Saturday, April 30, 2011
My son received his First Communion yesterday. He looked so handsome in his suit and we are so proud of him! My husband decided to teach himself some basic chip carving techniques in order to make this cross as his gift. He first made the cross out of soft basswood and routed the edges. Then he sketched the design in the center and carved it.
The design is a slightly simplified version of the stained glass window at our church. We weren't sure that Timothy would recognize that but he did, and right away at that! I hope he appreciates his father's handiwork and enjoys it for a long time.
Wednesday, April 27, 2011
I have to admit that I often find the cutting and piecing process of quilting tedious and dare I say, boring? I like to keep my mind busy while doing those things. This is part of the reason why I often start a quilt with a picture in my head rather than a sketch or full blown plan. As I work on the first step, my mind it busy puzzling out my next move. I also try to figure out the most efficient way to do something, etc. Perhaps I am sounding really geeky here, but, oh well!
I was just working on my current quilt backing. I challenged myself to use as many of the scraps from the Central Park layer cake as I could. I made a large square composed of 144 little 1 1/2" squares. I told my husband that this brings new meaning to a pieced backing. He said I was obsessive. Then I told him that I was trying my best to use all my scraps and he changed his tune and was impressed. Hmph. Husbands.
Tuesday, April 26, 2011
My daughter, Lily, will be attending her best friend's birthday party in a week or so. Brooke is turning 5 and loves baby dolls. Lily thought she'd like a doll quilt. This is sweet coming from Lily who has no use for doll quilts herself. She requested a butterfly quilt. I used this tutorial for wonky 6" butterfly blocks. Brooke is the type of girl who, at age 4, pulls her own hair into multiple pony tails all over her head. And she comes to dance class in striped tights and a purple fleece when everyone else is wearing black and pink leotards. Lily and I wanted to express her quirkiness in a quilt. We started with the multicolored polka dot fabric and then picked others that coordinated. I added button heads and embroidery floss antennae. It was a fun and quick project. This afternoon, Lily is determined to stuff the matching pillow ALL BY HERSELF.
I put together this paper pieced daffodil block for a special quilting project for a Flickr friend who is going through a difficult time. It measures 3 1/2" wide by 6 1/2" high. It just sings spring to me! I used this free pattern.
And finally, I have received lots of questions about the material that I used in yesterday's post. It is made by David Textiles, Inc. and is available in the novelty quilting section of JoAnns. It is called "Chef Words" according to my receipt.
Monday, April 25, 2011
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you know that I run a Flickr swap called the Potholder Pass. Since we are now on our seventh round, I was looking for a way to add variety for those of us who have been in the swap since round one and are well stocked with potholders. For this round, you may swap just potholders, just reusable shopping bags, or both. The addition of the shopping bags has been very fun. I have completed my swap bag for my partner but enjoyed making up a couple more bags for myself this weekend. I think that Keyka Lou's grocery bag pattern is particularly good. It is so easy and straightforward and useful!
I really enjoy bringing these pretty reusable bags to the store. The only downside is that they do use quite a bit of material. This is how I keep my costs low. Since they are reusable shopping bags, I tend to avoid designer fabric. I found this cute vintage kitchen print at JoAnns for 30% off. Then I used osnaburg for the lining. Osnaburg is a heavy, coarse cotton with a plain weave. It's the perfect way to add a bit more heft to the bag and can be purchased at JoAnns with 40% coupons! You can find it in the utility fabrics section. I only used designer fabric for the handles. I do love designer fabric but using it for all my shopping bags just wouldn't be afforable for me. Designer or not, these are still way cuter than the bags that the food store sells!
This pattern is also easy to do "assembly line" style. When you are adding the three rows of stitching to either side of the handle (this adds strength to the handle as well as style), don't forget that you can chain them together as seen here, just as you would chain piece in quilting. It saves time!
Saturday, April 23, 2011
My basket quilt top is complete! It's been raining all day but there was a brief reprieve right at dinner time and I convinced my husband to run out and hold the quilt for me!
Happy Easter everyone! Three Easter baskets are sitting on our table now waiting for the Easter bunny to visit!
Thursday, April 21, 2011
I just added this 16" pillow cover to my recently neglected shop! The front is made from my silkscreened design, "Modern Blooms" and is handquilted with DMC embroidery floss. It had such a summery feel to it that I decided to back it with "Raspberry Bee Hive" from the Flora and Fauna line.
Here is a little close up of the quilting.
I used another invisible zipper for this pillow (I am now up to four successful invisible zipper attempts!). I feel pretty confident now.
Look at how invisible it is! I have to admit that I am proud of that zipper!
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
I finished up all the baskets for my "Picnic on Central Park" quilt. There will be twelve baskets total, arranged 3 across and 4 down, set on point. I debated how to create the quilt top. Originally, I was thinking of a skinny sashing with scrappy cornerstones. I didn't want to cut baskets in half for the edge blocks. Another solution would have been to use yardage of one of the Central Park fabrics for those half blocks. I wasn't sure that I would be happy with that look though and I also wanted to try to stick to using just the layer cake.
I decided to make scrappy pinwheels from all the HST I was making to fill the baskets and add white borders. Those blocks will alternate with the baskets. I have made the six complete blocks now for the center of the quilt and am working on the half pinwheel blocks for all the edges.
I will need to purchase binding and backing material. If anyone knows of a good Central Park sale, please let me know!
Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Kirie has been busily crafting pdf paper pieced quilt block patterns of all sorts of animals. As she presents each new design, she asks for a few volunteers to test her pattern. When I saw "Fearless Fawn" on her blog, ShapeMoth, I sent her an email. I told her that I would love to give it a try but that I was a beginner paper piecer. She said that it was an easy pattern and sure. Well, I had my doubts when I received the pattern this morning! I was actually frantic. The pattern doesn't include directions. I thought that it would explain how to paper piece and then I would be all set. I can follow directions and this would be a great way to learn a new skill. I had promised to test the pattern though and didn't want to disappoint Kirie. I quickly emailed Jeannie who has tested her patterns for a little help. She was so kind as to take a few pictures of the way she paper pieces and sent them to me along with straightforward directions. I also sent a Flickr message to Ruth, the paper piecing queen, who directed me to a few helpful web sites. With their assistance, I was able to figure it out. It is no longer a mystery and I liked it! I would love to try it some more.
I wanted to make a sweet little fawn. My hope was actually to make it pink but I couldn't come up with the right fabric combinations and wanted to work with what I had in the house. I do wish there was a little more contrast between the main body material and the background but it is better in person than on the screen.
I think that the pattern was great and didn't find any mistakes. The only troubles I had were due to inexperience. She has this pattern and others for sale in her shop.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Thank you again to Jennie from Yellow Plum Blossoms for offering my readers the chance at a great giveaway. The winner, chosen by the random number generator, is my sweet blog follower Allison!
#35 Allison said...
Thanks for hosting this giveaway, Amy. I really like the Organic Minky Blanket with Cloud 9 - My Happy Nursery "elefete" in sky. [favorited!]
Allison, Jennie will be in touch with you directly.
Jennie is offering all During Quiet Time readers a discount of 15% to her shop for the next week. If you were sad that you didn't win, here is your chance! Enter the code QuietTime15.
I have loved the idea of natural dyes since I was in junior high. I did a science fair project testing how ph changed the results of each natural dye. It was fun! Now I only use natural dyes once a year on Easter eggs. I hope to try them out on yarn or fabric sometime when life is a little less busy.
This year the kids were more into helping which meant fewer experiments since each color took a bit longer. We used a few of our old standbys, frozen blueberries for the inky purple, red cabbage for the blue (we wished we had pulled them out earlier when they were a brighter blue), turmeric for golden orange, and tea for the brown. In each case, we boiled water with distilled vinegar and whatever we were using for the dye and let it simmer for about a half an hour. Then we let our eggs soak until we liked the color and pulled them out.
This year we had a lot of broken rhododendron limbs so we chopped up the healthy leaves from broken branches and boiled them in water with some alum. This resulted in pretty yellow eggs after a long, overnight soak!
Sunday, April 17, 2011
I just sewed up a cute little owl coin purse, pattern by Keyka Lou. My son has a birthday party to go to and I found a great deal on a gift but feel a little guilty since it was such a good deal so I made this to add on!
What little boy wouldn't like a pouch to stash all the coins he finds here and there? In fact, my son is all thrilled because he found a dime and a penny today. I think that this gift might be just right for his age.
Here is the owl in his natural habitat. I couldn't resist!
Friday, April 15, 2011
My "Picnic on Central Park" quilt is growing! I know that these basket blocks are considered terribly traditional and boring by many but I really like trying out the old blocks with new fabrics. They also provide good piecing practice.
I have completed as many "colored" basket blocks as I could using one "Central Park" layer cake. Now I am going to make some with the stone colored baskets filled with various colored HSTs. I bought some additional yardage in that color for this purpose.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
One of my blog followers, Jennie, talked to me about helping to promote her new Etsy shop. The shop is called Yellow Plum Blossoms and she is offering handmade items for moms and their little ones.
She would like to offer the readers of During Quiet Time the chance to win a $40 credit to her shop. I know, it's very generous!
For one entry, visit her shop and mark an item as a favorite.
For a second entry, become a follower of her blog.
For a third entry, you can like her on Facebook.
Best of luck! I will use the random number generator to determine the winner on Monday night, April 18th.
That's to be the name of my next quilt! I have always loved traditional basket quilts. They just appeal to me. When I won a layer cake of Kate Spain's "Central Park," I started to flip through the fabrics to see if I got any ideas. When I saw the cobblestone print, it immediately reminded me of basket weave and I thought of basket quilt blocks.
These blocks are measuring 15" finished. I don't have a whole plan lined up yet but rather a general picture in my mind that I am working towards. I plan to have a few colorful baskets scattered throughout the quilt and the remainder in the neutral "stone" color. The colorful baskets will be full of fabrics from the same color family as their their baskets. The neutral baskets will contain a mixture of the fabrics. I am not sure yet how I will connect all the blocks. I will decide that when I get there!
Tuesday, April 12, 2011
I finished my second Wrap It Up bag. This bag will be sent to my swap partner for the Potholder Pass 7.
It looks a bit like a little quilt all wrapped up doesn't it? I used one of my favorite pearlized snaps.
The fabrics are from the Queen Street line by Jennifer Paganelli. They were my winnings from the Sew, Mama, Sew Pieced Pillow Contest in February. I also used Kona White, Bright Pink and Peacock (I think! I am not certain on the color name for the turquoise). I sewed up little flying geese from 2" HSTs. This time I made the strap about an inch or an inch and a half longer for easier wrapping. I hope my partner likes it!
Monday, April 11, 2011
It's finally starting to feel like spring. I even cleaned out the gardens yesterday and was able to leave my coat inside! I thought I would celebrate with a spring sale in my Etsy shop. If there is something that you have been eyeing, now is the time! Just enter the coupon code "SPR2011" for a 15% discount on all items.
Saturday, April 9, 2011
The pillow that I made for a private swap with Nicolette arrived in Holland yesterday. I can't believe that it only took 5 days to get there! Nicolette and I had originally planned to make pillow covers with free pieced words. However, we both had a hard time settling on words for each other and decided not to stress ourselves out and just make pieced covers. Nicolette described her living room area as a combination of many wood tones, chairs and couches made of black and sheep leather, white walls and off white linen curtains. Her accent colors are blue and dark brownish red. I decided to play it safe and just use all the neutral tones in hopes that her pillow would match her home. Since she also said that she loves linen, I used three kinds of linen: natural linen, black slub linen and tobacco slub linen. Then I used Kona snow, espresso, sable, black and khaki.
The pillow design was inspired by Angela's kaleidoscope pillow that both Nicolette and I have marked as a favorite in Flickr. I had never made the kaleidoscope block before so I contacted Angela for a little "how to" information. Unfortunately, she had used a special ruler purchased from Etsy. I didn't want to spend the $25 on a ruler and I wanted to get started. She also pointed me to the quilt along on Sugar Stitches. They also used a special ruler but the tutorial explained the construction methods at least. Then I found this free pattern. I printed it out and then trimmed it down to measure 6 1/2" since I wanted finished blocks measuring 6" to make an 18" pillow cover. I used this paper template as my "ruler" and it worked! I have to say that this block creates a tremendous amount of waste. I was shocked. I can't imagine making a quilt as a result!
Twice I miscut blocks so I used them for a pieced back. The pillow has an invisible zipper enclosure. I hope it is happy in its new home!
I'm linking to:
Friday, April 8, 2011
My sponsor, Pinked Fabrics, would like to let you know that she has Michael Miller's "Strawberry Tea Party" line back in stock!
Apparently, she sold out of the entire line in one week last time. Get it while it lasts! I have visited the fabric in person and it is very sweet. I can picture beautiful little girls' dresses made from this line!
I finished my practice Wrap It Up bag. This is one of the four patterns that we are allowed to use for the Potholder Pass 7 swap. I wanted to give at least two of them a test run before choosing the bag that I would make for my partner. This bag has the nifty "wrap it up" feature. There is a strap that attaches at the top of the back of the bag. Then you fold the bag into thirds, roll, and snap.
I used this owl fabric by Tina Givens that I received in a swap from Amy. The fabric is bold and bright and large scale and I haven't known what to use it for till now. I thought it would work well on the bag since the design wouldn't have to be cut up. I fussy cut a bit to get the owls centered on both the front and the back. I pieced the bag front and interior for a little more interest...and since I only had a half yard of the owls and needed 3/4.
This bag was fun to make and I like the design. Comparing it to the Keyka Lou bag that I tried out a few days ago, I would say that it does not work as well as a grocery bag. The gussets are not nearly as deep so it isn't meant for packing with groceries. It would be a great bag for running into a drug store or some other quick trip with just a few purchases. It has a nice style too!
Penny, thank you for offering our group a discount on your pattern! I will definitely make it again.
Thursday, April 7, 2011
I made the smallest of the Ditty Bags from Keyka Lou's new pattern. I like to call it the itty bitty ditty bag. Do you think I could get her to rename the small version accordingly? It measures only 5" x 4".
I took this picture to help with the scale but then realized that it doesn't quite work. You see, my hand is the same size as my eight year old son's hand. Anyway, the pouch is tiny. I would have started with one of the two larger versions because they might be a touch more functional and a little easier to turn, but I only had a 7" zipper in the house. I used my coveted scrap of linen "Lavender Man on the Moon" Heather Ross material received in a swap from chickenjulie. I wanted to save it for just the right project and there was just enough to cut this pouch with zero waste. And, it matched the one zipper I had on hand. It was fate.
Today I went grocery shopping and brought along my new reusuable bag. The bag has pear and apple fabric and the bagger filled it with my fruits and vegetables. That made me smile. I'd have done the same thing.
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
I was able to finish this cute little top just during one naptime yesterday! This is for my friend's daughter's fourth birthday this weekend. I love the way the knots tie at the front.
It is an appealing detail. I hope that it is functional too!
Tuesday, April 5, 2011
I've been quiet for a bit but that doesn't mean that I haven't been sewing. I've been working on a pillow cover for a private swap with my friend Nicolette. Her pillow cover went in the mail yesterday but I can't show pictures till she receives it and opens it. She lives in Holland so there might be a bit of a wait! Now I am trying out some reusable grocery bag patterns for the Potholder Pass 7. This round we have the option of swapping bags along with or instead of potholders. One of the 4 approved patterns for this round is Keyka Lou's Grocery Bag. She was kind enough to offer our group a discount on the pattern so I just had to try it.
I made one for a birthday gift to send to my daughter's godmother. I also made this set of twin bags. One I will keep and one is for a friend. The bags work up quickly and are very usable. I tried filling one with groceries and it fits a good deal. The bag in the picture has a value size box of granola bars, a box of crackers, a 5 lb. bag of apples and a bunch of bananas and there is room to spare.
I haven't decided which pattern to use for my swap partner yet. I will try out Penny's Wrap It Up bag next. She also offered us a group discount, sews fun and original paper pieced designs, and shares a name with my daughter...I just had to buy her pattern too!