For Christmas this past year, J gave me photoshop, which I was very excited to get, because I wanted to have more control in editing my photos. There’s definitely a steep learning curve for the program, but I’m working on it, and I have found that using sets of actions to edit a photo is often the most fun and easy way to get quick results. As I was editing photos of my most recently finished quilts, I applied the “sunshine” action (available for free from the Pioneer Woman), and instantly I felt warmer and happier! So even though it’s still cold and gray here, I want to gaze at warm, sunny photos for a psychological boost until the warm weather returns for real.
Archive for February, 2011
I am so happy to say I finished my aqua + red mixtape quilt! I love the brightness of these colors together, and I am a big fan of Elizabeth’s mixtape pattern. I used a number of different fabrics from my favorite designers in this quilt– including (but not limited to: Katie Jump Rope by Denyse Schmidt, Love and Lotus by Amy Butler, Innocent Crush by Anna Maria Horner, Olive Rose by Valori Wells, and a few of my favorite vintage reproductions).
I had some of my red folksy flannel leftover from my last quilt, and I realized that if I had a few more yards I could put it all together for a quilt back, so I added the same print (all buttoned up) in the color “sea” (I ordered this one from the Fabric Farm’s etsy site). I know I’ve been a little obsessed with backing my quilts with flannel lately. But it’s been (literally) 0 degrees here!
Now with 3 quilts in my living room, I’m no longer feeling quilt deprived :)
Ok, this one may look familiar, because it’s nearly the exact same quilt I gifted to my sister for her 30th birthday early this year. I knew as soon as I saw Ashley’s Rubik’s Crush quilt design on her blog this past fall that I loveloveloved it and wanted one for my own. I also knew it would be perfect for my sister, and so while I would have loved to finish these at the same time, mine was only recently finished.
(**A note about the design– I contacted Ashley before making these quilts to see if it was ok to copy her design, and she graciously gave me her blessing, and I created this using my own approximation of her design (that is, without a specific pattern). Recently, Ashley posted that this pattern will be available in the magazine “101 Patchwork Projects,” due out this April. If anyone wants to make one but wants to wait for a pattern to follow, you’re in luck! Check out Ashley’s blog for more info, and look for the magazine this spring!).
One reason I was so excited to finish this quilt was because I backed it in flannel (a Folksy Flannel print , also by Anna Maria Horner). It has been so cozy and warm, and I love having it around to add warmth to our living room– both in terms of the warm colors, and in terms of the literal warmth it provides! *sigh* I just love quilts :)
This morning after brunch I dragged Simon and J out onto our porch to take a few photos of some finished quilts I’m planning to share with you all soon! (The photo above is of Simon chewing on a stick on the porch– aside from sleeping, I think this is his favorite pastime). I was so excited to get back out on the porch, because it’s really unusable in the winter, but in the spring, summer, and fall we like to spend as much time as possible out there.
It had been covered in mountains of snow until late this week, when almost all of it melted. So here’s a shot of the porch this morning, around 11 or 12:
And just 5 hours later– we’re buried under snow again!
Don’t worry, I have some bright and cheerful finished quilt pics to brighten things up that I’m planning to share soon, so stay tuned!
Last weekend I went to visit my parents in Ohio (along with my friend Laura), and we planned to have some sewing time so we could try a new project– the Jane Market Bag. I had seen these all over the internet, and it seemed like a straightforward pattern, so we decided to give it a go.
I used Joel Dewberry’s ginseng print home dec weight fabric for the side panels, and Denyse Schmidt’s county fair for the pocket and handle. I like how the heavier fabric gave the bag a little body, and I think next time I might also add some interfacing for structural support.
I also discovered that it can be tricky to photograph bags, particularly when people are holding them! I forgot to take my tripod home with me, so it was hard to get a good shot– plus my mom was trying to help by holding hers higher, right as I was taking the picture :)
While we were there, we stopped by Chagrin Falls, and I was really surprised to see that the falls were nearly completely frozen!
It’s likely that a bunch of that has melted by now, but it was a lot of ice!
Now I’m back to working on cutting out all the pieces for my single girl quilt. It’s a lot of tracing and cutting of small squares, but I’m still really excited to get them put together, so that is good motivation to keep me going through this project. I hope everyone is having a good weekend!
I have mixed feelings about Valentines day– on the one hand, it seems so commercialized, and perhaps encourages people into over-analyzing their relationship status or feeling the need to make a grand gesture towards their significant other. On the other hand, I think any reason to take a moment and appreciate the people– partners, friends, family– in our lives is great. (Plus, I’m really loving the box of chocolates J gave to me earlier today, so I really can’t complain). Tonight we’re planning a really regular evening– taking Simon for a hike, stopping by the grocery store to get some food for the week, cooking a meal together, and watching some TV. For me, it’s the perfect way to celebrate our relationship– by doing our favorite regular things. This valentines day I hope that everyone takes some time to do something that makes them happy, no matter how regular and average it might be.
I was very excited to see the announcement on Nova’s blog a few weeks ago that she (along with Megan and Katy) are starting a Single Girl Quilt Along!. They even started a group on flickr where those of us undertaking this project can find some support. The Single Girl Quilt is made from a pattern written by Denyse Schmidt (one of my favorite designers), and involves lots of tiny fabric squares being cut and pieced along an arch to form rings that make up the quilt. It’s a daunting task, which is why it’s so wonderful to have such great support! Already I’ve read some great tips from the flickr group.
I’m hoping to make a queen sized quilt for our bed– I figured if I’m going to try this intimidating pattern, I want to do it right and go for it! I think that if I can get through it (and I’m definitely planning on it!), it will be a quilt that we’ll use on our bed for a long, long time to come.
For the quilt, I chose the green and blue fabrics from the Hope Valley line by Denyse Schmidt. I realized they needed a little rounding out, so I added a number of blues, greens, and yellows from Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow line of fabric. The colors play together so well! Finally, I realized that I had a couple of Amy Butler prints from her Midwest Modern line that looked so good with my stack of fabric, so I threw them in there to bring me up to the 36 (!) required fabrics for the quilt. I prewashed all the fabrics– something I don’t normally do, but I didn’t want to put so much time into this quilt and then have those dark blues run at all in the wash. So I bit the bullet and threw them all in the washer.
I cut out my templates and started cutting fabric, and I can’t wait to see things come together! Stay tuned, I am aiming to have some in-progress shots next week!
I realized I have one more quilt that I haven’t blogged about yet. I made this castle quilt for my dad using the castle peeps line of fabric as a Christmas gift. When I first saw this fabric, I knew I wanted to make my dad a quilt, because he has a history with castle quilts. When he first went away to college a number of years ago, he took with him a quilt made from fabric printed with castles, much like the castle town fabric! His old quilt is in need of some repair now (which I am hoping to get to someday), and the quilt has held a special place in our family, as it’s the go-to blanket when we’re feeling sick, and when we were kids my sister and I believed the quilt was magic, because on occasion it would produce a new book for us to read! (This was back when we still believed in things like the tooth fairy, of course).
Anyway, when I saw this new line of fabric that was so reminiscent of the fabric in my dad’s favorite quilt, I wanted to make him an updated version using the green castle peeps fabrics.
I used a number of Hope Valley fabrics (from the piney woods colorway) to make up the “castles” on the front of the quilt, and stripes of hope valley on the back to frame the castle town print. Since my dad’s old quilt looked most like the castle town print, I wanted to feature this heavily on one side of the quilt.
Simon helped direct our photo shoot. He’s a good helper.
I didn’t think to take any pics of it in its new home, but it looks really nice in my parents living room, and I think my dad liked it. Another quilt success!
I finished making all of the blocks for my red and aqua mixtape quilt. I’m so glad– I love how bright the colors look, and I’m really feeling the urge to be cozy and quilt this week, especially with a big snowstorm on the way!
Lately Simon’s been sleeping on all the quilts. He’s a smart dog, it’s been cold around here!