27 September 2013

Instant favorite

My family loves this quilt so much and I don't know how I forgot to unveil the finished Vintage Stars.  It is in constant use by whomever happens to be lounging on the sofa, or by Kieran when he's in his "tv chair" (which he is soon to outgrow). 

I stitched down the binding on this quilt a couple of Saturdays ago at Martina's soccer game (I wanted to finish it in time for my guild meeting later that afternoon) and had a lovely conversation with a lady whose granddaughter was playing for the opposing team.  She was a fellow quilter who was tickled to see me working on a quilt whilst cheering my daughter's team to victory.

This is the first quilt I've made with rounded corners.  It's made primarily with prints from Rosette by Juliana Horner, plus kona solids and a stray Garden Party print.  I quilted in straight lines on the diagonal 1/4" on either side of the seams. 

Martina's calling it "the reversible quilt" because "the back looks like another quilt(!)"  I won't disabuse her of the notion that I invented the scrappy pieced back- she thinks I'm brilliant, and I'll take that when I can get it.  I used several fat quarters and odd cuts from various Anna Maria Horner prints.

The little guy is such a camera hog... he demanded that I take his picture with the quilt, so I did.

Linking up to Finish It Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.

25 September 2013

The one where I join another quilt-along

I signed up for Sew On Norcal at the last minute and am so glad that my friend, Jen, talked me into it.  Lots of fun sewing and chatting in a gorgeous setting.  It was great to meet new people and be inspired by all the amazing projects happening around me.

The thing about going away for the weekend with other quilters is that there's nobody watching the baby.  I can get up to all kinds of quilty hi-jinks, and the group is okay with it.  Want to hit up the fabric shops in the area?  Let me give you directions!  Start another quilt even though you're in the beginning stages of the Marcelle Medallion?  You should totally do that!  Modify a border after realizing you've made a mistake because you're so distracted by all the quilty (and knitty) goodness happening around you?  You have our blessings.

I have a small confession to make.  I did not know about the wonder that is Modern Maples.  I've been in a hibernation, of sorts, since the beginning of summer.  A visiting MIL, the beginning of the school year and after-school activities, self-imposed exile from bees/swaps/sewalongs- all have contributed to my ignorance.

Then this happened.  (I was there when Tamiko's and Amanda's gorgeous quilts were on the floor and being photographed- I even touched them!)  Then Adrianne finished her Modern Maples quilt top.  The topic of choice on the drive home was...  Modern Maples.  And then there was a rash of #sewonnorcal fabric pulls for Modern Maples on Instagram.  Which led to this:

Sorry, my dear Marcelle.  I know we're in the beginning stages of our relationship, but I'm going to hang out with Modern Maples today. 

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

18 September 2013

Marcelle, Marcelle, Marcelle

I am quilter obsessed.  Marcelle Medallion is slowly stealing every available minute not spent on housework or child-rearing.  When I'm not working on it, I'm thinking about the next round of borders.  What prints should I use?  Should I reverse the lights and darks?  Does my stash have what I need? 

On Friday I leave with a few quilty friends for Sew On Northern California (yay!).  In packing up projects for the weekend, I realize I'm subconciously trying to figure out a way to have my whole stash available to me while I'm away from home. As that's not going to happen, I'm consoled with the knowledge that a trip to an LQS or two have been planned for Saturday morning.

Anyway, here is Marcelle, with border #1 in place:

The center medallion was hand-pieced using the EPP method.  The aftermath of finding just the right  prints for the first border has made a mess of my stash.  It's in further disarray after pulling these prints for border #2:

I may sneak in a couple more prints.  Or not, according whatever whim might strike as I'm piecing the triangles that make up this border.

Linking up to the MMQAL at penny poppleton and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

11 September 2013

Taking shape

I'm having a bout of quilter's ADD this week.  I'm actively working on these four quilts, going back and forth as the mood strikes.  This means that quilt backs, batting, fabric scraps and sewing paraphernalia litter just about every available surface in the living room and mudroom (aka my sewing room).  There are also a sink full of dishes and an overflowing basket of clean laundry- two loads worth, waiting to be folded.  But what is housework when there's sewing to be done?

Today I think I'll work on Vintage Stars.  The back is pieced:

I'm going to try my hand at thread basting this quilt.  It seems like that would go much quicker than pin-basting, and I'll try anything to save my finger tips from getting pricked a hundred times. 

And while I'm shuttling kids to various activities this afternoon, I'll bring along Marcelle.  Progress is slow on the center medallion, which I'm EPP'ing.  After a few false starts where my stitches were showing through the front using a whipstitch, I found Lori's helpful tutorial using the ladder stitch.  The result is much neater for me.

However, sewing and housework both will have to wait.  The little one has decided it's time to put together his large floor puzzle of the United States.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

09 September 2013

Paper and thread

In between soccer games and thrifting, I began work on the Marcelle center medallion over the weekend.  I opted to go the EPP route to avoid the dreaded y-seams.  It's also nice to have a portable project to work on while the kids have soccer practice and guitar lessons this week.

After the myriad changes I made before settling on this stack, I made a few more changes once the prints were cut and pieces laid out.  The print meant for the outer corners was moved to the center star, and a couple of prints were switched out completely.  Here's my final answer, basted and ready to be hand-pieced:

There are helpful tips for piecing the center medallion, whether by machine or by hand, at the MMQAL hosted over at penny poppleton

It was a little scary cutting into some of my most precious prints.  I'm happy to have found a project that's stash-worthy.  Now that I've finally cut into them, I don't think I'll be so hesitant to pull them out for future projects.

Now it's to pick up the needle and thread (though I really should be picking up the broom and dustpan).

06 September 2013

Finally caving

Earlier this year I made a resolution to refrain from joining bees, swaps and any type of "along."  This week, I came to the sad conclusion that I can hold out no longer.  It's been a good run, but there have been a few flickr swaps that I regretted not joining.  Marcelle Medallion quilts found here, here and here further weakened my resolve.  The Marcelle Medallion Quilt-Along hosted over at penny poppleton was the final nail in the coffin.

So with Liberty Love book in hand, I spent some time yesterday (between spurts of domesticity) perusing my stash for the center medallion prints.  Nothing in my stash was off limits for a future project, all prints previously deemed too dear to cut into were fair game.

Seven prints.  That is all that's required for the center medallion, and yet it took me all afternoon and well into the evening to settle on seven prints.  I even fell asleep thinking about the seven prints.  My stash and sewing area look like the aftermath of a rummage sale, but I'm feeling pretty confident these are "the ones": 

I've decided to let the quilt grow organically with each successive round of borders.  I like the idea of delving into my stash as the quilt grows.  My goal is to use stash fabric for this quilt, but who knows what new print may be in my stash when it's time for the next round?  It's also a good reminder of the wonderful fabrics that have been tucked away for much too long.