WIP Wednesday

Woohooo, my Chicopee Quilt is almosttttttt finished.  This weekend my sew-mo-jo returned, and I was able to get this beast basted.  (I did a terrible job – I didn’t realize corduroy was this tricky, y’all!)

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(Put extra pins in corduroy- note to self in the future)

After talking to a few friends, I decided on straight line quilting for this.

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Love it.  Also – props to my mom for choosing this thread color when I made my first Chicopee quilt.  She is the thread master and I’ve yet to make a Chicopee project without using this thread color.  Gorg.  Also, I’m pretty sure that when I did straight line quilting before I told y’all to never let me do it again.  It’s just so pretty when it’s done!

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And now she’s all quilted – so tonight’s it’s binding time!

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I think my husband likes it…

Tonight I’m auditioning binding.  It’s down to the Duet Dot in Chicopee or solid cerise.  I can’t wait to put this on my couch!

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!

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WiP Wednesday

I’ve been feeling rather lethargic this week, and I’ve ignored my sewing machine since I finished all of the flying geese. Which, speaking of…

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I have all of the remaining blocks back… and I LOVE it!

Last night I had the sudden urge to sew.  Luckily I’ve had a baby quilt basted for quite some time, and it was great just to knock it out!  Sometimes simple sewing is the best.

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Before I knew it, it was quilted.

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And now I’m ready for binding!

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I need to keep a store of baby quilts so that I can have more nights like last night!

To Have and to Hold

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Photo Credit: Story Photographers

This guy.

I don’t think he knew that when he said his vows, that he knew it actually meant holding up quilts and not me… he’s handled my obsession hobby well, even though I spend quite a bit of time away from him and with Big Bertha.  I’ve been playing around with the idea of making Forrest a quilt since I started, and I had it all planned out.  A bookshelf quilt.  However, he then saw a quilt that Sarah over at Georgia Girl Quilts had made, and he said, “That’s awesome; do you think you could make that?”  Well, when he loves something, I run with it!  That night I bought a layer cake of comma and a ton of low volume fabrics that reminded me of his personality.  Then I stashed it away…  and stashed it away.  Today he finally has his own quilt.

I have loved the entire process of making this quilt.

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And the back!

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I had so much fun picking out all of the low volume fabrics…

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See the ironing fabric… he.irons.everything.  I walk around a wrinkled mess.

Marriage.

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I love the texture of the square quilting!

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And, finally, a secret message in the quilting:

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There aren’t enough words for me to tell my husband how much I love the way he loves me.  So, I made him a quilt to have and to hold.

WiP Wednesday

You guys.  Last night, I got to eat dinner with Michelle of Factotum of Arts.  She and her mother are in NYC having fun, and they came into Newark last night to meet me after work.  It.was.awesome.  Bless her sweet mother, too, for listening to our quilt lingo for hours.  Last night was the best moment – it was such an window into why I’ve loved blogging and what the best part of this journey has been.  Now, I just need her to live closer all the time!

The husband’s quilt is almost finished.  Almost finished.  Woohoo!  A while back, my girl Sarah posted a comma plus quilt, and I was smitten.  Now,  my husband has his own.  I’m so glad that I shared Sarah’s quilt with him, because he LOVES it.

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He loves it so much that he hasn’t complained once that my sewing table has taken over the living room for days.  This.will.never.happen.again.  Unless I make him another quilt.  Which will never happen again.

I absolutely adore the square quilting, and I’m so proud of myself for just going after another FMQ design.  I’ve made 7 quilts so far this year, and I’ve FMQed 5 of them with unique designs each time.  This year I really wanted to get better at FMQing and I’ve loved trying out new designs.  Squares were extremely liberating and fun, plus they went super quickly.  BONUS.

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It’s hard to photograph the detail on this quilt because of the low-volume fabrics, but the texture is on point.  I’m so glad that this quilt will be staying in our house and that I’ll get to see it everyday!

Oh, and you know how were disagreed over the quilting?  How I wanted to quilt words…

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Yep, got some in there.

Now onto the binding!

Sew-Mo-Jo

This weekend many of my favorite friends were in Nashville for Sew Down.  As awesome as it was to see them meet some pretty spectacular teachers, I was jealous that they got to hang out and create together.  So, how did I cope?  Having a pretty damn productive quilting weekend myself.  I was determined to sew with them in spirit.

On Friday night I finished the last of the flying geese blocks I have.  On Thursday I will receive the rest from my guild ladies, and I have to say, this quilt is going to make me so happy.  I cannot get over how much I love these little geese.  I’ve come a longgggg way, friends.  Check out my humble beginnings with flying geese

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Then, I decided to get really crazy … and quilt my husband’s quilt.

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This step almost stopped me.

Can we find a magic fairy who does this for us?!

At first I wanted to do organic lines and mix in a few words and phrases on this quilt, but my husband was a little hesitant.  He thought it was a little too sappy for his personality.  (What, you don’t want to read sappy love notes from me all the time… what is wrong with you, man?!)  So, we compromised with squares.  I have to say, I think he’s was right.

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At first, I was having trouble with getting precise corners, but then my friend Jess, who was at Sew Down in Nashville, shared the knowledge she got from Angela Walter’s workshop.  Hesitate for a second on the corner and get that extra stitch in for precise corners.  See, it’s like I was there!

Voila!  So much better!

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I hope you all had wonderfully creative quilty weekends whether you were in Nashville or you were knocking it out at home.  I know that no matter where I’m sewing, I love having you all to share it with!

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AND, Can we all give Spring a nice round of applause for showing up?!

Enjoy your week, friends!

WiP Wednesday

This week I’ve been in need of some sewing machine therapy.  Thank God for the baby quilts.  This was just the size project I needed to work on, and let’s be honest, that I had time to work on this week.

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The hubs was oh so gracious to let me use his floor…

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I decided to try some FMQing on this top, especially since I’m making it for a family member and they are more forgiving.  Plus, I’m only going to get better if I practice, right?

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I love these little boxes!

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Binding is up next  – not sure about this binding choice…

WiP Wednesday

Y’all.  Dogwood quilting is the business.  Sucks on the shoulders, but I am completely enamored with this look.  I am so happy that so many of you suggested a curvier, more feminine approach to quilting this quilt.  I am so torn about selling this quilt – it’s quickly becoming one of my favorites (but I just keep telling myself I can make it again!)

First one:

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Getting better!

Bless his heart:

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I just keep telling him we need a new house with a separate studio.

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I’m officially obsessed with this.  Even though it takes forever, I will be using the Dogwood again!

WiP Wednesday

With Big Bertha’s temporary return  we’re quilting as much as we can!  For February, I’m hoping to finish quilting three quilt tops.  Two of the tops are already basted and ready to go, and the other top is almost finished.  This Cuzco Chevron quilt top was made last January as part of the Sew Can She chevron challenge.  Yes, I’m just now getting around to quilting it.  I wanted to try FMQ on this one instead of straight lines, so I held out until I had my new machine.

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I’m loving the texture of the stipple.  It’s been a little challenging to keep the stipples the same size, but the beauty is that you can’t tell because the quilt is so busy.

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I just had to take a break to get a picture of this … the purr of the machine put him to sleep.

Quilting is done… time to square it up!

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What tips do you have to make this part of the process go smoother?

Linking up with Lee for WiP Wednesday!

First ’14 Friday Finish

How did you like that alliteration?  Nerdy, I know.  Fourth grade teachers have to get their laughs somehow.  This quilt was quite an adventure.  I bought the fabric, without a plan, drew it out on scrap paper, started cutting, realized I left out measurements, changed it up, trimmed a bit, added a few more inches, and ended up with one of my favorite quilts so far.  Did I mention that cerise is not only a fabric in this beauty, but also the thread color?  Need I say more?

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I love the rich, jewel tone colors, the texture from the quilting, the binding colors, and the cows.

Let’s give it up for the cows, people.

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I know that with this much negative space that I could have really gone to town with FMQing, but I felt like it was almost too much negative space to start with.  I want to have fun on a few smaller projects first.  Plus, I love how these lines play on the quilts design.

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Can you go wrong with a back of Anna Maria Horner fabric and Kona Cotton solids?  Exactly, you can’t.  How have I not started hoarding her fabrics?

And, finally, the binding.  I machine bound this using my method you can find here, and I just love how quickly I can bind a quilt.

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I think choosing the binding fabric might be my favorite part of the creative process.  What’s yours?

I’m linking this bad guy up to all the Friday parties, and I’m excited to start the year out strong with a finish.  I’m also looking forward to joining in on the Year of Lovely Finishes this year, and I hope to reflect on my goals this weekend.

For now, you can find this quilt in my new Etsy Shop.  Yes, it’s open, folks!

Final Quilt Stats:

  • Fabric: Various prints from Amy Butler’s Belle fabric line, Florence by Denyse Schmidt, Cerise and Navy Kona Cottons
  • 64 inches x 78 inches
  • Quilted on my Bernina 710
  • Design: my own

I can’t wait to see what other finishes 2014 brings for us…

Big Bertha

When I began quilting I had no idea how to choose a sewing machine.  Luckily, my quilting guru, Kay, helped me pick out the perfect machine: the Bernina 215.  Over the past year, Little Nina has been with me through thick and thin.  Bless her heart, she has trucked through more firsts than she knew, and patiently dealt with more jams than necessary.

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Isn’t it nice to also see that I knew nothing about what I was getting in to since I put sweet Little Nina on the left side of the table when I first got her.  But, she sure never made me feel stupid.

Of course, as time went on, I got this notion that I could free motion quilt.  I loved practicing on sample sandwiches, but when I would start on a real quilt, Little Nina and I could not get in a groove.  It was like two middleschoolers dancing at cotillion.  You know, where the girl is 8 inches taller?  Oh, that was only me?

So I started scheming, and dreaming, and chatting up Kay again this summer.  She instantly sat me down in front of the Bernina 710.

Since she hasn’t led me astray the first time, I figured I could trust her again… but I had to figure out a savings plan, and fast.  The husband’s monthly treats consist of sweaters from Target, clearance socks, and penny books on amazon.  This man is no fool.  But neither is a quilter on a mission.  By God, I ate peanut butter sandwiches for months to support my spring break vacation habit in college.   I would prevail.

Prevail I did, friends.  Meet my Bernina 710, the machine formerly known as Big Bertha.

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Do you see that throat space.

It basically says, “FMQ ON ME!”

I’ve taken her for quite a few spins, and I’m obsessed.  She does everything.  Puts down her own feet, cuts my thread, stitches designs, and her bobbin is huge.  Huge.  Like half-dollar huge.

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I finished quilting this bad boy – all 64 inches x 78 inches.  I started quilting this quilt on my Bernina 215 and was struggling in the center.  I made it through a fourth of it and then finally got to switch over to Big Bertha.  It was like making instant pudding.  Love at first stitch.

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Then I decided to break out some FMQing.  Without a practice sandwich in sight, I just went for it.  My mom, mammaw, and pappaw were sitting there watching and they were certain that the machine was doing it for me.  Y’all.  I think Big Bertha might have some quilting plans in store for me this year.  I don’t want to put too much pressure on her, though…

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Here’s to many, many happy years with Big Bertha.