Friday, August 21, 2009

1/3 There

I've completed nearly a third of the Amy Butler Midwest Modern Quilt. The process is quite relaxing; all I have to do is sew in a straight line, which some days can be more challenging than others! Once I've completed all the squares, I then need to figure out what my border fabric is going to be. Even though I have a container's worth of scraps to coordinate, there probably isn't enough to finish the project. So, I'm left debating if it's worth investing in more designer fabric, or trim and back it in less expensive solids. Thoughts?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

I Want It Wednesdays

Anyone else noticing that embroidery hoops as picture frames are everywhere? Pottery Barn had them in a recent catalog, and now I can't go through more than two clicks in my Bloglines without seeing someone's featured. I love them and need to either buy or make some for my home. 

This cuckoo clock from Little Pink House is delightful. Her use of space outside the hoop adds interest and character. She has other awesome designs in her Etsy shop here

To give credit where it is due - I saw this shop on another blog but forgot to write down whose it was. Sorry! 

Monday, August 17, 2009

Olivia Quilt

My dining room has been taken over by a quilting extravaganza. Several projects are in progress including a quilt for my 2-year-old Olivia. Appropriately, I chose fabric from a line of fabric printed with the character Olivia who was first from a darling series of books by Ian Falconer and now also a cartoon show, which my daughter is a little obsessed with. Olivia is a difficult name to say, and she pronounces it "la-liba." 

The pattern is pretty simple - just a basic log cabin. I start with a fussy cut from an illustrated print fabric that I will also use for the backing. Then, I build around it in strips. My challenge is to figure out how to square them all up to the same size before putting on the sashing as each center starts as a different dimension. The sashing will be red (still need to purchase this) as this is Oliva's (the cartoon version) favorite color.

I'm also piecing strips from Moda's Hello Betty honey bun for the circle applique pillow shown on the cover of the Amy Butler book In Stitches. Tonight, Bill is going to help me figure out how to size down the circle to fit my 18"x18" pillow (pattern makes it 29"x29"). 

Have a happy Monday!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Boring to... Better

My entry way looks better, but it did not realize the beautiful potential I think it may have in one DIY spurt this morning. The struggle for me is to make the vision I have a reality... my sewing skills have a lot of room for improvement, and my design skills are amateur at best. Still, I have a passion to make to cultivate my aesthetic. For years, I have conformed to what I thought was acceptable - traditional beige - and ended up with an uninspiring, personal-less space. My goal over the next few months is to make my home cozier - brown and beige be darned! I will use the colors I like, the decorations I love... follow my instincts rather than worrying about what someone might think. 

Anyway, this bench project today was a step toward that goal. Actually, it's not a bench but a hope chest my mother gave me when I graduated from college. I had covered a piece of plywood wrapped in batting with chocolate brown satin-ish fabric, and that's how it stayed for years. Bor-ing. Now, it's covered in Amy Butler fabric (bought at the Fabric Shack in Waynesville, OH) and adorned with a knitted patchwork pillow I've worked monogamously on for the last two weeks. I love how it turned out and can't wait to make more pillow covers! The pillow pattern, called Leaf Cushion, is from the Spring/Summer 2009 Debbie Bliss magazine - love her style. 

My poor dull hope chest still needs some more work. I'll see what other patterns I can try out - maybe some quilting is in order?!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

I Want It! Wednesdays

In case my handmade ever starts to look mass produced, this ribbon will declare the labor of love for me. I can see snipping it around the word and sewing it down on the corner of a quilt, on the back of the neck of a sweater, or on the edge of a scarf. Shipped from France, the cost of a meter + freight is still less than coffee and a scone at Starbucks (when put like that, maybe I'll order 2?!).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Scrappy Projects

I had a productive sewing weekend. Besides finishing the quilted table runner, I also cranked out a quick camera-strap cover from scraps and started Amy Butler's Midwest Modern Quilt - the name seems to fit, don't you think?

The camera-strap cover comes from one of my favorite blogs, Cluck, Cluck, Sew. If you don't already subscribe, do. She has great aesthetic and informative tutorials. It's one of my go-to places for inspiration. 

The Amy Butler quilt is a free download available here. I'm making it from scraps left over from my mom's many garment projects. She has tons of Amy Butler - a whole bag of scraps - that she gave me. (Thanks, mom!) I will need to buy for the outer boarder and backing, but that is down the road. For now, I can enjoy cutting and piecing this fun, colorful quilt I plan to put on Olivia's bed.