Friday, May 31, 2013

knitting bag {in ghost wing}

My mother-in-law loves to knit, so as soon as I saw the bag Jess made for her mom, I knew exactly what to do for her birthday this year...

Hello field study linen.  Love.  This being my second bag, I have to say it was pretty straightforward (pattern by The Sometime's Crafter).  The toughest thing for me was matching up the wing edges along the pocket overlay:

Fabric selection was definitely inspired by Probably Actually's test run of Noodlehead's super tote.  I ended up buying the print in all three colorways (aqua, dusk {gray} + luscious {this tan}), but there was just something about the golden-hued background that felt right for this particular gift.  

Because the print itself is so large and distinct, I shuffled it up with a mini-patchwork pattern for the bags' sides.  For the lining I used a floral print we'd bought together years ago at a local fabric store (it always felt more her style than my own):

I used feedsack fabric to make the handles (the sides were originally cut from feedsack fabric as well, but then I thought of the patchwork idea and decided to switch gears).  I used natural Aurifil 50wt for piecing, and a double-stitch for the pocket and trim detail.  Dare I say the other ladies in her knitting group are in for some bag envy?  I know I am! ;)

Thursday, May 30, 2013

string {scrap}tacular

Okay, so this one is a little less scrappy...  It's a three-tone grayscale tartan (not unlike the sketch that started it all):

Fortunately the wind stopped for a split second, so I was able to get a semi-decent full shot ;)

The final quilt will measure ~42" (x = 1.5" for those of you who've seen the pattern).  Sadly I wasn't able to make much progress on my selvage 16 patch this month, though I did manage to finish cutting all my strips last night:

These might be teeny 6.5" finished blocks, but it looks like I'll have plenty of strings to keep the first fifteen blocks company ;)

The only question is whether I should continue with the super-scrappy, pseudo-unplanned match-ups, or if I should switch to pairing like-colors together (e.g. the two on the left in the bottom row above) to preserve the option of doing a final layout where the colors shift from one side of the quilt to the other (like this).  Thoughts?!

If you haven't yet, be sure to check out all the other string festival entries here.  And in case you didn't know, my plaid pattern* is on the {house} (i.e. fo' free!) through tomorrow.

* Note:  I did find a mistake (AH! SORRY!) and will be posting an updated version by the weekend, but if you download it via craftsy beforehand you should get a notice when the corrected pattern is available ;)

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

an oakshott medallion {un rubis pour moi!}

After much anticipation, these lovelies showed up in last week's mail.  (For all you statesiders searching for a U.S. distributor, I *highly* recommend pinwheels, by the way.  Limited selection but excellent service!)

For a moment, all I could do was stare at the little stack in all its glory.  Before they arrived, I'd seen plenty of these fabrics on my computer screen (I'm a loyalalbeit unsuccessfulproposer for Lily's Quilts monthly "Made with Oakshott" challenge; besides that, this, this, this, and this have been particularly enticing).  

But in person, they really are... well, something else entirely ;)

So, what to do with these radiant ruby reds?  Quilt a little jewelry for myself, of course ;)

Now normally when I paper piece, I'm incredibly generous with seam allowances because, let's be real, seam ripping doesn't exactly do wonders when you're trying to work at a quick clip.  But with these luscious shot cottons, there is no flipping way I am going to cut willy nilly in any sort of a hurry.  On the plus side, it means I will {finally} be able to give a more accurate estimate for how much fabric one 20" gemstone requires ;)

Aside from the center stone, I'm thinking this is prime "medallion" material.  So far I've jotted down an array of possible border ideas.  The running list includes:

*equilateral triangles
*flying geese
*teeny tiny stars } clearly this isn't a rush job ;)  ...yet.
*marcelle pluses
*Play Crafts broken herringbone design
*Sew What Sherlock? arrows
*pretty much any of these {omigah}
*AMH feathers (these have been on my wish list since they were featured in quilty last winter, but I still might hold out to create a quilt inspired by this design)
*and maybe (maybe!) some applique (à la tile quilts or anything material obsession)

Any other border suggestions out there?!  The jury is still out on whether to limit the borders to oakshott + neutrals (solids or prints?), or throw in some ruby-hued prints (or just solids? or both?) from my stash.  I'm thinking a mix of prints with oakshotts sprinkled throughout would be fun (and would help stretch the itty bitty stack to a cozy-sized quilt!)

Decisions, decisions, decisions...  I'd love your advice on borders, solids, prints and the whole lot ;)

Monday, May 20, 2013

sea crystal + plaid {blogger's quilt festival}

This double-sided quilt is my second entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side (two color category).

If you're not new to my blog, this quilt is old news.  I tried to take some new pictures to keep this semi-interesting for you, but that didn't pan out quite as I'd hoped ;)  Case in point:

What was I thinking?  I don't know!  I totally thought our chickens free-ranging in the background would be fresh.  And:

Really, self?  Twirling?  I have no explanation other than today was apparently just one of those days ;)  So let's just stick with the old shots, shall we?

I call this quilt "sea crystal + plaid" (background here, here, and here) because, well, one side has crystals, and the other, plaid:

I designed it for the Pantone Emerald Challenge earlier this year ("e" for effort!).  The emerald-hued sea crystals just seemed fitting in light of the oceanic color scheme; the tartan side is a nod to my husband's unwavering affinity for plaid.  I like to think it stands for how we complement one another as a couple, but maybe that's overly poetic ;)  In any event, I've drawn up a plaid {math} pattern, whichin honor of the festivitieswill be free on craftsy through the end of the 2013 BQF.

This quilt finished around 58" square.  The five crystals measure 16" in diameter and are an original paper-pieced design.  I straight line quilted it following the plaid pattern on my {old} new Pfaff (I've since swapped it out after a string of technical difficulties) using a natural-hued Gutermann thread.  (This was before I stashed up on Aurifil from Sue's closing sale).

Thanks for visiting!  Hope you'll come back again soon, and join in on the BQF fun (including my baby quilt entry, "pink + tan dresden"), here:

Saturday, May 18, 2013

pink+tan dresden {blogger's quilt festival}

This pink+tan "dainty dresden" is my first entry in the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side (baby quilts category).  A huge thanks to Amy for hosting, and welcome to everyone visiting from the festival ;)

A handful of you might have seen this before, but as it was my first ever blogging post back in January, I'm guessing not too many have.  Honestly I'm fairly certain I was the only person reading my blog back then ;)

I designed this for some dear friends of ours who welcomed their {absolutely adorable} little girl this past winter.  When we found out they were expecting a girl, I quickly learned that her mama was planning the nursery in pink + brown.  Not wanting to be too matchy-matchy, I swapped out the chocolate brown for low volume tans and off-whites to add a timeless (I hope) touch.  I wish I had more pictures, but as this was a gift, in the usual {no} hats style I was stitching up the binding the morning of the baby shower and only managed to get the single full shot above before getting a bow on it ;)

I did take a couple (literally, two) progress shots.  Here's one of the freshly cut dresden leaves against the background squares:

And another of the first plate:

And that's it ;(  Short, but sweet!  The finished quilt measures 45" x 60".  It was machine-quilted by yours truly (mostly straight lines, but I echo FMQ'd some stars in the dresden centers for a little added flare).

Thanks for stopping by!  And be sure to check out the other quilts on display (or enter your own!) over at the festival...  {Including my two-color quilt entry, "sea crystal + plaid" ;)}

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

city sampler, country twist

After an exhilarating week of SMS Giveaway Day, I was stunned when Jessica emailed me Friday night to say *I* had won a copy of Tula Pink's City Sampler!  Whaaa?! The cherry on top?  Getting this little package in Monday's mail ;)  Fabric, too?!  You da best, Jessica!!

She was also kind enough to mention that The Intrepid Thread is doing a quilt along on flickr.  C'mon, quilting along > quilting alone, right?  And as luck would have it, May is month #1 ;)  They're (well, we're) doing blocks that end in "1" for May, "2" for June, and so on in case you want to join in.

Edited to add:  Thank you Jess (!) for also letting me in on the Sew Sweetness Tula Pink sew-along.  Sara's group is tackling the blocks in order and it looks like weekly link-ups will be starting next Monday!

As I was flipping through the book, I couldn't quite figure out what fabric to use.  Rainbow palettes are fun, but I've got quite a splash of color in this selvage quilt to tide me over for the time being:

While perusing my stash, I happened upon some feedsacks I'd picked up a while back and thought, "Why not?"  I have a decent variety on hand, so old farm fabricand perhaps some new additions from my bid list (hey, ebay habits die hard)—it will be.

I guess I can also appreciate the irony of using traditional country cloth for a city sampler of modern blocks.  And I have to say I'm liking the look!  Of course the varying fabric weights make ironing a little more taxing than normal, but at least it keeps things interesting ;)

In other news, I'm at a standstill with my BBP quilt because I am absolutely determined to find a way to incorporate these lovely leftover fabric strips:

I thought about trying to make some sort of a skinny double border for the quilt top, or a giant outlined hat for the back... help?!  Please please let me know if anything jumps out at you when you see these ;)

Also, earlier today I uploaded a free pattern to craftsy for BB #2726 ("Boston Pavement") in case you're interested!  (Think steam punk, but without any curved piecing or applique).

Linking up with Lee!

Monday, May 13, 2013

hunter's star + bochie's blanket

O-m-i-G-A-H.  How happy am I that the last gift for operation xmas 2012 is bound and ready for delivery?!  So happy that I can hardly sit still long enough to write this post, so I'll make it quick ;)

This one goes out to my parents.  It's based on a traditional block called "Hunter's Star," BB #1284.  When I initially saw the little sketch in my hefty book, I knew my mom would appreciate the design for its simplicity.  Once I read its name, I couldn't help but think of my dad and smile.  Sold.  So I drew up measurements for a 72" block and got to work.

Because the quilt is bound for my father's childhood home, I could think of no better way to honor my grandmother ("Bochie") than to incorporate an unfinished, hand sewn quilt top that we first discovered while going through some belongings several years ago, and then again more recently among my own sewing supplies (as the resident sewist, I scored all of Bochie's old fabrics, notions, and a few pseudo-finished pieces like this).  Originally I had other plans for the back (a nautical print paired with an Artisania peeping duck for some added irony), but the reappearance of this nine-patch was just too perfect to pass up.  It just wouldn't feel right housed in any home other than hers, and makes for the perfect dash of nostalgia amongst otherwise contemporary decor.

So there it is.  Check.  Mark.  Done.  And Merry Christmas people ;)  Now, time to get back to the 13+ other projects {impatiently} waiting in the wings ;)  Hooray for finishes!

Happily linking up with crazy mom quilts.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

{bloom}ing right along

I've been working through this quilt at a relatively quick clip.  And not just because Lee's offering a linky soon (though that is a nice incentive!)  The main reason is that I needed a finished top stat to test how my {new} new machine handles large quilts.  (Sidenote:  if you have any strong feelings one way or the other about Elna or Pfaff, please please share! I was having issues with my 6-month old Pfaff so my dealer has given me the choice between upgrading to a newly released model or switching to an Elna... and I need help!)  But you didn't come here to read about sewing machines, now did you?  ;)

I've been toying with my BBP layout and I think this is my favorite...

But here were the other contenders:

Trying to steer my helper clear of the family room floor while I think about it ;)  I generally wanted the pinks/reds starting in one corner, and the oranges/yellows in the other.  Otherwise I didn't really have an agenda aside from spreading the various values (and insufficiently bleached "blobs"!) across the quilt.  Did I pick the right one?!  Can you even tell a difference? :)

Update:  Top is finished!  Stuck with layout #1:

And oh how pretty are those open seams? ;)

I've also been doing a little sewing for my birthplace of Boston.  Being the BB Encyclopedia junkie that I am, I found a block titled, "Boston Pavement" (#2726) (perfection!) and fell in love.

Very steam punk-y (aka Air Ship Propeller, BB #3499), minus the curved piecing and appliqued center.  (And the blades here are the skinny sections vs. the chubbier steam punk ones).  This is the first of several I plan to incorporate into some "To Boston With Love" flags.  They'll finish around 5" square when set in the flags.

Now, off to rescue my quilt layout from a toddler tornado! Linking up with Lee at freshly pieced ;)

Monday, May 6, 2013

birthstone bling {giveaway day!}


Edited to add:  Sir Random has spoken... #110 it is!

Congratulations to Krista of krista stitched!  Andin what will perhaps become a {no} hats giveaway tradition because someone always has to be first even though we all know Sir Random hardly ever shows #1 any love (if at all!), a birthstone block pattern bundle is also headed Cindy's way over at Live a Colorful Life ;)

To everyone else (181?! Whaaa? Beat my expectations by about twentyfold), I truly <3'd and appreciated all of your comments and wish I could hand these out to each and everyone one of you.  In the meantime, keep an eye on the shop for some freebies (albeit less sparkly) in the near future!


I have to say I've never done a giveaway before and I'm not sure how much of a turnout this will generate... but think of it this way:  potentially higher odds for you!

Up for grabs from this house of {no} hats during the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day Week extravaganza is...

A bundle of {shine bright} like a birthstone quilt block patterns (princess + round), hot off the {digital} press from my fledgling craftsy shop.  Both are 6-page PDFs (instant gratification!) complete with introductions + instructions, coloring pages + color placement tips, and paper piecing templates that can be scaled to create whatever size gem your heart desires.

Sample stone layouts for Jan-Dec modern birthstones:  garnet, amethyst, aquamarine, diamond, emerald, alexandrite, ruby, peridot, sapphire, tourmaline, citrine, blue topaz

Dare I say they're less complicated than they look?  So far I've experimented with February, April, and May:

Now, what will you "bedazzle"?  {Couldn't resist.  I actually had have (?!) one of those... yikes!}

You have two chances to win*:
1.  Leave a comment on this post.  Easy peasy.  What to say?  Tell me anything:  what your birthstone is, what you'd make with these, whether you too have coveted owned a BeDazzler, what you had for breakfast... really, a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g!
2.  Leave a second comment if you are a follower (old or new!).  Just tell me how you follow. Bloglovin'?  Feedly?  The soon-to-be-extinct-yet-existent-nonetheless Google Reader?  Two cans and a string?

*If you are a no-reply blogger, please please {please!} include your email address in your comment!

This giveaway will be open until 8 pm EST (5 pm PST) on Friday, May 10.  Then your fate will be in the hands of the finicky Sir Random {dot} Org, who will pick a winner over the weekend in time for stateside Mother's Day ;)  The winner will be notified via email and her or his name added to this entry.

Thanks for stopping by!  Good luck, friends ;)  And be sure to check out all the other amazing giveaways out there!

-- Sarah

Saturday, May 4, 2013

bloom {bleach} pow

What do you get when you mix Lee's Bloom Bloom Pow quilt along with Rossie's recent fabric bleaching adventures?  Hopefully something good, because that's what's happening in this {house}.

Last night a "sunset-y" spread of fabrics (inspired by the BBP ringleader's recent pull, no less) took a bath in some bleach water (and a rinse in some bleach stop!)  After a quick wash and a mad midnight cutting frenzy, here's what I've got to show for it:

Not terrible, right?  (The creases are pretty bad but the bleaching turned out alright!)  Of course there were five fabrics (not pictured) that didn't change at all:  two reds, an orange, and two yellows.  On the bright side, luckily I had extras and at least it wasn't all the same color group ;)  Now off to do some chain piecing and catching up!

In other unrelated news, I've been gathering supplies like a squirrel collects nuts these days.  Any Aurifil enthusiasts out there?  Then you should definitely check out Sue's shop (she's reduced her prices and is offering an extra 10% almost site wide).  I just picked up quite a few neutral 50wts (medium and light beige, white and off-white) and some 40wts, all together averaging under $6 per 1422yd spool.  {Shipping included.}  Uh.  Yah.  That happened.

505 aficionados?  This guy's got what you want:  17 oz cans of the stuff for $12.49, and superfast shipping.  I ordered several cans because the S&H remains pretty constant no matter how many you order, and I was aiming for, er, economic stashing ;)

Happy Saturday :)
...and Monday!
  Plum and June