Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekend Projects

Here is our art clothesline, after a fun weekend at home.  While the girls painted rainbows and decorated our chalk door for Easter (they're a little early for this, I know), I worked on quilt blocks.  I was so excited about the Bottled Rainbows Quilt-Along (at Stitched in Color), that I couldn't wait to get started.

I dug these out today - my grandma's old canning jars - aren't they beautiful?!
This is such a great way to store scraps of fabric - an amazing idea from Rachel at Stitched in Color!

I've never made a ticker tape style quilt, but have seen lots on other blogs.  I'm not sure I love it - but I have SO many green scraps that maybe I'll make another one.  I changed the dimensions from the quilt-along a bit - I thought I might like squares better than rectangles.

I love how the pennant/bunting block turned out.  I have made pennant quilts and zippered pouches in the past, but this time I wanted to make a pieced version, so that it would hold up better in the wash (no free edges).  It was an experiment, based on this block I made for Quilt Story's Block Party last month.

 It needed some tweaking, as I wanted the pennant tops to look more curved, not all lined up in a row.  I think I made it work!

Close up view of the pennants
I'm planning to follow Stitched in Color's quilt along for the ticker tape version,
AND do the pennant blocks, too.

Linking up to:

Fresh Poppy Design

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Evolution of a Bird

My little artists and I had a couple of great days together this week. They were out of school for President's Day and then teacher conferences, so we got to stay home and play -- just like we used to, before Kindergarten!

So today I decided that we should try to make birds.  Holly and Lexi's artwork has been all about Spring and Easter recently -- eggs, bunnies, flowers, trees, birds, etc.  We're all ready for spring.  I've been reading the "Spring" section of Scandinavian Stitches, and decided to try out the bird and nest pattern.  I love all of the creative ideas in this book!  The nest is cute and was relatively easy, but the birds were tricky.

I let the girls pick out material from my fabric stash this morning, and we went to work. The first bird looked terrible. There was no way to save him. So we started over. The second two birds weren't too bad, and the girls had fun picking out buttons for their eyes. Lexi pulled the legs off of hers accidentally, after it had been stuffed and finished.  We decided that her bird would be best suited for sitting on eggs, and Holly's bird would be in charge of bringing back worms.

I made a 4th bird after bedtime. And I realized that next time, things will go more smoothly if I try out the project first, without the company of little artists!

4th (& last) bird
I'll stick to quilting from now on!
Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sliced Coins Quilt Along Quilt

I finished up the sliced coins quilt yesterday -- a snowy day (hopefully the last blizzard of the season) was perfect for quilting!  I free motion quilted this on my new machine, and it was surprisingly easy.  I used a cotton sheet for the back, which makes it super soft and cuddly.  This quilt measures 62 X 78.

Linking up to:
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Quilt along found here:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Works in Progress

This week I've managed to start LOTS of new things but have yet to finish any of them.  I blame it on my new sewing machine, a JUKI TL-98Q, "the Juki" as my husband calls it.  It is an absolute dream to sew on.  I've been using an Elna 3007 for about 12 years, and while it's perfectly fine for basic sewing, for quilting it just wasn't working!  Over the weekend I set up the new sewing machine and did lots of free motion quilting.  It is so much easier than I thought it was -- I'm amazed at the difference with a different machine.

I made these pillows for Holly's bed last year, but always felt that they were missing something.  So I took them apart, free motion quilted the background, and now I love them!  I'm thinking about doing a string quilt for the back of this pillow (then finishing with an invisible zipper) -- and started this yesterday:
Batting squares instead of paper piecing, for a quilt as you go method.
I can hardly wait to get started quilting my Sliced Coins Quilt Along quilt on the new machine, but I haven't decided yet if I want to try wavy line quilting or just do an all over meander.

I also made up a couple of "practice quilts," to try out different methods of quilting for my larger Easy Double Hourglass Quilt.  I'm not sure that I LOVE either type of quilting, so I'm still thinking.

And finally, if Tallulah would find a different place to nap, I could start working on this project!

Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Pillows

The back, quilted with wavy lines

Close up view of the hearts
This was a really fun pillow to make!
  Holly helped me to arrange all of the hearts in a heart shape.  It didn't work to fuse them onto the fabric as I had planned, so I pinned each one carefully, and then machine appliqued around each edge in matching thread.

We spend lots of time at our dining room table, drawing and coloring.
Sometimes my little artists will ask to color a picture "from the computer."
So we'll google " ______ coloring pages."
They fill in the blank with castles, kittens, turtles, or this month, HEARTS!

Pillow Inspiration!

This pillow was also done with machine appliqued felt hearts,
but then I added a bunch of hand embroidered hearts too.
Holly and Lexi are thrilled that they each have a Valentine's Day Pillow!
Linking up to: Blogger's Pillow Party

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Quilt Story Block Party

Fresh Poppy Design

I decided to make a couple of blocks for the block party!

The first block is called 'monkey wrench."  I used a pattern from an old Block of the Month club I participated in at my local quilt shop a few years ago.  I'm not sure where these blocks are headed yet -- maybe into a quilt with lots of polka dot scraps?!

For the contest, I think I will enter it into the "traditional" block category, even though I used modern fabrics.

The next block goes into the "creative" category.  I just love pennant quilts, and wanted to try free piecing to see if it would "work" -- rather than using machine applique like I usually do.  It's a little crazy and wonky, but it was fun to just pull scraps, sew things together, and see how it looked!  Here it is:

Scrappy Pennant Block

I couldn't resist, I just love Rick Rack!

I could put together a tutorial for either of these blocks, if anyone is interested!