Friday, May 27, 2011

Hope Valley quilt top

You all are nice, I like you.  Thanks for your words of encouragement on my last post.  You know, the one where I was complaining about these stinking string blocks?  Yep, that one.  I needed the motivation, and you all gave it to me.  I bit the bullet and sewed up those last 24 blocks(I thought it was 18, but I was wrong).  Like most things, it wasn't so bad once I got back to them. 

My favorite part of making string blocks is tearing off the paper afterwards.  Kinda funny, right? 

Since I had already sewn together the 64 blocks that were already done, it took no time to sew the last three rows together.  I love the finished top.

If it ends up being a rainy weekend, I'll probably try to get this basted and ready to quilt.  I'm still trying to decide on the quilting.  Straight lines like my Single Girl quilt or stippling like in my Habitat one?  Any opinions? 

fun with webcam
And I'll end with some silly pictures we took on the webcam yesterday afternoon.  I literally could turn it on and the boys would play in front of it for an hour.  :)

Happy Friday!
xo A

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

life this week

It has been the nicest week.  I pulled out these old string blocks to work on.  I have 70 of 88 down (this will be twin size), so I decided to pull off the backing of these paper-pieced blocks and sew what I have done together.  I just needed to see some progress on this one, and I do love it so far.
But can I be honest here?  This quilt is killing me!  I am so over string blocks.  Despite the chain-piecing system I've developed, they are so monotonous to make.  And they are driving me nuts.  I have 18 more to go, so I really want to get them done.  This is my last work-in-progress that I would like to finish before I start a new quilt.  But seriously.  If I decide to do a large string block quilt again, will someone please slap me?? :)

I started a new book this week, I just got it in the mail yesterday.  (off topic - Am I the only one that still reads regular books, not at ereader?  I feel like that sometimes.)   It is called Heaven is for Real - a little boy's astounding story of his trip to Heaven and Back.  It is so good, and I am almost halfway done already.  Have any of you read it??  It is one of those great reads that helps put things in perspective.

And the most important thing about this week?  My oldest is graduating from preschool.  I didn't realize how sad I would be!  He's grown up so much this past year, and it is hard to let go of these preschool days.  I am very excited and proud of him.

I hope you all have a nice holiday weekend!  So far the forecast looks great, and we are planning on putting in our vegetable garden.

xoxo Angela

Monday, May 23, 2011

finished - Habitat bowtie quilt

Hi friends!  I'm back from my little blogging break.  It was unintentional, but I was just so distracted by the nice weather the past couple of weeks.  We've spent so much time outside working on the flowerbeds, playing in the yard, riding bikes... all of those fun spring activities that have been eluding us so far due to all of the rain.  I have also been working on a couple exciting projects, and the last of those deadlines is quickly approaching.  But yay for me, they are finished ahead of time!

Back to the quilt... Remember this post?  After a marathon quilting session, I had some pretty big plans on getting the binding on this guy handsewn during the yearly crafty retreat my girlfriends and I have.  And I did!  I worked on it that Saturday from 8AM until 4PM, stopping for brunch and snacks of course.  It was the fastest I've ever bound a quilt.  I absolutely love this last step in making a quilt, and it was so fun to be able to chat with my girlfriends all day while handsewing. 

It was an enjoyable quilt to make.  After working on a more difficult quilt for quite awhile, I was ready for something fun and simple.  This was very easily and quickly cut and pieced, and I was so happy to cut in to my recently acquired Habitat fq set (purchased at Spool's online shop for those of you who asked).  These chunky bowtie blocks are cute and fun to make.  I think I'll revisit this pattern soon, but maybe I'll do some smaller 6" blocks next time! 

After a quick discussion with friends, I decided to go with an aqua solid for the binding.  It is one of my favorite colors, and I like how it frames the quilt and coordinates with the backing.

One of my favorite things about the quilt?  The fun mix of a classic pattern with some pretty contemporary prints.  Love that.

This is the largest project that I have free motion quilted on my machine, and I really love doing it.

quilt stats:
pattern and dimensions- 12" finished bowtie blocks, 72" x 96" overall
fabric - Jay McCarrolls' Habitat and Moda Crossweave in Natural
backing - DS Quilts fabric from JoAnn's
binding - Kona in Aqua
machine pieced and quilted in meandering pattern by me

Happy Monday!
xo Angela 

previous posts on the making of this quilt:

Monday, May 9, 2011

Single Girl in Sherbet Pips

Here it finally is, my Single Girl quilt!  It has been finished for a couple of weeks or so now. 

I loved making this quilt, and I truly enjoyed every step of the process.  The actual pattern is fantastic, it is really not as hard as you might think.  Time consuming, yes.  But not that difficult.  Once you get used to sewing the small pieces together, it isn't so bad.  As for the big curves, they are pretty easy too.  My recommendation? Use lots of pins!
I decided to go for a solid for the backing.  I love the simplicity of it.  For the binding, Aneela's dark pink square dot is perfect.  I adore that print.  It is such a fun spin on the polka dot, and I have them in every colorway.  It is my new favorite.  And I didn't really mean for it to be so super girly and pink, by the way.  I just couldn't help myself.  After having two boys, the pink is very welcome.

quilt stats:
fabric: Sherbet Pips by Aneela Hoey, Moda Bella Solid in gray, and Kaufman Kona in medium pink
pattern: Single Girl by Denyse Schmidt
size: twin
quilting: straight line quilting by me (1" apart)

Though I've been snuggling up with this quilt on these cool spring nights (you know, just a little test run, right??), it is destined for Finley's big girl bed.  Yep, that won't be for a couple years, I know.  It will be broken in nicely by then.  :)

me and Fin - 10 months

xo, Angela

previous posts on the making of this quilt:

Edited on 5/13/11 - linking up to the Blogger's Quilt Festival 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Habitat quilting

I decided yesterday morning that a Habitat quilting marathon was in order.  You see, this weekend is my annual scrapbooking retreat.  We girls have an overnighter at a local ski resort, and we craft, stay up late, and eat a lot of food.  Since I don't scrapbook, I bring photos to organize in albums, handsewing, and crocheting.  Remember all of those photos I mentioned in this post?  Yep, that is what I'll be working on.

I think hope I'll have all of those pictures organized and filed by the end of the evening, so I decided I should bring this quilt to bind.  The problem?  This time yesterday morning it was still a quilt top only!

That was remedied quickly.  The younger kiddos and I hit Joann's yesterday morning while W was at school.  We picked up some of yardage of this pretty aqua and black fabric by DS Quilts for the backing (I love that line!!), and I spent the evening and this morning at my sewing machine.  Now the quilting is done!  Doesn't that fabric look perfect with Habitat?  This afternoon's naptime will be spent making the binding and machine sewing it down onto the front of the quilt, and then I will work on the handsewing during my trip.  So that is the plan, now I better get to it!

Have a great weekend!!
xo Angela

PS - Yes, I finally painted my living room (mentioned in my last post) and I love it!  Took several days, but it is done.  That is why I am allowing myself to sew again... :)

ETA:  I'm thinking this aqua solid for the binding. Yes??