Category Archives: Gift

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.

IMG_8589

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.

IMG_8590

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…

IMG_8592

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.

IMG_8594

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

IMG_8612

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.

Advertisements

17 Comments

Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Pinned it AND made it!, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

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!

IMG_8345

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.

IMG_8343

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.

IMG_8183

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

12 Comments

Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Pinned it AND made it!, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

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,

DSC_0339

watched my son play innumerable little league games,

6-16-15-game-14

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

55803100266

IMG_7749

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.

IMG_6187

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.

IMG_8049

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:

IMG_8047

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.

5 Comments

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!

IMG_6334

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.

IMG_6315

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…

IMG_6322

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.

IMG_6326

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.

IMG_6328

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!

IMG_6336

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

48 Comments

Filed under Baby quilts, Gift

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…

IMG_6216

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!

35 Comments

Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

All of Time and Space

You ever have one of those super quick knits that is oh-so-satisfying, and also makes the recipient very very happy? Today I’m going to show you one of those… because even though I knit as much as I quilt- and sometimes even more- you’d never know it by looking at this blog! So let’s look at yarn. And then stay tuned, because boy do I have a proud mom moment to share.

You may know that I am part of a family of geeky nerds. In fact, hard as it may be to believe, I may be the most mainstream of us all.

Chew on that for a few.

You still there?

This is Annie. My sometimes enchanting, other times maddening 13 year old daughter (is there any other kind?)

IMG_3085

Astute readers might notice the Tardis hat on her head. No, that’s not my handiwork- but it is a good example of her daily wardrobe. If it relates to a time lord or a Marvel character (especially Captain America), she’s probably wearing it.

In late 2014, I learned that KnitPicks had temporarily re-released some of their Felici self striping yarns in some very particular and sought after color ways, including this one.

IMG_0174

It’s called “Time Traveler”, and it references the 4th Doctor‘s trademark scarf. I immediately ordered 8 skeins- enough to make a pair of socks for each member of the family. So glad I did; it sold out very quickly! When it arrived, I remembered that my kids don’t like socks.

D’oh. But Annie DOES like arm warmers. So, with this easy and free pattern by Susan B. Anderson, I whipped her up a pair, in just about a week. They were done and being worn everywhere even before xmas. And they actually only took one skein plus a few yards, so I think I have enough left to make her a matching hat!

IMG_3946

Super cool, eh? She loves em. I love that I made her so happy. And that they are machine washable.

And she was even happier this week- last Friday, we went to see Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson. Don’t know who he is? Even if you don’t, you probably know one of his most famous moments- he was instrumental in the demotion of Pluto from full planet status.

IMG_4274

The next slide said, “GET OVER IT.” Maybe you had to be there, but it brought the house down.

Last week, he gave 2 sold out lectures here in Denver (2,900 seats in the venue!). My mom bought us the tickets last August- the kids didn’t know until xmas- this was their big gift. (As an aside, can I tell you how happy it makes me that my kids were thrilled to receive tickets to a lecture on astrophysics for xmas??) The man was even more awesome in person than you would think, and after talking for 3 hours with no break, he took questions from the audience.

My Annie wants to be an astronomer. And she really wanted to ask him a question- but she ended up fairly far back in the line. I was worried she’d be so let down if she didn’t get to talk to him- but I needn’t have been. When he announced he could only take a few more questions, the audience and the people ahead of my girl asked them to let the kids go! (There were 2 behind her.) And they did! So, thanks to generous and kind strangers, Annie was able to ask her mentor a question.

I totally broke all the rules, which, if you know me, is a huge deal, and used my phone to record her Q&A. But here’s the thing- how often do you get a chance to ask your living idol a question, in person? (Her dead idol is Alan Turing…) So the video quality is crap as I was dodging and weaving to avoid the very, very conscientious usher who was bent on busting every single camera wielding rule breaker in the room. Want to relive the moment? You can, if so inclined… It is pretty darn awesome if I do say so myself. (And if you saw the video on my FB, this is actually the full version with 45 extra seconds…)

PS Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday

7 Comments

Filed under Annie, Brushes with Greatness, General Geekery, Gift, Kids, Knitting

Here a stache, there a stache, everywhere a stache stache

It may seem like I dropped off the face of the earth, but really, I was just swallowed whole by December. I feel like I have been going non-stop for weeks! And yet, I did manage to finish and deliver the mustache quilt…

m 1

I did go back and add another row- a solid, light pink. I feel like it softened the quilt. The center row of teal really looks lost in this photo, but I feel like it pops more in real life.

m 2I also added an inner border of one of my fave Tula prints, from the Acacia line. The green is flecked with very light grey, just right for this project- and the extra row helps to keep the mustache chevrons from bleeding into the mustache outer border. Two borders- how very traditional of me!

m 3

The back is a super soft and fluffy green minky- leftover from the back of my Aunt’s quilt. I did MUCH better with the minky this time. I googled the heck out of it, and got lots of great tips for working with it. I made certain NOT to stretch it taut, and I pinned the sucker within an inch of its life. I followed that up with my now-standard cross hatch quilting, and I’m quite happy with the result.

m 4As it its new owner! World, meet Olive. Olive arrived in this world around 12 weeks early, but she came safely home from the hospital after just over 9 weeks- just in time for Thanksgiving! I was able to take her (and her family) this quilt in person, and meet her. She’s so strong and feisty- such a fighter. She’s only got oxygen because our Denver altitude is rough on everyone, especially so slightly underdone little ones. I’m so thrilled for my friend and her family- now ever so slightly bigger- and I hope Olive soon grows big enough to think that this quilt is too small 😉

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday, Fabric Frenzy Friday , and Crazy Mom Quilts.

4 Comments

Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Gift, Quilts

The Final Four

2 teacher baby quilts down (one you saw, one I’m saving for friday) and 2 babies born safely and happily, right before their due dates.

Baby #3 is due in December- except really she’s #4 as Baby #1 actually came over the summer, before her dad was the new science teacher. And I decided there was no rush on her quilt, since she already exists without one… Anyway! The point is- December baby girl’s quilt top is DONE.
IMG_2506

I’m having trouble deciding which of these quilt tops is my fave. At first I was certain it was this one, but now I’m not sure. I love it- but I think I love them all pretty darn equally.

But I did have an awful lot of fun playing with different fabrics in this one! There are 8 yellow and 8 purply-pinks.

IMG_2512

IMG_2508

There is a bit of everything in there. For real! That hoarded Heather Ross doggy fabric is in with a pink I got from- for real- Walmart many years ago. And there’s a bunch of batiks. And ray guns! The ray guns are extra awesome because this teacher happens to sport an amazing belt buckle that looks like a slightly steampunk ray gun! I love the kids drawings on these blocks- I think that guy right above is a jedi of sorts as that looks like a lightsaber, and someone drew an xmas tree as the baby is due so close to that day. My Annie drew Thor’s hammer. I’m hoping to baste and quilt this one over the weekend…

And don’t forget to come by on Friday to see finished baby quilt #2!

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

11 Comments

Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

A Giant Creep(er)

Somehow, I forgot to tell you all about my biggest finish of 2013- actually, the biggest knitted finish of my life to date! What?!

Pinterest made me do it.

Last year I was poking around, and I saw this blanket by Own Two Hands. And I fell in love. So simple and graphic, and sure to make my Henry the happiest kid in the world. He loves Minecraft and would play it all day every day, if only his pesky mom (hi!) didn’t set limits on his computer time… Cuddling with a Creeper blanket would make him so happy.

In September, I went to Michaels and bought a giant batch of their Loops and Threads Impeccable solid yarn. Washable and inexpensive to boot. The best kind of yarn for a project for a smelly 10 year old boy…

And I started knitting. I knit rows instead of individual squares (because the pattern is made up of 100 squares, and that amount of sewing up would have killed me), and I seamed them up as I finished them. (I was afraid otherwise I would end up spending all of Xmas eve seaming like mad…) I made my squares slightly bigger than called for in the original pattern because, um, I can’t remember why.

Slowly, the blanket grew. I only worked on it at home, because it was just too big and too much yarn to carry around with me.

IMG_4707

And a few days before Xmas, I was done.

And so I wrapped it up, and put it under the tree.

I think he liked it.

IMG_5552

Now, it lives on his bed in place of a quilt. When we changed sheets last week, we left of the crazy pile of stuffed animals long enough to get an action shot of the blankie. Here’s the Ravelry link to my project, if you are interested…

DSC_4944

But you know what this means, right?

In the interest of fairness, it’s time to make a new giant project for Annie. Pinterest to the rescue- I’m thinking, a Tardis quilt (bed sized) adapted from THIS beauty.

2 Comments

Filed under General Geekery, Gift, Henry, Knitting, Pinned it AND made it!

My Kids are Creep(er)s!

I finished the second hat!

IMG_4591

 

I made this one downright huge, after the first one turned out so small. I cast on 112 stitches instead of the 90 called for in the pattern, and changed up the decreases and numbers of stripes as well. Annie got a black pompom, as I had significantly more black yarn left.

To prevent another exploding pompom like on the first hat, I splurged on a Clover  pompom maker. It worked quite well, and for the $7 investment, I am totally satisfied.

Hopefully by sharing this next photo, I can discourage Annie from her current favorite photo pose:

IMG_4594

I’m afraid we’re only one small step away from her going full Miley…ugh. Well, not really. She’d never be that bad. But I am getting sick of photos of her sticking out her tongue… Ah, the tweenage years.

Leave a comment

Filed under Annie, General Geekery, Gift, Knitting, Pinned it AND made it!