Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Tasting Table Tuesday - Shott Cottons

I've been cutting up fabric...  Aren't these colors gorgeous?

Last spring at MQX, I treated myself to this fat-quarter bundle of Shott Cottons.

I've been saving (hoarding) them ever since, just waiting for inspiration to strike.  Now I have a plan, so I took the plunge and cut them all up.

I have a modern quilt in mind.  I'll post progress pictures soon.


Monday, January 19, 2015

Foul Weather Quilts

I have finished two quilts recently, but have been waiting for a break in the weather to go outside and take pictures of them.  I have come to the conclusion that it's just not going to happen here in Pennsylvania.  It has been freezing cold, windy, rainy, snowy, you name it...  Spring can't get here soon enough!
So I apologize for the poor pictures, but I took advantage of a brief bit of sunshine on a cold day, and laid the quilts out on the floor near a window.  Not great, but the best I could do.

I pieced this one at retreat last fall and finally got around to quilting it.  I've wanted to try quilting a large spiral for a long time now, and this seemed like a good quilt to try it on.  I love how it turned out, and it was easier than I thought!  The very center was a little tricky and I had to go very slowly, but the further out I went, the easier it got.

This next one is a baby quilt that I will probably list in my Etsy shop shortly.  It's just a nice simple arrangement of aqua and coral rectangles.  Straight line quilting again, but in an interesting geometric design.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

A Christmas Baby

That's right!  Little Miss Sydney decided to make her appearance early Christmas morning, five days earlier than expected.  Another granddaughter - the best Christmas gift ever!

I spent a week with them, and had lots of fun with her big sister, Rory, while Sydney and her mom tried to catch up on their sleep.  Of course, I had to squeeze in a little sewing time while I was there, and made this car seat cover to keep the wind and snow off while carrying her to and from the car.

I raided my daughter's fabric stash and came up with a piece of gray minky for the underside and a polka dot print for the top.  Great match for the red and gray carseat.

I used this tutorial, and it worked great.  Easy to follow, and fit the car seat just right.  I love the little peek-a-boo window in the front...  and so did Rory...  She had to squeeze herself into the car seat and try it out for herself.  A tight fit for an almost four-year-old, but she made it!!

And of course, Sydney got to try it out for size too...

Now I'm home, and it's back to reality again...  Hope to update you with some quilting progress soon.

Cheers!  And Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Squeaky Feet

As the holidays approach and we wait patiently for our new granddaughter to make her arrival any day now, I've been keeping myself busy by working on my ever-growing stack of quilt tops waiting to be quilted.

A few months ago, I purchased this special foot for my Juki that enables me to do ruler work on this sit-down machine.  It is a hopping foot just like the ones you see on a long-arm machine and it is a full 1/4" high so it rides safely along the edge of the 1/4" high quilting rulers (I use these rulers).

I am slowly gaining confidence as I get used to doing ruler work, and I just love the control that I have with these rulers.  But, as always, there was one thing that was bugging me...

The noise!

As this foot hops up and down, it rubs against the side of the ruler, producing a chirping/squeaking noise not unlike fingernails on a chalkboard.  Now, I admit, I am probably much tenser than I should be, and am holding the ruler way too tight against the foot...  but I'm afraid if I lighten up my grip too much the foot will lose contact with the ruler.  I've tried relaxing, but the squeak keeps coming back every few seconds.

But wait - there's a solution!!!

That's right!  Good old car wax!  I just rubbed a light coating on the outside surface of the foot, where it contacts the ruler, let it dry to a haze, then buffed it out with a soft cloth.  The squeak is gone!!!

Plus, there's an added bonus!  The foot glides along the ruler much more smoothly now.  I didn't realize how much drag and resistance was created when it squeaked.  The car wax reduced all that friction and my quilting is much smoother, and QUIET!

I'm sure I'll have to re-wax it from time to time, but it only takes a couple of minutes, and is really worth the extra effort.  So if you have a squeaky foot, try the wax!


Friday, December 12, 2014

Quilts for the Grand Daughters

Time is getting short!  My daughter is expecting her second baby this month and we had a wonderful visit with them after Thanksgiving.  I made a wall quilt for the nursery and now that it's been delivered, I can finally share it with you here.  They hadn't finished painting the walls yet when we were there, so we weren't able to hang the quilt, but at least it's in their hands, ready to go.

I started with a pattern called Chubby Chicks by Black Mountain Needleworks because I just fell in love with these adorable chicks.  I opted to do the borders differently though, and changed the number of blocks to make it the size I wanted. 

The nursery color scheme is coral and aqua, and the wall color is light aqua, so this should coordinate nicely.  I used white Bella Solid for the background, and assorted aqua and coral prints for the pinwheels and chicks.  The chicks are machine blanket-stitched after fusing them in place using a method of applique I learned from Krista at Poppyprint, (click here for a link).

I got a little more daring with my quilting on this one, and love how it finally turned out.  The chick's tail feathers didn't stand out quite enough, so I added a little colored shading with my water-color pencils.

For the back, I had the perfect fabric already in my stash, just waiting for the right project to come along.  Perfect little aqua birds.  Just had to use this one!

Can't wait to see it on the wall when the nursery is finished.  And it will be soon, because this baby could come any time now.

And her big sister got some new things for her room too!  I shared her quilt with you a while ago, and then proceeded to make a pair of Roman Shades to match, using Joel Dewberry's Aviary, Sparrow in Plum.

They look great in her newly painted purple bedroom, and you can see the corner of her new quilt on the bed as well.  She loves her new purple room.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Tasting Table Tuesday - Playing Catch-up

Based on my lack of Tasting Table Tuesday posts in the past weeks, one might think that I've skipped town.   Not...  It's just that I've been busy working on "non-postable" projects lately.  Between making things for Christmas gifts, and gifts for the new grandchild due in a few short weeks, there just hasn't been much that I've been able to share with you.  I'll do my best to make up for that after the holidays, when nothing is secret anymore.

But here are a couple of things I can show you in the meantime.  First is actually a Christmas gift, but I don't think the recipient reads my blog very often, so I'll take a chance and share the pictures without giving away too much detail that might reveal who it's for.  This table runner was made with a piece of gradated blue fabric (from V & Co's Simply Color collection, I think...), mixed with some of Northcott's Stonehenge fabrics.  I love the way the colors drift from light to dark, and I added some stitch-in-the-ditch quilting in a copper metallic thread to give just a hint of glimmer to this runner.  It's really stunning when the sunlight hits at just the right angle.

The other completed project from recent weeks is the Friendship Braid quilt I shared a while back.  After returning from the longarm quilter (thanks Sue B!) I finished the binding and the label and passed it on to my customer.  She was so thrilled, and said it turned out just like she pictured in her mind.  :)

She especially likes hearts, so we selected a pantograph that mixed hearts and swirls together, and it was just perfect.

Now I'm rushing to get a few last-minute projects done, as well as preparing for the upcoming Thanksgiving celebration here this week.  Between holidays and Grammie Duty when this next baby arrives, I'm sure I won't be doing much blogging in the coming weeks, but I'll pop in when I can.  Stay tuned in the new year when I hope catch up with all of you and play catch-up once again.  Happy Holidays!


Friday, October 24, 2014

Pre-Holiday Sale Announcement

***$$$*** SALE ***$$$***

The Christmas Shopping Season is just around the corner.  To help you get an early start, (for a limited time only), I am offering a 15% discount on your total order at my Etsy shop, Cotton Cellar.  To get your discount, simply enter 15OFF2014 in the Coupon Code box at checkout.
(Custom orders excluded.)

And don't forget to shop at the upcoming Holiday Craft Fairs in your local area also.
Support your local Crafters.  Handmade is best!