Monday, June 27, 2011

A Birthday Quilt

Last June I bought a full fat quarter set of Nicey Jane prints as an early birthday present for myself. This year's early birthday present is a finished (mostly Nicey Jane) quilt:

Nicey Jane Quilt

It's backed with flannel but has no batting. I wanted a lightweight summer quilt and the combination of flannel and quilting cotton is perfect. Although Ian thinks the front is wimpy (his word to describe pastels), he's excited (as exited as he gets about quilts, which is not really all that excited) to use this quilt on our bed. I usually insist on having a few quilts on the bed at all times and he's been quite annoyed with me now that it's summer. Poor Ian...I think he fears that one day he'll suffocate under a stack of quilts.

Nicey Jane Quilt

This quilt is 60"x90" and is made up of 10" (finished) squares. It's also bound entirely by machine because I wanted it done!

Nicey Jane Quilt

I'm planning to host a birthday barbecue/picnic at my house on Friday night. I can't decide if I'm sad or indifferent about turning 30. Age is just a number so perhaps I'm indifferent... and yet, my 20's were really good to me. I will miss being 20-something. But maybe I'll enjoy being 30-something. I guess I won't know until I give it a try.

Nicey Jane Quilt

Thursday, June 16, 2011

My First Kaleidoscope Block

I stared at my Dream On fabric for a long time Tuesday night. I thought about what I wanted my Kaleidoscope quilt to feel like. Certainly I wanted it to be light and bright and fresh. Like a summer breeze through a laundry line filled with vintage sheets.

I wanted to focus on the orange prints. When I was little, my mom made orangey vintage sheet cushion covers for the loveseat in our backyard. They were huge and puffy and soft and cool in the shade. We spent many a summer afternoon nestled into those cushions, reading books and taking naps and looking up at the sun in the leaves. I even learned to embroider while sitting on those cushions. A quilt that felt like all that would be nice.

I thought about orange for my solid...and yellow and pink. I thought about excluding all the green and blue prints. I added back the green prints..but only the ones with orange in them. I really wanted to do something different, something fun.

And after all that, I decided to go with this:

kaleidoscope quilt block

How predictable, right? In the end, my decision came down to contrast. These fabrics are all medium tones and adding a medium toned solid would hide the beautiful Kaleidoscope pattern. I rarely make fancy quilt blocks, ones that require super careful cutting and sewing on the bias. I feel that if I'm going to put all this work into a fancy quilt, I want the pattern to stand out.

kaleidoscope quilt block

Since I didn't want to use a dark solid, my only choice was to go light. And white is light and crisp and it's my favorite anyway.

Of course, while working with these prints, I came up with all sorts of ideas for more Dream On quilts. I'm pulling together all the solids I wanted to use but didn't...and maybe those will find a home in the next Dream On quilt. Until then, though...I have lots more Kaleidoscope blocks to make!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dream On...

I just saw this beautiful vintage sheet quilt and it reminded me that I really want to make a Dream On quilt this summer. I first saw Dream On last spring but the line didn't come out until fall. I bought a fat quarter pack the very first second I could but when it finally got to my house, I wasn't in a vintage sheet mood. But now I am!

dream on fat quarter bundle

Amy's quilt also reminded me that I've been looking for an excuse to make a Kaleidoscope quilt...and join the Kaleidoscope quilt-along!

I'm going to check out my Dream On stash tonight to see if I can decide on a background color. There are many to choose from...I'm not sure what to do. I'm not officially joining the quilt-along until I can decide...and I might give up the idea entirely if I'm not excited about any of my options. Either way, this is the closest I've come to actually using my Dream On stash and the idea is exciting. I really hope it works out!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Summer of Scraps

While I'm still busy at work, I'm finding more time to sew. A week ago I made a pact with myself to NOT think about work while I'm at home. It was hard at first. Once I was paying attention to my thoughts, it was pretty scary to realize how many revolved around work. If left unchecked, the thought would turn to fretting and I'd feel the ball of anxiety building in my stomach.

But home time is not for fretting or for thinking about work. So I'm not going to do it anymore.

Instead, I'm going to spend time hanging out with Ian and my friends and sewing and eating dinner outside and riding my bike.

scrappy mini quilt

Since I've adopted my "no work at home" policy, my previously muddy brown mind has become bright and cheerful. It makes me want to make bright and cheerful things. Like this bright and cheerful mini quilt:

scrappy mini quilt

I cut the binding from yardage but the rest is made entirely from scraps. Even the batting!

scrappy mini quilt

Sewing together these tiny scraps feels like a metaphor for my life right now. I might not get to choose the shape and size of the pieces in the scrap bin, but it's up to me to decide how to sew them together.

scrappy mini quilt

I hope things are going well for all of you and that you're finding time to enjoy the summer (or that you're staying warm if it's winter where you are). I'll be back next week with more things made from scraps. I can tell it's going to be quite a scrappy summer.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seriously Busy

I'm still seriously busy at work which makes me seriously unhappy. It's also giving me a serious headache. But I can't call in sick to work because if I fall any further behind, I'm seriously going to regret it.

I did get some time to sew this weekend and I hope to show you pictures of my progress next week.

Until then, I have something else to show you...a finished quilt top:

log cabin

I finished this weeks ago but haven't had the time to post it. I'm absolutely in love with it!

log cabin

I feel better just looking at these pictures. The calm olive and teal and navy helps soothe my frazzled nerves. One more crazy day to go and then I'll have two glorious weekend days to recover. I think I can make it...