Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thank you!

A big thank-you to Evelyn of Use the Loot. I won Evelyn's awesome SMS giveaway, 140 6" squares of vintage linens--all different! I've been wanting to make a quilt using vintage linens for the LONGEST time, but the problem was that I never seemed to have any luck when I went to the local thrift shops. Problem solved--thanks, Evelyn!

Expect to see more of these babies soon!

Friday, May 28, 2010

Scraps giveaway winner!

I had a date with the RNG over green tea and scones this morning (mmm, scones), and he said that the winner of my scraps giveaway is #37!

Kristen said:

I have always wanted to make string quilt, wonky log cabin or crumb quilts like those on I am years or decades away from that! I am jealous of all those colorful scrap quilts out there.

I've just sent you an email, so be jealous no more--your start to your own scrap quilt will be in the mail shortly!

Thanks to all who participated, and special thanks to everyone who had great suggestions for scrap quilts! I've got a list as long as my arm, and I can't wait to start!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

100th post and the last day of my giveaway!

My scraps are taking over! Want to help me work them down to a manageable mountain? Hop on over here and leave a comment about your favorite way to use up scraps or your favorite scrappy quilt pattern, and a box packed full of scraps could be headed your way! I'm accepting comments until midnight EST tonight, and will announce the winner here tomorrow morning!

PS--Just in time for my 100th post, woohoo!

Here and there... Hexies!

I have, of course, been bitten by the hexagon bug that's spreading through Flickr at an alarming rate. On my lunch breaks, I've taken to turning these:

(2 inch hexagons, from

And these:

(4.5" - 5" charms from old charm packs and my stash...)

Into these!

(about 80 or so completed so far, only about 270 to go--oy!)

Monday, May 24, 2010

And speaking of bees...

It was just too darn hot tonight to think about quilting the baby quilt which would make finish number 5 for the Spring to Finish Challenge. I am coming to grips with the thought that it just might have to wait until some freakish cool weather this summer, or the fall. Ah well. Them's the breaks.

But bees. Right? I have the good fortune of being a part of a really talented group of ladies in my first bee, The Beehive. (I direct your attention to the button in the sidebar -->). And last November was my month to have them work their magic on my fabric. I'd sent out some unbleached muslin, some navy solid, and a bunch of aqua blues with a wee bit of green thrown in here and there. I asked for improv blocks with a fresh, beachy feel, inspired by mosaics. And these blocks could be 5", 10" or 15" per side, finished size.

And so tonight, instead of sitting at the machine, I played at the design wall with this stack of blocks.

And it became this:

Please don't mind the light at the left. It's about 9pm here, and I can't trust that the cats won't pull this down overnight. Pictures were a must.

I've actually already moved a couple of blocks. But this was to give me an idea of what gaps I'll need to fill. I have a stack of scraps left over, and will make a few smaller blocks, as well as use them to shim in here and there. Altogether, I am in awe. Nice job, ladies!

This will, at some point in the future, become a light spring quilt for my side of the bed--I run cooler than the furnace/aka the madman.

Catching up on bee blocks!

I've spent the past couple of weekends (short ones, as I've worked part of nearly every weekend for over a month--this makes life rather interesting) working to catch up on my bees. My free time lately seems to have dwindled to nil, and I feel bad that I've become one of those people, who is late by weeks for bee due dates. Ach! (Though apparently this happens to most of us at one time or another, so I should just relax. Right? Right.)

So, here's my catching up post.

For The Beehive, May is Julie's month, and she'd asked for log cabin-y blocks with plenty of white space and no wonk. She sent out gorgeous Kaffe prints, stripes and shot cottons to each of us, and here's what she got from me...

This is the only full-size block I made, coming in at 13" unfinished. I tried to limit the color palette of each block so that it would sing rather than clash. I'm rather fond of this one. :)

As I was worried about running out of the white solid, I followed Julie's suggestion to make a couple of "junior' blocks, which she could then use white to sash out to the full 13" once she got them back. I love this print, the green shot cotton really plays well with it.

And perhaps my favorite of the three. I wish I knew what this pumpkin-y orange was, I'd buy it in bulk. I'm not normally an orange girl, but this was just amazing. Thanks, Julie!

And for Ellen's month of the Coast to Coast Block Party bee...

She sent us some white solid along with charms and layer cake pieces to make "inside out" blocks in a style and size of our choice.

I made a little 8" Arkansas Star block, loving the secondary pattern of a little 4 patch in the middle.

And then, worrying that it wouldn't be quite what Ellen wanted--really, she gave us a lot of free reign, but she's swearing she loves them both, so I'm relieved!--I made a second block with a bit of wonk, squares in squares.

Lots of fun, loved the fabrics she sent, and had a great time with them! Thanks Ellen!

And lastly, I finally got past my quilter's block (heh) and made my block for Tracy--from April! I'd had just the hardest time wrapping my head around this one. Tracy, from my CtC Block Party Bee, had asked for blocks based on this artwork. My result, after much angst, was this:

Just a little dude, relaxing in some sunshine. Hope Tracy likes it ok. :)

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The state of my scraps, and a giveaway

There comes a time in every quilter's life where, well, the scraps just seem to have taken over. I'm thinking that it's time to consider the old saying "necessity is the mother of invention." Because if I don't manage to invent a solution, my scraps are going to take over my sewing room.

What do I mean?

I just spent an hour and a half sorting through a ginormous heap of scraps and selvages, bagging scraps according to color (I've had to start a second bag of green scraps--uh oh!). I've made about 20 8" string blocks out of my blue scraps, and the bag is somehow still full. My aquas and white/cream bags are also reaching critical mass.

Now, I loves me some string blocks. And I could potentially do a good-sized throw of nothing but greens, or do a bed-sized using strings from all of these.


I'm thinking maybe something different? The blues can continue to get funneled into the blue string blocks until I have enough to turn into a real quilt. I've gotten all sorts of ideas on flickr, but I'm wondering if anyone has any additional suggestions? I've got things ranged from 5" wide strips to little 1" squares. Leave me a comment telling me about your favorite uses for your scraps? Any scrap quilts out there you just love? Please share! I'd love to see them! I'll leave comments open until midnight on Thursday, 5/27, and then on Friday morning, I'll pick a winner.

What am I giving away? Silly question! I'm giving away some of those scraps! Among them, Amy Butler, Denyse Schmidt, Heather Ross, and Joel Dewberry--and LOTS more!

Can't wait to see your suggestions!

Edit: Please, please, please--I'm going to need a way to contact the winner, and a number of you lovelies don't have an email in your profile for me to contact you. Please either edit your profile or leave a contact email in your comment--I'd hate for anyone to miss out!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Baby quilt, done!

I took a few pictures of the baby quilt I finished this past week before it went on to the baby's mama. :) 7 weeks til there's a little girl to go with it!

The sun was not cooperating this week--anytime I wanted to take a photo, it hid behind the clouds until I put the camera away!

It's a simple strippy quilt, a variety of 2.5" width pink strips at varying heights. I used a few leftover jelly roll strips, but mostly cut into stash for it. The dark brown is Kona Espresso, of course. I have a love affair with it, true, but the nursery colors are also to be pink and brown, so it was perfect. It has a thin border of Espresso around all 4 edges, and the binding is the same color. The back, not shown, (d'oh!) is the pink stripe with dark brown flowers from Anna Maria Horner's Chocolate Lollipop line. It was perfect!

The final quilt was about 38" wide and 48" long. Perfect for snuggling a little girl!

This also makes finish #4 for Jacquie's Spring to Finish challenge. With one week left, I'm going to try and finish one more project!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival!

This is my first year participating in Amy's Blogger's Quilt Festival, and boy, am I excited!!

This is Something Blue, which was finished just after Christmas, 2009.

(Why yes, that is my messy office. Thanks for noticing! :P )

A dear friend of mine's daughter was getting married to her high school sweetheart on January 2, 2010. I've known the family for about 5 years, and when I found out that the couple was engaged, I started to think about a quilt. Because really, in my opinion, every bride should get a quilt for a wedding gift. And then when I found out they were going to move to NC from CT right after the wedding, I thought harder. The couple was young (just 20), moving in to live together for the first time. I knew that their favorite colors were blue and green, that he was not a guy who would tolerate a whole lot of floweriness in his home, and that she had quite a modern style.

Enter the stacked coin quilt.

This is one of my favorite quilts for a variety of reasons. I love the design, and can totally see myself making one like it in the future, this time to keep. I essentially looked at a bunch of photos of coin quilts, then sat down and drew it out on some scratch paper, gave measurements for the dimensions, and went to town. Honestly, I'm finding I'm mostly incapable of following a pattern to the letter, so most of the time, I just work off of what I like and move on from there.

The fabrics are some of my favorites: KJR by Denyse Schmidt, dots from Kaffe Fasset and Amy Butler, Lizzy House, Joel Dewberry, Jennifer Paganelli... I chose to sash the long strips with cream instead of white, and I loved the result.

For the quilting, I chose straight lines in the solid stripes, at varied widths. And for the stacked coins, I chose to do a diamond pattern, giving a sort of argyle feel. I LOVE the way it turned out--it was a snap decision that I have never regretted. It gave some added interest without making more work--it actually went quite quickly, and the whole thing was quilted in a weekend. (For me, that's mad fast!) It's also the largest quilt I've machine quilted on my little Janome--48" x 66" after washing and drying. Might not seem so big to some, but it was a good challenge for me! It also gave me an idea of my limitations--I don't think I'll be quilting anything bigger than a twin on my home machine!

Thank you so much for stopping by! Can't wait to visit you all and see your gorgeous quilts!

A day in the life

Yesterday, the baby books quilt, 398.2, went to live with its new mama, whose baby is due in a short 7 weeks. There was lots of ooohing and aaaahing, and she's delighted. There was also much librarian dorkery (dorkishness?) over the quilt having a call number. I have a few finished photos of the quilt (pre-wash), but of course, the camera is not where I am. Those will get posted tonight or tomorrow. Along with a few other things which have occupied my time the last week or so. Pretty soon, there will even be a photo of a baby on the quilt! *grin*

All that baby-showering wore me out yesterday, so I went home and took a nap. This is fairly routine--by Wednesday or Thursday, a nap is sooo required. About 7:30, the madman, who was understandably anxious as he had not yet been fed, woke me up. Apparently, I was smiling in my sleep and he asked me what I'd been dreaming about. I told him I'd been dreaming about fabric-shopping (I've been extremely well-behaved in the acquisition department lately, and my subconscious has caught on), and that it was woooonderful!

So tonight, at his suggestion, we're going out for Indian food (omg, yum!), a stop at JoAnn's (only because neither LQS is open past 6pm on a Friday, and honestly, sometimes you do find some amazing things at JoAnn's--just sayin'), and potentially to see Iron Man 2. That last one is iffy--we may be too tired to manage a 10pm showing!

Lastly, just before bed last night, I got a sweet email from Evelyn over at Use the Loot, saying that I won her SMS May Giveaway for, get this, 140 6" squares from a variety of vintage linens!! I've been wanting to work with vintage sheets for some time--go poke around on Flickr and you'll understand why. Such amazing possibilities! But I've never had ANY luck with my local thrift shops, so this is just such a great windfall. *glee!* Thanks, Evelyn!

So tell me. Did anyone else get lucky during the giveaway spree? And with Market coming in fast and hot, what are you interested in seeing? A certain designer or fabric line you have your eye on?

Personally, I'm drooling over all the little snippets I've seen from Bonnie and Camille's new line, Bliss. I'm just not sure how I'm going to manage to wait until late summer/early fall for it!!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Inspiried by r0ssie

I, The Mad Quilting Librarian, pledge to talk more about my processes, even when I can’t quite put them in the in words or be sure I’m being totally clear. I’m going to put my thinking and my gut feelings out there.

The Process Pledge

Photos and good stuff to share soon!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Urban Home Goods Swap--Received!

I got the most awesome package from Leslie over on flickr, from the first round of the Urban Home Goods Swap. So, so, so amazing!!

First, this gorgeous handmade card. LOVE it--so very sweet! :)

Along with some cute rosette magnets...

And magnetic pads. These all went up on my fridge immediately! I love these pads, and the little blue one is sticky notes. The underneath part is pieced hexagons in a clear plastic shell. And the best part is that one this pad of stickies is gone, I can pop a new one on and keep going--very green and very awesome!

And the piece de resistance?

A table runner of linen and Hope Valley hexagons. This is perfect! So amazing--thank you!! It has now been put away to use when the dining room table does not look like a bomb hit it. :D

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weekend stitching...

Don't you hate it when you have grand plans for your weekend off, and then you feel icky for part or all of that time?? Bleh! I had intended to piece the entire top for my co-worker's baby quilt (shower is less than 3 weeks away now) yesterday, baste it last night, and then start quilting it today. No go. I got the cutting and layout done yesterday in between breaks to go and lie down with a monstrous migraine. By the time I quit last night, I had a bit pieced, but that was it. Ugh!

This morning I woke up to heat and humidity (July weather in the first few days of May is not really my idea of a good time--we don't have the fans out of storage, let alone the AC!). The headache is still there, but less, so I finished piecing the top...

The nursery colors are brown and pink. I'm a dork, and a librarian, so this one is titled "398.2". Why? Because that's the Dewey decimal # for fairy tales, of course! (See, I told you I was a dork!)

It's a riff off of the bookshelves quilts I've seen on flickr, and specifically inspired by Cherri House's recent Moda Bakeshop tutorial. I used a few leftover jelly roll strips I had lying around from other projects, but the rest of it was out of my stash. I'm planning on adding a thin border of the Kona Espresso solid all the way around, and binding it in the same color. The backing I've picked out is from Anna Maria Horner's Chocolate Lollipop line, a multi-pink stripe with a chocolate colored flower print. However, as the Madman is due home in a couple of hours (and he is my basting helper/slave), I'd better get moving on the border if this is going to at least be basted today. Here's to praying for a few cool evenings over the next week or two to do the quilting! Nothing more uncomfortable, in my opinion, than hot weather and a lap-full of warm quilt. : P

Hope everyone else is enjoying their weekend!

ps--If you're keeping track (I am), once this is finished, this will be finish #4 for Jacquie's Spring to Finish Challenge, 2010. It's never to late to start!