Thursday, February 28, 2013

Snow Hike

Just a little something silly and fun to maybe warm your day...

We went on a hike in the woods in the snow.  It was awesome.  

Remember the mei tai I wrote about recently?  That's what Daniel rode in. 

Our little man is such a ham.  Look at him making a silly face there in the corner.  

Fist bump!  Little dude is awesome.  Our hike was a lot of fun.  The snow made it something different than our normal hike.  


Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Have you heard about QuiltCon?  It's surely awesome and I'm jealous of all my quilting friends who got to go to Austin to partake.

Some of us from the KCMQG who didn't get to go got together to sew downtown and called it QuiltNon.  

Take that #QuiltCon! We have scraps! #QuiltNon

There were lots of scraps brought to share.  By lots, I mean probably multiple buckets worth.  

Fabric is flying! #quiltnon

They may have been tossed around a little.  

#quiltnon Sewing downtown with a really cool view.

That's where I sewed!  Nice view, huh?

Still rockin' #quiltnon

And these are some of the girls who were there with me.  Thanks to Lesley for arranging it.  We had fun.  :)


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Stay tuned...

I've been thinking. Lately I have spent a great deal of time thinking about blogging. I delight in the idea of blogging with my daughter. Like Jessica, I make stuff. Lots of stuff. I am hesitant to blog because quite frankly, I lack some computer skills. But I am ready to attempt this. After all, I am the gramma hen and I have stuff to cluck about. So stayed tuned..I plan to blog in the near future.

Rainbow Bright Quilt

I'm not 100% sold on that title, but it does kind of suit this quilt.  Feel like looking at some in-progress shots?  I'm not finished with it yet, so you can't see a completed photo.  

I love this fabric line by Ro Gregg for Fabri-Quilt.  It's called Marblehead in Global Brights.  


I figured out how to strip piece this quilt.  It went smoothly.  

I'm loving it!!!  First part of strip piecing finished. :)

I cut the strips into blocks.

Blocks cut!

Assembled into bigger blocks.  From there I ended up making it into quadrants before finally sewing it all together.  

Aren't design walls fun?

Don't you just love it?  Also, I'm in love with instagram photos.  

I might be in love.

I am also having a new love affair with pressing my seams open.  I think this might be a permanent thing.  We seem to be hitting it off.  

Yes, I am in love. I dig having my seams pressed open.

I took Angela Walter's Machine Quilting Negative Space class on Craftsy and learned this tile and swirls design.  I'm liking it.  Also loving So Fine #50 thread by Superior Threads.  Angela is right, it does melt into the quilt.  

Progress. #quiltnon

So, that's what I've been working on.  How about you?


Monday, February 18, 2013

I made a mei tai and I love it a lot.

Do you ever make something and wonder how you ever got along without it?  That's how I feel about my mei tai.  I use this thing probably at least twice a week these days.  I love wearing my little guy.  When he was teeny tiny I loved the moby wrap.  As he got bigger and heavier and the weather got hotter, I loved it less and less.  I feel the moby stretches too much with a bigger baby.  He got so heavy I felt like he ended up around my knees after wearing him a while and the wrap stretching.  And it gets so HOT!  Not fun in a super hot summer.  

After the moby got less and less comfortable, I made a simple sling out of some fabric I had laying around.  I loved the look of it.  It was easy to make.  I probably would have really loved it if I had made it before Daniel wanted to sit up and see what was happening in the world.  I followed this tutorial I found on pinterest.  It's been almost a year since I made it, but I vaguely remember it taking roughly an hour to do.  

I still keep it in Jason's car just in case Daniel is in the mood where he needs to be held and we need to stop by the grocery or something.  Even though I don't love this one, it is nice to have it available just in case.

The photo above is the first time Daniel was ever in the mei tai I made.  We really love this carrier. It's a simple design and I find it very comfortable to wear.  

If I'm by myself, the front carry is the easiest and most comfortable.  I can also get him into a hip carry by myself, but it spreads the weight to one side and my shoulder usually ends up pretty sore from carrying all of the little man's weight in the one place.  It is nice to put him on my hip if I need to use my hand and would like to keep his reach a little further away from what I'm working on.  The boy has monkey arms!

He really does love to be strapped to me.  

Baby boy loves riding along on my back. Mei tai might be the most used thing I've ever made.
The fabric I used was an awesome striped denim somebody had given my mom.  It's so soft and breathes nicely.  It's sturdy.  And I think it has kind of a hippie aesthetic to it that I think suits it's purpose.  

Garden of the gods
We didn't even take a stroller on our Colorado vacation.  We brought my mei tai and a backpack carrier that is more comfortable for my husband and just carried him up every mountain we climbed. 

The back carry is the most comfortable for me to have him in, but it's the most difficult to get set up.  Daniel is so wiggly and I'm not confident enough to do it without somebody helping me make sure he isn't going to take a dive off my back onto the pavement, so I really only do it when I have a helper.  

I think Daniel likes this carry the best, too.  He can see out over my shoulder to look at what's happening in the world.  He can see what I'm doing from my angle, too, instead of having to crane his neck around to scope things out.  

Garden of the gods

Works well as a teether, too.  Popped 2 new teeth on this trip!

The tutorial I used was from pinterest.  It calls for 2 1/4 yards of fabric.  I only had 2 yards of the denim, so my straps are a little shorter than ideal.  I'm not a huge person, so it works for me.  I also didn't have quite enough fabric to make the hood in the tutorial.  I do see the benefit of it (see photo above) and think sometimes it could come in handy.  

Babywearers, don't worry.  My tying has gotten much better and tighter and Daniel doesn't sag quite as much as in the photo above.  I'm now able to tie him on so his butt sits just right and we're all comfortable.

Also, Happy 30th birthday to my fabulous husband, Jason.  I love you!


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Puzzle Balls

I just finished up a fun little project for Fabri-Quilt's Quilt Market booth.  I love making these little balls.  They look a lot more complex than they actually are.  

Puzzle balls for Fabri-Quilt

They're definitely more time consuming than I remembered them being from the last time I made them, but they're fairly simple and fun.  This time I made them using some of Fabri-Quilt's flannel (so soft!) and following the Sew Fun pattern.  This was the start of the substantial list of things I have in line to make for Fabri-Quilt for Spring Quilt Market.  Next up... 3 quilts.  And that's not even from the line of fabrics that is the majority of my list!

Happy sewing! 

Monday, February 11, 2013

Studio Apartment Quilt

I did this quilt for Fabri-Quilt a while ago.  It was a fun, quick little quilt to make.  Basically a log cabin with only one room!

Studio Apartment

The fabrics were definitely bright!  I tried to use the solid black to tone them down a little.  


I have a grace quilting frame a bought from a girl in my guild last summer that I tried to use to quilt this little quilt on.  Unfortunately, that is when I realized that with the rods of the frame, my machine only allows me about 2" of quilting space for each pass down the frame.  I tried to force it to do more by pushing my machine against the frame.  The motion of the shank going up and down rubbed a hole in the quilt top!  I pulled it off the frame, ripped out what I had quilted, replaced the damaged block, and quilted it on my domestic machine (sans frame).  Haven't used the frame again since!


I think it turned out pretty well.  I love the texture that happens when you wash a quilt that's been quilted fairly heavily.  

If you like this design, Fabri-Quilt has my instructions for this quilt available as a free download over on their site.  Go check it out!


Thursday, February 7, 2013

Quilt Design Reject

When I design for someone, I usually come up with a bunch of ideas and send them some of the better ones.  Fabri-Quilt asked me to come up with something using the Marblehead fabric line in the global brights colorway.  I've been seeing a lot of really simple awesome quilts lately and was inspired.  I love how textured fabric can sometimes read as a solid.  I think solid quilts are awesome, especially when done well; I think simple quilts in solid fabrics done right are done well.  So, I was inspired.  I worked on the designs one evening in EQ7 and came up with 29 versions.  I picked out 13 I liked and sent them on.  I heard back the next morning that they liked 3 of them.  Excitingly, the one I liked the best (but knew was a little bit out of their box) was one of the three!

Quilt Design

I figured up the yardages for the quilts and sent them on with a new file containing just the 3 quilts they had picked to confirm we had the right ones moving forward.  Turns out, #8 & 9 got confused somewhere along the way and my favorite was not one of their 3.  

What do you think?  I think it has a lot of movement in it and would be a fun quilt to make.  I was planning to use the method by Oh Frannson! found here and here.  I used that method on some placemats made for Christmas last year and it was quick, easy, and fun.  

I do really like this quilt and think it could turn out really cool.  For some reason, I think it has a Monet Water Lilies sort of look to it.  For now it will go in my list of maybe I'll make this someday quilts.  :)


Monday, February 4, 2013

Gabe's Log Cabins

Do you make quilts as baby gifts? I do! I seem to be making a whole lot more of them these days and anticipate making even more of them now that I have made friends with girls who have babies Daniel's age and who plan to have more babies in the next few years. 

This quilt you see here is for my littlest nephew, Gabe. Gabe was born in March 2012, just 3(ish) months after Daniel. Gabe has an older brother, Logan, who is now about 2 and a 1/2. I made a quilt for Logan that you can read about here if you like. 

I started this quilt for Gabe a long time ago. I had thought I would do a tutorial on it, but never finished it. I cut the strips the same size as what the original quilt was. When I started to sew this together though, I just put what I thought looked best next to each other. Some blocks are bigger than others because of this. I like the way the two quilts started out the same, but look so completely different in the end. Logan's quilt was a straight up, traditional log cabin with rigid sashing. It was fun and fresh because of the colors and fabrics I used, but it was really quite modern. Because I took a break on this one for Gabe, I reconsidered a lot of the things I had done the first time and really like the final product. 

I do get bored doing the same thing over and over, but this was a fun way to re-invent what I had already done.

Have I mentioned that I really like to quilt? I love super dense quilting on things.  I love the texture it provides. I decided when it came time to quilt this one that I was not going to rip out any of the quilting, but I was also going to try as many different patterns as I could. When I was ready to start the quilting on this, I went to my friend Angela's book "Free Motion Quilting with Angela Walters" to become inspired. If you don't already own Angela's book, you should. It's fantastic.

And in case you are curious, I quilt on my domestic machine. It's not huge and isn't anything super outrageously fancy, but it does the job. I do have a grace quilting frame in my basement waiting to be used, but all the machines I own are too small for it. I put my biggest throated machine on it and it still only gave me about 2" worth of quilting space to begin with and the presser foot bouncing up and down against the rolled quilt made a hole in my quilt top. So (at least for now) I happily quilt on a plain old domestic machine.