Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Man Behind the Quilt

I was going to write an entirely different post today but then I stumbled on some pictures that changed my mind.

Today I want to introduce you to the man behind the quilt...my steady beau: Ian.

ian


Ian and I have been together almost 7 years. He knew me before I was a quilter. He stayed with me even after I became a quilter.

Ian is super cool. He's so easygoing which, if I'm being honest here, is probably why he hasn't dumped me yet. He can always be counted on to hold my quilts, even when he knows the conversation will go like this:

"I can see your body, hold it out more."

"Pivot to the left. No! I mean the other left."

"Don't let it touch the ground!"

"That corner is flapping over, hold it out more."

"Pivot to the right. No! The other right."

"That's fine...I guess."

ian

Ian helps me pick out fabrics for quilts sometimes. I usually go with the one he doesn't choose. If I ask "do you like this?" and he says "not really", I know I'm on the right track. He and I are nearly perfect opposites in all things that really don't matter very much. Basically, the three things we agree on are: religion, politics and that David Bowie was awesome in Labyrinth.

Before he moved in with me last year, I joked that we'd stay up all night talking about fabric and quilts and Twilight. And we sort of have. And when I say "we", I mean I talk and he listens...because he's nice like that.

ian


He finds it hard to articulate his thoughts about quilts but this much I know: Ian likes fussy cutting. He dislikes appliqué. If he had a quilt blog, he'd call it: Ain't Misbequiltin'.

Most of all, I just wanted you to know that he has claimed this quilt for his side of the bed:

Nicey Jane Quilt

And this pillowcase:

crochet edge pillowcase

Don't be jealous, ladies!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Practical (But Pretty!) Baby Gift

So, you know I don't have kids. Aside from baby quilts, I have no idea what to give as baby gifts. I wanted to make Ian's sister a ton of baby things but I also wanted them to be useful. Jen came up with a few gift ideas and I decided on cloth diaper burp rags. Because you don't need to have kids to know that babies spit up...and drool...a lot!

embroidered towel

After much research, I bought OsoCozy Birdseye Flat Diapers, both bleached and unbleached. Apparently they're thicker than most cloth diapers...but I'm certainly no expert.

embroidered towel
(My pink marking pencil didn't wash out...sigh...)


I decided to spruce these up by adding rows of pearl cotton running stitches.

embroidered towel

These towels came pre-hemmed so it was easy to bury my starting/ending knots. (A note: the bleached towels were hemmed on all four sides, the unbleached were hemmed on only two.)

embroidered towel

I marked my lines before I started stitching and I didn't use a hoop. The fabric is a bit of a loose weave which made stitching these quick and easy. I think these will be my go-to baby gift from now on...paired with a quilt, of course!

embroidered towel

So, since I know lots of you have kids...was there something that made your life better when your kids were little? Preferably something that someone could make and give as a gift? All of us crafty, non-kid-having people will thank you!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Nicey Olivia

Olivia's second gift for Christmas this year was a quilt...of course!

Olivia's Nicey Jane Quilt

It was inspired by Blue Elephant Stitches 16-patch quilt. I was in London, perusing blogs, as you do, when I saw this quilt. And it was so gorgeous that it was all I could think about! I was all "Ian, look at this quilt!" And he was all "Stop reading blogs, we're in London!" And I was all "I wish I had my sewing machine right now...I wish we could go home right now." And he was all "Oh my god, you're so annoying!"

Olivia's Nicey Jane Quilt

Anyway, I got my chance soon enough. While mine is not as exciting as Jolene's quilt (Come on! Did you see those fabrics?), I think it works alright with Nicey Jane (and friends).

Each block is made up of 16 2" squares and the finished quilt measures a tiny 32" x 40". The back is Sandi Henderson's Farmer's Market Flannel, the Dahlia print in Spring.

Olivia's Nicey Jane Quilt

Olivia lives in California so I skipped the batting. I absolutely love the flannel backing/no batting combination. It makes for a really nice drape...something that's important when wrapping up a bitty baby.

Olivia's Nicey Jane Quilt

What I love most about this quilt are the bright colors all mashed together. It's so busy and colorful. I was originally planning to make Olivia a blue quilt because Heather's favorite color is blue. But then I found out that Olivia (Heather!) loves pink now...so that's what she got.

I have plans to make more tiny square quilts in the near future. I'm currently obsessed with one in particular...but I shouldn't start another new quilt. Right? Of course, maybe just one block wouldn't hurt. Right?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Olivia the Baby

On Halloween this year, Ian's sister had her first baby. Little Olivia is already in love with the band Take That, the Chelsea Lions and the color pink.

Before Christmas this year, Ian's mom asked me to make a stocking for Olivia. Ian and Heather's grandmother made them stockings when they were little and she wanted to keep up the tradition. She doesn't sew and I was flattered that she asked me.

Other than her request that it should maybe be pink and, if possible, incorporate Olivia the Pig fabric, I had free reign.

quilted stocking for Olivia

Having never made a stocking before, I think it turned out pretty darn good. And it was fun to make...little squares are my favorite!

Ian's mom found a great (out of print) stripey Olivia the Pig fabric. I only had one fat quarter so I had to get creative. The cuff for the stocking was one stripe (Ian's idea!):

quilted stocking for Olivia

The words "Olivia" were from another stripe. And then there was this cute cameo stripe:

quilted stocking for Olivia

I added the hand quilting after everything was assembled to make sure the lining didn't shift or pull out. The back is a single piece of blush Boquet Toss from my very favorite fabric line: Ginger Blossom.

back of stocking

If I ever make another stocking, I think I'll skip the batting. There's no batting in the cuff but the rest of the stocking is a little bulky and stiff. But Heather and her mom liked it so that's what counts.

I'm excited to show you the other things I made for Olivia. Stay tuned.