Friday, November 14, 2014

Friday Finish - Plus Two!

By the time you read this post, these quilts will be in the tiny hands of their new owners. Himself & I have been waiting so long to meet them. One of my main distractions during that time was making special things to welcome them into the world. You've seen some of them here, here, here, & here.

Their quilts were by far the toughest for me. It was so hard to can read about my deliberations here. I wanted them to be special. Similar, but unique. In the end, I think I got there!
Here's Quilt A for Aaby... background is Kona Honey Dew. I love that I didn't buy any of these prints specifically for these quilts. I raided my stash and this is what I found! It means that some favourites that have been around for a while made the cut.
And here's Quilt B for Baby... featuring the same fabrics for the pluses, but with a Kona Aqua as the background.
The late afternoon sunshine doesn't do much for the colours of these two, but it shows you the straight line diagonal quilting. I wanted the negative space (background) to get the attention when it came to the quilting. The pluses are simply outlined. Both are quilted in white thread.

The backings feature large pieces of Amy Butler's Martini and Garden Maze from her Midwest Modern line, as well as a strip of Sunprint Text. These fabrics are also in the quilt tops. I love it when I'm able to use the same fabric on the front and back... though it doesn't happen often!
Rather than matching the bindings to the background colour, I went for a contrasting binding using the background from the other quilt. I really wanted these to feel like a pair!

The Deets
Title: Plus Two
Size: 35 by 44 inches
Konas Used: Aqua & Honey Dew
Quilting: Straight line diagonal using Aurifil White (Colour - 2024) 

Binding:  Aqua & Honey Dew Hand stitched with Aurifil
Backing: Martini and Garden Maze by Amy Butler, Sunprint Text
Favourite Part(s): Making something special for my own babies!

If I'm able, I'll be linking up with Finish Up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts. But then again, I might just have my hands full!


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

WIP Wedneday - Charm Pack Cherry sans cherries!

I did it... I jumped on the bandwagon. I kept seeing these fabulous quilts around the blogosphere made from Fat Quarter Shop's Charm Pack Cherry Pattern. In search of some quilty distraction, I grabbed one the charm packs that has been languishing on my shelf and got to work!
Thank goodness I had a small bolt of Kona Snow on hand... I always worry about mixing prewashed fabric and "fresh" fabric. Cutting straight from the bolt took some of that away.... now I'll just obsess about whether the colours are going to run when washed. I am such a creature of habit!

If you're looking at these fabrics and thinking "These seem just a little off...", you wouldn't be wrong! I'm not a buyer of charm packs. These were a thank you from Sew Sisters for taking up their Kona Club Challenge. Don't panic - I haven't gone all floral on you! 
I was having a hard time not planning my fabric selections, so I grabbed a plastic bin and gave the charm squares a good shake. It makes plappy (planned+scrappy) quilts a little more doable!
First up, I had to sew some nine patch blocks. Nothing too wild and crazy there! The only tricky bit was that the pattern called for 2 charm packs (72 print squares) and I only had one. I figured I'd wing it and see what size quilt I could come up with.
 In the end, there were just these two sad squares left. Those tone on tone ivory dots wouldn't work at all!
 Some of the completed blocks pre-slicing.
I've said it before, I'll likely say it again. There is something that makes me VERY uneasy about slicing into a completed block.
To get enough blocks to make a 3 block by 3 block quilt (as opposed to the pattern's 4 block by 4 block layout), I had to get a little creative with the leftover bits!
But in the end, it all worked out! Once you figure out that there are two types of blocks and figure out how many you need of each, adjusting the pattern is pretty easy. It helps that slicing the nine patch blocks isn't a point of no return!
The finished top is roughly 40 by 40 inches. It came together in just a few hours over two evenings... not too shabby! I'm already thinking that this could be a fun way to use those Kona Charm Squares I won! And I'd get the bonus of crossing off all 32 new colours from my Kona Love list!

I'm hoping to link up with WIP Wednesday @ Freshly Pieced and Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts. If you find that I haven't, you can rest assured that my biggest WIP, Double Trouble, has made some real progress this week!


P.S. If you're a blogger and have made a quilt from this pattern, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your blog... maybe we'll get a few more people on the bandwagon!

Saturday, November 08, 2014


So, yeah... Kona solids have turned 30! And in honour of that anniversary, there's an awesome blog hop.
I can't believe I wasn't asked to be part of the blog hop... I mean, shouldn't there be a real life superfan among that who's who? Oh well.. I'll get over it.

I've been checking out all the stops during the hop's first week (it runs until December 3rd!) and entering all the giveaways. There's no "Rafflecopter, sign up for a newsletter, blah, blah, blah." You just leave a comment and are entered in the giveaway. And the fabric gods have looked upon me with favour! I won... I actually frickin' won! There's a charm pack of the 32 new colours headed my way. And to make it even better, I also won a free Craftsy class from Anita Grossman Solomon of Make it Simpler.

Just in case you can't get enough Kona inspiration from the posts, you can flip through (or even download) the Kona Cotton Lookbook: 30 Quilts for 30 Years. It features the quilts made by each of the bloggers on the hop! I'm drooling already!
Robert Kaufman Lookbooks - Kona Cotton Lookbook: 30 Quilts for 30 Years
And to pay homage in my own little way to Kona's 30th b-day, I'm adding a new page to my blog. If you're a Kona junkie (or want proof of my Kona-mania), check out the tab at the top of the page titled "Kona Love."


Thursday, November 06, 2014

WIP Thursday - A day late and a dollar short...

I know that WIP Thursday just doesn't have the same ring to it as WIP Wednesday, but things just didn't come together the way I'd planned yesterday! Oh well...

Last week, we had a new arrival at our house... nope, not Double Trouble, but the long awaited sectional  that we ordered (seemingly) forever ago. It's very comfy and looks great in the family room. But it needs some softening up. Those expanses of dark brown leather cry out for some pillows. My inspiration for the fabric pull came from a striped cotton twill that I've used to cover some big 'ole floor pillows.  Here's what I came up with....

I know, I know.... what's with the dull colours? Where did these Konas even come from?  They are (from the top) Mustard, Green Tea, Bonsai, Avocado, Robin Egg, Caribbean, Chocolate, & Snow. The reality is that as bright as my quilts can be at times, those tones don't always work practically in my home. Himself does like to have a say... and he's more of an earth tone kinda guy.

Anyway, I opted to make two of The Metro from Pillow Pop. Have I mentioned how great this book is? No need for me to include it in The Library Project - I've made more projects from it than from any other book I own!
This pillow is currently living on the couch... its 20 inch square size makes it perfect for lounging on, but the colours don't really work! These work much better...
 Can you figure out what Kona got dropped and what two got added? We'll see who really knows their stuff... I'm looking at you, Lynn from Buttons Quilts or perhaps you, Aimee from Candy Coated Quilts.
On to the quilting... I keep a few less than stellar prints in my stash to use as the backing when I'm making pillows. I don't like having the batting exposed and you barely see the backing once you put an envelope back on the pillow.
I went with random straight line quilting... unoriginal since this is just how it's quilted in the book. But it's quick and easy... works for me!
I marked with my trusty Frixion pen... I went for blue as I've had some troubles with red leaving ghost marks on white backgrounds.
 Here's the same section... post ironing. I just love those pens! I think it's that they mark like a ballpoint pen (since that's what they are) instead of the scratchiness of the usual fabric marking pen.
Once the pillows were trimmed, I moved on to the envelope backing. I always mean to branch out into zipper backs, but never have the right colour on hand when I need it. When I'm this close to finishing, there are no trips to the LQS! After auditioning a few backings (and finding that I really don't have a lot of large pieces of fabric in these colours!), I went for Bluebird Park by Kate & Byrdie that I bought in Montréal this summer.
Love that selvage! Such a junkie...
When I sew an envelope backing, I always make sure to start and end at the section where the two backing pieces overlap. I figure that if it's going to rip, this is the likely breaking point, so I stitch it a few times!
As for the pillow form, I went for re-purposing this time around. We've recently gone from two spare beds to one air mattress, so there are extra pillows floating around (and no extra closet space to store them in). I also hate throwing out pillows when they get a little long in the tooth. It's not like throw pillows get slept on nightly!

You need some sharp scissors to get through all that stuffing, but it's kind of fun! I even take the stuffing from the cut off section and bulk up the section to be used for the pillow.
And they're already on the couch... they made watching Gray's Anatomy this evening so much more comfy!
Even though this print is a little cutesy, I think it works! And there are hedgies. Honestly, I should do an entire quilt of hedgies. Perhaps a Polaroid quilt?
Though I'm a day late and a dollar short, I'm linking up with Let's Bee Social @ Sew Fresh Quilts! Thank goodness Lorna is generous with her link-up closure time! Head on over and see what others are making this week!


P.S. And since this WIP turned into a Finish, I'll likely be linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday! ☺

Monday, November 03, 2014

Zippin' up another pouch!

Last week's WIP Wednesday project turned into a finish for this Monday! Am I ever on a roll here!

 Quilting: Round 1!
Round 2! It's funny how often I have to push myself to continue at this stage... I mean, it looks good, right? I could leave well enough alone...
Round 3! So much better with the next line of stitching. ☺ This is when I realized I had failed to stitch my label onto the backing. Oh well... handstitching it is.
Hate. Trimming. The. Hexies. You will let me know when those hexies stop screaming, won't you?
I won't go into the gory details of how I made the vinyl back to the pouch. If you're interested, you can check out the last pouch I made to swap or the Noddlehead Road Trip Cases I made. This one's pretty similar! To keep things tidy, I opted to round the corners. As you can see, I have a fancy tool for doing this.
Bias cut bindings make me cringe... cutting into what could be a lovely strip later on and leaving weird angled bits in my stash...
This is another reason I hate bias bindings... when I join my strips, they invariably go cattywampus on me. Grrr.
But I do love the way a bias binding magically hugs those curved corners... so I will suck it up once it a while!
 Ta da! I fear it may look a bit like a potholder.
 And the vinyl back with zipper closure!
Now all I need to do is find a couple little treats to tuck in there... I picked up this seam ripper with a silicone topper to grab those pesky thread bits. A similar one may also have found it's way into my sewing drawer!
I'll have to rely upon the kindness of guildmates to get this one to the November meeting of Maritime Modern Quilt Guild... something tells me I'm going to have my hands full by then!

Once again, I'm just sneaking in under the wire to call this a Monday post and link up with Anything Goes Monday, this week hosted by Till We Quilt Again!