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 :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Sidebraid Quilt

This quilt top was done around Christmas time (I think) and it set on my shelf for months. Sometimes I am so excited when I start a quilt, but by the time I finish the top I am excited about something else, and sometimes I don't even get the top done before I move on to something else. I have a problem. I call it Quilter's ADD. But I have been making a conscious effort to actually finish projects the last few months and this one was on the top of the list. I finished it several weeks ago (maybe more than a month even) and just now got around to taking pictures of it. My wonderful, amazing boyfriend (who is usually into Manly things) helped me tote my quilts around and helped lay them out and pack them up several times. He is so patient with me and all this quilt craziness :)

I used mostly Art Gallery fabrics, with some Kona solids and finished it with gray straight line quilting. I used different collections of AGF by Pat Bravo and Bari J. The background is Kona Sky, the backing is Kona Cerise and the binding is from Bespoken by Pat Bravo. The quilt finishes about 60 by 78

We took a few different shots at a park nearby today and the colors just seem to POP in the sunshine. Its such a bright happy quilt.

I just love the binding. It may be my favorite part of the quilt, and AG fabrics wash up so soft.

The colors of these flowers matched the quilt so well! There wasn't a good place to lay the quilt out here, but I couldn't resist trying, and I think it came out okay and you can see a bit of the backing fabric peeking through. The cerise is such a strong Purple with a little red or pink in it.

It was HOT today. After we left the park we went over to the state capitol complex, which is where I got the picture above, and in downtown Charleston it was suffocating, so we didn't get very many pictures there. I took pics of two other quilts today too and will post about those later this week.

Hope everyone in the east is staying cool today!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Sneak Peak

Saturday morning we woke up and loaded up the car and took a drive. We've been doing that a lot lately. We drove Route 60 toward Lewisburg, past Hawk's Nest and Babcock State Park where we went a few weeks ago and instead stopped at a waterfall, a covered bridge and then did some browsing in Historic Lewisburg, hitting up all the antique shops. Since this is mostly a quilt blog, and I haven't posted nearly enough quilt pictures lately I thought I would share some of the beautiful antique quilts we saw.

A beautiful cathedral window quilt
Just a sampling of some of the quilts we ran across in one antique shop

A close up of my favorite quilt on the rack. I love the colors!
My favorite quilt, a wonderful pink double wedding ring. This is my inspiration for my
some day future double wedding ring quilt
And here is a sneak peek of something I finished last night. 
I still need to add the label but I am already enjoying snuggling under it

I will save some of the other pictures for another post. I got some good shots from some different places along our little drive. We met my father, sister and brother in law at Sherwood Lake, they were camping. We spent the evening and ate hot dogs, then drove back home. It was nice to get away even for just a day.

I had hoped to get some pictures of my quilts while we were driving around but it was threatening rain, I am planning several posts in the next week or so to catch up on my finished projects.

What have you been up to this summer??

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Time I Made a Super Tote

I get on these kicks. You know, where you get hooked on one thing. Like sometimes I get on kicks where I want to eat cheesecake for breakfast, lunch and dinner for about a week straight. Or when I want a dozen pillows in a week. Well, lately (we'll say the last 6 months or so) I've been on a bag kick. This is the 3rd bag I've made myself since the start of the year (I finished another bag earlier this week too, I will share that in another post)

I love Anna's tutorials and have made several zippered pouches and open wide pouches from her free tutorials, so when I saw her version of the Super Tote here, I knew I had to make one. I really wanted to copy it completely but I couldn't find any of the Melody Miller Viewfinder fabric so I gave up on that idea, and decided to do the next best thing, Patchwork!

I had purchased a couple yards of Essex Yarn Dyed Linen in Black a few months ago and had been saving it. At the time I wasn't sure for what, but this was it. I had lots of scraps leftover from my Anna Maria Horner Quilt top and put those together with some low volume text fabrics and came up with this beauty!

Here is the outside, right after I finished it, but before I put the entire bag together. I didn't really change this pattern much, except the patchwork and quilting on the front and back, and I didn't use all the interfacing it called for, mainly because I didn't have it on hand and didn't want to wait. The next time I do one I will probably use more interfacing on the gusset. And I will definitely be making more of these bags! 

Here you can see the awesome leopard print I used for the back of the straps. I used the Period print from Comma by Zen Chic for the piping (I love piping!)

You can also see one of my pillows, from my pillow addiction phase
Every time I make a bag I learn a new trick. I had never done pleats before, and the pleats on the gusset of this bag look so professional! I had also never made bag handles this way before, and I like the way they turned out, next time though I may put a layer of batting in them to make them a little softer, like I did with my Weekender bag. I may also add an inside zipper pocket. I had considered making a front and back pocket, but decided against, mainly because it added a step and used more fabric. This was also the first time I installed magnetic snaps. Anna has a good tutorial for that on her blog too. Oh, and don't forget it was the first time I installed a recessed zipper too! The directions were really clear, and made it really easy to put together. I especially like the pockets with elastic inside. I plan on getting some better pictures to really show it off later (if this darned rain EVER stops! I feel like I should build an ark!) I'm already thinking about making a Birdie Sling. I bought the pattern several months ago and can't find where I put it anywhere! I hate to buy another one because I know as soon as I do, I will find the one I misplaced. Isn't that how it always happens?

Do YOU ever get on kicks and can't stop making something? I'd like to know what it is so I don't feel as crazy!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Summertime is Busy Time

Sorry I've been MIA lately, and even more sorry for the lack of finished project pictures. We have been super busy this summer, and have been spending our time going and doing pretty much everything. Last week we went to Fairmont to visit my boyfriend's family for 4th of July and Friday we drove to Ripley to the Mountain State Art and Craft Festival. I was more than a little disappointed that really no one was selling quilts, or very much fiber arts at all, but there was A LOT to look at. Our favorite things were probably the handmade wooden toys. They did have a quilt expo, I didn't get many pictures because there were LOTS of people there, but I did manage to snap a few.

There were dozens and dozens of these striped circus tents with hundreds of craft vendors. Everything from handmade soaps to hand carved fireplace mantels. It was MISERABLY hot and humid the day we were there, but we still spent several hours walking around and enjoying ourselves. 

They also had civil war re-enactors and they even fired a canon!

They also showcased some people making their crafts. At the re-enactors area they had people making hand made wooden buckets. It was neat to watch them shaving away at the cedar 

They had maybe a dozen quilts that were part of a quilt expo and they had two Dear Jane quilts. The second once was quilted by hand. I couldn't tell if it was pieced by hand or not. They were both beautiful.

And just to round out our day, a Conestoga wagon!

This weekend the plan is to go camping with my family and hopefully take some pictures of my finished projects. I've managed to make good progress on several things lately and can't wait to share! (Hopefully the rain will let up too, we have had rain EVERY day for the last almost 2 weeks!)