Tag Archives: gift

Ele-Fun!

Ta-da!

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It’s finished, and delivered… And I love it so much. This is one of my all-time favorite quilts. The pattern, the fabrics and colors, and even the quilting. It just makes me smile. Even the back makes me happy.

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Fabrics for this quilt were 97% pulled from stash- and many from the scrap bin. There’s Tula, Kaffe, Lizzy House, Allison Glass, Cotton + Steel, and so many more… some of the fabrics are many, many years old. But they play together so nicely.

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I basted the quilt and still didn’t have a quilting plan. I ended up doing a 1/4″ line around the edge of the elephant, and then I quilted a grid across the inside of the elephant. I doubled over some lines so I would have as few ends to bury as possible. For the grey background, I quilted right along the diagonal seams. I love the puffy textured feeling that this created. I did a simple outline stitch inside the purple border, and a criss-cross inside the outer border squares. It works.

And I think the black and white polka dot binding worked out really well…

IMG_3506I admit, I just wanted you to see the teensy tiny elephants on the back of the quilt…

The shower for mom-to-be was at work yesterday, and I got to give her the quilt. I am fairly certain she loves it 🙂 And now, there will be a brief sewing break as we work on a massive family project that I’m not quite ready to share here yet- but stay tuned!

Meanwhile, linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday. Have a great weekend!

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Filed under Baby quilts, Finish It Up Friday, Quilts

Updated Elephant

That cold kicked my butt. I started to feel better. It was my body playing a trick on me, trying to make me think I should be working and sewing and all that.

Not so much. I didn’t finally actually truly feel WELL until after I got two unexpected days off last week- snow days! You might have heard that Denver got a surprise blizzard last week…

(photos from only 24 hours later because snow always melts away very quickly here…) We got between 15-18inches of snow at my house. The school where I work was closed for 2 days, the school my son attends was closed for 2 days, and the school my daughter attends was only closed for one- but we decided that with basically the entire city closed, it would be cruel to make her go to school, so I let her stay home with us.

And I spent the crazy blizzard day sewing away.

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All those triangles and bias edges meant I had to SERIOUSLY square up this baby!

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I changed up my plan for the inner solid border- I was going to use the teeny elephant print but it felt too light. Back to my absolutely favorite purple ever, the Lizzy House tonal pearl bracelet. I need to buy more ASAP… I manage to use it in everything.

I am so happy with this! I was trying to imagine binding- I think I want a black with white polka dot fabric. But I need to buy some…

I even managed to piece the backing. I used leftover strips and squares, and just put them together however they made me smile.

Then, I added some of that pretty pink and white elephant fabric to each end. I also added some grey at the sides, but that should all get cut off after quilting- it’s just the extra for the sides.

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I didn’t get around to basting it yet… hopefully this weekend, and then I’ll quilt it. I have to have it ready to gift by April 6th. I should be able to pull that off- too bad I don’t think we’ll have another blizzard before then.

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

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Quilts, WIP Wednesday

Wordless WIP Wednesday

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Quilts, WIP Wednesday, Wordless Wednesday

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

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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Filed under Baby quilts, Finish It Up Friday, Pinned it AND made it!, Quilts

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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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?)

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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

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

More for Mom…

My final finish of 2014 was a birthday gift for my mom- I know, she made out like a bandit this year, right? 😉 I made my parents a set of 8 quilted placemats many years ago. They were blue and white and matched their dishes. Last year, my mom got new dishes: fiesta ware in Paprika and Ivory. The old placemats clashed horribly.

Also a few years back, okay more than a few, I made my folks a quilt for their living room.

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It was PERFECT for their living room in South Carolina, even though the colors were so very very very far from my style. (Also please note my dad was well known for never smiling in photos- he actually was happy with it…)

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Anyway! In my mom’s new home here in colorful Colorado, the quilt is still in the living room- right next to the dining area (sort of one big room). So I busted out the copious stash of leftovers and set about making her a new set of placemats.

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I used this tutorial from Ellison Lane. It worked well with the fabrics, and was fast and easy. No two placemats match, front or back, but I did bind them all in the same fabric for continuity. I just did simple straight line quilting- worked well enough.

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She loved them! Hooray! And as an added bonus, it turns out they have another fan. Mom left them in a stack on her dining table, and found her cat Anna curled up asleep on them. Maybe I should use the remaining scraps to make Anna her own quilt? Probably more sanitary, right?

Of course, when the kids saw these, they reminded me about my plan/promise to make OUR family unit some custom placemats. Gotta get on that…

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday and TGIFF.

 

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Filed under Finish It Up Friday, Gift, Pinned it AND made it!, Sewing (not quilting!)

Sweet, Sweet Sugar

I am so happy to finally be able to share this finished quilt.

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In 2013, I joined Stitchery Dickery Dock‘s Sugar Block Club BOM. I made 2 complete sets of blocks– one for me (in purples and blues) and one for my mom, in much more earthy tones. I gave my mom a set of blocks, not even a top, for Xmas 2013, and the promise of a finished quilt to follow soon after. So that didn’t quite work out. I did manage to finish the top in early 2014 (in fact, almost a year ago to the day!), but I had no idea how to quilt it. I picked it up and put it down. Many times. And felt so guilty that my mom wasn’t getting her gift. Sigh.

Finally, just a few weeks before Xmas 2014, I decided to send it out to be quilted, cost be damned. But I hadn’t sent one out in forever, and I wanted something special and custom. As luck would have it, the mom of a student at the school where I work is an amazing quilter who is just getting her business (Snowflake Quilting) off the ground. And she had time to finish the quilt before Xmas, or at the very least before my mom’s 12/30 birthday. I sent her photos of the quilt, and when we met in person, she had an AMAZING design already sketched out. Each block had its own motif, and then, she created an overall design to tie them all together. The trickiest part for me was choosing the thread color.

In less than a week, Snowflake Quilting had returned my quilt to me, quilted to perfection. The best part? She delivered it to my office when dropping her son off at school, so I got to bask in oohs and aahs from my colleagues. I easily got it bound and washed and wrapped and under the tree by Xmas Eve!

I think my mom likes it!

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And you know how I was torturing myself with guilt all year, because this took me so long? Well, as mom opened it, she was truly confused and shocked. “What is this?” She had forgotten about it! I hope that doesn’t mean I have failed her so many times that she never expects me to follow through with things?

I chose the colors to compliment her basement, which is finished and lovely, and has her comfy couch and big TV. But she likes it so much, she wants to use it upstairs, where she spends more time, even if it doesn’t coordinate as well. I’m glad she’s so happy!

Here’s a closeup of the quilting on each block:

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Amazing, right? I’m so glad I sent it out. I would never have been able to pull off anything half so great myself.

It was finally nice and sunny last weekend, so we took the quilt out for a walk, right behind my mom’s house. Her garden opens directly out into some open space… convenient for nice photos!

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Oh, the back and binding is a fabulous Kaffe that I was able to score on clearance! And… have I mentioned that my 13 year old daughter is now 1/2″ taller than me? That’s her holding up this large throw for me. Yikes.

I don’t think I’ve felt this good about a finish in years and years. Next up- finishing my OWN Sugar Block Club top!

Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday.

 

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Filed under Finish It Up Friday, Quilts, Sugar Block Club BOM

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…

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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!

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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.

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Filed under Baby quilts, Gift, Gift, Quilts