Wednesday, August 31, 2011

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Ahh my first one. Drawing back the curtain to see how much nonsense I have going on.

To set the stage...


SUMMER SAMPLER! - HOORAY and it looks excellent if I do say so myself.
Summer Sampler
Actively in the Queue

1. Billboard Quilt Along - Completed the letters "W" and "A" hope to finish the "R" tonight
2. Farmer's Wife Quilt Along - 27 Blocks done, one more TBD this week. - Should be no problem
3. "100 quilts for kids" charity quilts - 4 sets of squares ready to go!

and like Ravelry...

1. Another city subway map. Half the squares are done. Not everything is cut. I'm waiting until my sewing skills improve a bit more so the more difficult blocks come out nicer. I'm already going to have to redo at least one at this point.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Summer Sampler and a 13 mo old baby


I know!! 13 MONTHS I can't even believe it.  Firstly, she is such a big girl, she was so small last year and now she is running and babbling and secondly, we've only had her for 13 months!  It seems unbelievable that she was never with us, when in reality my husband and I were without children for the first 6 years of our relationship!


So the quilt... I LOVE IT!  The quilting is blocks is bias lines that are 3/4" apart.  There are seven in a pack, then about 6.5" later I repeated.  The effect is that the center of every block has a diamond of 36 blocks.  It looks so fantastic on the blocks, it highlights them and conceals mistakes at the same time!  There is also a grid in the squares inbetween it all looks amazing!  I did the quilting during hurricane Irene (which for us was just a windy rainstorm).



The back is white flannel which is incredibly snuggly and some scraps that I arranged.  They are 5" wide and just whatever fit!  I think it looks fresh and modern and the quilting sets it off nicely. 

I wanted the binding to be Loulouthi as well, but the acquisition of the fabric in question was going to be time consuming and expensive so I went for this cheery coral polka dot!  It is super cute.


I have already taken a nap under this blanket.  It worked VERY well.   As you can see kitties find it suitable for naps as well.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Liz - Fun Hurricane Weekend

Yesterday was my birthday!  Hooray!  My wonderful husband got me THIS!!  CAN YOU BELIEVE IT! 

He also made me steak and fries for dinner with a red wine sauce, and brownies for dessert. MMMMM.  It was a great day

Having a birthday at the end of August typically means there is a hurricane somewhere, and occassionally there is some rain from a hurricane, but this year, (supposedly) we are a bit closer to the path.  We live about 40 miles outside DC, and I think it's going to be drizzling and windy.  Nevertheless we have put the deck furniture away.

What is funny is yesterday was a nice day, and before we went to the store (really to just get stuff we're low on...) I made sure to spray baste my Summer Sampler quilt!  Yep!  It has to be done outside when it's light out, and ideally my husband is there to help me.  So it's ready to be quilted.  I figured i'd be home all weekend and wanted to get that going.  No pics because the back design is a surprise :)

I spent the morning today making Barefoot Contessa Panzanella.  Delicious.   I bet she was evacuated from the Hamptons.  Oh well.  I'm enjoying her recipes to ride out this storm in style :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer Sampler Top FINISHED!

Today after Isabella and I took our morning walk, I decided it was time to photograph the top of my Summer Sampler!  She as always was incredibly helpful.  The weather here in NoVA (earthquake notwithstanding) has been glorious this week and we've been really taking advantage of it.
Summer Sampler Top Done
I first sashed all the blocks in Kona white with 2.5" sashing... This was required because the blocks were vastly different sizes, I then cut them all to 14.5x14.5 This looked amazing. I have never cut blocks down to make them the same, and they all looked incredible.

Next I added 2" sashing in between them to connect them all together. I used a method just casually mentioned to me by Kate of SwimBikeQuilt, she told me to measure my area to be sashed, cut the sashing to fit and then MAKE SURE IT FITS! WELL, I had always jsut worked with big long strips and sewed them on. This apparently is a terrible idea because when you actually measure and make it fit, things turn out SQUARE! So this is the most rectangular thing I have ever made. It is only 1" off from side to side,and that's only on one side, the other dimension is perfect! THANK YOU KATE!
Summer Sampler Top Done
Incidentally Kate (and all of us in the Modern DC Quilt Guild) are starting the 100 quilts for kids project.  Note the button on the side of the blog ->  Please take time to check it out and even participate!  Goodness knows we all have stacks of quilts lying around (well I actually only have 3) and could easily take some time to whip one up for someone else.
Summer Sampler Top
I am extremely excited to quilt this up. I have some neat ideas and i'm jazzed to try them out.
Unfortunately I'm feeling uncreative about the back, so I'm not sure that will be all that excting, but
hopefully it will be finished soon and ready for snuggling!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

ikea quilts

I love ikea fabric. It's 48" wide and comes in 3yd hunks for about $6. The colors are really bright and fun, and I think perfect for new baby quilts.
Twin Ikea quilts, chilling on the porch
These two are for my friend who just had identical twin boys. Yep. How neat is that! Babies require almost and infinite amount of blankets, so I think these will make a wonderful gift to be used as a blanket or play mat or whatever!
The front is the fun hippo print combined with a big wide stripe that I cut into triangles and sewed together to make that nifty concentric square thing happen. I'm thinking of posting a tutorial on how to make that work every time. It's a great way to make striped fabric really work for you.
flannel and hippo backs!
The back is a bright fun flannel with just a band of the hippo print. The binding is another stripe. I attempted to machine on this binding, but frankly it took as long as it would to hand sew it. I will continue to work on this skill, but i'm not in "love" with how the machined on binding looks, and I really like the last moments with my quilts before they are finished, quietly hand sewing. It provides closure.
Twin ikea quilts enjoying a lazy summer afternoon
As you can see the quilts then took a trip around my neighborhood. I am always looking for fun new ways to photograph my projects. Especially during the nice warm months!
watching the fountain in the grass

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Billboard Quilt Along.. the back

So I cut out 130 5.5" squares, and I started arranging them and thought I would do the ENTIRE back with 5" squares with 1/2" sashing; Kona Eggplant 1/2" sashing to be specific.
arty shot :)  same strips
I started sewing the strips together, after 10 strips of 10 squares I got BORED.
arty shot again :)
I decided to just make a big block of 10x10 and then just put some Eggplant around, like a pretty stained glass window. So I've still got some strips:)
100 5.5" squares.   in strips...
Then I took this picture, and now I'm wondering if i want to go another direction entirely. :)
Strips of squares that will be the back of my bilboard quilt

Luckily it's time to start making the letters on the front so this can chill out, marinate.
pile o' strips for the back of the bilboard quilt

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Farmer's Wife Week 12!

Well folks we are one week away from being 25% done! 
This week was alot of fun!  Did anyone else notice that these two blocks were very similar?  Essentially the same actually.  I used the templates, even though they don't come out as pretty as the paper piecing; I am way too stingy with my fabric to paper piece. 

It has become a Sunday tradition for me to do my blocks for the upcoming week. 

Have a great one:)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Billboard Quilt Along!!!

Elizabeth Hartman is hosting a new quilt along!  Hooray!  I'm so excited.  We are making billboard quilts.  That is a quilt that has big large letters, go see her post it explains it all.  I'm so excited!

As a gift for my baby's first birthday,  I received the ENTIRE collection of Joel Dewberry's Heirloom Fat quarters!!  So pretty!  Anyone who has a baby knows that first birthday is mostly for the parents, and frankly surviving the first year deserves a gift.
So I had a great idea!  One side of the quilt will have something clever on it, appliqued and patchworked... here is my sketch!
Quilt plan for Billboard Quilt
Elizabeth Hartman walks you through creating this chart, I think it would have taken me 2 weeks w/o her instructions, instead it took about 20 min.

The OTHER SIDE will just be a beautiful patchwork of these spectacular fabrics!  I'm going to make the patchwork like the front, and then do the letters as the back, this way I can work both sides at the same time!  Hopefully there will be enough left of my 26 fat quarters to make a scrappy binding.


I was so excited at my plan I got cutting 5.5" squares immediately.  I decided to use the Ruby and Sapphire colorways, saving the Citrine for a lovely throw for my bedroom.

mmmm pretty squares.
This is a conference table from Ikea, it makes a WONDERFUL sewing table :)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Farmer's Wife Week 10 and 11

Week 10 and 11
How much do I love this quilt along.  The blocks are hard enough to be fun, and change constantly.  The one thing I think about whilst making all these blocks is how on EARTH would anyone make an entire quilt of the super fancy blocks?  Making one is fun, but after that, ugh!  There are easier ones interdispersed.

Week 10, I ABSOLUTELY love Churn Dash, I love the colors I used and everything about it.  It wasn't even so hard.
Week 10
Week 11 - Corn and beans and Contrary Wife, HA.  That's me :)  Corn and Beans gave me much pause it's 42 tiny little triangles.  I'm just not that precise.  But I went slow and it actually turned out beautifully! 
Week 11
Here are all 22 in their glory.  They are really starting to come together, I am roughly 20% done!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Summer Sampler Blocks DONE!

Week 4 complete!  Hooray!  I accomplished this while on vacation to upstate NY.  This means my Mom who is a very precise sewer was able to help me out so my squares are really good this week.

I'm not sure about the colors on this one... hopefully it will merge with the others


I enjoyed making this block, I wanted to use a bunch of green, I think it looks sharp!

My goal for the final block was to not use any white at all.  I am now offically running out of the fabrics I chose for the sampler so this is what had to happen based on what was left!.


All together now...

I am now going to throw a skinny border (probably pieced) around them before sashing and attaching!!

Thankfully another quilt along starts Monday :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Finished Swoon!

My Mom and I started this quilt the last week in June (2011).  It was the first quilt she had ever made, and I'm certainly a novice myself.  We both fell in love with the pattern, and she is a big fan of red, white and blue fabrics.   The DS line from Joann fit our needs perfectly.  (I have a ton left for sale in my Etsy Store)

After the top and back were finished, I ordered some super warm Dream in Cotton Batting.  This stuff is so fluffy and WARM.  It's cold here in upstate NY and warm batting is required.  It also gave the quilt a puffier finish which appealed to my Mom.

I drew straight lines in a diagonal grid, and we split the quilting, again her first time....  We then followed the most excellent tutorial on Red Pepper quilts to make the binding.  It is practically like magic, it works perfectly every single time!  My Mom then did the last round of hand sewing and VOILA a beautiful quilt for her bedroom. 

We are both feeling pretty proud of this endeavor.

The back was a collaborative effort, I thought it would be cool to make a "really big" swoon block.  I got out some graph paper to try some color options, I wanted to use more than just two fabrics, in the end we settled on four different colors, and used on additional flying geese unit on each side.  The square measures 4'x4' and almost five feet after the borders around it were put on.  The remainder of the back was my Mom's favorite large print from the DS line.

The plan now is to make some coordinating shams for her bed.  We have a tentative design, and we'll see how it all works out!  This really is a fantastic project!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Summer Sampler Week 3

Week 3!
So far!  The end of Week 3.

This week I decided to use more colors on the blocks.

Week 3

I'm excited to get this thing finished!  In all honesty I haven't started week 4 yet, which isn't like me, but I'm on vacation and frankly I don't have time :)  It's fine, really.  The blocks are also getting really hard and I don't want to rush.


This for some reason is 12.5" x 11"  It went together perfectly, and I have no idea why it's not square. 


This is really a terrific quilt along, and I hope I can find another fun one after this is over!