Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Learning to Knit in 2013

I technically learned to knit in 2012, but even though I learned the 'motions' and the stitches, I didn't really comprehend how a pattern was written, or how it all came together, or how it worked. I learned that this year. I had a pretty good year as far as knitting goes, I feel like I've learned a lot. I finished 2 pairs of socks and several shawls, while learning to knit lace and learning how things are shaped. There are lots of things I want to learn next year, like how to do colorwork so I can do mittens and socks with patterns, and a Color Affection shawl. I know a lot of people who have made goals to make a pair of socks each month, and while I would love to do that, I am going to be realistic though, and make a goal of 6 pairs of socks for 2014. One every other month. I have already started my first pair. This works with the Plucky Classics club too, I will be getting a new skein of Plucky Feet every other month, and if am able to make more than 6 pairs, then that is great! 

These are the Lace and Cable socks from Socks From The Toe Up by Wendy Johnson, just minus the cables on the side. Cables are another thing I would like to learn in 2014. 


Here is a collage of some of my knitting projects this year. I think my favorite pattern was the Holden Shawl, I knit it twice and loved it both times! 

I am hoping for lots of awesome knitting and quilting projects to share here next year!

Friday, December 27, 2013

2013 In Review, Looking Forward to 2014

It has been a busy year, both personally and on a quilting level. It hasn't been the best year, but it certainly wasn't the worst either. There were good and bad things. Boring things and exciting things. But I am hopeful for what 2014 will bring.

Here is a list of some of my finishes (I know I am forgetting a lot of the smaller projects!)
1) Butterscotch Cake throw
2) Weekender Bag
3) Starburst Quilt
4) Flower Girl quilt 
5) Dream On quilt
6) Scrappy Trip Along Quilt
7) Sidebraid quilt
8) Super Tote

I made a collage of a few of the different projects I finished or worked on this year.

I have a lot of projects I want to finish (and start!) in 2014. I talked a little about my goals for my unfinished projects a few posts ago, but that is only the tip of iceberg for next year. I have lots more quilting and sewing goals, and knitting goals too! I've challenged myself a lot this year with the projects I've done. My piecing has gotten a lot better and also my confidence in choosing fabrics has gone up too.

I think my favorite project for the year was my Anna Maria Horner Starburst quilt. It may be my favorite quilt ever. I'm also still i love with my Modern Maples quilt, and can't wait to finish it in 2014.

What did you finish this year?

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone has a special day and gets to spend it with the people they love. Cherish the time you have with them now!

Monday, December 23, 2013

The Post Where I Talk About Goals

(I apologize for the lack of pictures in advance!)

I can't believe its almost Christmas already, and that means it's almost NEXT YEAR! And that means it's time to figure out everything I want to get done, and all my goals. I have a LOT it seems (mainly because I slacked on them this year) Here is the post where I wrote out my goals for 2013. I didn't get nearly as much done as I would have liked to. I did make my Weekender bag, and finished my my Butterscotch Cake throw quilt, and nearly finished my Scrappy Log Cabin quilt top. I also finished my Sidebraid quilt too,a long with several other projects. But I will save a recap post for later. This post I am going to dedicate to FINISHES in 2014. I have a lot of them.

1.) My Farmer's Wife quilt- it is currently my longest work in progress, and I haven't touched it in months. I started on the background for the blocks and squaring them up, and that is right where I left of. IF I just sit down and dedicate some time to this, I could have the top finished pretty quickly.
2.) Scrappy Log cabin- This is another quilt that is very close to completion. I have to basically put the border on it and quilt it, and that is seriously it. The top is done except the borders.
3.) Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt- in all honesty, this may not even be finished in 2014. Since I am doing it totally by hand (including the quilting) it is going to be a very long work in progress. Especially since I am caught up in knitting right now, and spend all my time working on that. 
4.) St Louis 16 Patch- The top is already finished. It has been sitting around waiting for quilting for months. I just need to get the backing, I already have the binding. 
5.) Modern Maples quilt- I have several more blocks to do, and then figure out how I want to put the top together, if I want to follow the pattern or do my own thing. I am still undecided. 

My biggest undertaking is my sewing room. We are in the process of cleaning of one of our spare bedrooms and converting it into a sewing and craft room for me. I was hoping that this would be done before the end of the year as well but it doesn't look like it will. Hopefully we will be able to paint it after the holidays and get my things moved in and situated soon after. Once I have more room and have things organized I am hoping it will be a lot easier to finish projects instead of them languishing around. At least that is the goal

Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Dresden Plate Tabletopper

I actually sewed some this week. I had picked up some new Christmas fabric and was itching to get in the Christmas spirit. We have been running a bit behind here on our decorating and I felt the need to do something. and I love LOVE Dresden plates, so I decided I needed to put the two together. I had some cute white on white dots in my stash that reminded me of snow and made the perfect background! I went with "vintage" looking fabrics from my Dresden blades.


I like the look of Dresden's when the center is the same color as the background fabric, that is just a personal preference. I am extremely happy with the way this came out. I machine stitched the blades down instead of hand appliqueing. Hand applique is just not something I have ever been able to get the hang of, I know I just need more practice, but this wasn't the time for it!


I also bought some new fabrics during a nice Black Friday sale from the Fat Quarter Shop. I LOVE Pam Kitty fabrics, Unfortunately they seem to be sold out of her Designer Bundle that I purchased, and a lot of her fabrics, after the big sale. I'm not quite sure what I want to make with these yet, so they are going in the stash.


Did you get any Black Friday deals???

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Black Friday and a Long Weekend

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Mine was exhausting. And unfortunately we didn't get to take our trip to Gatlinburg. I was pretty disappointed, but I we will make plans to try it again soon.

I don't do Black Friday shopping, in fact I didn't even leave the house on Friday. I stayed in my Pj's all day, ate leftovers, and worked on my new shawl. I did stop by my local Joann Fabrics this evening the check out their sales and Christmas fabric and picked out a few half yard cuts that I wanted needed for pillows.

I have a soft spot for anything vintage Christmas and they had a few good selections. I like shopping their holiday fabrics, because they usually do carry a lot of good choices, especially vintage looking ones. And sometimes I can find some hard to find Alexander Henry holiday fabrics. (like the backing for my Halloween quilt!)

The candy cane and the green deer with the angels I knew I wanted and was lucky to find some left, I saw it there about a week or so ago when I got the flannel for my tunic. The others were just a bonus, but I adore the gray fabric with the little train and village on it, its even metallic gold!


Speaking of my tunic, it was a partial success. It came out great, but doesn't fit quite right, its a little too baggy in a few places and I am giving it a rest to see the best way to do some adjusting on it. I will definitely be making myself clothes in the future though.

I am hoping to get a lot of sewing done tomorrow afternoon, at least several pillow covers finished. Hopefully I will have some pictures to post soon. I also have some Christmas gifts to get working on too.

Speaking of Christmas gifts, I am planning on making some zipper pouches for my boyfriend's sisters and mother and filling them with some little gifts. We have decided not to spend a lot of Christmas presents and I was looking for something useful and pretty. I made myself some zipper pouches ages ago and I use them in my purse to carry all my little things (hand sanitizer, chap stick, pens, etc) so they don't get lost at the bottom of my purse. So i thought I would buy some of the mini sanitizers and lotions from Bath and Body works but then I was stumped as to what else to put in them. Any suggestions? What would you enjoy getting? What do you use a lot or carry in your purse that would be handy???

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cottonwood Shawl

I have been learning A LOT about knitting lately, and I find it so relaxing and easy to transport. Its so much easier to take with you than hand sewing. I've been working on my Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt again the last week or so but I miss knitting. Especially with the cold weather lately. I just finished my latest shawl and once again I'm in love. I used the Elder Tree Shawl pattern on Ravelry but used sport weight yarn instead of worsted. I went with Madelinetosh Pashmina in Candlewick and it is SO SO soft. I can't go on enough about how soft the yarn is. I love anything Madelinetosh basically. The color is a little out of my comfort zone but it is so versatile. I've worn it with a teal cardigan and a navy blue sweater and it looks great with both. It also looks amazing with anything gray! I will try and get some better pictures of it in the next couple days.

I ordered some more yarn Friday and can't wait for it to get here. I have planned a couple more shawls. I ordered Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Robin's Egg and Natural.

The Natural I plan on using for a modified Haruni shawl and the Robin's Egg I plan on using for this pattern.

We are planning a trip to Gatlinburg coming up and I want to take some knitting with me to work on in the car and in the hotel room. I want something that will be easy to put down and pick back up without any confusion about the pattern. I think the Sunlight Shawl will be perfect for that. The Haruni I think will take a little more concentration on my part, and definitely isn't a "traveling" shawl.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Garment Sewing?

I've been spending so much time knitting lately, I haven't had much time to sew, and I've been in kind of a sewing "funk" you might say. I've been looking for something to get me motivated, and so I decided to try sewing myself a top. I had read on Amanda's blog about her wanting to do an Esme top in flannel from Joann fabrics. I had seen the same wonderfully soft flannel, and thought at the time, what a wonderful idea! That was weeks ago, and then I promptly forgot all about it. Until last night. I'm not sure what prompted my brain to somehow suddenly remember it, but it did. I had a few problems though, the first being my size. I am VERY top heavy, and most patterns (including the Esme top it seemed) were not made to fit my top. So I went to my local Joann fabrics today and braved the crazy huge crowd of people (there weren't even any shopping carts when I first got there!) and browsed through their patterns. I wanted something similar to the Esme top that would look good in flannel and be semi long enough to wear with leggings or skinny jeans and boots, but also something fairly EASY. Considering I have not had a lot of practice garment sewing before. I came up with this pattern. Its a See & Sew pattern, # B5874. I like the fact that it has ties at the sides so I can make it to fit my breasts and not have to worry to much about it being to large at my waist because I can cinch it in!


I am planning on leaving off the pockets for a couple reasons, the biggest reason being, once again, my top heaviness. Extra anything on my breasts is unnecessary, plus I don't want to worry about matching prints, etc with my plaid flannel. I also plan on using a few more buttons at closer intervals along the front. There is nothing I hate more than a button up shirt that gaps at the buttons around my breasts.

I went with this red flannel because it felt so festive! I think its going to be perfect to wear pretty much anywhere, either with some jeans or some nice warm leggings and black boots. I can even dress it up and wear my pretty sparkly black Holden shawl! I honestly can't convey to you how soft the flannel is. I absolutely can't wait to wear it! So hopefully I won't mess it up!


Thursday, November 14, 2013

Winter Is Knocking

I'm not a fan of cold weather. Fall, is my favorite time of the year, when that little chill is in the air, but it's still sunny and bright and the leaves are amazing colors. Here in West Virginia fall is amazing. One thing about the cold weather is how much I want to knit and make warm things! I've been knitting shawls like a crazy lady, I've made 5! A year ago I couldn't knit a scarf without a mistake, and now I'm knitting socks and lace shawls and all kinds of things!  

Here is my most recent knit, it's the Holden Shawl pattern available for free on Ravelry (I'm michyquilts there as well!) 

The yarn is Dream In Color Starry in Black Pearl and it is so beautiful!!!

I'm hoping to get my sewing mojo back soon and also hoping the weather will cooperate for some outdoor shots of some quilts!!!!

Friday, October 18, 2013

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Has it really been over a month since my last post?!?  

I've been so busy and tired lately that it has just slipped my mind. I feel like I'm being pulled in a hundred different directions. I've gotten almost no sewing done. It seems like I just can't get motivated to sit down at my sewing machine.

I have been learning to knit though, and doing pretty well. Just for the sake of pictures here are a few things I've been working on.

I turned this skein of yarn...

Into this Oaklet shawl! (I hadn't woven in the ends yet, that's why there is a tail)

And I made an Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief 

This yarn is seriously amazing. It's Madinetosh DK in Firewood and it's beautiful 

I am Loving knitting. Seriously loving it. I promise to be back with more quilt pictures soon though. I still have a couple finished quilts to show you!

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Impatient Knitter

Last year around this time I got the itch to learn how to knit. I blame it on this blog. Her knitting is so inspiring! I'm a devoted blog follower of hers, and if you don't already follow her, then you should! Anyways, I am especially inspired by her socks (and envious of them!) and have wanted so badly to learn HOW to knit. Not sjut go through the motions, but really GET it. Last year I didn't have much luck and gave up and the knitting needles and yarn I had purchased were hidden away. But it seems like every year when we get a taste of fall I start getting that itch again. So I did some reading, and I knitted two Honey Cowls, and although the first one presented some problems the second was easy! I had been nervous about knitting in the round because I couldn't really knit at ALL. But knitting in the round makes more sense to me, I don't know why, but it does! It just CLICKS in my brain for some reason. So I did some more research, and coveted some more hand knit socks and started drooling over beautiful sock yarn, and then I decided to try it. And although there have been a few bumps (more like mountains!) I am pushing through, and it is actually making sense! I bought Socks From The Toe Up by Wendy Johnson and read it and read it, and read it some more, and watched some videos on Youtube, and tada! I cast on for a sock. I am going to try two at a time next, but I wanted to focus on getting one RIGHT before I attempt two. I just started the gusset last night. Its not perfect, FAR from it. I am still learning a lot about knitting in general, but I am getting MUCH better.

I ordered some yarn and some new needles and I'm hoping to try casting on for two at a time this weekend sometime. For curious minds, I used the Turkish cast on on a size 1 circular needle for this sock and I am doing a gusset heel. 

If anyone has any other good references for knitting then please let me know! I still have so much to learn! I want to try lace knitting next, I would LOVE to make a shawl for this fall/winter!

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Never Enough Time

I'm sure that is what everyone says, but lately, for me, it has been normal and not the exception. There are SO many things I want to do and share and places I want to go and there is just no way I can get it all done. I have been feeling VERY overwhelmed lately. So please forgive me for being so absent lately. 

I have been doing lots of different things lately, so I will update you as best I can with what pictures I have (I haven't had much time to take good pictures either!)

I've been learning to knit. I have finished two Honey Cowls and a hat. I have LOTS to learn, and it doesn't come easily to me. I struggle with it A LOT. But I am so inspired by this blog. I even bought a book about sock knitting, because I am DYING to knit socks. (Not that I needed another hobby to take up even more time) It's the time of the year when the air is finally starting to cool off and the sunshine just feels different, and it reminds me of fall and I wanted to learn to knit. I am probably going to end up taking a sock knitting class because even with the book I doubt I am able to pick it up. Knitting just isn't something that CLICKS in my brain.


I've also been working on my Halloween sewing. I managed to get this pillow done last weekend (I LOVE it!) and I finished stitiching the binding on a table runner this evening.


And here is my Halloween Sampler cross stitch (I finished the Jack O Lantern square over the weekend, but didn't have a picture of it yet) I also started the frames for my Autumn Sampler cross stitch as well.


And today I stitched up some zipper pouches. The back one is Noodle heads Open Wide pouch (I made the medium this time) and is made using Juliana Horner's Rosette fabric and Robert Kaufman yarn dyed linen in black. The front on is just a generic zipper pouch with Martha Negley's Farmington Feathers and some wood grain fabric from Joanns. I don't recall what line it was for, but it was one of their Designer Quilting Cottons. The Open Wide pouch has my circular knitting needles and a few other of my knitting things, and the smaller pouch is holding my floss bobbins for my Halloween and Autumn Samplers


I have also finished a couple quilts in the last several weeks. I finished my Square in a Square quilt made with the Dream On fabrics, and I got my Scrappy Trip Along quilt done as well. I was hoping to take pictures of both of them today but it didn't play out that way. And the weather isn't supposed to be very good this week, so I'm not sure WHEN I will be able to get good pictures, but I am really going to try my hardest to get them up this week. My assistant quilt photographer is under the weather so I will probably be taking pictures of them by myself.

My goals this week include finishing up a bag for a woman I work with and maybe (possibly) finishing my Modern Maples quilt blocks. We will see!

Friday, September 6, 2013

Busy As A Bee

Maybe even busier than a bee. Sorry for the long absence things have been beyond hectic lately. We have been busy doing a little bit of everything to enjoy the last bit of summer. 

The last few days have felt like fall and hopefully with the colder weather coming soon, we will also have a little breathing room. I don't have a lot to share right now, but I will have a couple finishes coming up very soon! So stayed tuned for that. For now enjoy a few snapshots from my phone!
Here is a sneak peek of the progress on my Modern Maples quilt blocks.

Here is a picture of my Dream On quilt before I hand sewed the binding down. I should have good pics of this soon!

I've been working on my Halloween Sampler from The Frosted Pumpkin.

And I picked out binding (on the left) and backing (right) for my Scrappy Trip Along quilt. I'm hoping to have this quilt DONE this weekend!

Hope everyone had a wonderful summer, but I'm excited for fall! It's my absolute favorite time of year!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

St Louis 16 Patch

I stayed up extra late (for me anyway) last night to finish my St Louis 16 patch quilt top. It started out 5 more blocks to go, so I decided to go ahead and cut the strip sets, then I decided to go ahead and piece the blocks. Then I decided to lay it out, then I figured since I was that far I might as well finish it. So I did. I already know how I am going to quilt it, and what fabric I am going to use for the binding. I just need to figure out a backing.

I love all the different colors mixed together. I used mostly DS Quilts fabrics from Joann's mixed in with some other prints. I didn't stick with a certain color palette either. I really went outside of my comfort zone (to a certain extent) but you can tell I love aqua and blue and red.

The quilt finishes at about 60 by 72 and the blocks come together so quickly. I will definitely be using this pattern again. This quilt really blew up all over the Internet and Instagram. I am a little behind the trend and finished mine a lot later than most everyone else, but that's just how I roll. I am always a little behind.

This is my third completed quilt top in the last month or so and its time for me to really get cracking on the quilting part. I am going to be honest here, I HATE basting. If I could avoid it I would. It would make quilting so much more fun. My plan is to get my Dream On quilt done first, hopefully this weekend, or at least get the backing done and get it basted. Hopefully I will have some pictures of a completed quilt very soon. Then hopefully I will be able to move on to my Scrappy Trip Along quilt. My goal is to have both of those DONE by the end of the month. Then I will aim to finish this quilt and my Modern Maples quilt next month. (That is my tentative plan for now, we will see how that plays out)

Has anyone else made a St Louis 16 Patch quilt? I'd love to see them!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Modern Maples

Not that I needed another project to take up my time, but I guess I did. You know how much I love fall, and I am beyond excited waiting for it get here. The other day I was looking through Instagram and I saw a couple posts about the Modern Maples quilt from Quilt Dads book. Of course, I'd seen it before and loved it, but something about seeing it this time made me fall head over heels in love. Probably because I have fall fever right now. So the other day I went through my stash, pulling out fabrics and pairing them together. I am going for a scrappy, low volume background, similar to my In The Wild Starburst quilt. The Comma Period print in Chalk scraps I had left are making an appearance. 


I am going for a fall-ish palette, mostly browns some burgundies and purplish-reds, oranges, golds and yellows. I think for the solid background blocks I am going to use some linen for texture. I've also been pulling fabrics for another quilt I hope to start in a few months. Or I may not. Sometimes I pull fabrics with ideas in my head, excited about what I want to make, and then the excitement is replaced by something else, and those fabrics get turned into something else. We will see. 


For now I am super excited about this quilt, and my Dream On quilt. I am hoping to start the quilting this week. I picked up batting over the weekend and I need to figure out how I am going to do the backing. Oh, and my St Louis 16 Patch and Scrappy Trip along. I am trying to find backing and binding for my Scrappy Trip Along quilt. It's hard to find something that works with such a scrappy quilt without competing with it too much. I am pretty sure I am doing a black and white stripe for the binding, but the backing has me stumped.

So I've told you what my favorite season is, what is yours, and why? And what projects are you excited about right now?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Birdie Sling(s)

I started the year out with a lot of goals in mind, and of course there is no way I am going to get to all of them. But I sat down the other day and thought about the things I really want to do before the year is over. So I made a list that I can refer back to in the next few months (and hopefully cross a few things off!) One of the things on the list was Christmas presents. Specifically for my boyfriend's mother and sisters.

I love my boyfriend's family. They are all amazing. And his two sisters are wonderful. His mother is so amazingly sweet. I want to make them something for Christmas, and I think a Birdie Sling is just the ticket. I want to make them all the same bag but in different fabrics. I told my boyfriend to find out their favorite colors, but I have my doubts that he will so I have a feeling that I will end up trusting my gut. Here are my initial fabric selections. I just love the colors from Gypsy Caravan! But I have several other choices on hand in case he DOES find out what colors they all like.

I also have plans to make something for my sister, but she is fairly likely to read my blog and that would spoil the surprise ;)

OH! And I almost forgot to mention, I opened an Etsy shop! You can check it out here! I have my Sidebraid quilt listed for sale and some zipper pouches. I plan on posting a few other things next week too, I'd love for you to check it out!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Remember When I Started a Scrappy Trip?

I've been working on this project on and off for months now. Sometimes I loved and other times I didn't. I was torn on even finishing it. But I decided to put what I had together and leave it at that. I originally had planned on 6 more blocks. 

My cocker spaniel decided he wanted to help while I was laying it out. That delayed things a bit.

But the top is done, and I once again love it. I love it so much that now I am reconsidering those last 6 blocks on the right side that would bring the quilt to roughly 72 by 72.

What do you think?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Getting in The Fall Mood

I started a table runner for my sister last year sometime before fall. I had a charm pack of Full Moon Harvest and cut the charm squares into 2.5 inch squares. I made a table square for our coffee table and a runner for hers. It has been sitting around without the binding for nearly a year. A YEAR!

The weather lately has been very fall like. To the point where I needed to turn on the heat in my car on the way to work the other morning. As crazy as it is for the weather to be this cool in July I am not complaining. I love fall weather. LOVE IT. Fall is my favorite time of the year and I can't wait until it is actually fall. I love going to the fall festivals and of course Halloween! Until then I will have to enjoy the weather, and work on some fall projects!

I used a print I found at Joann Fabrics for the backing. It had all the right colors and felt very fall-ish! The binding was another Joann find, its a mottled red.

I quilted it with straight lines on each side of every seam in a dark red thread. I like the grid pattern it made on the back, making it almost reversible.

I'm so glad I finished this project. I think that 2.5 inch squares are my favorite things in the world. I love plain patchwork with them. I'm not sure I will ever get tired of patchwork. Especially fall themed patchwork!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Goals... And all that jazz

Isn't it great that I've managed to actually use my camera to take pictures of my quilts? I think so. I've gotten so used to taking pics with my iPhone I forgot how much better an actual camera is. That was one of my goals earlier this year and I'm going to try and keep it up. As well as posting more often. 

I have to admit that Instagram has spoiled me. It's just so easy! (You can follow me on Instagram by clicking the little Instagram icon on the left side of my blog by the way!)

I wrote down my goals from the rest of the year about a month ago or so and of course never got around to sharing them here. Maybe if I do it will keep me more accountable, right?

So here it goes:
1) Dream On quilt- The top is done. Finished. I need to piece a backing and get the batting and just do it. I want this quilt finished soon.

2) Log Cabin Quilt- I started a log cabin quilt for my boyfriend at Christmas time. The blocks are done and the top is half assembled. I'd like to at least get the top done, if nothing else but I'd LOVE to have the quilt done to give him at Christmas 

3) Farmer's Wife Quilt- I started work on the setting last weekend. I need to order more background fabric, somehow I didn't order enough. I also need to order fabric for the borders. I want to get this top done by the end of the year.

4) Scrappy Trip Along Quilt- the blocks are done. They need another press before being trimmed up and pieced together into the top. I may get this quilt done before the end of the year, but who knows? It is on the list of possible completions. I do want to get the top done though.

5) St Louis 16 Patch- I have made about 7 or 8 blocks. I'd like to get this quilt top done by the end of the year, to be honest I'd really like to get this quilt done in the next few months but I'm not sure that will be possible.

6) More Super Totes- I'd really like to make my boyfriend's sisters and mom each a Super tote for Christmas. This may be a little ambitious of me, but I am going to try. I told him to be stealthy and find out what their favorite colors are. I may just go with my gut and pick fabrics I think they will like. I am really leaning toward just about any fabrics from Belle by Amy Butler (of which a fat eighth bundle just arrived in my mailbox)

7) Several Pillow Covers- I LOVE making pillows. I've said it before, and will probably say it a million times more, but pillows are my favorite things to make. I started one from a Tapestry mini charm pack last weekend, and plan on finishing it this weekend. I also want to make some for Halloween and for Christmas. I want to get more Tapestry fabrics and make some matching ones. I love the colors in that fabric line. It reminds me so much of fall.

Sorry there aren't any pictures in this post, but I PROMISE to have some of my current works in progress this week coming up, and hopefully some pictures of a finished Tapestry pillow cover.

What are YOUR goals for the rest of the year?

Friday, July 26, 2013

Flower Girl Quilt

I started this quilt for a woman at work. She wanted a quilt that matched the pillow shams on her daughter's bed. The quilt finished a little short of twin sized, but perfect for a kid to cuddle under. This quilt took a long time. The blocks required a lot of pressing at each step to make sure the seams match well, but I am really happy with how it turned out.

Usually I am not a big pink fan (you wouldn't know though, looking at my fabric stash. I've made so many little girl quilts I can't keep track!) but this quilt is just gorgeous. The pinks look great together with the yellows and the greens. I tried to get some fabrics that went with the flowers and butterflies on the pillow shams. I used some Bella Butterfly by Michael Miller and some various pink and yellow dots and florals. I also used a green from Flutter by Riley Blake for the leaves to tie in the butterfly theme.

The pattern is a Thimbleberries pattern, but I modified the size a little and left out the sashing blocks. I quilted it with wavy lines. It seems like everyone is using the wavy line quilting lately, I first saw it on Crazy Mom Quilts blog and although I have a Brother machine I did some testing and figured out the settings for my machine and absolutely love using it. I also used it on my Anna Maria Horner quilt I will post about soon. I love that it makes the quilt really soft and fluffy and its a lot more forgiving than regular straight line quilting. You don't have to worry about the lines being perfectly straight.

I'm not sure I want to do this quilt pattern again, just because of how time consuming it is, but I can't get over how beautiful this quilt turned out. I almost hate to let it go!

Also, I am loving this cooler weather. I can't wait for fall!!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Quilt and Matching Super Tote

I made the quilt before I made the Super Tote. The top was done, and I was just waiting on the backing fabric when I finished my Super Tote, and finished the quilt shortly after that. I loved the fabrics in the quilt so much I made a matching bag. Is that crazy? Maybe just a little? I don't think so. I love them both.

For the background of the starburst blocks I used low volume black and white fabrics, mostly text fabrics and then various Anna Maria Horner fabrics, mostly from the Field Study line, some Lou Lou Thi and also some Kaffe Fassett fabrics.

 The leopard prints are my favorite, which is why I used the blue leopard print for the binding. I've been sleeping with this quilt every day since its been done. I love it. It's my favorite quilt so far.

 And the bag is amazing. I love the patchwork and the yarn dyed linen. I think the Period print from Comma by Zen Chic may be my favorite basic print ever. I used it for the piping. The other side of the straps I used leopard (imagine that). I know I've posted a few pictures of this bag before, but they were phone pictures, and I figured while I was taking quilt pictures I'd get a quick snap

Monday, July 22, 2013

A Little More From Our Trip

A few posts ago I showed you some vintage quilts I found at some antique shops, but I thought I would take a moment and go in a non-quilty route and show you some of the other pictures.

If you aren't familiar with WV (which is more likely than the alternative) then you don't know that Route 60 from Charleston heading east toward Virginia is beautiful. Its one of my favorite drives. It goes from windy mountain roads with waterfalls to rolling hills and covered bridges. A few weeks ago I showed you some pictures from Hawks Nest, the New River Gorge and Babcock State Park, which are along Route 60. Babcock and the New River are a slight detour off Route 60, but only a few minutes, and well worth it. 

If you keep going along Route 60 you pass through some beautiful small towns with tons of history, and will eventually reach Lewisburg, WV and the Virginia-West Virginia border. Once we hit White Sulphur Springs we left Route 60 and took 92 to Neola (I'm sure no one reading this knows where that is, but its ok) and headed to Lake Sherwood where my family was camping for a few days.

We've had a lot of rain lately, and I mean A LOT. Last year we also drove to Hawks Nest for a picnic and a hike and stopped along the road at a waterfall for a few pictures. That picture is below on the right, this year when we stopped is on the left. Same waterfall, HUGE difference.

Just outside Lewisburg, past a beautiful big farmhouse, down a little tiny one lane road is this beautiful covered bridge. If you aren't paying attention, you'd easily miss the turn to reach this hidden gem.

Once you get into Lewisburg, there are tons of old buildings to see, I just didn't take pictures of all of them, we'd have been there all day. This is probably the most famous of the buildings in Lewisburg. Funded by the same Andrew Carnegie who built the Carnegie Hall in New York, WV has our own Carnegie Hall. Carnegie, who was from Ireland, had a friend who live in Lewisburg and who wrote to him asking for funds in building it.

WV has a deep Civil War History, we are the only state born from the Civil War, and there are tons of Civil War museums, monuments, trails, tours, etc. Lewisburg certainly has its fair share. During the Battle of Lewisburg around 95 Confederate soldiers were killed and buried here in the cemetery and they were later transported to their own cemetery. They are buried in a mass grave in the shape of a cross 40 feet wide by 80 feet long.

This is the cross. There is no way I can get the entire cross in the picture. It is huge. My boyfriend and I discussed how sad it was that all these men died, and no one knew who they were, or cared to find out, and their families never knew where they were.

And our final destination for the day was Sherwood lake. My family has been camping here almost every year since I was a little girl. My boyfriend and I didn't stay the night as it was threatening rain that day, and we never know exactly how he is going to feel, especially in the mornings. But it was nice and so much cooler than home! We were in the middle of a heat wave and it was at least 10 degrees cooler here. I took a couple pictures of the lake. The hiking trail goes all the way around and they have a beach area for swimming. We had actually hoped it was going to be a little warmer and sunnier do we could go swimming, but we had a nice trip nonetheless.

We are hoping to be able to take a few more weekend trips this summer as time allows. I'm on call this coming weekend, so nothing exciting except maybe some sewing and working on my Farmer's Wife quilt. I haven't posted about it in a while, but I have been steadily chugging along, a few blocks here, a few blocks there. And then Sunday I realized my blocks were done! I'm now working on the setting and getting the background on my blocks. I am using a setting method I saw on another blog of setting half the blocks on point and half square.

I have a few more posts planned this week on the other quilts I photographed this past weekend, and hopefully I will have some pictures of my Farmer's Wife blocks. I forgot how much I love anything Fig Tree Quilts.

Oh, and I ordered some new fabric this past week too :)