Tuesday, January 26, 2016

A Wedding Quilt

The first quilt of 2016 is done and it is a special one!  One of my dearest friends got hitched not too long ago and to celebrate her union and new chapter in life, a quilt was in order!
This quilt holds tons of symbolism.  Sunsets, sunrises, two becoming one, a spiritual presence, and the inclusion of three darling kids are all represented within this work.  I went into it without a plan (as I do) and love the way it turned out.  
The background fabric is a sweet vintage sheet I had in my stash and seemed to compliment the focal point just perfectly.  Plus, it's super soft since it's had years of loving making it perfect to continue life in a quilt!
I quilted it pretty densely, mainly with lots of straight lines.  When I was finished, or so I thought, I wasn't happy with the quilting in the main part - it just seemed bare.  I pulled out the free motion goodies, gave some stippling a try again, and am so glad that I did!  It reminded me that I'm not terrible at free motioning and that there are endless possibilities when using it!  And it gave this quilt exactly what it was missing.  :)
The backing is a combination of scraps, the front sheet, and the addition of another sheet that I loooooooove.  I am thrilled with how it all balanced out!  

Size-wise, I'd call it a good-sized couch blanket that can fit a few cuddling bodies underneath.  :)
I'm learning that one of my favorite parts of making a quilt is pulling it out of the dryer after washing it all up.  That crinkling effect is gold!  
I'm super happy with how this one turned out and am even more excited for its new family to wrap up in it for years and years and years.  To the future, dear friends!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

My First Mini & Quilt Show!

Close to the beginning of last year, my quilt guild got together and tore some fabric up.  Seriously, that's literally what we did.  We were asked to bring one yard of a solid fabric that tickled our fancy.  I went with green, naturally.  Everyone stood in one large circle, tore their fabric in half, kept the larger piece, and passed the smaller piece to the person to our left.  Then we repeated that seven times until we had a random rainbow of different sized solid fabrics.  The mission?  To make a 'mini' quilt (24" x 24") using all of the colors given in a 'modern' style while pushing ourselves out of our quilting comfort zones. 
I was soooooo not inspired by my fabric pull so this project sat for months and months until I realized I only had a few weeks left before it was due!  Finally, one day I pulled out the stack and just started slicing and piecing.  We were allowed to incorporate a print, if we saw fit, so I decided to bring in this constellation print by Lizzy House (that I had leftover from a dress I made myself) to tie everything together. 
I challenged myself in a few different ways.  Not cutting things square was more of a challenge than I thought it would be!  Ha!  I made the binding using my seventh color.  Also not following specific quilting lines pushed me a bit as well.  For the quilting, I decided to use four different colors of thread which I ended up loving.  I worked on burying my threads (still working on that!), learned how to make a hanging sleeve on the back, and hand sewed my binding on which I'm very new to!  So this little quilt ended up teaching me loads more than I thought it would.
I just ended up using scraps for the backing, as I usually do.  When I was done, I had a hell of a time deciding which side to use as the official front - I loved both sides so much!  You can somewhat see the sleeve at the top of the backside. 
We were also asked to name our quilts and label them.  I had never done that before aside from naming them after who they would live with!  While I was making this one, I was busy binge-watching Vikings so I ended up naming this little guy 'Nott' which means 'night' in Norse. 

Fast forward several months later and my first mini quilt was hung among others from the same challenge at an area quilt show!  Pictured is only a small portion of the minis that were completed.  Such variety, talent, and inspiration in our group!
It may have just been a tiny quilt that I was able to share in this type of public setting but you have to start somewhere, right?!  I'm proud!  :)

Now back to finishing my current quilt!  ¡Hasta luego!

Friday, January 8, 2016

One of Those Outfits: The Alliday Holiday Party!

What's that?!  An outfit post?!  And an extra special one at that!  If you follow me on Instagram then you probably already saw a sneak peek of what I wore but if not, here ya go!  When we made the big changes to Alliday last year, it was decided to add a Friday night party and boy, oh boy was that a good decision.  Retro Den had been wanting to have a holiday party so it worked out perfectly to combine the two.  For 2014's show, Volupté outfitted us in some gorgeous gowns.  For 2015's show, Owl & Drum guided us in making our own dresses! 
Making these dresses together was such a fun process!  We made the Pearl Dress from Green Bee Patterns.  Super simple to make, with lots of variations to choose from.  We chose these beautiful woven solids and then chose accent fabrics for the neck trim and pockets.  I used that same accent fabric to make Brent a matching tie, but more on that below.  We met three times and sewed together while enjoying each others' company.  Owl & Drum is SO helpful in learning to sew whatever it is you desire!  I strongly encourage you to visit their shop and take a class from them!
The gals from Owl & Drum also made the Pearl Dress but in patterned fabrics.  I was so excited to see us all together!  I really cherish these ladies.  They are all kind, hilarious, driven, and admirable.  I feel fortunate to call them my friends.  And to dress like them.  :)
While I was working on my dress one evening, the mister asked if I would make him a coordinating tie for him.  Um, yeah!!  I'd never made a tie before but I figured I'd never learn how to unless I tried!  I found a free pattern online and went for it.  It was a horrible dud.  It was puffy and impossible to knot thanks to the interfacing I used.  I wasn't deterred though so I made a second one without interfacing and it was perfect!  The real test was Brent's seal of approval - he gave it his stamp!  
So of course I did what I do - I made six more.  Amazingly I only have one left!  Ties, who woulda thought?!

For my neck accessory, I made myself a necklace!  I've been dabbling in my beads a bit lately just for fun.  I finished off my ensemble with some blood-red tights and some never-been-worn 90s Italian leather heels.  I really lucked out on a shoe haul not too long ago!
So many friends came out to party and shop with us!  I wish I'd been able to sit down and take a photo with each and everyone of them!  I was able to steal away a moment to grab a pic with my dad and my best friend.  Who knows what we were laughing about! 
It was a wonderful, wonderful night thanks to so many people who shared their talents with us and who came out to support us!  If you'd like to see more (fantastic!) photos from the Alliday Holiday Party, find them here!  All party photos by Adam Forgash.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Not This Post

I feel like the first post of the new year should be some grand statement in some way or another but that's not this post.  I don't have any resolutions really.  I finished off 2015 with a bang and I hope to continue onto 2016 in the same manner.  So far, so good. 
Our nice break at home has ended but that chill vibe has continued and I'm totally embracing it.  Things seem to be falling nicely into place lately.  We've had some incredible luck with Craigslist, both buying and selling, which has motivated us to really get going on some other house projects.  We finally have a hallway floor (!!!) and hopefully we'll have many more walls painted by this weekend.  Small projects have been getting marked off of the list with great speed which makes me suuuuuper happy.  I'm all about completing lists and making house progress!  House projects progress reports coming soon to an internet browser near you.

In other news, we made the BIG decision yesterday to enroll the kid in a pre-school just two days a week so I can pick up another class to teach, so she can hang out with some youngin's more often, and so I can have a few hours to myself.  It wasn't an easy decision to come to since I have mixed feelings on putting her in school but I think a few days will be good for both her and I.  This change starts next week!  Feeling good about it all right now.

I've got a large sewing project in the works that I've been enjoying immensely.  I'll be sharing that in the near future.  It's a bit top secret right now.  I realized the other day that I have many sewing projects that I never shared here so those will also be coming soon.  I know, you're dying to see them all!  ;)  There are some other creative business doodads in the works which I can't wait to share with you.  Working to be more intentional with my business direction.  That's another post for another rainy day though.

So in sum, things are good and I'm crossing all of my fingers and toes that things continue in positive directions for our world and yours.  Cheers to the past and cheers to the future!
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