Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cherry Christmas Quilt: Getting Started

I'm continuing my holiday sewing, but this time it's a quilt for me and my family. I've had these charm packs of the Cherry Christmas collection by Aneela Hoey for well over a year now.
I had good intentions of making a Christmas quilt with these last year, but I just didn't have time with all the other holiday gift sewing I was doing. This year, I vowed to get this one done before Christmas arrives.

This is a very popular holiday collection, and rightfully so. I love the colors of red, green, white, aqua and gray, as well as the sweet illustrations.
I'm still working on my final design but I know I want to go with something simple that highlights the illustrations.

I hope all of you celebrating Thanksgiving have a wonderful holiday. I'll be back soon with an update.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Dad's Quilt: Finished

My dad's quilt is complete, which also means I finished my first (and largest) holiday gift and it's not even Thanksgiving yet. Not too shabby. You can read my previous posts on this quilt here and here.
I am really happy with the results, but will admit that I was slightly skeptical when I was arranging the blocks.  As I was putting them together, it dawned on me that the color scheme may bring my dad back to the 70's when I was born. I mean, I used the terms rust, olive and mustard to describe some of the colors, but they could arguably be called burnt orange, avocado and goldenrod. I'm having a shag carpet flashback into my childhood bedroom. With all the additional neutrals, however, it didn't take long for me to get past it--and love it!

I ended up increasing the length to accommodate my dad's height so now the quilt measures 60" x 78" -- a great size for his afternoon snoozes on the couch. The quilt is made up of 520 half square triangles that finish at 3" each.
I quilted it with a straight stitch 1/4" from each vertical and horizontal seam.
Due to my last minute decision to increase the length, I needed to add a scrappy border to the bottom with some of the leftover prints.
The main backing fabric of woodland deer is a subtle, personal touch for my dad who is a hunter and nature-lover.
I'm crossing my fingers that he likes it.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Dad's Quilt: In Progress

After returning from my crafting retreat (see post here) and having all my blocks sewn and trimmed, I looked forward to this part -- arranging all the block for my dad's quilt. This is the part that gives you some sort of visual of what it may look like in the end -- and I'm liking what I see so far.  I've been busy sewing each column together.
And we finally got some sun around here, so I took advantage of it when photographing these strips.
I stuck with a traditional, classic, half square triangle design that I thought would lend itself to a masculine quilt.
Only a few more piles to sew together and then I can finish sewing the entire top together.
I'm hoping to have this quilt finished sometime early next week.

Have a great weekend.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Dad's Quilt: Getting Started

Holiday gift making has started around here. Last year, I decided to make almost everyone in my family a handmade gift which turned out fine in the end, but I got a late start and was literally sewing all night Christmas Eve to get things done. Some people didn't get their gifts until after the holidays. While I am sure they didn't mind, I decided to take it easier on myself this year and just concentrate on a couple handmade gifts. I knew I wanted to make my dad a quilt since I made the flying geese quilt for my mom last year. I also felt I owed him a pretty nice gift this year since the scarf I was making him last year never got finished. Who knows, maybe he'll get both this year since I'm trying to allow more time for myself. Fabric shopping for a masculine quilt is not something I do often, nor do I find there to be a wide selection of prints specific to males so I stuck to neutral colors and prints.
Most are in the tan, beige, cream, mustard range but I added in small amounts of olive, rust, cranberry and brown. This palette just seemed like my dad, classic and earthy.

I chose four different neutral colored solids and planned to pair each print with a solid.
I knew I wanted a traditional design for the quilt so I am sticking with one of my favorite blocks, the half square triangle (HST). Yes, again. When I created my mock up, I realized I had to make 480 HSTs - Yikes! The good thing is, I was invited to a weekend crafting retreat by Ann at Carrying Sunshine, which allowed me hours of continuous sewing. Well, in between the laughter and getting to know so many new and talented woman. Before leaving for the retreat, I cut out all the squares...
...and was able to come home with all 480 trimmed HSTs. It probably would have taken me a week to get that all done at home.
I'm really excited to be at this stage, where now I can start auditioning the blocks on my design wall and figuring out how I want it all to be arranged. But first, I have some unpacking to do -- ugh.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Holiday Tutorial Series

When you think about holiday gifting, I hope you consider making a handmade gift for your friends and loved ones. I am very excited to be a part of Quilt Story's Holiday Tutorial Series which introduces you to several sewing artists. Throughout the next several weeks, we'll be providing you with step-by-step instructions on how to make something special and unique for your holiday gift-giving.

Fresh Poppy Design

Starting Wednesday, enjoy ten different holiday gift-giving tutorials. You'll find some talented ladies behind these blogs so make sure to take the time and visit their sites and use their tutorials. Here is the line up:

Wednesday 11/6 Melissa from My Fabric Relish 
Friday 11/8 Kelly from My Quilt Infatuation 
Thursday 11/14 Lindsey from Inspiring Creations 
Wednesday 11/20 Jennie & Clara from Clover and Violet  
Friday 11/22 Teje from Nero's Post and Patch 
Monday 12/2 Tessa from The Sewing Chick 
Wednesday 12/4 Bev from Flamingo Toes 
Monday 12/9 Stacy from Freshly Handmade (That's Me!)
Wednesday 12/11 Christa from Christa Quilts 
Friday 12/13 Erin from Why Not Sew?

Friday, November 1, 2013

Sugar & Spice Baby Quilt: Finished

Happy Friday! Are you trying to recover from a sugar hangover like me? I think I dipped into the Halloween candy a bit too much yesterday -- well, the whole week honestly. Sugar was really the theme around here as I spent a lot of my time working on the "Sugar & Spice" baby quilt that I posted about previously here and here. It is now complete and I'm here to show you the results.
This quilt is made using 3" finished half square triangles and the the same autumn-colored fabrics from the "Pumpkin Spice" quilt that I finished last week, but this time I added in a solid white. I also changed the pattern and went with a pinwheel design which I think looks so sweet. This quilt finishes at 36" x 42".
The backing and binding fabrics are both from the Boho collection -- prints that are also used in the quilt top.
I quilted it using straight stitches about 1/4" from each seam.
And, I had to get one more shot by my pumpkins before they are gone.
These two quilts were really fun to work on this time of year. Whatever autumn inspired fabrics remain, now reside in the scrap bin. While I'm hanging on to every last bit of fall that I can, it's time to move on to my holiday projects.

By the way, if you read this post, you know I was suppose to have a new little helper with me to take these photos, but she was napping. She'll have to get in on the next one.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

P.S. I am linked up to Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts again for Finish It Up Friday.