Sunday, November 9, 2014

Amateur Hour Vol. 2

I'm so excited to write this post because I finished a huge project . . . and I finished it on time!!  Now, I should preface this by saying that I actually had 14 months to finish this quilt, but it took a looong time for inspiration to hit and the help of some good people for the project to be completed.

Yes, that's right, that is a giant queen plus sized Triple Irish Chain - oh yea!!!!!   That bad boy took me about four months from fabric completion to final thread clippings!  It took me forever to decide on a quilt pattern - I wavered between double wedding ring, jacob's ladder, and various star designs.  However, as the bride is Irish and had quite a few Irish traditions woven into the wedding ceremony, I thought it would be fitting.

I ran out of fabric twice - even though my friend Adelle helped me plan out the quilt on EQ7, my not-so-smart self wasn't able to purchase enough fabric.  Luckily, the design lent itself to a variety of teals and blues. 

The longarmer I had originally intended to quilt this for me was unable to meet my deadline, so i ended up doing the whole thing on my back up machine, a Bernina 380.  Yes, the Bernina 380 does only have 8 inches of throat space.  That's all I can really say here on a public domain.  As you can see, the quilting didn't go as well as expected, but I'll have a forever memory of this quilt and be reminded of my hard work every time I look at my left index finger.  (Fitting, right?)


Anyways, I learned a TON while working on this quilt and I think it won't be long before I move up from amateur to beginner quilter . . . . .

Monday, July 7, 2014

Explosive Stitching!

Or . . . .  Supernova Friendship Swap Update!  It's now July and we're into our third month of the swap.  (Just in case you're not familiar with the swap it's being hosted by One million stitches and is based on the Supernova block created by Lee at Freshly Pieced.)  My wonderful and terribly patient partner is Sarah at Berry Barn Designs.  She has done well with my inability to follow a pattern correctly or respond to emails in timely manners!!!  Probably because she is a former teacher and has littles.  (Not sure what that says about me since I am a teacher and definitely not a little . . )

I love getting real mail so much.  I told my husband I was expecting this when he went to get the mail.  He came in with the package tucked into his shirt just so he could see my sad (no package) to happy (package) to mad (who hides mail) face when he pulled it out.

Okay onto the EXCITING part!!  I received my blocks in the mail yesterday and they are beautiful!  I'm going through a serious solids/tone on tone phase right now in my color choices and am so pleased that we chose to stick with a warm pallette and choose different hues of four colors - orange, yellow, pink, and coral.  I sent Sarah my light yellow block last month, and she sent me TWO blocks - light and dark coral.

Light Coral

Dark Coral

Sarah's blocks were also nice and starched . . . mine were NOT.  We also included 25 things about ourselves that our partner may or may not know/wanted to know.   I loved receiving this list in the mail instead of email.  Here are some things about Sarah:

She was born and raised in Cape Cod. (Since I love watching storms roll in this is very cool to me!)

She wants not one, but two cats.

Her favorite color is purple and she likes stripes.  (I love that this is the opposite of me - I gravitate to gray and polka dots.  Is she a secret Kaffe Fassett fan??)

This quilt is going to be beautiful when it is done.   The next block for me goes out on July 15th, so it's time to start cutting!  Thanks Sarah - these are perfect!


Sunday, July 6, 2014


Today I'm sharing one of the positive aspects of my IG addiction - my mini-quilt for the swap I participated in!  Kristi over at Schnitzel and Boo  is the lead organizer and I was able to jump in on the second round sign ups when one of my bee mates posted she had joined!!    I diligently filled out the form and crossed my fingers - luckily, I received  Katie over at Choo Choo Skadoo Quilts!  (seriously, someone must have known how much I like funny sounding names - it only drove my husband slightly crazy when I would use both in a sentence)  She enjoys Bonnie and Camille just as much as I do, so it was easy for me to pull from my stash and hit the LQS.  I was really tempted to make her one of Thimbleblossom's mini quilts, but i felt like she might already have some since she is a sewing machine

Adorn - from "Simply Retro" by Camille Roskelley
Although this quilt is on 24 by 24, it still challenged me in a BIG way!!  This was my first attempt at cutting triangles (note to self - invest in the ruler) sewing triangles (LOVE) and attaching binding by . . . hand!  Thanks sewing buddy for showing me that trick.  
I spent the most time quilting - my favorite part!

Shot of the back - still don't understand the whole "bury the threads" so I just used the knot tying feature on my machine - try not to cringe!

I posted a few photos to IG in hopes of her liking one, but alas . . .  she was pretty quiet!  Of course I'm super nervous that she won't like what I made (or what I sent - lots of extra goodies to make up for the wonky label) but more than her pleasure its nice to know that someone appreciates a handmade item!  
A quick inspection before it headed to the post office Wednesday.

If you're on instagram and not participating in this swap (there are over 600 quilters of awesomeness) you can use these hashtags to follow some amazing and inspiring work: #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap or #makeaquiltmakeafriend

I may have to make one for me!

Happy Sewing!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Amateur Hour v. 1

This year I'm trying to get those pesky WIPs in control!!!  You know, the ones you started a while ago and now destest the very sight of . . .  Well, another one bit the dust!   A while ago (I'll let you check the date on the author's original blog post) I saw this tutorial on Jeni Baker's blog for making a Scrappy Nine Patch Chevron quilt.  This was when chevron was all the rage and I just had to make one!!!  Fast forward over a year later . .  and voila!  The quilt is done!

I call it Repro Rampage!

My husband is such a good sport!

 As you can see, I used a bunch of reds and yellows to make the nine patch blocks, most of which were from my 30's obsession period.  Unfortunately, I used leftover lining material for the white - very cheap, and it stretched like crazy when I quilted it.  I'm not sure why I made that choice - I think I thought I would never finish it . . 
We also had a fabulous time hiking around one of the local nature preserves scouting great locations to photograph the quilt.  These are in the reproduction cow camp.

See all the bunching and lumps??   I didn't want it to look like it'd been run over by cows!!

My husband is such a great sport about my quilting hobby obsession.
This was right before I told him there was a shady road instead of a one mile trail  in 95 degree heat that led to the cow camp.  He's still smiling!

Who hangs a quilt next to a roll of barbed wire??  This girl!!
I'm so pleased that I finished this!!  Here's to more like it!  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Carolyn Friedlander Meet Up!

Prepare yourselves, I'm probably going to sound like a fan girl for a minute . . . 

This past Saturday I had the wonderful opportunity to meet up with some wonderful sewists hosted by Carolyn Friedlander.   She organized a very informal event at Bok Towers in Lake Wales, where she is currently displaying several pieces of her work that reflect Florida.  

If you've never had the chance to visit Bok Towers, you really should!  If you're an uber historic architecture nerd like me you should seriously add it to your to-do list!
This is a view of the actual tower - unfortunately I didn't get any of the doors - they are wonderful!
Check out the stained glass - how often do you seen the fauna and flora of Florida depicted?

                                      Check out some of Carolyn's work below and my terrible photography skills!

This is my mom  sewing buddy meeting some fabulous Florida sewists!

Carolyn with some more of the folks who came.  Check out that gorgeous quilt on the wall!
After everyone met and chatted, we had lunch and then sewing buddy and I had to head back to town!
She even gave us FREE FABRIC!!!
I can add these mini charms to my epic HST road trip quilt!  (Stylishly displayed in that ziploc bag!)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

MQG Michalel Miller Challenge

This year I challenged myself to meet new  more  any quilty people.   I joined the Tampa Modern Quilt Guild and went by myself to my first meeting.  (This is a big deal for a super introvert such a moi.)   I joined in time to participate in the Michael Miller Challenge!  We received these fabrics from Michael Miller.

I added some solids.  (Check out that awesome hole in the blue one.  And I was standing there when they were cutting.  Ughhh.   And it wasn't at chain store, either.)

And drew my own design.  So now all I have to do is some serious quilty math and I am on my way to a year of free fabric!!
(Don't worry those aren't my fabric scissors)

Instagram Addicts Anonymous

So I had this great goal to post more on the blog but seriously, have you joined Instagram yet???  Don't - its taken over my life!!!   Morning, noon, night - MUST CHECK IG FEED!  Its pretty out of hand.   Last night my media addiction got out of hand when I lost Settlers of Catan for the first time this year because I kept checking #quiltmarket posts.  Yup, now I'm that girl.  So I've decided - two checks a day.  I think right now I'm doing more photo viewing than sewing.  You can find me on IG @emily67855. 

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Library Quilt Along

Well, I'm totally late to this party.  (Mostly because I thought the link up was January 27, not the 17 - whoops!)   So I think I'm out of the running for any prizes (LOL, one week in and I'm DQed) BUT I'm still going to participate because I love the idea!  Adrienne at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts challenged readers to create at least 4 quilts from patterns they already had in their stash by December!  EASY . . . .  right?  Except I too am guilt of owning quite a few books and magazines from which no quilts have come forth.  Wah wah.  Okay, so without further ado, here are my choices:

1.  Becoming a Confident Quilter by Elizabeth Dackson. (side note - Elizabeth is leader of the Tampa Modern Quilt Guild, and she is AWESOME!!)
The quilt I've chosen to make is called "X Marks the Spot".  There are actually quite a few quilts in this book I'd like to make, but since I'm pretty sure I have the fabric I want to for this one, it's going to be first!

Next up is Simply Modern Christmas by Cindy Lammon.  As you can see from my awesome sideways picture, this book is from the library!!  I have checked it out on three different occasions (and of course it is currently overdue!) so it's time to commit.  Amazon - here I come!

I'm going to start with the argyle quilt.  It just looks fun.  But not in Christmas colors.

Then is Simply Retro by Camille Rosekelly.  I know what you're thinking - retro in the modern QAL???  Well, I LOVE Bonnie and Camille fabric and patterns, so too bad.

I'm making Swell - literally.  I started cutting on January 3rd and I have 7 blocks finished.  It's the first quilt in the book.  Not my favorite, but a good stash buster for all the fabric I thought I was in love with back in 2012.

I love Quilty magazine so much.  And I have all the issues.  And I've made one quilt from them.  (Offset by Jeni Baker)  And I like a lot of the quilts in the magazine.  And I'm pretty sure I've progressed to Beginner Level 3, by their standards.  And its time to stop rambling and say . . .

I'm going to make Play a Card.  Probably in these same colors as well.

So there are my choices.  And I'm marking my calendar for the next link up party.  Maybe I'll get it right this time!  Happy creating - xoxo, Em,

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Hello 2014!!!!

Hello 2014! I'm so glad you're here!! I've got just a few of those resolutions that I'd like to guilt myself about for the next 363 days . . . . .

1. Take care of myself! Wow - hubs and I both realized that in the very short time we have been married we would no longer be able to outrun zombies, so it's time for that to change. It's going to mean some earlier mornings and better prioritizing, but I know we can do it!!

2. Make sewing friends! Yup, right now I have one. She doubles as my mom. She is an awesome sewing buddy but she goes to bed around 7:30 every night (EARLYBIRD to the extreme) so I'm going to try some new ventures that will seriously force me out of my comfort zone.

3. Finish 10 quilts. (I copied this from Sewing and Bacon. What a great idea, right??) I have two quilts almost finished so I'm not counting them, but I will count my Tula quilt if, no, WHEN I finish it!

4. Spend more time outside. (Perhaps this will help with #1.) I mean we live in Florida . . . . lots of opportunity here!

Okay so enough about how my fabulous self is going to become even better - let's talk about a few fun things that have been going on here at the Nest. First, my best sewing buddy and I participated in the Christmas Shop Hop the Orlando area quilt shops hosted. (Orlando area is a very broad term, my friends.) We drove to every one of those stores and got our passports stamped. This time, we did really well with not overspending at every store. And guess what??? WE WON!!! FORTY YARDS OF FABRIC!! (Ok, so technically sewing buddy won but we made a pact when we did not think we would win that we would split the prize. MUAHAHAHAHA!!!) So yes, I am set on fabric> not in desperate need of new fabric for a little while. I also discovered free motion quilting (right, like it was this hidden art form waiting for me) and am now obsessed. Bring on the negative space! Below are some pics to show that I haven't actually been sucked into the social media warp for all of my absence.
Working on my  Tula 100!  I even joined a Flickr group to track my progress.
First time free motion quilting - went a little crazy with this.  I used six different thread colors and it turned into a little more of an art piece than I had planned.
I am in love with machine quilting this.  :)   I will be sad when I finish . . . hopefully today!
This is my loot from the shop hop.  The stuff we bought.  Because we are legit shop hoppers.
I will become a confident quilter!!  HAHAHAHA . . . .  maybe . . .