Friday, September 25, 2015

Got Scrap?

I have been waiting for a day when Mr. Romance and I could schedule a photo shoot for my latest quilt finish. We finally squeezed it in this week between all the home repairs and other things we have going on at our house. It seems when you live in a home for 30 years, all of a sudden everything but the kitchen sink needs fixing or replacing.
This is my Kitchen Sink quilt.  I got the idea for the name from my friend, Chase, who named her scrap/orphan block quilt the same thing. Since it is made of scraps, practice blocks and orphan blocks, that's everything BUT the kitchen sink.The quilt itself is inspired by all the beautiful projects that Amanda Jean makes. I started this when she had her scrap vortex quilt-along. 

There are some PRECIOUS scraps and there are some FUGLY scraps, too.
I am glad I was able to incorporate the orphan blocks on the front of the quilt.

I pieced the 25 Farmer's Wife blocks that I abandoned several years ago. I didn't like my fabric choices at the time, but they look pretty good all together on the back of the quilt, surrounded in an IKEA Alphabet print duvet cover and a strip of the IKEA Nummers print.

I quilted it on my Bernina 820 using a very random and relaxed wavy pattern, alternating the direction of the squiggly lines to give this quilt some great texture.

A scrappy print deserves a scrappy binding. These are all leftover binding strips, saved from other quilts when I overestimated the amount of binding I would need.

I have to say I am so excited to have found the perfect photo opportunity for this quilt. We have a scrap yard a few miles from our house. I must have driven by it a million times in the last 30 years and finally noticed the sign painted on the wall. How cool is this photo?

Quilt Stats:
Name:The Kitchen Sink Quilt
Fabric: precious scraps, ugly scraps, orphan blocks, and practice blocks.
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. white and quilted with Aurifil 40 wt. White
Backing Fabric: IKEA duvet cover Alphabet print in Black and White, IKEA Nummers print, 25 Farmer's Wife Blocks.
Batting:Warm and White
Size:55" x 77.5"

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

I've Been Roped In

Have you tried making a rope bowl? They are so easy to make. All you need is some clothesline/cotton cording, polyester thread and some fabric scraps.
I'm still working on learning how to shape the bowl. For now I am ok at a flared bowl. 
I've also made a few coasters with a small tray. 
I have a feeling there will be many more in my future. 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Color Block Socks


Color Block Socks



Color Block Socks

Jumping Jacks Socks {variation}

Fish Lips Kiss Heel



I might have started a little trend when I took advantage of my youngest granddaughter's spunky personality to be my shawl model. It was only fitting that I engaged my eldest granddaughter to model the color block socks made from the same yarn as the shawl.
I knew I wanted to make color block socks but had never made a pair before. I didn't know how or when to change the colors. Through trial and error I figured it out and I am pleased with the finished socks.
I basically used my own pattern with 16 stitches cast on and measurements that I figured out work best for me, along with the Fish Lips Kiss Heel and this pattern for the decorative stitched section on the cuff.
Until this photo shoot I hadn't realized that Makenzie has passed me up in shoe size. It won't be long until she's taller than me too! I am glad I have 4 granddaughters to help me model some of my handmades.

Sock Stats:
Pattern: My Own Socks with a Fish Lips Kiss Heel and the Jumping Jacks decorative stitches.
Needles: Addi Turbo Sock Rockets US size 1 {2.5 mm}, 24"circular
Yarn: Hand Dyed Yarn by The Flying Kettle on Etsy 75% Superwash Merino wool, 25% nylon. Colors: Crush, Tango, Retrograde,  Poolside and Glow Worm.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Let's Get Together

What is your process for making a cohesive quilt out of various sized bee blocks?
For my Bee Sewcial quilt I knew I wanted to add more solids to the blocks to make them fit together.
I started by laying them out in some sort of arrangement. Then I decided to pull out all the 12" blocks and start there.
In the end I just pieced together the second to the bottom row to determine what the width of the quilt would be and then pulled a Tim Gunn moment and "Made It Work".
This is a crazy, busy, modern art piece. Each block could be a mini quilt all by itself, so together they give the brain a lot to think about. My brain is working hard to come up with a plan to quilt it.

Friday, September 11, 2015

The Little Fisherman

Last month my sister became a grandmother for the 6th time. This time it's a BOY! Her eldest son and his wife already have two terrific daughters, so a boy was a nice surprise to add to their brood.
I already had plans to gift them the Windows Quilt. I like giving a family quilt to be used as a picnic quilt for the entire family.

Windows quilt
I wanted to knit a little something for the baby. They live in Pennsylvania, so I knew a hand knit sweater and cap would gets lots of use this winter.
I love knitting cables so a little Fisherman knit cable sweater would be fun for baby Wyatt. I used the Easy as ABC top down Raglan Sleeve pattern and just made some changes to incorporate a cable up the front.
hand knits for baby

This little hat can be knit in a few hours. I am not a fast knitter, but I made one in 2 hours yesterday.
This is also a great pattern for beginners. It's easy to follow and comes in sizes from baby to adult. The Barley hat can be found on Ravelry.

baby barley hat

I am looking forward to seeing a photo of little Wyatt, wearing the sweater set, and his sisters sitting on the quilt. 

Sweater/Hat Stats:
Yarn: Patons Classic Wool Worsted Aran Tweed 90% wool 7% Acrylic 3%Viscose 
dye lot 2013-11-001
Sweater pattern: Easy As ABC Top-Down Raglan Baby Sweater by Heather Walpole
Needles:US size 7 and 8, Addi Turbo 16" circular and size 7 and 8 DPN's
Hat Pattern: Barley Hat by TinCan Knits
Needles:Addi Turbo sock rockets 16" circular needles, size 6 and 8. DPN size 8

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

A Lotta Curves

As a child I wasn't quite sure what my mom meant when she would say, "stop making mountains out of molehills". I think what she meant to say was "When you have mountains of fabric, MAKE a Molehills quilt".

I started this quilt at Sewtopia in Chicago. The class was taught by the designer of this fun pattern, Latifah Safir. It is such a perfect pattern and is an easy entry into sewing curves. I love sewing curves and don't find them daunting, but for those who might be afraid, this is a great pattern.
I chose a popular color palette influenced by Lotta Jansdotter for this modern quilt, using navy, mustard, turquoise, grey and orange prints from my stash. I used several of Lotta's prints as well.

Cutting a quilt at a retreat, on the floor, is not fun, but I got it done and made 15 molehills at the retreat. Once home I completed making the quilt top and then sent it off to Sarah at CrinkleLove to be quilted. I so glad I remembered to attach the label, before it wa quilted, to help keep it permanently attached.
I chose the bathing beauties print from IKEA for the backing, combining it with a remnant from stash of the Widescreen print from Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman.
It took me a while to sew the binding on, but after a call for suggestions on Instagram, I listened to Sukie and chose a navy polka dot, and did a machine finished binding.

Quilt Stats:
Quilt Name: A Lotta Curves
Fabric: Navy, mustard, turquoise, grey and orange prints from stash
Backing: Bathing Beauties from IKEA. Widescreen by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman
Thread: Pieced with Aurifil 50 wt. white
Quilted by Sarah Crinkle Love
Binding: Navy with White Polka Dot {I think it's Riley Blake}
Size: 60" x 68" 

Friday, September 4, 2015

Three on the Third

Being in three bees sometimes has it's challenges. That was not the case this September. I think it's because we had August off for two of the bees so I was able to rest and feel refreshed. 
First up was Stash Sewciety's Dana, who asked for plus blocks made with Rachel's tutorial. I love making these blocks and those new low volume prints by Brigitte of Zen Chic for Moda might be my new favorite fabric.

Next, Nicky, the newest member to Stitch Tease Bee asked for blocks to help her build a tile wall like she saw at the Alhambra Palce in Spain. Nicky created a Pinterest board for inspiration. I LOVED this challenge and found it so fun. She asked for blocks that are mostly tone on tone in shades of orange with touches of aqua. The first block was a downsized version of a baby quilt in Angela's book.

Then I made another block of diamond shapes. I am a little low on tone on tone orange fabrics, so I used the same fabrics for all three blocks.

For the third block I found this tile on Pinterest and used it as inspiration.

Bee Sewcial always challenges me. I have learned so much from this bee and it really makes me think outside of my normal parameters of quilting. This time Hillary set forth a challenge that spoke to me. I love black and white quilts and have wanted to make one for a very long time. I think trying out this minimalist challenge with negative space is just the right push to get me to finally make a black and white quilt of my own. She asked us to make something with meaning; either specific to ourselves or a general statement. It didn't have to be a heavy topic. 
The first block I used a "square peg in a round hole" idea, because that is how I feel sometimes.
The second block I made a minimalist swimmer, which represents my love of exercising in the water, whether it be swimming or water jogging.
This month Bee Sewcial opened up it's inspiration ideas to the Instagram community. If you are interested in creating along with this bee you should check out the hashtag on Instagram. #inspiredbybeesewcial