Thursday, June 22, 2017

Snail Trail Quilt: Nicey Jane

Now that I am getting my bearings with quilting, I love revisiting classic styles of quilts and using modern fabrics to give them a fresh feel.  I loved this Heather Bailey fabric, Nicey Jane, the first time it was released and now that it has been released all these years later, I am thrilled to be able to use it for a quilt. The Fat Quarter Shop has a wonderful (and free!) pattern for us. This one is a classic snail trail but it is easy to piece together and fun! It is pretty quick to make and the look is dynamic! 

If you are new to quilting, this is the IDEAL pattern for you to try. Not only is it really user friendly and easy to follow, there is a video for you to walk you through it! 

Isn't this fabric gorgeous?
After I got my blocks together I placed my borders and it really took shape!
A summer snack while quilting a summer quilt is a must!
I criss-cross quilted it (please, do not google that. I am not even sure what the proper name is but basically I straight line quilted it diagonally both directions. Does that make sense?).
I got this done just in time to take it with us to the beach and hand binded (bound?) it while the kids played and the waves crashed. I wouldn't mind hand binding all my quilts like this!
As soon as I was done binding, I got it washed just in time for a late afternoon photoshoot. Everything is prettier at the beach. 
Can you see the criss-cross quilting? 
This quilt is a very large throw size, which is perfect for snuggling up on a breezy, beach day. 

Or a picnic.
Or a car ride.
I think I will make a fall and winter version of this quilt. Simply changing the prints would give it a totally new look. I love that is really only has a few fabrics. Sometimes, choosing fabrics can be overwhelming and this takes that out of the equation. 
Here is another version:

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Dovetail: A Celtic Christmas Quilt

This is one of the quickest, easiest quilts that is also beautiful! Once I saw the sample image, I decided to make one for Christmas, too! I think any fabric scheme would work and be wonderful, but I love the Christmas colors and prints on display! In the white space, I decided to trace a Celtic knot and stitch it using my walking foot to add a little interest. This is a quilt you can do from start to finish in a weekend, y'all! Perfect for a first quilt, there is also a video to guide you through it. Please do give it a try. It's a free pattern!

Monaluna Fabric, Sawtooth Blocks, and Basil

It's summer! We spent some family time at the beach right after school got out and then had a swim meet after that, so it really feels like summer started first full day at home. 
I finished hand binding this massive table runner that I began in the Spring. The fabric came from Monaluna and it is THE SOFTEST fabric I have ever felt. In fact, I cannot wait to try making a shift dress from this. It is so soft that is almost drapes like a rayon but it is thicker and therefore, not see-through. I really could't love it more! The prints in this line, Bloom, are classic but the colors are rest and summer-like. The Lemons are my favorite. 
I want to tell you about Monaluna. Monaluna is a small, independent organic fabric company based in Walnut Creek, CA. The company is owned and operated by Jennifer Moore and her husband David Miguelucci, with assistance and inspiration from their young daughter Anabelle. Monaluna was started in 2010 by Jennifer, a designer and textile artist, out of a desire to bring more sustainable alternatives to the fabric marketplace. "I have always loved sewing and creating with fabric", Jennifer says, "but as I learned about the environmental impacts of fabric production I became committed to making more environmentally-friendly options available to sewists and quilters." The company started small, but has been growing steadily, and is now producing 4-6 new collections per year. As for the fabric, all of the Monaluna collections are printed on premium 100% organic cotton with a high thread-count, which gives them an exceptionally soft and high-quality hand. Monaluna fabrics are characterized by a graphic and modern style, and are often whimsical and humorous. After years in the children's product market, Jennifer creates designs that are very appropriate for kids, but which can cross over to adult projects as well. 
Monaluna was generous enough to send me some sample fabric to create this project and review the lovely quality of their work. I urge you to try it! 
Because my table is so large, a small table runner never looks quite right. I followed the sawtooth pattern from Lori Holt's book and there were two options in sizes. I opted to make the 12" blocks which really show the beautiful fabric off nicely. I had never made a saw tooth or flying geese before so I popped on over to my go-to-how-to, Diary of a Quilter to get more in depth directions and as you can see, Amy came through for me (again). 
I really love the juxtaposition of fresh colors and prints with classic quilting shapes. It really gives a modern feel to a more old-fashioned look. I prefer quilting for gifts and knew when this fabric arrived that I might be selfish and keep this for the home. I was validated in my selfishness when Sam said, "You never let us keep anything you make". I am not sure that a table runner is what he had in mind, but I went with it!

This sweet vase was my grandmother's. She always had flowers in it and kept it in her powder room. I always, always loved it. Last week we had a girl's night together and she said that if there was anything of her's that I wanted to let her know. I wanted this vase and her olive green Tupperware bowls (memories of cereal and homemade popcorn from using those!). As soon as I set out the new table runner, I knew the vase would be perfect for this! The colors are perfect and it is a great way to display the overabundance of basil I came home to!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Jelly Roll Railway

YOU GUYS! I have a free pattern for you that looks so complicated but comes together in a snap! Thanks to the use of a jelly roll, most of the cutting has been done for you. This was so much fun to piece. I LOVE this sweet fabric had to have it once I saw the birds! Though I made this as a gift, those little birds are going to make giving this one away a bit tough. 
I haven't yet settled on the background fabric yet. I am considering piecing it. Or using linen. Or more birds. Or the fabric from this line with text. I really love fabric with writing. Or birds...
Doesn't this look hard? SO easy!
Have you made this one yet? Grab the pattern!
Never quilted? Want to try? This pattern also has a free instructional video! I promise, you CAN do this!

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Memorial day

As soon as school got out on Friday, our crew packed up the minivan and headed to Holden Beach to spend Memorial Day weekend with our friends. They were generous enough to host us at the beach.
It was such a blessing to get out of town and enjoy the salty air and water as well as their company.
Almost immediately after arriving, the kids peeled off clothing and got into bathing suits. The dock was calling them! They used the fishing poles and cast nets almost all weekend to catch bait shrimp, fish, and even a baby squid.
We came back to Raleigh a little bit sunburned, a little bit tired, and totally rejuvenated.  
I am so thankful that we have Memorial Day as a chance to pause and reflect on the freedoms we have in America because of the great sacrifice made by so many. 
We are blessed in so many ways, but good friends and freedom have to be some of His biggest.