Thursday, February 28, 2013

nine patch

Have you ever made a quilt and you can't decide whether you like it or not? It sounds  strange, I know. It's not rocket science to know whether I like something. And I usually do, but with this nine patch quilt I just can't decide.

 I used a lot of Denyse Schmidt fabrics which I like very, very much but I might have mixed too many colors together in this one? What do you think?

But then again, all those many colors together seem to give the quilt this lovely vintage scrappy feel. And I like that. See what I mean?

So, for now I decided I kind of like it and I started my new Comma nine patch blocks using much more controlled and limited range of colors for a change. I'll let you know how that goes once I get more blocks finished.

Thanks for stopping by. Svetlana

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

w.i.p. s

It's been almost two weeks since my machine broke and still no phone call from the repair guy, grrr! So, to feel sort of productive, I decided to take inventory of my wips and pet them a little.

I love, love, love these nine patch blocks. I'm using Comma by Zen Chic (adore this line of fabric) in combination with different low volume prints. I wanted to turn them into a mini for our bedroom wall but now I'm thinking of adding blue to the mix and making enough blocks for a lap sized quilt.

Another project using some more Comma (can you tell I really like this fabric?), is this improv log cabin quilt. This quilt will be 36" x 36" square, and I'm making it as part of log cabin challenge in our Naperville Modern Quilt Guild.

And then there's this vintage tapestry of sorts my mom sent me. I'm thinking of adding a fabric border and turning it into a wall hanging. Aren't this pattern as well as colors so pretty?

Of course, I have quite a few smaller projects calling my name too, but these three are the main ones and I hope to get to them asap. Fingers crossed that my machine will be "healthy" soon.

Wishing you all a very lovely day. Svetlana

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Monday, February 25, 2013

single girl {all finished}

My Single Girl is all finished and she is a beauty (in my humble "totally unbiased" opinion).
She is all I was hoping for and so much more. I absolutely love how scrappy and bright she is, and I simply can't get enough of all those low volume backgrounds (thanks for this genius idea Jolene).

As planned, I used this beautiful Sugar Hill flannel for the backing. It's pretty, and soft, and cozy - simply perfect. Now I want to use flannel backing for all my quilts.

From the moment I started making this quilt I knew I wanted to hand quilt it. And I did, yay! I used 2 strands of embroidery thread which worked really well and I ended up with these lovely chunky stitches.

I was a little stuck when it came to binding. I wanted something that would complement all the neutrals while at the same time not competing with the scrappy rings. So, I decided to go with this color weave in gray, I think it adds just the right finishing touch.

To sum it all up, this was not an easy quilt to make. There was a lot of template cutting, precise piecing, curve sewing, and of course hand quilting. But, I enjoyed making her more than I enjoyed working on any other quilt before. I think it's the combination of Denyse Schmidt, neutrals, bright scraps, and hand quilting that make me love this quilt so very much.

Finished size of this quilt is about 60" x 60" and I used Single Girl pattern by Denyse Schmidt.

Thank you so much for stopping by and letting me share this beauty with you. 

Wishing you all a very lovely day. Svetlana

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday over at Quilt Story.

Friday, February 22, 2013

change of plans

OK, now I know for sure. Improvisation, no pattern, and a fuzzy picture of a finished project in my head turns out not to be the best approach when it comes to purse making. Yesterday I shared a snapshot of what was supposed to be my next everyday purse.  

Well, after spending some time thinking (unsuccessfully, I might add) about how to install a zipper in what turned out to be a bag that was too short for my needs, I decided to change the plan completely. I always try to remember that I sew for fun and relaxation, and when it gets to the point when I'm actually getting stressed by what I'm working on, it's time to re-evaluate.

So, first I went to Amazon and ordered myself a beautiful new purse (oh, Amazon, how I love thee).  And then I turned a would be purse into a small tote bag.

Its size and shape are actually great for carrying my sewing supplies,

or maybe my knitting or crochet projects.  And, even though the final result is not exactly what I had in mind, I'm really glad I went ahead and finished it.

 Because, I really like this neon piping, and double sided handles, and the chunky stitches. All in all, not such a bad experience.

How about you? Do you ever start a project and along the way it turns into something quite different?

Wishing you all a very lovely weekend.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

thursday randomness

I started making a new purse/ handbag for myself. My old one is still sort of OK, but it's definitely seem better days and it's time for a replacement.

I'm making this bag up as I go, the only guide being a very unclear idea in my head of what I want it to look like. I seem to forget that while it's great to improvise when making quilts, it might not be the best strategy for making handbags. We'll see how it all ends up, I'll let you know.

I've also been hand stitching a storm on my Single Girl. It's coming along very nicely and I'm happy to say I only have a few more arches to quilt and I'll be finished, yay!!! It's time to start thinking about the binding. Any ideas?

And, this stack of books has been keeping me a company for a few days now, tempting me so very much to give printing a try. One of these days, I hope.

Now, this last thing is even more random than others. Does anyone's cat like to sleep on their laptop, too? Our Lola LOVEs it. Seriously, how weird is that?

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

county fair chairs

I spent the last few days hand quilting my Single Girl quilt. Unfortunately for me I seem to have no self control when it comes to sewing and quilting and this morning the pointer and thumb on my right hand felt like they were about to fall off.

Not a good sign for sure, my Juki sewing machine is at the "machine doctor" and injuring my fingers is the last thing I need, so I decided to let the Single Girl take a little break and I re-upholstered our dining room chairs instead.

I admired this County Fair fabric by Denyse Schmidt for such a long time, but since it came out way before I started sewing, I gave up on owning any. And then I found almost 2 yards of this cheater print home dec weight fabric listed on Etsy for an incredibly low price (I think I paid about $14.00 including shipping).

The panels are about 17" x 18", so I decided to frame them with some black and blue Essex linen from my stash to make them big enough for the chair cushions.

I love how simple this project was. I've always wanted to make patchwork covers for our chairs and this cheater print saved me tons of time. I guess that's my "lemonade" for today. No good machine and sore fingers equals re-upholstered chairs. Not bad I say.
Thanks so much for stopping by. Svetlana

Sunday, February 17, 2013

hand quilting

 Hello, happy Sunday!

I hope you all are having a lovely weekend. Mine is going pretty well, not much of my usual sewing happening since my Juki stopped working a few days ago and I had to take it to the "machine doctor" :( No fun at all!

I can't complain much, though. Not having the machine means that I have all this time to work on hand quilting my Single Girl .

It's a slow, but pretty relaxing process, so no complaints here. My least favorite part, I must say, is marking the quilting lines which I find extremely boring and tedious (I'm using a blue marker that disappears once it gets wet - it works well, I tried it already).

 Oh, I'm so loving these chunky stitches. 

I don't use any frames or hoops when quilting. I tried, but it did not work for me. I just find myself a nice comfy spot on the sofa, hold the quilt firmly with my left hand, and quilt.

 As you can see, I'm quite enjoying myself.

Wishing you all a wonderful rest of the weekend. Svetlana

Linking up to Chase's Weekending.

Friday, February 15, 2013

vouloir, c'est pouvoir

Where there's a will, there's a way - that's the meaning of my title (I feel so very chic and  French just writing it).

No, I don't really speak French, I found this phrase online and thought it would be so fitting for the pillow I had in mind. I've been admiring Amber's applique pillows for a very, very long time and I decided to make one for my husband for Valentine's day (we're not really the pink heart type folks). 

He has been learning French for the last year or so and has become very good at it - so the words are  in French, plus whatever he sets his mind to doing he will get it done, no matter how hard it is or how long it might take him. Vouloir, c'est pouvoir is definitely very fitting.

This was my first time doing this kind of applique and free motion outlining it. It was a little nerve wrecking, and I was all tense while working on it, but the nature of this kind of "sketchy" outline turned out to be pretty forgiving.

I even had a map of Paris in my stash (oh, how I love a well stocked stash) and used it for the backing. I was planning on doing an invisible zipper as I've grown quite fond of them, but I had none on hand (not so well stocked when it comes to zippers), so I just turned to my trusty zipper enclosure.

This pillow cover fits a 16" x 16" pillow form. Wishing you all a very lovely weekend.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

single girl progress

I can't even believe that all nine blocks for my Single Girl quilt are pieced and trimmed ( I could only fit 6 of them on my design wall as these blocks are ginormous). I'm doing a 3 x 3 blocks layout, so my quilt will measure about 60" x 60".

I love working on this quilt so very much, I even have fabric for the backing all ready to go. I got this gorgeous and amazingly soft Tanya Whelan Sugar Hill flannel from here. Isn't it beautiful? I think it will be a perfect match for my happy, bright, and colorful single girls.

And, I'm going all out and hand quilting this puppy. I'm in no hurry to get it finished any time soon, so slow and relaxing hand quilting sounds very appealing.

Of course, I will still have to decide on the binding, but I have plenty of time for that.

What have you been up to? Do tell. Svetlana

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Sunday, February 10, 2013


 Hello, happy Sunday!

I hope your weekend is going well and you're getting some time to play as well as rest. I'm having a ridiculously wonderful time with tons of scraps, lots of low volume fabrics, and Denyse Schmidt's Single Girl.

This was my design wall on Friday night. I know, it looks like my sewing induced ADD is back. I so love all the four projects I started over the last few days but it was time to decide to work on just one since there's no more room on my design wall.

I started my Single Girl quilt after seeing Jolene's amazing, gorgeously scrappy version. I could not help it, I simply HAD TO shamelessly copy get inspired and start my own.

I decided to go randomly scrappy, so there's no order to my color placement. And boy is it fun!!! I don't think I have ever enjoyed working on a quilt this much before (and I do love quilting). It's probably all those tons of scraps and other happy fabrics (Jamie, thanks for the beautiful zig zags) that make me giddy with excitement every time I look at them.

As of right now, I'm about half way done with piecing. I decided to go with  a 3 x 3 blocks layout, which will make for a very nice lap sized quilt.

OK, off to get some more sewing done.

Linking up to Chase's weekending. Hope you'll stop by her blog and see what she, and others, have been up to this weekend. I'm sure you'll love all her amazing scrappy creations, she's a master, as well as her beautifully colorful Single Girl quilt she finished a few days ago. Or, even better, why don't you write up a post about your Weekending and link up?

Friday, February 8, 2013

pixelated heart pillow

Happy Friday, everyone!

As promised, I'm back to show you another one of my recent finishes. Ready?

Ta-da!!! I love this bright, big red heart, makes me happy just looking at it. This pixelated heart pillow is made of 2" squares, most of them from my scrap bin - yay!, and was inspired by Jolene's wonderful quilt.

I had a hard time deciding on how to quilt it. I wanted the red heart to stay red, and the "white" part to stay white. So, I went with hand quilting and used two different threads.

It's a little hard to see the quilting in this picture but you know what I mean, right?

I used this vintage sewing linen fabric for the back. It has such a wonderful feel, while being quite sturdy at the same time. Good thing too, since this pillow is getting used, abused, thrown around, and loved a lot these days.

I wanted to keep the back fabric in one piece, so I decided not to finish the pillow off in my usual way but installed an invisible zipper instead. Love, love, love! I should use invisible zippers more often. Rachel and Katie have some great tutorials on how to do it if you'd like to give an invisible zipper a try.

Wishing you all a very lovely and crafty weekend. Svetlana

Linking up to AmandaJean's Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

log cabin + spiral quilting

 I spent every minute of my free time for the last two weeks cutting, pressing, sewing, and quilting. You see, for some reason I felt compelled to give myself a lot of self-imposed deadlines which resulted in frantic sewing. Not the best idea, since now I have a giant pile of laundry plus tons of housework to catch up with :(

At least I have this nice stack of goodies to show for all that insanity. Not bad, right? So, today I'd like to show you one of the finishes -  Kiss the Cook log cabin quilt.

I love how bright and happy this quilt is. All those whimsical little cooks make such perfect centers for the log cabins.

 I'm glad to say that all the fabric for this quilt came from my stash. Yay!!!

My favorite part, though, is the quilting. Doesn't it look wonderful? Thank you for all your lovely advice and encouragement. I'm so glad I went with this spiral quilting. I worried about the finished quilt being too stiff but it's not. It has such a lovely texture.

I started my spiral a little off center to give it an interesting effect and using my walking foot I quilted all the spirals about 1/2" apart. The only tricky part was the couple of first spirals as they are so small and I had to keep turning my quilt many times. Going slowly and being patient was definitely the key.

I bound the quilt using aqua gingham from The Simple Life collection, I think it gives it just the right finishing touch.

I had my doubts while working on this quilt, especially when it came to border and then quilting, but now that it's all finished it's definitely one of my very favorite quilts I made so far.

Be back soon to show you more of my finishes. Hope you all have a lovely day. Svetlana

Linking up to Made by me Wednesdays.

Monday, February 4, 2013

whole cloth baby quilt

The other day I made the easiest quilt ever.

I started off with just these three fabrics, plus the batting. My plan was to make a simple whole cloth quilt.

I made myself a quilt sandwich using lovely lime and pink polka dotty fabric from Lecien for one side, and a pretty flowery light blue fabric I received from  Wholeport for the other side.

I then drew out my diagonal grid for quilting (I always use this disappearing ink pen to mark my grids).

I used aqua thread to do an all over diagonal grid pattern and absolutely love the texture this kind of quilting produced.

At first I was planning on using pink striped fabric (shown in the very top picture) for the binding, but after seeing my pretty flowers I decided a bright yellow would be a much better choice.

I rounded the corners and attached the happy yellow polka dotty binding (cut on bias) by machine to one side.

Then I took the opportunity to add a little bit more interest to this simple quilt by attaching the other part of binding using running stitch and contrasting thread. I do love how it looks and it makes for a completely reversible baby quilt.

It finished at 34" x 41" and it was definitely the quickest quilt I've ever made. And, I only needed 2 yards of fabric, plus about another 1/4 yard for the binding.

Thanks for stopping by. Have a lovely day, friends. Svetlana
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