Sewing with Students

Well, hi there! Whew, it’s been a while since I’ve blogged, and it’s been exactly 5 weeks since I last turned on my sewing machine. That has been my life for the past little bit. Work, work, work. That’s why this weekend was so good for my soul on so many levels. This weekend one of my favorite former students came over and she made a quilt for her little brother who will be born in October. I taught L two years ago, but her mother and I have a very close relationship and she keeps me smiling all the time at school. I knew I wanted to make her a baby quilt, but I thought the process would be ten times better with L.  Since leaving my class, L always stops by to inform me about the books she’s reading and her progress in school (top of her class, obviously). Also, she is a natural quilter. Seriously.

She arrived ready with her color scheme (blues – entire spectrum), theme (Under the Sea), and design (strips) ready to go. Then, I let her loose in my stash and told her she could use anything she wanted.  I didn’t even hide the Chicopee. I pulled out every blue I had, thinking she would need assistance. (There were over 50 blue fabrics to choose from, which is kind of embarrassing…) Nope. Not even ten minutes later she had pulled the nine fabrics she needed. What?!

 

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I can’t believe how beautifully her fabric choices went together, and I have to admit I was doubting about two of them, but I went with it.  I’m so glad I kept my control freak nature in check, because this quilt turned out beautifully!  In fact, I’m going to have her help me pull fabric again.  She said later that this was her favorite part.  (See, natural quilter.)  During down time she would go in and pull fabric selections.  She wanted to make another one with orange, purple, pink, and cerise.  See, favorite student!

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She did all of the sewing herself, after I showed her once.  I only helped by joining the final blocks together because the fabric got heavy and she was having a hard time keeping it straight.  We put on Disney pandora and she belted out tune after tune as she sewed, stopped to check alignment, and sewed again.  It was the cutest thing ever.  We also stopped for the occasional dance party.  Because that’s always necessary.

photo 4Here she is showing off her first completed block.  I can’t even.  She was so proud and after she finished each block she’d run to my husband’s office to show him.  He was incredibly proud of her and kept telling her that this was the coolest baby quilt ever produced in our house.  (I agree!)

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Then, it came time to quilt.  She helped me baste the quilt (sooooo nice to have a helper!) and I went to grab the white thread.  But, then I remembered to check my control freak nature, and asked her to pick out her thread (thinking she’d choose the white since it was the obvious choice…)  NOPE.  She picked teal, and I was all, “hmmm, we’ll see, ok…”  HAHAHA, it’s PERFECT!  I’m obsessed.  She is such a little quilter.  As she was sewing she said, “When I grow up I want a sewing machine.  Then I’ll need to buy fabric… and, well, find a place to store it all!”  hahahaha.  Yes, yes that is the struggle!

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Yesterday was perfect.  I’m washing the quilt now so that she can pick it up from school and present it to her mother this week.  I truly think this will be one of my proudest teaching moments.  Right up there with the time this same sweet student called me to tell me she had finished reading the Harry Potter series.  To her mother, thank you for letting me not only teach your sweet children, but for keeping us connected!  To L, you are absolutely a natural quilter.  I knew you were smart, creative, and detail oriented from when I taught you, but you continue to impress me!  

Now, I’m struggling to balance my pride in her achievement and my jealousy that an 11 year old just created the cutest baby quilt ever produced from Wasn’t Quilt in a Day.  Seriously, I can’t wait to share her finish after she sees it this week!

And, with this soul refreshing weekend, and reminder of why I do what I do both at work and in my personal life, I have been sewing all day and feel completely rejuvenated.  Thank you, L!

 

Summer Sewing

Whew. This summer has seen an increase in sewing… and a significant decrease in blogging. This is to be expected when I’m with my family – and I hope everyone is enjoying a slower paced existence right now! Last weekend (see – who waits a week?!) I traveled a few hours with my mother to meet up with Michelle over at Factotum of Arts for her Quilt Guild’s July meeting.

Y’all.  Quilty friends are the best.  I loved sitting around with Michelle, gabbing fabric, and talking in quilt block code.  I think my mother  has a bigger picture of our obsessive nature now, and don’t worry – she’s catching the bug and has already sewn up two quilt tops this summer.  I love spreading the illness.  Also.  I got to hang out in her sewing studio, play in her stash, and see all of her WiPs.  HEAVEN.

Michelle took us to two quilt shops – and the first one we pulled up to was the quilt shop where I  bought the fabric for my first quilt 18 years ago.   Crazy.

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I’m also proud that we remembered to take a photo this time! (Thanks, mom!)   In a surprising turn of events, I didn’t buy any fabric – much to my mother’s and Michelle’s surprise.  I did buy a book, though.   But, don’t worry, I didn’t walk away empty handed!

Michelle gave me the sample fabric from her new fabric line that she created at Spoonflower.  I cannot wait to turn these fabrics into pillows for my living room.  The colors are perfect – and I love how she used the Elements to create the line and the color choices.  Mom, a high school science teacher, was really smitten.

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AND, she gave me a book to prepare for her month in ScrapBeeLicious.  Lucky. Girl.

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Of course I also left with a new quilt design that Michelle helped me iron out the color scheme and idea for … which I need like I need a hole in my head… haha.  I’m truly so grateful for the friends I’ve made through quilting, and Michelle is such a treasure.  See you soon, Michelle – and counting down until QuiltCon!  Thank you for such an amazing quilty trip and for hosting us and making it such a lovely visit.

And, for those of you who are truly worried about my sanity, don’t worry.  On our trip home we made a quick stop at Joann’s and I found Denyse Schmidt’s Picadilly line… oh lord.  You knew  I couldn’t skip buying fabric completely.

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See, production is being met, even if blogging is suffering a dry spell this summer.  Multiple pillows, quilts, and even a dress are coming your way soon!  For now, I’m going to go enjoy being home.

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This is my backyard.  Do you see why I’m not blogging?  Be sure to stop back tomorrow for my stop of the Orange Peel QAL with Jess over at Quilty Habit.

Summer Sewing

Summer Vacation. How much do I love you? Let me count the ways.

1. Hanging out with family.

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2. Good eatin’ with my grandmothers and mother’s cooking.

3. Sleeping late.

4. Gorgeous views

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5. Working on my little sister’s dorm bedding.

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6. Teaching my mom to sew!

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And so much more. I love summer vacation!

The Emotional Stages of Registering for QuiltCon

This weekend my husband surprised me with an anniversary trip to Niagara Falls. We were scheduled to leave early Tuesday morning, but he agreed to stay later once I realized I would be on the road during registration. Unbeknownst to me, he documented my registration proceeds every two minutes. I’m sure you’ll be able to relate and appreciate this. Here are the stages to registering for QuiltCon.

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Friday Finish: Soul Baby

Woohoo!  I have been itching to make this quilt that I saw by Lindsey of LRStitched.  You can find the tutorial here – it’s so easy!  I was intimidated by the applique process, but now I’m so glad I jumped on board.   I’m getting ready to start another applique quilt because of how enjoyable this one was.  I’m pretty sure that this quilt will make it into rotation again the next time I need a baby quilt.  It’s also great to use of scraps… Chicopee quilt…. YES!

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I have been waiting to cute into my Soul Blossom for quite some time.  This seems like the perfect fit.  Now it’s game on, though, and I’m going for it!  There will be quite a few more Soul Blossom quilts popping up in the near future – I love this line.  (Why have I not won the lottery?  I just want to own all the fabrics – and lots of them!)

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I love the quilting on this quilt and how nicely it crinkled up!

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Doesn’t this just scream, “Baby GIRL!”?

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For the back, I chose to do a whole cloth back from the Soul Blossom line.

This print is amazing!

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For the binding, I chose a beautiful sky blue text print from Kate Spain’s Sunnyside line.

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There you have it.  Soul Baby is finished!  I would highly recommend this pattern.  It would be stunning as a larger quilt, and now I’m tucking this away for all of my Chicopee scraps….  I’ve listed Soul Baby in my Etsy Shop!

Soul Baby

  • Fabric: Soul Blossom by Amy Butler; Kona Ash; Sunnyside by Kate Spain
  • Quilted on my Bernina 710
  • Finished Size: 34 inches x 42 inches
  • Machine bound
  • Machine washed/washable

Linking this up to all the Friday parties and the Precious QAL.

WIP Wednesday

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The Soul Blossom baby quilt is basted and quilted, y’all!

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I decided to go with a meander just like the tutorial, and I think the texture is fabulous.

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I would love to make this quilt again, and next time I plan to try more intricate FMQ designs.  However, with so much solid negative space I was a little scared to try designs on this one.  Next time.  I’m getting there.

For the binding, I chose a beautiful print from Kate Spain’s Sunnyside line.  I think the words fit with the feel of the quilt, and I just love teal and gray.  Winning.

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Sneak peak at the back!

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Soul Blossom Baby Quilt

Last week, I worked on some bee blocks for ScrapBeeLicious, and one of the blocks had me doing applique with petals.  It was on.  Once I got used to the technique, I knew I had to make a quilt I’d seen by Lindsey of LRStitched.  You can find the tutorial here – it’s so easy!

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After cutting out all of the petals, I was ready to work on the lay out!  In my mind I was going to use white, just like the tutorial, but then I went and saw a beautiful baby blue in my stash… hmmmmm.  I showed my husband, and his inner modern quilter said, “I think you should use gray.”  He was so right.

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I made my quilt slightly larger than the tutorial, so I used the center lines to work from the inside out.  I made sure that there were two inches between each circle, and I worked that blue washable marker.  Worked it.

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photo 3I love this quilt.

I just love it.  Even the ironing part…

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This quilt also marks the first time I used the blanket stitch on my machine.

Now I want to applique everything.

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I can’t wait to finish this quilt and list it in my shop later this week!  It just reminds me of summer and has a completely girly vibe.  I love it!

Sisterhood of the Traveling Quilts

Y’all.  IT’S HERE.  I’m going to try to put into words how much I love this quilt, but it’s going to be hard!  Doing this Round Robin style bee with Renee, Laura, and Jess has been the most freeing experience ever.  It’s taught me that not controlling projects can be beautiful, and it’s shown me just how wonderful they are as friends.  (Which I knew, but seeing how much they “get me” has been such a fun experience.)  (To see Jess’ finished quilt top, go here.)

 Yesterday I got to meet up with Jess so she could hand it over in person.

photo 1We enjoyed catching up and talking about our other bee mates.  We truly wished we all could have been together yesterday!  I was like a little kid in the candy shop seeing my package.  There has been so much love and thought put into this quilt.  Unfortunately it was incredibly windy yesterday so we didn’t get any shots of us looking at it outside like crazy quilt ladies, but the second I got home I was laying out the quilt and looking at the next border that Jess and I collaborated on!

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HELLO!

Up next is a border or orange peels.  I will be making the other two sides and then putting it all together.  I might be adding a thin border in between these two borders, but that will come as soon as I make all of the orange peels!  I’ve pulled out the mustard yellows and low volume fabrics I plan to use from my stash (hence my link up to Sunday Stash!) and now I just need to print off the template.  Ahhhhh.  It’s so close to being done!

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I’m leaning towards doing just oneeeee moreeee border, but we shall see.  Last night I had so much fun going through all of the fabrics in the quilt and looking at the details.  They truly turned this quilt into something extremely beautiful.  I can’t get over how much thought they put into each border, and I love how they colors play together.  These three ladies were the three bloggers that I commented on first when I started this crazy adventure 1.5 years ago, and I couldn’t be happier that we’ve done this bee together.  I love having a piece of each of them in my house.  This quilt is going to be a family heirloom forevaaaaaaa.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you Renee, Laura and Jess.  I love you ladies more than Chicopee.

Disclaimer: Ignore any threads on my rug.  A quilter lives here.

WiP Wednesday

The name of the game this week is Bee Blocks.  Bee.Blocks.All.Day.Long.  I’ve had so much fun working on Bee blocks for Robin Sue of RobinSue Quilts and Stephanie over at Simple Sewendipity this week.  They aren’t finished quite yet, because Stephanie’s Block got me side tracked!  (It’s all your fault, Steph!)

First up, Robin Sue’s awesome block, the My Stars Align block, from Stitching and Bacon.

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Do you like the fabric selections?!  Of course I have to include Chicopee in every bee block.  Duh.

And then, Stephanie’s block: Little Vines blocks by Elizabeth Hartman.  This block is going to be awesome as a quilt.  I’ve had so much fun diving into applique, and now that the fear as been conquered, I’m all in.  All. in.

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This was the first Bee Block where I solely pulled from my scraps and it’s awesome.  I had so much fun pulling out fabrics and it’s great to know that you can truly just use your scraps and love what you create.  Which is a duh, but worth noting.

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Petals everywhere!

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I’m getting better with each one, but I’m still unsure about the bias tape step…

And this is where I got side tracked…

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Last night I busted out my Soul Blossom fabric and started making more petals.  Once I started this applique I had to make another project.  I just had to.  I can’t wait to finish this one off!

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But that’s the best part of Bees… learning new skills!  I hope to be all caught up this weekend, and I’m still so thankful for this wonderful group of quilters to learn from.  Every month they’ve picked amazing blocks!

Quilts and Color

Quilters affect eternity; they can never tell where their influence stops.

Over Memorial Day weekend I was able to go visit my family in Boston.  I’ve been wanting to go since my newest baby cousin was born, and this was the perfect weekend because my grandparents were also going to be visiting from NC.  I knew that while I was there I wanted to sneak away to visit the Quilts and Color exhibit at the Museum of Fine Arts, and I was delighted when my Mammaw said she’d join.  You’ve seen her on the blog before, and you’ll see her again this summer when we finish our Butterfly quilt!  I don’t think I would have enjoyed this exhibit nearly as much without her there beside me.  I think that’s the beauty of quilting.  It truly does bring every one together and creates such a story between generations of quilters.

Here are some of my favorite quilts from the exhibit.  Also, if you live anywhere near Boston, I highly recommend a day trip to see this exhibit!

This quilt was one of my favorites because from far away it looked so simple.

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However, up close, the quilting was stunning and it made this quilt a show stopper.

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One day I will have hand-quilting skills.  One day.

I wish I had the patience for this next quilt.  All.those.pieces.

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Or the patience for this quilt!  Tiny blocks!  This is insane to me!

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(Me: “Mammaw, let’s take a picture.” Mammaw: “Sure, we should get a selfie.”)

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These next two quilts were two of my favorites.  I’m convinced that I loved them so much because their fabrics reminded me of Denyse Schmidt’s fabric lines.  What do you think?

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Finally, how could I not swoon over this hexagon quilt.  I mean, really.  It’s PERFECT:

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It was incredible to be surrounded by so many quilters and quilt enthusiast discussing the art of quilting.  I left completely inspired, humble, and grateful to be a part of such a rich community.

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I also left with inspiration for my future living room.  I hope my husband is ready to make this a reality….

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Thanks, Mammaw, for going with me to the exhibit, and for always encouraging me to go after what I want.  I’ve learned so much from you already, and I can’t wait to spend time this summer quilting.  Plus, it’s about time you held my hand and taught me to make clothes!

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(Now, what are you waiting for – go visit!)