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Quilts For Pulse

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Boston Pride 2016This May we took our family to celebrate Boston Pride. We spent that rainy Saturday afternoon huddled under an umbrella with some of our closest friends, and watched the Pride Parade pass by in a flurry of rainbows, high fives, and hugs. I was reminded of my first march in the Boston Pride Parade back in 1998, and found myself reflecting on the progress that I have been so fortunate to witness.  Admittedly, there is still much progress to be made, but in those hours we celebrated one another. These are just a few of many happy photos that we took on that day.

Boston Pride CollageVery early the next morning, news broke of a massacre in an Orlando night club. We were out of town that day so I didn’t hear the news until late that night. But as the details emerged and the true nature of the crime was revealed, I found myself utterly broken.

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Months have passed since this tragedy, and words still fail me. But, thanks to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild, I was able to put my hands to work in those first raw days and weeks; to be a small part of the change I want to see in the world. I am so very grateful to the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild for organizing the #QuiltsForPulse quilt drive, and for giving me the opportunity to help mend some hearts (including my own!). It has been wonderful to see these rainbow messages of love and support pop-up across the internet.Quilts for Pulse Sew-in

A few friends came for a sew-in at my house, and helped to piece our quilt top. None of them had pieced a quilt block before (let alone paper pieced!), and I am so proud of them for tackling something out of their comfort zone. A special thank you to our husbands who distracted the children while we sewed.  For the quilt label, I included a quote from Lin Manuel Miranda’s Tony’s speech, who I feel said it best:

“And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside… Now fill the world with music, love, and pride.”

quilts-for-pulse-quilt-top-by-stitchifiedThis is one finish that I’m especially proud of. Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts, happy Friday!

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There hasn’t been as much sewing as I would like lately, but I am making progress on my Economy Blocks!

The first forty-nine …

Economy Block WIP by Stitchified

Met up with another nineteen …

Economy Blocks WIP by Stitchified

And I have two dozen more cut and ready for sewing. This is definitely getting out of control.

But I keep finding new favorites that push me to make more. And more!

 Economy Block Favorites by Stitchified

One thing is for sure though — I am in desperate need of a design wall!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

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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!

WIP Wednesday: Fussy Cut Hexagons

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If you had asked me a year ago about sewing together hexagons by hand, I would have laughed… or used some colorful language. Probably both.

Except little hexagons are actually adorable. And fussy cut hexagons are even more adorable. And what a perfectly non-boring way to use scraps… and cutting them up is easy with, say, a Sizzix die-cutter. I mean they practically make themselves, right? Right?

It really is the perfect project for sewing on the go. Two weekends hosting old friends and then a wonderful weekend at a “summer camp themed wedding” took me away from my sewing machine, but my trusty little English paper piecing kit was able to come right along with me. Stitching during a long car ride? Yes. Paper piecing by the lake? Double yes.

In all honesty I started this project months ago, but I’ve never blogged about it. My plan is to make a coordinating pillow for my Good Fortune Quilt and Rainbow Window Pillow. It sure is slow going, but I am making progress. The only problem? It looks great, until I zoom out and see how much more I have left to do!

Ah well.  Slow and steady, right?

Linking up with WIP Wednesdays at Freshly Pieced … because this one is sure to be in progress for quite some time!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
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When I made these quilt-as-you-go panels I wasn’t sure what I would turn them in to.  Now that they are finished I’ve decided to make them into little “Toddler Survival Kits” for Baby Bee’s teachers. I’ll be stuffing them with  sunscreen, hand sanitizer, tissues, and of course, chocolate. Lots of chocolate.
I had a lot of fun making these, especially fussy cutting the little critters to peek out here and there. And as much as I was dreading the zippers, they really weren’t so bad. I especially love the “zip ends” technique I found here from Sew Sweetness. The little zip ends keep things neat and tidy and give the bags a more professional look. See how cute they are?
A few notes on the specs, mostly for my own memory. These little guys started as square 8.5 inch panels, and I finished them by adding box corners to the bottom around the 1 3/4 inch mark. Why those measurements? Because they were handy on my rulers. Heh.
I have to admit that I’m particularly in love with the red and aqua one. Like, so much so that I’m planning a larger quilted tote in the same color scheme… which conveniently doubled as an excuse to add more Aneela Hoey to my stash. I call that a win-win 🙂
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I am fortunate enough to have my daughter enrolled at a fabulous preschool just a few minutes up the road. She spends her days playing *hard* under the watchful eye of four amazing teachers.

In just a few weeks we’ll be moving up at school, but I wanted to give each of her teachers a token of our appreciation. So this week I’m taking a mini-break from my Summer Solstice Quilt, and starting a few “quilt as you go” panels. I haven’t settled on exactly what I’ll be making with them. Pencil bags? Makeup bags? Gift card holders? Yeah, something like that.

This isn’t my first time using the quilt-as-you-go-technique, but I think I’ve improved since my first mis-adventure. I took Tara Rebman‘s “Quilt-As-You-Go-Bags” on Craftsy, and picked up a lot of great tips there. I just love projects like this – lots of improv fabric play, and a great excuse to visit the scrap bin. I’m excited to pull colors for the next two bags!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced 🙂

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced