March 14, 2014

Quilt #3 - Multicolor Chevron

I wrote this post months ago but was waiting for this quilt to get to its new home before posting. 

Chevron...zig it what you will. Some think it is over done but I still can't get enough of this pattern. Most of you know I started my own chevron quilt last year. I have the quilt top done but I put that project aside to work on the three Christmas quilts. I made this one for Miss Grace. Grace, like myself, is a lover of blue. I didn't set out to make another chevron quilt but as I started laying out blue Kona it just seemed like a good idea. And given my rush, doing something I already know how to do was the easiest route to follow. Despite all its technical flaws caused by my rushing to meet the deadline, I love this quilt so much that I want it for my own. 

I bought the multi-color fabric for my own quilt back
but decided it would be better for this project
what did I get myself in to?
chevron quilts take a lot of squares and HST's
the HST tutorial I used, Method 2
the quilt top
I doubt my other chevron quilt will look this lined up
there was only one huge snafu on the pink row
I can live with it
the quilt sandwich
in my haste I forgot to tape down the back but it didn't seem to 
make a difference, everything turned out really smooth
since I didn't finish in time I boxed up a half quilted
sandwich so Grace had something to open on Xmas
I finished about a week later, sidelined by the plague
I worked on my labels at night while watching tv
I tried these binding clips and they were really easy to use
they are super expensive everywhere but Amazon
my first and only perfect binding corner
I machine sewed both sides of the binding but I am
thinking I will hand sew the second side in the future
we'll see...machine sewing is so much faster
that second row is navy but looks black here
I quilted this one inside and outside of each color edge
this allows you to "fake" some of your points if they aren't perfect
I used this Purl Bee tutorial for my chevron quilts but I skipped the white row between zig zags. You can basically figure out how big you want your quilt and adjust your block size accordingly. To make things a little easier on this one, I made all my squares 6" because I have a 6" wide ruler. That was much easier than 4-7/8" squares from the Purl Bee quilt. I added a grey strip to the top and bottom so I didn't cut off the tips of my zig zags.

The other thing that is important on a chevron quilt is a consistent seam allowance. When I started my own quilt I would cut some, sew some, cut, sew, etc. and over a period of time my idea of a 1/4" seam allowance varied so it became hard to line everything up. For Grace's quilt I did all my cutting at one time and all my sewing at one time, meaning I did all the HST's together, all the rows together, all the joining or rows together, etc. This made my sewing much more consistent. Sometimes you have to stretch the fabric to get it to line up. I still had a couple of areas that were wayyyy off but visually it isn't that noticeable. I also find a 1/4" seam allowance difficult to press so I lean towards a slightly larger allowance. I press all my seams open. I'm suspicious of anyone who doesn't.

Turns out I rushed for nothing. I didn't finish this in time for Christmas and we didn't see Grace again until LAST WEEKEND! Terrible, I know. But now she has it and I hope she loves it as much as I do.

February 2, 2014

Bernie's Room - done enough?

Turns out I wrote this draft a year ago...Given my dismal blogging effort in 2012 2013 it looks like there were several projects I never showed the end result. Remember the longest reno project ever?  The first post was almost four years ago. Egads. It still needs bedside tables and sconces but at the rate I'm going that could take years so here it is. I finally realized that what was stopping me from finishing this room was moohlah. I didn't want to spend a ton of money on bedside tables and sconces for a room that essentially sits empty the majority of the time. I scoured Craigslist. Went to antique and vintage stores. Shopped online sales. Nothing. Nada. Zilch. I had two antique wood tables that I inherited from my Grandparents that were different sized but the same color and one day on a whim I hauled them up there and they fit. Perfectly. While not ideal, the bed is off center so we can get the closet door open. I found the bedside lights at Target on clearance for $15 each. Problem solved, and for only $30.

before - a small pink nursery
during - a long drawn out disaster
all trim was removed, stripped, painted
doors too
brass hardware was brought back to life
crown molding was added as was a new light
Elfa closet system installed
Martha Stewart's Purple Agate on the walls
BM's Chantilly Lace on the ceiling and trim
Craigslist dresser awaiting remodel
Blogger downgrades the pics so the color washed out a bit
And there you have it. Done enough, the final chapter. 

One of the other reasons I was struggling to show this room is because it was hard to photograph. But then my Secret Santa bought me a book for Christmas. Now me and my DSLR's manual mode are getting to know each other. And since I haven't talked about this room in a couple of years, the reason we refer to it as "Bernie's Room" is because that is where half his closet lives. Oh the joys of a 109 year old house. 

January 26, 2014

Quilt #2 - Blue Sherbet Pips

Quilt #2 went to Miss Reese
it is almost identical to the first quilt I made for Eve,
but more on the blue side with a different back fabric
I used my quilting rulers and tailor's chalk to lay out the diamond pattern
and curved basting pins to secure it
I loooovvvveeee that turquoise polka dot fabric
I hope she loves it as much as I loved making it for her
I had a lot of technical issues with these first two quilts. Pickel and Marija gave me every bit of advice they had in their arsenal, but in the end I had to pull in the big guns. Who knew Bernie would become my head sewing machine mechanic. After several HOURS of ripping out bad stitches, we figured out there was a problem with the metal bobbins I was using, they were getting hung up in the bobbin holder and caused tension issues. I switched to the plastic bobbins that came with my machine and all was right with the world. I can't tell you how frustrating it was. So there is some less than perfect stitches, but what are you going to do? Start over? Nope. Learn and move on. Sewing 3 quilts in 2 weeks taught me so much.

January 19, 2014

Quilt #1 - Pink Sherbet Pips

I had the fantastic idea to make quilts for three of the little girls in my life for Christmas. I had been thinking about the idea for awhile but didn't actually start until a week before Christmas. Yeah, because it is super possible to make three quilts in a week when you've never finished a pieced quilt or anything larger than a baby blanket before. Go big or go home. I got close, but this quilt is the only one that made the deadline.  I got the idea for this pink Sherbet Pips quilt from Pinterest. The fabric is just so sweet.

I bought a charm pack so the piecing only took about 45 minutes
I used this tutorial from Pickel and hand embroidered the quilt label
one down, two to go...
update: Eve's mom tells me she LOVES her quilt
woo hoo, success!!!

January 4, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Since I've spent the better part of the last week in bed sick with a serious hack, I thought, hey, remember that blog you had??? Between Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest there seems to be little room/need for blogging these days but I'm not ready to give it up just yet so here it goes. 

Most years we head to Colorado Springs for Thanksgiving to have dinner with our good friends the Trahey's. Last year (it is 2014 now, yikes!) they moved up into the mountains and their place and the views are spectacular. I only wish I grabbed my camera to take a shot of the deer standing right next to the "deer crossing" sign on the road leading up to their place. Seriously.
the dinner this year was the best on record
no bread = no leaving the table feeling like you might explode
it only took me 39....I mean...27 years to figure that out
my favorite part is I only have to cook a couple of sides
I made the usual as requested
and something new
Christmas came a little late this year. I traveled like crazy in 2013 and December was no exception. Add to that a dash of food poisoning and my holiday spirit never showed up. Also, I decided it was entirely possible to make 3 quilts for gifts starting about a week before xmas. Let's just say it was not entirely possible and I'll cover that in the next post. I finished quilt #3 today. 

Our friends from Colorado Springs come to Christmas dinner at our house each year. It was an unspoken trade off we worked out about a decade ago and I hate cooking turkey so it works out well. The only picture I took this year was of the pretty table. The food was good but truthfully I always snack too much before dinner and then lose interest in the meal. Plus, we had REALLY good wine. When there is Châteauneuf-du-Pape around who has time for food? Steve made a great beet and goat cheese salad and Stef made a yummy chocolate tart. They also brought us the beautiful flowers which made our house smell nice all week. I made a beef stew that I think is going on 3 years in a row now. I also made the Manchego mashed potatoes and Brussels sprouts. Note on the stew, if you use a fattier cut of beef like short ribs you have to do the braise the day before and then skim the fat. You heard me. Skim. The. Fat. 
New Year's Eve was a bust. I had to cancel our dinner reservations due to the plague I came down with. We planned to go the following Saturday but I'm still not feeling well and winter happened which makes me not want to trudge out in the snow. Better luck next year. So there you have it.
Happy Holidays!!!


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