Gathering Flowers Top

I spent some time sewing today after being away for the last few days (post on adventures to follow later this week once I sort through the pictures; if you follow my Instagram you already know where I’ve been!) and I managed to finish the Gathering Flowers top!

Gathering Flowers top

The curved seams for the flower centers and flower petals went OK. The background fabric is a bit puckery in places but I’m going to quilt the heck out of it with an allover floral or swirl and call it good. AMH’s tips within the pattern on how to press the curve seams were great and give the petals an embossed look.

Pinwheel

The background fabric makes sweet pinwheels where the blocks come together. Fun! Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Bouquet of Geraniums

After sewing up a Geranium dress for my adorable niece, I got it in my mind to sew up four more for three friends who have little girls.

First, a pair of Geraniums for a pair of sisters. I wanted to use fabric from the same collection and really liked the florals from Beyond the Backyard by Jane Farnham for Camelot Cottons.

Sisters Geraniums

Big Sister got a tunic-length Geranium with cap sleeves and a pleated skirt with pockets and little sister got a sleeveless dress with a gathered skirt. I lined each dress with the opposite fabric for a little pop of coordination and both dresses had a U-notch neckline.

Big Sister Geranium

Little Sister Geranium

I also made another toddler size for my grad school roommate’s daughter. One of the first things I learned about Sarah was that she knew how to forage for fruit and mushrooms, so the woodsy print from Helen’s Garden by Tamara Kate was a perfect fit. This dress also has little yellow flower buttons.

Foraging Geranium

Foraging Geranium back

The last dress was for a friend from high school and college’s new baby girl. She had peonies in her wedding bouquet, so I thought this Pat Bravo Poetica print was spot-on.

Peony Geranium

Peony Geranium back

I hope these dresses are worn and enjoyed by my small friends! Finishing these was one of my Q4 Finish Along goals!

Gathering Flowers Blocks

I’ve been unemployed this week; my previous job wasn’t a great fit for me in many ways. I’ve had huge plans to spend these days sewing, cooking, cleaning, knitting, jogging, and pondering my very existence and worth as a person. Unemployment does that to you. In any case, it probably won’t last long, as I start a new job on the 24th. New adventure ahoy!

Gathering Flowers

One of the main things I’ve been working on is a Gathering Flowers quilt for a new baby cousin. The nursery colors are pink, green, and blue, which will be the petal colors, and the inner wedges will be a mix of prints.

Gathering Flowers block

Gratuitous shot of nearly-perfect points; the other blocks aren’t as perfect.

Nearly perfect points!

Usually, I don’t gravitate towards this color palette, but I’m enjoying working with these darling colors. I hope my cousins enjoy the finished quilt!

Gathering Flowers Fabric

My cousins are expecting a sweet baby girl next spring, and my grandmother has asked me to make a quilt for her first great granddaughter. The nursery will be done in happy, springy colors: pink, sky blue, and apple green. She picked Anna Maria Horner’s Gathering Flowers pattern and I pulled this fabric.

Gathering Flowers fabric pull

I’m debating about the background pink mosaic print – it looked much paler online. It will alternate with Kona White, but is it too busy? I may alternate with some other low volume prints in my stash a la this Gathering Flowers made by Cindy at Hyacinth Quilt Designs. Thoughts?

Secret blocks

In other projects, all of my secret block segments have been cut and now the trimming begins!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Metro Rings

Junior year of college was one of those years where a lot came together for me. I finally had my major figured out, I had some great friends on campus, and I was the RA in a building inhabited by the people who would go on to become more great friends. My room was long and skinny; technically it was a double, but my fall semester roommate had gone to study abroad in Italy. I turned the extra bed into a couch. My next door neighbor B and I would sit on the couch for hours talking about life, boys, relationships, career… but mostly boys. I remember her telling me that when she got married, her father-daughter dance would be to Summer in the City, because as a toddler, she used to dance with her dad to that song. Although we both wanted to get married, it seemed so far away at that point.

Metro Rings complete

The next year, we lived in the same six-person apartment on campus (Emily was also there). When things got stressful, somebody would often turn on Brick House and we’d dance around the apartment. I put both Summer in the City and Brick House on a mixtape I made for everyone at the end of the year; hearing them remind me of the good times we had living together.

Metro Rings

Life went on, we graduated and stayed friends. I moved up to NH for grad school then to Oklahoma and then back to MA for work and B stayed in the Boston area. We exchanged volumes of emails about relationships, weird dates we’d been on, cute guys, and breakups. We danced to Brick House at a couple weddings (including mine; it’s one of my favorite memories). I was really, really happy for her when she started seeing G a couple of years ago. G makes B happy. He brings out her silliness and makes her laugh. They’re complimentary in personality and in living habits. They share a similar outlook on delicious food (but not cheese; B is OK with that).

Metro Rings quilting

They got married last weekend and it was so joyful. I’m so happy that B and G have found each other. I definitely got misty when B and her dad took to the floor to Summer in the City and again while dancing with all my favorite people to Brick House. It felt like a culmination of all those emails, all those times dancing around the apartment, all those years looking for the right person.

Metro Rings
Taken by my friend B

I know you’ve seen a lot of these pictures before but it meant a lot to be able to make something for B and G and their new home. This is one of those projects that had some emotional depth for me, and I’m so proud of the finished quilt. That’s why I’m entering it into this year’s Bloggers Festival of Quilts in the Home Machine category. The festival began on 10/24 at Amy’s Creative Side and voting begins on the 11th of November. Be sure to check out all the categories; there are so many great quilts this year!

AmysCreativeSide.com

Secrets and Flowers

The last few weeks have been slow sewing for me. I’m in the process of a job transition, which is sapping a lot of my after work energy. But hopefully I’ll be back in the saddle shortly!

I’ve been putzing along on Giant (not so) Secret Project. Here’s a quick shot, can you guess what it is?

Secret Project

I also picked out fabric for the Gathering Flowers (pattern by Anna Maria Horner) I’m making for my new niecelet. My Auntie sent room color paint chips and I think the fabric pull mostly matches – I need some more of that nice lime, which is curiously absent from my stash. And maybe some more rosy pinks; most of the pink in my stash has salmon undertones.

Gathering Flowers fabric pull

But it is a start, hey?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Quilted Aeroplane Bag

QAYG Aeroplane

Finished!

QAYG Aeroplane

…Except for stitching up the bottom where I turned the bag right-side-out after everything was sewn. The zipper is a little wonky, but I think it is just fine and functional.

QAYG Aeroplane

QAYG Aeroplane

I found the Aeroplane Bag pattern by Sarah Lawson at Sew Sweetness to be really clear. At a couple of places I wished I had the PDF pattern instead of a paper pattern so I could zoom in on the diagrams, but for the most part, this bag went together quickly and easily. And Juki handled the thick places like a champ, powering through at least 6 layers of fabric and Soft and Stable in places.

QAYG Aeroplane

QAYG Aeroplane

The lining is pink Outfoxed triangles and the pocket is Flea Market Fancy.

QAYG Aeroplane

And I even used it last weekend, packing it up and taking it to a cousin’s wedding in NH. It is the perfect size for a long weekend getaway!

This was my ALOYF goal for October as well as one of my Q4 Finish Along goals!

Reasonable Autumn Goals

Remember my summer Finish Along goals? Remember how I completed… one project? Yeah. They were pretty lofty goals. For Q4, I’m going to try and be reasonable and only goalify things that I really need to get done. Or something like that.

My Q4 Finish Along Goals are:
1. Aeroplane bag
2. Four more Geranium dresses. I’m considering this one goal since I’ll probably make them factory-style.
3. Giant secret Christmas present. It is giant and secret. Sssh.

Something new

4. Metro Medallion needs batting patched together, backing to be worked out and then quilted.
5. Almonds baby quilt needs to be quilted and bound.
6. Fangirl Meadow

The last three are not as pressing goals and I may work on other stuff this quarter – I have a cowl and a sweater on the needles and a HST wedding chuppah to make for my best friend before next May and a baby quilt with pattern but no fabric… But them’s the plans! Linking up with the Finish Along link party at The Littlest Thistle.

Finish Along 2014

Metro Medallion Top

My Metro Medallion top seriously came together so quickly. The blocks themselves are fairly large (13.5 x 16.5) and it felt like I just sat down to sew a few blocks together and suddenly I had the entire top! I love when things work out that way.

Metro Medallion top

I waffled about the corner triangles, especially when I realized that the pattern directions call for cutting left- and right-facing triangles to get the neat diamond shapes and I disregarded all rules of geometry and cut all right triangles. So then I had to go back and cut out the correct triangle shapes.

Metro Medallion diamond

But it looks much nicer this way!

Metro Medallion block

And I managed to fit one entire octopus on one block. Sadly, the other’s tentacles seem to be across some sort of dimensional portal.

Aeroplane Bag

I’ve been drooling over Quilt As You Go (QAYG) bags for a while now. I love the ability to use scraps and bits of favorites and to frame motifs within the larger patchwork. I also need a weekend getaway bag. I’ve been using either a backpack or an open tote bag, which works but isn’t… cute. And with the open tote, has the possibility of tipping over and spilling my clean underwear all over the trunk. So a small, zippered something was needed.

Enter the Aeroplane Bag from Sew Sweetness. I like its domed shape, size, and that it requires no piping. I gathered scraps and quilted them directly on to the Soft and Stable top pieces using Elizabeth Hartman’s technique . I got to use pieces of my favorite lines: a fox here, a raccoon there, an octopus in the corner. Unable to decide on warm or cool colors, I went with all of them, with Kona Shale as the bottom and straps to tone things down.

QAYG Aeroplane Bag panel

So far, I’ve made the top and bottom panels and the straps.

QAYG Aeroplane Bag panel

I’m hoping to have this bag finished by this weekend and have made it my October ALOYF goal! It is also what I’m working on today for WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

A Lovely Year of Finishes