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Finished Quilts

2017 Recap

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2017 was a tough one for me. I found myself diving into sewing pretty hard — a necessary escape during these difficult times. I feel exceptionally fortunate to be able to express myself through sewing, and even luckier to use my art to help support the causes I believe so strongly in. All of which seems particularly important in our current cultural political landscape.

Social Action

Here are a few of the social action pieces I worked on this year, I hope to continue this type of work through 2018!

I had the pleasure of refurbishing a couple of vintage machines, including this green Necchi, for NuDay Syria’s “social business” program. My machines joined many others and journeyed to Lebanon and Turkey via container ship. Now they are setup for community use by Syrian refugees. Not only are these amazing women able to generate an income using the machines, but the machines also provide psycho-social support. NuDay Syria recently shared a photo of the machines in use and it brought tears to my eyes — I’m so honored and proud to support these brave and courageous women.

I also dusted off my knitting needles to make a pussyhat wearing doll to benefit Eyes on Refugees‘s auction.The money she helped raised will benefit several refugee families who live in my area — what an amazing organization!

And last, but not least, I made a few Rare Bears for the Rare Science Foundation. I started working with them in early 2016, and it continues to bring me great happiness. This duo of one of a kind handmade bears will go to children living with rare (“one of a kind”) diseases.

Quilts

We also welcomed quite a few new babies into the world this year. Celebrating these births with quilts brought me so much joy. A few minis snuck in to the mix, too. The two matching quilt tops are still works in progress for a pair of twins due in February, hopefully I’ll finish them soon!

Toys

And then there were the toys, oh fabulous the toys. My Etsy Shop had it’s busiest year to date, which is pretty exciting stuff. I’m humbled by the support of the sewing community — thank you for turning one of my passions into a business! These are a few of my favorite makes from my shop.

I also made a few teddy bears (finished just this week!) and fell down a bear-making rabbit hole. Just look at these sweet faces! Expect to see more bears in 2018!

2018 Goals

No recap would be complete without a few goals for the new year. I find myself continuing to struggle with photography and consistency with blogging — so that’s where I’m going to focus my 2018 efforts.

Wishing all of you a merry and bright holiday season and a Happy New Year! Also linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts!

Mini Tula La Passacaglia

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Sometimes I get sucked into the Instagram vortex and drink too much Kool-Aid. Occasionally, I’m able to overcome the urge, but when it came to the La Passacaglia craze I just couldn’t help myself. I mean, seriously, have you seen those fussy cut cogs of perfection?! The fact that my first (and last!) EEP project was sitting abandoned in a drawer didn’t matter — I definitely *HAD* to start this enormous paper piecing project, because obviously, this time it would be different.

So, I started my La Passacaglia quilt in January of 2016 with all the enthusiasm it deserved. I bought new Tula fabric! I invested in new hand sewing needles! I made the center medallion! And that’s where I stopped. I would pick it up every now and again, but mostly it has just sat. And sat.

Sometimes, we have to accept our limitations and move on. As much as I admire and envy the EPP goddesses who walk among us, I’m not meant to be one of them. And so, I made the executive decision to turn my Lapassacaglia into a mini. A mini just for me 🙂

Once I cut myself some slack and stopped pressuring myself, I actually really enjoyed working on my mini version. The colors aren’t what I would have picked if I had known it would turn into a mini, but hey, it’s still Tula-themed and it makes me happy. And now I have a little bit of Tula’s Prince Charming fabric hanging in my sewing room where I can admire it every day. And technically, there’s also a bit of Seed Catalog hanging in my sewing room should one be so inclined to examine the back 😉

Before I appliqued my cog/medallion, I quilted a 10-point star on my quilt sandwich (yay maths!). I pushed my boundaries a bit and used variegated gray thread for the quilting. I was unsure at first, but I really love the end result! Once I had the mini all quilted, I appliqued down my lapassacaglia cog and bound it in Tula Pink’s coral hummingbirds.

This is the first mini I have made for myself, and it looks a little lonely on my wall. I need to make it some friends ASAP 🙂

Linking up with CrazyMomQuilts!

Scrappy Triangle Baby Quilt

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Another one to cross off the quilty bucket list! I’ve wanted to make a triangle quilt for ages, and the fact that I had a stack of adorable orange triangles leftover from this quilt was the perfect excuse to dive right in. I added some navy, deep teal and white-on-white prints from my stash and it became the perfect travel-ready project. Because, yes, I am that person who brings a sewing machine on vacation. 

Can you blame me though? Look at this beautiful room! This is seriously my favorite place in the world. My family owns a lovely house up in Prince Edward Island, Canada and this summer we (finally!) made it back up there — it’s been five years since our last trip! We were joined by my parents and siblings and had the most wonderful time together. If teleportation was an option, I’d be up there every night! 

But I digress. After sewing the triangles into pairs and then quadruplets, I arranged them on my design wall back at home. From there, the quilt top went together quickly, though I gave myself a bit of a free pass on the accuracy. Just don’t look too closely at some of the points! I love that there are a few fussy cut blocks in here, and that there’s no shortage of little critters peaking out here and there. The tanuki are a personal favorite 🙂 

Luckily for me, I had the perfect backing for this quilt already in my stash — aqua owls from Patty Sloniger’s Les Amis line for Michael Miller. I’ve been hoarding it for too long and I’m glad to put it to use. But, it’s the quilting that I love so much about this quilt. I was inspired by argyle and decided to quilt it with diagonal lines right through the triangles. I love the secondary design that it creates. The gentle quilting plus the flannel backing make for a perfectly cozy and cuddly baby quilt. 

This one is being gifted to our dear friends who just had their second child, but first son. He’s just about the cutest thing that ever was, and I can’t wait to see him use it 🙂 

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts. Happy sewing all!

Hipster Rabbit

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Hello hello! I hope everyone enjoyed  a nice break during the last few weeks of summer. 

I think this is one finish where the photos can do most of the talking… meet Hipster Bunny!
The pattern is by Quilt Art Designs. I originally saw this pattern pop-up on Instagram and knew it was a must make for my bunny-loving friend. The designer has so many awesome patterns, so I’m sure this one won’t be my last. I mean, seriously, look at that macaw


This mini was made all from stash, and mostly from scraps. There’s some Kate Spain, Violet Craft, and some text print and pink chicks of unknown origin — a sure sign that it was time to put them into service. I kept the quilting simple with some straight lines and quilting in the ditch.


I’m going to be honest — parting with this one is going to be extra hard. I’ve been planning to make myself a mini-quilt wall, and lusting after mini-quilt swaps on Instagram. Whoops. Hopefully I get to that soon!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday with crazymomquilts. 

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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!