Quilts 2011

28 November 2012

WIP - the done and undone

My goal the last couple of months is to finish up some WIPs.  Too many of these projects staring me in the face and it's about time I did something about some of them.

I've finished up quite a few things...

Finally Finished!
This quilt that I gave as a wedding present to some friends.

And this, which was a wedding present to my sister and her husband.  The top was done and it was all sandwiched together for their wedding 2.5 years ago.  I finally got around to quilting it last month.  Sorry, guys!

Blackhoof Valley Quilt
And this one was for our family.  It originally was started with plans to live on our Queen bed.  Then we went and got a new bed, King sized, and it sat undone.  Right now it's living on our couch and is perfect for snuggling under on the cool nights that have arrived to Northern Minnesota.

This week I found my Hopscotch blocks that I started eons ago and lost steam on...
About half the blocks done
Things weren't really clicking for me... not sure what it was about this quilt.  I love the pattern, love the fabrics but it just didn't make me excited to work on.  There was no way I was going to make the rest of the blocks - just being honest with myself!  I started playing with the blocks and realized I had enough with the white points and the coral Amy Butler dots to make a tree skirt.  I've been wanting to replace the store bought one we've had for quite a few years.  I see a project being salvaged!

Hopscotch Christmas tree skirt
 I put it together with a bit of time the last couple of evenings and it's now living under our tree!  There are still some of the other blocks, and I see those taking on a new life as a wall hanging or table runner. (So hard to take a good picture this time of year!  Sorry about the not-so-great image!)

This is the first time in quite a few years that we've gotten our tree up this early.  And I'll admit, the last couple of years the tree is the only thing that went up (and I was digging for the stockings on Christmas Eve so Santa could visit!)  However, we got a bunch of snow on Thanksgiving evening and it put me right into the Christmas spirit!  The house is all decorated and and I'm loving the evenings of all the lights and decorations surrounding us.

There's a few more projects to knock off...

3/7th of a Scrap Vomit
(I'm 4/7th of the way done now!)

I've got a bunch of these blocks just waiting to be made into something... not quite sure yet!  I'm thinking a wall hanging for our staircase.

And I've got a bunch of 5" squares cut from voile... a project I started last year on Christmas day.  Good grief!  I really do like starting things more than finishing them!

Linking up...

Fresh Poppy Design
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

20 November 2012

Wizard of a Pillow

First Christmas present made!  A pillowcase for my 9 year old son, a HUGE Harry Potter fan. 

Based off of this pillow on Etsy, but the one I made is a pillowcase instead.  It seems like there's not much I can sew for my pre-teen boy, but when I saw this I knew I had to make it for him.  Can't wait for him to open it Christmas morning!

It has a flannel back.  The glasses are embroidered and buttons were used for eyes.

Any friends that see this... 
Sssssshhhhhhh!  Don't tell him his present! ;)  

14 November 2012

Mission: Accomplished

This last weekend was the annual quilt retreat that I have attended for 10+ years.  It's meeting up with the two friends that got me started quilting (shout out to Katrina and Holly!) when we lived in the same town and now is our annual reunion as they've scattered to new areas.  Katrina attended the retreat with her college roommate and then she started inviting family and friends and the group has grown.  This year two friends joined me and Samn and Kathy got to experience their first quilt retreat!

The retreat we go to is held at Camp Lebanon in this teeny tiny town in Central Minnesota, which means road trip!  We went through St. Cloud, MN and we shopped until we dropped.  And all fabric/craft stores... how fun is that?!  Mill End (a big fabric outlet-type store), Grubers Quilt Shop, JoAnn's, Craft's Direct (think a combo of Michael's/Hobby Lobby/JoAnn's on steroids)... and a stop at Panera for lunch!  Our town is severely lacking in the "cool craft store" department.  We have Hancock.  But come January, Hobby Lobby is coming to town!  But as for our St. Cloud visit... I didn't take a single picture.  Oops. (This is sort of the theme for the retreat)

At camp we got to work right away and my Weekender Bag was hit hard (which is one of the reasons I didn't take squat for pictures... I was in the zone.  The quilting zone.)  The first night I was up until 2:30am (but I wasn't the last one up... someone in our group was up until 4:30am!)

The bag was finished in the wee hours of the morning on Sunday at 1:30am.  And then I proceeded to stand there for a half hour -  petting the bag, opening zippers, and gazing longingly at it!

And here it is:


Ended up going with the quilt as you go method of construction with cotton duck and batting.

These were a lifesaver, holding all the layers together...


I made the straps wider (cut them at 5 inches and placed a piece of Peltex inside).  The straps were also secured them with an X between the two stitching lines.

I added two extra pockets...
Weekender Bag
One on the inside lining...  (The lining fabric I found at Mill End and it was a lightweight home dec fabric found on the remnant table)

And the second one...
Front pocket view of the Weekender Bag
 On the inside of the outside pocket piece.  Thought it would be a handy spot to put my phone or boarding pass while traveling, making them easy accessible but secure.  (Side note - The Robert Kaufmann Safety Pin fabric I found on Mill End's Remnant table.    For $3/yard I believe!  Score!)

Somehow I managed to make the whole thing without breaking a single needle.  I can hardly believe it!  I came prepared with a bunch of extras but the denim needle I put in for the construction portion held up!

Things I would do different if I were to make another one?  I would cut the batting to the right size (1/2" smaller than the pattern piece) and then oversize the cotton duck and piece work.  Then once the quilting is done, center the pattern piece over the batting, and then cut to pattern size.  Things got a bit off and my pieces weren't quite the right size.

It was a ton of work but totally worth it!  I loved having all the dedicated time to work on it and it was the perfect project for the retreat.  It's already getting lots of use!

Here are a few pictures of other projects that friend's worked on (I didn't pull out my camera until almost everyone had packed up...)

Katrina's King Size Gigantic Shoe Fly

Holly's Hexagon's (a quilt for her daughter!)

And Sophia's Christmas Wall Hanging (and hot pad!)

What an awesome weekend!  I love the dedicated time to sew and the camp takes such good care of us.  The food is amazing and the having massage therapists on hand?  Genius!  This camp knows hospitality!

Weekender BagWeekender Bag


07 November 2012

The Thrill

I *really* like starting new projects.

The thrill of pulling out new fabrics.  Trying out a new technique.  Seeing it come together.

All I was going to do last night was pull fabric for my Amy Butler Weekender bag, and get it packed up to take to the quilt retreat this weekend. Watch election results roll in and play with fabric. That's all.  

 I've been scouring blogs, reading about everyone's run-ins with this challenging bag, making notes on my pattern, and getting excited to give it a go.  Quilt as you go was my method of attack.  I got the duck and batting cut out a few days ago.  (I like going into the quilt retreat with a bit of a start on a project)

Then there sat those pieces right next to the fabrics I selected.

Just begging to be tried....

Beginning of my Weekender Bag

And there is the outside pocket for one side.

 *shrug shoulders*
What can I say?  No impulse control whatsoever when it comes to a new sewing project.

My sweet husband wondered if I'll have a project left to work on this weekend.  I can fairly confidentially say... I think so (this project is way too complex for what little extra time I have this week).... Although I'm guessing another slab will get done.  And I'm thinking that time will be right now because I have a bit of time before I have to get to work this morning!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

05 November 2012

Tying Up Loose Strings

This coming weekend is my annual Quilt Retreat at Camp Lebanon in Upsala, MN.  I'm so excited to see the friends that got me started quilting but now live hours away, work on projects, eat yummy food, and laugh/sew into all hours of the night.  Plus, this year I'll be bringing two friends with me for their first experience!  Company for the 3.5 hour car ride? YAY!!

A few weeks ago I told myself before going on the retreat I had to tie up some loose strings in the form of some looooooong overdue WIP.  The one of utmost importance was the wedding quilt that I was in the process of making for my sister and her husband.  For their wedding that happened 3.5 years ago.  Good grief.  It sat with the top all done and sandwiched together BEFORE their wedding happened, just waiting to be quilted and I couldn't get up the gumption to get it done.  But I'm excited to say that on Saturday night I handed it over to them!  Just in time for the cold weather that is sneaking into Northern Minnesota!


Excuse the "I'm standing in the closet with my phone trying to get a decent picture" picture.  

My smarty pants brother-in-law was wondering when they would get pillow shams.  I said I was planning on that gift for their 15 anniversary with an expected delivery date of their 20th anniversary.  Take that, mister!  :)

I also finished up a wall hanging that will either go on our staircase wall or in my office at work.

This wasn't a long overdue sort of one... has only been in works for a couple of weeks.  My scrap bin was an out of control mess.  I sorted through things and got stuff grouped by color.  Decided to put a little dent in the pile and made this scrappy log cabin.  It makes me happy!  It's quilted with straight lines through the blocks and the sashing is a raindrop sort of quilting.

And who appreciates the quilts the most in the house? 

Rough life
 (He was snoring so loud, laying on his back!)

Time to start getting my stuff packed for the weekend.  I'm going to tackle the Amy Butler Weekender Bag at the retreat!  Off to take notes from hearty souls that have made this bag and survived to tell their tales!