Thursday, January 15, 2009

The Secret Wedding Quilt, Part 1

So my absolutely adorable brother-in-law is getting married in May and I couldn't be happier with his choice of bride. She is so cute and just perfect for him. As much of a catch as he is, he totally scored with this lady, for sure.

And since my cute brother-in-law is also responsible for setting me up my my husband, I owe him, BIG TIME. I knew immediately that I would make them a quilt for their wedding present because I really wanted to give them something personal and from the heart. I decided on a Denyse Schmidt inspired design. It was her quilting book that sparked my brain and made me want to try out quilting. Initially, I shied away from doing something directly inspired by one of her quilts because I really wanted to push myself and see what I could come up with on my own first. Now that I have a few (cough cough) quilts under my belt, I am more comfortable cribbing her style.

Serendipity helped me pick out the colors for this quilt. I walked into my local fabric store and saw these two blue/greens leaning up again each other and that was all I needed. The combination reminds me of the ocean, which is so much a part of the happy couple's life.

Here are 2/3 of the blocks laid out on my bed. I have about 11 more to go before I can piece the top together.

The quilt is going to be a queen size (I know, I am scared about quilting something so big too) and each block will get cut down to 14 1/2 " square. If it works out that I can make them into rectangles, I might do that instead and skip adding a border on the top and bottom to fill out the quilt.
I didn't use a pattern when making the blocks. I cut the center squares first and then cut irregular strips selvage to selvage and worked with what I picked up. I love how wonderfully wonky they are, but as you can see, they don't lie perfectly flat. I am crossing my fingers that some spray starch will help me to get them flat enough that I can quilt it properly, but there will be a lot of praying to the sewing goddess on this one.

If anyone out in the internet has any suggestions, I am all ears.

Here is a nice flat block that shows of the colors. Too bad they aren't all like this.

Oh, this quilt is a surprise so if you know that happy couple, please help me keep this secret.

Too be continued...

A birthday present

Here is a little make up bag I made for my too cute future sister-in-law. I am loving the combination of turquoise and red, so much so that I made another one just like it for me. I added some fun little lip balms, breath freshener and a gift certificate to Sephora to round out the present.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Pretty Storage

I bought this unfinished wood storage box at Ikea a while ago in a desperate attempt to keep my growing stash of ribbons and buttons somewhat organized.

Here it is, all boring and plain.

I picked up some craft paint and Modge Podge at Michael's down in North Carolina when I was visiting friends over Thanksgiving. (Thanks again Jess!) The frame of the box is painted a lovely cream. For the drawers, I used some cute Snow & Graham wrapping paper and Modge Podge.

Sadly, I have never used Modge Podge before and I couldn't be bothered to read the directions so I just flew by the seat of my pants. I think I got it right though. I cut the drawers out of a continuous piece so the pattern is recreated when all of the drawers are closed, painted on a coat of MP, smoothed the paper over the front of the drawer and then painted on another coat of MP and then let it dry. A little of the dye came off the paper when I applied the overcoat of MP but I like to think of it as being "antiqued."

Here are all the drawers drying before getting put back into place.

And here is my finished storage box. Not bad, huh? I might need to take another trip over to Ikea to pick up a couple more of these babies. The possibilities are endless.

I finally got around to painting it and recovering the drawers with some cute Snow & Graham wrapping paper.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

An Easy Breezy Skirt

There are two little New York fashionistas that have very strong opinions about what they will wear. At ages 4 and 3, these sisters know what they like and know what they don't. Luckily I passed the first test when I made them these dresses, which are now referred to as the "Made Dress" as in the dresses were made for them. I know! So stinkin' cute.

Of course, I crave their approval so I spent the past couple of months collecting swatches for them but couldn't find any winners. I went out on a limb and picked up this print since it had the requisite pinks, purples and oranges without prior approval. Yup - I am a risk taker. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

The pattern is a free download from the Oliver + S website. It is super simple and the ribbon trim is a great little touch. I added a small pocket on the front and embellished it with a little pink fish button. I used similar buttons on the dresses and I heard that they were a big hit.

Someone Is Turning One!

My husband's first cousin once removed is absolutely adorable and is about to turn one. She has her own quilt but doesn't have any Lunden clothes yet so I figured it was the right to rectify the situation. The best part is that she is a little Los Angeles baby so I can have her in sundresses all year round. I am keeping my fingers crossed that I will get some actions shots soon.

The cutest part of this whole project is that my husband picked out the fabric. I don't know how he will feel if I tell the internet about this, but my little helper picked out the coordinating fabrics when we were in California last summer. I am so proud of him.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Baby Boy Blue Quilt

I was racing against the clock making this quilt but alas, some babies like to be born early. Little Nikolas Ryan was born two days ago, before I could get this finished and sent off in the mail.

Of course, I made a lazy crafter's decision of going ahead with my small stash of pre-made binding without measuring it first and came up about 12 inches short. Hopefully Joann's Fabric won't dally and send me some more pronto. (The fact that I can't just drive to a Joann's makes city living at a time like this pretty painful.)

And I am not too worried that the new mommy will will be offended that the quilt will be a little late. I am sure that she will have plenty to do to keep herself busy.

I had been planning this quilt for a while and am posting these dark pictures because I am too excited to wait for the binding, a good wash and better light. I love working with one color and pairing the different tones with all the prints I had been hording in my stash. Little Nikolas' parents met on a boat and his father is Greek so I really wanted to tie in ocean colors, a subtle nautical theme and a nod to the Greek flag.

The quilting is mostly stippling with a lot of loops. It was fun to experiment and I can't wait to see how it turns out after a wash. I am signed up for a free motion quilting class at City Quilters and am really looking forward to getting some good tips - winging the way I have been can make for some bad habits.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Another Diaper Bag

This could be my new favorite bag and my pictures do not do it justice at all. I wanted to make something nice and roomy with a lot of pockets for storage and boy is it. It is perfect for carrying everything a baby needs and maybe even the baby. Just kidding, this is not a baby carrier ; ) I also put together a coordinating changing pad.

Christmas Present Action Shots

I made this pillow for my mother for Christmas. It is made with vintage embroidery and eyelet lace. Here it is taking center stage on my mom's bed.

A fancy little dress

This dress was a labor of love. It took two different types of fabric, two different patterns and a whole lot of time before getting it right. I went through every emotion trying to get this right and wanted to give up so many times but I am so happy that I pushed through. I can see making this dress in so many different fabrics - the possabilites are endless.

A few Christmas presents

I whipped up some peach cherry and ginger jam and little bird ornaments for little Christmas presents this year. I loved the way they turned out and will be making more next year, for sure.

Finished Scrap Quilt

I started this quilt several months ago and I finally finished it the week before Christmas. This is one of few times where I started a quilt and didn't finish it right away. My scrap bag was over flowing and making a scrap quilt seemed like a great idea. I started by cutting the scraps into two incch pieces of various lengths and then sewed them into long strips. Once I had nine strips, I sewed them together and cut them into twelve inch blocks. The sashing came from my stash, along with the batting and the yellow binding so the only thing I had to buy for this project was the white muslin backing.

Here it is partially quilted and waiting for the binding.

And here it is finished and waiting for a nice afternoon nap.