Star Count

Is it really Monday again?  I did not complete any new stars this week.  But, I did get a pile of pieces basted and ready, and that’s totally progress when you’re talking about English paper piecing.

I am trying to be more disciplined than usual with this quilt.  Normally I would choose a few fabrics at a time, baste a few pieces, make one star, then repeat.  But this time I want to get most if not all of my fabrics selected first, and mostly cut out and basted, so there’s no unhappy surprises at the end.  It’s a small quilt, so there’s less room to hide something that doesn’t work out as envisioned.  And less room for all the pretty stuff I want to fit in.  So I’m making sure it’s right before I sew it all together.  One thing I love about English paper piecing is that it’s so easy to play around with the basted shapes and see exactly what the finished piece will look like before you commit!  I’m bringing in some tan fabrics to give the pretty colors space to breathe, and the deep marine blue to ground all that sweet bright color.

Linking up again to Monday Morning Star Count over at Life Under Quilts!

Star Count

Last night I started a new English paper pieced project!

I have been completely smitten with this teeny floral since I found it at a quilt show last fall.  Like crazy in love, and I’ve been dying for a project where I could really enjoy using it.  Back then I was sure that the family-member-in-utero was a boy (and I wasn’t actually planning on finding out the gender at all until the big day, so a more neutral quilt would have been in order.) I thought this would make its way into a big quilt for me (it still might.)

But things changed and now that we know we are getting another little lady, I’m free to dream up sweet confectionery quilts in sherbert-y hues, and this fabric is the inspiration.

I started a preliminary fabric pull celebrating the pink-peach-orange-raspberry-lemon colors but I still need to pull some neutrals and something deep to ground all this sweetness.  How I love picking fabrics.

I’m linking up again with Jessica Alexandrakis’s Monday Morning Star Count and my count this week is: 1!

For the boy..

I have a new stack of fabric that I am so in love with…

All shot cottons from Kaffe Fassett.  This fabric, plus Dream Wool batting, makes the most squishy, silky soft and cuddly quilt you could ever dream of.  And if a quilt doesn’t make you want to curl up with it, then in my book it’s not a successful quilt.  So.  These are for my darling 10 year old, my only son, who for the most part gets passed by when it comes to handmade things.  Dolly carriers and tiny baby knits are what pop into my head when I want to make something for my kids, and I have to work a little harder to think of just the right something for an older boy.  But he is such a sweetie, so loving, and for god’s sake he puts up with a lot, being here with two much littler sisters day after day.  He really deserves to have something handmade by Mommy.  So with much love I have been planning this project, and waiting and thinking while some other things were finished up, and now I’m ready to begin.

I have a couple of different sketches I’m deciding between, but it’s definitely going to be something improvised and free, just something fun for me to play with for a few weeks.  I’m planning on some medium-dense hand quilting to really play up the lovely feel of the wool batting and make it something he will love to curl up with.

I’m popping these in the wash now as I type, and tomorrow they’ll be ready to cut into.  Maybe I’ll have a quilt top by Christmas?

In other news…

I started quilting this orange-peel thing.  I’m calling it a coral reef, or maybe seaweed, and so I thought some seaweed-like tangled curves would look cool.  I wasn’t sure after I drew it up, I’m still not really sure- but  I’m just gonna go with it.   What’s the worst that could happen, right? 

In other news, it’s finally green outside-

My knees are dirty every day from the garden

My kids are dirty every day from who-knows-what- and I love it all

I’m working on pretty duvets for the girls beds, delving into my thrift-store treasures as well as the stash

Gus has his final homeschool review of the year (he made me so proud!) and now I’m dreaming big for 5th grade- and Kindergarten!  Yup, this fall Violet will officially start homeschooling and I’m so excited to be planning kindergarten projects for her!

If you ask Evelyn if she wants to put her flowers in a vase, this is what you’ll get.  Makes sense when you are Almost-Two.

My newest work in progress

A week or two ago I found myself craving, literally craving, an applique project.  Like the way your hand can’t help but reach out to that bowl of mini Kit-Kats on your co-worker’s desk, my hands just needed to feel that comforting rhythm of hand applique.  So I started something new.

It’s going to be a pillow.  For a quilter/artist, my house is woefully under decorated, and I’m aiming to work on that this year!  We’ve been renters for a while, and moving around practically every year it seems, and for like the past five houses all we’ve done is plop down our furniture and open up the book and toy boxes, and call it done.  No curtains, no throw pillows, no art on the walls.  No settling in.  That needs to change.  Our home should be a reflection of who we are.  I’m working on it.

This little project has been living on my kitchen island so I can work on it a few stitches at a time, all day long.

Oh, and this stack of shot cottons and solids wants to be something.  It’s not even a work in progress at this point, it ‘s a work-in-pondering.  As in, what could I make from this.  I think it’ll just hang out on the island for a few weeks until I figure it out.

I Intend to Finish…

I noticed that some of my friends are linking up to A Lovely Year of Finishes, to encourage finishing what we start. I love the magic of setting goals, speaking goals out loud, writing goals down… It really makes it happen.  So here are my sewing goals for this month:

I’d like to have this in and out of the hand quilting frame.  I have it taped to the floor tonight so I can mark the quilting lines, and I’ll load it this weekend.  No Prob, right?

Back photo_1LR

Also, I need to hit Publish on my first pattern- The pattern is all done but I’ve been balking at filling out all the info on Craftsy.  So here, a public declaration, the pattern for my doll carrier and quilt will be available THIS MONTH!  🙂

Work in Progress Wednesday

I’m so excited about my two newest works in progress- because new projects are so much more fun than already-in-progress projects 🙂

I cut both of these out over the past week.

This one is all my own fabric in the green and blue colorways that I haven’t really used yet- plus lots of light solid triangles.  It’s going up on the design wall this week.

This one isn’t getting design wall-ed.  I like having something I can sew together without thinking right now.   The Heather Ross piggies were my jumping-off point when choosing my fabrics.  It combines a few of my fabrics with a bunch that I “had” to buy because they matched my fabric, but it still needs something… maybe a warmer reddish-pink?  I’ll look around next time I get down into the fabric dungeon.

Linking up to WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

New EPP project…

I’m starting something new…

I was out of waiting-in-the-airport type projects so, (oh darn,) I had to start something new!  So excited about this one!  It’s my new favorite color palette: fuchsia, thistle, red, plum.  A little flash of tangerine.  So intense.  I’m thinking it will be a table runner, English paper pieced and appliqued.  Can’t wait to get started!

Because I wanted to

And not because there was nothing else I should be doing 🙂

I indulged in a little improv patchwork with my growing pile of Jasmine Tea scraps.  And a little of the Fuchsia Echino birds that perfectly match my Fuchsia Tile print.  I set my machine up on the kitchen table and let Evelyn and Violet hand me scraps to sew together.  I finished it up this morning while Garrett vacuumed which was altogether a very pleasant morning.   I intended it to be a cushion cover, a one-and-done sort of project.

Echino Birds matched my fabrics perfectly- I was literally obligated to make the purchase 🙂

But since this 20×20 square did not diminish my pile of scraps at all, I am thinking it needs to become something bigger.  And so another quilt is begun.

I’m ready to watch the playoffs.  I can’t sit and watch TV without a project to work on, so I’ve got this quilt all prepared for hand applique.  I pieced the background the other day, and last night I basted the flowers down.

As you can see, I was lazy and didn’t feel like calculating anything, so I just put up the old quilt on the wall and kept cutting pieces of the grey until the whole thing was covered up. Pathetic!  But it worked.

Now I am ready for some couch time with the family.

(We are from Steelers Country, but they had too many injuries to have a chance at advancing this year, so I’m rooting for the Seattle Seahawks.  Because  I have always loved the deep blue- green of their uniforms.  They kinda look like lizards.  Oh and because Gar and I both work for companies based in Seattle and we sort of dayderam about someday ending up there… )