Thursday, December 25, 2014

Summer for Christmas

Merry Christmas!!!

This past month I've had the honor of sewing a quilt for a coworker for a Christmas gift. He wanted something special for his lovely wife and family to use while cuddling on the couch. They had seen quilts at church and so he had an idea of color and design. Poor Josh got quite a lesson in quilt construction, but he took it like a trooper. He even downloaded my design software at home so he could play with the color choices and layout. Surprisingly, it was very fun to see something take shape that was different from my inclinations.
An Etsy quilt that helped spur ideas plus computer designs.
(final version not shown)

Fabric was ordered online and cutting commenced.
Kona solids were purchased from FreshModernFabric on

Sashing strips made easy.
One of the first decisions Josh made was whether to keep it at 90 degrees or turn the blocks 'on point'. You can see 'on point' won out.
Making good use of my design wall.
It was at this point that I realized the fabric I ordered was running out. Well, no problem. I quickly looked up the same store and ordered what I thought was the orange being used. My mistake was thinking that this orange was tangerine. I waited almost 10 days for the package to arrive and you can imagine my shock when tangerine turned out to be dark orange! The shade I needed was school bus. Well, Robert Kaufmann offers 303 different solids so you can't blame them for getting creative with the naming process! The mix-up didn't take long to fix because Alice Essinger, owner of FreshModernFabric made sure my extra yard of school bus was shipped same day. So nice!
Sewing blocks into strips.
Once the blocks are done you sew them into diagonal strips and then sew the strips together to make the top. I guess some people sew triangles into the edges, but I used a whole block to make sure the right corner color was in place. Josh also requested a satiny border for his little boy to rub between his fingers. It's a soothing action and only a certain satin will do. Luckily we found the right feel and color. I love the 'blanket' look it adds. 
We also talked about backing and batting. There's a lesson to be learned when choosing batting. The lesson is - what comes out of the plastic bag is not what you work with, especially after you've tumbled it in the dryer to remove creases!
Now for backing. If you're going to cuddle under a quilt with the kiddos, do you want anything other than minky dot? The answer is no. The biggest question is - what color?
Color options at JoAnn's, but not every JoAnn's. Josh chose the green
hiding to the right of the yellow. You can clearly see there isn't 4 yards
on that bolt. On a prayer, I made a detour to Edina and found the green
and guess how much was on that bolt? Exactly 4 yards!
I'm glad Josh went with straight line quilting. Meandering or loops would have distracted from his clean simple design. These bisecting lines add a design over the design. Love it!

Here's the final shot of the quilt before handing it off to Josh at work. It snowed that morning and stayed just long enough to get this shot. My brother Gary is credited with tweaking this photo.

Summer for Christmas
Dec 2014

Every quilt get labeled, but this one went on the dust cover.
 Here's hoping Kaleena and kiddos are feeling summery and uplifted during this brown Christmas of 2014!

Friday, December 12, 2014

From Swatches to iPad Case


One of my favorite online fabric shops is on Etsy, FreshModernFabric. I recently ordered a wonderful bundle of Kona solids from Alice and she included a few fun swatches from a new line. These small tidbits were something I probably never would have purchased but they intrigued me nonetheless.
Four swatches with matching solids
It didn't take too long to decide to make an iPad case. I quickly pieced together a front and back and picked out a pop of color for the zipper.
And wallah! This will probably go on the Etsy shop.

Thank you, Alice!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

WIP Wednesday - Baby Quilt

Happy Thanksgiving Recovery! By now we're getting back to the routine, but still eating leftovers. At least we are. Today we discovered that lefse can't survive on the counter for 6 days. Booo! Luckily, we still had a package in the fridge.

Did anyone cyber shop for fabric on Monday? I did! And it came today, fastest shipping ever, Winter Creek Cloth! I purchased two bundles, one a fat-eighth of Bridgette Lane and the other is Textures by Angela Walters. Both are not the usual quilting cotton. They're thin and slippery. I have yet to figure out how to know what type of fabric I'm getting, but I love it still.

I've had in the back of my brain the stirring of a baby quilt for a special lady I know from church. She and I share a love of fun, colorful fabric, so I wanted to make sure whatever I made was up to snuff! Then I realized if I mixed the Bridgette Lane with some solids I had what would make the perfect set-up.
For the design I was looking for something fast, given that I'm supposed to be sewing a quilt for a guy at work. What came to mind was Amy Smart's Fabulously Fast Quilts and I just happened to have a copy! Score. I choose the Butterfly Quilt.

She wasn't kidding about it being fast. I sewed strips into banners, sewed them to white strips the same size, cut them into squares and then diagonally and wallah! You have cute blocks that can be arranged anyway you want. I did this bunch in 2 hours flat.

I have Sewn Together quilt club on Friday/Saturday so hopefully I'll finish this little guy. May I say that I'm quite pleased with myself and with Amy?!