Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Quilt In the Queue

After listening to me chatter on and on about quilts for the past 5 months, all of my subliminal messages to my coworker finally worked! He commissioned me to make a lap quilt for his mother for Mother's Day, and of course, I said yes. What a good son.

Within days, I found my coworker (who will remain anonymous to preserve his privacy as I am about to reveal somewhat embarrassing information here) cruising the Internet for fabrics and quilt pattern ideas. Usually you can find this guy reading about politics and moving to Canada, so you can imagine my surprise when he started showing me the styles he liked. It warmed my heart.

So, with a lot of conversation and sharing of ideas, we designed the perfect quilt for his mom. The back of the quilt is going to be this print from My Folklore. I will save the details for the quilt top for later, but all I am going to say is that it is going to be just lovely, and perfect for a mom.

** Update - the fabric has arrived. I am heading down to Purl tomorrow to pick out the fabric for the quilt top and some additional fabric for two more baby quilts. It's raining babies!

I Have My Eye On You

I read about this pattern last week and haven't stopped thinking about it since. I have so many little girls in my life right now that could use a little dress like this. And I am just the woman to make it for them.

Fabric Shopping With Charlotte

Charlotte had her first visit to the Big Apple this past weekend. Although her older brother is more into the outdoors, Charlotte is a city girl at heart. She smiled and laughed and broke hearts all over Manhattan. We cruised the Garment District and I picked these two pieces of loveliness. I cannot wait to get my hands on this material. I am picturing dresses for little girls, robes, skirts and using the scraps in an orange themed quilt. The possibilities are endless. Now if I could just do something about my day job getting in the way.

I Think I'm Turning Japanese, I Really Think So

On a blissful afternoon walk, I stopped into this wonderful Japanese book store a couple of blocks from my office. I have read about Japanese crafting and sewing books online and decided to see for myself if they are really that great.

Oh yes, Japanese sewing books are amazing. I came out of the store clutching this little book to my chest, my heart pounding with excitement. The book is gorgeous, it comes with SIX patterns and detailed picture instructions. I have read that if you know how to sew, you can follow along without needing a translator, so I am keeping my fingers crossed.

So here are some pictures of my lovely new book. I will be sure to post updates of my attempts at sewing by picture alone.

One Step Closer To A Streak-Free Life

As I mentioned before, I live in a fishbowl with a lot of windows and to my husband's chagrin, I tend to do some good streaking between the bathroom and the bedroom when I am at home. Rather than make him run ahead of me all the time, closing the blinds as he goes to maintain a semblance of my privacy, I decided to make a bathrobe. I picked up some lovely Armani shirt material at Parson's West in the Garment District last week. It is a very light weight cotton, which will be perfect for the hot New York City summer that is just around the corner.

If all goes as planned, I will be in a new robe this weekend. I will be sure to give my neighbors a good finale!

Okay Jess, peek all you want!

I received a quilt order right around the time I committed to the fabric for Baby Brielle's quilt, so with a little tweaking and a lot of thought on the design, I actually made two quilts at the same time. The quilts are pretty much the same with the only real difference being the binding. On this first one, I used the pale yellow pinstripes with the dragonflies and butterflies for the binding but I have something else in mind for the second one.

I delivered this quilt to Lauren last week to be given at a baby shower this past weekend. I already received a report that the mother-to-be "LOVED" (with all capitals) the quilt. Hearing that response makes me so happy and just fuels the quilting fire inside of me. (Have I gone over to the dark side yet?)

It has been tough to hold on to these quilt pictures and not post them. My intention was to hold out until I finished the second quilt, but it is taking a bit longer than I anticipated and these pictures are burning a hole in my pocket. And after consulting with Jess this morning and hearing that she has been cruising the blog hoping for a sneak peek, I figured I would end the torture for the both of us.

So, here you go Jess! I hope you like it.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Spools of Sunshine

I bought this thread on an afternoon field trip two weeks ago and couldn't wait to use it. The yellows range from a light butter yellow to a deep daffodil shade. It is so lovely and versatile. I used it for the birthday bag tote for Charlie but I am already envisioning so many other possibilities besides embroidery. There were several different shades to choose from so I am pretty sure I will be going back for more. Soon. Real soon.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Summertime in the City

Well, sort of. It is only March but I am already plotting and planning for the summer. Spring is wonderful in New York, filled with temperate weather with is neither too hot or too cold. But it doesn't last long and I can see the steamy days ahead of me.

After a quick internet search, I found this Kwik pattern and can't wait to make some cute summertime sleepwear with a little matching robe. So cute and it will put an end to my days of streaking through the apartment.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Rulers of Engagement

It seems like it took me way too long to really embrace the magic of good rulers. I think it is because I am mostly self-taught that I flailed around so long without a good ruler. What was I thinking?

A couple of weeks ago, I learned the hard way that some plastic rulers melt when you use them with an iron. Whoopsies. But it turned out to be the best thing that ever happened. It made me go down to Purl Soho and pick up a new, amazing ruler. It is as wide as my cutting mat and is designed so it doesn't slide across the fabric, meaning straighter cuts and more control.

Other wonderful features that I never even knew existed were all the different cutting marks. There are one inch and half inch cutting lines, making it cutting easier, more accurate, and uniform. There are also plenty of other small marks on the ruler for lining up patterns and working with a cutting mat. I never knew it could be this good.
What a beauty.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Somebody Is Turning Four Today

One of my favorite little friends is turning four years old today. I did a lot of good thinking and decided that what every little girl needs is her own tote bag for carrying very important stuff. I was also inspired by some amazing thread I picked up on a lunch time field trip to the Garment District. The yellow thread is painted so it changes from very light butter yellow to a deep daffodil color. I kept thinking about how it would look on chocolate brown fabric and then the light bulb went off.

Since I have no sense of proportion for young bodies, I have a sneaking feeling that the bag is probably a little too long and deep, but heck, that just means more stuff that will fit in it. The straps seem fine but the body of the bag is a little long. We are on our way over to the birthday party today so I won't have to wait too long to see the fit.

For the flowers, I mostly free styled their design. My new sewing machine has some very cute embroidery templates so I was able to work in the little leaves, making the flowers even cuter. I also picked up some cute orange flowered ribbon that I used for an accent along the top.

Although the tote is pretty cute on its own, I wanted to put some special presents inside. I went to Papyrus yesterday and picked up some adorable stickers and a little chick ring. There are three little pads tied up with ribbon and some crayons. The girl is good to go.

There was another special request for a pineapple raspberry upside down cake. The timer just went off and the whole house smells delicious. Hopefully there will be some good action shots of the presents this afternoon.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A Quilt For A Grown Up Gal

As I mentioned before, the OLDM really really wanted a quilt. Her birthday is right before Christmas so I offered to make her a quilt as a combo gift. I am sure that for someone with a December birthday, she has been subjected to this kind of trickery before, but since the offer was something that she really really wanted, she agreed.

I have to admit, this was a much bigger project than I anticipated, both in scale and skill. I am actually glad I didn't know what I was getting into when I started, because it was A LOT of work. Making a baby quilt and making a grown up gal quilt are totally different experiences. With all the materials, I can knock out a baby quilt in a long afternoon. A grown up gal quilt is a different story. I worked on this one on a couple of other weekend days but this weekend was the big one. I was determined to finish and was willing to do what it took to get the job done, which sadly meant locking myself in my apartment from noon on Saturday until 5 pm on Sunday. I emerged today, bleary eyed and thirsty for beer. But man alive, this quilt is fantastic.

I will go into the details of the process later, including the highs and lows, the blood, sweat and tears in another post, but for now, I just need to post some pictures to show off my finished project.

Yes, the quilt is being modeled on my bed, and yes, it looks damn good, and yes, I thought about keeping it, and yes, my husband suggested that we keep it, but no, I am not that kind of girl. The OLDM is getting the quilt. Sigh.

The Next Baby Quilt

Lucas is going to be a big brother. We are all patiently awaiting the arrival of his little sister, who should be arriving by stork next month. I can't wait to meet her and I can't wait to make her a special something to celebrate her arrival.

On a fun Friday afternoon field trip, I picked up this fabric with the grand plan to finish it in the next month. It is perfect for a little girl. Hopefully the quilting muse will pay me a visit in the form of a blog or something to inspire me.