Thursday, August 18, 2016

Carry All Tote remake...

After such a busy spring/summer teaching schedule, I was desperate to make things. Teaching is a wonderful thing that I get to do, but I am happiest when I am creating. So, this summer I finished my Metro Medallion, Just Call Me Modern and I wanted to make my Carry All Tote pattern again. This project was meant as a gift though, so it was a lot more fun to make.  I planned on making 4 totes, but I am a huge under-estimator (is that a word?) when it comes to the time it takes me to do things.  I forget to factor in every day life, which is wonderfully crazy.

Anyway, I sewed some jelly roll strips together.  This fabric line is Bright Sun by Sherri and Chelsi of A Quilting Life.  It is by far my favorite fabric line they have designed and is perfect for a fun summer time tote.

I sewed the strips together then loaded them onto my machine with 2 layers of batting and a muslin backing.  I quilted a fun free motion flower-swirl-pebble design and I really love how the texture shows up. I used a cream colored Glide thread for the stitching. 

Here is a fun view of the back.  I really had fun quilting this up.

Once the quilting is all finished, then you have to cut out all the pieces for the totes.  This part is hard for me because I hate ruining the beautiful quilting.  I make sure to sew a stay-stitch around each piece so that my quilting stitches don't come out during assembly.

After I gifted this tote to my mom, she loved it! - I was able to get a couple of pictures.  This is the front view.

And the back.  So cute!

Want to make your own?  You'll need a jelly roll, or a honey bun with some yardage and you can buy the pattern here!

PS - you can make two totes out of one jelly roll - or just use 20 strips instead of the 40 honey bun strips the pattern calls for. Have fun!

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Just Call Me Modern take 2

So the kids are in school today - that means that I have no more excuses to keep up this blog and I am so excited to share this quilt with you, finally.  I made it this quilt as an example of another version of my pattern, Just Call Me Modern? to take to the Oregon Coastal Quilters Guild in July.  That was a fun trip!  Those of you who follow me on Facebook and Instagram would have already seen snippets of this quilt, but I am happy to say that I now can share the entire quilt with you.

I wanted to create a totally different look with this quilt compared to my original one. The fabrics are so out there on this quilt, the V and Co Ombre fabric for the inside piecing was perfect.  It really made me step out of my comfort zone and do something different than I normally do. 

Let's just say I didn't have time to do a full custom quilting job on this quilt, but I did add some amazing detail to some of the blocks.  The white thread I used was on purpose, it worked well and disappeared in the background fabric, then gave an awesome look to the plain fabrics. 
I used White Glide thread with Magna Glide bobbins and I used only one layer of Hobbs 80/20 cotton poly batting.
I can't tell you how much fun it was to quilt these arrow blocks.  I tried to create a new design for each one, but ended up with a couple repeats.

The pinwheel block quilting above gives a whole new dimension to the pinwheel.  The texture is unreal and I am so please with the quilting.  I think I could make a whole quilt with pinwheels now and quilt them all exactly like I have on this block. 

The waves in the background are really fun and I guess you can say that this quilt is a little more modern than my traditional approach to quilt design. 

I had to throw in one row of beads.  So fabulous! 

I used Moda Crossweave fabric for the back. When I was making the arrow blocks for the top of the quilt, I just made two arrows at a time to make another row for the back of the quilt.  I really love how it turned out. 

It's kind of crazy how close my arrow quilting is to the arrow row on the back, you can see that above.  I should have planned that better, right?  Haha - that would have been a nightmare.

Oh, and what would I do without a tall, handsome man to help me?  Clint is so good to put up with all of my great ideas to take pictures outside and connect the quilt to the rain gutter. I just really wanted outside lighting for this quilt. I think it was worth it.
This last picture is a throw back to my time in Newport, Oregon and the setting was absolutely perfect.  The wavy quilting goes perfect with the waves of the ocean and I can see this quilt being a special beach quilt in the future. 

Okay, so if you love the pattern and want to make your own, buy the paper version here, or the PDF version here.  

Also, if you haven't preordered my second book, you should.  Like now.  Thanks everyone for your support! 

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Metro Medallion Finished.

Okay, first off - sorry about the lame presence here on the blog.  I have been so busy!  I can finally breath and hopefully will have more time to spend on here.  But, what a better way to come back to the blog than by sharing a finished quilt!?!

So, I have wanted to make a new quilt for my bed for a while.  My mom made me a beautiful quilt 5 years ago and I have loved it and used it this whole time, but I am up for a change and I decided that Sew Kind of Wonderful's pattern Metro Medallion would look amazing on my bed. I have made this pattern before using the Quick Curve Ruler - it's really an easy pattern and it got easier with each block I made. Don't be afraid of the curves!

Isn't the quilt fantastic? It is huge!  It is 102 x 104 inches which fits my bed nicely - you will see that later in the post. I definitely made the quilt larger than the pattern directions show, but that was just a matter of buying more fabric.  Who doesn't like to buy more fabric?
The fabrics used in my quilt are from several manufacturers and designers.  I just pulled colors that I like and put them together and I didn't write them down, so please don't ask me what each print is...pretty please! ;-)

This quilt took me several months to make, but mainly because I was busy writing my second book which comes out in September - so I was pretty crazy.  It also took me a while longer because I wanted to add the squares on point in the white Metro Medallion blocks.

I ended up changing the shape of the square on point - the original design has a diamond, but I find it easier for me to piece with squares.  So the blue polka dot fabric was a 3 1/2" square sewn along the diagonal line, trimmed and then the inside aqua fabric was a 2" square sewn along the diagonal line and trimmed. I was going to use different colors for the inside square, but changed my mind because it would have taken me a lot longer to place the colors.
As you can see the bright fabric color placement is random, but also on purpose - if that makes sense.  I always lay out my quilt blocks and play around with them to figure out the perfect placement.  I didn't pre-plan how many colors of each block I would make - so that is why I needed to play with it before I sewed the quilt top together.
Originally I was going to quilt an allover design - I know, gasp! - I didn't want to spend as much time as I usually do on this quilt because it was going to be used for my bed. But then I thought a lot about it and knew that I couldn't just quilt an allover design, so I came up with this simpler quilting design.  I threw in some fun custom designs on a few of the medallions like the one above, but for the most part, the blocks were quilted with fast, free-motion fills.

I was able to quilt the fun curves in the navy blue fabric using the QCR Curvit longarm ruler - it was my first real attempt at using a curved ruler and it was fun!  I think I see more curves in my future.  Don't you love the beads in between the curved lines?  I do - the look is just perfect. 

When all was said and done, I did have to go back and add another curved line in the navy blue fabric.  Compare this block above to the picture before this and you will see what I am talking about. Even with all of this - my crazy detailed self would love to redo this project and go to town on the quilting detail, but I am honestly happy with the results. It was a new challenge for me to limit my quilting.

Um yes, thank you diagonal striped fabric for being the perfect fit for the finishing touch on this quilt. Don't you just love it?
Oh, and before I forget - I used Glide thread for the top and bottom and I used only one layer of 100% bleached cotton Hobbs batting.

I love the texture on the back - you can see I tried several different designs - not all of them are perfect, but it was good practice for me since I have been traveling a lot and not quilting as much as I would like. It seriously was a lot of fun.
I started the quilting with this block design above, but I am so glad I decided against finishing the whole quilt with this design - I would still be quilting it!

Okay, so here is my room before Metro Medallion.  This is the quilt my mom made for me and I absolutely love it still!  The colors are exactly what I loved 5 years ago and I still love, but I just needed a change. I think we all need a change every now and again. It was also really fun going to Home Goods and buying new stuff.

I changed out the drapes - they are a lot brighter now and the room will feel brighter.

I also bought new pillows and new bedside lamps.  It really goes well with the quilt.

I love the little details in the quilt top that I will be able to enjoy from now until I have a hankering for a change.  Another 5 years I am sure.

So I made the quilt long enough to cover our deep mattress and box spring. I didn't want to worry about making a bed skirt, so a bigger quilt was the answer to that dilemma.

This picture shows a little of the mattress, just to give you an idea of what I mean about not making a bed skirt.  The quilt, if pulled just right fits perfectly to the frame of the bed on both sides of the bed.

So, here is my room and I absolutely love it!  It's perfect for me.

By the way - it's always this clean.  Hahaha, just kidding!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

My not so "Cinco De Mayo"

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade, right?  Well, I am trying to take that approach to my life because I have realized that I have allowed a little too much negativity to creep in.  So, I am finding joy in the journey and learning to laugh a little more when life doesn't go as planned. So, this is the story of my night tonight, I want to record it for me.  It definitely was better experienced than explained - so forgive me if you don't find it as entertaining as I did. It was a night to remember.

Tonight Clint came to me and said, "Hey Babe, Cinco De Mayo - should we go to a Mexican Restaurant?" I thought about it for a minute because it would mean taking the kids out to a restaurant and I felt like I had been fighting them tooth and nail to get their chores done this afternoon, and rewarding them with a restaurant dinner was a little much. However, this mama chose to get laundry done today instead of anything else and honestly - I hardly think about dinner ahead of time, so I agreed to go to a restaurant because I didn't have anything planned to make.  

We drove away, but first threatened our kids that if they fought in the car, we would drive them back home and they could eat cereal and Clint and I could go on a date. I was really looking forward to that date, but I am happy to say, we made it to the restaurant without any drama in the car. 

We walked into the restaurants crammed little entry with people on both sides and 20 people piling out before us to put our name on the list.  The hostess said the wait was 60 minutes and Clint put our name down, then I looked at her and said, 60 or 16 minutes? As if someone would say 16 minutes on a wait time, but you never know.  The hostess confirmed the 60 minute wait and I looked at my four kids, ages 11,9,7 and 5 and said, sorry - we aren't waiting. So, we squeezed out of the crammed entry of the restaurant and got back in our car, called around at a few other restaurants and picked the one that had the shortest wait time.  

As we were driving we saw a restaurant that we had never seen before, it was a Mexican Restaurant and looked like a dive - so naturally we thought it would be the best place to try out for the first time.  Dives are usually the best food.  So, Clint turned the car around and pulled up to the make shift house/restaurant.  We sat down and put in drink orders, followed closely by our food order.  5 of us got our drinks and it took another 30 minutes for the 6th drink to come out.  We watched as 4 groups of people came in, sat down ordered and got their food before us.  In the meantime, my 5 year old is being silly and crazy - not too much and not loud, just being so annoying and I am sitting next to him.  I am trying to make him laugh and get him to not complain that his food isn't here yet.  My 11 year old is taking in the environment and realizing the injustice of us not having food while everyone around us is eating, the 9 and 7 year old are doing their best to behave, but after an hour they are starting to do boy things - making faces and trying to spit out water from their straws. We did have 2 small bowls of tortilla chips - so yummy, but not enough - I felt like we were scavengers trying to beat out everyone else to the next chip. Did I mention this was a late dinner start for us to begin with?

So, I am watching my watch, the clock just keeps on ticking and after an hour of sitting there and trying to figure out which one of us will ask where our food is, we finally got a hold of a waiter.  I asked him what happened to our food?  Are they still cooking it?  He then tells me that his aunt left and didn't put the order in.  Say, what?  We sat there waiting for our food the whole time and the order was never put in.  The waiter then told us he could put the order in and put us before anyone else and my first thought is, no, sorry.  So, hungry and bummed out we left the restaurant.  Hey, we got free chips, salsa and drinks though. That's a plus, and they were really good chips. 

We started this adventure at 6:15 pm and now it is 7:30 pm and we still haven't had our Cinco De Mayo dinner, but there is no way I am trying a sit down restaurant again with our kids.  So, Taco Bell Drive through it is!  While we are driving to Taco Bell one of our children is crying about the devastating fact that they haven't eaten yet, how hungry they are and the drama was so overwhelming - it was funny.  I just started laughing and had to explain to this child that everyone was affected by what happened and that we were all hungry.  

Once we got to Taco Bell and got sandwiched into the drive through lane, my 5 year old started doing the potty dance.  We made sure the kids all went to the bathroom at home before we left, but then he drank a lot at the previous restaurant and now, it was coming.  Clint was telling him to hold it, but my mother instincts took over and realized the exploding child was literally about to explode.  While in the drive through lane, I got out of the car, pulled my son out and ran into the Taco Bell and took him to the bathroom.  Let's just say he really had to go and peed like a gallon of water that he just drank.  He was happy, we avoided disaster and we go back out to the drive through lane to find that Clint had moved a total of 5 feet.  We were still waiting in line at a fast food place. I couldn't help but notice the two women behind me laughing with me, they watched the whole episode. When it came down to it, it took us 25 minutes to get our fast food Cinco De Mayo tacos and burritos.  

We laughed all the way home, seriously - well, no - I laughed all the way home, while the kids complained and Clint thought I was going a little nutty.  Normally this would have irritated me, but everything went wrong and it was just so funny.  If we would have stayed at the first restaurant and stayed for the wait time, we most likely would have eaten before the time we left the second restaurant.  Also, if we would have let the second restaurant put in our food order again, then we would have eaten before the time it took us to eat our 2 dollar tacos and burritos at Taco Bell.  Needless to say, it was funny - dumb, but funny and I loved that I could laugh instead of get mad.  It made my night so much better. After almost 2 hours, we finally got to eat.

All this for a 2 dollar taco?  Oh, and by the way - my kids didn't like their burritos. Figures.