Tuesday, October 15, 2019

TMNT baby quilt - for baby p

for years and years and years now, much like the plans for the lion king quilt, lisa and i had always talked about someday making a ninja turtles baby quilt for our cousin brian.  he was an avid turtle fan throughout his childhood, and our dear aunt donna had kept his turtle candles and even reused them in recent years prior to her passing.  just under two years ago, brian married the girl of his dreams and this year it was announced they were due with a baby boy in october.  lisa and i revisited the idea of making the turtle quilt together, divvying up the turtles and their weapons and made plans for it to be finished in time for the baby to be here mid october.  life got crazy, so it was pushed back to being planned to be a christmas gift.  and then life got real crazy...
our grandma myrna passed away at the end of september, just about week shy of her 91st birthday and baby p was born just a few days after.  once the funeral date was secured (last friday) lisa and i knew we needed to get this done and ready to give it to brian, brandy and baby in person so we kicked things in to super high gear.
our game plan shifted a bit even more with the time crunch.  originally, there were talks of a pizza block in the middle, paper pieced to match the turtles, but as the funeral inched closer, there just wasn't time to do it.  lisa and i still had our blocks split, her taking the red & orange while i had the blue and purple.  right now i should also include the disclaimer that it was much easier for us to refer to them by color... and will probably remain that way throughout the rest of the post :)
the evolution of quilting also changed a bit.  at first, i wasn't going to quilt in the blocks.  after thinking it through, i know that was one regret i had with the two quilts i made for amy's kiddos, but i couldn't make up my mind.  i had thought to just free motion quilt, but then i realized i had more practice with that on the long arm than a domestic machine.  lisa and i talked about echoing the head/weapons, but i felt like that would get boring with a lot of starts and stops... then i remembered this jagged type of idea that i'm pretty sure i remember learning when i took the "walk this way" class at meissner's, and in my head it felt perfect.
lisa finished her blocks on friday, dropped them in the mail and got them to me on monday.  i was booted from my apartment due to a stairwell replacement, so i was jamming each night at my parent's to get this done before the funeral on friday.  instead of the pizza block, we opted for this quarter square triangle block to tie in to each of the turtles, and i am OBSESSED with how perfect my points got on this... so sue me with being excited.  i also remembered this stitch from "walk this way" to echo the triangles in a wonky sort of way, and as i got it going, i was so happy with the decision.  monday night, i made the center block, trimmed and interfaced the back of the pieced blocks, and got the top entirely together.  tuesday, i quilted the middle block between jobs and stitched two turtle blocks... while crossing all my fingers and toes that pg&e didn't cut off the power.  wednesday, i finished up EVERYTHING like a crazy person.  i thought i would be able to go back to my own bed that night, but since it was after 11 by the time i finished sewing on the binding... it didn't happen.  and thursday led me to my next crazy idea...
initially i had thought to reach out to my guild members to see if someone could machine embroider a basic quilt tag for us, but as you can see, my brain was a little on overdrive with everything going on.  so after a lot of thinking while driving, i thought making a tag shaped like pizza would be perfect, since it was ninja turtles and we didn't get the pizza block on the front.  i had lisa send me a photo of her name in her handwriting, traced it on to the yellow once i got my pizza template and started stitching away while watching the masked singer & the goldbergs.  the black olive heart is a little nod towards our family joke that you aren't a true member of the family if you don't like black olives... and brian doesn't ;)
after all things funeral wrapped up last friday and after we spent time at grandma's looking through old things to see what any of us may want, we all went to do what we do, which is eat ice cream at leatherby's family creamery.  while brandy and the baby didn't make the 4 hour trek for the funeral, we still made brian open it so we could see the reaction we were hoping for... and it was there.
lisa and i have worked on so many projects side by side over the years, or even the same project together with our own interpretations to it (remember the twin sweater dogs?) but this was a lot of fun to put our brains together to create this project for another member of our family.  while we've had 3 major losses in a year and a half (all three especially affecting brian, as he lived with our grandparents for years and lost his own mom last november) our family has remained close even throughout it all.  we are so lucky to have had these grandparents show us the importance of family and while we all went through our angsty teen years in one way or another, any time we gather together we can talk, laugh, and celebrate like a day hasn't passed since the last visit.
lisa and i both talked about how we remember brian and my little brother being buddies together during our childhood and how one day he was going to be a great dad.  now that he has a little buddy of his own, i know we can't wait to see how he officially turns in to a dad.  just watching him gush over photos of his little one last weekend was a side of brian i was so excited to see.
what will lisa and i sew together next?
well, actually 2 prior project i did with her (both virtually and in person) are up next to be blogged.  kind of hopped around to get this quilt up sooner than later :)
pattern: fandom in stitches ninja turtle patterns with our own center quarter square triangle block
quilt count: 124

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

under the sea baby quilt - baby m

in the thick of the summer, while recital time and summer camp were in full swing, i got asked if i would help host a baby shower for a good friend of mine.  of course, i take pride in my baby shower skills and said yes, and at the very same time decided i would also make a quilt.  because what good is a baby shower if you don't have a quilt to show off as well?  ITS NO GOOD.  sure, sure... the shower could have easily been my only gift to her, but when i have the opportunity to get crafty with a purpose and get my sewjo underway, i'll take it!  once we decided on a beachy theme, followed by stumbling across this fabric, i knew i had to make a plan.
i needed the quilt to be cute, but also not be overly girly, as this shower was for a baby boy.  i found this great pattern in a quilt almanac magazine my grandma sent my way and after a few tweaks with fabric placement and such, things were quickly under way!
i actually wasn't planning to long arm this quilt, but when it got down to it, i had no desire to sweat myself to death while shoving it through my machine.  instead, i scheduled time at laqca and made it happen one afternoon after summer camp.  i did at least give myself a week ahead of when it was the shower in order to get it quilted, bound and photographed.
the seashell print was a perfect tie in with the occasional pops of color of the seahorses as well as cute colorful fish.  and i just think that seahorse fabric in itself is adorable as ever!  how cute would that be as a little toddler outfit?
overall, this quilt came together super quickly, and most of the time was just sppent trimming up blocks.  when she opened the quilt at the shower, she gasped and kept saying "is this one of yours? is this one of yours?"  of course it was!
i was also basically told by a guest that i looked too young to be quilting, so there's that too.  ha!  you've seen nothing yet, lady!
i ALMOST stated that this post means that i am caught up on blogging... but then i remembered the quilt on my floor that i just finished binding the other weekend as well as the one sitting waiting to be bound STILL. i'm telling you, it is such a habit of putting projects for myself on the back burner.  maybe my next maker monday i will be back on track and ready to rock and roll.  christmas quilt time?  maybe... 
pattern information: teddy friends - from 2011 quilt almanac magazine
quilt count: 123

Tuesday, August 27, 2019

stars and stripes lap quilt

so this quilt had been on my "to do" list forever, and when it came up that julia with red rainboots handmade was planning to do a sew along, i was all about that!  i easily had blue and red scraps in my stash, and bought the perfect backing on clearance a few months prior, so i just knew i had to jump on in and do it!  plus, this would FINALLY be a quilt for me again.  which had a whole lot of pros, but a few cons as well.  well, just the one con being that it tended to fall down the totem pole as far as priority goes...  more on that later!
i like the idea of seasonal quilts to have for couch sitting and TV watching, so having a little bit of summer time good ol' american spirit was the perfect vibe to have.  plus, we current have a red couch in our living room with my teal accented stuff all over the place, so it was clearly a match that was meant to be!
like i mentioned before, i had the fabric bits for the flags already (just needed a good white since i chopped it all up for another project) but while i was out shopping for the background fabric, i found the adorable tic tac toe fabric as well as the red with white polka dots.  clearly, it was meant to be!  i booted some red ones i wasn't 100% sold on, which made me end up liking things so much more anyways.  the blues were all pulled from my stash, 100 blocks quilt as well as the stash from my fussy cut sampler.
i was hoping to find that super cute tic tac toe again for binding, but when i went back they didn't have the yardage anymore.  i do like the simplicity of the red/white to tie in to the quilt without being super IN YOUR FACE as if it were a striped print.  the flags remain the focus all over, as they should be :)
the downfall of this all came by being a quilt for me when the sew along had ended.  i kept up with everything down to the very last finished top post (i think mine was quilted even by that point) but i just could NOT get the binding on in time for whatever reason!  i was easily prioritizing other projects, which made this one sit and sit and sit some more.  i made and attached the binding at a maker monday, got it all completed, and then for whatever reason, burying the broken threads from quilting it just didn't happen.  i probably had a stack of three quilts waiting on binding alone (which FINALLY two of the three are done.  FINALLY) but i definetly missed the time frame of which to have this thrown on the couch for the 4th of july.  it is now nearly pumpkin quilt season!  but much like the pumpkin quilt, being completed after it's "season" just means it will be ready for next year, right?  which is something i've been saying about my christmas quilt as well... oops.
once everything was purchased for this quilt, it went together SO easily that i could definitely see myself making this quilt again if someone asked (or if i felt obligated) to do so.  i feel like sometimes i play safely "by the rules" so my colors were all as listed on the pattern (but lets be real... they're SO GOOD) but it was so fun seeing the different variations of this quilt done on instagram.  there were pride flags, blue line flags, traditional flags and more!  maybe i'll take a little risk the next time i make it?  who knows!
pattern information: stars and stripes by thimble blossoms (camille roskelley)
quilt count: 122

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

atomic kitty cat baby quilt

this summer sure felt like a wave of baby quilts passed through.  or maybe i just got vary spur of the moment ideas to make great things happen in a short period of time once baby shower invitations arrived in my mailbox.  because if you know me, you know i cannot show up to a baby shower uncrafty in one way or another.  this first quilt was for an extra special someone who dates back to the early 90s, as lacy was one of my very first friends from kindergarten!
she announced she was pregnant, and i instantly knew i had to make her something animal themed.  then, to all of our surprises, she kept the baby gender a secret until they arrived in to the world!  how to make an appropriately gender neutral quilt was the big question on my mind, and then i remembered this pattern i saw time and time again on instagram, and knew it was time to make it happen.
the atomic kitty pattern by paula steel quilts was just as adorable as it was easy to piece.  everything is either a square, a half square triangle or a flying geese block, and the trickiest part was keeping them in order!  i pulled fabric from my stash to make these colorful kittens, and it ended up being perfectly gender neutral as i hoped. keeping these rainbow colored kitties bright and cheery, with a hint of sparkly black did just the trick. originally i was planning to just use prints, but these kitties just needed some grunge and dimples fabric mixed in to the bunch!
this was another experience with machine binding, which i am getting more and more confident with each time i do it.  the red helped frame the quilt nicely, plus it was a print that i had enough of that wasn't used in the kitty faces at all!  i finished a day or two before the shower, so i didn't long arm it.  instead, i used my trusty chalk liner and walking foot to grid these kitties out.  having a more structured straight quilting also helped the kitties remain the main focus.
the backing was a perfect rainbow kitty mix, which tied in perfectly with the front.  i don't think joann's could have done a more perfect print for me to stumble upon to go with this random quilt idea.
and the verdit?
a sweet baby BOY was born just weeks after the baby shower, but a month before his due date.  he came in happy, healthy and ready to venture out in to the world!  it has been so fun to watch my dear friend become a momma (to a furless child, that is!) and cannot wait to meet him :)
pattern information: atomic kitty quilt block - paula steel quilts
quilt count: 121

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

garden snails 2.0

in the midst of all my "i'm going to catch up on my blogging!" hooplah, my laptop decided to give me a big fat OH NO YOU WON'T when it came to getting things done.  so after multiple chats with adobe representatives to get my serial numbers for programs to load on to my desktop and reinstalling my good friend "blogstomp" on there as well... we are back in action!  the same can't be said for my photography website... but that's another story for another day.
it is a little poetic that my first long arming experience at meissner's was practicing on my first garden snails quilt from the sew along hosted by gnome angel, and this 2.0 version was done at my last session there.  yes, that is exactly how long this quilt has been sitting around, quilted and waiting for binding.  the binding went on earlier this year, and then it sat some more.  it didn't have a home to rush off to, because i ended up loving it so much, i'm keeping it for myself.  granted, it is in no way any size to keep me warm... so some future child will be gifted with a snail quilt from years before.  its weird, its adorable... so there.
the main differences about this quilt compared to the first version is the background as well as the paper pieced shells.  i had a lot of fun making the scrappy shells for these, alternating in with the solid batik shells that i am STILL working my way through all the scraps from.  the bodies of the snails come from the scraps of my disgust halloween costume (which also got pieced on to the back as well)
the quilting pantograph is called "malachite" which in a sense gives it a wobbly snail trail kind of look.  it was actually fairly easy to quilt, and the wobbles just made it look a little more all over the place in case of mistakes.
this was also one of my first attempts at machine sewing binding, and with this one, i also used elmer's glue to help hold the binding in place instead of just wonder clips.  i can't remember who i saw that trick from on instagram, but shout out to them, it totally worked!  i finished this during the instagram quilt fest in march... so that goes to show you how long i have been delaying photographing and posting.  oy!
>revisiting this quilt (combined with a recent conversation about my closet shelf bowing from weight and fabric collecting and fabric using are two different hobbies) made me realize how much i enjoy stash busting to make quilts... which is clearly something i need to get underway.  i have so many pieces waiting to be used, which will help me validate the future of buying more (quality) fabric!
pattern information: garden snails by pen and paper patterns
quilt count: 120

Friday, June 28, 2019

cat themed hidden agenda quilt

starting off, i should say that my mom was aware of this gift happening, as it all began from her fabric stash.  i had just finished up my 100 blocks project, and another sew along was just popping up and i really wanted to do it!  angelina had been a pattern tester for it, and another member of my fussy cats fussy cut crew was planning to do it as well... so i just couldn't resist!  the pattern was hidden agenda by angela pingel and it was full of fussy cutting of various sizes and shapes all put together to make one fabulous quilt.  i showed the mom the quilt, told her i wanted to make it, but didn't want to make another fussy cut quilt out of the same fabric i just used for the 100 blocks.  thats when i got the idea to raid her cat fabric stash and offer up two ideas.  one being a christmas version, and another being a year round version.  as you can probably tell, we went for the year round option.
after searching her collection, i noticed there was a strong set of blues, browns and tans which was perfect, because it seemed to match the living room couches and frames quite well.  clearly there was enough cat print to go around, but i needed some accent fabrics to help out.  i had scraps here and there, and also picked up a handful of fat quarters to really help get things going.  i also sacrificed a few of my cat prints, you know... go help with the cause.
the biggest struggle was determining which fussy cuts to place in what size. i kept thinking that my large prints were SO large that they'd fit in the biggest square. NOPE.  instead i had to choose some less fussy cut prints for the big spots and go with some all over prints and gradually work my way down to smaller ones.
even the tiny squares had the perfect size for fussy cuts.  some of these came from my fussy cut sampler box, which helped balance out everything as well.  other fabrics had been sitting around so long from being impulse buys, it was hard to decide to cut in to them!
this quilt was then assembled in quadrants, which was interesting to see how they all lined up. i spent so much time focusing on keeping the prints around the on point squares away from each other, that i didn't even think to check in on how the quadrants were coming together.  oops!  but overall, i think they came together pretty well without too much overlap with prints touching each other, if any.
i quilted this on the long arm, and after much debate i went with a simple meander pantograph.  since there was so much going on already with the prints, the half square triangles and everything else in between, it really helped keep the quilting away from being a total distraction in contrast to everything else.
even the binding came from my mom's fabric stash, which also got put on the backing as well.  i had bought yardage of a bright blue grunge color, and when measuring forgot to add the extra amount needed when quilting.  the little paw prints helped tie the front's browns and tans in to the back's bright blue, pulling everything together. 
while this quilt got a little stressful at times, i would absolutely consider doing it again.  it was also fun to make my mom wait and see how all her fabric came together in a new way.  some of the fabrics were stashed, while others were from outfits made for us kids over the years.  i showed this off at one of our monthly guild meetings, and someone couldn't believe my mom still had fabric from that long ago.  it did make me question the validity of that person's own fabric stash and hoarding skills!
pattern information: hidden agenda by angela pingel
quilt count: 119