Sunday, 28 July 2013

Quilt for Serena finally finished!

P1000424

I finally finished it!! It took me a lot longer than I intended but I can finally clear my conscience about this quilt. The story of this quilt goes back to over a year ago when I was stationed in Korea. It was a year-long assignment and unfortunately, I could not take my family so most of my free time was spent quilting. It was terrible being without my kids and husband that long, and generally speaking, I was miserable. I met Serena at work and she is the funniest, craziest, most generous girl in the world. She was always taking care of people and was a very loyal friend. She really helped me to stay sane and avoid going off the deep end. She was also very supportive of my hobby, and was always tasking me to make something for her! We would go fabric shopping and would tease each other the whole time about each other's choices. She made fun of me for my "old-lady flowers" and would stare in shock as she grabbed the wildest prints.


 P1000419

 She purchased the fabric for me to make her a pink and grey quilt and I didn't finish it before I left Korea. I planned on finishing it as soon as I got to the UK, but then an awful thing happened. When my household goods arrived everything had water damage. My favorite things in the world were all destroyed--and that included all my fabric. I had several unfinished projects and one of them was Serena's quilt.

 P1000420

I couldn't find the same fabric for Serena, but I remembered she always talked about eventually getting me to make her a yellow and black quilt. When Taxi was released earlier this year I knew she would love it. I bought a fat quarter bundle and found the pattern and got to work. However, the pattern required using templates, and all that pinning and cutting was getting to me. I put the project aside for awhile, and a few weeks ago I knew that I was never going to be able to live with myself if I didn't get it done. So I buckled down and finished it...one year later. When I messaged her on facebook and told her it was finished she said, "good because I need you to make some new placemats for me!"

 P1000421

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Simply Retro Quilt Along

Simply Retro

Last weekend I decided to participate in Jana Machado's Simply Retro Quilt Along using patterns from Camille Roskelley's new book Simply Retro. The book is just amazing and there are so many projects I want to make, but I new I already had so much going on that I had to decide on just one..for now.

Dwell from Simply Retro

I decided to go with the pattern called "Dwell". The houses are so cute--it seemed like the perfect thing to make for my entryway. I thought it would take me weeks to finish (because I bounce around from project to project) but once I started I couldn't stop--I finished up all the houses in one evening. And then started to quilt it. And this is where things got all messy. I decided to quilt the roofs with fish scale shingles, and even though I know better, I quilted all the roofs first before quilting anything in between. And then the fabric would just not lay flat anymore and was getting bunched up in places. I almost went crazy. And then as I was quilting the swirls an even more terrible thing happened. I must've threaded my machine wrong because all of the sudden the thread was coming out black and oily and stitching into my white fabric! Ahhh!!! I was fortunate I had just purchased a new stain stick so I saturated the spot in hopes it wouldn't permanently stain. However, I knew I had a better chance of saving it if I could get it finished and get it into the wash.

Dwell wallhanging

 At first I decided NOT to quilt the little red house in the bottom row and after I washed it I noticed the bottom of the quilt wasn't even. I know it was even before I washed it! I'm not sure if NOT quilting the red house caused it, but I don't know what else it could be. You can tell it kinda droops down in the middle. Another frustrating thing!!! I quilted the house afterword, but haven't washed it again to see if it would help at all. Fortunately, though, the oil came out, and as long as I can find something to put on the table in front of it no one will notice the uneven middle! Even though I had so many problems I really love how it turned out. When the fabric gets all crinkly after washing it you really can't see all the mistakes!

P1000364

During the week I also have been working on repainting the wine table beneath the quilt. It used to be a dark brown (like all of my furniture was) but I'm just so tired of brown I plan on repainting everything until it my house looks like a circus. My husband loves this wine table and didn't want me to touch it, but whenever he argues about the furniture I always remind him that our reclining couch with drink holders (his choice) looks like it belongs in a dorm room and he lets me have what I want out of fear that I will get rid of his beloved couch.

Mint wine shelf

 I haven't finished painting the actual wine holder-thing that goes in the middle, and somehow I lost one of the knobs on the door (it's probably with my keys wherever they are), but I just wanted to show you how it was coming along. I'll post more pics when I finally finish it all up.

Dwell Wallhanging

Fortunately, the kids are ecstatic about the quilt and the table. They each picked out the house they want to "live in" and the wine table has become a favorite new hiding place for Ryan.

New favorite hiding place

Tuesday, 16 July 2013

Threadbias Quilt Design Contest Winner...is it really me?

I got some wonderful news when I got home from work last night--I found out that I won the Threadbias Quilt Design Contest with my quilt "Small Town Girl"! It's so unbelievable because there were so many beautiful designs...I really never thought I would win. I don't know what I'm happiest about--the fact that there are people who liked my design, or that the amazing Allison Harris kinda knows who I am now, or the fact that I won some really amazing prizes. I won all of the Wallflowers fabric to make my quilt, a copy of Growing Up Modern from Stashbooks, and a $25 gift card from Pink Castle Fabrics. You know what that means--I get to buy MORE FABRIC!!! It's so unbelievable!!! Thanks to everyone who voted for me, and to my amazing family for encouraging me to do it! In other news I have been quilting like crazy...here are a couple of not-so-great pics of a project I have been working on.

Mr. Mustard pattern with Taxi Fabrics


Quilting lines

This is a quilt for my friend Serena that I promised a year ago! I used the Mr. Mustard pattern from Abbey Lane Quilts. I used mostly Taxi fabric, but included a few others I knew she would like. Normally this is not my style, but I'm kinda diggin' it now that it's all together. I just have about 300 lines of quilting left to do! My goal is to get it done by this weekend. Crossing my fingers.