Wednesday, February 18, 2015

WIP Wednesday

This coral and mint Pop Flowers quilt is like a huge iceberg, and what you're seeing here is just the tiny tip. But below the surface of this bit of progress is hours, days, weeks of much indecision, doubt, and frustration that absolutely sank my titanic. I just had to put it away for a bit.

And now my niece, who will be the recipient of this tear-stained quilt, is 11 days overdue. I think it may be my fault. Either she's already a spoiled princess who will not even arrive until she has a quilt waiting for her, or she's the sweetest little thing who is giving her poor ol' aunt the chance to come through. Yes, because it's all about me.

So, anyhow. With that set aside, I did what any good quilter does and started a new WIP. 


But... you guessed it -  I don't feel right about this one either, yet. There is something about it that I don't like but I just can't put my finger on it.

Maybe it's just that I don't do scrappy very well? As in, it doesn't feel natural to me to throw random fabrics together no matter what they look like next to each other. I love almost every scrappy quilt I have ever seen but when it comes to creating one... it just feels uncomfortable.

But I am forcing myself to finish it, as I suspect that I will love it once it quilted, washed, and drawn up in the dryer. It is a pattern by Lady Harvatine, and let me tell you - it's no joke! 13 template-cut pieces per block, each one taking me at least an hour. Only 44 left to go:) 

And here's a pic to prove that I actually do finish some things. Sometimes. Small as they may be.

You can find me on Instagram at @mandyloon!

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Pop Flowers

My little brother's lovely wife is having her second baby next month - the first little girl in our family. She chose coral and mint for her nursery colors... yum! I did have to get over a little disappointment that I wouldn't be making a pink quilt, but as soon as I got my fabric in the mail, I was over the moon with this gorgeous color combination.

Deciding on a pattern has been agonizing. I have been scouring Pinterest and racking my brain to come up with the "perfect" quilt design. Although I have two nieces on my husband's side, this will be my parents' very first granddaughter - this is important! I had a vague idea of what I wanted but nothing seemed just right, until I found these adorable coasters. The moment I saw them, I knew. They are modern, sweet, girly, subdued, and not too frou-frou, which sums up how I see my SIL. I think there will be at least one other design element in the quilt, but I haven't gotten that far yet. I hardly ever have an entire quilt design worked out in my head before I start piecing. And yes, that often comes back to bite me in the backside.

I decided not to use Steam-a-Seam to attach the flowers as I wanted this quilt to be soft, so I chose this tutorial for turning under the edges of my shapes. As you can see in my first block on the left, I had some trouble getting the edges nice and round, even with clipping the curves. So I decided to try using pinking shears instead and that worked much better!

I start back to school in two days and I have so much I need to do to prepare... but I'm way too excited about this quilt to set it aside just yet! The boring stuff can wait.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

A Quilt For Mom

 I managed to finish a couple more handmade Christmas gifts, including a quilt for my mom that I'd been working on for a few months. She loves blue and white and Delft pottery, so when I saw the Ravena line by Dear Stella I knew it was perfect for her.

Taking inspiration from the famous Delftware plates, I used this print with circular shapes for the block centers.


I didn't have to finish it until New Year's Eve, my mom's birthday, but I still barely got it done. I opted for easy cross-hatch quilting through the center of the 16" squares, but still only got that done at 2am the night before.


So the next morning, I got up and bound it using Amanda Jean's tutorial for machine binding. I was so pleased with how this turned out! I highly recommend this method for quick-but-neat binding. I had already bought my thread before I decided to go this route so it stands out a bit too much, but I was still happy with the results.

Since then, I've been on quite a sewing kick and I've completed one WIP, and I'm almost done with this little one with the scalloped edge. Don't let its sweet and innocent appearance fool you - it is from the darkest corner of hell and will steal your soul.

Today is my boys' first day back to school so my older son (who is homeschooled) and I decided to ease back into it. We watched Cast Away with Tom Hanks, then I googled some discussion questions and edited them to suit our needs. I was surprised at the abundance of supplemental materials for movies! It's a great time to be homeschooling, with all of the free resources just a click away. I was worried about starting my 6th grader back in August because I'm in nursing school full time, but with a bit of planning it has been quite easy - and he's doing SO much better academically. Next year his younger brother will join in and I just can't wait. There's nothing quite like having "class"while warm and cozy under a well-loved quilt. :)