Pixie Summer Home Quilt-A-Long

I saw this Pixie Summer Home quilt-a-long on the Intrepidthread and couldn’t resist…

Pixie Summer Home QAL

Here is block 1 (I am so NOT a photographer)…I am using Farmhouse by Fig Tree (Joanna Febueroa) for Moda.  Looking forward to adding updates along the way so stay tuned.  So much Fun!!

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The first blocks were so much fun to make!

Second set of blocks are now finally finished.  With so many seams, my learnings included that I really need a 1/4 presser foot.  I will have to use it for my next quilt.  In the meantime, eager for Block 3 instructions.

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Pixie Summer House Blocks
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Pixie Summer House Blocks 1 and 2
 

Block 3 – tree block, posted today!  Look forward to starting after work tonight!

I decided to use the fabric I picked for the binding and backing for my trees.  Loving the way it is coming out though don’t mind the amateur photography with the shadows and all.

Tree 1 in neighborhood

Tree 1

The trees are adorable.  Reminds me of an oak tree turning in the fall, or maybe an apple tree.  Look at the neighborhood – really coming together!

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Summer Farm House Blocks
Progress continues – the star instructions came out earlier this week and some of these blocks are tiny and take more time than available at the moment…I tried hard to finish a full block tonight and realized I didn’t have the contrast I needed in the stars I prepped…so continues to be a WIP!

 

August 22, 2016

These stars have had me wear more pairs of patience than I knew I had in me.  I made myself stop counting the number of times I had to tear them apart to have perfect points.  While part of me wanted to accept that stars aren’t perfect, the bigger part of me wanted perfection for the size and scale of the stars.  I also love the way this quilt has come together and can’t imagine staring at imperfections as we nestle under it at the cabin, outside enjoying morning coffee.  It is so cute and the stars will really pop the overall quilt which is giving me the motivation to persevere.

I also took note that in a quilt with mini pieces like these stars, fabric selection makes a big difference.  I chose a solid cotton, but I think a thinner cotton would have been easier to work with.  I’ll have to play with this hypothesis at some point but I’ve enjoyed the overall learnings from this quilt.

I also practiced being in the moment, and taking my time rather than rushing to finish.  Two star blocks done, and the remaining two just need the star blocks and trim pieces to be sewn together.  Then on to the sashing which I’m looking forward to.

Pixie Home Stars with main blocks

  

  

 Finished star blocks!

  

Next up was adding the sashing.  Check!  I may resew the sashing on a couple of the star blocks though I made them to have a random look.  I certainly went off course when I made them as they sized much differently than I expected them too but hey, every sky is different.  

Two steps remaining – get the layout done, then piece together, add the horizontal sashing then get ready for quilting!

Lighting in my craft room isn’t great asevident in the black and white pic.  I am looking for that last bit of contrast opportunity.

Pixie Home quilt top is finished, hurray!

Coast to Coast Quilt

Coast to Coast Quilt, June 3, 2016

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Coast to Coast, May 2016

While making the Illusion Quilt, I had many questionable moments of why hadn’t I discovered my love for quilting years ago.  I soon realized, it doesn’t really matter much in the scheme of things and I quickly jumped in full steam to this hobby for which there seems to be a never-ending shortage of time for in my world (I’m sure I am not alone in this regard).

The finance side of me created a spreadsheet of all the fabrics I have been buying, including what fabric I had purchased over the past several months (A lot.  Though I won’t go so far as to say too much), auto-calculations for how much fabric I need to make my own binding for each project and auto calculations from that information as to how many strips I need, how much background fabric, what pattern I was inspired by (if I was when I bought the fabric), and on it goes.   OH the Places I’ll Go with that spreadsheet.  It helped me realize I need to sew faster as there are so many projects waiting to become quilts!

But I digress, as I started on my second quilt straight away for my niece Kristina, who underwent not one but two surgeries to have a brain tumor removed.  She is by far one of the strongest, smartest and beautiful 21 year olds I know.  She gets her strength from my super strong sister Debbie.  I am delighted she is responding well to the new trial she is part of and know she’ll love this quilt when Fall sets in and things cool down in Connecticut.

I named it Coast to Coast to reflect my being on the West coast and Kristina being on the East coast.  It reminds me of her, with the strong lines, resilient points, and beautiful colors.  The quilting thread used by Tisha Cabral for the final quilting is variegated and pulls the teal/aqua/green and cream colors from the quilt together.  I love love this quilt!

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Coast to Coast (traditional quilt name is Depression Quilt)  is made up of half square triangles.  I didn’t use a pattern, though I layed out various patterns before deciding on the square points.   I started with 5′ squares cut from various fat quarters or yardage.  Here were a couple of the ideas I played around with before deciding on the points (and eliminated the red).

I found the cool fabric for the back at Joanne’s Fabrics which was a perfect match with the fat quarters I used.   Total coincidence as I was going to opt for a plain backing until I saw this!  I bound the quilt with a light gray fabric with gray, little yellow (think cream) and varied teal polka dots.  This came together quite nicely I think.  Nice to have a super tall husband to hold up the quilt for pictures though I’m not the photo shop gal most bloggers are and left his fingers in the shot!IMG_4698

I can’t wait to finish the label – I am going to needlepoint the usual “To, From, Name and Date” data on it. I made the label with left over HSTs from this quilt and attached it to the back.   I decided to have the label put on pre-quilting as it feels more finished to me with the quilted lines over the label itself.

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The Coast to Coast process was super fun and I am already on to my next quilt  which I’ve pre-named Sun Showers!

Chalk-Painted Switchplates

Yup, who knew how good chalk painted switchplates could look?  On a dark backsplash, the cream colored plastic switchplates just don’t cut it.

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Thank you Annie Sloan.

All that is needed is the following:  switchplates, Annie Sloan paint and Annie Sloan clear and dark wax, paintbrush, sandpaper, rags and something to prop the wet plates against to dry.

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Super easy to do – lightly sand the switch plates and dust off with a rag.  Apply a coat of the Annie Sloan paint (we used the Chateau Gray as the first layer and added some Olive in for good form).  Chalk paint dries pretty quickly (as in under an hour) so we applied the second coat the same day (Graphite was the color choice for the second layer).

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We let the plates dry overnight, then I waxed them first with a coat of the clear wax (the clear wax should be applied first as it has a stronger protective coat than the dark wax).  The next day I applied a thin coat of the dark wax.  A couple hours later, I buffed the plates then we hung them back on the wall.  Really, they were that easy to do.

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We did batches of 10-15 switchplates at a time, which took maybe 30 minutes to do, end to end for the whole lot.  We also painted the screws holding them into the wall (not noted in the above or below photos), but elected to keep the electrical outlet the original color.   Here’s a shot of one done on the wall with the others waiting to be painted.    Both our contractor and our painting contractor were amazed at the before and after look.  I think they ran out and bought chalk paint that very day.

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I love these easy projects.