Tag Archives: alyof

September Goal {ALYoF}

I completely missed August for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF), so I’ll just call it summer break. The ALYoF link up is one of the most successful ones at getting me to finally finish projects, though, so I want to be sure to sneak in September’s goal setting post before it’s too late (in other words, before midnight tonight). I’m choosing a quick and easy goal for this month, since there are a lot of behind-the-scenes projects going on, too.

summer epp table runnerMy goal is to finish my Summer EPP Table Runner. I have a small bit of hand quilting remaining, and then I need to bind it. Easy peasey.

EPP table runner viewWe spent a lovely relaxing family day at the beach today, so I decided to have an impromptu photo shoot. I always carry a couple of hand-sewing projects with me, either a small hand quilting project like this one, some English Paper Piecing, or both! The strong cool breeze of the ocean made the 90 degree day feel absolutely perfect, but it made it a bit tricky to photograph this light weight runner. I took a few photos in full sun, which is typically a photography no-no, but with the gorgeous view and glittering water, how could I resist?

Then I decided that the trek over to the shady half of the beach was worth it. This is just a tiny little lesson in quilt photography. Photographs in full sun result in washed out colors and highly emphasized wrinkles due to resulting shadows (above). Shady photos, however, provide much richer, truer, and almost more gentle colors and a more forgiving look at the quilt despite the lack of an iron’s smoothing touch (below).

summer epp table runner on the beach

summer epp table runner be sweet backingI decided to back this table runner in Bee Sweet in the Morning colorway from Bonnie Christine’s Sweet as Honey fabric line. The bees in the table runner top are from the Bee Sweet in the Sunset colorway, so it coordinates fabulously.

summer epp table runner hand quiltingI have only a bit more hand quilting to do, and then I MIGHT do a little bit of machine quilting to make sure all stays nice and securely despite the many inescapable washes that surely await anything that will live on our table.

aurifil 12 wt threadI’m using 12 wt Aurifil thread #4140 Wedgewood, which is a perfect match. I love the subtle effect of the large quilting stitches in a coordinating color, and I’m very much looking forward to having this table runner finished and on our table. It can be a lingering reminder of our fun and beautiful summer. And it WILL be finished by the end of September!

I’m linking up with the September Goal Setting Party for ALYoF at Fiber of All Sorts and Sew Bittersweet Designs, then going to bed (with a couple hours to spare).

July Goal {ALYoF}

July came in with a literal bang, and here we are already a week into it! I’m squeaking by¬†with my July goal setting post for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF) just in the nick of time. This month I have a super fun but secret project to finish. I have a pattern coming out in the September issue of Make Modern eMagazine, and my goal for July is to finish it all up! I need to trim, bind, and photograph the quilt, and need to finish proofreading the pattern write up.

make modern quilt peekI can only show you tiny peeks until the issue comes out, but you can count on a full reveal come September.

alison glass ex libris
I plan to bind the quilt with this Alison Glass Geometry print from her Ex Libris line. The fabric designer aficionados among you probably noticed that the quilt includes the 2015 Sun Prints by Alison Glass… surprised? ūüôā

I’m confident that I’ll meet this goal, since, well, I have to! The deadline is a week away. For this reason, I considered choosing a different project as my July goal, but ultimately opted not to. ALYoF emphasizes the selection of ONE goal per month, which really helps me prioritize my project progress. Finishing this quilt submission is my biggest goal, so it is a perfect choice for ALYoF.

As a mom of a newborn, and newly a mom of three, my progress is made in very small bits. I have learned that if I set lofty, time consuming goals, I set myself up for failure or at the very least, a stressful anxious push to complete the goals in time. On the other hand, when I set small, attainable goals, I’m motivated to complete them without stress, and then feel good that I’ve actually accomplished something, which then motivates me to create more. Just because I complete my ALYoF goal before the end of the month doesn’t mean I can’t then work on other projects. It’s a win-win of positive, fun quilty progress without stress.

I’m linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes July Goal Setting party with Fiber of All Sorts and Sew BitterSweet Designs. When I complete this month’s goal, you’ll get another sneak peek or two to hold you over until September!

June Finish {ALYoF}: Baby! & EPP Table Runner Flimsy

It’s hard to believe that less than a month ago, I was still pregnant. Yet in early June when I was setting my goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF), my goal was to have a baby!! I also added in a little hand stitching goal of completing my Summer English Paper Pieced (EPP) table runner top. I’m happy to report that I accomplished both of those goals!

june finish alyof finn epp table runner

june finish alyof finn epp table runnerMany of you have been appropriately introduced to baby Finn, who made his appearance 5 days into the month. Earlier today, I completed the final stitches attaching the EPP pieces to a solid border, finishing the table runner quilt top just in time.

blind ish stitch Lucy Boston applique
I used blind-ish stitch to sew the Lucy Boston blocks to a solid border fabric.

I used Aurifil 1320 – Medium Teal and a blind-ish stitch, which I hear is a highly favored stitch, to attach the EPP Lucy Boston blocks to a solid border fabric, Moda Bella solid in Coastal. I have not yet cut away the fabric behind the blocks, but I most likely will do so before layering, basting, and hand quilting the table runner.

completed table runner top lucy boston eppNow that I’ve grown my¬†Aurifil 12wt thread stash, I’m excited to hand quilt this table runner. I have not yet decided on a quilting pattern, but I probably will go with a simple echo-border pattern. Finn doesn’t seem too interested in the stitching, but that’s ok!

baby finn and table runner quilt top eppI’m linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes June Finish Party, and already contemplating my goal for July. I’m really enjoying being a part of ALYoF, since it is a¬†little added incentive to focus on one project and actually make visible progress. This is my fourth successful monthly finish, since I missed the goal setting deadline for January and completely missed May. Not too bad!

June Goal {ALYoF}: Summer Stitching

I completely missed May for A Lovely Year of Finishes¬†(ALYoF). It actually is a good thing, since I was going to make my goal “have a baby“. Here we are in June and I still have not had this baby, which means I wouldn’t have had a successful finish to link up anyway! (Enter: haveyouhadthatbabyyet.com)

For June, my goal is to have this baby! He absolutely must make his way out by the end of the month (fingers crossed for by the end of the week!) ¬†Since I know that I need to have some little quilting/stitching project in the works, too, I’m also going to make another small goal: to finish piecing the top of the English Paper Pieced table runner I started last summer.

Summer table runner EPP project goalWhile going through my mental list of old works in progress I could dig out and make a bit of progress on while waiting for this baby, I mentally stumbled upon my Sweet as Honey EPP table runner. I realized that the color scheme is exactly the same as my newly started summer placemats, and decided it would be the perfect handwork project to add to my active to-do pile.

When I last left off on this EPP project, I was planning on making the next row of honeycombs either orange or yellow. In looking at the bundle of fabric for my placemats next to the project, I am going to take a design turn and make the next row of honeycombs for the center Lucy Boston block (the one shown on the right, below) in the dark blue. Then, I plan on making a bunch of 1″ squares (or maybe more honeycombs?) with which to border each of the blocks before joining them together in a row and binding.

Color planning for the outer row and borders of table runner
Border option 1: burnt orange
Color planning for the outer row and borders of table runner
Border option 2: medium blue

I’m planning to buy a little extra yardage of one of the Moda Bella Solids from the August bundle from Fiddlehead Artisan Supply to complete the border squares, and am leaning toward option 2 above: the medium blue. I’m excited and think that this table runner will go really well with my pixelated summer¬†placemats.

summer placemats planningThis is only a rough visualization of a placemat, but I’m excited at the potential outcome. It looks like even with only 8 colors, the aesthetic works for me. ¬†I love that each placemat will be different, and I am looking forward to playing around with color placement. For this progress shot, the half square triangles (HST) aren’t squared up or sewn together yet, and I may make a bunch more and play around with layouts before sewing them together. According to my initial math, I will be able to make a set of six (6) placemats with my bundle of 8 FQs. I may buy another bundle just to be safe.

In lieu of the popular “feet in the photo” quilt shot, here’s my 41+ weeks pregnant version, posted on Instagram a few days ago (and in posting this, I’m realizing I laid out the bottom row backwards in the photo above!):

pregnant belly quilt shotI’m linking up with the June Goal Making party for A Lovely Year of Finishes, with a goal of having a baby (and maybe finishing the EPP piecing for the table runner top as icing on the cake). I’m also linking up with Monday Makers & Design Wall.

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Sponsor News:

For those of you who want to get your hands on an August bundle like the one I’m using for the placemats, use coupon code nightquilter15% to get 15% off your entire order¬†from¬†Fiddlehead Artisan Supply‘s online shop from now through June 21st.

Thank you for supporting my sponsors!

 

 

 

April Finish: {ALYoF} Pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog Quilt Top, Plus Some!

I went easy on myself this month for A Lovely Year of Finishes¬†(ALYoF) and set my April goal at finishing the quilt top for my sister-in-law’s baby shower yesterday. I made a totally pinkalicious Hazel Hedgehog quilt featuring a giant sized hazel and a fun heart speech bubble I created just for this project. Did I meet my goal? Yes!

hazel hedgehog flimsy finish
Hazel Hedgehog “Hello, Love” baby quilt flimsy finish.

Even with the heart speech bubble¬†addition, I was able to finish the flimsy (quilt top) before the baby shower. Since I finished this flimsy¬†in the midst of a rare “full mommy sew day” when my mother-in-law took the kids for a play day, I decided to forge ahead and start basting and quilting little (giant) Hazel.

After a particularly late night and early morning quilting/binding session, I managed to quilt the entire background and speech bubble, AND make and attach the binding. Normally, I would complete all of the quilting before binding, but since I really wanted a presentable quilt for my sister-in-law Stephanie’s baby shower, and since the unquilted portion is completely enclosed in quilted background, I decided to get a little cheeky and bind the quilt before completely quilting.

quilt wrapped nicely
The purple bag with pink tissue and ribbon on the left contains the quilt.

With the quilt bound, I was able to roll it, wrap it nicely in tissue paper and a ribbon-bound bag, and gift the quilt with no worries of fray.

gorgeous spring baby shower gifts
Spring baby shower gift table decor–so alive!

Stephanie opening her quilt

Gifting Hazel hedgehog quiltMy sister-in-law LOVED it, so mission accomplished! Even with a few basting pins still in Hazel and the heart, which will be quilted as soon as the color matched Aurifil thread arrives, it was fun to get to give this gift. Just think: hidden behind this quilt are two big baby bumps–cousins destined to be rolling around on top of this fun quilt (Stephanie is due a couple weeks after I am).

I will share more detail photos of the quilting and finishing in a later finish post once the quilt is completely finished (this will help keep the fire lit under my bum so that I actually finish it before baby time!) But for now, here’s a closer look at the speech bubble heart I’m calling “Hello, Love”. I’m planning on writing up a pattern for this block, since it’s such a perfect block to add to any of Elizabeth Hartman’s giant creatures, and I could definitely go for a speech bubble heart pillow!

speech bubble heart pieced block

I’m linking up with the ALYoF April Finishes Party, as well as Monday Makers and Design Wall.

 

April Goal {ALYoF}

When I first decided to participate in this year’s A Lovely Year of Finishes¬†(ALYoF), I sketched out a general plan of projects and works in progress for the year. April, being my birthday month, was designated “selfish sewing month” and I had planned to work on–or finish!–the quilt I am making just for me. But lo, as life goes, other projects have due dates and take precedence over selfish sewing. My sister-in-law is expecting her first child, a daughter, and her baby shower is at the end of April. This bumps her baby quilt to the top of the pile. So far, all I’ve done is pull fabrics from my stash to begin planning this quilt.

fabric pull for hazel hedgehog baby quiltI’m planning to make a baby quilt using a giant pink Hazel Hedgehog with a teal background. My sister-in-law is all about pink… I mean ALL about pink… so the pink heavy Hazel will be perfect for her.
Since I have yet to even begin this project, I’m hoping to finish just the quilt top by the end of April. I’m taking it easy on myself for a change, with a hopefully easily attainable goal. She isn’t due until June, so I’m thinking a quilt top will be an acceptable gift to present at her shower, and quilting and finishing should be attainable before my baby joins us sometime in May, or maybe June.

fabric pull for hazel hedgehog baby quiltI haven’t fully decided on pink placement for this quilt yet. I’m torn between using the light pink as the face, the grey as the body, and then a brighter pink (or combination of brighter pinks) for the hair OR using the light pink for the face, the darker pink solid for the body and an even darker pink (maybe the bottom one, or perhaps a mix of the middle two pinks) for the hair.

fabric pull for hazel hedgehog baby quiltI like the look of the grey mixed in, but I’m not sure if that’s just my style preferences leaking in, or if it really would look better with the grey body.¬†If you haven’t seen a Hazel Hedgehog, here¬†are a lot of great examples made during Angie at Gnome Angel’s Hazel Hedgehog Quilt Along held last month. While the Quilt Along has ended, there is a ton of great inspiration there! What would you do with your pink Hazel?

gnomeangel-banner-hazel-hedgehog-quilt-a-long

I’m linking up with the April Goal Setting Party with ALYoF, and with¬†Monday Makers.

When Duty Calls: Dr. Seuss Raffle Quilt

Since returning from QuiltCon, I’ve had so many project ideas that I honestly haven’t known where to begin. There were of course the projects that I had in mind or in progress before leaving for Austin, but there were also new ideas that I wanted to sketch, create, and make happen. As the saying goes: when it rains, it pours; but sometimes it’s hard to find your way when it’s pouring.

dr seuss hatThen yesterday, while chatting with my daughter’s preschool teacher at pick-up about a raffle basket they are putting together as a fundraiser, the teacher casually asked if I could make a quilt or blanket for the basket. Each class is putting together a basket to be auctioned off as a fundraiser to help cover the costs of travel for their year-end field trip. The preschool teachers had chosen Dr. Seuss as a theme, thinking that it would be easy to fill a basket with Seussical fun stuff. Parents have been struggling to find anything other than books, one movie, and a package of Dr. Seuss pens for the basket. With only 9 kids in the preschool class, they knew the basket would be smaller than the other classes, but still were a bit bummed at the turnout.

My daughter’s teacher knows that I quilt, and so mentioned that there must be some Dr. Seuss fabric or something, and perhaps I could make a quick blanket? When she said this, I remembered that indeed there was an entire Dr. Seuss fabric line, and what’s more–I have it! I had bought it years ago, when I first started quilting, planning to make a diamond quilt for the kids to drag around the playroom. I had quickly abandoned it, deciding that I really didn’t like it. The last time I pulled it out of its work in progress bin, I had the thought that maybe I’d just sell the fabric and precut diamonds since I wasn’t into the idea of finishing it. Well, duty calls. It looks like this quilt will be finished after all, only a bit smaller than originally planned, and on a high-speed timeline (they need it by next Thursday). The pattern I’m using is a child-sized¬†version of the Must Stash (Diamond Quilt) from the book Modern Designs for Classic Quilts by Kelly Biscopink and Andrea Johnson. *Amazon affiliate link*

dr seuss fabric diamonds quilt in progress

While this project doesn’t really fit my aesthetic, I think it will make a wonderful snuggle quilt for a special child¬†to curl up in as (s)he¬†reads his¬†Dr. Seuss (or other) books. How could I resist a chance to make a quilt for a child, while at the same time helping support my daughter’s preschool class?

dr seuss fabric diamonds quilt in progress
I came home, pulled out my long-buried WiP Seuss box, and spread these diamonds out on my fancy design floor.

I plan to use white sashing since that was my original plan years ago and I already have the Kona white yardage. This will be a project entirely pulled from my stash. I’m using only the diamonds that have already been cut for the sake of time,¬†so next up is to sew white sashing until the cows come home. I’ll then square up the quilt and most likely back it with fleece so that it is super snuggly.

dr seuss fabric diamonds quilt in progress

I love the black background prints in this fabric line, and if I were to plan out this quilt again, I would probably use the black stars and/or dots as sashing. Many of the other prints are very white-heavy, so the white sashing might make them fade out a bit. But, with a donation project with a timeline of a week and a budget of nil, it is what it is. I have a feeling the recipient will love it anyway.

dr seuss fabric diamonds quilt in progressJust like that, my next project has been chosen for me. I would never have guessed my first big sewing project upon my return home from QuiltCon would be my oldest, long-abandoned work in progress. But when duty calls, Mommy must answer.

I’m linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday. I thought I might be exhibiting some of the great inspiration and modern quilting knowledge I learned from Lee, but not yet!

I’m also claiming this as my March goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. I MUST finish it!

February Finish {ALYoF}: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt

With one day to go, I did it! I finished my daughter’s first quilt–a Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt! I’m excited on many levels, since not only was this my first finished quilt for an immediate family member, it was also my goal for February in A Lovely Year of Finishes. A late night binding session last night and a¬†specially requested free-motion quilted dedication session this morning were the final touches.

rainbow jellyroll quilt

I’m happy with how this quilt turned out, but it was a definite lesson in dealing with and loving imperfection. Mental note: when choosing a backing for a VERY linearly directional quilt top, avoid extremely linearly directional fabrics. Before beginning this quilt, I bought some yardage of “The Dotted Line” by De Leon Design Group for Alexander Henry Fabrics as backing. It really is perfect; I just didn’t PERFECTLY line up the backing with the front before quilting, so it’s a little off kilter. I opted to quilt this before squaring it up, since the edges of the jellyroll strips weren’t perfect, but I think that due to the linear nature of both front and back fabrics, I should have squared up my top before quilting. We’re always learning, right?

rainbow jellyroll quilt

quilting rainbow back

I do like how the quilting from the front looks on the back, even though it’s not perfectly parallel to the dots. Maddie certainly doesn’t love it any less due to its off kilter elements.
rainbow jellyroll quilt and maddie

maddie and her quilt

I quilted this quilt with primarily Aurifil 40wt thread, which worked perfectly. It was enough extra weight to make the quilting visible (especially the free motion quilted dedication: “Made for Madeline Joyce with love from Mommy”).

free motion quilted dedication

free motion quilting 40wt aurifil detail

The 40wt Aurifil really helps the stitches pop!
The 40wt Aurifil really helps the stitches pop!

I decided to machine bind the quilt using Cluck Cluck Sew‘s fabulous Machine binding tutorial, since I’m counting on this quilt getting loved to tatters¬†by my little (big!?) five year old. After sewing the binding to the front, I pressed it out around the edges with a hot iron, and folded and pressed the corners how I wanted them to look. Using this little trick, when sewing the binding to the back, I didn’t sew onto the front binding at all! At least one part turnedy out perfectly!

rainbow jellyroll quilt

maddie on her quilt

maddie on her rainbow quilt

maddie on her rainbow quilt
Maybe she will share with her little brother… one can hope!

Quilt Stats

Pattern: Inspired by a Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt seen on Creativebug; I simply sewed jellyroll strips together.

Size: 42″x 61″

Fabric:
Front: Andover Fabrics Color Collection jellyroll
Back:¬†“The Dotted Line” by De Leon Design Group for Alexander Henry Fabrics 2012
Binding: Poppy Passion Bead Stripe by Springs Creative Products Group

Batting: 100% cotton Warm & Natural batting

Thread: Aurifil 40wt in coordinating colors (contrasting color used for free motion quilted dedication)

Quilting: Straight line echo quilting 1/4″ from each seam; Free motion quilted dedication: “Made for Madeline Joyce with love from Mommy” “2015”

Related blog posts: Work in Progress: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt, Friday Finish: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt Top, Rainbow Thread Eye Candy, February Goals {ALYoF}

I’m linking up my finish for A Lovely Year of Finishes February Goals Party,¬†TGIFF¬†& Sew Can She Show off Saturday.

February Goals {ALYoF}

January flew by, but somehow I managed to meet my sewing goal for the month. Now we’re on to February, an already short month. To top it off, QuiltCon is in the middle of the month¬†and there is a TON to do before I head to Austin. I have been debating which project to choose for this month of A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF) and I’ve decided NOT to choose any of my QuiltCon prep projects (just in case I have to abort mission and go to the conference without newly handmade accessories) and instead to choose Maddie’s Rainbow Jellyroll quilt as my goal. All I have left to do is square up the quilt and bind it. Sounds doable, even though I’ll most likely be working on it after I return from QuiltCon.

rainbow jellyroll quiltI quilted it with straight lines 1/4″ from each seam, in coordinating colors of Aurifil 40wt thread. I am LOVING it and clearly, so is my little helper. This quilt is for Maddie, but Max certainly had a grand old time rolling around with it during the photo shoot while Maddie was in preschool.

rainbow jellyroll quilt

rainbow jellyroll quilt

I like how the quilt lines look on the back WAY more than I thought I would. I was all worried they would look off kilter, but it looks fine to me.

I like how the quilt lines look on the back WAY more than I thought I would. I was all worried they would look off kilter, but it looks fine to me (don’t mind the fluff balls!).

my little helper in the rainbow jellyroll quilt

rainbow jellyroll quilt

rainbow jellyroll quiltI’m linking up with the February goals for ALYoF.

A Secret Finish {Still Secret}

I did it! I set my goal to finish this quilt in January for A Lovely Year of Finishes (ALYoF), thinking it would be quite an accomplishment if I met it by the end of the month. But lo, here we are on January 30th (with still one more day to finish burying those last threads and defluffing) and I have a finished quilt!

Doe Secret Quilt Peek
I can’t show you any more than this tease of a peek at the binding and folded back, but I promise the full reveal will be soon. Since my tardy goal-setting post on January 14th, I’ve pieced the quilt back–including my first ever needle-turn applique–, layered and basted, quilted on my domestic machine–both straight line quilting with a walking foot and free motion quilting–, and bound this quilt. For slow sewing me, that is quite an accomplishment. Enough of an accomplishment, in fact, that I felt the need to take the quilt out into the snow to take some sneak peek photos so that I could post them here as proof–it’s finished!

doe secret quilt peek
Everyone takes their newly finished quilts out into a snowstorm to take photos, right?

doe secret quilt peekI can’t wait to show you more of this quilt. But I will.¬†I’m planning an epic whole-family quilt photo shoot this weekend, weather and toddler willing, so you will get to see every detail. Soon.

For now, I’m linking up with ALYoF to document my January success, and Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it up Friday.

Off I go to bury some more threads!