Tag Archives: tula pink

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

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

It’s Tula Top Time!

I think I might have mentioned that I finished my Tula Pink City Sampler top two weekends back?

Yup. I totally did.

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I spent a Sunday holed up in my sewing room, with the new season of House of Cards. (It took 4.5 episodes to get the top finished up.)

I was driven to find a way to get the entire thing on my design wall- and in doing so, I rearranged some furniture. Pros: WAY more space on design wall, room for a new cube shelf for even more yarn storage. Cons: I think I liked the way it looked before a wee bit better. But the trade off for more space is worth it. I’ll take pics once I have the yarn re-stored.

I wanted to show this to you all as soon as it was done. But I have been really struggling with getting a decent photo. A queen sized top if hard to show off…

I did take it for a test run on our bed.

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It’s just the right size!

And the background fabric really is perfect. I love it so much. Such a happy feeling when a project works out…

I took the quilt out to the front yard and enlisted family to hold it up for some photos. But it is so big, I couldn’t dodge the sun…

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Not a great photo at all. I’m consoling myself with the idea that, once this is quilted and bound, I will find some way to get photos that do it justice. Of course, first I have to figure out what to do for the back. I have a decent bit of the Anna Maria Horner Dowry print that I used as a focus fabric leftover. Also some of the Carolyn Friedlander backing. And some yardage of SOME of the Tula prints in the top… And I picked up a pile of tonal deep purple Pearl Bracelets for the binding.

Just over a year from start to completed top. Here’s hoping it’s on my bed by the end of 2015…

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

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL, WIP Wednesday

The Beginning of the End

I’ve been away a wee bit, but unlike seemingly everyone else in the quilt world, not at Quilt Con… Rather, I was in DC (my old stomping grounds for 7th-12th grades) for a funeral. My great aunt passed away; she lived a long and good life, and was ready to go, so while I am so very very sad, I am also happy that she met her end on her own terms, at home, at relative peace. I left the husband at home with both kids. They all traded cooties which I seem to have missed. Hopefully. Then I flew back into town just hours after my MIL flew in for a visit… So the last 10 days or so have been simply insane.

I *did* manage to get to a fab yarn shop while back East- Fibre Space in Alexandria, VA. I treated myself to a luscious skein of locally hand dyed sock yarn that is part cashmere. And my god, it was SO cold while we were there, I was debating trying to whip up new socks in one day. Instead, I kept going on my packed project- a slightly less squishy pair of socks. Mom and I decided to make the most happiness out of this sad trip, and so aside from getting to spend wonderful time with family, we also went to my mom’s fave museum, our favorite restaurant, and the National Portrait Gallery so I could visit one of my loves…

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All of this also meant that I hadn’t sewed in a bit. BUT! I did finally pick a background fabric for my City Sampler:

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Carolyn Friedlander, Architextures, Crosshatch in black- thanks for all the advice and suggestions; they were very helpful!

I ordered it not having seen it in real life, and so my fingers were very very crossed.

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It arrived last Tuesday. Phew! I love it with my colors…

But of course, now came the hardest part- picking a layout for my blocks. Because I was worried that the grey blocks would retreat into the background fabric, and because many of the pink blocks used the same fabrics over and over (oops!), I decided a rainbow-esque layout was out of the question. Instead, I needed to mix them all up. So, I sorted the blocks into piles arranged by dominant color, totally cleared my design wall, and got down to business.

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Slowly, slowly, a layout began to grow. I don’t know how long I spent arranging and rearranging, but I came up for lunch 😉 There was a lot of stepping back across the room, and sitting in my sewing chair, just looking. I really tried to achieve a good balance. Finally, I ended up here:

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(PS Did I mention that my design wall is just barely too short to put up all 10 rows by 10 rows? SO annoying. So that top row is crammed up there, folded in half…)

I was worried that the greens pop too much, but not much to be done about that now. I got to cutting, and got all my background strips ready to go. And then…

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It’s a terrible cell phone photo, but I am in LOVE.  Love. The dark but not too dark crosshatch fabric makes all the blocks pop. You can really see the colors, and the piecing. And the many raccoons, squirrels, and foxes I fussy cut throughout the thing. I got through 7 of the 10 rows before I needed a break- plus, time to watch the Oscars. (How on Earth could NPH be so dull??) There will be a 2.5″ strip of sashing between each row, but I wanted to get each individual row pieced before I started joining them all together. That will hopefully happen this upcoming Sunday. I was briefly hopeful we might get a snow day on Monday- and then I’d be showing you a finished top today- but no such luck. Instead I slogged through a 2 hour carpool from hell since none of our kids’ schools were on delayed start- thank goodness the school where I work was, or I would have been so very very late.

Here’s hoping that I DO have a finished top to show you by next week… I’m so excited to get this one done.

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

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL, WIP Wednesday

My Kingdom for Another Yard

So, back in 2013, I made 2 sets of Sugar Block Club blocks- one for me and one for my mom. You’ve seen how my mom’s ended up. But what about mine? Here’s where we left off in Jan 2014.

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Left to right, top to bottom, that is January to December. And please please join me in pretending that you can’t see how much smaller that final block turned out. Ugh. It was paper-pieced, and I checked the printer twice, so, no idea how that happened.

I love these together, and am not thrilled with a few of them individually. I wasn’t sure how to set them, so like my mom’s, they sat around for a year. And then I decided to make another set, and make the top bed sized. We don’t need another purple throw sized quilt around this joint, and I want to keep it.

So this past week, I pulled out the patterns, and the secret stash of fabric I had leftover from the original blocks, and got to work. This time, I tried to make more darker/higher contrast blocks.

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This is what I got done this week- half a year’s worth. But then I had to stop.

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Why? Because this is all the background fabric I have left. I grossly underestimated the leftover pile. I had enough of all the prints to make it through another 12 blocks, but apparently only enough shiny lavender background fabric to make it through 6. The worst part is that I don’t know when I bought this fabric (aside from “over 3 years ago”), I don’t know where I got it, and I don’t know the manufacturer because the selvedge is plain. So when I say I am out of background fabric, I am totally out of background fabric.

Here are all 18 together.

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So now I have the added challenge of deciding how on earth to set 18 blocks. I have varying amounts of all the other fabrics left. And you can sort of see the striped Kaffe Fasset woven below the quilt- I had it pulled aside to do something with this quilt, but what? I’m truly hoping it won’t take me another year to decide…

MEANWHILE… I have a new idea for background fabric for my Tula blocks. After spending the last week looking at layout options, I realized I am really attached to the simple king sized grid layout from the book. With that in mind, I went back to the drawing board, and came up with 2 fabrics from Carolyn Friedlander’s Architextures line. What do you think of either of these?

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To refresh your memory, here are the blocks…

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I feel like the darker version could really make the blocks pop, without being TOO dark… And the idea to a slightly textured solid is very appealing to me. What do you think?

And if anyone happens to recognize that solid lavender shot through with silver sparkles, speak up!

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Filed under Quilts, Sugar Block Club BOM, Tula Pink QAL

Tula Tuesday: They’re ALL Done!

Yup, you read that right. All 100 blocks from Tula Pink’s City Sampler- DONE!

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(I know, that looks odd- but my design wall was too short for 10×10, so it’s currently 11×9 + 1…)

blocks 97-100

That right there is the final four. FINAL. I’m still kind of reeling… they’re all done.

All done.

So now comes the hard part- deciding on a setting, and a background fabric. I’m kind of leaning toward the simple but chic Gridlock layout in the book- it finishes at king size, which makes me happy. And I’m leaning toward a nice deep but bright purple shot cotton for the sashing:

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It’s a Kaffe Fasset shot cotton- Thunder. But will that be too much purple? Because a soft grey might also work? Or a teal-y blue green? Or… please, tell me what you’d do. Please? I do really like the idea of a shot cotton- I love the dimensionality they provide. I have enough of the AMH dowry focus fabric that I could use it as binding, which I think will bring it all together.

To refresh your memories, here’s a closer look at all 100 blocks.

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-50 blocks 51-75 blocks 76-100

Wow that’s a lot of blocks…

Thank you all for joining me on this journey- for the feedback, the encouragement, and the kind words along the way. I can’t wait to show you what comes next! Once I decide what that will be…

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

 

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL, WIP Wednesday

Tula Tuesday, Finally… and Almost Finally.

Annnnd… I’m back! Back to the blog. Back to my Tula blocks. Hooray! Over the last few weekends, I made 11 blocks. Blocks 85-96, the final section of the book. (I also binge watched the first 2 seasons of Black Mirror– wow! Love it!)

blocks 85-96

I put them all into a mosaic (in numerical order) to keep this from being the most photo heavy post ever. I thought about splitting them into 2 weeks of posts, but what the hell… here they all are.

Some quick highlights- the deer head fabric in #85 is a new fave- just purchased and already beloved. The bunny peeking out of #86 makes me smile. The constellations in #87 are hard not to hoard. #88 and the fox are one of my faves in the entire quilt. #89 uses that Acacia print I love so much, and own in 3 colors. #90 sneaks in some Parisville (Hi, Audrey and Jane!) #91- more Parisville, and polka dots to boot. Cotton+Steel and some neon polka dots make #92 happy. More fabulous Moonshine in #93. The AMH focus fabric and purples again in #94, and #95 is purple again, with a Birds and Bees print.

Phew.

All 96 blocks are squeezed onto my design wall. They barely fit, and 97-100 won’t. Or they will, but I’ll have to move everything over a few inches and {squish} it all.

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That one block over to the left is a reject, the only one. I may put it into the back. It may end up in some orphan pile. Who knows…

The last 4 blocks are going to be bittersweet. This has been such a fun journey. But it’s too soon to get all maudlin- I’ll save that for next week. Instead, I have to stress out over my final 4 sets of fabric choices. Four final chances to balance out my colors. Four last favorites to feature. Only 4? How do I pick? It’s kind of like picking between my kids, but there’s only two of them. I think I need one more pink block, and maybe another green? And a grey (without the pink neon dot in it)? I don’t need any more purple, but I don’t have a ton with dark purple in them. I think there’s enough blue? Suggestions welcome!

Yikes!

Look for me this Sunday, sitting in a pile of fabric on the floor of the sewing room, mumbling to myself and freaking out. And if I can get through that, maybe I’ll be back next week with 100 blocks.

Meanwhile, I’m linking up with Fabric TuesdaySew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL, WIP Wednesday

Goallllllll!

I’m not usually very good at goal setting, or retrospectives, or decent posts, come to think of it. I look around blogland and I see all your wonderful posts summing up what you did in 2014, and what you hope to accomplish in 2015. I’m so not good at it, I even missed the deadline for Q1 of the terribly popular 2015 Finish-Along.  Zoinks. But you know what? I’m going to try it. I’m going to make a list of goals, and even though I can’t link-up, I’m going to use that timetable to motivate myself.

With that said, here goes:

Goal 1- and it’s a biggie.

Finish my Tula top.

I had intended for all the blocks to be done by November 2014. But the exciting gallbladder episode, followed by the baby boom at Annie’s school, totally derailed me. I’m pleased to say I’ve spent the first weekends of 2015 back at it, and I only have 4 blocks to go! (I’ll be showing you some progress later this week…) But then I need to decide how to assemble the top. Having a deadline will force me to abandon my usual indecisive dilly-dallying. What I know: I want it to be between king and queen sized, to go on our bed.

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Goal #2- begin Annie’s Tardis quilt.

Using this as inspiration, Annie and I are going to work on a Tardis quilt. There has been a pile of blue fabric pulled for a few months now- but no action. Time to get going!

Goal #3- doesn’t count under the finish along rules, but hey, it’s still a goal: start the family placemats I keep promising to make. Thrones the kids have asked about more than once. And after those, an xmas set.

Goal #4- revisit my Sugar Block Club blocks– I have all 12, but I think I might like to make another set and put them into a bed sized quilt. I have loads of leftover fabric, so could easily tackle this. And I do like making a block at a time for a project- I’ll miss it when Tula is done.

Goal #5- baste and quilt the xmas top that has been sitting around for (mumble mumble) years. So long that I can’t even find the blog posts or photos about it, yikes.

That seems like more than enough goals for the moment. Wish me luck!

 

 

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL

Tula Tuesday: 84 and 85

Two more down…

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Apparently this week I was feeling pink and grey…

Block 84: soft grey and the neon pink dots that I love.

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Block 85: pinks and my AMH focus fabric. Not as successful as i hoped- the original Tula print in the sample block is so perfect, with the circles, but I don’t own any of it… I should have fussy cut the medallions that you see in the upper left corner. But I didn’t think to.

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Probably would have been a good block to sneak in some more little animals, but that didn’t occur to me until later. Meanwhile, with these two blocks, I finished the next to last section of the book! 15 blocks to go (plus all those baby quilts I need to make…) The last section is the “random” one- and I think I’ll find some great ways to work in more novelty pieces. Hooray!

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-50 blocks 51-75 blocks 76-85

Did you have any Tula progress this week? If so link up below…

I’ll be linking up at Sew Cute Tuesday, WIP Wednesday, and Let’s Bee Social.

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL, WIP Wednesday

Tula Tuesday: Blocks 76-80

And… September’s goal, done!

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Had to wait until after the epic hail storm to get photos. Wow oh wow, did our neighborhood take a beating. Neighbors have so much damage- next door even had paint stripped right off their house! On top of the damage we noticed yesterday, today we found paint damage, screen damage, and holes punched straight through the vinyl frames of some windows! Yikes. Waiting to hear when the storm crew from the insurance company will be able to come assess the damage. Please, please, send trashed roof vibes. It would solve so many of our other house problems…

Okay, back to the blocks!

Block 76- deep blue-greens and a yummy Amy Butler.

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Block 77: purples and a Heather Ross fave

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Block 78: my AMH focus fabric and a pretty green blender.

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Block 79: (easiest one in the whole book?) I busted out some Tula Nightshade, and purple solids…

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Block 80: Tula, polka dots, and a cotton & steel. Yum.

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So, yup, I’m caught up! 80 down, 20 to go. I had to make the final mosaic!

tula blocks 1 thru 25 city sampler blocks 26-50 blocks 51-75 blocks 76-80

 

Feels good to be back on track. Now I just have to balance October’s 10 blocks with the 4 baby quilts I committed to make before November. Yikes!

Meanwhile, I’m linking up to WIP Wednesday, Let’s Bee Social, and Sew Cute Tuesday. And if you happen to have any Tula progress you’d like to share, link up below!

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Filed under Quilts, Tula Pink QAL