Saturday, April 26, 2014

Master Bed Quilt Finish

Since February, this quilt has been patiently waiting on my quilting table.

I finished it yesterday and am happy to report it has found it's home at the end of my new bed.

It took me a while to figure out how to quilt it.  The pattern and colors felt very calming to me and I wanted the quilting to echo that feeling.  Finally, I stumbled upon some images of topographical maps. The curves and waves gave me the same peaceful sense so I decided to try to imitate them.  

I added some swirls for more interest.  
While I was still deciding what to do, I almost gave in to playing it safe.  I kept thinking I should just do a meander stitch over the whole thing and be done with it.  But, I didn't.  I took the time to wait for that spark of inspiration.   I took a risk and it all came together very well.  

I'm in love with the fabrics I found for the backing.  

This room is still a work in progress but I'm loving it so far.  Next on the list is window coverings. I'll post an update when I find the right ones. 

On the family front, Easter was rockin' good fun. Damen and Christy had their annual family egg hunt.  

This year, Mason was old enough to understand what it was all about.  He had a blast.  

Here we all are counting our booty.  Damen is definitely the egg whisperer of the family.  He found thirty-eight of them.  The largest haul of the day.  I'm ashamed to admit I only found a measly fourteen.

No matter, this little guy was my favorite treat of the day.  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Small projects, big inspiration

One of my goals for 2014 is to work my way through my UFO's and in the process make a serious dent in my stash.  With that in mind, the last couple of weeks have been spent working on several small, non-quilting projects I've had on my to-do list for years.  (Literally years, not exaggerating.)

These bandanas have been sitting in a drawer for years.  I've almost given them to charity multiple times but for some reason always decided to hang on to them. When I saw this tutorial in 2003, I knew what I was going to do with them.  Yes, you read that right.  I have meant to sew these aprons for 11 years!  How sad is that?  You want to know what is more pathetic?  I took me less than a half an hour to sew all four of them.  I'm sure that in the last 11 years, I've had an extra half-hour here or there.  Talk about your procrastination!   

This is my favorite Bistro apron pattern.  I've made at least 20 of them and like to keep them on hand for when I need a hostess or other quick gift.  I bought this Halloween border print because I thought it was cute but could never figure out what to do with it.  About a year ago, I cut into it after deciding it would make four lovely aprons.  I then got called away intending to get right back to them.  Uh-huh, right.  I got back to them this week. 

These mug rugs also make great gifts, so I whipped up a couple to have at the ready.  

All in all, my gift drawer has filled out nicely.  

These ballet slippers are among the several  projects that I've always meant to sew for myself but never got around to. It seems there are always projects for other people that must take precedent. Aren't they cute?  They're very comfortable as well.  

This is the pattern I used.  You can't see it very well, but the white sticker on it says, "The Maui Quilt Shop."  Yep, I bought the pattern 5 years ago when we were living in Hawaii.  My plan was to make a bunch of them to keep in a basket by the door for visitors since the custom in Hawaii is to remove your shoes upon entering someone's home.  
Yeah, that didn't happen.  Don't judge me.  

This blouse is, by far, my favorite project.  After my Aunt Twila passed away, this piece of fabric was among the vintage sewing paraphernalia I inherited from her.  I have been terrified to do anything with it because it is so special to me.  After three years, I finally decided it's better to use it than hoard it.  Even at that, my hands were shaking when I made the first cut into it.  I was terrified I was going to make a mistake and ruin it.  
You want to know what was the coolest part of the entire process?  When I unfolded the fabric to lay out the pattern, the date on the selvage said 1962.  She bought that fabric the year after I was born and then never got around to using it.  Or perhaps, she loved the fabric so much she just couldn't bear to cut it.  Whatever the reason, I can totally relate and somehow, it makes me feel closer to her.  I miss her so very much.  I hope she approves of what I made.  In her day, she had a great eye for fashion.
I can't wait to wear it.  I'm thinking it will look great with a kicky, little denim jacket.  

Here are a couple of blocks I whipped up for my guilds.  Speaking of my guilds, I am totally loving both of them.  They both have very different personalities.  

One has a more modern feel. The other is pretty traditional.  But I've met some lovely ladies in each group and have made some great new friends.  

I spent today with my traditional guild sewing for their annual charity quilt sew-in.  I had a great time.  You know by now how much I love to quilt but I love it even more when I can quilt for a good cause.  

Here is the quilt top I finished.  

Lastly, I wanted to share my favorite talks from the most recent General Conference of my church
I love Ted Talks.  I find them interesting and informative.  But what is shared is rarely inspiring and definitely not life changing.  
Here is my promise and my testimony.  The men who give these talks are men of God.  If you listen to what they say with a pure heart and real intent, you will be inspired. And if you follow their counsel, it will change your life. 

As always, I will put my favorite talk in my side bar where it will remain until the next conference.  Below are the links to the other talks that really touched me.  

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fabric Map Redo

Warning! Badly lit photos ahead!
Lately, this seems to be a trend with me.  This time though, it's kind of out of my control.  I hung my latest project in an awkward corner of my stairwell with absolutely no natural light.  With my limited photography skills, I did the best I could.  

I finished the map.  I love it!  It turned out perfect; both colorful and whimsical.

I chose an organic, straight-line method for the quilting.  I think it gives it a modern edge.  These heart buttons found in the clearance bin make perfect markers to commemorate each state we have lived in.

It's hard to believe we have lived in so many places.  From Hawaii to Maryland with several states in between.  Although, Matt made the point that technically we didn't live in Maryland since he was only commuting there, I disagree. Our lives revolved around that state for almost a year.
He had an apartment there for 9 months and only came home for weekends once or twice a month.  Also, I go there and stay for several days.  In my mind, we lived there.

Even without last weeks disaster, this project was a pain in the backside.  There was a ton of detail work; tracing, cutting, ironing, and raw edge appliqué.  But, now that it is finished and looks so cute, it was worth all the trouble.
Just don't ask me to do it again.