30 January 2013

A taste of spring

Over the weekend past I received two things... a package of fabric and a case of the sniffles.  Each of them developed into full-blown versions of themselves- that is, the fabric became a skirt, and the sniffles became a cold.  I guess with the good we must accept the bad.

No sooner had the postman walked away from the front door than Martina had ripped open the envelope and claimed a Heather Bailey print (which I found for a steal) as her own.  I've got to keep my eye on that one.  She's nine years old and already raiding my things!  Inspired by the warmer weather, she asked that a skirt be made for spring. 

A quilty friend and I had arranged a sew date, and I arrived at her home Saturday night with said Heather Bailey print and plans to make a skirt.  It was in the midst of skirt-making that my sniffles became something more.  Tissues and allergy medication were doled out by my kind friend (I thought the spring-like weather we've been having might have kicked up the allergies).  However, the more I sewed, the more I sniffled.  Long story short, by the next day, I had a finished skirt and a cold.

I've finally recovered and had fun photographing the little miss in her new skirt.

She's raided my stash and has commissioned six more skirts.  I guess I know what I'll be working on the next few days! 

18 January 2013


I can now count exactly one finished quilt that belongs to us.  Well, to my son, anyway.  It was actually finished on January 7th, but I let Antonio enjoy it for a bit before I posted about it.  Also, I was tad bit lazy.

So after a year-and-a-half in the making, this quilt (my January project for A Lovely Year of Finishes) is complete.  The pattern is Urban Chic, made with various prints of aqua, yellow and grey.  The binding print is from one of Denyse Schmidt's collections found at Joann's.

Just as Martina and I picked all the prints together for 'Old Girl', Antonio and I selected all of the fabric for this quilt together.  Antonio had the grace to say he was kinda glad I waited so long to finish it, or we wouldn't have found that particular print for the binding.  Thanks, kid!

16 January 2013

Old Friend

In my last post I mentioned that I found an old quilt top made for Martina.  It was the second quilt I started (and therefore my oldest WIP), and she and I chose the fabric together.  After the finished top was basted to batting and backing, I put the quilt away.  My tastes had changed and I wanted to work with bright, modern fabric.

Over the past couple of years, the quilt has been snuggled under in cold weather (basting pins and all), put away in warm, pulled out to be un-basted, packed away and moved to storage.  Then it was relegated to a drawer of unfinished projects in the new place.  To say that I "found" or "re-discovered" it is a bit misleading, as it was never lost.

The quilt has been like an old friend.  There when we needed it, and even when we didn't.  It sat patiently while we played with fun, new fabric.  Generously lent us her basting pins while we worked on other quilts.  Quietly waited until we needed her again.  I decided it was time to give this quilt its due and finish it.

And so I basted the quilt last week, breaking blood vessels in my thumb, index and middle fingers in the process.  My fingers were tender, and you could actually see scores of little red pinpricks under the skin of my fingertips.

Despite the minor injuries, a funny thing happened.  As  I was smoothing and pinning the quilt, I started to like it again.  Touching the fabric brought back memories of making the blocks with Martina, who was seven years old at the time.  She pressed, while I cut and pieced.  Seeing the individual prints up close reminded me why we chose the fabric in the first place.  By the time I finished basting, I loved the quilt again.

I started quilting the Old Girl (which is what my family affectinately calls it) last night.  Simple straight line quilting on either side of the row and column seams.  I'm hoping to finish by the weekend (ha!).

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.


10 January 2013

Something old, something older

With moving, the holidays, and getting the kids settled into new schools, I have fallen shamefully behind on my Piece Bee With You bee blocks.  Though the bee is over, I have three outstanding blocks to make, plus a siggy block to send with a fourth that was made months ago.  And also the last block for Design Camp

Inspired by a recent quilt finish, I'm determined to make good on bee blocks owed.  Poor Phuong has been waiting for her photography-related Piece Bee block SINCE JUNE!  The idea for her block has been percolating for quite some time, but I finally put pencil to paper and drafted it out this afternoon (and was consequently late picking my kids up from school because I lost track of time).

Because I love vintage anything, I chose the Kodak Brownie Beau for Phuong's block.  As soon as I figure out how to do the circles, I'll be off and running.

Aside from bee blocks, I re-discovered a quilt top that I made for Martina almost two years ago.  It was the second quilt (top) I ever made, and I put it away because my tastes had changed.  Martina still loves it and requested that I finish it before I get back to her Poetica quilt.  And so I spent the morning basting it on the dining room table.

While I'm addressing old projects, I may as well add the oldest UFO to the bunch.  I bought a vintage chair at an estate sale well over 2 years ago.  My husband purchased and cut foam cushions soon after.  

 The kids have had fun picking away at the foam the past couple of years, which I've had fun vacuuming up.  So with cushions cut to fit and fabric washed, there's no excuse to put it off any longer.  I think it's time to sew up some boxed cushion covers so we can retire the blanket that's been hiding the unsightly foam.

[ETA 1/10/13] And here's a pic of Martina's Poetica quilt blocks. 

They need to be sewn into a top, then basted to batting and a minky backing (my first), quilted and bound.

I'm linking up the last two three UFO's to the 2013 Finish-Along hosted by Leanne and Project UFO hosted by Angela.  Head on over to the Flickr groups (here and here) to check out all the other great projects.

02 January 2013

The one where I make a resolution, then break it

I've mentioned in the past that I tend to join too many flickr bees, swaps and sew-alongs, then find myself stretched a little thin trying to fulfill my commitments.  One of my resolutions for the new year was to stop joining such groups.  Resolution #1 broken.  But I couldn't turn down an invitation to join a group that would help me with another resolution.

A Lovely Year of Finishes, hosted by Shanna of Fiber of All Sorts and Melissa of Bittersweet Designs kicks off this month.  To play along, all you need to do is finish one project a month- whether it's a WIP or new project is up to you.  Check out the details here and join in if you need a little push to finish up some projects!

The project I've chosen for January is one that I've blogged about several times- the Urban Chic quilt for my 11 year-old son.   

It's now partly quilted (I started quilting it New Year's Eve whilst waiting for the ball to drop to ring in the new year), so I'll need to finish the quilting, then bind it.  Christmas present 2011 will finally be completed!

I've also resolved to make a quilt for each family member.  The phrase "the cobbler's children have no shoes" comes to mind.  My husband and children have pointed out countless times that I've made quilts for others, but they are quilt-less.  A glaring omission that will be addressed this year.  Martina's Poetica quilt is next in the queue and will be my February project for ALYOF.

My last resolution relates to physical fitness.  Playing with the kids at the park yesterday made it quite obvious I'm not in the best shape of my life.  Healthier eating habits and more physical activity are my mantra this year so I can keep up with these kids:

So what are your resolutions for the new year?

Linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes and WIP Wednesday.