Tag Archives: tgiff

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

I double-dog-dared me

Last year I had fun making a pair of coordinating-but-not-matching baby quilts for some frolleagues (that would be colleagues who are also friends…) Their baby boys were due mere days apart- though one decided to be as late as he could be and so they’re slightly further than that- but still within the same month.

I finished the quilts, and got photos, and gifted them and everything, but never blogged them. So without TOO much further ado, here are my final finishes for 2015.

Baby Boy #1:

(pardon the lousy cell phone photos snapped early in the morning before giving it away…)

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Both quilts were focused on the doggy batik fabric- and also the remaining pieces of the rainbow batik roll that I used for my favorite quilt of last year. Both quilts were made up of pieced HSTs that came from this tutorial by Amy at Stitchery Dickery Dock. Quilt #1 got a backing made from some very very vintage Anna Maria Horner and remaining batik.

Quilt #2:

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Same squares, same border, same binding, same quilting, different layout: totally different feeling.

This one got different backing, too.

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I love it! Rainbow dog treats. So happy- and so likely to hide any stains a baby boy might make…

My heart totally melted a few weeks back when I saw Mr. Quilt #2 in his 3 month photo on FB- on the quilt… Hooray!

Linking up with TGIFF and Finish it Up Friday.

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Filed under Baby quilts, Finish It Up Friday, Gift, Quilts

Gifted Greys

Life got away from me, and I never showed you this lovely finished baby quilt. I got it bound and washed just in time for the baby shower, and even managed to snap a few photos before gifting it.

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There’s that pop of aqua that I used for a binding- I really do love how it finishes the quilt off.

Can you see how I chose to quilt it? I echoed the shape of the star, and since it is off center, I really like the final look. The lines aren’t as straight as I might have liked- this was my first time using my new quilting bar, and I’m still getting the hang of it. I used a purple variegated thread that has been in my stash forever- I don’t think you can really tell, but it made me happy…

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I quilted the white star in soft grey thread, and I am really happy with the impact of the lines inside the star. You can see it on the back as well…

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I love this backing- it’s a perfect companion to the front, it works with the binding, I like the play of the stripes with the quilting lines- AND- it was on sale!

The baby shower was truncated (it had been scheduled prior to the Broncos making the playoffs, and was going to overlap with the Patriots game… so it was moved up and ended early as so many people needed to leave to go watch the game. Me, I couldn’t care less…) But! There was still time to open gifts and I can happily say that the quilt was well received. Phew! (And mom-to-be already got a lovely thank-you note to me- so I know it was truly appreciated…)

Linking up with TGIFF and Finish It Up Friday.

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

Lost and Found

Okay… 2015 wasn’t exactly my best year for sticking to blogging. I tried. I sewed a millions miles of stitches, knitted all the things, and even took some cool trips. That should have been content for a whole year… And yet…

My excuse for totally falling apart at the end of the year is a sad quilt story that eventually had a miraculous ending. I made a lovely quilt, using some of my beloved Tula Pink Elizabeth, for a new baby in the family. Not a relative we’re close to, but still. Babies get quilts,  right? And I FINALLY got it quilted and in the mail in early November.

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And I heard nothing.

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And so I asked my MIL to discreetly check in with the recipient, as she was seeing them over Thanksgiving.

And the unthinkable had happened.

The package had not arrived.

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And here is the part where you learn from my mistakes. Though, really, you would never have done what I did. You’re smarter than that.

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I shipped the quilt via the US Postal Service, priority mail. And I didn’t insure it- because a handmade quilt is priceless and how would I prove the value anyway? And I also didn’t bother with a tracking number, because the postal service has never ever lost one of my quilts before.

Cue me banging my head against the wall and sobbing. Shaking my fist at the sky and muttering curse words. I contacted the postal service. First time filling out multiple pages of forms on their website, it crashed at the end and didn’t register my inquiry. 2nd time I made it through, and was rewarded with a form response saying they’d get back to me. A few days later I got a different form email that told me my problem had been forwarded to the appropriate department. 2 weeks later I got an email survey asking me to give feedback on the service I received. You can imagine how I filled that out! And that was the last I heard from the postal service.

Sniffle.

I was so down, and I didn’t want to admit this had happened. I didn’t want to blog about it- both because I was in denial, and because I didn’t want you all to know how dumb I am.

And then- a miracle occurred.

I mailed the package to our relatives at 123 XYZ St in CAMBRIDGE, MA. A rug cleaning shop at 123 XYZ St in WATERTOWN, MA received the quilt. But here’s the miraculous part- my relatives have used the rug shop before. And the shop owners recognized their name and address. And the quilt made it to the family.

Seriously.

(I still haven’t gotten an official acknowledgement or a thank you note, but my MIL assures me it arrived…) (I mentioned that we’re not close to these relatives, right? This is part of why…)

Anyway! 2015 taught me a very very valuable lesson. I’ll be shipping all quilts via UPS, not the postal service, from now on. If for no other reason than their customer service is more responsive. And, maybe, just maybe, I’ll also hold out hope when the odds seem stacked against me!

Here’s hoping you had your own (major or minor) miracles in 2015- and the 2016 is even better!

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Filed under Baby quilts, Finish It Up Friday, Gift, Quilts

Something’s Fishy

I just finished a quilt of a kind I’ve never made before: a commission. While working on a bunch o’ baby quilts for work-related babies, one of my coworkers wondered if I could make one for her brand new nephew. Apparently his nursery is “nautical”- fairly vague- but I took that to mean fishy. If it is preppy and plaid with blue anchors and such, well, oops…

I found an ocean themed print that I adored, and then I went stash-diving.

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This pic makes me so happy. I really love these fabrics together. I ended up adding some more as I went, as the pattern I used, Charm and Squares by Elizabeth Hartman, lends itself very nicely to scraps.

Life got in the way- our vacation in September followed by what seemed like a million obligations in October. Halloween is by far our favorite holiday, and we had so many fun things to do last month! But then November arrived and I finally found some sewing time.

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Please pardon the terrible photos. When I finally finished, I was so eager to take it to my colleague that I tossed it in my car before I stopped to take photos. So the hallway by my office had to suffice.

If I had it to do over, I would have been much more careful about the placement of the yellow fabrics. And Not had the ocean fabric making that strong diagonal.

That obligatory monday morning quarter backing done, I can honestly say I love this one. Especially the back.

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That’s a Kaffe plaid shot cotton that has been in my stash forever. And it was literally a perfect match. Plus, look at how wonderfully crinkly it got after one washing!! I was going to use a peachy-orange for the binding, and that might have been a better choice for the front, but the ocean fabric made the back pop perfectly.

Now for the hard part. I’m supposed to tell my colleague what she owes me. I’ve never done this before- added a price to a quilt. Advice?

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

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

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

2015- year of the (sock) monkey?

I fell victim to the holidays… in a good way. There was sewing and knitting going on around here, but no time for photos or blogging. We had a ton of family fun, a wonderful winter break (I still can’t believe how lucky I am in my “new” job- 13 months now- to get 2 weeks off for winter break), and a great xmas. Oh, and my birthday. Thanks to the new job’s schedule, I get my birthday off every year. This year I was spoiled rotten by my family, who got me a new Olfa cutting mat, new rotary cutting blades, a new pair of Machingers, new basting pins, and new flat head pins. Wheeeeee!

Over the break, I made my mom a set of quilted place mats for her December 30th birthday, and I finally finished (by sending it out to be quilted) her Sugar Block Quilt that was supposed to be her 2013 xmas gift. I haven’t had decent light for photos, so you’ll have to trust me on that one. It is stunning- stunning!!!!!!!!!!! And I hope to get some good photos over the weekend. So, basically, stay tuned.

Meanwhile, today I’m going to show you the last project of 2014/first finish of 2015. It’s the final in my long slog of baby quilts. A cousin had baby #3 in October. We’re not close, which makes me sad, and in fact we haven’t even had an xmas card from them in years and years. I made a quilt for #1, her daughter. And then the big drift apart happened. We only found out about #2, a boy, by accident. So sad. my feelings were miffed and i didn’t make him a quilt- I figured if no one told me he existed,  I didn’t have to make a quilt for him. I’m petty. I know. So when we actually got a birth announcement for #3, another boy, I was shocked. And then I decided to make a quilt. Positive reinforcement and all that.

I went stash diving and came up with this.

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There was even enough of the red monkey flannel for an entire, unpieced backing! And the navy blue monkeys for binding. Whee! I love shopping on my shelves…

I decided to go super duper simple as can be, and just did squares. Fast to cut and piece, easy to quilt.

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I had some little leftover bits from cutting the squares, so I did a partially pieced binding.

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And i didn’t have to piece the back.

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So soft, simple, and sweet.

Now I just need to get off my butt and mail it.

I was so very very excited to be done with the baby quilts- and able to go back to my Tula blocks. I cleaned the whole sewing room, and threw all the Tulas up on the wall. I got started again.

And then I checked my email…I’m getting another new cousin in July!

At least that gives me a little baby quilt  break.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday, TGIFF, and Fabric Frenzy Friday.

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Four out of Four

Finally!

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Teacher baby quilt #4 is done, and delivered… But not yet distributed. They’re planing on handing out the final 2 quilts sometime after Thanksgiving. This baby isn’t due until closer to Xmas.

I love this one, even if my math mistake made it much bigger than I intended. The only thing I might have changed, aside from my addition error, would be the the block 2nd from left on the bottom row. That light pink is the same piece of fabric as the dark pink polka dot in the 3rd block on the 2nd row- but because I cut from 2 different spots, I hit two very distinct parts of the color way. And the lighter part really stands out. But all in all, I do love this one.

I did simple quilting to outline the centers of the blocks, as well as the edges of the blocks. Simple but effective. Well, simple except for having to bury all the ends from the centers. Ugh.

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I had so much fun with these fabrics. But I might have had even more fun with the backing…

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The print? It’s another JoAnns score- I’ve been on a roll.

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The teacher/father-to-be is a huge sci-fi fan, and on back to school night I noticed Star Wars stuff in his room. So this fabric that had been on a shelf for ages jumped out at me. If I hadn’t made that math mistake, I probably could have gotten away without having to piece the back, but the magenta does make it nicely girly.

Now that I’m nearing the end of this baby quilt junket, maybe I can return to my final 15 Tula blocks? Maybe I can finish by the end of December instead of November, and that won’t be too bad…

Linking up with TGIFF, Finish It Up Friday, and Fabric Frenzy Friday.

 

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Filed under Baby quilts, Finish It Up Friday, Gift, Quilts