Monday, April 29, 2013

to boston with love

Happy Monday,

how was your weekend, everyone? We had a lovely, relaxed weekend. Spring has finally decided to show up in here in Chicago, the kids played in the yard, and I read :) Heaven, I'm telling you.

Nice weather, of course, means a lot less sewing time. I did, however, finish four blocks for Quilts for Boston.

First and third blocks were made using some of the leftovers from previous projects, second block is granny square (tutorial here) and the fourth block's design is by Kate Henderson from the book Modern Blocks.

I also made this heart flag for To Boston with Love organized by Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild.

Both of these projects were quick and used up some of my scraps, but mostly I'm glad that in this very small way I could be a part of bringing comfort to those affected by Boston Marathon bombings.


Here are the links if you'd like to help, too. There's still time.

Please note the original due date has been changed and the flags need to be received by May 21.

Friday, April 26, 2013

pink bricks {a finished quilt}

My Pink Bricks quilt saga has come to an end. The quilt is finished, I'm happy with the way it turned out, I can stop obsessing. That is, of course, until I start a new quilt and start obsessing all over again :)

Somehow, I kept changing my mind again and again as I was making this quilt. First it was the pattern, then I decided to add some white to the mix of fabrics which required another rearranging. And, to make the whole process much more "interesting", I made the quilt top way too large. It was huge!

See my attempt at making my design wall larger to make it all fit? That itself should have been a red flag since I did not need a huge quilt. So I removed a few rows and columns (after they were all pieced together, of course) and finally ended up with the quilt I wanted, phew!!!!

I then used luxuriously soft pink minky for the backing. I have to say, it makes for such a wonderfully cuddly quilt. Even my son, who otherwise refuses to touch anything pink, loves wrapping himself in it.

I did straight line quilting about 1/4" along both sides of each seam. Simple, yet effective for this kind of quilt, I think.

Finished size of the quilt is 55" x  63" which makes for a nice lap sized quilt.

Hope you all have a very lovely weekend. Svetlana

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

cupcakes and super heroes

Happy Tuesday, everyone!

Hope your day is going well. Our beautiful spring weather unfortunately lasted only a day and now we're back to more rain, but at least I have two happy pillows to show you today.

I named this pillow Cupcakes. I made it for 5th round of X-factor pillows swap. It's a fun, low pressure swap where you make a pillow (this round's theme was circles), send a picture of your pillow to swap mama who posts it anonymously in the Flickr group, and at the end of the round we vote for and hope to receive our favorite pillows. Told you it's fun :)

I thought this bright and happy fabric will be perfect for the back. I quilted it in the same cross hatch pattern as the front background.

And, I installed an invisible zipper. I love how perfectly it turned out, even the quilting on both front and back match up.

Now that the voting is finished, Cupcake is being packed and shipped off to my partner who I hope will like it as much as I do. I, in the meantime, will be anxiously waiting to see which pillow shows up at my door.

The second pillow is my son's Super Hero pillow.

 This thing is HUGE! It's almost as big as my 7 year old son is. It surprised both of us how ginormous it turned out. I guess that's what I get for not measuring things as I go.

I had this super hero newsprint fabric in my stash (sorry, no idea who makes it) and shamelessly copied this pillow design by Amy (nana company).

I used the "newspaper" part of the panel for the back. I think my son prefers this side of the pillow as he claims this is the front??? He loves to read these two short super hero articles. Every time I tell him it's time to read he grabs his giant pillow and starts reading. Let's just say we both have it all almost memorized.

How about you? What have you been up to lately?

Sunday, April 21, 2013

toning things down

As soon as I pulled these beauties out of my mailbox the other day I knew they were destined to become a quilt. I love all these understated colors together, so peaceful and calm, just what I needed after working on many bright quilts over the last few months.

I then raided my stash and added some linen (thank you Rober Kaufman) as well as hand printed fabric by Leslie Keating. I know, my clouds are upside down in this picture, but I wish you could feel the softness of this fabric.

 I had a hard time deciding on the pattern for this quilt. I wanted something simple that would let the fabric shine. So, I decided to go with 7" squares and make a simple patchwork quilt.

I must say, though, the whole time I was cutting and piecing I did not feel the love. That should have been a sign for me to stop and rethink, but I kept stitching, of course.

Once all the rows were pieced together, I knew I had to re-cut the whole thing and come up with a new design, grrrr!!! Why make it easy when I can make things a lot more difficult by stubbornly ignoring all my instincts, right?

I added some white and ivory fabrics, cut my squares in halves, added smaller rectangles (inspired by this quilt by Malka) and I finally love where this is going.

It's going to be quite a big quilt and I might back it with pretty pink minky I bought the other day.  Have you noticed? I'm still going through my pink phase, but on all of that a little later.

Off I go, more piecing to be done. Thanks so much for reading. Svetlana

Friday, April 19, 2013

marcelle medallion {a finish}

Last night I finished hand quilting my Marcelle Medallion. And it felt good. I really enjoyed piecing and then quilting it, but it was time to check it off the wip list.

I did a lot of hand quilting outlining all the shapes and borders (those geese and triangles took quite some time, I must say).

I usually go with perle cotton or embroidery thread for hand quilting, but this time I decided to use regular hand quilting thread. It's thin yet very strong and it produces quilting that does not call attention to itself, it lets the fabric and design shine instead.

I used Lecien flower sugar wreath in yellow for the backing and  I just adore how hand quilting adds so much texture to this beautiful fabric.

I think this black and white text print frames and finishes off the quilt and complements all that color and patterns perfectly.

Finished size of this quilt is 58" x 58", I used pattern from the book Liberty Love by Alexia Marcelle Abegg - love, love, love this book, it's full of fantastic projects.

You can read more about the process of making this quilt by clicking here, here, here and here.

This quilt is for sale. To go to my Etsy store click here.

Wishing you all a very lovely weekend. Svetlana

Linking up to AmandaJean's Finish it up Friday.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

the big apple shoulder bag + a giveaway

Today you can find me over at Benartex blog sharing a tutorial for The Big Apple Shoulder Bag, yay! And, I have a fun giveaway too, so keep reading :)

This shoulder bag is made using The Big Apple fabric by Benartex. The moment I saw this line of fabric with its New York theme in black, white, and red color scheme I knew it was perfect for my teenage daughter. The bag was pretty easy and quick to make and it's just the right size to carry all her "essentials" in. Hope you'll stop by Benartex blog and check out the tutorial.

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Now for the giveaway. Benartex is generously giving away a FQ bundle of The Big Apple fabric to one lucky winner. It's open internationally and Mr. Random and I will draw the winner on Friday (4-19) night.

Thank you for participating, everyone! This giveaway is now closed.

Jeneta is the winner. Congratulations!!!!

Here's how to enter.

My rules:  leave a comment on this post
                 followers of my blog get an extra entry

Benartex rules:  follow Benartex blog (either by email of GFC, both in th right hand sidebar)
                          like Benartex on Facebook for an additional entry

Thanks for stopping by. Svetlana

Monday, April 15, 2013

liberated baskets {a finished quilt}

Hello, hope you're all having a very lovely Sunday. I tried to get some sewing done, but it seems to be one of those days when nothing turns out the way it's supposed to. So I packed all the fabric away and thought I'd show you my Baskets quilt instead.

I just love how sweet and pretty this quilt turned out. I started off by making my liberated baskets using Gwen Marston's instructions from her book Liberated Quiltmaking II. And boy, was that fun! 

Once my baskets were finished, I knew I wanted to add a border, but I could not decide what kind. I thought of adding just plain, solid fabric border which I think would outline the baskets very nicely. And then I decided to go with scrappy border like Jolene did on hers, with the addition of liberated stars in each corner instead.

I do like the way it worked out. I think this border sort of becomes a part of a design, it's not just a border to highlight the baskets, in works with them to form one lovely, cohesive, colorful, and happily bright quilt.

I used bright green minky to back the quilt and wow! it is so very soft and cuddly. Just the way my kids like it (I found out that adding minky to any quilt I make guarantees that my children will love to use it).

 Finished size of the quilt is 58" x 70".

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

On the side note, I decided to re-open my etsy shop and list a few of the quilts for sale. It was time, the pile of finished quilts with no destination in particular was getting too large. Here's a link to my shop if you'd like to have a look.

Wishing you all a very lovely rest of the weekend. Svetlana

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

works in progress

I used to be very good about finishing one project before allowing myself to start a new one. Then I found out that I prefer working on two or three projects at a time just to keep things from getting boring and tedious. Lately, however, it all spiraled out of control and I have been starting way more projects than I could possibly finish without everything piling up.

I'm thinking a list of my wips would be a good way to start tackling the backlog. Here we go.

My number one priority is finishing up this liberated baskets quilt. These beautiful springy colors and wonky baskets make me smile every time I look at my design wall (which happens a lot, btw).

I need to add a border and I sort of got stuck on that. Not sure whether to piece it from scraps of use strips of single fabric. Any suggestions?

Then there's my Marcelle Medallion. I'm so close to being done with hand quilting her. So, so close, just a few hours of watching some good TV shows and I'll be finished :)

I had a plan for these stars. Then I changed my mind and abandoned these cuties completely. I'm thinking of making a few more stars to make it at least a lap sized quilt. Chances are, though, I might just piece the ones I have and turn it into a baby quilt.

I think these Comma nine patch blocks would make a really nice wall hanging. Should be easy, right? I'll make a few more block adding some pink and blue to the mix and see where that takes me.

And then there's one more baby quilt ready for my fmq practice. Truth be told, I don't feel like doing any fmq drills right now so this quilt might stay in my unfinished pile for quite some time.

So, these are my main wips (I have quite a few pouches, bags, and pillows in the works but that doesn't count, right?). It actually feels good to see them all here as now the list does not seem as daunting as it did a while ago.

OK, off I go to get some sewing done. Hope you all have a very lovely rest of the day. Svetlana


Monday, April 8, 2013

pen organizer {tutorial}

Hello, welcome to my stop on Girl Friday Sews blog hop organized by super nice, wonderfully talented Heidi.

We always, always look for pencils and pens at our house. I don't know what it is, but no matter how many new supplies I buy, when homework time comes there's never a pencil in sight.

So, I decided to make this organizer in hopes that it will keep our writing supplies in one place for at least a while.

This is such a fun and easy project. All you need to do is get some empty jars, make a pretty patchwork sleeve for each of them, add Lazy Susan and you're ready to get those pen, pencils, brushes, or whatever other supplies you have cluttering your desk and drawers organized.

Supplies needed:

Lazy Susan, 3 jars, fabric, washi tape

You can use any size of a jar as long as it's the same width on the bottom and top which means the sides are straight (not slanted).

Let's start, shall we? 

Step 1: : Measure the size of your jar

Measure around the perimeter of the jar and then its height. Add 1" to both the width and the height measurements to know how big your patchwork needs to be.

One of my jars measured 4.5" (height)  x 14" (perimeter) so I needed to make a 5.5" x 15" patchwork rectangle for the sleeve.

Step 2: : Make patchwork sleeves  

Decide on what you want your patchwork sleeves to look like. They can all match or be totally random, it's up to you. 

I made mine using white quilting cotton for the base of each sleeve, adding small patchwork designs in the middle.

Attach fusible fleece to the back of your finished patchwork rectangles. Quilt and "prettify" any way you like. I did pretty dense straight line quilting along each patchwork rectangle and did some more hand stitching around the middle patchwork to make it stand out a little more (the idea totally copied from Krista and her beautiful pouch)

To finish raw edges along the top and bottom of the sleeve, fold over 1/2" along each long side towards to wrong side of your patchwork, pin and top stitch with a 1/4 seam allowance to hold in place.

Wrap the sleeve tightly around the can and mark where the sides meet (very scientific, I know but this is the best way to insure that the sleeve fits just right).

Draw a straight line connecting both the top and bottom mark, pin, and stitch over the line. 

Turn right side out, press, and ta-da!!! your sleeve is finished. Now, wasn't that easy? Make two more sleeves and pull them over your cans. It might be a little tricky as you want your sleeves to be nice and tight, but go slowly and the patchwork sleeves will stretch a little as you go.

You could definitely stop here and be happy with your new pretty pencil/ pen holders, but I thought it would be fun to add Lazy Susan.

Step 3: : prettify Lazy Susan

Use freezer paper to cut out a circle the size to fit your Lazy Susan. 

Make the main patchwork square, attach fusible fleece to its wrong side and use your freezer paper circle as template. Make sure you leave at least 1/4" around the circle for the seam allowance.

Using the same template, cut out one more circle for the backing.

Place the backing (right side up) on a flat surface. Place the patchwork circle on top (right sides are touching). Pin and stitch all the way around using 1/4" seam allowance. Make sure to leave about 3" opening for turning the patchwork circle right side out.

Turn right side out and slip stitch the opening closed. Press. Doesn't it make our Lazy Susan so much more stylish?

One more step. Get your washi tape and attach it all the way around the edge of  Lazy Susan. 

Place your pretty cans on top. What a change, right?

Fill with supplies, step back and admire.

Thank you so much for stopping by and as always, let me know if you have any questions.

Fabric Mutt

Sunday, April 7, 2013

basket love

After reading Jolene's post on fabric and seeing pictures of her beautiful basket quilt, I simply had to start one myself. (I'm following Gwen Marston's instructions in her Liberated Quiltmaking II book)

I'm so absolutely in love with all these colors - so springy and bright.
And, speaking of spring, she finally decided to show up so I'm off to enjoy this beautiful day (it will include some sewing, of course).

Wishing you all a wonderfully gorgeous spring Sunday too. Svetlana

Friday, April 5, 2013

loopy stripes

Happy Friday, everyone!

I'm over the moon happy to be able to say that session #2 of my FMQ drills is over and it went much better than session #1.

I made this stripy quilt with an idea of how I wanted to quilt it in mind. I decided to go with 3" strips of blue fabric alternating with 1.5" strips of Kona Bona because I knew the strips would be perfect to practice some fun loops on.

Oh, my! It was fun, and went fast too. I'm pretty sure the reason I was more relaxed was that I did this kind of quilting on a much smaller wall hanging before.

Also, I used all white thread in my bobbin to match the backing, but I changed my top thread to match the strips. This was a good way to camouflage some of my wonky loops :)

Once the loops were finished, I decided white strips really needed some stitching too, so I did some pretty dense straight line stitching. I absolutely love the contrast of those two very different quilting patterns.

I then attached a yellow binding (it matches those tiny yellow boats on the backing perfectly) and one fun little baby boy quilt was finished.

Hope you all have a very lovely weekend. Svetlana

Linking up to AmandaJean's Finish it up Friday.

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