A New Table Runner

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Last Wednesday, my boyfriend and I returned from a week vacation in Florida!  It was amazing – we spent time with family, enjoyed 3+ mile walks on the beach every day, took a day-trip to Sanibel during peak shelling season, ate like royalty, and visited two quilt shops!

The first quilt shop we visited was StitchCraft in Boca Raton!  I had been there once before with my parents a couple years ago and I was very much looking forward to my return!  My boyfriend, who accompanies me on my quilt shop journeys, was in for a treat.  StitchCraft is well-lit, overflowing with bolts of gorgeous fabrics, has an area designated for male companions, and so friendly!  My favorite thing about visiting quilt shops when I’m out of town (which I always do, it’s important to snag a piece of fabric that will remind you of each vacation you go on) is that typically the selection of fabric is much different from the tastes of the Pacific Northwest.  The colors in StitchCraft are very Florida.  I’m not saying that Oregon quilt shops carry drab, dark fabrics because it’s always raining, because that’s not true – although there always seems to be a nice selection of gray fabrics, Oregon quilt shops love to brighten it up with bold colors.  But StitchCraft had plenty of summery cool colors (teals, aquas, and a great selection of lavenders)!

And so it happened, my boyfriend went off to explore the quilt shop and was immediately sucked into the Kaffe Fassett section (I’m telling you, he has my heart)!  This experience was different though.  He picked up a bolt of fabric and couldn’t put it down!!  Oh, Kaffe stripes, how unbelievably irresistible you are!!  And then it came, “Do you think we could make a new table runner for the dining room table out of this?”  He’s got the fabric bug, bad!

So we picked out three coordinating shot cottons to accompany the stripes and I got down to business the Sunday after we returned.  To be fair, my boyfriend chose the block design (a wonky nine patch), the layout of the runner, the quilting, the color of thread used for quilting, the sashing (that required an extra trip to cool cottons – we sashed it with a shot cotton named ‘Coal’ and I’m so in love with it – it’s warmer than a solid black), and the binding.  However, one of the coordinating shot cottons we picked up in Boca didn’t make it in the runner.  Our house is much more dim than StitchCraft, and two of the shot cottons were too similar in value and color to be effective in the wonky nine patch.  After a run through my stash, we found a couple ‘maybes’ but nothing was really singing to us… Until I laid my eyes on my special reserve stash of hand-dyed fabric given to me by my friend, Britt.  Yep.  It was just perfect (the hand-dyed fabric we used is in the top left corner in the photo below and you can get some hand-dyes of your own here)!

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We caught up on episodes of the Colbert Report last night while I finished hand-sewing the binding and now it’s on display on our dining room table!  I have to say I’m impressed with my boyfriend’s ability to design all aspects of the table runner.  He already asked if we could make something else together!!  I’m so excited to see what we make next!

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This table runner is going to be a daily reminder of our amazing trip to Florida in January 2014.  I’m so in love.  So so happy in love.

PMQG Medallion-a-long

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I’m just going to act like it hasn’t been over a year since my last post and jump right on into it!

The Portland Modern Quilt Guild‘s 2014 officers have chosen to do a medallion-a-long for PMQG members this year and I’m so enthused!  The only requirement for the center block is that it finishes at a 16.5″ square.  Immediately, I knew I wanted to a color wheel of some sort because I am so inspired by the one that hangs at Modern Domestic, which you can see a glimpse of if you take their virtual tour.  I also wanted to challenge myself and try a quilting technique that I’m not familiar with, which left me on the fence with either paper-piecing or appliqué.  Since appliqué is the common method for color wheels, the choice was easy.

I did a quick search for 16.5″ quilt block tutorials, and I found one for a Dresden plate that Elizabeth Hartman did for sewmamasew.com.  I printed the templates and dove into my stash without looking back!  Here is photo evidence of the progress of the block on my design wall:

Stash fabrics selected!

Points sewn!

My points are sewn!

My favorite part of the quilt-making process is piecing, and one of the things I enjoy about it is watching my quilt blocks shrink & tidy up!

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All pieced!

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I had a really difficult time deciding whether or not I wanted a ‘floating’ Dresden Plate with a solid center matching my gray background fabric, or to use a print for the center circle.  I ended up asking the advice of anyone willing to listen, including my tumblr followers, and the majority chose the print!  I’m really happy with the outcome – the center fabric that I selected (Chantilly by Lauren + Jessi Jung for moda) was a Christmas gift from my mother, and it adds even more meaning to the quilt!

My favorite part about scrappy quilting is the untold stories in the fabrics!  I already told you about the center circle, so I will give you two more!  The soft orange solid was given to me by my very best friend, Britt.  She hand-dyes fabric with her mom (you should buy some and you can do so here), and this is one of them!  I just absolutely love it.  I love the color, I love the story behind it, I love the ladies who made it.

The other fabric that tugs at my heart is the apple print!  I met my boyfriend near the apples in the produce department of a grocery store.  I picked up this specific apple print on a trip to Seattle that I took with him and his two daughters!  We had a great time & the fabric reminds me of all of the fun we had, as well as how fortunate I am to have the best boyfriend in the whole world!

And now that the center is done, I’m anxiously waiting for the next PMQG meeting so I can get started on the first border!!

xoxo,  anne

San Diego

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

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

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!!

CHEERS!

A Quilt for Scott’s Nephew

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

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

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!

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!!

Handmade Christmas: Sister Emily

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:

NancyinSTL said…  Thanks for this fun modern airplane tutorial.  I just finished making a block using this airplane tutorial. Being careful to print at 100%–which shrinks the templates–it yielded a 23″ x 13″ block. However, when I let the print default to “fit to page”, I get templates that would yield the 24 1/2″ x 14 1/2″ block.

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

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!

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

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

Handmade Christmas: Emily with her quilted airplane

Merry Christmas, Emily!!  I love you!

Handmade Christmas: Momma

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

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!

My mom with her folklore bag on Christmas morning!

Merry Christmas, Momma!  I hope you enjoy your purse as much as I enjoy mine!

Christmas Surprise!!

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!

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)!

Merry Christmas!

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

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!!

Cheers!

Last Craft Fair of 2012

The Best Craft Fair in Portland, OR!

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.

Starting New Early

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:

New Craft Fair 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.