Friday, March 30, 2012

Fabric Friday - Auditioning

I'm to the point in my Gypsy Kisses quilt where I need to audition fabric for the background. I've really tried to stick to the original feel of the quilt. But I'm not sure about the piano key edges. I just don't know about that yet but I will probably stay true to that format.

I am going to ask opinions about which fabric you think would be best for the background of my Gypsy Kisses. I'm so nervous about the curved piecing right now that I can't really think straight. I have my favorite in the photos below but I'm not set on it. I'm still considering. So help me out. (I did take the photo below from the kit page for Gypsy Kisses, I hope I don't go to jail)
Which of the 4 fabrics below do you like best for the Gypsy Kisses background?This is #1. This is the fabric I originally purchased to go with the quilt.
This is fabric #2. It is a different color but sticks to the roses background from the original.
This is a paler version than the blue. The gray also has the roses and may tone down the busy colors in the quilt.
This is PKM fabric that again has the roses. The blue is a different intensity than the original.
I'm pondering on the pattern still. I really don't know how long it will take me to finish up this quilt. I'm not in a rush. I have a dozen other projects I'm working on. So I think pondering and poking at it is okay.

Who knows? I may not even use any of the above fabrics for the quilt. But which is your favorite?

-nanette

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Daisy Cottage Chairs

I've been making 5" square blocks from Daisy Cottage charm stackers. I have been making good progress (slowly) and I have another block design to add.
I hand appliqued the chairs and then machine sketch embroidered the details into the overstuffed chairs.
I haven't sketch embroidered for a while now and it really is fun because it is free and easy and not "in the lines" sketching.
I have 3 chairs completed and need to finish 9 more to make 12 blocks. Each block has been fun to make and I've been inspired from the Daisy Cottage fabric.
Sew much fun to stitch. I need to finish after seeing the latest fabrics from Lori and Riley Blake.

-nanette

Monday, March 26, 2012

Spring is Here

Time to revisit progress on my Gypsy Kisses quilt. I started this quilt nearly 2 years ago with Nedra's help at her house in a mini retreat with friends. Some quilts are "one of" in a lifetime. This is one of those quilts, at least for me.
This past weekend I finished all my "eyes". I'm pretty excited I've gotten this far along.
I enjoyed pressing and looking at each block and enjoying the fabrics. The next part will be sewing the centers and joining the eyes. I'm super worried about this next step.
We had Allison here for the weekend while her parents spent time at the hospital with Eliza. I made some cute barrettes for her with covered buttons and some sparkly bobbin pins (thanks Shelbie).

I can't believe how warm it was this weekend. Spring has certainly arrived, even temporarily, in Utah.

-nanette

Friday, March 23, 2012

Fabric Friday - Pot Luck

We are less than 2 months away until spring market in Kansas. (no, I'm not going) New lines of fabric will be popping up everywhere. With that in mind sales abound but I'm also thinking ahead about what might be coming out next. So I want to pick my sale items carefully.
This is a red from Lecien's Fall Flower Sugar 2011. There were several pieces I want to have before they disappear. I have fat quarter pieces in this line but I wanted 2 yards of this red for a project in my head. It is classic.
This is also a piece from FS Fall and I also think it is a classic. That shade of gray with a sweet flower is really a neutral. So I wanted more of this one, too, before it disappears.
This is a Robert Kauffman print that is huge in scale compared to most fabrics. It would make a good table cloth or fussy cut into projects.
This is a little city print with monaluna on the selvage. I think it will make something fun for my granddaughters. I love city scapes like this with a little whimsy.

Allison is with me for at least part of the weekend so her mom can be at the hospital. I'll still fit in a bit of sewing. It is really going to be nice weather this weekend.

-nanette

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

What is up with me today? My shower curtain.

I've not been doing much in the sewing room lately. Blame a combination of laziness, family stuff, work, and me playing Tiny Tower on my iphone and my daughter's ipad. Now I've completely blown my cover. Oh well.
Not that you care, but I did buy a new shower curtain. I hate shower curtains in principal so I'm very excited to find a shower curtain that expresses my fabric point of view. This is the photo from the catalog. The curtain was over my budget at Garnet Hill. So I went to the website like 50 times to look at it hoping I'd get over it and not have to buy it. Now I really did need a shower curtain. When we built our home I had little tiny kids and I wanted a tub on the main floor without a shower surround so it would be easy to bathe them there. And the latest shower curtain I had there was 6-7 years old and looking very tired in a Rachel Ashworth type of way. So when Garnet Hill had a sale and I had an email coupon for an additional percentage off, I had to buy the shower curtain. I realize this is more than you probably care to know.
So this is the shower curtain hanging in my main floor bath. Not as perky looking as the catalog photo but I am happy with it. However, when I took it out of the box, one of my daughters said, "Mom, it looks like throw up". Now that took the wind out of my sail. I like it but I have to admit it is a bit much. You might wonder why I didn't just make the curtain? Answer: I didn't want to. Ha.
It is completely lined, which I also like. I think it adds weight to it and even though the curtain doesn't look as spiffy as the catalog photo, I'm glad I retired that dated Rachel Ashworth model and went with something colorful. It is a big change and adds color to the bathroom. The funny thing is, of course my husband didn't even notice.
Ok, I am sewing a little. I am making clock blocks for my Daisy Cottage quilt. Because I am not a great stitcher, I went the lazy way and just printed off clock faces onto my fabric. I've been contemplating several takes on putting clocks into a quilt and since Daisy Cottage has clocks in the fabric, I thought it would be kind of fun to add a little tiny clock to my collection of growing blocks.
I have to tell you how incredibly uplifting it is to have had emails and comments about our sweet Eliza. I'm overwhelmed with the generous nature of people I don't know and will never meet and their kind words and helpful ideas and messages. Thank you all so much. Eliza had a set-back week last week but hopefully has turned a corner. She is back to bottle feeding and the nasal canula here is now off. I love this photo because you can see her eyes. She needs to take something like 100 cc via bottle before they want to send her home and right now she's only taking 1/3 of that. They use the tube to feed her the rest. She's awake more and is a very strong baby. We are all anxious to have her home so she can be held and cared for by her mother (and us). I am praying that she will be able to tolerate more milk by bottle this week.

If you read all of this wordy post, you get a gold star. Usually I try not to bore you so much.

-nanette

Monday, March 19, 2012

Checking things off my list for 2012

I have a list of things that need to be done this first quarter of the year. One of them was finishing these baby quilts for a friend. She asked me to make these at least 7 months ago or so and I've been sitting on these simple baby quilts. Finally I am able to check them off my list.
The fabric is a retro novelty print. She brought me fabric in 2 colorways and the pattern. I supplied the fabric for the 9 patch blocks and the inner border as well as sewing the tops together. In return she gave me a painting I have hanging in my hallway. I was happy to trade her for that.
My friend has a granddaughter and a niece that will receive these quilts. I just don't have the time to machine quilt them for her so I gave her back the finished tops to take to the quilter. I may be able to help her bind them though, if needed.

Whew. Glad that is done!

-nanette

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fabric Friday - Sweet Prints

Months ago I got these super sweet prints and I've been wanting to show them to you but I keep forgetting. These are all Japanese prints not found in your local quilt shop. But I wish they were.
What could be sweeter than a cherry with a flower? I just love the whimsy in these little cute cherries.
This is the same print in a neutral background. I don't know which colorway I like it in the best.
I love a tulip. Tulips remind me of my sister, Polly. Polly likes Tulips, too. I really like that this is in red, white and blue.
I like this colorway too, but not as much as the one above. Isn't it sweet, though.
What is sweeter in a fabric than strawberries. My favorite fruit on fabric. They look just yummy.
I think this fabric fits the sweet category, too. A beautiful 2 color bouquet on a lawn weight fabric.

What I need now is time to sew with this sweet little collection. Soon I hope.

-nanette

Monday, March 12, 2012

The worth of handwork

This is a really wordy post. But I feel like there are things I've wanted to talk about for a while. Read or skim.

I wanted to touch on a subject that is bounced around blogs from time to time and that is the value of handwork and hand made items. For me, if I'm going to give a gift to someone or purchase something for myself I first think Etsy.com and like to shop there. I would rather spend money for things made by a person in their home than go to the mall (anyday). I find most things on Etsy are made well and I just really like the idea of supporting other designers or crafters. I do find that people outside the sewing arena don't understand the value of time, fabric, materials and know-how. Sometimes when people find out what goes into making a quilt, for example, they rush to Target. And I've purchased Target quilts, don't get me wrong. They have their place. But when something is handmade or hand designed, don't expect bargain prices.
Recently I purchased some new aprons for myself. I wear an apron at home almost all the time. Not only do I cook in them but I sew in them. They keep me from looking like a walking thread collector. I like a nice, well made apron. And an apron, like a quilt can be purchased from many places. I've found so many aprons are made too tiny for me, with cheap fabric, bad stitching and they curl up into a ball when laundered.
I purchased these aprons at Stitch Thru Time. They are made by a woman in Utah and are beautifully made. I'm not paid or gifted to say this. I did pay top price for the aprons. However, they are super well made, came in 3 days and I love them. I can tell they will wash and wear for years to come. Now you know I could have made these myself but I don't really like to sew clothing. And since I'm a past customer I knew these aprons would be exactly what I wanted. I like supporting a local person who sews to support her family and does a great job. Besides, I'd rather make a quilt than make an apron. Weird, huh.Shelbie made me a new shawl that I've worn the past few days. Nice for me she made this for free. Thanks Shelbie. Shelbie uses good quality yarn. This is my 3rd shawl and I hope to have more in the future. This one is Eagles Green (go Philly) and I plan on using it during every game this fall. I really like shawls because they are warm but not confining. I have so many purchased sweaters that I can wear for one season and they pill or I can't wash them so I really value nice yarn and Shelbie's talent.
I don't want to make this into an Eliza blog but i do want to give you updates on my little pixie now and then, if that is ok. Eliza is still in NBICU at Primary Children's Medical Center. She is off all medication, all needles and tubes are out except this little tiny feeding tube. Before Eliza can go home she has to be able to take 100 cc every 3 hours or some such feeding schedule. I was really hopeful she would come home this week but it is very doubtful. We have to be patient and let her put on weight and learn to suck and swallow at a greater rate. I realize this will help Whitney make it easier to take care of Eliza once she is released. You can see she is a beautiful baby. My daughter and husband met with a genetic counselor. They are the 1 in 800 to have a Down syndrome baby. It happens. She is very healthy and has mild Down's markers. It would seem we have every reason to hope for high function and a happy life for her.

Thanks so much to everyone for the continued comments of encouragement, help and information. Friends and family help you do anything and everything.

-nanette

Friday, March 9, 2012

Berry Fun Row by Row Quilt

Oh my heavens. I'm finally finished with my Berry Fun Row by Row Quilt. Finished people! Finished. It has been a fun process interrupted by lots of life. But I'm very proud of how pretty the finished product became.
I loved using Pam's fabric. Pam is such a great friend. Our styles are twinsies and I was so excited to create a project around her happy fabric.
There are 8 blocks in the quilt and I really loved making each block. I think when working with fabric that makes you happy, the finished product speaks enjoyment.I proofed my blocks with this other line of fabric to make a wall hanging version. And I enjoyed making the blocks all over again.
The quilt measures 79" x 89", so it can fit on a bed. The pattern can be adapted to any size by creating more or less blocks. The pattern is available in my little etsy shop.

Thanks for indulging my little quilt pattern reveal.

-nanette

Monday, March 5, 2012

What Have I Been Doing?

First of all I want to tell you how grateful I am for all the sweet messages to me and my family about Eliza. I can't tell you how much we appreciate them. Whitney has been reading them as well as my other daughters, my in-laws and extended family. It is so touching to see the far reach of Eliza in prayers and thoughts. Thank you.

Believe it or not I have been working on some things while I have been MIA. So I'm going to give you a peak at some of my projects.
My Row by Row quilt is done, bound, photographed and pattern 95% finished. I'm proof reading it right now and by the end of the week I hope my pattern is in my Etsy Shop. This is a project that has taken forever. Holidays and family matters come before deadlines. I'm so happy with it and can't wait for my reveal.I finished my sampler size of the row by row blocks and it is hanging in my sewing room. This isn't the best photo but I think it turned out nice.
I've been working on my 5" blocks from Lori's Daisy Cottage. I used 4 charm packs and white yardage. The blocks are not in scale and I kind of like the contrast. So far I've made cups, houses, window coverings and lamps. I have several more block patterns to add before this is done. Using the fabric as my inspiration has been really fun. I've not set a deadline for this but I'm just enjoying the process in the Pat Sloan method of even sewing 10 min a day when I'm stretched for time.
I
I have to say we've done a lot of this. Allison has been at our house quite a bit and we have enjoyed her so much. Pa, Nanny, and the aunts have been really spoiling Allison. Aunt Chelsey bought her this at a trip to Costco. Pa put her up on it and she didn't want to get out. Let's just say there is a lot going on at my house.

-nanette