Saturday, November 5, 2016

The Deacon Quilt: A Finish

Howdy y'all! And Happy Saturday! I have a finish to share, so let's get to it. This quilt was commissioned not to long ago by one of my best friends from college. She's becoming an auntie again and asked if I could make a quilt to celebrate! Of course I accepted, I want to wrap up as many babies in quilty love as I can! :)
I'm standing in KY, but across the bridge is Ohio!
She sent me a picture of a quilt she liked, asking if I could add the baby's name somewhere on the front. It seems names on quilts is becoming my specialty! I found a font on Pinterest that she liked and hopped right to it!
Those loo-dee-doo's really give a lot of texture! :)

I quilted it in loop-dee-doo's in a medium gray thread, tossing in a few hearts for good measure. I bound it in Kona Navy and for kicks, I used a red thread for a little extra pop around the edges. :)

I took this one out for a special photoshoot, but I'm not overly pleased with the photos. I was charged with holding the quilt, so I feel like you can tell the pictures weren't taken by me.  No matter though, there's always next time! The riverfront area I went to is gorgeous and I'm sure more quilts will go there for pictures.
It was a windy day, so I was standing just out of frame to save the quilt from blowing into the water! 
I'm pleased to say Auntie texted me this evening and said Momma-to-be absolutely loved the quilt and nearly cried when she opened it! I love when the quilts I make are so loved, it fills my heart to the brim. :)
Trying not to get blown over by the wind or trip over the driftwood! And of course, my ratty bun is peeking over the top. Hahahaha

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

The Commission That Made Me Laugh

Howdy y'all! Hope your week is looking a bit more bearable now that we've hit the hump! As promised, I have some progress to share with you.

A while back, a coworker of mine said her boyfriend wanted to pay me to make a quilt. Thing is, he didn't want a typical quilt. He wanted a Crown Royal quilt. I'm no connoisseur of alcohol, but I'm pretty sure Crown Royal is rum, right? Regardless, the bottles come wrapped in these nifty little purple and gold bags. And this guy didn't have a few of these bags. Oh no, he had an entire garbage bag full of them - I'm talking more than a hundred of them! Apparently he's been saving them for years just for a project like this! I was rolling with laughter when she told me about it, but I agreed to do it. Who doesn't love a good challenge?!
Purple and gold for dayyyyyssss!
Anywho, he gave me free reign to do whatever I please, he just wanted the bags involved. He ended up deciding he wanted a king sized quilt (YIKES!), but thankfully has no deadline set for finishing and simply said to ask whenever I needed money for supplies and whatnot.

I had hand cramps for days after cutting all the logos off the bags and squaring them up, though I know I've got a few more bags squirreled away somewhere if I need them. And I've been making slow progress piecing blocks. I didn't want anything too difficult, but I wasn't feeling anything overly simple either. In the end, one of my doodles of some log cabin blocks grabbed me and I ran with it!
My sewing table stays in organized chaos anymore, especially with this project in full swing! I'm hoping to get at least another round on the in progress blocks on top tonight! 
I laid all my blocks together a little while back and I'm absolutely loving how things are shaping up so far! I'm hoping to be finished piecing blocks soon-ish so I can get the top together and share the full effect with y'all. I'm absolutely dreading basting this bad boy and, being totally honest, the thought of quilting it on the First Born has me shivering in my boots! But I'm ready to tackle it and make something I'm proud of! :)

Happy Hump Day, y'all! I'll be back on Saturday to share a finish!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Sometimes You Just Can't Quilt

As the title implies, I won't be sharing a quilt today. No finish, no WIP, no Sunday Stash. Not a single picture. In the words of Molli Sparkles, I'm serving up a cup of Truth Tea, more for myself than anybody. And y'all, it is a bitter cup to swallow down. I wrote this post more than a week ago, but today I am ready to share. If you are here for quilts only, come back later next week when I share some progress and a finish!

I've noticed a theme in my life. When life slaps me down and craps on me, I hide under quilts. I had so many things to share with you guys, had everything planned. But on Wednesday, I got news.

She's dying.

If you've been with me on this blog for a while, you will remember the quilt, Missed Punchline. I made it for my grandmother who had been steadily declining in her battle with Alzheimer's. That quilt was an emotional journey from start to finish, but in the end, it helped me work through so much...stuff that I had bottled up for years.

She's dying.

I had been working with my Dad when we got the news. We cleaned up and went to the nursing home. It was the first time I saw my grandpa cry. It had been so long since my last visit. Too long. Her condition had nosedived and I barely recognized her. I couldn't say a word, not to her. She didn't know I was there...honestly, I don't think she knew any of us were there. But I sat at the foot of her bed. I did multiplication tables in my head as I looked at her, clinging to something that never changed.

She's dying.

And my eyes fell on it. Missed Punchline was there, pushed to the end of the bed because she was hot. It was crinkled from being washed almost weekly, a few lines of quilting popped and unraveling. It was always there, draped in the chair set up for visitors normally.

She's dying.

I left that night knowing it wouldn't be long. I went home and curled up under a quilt, not sure what to feel. The next day, I had just curled up again, ready to head out for errands but I had time to spare for a bit of cozy reading. My phone rang.

She's dead.

I told my husband. I drove him to work and came home, all errands and plans forgotten. I drug myself upstairs, crawled into bed with some quilts, and I cried. I hid from the sunlight streaming through the window. I hid from the world. I followed the familiar lines of quilting, the improv lines of patchwork. I wrapped up as tight as I could, cocooned in love that only comes from a quilt. Every minute not spent on necessities has been underneath a quilt for me.

We said goodbye today. It was hard, but at the same time, it's like I can breathe a little easier. When I came home, feet sore and head pounding from meeting so many people, I changed into pajamas and retreated under a quilt. Tomorrow is for quilting. Today is for hiding beneath quilts.

I wrote that the day of my grandmother's funeral. I still felt raw, unsure how to step forward after something so shaking. Everything ached, my heart the most. I've slowly shifted my life, like breaking in a new pair of shoes: things still ache at the end of the day, but I'm gradually working back towards...normal? The word sounds wrong honestly, but it's the only one I can find. Normal for me was to sew. Every day, at least a few minutes is spent at the machine or planning or cutting fabric. But it felt wrong. Just the thought made my stomach go sour for reasons I can't figure out. After about a week, my machine beckoned me back, the hum and bang of the First Born more comforting than I thought it would be. So I'm back in business, getting back to neglected projects and finding comfort in fabric and thread.

Thanks for bearing with me through that! I try to keep this blog as quilty as possible, but all of us know that life happens. And sometimes you just have to let it all out to breathe a little easier. I plan on sharing some progress mid-week and have a spanking new finish to share on Saturday!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Winner Winner, Chicken Dinner!

Howdy y'all! Long time, no see! It feels good to sit down and actually write a blog post after a hectic 2 weeks. I've been getting sewing done here and there, and I'll have some progress to share soon. I'll even have a finish for next Friday!

After about nine months of no luck, I had the luckiest week ever and won not one, not two, but THREE giveaways! Two of them were through the Orphan Block drive that ran recently. I'm so excited to receive these WIP's and work towards finishing them up!
First up are Polaroid blocks! You know I love a good novelty print, so these are right up my alley! There are so many little treasures in this pile I received from Jayne over at Twiggy and Opal. When I needed a bit of a break from another project, I pulled these out and took a few measurements, then whipped up a stack to add to them!

Next are these paper pieced blocks from Red Letter Quilts. Aren't these the coolest! They remind me of my great-grandmother's kitchen with their retro colors and vibe. Heidi is the sweetest and even sent along all the patterns and some extra fabric as well to help finish these up! I'm hoping to whip them into something for my own kitchen, which is embarrassingly bare.

And last but not least, I won The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters from Adrienne over at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts.

I had heard about this improv reference book a little bit, mainly from Rachel over at Stitched in Color. At first, I wondered how much I would actually like this book because some improv quilts are just... meh to me. I recognize the hard work and skill it takes to make them, but they aren't something I would want to make (I'm sure we've all felt that way about at least 1 quilt in our life!). But a quick flipping through the pages told me I'm DEFINITELY going to enjoy this book. There are so many different skills and ideas, this one is going to be a source of inspiration for a long time. I'll review it more when I actually get to make a project using it later on!

SO, how has your luck been with giveaways this year? I'm glad my dry spell finally ended! Happy sewing this weekend, y'all! :)

Friday, September 30, 2016

The Magic Continues: More Harry Potter Paper Piecing!

Howdy y'all, just stopping by to check in! I've been sewing quite a bit lately, but nothing really worth sharing I feel like. Today has been a pajama day, drinking hot tea and hiding from the cool weather that has descended. That means lots of sewing, thank goodness! I finished up another block for the HP Project of Doom and figured I would share my progress since last time. I really like having this long term project to work on. It keeps me on my toes if I need a challenge, but doesn't demand to be worked on when I'm not feeling up to it. Plus, it's a perfect use of my stash and scraps, which is how all my sewing has to be for now.

First up, a grindylow! This is the block I'm most proud of so far! If you follow me on Twitter, you already saw this one, which I shared as soon as I finish because I was in complete awe. Lol. I'm planning to make this guy look like he's in a jar and set him on top of a little cabinet beside the  bookcase.

Next up, a crystal ball. I don't think I would be one for Divination if I went to Hogwarts, but it does make a lovely knick knack for the bookcase. :)

What Harry Potter project would be complete without Harry's glasses?! I'm really proud of getting all those little pieces to line up as well as they did!

Although I already have a candle, I couldn't resist making the little blue flame that Hermione can carry around in a jam jar. I really liked piecing the little flame, something about it was so soothing. :)

And lastly, the block I just finished this evening, is a mortar and pestle, along with a jar of some mystery substance. Remember the little cabinet I just mentioned? I envision it as a little apothecary cabinet with plenty of jars and what-not, so I needed a mortar and pestle! :)

All these patterns are available for free at Fandom in Stitches - check out the Harry Potter Bookcase page, along with the regular Harry Potter patterns. There are a ton to choose from!

Friday, September 23, 2016

The Quilt With No Name: A Finished Quilt Top

Howdy y'all, and happy Friday! I'm excited to unveil my latest finished quilt top! You saw a sneak peek of it on Wednesday, but here it is in all its glory! :)
The lovely Belle, back and ready to continue her quilt modeling. :)
As I said on Wednesday, this is a pattern of my own design, though only because I couldn't find one that suited my idea. I couldn't find an on-point square that fit the image in my head, so to the drawing board I went! It was easy enough and I'm thrilled with the result. Funnily enough, the design idea came to me back in the winter while playing video games with my husband. We were waiting for a game to load and the loading screen really struck me. I doodled the basic image in my notebook and hung onto it for inspiration to strike.

Those little intersection squares finish at 1 inch square! :)
That inspiration struck with my Alison Glass fabric! But what to pair it with? If you've followed for a while, you know I admire Kitty Wilkin over at Night Quilter. She really has a way with color, especially rainbows! And she really made me want to use Essex Linen in a quilt. For my birthday, I splurged and got, not regular Essex Linen, but a METALLIC Essex Linen. Oh. My. Goodness. I was giddy when I opened it and saw the shiny!

Depending on how the light hits the linen, it can appear metallic or flat. Makes for interesting pictures! Lol.
To my surprise, I plan on hand quilting this one. I know, weird for me, right?! But the buzz from hand quilting Technicolor Galaxy: Pocket Edition seems to have hung around because all I can see is rainbow hand quilting when I look at this quilt top. I figure I'll wait until the quilting is done to trim off the excess fabric around the edges, even if it looks funny right now! Lol.
This one really shows off the shimmer!
I had hoped for a better photoshoot for this top, but alas, not all wishes come true! So I took it with me when I went to my parents' house to do some work. I tried hanging it on the clothes line, but eventually just spread it out in the yard. The girls, Belle and Jasmine, couldn't help but get involved! Belle, of course, thinks she's a quilt model after I told her how much everybody liked her last time! ;) Now it's just time to dig through my batting pieces and hope I find one big enough for this!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday, TGIFF, and Finish or Not Friday!

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

WIP Wednesday: Be Still, My Heart

Y'all, y'all, Y'ALL! I'm so beyond excited to show you what I've been working on! The thing is, I'm so close to finishing the top, I'm just showing a sneak peek today and saving the full reveal for Friday. You may remember that I got a bundle of Alison Glass for Christmas and I was beyond excited about it. I've been slowly but surely getting a quilt top together, savoring each stitch like a fine wine. But I'm so close to getting the top together, I might be speeding up a little out of excitement! This is a pattern of my own design, but it's so simple that I'm sure quite a few people have already written it up, I just couldn't find one when I looked. More details on Friday when I unveil the finished quilt top!