Tuesday, April 30, 2013

In Record Time

My kids are out of school in less than a month and I am scrambling to squeeze in as much sewing time as I can before summer vacation!  This week I had two whole days (yesterday and today) where my schedule was completely empty. That's a very rare occurrence for me this time of year.   Between end of year testing, track meets, field trips, dance practices, cub scouts, class parties, and my husband's crazy work schedule we barely have time to sit down for family dinner anymore. 

So, yesterday, with an entire day free I decided to ignore all my household duties and sew all.day.long!  It was blissful, I tell you.  I was able to get all my blocks done for the May edition of the Sew Pieceful Swap!  I'm sure my bee mates think I'm an over achieving psycho for getting them done so quickly but I know my time is quickly slipping away.  I've got to take advantage of every small window of opportunity that comes my way.

So, without further ado, here are the blocks I made:

Sew Pieceful {May} Blocks Hive #2
1. for Riain 2. for Michelle 3. for Jan 4. for Gabrielle

For my blocks I chose to knock-off this design.  I didn't actually join the club but rather just figured out the design and adjusted it to the finished size I needed.   I actually do this quite often as I'm pretty good at figuring out designs and dimensions. 

Sew Pieceful {May} Block Hive #2 for Me

I couldn't resist making a block for myself as well.
Still super happy about my color choices.

 I am shamefully behind on my other bee commitments, so today I'm planning another round of Ignore-My-Housework.  Hopefully, at the end of the day, I'll be caught up...!!

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sew Pieceful {Mosaic}

This month I jumped into the Sew Pieceful Block Swap. This will be my second group swap of the year, and while I'd love to join many more swaps, I'm trying to keep myself under control in the swap department.  For this particular swap I'm hoping to use the blocks I receive to make a quilt for my front room. I chose orange, aqua, and grey as my color scheme. 

Orange and Aqua Mosaic 

Pretty, huh?
Hopefully the quilt will end up as beautiful as the mosaic! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Happy Mail

It's always a good mail day when a squishy envelope is stuffed in the mailbox, huh?  

On Friday I received the first of two swap quilts I've been impatiently waiting on.
(And my first international package!)
I tell you, sometimes the wait is the best and worst part of swapping! :)

But it was worth the wait!
Inside were these lovelies from Kirstie.  

Her quilt is full of my favorite things:  hand-quilting, tiny piecing, and Denyse Schmidt. 
How could I not love it?!

It's already hanging amongst it's friends.
Thanks again, Kirstie!

Friday, April 19, 2013

Black and White and "Wed" All Over

For some reason Blogger was being dumb yesterday, so my post about fabric wasn't showing up in real time on any of my feeds (except Bloglovin').  If you want, you can go back and give it a read.  I thought it was a good topic for discussion.

Our oldest nephew got married last August.  Life was crazy for me then so I wasn't able to make a quilt for them in time.  I actually finished it right before Christmas, but never posted about it. So, here you go...

Having never met his new bride, and knowing that he really doesn't care about a "wedding quilt" I was left to work with her likes without really knowing how to interpret them. 
(She likes photography, vintage, all things London, and rich jewel-toned colors.) 

 I went with a simple, bold design to give it a more modern and masculine feel. I was hoping this would work for her love of vintage/photography and still be manly enough for him. 

The prints are a mix of designer and non-designer fabrics I've been collecting since last year. London didn't really make the cut in the design process, though there are some cool London prints out there that would've been fun to use.  It wasn't really working out, though.

A lovely little aqua pin dot binding tied it all together .

 For the bold colors part I chose this Tanya Whelan print that I got for 1/2 price at my LQS.  The aqua gingham is the last big piece of a vintage sheet I've been using on various projects.  I'm kinda sad it's gone. :(


This is an EASY quilt to work up.  The squares are all charm size (5"), with each block working up like a 9-patch.  I just used white as my center, and all black/whites for the remaining squares.  The sashing and borders were all cut at 5 inches as well.  

I actually had enough squares to make a 2nd quilt.  They are already sewn together and waiting for a recipient...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Designer Look Without the Designer Price

This post is part of an ongoing series of posts where I document my fabric stash purchases.
This year I am trying to keep track of my fabric intake in order to see how much I consume.  I'm not going to keep track of how much I spend, though, because then I might cry. 

Today I want to talk about fabric.
Every now and again I see comments and posts degrading the use of that "awful" fabric that is sold at JoAnn's. (For any of you who might be JoAnn haters now would be the time to turn away from this post.)  If you know me in any way you know that I am a frugal quilter.  This is my "Why I Still Love JoAnn's" post, or the "You Can Still Buy Pretty Things Without Breaking the Bank" post.  

Like most quilters I like to get beautiful top-quality fabric at rock-bottom prices. I feel completely capable distinguishing between cheap-o/thin fabrics and high quality fabrics, so while I don't love everything that JoAnn's has to offer, I definitely think you can find some gems. 

Here's a look at some of the pieces I've added to my stash from JoAnn's over the past 6 months or so.  In my opinion all are quilt shop quality prints minus the quilt shop price.

I'm thinking this colorful ric-rac piece will make a fun binding. 

 Some pretty color basics. 
In my opinion you can't go wrong with bright color + white.

 Grey can be tricky,
 but I liked that these two pieces were a little darker than what I had in my stash.

 These pieces are very Denyse Schmidt-esque to me.
Especially the one on the left.

 Here it is paired with a "real" DS print.

And a couple more.
See, blends seamlessly.

This grouping was from a quilters cotton collection.
 I thought it looked very "Spring-y" together.
 Again, beautiful colors and basic prints that are great for stash-building.

Bubble Gum Pink



And, Aqua.
(JoAnn print on the left, designer on the right.)

And there you have it... pretties, bought on a budget.

Details:  I paid around $3.75/yd for each piece, with the most expensive piece costing me $5/yd.  I pay between $9-11/yd at my LQS.  For the record, JoAnn's doesn't know me or my little blog.  These opinions are mine and mine alone.  Also, I still spend plenty of money at my LQS on "designer" fabrics.  I would consider myself an equal opportunity fabric lover.

Linking up to Really Random Thursday

Monday, April 15, 2013

Denyse Schmidt Doll Quilt Swap

My Mini Granny  for the DS Doll Quilt Swap is officially finished
and flying off to it's new home today!

Mini Granny (up close)
This was a fun little project for me.
Denyse Schmidt fabrics are among my most favorite, so it was fun to mix and match her collections for this quilt.

  Quilty Label
Trying to be a bit more creative with my label making and quilt backs these days, so this back, with it's super tiny block, makes me incredibly happy. 

  Mini Granny for DS Quilts Swap
I chose to do a very minimal amount of hand stitching, since everything else I tried was super distracting to the overall design.  It sort of disappears into the quilt, yet I kind of like it that way. 

Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 14, 2013


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Friday, April 12, 2013

Pink and Orange

I've had this stack of fabric pulled and set aside for at least 18 months. 

Pink and Orange Fabric Pull by simple girl, simple life

  I was waiting for the "perfect" design inspiration to hit me over the head.  When that didn't happen...well, nothing happened actually.  So with a strong desire to move on I've chosen an easy (and fast) design.
Progress coming soon...
I hope.

Fabrics are all Children at Play by Sarah Jane except for:
Large Pink/White stripe vintage sheet
Light Pink Woodgrain by Joel Dewberry
Tiny orange gingham from JoAnn's (I think)
Unknown Orange geometric
Pretty Please by Jennifer Paganelli for Free Spirit

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

More Smallness

Over the weekend I worked on my FLiQS quilt.  
The deadline for this round is fast approaching and I had done nothing. 

Mini Block for FLIQS
 It seems my fascination with tiny designs continues...

FLiQS Trip Around the World Quilt
A little "trip around the world."

Each square finishes around 1 inch.

FLiQS Back
And an "extra" block label to cap off the back.

*Fingers crossed* that my swap partner likes it as well as I do.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Red + White Progress

Here is a quick progress picture of a quilt I've been working on over the past few months
 (I wanted to show you some progress before I show you the finish.) 

Working on the Layout...
These are the blocks for my Red + White Friendship Sampler, made with the help of the lovely ladies in my local quilt club.   

 Last year our club celebrated it's 10th Anniversary (I've been in 4 yrs).  In honor of that big milestone we decided to help each other make a "friendship" quilt.  Each of us got to pick our own color scheme, while block designs were left up to each member's talents/discretion.  

I'm working on the finishing touches so it will be ready for the big reveal. 
(Your waiting on pins and needles, huh??)

Linking Up to WIP Wednesday

Sunday, April 7, 2013


Basted a quilt
while watching General Conference

with the help of this cute little man.

Feeling rejuvenated and ready to tackle the world now!

Friday, April 5, 2013

The Cobbler's Wife Finally Gets Some Shoes

My neighbor, who happens to be my good friend, is usually the first person I bounce my quilt ideas off of.  She knows nothing about quilting, yet is kind enough to listen to me babble endlessly about this and that related to my latest project.  She offers me gentle critics and honest opinions when I ask.  

 For the past year or so she has been bugging me about making a quilt for my own bed.  She reminds me often that I have made lots of beautiful quilts for other people, but nothing to beautify my own bedroom.  It's true, I've yet to so do.

Enter my low volume quilt, a.k.a. "the quilter finally makes herself a quilt" quilt! 

 I have loved this design since first seeing it in the Sunday Morning Quilts book last year.
I felt it was the perfect bit of calm and quietness to add to my bedroom.  

In the spirit of the book I dug out my scrap bin for this one.  I think I made 20 or so blocks (out of 72) before I figured out I needed to "supplement" my scraps a bit.  Oh well.  But I was able to use some of the last bits of my Grandma's shirts, some vintage sheet scraps, and some long neglected pin dot from JoAnn's that made it's way into the binding.  I call that a successful scrap clean out.  :)

When it came time to chose a backing I went cheapskate.  I used a strip of scraps from the front, more vintage sheets, and other low volume pieces I had left over.   I don't do pieced backs very often, but I should, as I always love the added interest they give to the quilt.

Here is a little close up of the quilting.
 I didn't have anything specific in mind so I gave my quilter free reign. This is a new design she was trying out and I think it looks so fantastic on this quilt!
I'm sure this would be a totally doable design on a home machine if you give it a try.

This full view gives you a good look at the texture of the quilt.  I haven't washed it yet, but it already has such a great feel.

And now I'm off...
Today is the last day of spring break for us.  And while it's been sunny and beautiful all week, today it is cold(er) and rainy.  The perfect kind of day to curl up and do nothing.
Happy Friday!

Quilt Finishes at 80" by 90"
Pattern by Cheryl Arkison from the book Sunday Morning Quilts

Monday, April 1, 2013

A Mini Granny {WIP}

After participating in a couple of rounds of the doll quilt swap on flickr I've gotten quite smitten with mini quilts.   In fact, I have a whole pinterest board dedicated to them.  So when I saw a swap using only Denyse Schmidt fabrics I signed right up!  DS fabrics are ones I hoard with reckless abandonment.

I find making minis both challenging and satisfying.  Challenging because of the scale, but satisfying because you can "test" out blocks/designs without committing to a large quilt.  And, if it ends up being something you don't love, you haven't wasted much fabric.

Granny squares have been on my brain for quite awhile, but I was pretty sure I didn't want to make a full-sized version.  When I ran across this cute mini on flickr awhile back I knew that's how I'd get my "granny fix."

So, here's where I'm going...
These blocks measure around 5" square.  The original directions use 2.5 inch squares while my mini version uses 1.5 inch squares.  Needless to say I am over the moon with how they turned out.  I was worried I wouldn't be able to keep them straight while using such little pieces, but the key was strip piecing them rather than piecing each square.  Worked beautifully.

This is where the challenge part comes into play for me... 
After I got done making my "little" blocks I decided to test my skills on a "tiny" block just to see if I could do it.  So the one on the left is a 5" block and the one on the right is a 3" block.  My sisters think I'm a little crazy... And I just might be! :)

Here's another picture for scale reference.  Isn't it cute?!
I'm going to use it as part of the label on the back of the quilt. 
Should be awesome!