- I’m very open to ideas!

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, Scraptastic TuesdayWIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social

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I Don’t Have the Blues, But I’d Like Them…

Annie has been pestering me to start her Tardis quilt. We’re working from this as our inspiration. And this cross stitch chart will also be very helpful… Many moons ago, Annie went through my stash and pulled out blues that looked good to her, and purples for the background. (She wants purples to look space-like rather than the yellow of the original.) As you might guess, purple is NO problem. But we just don’t have enough of the deep blues. And I would prefer not to buy a ton.So I’m putting out a call: can YOU spare any scraps of blue? I think our squares will be 3.5″ inches, so nothing smaller than that. I will happily swap for things in my stash- need purple? No problem! And lighter blues and greens galore… And wow, do I have novelties…

For your reference:

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Yes, I do realize they give different Pantone numbers, but each image is a good representation of the types of blues we need. Deep and bold, not flat. Slightly jewel-toned, but not over the top. Thank you!

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After 3 weeks of rain, of course there’s a rainbow!

Stop the presses. Or whatever passes for presses these days. Because I spent Sunday…sewing!

I have some more baby quilts in my future. The most exciting is a quilt for our newest cousin, joining the family in July. He or she will be welcomed by an older brother and sister, both of whom already have their own original Sam quilts. In both cases, their parents chose not to find out sex, and this time is no different. So yet again I was stuck trying to come up with an amazing gender neutral quilt. Ugh.

And then inspiration struck. Or rather, appeared on Facebook. My cousin announced #3 to the world-at-large with this adorable drawing, done by #2, of the baby-to-be.

rainbowbabyClearly this baby needs a rainbow quilt. And I just happened to have this roll of 20 batik strips hanging out in my stash. Bought it what feels like a million years ago. What better use than this? (Also please note that my wee cousin appears to feel, as I do, that purple should be the dominant color in everything. Smart girl!)

IMG_6199 IMG_6187But what to do with the strips? I went through my Pinterest boards for inspiration, and settled on this great tutorial by Flutterkat. The pattern called for a scrappier look than just my strips, but I started with them as inspiration. I decided to make 9 blocks- purple, red, pink, orange, yellow, light green, dark green, dark blue, and light blue. I cut my squares 3.5″ rather than 4 as I wanted this to be baby quilt sized…

I started with… can you guess? Purple!

IMG_6189The blocks come together super quickly, and yet again, it’s an instance of picking fabrics taking longer than cutting and sewing the blocks!

IMG_6191 IMG_6192 IMG_6194I noticed that my wonky star points weren’t so very wonky on the first block, so I tried harder to make them so on later blocks. I got through 4 blocks before I had to return to the real world and deal with the kids… not too shabby! 4 down, 5 to go… These are so much fun that I am jonesing to make more. But my time this week is spoken for- 5th grade continuation, little league game, little league practice, movie, family photo shoot, other little league game, sleep (at least, I hope sleep!) Yikes. So check these out and know I’ll be making more to show you just as soon as I can…

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I managed to sneak in lots of my favorite fabrics- some Heather Ross dogs and gnomes, some vintage Kaffe, two pieces of one of my favorite Tulas, lots and lots of pearl bracelets in various iterations, and more. Do you see the adorable monsters in the corner of the blue block? I discovered several yards in my stash. The background is a fun blue, and the monsters are really friendly and cute, and are in all the colors of the rainbow. So they’re going to be the backing.

I’ll be linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social while I try to find more time to sew…wish me luck!

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Sunday Stash: The All Lizzy House Edition

I may not have been doing a ton of sewing lately, but I haven’t let that keep me from acquiring some new fabric. And it’s all by the amazing Lizzy House. Natural History is one of my favorite lines in ages. I’m already doing that thing where I kick myself for not buying more. Which is totally insane, seeing as how I have more fabric that I can use in a lifetime. (Especially with me sewing so little of late!)

But I did buy a pile of my faves. Full yards of the blues, 1/2s of the greens, all from my fave LQS.

IMG_6181The dinos and the minerals make me soon happy. One of my grandpas was a geologist, and they make me think of him. The stars are for Annie my astronomer. And the whales for Henry, my marine biologist.

And then… I was drooling over the new mini pearl bracelets, and low and behold, an FQ bundle appeared on Massdrop. I’ve made a few purchases through them, and have been very satisfied so far. I’m waiting for another package to show up, that I can’t wait to show you. If you haven’t signed up yet, and you’re so inclined, you can sign up through my link and I might earn rewards. Meanwhile, aren’t they soon pretty?

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My only regret is that there’s not a better purple. But you can’t have it all… I’m hoping this line will be followed by a mini TONAL pearl bracelet release. That would be perfect.

I think these pretty fabrics are helping me get back into the groove. Stay tuned to see what I’ve gotten up to. Linking up with Molli Sparkles and Sunday Stash.

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Not Really Wordless Wednesday

(I’m not dead- yet- and I haven’t abandoned blogging- yet- but with the advent of nicer weather it seems I haven’t sat down for more than a few minutes at a time. I have a nearly-done shawl that I will hopefully be binding off tonight, and I DID finish sewing all 100 buttons onto my modern cross quilt, but we’ve have over 3 weeks straight of rainy days, and I have no idea how to photograph the king sized monstrosity to show it to you… That said, I thought I’d give you a peek at what kept me away from my sewing machine this past weekend.)

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Denver is home to the 3rd biggest Comic Con in the nation, and the only one that focuses on kids and families. For xmas, we gave our nerdy little people 3-day passes. Below is just a sampling of our Memorial Day weekend…

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I won the Iron Throne– but how long will I keep it?

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The entire family took a trip to Tatooine.

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We listened to Alan Tudyk interact with the audience in amazing ways, and splurged on a photo op with him. Browncoats unite!

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Captain Annie-merica met her nemesis…

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We attended a panel with nearly all of season 3 of the King of the Nerds cast- including host Curtis Armstrong, who just happened to star in a show written by some of my high school friends!!

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And we ended the night with another photo op, with Sean Astin of Goonies and LoTR fame. “It’s our time down here!” “Goonies never say die!” Note our specially selected Ts (2 LoTR, 1 goonie…)

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3 of us came back for another day, all done up as Daleks and Doctors.

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We even went to space…

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We saw amazing cosplay- this is only the tip of the iceberg.

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We went to a panel with Sean Astin, where at the end, he swore us all in as official Goonies!

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And then it was time for Day 3.

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Annie had a quick check up/

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Henry checked out some career options.

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And we all got our silly on.

And then we slept.

Then end.

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