Friday, February 27, 2015

An Earthy Rainbow...

I mentioned earlier that I had signed up for another mini swap on Instagram - this one was rainbow-themed, so I just couldn't resist.  But true to form, my partner's favorite colors and preferred palettes were quite different from my own.  Where I tend towards bright and bold, she favors earth tones - brown, green, orange.


The interesting part about a swap is trying to balance the theme of the swap with your partner's favorite fabrics, colors, and quilting/sewing styles.  She didn't have any favorite fabric lines or designers listed but she remarked that she preferred minimalist designs and applique.

For applique with a modern and minimal feel, I thought the logical choice was something from Alison Glass Applique.  After going through the book cover to cover, I was drawn most to her Medallion pattern.  In the book this is made into a cushion cover but it really lends itself to a mini perfectly.

With a design in mind, I turned to colors.  You would think that a rainbow swap wouldn't require a lot of thought in the color department, but with her preference for more natural tones, I wanted a palatte that was rainbow with earthy roots.


Aside from the brown background, the fabric pull for this came strictly from my scrap bins.  Perhaps I overpulled just a bit...but it's good to have choices, right?

Once I narrowed down the choices, it was on to tracing out shapes on Wonder Under and playing around until I got the design just right.

For quilting, I did a small blanket stitch around the appliqued shapes with diagonal straight lines through the background.  The contrast in texture around the applique really made me happy!

So here it is in all it's glory during one of the past month's snowstorms. Even though it's a little out of my ordinary choices, I really like it and would be more than happy if it stayed here with me.  But it's about to ship off to it's new home and I hope that my partner loves it as much as I do!

Linking up:
Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Totes Magotes...

It's been all about the totes around here lately.

We had a really fun workshop led by Jessica at the SMQG at the beginning of January on how to make and modify your own tote bag pattern.  I've made a few bags but have never tried this style of tote, so I was all in and wanted to make something fun and bright (shocking, I know!).  I pulled out some of my stashed Echino birds and cherries print along with a few bright complimentary fabrics.

We had to come to the meeting with two quilted panels for the front and back along with the handle materials.  Since I started pulling fabrics at - cough - 11 the night before - cough - I didn't quite get all my prep done, but no one seemed to mind.

I changed up the basic pattern just slightly by adding extra ShapeFlex interfacing to the quilted panels and the handle strip because I like my bags sturdy!

It finished up SO great and even though it was a little taller than my typical bags, this turned out perfect for toting a yoga mat around for my daughter's after school dance class.

And since I was on a roll and the instructions were fresh in my mind, I made the girls their own totes in some very stylish but cute Cotton + Steel prints.  You just can't go wrong with kitties and butterflies for girls, right?

I made the same modifications with the Shapeflex but made the totes 2" shorter so that they were more square shaped than rectangular.  The boxed bottoms make them perfect for toting a few books/notebooks/packs of colored pencils around and the girls are in love :)

And just in case you were wondering about the post title, here you go. Enjoy the laugh from me.

Linking up:
Fresh Poppy Design

Monday, January 26, 2015

BMQG Annual Quilt Show...

Photo Courtesy of BMQG 

Just a little heads up that if you are a New Englander like me and are looking to see a great collection of modern quilts, the BMQG is having their annual quilt show over the next few weekends at Fabric Place Basement in Natick, MA!  The show will have it's grand opening this Saturday, January 31st from 3pm on (this was postponed from last weekend due to the snowstorm) and will show for the next several weekends as well.

Come on down and check out some beautiful quilts, and get inspired to quilt modern! My Sari Feathers, Riley's Showstopper, and Brightly Broken quilts are in the mix but there is plenty of eye candy to go around!   And hey, isn't it convenient that it's being held in a fabric store just in case you get the urge to sew something new?  I'm just saying...

Monday, January 5, 2015

Rainbows for the Kitchen...

I teased a little bit in my last post about my current obsession...and it's definitely become an obsession.  Scrappy rainbow potholders.  Lots of them!

I mean, if you thought that I was a factory before while I was on a clutch kick, I don't even know what 21 potholders in 10 days adds up to.

Of course, the rainbow was what caught my eye in the original post from Film in the Fridge.  Plus the opportunity to use up some of the mountain of scraps that I've been holding onto over the years.

Each potholder is sewn in an improv log cabin style and has one layer of regular batting, one layer of Insul-Bright, and then a print backing.  They each finish at 8.5" square.

Of course my fussy-cut loving self tried to make the center square of each potholder something a bit special.  I couldn't do it for all of them, but I like to think that they all have something fun to offer a wandering eye.

I am so in loving with the binding on these.  The white background with the silver metallic dots compliments every single color in the spectrum!

I think the only color that I haven't touched yet is brown - because really, if I'm going to be dealing with anything resembling chocolate, I want it to be actual chocolate.  Although I'm still toying with the idea of making some black and white ones with a bright, colored binding.

So anyway, I have all these potholders hanging around and even after setting some aside for future gifts and swaps, I still have a huge stack that need homes!  So I've decided to give the old Etsy shop another go and see what happens.  Of course I'm about a month or two late for any kind of a holiday rush (because I'm organized like that and have to keep up my procrastinating reputation), but c'est la vie!

I've listed sets of two potholders in each color story, but I might make an option to mix and match colors in larger numbers.  I've also listed some of the aforementioned clutches.  Our house is too tiny for all of these lovelies to just be sitting around taking up space.

You can find the Simple Sewendipity Etsy shop here or by clicking the link found in the Shop tab above. With this rainbow of colors, you know that I've got your kitchen covered ;)

Linking up:
Fresh Poppy Design

Friday, January 2, 2015

Apparently It Was a Small Year...

Here I was all geared up to do the typical "year in review" post and then I went to pool all my photos and said, "Huh.  Didn't realize that had happened..."  So to honor the cutest little viral video from last year (besides BatDad):

Apparently, I went small this year.  Turns out that 2014 was the year of the mini quilt.

I made them for challenges, for class samples, for swaps and for friends!  Not to mention Sophie's mini, of course :)

And apparently, my regular sized quilts took a teeny nosedive in favor of smaller projects because I only finished three.

Broken Oreos, Sari Feathers, Little One

Well okay, four - but I still haven't finished all the hand quilting on it yet.

But garments got churned out big time - probably because those small finishes feel so satisfying!

Fashionable Princess Poppy, Pixie Stix & Strawberry Dresses, & my Summer Dresses

And no surprise to anyone in this house, the Frozen Anna and Elsa dresses that I made for the girls last January were the most popular posts of the entire year.  By FAR.

And apparently all of those small projects added up to a whole heck of a lot!

Pencil Cases & Tote, Farmer's Market & Selfish Totes, Sewing Room Swap, Clutches Galore, Noodlehead Divided Basket
So what is going on for 2015?  Well besides the handquilting on my Rainbow Stars, I have two other things that I'm still smack dab in the middle of (I'm not even going to think about a couple of ancient WIPs that I can't commit to abandoning yet).

I am absolutely DROOLING over the new SkillBuilder BOM, Technicolor Galaxy, but still haven't made up my mind about it.  Maybe I need to finish some things before I give myself permission.  Plus I signed up for another mini swap on Instagram - and it sounds like it's right up my alley.

Can't wait to get going on it and see what comes my way in return :)

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

The Last and the First...

While the title of this post sounds like some profound novel in progress, I have my last finish of 2014 to share with you.  But what I'm most proud of is that it's also my daughter Sophie's first quilt finish - ever.  She is 6 and has been watching me sew for her entire life.  She's pretty crafty herself but the furthest we've gotten as far as sewing is her sitting at my sewing machine, practicing sewing straight lines onto paper.  But last week,  I got on a potholder kick due to a gorgeous post by Ashley at Film in the Fridge.  More on this next week, I promise! 

Inspired by the idea of scrappy rainbows, I had ALL of my color coded bags of scraps out and scattered across the floor in my tiny sewing corner.  Sophie sees all the fabric and asks if she can sew too - usually this just amounts to her taking her ragged safety scissors and ravaging the life out of fabric scraps.  Sure, I say...and if I'm being completely honest, I was only half listening and trying to stay in the zone.  Maybe a minute later, she asks if I can sew these two pieces of white fabric together.  Yeah, yeah, here you go....I mumble.  I zip it through my machine and back into the zone I go.

Five minutes go by and suddenly - in typical mom fashion - I realize that things are quiet.  Too quiet.  I turn around and see this:

I feel instantly proud - here she is armed with only scraps and a glue stick, making this adorable rainbow "quilt".  But also, in that flash of proudness, I felt that awful flash of mom guilt.  I was wrapped up in my own project, single-minded and focused...and this was happening literally a foot behind me.  And I was missing it.

Needless to say that the potholders were set aside and we finished the rainbow together.  It took all my self control not to trim here or smooth a rough and jagged edge there.  She was happy with how it looked and it was HER quilt.  Perfection be damned.  It looks perfect to her, so who am I to argue?

When all the gluing was done, we ran it under the iron to set things up a little firmer and I asked if she wanted me to quilt it all down.  If this was practice for her, it was going to be practice for me too!  I decided to practice a different technique in each color band - matchstick quilting in the pink center, pebbles in the purple, crosshatching in blue, meander (I stink, STINK at this supposedly easy style!) in green, ribbon candy in yellow, chain squares in orange, and a regular curvy back and forth in red.

Even though the backing is really dark and busy, I love how the rainbow quilting looks on the back :)

I did a very tight grid in the white background and a free motion sunburst in the block of sunshine.

Sophie says that she wants to use it as a doll blanket, but I added a couple pockets on the back just in case she decides to hang it on the wall instead.

My favorite part of this whole thing is that it was pinned up on my corkboard while I was deciding how to quilt it and Sophie wandered up behind me and put her little (okay, not so little anymore) arm around my waist.  "Mummy," she says.  "It's so beautiful that it makes me want to cry!"

Me too, honey.  Me too.

Monday, December 22, 2014

The Quiltalong of Stops and Starts...

When I was literally two weeks into a new (and labor intensive) paper pieced quilt, I saw that Lee at Freshly Pieced was hosting a quiltalong at We All Sew for her latest pattern called Chandelier.  I loved this pattern so much and was already dying for a change from the crazy tiny paper piecing.  But I was determined NOT to go fabric shopping - I had done too much of that recently.  So I gave myself a couple of self-imposed rules

Rule #1: I wanted to try and look through my hefty Pinterest folder of color schemes and pick something that I liked but wouldn't usually be immediately drawn to.  Plus, I wanted to pick a color in that palette for the background that was not my usual light or white background.  The above four choices were my top picks.

After a lot of IG hemming and hawing, I decided on the deeply saturated tapestry palette with the bright aqua blue as the background solid.  Which brings me to Rule #2:  I could participate in the quiltalong if I shopped from my own stash - with the one necessary exception being if I needed more solids for the background. I did a fairly quick fabric pull and came up with a solid selection.

I was JAZZED and ready to go!  And then came the cutting.

So. much. cutting.

But I powered through and was still on track for week two!  Celebrating, I opened up the instructions for week two.  And then read about the epic amount of HSTs.

So. many. half-square-triangles. to. trim.  Spoiler alert:  I did not stay on track for week three.

In fact, I did manage to complete a few blocks but only because I stopped assembling all the HSTs as my brain was begging for a break.  And sadly, they are still all hanging out to the side of my ironing board.  Just waiting for me to pick them up and start again.

I'm coming lovelies....eventually.