Reach Out and Touch the Sky!

Yeah, you’ve got that song stuck in your head now, don’t you?img_0795

This is another quilt kit I found at the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show. I was intrigued by it because even though it isn’t my normal style, I had never seen so many colors on one panel! Apparently the fabric is created using a new method, allowing for all these colors and designs. I really, really like it. And the fabric is great to work with as well!

I enjoyed making this wall hanging, and it was a pretty quick one to go together.

The other big news I have is that I’ve officially opened shop up at Etsy. I don’t know what will come of that endeavor (it may just be that nothing does!) but I will be happy enough just to say I’ve tried! Feel free to take a look-see over there.

Check out Lemon Quilts on Etsy!!

Follow the Yellow Brick Row!

It’s been awhile; it has been a crazy couple of weeks. The good news though, is that I have a lot of my quilts finished!

img_0813Back in February, I went to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Virginia. While there, I happened to come across a booth that sold exclusively Kaffe Fassett fabrics and kits that used his fabrics. If you aren’t familiar with K.Fassett, he creates quilts and fabrics that are full to bursting with vibrant, over saturated color. In the booth I saw a quilt made from a brick pattern, and fell in love with it.

I’ve always loved K.Fassett’s fabrics and quilts, and so I purchased the 18 fat quarters needed for the quilt and some white as well as the white fabric. Now, I am not usually a fan of yellow, but the colors and vibrancy of these fabrics… I fell in love.

So, I brought the fabric and pattern back home, and created the lap quilt. After creating the lap quilt, however, I counted my remaining pieces that I had and realized I had more than enough to make a baby quilt from the leftover pieces.

This is the baby quilt I made:

 

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I am absolutely in love with this quilt and I wouldn’t even CONSIDER trying to sell it except that I have the lap size quilt that I think I will keep.

The quilting pattern I picked out was that of a daisy, and I think it compliments both the quilt and the pattern on the fabrics very nicely. I call these two quilts “Follow the Yellow Brick Row” because, well, they’re yellow, and their bricks, and I went down the “road” when sewing the rows together… and everyone knows I stole the thought from The Wizard of Oz. I’m not fooling anyone, am I?img_0817

The lap quilt looks very similar to this, just larger. Getting the rows just right so the same fabric didn’t wind up next to each other too often was exhausting, but I really, REALLY like this quilt! I haven’t had my lap quilt sent off to be quilted yet, but I will be doing that very soon now! I’ll give it it’s own (much shorter) entry just so it doesn’t feel ignored.

Halloween Quilt – “Spectre-acular”

Get it? “Spectre-acular?” Spectacular? Don’t worry, I’m okay with being the only one to find that funny.

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I’ve just finished a wonderfully-timed theme quilt to get in the Halloween spirit. I used a new pattern (for me)- the disappearing 4-patch- to create this quilt. It  is such a quick and easy block,  it didn’t take me very long at all. I managed to get the whole top put together in just over a week to send off to the quilters. (I did work on it each night, however.)

I created this quilt on a whim, too! I was in JoAnn Fabrics for something else (can’t even remember what) when I saw that the Halloween fabric was 40% off. (This was back sometime in August – they are no longer on sale.)

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Sample block.

I got a half-yard of 10 different fabrics; I specifically tried to find prints that were either mostly orange or mostly black. (Included in those 10 were a half-yard each of solid black and orange.) Cutting each half-yard into 5 inch blocks, I made piles of each fabric and put them together in a simple 4-patch block. Then, I cut horizontally and vertically twice, each an inch away on either side of the middle seam. The hardest part of this quilt was stopping the fabric from moving when I moved the ruler. Then I flipped the little cut pieces and put them all back together (keeping the center square where it is. I always pressed towards the black fabric so that when I was putting the blocks back together the seams nestled neatly together.

I wish I had taken some more pictures of this process! Next time.

For the backing I chose a orange, light purple, and black plaid print. I was waffling between the plaid and glow in the dark bats, but for some reason the plaid was different enough from what you normally see in Halloween prints that I had to do it, and I’m so glad I did! I machine bound it using solid black. I was tempted to use orange thread to bind it, but my binding isn’t always perfect, so I held off this time. I was able to create 4 perfect corners this time, however, so that’s a plus!


For the quilting, I really love the pattern I picked out. Originally it was going to be witches’ hats, then bats, but then I saw the ghosts. (If I had seen one for pumpkins I probably would have picked that one.) I fell in love! Super cute!

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I absolutely love how it came out! It really feels like Halloween with it around. I’ve got lots more quilts out at the quilters right now, so hopefully soon I’ll have some more to share! Next weekend I’ll be making a post about different ways to display your quilts at home.

Also, does anyone have any idea why some of my pictures are showing up blurry when there’s more than one? Are they blurry on your screens, or is it just on mine? If you click on them to load, they sharpen up, but the snapshots are blurry. It’s driving me batty! (HAH- admit it, that one was funny.)

HST Lap Quilt – “Heartbeat”

I’m so excited to show off a quilt top that I not only pieced myself, but I designed myself on EQ7! I may have shown this one off before, and since I’m about to send it off to the long arm quilter, I’m sure I’ll show it again.

Here’s the design on the left and the top on the right:

 

It’s a relatively simple design, but the way the colors look always made me think of a heartbeat. I love love LOVE how it turned out!

I found a tree with a low, bare branch and tried to take a few “fun” photos. I also dragged my dh into it, but the wind made that a bit tricky.

Two layer cakes went into this quilt, with enough left over for me to have some grey 10” squares. I cut them up into 5” squares and put them with the rest of my 5” scraps.

Also, I’ve started a new habit of cutting all leftover fabric into 2.5” squares, 5” squares, and 2.5” strips. Anything smaller than that I throw away. Otherwise, I found I just have too much fabric left over. And since I’m usually a big fan of kits anyways… I’d never use the scraps unless they were already good to go. I’m thinking I might start an Irish Chain quilt soon with some leftover fabric I cut into 2.5” squares. I’ve got a lot of projects, though, so… whoops!

Have a great week!

Baby Quilt for a friend!

Everyone has that stage in their lives where all their friends are getting married and/or getting pregnant all at once, right? It’s like a bug that goes around and bites people and they just all start falling one by one. Well, my best friend from college recently had a baby, and so I made her a quilt for the little one. She asked for pink and green, and as I do fairly often, I found something perfect at Connecting Threads. I designed the quilt myself (read: decided on HST and just went with what I thought would look good).

I think it turned out really well! So well, in fact, that I didn’t feel guilty not giving it to her until her little one was almost 5 months old! To be fair, that’s what you get when you live in Virginia and your college friend is still up in Michigan.

It’s super soft and when I went back to visit, baby was all cuddled up with it in her bed. It was the first time I saw one of my quilts actually being used, and it made me all warm and fuzzy inside, haha.

Anyways, I’m really excited because I just dropped off a couple of my finished quilt tops with the quilter, so hopefully soon I’ll have a Halloween quilt, another baby quilt, a block of the month, and a wall hanging done! Yay!

A quilty gift!

My husband’s best friend from college got married over the fourth of July, so we decided that rather than buying her a blender, I’d make her a quilt instead. So, I searched Craftsy.com and Connecting Threads, and finally found this (kinda) little beauty over at CT. I’m a huge fan of CT because their prices are very reasonable and the quality of the fabric is pretty awesome for the price.

Anyways, it was a full-size quilt (mostly) and for some reason, I really struggled to get it together. Not for any skill related reason, but simply because when I sat down to quilt I just never wanted to quilt it. It was a mental block, I think, most likely because by this point Dan had left Charlottesville to head to Cleveland for his law internship, I was home alone with the kiddo, it was the last two weeks of school, and I was just tired all the time.

But, once I joined Dan up in Cleveland, and once school finished, I found that I once again had the energy to quilt, and the quilt came together quite quickly. Plus, once I got past my mental block, I absolutely fell in love with the quilt. I sent it out to be quilted and chose a simple swirl stitch, but the quilter was wonderful and put some little flowers in the center of the nine-patch blocks to match the flower theme of the quilt, which I absolutely adore!

Anyways, enough talking, here’s the rest of the pictures!

I’ve been practicing my photo skills, and as an added bonus the apartment we are sub-leasing for the summer has fantastic natural lighting. But yeah! I really enjoyed how these photos turned out. Hopefully you do to!

2016’s Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show

Last year, I learned of the existence of one of the largest quilt shows in Virginia. Unfortunately, I learned of this show the day before it opened, and there was just no way for me to make it there that year. BUT, that meant that I planned ahead for this year! And despite being sick, I made it to the show.

Fair warning, this is going to be just a GIANT post with a TON of pictures. I really should have brought my camera along, since getting the pictures from my phone to my computer without a cord was a giant pain in my butt.

These quilts absolutely took my breath away with how intricate, colorful, ambitious, and ingenious they are. My favorites will be the first three, since I play favorites with quilts.

The picture with the pillows was probably my overall favorite. It looks like a photograph; but everything is applique. It is absolutely incredible. You’ll also see a strong rainbow preference in the second and third place favorites; I’ve realized I *love* rainbow quilts. Anyways, without further ado, here’s the rest:

 

Anyways, I’ve been able to have some of my quilt tops quilted (by check this time) and bound up, so next time I’ll post a couple photos of them. See ya!

Owl Baby Quilt & Asian Panel

It’s been a long time since I’ve written a post. And you know what? Not sorry! I am sorry for being not sorry, though. Kinda. No I’m not.

Life has been busy lately, what with my first year of teaching almost halfway done (what?!) and my husband in his second year of law school. He accepted an offer at a Cleveland firm for next summer, so if all goes well that is where we will be resettling to Ohio in 1.5 years. (The one place I NEVER thought I would end up… Ohio.)

Halloween was a ton of fun, what with my son being a cowboy and me being a mad scientist. Thanksgiving is right around the corner, and then after that is my favorite time of year: Christmas! (That and snow, because snow days are awesome.)

I do have some exciting news, however; I have had two friends approach me and ask to make them quilts! And while I would love to do it free, I am a lowly teacher and have no money, so they were my first two commissions! And hopefully I can use the money I earn from these two to send out some other tops that need quilting that I can also put up for sale.

The first quilt is a baby quilt. The requirements were colors pink & grey, and an owl theme. Well, I couldn’t find owl fabric that I liked that was in pink and grey, so I got a bunch of grey and pink fabric. My original intent was to do a simple 5” square quilt and then quilt on the diagonal (my little brother machine, while a trooper, can’t handle anything more complicated than that and can barely handle straight lines). But then, after cutting the strips of grey and putting them together I *really* liked how they looked. And I could include some owls by doing a rough-edge applique of an owl in the corner. So this is what I wound up with:

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The backing and binding are the same fabric: a cute pink with white poka dots on it. It brings in a little more pink since the front is mostly grey. Which I actually really like. The owl in the corner was rough-edge applique, and it was probably the hardest part.

But I like how it turned out!

But I like how it turned out!

I’m still new to the whole applique part, but I had a lot of fun and next time I might try something a little harder when I applique again. And I will do it by hand as well.

Here are a couple more pictures: of the two with the quilt on the crib, which do you like the most?

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The second commission quilt I did was based off of my Asian fractured-panel quilt I did. (I’m almost done with that quilt as well, but that will be for a later time!) This one wasn’t quite the same style; the pattern is much different. Instead of doing strips, I had framed fussy-cut squares that I got from a fat quarter pack off of etsy (thanks, Shiboridragons!) If you like Asian fabric, they are my go-to. Anyways, here’s the quilt:

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I really, really love how this one turned out. It was a lot of fun to piece together, as well, and honestly was not as complicated as I thought! All of the fussy-cut squares were from 6 different fat quarters. Asian fabric is great for this because they can have some seriously cool designs on them where you can have two totally different squares that came from the same piece of fabric. The background is very slightly off-white, because the white background on the center panel is not actually true white. Each square is framed with the same gold fabric, which I think really helps it come together. One of my favorite fabrics in this quilt, however, is the backing fabric.

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It’s a beautiful Asian fabric that is quite calming, with gold, pink, and blue dragonflies on the back with cherry blossoms delicately floating on the wind. The quilting was not done by me: we took it to our local quilt shop and sent it out to a long-arm quilter, Kelly. She did a great job with the quilting!

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But anyways, that was my weekend! Enjoy the rest of yours!

Also: I’m still trying to figure out the whole “photographer” part works out, since photography is not my strong point. What pictures are YOUR favorites, and why?

New Design and a Visit to Ann Arbor Sewing Center

It’s been awhile!

I was fooling around on EQ7 and was really getting in to some very colorful designs. Well, I came up with a quick and easy jelly roll design that I absolutely loved! Check it out:

Sunset on the Water

This would be a great quilt for someone who has a stash to get rid of or someone who has a bunch of batik (or Kona) jelly roll/bali pops. In my head it looks like a sunset reflecting off a lake or large river. Someday I will definitely have to make this quilt!

Also, even though it has been awhile (roughly two weeks… oops!) since I visited this store, I wanted to let everyone know about one of the most fantastic sewing stores I have ever been to. (Not that I’ve been to a ton, but this one was beyond cool!)

Its the Ann Arbor Sewing Center, which is located- you guessed it- in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The building was originally the area’s schoolhouse, and has since been expanded a number of times as the business grew. It is a fantastic place that has plenty of wonderful quilt samples around, but also many, MANY different fabrics, from Civil War-era reproductions, to the whole Kona Solids collection, to Kaffe Fassett fabrics and other prints. Take a look at some of the pictures I snapped!

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IMG_0088 This was some of the Kaffe Fassett fabrics they had, as well as a few others.

Here are some of my favorite display quilts I saw there; I wanted to buy all the rainbow ones! (Their kits, I mean). Luckily for me, my husband was with me and he helped me keep control of my wallet! You can always click on the image to see it blown up. 

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This was a fabulous store, and I still can’t get some of the quilts I saw there out of my mind (or off my wish-list!). If you are ever in the area, or even passing by, this is a MUST visit store!

I also picked up their row by row, but forgot to grab a picture of it, so you will have to wait until I am all done. Unfortunately, due to a death in the family, I will be back in Michigan over the weekend. Enjoy the rest of your week!

Work in Progress and a visit to Quilt-n-Bee

Even though I have been away from home for almost three weeks by now, I have managed to keep working on a Farfalle quilt that I brought with me. As you know, my stepmother-mother-in-law is the one who got me into quilting, and she was kind enough to let me use her sewing machine to put together all the blocks I had.

IMG_0104I am very excited about this quit. When it is finally done, it will be the first ever Queen-sized quilt that I have made. The orginal Farfalle pattern is smaller than this – it is 6 blocks square, and measures about 48”x48”. It calls for two charm packs. For me, I purchased one Ambleside layer cake and cut it up into 5” squares so I could double the pattern. Currently, it measures 64” x 72”.

I’m going to add two borders to this- one 2” one in one of the Ambleside fabrics, and one 5” border in white to help tie it all together. Does anyone have a thought about what fabric I should choose?

I picked out this pattern because I looked at it and I could see the blocks and assumed “Well, this should be fast and easy!” …Yeah… It was relatively easy, but cutting and piecing together 84 blocks was not at all fast. But it was relatively easy for a beginner like me, so that’s good, I guess.

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Also, while up in Traverse City, we stopped by one other quilt store that was absolutely darling. It is a mother and daughter owned store called Quilt-n-Bee. They are an absolutely adorable quilt store.

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The store is a beautiful, clean space that I especially like because of how clean and open the store is. Unlike a lot of quilt stores, there isn’t a lot of stuff in there, and while it does mean that the fabric selection isn’t as extensive as some stores, it also isn’t overwhelming. It is very easy to see from one side of the store to the other side, and its a more restful feeling than some stores you walk into.

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Although their fabric selection wasn’t quite as impressive as other places, it did have quite a few kits available. They had quilts, some bags, and even some doll clothes.

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One thing I liked was that they had quite a few alternatives to just shelves for displaying their product. They had items like a rocking chair, a fireplace, a dresser… all of these I thought were adorable and brought a sense of being “home” instead of being at a store.

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I’d definitely recommend stopping by if you ever find yourself up in the Traverse City area; I also picked up their row-by-row for my Michigan Row by row quilt. (It doesn’t have the cherry border, but all the rest is there.)

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Have a great week!