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Finished Quilts

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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!

A Handmade Christmas

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Santa’s elves were especially busy this year. I entered what I lovingly dubbed the “Bonus Round” of Christmas making, and still managed to finish the very last present just before midnight on the 22nd. In previous years I’ve sewed past midnight on Christmas Eve, so I’m marking this year as a solid victory!

Here we have the Christmas toy line up in an early phase, before some of them had to go in the mail:

Handmade Christmas Toys, by Stitchified

The confetti yeti is the long lost twin of a yeti who now lives in California with my cousin. He is made from long shag faux fur and white fleece using the Confetti Yeti pattern. Working with faux fur should be a four letter word, but it’s done so we’ll use a ten letter word instead — Hallelujah!

The velveteen rabbit is for my niece, who is almost two. I’m sending along a copy of Margery Williams’s book as well (you can find my post with my feelings about this wonderful book here). Her bunny is made of cotton velour in fawn and baby pink; with organic cotton sherpa for his tummy and little cotton tail. I hope she loves him!

The little pink haired doll was commissioned by a close family friend for her granddaughter. I only just finalized the pattern for these dolls (based on a pattern by Jill Hamor of Bybido), and I was thrilled to put this together. More about dolls in the New Year!

The grumpy owl pincushion snuck into the Christmas line up, though he’s actually a belated birthday present. Oh, and he is missing his eyebrows in the photo lineup. He is made from Heather Bailey’s “Edgar Owl and Poe” pattern.  I love this pattern! There are a lot of little parts, but it all comes together in a really cool way. This is my third time making an owl, but my first time adding eyebrows. Here he is with his eyebrows, right before he jumped in the mail.

I love him and was very tempted to keep him! He has since joined my good friend MamaPeaches in her craft cave. Happy Birthday, MamaPeaches!

I also made two outfits for my niece’s collection of Monster High Dolls. At my SIL’s request, I tried to make the clothing a little more, um, modest. Not an easy task because because the whole process made me feel like a crotchety old lady saying things like “when I was a kid…”. Haha! The first dress is a sheath dress in yellow. The second dress (below) is a little halter top number with a vintage-inspired full skirt, and a little taffeta under-skirt to help fill out said skirt.The halter dress even accommodates her wings, so yay! Both dresses are fully lined. If anyone is interested in the pattern, please let me know. I didn’t make a formal pattern, but if there’s interest I could put one together.

Halter Dress for Monster High Doll, by Stitchifed

And the last of the toys include three little mice, who are pincushions to a few of my in-laws who are aspiring sewists! The pattern for these came from Love Patchwork and Quilting. Once they have pins in them, they can double as hedgehogs. Here’s an extra picture of the three of them ready for wrapping 🙂

Pincushion Mice, by Stitchified

DoubleGoosed Mini, by Stitchified

I even made a few things that weren’t toys! There’s this lovely mini quilt, which is a wall hanging for my mom’s office. I love this pattern (double goosed by Jeliquilts!) almost as much as I love Cotton + Steel, so it seemed like a good combination. I had a lovely time piecing this one – just some mindless stitching while I watched The Great British Baking Show on my iPad.

OMGMagicDreamCloud, by Stitchified

I also made a very special blanket with Nani Iro and wool batting. I am officially calling this blanket a “OMGMagicDreamCloud Blanket” because it is truly all of those things. If the materials weren’t so very very pricey I would make one for myself (and maybe make it three times as large!). I ordered the fabric way in advance from Japan, and almost panicked when I wasn’t able to find the wool batting online with Amazon Prime. I managed to find a package and get it delivered in time, but it was awfully close! If you’re interested in making your own OMGMagicDreamCloud Blanket, you can find the tutorial here.

 

Coarline Wristlets, by Stitchified

And last, but not least I threw together three Coraline wristlets for my daughter’s Montessori teachers. Swoon patterns are fantastic, though for me, there is always a little bit of a learning curve — I am not a bag maker! These came out just fine, though I did struggle with a wonky zipper on the first one I made. Sometimes it’s good to stretch yourself — I always learn a lot when sewing one of Alicia’s patterns!

 

Quilted Baby Lovey, by Stitchified

Even my oldest daughter got into the holiday making and sewed the baby a new lovey. She pieced the quilt top all by herself (seriously!) and backed it with some minky. I did handle the rotary cutter because she’s not allowed to use that until she’s 21! I also took care of the quilting and put the binding on, but still! Not bad for a freshly minted five year old!

Phew! As you can see, it was a very handmade Christmas over here. I loved making this year’s presents, though I am a little glad that crunch time is over.  Now it’s time to settle in with a nice scotch. Happy Holidays!

Linking up with 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!

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School closed. Bitter cold and a roaring blizzard outside. Entire family stuck at home. Our little family of three was able to survive the cabin fever for a few days, but by day #4 my toddler had HAD it.  Her mood that day was legendary, and then she informed me that her Hello Kitties were “super sick and need(ed) a new quilt to get better.”

Trying to turn the tide, I asked her what the quilt would look like. “Rainbows with triangles” she replied. Bwhaha. I hid any sign of my own excitement lest she change her mind — little did she know that this was the perfect excuse to try out my new Bloc Loc Ruler from Christmas.

I let her rummage through my scraps which were conveniently already strewn across the dining room (thank you economyblockalong). I told her to pick one pink, orange, yellow, turquoise, blue and violet scrap.  Being a fastidious creature, it took her one (blissful!) hour to settle on her final color choices.

I followed the cutting directions that came with my ruler (I have the 2.5″ x 5″ finished one) and cut 12 white squares and 6 colored rectangles. Total cutting time? Less than 10 minutes, even with a toddler’s “help” collecting the trimmings.  We drew diagonal lines across each square together (she held the ruler and tried not to poke out an eye with the pencil), and laid a white square on each rectangle. After we had sewn on the pencil line, I sewed a parallel line on the outside corner so that I could save the HSTs. Then we cut, pressed, sewed, and trimmed everything up with the (fabulous!) ruler.

From there the quilt top pretty much made itself. Hello Kitty Winter Sunshine Quilt by Stitchified

I recycled the dozen half square triangles for the backing, which came out okay. If I had to do it again I would space things a little differently, but focus is tough with a three year old audience.  I quilted it with a serpentine stitch, bound it in white, and hid a special Hello Kitty ribbon in the corner.

Hello Kitty Winter Sunshine Quilt

I’m told that the Hello Kitties have made a full recovery, but there are newly reported illness from other members of the stuffed animal hoard.  Oh, and I was barely allowed to borrow this quilt for photos. More than half of the photos have cute little hands or toes in them 🙂

Hello Kitty Winter Sunshine by Stitchified

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday!

2013 Recap

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I thought it would be fun to look back over my finishes in 2013… and then realized that most of my sewing career took place in 2013. Oh well, it’s still fun to look how far I’ve come!

Finished Quilts Collage 2013

Pictured left to right: Good Fortune Quilt, Seascapes Coin Quilt, Good Fortune Pillow, Hipster baby quilt, Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt, Autumn Tumblers, Pocket Full of Posies Mini Quilt, Summer Solstice Quilt

This year I finished my first twin-sized quilt, and was lucky enough to have it featured in Kate Spain’s newsletter. I think that was my quilty-highlight of the year, and yes, I definitely still dork out when I think back on it.

I made my second coin quilt, and a rainbow jellyroll quilt. There was also a hipster baby quilt, a tumbler quilt, and a throw pillow added in for good measure. The rainbow quilt is still my favorite quilt to date, it is so cheery and happy.

I had fun learning some new FMQ designs, and then dove in to the most difficult thing  I’ve ever made — my Summer Solstice quilt for my sister and brother in law’s wedding. To do that, I learned all about paper piecing, limited myself to solids for the first time, and managed to finish the quilt top *just* before the New Year. That quilt top is the achievement that I’m most proud of this year. I definitely pushed my boundaries, learned a lot, and became a better sewist.

2013 Toys Collage

Pictured left to right: Henrietta Hippo, Momo Hippo, Poppet the wombat, Grammy’s Wombat, Grandma’s Pony, Fred the Dragon, Fenwick the Fox, Pink Elephant (name TBD), and Miss Mousey.

I also started making toys in April of 2013… which lead me to make *a lot* more toys. Honestly, the toy-making got a little out of control. But, hey, all the toys went to good homes where they are loved by children (or in some cases) adults 🙂

And lastly, there were a few miscellaneous projects: an avalanche of zippered pouches, some doll clothes,  a couple drawstring bags, a very special flag, a halloween cloak, and a pair of adorable baby booties. Even though most of these projects were spontaneous, they taught me a lot. Definitely a good way to expand your sewing horizons!

2013 Misc Collage

Pictured left to right: QaYG Zip pouches, simple zipper bags, waldorf dress, drawstring bags, To Boston with Love Project, Wool cloak with velvet-lined hood, and foxy booties.

Phew. Just looking at all of that makes me tired, but no New Year’s post would be complete without new goals. In 2014 I hope to:

  • Learn new piecing techniques (I’m looking at you machine applique!)
  • Learn a new FMQ pattern
  • Quilt the Summer Solstice Stars Quilt AKA my first queen size behemoth (help!)
  • Participate in a Quilt Along
  • Keep improving my photography skills
  • Make more quilts!

How about all of you? What were your most satisfying finishes, and what do you have planned for 2014?

Wishing you a safe and happy New Year!

Linking up!

Year In Review

Lily's Quilts

TGIF Zig Zag Style

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I have been in the zone this week! I was so pleased  with my gift-making progress that I decided to include 120 degree angles on my tumbler quilt. No, I don’t know what I was thinking either. It’s not like the dog will care about the fancy binding!So, I clipped the zig-zaggy edge (technical term) with my sewing shears and went to the trouble of making bias binding. Bias binding is pretty cool stuff once it’s all finished and neatly rolled up, but does anyone make bias binding when they don’t have to? It’s so much more work! And as far as I’m concerned, it’s impossible to convert fabric yardage to “inches of bias binding.” So I generously guesstimated and have some leftovers. Good enough!

Bias Binding for Tumbler Quilt

With my binding in hand I followed Jaybird Quilt’s tutorial, and was pleasantly surprised by how easy it was to sew the binding down to the quilt top. At which point I faced an conundrum: sew the back of the binding on by hand, or use my machine? Now it’s no secret that I like a machine sewn binding, but I couldn’t find any evidence of someone using that technique on a quilt with 120 degree angles. It’s a crazy idea, right? All those angles. All that “catching” the binding on the back. I was almost deterred (hand stitching is lovely, right?), and then I remembered that this quilt is destined for a dog. D-O-G. And I don’t know about you, but my dog is NOT easy on her bedding. Dirty paws aside, dogs burrow and dig in their beds — this thing is going to be abused and washed. Often.

So, I decided to just go for it and rock out a machine sewn binding, crazy angles and all. It is a dog quilt, after all, and the canine recipient is not going to complain about a few missed stitches. I’ll be honest though… I clipped the hell out of the binding. Like I used my entire collection of 80+ Wonder Clips. And I had to carefully wiggle into the convex angles just right.

Clipping Party!

But you know what? It totally worked like a charm, and I did it without missing the binding on the back! Hoorah. Mission complete!

Finished Tumbler Quilt

The only hiccup in this quilt is the photography. The deep dark of New England winter is great for quilting, but horrible for documenting it. It’s dark by 4:00, so these photos were all taken waaay after sundown. I hope to update with some better photos soon. The one above has a certain “cozy winter night vibe” to it, but this one below? Yikes. That is just uuuuugly! No amount of photo editing is going to redeem it, either.

Finished Tumbler

Until then, linking up with Finish It Up Friday! Happy Friday everyone, and good luck with your holiday projects.

Edit: Well it won’t be winning any awards, but I managed to sneak out this morning when there was a brief break in the snow clouds. Updated photo below!

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Blogger’s Quilt Festival

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AmysCreativeSide.com

I thought it would be a lot of fun to share a quilt for the 2013 Blogger’s Quilt Festival! If you’re visiting from the festival, welcome! I hope you enjoy your visit.

I made this quilt top right after mother-nature dropped an amazing 30″ of snow outside my window. I based  my design on the “Strip and Flip” pattern over at Cluck, Cluck, Sew. I used a jelly-roll of Simply Color by V&Co for Moda, and carefully arranged the strips to create a rainbow gradient that transitioned well between darks and lights. Once I had everything laid out the top came together quickly, and the piecing provided some much needed color therapy.

Inspired by the blizzard, I backed this one in the coziest white flannel.  And to keep it perfectly soft I quilted it with a serpentine stitch. It washed up so soft and fluffy, perfect for cuddling under during a monster nor’easter.

As it turns out, this quilt is still with me even though I finished it a few weeks ago. It will be leaving for its new home soon, but I was able to snap a few refreshed photos today. I think it’s just as cheery in early spring as it was in late winter. 🙂

Quilt Stats:
Size: A nice lap quilt, 52″ x 75″
Pieced and Quilted by: Me! on my Janome Horizon.
Best Category: ROYGBIV

I hope you enjoy the rest of the Blogger’s Quilt Festival and thank you so much for visiting!

Hipster Baby Quilt

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This baby quilt was the perfect re-entry into quilting.  I had a lot of fun planning it, though I’ll admit to obsessing over the fabric selections. I wanted something whimsical with a nod to music, but not too girly. After spending hours on etsy I found a few great Japanese linens… shipping from China. I was nervous about the wait time, but they got here just in time. I scattered the little vignettes through out the quilt, and used geometric prints in black, creams and red to balance out the rest.

There are a lot of stash builders in here too, including: Sweetwater’s Mama Said Sew, several prints from Zen Chic’s Comma, Chicken Wire from Oink A Doodle Moo, Timeless Treasure’s Sketch, and American Jane’s Pezzy Prints. I’m happy to say that I have leftovers of most 🙂

I also tried out a scrappy binding for the first time. I really love how it keeps your eye moving around the quilt, and it is extra cute all rolled up:

This one is straight line quilted, and backed in flannel. And it is crib size, 36″ x 54″.  I gave the parents-to-be the quilt this morning at their baby shower, and they were so appreciative. I wasn’t expecting it to be such a hit, but it really made my day!