Friday, January 31, 2014

Giant Snowburst Quilt

For my first finish of 2014, I present to you Giant Snowburst. This quilt started back in 2011 when I was smitten with the fabric line Flurry by Kate Spain. I made several table runners and gift bags from it, but also squirreled away the light blue and green colorways for a quilt, even though I did not have a pattern selected at the time.

Fast-forward to 2013. Canoe Ridge Creations announced a Giant Starburst Quilt Along and I immediately thought of my precious Flurry stash. I pulled it out, and lo and behold, I had more than enough yardage (not to mention precuts and fat quarters). I also had a stack of In From the Cold (also by Kate Spain) on hand for gift bags. After playing around for a bit, I settled on mostly Flurry prints with one coordinating In From the Cold Print. For the solids I used Kona Snow and a Moda Bella solid in a coordinating blue.

In a stroke of luck, the construction instructions were posted just before the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild’s Sew-In and Holiday Party. That day I pressed, cut and sewed all the blocks. (There are only nine of them, but they are large.) Then the holidays were upon us, and I only managed a seam here and a seam there. When the new year came, writing up my Work In Progress Round-Up post inspired me to finish the top and start quilting.

Using blue tape, a hera marker and the seams of the quilt itself as guidelines, I quilted a giant ‘x’ through the middle of the quilt and then echo quilted every half inch. Let me tell you, this kind of quilting takes quite a bit of thread, but it is more than worth it! At 60” by 60”, this quilt is the perfect size for curling up on the couch when it’s too cold to venture outside.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Really Random Thursday: Garment Sewing Edition

Have you heard? Lizzy House is hosting a Catnap Dress Contest! Her newest fabric line is adorable. I usually don’t wear novelty prints, but I just can’t say no to a Catnap dress. The Crepe dress in particular is calling to me. The last two times that I tried to make a Colette pattern, things didn’t turn out so well. I hope that third try’s the charm in this case.

Speaking of Colette Patterns, have you seen their recent Wardrobe Architect series? I may not sit down and complete all the exercises, but I do want to be more thoughtful and intentional about building a handmade wardrobe that fits my style and everyday needs. A very interesting read.

Linking up with Really Random Thursday.

Monday, January 20, 2014

What to Pack for a Quilting Retreat?

I am really looking forward to the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild quilting retreat later this month. They've supplied a handy packing list (can't forget the extension cord!), and I have my own list of must haves (coffee!). However, I'm at a loss as to what projects to pack for my first ever quilting retreat.

The majority of my quilting time is squeezed in around the demands of a full-time job and family time, so I haven't had a weekend just to sew since before my daughter was born. I don't want to pack too much, but neither do I want to find myself with nothing to do before the end of the weekend. I'm hoping to complete my Giant Snowburst quilt before the retreat, so that's probably out. I have fabric set aside for two new baby quilts. All the pieces are cut for one of them. Should I bring both? Should I bring more? Should I iron and cut everything before I leave? Any suggestions for a quilting retreat noob?

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January Quilty Happenings

Greetings, gentle readers. I have a couple events this month that I wanted to share with you:

  • Also during the month of January, my mom has a guest series on Sew, Mama, Sew about the bloggers that inspire her. As she is one of my biggest inspirations, I look forward to learning more about who she is inspired by.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Work in Progress Round-Up and 2014 Goals

New Year’s Day is a perfect opportunity to step back and review current Works in Progress. I was actually quite surprised to realize that my WIP list is down to five items! When I started this blog in 2011, my WIP list hovered around 14-15 projects. It’s quite gratifying to realize that I’ve become much better at finishing projects before I start new ones. As of today, my current WIPs are:

Low Volume Hexagons: I started this project in October 2012, as I needed a portable project to take with me to Sewing Summit. I’ve never settled on a plan for what to do with these hexagons, so I only bring it out when I don’t have access to my sewing machine. So far, I’ve made eight flowers.

Cuzco Improv Quilt: When my mom shared some Cuzco scraps with me, I did not hesitate to just start sewing. However, I’m just not feeling the improv blocks I’ve made so far. I need to figure out a way to salvage what I’ve pieced so far and make something that I actually like.

Leftover 2013 Christmas Gift Bags: Due to the festive rush, I have four Christmas gift bags that I started in 2013 but did not have time to finish yet. At least now I’ll have a head start on this year’s gift bags.

Giant Snowburst Quilt: This quilt was started during the Seattle Modern Quilt Guild’s Holiday Party last month. It has come together super quick, and only needs two more seams before the top is pieced.

Christmas Improv Quilt: One of the gifts I received this Christmas was Sunday Morning Quilts, which inspired me to start a new Candy Coated quilt out of red, green and white scraps. So far, I’ve completed three out of fourteen rows. While I still have many more small scraps to use, I’ve run out of longer strips for the 8” rows, of which there are three. I may need to cut out a few more gift bags in order to generate long enough scraps.

2014 Goals

While I’m not ready to do a complete Fabric Fast as others are doing, I would like to focus on using what I have on hand so that my sewing space doesn’t spread clutter to the rest of the house. I’m fortunate to have a lovely sewing nook to call my own, but it’s currently packed to the gills and I would like more room to breathe creatively. With that in mind, my 2014 sewing goals are:

  • Use my stash. Making Linen Cocktail Napkins out of stashed fabric was quite satisfying. It felt really good to make something quick and cute with materials that I had on hand. I already have fabric for three quilts pulled and set aside, but I will keep an eye out for smaller projects that I can make from my stash.
  • Use my scraps. My scrap basket is overflowing. While I like to have a variety of scraps on hand for my daughter to pretend sew with, I don’t want to have so many that they spill out into the hallway. I have found Sunday Morning Quilts to be incredibly inspiring, and hope to get my scraps under control this year.
  • Keep It Small, Silly. I have found that most of the patterns that I am drawn to are for lap quilts or larger. Most of the time, I don’t need to make another large quilt, but I do anyways because that’s what the pattern calls for. When it makes sense, I’m going to do my best to make baby quilts this year. That way, I can try more patterns that inspire me, while building up a cache of baby quilts to give as gifts.

What are your 2014 sewing goals?

2013 In Review

What a year 2013 has been! Looking back on what I’ve accomplished this year has been very inspiring. Sometimes it’s hard to see what you’re accomplishing when you’re still in the middle of it. All in all, this year I finished:

  • 5 quilts
  • 6 garments
  • 16 small projects
  • 26 gift bags

Here’s to 2014: a brand new year with no mistakes in it yet.


(I’m counting this post as a Fresh Sewing Day post, as the timing is fortuitous.)
Lily's Quilts