Friday, November 22, 2013

Honeydew Jam In The Park

Last night I was able to finish up the quilt for Kevin's Grandma to take back to Iowa with us tomorrow. I'm calling it Honeydew Jam In The Park seeing as I used the Honeydew Jellie from Fabric Central for the top, yardage from the Bluebird Park collection for the backing and the Jelly Roll Ram pattern from Fat Quarter Shop, plus a couple of pink and white fat quarters from a Vintage Summer bundle I picked up on Craftsy.

While I liked the fabric selection when I originally bought it, I didn't fall in love with it until I put this quilt together. I think the colors and prints are just so darn cute together :o) Anyway, enough chatter from me. On to the pictures!

Full view of the top being displayed by my ever patient model, Kevin.

Close up of the top. I love these colors!

Bluebird Park has to be one of my absolute favorite fabric collections, and I thought this aqua flower print was just perfect for the backing.

The backing and top coordinate in such a pretty way.

I just *love* these cute little tags :oD

All folded and ready to go. Yay!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Work In Progress Wednesday: Jelly Roll Jam

There hasn't been much sewing going on here lately, or at least nothing that's far enough along to post about, seeing as I've been sick on and off for the past couple of weeks and haven't been up to doing much of anything besides going to work and vegging on the couch at home. But with Thanksgiving looming next week, and a trip to Iowa planned for the weekend, I decided that it was time I got my butt into gear and whipped up a quilt for Kevin's Grandma to take to Iowa with us.

I was originally planning on using a Honeysweet charm pack by Fig Tree & Co. and a couple other pieces from my stash, but after cutting all the Honeysweet squares into cute little HST I realized that unless I was planning on it being about the size of a postage stamp, the pattern I was using just wasn't going to work. Apparently neither Kevin or I bothered to actually read the part about the final dimensions of the quilt. Oops!

So I went back to my stash and found a Honeydew jellie by Fabric Central that I had been saving with plans to use it to make a little lap quilt for myself for the office. Luckily when I had bought it I had the forethought to buy two, so I didn't mind using one for this project. I've been wanting to try the Jelly Roll Jam pattern from Fat Quarter Shop for a while, and figured that this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a try. I'd already watched the video tutorial for the pattern so I had a pretty good idea of how straight forward the piecing and construction is. I pieced and subcut the three sets of six strips on Monday evening, and then moved on to piecing, basting, and starting to quilt last night.

I really need some better lighting in my house!

Or maybe I just need to quit taking all of my pictures at night.

I love how bright and playful these colors are. It may almost be winter, but these colors make me think of summer :o)

I decided to go with a quilt pattern that would compliment all the vertical and horizontal lines of the quilt top but would still stand out, and settled on going with a simple diagonal straight stitch (sorry, no pictures of that yet).

So, my plans tonight are to finish quilting the top and machine stitch the binding, and maybe (if I'm lucky) start on the hand-stitching portion of the binding so that I can finish it up tomorrow and Friday. Phew, I'm sensing some very sore fingers by the end of the week!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

One Quilt Down...

... and a lot more to go!

I finally finished up the quilt for my Nan last night and I am so very pleased with the way it turned out.

The top hanging up on my design wall (aka the wall next to the front door) before sandwiching.

The one flub, what project by me would be complete without one? I was so sure that I had all of the blocks the right way up, but alas it looks like I ended up with some drunk geese and swans.

Showing off the awesome backing which was one big piece of the 12 Days of Christmas Picture Dots in Olive. I felt like it really pulled the whole quilt together.

Of course, one of my trusty assistants had to inspect my handiwork...

Before giving his seal of approval.

One more gratuitous kitty shot. Last one, I promise!

The finished product being modeled by my ever patient fiancĂ©, Kevin.

All that is left now is to run it through the washer as soon as I can get some color catcher sheets, and then tie it up with some ribbon. I'm still debating on whether or not I should ship it over to my Nan, which will likely cost me close to $100 (ouch!) or wait until my Dad comes home from Amsterdam for Christmas and talk him into taking it back to London with him after the holidays.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday and Halloween Pictures!

Progress on the Christmas quilt for my Nan has been pretty slow going this week as I've been feeling a bit icky lately. I refuse to admit that I am getting sick and so I am valiantly, albeit slowly, pressing on. I was able to finish the quilting on Monday evening and then machine stitched the binding last night. I then switched over the hand-stitching the back of the binding (oh joy!) and got one of the short sides done before Kevin made me pack up and head to bed. He's such a good boy :o)

I didn't get a chance to take any progress pictures yesterday so nothing to show on the quilt just yet. I'm feeling better today so hopefully if I don't start to feel craptastic again this afternoon I'll be able to finish up the hand-stitching and get some pretty pictures this evening.

So, seeing as I don't have any pretty sewing pictures to show I figured I could finally share the pictures from Halloween. Unfortunately I didn't get any full shots of my costume, so you'll just have to believe me when I say that it was awesome ;o)

Ooh sparkly! I swear I must have worn about a pound of glitter that night. I'm sure our gracious hosts, Bryan and Meta, are still finding glitter all over their house!

Striking the obligatory fairy pose. This one was taken at our work party where I went all out and donned my elf ears. They ended up being my favorite part of my costume and I was sad to take them off at the end of the day.

Kevin is so very photogenic. And check out those smoldering eyes!

Clark Kent showing off his stellar six pack.

Stealing a kiss from Superman :o)

My Mum looking absolutely adorable.

All of our pictures at the party and at our work do were taken by my friend Bryan. He's awesome and crazy talented. Check out his photography here!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Don't Panic!

That's what I was telling myself a lot this past weekend when 1. I realized that there are only seven weeks left until Christmas, and 2. my primary sewing machine let me know that I had been horribly neglectful and that it is in dire need of being serviced. Grr.

Now that Halloween has come and gone it feels like the holiday season is really gearing up to be in full swing - Kevin and I already saw a huge jump in the number of toy commercials on TV while we were watching cartoons on Saturday morning, and several stores around town already have Christmas decorations up.

Deciding that it was time I seriously got my butt moving and started on my long list of gift quilts for Christmas I finally broke into the Joys of Christmas kit I'm planning on giving to my Grandma. I spent most of Friday evening pressing and cutting all the fabric, and then a good portion of Saturday piecing the top and basting it all together (I think basting spray is one of the best inventions EVER, though the kitties aren't too impressed with the smell).

Here's the top before I sandwiched it with the batting and backing.

So yesterday morning when my brain was still on daylight savings time and just would not let me sleep in, I figured I was all set to go with quilting.

My sewing machine apparently had other ideas.

Just as I was finishing stitching around the inner border my trusty machine started giving off a really unpleasant oily, electrical smell. At first I wasn't sure if it was the machine or something funky going on outside seeing as I sew at the dinning table right in front of the open patio door and I can always tell when my neighbors go outside for a cigarette. So I kept sewing, wrinkling my nose when I'd get a strong whiff of nastiness. It wasn't until Kevin came down a little while later and commented on the bad smell that I finally admitted that it was my machine and it was probably wisest to leave it alone and unplug it until I could figure out what was going on.

After breakfast I did a bit of internet sleuthing and determined that it likely just needs a good oiling, which I'm not sure has ever been done since it left the factory, so for now it's been set aside waiting to go in to be serviced once I've tracked down a good local sewing machine repair place. Luckily I do have a back-up machine that I can use in the interim, though I'm not as fond of it for whatever reason.

I didn't get any more work done yesterday seeing as I felt a bit under the weather for the rest of the day, so I ended up just spending the rest of the day curled up on the couch with the cats and Kevin, catching up on TV shows we missed last week. I finally watched the first few episodes of Reign. Being a Brit and a fan of historical dramas I find the story line interesting but I'm still undecided about whether its something I want to keep watching. I understand that its targeted at young adults so it needs to have a somewhat modern flair but I'm still disappointed in the costume choices. I've always loved fashion and costuming and love to see historical costumes on TV and in film so seeing the very modern, almost prom-dress-like costumes, on the show is a bit disappointing. I thought The White Queen did a much better job with the costumes. So beautiful! Maybe next year I'll tackle something like that for my Halloween costume. I have been covetously eyeing this pattern for years.