Monday, October 29, 2012

A Tale of two Quilt Tops

If you are looking for my Bloggers Quilt Festival post- it is here.

The last few weeks I haven't felt like I was making a big dent in my to-sew list. But, this weekend was VERY productive. I finished two quilt tops, one quilt back and am halfway done with a messenger bag. Kim and I crafted all day Saturday and Sunday. We may have annoyed my hubs a tad but he is a great sport. Plus we made him pumpkin scones.

Look at this plate. There's so much Fall in this picture its ridiculous. Be jealous.

Okay onto the quilt tops. Spinning stars {and geese} and a new quilt Sakura are both done. I will talk about each individually and then have a side by side comparison.


This quilt is called Sakura, which means cherry blossom in Japanese. I used a Matsuri fat quarter bundle and some coordinating solids from connecting threads. The Matsuri is a cotton lawn so it is super soft and silky like voile. I had the perfect solids in my stash for this quilt, how often does that happen! The pattern is cherry pie from Tula Pink. This pattern was showcased on Sew Sweetness's Tula Pink SAL. I wasn't going to do the SAL until I saw this post. Damn you/thank you for the distraction! I think I can get this finished before the SAL is over.

Here's a close up of one of the blocks. Probably need to iron this a bit :)

Spinning Stars {and Geese}
Spinning stars (and geese)
This top is made from lots of different fabrics from my stash. The center triangles are made with some Tula, a habitat print, domestic bliss and an art gallery print. Probably something else in there too. The solid octagons are either Oakshott cottons (blue, purple, olive) and connecting threads solids and mirages. The stars are  domestic bliss, flea market fancy and two connecting thread prints (the honeycomb and blue dot fabs).

This is what I had to deal with when piecing the top. Yeah I need a design wall like woah.

close up of the blocks
This is a representative block. I love the way the olive Oakshott adds some sophistication to this quilt top.  The quilt is for my youngest sister (she is 7). I wanted it to not be too "kiddy" something she can use for years to come.

spinning geese
I love all the spinning star quilts in the flickr group but from the get go I wanted to do something a little different. I chose to switch out one of the blocks with a circle of geese block. I am really happy the way it turned out. It looks like it is floating on the background stars.

So in summary...

Sakura - Finished the entire thing in one day
Spinning stars - I averaged about one block a day and it took over a month

Sakura- No seams needed to match up!
Spinning stars- EVERY seam needed to meet up

Sakura- not much thought required
Spinning stars- every brain cell was used

I love them both and it was so satisfying to piece the Sakura after the spinning stars. Linking up with A quilt story Fabric Tuesdays and WIP Wednesdays with Lee at Freshly Pieced.

Blogger's quilt festival - Happy Christmas Trees

Whew I am way behind in my posting. Here is my post for the blogger's quilt festival. I am participating for the first time, better late than never!

Amy's Creative Side

I decided to enter my Happy Christmas Trees lap quilt

Christmas in July lap quilt

Happy Christmas Trees #428

Finished quilt measures : 40″x 60″
Special techniques used : just plain ole piecing and trimming (lots of trimming)
Quilted by : me on my dinky home machine

Best Category : favorite throw quilt

It was made from a fat quarter bundle I got at Quiltology in Chicago in June. I paired it with red, green and a few different cream solids. I used different sized triangles and made rectangular blocks using the solids. The border is pieced from more triangles (no solids) framed with more cream strips.

I did free motion quilting in a figure 8 design across each row.  Here is a close up of the binding (from Joann's) and the quilting.
Christmas in July lap quilt

The back was made with scraps of the remaining prints in a panel down the center. I also stuck in two trees which never made it to the front.
Christmas in July lap quilt

Mmm crinkly goodness. Christmas decorating officially starts the day after Thanksgiving, so it is back into the closet until then!

Thanks for hosting the BQF again, Amy. Now everyone, go check out the other hundreds of entries here.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Philisophical Pfridays

Sew Hungry
Fridays are for thinking about anything but work. So grab a button from my sidebar to play along. 

With flickr, Facebook, blogging, pinterest, google+, instagram etc out there, I find it a bit overwhelming to keep up with the internet quilting/sewing/crafting world. To catch up on my blogs I subscribe using google reader and I mercilessly troll flickr and pinterest. I am not using google+ or Facebook for quilting purposes and I have never instagramed anything. I think I am falling behind the curve on that front.

So how do you keep informed and in touch?

Serious crafting going on this weekend at my house. I expect a large dent to be made in my 100 day hustle and some new projects to be showing up on my blog feed in the next week.

Happy Friday to you all!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

100 Day Hustle - 1/3 into the dance

Progress update for the first 1/3 of
Kelsey Sews

Theoretically a good way to assure we all get projects done before the new year. I love writing lists. So satisfying to cross things off too so here goes. I did not get as much done as I wanted to. 

1. Tales from Earth and Sea (a roller rink quilt Elizabeth Hartman design)

Tales of Earth and Sea
2. October NuBees

3. Lunch bags for the frog festival (made but didn't go to the festival (sad face))
4. Last couch pillow. I'm getting a new couch tomorrow so I'll have to post pics!


1. Christmas gift for K - no preview, it's a surprise!
2. Spinning starts quilt - I actually only have 3 more blocks to finish. My goal was to finish the top by Friday

3. Nubees block quilt - once I get my blocks for Oct/Nov I can put this together

4. Scrap buster placemats - this is morphing into a quilt perhaps I have a lot of scraps to bust

Not started

  1. 24 figure 8 scarves for Christmas presents - have fabric must get activation energy
  2. Recover 2nd pillow for guest bedroom
  3. Quilt for my sister A - she wants a honeycomb pattern with bees - maybe the Honey quilt from Elizabeth Hartman??
  4. 3 Christmas pillow covers 
  5. Advent calendar (maybe)
  6. Tree skirt (maybe)
  7. Placemats for christmas gift
  8. Commissioned messenger bag for coworker - fabrics pulled and sitting neglected on my cutting table

Ack my list is growing instead of shrinking. I hope to make a lot of headway this weekend.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

WIP - just keep spinning

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

The spinning stars blocks are almost done! 4 more years to go!

Here's a close up of the stars.

I'm sure you are pretty tired of just seeing spinning stars on my blog. I know I am! It's not that I don't like them or the pattern I am just itching to do other things. I pulled these fabrics to make another Zakka messenger bag.

 Blue/gray canvas fabric, some Habitat and Hope Valley.

Lately I've been more in the baking/cooking mood than sewing (If you couldn't tell based on my last three posts). Last night I made baked salmon, spinach and potatoes au gratin from the pioneer woman.

Oh my god, so glad I have leftover potatoes.

Linking up with fabric Tuesdays today and WIP Wednesday tomorrow. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sew South

Should I do it?
Here's some info I copied from craft buds and directly from Ellison Lane Quilts (The host).

Sew South Retreat
Sew South, a modern sewing retreat hosted by Ellison Lane Quilts, where you will sew, create, learn, play and connect with other modern sewists and bloggers!

Sew South is March 21-24, 2013 in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Come be a part of our inaugural year! I hope you’ll join us!
Tickets are $275 and go on sale on Wed., October 24 at noon, EST.
This retreat is limited to 50 people so don’t miss out!

Are any of you bloggy friends thinking of going? Tickets go on sale on Thursday.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Philosophical Pfridays - Not a lie

Sew Hungry
Fridays are for thinking about anything but work. So grab a button from my sidebar to play along. Before I start philosophizing I have a PSA:


Is not a lie

Birthday party tonight for a friend. This is an ironic cake because she is not a rainbows/pink/sprinkles kind of gal (not that there's anything wrong with that). I used my favorite chocolate cake recipe from the Whisk Kid blog. I have also made that cake with the salted caramel and whipped caramel ganache and it is DIVINE. But this time I went for a lighter approach using strawberry whipped cream. There is also some strawberries sliced up in between the 4 layers. YUM!

As a relative newcomer to the quilty/bloggy world I have noticed that my quilt skills/inclinations are seeping into all the other things I do. For example, 
  1. I used to just wear solids, now I wear lots of prints and feel very plain Jane if I am wearing solids only.
  2. My cake decorating has been influenced a la rainbows etc. 
  3. I am better at arithmetic although I still keep my trusty calculator at my cutting table. I use a Ti-89 graphing calculator. Overkill much?
How has your quilting/crafting influenced other aspects of your life? 

Happy weekend folks. I am looking forward to good weather, rest, and many happy hours at my sewing machine this weekend. But first, CAAAAAAKE!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Since last week I finished up a pillow. I just need to make one more pillow and three more Christmas pillow cases. I also did my October/November Nubees blocks.

This weeks WIP is all about the spinning stars. I made a few more blocks but my brain conks out after 1-2 blocks. I am hoping to get all the blocks made by the end of next week. The folks in the flickr group are progressing nicely which gives me the extra oomph to keep going.

Here they all are. 6 down 10 to go

Link it up with Freshly Pieced.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Oct/Nov Nubees

This months NuBees block was made using the Ribbon Star block design by Faith at Fresh Lemons from her Solstice stars series. Great block with easy instructions. The only modifications I made were to make the HSTs using 4.5 inch squares. That left me with 4 bonus HSTs from each block to add to my HST stash.

Oct/Nov NuBees Hive 2
For Albearbunny (Alison). Her mosaic had lots of soft colors. Not my forte so this one was a lesson in restraint. I love how soothing this block is. I hope you like it!

Oct/Nov NuBees Hive 2
For Fresh Raspberry Quilts (Tricia). I shouldn't have favorites but I think this one is my favorite. I like the effect that comes from switching around the prints.

Oct/Nov NuBees Hive 2
For mikesmunk (Kim). I love the two tone gray which I chose to do because I did not have enough of the light gray for the whole thing.

Oct/Nov NuBees Hive 2
For 21bakerstreet (Diane) This was one really fun because I have never used these colors together before. I love how it turned out.

Oct/Nov NuBees Hive 2
All the pretty blocks in a row.

I just had to share this photo of this beautiful loaf of bread I made using this recipe. Easy peasy. I haven't cut into it yet but it smells fantastic. Kim and I made the dough yesterday in about 5 minutes. She added cheddar to her loaf. Tomorrow at work we are bread swappin'. 
EDIT: I just ate a piece. It's pretty good. I may or may not have dipped the crust directly into a jar of nutella.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Old 2012 goals revisited

In my first blog post in August I wrote up some goals for the rest of 2012. And, you guys, I have finished almost all of them! So even if my 100 day hustle list gets longer instead of shorter I am still a winner.

August Goals for 2012 revisited (red = still not complete):
Start a blog (and I think I may even have a few readers now)
Donate a quilt to charity (donated 2 to Quilt for Kids)
Join a bee (I've participated in Nubees a monthly quilt block swap in August, September October/November)
Write a tutorial (2 blocks and one paper piecing template)

Zakka sew along hosted by LRstitched (14 of 24 projects completed)
Scrap quilt inspired by this quilt and others like it (Scrapysaurus rex)
Two pillow tops
Eggplant and mustard lap quilt (blocks from Nubees 12 done, 6 more from October and it will be ready to put together)

A quilt from Modern Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman (tales from earth and sea)
Redo living room pillows (4 out of 4 complete) I finished the last pillow this week:

Parisville pebbles
The last of the Parisville scraps from my chevron quilt. These were all the wonky scraps pieced together randomly.

parisville pebbles close
I pebbled quilted (for the first time) in the white space and just meandered through the prints.

parisville pebbles back
I think I like the back the best. It is a simple envelope closure with two blocks of purple and a stripe of Parisville. The piping really pops on the back.

Oh and my cats were getting tired of all the attention the dogs got on the blog so they knocked over a potted plant. YAY! 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Philisophical Pfridays - Thread

Sew Hungry
Fridays are for thinking about anything but work. So grab a button from my sidebar to play along.

In my last post I showed my now pitiful looking thread collection. Only two spools have survived THREADpocalypse 2012. Looks like I am in the market for some new thread...

Have you used Aurifil thread yet? It seems like EVERYONE is using it but I can't find it at any local shop. Is it really as good as they say? Do you know the best place to get it online? What weights do you use? If you get some in your sewing summit swag can I have it!!!!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Very Bad Dogs

Some of you may remember the scissors incident. Well it has happened again! 

Apparently my Zakka bread basket was not a puppyproof way to store my spools of thread. Most of these are still OK for handstitching but are not going to work in my sewing machine. This stuff was up on a table behind some other stuff so you can't say my dogs aren't tenacious. I guess it is time to buy new thread... and also move to a bigger house where I can have a sewing room with a closed door...

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

WIP Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Happy WIPnesday. I am still getting back into the groove of things after going home for the weekend. Here are some photos from my trip if you are interested. I did get a chance to make a few more (pink, purple and green) improv blocks.

And a test block for my October/November NuBees.
I need to do another test because the spacing on this doesn't sit quite right with me. Look for a tutorial soon on my version of a weave block.
Kelsey Sews

Here is how I am fairing on my progress for 2012:
  1. Tales from Earth and Sea (a roller rink quilt Elizabeth Hartman design)
  2. Spinning starts quilt (I think I made one more spinning star but I am too lazy to take a photo.) 
  3. October Nubees blocks
  4. Nubees block quilt
  5. lunch bags 
  6. Christmas gift for K
  7. 24 figure 8 scarves for Christmas presents
  8. Honey quilt (also Elizabeth Hartman) (My sister wants this one so that knocks off #10!)
  9. Scrap buster placemats
  10. Quilt for my sister A