Housewarming Placemats

What’s not to like about moving back into a home after a sizeable remodel?  There are probably a few things about older furnishings and color palettes that no longer work for you.

So when my friends moved back into their new space, I whipped up a few placemats to add freshness to their dining room table.  Each placemat is slightly different, with grays and blues matching their kitchen.

Dinner time.

They were also quilted with straight lines and slightly different geometric patterns to keep each one unique.

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Soup time!

I wanted to wash them before delivering them, but time escaped me.  I thought it would be fun to see how they looked with the crinkled quilted look but I will have to wait until I visit again to get a peak at them.    For the back, I chose a simple gray pattern that allows the placemats to be reversible.  I love how they came out.

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Simple back

The binding was a fun pick as well.  Herringbone, to frame the over-sized mats.

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Colorful binding

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The mats finished out at 14 x 18, a very generous size.  Now to make a few for my house!

WIP Wednesday 2017-05-17

I’ve been quietly working on the Sewcial Bee Sampler sponsored by Maureen Cracknell and Sharon Holland.  Working with colors and contrast has been my focus, though I love seeing the Sampler contribute to more perfectly made blocks than I was making a year ago.

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#15 Broken Dishes might be one of my favorites.  The colors work really well together.

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I do also love this block #14, Star + Cross, with the squirrel feasting on a late night snack.  The quilt colors and characters will be perfect for our cabin!

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This block #13, Flying Geese also came together nicely.  Great practice for flying geese, and realizing that 100% cotton thread does affect block size!

We are over half way complete on the sampler.  You can find more details on the QAL here.

I am also working on the Milky Way Sampler QAL by Alyce at Blossom Heart Quilts.   I decided to make two, one for the silent auction at school next year and one for our cabin.  Allison Glass for one with a gray Kona background, and a myriad of contemporary prints for the other.

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It is my first paper piecing project and am enjoying how perfect paper piecing makes each block.  I’ll definitely be doing more of these!IMG_6411

Both of these are the Alpha Centuri block in the two colorways I selected.  I added metallic to the center of one – not perfect, but I love the reflections it provides and depth to the star.

Thanks for reading along and I am looking forward to next week’s blocks and post!

Butterfly Pillow 2017 05-06

I had an extra block from the butterfly quilt I made during the winter.  You can find that finish here:  Butterfly Finish 2016-12-24.  Waste not, want not…I decided to make a pillow.

The binding fabric was from one of the main butterflies in the quilt, though the pillow front is a much softer purple/pink color palette.  Arguably, it is a bit out there.  My rationale was that the same person now cuddles under the quilt and takes a nap with the pillow.  I had my doubts when I went for it and my doubts continue to linger.

Butterfly Pillow Back

It is a bright pop of color, which my friend Bon loved.

Butterfly Pillow

The quilting isn’t so obvious, but it is a stippling in white Aurifil thread.

Butterfly

The pillow finished at 16 x 16.

Makes me want to take a nap.  Does anyone have that feeling when a project finishes quickly?

Soft Botanical – Fabric Mosaic Entries

Stitched in Color’s recent Bloglovin feed sparked my interest in her fabric Mosaic contest sponsored by Gotham Quilts.  She provides a wonderful theme and many beautiful inspirational photos to feed your soul before you embark on virtual shopping at Gotham Quilts.

I had the fortune in February to shop in person at Gotham Quilts, so as I selected my fabrics for the contest, I was reminded of one of the kind Gotham team members saying “that fabric is right at home with the others you selected”.  The “right at home” sits with me each time I evaluate options for a fabric pull.  I had a few lovely several hours there on a snowy Thursday afternoon, and flew home with many more bundles than I expected to mainly due to the pulls that weren’t “at home” and thus started secondary and then some piles I then had to fill out.  Such fun it was!

I enjoyed the process and look forward to hopping back over to Stitched in Color  to see the other unique palates presented.

My first choice reminded me of succulent’s spring splendor…soft tones yet with balances of playful oranges spiking from the April and May blooms on my succulents after a good winter of rain.  The selection of colors was a challenge for me as I immediately migrated to the bright and bold oranges and the initial Mosaic was definitely not a soft botanic.  I think California springs contributed – we don’t experience the misty mornings or humid rains that lend themselves to a softer botanical garden.  So I put my Connecticut birth home gardening lens on and the Mosaics developed from there.

Here is my California version of a soft botanical.

Spring Fling #2 {thesaltingcraftbox}

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My second choice was where I had to dig deeper outside of my normal fabric pulls and yet I am so happy with the outcome.  Here is my representation of an East Coast soft botanical.

Spring Fling #1 {thesaltingcraftbox}

Funny that I had to break these down into East Coast and West Coast.  Thank you Rachel for such a fun project!

StarLight Star Dark Quilt Finish 2017-04-29

Hmph.  I realized I never posted pics of my finished StarLight Star Dark quilt finish.  Sigh.  Busy-ness.  I clearly meant to…Star Light Star Dark Finish, Almost and had kept good progress going in the late summer as I finished the top.  Star Light Star Dark Quilt.Starlight Backing

This was my very first effort at quilting a finished top.  I thought about, or even thought I was FMQ using my walking foot.  But I really sewing many straight lines.  It gave the quilt a very dense and tight feel, and I like how it held the constellations, aka stars, together.

Starlight Quilting

I quilted some stars almost matchlike, and other parts of the block walking foot distance apart.  In hindsight, I was practicing quilting while learning about how to work with drag while turning a moderate sized quilt.  Not rocket science for most quilters I imagine, but enough of a learning curve for me who’d only sewn seams before.

Starlight FinishSunrise to sunset…

Starlight

Grateful to my husband for holding this up for me.  Bright stars against a cloudy sky.

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I left the large star centers alone.  Once I wash the quilt, I imagine these will be a bit more puffy spaces that give the quilt some dimension.  That is my wish for these stars.

Starlight Roll

The backing is I Want My Space, Astral Stars in Black and the binding was a black fabric from Joanne’s with colorful dots.  It tied the front colors together nicely.     The backing was 58′ wide, which worked beautifully for the quilt which finished at 51 x 70.  It is now a staple at the cabin, for star gazing on the deck at night.   Looking forward to my next project.

Sun Showers Quilt Finish 2017 04-22

It is hard to believe I have half dozen finished quilts behind me already, having jumped back into sewing just under 2 years ago.  Working with color, fabric, design and creating have been fun for me given I work with numbers all day.

This quilt was inspired by the Sun Showers I experienced most of the summer growing up in Connecticut.  It was a gift for a very dear friend who mentored and guided me during high school.  Hello Sun!

Her favorite colors are blue and yellow, and so this project began. The blues are Porcelain Blue by Deborah Edwards for Northcott.  I picked up the yellow florals at Joanne’s as fillers.

Reflections

After countless patterns up on the design wall, I went for pinwheels as the main block construct, with a corner of sunshine followed by a shower of rain.   One can’t really go wrong with pinwheels.

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It was particularly fun to work with dark, medium and lights with this quilt.  I had to head to the store a few times to fill in gaps in the fabrics I needed but hey, adding to my stash is more fun than I anticipated.

Sun Shower Blocks (1)

My long arm quilter did a beautiful job on the quilt.  Stars and wavy lines like a misty rain…perfect for the quilt and a beautiful play on the American Dreams, by Beth Logan for Henry Glass backing.

Labels

I used an extra set of HSTs to make the label on the back, which I embroidered by hand with standard DMC embroidery floss.  The label I sewed on with Sulky invisible thread.

Sun Shower Blocks (2)

Here’s my little man, helping hold the quilt up on a huge granite rock in the woods.  We had a beautiful sunny day, with rolling clouds casting shadows on us.  This was the afternoon before it snowed which you see in the other pictures.

Sun Showers & a little snow

I loved sending this off to my friend, and hated parting with it.  It is bold and peaceful at the same time.  Might be another one I have to make for myself.  🙂

Man Cave Quilt Finish 2017-04-15

As I began venturing into quilting, my husband gently questioned me (a few times) on where was his quilt?  I started it back in October WIP Wednesday 2016 10 26 based on his fabric picks, and went with a classic granny square pattern I found at Blue Elephant Stitches.  Her pattern was so easy to follow and constructing this quilt was a breeze.

Granny Square Blocks

The blocks came alive, ripe with bright and cheery solid Kona colors including  Basil Green, Tangerine, Corn Yellow and Burgundy.  The background was with Kona Black.

My helper with Man Cave

I straight line quilted it on the diagonal and chose wide lines rather than add a match stick type of quilting.  The quilt has a 3/4 inch batting and my thought was fewer lines would keep it fluffy for my honey.

Love the backing!

The Carrie Bloomston Newsprint fabric for Windham was perfect for this quilt backing.   It was a warm and retro choice; now my husband doesn’t have to leave his recliner to read the paper.  I chose eclectic fabrics for the binding, one with colorful old soda caps, one with a travel theme and one with dog paws (each from Joanne’s Fabrics).  I sewed them together randomly and they popped nicely against the black background fabric.

Man Cave Finish

Quilt finished at an impressive 80 x 90.  My husband is 6’5′ so we planned carefully to make sure it covered his frame!

Reflection of Man Cave

He loves the quilt and it was worth dragging him to the store to pick out his own fabrics.  I fear it may never have been made otherwise.