Thursday, August 30, 2012

what a bunch of squares

Yay! Last night I finished my "what a bunch of squares" pillow.


The design is based on a quilt by Denyse Schmidt called What a bunch of squares, so I'm calling this little guy that, too. I really enjoyed making these simple improv blocks. I did not use a ruler to cut my fabric since I wanted to keep my blocks more organic with some slight wonk here and there.


My choice of fabric was inspired by this Chicopee print. I used only a tiny bit of Chicopee in two blocks and the rest of the fabric was from my stash. I'm glad that instead of the usual Kona white I went with white linen - I love the feel of linen, I should use it more often.


Staying true to my newly found obsession, I hand quilted the pillow top. Once again, I'm totally in love with the lovely extra dimension and texture hand quilting adds to every single project.


I let Chicopee come out and play once again, this time in a much bigger dose, for the pillow backing. I made a zipper closure, my favorite, I think this kind of closure makes pillows look really nice and plump.


Do you see that purple zipper? No, I was not going for some crazy "splash of color", it was the only zipper long enough I had on hand. I'm glad I used it, though. It saved me a trip to the fabric store and no one can even tell what color the zipper, nicely hidden under that pretty Chicopee, is.


I then used this Chicopee print for the binding, and voila!!! my new, very Denyse Schmidt, pillow cover was finished!


And here it is, hanging out with its "pillow buddies" in our family room. Oh, have I ever mentioned I really love making pillows? You'd never have guessed, right?

Thanks for stopping by. Svetlana

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

for the love of hand quilting....

I'm officially pronouncing myself to be obsessed with hand quilting. I love that special extra touch of texture and interest it gives to each and every project and, I've mentioned that before, how very calming and relaxing I find it to be.

I finished hand quilting my Irish Chain quilt over the weekend. All I need to do now is attach the binding. Yay! I usually use the machine for that but it feels very wrong to finish this quilt off on the machine after I put hours and hours into hand quilting it. 


And then, last night, I just wanted to work on something small, so I decided to make a simple pillow.


I used a picture of the quilt What a bunch of squares by Denyse Schmidt as my guide and improv pieced this pillow top. See that tiny bit of Chicoppe in one of the blocks? Oh, I so love that fabric. And when the top was finished, you know what's coming, right? Yep, I started doing some hand quilting. Told you! I'm totally hooked.

Speaking of hand quilting, do you remember this hexie pillow I made a while back? The one that started my hand sewing obsession?


I've linked it up to Ali's festival of hexagons. Hope you'll stop by and see all the wonderful hexie creations.

Have a wonderful rest of the day. Svetlana

 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

birthday place mats

This year, for my parents' birthdays (they are only 8 days apart), I wanted to send them not just a store bought present, but also something hand made that they could use on a regular basis. Also, it had to be something not too time consuming as I waited until the last minute to work on it.

Here' s what I came up with - personalized birthday place mats.


I used this fun "notebook" fabric for the middle and framed it with different green fabrics from my stash. I then had my kids draw and write messages using fabric markers.



I think they turned out great and my kids had a lot of fun working on these place mats. It was like making a big birthday card, just on fabric.


Once all the writing and drawing was done, I made a quilt sandwich using warm and white batting and quilted the place mats with straight lines about 1/2" apart.


I bound both of them using the same gray fabric and ta-da!!! they were finished in no time at all. The best thing, though, is that my parents loved getting them in the mail.

I'm curious to know. Do you make presents for your family? Do you have a certain go to present you like to make?

Friday, August 24, 2012

planning and plotting

The yellow, green, aqua, and gray color combo keeps me awake at night. It's been constantly on my mind since I made this fabric bucket. So I've put together this giant stack of fabric and hope to cut into it this weekend. 


At first I thought of doing a simple patchwork like I did in this quilt. But now I'm thinking triangles?!?! I'm pretty sure those tricky, pesky triangles will look amazing in this color scheme.

And now that the kids are back at school and go to bed at much more decent time, I'm looking forward to spending more time working on my Irish Chain quilt.


Oh, I so enjoy the slow, repetitive, meditative process of hand quilting.



Plus, these two ladies and our adorable creature are keeping me a company tonight. Aaaaah!!!

Wishing you all a wonderful weekend. Svetlana

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

fabric buckets detour

I've had some fun, scrappy fabric buckets on my mental to-do list for a long time, ever since I came across these. And then Chase posted a tutorial for her fantastic scrappy buckets. Well, that was it. I knew I could resist no longer, the buckets HAD TO be made, asap!!!


I pulled out yellow, aqua, green, white, and gray/ black fabric from my stash, cut way too many 3" squares, and made this bucket. It's a pretty big bucket - the bottom is 10" in diameter and it's 7" tall. I think it's destined to hold some of my most precious scraps. We'll see.


Then I made this skinny, tall, all pretty and girly bucket using some of the leftover fabric from my previous projects.

Now that I got fabric buckets out of my system, I can happily get back to my wips patiently waiting for some love and attention. 


See? Lots of random blocks that would like to become finished projects, plus my Christmas and Irish Chain quilts. OK, I'm off to get some sewing done. 

Thanks for stopping by. Svetlana

 

Monday, August 20, 2012

catching up

do you remember this stack of fabric?


Yeah, this is what I was planning to cut into for my Vintage Holiday quilt along. We're on the third week of the quilt along and neatly stacked fabric and unopened pattern was all I had to show for.

I was quite tempted to just put it aside and "get to it later", which as we all know, might never come. I'm happy to say that no putting aside happened, I cut, and sewed, and pressed instead, and I ended up with these six blocks. I'm actually all caught up with the quilt along schedule, yay!


You've probably noticed that I did not use many of the fabrics I had in my stack. I completely eliminated yellow and replaced some of the blues and greens. You see, the way I always work is I cut my fabric as I go. This way, I decide on the fabric one block at a time. It's more time consuming and messy, for sure, but I'm able to come up with more cohesive blocks this way. At least I hope so.

I do like the way this festive quilt is turning out and hope to make some more blocks soon. Maybe even keeping up with the quilt along? That would be nice.

Thanks for stopping by. Svetlana

Sunday, August 19, 2012

nursery versery

so, I finally caved in and got me some Heather Ross. I kept resisting it for a quite some time simply because my children don't care for any cute fabric and I did not want to buy it just because everyone else was buying it. I definitely did not go overboard, I only bought this one print and the cute little country mice and I had quite some fun yesterday.

First, I made this pouch.


I started off by making a wonky star block for the front and then followed Anna's (Noodlehead) tutorial for her open wide zipper pouch.


As usual, Anna's tutorial is well written, directions are easy to follow, and it's full of pictures to make the whole process even easier. I made the small size of the pouch, and the only thing I did differently was to use fusible fleece instead of just regular interfacing to make my pouch sturdier.

Once the pouch was finished and pronounced pretty but too cute by my daughters, I decided it would work really well for my sewing-on-the-go supplies. Naturally, I needed to make a pincushion to go with it, right?


The pincushion probably took longer to make than the pouch itself. It's small, only 3" x 4" and I knew paper piecing was the way to go. So, I drew out my diagram and got to work. Oh, I totally and completely love this little guy. 


I don't think I'll ever be able to poke a pin through this little mousie, though.


I think this approach of fussy cutting worked really well for me as little cuteness goes a long way. What do you think? How do you use prints like Heather Ross? I know they are great for little kids, but do you use them for older kids, or even grown ups?

Wishing you all a wonderful Sunday. Svetlana

I'm linking this post to Rachel's nursery versery contest. Hope you'll have a peek, there are some totally cute projects shown already. Or, even better, make something using this fabric line and link up, too.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

name tags

I'm so, so happy and excited about the fact that a chapter of Modern Quilt Guild has started meeting at my LQS. And, I mean totally local, like 5 minutes drive local. Woot! woot!!!!

For our next (second) meeting our challenge is to make name tags. And, since the meeting date is getting closer, I thought I'd better start. I took out tons of fabric, and got to work. This is what I came up with.


Nothing too complicated, just some scraps of fabric, a little bit of quilting, and embroidered name. But, it's probably too cutsey, right? My daughter announced it would make a great name tag for a kindergartener!!! ouch!

Naturally, I started working on a second name tag. Here's try #2.


I did a lot more patchwork and appliqued my name over it. Now my kids claim this name tag looks like a mug rug. Ouch!! second time.

So, now I have two name tags, one good enough for a kindergartener and one mini mug rug. And I can't decide which one to use for our meeting. Can you help? Or, should I just work on the third one? Any suggestions? I had no idea that working on a 3.5" x 5" name tag will take up so much of my time and energy. Really, it's just a name tag! I seem to have too much extra time on my hands to be obsessing like that.

Well, anyway, if you live somewhere near Naperville, IL and would love to be part of Modern Quilt Guild, our next meeting is on August 23rd, you can check out the quid's blog to get more info.

Hope you have an awesome day. Svetlana

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

making progress

Hand quilting is sloooow, and time consuming, and I recently realized that I enjoy it tremendously. Wow, what a revelation, really. I usually have no patience and like things happening right now!


So, this was me yesterday afternoon. As you can see, I don't use any hoops or frames when I hand quilt. I tried them but it just does not work for me. What I do is put my left hand under the quilt and grab it so it's steady and does not shift around and then gather a couple of stitches on my needle as I go. I finally got used to using a thimble - finger tips full of tiny holes from the needle are very painful and not attractive at all - so I finally gave in. I use this thimble.


Right now I'm working on outlining each solid square using 2 strands of matching light blue embroidery thread. I'd like to add some more quilting in the bigger squares to make it more fun and interesting. Any ideas on what could work? I'd love to hear.


I also made my August blocks for do. Good Stitches bee over the weekend. We were to make 2 scrappy blocks using this tutorial. I loved using some of my very favorite tiny scraps and I'm really glad they are finished. Somehow, these blocks took forever. The squares were small and many of them, and the fact that I sewed the corner squares upside down at first did not help. I do love how they turned out, though. I think this is a perfect block for a bee since making 2 was totally doable, making enough blocks for the whole quilt would probably kill me.

What fun projects have you been working on lately?

 
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