Violet’s Blankie

So it’s time for the Bloggers’ Quilt Festival, eye candy for all the poor folks who couldn’t make it to Quilt Market this past weekend.  Click here for many, many more quilts to ogle:

I’m showing off a little cuddle quilt I made for Violet .  I made it a couple of years ago when she was tiny, but this being the year of  Tangerine Tango I thought it would be a perfect time to show this one off.

This kind of quilt is pure fun to make: pulling fabrics from the stash, auditioning them, whacking off pieces on a whim, then making it all fit together in the end.  I chose all the fabrics to go with the Anna Griffin animal print in the center of the blocks- which we bought a couple years before we had Violet, just in case we should ever have a little girl who might need a quilt 🙂

I love how the fabrics seem to fade into one another without too much contrast, but my favorite part of the quilt is the padded silk border.  I made it with a double layer of batting encased in muslin before wrapping the silk binding around both sides.  It’s something I’ve seen on fine Japanese quilts and wanted to emulate, and I thought it would make the quilt extra nice for a little one to hold.  It’s backed with plush Minkee, so I didn’t quilt it.  (so, it’s technically not a quilt, I know, but it still looks like one to me!)

Oh- and my other favorite thing is the big chunk of red-orange fabric with the white blossoms on it- this was a souvenir that my mom brought back from Japan, so I love that it sort of stands out from the rest of the fabrics.

I made the quilt before we knew that Violet would turn out to be an all pink and purple kind of girl- but now Evelyn is using it in her car seat, so maybe the colors will be more to her taste.  Certainly the fiery colors suit her temperament thus far!

Oh and thanks to my in-laws for having such a photogenic front porch!

Look, Ma!

Stitch-2012-Summer

Stitch Summer 2012

I have a quilt in a magazine!  It feels… weird.  I made the quilt and shipped it off so fast that when the magazine came, I could barely even remember that that was my quilt.  But then the next day the quilt came back in the mail, and we’ve had it hanging around now for a couple of days, so I’m starting to feel like maybe I did make that.

Stitch Summer 2012I like that rainbow journal cover on the other page, too. Pretty little calicoes.

Of course, I had to have a photo shoot with my own little model…

Violet + Chrysanthemum

Violet + Chrysanthemum 2

Chrysanthemum Throw Quilt

It’s hand quilted with perle cotton,using a traditional Japanese cloud/water motif for the background.  I drew the motif by hand rather than using a stencil to give it a more natural look, and hopefully make all that open space a little more interesting.  I want to do more of the hand-drawing thing, it makes the quilt so personal.

Anna Maria Horner
Innocent Crush Voile

I am dying to make this again, using Anna Maria Horner’s Innocent Crush and Little Folks Voiles.  Can a quilt be fresh and moody at the same time?  I think you could pull it off,  with the stormy purples of IC mixed with the perky pinks of LF.

Anna Maria Horner
Little Folks Voile

I would also love to see the pattern done up in some of the re-issued Flea Market Fancy.  Those kinds of retro florals are actually just what I had in mind when I was drafting  up this quilt!  With a dove grey background it would be just the right combination of retro + modern.  I must get myself a staff to start knocking these things out!

Autumn Gatherings Sewing

I’ve been sewing!

Inner Glow 1

Inner Glow 2

Inner Glow 3

Thank you for sleeping so mommy can work!

Sleeping Bea

Inner Glow 5

Inner Glow 6

The pattern is called Inner Glow.  It has instructions for twin, queen, and king sizes.  (This is the twin size.)

Inner Glow

Inner Glow 7

Inner Glow 8

I hand quilted it with a super-simple big stitch using perle cotton.  You can see it best in the photo of the back.  The big chunky stitches contrast with the silky fabric in a way that I found very pleasing.  Plus it was done in, like, two days.  Can’t beat that for hand quilting!

Inner Glow 9

Inner Glow 10

The pattern will be a free download on my website as soon as I figure out how to do these sorts of things… so this weekend-ish.

Inner Glow 11

The quilt is hanging out at Patches in Mt. Airy, MD.  Do let me know if you’ve seen it there!

Next up I have some plans for the greenish -orangeish ones.  This time I’m bringing in the rest of my stash to play as well.

Next Project

Knitting for my Bee

Tiny Hat

So I finished my second knitting project ever, the Layette Hat from Vintage Knits for Modern Babies.  There was a lot of yarn left so I started knitting up the Pom-Pom booties to go with the hat.

Tiny Booties

Aren’t these pom-poms the cutest? It took 13 feet of yarn for each pom-pom to get them this full.

Problem is, I needed a different size of needle to finish the booties, so I had to go back into the land of temptation that is my local yarn store.  I came out with the required needles plus two more balls of the cozy cream-colored merino angora, plus an orchid bamboo/wool blend and a celery green alpaca/silk yarn.  Well the baby can’t have just one hat, can she?  And doesn’t knitting for baby require the softest, coziest yarns available?  Thought so.

Layette Set

My new love

First Project 2For years I have sworn that I would not learn how to knit.  It’s not that I didn’t want to have lovely little hand-knit things, it’s just that I feared for my quilting projects- the turnaround time from idea to finished project is already long enough around here!  But a while back I started reading Alicia Paulson’s blog and falling in love with her style and all the lovely little things she makes…

This one almost got me (especially with the sweet calico dress underneath!)  but I was able to resist…

Alicia Paulson's Winter in Portland
Photo by Alicia Paulson, used with permission.

Then she made this:

Alicia Paulson's Silver Clara
Photo by Alicia Paulson, used with permission.

and it was all done for me.  I had to learn to knit.  I have to have this dress!  And then we went and moved to a house just a few miles from the Yarn Mecca of the East  (I swear I didn’t know about it until after we signed the lease!)

The Mannings 3

The Mannings 1

The Mannings 2

Just look at all this gorgeousness!  How could I not learn to knit!  So, Garrett took Friday off from work to be with the kids so I could spend all day with Sara at  The Mannings learning how to knit!

Here is my lumpy little first project in progress- this was about lunchtime on Friday-

Humble Beginning

And here it is looking slightly better after a nice Eucalan bath and blocking.

First Project 1

This yarn was calling to me as I left the store at the end of the day…

Malabrigo Rios

And it said don’t forget to buy my friends, the circular and double pointed needles you’ll need to make me into a hat and scarf… and how about a pattern or two… folks, I am hooked!

Making for me!

Orchid Dress 2

I made a dress for me!  My 7 year old has been reading every book he can get his hands on about ancient Greece and Rome and I think that’s what had me dreaming about a full, drapey dress like this.  Remake it in white and I’ll be right out of Clash of the Titans ( the awesome 1981 version I grew up on, of course- I haven’t seen the new one.)

Orchid Dress 3

Amazingly I had the perfect crinkly orchid fabric in my stash, gleaned from the remnant pile at G Street Fabrics in Washington D.C. before we moved.  I used quilting cotton and some twill for the belt.  All supplies on hand and the whole thing completed in a day and a half- how often does that happen?

Orchid Dress 4

I didn’t make any special adjustments to the dress to accommodate my belly- the fullness of the style was enough.  I’m hoping I can keep the dress in my repertoire after baby makes her appearance.  Hopefully I’ll be tying the belt a little tighter soon!

Orchid Dress 5

New Duds

I thought you wanted to sit down

The weather has finally turned beautiful and warm and I have been itching to make some new skirts for me and my little bee.  We are both quite a bit bigger than we were last year at this time and so we don’t have much in the way of warm-weather clothes that fit.  Since the thrift stores are pretty much the only “fabric stores” I have easy access to in my neck of the woods, I decided to pop in to the closest one and check for something inspiring.

Tiered Skirt Before

Besides two striped sheets that will make great backings for some picnic quilts I’ve been thinking about, I found this sweet pink-and-red straight skirt, and it already had a cute little ruffle at the bottom- perfect for my little girl!  I cut it into three tiers that night and after a quick morning of sewing, it now looks like this:

Tiered Skirt After

While making a small skirt out of a bigger skirt is hardly an act of crafty genius, it was such a satisfying little project, because I made exactly what I wanted out of something that nobody had wanted.   And Violet was quite happy to put it on this morning.

Violet's New Skirt 2

Don’t let the sweet face fool you; this photo was taken in a split second where she was standing still in between bouts of trying to hit her unsuspecting brother for no good reason.  She’s a little spitfire, this one.

Violets New Skirt 1

Who me?  Never.