Wednesday, May 3, 2017

garden snails quilt - bubbles & batiks

if you've been following along on instagram, you'll have seen the slow-along sew-along hosted by angie at gnome angel!  the pattern being used is garden snails quilt by pen and paper patterns.  initially, i didn't think i would participate, because i had NO clue what i would do with a snail quilt by the time it completed.  after fear of missing out set in, i devised a plan that would not only let me join in the fun, but also put the end result to a good cause.  well, here is phase one of it all!
i decided that instead of making one big quilt at the end of the sew-along, i would make three of the crib size quilts instead.  each crib quilt takes 16 of these little snails, which will put me at two and a almost a half by the time the sew along is over.  so yes, there will be about 6 snails that won't be included in the sew-along, but i am okay with that!
stashbusting is still going strong, as you can see yet another use of batik scraps that came from my grandma.  though, the stashbusting is in smaller pieces and still have to buy the fabric for the background.  not sure how much of a win that counts as, but at least the batiks are making their rounds!
i've also been using these as a practice for my long arm quilting.  i quilted this one when i did the olaf panel as well as the blue fancy foxes.  i love how this motif (african samba) turned out looking like snail trails.
instead of keeping these quilts, i've been donating them to my parent's church's humanitarian aide efforts.  they've been collecting quilts and tops for awhile now, and when i did my last attempt to stash bust by making tops i sent some their way as well.  now with having taken long arm certification and a few free motion classes for my janome at home, i feel like there will be more experimenting and dipping my toes in to try new things.
here's a few of my favorites in this posse of snails.
the prints are so bold and different, and i just love how they blend together.
plus, the quilting looks so different on each one!
here's a peek at the edge with the binding.  i used the same fabric on the front and back as well as the binding.  i got it on the clearance table at beverly's and thought it looked like splotches left from snails as well.  i tend to use more subtle prints that blend as a background (or gray...) so these big circles were a little out there but so much fun!
it feels great to be 1/3 of the way done with the garden snails quilt journey and have the finished quilt to show for it.  i've already begun phase 2, which has some of the same elements, but a few fun changes as well.  be sure to follow along on instagram!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

tiger lily swoon 16 baby quilt

finally, i'm able to make another post!
last saturday i attended a baby shower for one of my dear friends that i grew up with at our dance studio.  we did the math, and we've known each other for about 20 years now.  boy, do we feel old.  kelly and i also graduated high school the same year and have stayed in touch ever since.  this past weekend was a big one for her, as she had her baby shower on saturday and then got married on sunday!
when she found out she was expecting a girl, i knew exactly what fabric to use.
the tiger lily line of fabric by heather ross was exactly what i needed for this former ballerina mom to be.  after much debate, the block for the thimble blossoms swoon 16 ended up being just the right one for this quilt.  i was able to find enough different butterflies to split the blocks in half.
i just can't decide if i like the pink or the yellow better.
both look fantastic with the green.
originally i was planning to do all green for the binding, but when i ran short, i decided to alternate it with the pink.  i think i like it even more!
on the back i used the ballerinas because, well, i had to!
it was so much fun getting to see her open it at her shower, and i cannot wait to meet her little one in the next few months!  congrats kelly!

Friday, April 14, 2017

feelin' blue fancy fox baby quilt

hey all!
this week lisa and i are taking over the 52quilters instagram, and so i figured it would be the perfect time to FINALLY post this quilt!  it so much, i cannot believe i didn't post it any sooner.
anyways, i mentioned in the past about my first time renting the long arm machine, and when i went in that day, i took three quilt tops with me.  yep, you heard me.  THREE! anyways, you saw the olaf panel, and now you get to see the second of the bunch - actually the third one i quilted that day.
anyways, i'm sure you know by now that i love elizabeth hartman patterns, and this one was no exception.  lisa made the foxes awhile back and since seeing her rendition of it, it has been on my list of things to do.  well, with the year of stash busting ahead of me i had these pieces left over from the quilt my grandma made me when i graduated high school back in 2006 that were the perfect size to turn in to a crib sized quilt.
and here they are!
super fun, right?  these shades of blue made a great little posse and as usual, i fell for a gray backing.
believe me, i'm trying to break that habit.  but it looks so good!
here's the full front and back, which was also pieced with scraps to make it just the right size.
scrappy is totally my jam right now, especially with all the bits and pieces that i have around.
the eyes/noses and cheeky parts were scrappy leftovers from my pudge-cat quilt (also another elizabeth hartman pattern) and helped make each little fox have its own personality.
i used the same african samba motif on this quilt as the olaf one, since i felt like it was a good one to keep jiving with the entire time doing long arming.  i really like the fancy fox quilts that i have seen quilted to look like they are woodgrain, and this african samba felt really close to that kind of motion of quilting.
i wanted to try something new with piecing the back a little bit, as it wasn't quite wide enough initially.  i'm not 100% in love with how it turned out, but that's why its the back, am i right?
well party people, there you have it!
i think that this counts as my second completed elizabeth hartman pattern, and i am already chugging on to my next two patterns of hers as well!  be sure to follow either here or on instagram to keep up to date on all my quilty endeavors and see the final products that are coming along!
happy foxy friday, everyone!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

do you wanna quilt a snow man? - first time long arm practice

finally, the first result from long arm quilting practice!
clearly, i won't have much to say about the block piecing on this, since it is literally one giant panel i bought at beverley's to use as practice.  this was the first of three pieces i had quilted that day, since i was quite nervous about the venture.
here's the panel in all it's glory!
despite a few thread breaks and restarts, i feel it was all in all quite successful.
some of the stitching was a little wobbly again, but i MUCH preferred this pantograph (african samba) to the one initially stitched at the certification class.  as angelina (long arm instructor) said, this motif lacks any sharp curves or perfect circles which made it great to begin with.  i mostly noticed that i never got my stitching starts and stops completely off the edge, so often you can see where it ends and such.  but that's learning, right?
now that i feel more solid on this one, i'm trying to not pick it again the next time i go in.
it was just so fun!
for a back that i just threw together of semi coordinating pieces, i quite like it!
 oh right. we're not here to talk about piecing.
 carry on.
and there you have it! my first update on the long arm quilting fun. i keep peeking at the calendar to plan and book another date, but not only do i not have things cut out yet, everything is booked up since they only have 2 machine at the moment. oy!  fingers crossed i can get in on april 17th.  plenty of time to get stitching :)

Monday, February 27, 2017

in home sewing space - blog hop

hello all!
for those of you hopping on my, i'm emily and i'm about to share with you my sewing space!  i've joined this blog hop with jen frost and a few others, so be sure to check out there links at the bottom of this post.  this is my first blog hop, so i hope you enjoy!
since i'm at home with the parentals still, i share my sewing space with my mom.  now now, this is a plus because we have a great sewing table and storage system next to it.  i'm going to focus more on where my stuff is currently stored within this system, as well as my own personal fabric storage in my room.  a few things you won't see, due to the fact that my hazel hedgehog project has exploded, is the location of our ironing board, as well as the sewing table in it's entirety.  we (ahem... my mom) just got this storage shelving, so now that it is all put together and phase one of organized, it's good to have it documented now, should it get changed in the future!
often, my mom's machine is where my cutting mat is, but being able to have the open space for an 18x24 mat is awesome.  reduces having to go back and forth across the room for a solid surface to cut on.  when i'm doing a paper piecing project, it is fantastic, because our ironing board is just to the left of the sewing table.  honestly, i don't think i was really regularly sewing before we had this table set up.  at least i cannot remember what our set up was!  in my bedroom i have a left handed desk that i used to have a machine on, and will likely sneak out with me when the time comes to move on out.
on top of our new storage area, are these sewing boxes.  it currently stands as my holding area as i'm cutting out pieces for quilt.  the small squat one on the far left holds all the safety pins i use for pin basting.  since discovering spray basting, i haven't used them too much recently.  the yellow box is my mom's, and it held fabric that is now flopped all over the ironing board currently being cut in to hedgehog portions.  as you can see, currently there are pieces for two different projects stacked around.  the brown is for my hazel hedeghogs, while the cuts from the tiger lily line by heather ross are for a few swoon 16 blocks.  next to the yellow box and the piles of cut fabric is my sewing box. and here... take a peek inside!
all my disney sweater blocks currently live in here!
it perfectly fits all 81 of my blocks from the ugly sweater block sew along that i did solely in disney prints.  i'm sure they'd fit a bit better without the paper on the backs, so maybe that will be phase 2 towards completing this project.  having these boxes has made for a fun way to hide things that would usually just be stacked up all over the place.
this storage system is great for sure.  previous to this cube set up, we had a book shelf that these 10x10 boxes sort of squished on to, but with the new year it was time to upgrade.  my mom did the labeling, which has been great with my year of stash busting going on.  majority of these are filled with fabrics that have been used previously and left with a fair amount of fabric afterwards.  as you can see in the bottom left corner, my disney fabric stash is quite large :)
we currently keep our cutting boards and rulers behind the shelving unit, which is great for them to be out of the way and not getting stepped all over.  additionally, you'll see those metal drink tubs.  i use those for storing strips of fabric cut for a certain project. last it was used for the fandom daisy chain, which made it easy for me to reach in through all the different sized strips and see what i wanted without having an entire mess all over the floor,
here's a peek inside the "yardage" bin, including previously used flannel as well as fabric yet to be use (but intended for a project).  each bin is organized and not just tossed in there like it used to be.  yeah, it was quite messy.
here's my "little things" storage!
the drawer on the table gets jammed if you look at it the wrong way, so i've started to keep the things i need most often in an easy reach location.  all my threads i keep in this little box, with my own wheel of bobbins around this silly little grumpy cat one of my students gave me.  i've been trying to get better at keeping my rotary cutter and scissors in an easy access location, and so far this mug is currently doing the trick.  they are right there to grab, and has worked great with my current cutting board set up.
lastly, there are a few smaller bins that line the back of the sewing table for things that just didn't fit within any of the larger categories.  all of these are ziplocked with what they coordinate with (especially in the case of UFOs) and are ready to get stashbusting with.  apparently, this is also where i keep my sewing sweets!  now that you've seen the joint sewing space, let me welcome you to my personal fabric domain!
this is where i keep all my fabric that i generally purchase on a whim. yep.  it is in my closet!  it used to be in bins under my bed, but once i bought my new bed a few summers ago that was no longer possible.  i went with the comic book board method, which has worked great getting these all organized and easy to view.  while photographing, i was working around my bed being in the middle of my room, so i apologize for wonky angles.
on the top, i have my miscellaneous tub.  random fat quarters generally live in here, as well as bags of fqs for projects purchased in both alaska & colorado.
shelves one and two are my cotton prints, most generally purchased from the novelty section of joann fabrics.  over the past 10 years, my desires to sew had been in and out, and when it was in, i got in the phase of just buying fabric because it was cute and not knowing what to do with it really.  i know i keep saying it, but i'm really trying to stash bust.  problem is, my grandma keeps giving me stuff.  like....
some of the contents of this shelf.  there is a bag of orange fabric waiting to be used for something, plus other random stuff.  this is pretty much a catch all of fabric pieces, as you can see by the bin on the right.  the doors on this cabinet allow me to close up and forget this semi mess is there.
my last and bottom shelf is all flannel and one random flat bed sheet.  most are three yard chunks that i bought on a whim for someday pj pants, or simply because there were cameras on it.  i do love flannel backed quilts, so hopefully some of this storage will clear out this year as well :)
thanks so much for stopping by!  i'd love to hear any of your thoughts on storage, as well as if seeing mine helped inspire you in any way.  be sure to hop on over and see the rest of those hopping along with me by following the links here:
faith & fabrics - jen 
sunflower stitcheries & quilting - raylee 
quiltytherapy - tisha
adventures in life - sherry
emkie designs - emma
hudson valley quilts - anne
cat approved quilting - eleanor
stitchin at home- cindy
fabric nerd - ivete
fabric engineer - amanda
happy monday, everyone!

Friday, February 24, 2017

star wars strip quilt for an itty bitty jedi

when my coworker drew told me his wife was expecting, i got super excited for him.
and then the internal "do i make him a quilt?" struggle began.  i didn't want to set the bar that i'd make ALL my coworkers baby quilts (granted, not many of them are in committed relationships like so) but he IS a pretty cool guy.  so clearly by this post, you can tell that i decided to make him a quilt.  and it worked perfectly with my stash busting fest!
i had plenty of scraps left over from melissa & jared's fandom daisy chain and a good chunk of that was star wars.  if you know drew, and even if you don't, you know he loves star wars.  i put the thought of making it for him, and then when carrie fisher passed away, that triggered me to start on this quilt top for him.  i busted it out in a day, and only had to pick up one fabric as a filler (the r2d2s) and the backing fabric.
i was glad i still had some of this print that had the actual character faces on it, since drew is very about the characters.  i kept it to the original films the best i could, which worked well with the black, blue & white color scheme.  i was even able to include some of the blue sparkle to help break it up but still be a manly sparkle ;)
i loved that i was able to find this star wars flannel.  it was the perfect baby size, and tied in with the front of the quilt so well.  i used one of the prints i had the most left over of to use as the binding, so you can see hints of millennium falcons down the side.
and the remaining tag count down continues!
well, at least temporarily.  my mom said she was able to find and purchase more of these tags for me.  the order still says pending, so they might be here some day.
the little one (baby luke.  i bet you can guess why!) came over two months early, so i managed to get everything done in time just after his arrival.  last weekend, one of my coworkers threw drew & his wife a star wars themed baby shower.  since they already had the quilt (and pillowcases) that i made them, i busted out a few little burp cloths for them to use once they have the little guy home with them :)
i also found these awesome number & counting books on amazon that were right up their alley.
the shower was great and from what i hear, baby luke is down to just one more test to pass before he can come home!  i am so excited to meet this little peanut and see these two grow as parents to a little jedi luke.