Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Sewing and other things

It's been a while! Time for an update. I've managed to sew a fair amount over the past month, but I've not taken any good photos. Do bad photos hold you back? I have serious angst about my poor photography, but I'm too lazy to do anything about it. I know, right now I can cut myself some slack (hello, chemotherapy, people!), but eventually I have got to do something about the bad photos. But I digress.

BABIES are coming!

Storytime Squares Baby Quilt

I've sewn three quilt tops for babies in less than a month. I finally finished quilting the first one (above), and I am really proud of it. I densely quilted straight-ish (cough, cough) lines and while it took FOREVER, it gave the quilt such an amazing texture. And it got even better after I washed it. I paired some adorable animal prints by Creative Thursday (Za Za Zoo line) with some Anna Maria Horner florals (a few from Pretty Potent and one Honor Roll print). I love them together! The recipient has done some work in Africa and I noticed both elephants and giraffes on her registry, so I think this will be a hit.

This was my first time sewing the Storytime Squares quilt by Made by Rae and I liked it well enough to make it again. It was more time consuming than my standbys, but when I'm not in a rush to meet a deadline that's okay. Would I do the dense quilting again? As much as I love the result, the time commitment is really daunting. So probably not any time soon.

Aren't these zebras adorable?

Do you have go-to baby quilt patterns? I love the charms baby quilt pattern by Elizabeth Hartman who blogs at Oh, Fransson! Her blog is currently under construction but you can see other quilts using the pattern here. I have made close to a dozen baby quilts using this pattern. It's quick, easy, and looks great. For the next baby quilt I pulled out the Za Za Zoo prints in blues and yellows and added in my favorite Michael Miller dot and a Lizzy House pearl bracelet. This quilt is for my cousin who is expecting her first baby, a boy.

Eek, this top needs a pressing!

I used some of the leftovers to make two bibs and backed them with flannel from my first son's receiving blankets. (A friend recently told me the bibs I made are "the best bibs" they have. I'm not sure what makes them great, but if you're looking for a simple pattern try this one by Rachel Measham-Pywell for Sew Mama Sew.)

Wouldn't this zebra print make some awesome baby pants?

Did I mention that I won the Creative Thursday fabric I used for those two quilts? A little over a year ago Marisa hosted a giveaway on her blog and my number came up on the random generator! Hooray! In addition to this adorable fat quarter bundle, she sent me an original painting, two books and a few other cute things. What an awesome prize. It took me a long time to figure out how to use the fabric, but once I divided the prints by color I was able to formulate a plan.

The third baby quilt is a simple strip quilt for a friend who loves yellow and doesn't know the gender of her baby. I don't have a lot of yellow, so I bought a Cotton + Steel basic to pair with the cute moon bunnies print in the Mochi line by Rashida Coleman Hale. I added in some white and another Cotton + Steel print. It's not a "wow" quilt, but I think she'll like the simplicity -- and the yellow. Plus, I put together a Divided Basket by Anna @Noodlehead with more yellow and more bunnies and some Essex linen in denim. I love the result! Have you sewn this pattern yet? Because it is one of the best patterns out there. Don't take my word for it; give it a try!

Bunny Divided Basket (you can see the strip quilt in the background)

All of the baby gifts are due in April, so I've really got to get quilting. The finished Storytime Squares quilt will be gifted tomorrow at a surprise baby shower for my coworker. I won't be there (chemo #3 -- see this post) but I'm really excited to hear how it is received. Making a quilt for a coworker I don't know well feels a little presumptuous and perhaps too generous? But I love making baby quilts and I know she'll appreciate the gesture.

And I'm just realizing that I am missing all three of the showers because chemo. Oh well. There will be many other opportunities to celebrate these babies!

And that's it. That's the sum total of my sewing lately. This first quarter of 2015 I completed just two out of five projects on my Finish-A-Long list. I missed the deadline to link them up, but I'll go ahead and claim them here anyway!

Q1 Finishes:

Q1 Unfinishes: 
1. Anna Maria Horner Greatest Hits scrappy coin quilt.
2. Priory Square Quilt for someone dear.
3. Echino bird mini quilt. 

I got a little off track at the beginning of the quarter and started a Cotton + Steel plus quilt, but I'm glad I followed my inspiration because it is a project I really love. And while I really should have anticipated the baby quilts (I'd have had a third finish!), I've now gotten a jump on two entries for Quarter Two. Go me!

Q2 Finish-A-Long List:
1. ZaZa Zoo charm square baby quilt for baby boy.
2. Cotton + Steel strip quilt for a friend's baby.
3. Anna Maria Horner greatest hits scrappy coin quilt -- I need to square it up and add the top and bottom borders, and then quilt this baby.
4. Cotton + Steel plus quilt -- Finishing this is a stretch, as I've got only one quarter done, and most likely I'll only get another quarter done by the end of June.
5. Priory Square quilt -- the fabric is collecting dust while I waffle over what design to use. So this is a BIG stretch.
6. Echino bird mini quilt. I made some progress in Q1 and just need to decide on how to finish it. So maybe?


  1. Amazing, the amount you have accomplished while dealing with 'no longer having cancer'. Hope that round three isn't too terribly awful. Then you are 75% done with this nonsense and you can begin to get back to normal. I enjoy your writing and think your photos are just fine. 😊