Friday, January 28, 2011

Fun Fabric Friday: 01/28/2011

My wonderful other half purchased me a gift certificate from for my birthday last year and I've been trying to figure out how to spend it (I know, it shouldn't be hard ...).  I think I've settled on the new Impressions by Ty Pennington for Free Spirit Fabrics.  I had no idea he had started designing fabric but when I saw it, I was in love!  I think I'm going to pick up the Charcoal Impressions and Kiwi Impressions fat quarter bundles.

[image source:]
[image source:]

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mid-Week Sneak Peek: 01/26/2011

Time for another sneak peek!  So I haven't updated you in a while on my curved piecing project, which I started last year as part of the Project Solids Challenge for the Philly MQG.  I finished the top for the quilt and I made it into a table runner.  It measures about 16 inches wide by about 84 inches long and I think it will look nice in our dining room (one of the photos shows it laid out on the table before I finished the top).  I decided that because this quilt top is so crazy, I wanted the quilting itself to not be "too perfect", so I'm not going to machine quilt it.  Which means, I get to do my first hand quilting!  I read some instructions in a couple books and then got started.  It's hard for me, but I got some tips from Laura at Spool, so I think I'm going to be OK.  This might be a year-long project for me ... but when it's done, it'll be great.  I picked a yellow thread because I didn't have any yellow in the quilt yet, so I figured I would add some.  I'll also do the binding in yellow to coordinate with the quilting.

Mid Week Sneak Peek: 2011/01/19

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fun Fabric Friday: 01/21/2011

So I'm introducing another new blog topic - Fun Fabric Friday!  There's so much great fabric out there and I thought maybe I could tell you guys what new fabrics I'm loving or looking forward to.  Today I want to highlight Cloud9 fabrics.  My post from Wednesday showed a project I'm working on using one of their lines, but they have two new collections coming out soon: "Nature Walk" and "Cut Out and Keep."  I especially love the patterns in the "Cut Out and Keep" line.  Check out the one called Hydrangea:
[image credit: Cloud9 Fabrics]

I see myself using this fabric quite a bit this year.  I think the fabrics are perfect for baby quilts because of the softness.  Apparently the "Nature Walk" line is going to be more affordable because it will have a lower thread count.  I'm interested to see what the pricing will be and what the fabrics will feel like. 

What fabrics are you most looking forward to this month?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Mid-Week Sneak Peek: 01/19/2011

Hi, everyone!  I thought I should add a feature to the blog to help motivate me.  One idea I came up with was a mid-week sneak peek.  Basically, I'll show you one of my projects in progress.  I'll try to post each week but sometimes I go several weeks without much progress, so there won't be much to show.  This week I'm trying to finish a quilt for my nephew's first birthday.  I didn't have a chance to make a baby quilt before he was born, so I thought maybe I could play catchup and make a little one for his birthday.  This is only about 40 inches square, but it can be like a little security blanket he can carry around if he wants.  It's made using Cloud9's My Happy Nursery line - it's organic cotton and it's awesome (high thread count and super soft).  I'm backing it with a great blue and white polka dot flannel fabric that will be uber soft for him.  Can't wait to finish it up and give it to him.

Mid Week Sneak Peek: 2011/01/19

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Christmas 2010 - Mom's Table Runner

This year I completed two small quilts as Christmas gifts.  The first I posted about earlier - the owl quilt for my Dad.  The other one was a table runner I made for my mom.  I had purchased 6 fat quarters from Spool earlier in the year because I loved the way they looked together, but I didn't know what to do with them.  I then realized that the colors were somewhat similar to some of the colors my mom used in their kitchen, so I decided to turn them into a table runner.  I decided on a simple pattern of alternating 4-inch squares of fabric with 4-patch squares of 4 other fabrics.  Each row has two identical four patch squares and two different 4-inch squares, so in this way each row has all 6 fabrics.  I was careful not to have any one fabric end up next to itself, so it took quite a lot of planning to get it to look the way I wanted it to.  Below you can see the fabrics as 4-inch squares.
Because of the way I put everything together, I did a lot of pinning of pairs of fabrics so I could then chain piece everything.
Once I had all the squares put together, I laid everything out on my dining table to make sure it looked OK.  Then I put them all in order so I could piece the rows together and then the entire top.  The runner is about 16 inches wide and 84 inches long.
After I finished piecing the top, I had to choose my backing and binding fabric.  I had a coordinating fabric that matched the top that I was planning on using for the back, but I took the top in to Spool to show the girls and Olga got really excited about picking out backing fabric, so I ended up with some new fabric!  Oops.  She suggested this wonderful pearlescent polka dot patterned fabric.  It makes the runner reversible and now one side is very festive.  Also, because of the simple repeating pattern, it was easy to piece it without having it look odd.  Olga also suggested the striped fabric to use as the binding, which I think ended up working out perfectly.  I finished the piece off with just simple diagonal quilting lines.
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I wasn't planning on washing the quilt before giving it to her because it was lying so flat and I figured that would be best for a table runner.  But because I hadn't pre-washed my fabrics, I was worried about what might happen the first time it was washed and I didn't want it to be a surprise for my mom, so I washed it right before Christmas and it turned out lovely!  I actually prefer the look of a quilt after it's been washed and it puckers a bit in between the quilting stitches.  I couldn't wait for my mom to open the runner on Christmas and when she did, she loved it!  That's what makes it all worth it.
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Happy New Year everyone!  I have several projects planned and I can't wait to get started on them.  The only problem is that I'm having some trouble with my machine ... the bobbin tension doesn't seem to be quite right - I'll have to take it in to the Vac and Sew center where I had it serviced and see if they can fix it up for me.