Colorful Fabrics for a New Project

Despite the fact that I’ve got a couple of WIPs that I really need to finish, I’ve recently gotten started on a new project.  I’m working on two different baby quilts now that are going to be a matching set.

On a recent trip to my LQS, I bought a variety of cotton solids in a rainbow of colors.  I mixed and matched between designers a bit so the set has Kaffe Fassett Shot Cottons, Pepper Cory’s Peppered Cottons, and Andover’s Textured Cottons all included.

Textured Fabrics - 1

I tried to find fabrics that would pretty true to the “standard” colors of the rainbow.  I was basically envisioning opening an 8-count box of crayons and trying to match what the colorful crayons would look like.

Textured Fabrics - 2

Since I’m pairing these colorful solids with Kona white for the background, my LQS recommended that I pre-wash everything.  They said my colorful solids would shrink at a different rate than the background.  So I bought some pinking shears and embarked on my first pre-washing ever.  And I’m going to be honest, I’m not a fan of having to pre-wash.  Between trimming with the pinking shears and cutting off the frayed edges after washing, you lose a good bit of fabric.  And it takes a lot more work!

Textured Fabrics - 5

But I finally got everything pre-washed and re-ironed and could actually start cutting into it.  I cut out 120 squares (1/2 colored and 1/2 white) so that I can make 60 half square triangles and 60 hourglass blocks.

I know everyone seems to rave about shot cottons but so far I’m not a huge fan of working with these colorful fabrics.  I’ve had a lot more issues with fraying as I cut than I’ve ever had before with Kona solids.  I tried starching the fabrics and that didn’t seem to help either (if anything, it might have been worse after starching).  But I did successfully get everything cut!

Textured Fabrics - 3

And now I’ve been doing a ton of chain piecing and sewing everything together.  Luckily, both HST and hourglass blocks make for easy chain-piecing.  I love how all the colors look all stacked together!

Textured Fabrics - 4

I can’t wait to start getting everything laid out and see these quilts come together!

Finished Bungalow Quilt Top

Well this post is a long time coming.  Not because it took me long to sew together the quilt top (it actually went together pretty quickly).  But it was over a week after I finished the quilt before I could even take any photos!  A combination of rainy weather and a couple of late days at work where it was already dark when I got home and all of a sudden more than a week had passed.  So without further ado, here is my finished Bungalow quilt top!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

This quilt was made using the Easy Bricks Quilt pattern from Moda Bake Shop and I really like how the pattern allowed the larger prints from Joel Dewberry’s Bungalow line to shine.

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I haven’t worked a whole lot with precuts and I noticed when working with this layer cake that the 10″ by 10″ squares seemed to not be the right size.  I cut them in half (I measured 5 inches in from the left side) but when I paired them up with the 5″ precut white charm squares, many of the layer cake strips were too narrow.

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

Luckily this pattern was pretty forgiving and with a lot of glue basting to match seams and easing of the fabric, I was able to make my seams line up well enough.  But I was a little annoyed about the inaccuracy.  Has anyone else noticed this with precuts before?

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I love the colors in this quilt.  There are some great jewel tones and really saturated prints!  I stressed a little bit trying to get the colors and prints balanced and I think I ended up doing pretty good!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I’ve bought some yardage from the line for the backing and am going to do a little piecing for it but hopefully I’ll be able to get this quilted up soon!

Bungalow, quilt top, easy bricks

I can’t wait to finally have a quilt I get to keep!

Stash Bee 2014 – July Block

It was great to finally get to sit down at my sewing machine again last night.  And with the end of July just days away, my first order of business was to complete my block for the Stash Bee!

Our Queen Bee for this month is Yanick who blogs over at Sewn With Curves.  She wanted us to make concentric squares with rainbow colors.  It is sort of a wonky, rainbow log-cabin like block.  She gave us a lot of flexibility in terms of finished size, squares vs. rectangles, red center vs. purple center, etc.  Here is what I came up with:

Stash Bee, rainbow, concentric squares, wonky

I’ve not done a lot of wonky sewing so I had to resist the temptation to just make everything straight!  And I know the picture looks uneven but it is just from the wonky angles.  The block fits perfectly under my 12.5″ square ruler!

Yanick’s finished quilt is going to be so bright and colorful!

Another Form of Eye Candy

Long time, no sew over here!  It’s been close to 3 weeks since I even touched my sewing machine.  But I have been busy – I promise!  My husband and I went on a week and a half long trip to Europe with two other couples that we have been friends with since college.  And we culminated the trip with a 3-day electronic music festival in Brussels!  We got back about a week ago but I’m just now starting to get back in the swing of normal life (catching up after a vacation makes you feel like you need another vacation sometimes!).

I don’t normally share much of my non-sewing life on the blog but since I don’t have any sewing projects to share, I thought I’d share some photos from our trip!  I tried to post a photo collage a day to my personal Instagram (I have separate personal and quilting IG accounts) to keep my family up to date with our travels and I wanted to share them here with you!

We started our trip in Paris.  We had about 24 hours (split into 2 half days) to see Paris while we waited for the last couple to arrive.  Luckily, my husband was the only one in the group who’d never seen Paris so we tried to cover all the big tourist hot-spots for him!  First we went up to Sacre Cour for the beautiful views over the city and then we walked around the city and did a riverboat cruise to hit the other important sites.

Paris - 2

We also wanted to include something I hadn’t done the first time I went to Paris so we spent our second half-day going down into the Catacombs!  The science nerd in me was fascinated by all the bones but I’m sure some would find it pretty creepy.

Paris - 3

Then we took the train to Amsterdam in The Netherlands where we were spending 3 days and 4 nights.  The first day, we simply explored the city.  Between checking out the Van Gogh museum, going on a canal cruise, and just seeing the beautiful bridges and buildings, we had plenty to occupy our time.

Netherlands - 2

The next day, we rented bikes and took a 3-hour bike tour around the Dutch countryside.  It was absolutely beautiful!  I think this might have been my favorite thing we did all trip!

Netherlands - 3

Our last day in The Netherlands we spent doing a day trip.  We went to two nearby cities, Delft and Den Hague.  We took another canal tour in Delft and climbed to the top of the tower of the New Church in the central square where we had stunning views!

Netherlands - 4

In Den Hague, we checked out the Parliament and the Peace Palace but our main destination was the beach.  The ocean was so pretty but the water there is freezing!

Netherlands - 5

Then we caught the train to Brugge, Belgium.  We had about 24 hours in this little city where we saw the Madonna and Child statue by Michelangelo, climbed the bell tower, biked by some windmills, and went on a canal cruise.  Oh – and enjoyed Belgian waffles, beer, and chocolate of course!

Brussels - 1

My husband and I also celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary while we were in Brugge!  One of the chocolate shops we stopped in had the perfect chocolate for us!

Anniversary - 1

Then it was on to Brussels, Belgium for our music festival.  We planned this trip around the Tommorrowland electronic music (EDM) festival.  This is one of the biggest music festivals with ~200K people attending each of two weekends and the tickets literally sell out 1 second after they go on sale!

Tommorrowland - 1

Tomorrowland - 2

This was the first music festival I’ve ever been to and we had a blast!  There were 15 stages featuring hundreds of DJs over the 3-day weekend.  We even managed to position ourselves at the very front of the crowd at the main stage for one of our favorite DJs, Krewella!

Tomorrowland - 3

Tommorrowland - 4

All in all, we had an awesome time and really enjoyed the break as well as travelling with some of our good friends!

I’m hoping to spend some time on my machine tonight so we’ll hopefully back into my normal sewing and quilting posts soon!

Any other quilters out there like EDM?  I feel like those two hobbies don’t typically go together!  Or do you have any other hobbies that you’d guess are unusual for a quilter?

A Quilt for Me!

So far, every quilt that I have made has been a gift for someone else.  Don’t get me wrong, I love giving away these quilts and it makes me happy to see others enjoying them.  But I’d also love to have a piece of my hobby and hard work for myself.  So I decided it is time to make a quilt for me!

I was really drawn to Joel Dewberry’s Bungalow line and I bought a layer cake of it a while back but had never done anything with it.  There are a lot of big, bold prints in this line so I really didn’t want to cut it up too much as I didn’t want to lose the designs in small piecing.

I found this Easy Bricks Quilt pattern from Moda Bake Shop which really fit the bill and looked like it would go together quickly.  So I sliced the entire layer cake in half and got started.  I love how the stack of fabrics looked together!

Joel Dewberry, Bungalow, fabric

Then I proceeded to do lots of chain piecing and pressed open all of my seams (which honestly took a lot longer to do 84 times than I expected!)

Joel Dewberry, Bungalow, fabric, chain piecing

But I’ve already been able to get the entire quilt top laid out!  I’ve been making a few tweaks here and there since this late night photo to try to make sure the colors and patterns are balanced but I think it’s almost ready to start sewing up!

Joel Dewberry, Bungalow, fabric

Is there anyone else like me who has been negligent in actually making a quilt for themselves?

Stash Bee 2014 – June Blocks

I feel like I haven’t spent that much time at the sewing machine these last couple weeks.  I’ve been too distracted by World Cup soccer and my sewing space renovation (I’ll be sure to share more on that once I’m done!).

But I did find time to finish my Stash Bee blocks for June!  Our Queen Bee this month is Angela who blogs over at The Nuts Blog. She requested scrappy triangle blocks using red, orange, yellow, green, and blue fabrics (but not in rainbow order).

Scrappy triangle blocks, Stash Bee

This was my first time ever working with paper templates and I found the process to be pretty easy.  It was nice to be able to use the template to quickly check dimensions while I played with my rainbow scraps.

Can’t wait to see what layout Angela chooses for these blocks!

Finished Quilt – Earning Your Cross

I’m so excited to share with you my biggest quilt finish to date!  This quilt finished at a full-sized 80″ by 88″ and I sewed and quilting the entire thing on my little domestic machine!

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

“Earning Your Cross”
Quilt Stats:
Size: 80″ x 88″
Pattern: Arithmetic by Jeni Baker
Type of Quilting: Straight line on my home machine
Date Finished: June 2014

This quilt took a lot longer than anticipated to finish but I’m so proud of the end result.  Some of you may remember from when I first posted about this quilt back in December that this quilt was a gift to my little brother to commemorate him achieving his dream job, earning his Ski Patrol cross and becoming a full-fledged member of the Ski Patrol at Snowbird resort in Utah!

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

Cross / Plus Quilt, straight line quilting

I love the fabrics I chose for this quilt!  The colors are just so bright and they really pop.  And I was really happy to see the the red still stands out within the quilt (since the Ski Patrol members are denoted by their red ski coats).  I also used a wide 108″ fabric for the backing for the first time and it was so nice to not have to piece anything together and have seams across the back of the quilt.

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

I quilted this quilt with both vertical and horizontal straight lines on either side of all of the seams.  I think it helps the crosses (pluses) to stand out.  And the stitching on the back looks really neat!  I used a red variegated thread so you can really see it against the gray backing!  This quilt was a lot of bulk to support and fit through my small domestic machine but I found that rolling the quilt in from either side allowed me to fit everything through more easily and I could adjust the two rolls as I moved along the quilt top.

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

Cross / Plus Quilt, straight line quilting

I love the label I made for this quilt too!  I actually appliqued a miniature cross onto the label which is just a little something extra compared to what I’ve done previously.  And the bias striped binding was a great finishing touch!

Cross / Plus Quilt, label

I actually finished this quilt top back in February and started quilting it then too (note the date on my label above).  But after quilting 6 very wonky lines with uneven stitches and folds of my backing fabric caught in the quilting stitches, I was crying at my sewing machine about how I was ruining the quilt and my husband (rightfully!) told me I needed to step away from it for awhile and regroup.

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

I ended up staying away from it for longer than planned as I got caught up in other projects.  But once I figured out a better system for supporting the weight and bulk of the large quilt, the quilting became much easier and I was able to finish it without any further issues or tears!  That said, the quilting alone still took me at least 16 or 18 hours!  I did rip out 4 out of those 6 original lines of quilting and fixed them too!

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

I finished this quilt late Friday night which was just in time because my husband and I were going up to Indiana for the weekend for a couple of family events.  My brother was going to be home from Utah too so I was actually able to surprise him with his (long-overdue) quilt in person!

Cross, Plus Quilt - Side by Side

I could tell he really liked it and he even ditched the hotel comforter to cuddle up underneath his new quilt instead!  I can’t wait for him to send me pictures of the quilt on his full-sized bed out in Utah!

Cross / Plus Quilt, red, white, and blue

Looks like a happy little brother to me!  (And a proud big sister behind the camera!)