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Baby quilt

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There’s only one thing better than secret sewing, and that’s secret sewing for Quilty BFFs! My Quilty BFF, MamaPeaches, is just the best. Not only is she fabulously talented, but she *knows* that I needed that purple Kenmore and that extra bundle of Heather Ross. She also had the cutest little boy late last year — his cheeks could slay anybody. So, what do you make for your Quilty BFF and her son? Answer: Something crazy. Something awesome. Something that could only be fully appreciated by a fellow quilter. 

Enter this quilt. This crazy quilt full of 8 matched points and 324 paper pieced triangles. The pattern is Grandma’s Surprise, though it’s really just an amped up kaleidoscope quilt. And because it’s for MamaPeaches, I broke into the bundle of Carolyn Friedlander’s Botanics that I’ve been hoarding for years <3. I really hope it fits the bill!

Organization and time were definitely key to the piecing on this one. I made myself a colorized key and kept the WIP up on my design wall so I could keep track. It seriously took over my design wall for more than a year. I worked on it steadily and secretly for a year, but never rushed. I get imprecise when I rush, and there wasn’t a lot of room for error!

Against my better judgement, I picked the most fantastical of dark tangerines with tomato-red glitter stars for the backing. I love the color drama it created, except somehow I missed photographing it! Originally I planned to quilt this one with stipples, but I had to revert to 1/2″ straight-line quilting to compensate for the orange bobbin thread and white top thread. No amount of bobbin fiddling was going to get the tension right for FMQ. In the end, I’m happy with how the quilting fades into the background and lets the piecing shine 🙂

The backing is all the pop of color that this one needs, though you’ll just have to take my word for it (sorry again!). It’s framed with a simple charcoal gray binding.

Truth be told, this little quilt has been living in my sewing room for months. I’m terrible about getting to the post-office. Sorry Mama Peaches. I’m happy to report that it’s been gifted at long last, welcome to the world little Peaches!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and Finish it Up Friday. Happy sewing!

Rainbow Unicorn Goodness

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I’m going to let you all in on a little secret… I grew up with the real life Mary Poppins. It’s true! And yes, she’s just as wonderous and fantastical as you might think — I’m so fortunate to count her and her husband among my nearest and dearest friends.

So, you can imagine my excitement when I learned that they were expecting their first child. I cried happy tears, and then I got to work because this child needed the most amazing of quilts. Requirements included whimsy and rainbows. All the rainbows.

I plotted. I toiled. I stressed. I had a whole secret pinterest board dedicated to ideas. Seven months went by, but none of my designs really stuck with me. And then! It finally hit me — rainbow unicorn! BECAUSE OF COURSE RAINBOW UNICORN. Luckily for me, Kristy at QuietPlay had the perfect pattern.

In the flurry of sewing that followed, I choose a dark charcoal gray for the body, and the brightest of rainbows for the mane and tail. I also pulled two metallic fabrics for maximum sparkle: The background print is Whisper Stars from LizzyHouse (swoon!), and a silver Cotton + Steel for the hooves and horn.

I knew I needed to expand the 25″ unicorn block, but I was afraid to mess with its awesomeness.  I don’t like traditional quilt borders, and floating a 25″ square in a crib sized quilt created a vast expanse of negative space.  It stared me down from the design wall for at least two more weeks while I obsessed over a solution. In the end, I decided to offset the square with a few flying geese and a square in a square block. I added the extra flourish on just two corners, and I’m pretty pleased with the effect.

In the negative space, I quilted some wavy shapes that are somewhat similar to a topographical map. The unicorn’s fur is FMQ stippling, and the flying geese are hand-quilted in matching floss. The quilt is backed in a soft squishy flannel, and bound in dark charcoal.

I’m happy to report that the quilt has been put to work. Tummy time and childhood memories, here we come! 🙂

Linking up with CrazyMomQuilts, happy sewing!

 

Herringbone Quilt

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Herringbone Quilt, by StitchfiedWell, this one took a lot longer than expected! I started this one back in March (!!!), and the recipient is now over a year old. So, yeah, I’m running way way behind on baby quilts.

I designed this quilt to use up a jellyroll that I had leftover from my niece’s quilt. I cut 7.5″ x 2.5″ strips, and (over cut ) 7.5″ x 1.25″ strips of white, and combined them in a herringbone pattern. I squared up after each white strip, so that the white strips finished at a half inch. All the squaring up helped to keep things straight(er), but made for slow piecing… and some unintended exercise! Sit to stitch, stand to press, walk to cutting table to trim, repeat.

I had every intention of quilting this one on my vintage machines, but I just couldn’t get the lines straight enough. I tried a walking foot and one of several vintage quilting feet, but they really couldn’t compete with my Janome’s Accufeed. Some day I hope to master quilting on a vintage machine, but in the meantime, I’m very glad that I have my Janome as backup. If you have any tips for quilting on a VSM, I would love to hear them!

Happy sewing!

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Squee! I have so many projects that I’m excited to be working on, and it’s causing me to bounce back and forth between things (read: not making good headway anywhere!). It’s not the most efficient way to work, but I’m having too much fun to care.

A photo posted by Jen (@stitchified) on

After launching my Etsy Shop, I decided to get back to some neglected projects. Project #1? A long overdue baby quilt for my friend’s daughter. I’m so embarrassed that this “welcome to the world” gift is quickly turning into a “Happy Birthday” present. I designed this herrringbone pattern to use up  the scraps from my partial lonestar burst quilt, though it’s taken a lot longer than planned.  In hopes of making some headway, I brought this project to MamaPeaches’ house last weekend for a mama play date. Best.time.ever. Fabulous friends + simple piecing + featherweight + her gorgeous sewing cave is pretty much my new definition of heaven.

This baby quilt will (hopefully!) be my first quilt that is done entirely on vintage machines — so far all the piecing has been completed on my Featherweight or on my fabulous vintage Brother. I just adore the vintage machines and find myself choosing them over my big Janome more and more.   

Economy Blocks WIP, by Stitchified

I’ve also been working on a layout for my Economy Blocks. This project was started during a trying time, and I added a block to it (almost!) every day throughout the ordeal. Just looking at the blocks is a powerful reminder of both me and my family’s journey over the last two years. I just need to bring myself to add another 100 blocks so that it’s queen size!

And lastly, I started restoring this amazing White Vibrating Shuttle III treadle machine that my stepmother picked up for me last summer.

A photo posted by Jen (@stitchified) on

At just $5, this thing was a total steal, but it’s been my most difficult restoration yet. It was missing the vibrating shuttle and bobbin, and tracking down replacements has taken months of dedicated internet sleuthing. I was able to find a shuttle stamped “White” on Etsy that looked like the drawings of VSIII shuttles, and took a chance — thankfully it fits perfectly. Then, after spending hours (and hours!) looking at photos on eBay, I snagged a single White long bobbin. (Dorky restoration note: Unlike Singer long bobbins, White long bobbins have a hollow core, which makes them distinct enough to pick out of a lineup of say, a hundred ebay listings.)

Finding the missing parts gave me the push I needed to start cleaning the machine. I’m pretty sure she was sitting in a barn for a significant portion of the last 125 years — there was a lot of straw hidden in the cabinet and the whole thing is FILTHY. I’ve only just begun to remove the grime, but I’m making good progress. It’s so gratifying to shine her up.

I put together a little demo of the process, but first a quick before picture of the area I was working on:

A photo posted by Jen (@stitchified) on

And a super gratifying video showing the grime coming off (not shown the 10 minutes I scrubbed the area with Qtips!):

A video posted by Jen (@stitchified) on

And a shot of what I’ve done so far on the backside:

White VS((( restoration, by Stitchified

Yeaaah, I still have a long way to go. And I still need to tackle her moving parts… and then there’s the cabinet. Oh, the sad dried out cabinet. She’s been around for around 120 years (last patent date is 1890!), so I figure she can wait a few more months for a proper restoration job. 🙂

Oh, and for those interested, I do have a few new additions in the works for the Etsy shop.  I’ll announce the postings on IG if you want to follow me there.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!  Eek, I didn’t realize that WIP Wednesday is on a two month break. Linking up with some new link parties and looking forward to visiting some new friends and their blogs!

 

and Handmade Tuesdays

Playing catch up

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Hello hello, my poor neglected blog! It’s been too long and I have so much to catch up on! I’ve had a very busy and productive couple months, even if I wasn’t able to keep up with it here on the blog. I did manage to take some pictures along the way though, so for this week’s Finish It Up Friday let’s do a quick recap… let’s see…

Birthday presents were made. Yes, that is totally a guinea pig in purple faux fur. Because, why not? I’m happy to report that he delighted my 8 year old niece.

Guinea Pig, by Stitchified

Late baby quilts were finished for our newest (and last!) addition. This one went right from the dryer on to the baby, so all my pictures are of it in use. Oh well, who doesn’t love chunky babies on their quilts?

Flying Geese Quilt, by Stitchified

My best friend from college welcomed an adorable little boy, and I made my first ever baby quilt for a boy! I’ve been hoarding these fabrics from Birch Fabrics for years now, and I was so glad to put them to good use. I’m particularly proud of the quilting on this one, check out those tiny quilted stars!

Boy Baby Quilt, by Stitchified

And there was this character, who my youngest cousin is entirely smitten with. Actually, I am too. He is now affectionately known as “cousin Melvin.” He was finished in the car enroute to his new home, so please excuse the odd background, haha!

A new pincushion was made… and then my oldest designed a stuffed animal version (pictured right). She had a blast, and those color choices? Hilariously awesome. Plus, that face is pretty priceless 🙂

Owl Pincushions, by Stitchified

Another good friend welcomed a baby girl, which was the perfect excuse to use some scraps. You know you love someone (and their child) when you dip into your Heather Ross stash!

HST quilt, by Stitchified

Phew, ok, I think those are all my major makes. Feels good to get caught up, thank you!

I also have some fantastic news to share, though I’m going to hold on to it for a bit longer. It will help encourage me to get back into the blogging habit. Update to follow!

Happy Sewing!

Baby’s First Dorm Quilt

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I am so behind on blogging! Thankfully, I’m a little less behind on sewing. Apologies to those who might have seen this quilt top on Instagram, or in Cotton +Steel’s newsletter, like, um, weeks ago.

Baby Hexagon Quilt, by Stitchified

This quilt is for my new baby girl, who is due in just a few short weeks (ahh!). In retrospect, it’s more adult than I intended. I’ve affectionately dubbed it “Baby’s first dorm quilt.”  (And I’ll admit that I have started piecing a second more delicately feminine baby quilt. Babies deserve many quilts, right?).

The quilt features many of my favorite prints from Cotton+Steel’s new collections, which are just gorgeous. I really love everything about their spring collection, but my favorite thing is how easy it is to mix and match between lines.  I started with a Mustang layer cake, and mixed in a few prints from their basics lines and the butterflies from MoonLit. And did I mention it’s shiny? Yay for metallics!

To make the quilt top I used my Hex N’ More ruler and the #delightquilt pattern by JaybirdQuilts. I’ve had the ruler for awhile, but this was my first time using it. It really made cutting and piecing a breeze — no partial or Y-seams! will definitely be using it more often!

Quilt top detail, by stitchified

This is also the first time I’ve pieced on  my featherweight when accuracy counted… which means that my points are far from perfect. It wasn’t easy for me to let the imperfections slide, but I forced myself to let it go.  Practice makes pefect, right?

Next up. quilting and binding before this baby shows up!

Linking up with CrazyMomQuilts and Finish It Up Friday!

Partial Lonestar Baby Quilt

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Partial Lonestar
I did it!  I’m still fighting my way through this pregnancy sickness (HG is nobody’s friend), but I’ve been determined to sew. It’s a sanity thing. The days are tough to get through, but I’ve been chipping away at my niece’s baby quilt nonetheless. Finally finishing is so rewarding and feels amazingly life affirming.

This quilt has been on my quilty bucket list ever since I saw Better Off Thread’s version 
here. I absolutely love the modern twist she gave the traditional lone star by turning it (literally!) on it’s side, and slicing it in half. I decided to leave well enough alone and didn’t change much on my version.

You can find a great tutorial for the lone star on here site 
here, though it doesn’t include instructions for (in)setting the star in the background — which I found a little tricky.  You can see my seam lines in the quilt top below if you’re curious. Granted, I (greatly!) complicated things by skimping on yardage, so I had to carefully combine what I had to cover the shortage. A quick word of the wise on the offset star though — you’ll need a lot of bias cuts to make it work, so expect a stretchy quilt top.

Partial Lonestar top, by stitchified

Because the quilt top was so stretchy (and because I was too scared to attempt a new FMQ design!) I decided to keep things simple with the quilting. I stitched in the ditch inside the star, and then quilted 1″ lines radiating out of the star. I love how the diamonds in the negative space echo the piecing in the star.  I’m pretty pleased with how the quilting came out, even if those bias edges caused me a lot of heartburn. If I make another bias-tastic quilt, I might be a little more generous with my basting.  Oh, and though you can barely tell they are there, I added a few lines of hot pink contrasting thread to the quilting. Love it!
The quilt is backed in a navy polka dot, and bound in a cheery white and pink polka dot.

Partial Lonestar -- backing (by Stitchified)

I even managed to take this one out for a real photo shoot! It came with us to our CSA where I found a nice spot in the shade of the old silo. Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get many good shots because it was a crazy windy (Hurricane Arthur had only just cleared out). What I did get were a few hilarious outtakes, which at least show off the background I was *attempting* to capture. Better luck next time, quilt team 🙂

Outtake, by stitchified

Linking up with CrazyMom and Finish it Up Friday!

Spring catch up!

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Yikes! Sorry for the radio silence over here.

In a lovely ironic twist, the very thing that got me started on my sewing adventure is now causing me to take a forced break. Yes, that’s right…  I’m very happy to announce that we are expecting baby #2 this November.  And while I’m eager to welcome this baby into the world, I’ll be equally excited to wave goodbye to the non-stop puke fest that is my life right now. Seriously, this pregnancy has not been easy on Mama.

I have been chipping away at a few projects, but I don’t have much to show for it… and you’ll have to excuse the lazy iPhone photos.

There is this new quilt top in the works for my brother’s new baby girl. I’m going to do this as a half-lone star with a grass-green background. Can I also say that I just *love* Vanessa’s Color Me Happy line?

LoneStar Quilt WIP by StitchifiedAnd I managed to sew up a Sew Together Bag for my hexie EPP projects. Phew. That was a tough project, but it’s such a great finished bag. I’m not entirely pleased with how the hexies got cut off on the outside, but I had to cover a bad mis-measurement. Whoops!

SewTogetherBag by Stitchified

SewTogetherBag by Stitchified

Otherwise, how about a few shamelessly adorable photos from our CSA? Maybe it’s the hormones, but I love the Daddy goat with his baby.

Daddy Goat and Baby

And a tamworth piglet, too:

Tamworth PigletThat’s all I have for now. I suspect the next couple of months will be quiet around here, but I look forward to crafting again and returning to this space. In the meantime, happy sewing to all of you 🙂

Hallelujah! It.is.done!

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I know I’ve said it before, but oye vey! I have not enjoyed this quilt top! Thanks to all your advice and encouragement (and a little #selfishsewing project — more on that later in the week!) I was able to to get it finished. But now it’s done. Done. Done. Done! These elephants are literally made of four letter words — Good riddance little elephants!

Despite the hellish applique project that I brought upon myself, I’m so happy with how it came out.

I’m going to put it away for a week or so while I figure out how to quilt the darn thing. There is a *lot* of negative space, and I’m sort of at a loss. I spotted this paper pantograph called “Animal Crackers.” It looks, um, challenging. And I’m not sure what to make of the whole paper pantograph thing either. So, yes, I need to let things percolate before I figure out where I’m going next.

Which means, right now I’m all about celebrating the quilt top finish. Woohoo! And one last photo to commemorate the finish 🙂

Elephants On Parade WIP, by Stitchified

Happy Sewing!

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(Why yes, I *am* still procrastinating about my economy blocks. Shhh! Moving on!)

I wish I could take credit for the idea behind my latest WIP, but I totally can’t. But first, a little back story… my husband’s cousin is expecting her first child in April. She designed a beautiful elephant-themed nursery on Pinterest, which among other things features Zoology by Michael Miller. Not that I was stalking her or anything 😉

I was feeling a little intimidated/uninspired since I’ve never designed a quilt with so much (unconscious) input from another person. Let’s be honest, usually I just decide what I want to make for someone and then I do it. Hehe! So, I scanned the internet hoping for inspiration to strike and stumbled upon this amazing quilt entitled “Dare to be Different” by Grapes and Hearts.  Once I saw her gorgeous patchwork elephant, I knew exactly what to do! Except I’ve never appliqued. No time like the present, right?

To start, I chose an elephant silhouette from a free-to-use clipart site (legit licenses comfort my inner legal geek). In keeping with the nursery’s color scheme, I limited myself to the colors in the Zoology print: pale gold, light blue, white, and two grey tones. After I pulled my fabric, I applied my Heat N’Bond to my fabrics and cut out my little elephants. Yield six happy elephants!

It wasn’t until  I tried to adhere the elephants to my background fabric that I ran into some serious trouble with the Heat N’ Bond. For some reason, it didn’t take well. The patchwork elephant was especially disastrous — look at his poor little feet swaying in the breeze! I ended up breaking out my perma-gluestick and sort of winging it with the applique.

Layout: Elephants on Parade!

I’m several applique sessions in to the quilt top, and I’m only half way there. Sort of a bad time to realize that applique isn’t my thing, huh?

Elephants On Parade WIP

So that’s what I’m (stuck!) working on this week. If anyone can share a pro-tip to help me through the last couple elephants, I would be *hugely* appreciative!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced and WIP Wednesday!

Edit to add: I have the nicest readers, thank you for your advice and encouragement! Several of you graciously pointed out that it was unclear what type of applique this was — eek! I should know better than to mix late nights and cold medicine with blogging! So, to clarify… Yes, this is definitely raw edge applique. And, yes, I was extra silly and choose to combine a satin stitch (I thought it might hold up better?) with a pretty detailed silhouette (what can I say, it was pretty!). In retrospect, that was both overly ambitious and a total rookie mistake. But on the plus side, I won’t swear off all future applique… at least not quite yet!

And here’s a little detail shot so you can experience my horror second hand. 🙂 

Elephants on Parade WIP, by Stitchified