Sunday, September 7, 2014

September ALYOF Goal: Fabric Letters

Way back before Christmas, I used this tutorial to make a set of fabric letters for my 2.5 year old nephew. Because I finished them approximately 3 hours before I had to wrap them, I forgot to take a photo. My sister-in-law took these photos for me after the fact:

It was fun to dig through my scraps to find fabrics to use, and I had the letter print you see above that I used to make a drawstring bag. This was a quick and easy project to do!

Fast forward to the end of May, and that same nephew was about to turn 3. I decided a set of numbers would be a great gift and dug through my scraps again.

This time I remembered to take a photo before gifting them. 
And of course my boys wanted to be in a photo too!

So when August rolled around and a certain boy in my house was turning 3 (the redhead above), I decided he needed his own set of letters. I actually made these the day of his birthday--that's how quickly they sew up! I love the fabric I found for his drawstring bag, too.

I have another nephew who will be turning 2 in September, and I've been planning to make him a set for his birthday. With this in mind, I was smart when pulling fabrics for my son's set--I cut enough pieces for both sets at the same time, so all I have to do is assemble the little quilt sandwiches, stitch the letter shapes on each one, and cut them out. I feel like the fabric selection is the most time-consuming part of this project, so I'm thrilled that I'm done with that part already!

And so, my September ALYOF goal is to finish the set of letters and drawstring bag for my nephew's birthday. I'm hoping that he'll like them as much as the other two boys do!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

WIP Wednesday: quilts for my big boys

This is one of those projects that's been a long time in the making...

I've had plans to make bed quilts for my two bigger boys (5.5 and 3) for a couple years, and I had a color pattern in mind, thanks to this inspiration page from a Sherwin Williams brochure:
(My older son has seen this picture--and approved the color scheme--
but wants to know when Daddy will be installing the barn door on the closet!)

My nursery decor had been teal and mocha, so the boys' room (they share) was already painted a similar shade to the teal you see here. I loved this palette and wanted to use it for their "big boy" room. My now 3-year-old was less than a year when we moved into our house, so I had time to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. I ran into the Cranberry Chutney pattern by Madison Cottage Design at Quilt Festival in 2013 and fell in love. 

The plaid look each block had was perfect for two growing boys--not too childish, but not too grown up. That same day, I bought a bunch of fabrics in my color scheme. Which I then sat on for about nine months. 

This spring and summer, with the new baby on the way, it was time to start the redecorating process. My mom and I cut everything we needed and split it in half--we would each make 99 blocks!

Here are some in progress shots from my design wall as I made blocks and put them up on the wall. Did I mention that 99 blocks is A LOT? I am so happy that mom volunteered to make the other 99!

And the finished layout for one of the quilts--just needs to be sewn together! I think there might be an end in sight for finishing the boys' room!

Here's a peek at the repurposed dresser in the boys' room--the quilts will help to tie the colors together!

So that's what I'm working on this week (and have been working on for several weeks!). My next challenge is the quilt backs--I'm thinking I'd like to make the backs look like a single block (so one main fabric with several strips intersecting through it). What do you think? Any other backing ideas?

Not looking to get overly detailed in the back piecing, but I'd like something more than just a plain quilt back. And, I don't have any blocks left (nor any of the fabrics from making them--I bought just enough!), so I can't do a row of blocks--matching ones, at least--on the back.

Linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Block Happy 2

A little more catch-up here...several months' worth of do.Good Stitches blocks for the Believe circle to share with you. I always love seeing how everyone's blocks look and then how the finished quilt comes together! 

April blocks: fun little Scotty dogs in black or gray with bright bowties.

May blocks: an improv pick-up stick looking block design in orange, yellow, green, turquoise, and dark purple/blue

June blocks: a transparent-looking "LOVE" block in sunset colors

July blocks: Easy patchwork with a white center square and frame, in shades of blue, turquoise, and purple

August blocks: Flying geese blocks of any design, in a yellow, coral and periwinkle palette. Everyone's blocks are different--can't wait to see how this quilt comes together!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Block Happy 1

The Great Lakes Modern Quilt Guild meets in person every other month. To keep us busy during the off months, we hold an online activity. A block is chosen (that's actually part of my role in the guild--to choose the block for this activity--such a fun "duty"!), and anyone who wants to participate makes one (or more) block(s), posts them on Facebook, and then brings them to the following month's meeting. One lucky person wins the drawing and goes home with a quilt full of blocks. You may remember that I won last September's improv herringbone blocks and stitched them into this quilt.

I'm catching up here, so I have a couple month's worth of blocks to share:
First, the tipsy stacks block (this first photo is oriented the wrong way to understand the name...check out the second block, with turquoise, for the name to make more sense).
The color rules: Use black and white fabric with shades of a single color in the center.
Find the guild post about this block (including link to the tutorial) here.

Second, the "X Marks the Spot" block.
The color rules: shades of gray for the background, a solid for the "X" and a coordinating print for the center square.
Find the guild post about this block (including the link to the tutorial) here.

This awesome spiderweb block is the online activity for our September meeting. We held a text fabric swap at our July meeting, and those fabrics make up the center of the block. The rest is just scraps. Can't wait to see all of these blocks together, going home with one lucky winner!
Find the guild post about this block (including link to the tutorial) here.

I think this last block design is going to be in particularly high demand at the next meeting...I've heard that everyone is hoping to win these!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

August ALYOF Goal: complete!

This month might have been my earliers ALYOF goal completion ever...although you wouldn't know it since I'm not actually blogging about it until the very end of the month! 

I've mentioned a couple times that my due date for baby #3 was in August, and I wanted to get my goal (quilting the quilt you see below) done before the baby came, figuring life might get a little crazy afterwards. 
And guess what? I did get it done. About a week before this little guy arrived:
(My mom and I sewed the animals before my first son was born, back in 2009. They are part of my  nursery decor, so I couldn't resist a little photo shoot today of Mr. B., who is one week old!)

Oh yeah, back to the quilt. I pebble quilted all of the white areas except the outer border, which I really liked and actually enjoyed doing. The quilting on the colored parts of the disappearing ninepatch squares as well as the outer border is a back and forth wavy line. It works fine as a filler, but it's nothing exciting. However, I'm happy to have this done! Thinking my September goal might be to bind it...

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

August ALYOF Goal

So...I didn't make my July goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. While this was not the (whole) reason why, I still thought I'd share.

See the belly?!?!

What kind of crazy person makes a goal that involves basting a quilt (albeit small) when 8.5 months pregnant? Oh yeah, I guess that would be me.

I could have finished. But it would have involved staying up late the last two nights in July, and quite frankly, I'm craving and conserving sleep right now before the baby comes!

I'm almost halfway done, and it looks like this:
I really like the pebbling in the white. I'm a little less enthused about the wavy lines in the colored parts, but I think the white is what will stand out, so that's what matters.

I'm repeating my July goal for August--to get this quilt top quilted. And being almost halfway there, even with a baby on the way, I should make it!

Monday, July 7, 2014

July ALYOF Goal

I have been stalling at choosing my July A Lovely Year of Finishes goal for a couple reasons. 
First, we're going on vacation next week, which definitely shortens the time I have to finish something this month. 
Second, I'm six weeks away from my due date, and my focus has been the baby, to a name for the baby (!), to finding bunk beds for the boys' room so the baby can have the crib, to vacation, to work I need to finish before my due date, to wondering when the baby will get the picture! 

This morning I decided on my goal: it's to machine quilt this top that I completed two summers ago. I still haven't decided exactly what I'm going to do (though simple straight lines sure are compelling!), but it seemed like fate that this post from the Free Motion Quilting Project popped up in my blog reader this morning. Hmmm...a post specifically about machine quilting a disappearing ninepatch, with a promise of an easier design option being posted tomorrow? Talk about ready-made inspiration!

Stay tuned to see how this quilt gets quilted (happily it's fairly small--about 48" wide), as well as how all my other wanderings/wonderings turn out over the next 6 weeks!