Friday, April 10, 2015

March Bee Blocks

Finally getting around to posting my March bee blocks. These were finished and shipped a bit ago, so I'm not as far behind as it may appear...


do. Good Stitches - Aspire Circle: Garden Gate block


This is a 20.5" square block using this tutorial. FYI - everyone in our group had a bit of trouble with this block. The cut sizes listed in her tutorial are too small, and we all struggled getting this block to come out the correct size. 


We Bee Learning: Ribbon Star blocks


These were fun and fairly easy. I enjoyed choosing pretty spring colors for this block. Tutorial located here


Beejeebers: Red and White blocks


We were given free reign to make any block we like using classic red and white. The block on the left is called Antique Tile, tutorial here. The block on the left is a flying geese block, I used one of my favorite patterns from the Modern Building Blocks pattern cards. The small block on the bottom is an improv extra I made using the triangle cut offs from the flying geese block. 

  (P.S. I struggled getting this picture to look less super bright, so I adjusted the camera settings. It turned out a bit purple-y, but in reality they are very classic red in tone). 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lighthouse Quilt Finish!

It took only a few short (ahem...15) months to finish this quilt. 

It is finally done, and I am SO excited! 



Just in time for Easter!! I used a dimple minky for the back and quilted straight lines 4" apart to keep it nice and cuddly. 



The binding is machine stitched with a zig-zag. I feel secure (har-har) in stating, I don't think it's going anywhere...ever. :) 





Yeah - I know....not quilt related. But my favorite boots and I enjoyed the photo shoot together - so I thought I'd keep them in the loop. (P.S. These were a X-mas gift from the Hubby this year. Isn't he the best?!) 





I love this quilt. I also love that it is finished, and - other than a couple swap items due in June and my monthly bee blocks - I have no major projects with pressing deadlines right now. I'm eager to get started on a just-because project - I just haven't decided which...




Linking up with TGIFF.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Boxy Pouch Present

I feel like I'm getting a lot done in March! Way better than February!! Because of this, I have a bunch of things to share, so you can expect a few posts full of fun finishes over the weekend. 

First - I finished and gifted a handmade boxy bag for a very dear friend and co-worker. 




I whipped it up using this tutorial at Pink Stitches



Made entirely from scraps, minus the interfacing and zipper. :) The tutorial was pretty easy to follow - and turned out pretty well for my first bag project, I think.  



The only thing I would change would be to add a couple of zipper pulls at either end of the zipper. I actually even had them cut out, pressed and ready to go. But I was kind of "in the zone" when stitching this together, and forgot to add them. 

Oh well. 

I also gave her this cute mug I found at Anthropologie. I thought it was kind of geometric and fun. 



Linking up with TGIFF (Thank Goodness It's Finished Friday)

Monday, March 23, 2015

Stitching for Eleni

I finished my English Paper Pieced flowers for the Flowers for Eleni project (Jodi has a great EPP tutorial for these hexagon flowers at that link). 

This was a fun and uplifting way to learn a new quilty skill. I had never made any EPP before, let alone appliqued anything. I think I will be doing it again soon. :) 


Some quick background on the Flowers for Eleni project: 

In short, there are quilters from all over the world making and sending these little handstitched hexie flowers to Australia, in hopes of comforting a new mother with baby Eleni - who was born with Cerebral Palsy a couple weeks ago. You can read more about Eleni's story at Rachel's blog: Stitched in Color

I know what you may be thinking...why worry about this person I don't know, who is more than halfway around the world? Especially when I work in a children's hospital, caring for many families in similar situations here in Utah...? 

But...this felt different. 


Rachel is such an amazing person. I don't know her, and she doesn't know me. We will likely never meet. But I am part of a charitable quilting organization that she dreamed up and put together - do. Good Stitches. There are hundreds of quilters who are or have been a part of DGS over the years, coming together to make and donate quilts to different organizations all over the world. 

Something that means a lot to me.

Quilting has helped give me a purpose. A way to find focus, direction, and distraction through my own heartaches over the past couple of years. It is my therapy. And being able to turn that therapy into something good for someone else is helping heal my broken heart. Stitch by stitch. 

How could I not try to give back, offer some sense of comfort and gratitude to the woman who is helping to heal me? 

I wish Rachel and Eleni all the best in the coming days and years. And look forward to getting to know them from a distance, through this crazy online community that is social media. 

Friday, March 6, 2015

February Bee Blocks

I'm a touch late on posting this....just like I was a touch late on getting my February blocks in the mail. 

Whoops! 

February was a CRAZY month at work. Between RSV season and the influenza vaccine being less effective than usual, well...the hospital was busier than it has maybe ever been. 

But my blocks are getting there, and I learned a lot! 

FYI - these pics are a bit over-exposed. The colors are more saturated and lovely in person. One of these days I'm going to get my husband to teach me some editing tricks so I can fix things like that. Or teach me how to really use the camera in the first place...either would be great. :) 

Quilty Fun Birthday Cake block for Beejeebers: 




These blocks were actually quite a challenge for me. With a fabric cut list of different sizes marked with letters A-W...well, it took me almost an entire day to complete these two. They are not perfect, but they came out to the right size at the end (victory!) and I am quite happy with my fabric choices! LOVE when it works out the way you imagine. 


Churn Dash blocks for do. Good Stitches - Aspire circle: 



These were super fast, and super fun!! I think I can officially call myself a quilter, now that I've made a few classic churn dash blocks. Toni asked for "spicy" colors, which was bit of a challenge for me. I fretted and fussed and switched fabrics around, and at the very last minute decided on these. I LOVE them!! The coral and yellow block is my favorite! 


Kaliedoscope Paper Pieced blocks for We Bee Learning: 



I just finished Elizabeth Dackson's paper piecing class on Craftsy, which proved invaluable for helping me figure out these blocks. The tip to baste important points on the blocks before actually stitching really helped in getting the centers to line up almost perfectly! 


So far, I'm really enjoying being a part of each of these groups! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Barn Door Quilt FINISH!!

It only took a little over a year (yikes!) but I finally finished my Barn Door Quilt, and I couldn't be happier with how it turned out!!



I used all Anna Maria Horner prints - mostly from the Dowry line, but also a little Field Study and True Colors. 



The pattern is from Sarah's Quilt-Along last spring. It finishes at a generous-sized throw, 61" x 76". I struggled trying to hold the entire quilt up and off the ground. 



In general, I don't really have great pictures of most of the quilts I've made. They have all been gifts and take so long to finish that by the time they are done, I'm too stoked to give them away to take any good pictures. 



Not this time, though!! My husband just bought a new camera - Sony A6000 - and was eager to try it out. We took a drive up to the Spiral Jetty on the north side of the Great Salt Lake, and I brought the quilt along. :) 


It was a touch breezy...

This is Brian's favorite photo of the bunch. He says it makes the quilt look like a magic flying carpet, since you can't really tell that I'm standing behind it. :) 



I quilted it with straight lines echoing the X shape in the pattern. It took a while, but I LOVE the effect. 





The binding is a pine green/aqua print by Amy Butler. 


The backing is a 108" wide quilt backing fabric I found on sale. I kind of loved not having to piece the backing. It saved a bunch of time! 



All in all, I'd say - not bad for a year's worth of work, right?? 


P.S. If you get the chance, I highly recommend driving out to the Spiral Jetty. It's kind of out in the middle of nowhere - and takes a bit to get there with the dirt roads (all manageable in our little Mazda sedan) - but SO worth it. There are a couple interesting things along the way: 
  • The rocket display at ATK (including one that launched the space shuttle)
  • The Golden Spike National Historic Site (we didn't stop because the trains weren't out)
  • Then continuing on to the Spiral Jetty. 
The Jetty itself isn't much to see (a man-made formation of lava rock), but the area is SO COOL. It's like nothing I've seen before. Kind of a mix between being at the beach and the Bonneville Salt Flats. 

The air is salty. The wind creates that lovely crashing sound of water and waves. There are stretches of beach with some soft sand. But as you get close to the water, the sand is coated in a thick layer of sparkly, dried salt. The water at the edge of the lake is blood red - due to algae growth - and there are thick piles of soapy foam all along the beach and floating in the water. The foam is also thought to be due to the algae, likely caused by surfactants the algae produces. So interesting. 

It was like being on a different planet! We stood out there for a couple hours, just admiring the water. The sound of the waves. The snowy mountains in the distance. The unseasonably warm, almost 70-degree February weather. It was an odd, but lovely day. 

If you want to see some of the pics my husband took while we were out there - check out his website - Pix By Brian. He will be posting some on his Landscapes page. :) 

Monday, January 19, 2015

January Bee Blocks

Okay, so, I think 2015 is the year of the quilting bee for me. 

Last year, I spent a decent amount of time working on growing my stash (because who doesn't love that assignment??), with plans to join a bee this year. Previously, I had a large collection of fabrics that were designated toward specific quilt projects, but not a working stash "palette." 

With that assignment completed, I put my name out there on a Flickr discussion board saying that I was looking to join a bee. I also put my name on a waiting list for do. Good Stitches. 

I was contacted by 2 great bee admins to join, We Bee Learning and Beejeebers in mid December. Then, just before the new year, was informed that I had been added to the Aspire Circle for dGS!!

So...2015 is the year I accidentally joined my first bee...times 3!!!

Ha. 

So far, I am LOVING it!!! Each group is such a wonderful group of ladies. 

Take a look at what we are working on! 


We Bee Learning



These are Reverse Rainbow Starburst blocks made using this tutorial, but modified to a 12.5" block by using 3" squares instead of 4".  Those wonky stars were so much fun!! My first time doing any kind of improv piecing, and I totally loved it. Dee's quilt is going to turn out so cute! 


Beejeebers

Okay, so I have to admit, I was a little (or a lot) star-struck when I was asked to join this group. The admin and co-stitcher is none other than Melissa Corry of Happy Quilting. I have been reading her blog religiously and admiring her work since before I began my quilting journey 2 years ago. When she asked if I wanted to join the group, the answer had to be "of course, yes!!" 




 These are great granny square blocks, made using this tutorial - just modified to "great" granny by adding another row of colored squares. I'm super happy with how these turned out, and think this quilt is going to be so pretty! Great choice Erica! 


Last, but certainly not least, do. Good Stitches

I am very honored to be part of the newly formed Aspire Circle. We will be donating all quilts to a group called Enchanted Makeovers, an organization that helps transform homeless shelters for women and children into places that inspire behavioral and psychological change. They also have a great program called "The Sacred Sewing Room," where they set up a sewing studio in the shelters and hold sewing classes. This is used to teach new skills as well as coping mechanisms to the residents at the shelter. Truly touching and wonderful. 



These are Double Disappearing Nine-Patch blocks, made using this tutorial. This quilt is going to be super modern and happy, and it means so much more knowing it is going to such a good cause. 


So far, my year is looking really amazing! Hope you have some great stitch-y things going on this year too!!