Sunday, December 29, 2013

Pretty Baby In a Flash...

As I was literally sewing on the binding for Mon Amie and dreaming of actually laying hands on a project of my own, I was asked by a coworker if I could (quickly) make a cuddle quilt for a new baby in her family.  Because I am completely incapable of saying no except in the most dire of circumstances, my projects got set aside until the new year and I whipped up the last quilty finish of 2013:

Using the Tick Tock pattern from Growing Up Modern by Allison Harris, I paired up some pretty pastels that seemed to fit a sweet baby girl with some white and lavender Posy fabric for the background.

These blocks are super quick to make - granted I used a lot less blocks than the pattern called for to make it "cuddle" sized - so that I had the entire top done (including fabric ironing and cutting!) after bedtime in one night.

I backed it with a carnation pink minky that had a sweet paisley pattern.  I made the baby's initial applique from a remnant of the ballerina prints I used for the last batch of cuddle quilts.

 It all got bound with the last bit of the pink two-tone ovals.  At 25" x 35" it is the perfect size for cuddling a new baby girl and for lots of naptimes to come!

I was really hoping to have a last clothing finish for the year - I'm working on a Princess Elsa costume for my oldest - but it's looking like it will be finished just in time for January.  Stay tuned for a year-end wrap up!

Linking up:

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

For Mon Amie...

So how do you take photos of a newly finished quilt after a big snowstorm with only hours before it goes to its new home?  Why, with the good old standby of having your husband hold it up in your backyard (a.k.a. A Quilt With Feet).

It took a little longer than I was hoping for - mostly from my own stops and starts and cramming too many projects into a few months time - but I'm so happy with how it came out.  These Amis are too cute and are definitely going to be loved and snuggled with in their new home.

I went fairly simple with the quilting.  I used a chocolate brown thread and did a close outline of all the rangoon sticks and then went back through and filled in all the middle and border space with some chain squares.  It melts nicely into the background on the front and is still pretty subtle on the back.

 I used another Backyard Baby fabric for the binding.  The white background and multicolored cool dots worked so well for both the front and back of the quilt!

This quilt finished out at 58" x 70" - a great size for snuggling on the couch while lounging in front of the fireplace!


Goodbye Amis!  Treat mon amie well and don't keep her up with too much hooting in the middle of the night...

Linking up:

Saturday, December 14, 2013

ScrapBeeLicious Festivus-Style and Some Winners...

I needed a little break from the Rangoon quilting, so I decided to pop over to visit Nicole at Modern Handcraft.  She is December's ScrapBeeLicious Queen and requested blocks in any style that used either Christmas novelty fabrics, a Christmas theme or Christmas colors.

Not to be a Debbie Downer or a Grinch but my family doesn't celebrate Christmas, so novelty fabrics have never found their way into my stash and I wasn't sure how comfortable I was in making something overtly Christmas themed.  Fortunately, I've been pinning a lot of snowflakes and winter-themed stuff thanks to my girls' obsession with Frozen and (of course) I have a decent supply of red and green fabrics in my stash, so I decided to try and be festive without channeling Christmas.

Call them my Festivus blocks if you'd like...

Both blocks are paper pieced and they were so much fun (and easy!) to put together.  The snowflake was a free pattern by Tartan Kiwi and I hope that Nicole didn't mind me departing from the red and green request.  But how can you not have an icy blue snowflake?

I did lean a little towards novelty by including a subtle creamy snowflake fabric for the background.

The mittens are an adorable pattern by During Quiet Time - it is slightly more intricate and has some tinier pieces, but the instructions are so easy to follow and assemble and the gorgeous shapes are totally worth it!  I dug out a ruby red fabric with some gold metallic details that I thought made awesome looking mittens and the background fabric has very small green dots that punch up that Christmas-y feel.

I know that this was a total no-no in a SCRAPPY bee, but I did buy that black holly print for the border because I thought it was the perfect thing to complement everything else and bulk up the size to a 12.5" block.  I guess that makes me a double-rule breaker.  Sorry!  But aren't the results sort of worth it?

I hope that you like them Nicole - and that they fit in with all your other Christmas blocks!!  Meanwhile my family and I will be engaging in our feats of strength and airing of grievances...but before we put up the metal pole, let me announce some Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Winners!  I was positively blown away by all the comments and new followers - thanks so much for joining me over here at Simple Sewendipity!  There are some fun projects coming up, so I hope that you enjoy the sewing journey.  So the first number that the good old random number generator came up with was...

So the heating pad is yours, wipgirl!  Next up, we're giving away the fabric...

Some Les Amis is coming your way Melissa!  Check your inboxes for messages from me on collecting your prizes and thanks to everyone for entering :)

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

To Grandmother's House We Go...

I've got a story to tell that I'm hoping you all can relate to a little bit...because life happens and sometimes life stinks.  But don't worry - there are quilty pictures to share as well, so its not all doom and gloom.

My grandmother  - who fought and won the battle with breast cancer over 15 years ago - is now fighting with something new.  A different kind of cancer has reared its ugly head and it is far more devastating and there are less choices being offered.  It doesn't look great.

After hearing that we didn't know how much time - months or less than a year - she might have left with us, my mind immediately went to fabric.  She's not across the country from me, but it is a considerable drive, so popping in for frequent visits has never been realistic and I wasn't sure when I would be able to see her next.  I didn't want to run the risk of starting a brand new project and not know if it would reach her in time, so I was looking at what quilts I had in my house.  There were only two choices, and really only one option - my Paintbox quilt.

I love this quilt - it is the very first project that I made with only myself in mind and I loved every step of its creation.  I really think that this is project that encouraged me to join a guild in the first place and also to feel like the modern movement of quilting was where I really fit in.

Here's where I share with you the ugly part of my thoughts - I did not want to give this quilt up.  These were selfish and ugly thoughts that came from a good place of being proud of what I had created and the hope that I would pass it along to my girls and have them love it as much as I did.  Even though I knew it was the right thing to do, I fought it.  The part of my brain that excels at creating excuses and justifications went into overdrive.

And because it was so difficult to part with, I knew it was the perfect present to send to her.  It was so hard to part with because it was so closely connected to me and what better gift could I give her if I couldn't be there in person?  Because I wasn't sure when I'd be able to make the trip, I sent it along with my mother on her first trip up north after the diagnosis.  I heard almost immediately from her (and then later from my grandmother) that it was love at first sight.

When I was able to make the trip up about a month later, I got to see that she put it on the couch where she relaxes when she's feeling good.  I couldn't get over how perfectly it looked there and I knew that I was right in ignoring my most selfish reasonings (like I needed another reason to know this).  Nothing else would have belonged quite as well in her world.

Love is the reason that we make all of our quilty creations and is the reason why I'm so grateful that I gave away mine.  Hug all your loved ones a little more tightly this season and - if you can - drape them in some fabric.

Monday, December 9, 2013

A Leftover Finish and Double Giveaway...

It's here - the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day!!  It's no secret that these days I am living and breathing Patty Sloniger's Les Amis fabric collection with my Amis Rangoon quilt (quilting is just about done - yay!!), so I am offering up a small collection of four fat eighths from her Les Amis line that I had left over:

And since I went through a bit of a blogging funk around my 100th post and neglected to do something special around then, I'm doing a SECOND giveaway!  Speaking of leftovers, as I mentioned in my post about the X Plus bee blocks, I had a handy pile of teal and magenta HSTs leftover from my two bee blocks.  I threw them together to make another heating pad and finished it with a complementary aqua backing from my stash.

It finished at approximately 7 x 9 inches and is filled with lavender scented rice.  Just throw it in your microwave for a minute and enjoy the hot bliss!

So to enter:

Leave a comment letting me know if you'd rather receive the fabric bundle or the heating pad.  You can leave a second entry if you are a follower (and let me know how you follow - Bloglovin, Feedly, etc.).  I will select a random winner for each prize and announce it on December 13th at 8 pm (EST).  I will ship internationally, so the more comments, the merrier!  And thanks for visiting from Sew Mama Sew!

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Friday, December 6, 2013

Right Around the Corner...

It took me a little bit of time, but I finally figured out what I wanted to do with the back for my Amis Rangoon quilt and now there's no stopping me!

I always knew that I wanted the Les Amis print to be the main attraction on the back, but when I looked at laying out all my Amis scraps in a bunch for the backing, it was just way too busy to let those cute Amis shine.  Instead I went out and bought a bunch of Kona Charcoal to frame them.  I echoed the fussy cut square border from the quilt front and then finished it all off with a gray/green print from my stash.

Since I struggled so much with the brown background fabric on the front, the backing was a cool comfort on my eyes.  Honestly I think this makes it a "reversible" quilt!

So now it's onto the quilting and binding - hopefully this will be in its new home well before the holiday!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013


I've had this pile of fabric sitting on my shelf for over a month now - actually closer to two - and I am positively stumped.

With a capital S and a big fat exclamation point behind the D.

This is the bundle of fabric that we received for the MQG's latest fabric challenge using Riley Blake's Basics line of fabrics.  We can make ANYTHING as long as it's quilted in some way.  And I'm coming up with a big goose egg.

What do you do when quilting block rears its ugly head?  Review Pinterest for ideas?  Look through old magazines and internet bookmarks?  Ignore that sinking feeling that you are fresh out of ideas until the week before the deadline?

I think I need some bright ideas because February will be here sooner than I think...

Sunday, December 1, 2013

X Plus ScrapBeeLicious Equals Awesome...

Every quilting blog could use some good math puns, right?  No?  Guess it's just me then.  Alrighty...let me distract you from my lame jokes with some fabric goodness.

November's ScrapBeeLicious Queen was Alyce and she requested X Plus blocks with this Liberty print as our color inspiration:

Gorgeous, right?  Now a print like this makes me very, very aware of a big blind spot in my stash - prints.  Not to say that I have mostly solids, but about 95% of all my fabrics are monochromatic prints.  Not that this is usually a problem, but probably something that I should be more aware of when I fabric shop.  But I digress...

It's obviously not November anymore but thankfully (according to Wombat Quilt's very helpful Bee Etiquette post) I am not technically late yet!  This gave me a chance to scan our Flickr group and see what other bee members had already created.  I saw a lot of red centers so decided to mix things up a bit and use the mustard yellow along with Alyce's requested dark greys for the plus lines.

I got to sneak in one of my last few Birds & Bees scraps and a little 1001 Peeps too!

The X Plus block has been pretty popular lately and I've seen a lot of versions that are fantastic but this was my first attempt and it was a pretty fun block to make.  I can see how people can crank them out assembly line style!  

One thing that I am really glad I had read on Little & Lots' blog about her X Plus Quilt was how to use the large amount of triangle scraps that these blocks create.  She found a tip and turned the scraps from her X Plus into a WHOLE OTHER QUILT.  Love it!  So I followed suit and from just these two blocks, I now have a nice little pile of 16 pink and teal HSTs - I think they'll find their way into a small finish one way or another!

By the way, do any of you have blind spots in your stash or difficulty with prints like me?

Linking up:

Friday, November 29, 2013

Instead of Sewing...

...I've been mostly just thinking about sewing.  Especially after we took the girls to the movies over the holiday weekend and saw Frozen.  Not only was it a great girl-power sort of fairy tale, it was visually gorgeous.

Image from Disney Concepts & Stuff by Brittney Lee
All the scandinavian designs, the details on the costumes, the colors...everything about it just screamed out quilt to me.

If only I could get all the ideas to gel into something!  But for now I'm good with just letting all this stuff marinate for a while longer.

Image from Disney Concepts & Stuff
And since I've been avoiding the actual sewing machine, I decided to gather the girls together for a baking project instead.  We kept the Frozen theme going with some melted snowman and snowflake cookies (excuse the poor-quality cell photo - they got eaten pretty quickly!)

Saturday, November 16, 2013

One Step Closer To An Amis Finish...

There's always such a great feeling of satisfaction when a quilt top is completed!  Although these few photos aren't great, I'm sure that there will be lots more photos to share when the entire quilt is finished - and I'm smart enough to avoid photographing on a windy day at the height of the noon sun.

I was so pleased that the Rangoon blocks (and partial seams in general) were not as difficult as I first worried!  It really is quite a lovely block both on its own and in a crowd of friends.

My other fear was that the brown when paired with touches of lime green and peach would read too seventies.  I think that once the entire top was together, I didn't have anything to worry about.  Does anyone else habitually have that panicky feeling about two-thirds of the way through a quilt that nothing is working out quite like you'd hoped?  It seems like I have that happen a lot...but when all is finally sewn together and seen as a whole, it all turns out pretty good!

I really love the border design on this quilt top - those small squares let me throw in a few extra fussy-cut owls and wolves for fun.  The Les Amis line is just so cute and made for fussy cutting!

Now it's onto figuring out how to create the back and then a quilting design...

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