Thursday, December 20, 2012

Christmas Finishes

I've been sewing away trying to get Christmas gifts finished up!  This year I'm giving three quilts: one for my grandma, one for my other grandma and grandpa, and one for my aunt.

Back in January or February, when I needed to take a break from studying, I worked on a batik quilt that used the Garden Trellis pattern from Jelly Roll Quilts by Pam & Nicky Lintott.  At the time, I was really into batik fabrics, right now my interest is waning...  Anyhow, the Asian Legacy roll-up seemed like a great choice - I loved the iris pattern in blue and purple.  The quilt ended up looking more brown than anything though.  Sigh.  So it was named "The Ugly Quilt" and it sat folded up in a drawer for about 6 months before I decided it was time to just get it done and get it out the door.  But I think that my grandparents will really like it, so it all worked out in the end!

Completed top

I had originally planned to border it with either purple or aqua - I ended up somehow buying the wrong quantities of fabric and used the light blue and brown bamboo print instead.  That probably didn't help the earth-tone situation.

Yesterday when I got home, there was a little tiny bit of sun left, so I took the quilt outside for some pictures before spending the night trying to cram it into a box to wrap it up for Saturday!

Completed back.

So the wrong quantity of fabrics leads to a lot of creative piecing on the back!  I had to re-use all of the scraps that had been cut off during the piecing process.  I kind of like it.  It's funny how sometimes when you're just improv piecing a quilt back together, you don't think too much of it but when you're supposed to make an improv quilt, you just freeze up!

Close up

The quilting isn't very fancy - there just wasn't enough time!  It's just stitch in the ditch outlining the diamonds (it's pieced together as squares and the quilting kind of shifts your eye's view from the squares to the diamonds).

Always label your quilts!

Tuesday night was label night!  I haven't really done labels on most of my quilts so far and someday I want to make something fancy and have it printed at Spoonflower, but for now, scraps of fabric will do!  

Another close-up

While quilting this, I realized that white thread isn't as neutral as I always think it is!  White actually really really really stands out.  I'm not that worried about it, but a brown or gray probably would've been a better choice for quilting this.

Yes, the hammock is staying out all winter just in case there's an impromptu photo shoot!

This last picture is my favorite - it looks so tropical!  A batik quilt on a hammock.  Unfortunately, it was like 40 degrees out, not 80.  But hey, on the plus side, the days will be getting longer again soon!

If there's time before I leave for Christmas, I'll share my finished Swoon blocks!  All nine of them are just sitting on a chair, taunting me.  Next Christmas.  That gives me a year to decide if I want to keep it for me or give it as a gift :)

Oh, and I ordered myself a Christmas present - a half yard bundle of Architextures!  Unfortunately, 8 days later, USPS is still hoarding it at a sorting facility...


Monday, December 17, 2012

It's a Rainbow!

I got the greatest mail today: a rainbow of fat eights from Lizzy House! I forgot I ordered it, what a nice surprise!!

Time to finish up my holiday sewing!


Friday, December 7, 2012


And the randomly-selected winner of the fat quarter bundle for Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day is............. Breanna S!  I've e-mailed her and will be mailing her new fabric out as soon as possible!

Thank you all so much for entering -  I never imagined this would generate so many comments or so many new followers!  My posts are somewhat sporadic, but I hope you all enjoy reading them :)  Time to get back to sewing!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012


First of all, I'd like to welcome all the new followers who found this blog through the SMS Giveaway Day!  There's still time to enter - see my Giveaway Day post to win some of my leftover Flurry fat quarters and two pirate-themed fat quarters!

I apologize for not responding to any of the comments - it's just been too overwhelming!  There are so many of you!  So many comments have made me smile or chuckle - thanks for brightening my day! 

Since my last post about my Swoon quilt, I've completed Blocks 4 through 7!  Things have been slow going lately - other priorities... but I'm getting back on track since we're only 3 weeks from Christmas.  I don't see this one being finished for this year.  But the fabric sure helps make it feel like Christmas is coming (since the weather hasn't yet - it was probably 65 degrees here today).  Of course, tomorrow morning I have to go out on a field job and it's supposed to be cold again.  Sigh.  Why isn't it sunny and warm when I spend my days outside?  Oh wait, it's December...

Anyhow, here are the latest 4 blocks!  Again, I need to work on my photography.  These are crappy iPhone pictures taken under fluorescent light in my kitchen.  Hopefully we get some sunlight this weekend while I'm home and maybe I can snap a few better pictures outside!

Swoon Block 7

I love the blocks with bright red on them.  So cheery!  Block 7 is one of my favorites - the birds match the accent fabric so nicely!

Swoon Block 6
I will be using the red fabric in Block 6 for the quilt binding and probably some accents on the quilt back.  I'm not crazy about it paired with the light green, but it's too late now.  And it's really not bad.  Good enough :)

Swoon Block 5
Block 5 got pretty complicated - there are TWO directional prints!  It turned out pretty well, but I had to rip out a lot of stitches.  Late night sewing with directional fabrics is never a good idea.  And I'm also not too crazy about how the pattern looks wonky at the seamlines.  At least with the more mono-chromatic directional prints, it blends in.  This one looks odd if you stand and look at it from an angle across the room!

Swoon Block 4
 I really like the lattice-y 8-pointed star print in Block 4! 

Tonight I cut the fabric for Block 8 - unfortunately, on what should have been my VERY LAST CUT, I accidentally cut 1/8 too short! So instead of a 3-1/2" square, I have a 3-1/2" x 3-3/8" square :/  I think instead of adding fabric and cutting back down, I might cheat my seams on either side instead.  Close enough?

Overall, I think this is going to look awesome when I finish it!  What do you think I should do for the back?  Obviously, I should have a pieced back of some kind (as always!), but should I just go with solid white to match the background of the front?  Or solid light gray (think Kona Ash... but something in a Bella Solid or Cotton Couture - something softer)?

Since Christmas is fast approaching, I think my new goal is to finish the quilt top next week sometime (Block 8 should be done tomorrow with Block 9 to finish hopefully on Saturday morning) and then just let things sit.  There's a batik quilt I basted last week (I put it together in late winter/early spring) and I'd like to finish it up to give as a Christmas gift!  Hopefully Swoon will feature some bad ass FMQ if I let it sit for next Christmas!

In other news, I signed up for the MQG's Madrona Road Challenge!  Our fabric has arrived and we're trying to decide what we want our challenge to be.  Super exciting! 

This is my WIP Wednesday post for the week - check out all the other pretty WIPs at Freshly Pieced!


Monday, December 3, 2012

Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day

Thanks for stopping by for my very first giveaway ever!  Today's giveaway is a de-stash for me, so it's a little bit of a mish-mash.

I'm giving away a bundle of six lovely fat quarters!  Four of the fat quarters are from Moda's Flurry line by Kate Spain and the other two are from Out to Sea by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller!  The Flurry fat quarters are perfect for your holiday sewing projects!

How do you like that little thread in the background? 
Maybe I need photography classes...

All you have to do to enter is leave a comment below.  If you're looking for something to say, tell me what your favorite holiday fabric line is!  You don't have to be a follower to win, but followers get an additional entry (leave a separate comment letting me know).

The giveaway will close on December 7 at 8 p.m. EST and a random entry will be selected and announced on my blog.  You must leave a valid e-mail address (if you are commenting as a no-reply blogger).

Good luck and thanks for stopping by!  Head back to Sew Mama Sew to enter all the other giveaways!


PS: Don't forget to vote for your favorite entry in the Christmas Quilt Show! (I'm #59 with my Christmas Ribbons quilt!)

UPDATE: The giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to our winner, BreannaS!