Tuesday, July 31, 2012

… a gift for my mom

ingrid isn't the only july baby in our family. my mom and i were both born this month, with our birthdays just six days apart. i've always liked having our birthdays so close. it means lots of good celebrations and sometimes fun vacations together. we went to new york in 1988 when i was a teenager to celebrate, a trip i will always remember and love. we saw starlight express and speed the plow, which starred madonna (see what happens when a teenager is allowed to pick the shows?). we saw the david hockney retrospective at the met, and since that trip he has always been one of my favorite artists. i'm sure i gave my mom some typical teenager grief (there may have been an incident where i was so mortified that she asked someone for directions i walked on the other side of the street for several blocks), but i adore my mom and i always will.

ipad case for mom

so i was thinking about the rousing games of words with friends i play with my mom now (and how she is one of my most formidable competitors) when deciding what to give her for her birthday. i thought her ipad could use a cozy new case, so i whipped one up using this tutorial from one shabby chick.

ipad case for mom

i used one of my favorite outside oslo prints and lined it with some gorgeously soft shot cotton. the tutorial was super easy to follow, and the case turned out super padded and cushy. i'm sure no harm will come to my mom's ipad when it's housed in this puppy.

ipad case for mom

happy birthday, mom! i know this is small thing and doesn't even come close to showing how much i love and admire you, but i hope you like it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

… blocks and blocks and blocks

there are a few good things on my design wall right now.

x & + blocks

these three x & + blocks are making me insanely happy. i have jessica to blame for this. i just loved the quilt top she finished during our sewing retreat so much, i couldn't help but dive into making these blocks myself (using this tutorial). mine are way scrappy, meaning i just pulled whatever i had on hand from my scrap bins, not caring at all if the fabrics looked good together or matched. i maybe should have paid more attention to value, but nothing bothers me enough to change it. and rather than make this all by myself, i think i will make this the next project for the love circle of do. good stitches. so watch out, stitchers! this is what's coming your way next month!

converging corners

converging corners blocks

i also just finished up these two blocks for the july do. good stitches quilt. and i am seriously in love with them. deborah asked for blocks in reds, blues, and yellows with pops of grey, using this tutorial. the colors are great, and it's going to look so amazing when it's all put together. [swoon!]

half circles

and i finally managed to finish this block i started on the retreat. i am super happy with where this is going, though parts of it aren't exactly right. i plan on playing around with the design to see what will come of it. but for now it's going to become a pillow!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

… a treasure from the rotary auction

a fog engulfs bainbridge island

last, last saturday ingrid and i braved the fog that rolled across the sound to enfold bainbridge island to go to one of my favorite events of the year: the rotary auction. i'm sure i've blogged about this before. oh, look, see, here and here and here!

quiltbook1

i usually come home with many treasures, but this time i came home with just one. that's okay though, because i love it. there were stacks and stacks of quilting books, but this one caught my eye. it is filled with page after page of gorgeous plates of quilts. i know i'm not the first person to point out how often what we call modern quilts have such traditional roots, but it really is true.

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

this quilt was made in 1889. i know, right?!

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

and don't these two amish quilts and this amazing early 19th century quilt from new england look like they could have been made today. solids are so modern. i mean traditional. i mean modern.

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

i like these triangle quilts, too. they've got the whole value/half square triangle thing going on.

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

and this puppy… yowza!

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

i love how these take the humble log cabin and make it into something exciting and fresh.

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

from treasury of american quilts by cyril i. nelson & carter houck

lately i have been smitten with lone star quilts. these terrific examples of lone star quilts (or rather, stars of bethlehem... i'm not sure i can tell the difference) are currently blowing my mind. good timing, because the seattle modern quilt guild is going to have a star quilt-a-long, so i think i'm going to tackle my own lone star. i am a little intimidated. and excited.

bainbridge island rotary auction

i can't end without showing you a few shots of the this year's rotary auction. it is madness, i tell you, madness! and what you see above represents maybe 2% of what's for sale.

bainbridge island rotary auction

there were a lot of balls for sale.

bainbridge island rotary auction

and, as tempting as it was, i did not take this treasure home with me. but i do hope jerry found a nice new place to live. or continue to be a dead head. ha. get it?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

… the seattle modern quilt guild show at island quilter

seattle modern quilt guild exhibit at island quilter

quilts by (l to r): emily cier, krista withers, noelle powers

last friday was the opening reception for the seattle modern quilt guild show at island quilter on vashon. it was so amazing to see all that talent on display in one room.

seattle modern quilt guild exhibit at island quilter

seattle modern quilt guild exhibit at island quilter

seattle modern quilt guild exhibit at island quilter

i just loved seeing these quilts by blair and season hanging next to each other.

seattle modern quilt guild exhibit at island quilter

and, oh look! here's my quilt hanging between two bright lovelies (by emily and katie).

seattle modern quilt guild exhibit at island quilter

there was also a wall of baby quilts, many of them made by the guild for babies born since our founding. ingrid's is hanging second from left.

island quilter

but the other terrific part of the evening was finally getting to visit island quilter. what an amazing shop! this is the view looking back from the exhibition hall into the retail space.

island quilter

island quilter

this place is a literal maze of fabric. check out that entire wall of kaffe fassett (and say hi to katie!)

island quilter

this is the view when you walk in the front door. so much fabric! so many colors! (and, by the way, they have seriously competitive prices. i definitely came home with a few half yard cuts and several spools of aurifil, which they had on sale.)

seattle modern quilt guild exhibit at island quilter

and we ended the evening with a delicious dinner at the hardware store, just a few doors down from island quilter. good food, delicious drinks, wonderful friends. a truly fun evening.

the exhibition runs through the month of july. if you're in the area, do yourself a favor and take the ferry over to vashon for a day trip!

Monday, July 9, 2012

… my one-year-old girl

1 year!

i seriously have no idea where the time went. it's like, poof! she was born and was just this tiny wrinkly milk-hungry being, and then poof! she's suddenly this small but significantly larger one-year-old human with a personality and likes and dislikes and a sense of humor.

i'm pretty much in love with this little baby, if that wasn't obvious already.

ingrid's first birthday

being a fourth of july baby, ingrid had lots to do to celebrate her birth. we took the ferry over to bainbridge island for the grand ol' fourth of july parade, one of my most favorite events of the year. i was seriously sad to miss it last year because i was, well... busy having a baby.

ingrid seemed to really be into watching the parade. here she is with her oma.

ingrid's first birthday

i was tickled by this little baby flower on one of the floats.

ingrid's first birthday

i think the best part of the parade is always the intensely vigorous revolutionary volunteer dixieland band. they always make me smile.

ingrid's first birthday

after the parade we adjourned to my parent's house for a nap and then a party. (priorities, right?) i made a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. the candle was a sparkler in the shape of the number 1, which i failed to get a photo of in action because it burned down too quickly. but it was seriously awesome, trust me.

ingrid wasn't that into the cake. silly baby. good thing there were lots of berries on it for her to enjoy, though.

ingrid's first birthday

ingrid's first birthday

and then there were a few presents, which she clearly did not understand. but it was fun for the rest of us.

ingrid's first birthday

all followed by a walk down to the beach, which no trip to bainbridge is complete without. this baby looks tired, right? turning one is exhausting, people.

and thanks for humoring me and being sweet about all the ingrid posting i do. i know i stopped putting her weekly photos up on the blog, but if you want to check out the complete set from the past year, you can do so on flickr. i am so happy i stuck with it and kept taking these weekly photos, even when it got insanely difficult when she finally became mobile. i think the photo quality went down significantly these past couple of months, since she always seemed to be rolling out of frame or pulling the fabric up or crawling away or screaming because she couldn't grab the toy i was dangling over her to make her look up. i'm pretty sure i won't continue with weekly or monthly photos like this, and i'm okay with that. there are plenty of other pictures i can take of her (hello instagram!) to document her growing up. but this was definitely fun while it lasted.

oh, and if anyone has any ideas for what i can do with 52 yards of fabric, let me know.

Friday, July 6, 2012

… arkansas, traveled

arkansas traveler quilt

when i started this quilt back in january i honestly felt like it would never get finished. while paper piecing each block was fun, boy did it take forever! but slowly, slowly, i plugged away at these blocks, piecing a few during nap times or after ingrid went to bed, or at modern quilt guild sew-ins. so i was surprised when i finally found myself with enough blocks to make the quilt top. and then there was a deadline. the thing needed to be finished in time to submit it for the seattle modern quilt guild show at island quilter on vashon. gah! luckily i finished it, and tonight we'll all go over and see the show opening. whew.

looking back i suppose that's the trajectory for all the quilts i make: piece… piece… take a break… piece some more… drink some tea… piece… piece… put quilt top together… oh hey, look at the time! what? a quilt back? geez, i don't know. here's something. that'll work, sure! ack! bastingbastingbastingbastingbasting! quiltingquiltingquiltingquilting. rip out quilting because it looks terrible. quiltingquiltingquiltingquilting. eh, that'll do. binding! binding is fun! now, i get to sit, watch some mad men or battlestar galactica, relax, hand sew some binding… oh, isn't this nice? and yay, look, i'm finished!

yup, that pretty much covers it.

but, let's go back and talk about how much i love this quilt. i do. so very much. i love the pattern, using lee's paper pieced template from the summer sampler series. thanks, lee! i was smitten with this block the moment i laid eyes on it, and knew it would make a heck of a quilt all on its own.

i just instinctively reached for colors i love: aquas, yellows, oranges, golds. something bright. something happy.

arkansas traveler quilt

that empty square was a happy accident. i took a picture with one square missing part way through piecing, and when i saw it there in the photograph i knew it had to stay. a helpful friend on flickr suggested i do some hand quilting in the blank square, which i thought was a super idea. so i made a ghost arkansas traveler with some yellow and aqua floss, which is was made even more ghostly after washing.

arkansas traveler quilt back

for the back, i simply used robert kaufman essex in medium aqua. i love the feel of this linen/cotton blend and i adore the color.

i quilted it by following the shapes between the stars, which you can see better on the back (though maybe not so well in this photo). you probably don't need me to tell you how difficult it is to do that kind of quilting on a crappy tiny home machine like mine. each star alone called for 8 pivots, so imagine me trying to cram this big sucker through a machine with a nonexistent throat. over and over again. ugh. i think it was worth it, but if you look closely my quilting is pretty terrible. someday, i will have a better machine, and someday i may be better at quilting. a girl can dream.

arkansas traveler quilt

i added a baby arkansas traveler a the bottom.

arkanssa traveler quilt

i was torn on binding. i wasn't sure if it needed something cool and mellow to rein it in, or if it needed something more bright, more expansive. i went mostly with cool, but left room for some outward movement with a bit of yellow in one corner. it feels nice there.

arkansas traveler quilt

while i was working on this one i thought of it as the arkansas traveler quilt. but now that it's done, i'm called it arkansas, traveled.