Saturday, June 29, 2013

Nailing It...

August will be here before we know it and attending the Lowell Quilt Festival is a great way to spend an August weekend!  As icing on the cake, the BMQG is lucky enough to have been invited to have another exhibit during the Festival to showcase what we've been doing throughout the year and what modern quilting is all about.  Last year, we had a mini quilt challenge where everyone was free to create a mini quilt of their choice that featured at least three of the QuiltCon logo colors. This was my contribution:

Here's all the entries together - can you believe the incredible skill and variety here??

We had so much fun doing it that we're going back for round two!  This year, we voted on a color palette to work from.  The winner was...Red Nails!

I've got a block design in mind that I've been wanting to use since I saw it, but I'm going to try a test block first. I think it might be just right for these colors!  I did a quick fabric pull from my stash and came up with this stack of possibilities.

I can't wait to get working!

Linking up:

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

A Month Late and a Sand Dollar Short...

I'm finally starting to catch up on my Sisters' Ten Block Of the Month blocks - May is up first and hopefully the June blocks will get done next week!  May's block was Aunt Eliza's Star, which I really was looking forward to sewing before life left me running behind.

Of course the design would have finished up a lot quicker if I had just made it easy and made the hourglass portions of the star a single fabric like the pattern suggests.  I tried laying it out that way, but it just didn't seem like it was living up to it's Salty potential.

I really liked how my Lady of the Lake blocks finished with all of the three colorways working together and decided to pull that idea into the hourglass points instead.  I think that the extra fiddling and planning was worth it - I love how these came out!

Since the Lake blocks had a blue center, I switched up these to have the green seahorses fussy cut and center.

As I've gone on in this BOM, I'm starting to rethink my color scheme.  My original intention was to make each of the 2 monthly blocks in a specific colorway - one mainly green block and one mainly aqua block with splashes of the coral thrown in for accents.  But it seems like I'm drawn more to the completed blocks where I've done a fairly even mix of all three colors.  I might continue on this way and hopefully my early blocks will blend together alright.

Hey!  I got photobombed by a dragonfly!
Do you ever change course midway through a project?  Did it all come out alright in the end or did you have to go back and redo some work?

Linking up:

Fresh Poppy Design
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Let's Get Acquainted!

If this is your first time at Simple Sewendipity and you are visiting from the Plum & June Blog Hop, welcome!  My name is Stephanie and I’m a quilter (who leans to the modern side) from the Seacoast area of New Hampshire.  I work part-time in the non-profit world, have two small girls who already seem to be little drama queens, and still try to find time to sew and be crafty. Oh yeah, and I’m also a ridiculously skilled procrastinator.  You might find that I’m most productive towards the end of the month when there’s a deadline looming. 

 Top to bottom, left to right:  Wonky Birds & Bees Pillow, Windmill QFB Block, Tissue Paper Petals Quilt, Elephant Parade Quilt, Wonky Pinwheel Block, Pleated Pouches, Feather Blocks, Beckett's Stacks Quilt, Children at Play Skirt

I started sewing about 6 years or so ago when I got it in my head that I ought to be able to sew.   I taught myself straight from the manual of the cheapest sewing machine that I could find and was able to do a semi-decent job at following basic patterns.  Quilting wasn't really on my radar until a random day when I went into a fun and funky boutique and saw these GORGEOUS quilts in shabby chic colors.  They were made of a variety of fabrics – chenille, flannel, cotton, silks.  Looking at those throws made me realize that quilts could be whatever you wanted them to be – they didn't have to be sewn from your Grandma’s calicoes

I started teaching myself to quilt from a couple books and then quickly started gathering as much info as I could from the quilt blogging community.  There was so much out there in the blogosphere that was AMAZING that it was practically crippling.  And this thing called “modern quilting” – it all seemed right up my alley!  I guess it really must be since I’ve joined two modern guilds in the past two years.  If you are ever in doubt about joining a guild, just check out one meeting to see if it’s for you.  Every “Show and Tell” that I see makes me want to get back home and start up a new project! 

Some things that I’ve learned so far in my quilting journey… 

I looooove me a rainbow quilt.  I seem to be a having a long-term affair with Roy G. Biv that doesn't look like its ending any time soon.  Please don't tell my husband.  
I like a little funk in my sewing…and a lot of the “fun” in my funkiness comes from pop culture. 

I’d really like to join in a Bee…but my savvy procrastination always makes me think that I’ll let the group down.  I’m thinking that I’ll force myself to take the plunge next year.  I’m using the Sisters' Ten BOM to ease my way into the pond. 

Going clockwise:  X's and O's, On the Boardwalk, Spiderweb, LQF QuiltCon Challenge

Mini quilts are an absolutely fabulous way to get some instant gratification through fabric.  A regular quilt takes me a while from beginning to end, but mini quilts get finished in a snap (and are a great way to try out a new block pattern that you're interested in)!

So thanks for checking me out and I hope that you like seeing my stuff as much as I like making it!  Don’t forget to check out the other stops on the Plum & June Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop this week!

Leigh Anne @ Ella's Cottage
Stacey @ The Tilted Quilt
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity (Hey, that's me!)
Lauren @ Seraphym

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

A Pleasant Peasant Dress...

It's been a while since I've shown any finished clothing projects - mainly because I hardly ever do them.  But I've had a lingering (2 years) work in progress hanging around the back of my closet that I just finished so let me give you the backstory!

Side note:  awkward selfies ahead - proceed with caution and a sense of humor

A few months after I had my oldest daughter, I was at that awkward stage where my maternity clothes were way too big but my regular clothes were still pretty snug and an event where I needed something dressy (but not too nice) was coming up. Even though I was a new mom with an infant at home, I thought the easiest route would be to make something myself.  I'm still not sure what gave me such overconfidence that I could pull this off - but my insanity ended up paying off.

I needed something that would allow easy access for nursing but would still look like a regular dress and an elastic neckline peasant dress fit the bill.  I found some bright floral fabric at a local quilt store and bought enough for Easy McCall pattern M5039:

I realize that tastes change over 5 years, but looking at this pattern cover, I honestly have no idea what drew me in about it.  But once the dress was finished, I loved it.  It totally fit the bill and I've been occasionally wearing it ever since (even though it's a bit big around the middle).

Fast forward to Baby #2...same dilemma, so brilliant me I thought that I would make a new dress from the same pattern to mix things up a little bit.  I ended up finding this deep purple batik fabric on clearance and all the material for the dress came to $3.  Score!  This time I added a solid band of fabric at the waist.  I got as far as finishing the dress with the exception of adjusting the elastic at the neckline and completing the hem because when I went to try it on, it was a little bit snug.  It was too depressing, so I shoved it in the back of my closet, sad and unfinished.

It was totally forgotten until 2 years later as I was cleaning out my closet last week.  I tried it back on, and it was a little big around the middle now.  Now that's what I call a good problem to have!  I adjusted the elastic, finished the hem and added a couple rows of ruching with elastic thread on the back to cinch it in.

I don't love it as much as the original - something about the fabric and the solid just doesn't sit right with me now that I'm two years out from picking it - but it's still a $3 dollar dress and a finished project.  The peasants would be proud.

Friday, June 14, 2013

X's and O's for the Modern Mini Challenge

Sorry to all of you who just read all about this project two weeks ago, but my latest finish was just too perfect not to share in Ellison Lane's Modern Mini Challenge!

Read more about it in the original blog post, but the abbreviated version goes something like this:

This mini is my own design and finishes off at 18 x 24 1/2".  It is a pretty simple pattern but I love it mostly because it all stems from this little work of art from my oldest which I thought would work perfectly as a quilt:

So I adapted her sketch from that to my own version here:


And after some fun fabric choices, the finished product came out so close to my sketch - I was so pleased!  My oldest was pretty impressed with the process for all of 5 minutes.  Then she moved onto something else - but it was a pretty fantastic 5 minutes.   

I love the combination of all the pinks against the cool turquoise and the appliqued X's and O's in Aneela Hoey's Posy was the perfect touch to make them stand out but still blend together with my wavy lines of pink.  

Thanks for visiting and reading -- and also a big thanks to Jennifer at Ellison Lane for hosting such a great link up and a chance to win some goodies!

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Square Dance WIP...

Believe it or not, I actually have a WIP to share on WIP Wednesday!  It was just a week ago that I mentioned I had a real plan to put these fabric purchases to good use...

I decided to take advantage of some rainy weekend weather to start working on this pattern using the P's and Q's charm pack I bought ages ago.  I cut all my fabrics and got 4 of the 6 main blocks done during the girls' nap time!

Now all I need to do is get the long lines of sashing done using the smaller squares, and a baby quilt top will be completed!    It really is a cute fabric line that would be so great for either a girl or boy...

What have you been working on this week?

Linking up:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, June 9, 2013

Boston Top and Blog Hop...

About a month ago at the Quilts for Boston sew-in at gather here, I ended up focusing on making quilt backs instead of assembling a top.  But I promise that I'm not shirking my guild obligations - I ended up taking a packet of blocks home with me to finish a top in my spare time (Ralphie voice:  He he...that's a good one, Dad).  I chose a package with a focus on lines and stripes and was pretty excited to get it home to inspect them all and play with layouts.  As soon as I got home, I took them all out and fiddled for a while.  And promptly got stuck. 

The bag just sat there for three weeks.  It stared at me pretty passive aggressively for a while...and I chose to ignore it because I was still stuck. It was all those lines and stripes - it was just so much busier than my typical palate and I couldn't get past my own opinions and sampler prejudices.  It's not you, lovely blocks.  It's me. 

But at the eleventh hour I had a brainstorm and wondered if I could trick a couple of the blocks into creating some messages and breathing space.  Just a couple of adjustments to make these...

into this...

Then turning a block on point...

And once I gave myself permission to only use about two-thirds of the blocks, here is the finished product!  What do you think?  

In addition to not really being a sampler fan, I'm also not a big yellow fabric person.  What was I thinking??  But I'm hoping that whoever gets this finished quilt will think "happy sunshine" and not "gross egg yolk".  Here's hoping!

Another piece of news to share is that I'm participating in this year's Let's Get Acquainted Blog Hop by Plum & June!  I'm really looking forward to getting to know a ton of new modern quilting bloggers over the next two months and hope that you'll join me!

Plum and June

Friday, June 7th
Nancy @ Owen's Olivia
Amy @ 13 Spools
Casey @ The Studiolo 
Nanette @ Yeah, I Made That

Friday, June 14
Julie @ Jolie Maxtin
Melissa @ Melia Mae Quilting
Adrianne @ On The Windy Side
Molli @ Molli Sparkles
Laura @ Little And Lots
Valerie @ Between Quilts

Friday, June 21
Leigh Anne @ Ella's Cottage
Stacey @ The Tilted Quilt
Sarah @ Quilt Candy
Jackie @ NW Patchwork
Erica @ Happy Fabric
Stephanie @ Simple Sewendipity
Lauren @ Seraphym

Friday, June 28
Green @ So Sew Green
Gwendellyn @ The Rainbow Revolts
Jessica @ Stitched In Thyme
Kathy @ Kayak Quilting
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts
Kris @ Sew Sunshine
Camilla @ Faffling

Friday, July 5
Christa @ Christa Quilts!
Stephanie @ Quarter Incher

Fridau, July 12
Anne @ PlayCrafts
Cath @ Wombat Quilts

Friday, July 19
Alison @ Making Happyness
Ella and Nesta @ Ella & Nesta's Little Room
Nicole @ Modern Handcraft
Aylin @ AyliN-Nilya
Kelsey and Amanda @ Everyday Fray

Friday, July 26
RobinSue @ RobinSue Quilts
Elisa Lea @ Lovelea Designs
Elizabeth @ In The Boondocks
Emily @ Sew E.T.
Em @ Sewing by Moonlight

Check them out - they will make fabulous additions to your modern inspiration list during June & July!

Linking up:

Fresh Poppy Design

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Fabric Binge...

I've acquired quite a bit of fabric lately.  If I don't get my sewing butt motivated to use up these gorgeous finds soon, I'm going to have a serious problem.  I hope these additions to the stash will help get the creative juices flowing.  Now before you think that I'm fabric shopping all the live-long day, this post contains about a month's worth of fabric - and a very active month at that!  I picked up the bunch that you see above about a month ago at gather here before our Quilts for Boston sew-in.

And then we rounded up a few friends to trek up to Marden's yesterday.  Marden's in Sanford, Maine has a HUGE selection at super cheap prices.  Last time I went, I felt a little overwhelmed and grabbed a random selection of stuff without a clear idea of how to use it.  This time I kicked my super-nerd into gear and made a list of projects that needed fabric.

Fabric mission completed!  I grabbed a good selection of white, yellow and light blue for background and filler fabrics for Quilts for Boston tops (plus a few random brights for good measure).

I also wanted to grab an off-white background to go with these fabrics that you may remember from my charm pack query a while back.  I've decided that I want to use the P's and Q's charm pack to make this pattern - I think it will make a very cute gender neutral baby quilt!

But the crown jewel in all these new fabrics is my brand new Echino stash...

Samantha from the Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild organized a big Echino swap.  Each of us that participated purchased two yards of a different print and then we cut them up into equal pieces to share with the group.  Now I have 8 different Echino fat quarters with not a clue as to how to use them.  I love them...but need to wait for inspiration to hit.  Seen any great projects that you liked using Echino?

Linking up:
Live A Colorful Life

Monday, June 3, 2013

Sewing Slacker...

I don't know if you can tell from this photo, but Ron Swanson is giving me the stink eye because I'm a total slacker.  Apparently when Traceyjay decided to stop her "Just Three" link ups where you can list your three goals for the month, I decided to stop holding myself accountable for keeping up with stuff.  Granted, life has interrupted in a major way over the past couple weeks that involved some major heavy metal damage...

My husband was in the middle of a car sandwich on the highway that actually didn't look too, too bad...until you got it into the body shop and saw the damage from underneath.  Ugh.  But the good news is that no one in the 6 car pile-up was seriously hurt and things are just starting to get back to normal for us.  Plus we got to giggle these lines back and forth endlessly to cheer ourselves up...

"You wanna get hit? Because I know a guy!  Super gentle - minor scrapes and bruises, major dollars and cents."

Ah, the joys of Jean Ralphio.

I did manage to get in a little bit of sewing by completing my X's and O's mini, but my Gen X Block of the Month completely fell off my radar.  I might just put it off a couple more days and do the blocks for May and June after the new block is posted this Friday.  But I also did make a slew of clutches for teacher gifts and finally attend a BMQG sew-in, so it wasn't a completely inactive month over here!

Plus I still need to finish my custom quilt due in August (at the latest!!) and some quilt tops for Quilts for Boston now that the block deadline has passed.  I've got a really good plan going for the packets of blocks I have - really I do!  It just requires a little bit of fabric shopping for some background fill in.  Good thing a friend and I are trekking up to Marden's tomorrow!  I'll be sharing my finds (plus a little Echino goodness - squee!) on Wednesday.