Friday, February 10, 2017

Chloe's Quilt

Last Saturday I attended the baby shower of a dear friend's daughter and gifted her the quilt I have been working on these last few weeks. But first I want to share the cute cookies that we were given with the baby's name written on them. They were almost too pretty to eat... but I managed to eat the entire cookie and a chocolate cupcake, too!

This quilt is made from the leftover fabric of another baby girl quilt I finished last year. In writing this post I realized that I never blogged about my Flowering Snowball quilt. I posted it in a Finish Along post but didn't write a separate blog post about it. I guess I will need to do that soon. 
To make this quilt I cut all the 2.5" squares with the electric GO cutter last year at retreat in Wisconsin. I made four patch blocks using white fabric and the colored squares. To get the quilt up to what I think is a decent size for a baby I added an inner border of white and then used more four patch blocks as the outer border. I only had to make four more four patch blocks with additional fabrics from my stash to finish the quilt. 

I think my favorite part of the quilt is the quilting motif I used. I recently purchased the Quilter's Planner and it was one of the weekly motifs to practice. Not only was it easy to make but it gives the quilt a nice texture and leaves it soft and cuddly for the baby. In the border area I used straight line quilting. You can't really see it in these photos but the inner white border is quilted with a soft pink thread. The rest of the quilt is quilted with white thread.

The backing and bindings are also some of my favorite fabrics. The newsprint by Carrie Bloomston goes with everything and that mini stripe binding was the perfect finish for this quilt.

This is the last of four baby quilts I had on my to-do list; all but the flowering snowball has been gifted. I am saving the flowering snowball quilt for a very special baby girl that has yet to be conceived. I will share more about that when I blog about this special to me quilt. 

I have three more friends expecting babies to arrive this summer. It will be the second baby for each of them and they all have a boy as their first child. What are the odds that they will have girls? We will have to wait and see if I will be making more baby girl quilts or the tides will change for baby boys to arrive to my friends.

Quilt Stats:
Quilt Name: Chloe's Quilt
Fabric Used: Scraps of Tiger Lily by Heather Ross and Michael Miller Cotton Couture in Bright White
Backing: Story by Carrie Bloomston 
Batting: Warm and White
Binding: Dear Stella Intermix Dress Stripe in Marmalade
Quilting:By ME on my Bernina 820 Martini Olives motif from the Quilter's Planner
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. White
Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential Cotton 40 wt. Thread in white and Aurifil 50 wt. in light pink #2420
Finished Size: 51" x 51"

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Seeing Double

You're not really seeing double, but it might appear that way since I just posted Pinkie Squared, version 1 last week. I am happy to say that both quilts have been gifted and well received. 
Version 2 of the Summer in the Park quilt pattern ended up a little smaller than the first one I made, but otherwise they are very similar. I managed to make two baby girl quilts out of the jelly roll that I won last year at Quilt Con.

Pinkie Squared vs 2

Pinkie Squared vs 1

I really like the Cotton and Steel double gauze that I used on the back of this quilt.It makes it such a bright and happy quilt for my nephew's newborn daughter, Jianna Belle.

Once again I quilted it with randomly spaced and sized swirls. The combination of the double gauze and this quilting motif makes it so cuddly. You can really feel the that a word?
This time I was very careful not to stretch the quilt when basting and then quilting it. This really helped to not distort the quilt as much as the first one.

baby quilt

Michael Miller jelly roll quilt

For the binding I chose Lizzie House's mini pearl bracelets in a perfect apricot color.

I really like the ease of this pattern and would make it again.I'm looking forward to seeing pictures of both of my grand nieces lying on their quilts. I hope they use them for many years.

Quilt Stats:
Name: Pinkie Squared Version 2
Fabrics: Michael Miller Basics Jelly Roll
Michael Miller Cotton Couture Solids Bright White
Backing: Cotton and Steel Double Gauze  Orange Happy Garden from the Trinket line by Melodie Miller
Binding: Lizzie House Mini Pearl Bracelets Apricot
Batting: Warm and White
Quilting: by ME on my Bernina 820, free motion swirls.
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. White
Quilted with Connecting Threads Essential Thread 40 wt. White
Finished Size: 41" x 49"

This crosses off another project on my first quarter Finish-Along list.

Capitola Quilter

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Pinkie Squared Version 1

My brother, sister and I have all had grandchildren born in the last few weeks. This quilt is for my brother's granddaughter, his first grandchild. 
I won a large Michael Miller basics jelly roll at QuiltCon last year. When I knew the baby had been born (insert procrastinator here) I dragged it out and then started searching Pinterest for Jelly Roll quilt ideas. I stumbled upon the Summer in the Park quilt pattern by England Street Quilts. I gave it a go and didn't realize just how perfect it suited these fabrics until I was nearly finished quilting the first quilt. Yes, I am making another because this jelly roll was huge! My only complaint about the pattern is it results in a block that is all bias edges causing quite a bit of distortion in the shape of the quilt. I did my best to quilt it carefully so as not to stretch it more out of shape than it already was.

My favorite go-to quilting motif lately is what I call peppermint swirls. As a semi-beginning machine quilter this is a  relatively easy motif and it adds great texture to the quilt.

I had this Michael Miller pink fabric in my stash and it is the perfect binding fabric.

I took advantage of a few sales this month and purchased some backing fabrics. This sweet double gauze fabric was a good one for this quilt. It is so soft and adds to the squishy softness of this baby quilt.

Here you see the second quilt waiting to be quilted. I also found a cute Cotton and Steel double gauze to use as the backing for this one, too. I've started quilting it and hope to have it ready to bind this weekend.

Both of these quilts are on my first quarter Finish-Along list. 

Capitola Quilter

Quilt Stats:
Quilt Name: Pinkie Squared Version 1
Pattern: Summer in the Park
Fabrics Used: Michael Miller Basics Jelly Roll
Michael Miller Bright White Solid
Binding Fabric:Michael Miller Running Stitch
Backing Fabric: Embrace Double Gauze-Dandelion in Coral by Shannon Fabrics
Batting: Warm and White
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil white 50wt.
Quilting: Improv Spirals by ME on my Bernina 820 machine using Essential Thread 40wt. white  by Connecting Threads 
Finished Size: 44" x 58"

Sunday, January 22, 2017

100 Blocks Christmas Quilt

Back in August I saw the #100blocks100days quilt-along starting to pop up in my Instagram feed. Several quilters and shops in Australia put together this quilt-along using Tula Pink's City Sampler book of 100 blocks. I resisted for several days and then I saw my friend's version (Cindy) and knew I wanted to make a Christmas quilt like hers. Cindy had made her 100 block quilt before the quilt-along and it is stunning. You can see it here. Cindy was kind enough to share her block making ideas with me. In the end I chose to layout my blocks differently from hers. 
The idea of the quilt-along was to make a block a day for 100 days, posting your block to Instagram each day, using a bevy of hashtags. Since I joined late I took several days to make multiple blocks each day and then finally got caught up, when my mom died. After taking off 7-10 days from sewing to grieve and arrange her memorial service, I managed to get caught up again. At this time I really went to work making lots of blocks each day so I could stay caught up with posting one block a day while we were gone on vacation to Ireland in October. I managed to keep up with the quilt-along to the end. My sister thought I was sewing on vacation, ha!

I used a lot of Christmas fabrics but I also added several red, green and white prints that are not designated as Christmas fabrics. I asked a few friends who have online quilt shops to put together little bundles for me. These bundles were a great surprise to receive and a lovely addition to my quilt.

Once the blocks were finished I set them aside until I could come up with a cohesive layout. My original plan was to copy Cindy (with her blessing) but in the end came up with a plan of my own. I am really glad I did. I like the way the blocks start in the center with the red/white and green/white blocks and then radiate outward with the different combinations of fabric and colors.

I quilted this quilt with swirly pinwheels using white thread. The pinwheels remind me of peppermint candies, which is very Christmasy, don't you think? The pinwheels gave the quilt a great texture, too.

My favorite bindings right now are made using skinny striped fabrics. I hope I don't live to regret it, but I found this perfect green stripe at Joann's right before Christmas. The backing is a fun print from Robert Kaufman.

It has been raining so much in SoCal lately that it has been difficult to find the right time to photograph this quilt (I am not complaining). In the end, I asked Mr. Romance to hold it up in the house. Not the best light nor the best setting, but at least it didn't get wet. I really wanted a snow photo. It's crazy getting to the mountains in Southern California when there is snow. The snow seems to bring people out of the woodwork and the driving is not the easiest. These photos will have to do.  I did take a few photos of the quilt with the Christmas tree before we took it down.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Tula Pink's City Sampler
Fabric:  New and old fabrics, from stash, in red, white, green
Backing: Sweet Noel by Cynthia Frenette for Robert Kaufman
Batting: Warm and White
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. white
Quilting: Quilted by me on my Bernina 820 using the free-motion foot making pinwheels all over the quilt with Connecting Threads Essential 40wt. thread in white
Binding: Mini green stripe from Joann's Fabrics.
Finished size: 60" x 60"

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Seawall Socks

These. Socks. Took. Forever!
I started them when we were in Vancouver in July and just finished them a few weeks ago. I would put them down and pick up another knitting project when I needed something a little more mind-less. The pattern by Tin Can Knits for the Seawall Socks can be found on Ravelry here. It is a beautiful pattern but not one that I could easily memorize, so I was constantly referring to my pattern, row by row. Sometimes it's nice to take it slow and really take my time with a knitting project. I am usually the queen of the quick finishes, but not so with this one. The pattern can be knit toe up or top down. I decided to knit them toe up, my favorite way to knit socks.
 seawall socks

The yarn that I chose to use is a beautiful "limited edition" Incredible Sock from Sunrise Fiber Co. I don't even remember where I bought it, but I probably saw it on Instagram and then was redirected to their Etsy store. It's so soft and squishy and was a good choice to show off this pattern. 

I had a little problem with laddering up the sides. I've been pretty lucky lately, most times knowing how to avoid this problem, but not so with this pattern. There were a lot of knit through the back stitches and I think that might have been my problem. I'm still too new of a knitter to be able to figure out what I am doing wrong in instances like this.

I used the Fish Lips Kiss Heel pattern again, because it fits my foot and heel the best. I tried to maintain the pattern through the heel, as suggested in the instructions, but I ended up with what looks like a seed stitch half-way through the heel. I actually like the way it looks. The heel in each sock ended up looking a little different from each other. I'm OK with that.

I have tried so many different patterns for a stretchy bind-off. The next pair of socks I make I want to try this one.  If you have a favorite stretchy bind-off technique I would love to know what it is. I have taught myself to knit using YouTube videos when I need a lesson. I am always learning new techniques and trying different ways to make my stitches look better.

These socks will be very cozy and comfortable to wear, especially this week. We are expecting rain, again. We might see some relief to our California drought if this weather pattern keeps up. I just love these cooler, wetter days of winter.

seawall socks tincan knits

Today was a perfect January California day. It was cool, crisp, perfect sweater weather. These are the days I like to keep secret from those of you freezing in the mid-west and east. January and February are, in my humble opinion, the best months in California.

Sock Stats:
Pattern: Seawall Socks by Tin Can Knits
Yarn: Incredible Sock Yarn 75% Super wash Merino/25% Nylon Color: Unfolding
Needles: Addi Turbo Sock Rockets US size 1 (2.5mm) 24" circular 
Blocked using Soak