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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Rachel

I am sure every quilter loves making baby quilts!  I know I do!  
When I discover someone special in my life is having a baby, the wheels start spinning!

    
Rachel is a friend, fellow blogger {Family Ever After} and a neighbor!  Well, she doesn't exactly live in my neighborhood, but just around the corner.  Less than 5 minutes away... I consider that close enough to borrow a cup of sugar!

Her children attend the same elementary my kids attended...I love seeing pictures of them walking in front of the building.  Brings back sweet memories!

Rachel is just a wonderful person!  I mean, she really is wonderful! There are numerous adjectives to describe Rachel....
beautiful
happy
good
faithful
talented


I could go on and on....
Rachel has 3 adorable children and is expecting her 4th. in June.  I should add 'patient' to the list of adjectives!  Actually, she is the perfect person to have a large family.  She is also very resourceful.  And I know she has a reliable support network of family and friends.

So I had to make her a quilt for the new baby.  She is having a boy.   I didn't ask her about nursery colors...I thought this quilt should be used and used.  No need to match colors.

 
 I began with these two fabrics.  The sweet little fabric on top is a Japanese from Superbuzzy and the gingham is also a Japanese from Purl.  

 
 I added some additional fabrics from my stash...and pieced together using the technique I outlined a couple of posts ago.  I stitch the rows together on the diagonal and then true up the sides. 


I quilted with a combination of machine quilting and pick stitching.
I used Aurifil thread for the piecing and machine quilting straight lines. And hand quilted with Valdani perle cotton....every other row of triangles.



The binding is the same sweet Japanese print with a little of the gingham thrown in!

 

    The backing is a large check gingham...also from Purl.

And, finally, a label to mark the year of his happy birth!


What a lucky baby!  Born into a family that is so excited to see him!  A mom and dad who put faith and family first!  It just doesn't get any better than that.

xo mary

  

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Promise of a Sunny Day!

It has been a nice change of pace to wake up to sun and warmer weather....it's a pleasure to wake to the sound of birds!
I began my day today with a little relaxing embroidery...

  
I met a dear friend for lunch....thanks Mary Jo!

and came home to find a box waiting for me!
Ohhhhhh!


well...this looks promising indeed!  Seriously, the Liberty scraps would have been enough!
But, no!  My friend, Clare, knows how to spoil a girl!

 
 how about a china dish covered...patchwork style....with teeny scraps of Liberty!  
Oh yeah!


This little chick knows how to travel in style!
Thank you, Clare, for the lovely Easter gift!

The dish proudly sits on my buffet, which also sports another lovely Easter gift.  A gift which traveled from far away to brighten up my Easter day!

Susan always sends me the cutest Easter surprises!

      
So fun! Thank you, Susan!


Hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!
mary
 

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Oh, Oh, Oakshott!

In March, I received a package of Oakshott cotton fabric in Colourshotts!
 
 

the colors are simply luscious!  
And the texture equally as amazing.
They have a wonderful crispness...
 
 
I just couldn't wait to cut into these!  And I had the perfect project in mind.  I wanted to combine the Oakshotts with a very lovely understated Japanese fabric in a baby size quilt.  The quilt was inspired by a Japanese creation I pinned on Pinterest {oh Pinterest...you are an irresistible pleasure}
 

  
The color of the colourshott cotton is so incredible and intense...I like the combination with another more subdued cotton.
 
  
Irregular crosses float on this white background.  
 

 
 The binding is a yarn dyed Essex linen.
 
And, as I usually do, I was eager to wash this one after it was bound!  I really wanted to see how the Oakshotts looked after a wash and dry!
YUMMY!
 
 
 They really looked amazing!


 
   For the backing I used the black from Boo Crew ;)
I love this fabric...such a good one for just about any project!
 
 
And a little embroidered label.
 
 
 
I hope you will hop over to Oakshott Fabrics and check them out!
If you haven't tried Oakshott cotton....I hope you have an opportunity soon.  They do not disappoint....wonderful in every way!
  
happy thursday!
mary  

Friday, April 4, 2014

When I Run Dry....I Stop a While and Think of You....

This time of year, everything is a bit of a slog for me...
it really is unfortunate.  Consistent with my coordinates, this time of year brings the promise of new beginnings. Yet, I am left feeling a bit blue and not quite ready for the happiness of sunshine and warm days.
 
But this week I was on a mission. No time to mire in the muck!
 
 
       
The motivation will have to remain a mystery for now, but I am excited to be sewing with a purpose...
 
 
   
I have been playing with solids {funny how that works!}
 
 
 
lots of wonky triangles on a bed of snow!
 
 
 a nice baby size quilt...now to find a backing and to quilt!

Next up...another baby quilt!  And again, solids, but a very different feel.  This was inspired by a knitted blanket I pinned on Pinterest.  Gotta love Pinterest!


  Not quite finished.
I used a combination of solids for these projects.  Some Konas, Studio E peppered cottons, Moda Crossweave and Art Gallery solids.
It's interesting how different solids can feel and behave!
 
 
I love the depth of the peppered cottons and the crossweave, but I do find they require a bit more attention.  Because of the nature of the weave, they can easily be distorted in the pressing if you aren't careful.  But you just can beat the wonderful texture they add to any project.
 
 
Robert Kaufman Kona's have such a wide range of color, there is always just the right color for any project....and who doesn't love that!  Then Art Gallery solids are so yummy to the touch! I love that they feel like expensive bed sheets!
 
I know there are oodles of other solids out there.  Tell me your favorite!  
 
And just as a little teaser....I will be posting about another amazing line of solids...Oakshott!  
 
But for now, I would love to know which solids you prefer and why!
happy friday!
mary
 
** title...So Long, Frank Lloyd Wright by Simon and Garfunkel
             

Monday, March 24, 2014

A Refresher

A few posts ago, I mentioned a little quilt I am working on for someone special....


This is simply a triangle quilt...using an equilateral triangle ruler...
but sometimes triangle quilts are anything but simple.
I am using a method for piecing that I think works very well with triangles.  If I remember correctly, I saw this technique the first time in a quilt book by Sandy Klop.  I think it deserves repeating...

First determine the size triangle you want to use....I am using a Fons and Porter triangle ruler.
Following the grid on the ruler...cut a strip from two different fabrics the size required for your triangles.  I am cutting my strips 5" by the width of the fabric.  Stitch the strips together {right sides facing} on both long edges.  ** I like to cut my strips in half so I have a 22" strip.  That way I can mix up my fabrics.  In other words, I don't necessarily always want the same two fabrics next to each other**      


Begin on the left side of your strips, and placing the ruler so only half of the triangle is along the edge make a cut.  This cut is just to get the angle for cutting more sets.  

 
 Simply flip the ruler and match the left hand side along the previous cut and cut again...on the right hand side....repeat...

Now unpick the small tip of the triangle set...

       
Your triangle will look like this...

 
I like to press the seams open.
Once you have sets stitched an cut, it's time to piece them together in diagonal rows.


I have found that piecing these in diagonal rows helps to keep the points nice and pointy.  A single triangle will need to be added to the beginning and the end of each row.
Of course, each row added will be longer than the previous row...

 
As you keep adding rows, you will begin to decrease the triangles in the rows once you have the width...I like to lay it all out and number the rows before stitching everything together...


Once all your rows are stitched together, you will need to trim up the sides to make them straight.    
I like this method...give it a try or tell me if you have used this method before...

  
Hopefully, I will have a finished quilt to show you before long! Yippee!
happy monday!
mary