Friday, September 24, 2010

I *Love* Amy Butler

When Amy's 'Love' collection came out, this print was my instant favorite.  I had to buy a piece, although I had no earthly idea what I'd do with something purple!

The yummy bright mint green background (what is this color called anyways?  I think of aqua as being more blue)  is one of my favorite colors, and this shade of purple is just divine with it.

When I read that Amy(not Butler) was having a big Amy Butler bash, I thought hmmm... let's make something with that yummy fabric on the pile that you've been looking at every day for months.  Of course I didn't sit down and make it till yesterday, and here it is in all it's brilliant purple glory.  In a house that doesn't have one other speck of purple.  But guess what?  I LOVE it!  

I used the quilt-as-you-go method, because I'm still not tired of quilting that way.  I used a funny old insert that had been hanging around my storage room for years.  I kinda like the rectangular shape cause it will be perfect for an afternoon nap.  (What nap?  asks the 3-year-old)

Another new thing I tried was an invisible zipper in the bottom rather than my usual envelope style back.  I like the more tailored look for a change, and I actually had a purple zipper in my drawer.  It's been sitting there for years, waiting for purple to come back into style!

Anyways, thanks to Amy for hosting the Amy Butler Sew and Tell since it got this pillow finished for me.  If you like Amy Butler fabric or patterns, go check out her blog - she's having a link party (with prizes!).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fabric Stack

I love making stacks of fabric.  Few of them actually end up a finished project, but it's fun to dream!

The Amy Butler Love print on top is being sewn into a pillow right now!  

Hmmm...  I'm thinking this needs a few more solids, and then it would make a lovely quilt like this.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

An Evolved Rainbow Quilt

It started out with an idea to make a rainbow quilt.  I sewed 3" x WOF (width of fabric) strips together .  I didn't take a picture, but here's the little bit of leftover.  (After I had changed my mind and cut it all up into more strips, but more on that later)

I had envisioned a big happy stripey rainbow, with a small black applique down in one corner.  But once I had all the strips sewn together, it was just too....much!  Somewhere along the way I had the idea to make a few quilts out of this big rainbow chunk.  A mini 'series' if you will.   I thought I'd make one really simple quilt, and one with more complicated piecing, and maybe one with improvisational piecing.  Each quilt would use a different colored solid as the background.

For the first quilt, I cut three strips 6" wide and used Kona Snow to make a classic coin quilt.  

I did crosshatch quilting with double lines in one direction - Ashley's signature style.

Here's the back using Kona Aqua, another rainbow strip, and Kona Spearmint.

Next I pulled out some chocolate brown to make another quilt top with some more strips from this big hunk of rainbow.

I'll show you more of this one soon.  I'm thinking of backing this one with a snuggly pink flannel.

And here's the third one on the design wall right now.  I have enough rainbow fabrics left to make another quilt top, but we'll see.  I'm hoping to finish these up soon, but first on the list is a dress for my little girl's birthday.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Grey, Red and Blue

The days have been busy and drizzly, so there's been some finished projects, but no sun to take pictures, and no time to tell you about them.  I have a couple of finished, as well as works in progress, but I'll start by just showing you this simple one.  

My color inspiration began with the alphabet fabric.  It's a white background covered in all the letters of the alphabet in black.  I spotted it at the local quilt shop, and bought a small piece because I thought the letters would look cute cut up and put into something.  I decided to go with a restrained color palette.

Here's the back with a strip of my favorite blue elephants print.

Stippled with grey thread and bound with Kona Coal.

I'll soon be back with more on my next project.  

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Christmas in September

Is anyone getting in the mood for Christmas?  I'll have to admit that I'm not.  But I enjoyed making these blocks for Janice in the Fresh Modern Bee.

She sent some fun Christmas fabric and asked for pictoral blocks in any size ranging from 6.5" to 14.5".  First of all I made a stack of gifts.  

A snowy hillside with three trees.  I'm really enjoying this Bee, and can't wait to find out what next month will hold.

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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Selvedge Spool

Since I was on a roll with the 'quilt-as-you-go' method, I made a little wallhanging to put above my sewing ma chine.  It was fast and easy to make, and I think it would be fun to make a few more spools, maybe a really fat short one, and a tall skinny one, and group them together on the wall.  

Friday, September 3, 2010

A Full Review

It's now quilted, bound and washed.  And I can say with great satisfaction that it was a success! 

Fun and Easy?  Check!
Soft and Cozy?  Check!
Lovely texture?  Check!
Nice looking back?  Check!

I used a Little Folks flannel by Anna Maria Horner for the back.  As I mentioned in my previous post, I didn't prewash the flannel for this quilt, in the hopes that it would shrink evenly with the heavily quilted front.  This worked out great!  The original instructions for this type of quilt were to stitch in the ditch around the outside of the blocks, and then either tie yarn in the middle of each block, or make a small decorative stitch in the middle.  I decided to rather quilt around another set of logs inside each 12" square.  It's completely invisible from the front, but looks nice on the back.  

I chose a dark gray  binding which I think looks deevine with the chartreuse back.  I had thought of using black, but I'm really happy with the gray.  It frames it well without completely taking over.

I was planning on putting this quilt in my store for sale, but I don't know if I can do it.  I just love it too much.  And it has so many of my favorite fabrics.  It would make a perfect playmat for a baby, but my baby doesn't stay in one place anymore for more than 30 seconds...   Maybe I'll just throw it over a chair to brighten up the room.  It's so brilliant you won't notice the toys all over the floor!

I just love looking at the beautiful hideousness of the clashing colors here.  It never ceases to amaze me how the texture of the fabric and quilting it, can make a deep rose pink look nice with a brilliant cherry red!

And by the way, I found some of that owl fabric.  I'm swapping fabric for the first time, and I may be addicted!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

A New Love

A quilt-as-you-go has been on my list of things to try for a looong time.  I read that Heather would be starting a new quilt along with this method, and maybe that was what inspired me to try it now.  I was hesitant to make a big quilt right away, because I wasn't sure how if I would like a finished quilt done this way.  Would it be soft and cozy, or would it be stiff because of the dense quilting?  And I could never be sure how to do the backing so it wouldn't look funny.  I was concerned about the difference in shrinkage from front to back.  Because of the dense quilting on the front, I thought it would shrink quite a bit more than the back, and thus give the back a funny loose look.

So I started out making 12.5" blocks and decided to do a 3 block grid to make a small baby quilt.  Let me tell you.  These blocks are FUN!  Talk about instant  gratification.  I disciplined myself to use ONLY fabrics from my scraps, and I just love the bright funky look of all these clashing colors together.

I also had the brilliant idea (we'll see!) of using a non-prewashed flannel for the back.  I'm not a pre-washer, but I always pre-wash flannels, because they shrink more than cottons.  So I thought this might work out nicely since hopefully the heavily quilted front, and the unwashed flannel will shrink a similar amount.  I'll let you know how this works out.  And I'm so hoping that this quilt passes the snuggly baby quilt test, because I want to make more like this!

And does anyone recognize that chocolate brown owl print?  I had this one tiny piece that I received in a scrap pack that I bought once.  I always thought it was really  cute, but now it hit me that it would be PERFECT for some of my friend's babies.  Somehow I think it's exactly up their alley.  I'm having a bit of a hard time finding it since I have no idea of the designer or manufacturer.  Or maybe it's a JoAnn's special!  I found some on Flickr that a lady wanted to swap, but I haven't heard back from her...  Oh the joy of the hunt!

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