Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Brrr! Quilt and Pillow

I knew I wanted to pair the Brrr! Laurie Wisbrun and Robert Kaufman sent me, with some Kona solids.  I pulled Kona red, jade green, aqua, medium grey, and white, as well as some prints from my stash.  I edited this stack as I started piecing.  I found that the darker gray and blacks were overpowering the others, so out they went.  Prints with a lot of white were great coordinates, and I love a good stripe and dot.
I wanted to keep the quilt really simple to feature the large polar bear dots fabric.  You can cut one bear dot from a 3 1/2 inch square or four dots from a 6 1/2 inch square.  I made a classic patchwork throw with 6 inch squares (finished).  I think fabric choice is what makes or breaks this style of quilt, and I mostly happy with my choices.
The quilt is 54 x 66 which is a great size for a couch quilt.  I backed it with Ruby gray scallop in flannel.  This is super snugly!
And this pillow is actually the first idea that came to my mind when I saw the fabrics.
I don't know why, but I just thought the bears wanted to take a rocket ship to the moon.  Hopefully Laurie will appreciate the whimsy of this piece as much as my boys do.  I added some hand stitched details to the ship with pieces of selvage for fun.  The moon rocks are machine quilted with a pebble design and I added some stars in the sky.
I used the freezer paper applique method and stitched it down with my machine.  The little portals/windows were done the same way but reverse applique.
The back of the pillow is just as cute with larger pieces of my two favorite prints.
Come back tomorrow for one last little Brrr! project and a giveaway!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Feathered Nests

I finally got my quilt back from Stitch, and I'm excited to show you a few more shots of it.  Thanks to my husband for holding up the quilt on a very chilly, windy day. You can download the quilt pattern now as a pdf.  Click the photo below for an affiliate link to the pattern.

My quilt was in the Feather Your Nest section of the magazine.  I chose Valorie Wells' Nest fabrics, along with some coordinates.  See Aunt June's feather fabric there on the right in lime?  Perfect! I used a big panel of the feature fabric on the back of the quilt.
Angela Walters brought out the theme brilliantly in the quilting.  Can you see she quilted a few of the shoo fly blocks as nests, complete with eggs in the center?  The other blocks are done with beautiful feathered shapes and pebble quilting. 
You can see it more clearly on the back.  Angela's quilting took this quilt to a completely different level.  Thank you, Angela!
You can read more about  this quilt and the block I designed for it here, here, and here.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Scrappy Bibs

I've been pondering how to use the lovely stacks of squares I created from my scraps.  A pillow?  A granny square quilt (just posted today and now on my must make list!)?  Then I remembered a pattern I bought a bit ago that I've been wanting to try.  The Best Bib by JCasa handmade is perfect for these squares because it calls for a 10 x 10 piece of fabric.  Twenty-five squares later you are ready to cut out your bib, or bibs in my case.  I couldn't stop with one!
This is the perfect scrap project.  I used the squares for the top, scrap batting in the middle, larger scraps for the backs and scraps of bindings for the tie. Such a good feeling.
This is also the perfect project to practice your free motion quilting.  It's small and you're done in no time.  Go ahead and try out some new designs.  I quilted each bib differently.  I love the leaves and vines.  My hearts need more work.
These make me pretty happy, and they need to be together, don't you think?  The set is now in my shop.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A First

Today I get to share a big first for me - my first quilt pattern published in a print magazine.  My quilt appears in Stitch, Spring 2012.  It is very cool to see it in print, as I haven't seen it since I mailed it away in August.  When I get the quilt back, I'll take lots of photos to show you the incredible quilting Angela did on it.  I'm sorry to see that the magazine seems to have overlooked giving her credit as the quilter, but anyone who sees this quilt will know someone amazing worked on it.  More pics to illustrate that soon.
You may remember this shoo fly quilt design from my shoo fly blocks using Good Folks fabric.   This one is in my WIP pile awaiting my attention. 
Now that you've seen it in two different color ways, I hope you're thinking of how it might look in your own fabrics.  This modified shoo fly block uses stitch and flip corners to reduce the number of pieces and seams in each block.  If you choose, you can create HSTs from the trimmed corners and make a baby quilt with them, like I did.  This block is oversize, so it's great for fat quarters and larger scale prints.  The quilt finishes at 60 x 90.  I'd love to see what you make from the pattern.

Update: This pattern is now available as an individual pattern download, and it's on sale!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Focus on Free Motion Quilting

My friend, Vicki, from Sew Inspired is doing a month long Focus on Free Motion Quilting.  She was kind enough to ask me to do a guest post on the topic.  Head over to see my two cents, and check out the posts by other quilty bloggers.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Birdie Sling

I know I'm a little late to the Birdie Sling party; just about all my crafty friends have made one or two.  Here is my version.  I made it at 75% size, since I like a smaller bag, and I used a Good Folks print and shot cotton.  I wish I could find more of that fabric.
I used two layers of fusible fleece as interfacing, which turned out to be overkill (unless you want your bag to stand on its own).  Next time I'll use just one layer and include a magnetic closure. I've already picked my fabrics for Birdie number two.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Herringbone Baby Quilt

My gray and teal scraps turned into a herringbone quilt, made minimalist.  I generally followed these instructions by Rachel, although my strips were 2 1/2 inches wide, and I made my half block 6 1/2 x 24.  If you'd like to try a herringbone block, I suggest marking the angle of the strips in your first block with masking tape on your ruler. Then flip the ruler to be sure the angles match on the other strips before your trim them.

I did some straight line quilting to echo the herringbone shape of the piecing.  I paired the prints in Kona Coal, and I got to use two Shades of Gray prints on the back that I've been saving for just the right project (notice, one of them is  a herringbone print!).
I love the contrast of the icy aqua binding, set off by one little strip of teal.
I think this quilt would look amazing photographed against a snowy backdrop, but I'm not complaining about the unseasonably warm January we've had so far!
This is a good sized baby quilt at 42 x 49, and it is listed in my shop.
With the trimmings from the herringbone blocks, I made another mug rug for my Dad.  I love this color palette for guys!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Scrapping the New Year

While I'm waiting for solids to arrive for my Brrr! project, I started sorting through my scraps.  There's a lot of scrap talk going around these days in the blog world.  There's the Scrap Attack and the Sew Scraps Along.  I wonder if this is the fabric version of the new year's resolutions.  We want to be disciplined and good and frugal. :)  Whatever the reason, I'm all for sewing with scraps. I love it, big time.  But my bins were getting a little unwieldy.  Some advice from Carla came to mind.  She cuts her scraps into strips and squares of certain sizes, so they are readily usable at any time.
So I've been working on cutting my scraps into 2.5 inch squares and strips.  I also stowed a ton of random width strips for some wonky log cabins and whatnot.  I've left the larger scraps intact, since they are useful for small projects, like dumplings, but cutting the rest down really got my bins under control.
And it seems Carla is right.  I saw those neatly cut strips waiting there for me, and they needed to be made into something. And it was so easy to do, because they were already cut!
Back with more on that later.  I'm sure there are lots of fantastic scrappy projects on the horizon.  What about you?  Are you joining in?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


Have you seen the sneak peek of Laurie Wisbrun's newest line, Brrr! coming out this summer?  Polar bears, wintery colors, dotty stripe?  Laurie, and the folks at Robert Kaufman, were kind enough to send me some to play with.  I've been a fan of Laurie's work for some time.  I really like the whimsical, quirky quality of her prints.  Remember the donkey is wellies?  This line adds the graphic element of oversized dots to the mix, which makes it even more fun.
Well, as you can see, there are more than a few fans of the fabric at my house already.  I'm excited to get started on a  project with it this week.  I've got some to share with one of you too, so check back.
Stay warm!