Friday, August 30, 2013

Sugar and Spice...

Let's see...where did I last leave off?  Oh yeah, frogs and snails and puppy dog tails.  Then I guess it's on to sugar and spice and everything nice!

For both of the little girls' cuddle quilts, I took panels that I already had in my stash and cut them up to make them a little more personalized.  Let's take a peek under the sea first...

This mermaid was the center of a larger panel, but she was the main attraction.  I cut her out and framed her with some white butterfly fabric.

In a little riff of the Converging Corner block, I added some lilac and rainbow batik fabrics for scrappy corners.  The quilting was pretty simple to outline the mermaid center block and echo inside the lines of the converging corners.

I used another rainbow batik for the applique initial on the back with a light lavender minky backing.

The second quilt is perfect for a budding prima ballerina.  The panel that this originated from was overwhelmingly pink, super busy and saccharine sweet.  I tried to break it up a little by fussy cutting the central ballerina, the two partners and the stars, then adding in some buttery yellow and solid cream to tone it down. With all that volume lowering going on, I didn't mind adding back some bright pink for the binding.

The applique initial on the back was fussy cut from another part of the original panel - a great contrast to the ballet slipper pink minky!

All four of the quilts were machine bound and finished at 24" x 35".  I think that four quilts in two weeks is a record for me and will never, ever happen again - no matter how small they are, that's an awful lot of finishing going on!  But the effect of all four together is just so sweet.

I hope that they are well loved and cuddled to pieces in their new homes!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Frogs and Snails...

I happened to be showing a  friend at work some of the photos from my Superhero post a week ago and one of the other teachers came into my office and asked about it.  It turns out that their class of 4 kids is moving up to the next age group this week and they were making each child a special goodbye basket of treats and asked if there was anyway that I might be able to create 2 boy and 2 girl cuddle quilts for them to include.  A reason to use up some stash fabrics and spread around some quilty joy?  You don't have to ask me twice!

Today I'll share the two boy quilts that I've churned out for them.  Each of them finished at 24" x 35" - fairly small but perfect for cuddling up with!  The first ought to look pretty familiar:

I was able to use up every scrap of the remaining Illustration Ink panel to create this one and fill in the blanks with some black sashing.  It might just be me, but I think that if you didn't know what the original panel looked like, you'd never know what's missing!

It is backed in the same aqua minky that I used on my nephew's cuddle quilt and I did the initial applique with a little bit of black motorcycle fabric that was in my scrap basket.  I used the same comic book font as well - it was just such a perfect fit the first time around!  I did pretty simple straight line quilting around each of the boxes and ended up doing a machine stitched binding due to the quick turnaround time that I needed.

The second was a happy accident - even though this boy was initially slated for the superhero print, one of the teachers spotted the scraps of the Children at Play rocket fabrics and said that it would be perfect for him instead!  Apparently this little guy loves shooting rockets with his dad.

I had just enough of both Sarah Jane prints to create the side panels and I combed my stash for coordinating fabrics to create the appliqued rocket for the center.

I actually drew a pretty close replica of the rockets on the fabric and blew it up to size to create my own little templates.  Not bad!

This one got a true blue minky back with the Rocket Launch Club fabric for the initial applique.  Simple quilting along each of the side panels, an echoing outline of the rocket, and a couple of stars in the negative space seemed to be just right.

Superheroes and rocket launches for the boys...any guesses on what's coming down the line for the girls?

Linking up:
Fresh Poppy Design

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Some Good News and a Winner...

Remember how I had a teensy moment of panic when I realized that the quilt I'm planning for a coworker has partial seams?  Well I am here to tell you that partial seams are not actually a big deal.  In fact, they go together pretty darn quickly!  I watched a couple videos online to psyche myself up for the task and felt pretty prepared.  Here's the true test of simplicity - no seam ripper was needed!

I've gotten a few blocks completed so far (and I only need 15 for the entire top!) so I'm hopeful that this one will speed along to a (relatively) quick finish.  Could it be that I am actually keeping my procrastination in check this time?

I apologize that these blocks look so rumpled and wrinkled - I brought them along to work with me for my friend's approval.  I was still a little hesitant about the brown background working well with all the fabric colors, so they were stashed in my bag during the workday (and unfortunately before the photo shoot - why can't I keep an iron at my desk?).  Thankfully, she loved them, so the brown is here to stay and I think that if the oranges and peaches are spread out, it should minimize the potential for this to become "That 70's Quilt"...

Now onto some blog business - we've got a winner from my Sunday Funday Giveaway.  Thanks to the almighty Random Number Generator...

Congratulations Anna!!  I've sent you an email, so I hope that you enjoy your back to school fat quarter bundle!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Quilts for Boston and Sneak Peeks...

Not too much text for you this morning...just a few sneak peeks on things I've been working on over the past week that you'll be hearing more about in the next few days.

Some more cuddly goodness...
Rangoon blocks in progress!
The main reason that I wanted to post today is because I'm so excited that today marks the date of the very first Quilts for Boston delivery!!

Kate Quilts for Boston
Photo courtesy of the BMQG
The BMQG - and all of you who made quilts, donated fabric and services, and send us some heartwarming notes - has been working SO hard throughout the summer (and probably well into the fall as well) on this project.  To see these quilts tops all coming together, being quilted and finished and them coming back to be labelled, well it's just been overwhelming to say the least.  And now that they will start going out to their new homes...I have no words.  I'm just so excited and proud to have been a part of this amazing effort.


Definitely check out our blog and the Quilts for Boston Flickr group to see some of the quilts that have been finished to date and keep checking back in the weeks to come to read some stories and see photos from our quilt deliveries!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Welcome the Amis with a Giveaway...

Remember how I introduced you all to a new quilt request for a coworker a week or so back?  Well the fabric has arrived and I can't wait to start cutting into it!

For this quilt, I was asked to use an owl theme because they are just her absolute favorite.  As an added stroke of sewendipity, a few days after we started talking about our plan of attack, I saw a snippet of fabric in a quilt during a guild show and tell that was part of the Les Amis collection for Michael Miller fabrics.  It was perfect!  But in addition to the Les Amis line, some prints from the Backyard Baby line caught my eye too - and the two collections really play nicely together!  A little online fabric shopping later, and these pretties arrived:

I wanted to round things out with some filler fabrics from my stash:

And here they are all together - I think its going to create a fun and whimsical Rangoon quilt!

To make those pixie sticks for the Rangoon pop, we are using the dark brown vine fabric for the background.  My only real fear is that the peachy oranges with the brown and bright greens will translate to icky 70's vibes, so I'm planning on using the orange colorways sparingly and focusing more on the aquas, greys and greens.

But with all this fabric goodness, aren't you just itching to do a little fabric shopping of your own?  Let me help you out!

Hosted by Julie at 627 Handworks, I'm a part of this week's Sunday Funday Giveaway and I'd like to offer you a 4-pack of fat quarters with a little "back to school" color scheme.  These are straight out of my stash and looking for a home in yours!

To enter, just leave me a comment from now through Wednesday at 5p EST.  If you want an additional chance to win, leave a second comment to let me know that you're a follower through the reader of your choice!  I will announce the winner on Thursday morning along with a sneak peek at some completed blocks for the Rangoon Amis quilt. Check back to see how I do on the dreaded partial seams...

Update - Thanks for all the entries guys!  Comments are now closed :)

Thursday, August 15, 2013

For a Little IncrediBoy...

When I first started the Superhero Alphabet cross-stitch, I didn't have a specific person or project in mind.  I just thought it was super cute and that something would eventually come up.  A month later, we found out that a new baby boy would be joining our family in September - and the bonus is that the dad was really into comic books as a kid.  Sometimes all the stars line up just right and you get the perfect project for just the right person!

It's a pretty big pillow - 20" square - and it had its bumps along the way (eagle eyed readers can see how I fixed it...not majorly happy with it, but it was better than an unsightly color void that was unfixable any other way), but the pattern is just so adorable and the Robert Kaufman Illustration Ink fabrics are the perfect accompaniment!

I sashed the cross stitch in the two tone black dot and backed it in a portion of the superhero panel that I also used to make the cuddle blanket.  And I still have some of that panel left over that I have in mind for another project for work!

This was also the first time that I tried an invisible zipper closure instead of an envelope for the pillow back.  I followed the tutorial from Jacquie Gering's Quilting Modern book.  It was really simple to follow and I love the clean look it gives the whole pillow!

If I had to pick some of my favorite supers on here, I'd go for two that I would have never expected:

Union Jack - the detailing on his super suit is really crisp and sharp looking!

The Hulk - not my favorite character, but I kept cracking myself up as I was embroidering the details for the nipples and rippling abs.  Who would have guessed such a thing existed in the cross stitch world?

So now the package is in the mail and off to decorate a super little nursery.  I hope that the pillow and blanket are loved as much as this new little baby will be!

Linking up:
Fresh Poppy Design

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Halfway There...

I've been hunched over working on my Superhero Alphabet cross stitch project feverishly over the past few months and now I'm in the home stretch with only the lower halves of letters Y and Z left to go!  Once it's finally finished, the plan is to make it into a pillow - a very, ridiculously large pillow - to mail out for our new baby nephew's arrival next month!

When I pulled out the fabric that I bought months ago for the pillow backing, I saw just how big of a cut I bought - it ended up being two panels worth of Robert Kaufman's Illustration Ink Superhero print.  Enough to make something gorgeous to go along with the pillow - a cuddly blanket!

I cut away one complete panel and backed it in electric blue minkee.  Simple quilting around each of the superhero blocks and newspaper panel was a quick way to polish things up.

As a little personalized touch, I found a comic book font online and appliqued the baby's initials to the back using Wonder Under in the black Screen Print Dot.

This was so quick and easy to finish and I love it!  That cuddly minkee is just so soft and the perfect bright back to a fun comic print on the front.

Now to get that cross stitch finished so that I can churn out the pillow to mail out these sweet comic treats!  The clock is ticking!