pieces of my day and snapshots of my quilts

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Zigzag, baby

Finally, another quilt to show you! I must say this has got to be one of my favorites. I made two zigzag quilts - a baby boy and a baby girl quilt. Today I am showing you the girl one....

So sweet, if I do say so myself! I use crazy mom quilts' zigzag tutorial - it is such an easy and fast way to piece these zigzags.

Once again, I used tons of my favorite color - white! Does that count as a color? When my kids ask me what my favorite color is and I reply "white", they always seem a little frustrated. The binding is a large print that doesn't do itself justice as a binding, but the colors were too perfect to use anything else.

I threw the scraps from the front into a spare piece of fabric I had for the backing. I'm finding more and more that I don't feel like putting a whole lot of work into the backing after the front.... Simple is my mantra.

This quilt went to one of my friends who just had a baby girl. It was pure selfish motive that made me give this quilt to her - I want to see this quilt occasionally so I didn't want to sell it and not have that opportunity :)

I have a few more quilts to show you in the coming days. I've been doing some work for my husband's business lately and that has eaten into my blogging and quilting time... but there is still more to see... so stay posted!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Learn as you go

I am still trying to figure out how to make a proper set of coasters. They should be a quick project for me, but I keep stumbling on the finished edge. Binding such a small object has proven to be much more frustrating than it is worth, with the binding taking me longer then all the rest of the project. On my last set that I made, I attemped something a little different. Let me show you from the beginning:

I reached deep into my scrap bin and pulled out some coordinating scraps. I put them together with as little rhyme or reason as possible. I was trying my hand at improv piecing.....

After the scraps were together, I made the quilt sandwich and traced some appropriate sized circles for the finished size of the coasters.

I quilted in those circles, then cut them out. See? Almost done.....

Then a tightly zigzagged the edges to finish them. I could have done it even tighter. If you have a serger and know how to use it, it would be very handy in this last step (I have a serger, but the tension never seems to be right; it intimidates me). Et voila, a set of mug rugs.

I would love to have a beautifully binded edge... but am thinking that may be beyond my realm, and I hope this could be good enough. Thoughts?
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Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day 2011

I always plan to put so much effort into this day... decorating for the kids, baking sugar cookies with them, making beautiful handmade valentines... picking out just the perfect gift for the love of my life... and somehow, the day sneaks up on me and I am left scrambling. Well, this year is like every other. But I am trying to embrace it - for this is who I am! We did manage to make our valentines this year, but I wouldn't call them beautiful... hence, no picture for you!

The three oldest were to wear red, pink, and white for school today. The youngest felt the need to participate as well. Fabric polka-dots were added to supplement a basic wardrobe:

Such well behaved children.... sigh..... :)

Somebody is going to be excited about their Valentine's gift this year:

A custom set of pillowcases for a special lady - ordered by her wise husband (good job, Jeff!!)

Remember those half-square triangles I showed you last week? Here they are in the quilt top (loose strings and all).

The colors are quite a bit darker than they looked in the sneak peek last week, and I think it's gonna be gorgeous when done!

Instead of going out for Valentine's Day this year, we are having a feast at home with the kids (and then putting them to bed for some time by ourselves). I had to plan out a vegetarian feast to accomodate my husband's diet. How's this:

Appetizer: Bruschetta, Roasted Garlic on crackers

Salad: Avocado Caesar Salad

Main Course: Stuffed Manicotti, Homemade Foccacia, and some random vegetable.....

Dessert: White Chocolate Creme Brulee and.....

Yummy, right? I don't think that we are suffering too much by cutting out the meat.

How are you celebrating Love Day?

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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Grade school math...

Usually quilting doesn't hurt my head. The measurements are super easy for me to figure out - since I piece everything with a 1/4" seam, I have to add 1/2" length and width to each piece's finished size. Easy peasey. That is, until I decided to try out half square triangles.

I know I learned how do do this all in grade something or other - sine, cosine, and hypotenuse (I had to look up that last one to remember it.... sad, I know). Can I recall any of it now? Nooooo. I was also too lazy to look up the directions for these quilting blocks..... :-)

But this quilt is only planned to be a baby quilt, so I started with 5" squares, and I figure I'll end up with somewhere in the vicinity of 4" squares after I've made them into the half square triangles. Good enough for me.

There they are. I supposed I could go measure them right now, before even posting this. But I'm not going to. Isn't the suspense just killing you? What size are they actually? Oooooooo.....
In other news - my little girl had to go to a double birthday party and I whipped up these - aprons for both little girls. Pretty cute and speedy!

I'm not going to make aprons for you, though - nope. If you want cute aprons for your kid (or yourself!), you must go here. Check out Lemonade Handmade - best.... aprons..... ever. (That's right Christine, I heard you referred someone to me... you rock!!)
That's all for now! More soon.....

Thursday, February 3, 2011

The story, as promised...

I promised a story about this quilt for my sweet niece.

It was just over a year ago, January 12, 2010, that an earthquake rocked Haiti. It took an agonizing two weeks for two little sisters to finally be allowed to leave Haiti and join my sister (in-law) and brother (i-l)'s family that were anxiously waiting for them here in Canada. I have marvelled many times at how such beauty can come out of such desperate pain.

As a person looking in, the family has adjusted so well, and I am so proud and happy to have these girls, and their brothers and sister, as my nieces and nephews. Adyne, my sister-in-law, has exemplified unconditional love and has shown an extreme amount of patience (Chris, my brother-in-law, has as well, but as a mother I notice it in Adyne sooner :) ).

Adyne requested a quilt for the baby's new "big girl" bed, and here is what resulted. I love the texture on the white that has been added by row after row of straight line quilting - a feature which you cannot see in these pictures. Poor you. It's beautiful :)

The colors are so perfect for a little girl's room - so bright and hopeful, just like these sweet princess' futures. Love you, Bell family....

Chris and Adyne did a few interviews, but the only video I can find of them is here, from a year ago.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Rugs for mugs...

I didn't want to post this picture earlier... and it still may even be too soon.... but this is the "little something" that Lindsay won in the recent giveaway (along with all my reject fabric). I had been wanting to make some mug rugs, and this was the perfect excuse to whip some up.

Truthfully.... I don't know if they were worth it. If Lindsay hadn't already been a real life friend, I might not have sent them to her. Granted I was trying to hurry while making them, but I don't feel like they are a true representation of my sewing/quilting abilities. Obviously, I put one of the nicer looking ones on top of the pile, but take my word for it - some of them are a little wonky. Perhaps it's because I'm not used to working in a smaller scale.

Isn't that a cute box behind them? We recently turned our playroom/sewing room into an office/sewing room (not sure whether I should be happy or sad that my kids are of the age that we don't need a room dedicated to toys anymore) and I made a few purchases to beautify my sewing area. It still could use a lot more, but I first need to sell more quilts... hint, hint.... ;)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Winner....

Wasn't that just awful of me, making you wait in the dark for a full day before I posted the winner. I know, I'm an awful person.

The winner is (by completely random choice of my son)..... Lindsay! She said:

I love your blog kendra....I can hear you talking while you type. LOL! I'd love your throw away fabric! I've recently started sewing a whole lot of doll clothes and little pieces are perfect because I HATE cutting anything longer than a m. (bad I know). As a side note. For my scraps I use a see through shoe organizer on the back of my door. It works great. I can organize straps by colour just by shoving them in. Best of both worlds. ~Lindsay

Congratulations, Lindsay! You didn't tell me what colors you like, but I think I might know.... or you can drop me a quick note. I will have these scraps off to you very soon! (I need your address - can you fb me?) And thank you for the scraps tip. I love that idea!

Nothing much has been happening on my sewing machine lately - I've started doing some random jobs for my husband's business which has taken up some sewing time. But, I did order another 40 yd bolt of batting, which means I'm committed to do something.... soon.... or risk the wrath of a certain wonderful man (the wrath part was a joke). Maybe one of you could send me threatening messages dealing with the lack of quilting and then I would start again....