Diamond Star Baby Quilt

This is a quilt for a special person: first nephew I’ll ever meet! He comes from very bright and sweet people. When I saw Lizzy House‘s fabric line Natural History I fell in love with the playfulness of color and design. She seems pretty awesome. Check her out on Creativebug too (I am a huge fan of Creativebug, but more on that another time). I consulted School of Sewing‘s instructions for a baby-sized quilt, but then added in my own arrangement. IMG_5648.jpgIMG_5642.jpg

Carolyn Friedlander‘s new line Caraki tones down the color and adds to a structured effect. Bones are the best. We all need bones and they are beautiful to look at. Caraki is beautiful and strong. Perfect!

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I wasted no time using my favorite FM curved shape while quilting. I love this quilt, and I’m excited to meet the little guy it is for.

What have you been sewing up lately? Happy end of March to everyone!

Arcs + Free Motion Quilting

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The Free-Motion quilting bug caught me! Carolyn Friedlander’s awesome pattern Arcs  waited patiently to be quilted and with the new Janome now here I was more than happy to start quilting. The sun came out strong yesterday, perfect to sit down and sew by.

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Speed and stitch length are two of the things I am thinking about while quilting. It takes strong hands and arms to move the layers quickly under the needle. Sometimes I have a gap, but others I don’t move enough and the stitches are tiny. I am staying present! If my mind wands the needle wiggles! Quilting gloves may be helpful in this department by making sure for a more steady grip. Have you tried quilting gloves?

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The design translated prettily from the front to the back. My husband said it looks like an ancient calendar, and it certainly does! The scale was an easy and the most fun shape for me to make, with a swoop-away-and-back towards me. The thread is gold Aurifil, and didn’t break at all. For the background fabric I used Sarah Watts’ Honeymoon. Earlier I mentioned the front of the piece felt like a sunrise to me and this background fabric felt like night and how light time feels around those hours.

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The trees are blooming. Awhile ago I noticed this tree was shaped like a heart from growing around the powerlines and thought it would be magnificent in Spring. Here it is! The blooms aren’t in entirely, but this is a sneak peak.

What is blooming near you? Have a great weekend!

 

Granola Recipe

Having snacks on hand that are quick to make, eat, and are portable are always on my lookout recipe list. We are spending more time outside thanks to Spring arriving promptly. I looked up a recipe for granola and at the store a few weeks ago I decided to pick up supplies for granola.

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Granola Recipe

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit.

Mix in a bowl:

  • 3 cups of rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped almonds
  • 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds (add more or less as desired)
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Combine together (this part may need heating up on the stove-top) :

  • 3 tablespoons of agave syrup
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pour the wet ingredients in to the dry and mix together until all pieces are thoroughly coated.

Spread the mix on a flat baking tray.

Place in over and bake for 15 minutes. Stir. Bake for about 15 more minutes, or until golden.

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes. Slightly stir the cooling granola. This will help the granola cool in a more chunky formation.

Enjoy alone or with yogurt after the granola is completely cooled.

 

Do you have any fun snack recipes being made lately? Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

Free-motion for the First Time

Yesterday held firsts. The Janome serger and sewing machine arrived! I’ve been waiting all month and it flew by. After  returning home safely, I wasted no time switching over needle plate, threading up, and trying out free-motion quilting; Lori Smith’s appliqued piece was my first choice.

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Complete satisfaction: I loved every second I spent trying out this new skill. The hours flew by while I stitched. I’m nowhere near steady, but am enthused to keep practicing; I want to quilt everything and am quickly on that path. Free-motion work is what drew me in to quilting for good: Fabric doodling! I was captivated by the work of other artists/quilters, and I couldn’t wait to join.

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Doodling is an activity I love. I wasn’t sure how I wanted to transfer my ideas from brain-to-fabric. Many draw with friction pens or use an overlay, but I was so excited to try out the machine and an eyeball worked best for me. The endless options are incredible!  Before I knew it, I had a sweet little table accented by a window. This stitching made easy with Aurifil thread.

The table was a little hard to see, and I wanted to play with texture, so in came some thicker thread paired with hand stitching and a great outline formed. All of the applique practice has paid off in the stitch regularity category.

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Happy Spring! It has been a busy and exciting March. The spring peepers are out and the trees are pushing to bloom. Have you been working on anything exciting?

Thanks for stopping by!

Design-in-Progress: Applique Pattern

This pattern, Eggbert, came to me while I waited for students to filter in for conferences. Thirty seconds downtime doesn’t allow much room for my critical brain to inhibit the creative part and suddenly I had eggs drawn on the paper.

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This isn’t surprising. As a child I was prone to carrying an egg around. I love eggs. They have such strength and weight. They move internally. They are food. They are life. They come in many colors. They can be dyed and covered in hot wax, or hollowed, stuffed with confetti, and pasted over again for a spring burst.

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I thought this would be a great time to share the applique preview. After transferring the refined version over to paper, and then to wax paper, I started to think about fabric. I hunted around in the stash and, of course, found some of my favorite grey background fabric! Batiks are a great choice here, because the fabric is nicely woven and the patterns create playful movement. The final design isn’t completely ready to be revealed, but will be available on PDF soon!

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Eggbert is a great shape for those just beginning to applique and want to practice. I love these little eggs and I look forward to sharing the finished products soon.

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On Its Way: Applique

All scraps are being reused and the stash consists of the small, long, thin bits of fabric. Since I buy all the fabric the scraps all came together pretty well; purples, blues, orange, grey, greens, and pinks merged together in both of these pieces. Many things are on my mind when I work with color: eye-interest, ease of this interest, viewing the piece as fresh, and feeling like it presents something new to look at each time are important. Beautiful and interesting aren’t always the same, but I like to explore the space where two meet in a complicated way. Here is where endless possibilities of fabric keep me awake all night!

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Pattern: Set Fifteen

Aren’t borders lovely? These are my first couple of attempts at attaching borders, but the effect is incredible. The pieces instantly possess weight and feel grounded. Even though I ran out of green for Arcs the grey presented itself as a natural compliment. I doubled the size of the recommended borders for Lori Smith’s project. I like the finish, and am looking forward to quilting these pieces.

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Pattern: Arcs

The new sewing machine is on order and I am looking forward to hearing from the dealer. Thank you, Janome, for your sale in March.