This past weekend I went to visit one of my very best friends who just moved to San Diego in November – and holy wow!! We had such a good time!
It was pretty cold for the Californians but 20 degrees warmer than Portland, so I was happy to settle for 55 degrees! I saw two incredible sunsets that left me breathless (okay wait, I actually saw the sun for the first time in months). I still can’t get over how beautiful & charming San Diego is – nothing like LA, thank God!
La Jolla, CA sunset January 12, 2013
And my super amazing beautiful friend even took me to a quilt shop!! Marie (owner of my favorite quilt shop in Portland) recommended Rosie’s Calico Cupboard in La Mesa. It carries pretty traditional fabrics but the selection was huge! It was almost as if Rosie’s occupied an entire strip mall! And then!! Just when I thought I had seen every bolt in the store, I stumbled upon one last room and it was STUFFED with Kaffe Fasset and Philip Jacobs and ooo!, I just can’t get enough of Rowan Westminster!!
A third (or less?) of the Rowan Westminster fabrics @ Rosie’s Calico Cupboard in La Mesa
I was literally shaking with excitement when I snapped the above photo (hehe, can you tell?)!
It was one of my favorite weekends of all time and I owe it all to Michelle – thanks for being such an amazing host and I can’t wait to visit you again!!
My friend Scott gets his first nephew in t-minus two weeks (!!!!!!!!!!!!) and asked if I would make a baby quilt using blues, greens, grays, and orange accents.
Uh, YES! Of course!!
A Quilt for Scott’s Nephew: pieced & blowing in the winter wind
I made this baby quilt for a friend’s niece last year and I really like the pattern for babies because it gives them a lot to study and is super fun to make. I had some scraps on hand but my stash definitely lacks oranges so I picked up some fabrics at cool cottons (my favorite Portland quilt shop at 24th & SE Hawthorne), including the softest flannel animal print for the back (and I failed to get a photo, boo)!
The pattern is inspired by the ‘Gumdrops’ throw in Sew Scrappy Volume Two by Better Homes & Gardens. I must admit, I didn’t follow the pattern in the magazine but I think mine turned out very similar, only smaller (and after browsing the instructions in the magazine, my block construction and sashing were much different). The finished quilt was roughly a 30″ square. Also, the magazine recommends that you press your seams open – I pressed mine to alternating sides so I could nest them – it’s much easier to match corners that way.
A Quilt for Scott’s Nephew: quilting
I quilted it with my walking foot and made up wonky boxes as I went along. The quilting gives the entire quilt a geometric feel which is cohesive with the pattern.
A Quilt for Scott’s Nephew: done!
I love how it turned out! I passed it off to Scott yesterday and he was pleased, too!! Now, that little bundle just needs to hurry up and get here!!
Happy first finished quilt in 2013!!
My sister Emily works for an airline and loves airplanes! So when I stumbled upon this tutorial by Art Gallery Fabrics’ blog, I knew it would be the perfect present to make for her stocking gift!
Let’s just say, this wasn’t a project that I should have started at 1am… I had a million issues!! First, I printed the templates at 100% per the pattern instructions, and at 1am, they looked reasonable. But if only I had read the comments:
Err, I don’t think that my finished product even turned out that large – it required a lot of trimming and adjusting the size of the pieces that I had cut. In fact, here’s a terrible photo that I took around 2am to prove how wonky my miniature table runner was before I cut it down (and I had significantly readjusted the length of the plane at this point):
Wonky plane in progress
I went to bed and saved the trimming and quilting for daylight. The wonderful thing about quilting is that each obstacle presents an opportunity to make your project unique. I wasn’t about to give up on this airplane because I knew how much my sister would love it.
Airplane in progress: all quilted!
I had hoped to quilt flight patterns (or whatever, I don’t really know anything about flying/planes/etc), but instead I went with simple quilting that mimicked the airplane’s wings. I started in the center and quilted outwards because I was doing straight-line quilting with a walking foot. And then I added a solid black binding to frame the airplane:
Airplane in progress: adding the binding
Even though my plane ended up significantly smaller than I had hoped, my sister loved it!! Here it is on Christmas morning:
Handmade Christmas: Emily with her quilted airplane
Merry Christmas, Emily!! I love you!
This summer I made myself the perfect handmade purse – I didn’t think the size was as obnoxious as some of the “diaper bags” I tote around, and I could stuff my necessities, a beach towel, and a good book without a problem.
Folklore Bag: Take One
I love the sweet calico print, too. Something about it just relaxes me. I used the the Folklore Bag pattern from One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins. It’s fully-lined and comes equipped with a magnetic closure and an inner pocket – which I increased a tad bit so that it would comfortably fit my iPhone.
And of course, my mom wanted one, too! But there’s something I’ve got to admit: the pattern requires careful cutting of pattern pieces and I’m just not a fan of pinning tissue paper to fabric and then using scissors to artfully cut out the shapes! I’m a quilter! Give me a rotary cutter and ruler!! Scissors?! Boo.
Hence, I hesitated to make my mom a perfect purse. Terrible daughter, I know. My mom is the best in the world. She armed me with a needle and thread when I was three (it was a big plastic needle and the thread was yarn, but it counts) and has funded and fueled my passion ever since! I’m totally lucky. So for Christmas, I finally got it together:
My mom with her folklore bag on Christmas morning!
Merry Christmas, Momma! I hope you enjoy your purse as much as I enjoy mine!
I couldn’t believe my eyes when I opened my first Christmas present from my mom this morning! The Christmas quilt!
The Christmas Quilt from my momma!
My mom originally made this quilt for a friend’s Christmas present. I helped her quilt it and I couldn’t get over how beautiful it is – and I’m not normally one for Christmas fabrics or batiks! But she arranged the blocks perfectly (the pattern is a disappearing nine patch) and I fell in love with it. I told her over and over again that she just couldn’t give it away! She went to great lengths to lead me to believe she was going through with her original plan – she staged it on the table in a Priority Mail box and told me that her friend had received it and loved it (which, kudos to my mom because she’s normally not a very skilled liar)! And lo and behold!!! It’s mine!!!! I was so surprised! I love it! Thank you, Momma (on the left)!
It’s been a great year – I had my first Etsy sale, I made umpteen quilts (I think 19 – I’m starting to journal my quilts so I can keep track of these things better!), and I ended the year with a few craft fairs! The last craft fair I did was Handmade NW’s Formal Artisans Fair – I’m so grateful to all of my friends and family that came out, and for the friendships I made with the other vendors. Best of all, my favorite nephew made it and sat on my lap for a few minutes!!
Georgie and I at the Handmade NW Formal Artisans Fair 2012
Look at those cheeks!
I have one present left to make before Christmas, and then I’m looking forward to making a few baby quilts for loved ones and quilts for charity! I’m also hoping that sometime in 2013 I’ll get a place of my own, and if I do, my new pad will require new quilts, too! PS. Look forward to posts of all of my handmade Christmas presents – I’m trying so hard to keep everything a surprise but most of all I just want to share the things I’ve made!
Merry Christmas, everyone! And most of all, HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
The Best Craft Fair in Portland, OR – carolina anne will be there all dressed up and selling some handmade gifts!
Handmade NW Formal Artisans Fair :: FREE :: Sunday, Dec 16, 11am – 5pm at the Leftbank Annex
A festive gift-buying event featuring more than 100 local artisans offering items for everyone on your list! Enjoy live classical music, free coffee and pastries from Marsee Baking, plus FREE Goodie bags for the first 100 guests through the door!
In the spirit of giving, this year Handmade NW and its participating artists are gathering funds and pantry items for The Oregon Food Bank (http://www.oregonfoodbank.org). Please bring your donations of nonperishable items to stock the pantry shelves.
Like us on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/HandmadeNW): where we post artisan profiles daily leading up to events.
It feels like tomorrow ought to be 1/1/2013 because my little world is going to change in a big way as I start a new job. I’ve already broken into my 2013 planner because it just feels right. And I’m finally going to start using this blog instead of my tumblr.
Change is healthy and it’s good to embrace it. You don’t know who you are or what you’re capable of until you leave your comfort zone. I haven’t left my comfort zone for a while and I’m ready for this. Of course, I’m nervous, but if failure is the worst I can do, then what the hell?! Why not? Failure is overrated – it’s all about the experience.
Meanwhile, I’m gearing up for a craft fair this Saturday! It’s my first time going to this event so I’m not sure what to expect but I did need a new display to fit their requirements (tables are provided). My incredible dad never lets me down. He built me this beauty of a display:
My father built me this display to fit the table dimensions of the craft show this upcoming Saturday! I like it more than my usual one…
I couldn’t be happier! That being said – I need to get back to creating!!
Happy Quilting, y’all.