Friday, December 8, 2017

Farmer's Daughter Ikat Quilt

My most recent quilt finish was made using two jelly rolls of The Farmer's Daughter fabric and a pattern by Brigitte Heitland of Zen Chic. To be quite honest using a jelly roll was a pain but the finished quilt made it worth it. I thought the quilt would end up very misshaped and wonky but all the wobbliness quilted right out.


I love the colors and prints in this collection. The sweet mix of floral and gingham prints combined with some text prints and basics make for a great quilt.


For the backing I found a great print that I really love. The only problem is I didn't order the correct amount. I added some black and white gingham to make it work. I have used Tim Gunn's "make it work" phrase more times than I can count. Ha! Ha!


The binding needed to be sort of neutral so I used some Widescreen by Carolyn Freidlander in Black. 


My sweet friend, Jennifer, of Knotted Thread quilted it for me on her newly acquired long arm machine. She used  pink thread and I provided my usual Warm and White batting. After laundering, this quilt measures 60" x 76". It shrunk 4-5 inches in both directions. I guess that's pretty normal.


 The best part of this quilt was gifting it to my dear, sweet friend, Jennifer. We have been friends for over 30 years. She is the last of our Glamorous Granny group to celebrate her 60th birthday. It's always such a pleasure to get together with these dear friends for our monthly lunch date. We laugh and cry and try to solve the problems of the world, but most of all we always count our blessings.





Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Low Volume Baby Quilt

Sometimes I make a quilt with the intended recipient in mind and sometimes I make a quilt because I just love the idea. This quilt falls somewhere in the middle. 
Earlier this year my friend and fellow Stash Sewciety bee mate asked us to make her wonky, low volume log cabin blocks. I enjoyed making them so much that I continued making lots and lots of them with no plan in mind as to how many I would make or how I would combine them.


I combined many sweet prints with lots of little fussy cuts as the center of each block and then  squared them up to 12-1/2". When I ran out of low volume prints I ordered more from a dear friend's fabric shop. (Stitch Supply Co)


I wanted to keep going but stopped at making 36 blocks, which makes the perfect large, baby quilt, at six feet square.


Lately, I have not enjoyed quilting my own quilts because it causes me a lot of shoulder pain, so I sent this one off to Crinklelove to work her magic. She does such a great job and she has a quick turnaround. The backing is my go to newsprint from Carrie Bloomston.


For the binding I found a great pink stripe from Michael Miller in my stash. It really was the perfect finish to this soft and sweet baby quilt.




Our newest granddaughter has the cutest nursery, so I cashed in on using it for the photo shoot.


This quilt is sitting, safely waiting, to see if my friend's baby will be a girl or boy. I'm hoping it's a girl so I can gift her this quilt and just in case it's a boy...I have a perfect boy quilt waiting in the wings. 

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Socks for Linden

I finished another pair of socks and sent them off to my niece in Philadelphia, hoping that she will make good use of them this fall and winter.
 

I made my go to simple sock pattern that works great for me, but added a single cable up the front and back of each sock.


I love the fall colors of this gorgeous yarn I purchased while on vacation in Montana this  September.


I've recently switched from using the Fish Lips Kiss Heel to making a gusset slip stitch heel. I like the look of it and think it fits better, too.


I'm always searching for a new toe to try, but I guess if it ain't broke, why fix it? Right?


A two by two ribbing is also my go-to. I work toe up, so the ribbing is the last to do before another pair is off the needles.





Here is proof that Linden liked the socks. How gorgeous are my little great-nieces and nephew? Ages 9, 6 and 3, I sure wish they lived closer so we could see them more often and they could play with my grandkids.


Sock Stats:
Yarn: Mountain Colors Bearfoot hand-painted yarn in the Azalea colorway
          60% Superwash Wool 25% Mohair 15% Nylon
Pattern: My own Stockinette Simple Sock pattern with a gusseted slip stitch heel
Needles: Addi Turbo Sock Rockets size US 1 24" circular


Friday, October 13, 2017

I Love Fall and a Pumpkin Quilt

It's no surprise that fall is my favorite season. I think this is true for most people. The milder temperatures and gorgeous color associated with the season are very comforting. But, fall eludes Southern Californians. By "milder temperatures" we mean it's not 100'F! We have to go north or east to really see fall color but we can pretend by surrounding ourselves with pumpkins, fall colors, seasonal foods like soup and stews and cozy quilts.


This pumpkin quilt pattern by Allison Harris is the perfect fall quilt. I purchased a fabric bundle kit from SewLux because I did not have enough orange fabrics in my stash. Chrissy did a great job coordinating the orange, brown and green fabrics. I also purchased the background from SewLux. 


For the quilting I resorted to my go to squiggles and swirls and threw in some seasonal words, leaves and pumpkins. I have gotten very comfortable with the quilting process but know that my skills can always improve. The best way to learn is just do it and embrace your mistakes.
I think this quilt represents my first successful all machine binding. It's not perfect but I am getting better at it. 


For the backing fabric I used a print from Cotton&Steel's Lil Monsters collection. I even incorporated a little strip of the selvage into the label.


For the photo shoot I wanted to go to a pumpkin patch but then I saw one of the local grocery stores had a big pumpkin display in the front of their store, so I took advantage of the free location and snapped away. This proved to be a good idea since I did not need to worry about people running through the background.


This quilt has already gotten a lot of cuddles and has a permanent (seasonal) place on the sofa. My friend, Pam, who is my daughter-in-law's mom, told my DIL to steal it when I wasn't looking :-))

My grandson in his pumpkin jammies was too tired to smile for the camera but this photo is adorable, none the less.


I had enough fabric remaining from the quilt to make three table runners, one for me and two to give as gifts to quilty friends. I just added a few more orange fabrics from stash and ended up with three table runners each measuring approximately 16"x58". For each table runner I used Essex yarn dyed linen in the Flax colorway. I used a different background on each one and quilted each one a little differently.



This last table runner is for me. I tried a double sided binding for the first time and I love it. It is a little more time consuming but I love the way it turned out. 



Quilt Stats:
Pattern-Pumpkins by Cluck Cluck Sew
Fabric-Assorted orange, green and brown fabrics purchased as a kit from SewLux
Background Fabric-Moda Crossweave in Graphite
Backing-Party in Grey Lil Monsters collection by Cotton and Steel
Binding-Green from the kit
Quilting-by me on my Bernina 820
Thread-Pieced with Aurifil 50wt. and quilted with Aurifil 50wt.
Size-58"x72"


Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Socks That Martha Ate



About six weeks ago I came home to find that Martha, my sweet Labradoodle, had gotten into a bag of yarn and shredded it all over our family room. It was over $100 worth of yarn that I had planned to knit several pairs of socks.  I couldn't be mad with her; look at that sweet face; I was angry with myself for not moving the yarn to a safer location.

I decided I wanted to make our daughter-in-law a pair of socks for her birthday, so I began knitting a pair of socks using three different yarns and using the "fade" method to blend the yarns when changing from one yarn to the other. 


I took this project with me on vacation and would knit each night as we sat in the bar and watched the sunset  at our hotel in Grand Teton National Park.



When we arrived home I only had the leg to finish on the second sock. We decided to run out for a quick dinner one evening and, as we always do since the "yarn incident", I picked everything up and put it on the counter, out of Martha's reach (so I thought).


We were gone less than an hour, but that was plenty of time for her to somehow get the knitting bag off the counter and completely destroy the toe and most of the foot of one of the socks. I was so angry and she knew it! We didn't look at each other for two days!


Luckily, Hue Loco still carried the pink yarn and I was able to order it and get it in time to finish the socks for Briana.


I gifted them to her yesterday and was so pleased to know I was able to repair and continue making these socks for her. They turned out beautifully and she really liked them. Because one sock ended up being knit toe up and the other was finished top down the toes look a little different but once they are on her feet I have no doubt I am the only one who would know.


I finished the toe with a kitchener stitch, which I am finally understanding and love how pretty this toe looks. I might be a new convert to knitting top down socks.


I started knitting gusset, slip stitch heels instead of the Fish Lips Kiss Heel. I like the look of it a little more.

These socks will make a perfect fall staple for Briana. The colors are so pretty.



And thus ends the story of The Socks That Martha Ate!

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Five Years in the Making

Five years ago my son asked if I would teach his daughter to sew. Makenzie and I started with a simple pair of pull on shorts. We used an old pair of her sweats and cut a pattern to make them. Soon afterwards we moved on to quilt making...my passion.
We decided on the Disappearing Nine Patch pattern. I had two charm square packs of a cute fabric line that she liked so we started with the basic techniques of learning about the 1/4" seam allowance, matching her points and pressing the seams.



Between her schedule and mine we didn't get much accomplished that first summer, so we returned to the same project the next year...


and the next year!


She finally finished the quilt top in 2014 and then we both dropped the ball. Makenzie was not super interested in sewing, although we loved our time together. She is a sporty girl and has a busy social life so sewing was not really at the top of her list. Her quilt got folded up and put away in my unfinished projects box.


This year I decided to finish the quilt and surprise her with it for her birthday.


I knew her small quilt wouldn't get much use seeing as she is 5'8" tall now, so I added a large border on all sides using the Nummers print fabric from IKEA. The black and white words were the perfect addition to showcase Makenzie's work in the center of the quilt.
I quilted it using my favorite method of what I call "Graffiti" quilting; a combination of straight lines, pebbles, squiggles, hearts and words.





I incorporated the label into the quilting with short phrases like "this quilt made by Makenzie and quilted by Bubbi" and "started in 2012 and completed in 2017" and "Happy Birthday".


I backed the quilt with the Story newsprint from Carrie Bloomston. I found it on Amazon (Fabric.com) and received a discount for buying over 4 yards! I love using this print because it is 108" wide and goes with so many different styles of quilt. The binding is becoming a habit too. Once again I used the black and white mini stripe from Timeless Treasures, available from Fabric.com on Amazon, too.


The finished quilt measures 72" wide and 82" long...I think it will keep Makenzie warm and cozy for many years to come.


Martha had to try it out before we gifted the quilt to Makenzie.


She was so surprised and her smile shows how much she liked her quilt. It holds so many memories of our time spent together.


This video shows her surprise and you can hear her parents in the background, remarking at their surprise of how well she did making the center section.