Friday, July 29, 2016

Ten Years

Just a couple of weekends ago, Brent and I celebrated ten years together!  I CANNOT believe it's already been ten years.  That went by FAST.  We met at the Woody Guthrie Folk Festival completely unexpectedly and have been going strong ever since.  I wrote all about our journey a few years back.  It had been a few years since I had attended the festival but this year, we made it a top priority to go. 

Okemah is not only Woody Guthrie's hometown but it is also Brent's hometown so it's always a small family reunion when we make our journey there.  Thanks to an awesome freak storm (a crazy derecho!), we lost power at our house for a few days which postponed our departure but it all worked out in the end.  We spent a good amount of time before and after the festival at my wonderful father-in-law's house with all sorts of characters. 

The land out there is just gorgeous.  I took a quick stroll as the sun began its descent and grabbed a few photos of the magic.  In person, it's rejuvenating.
The festival has changed over the years some, but so have we.  A few of our friends that have been there since our beginning joined us again to celebrate Woody, beautiful music, and us.  My gratitude runs deep.
I'm so glad we were able to run away together for a few days.  Ten years!  I'm proud of us, I'm impressed by us, I'm inspired by us. 

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Quilt for Myself!

This next quilt just happened. 
I was moving around some of the various trims I have on hand when I came across a small bolt of 'curtain trim' that I'd never used before but had always thought was beautiful because, green.  It was one of the many treasures I pulled from the fabric warehouse, aka the gift that keeps giving!  Ha!  So for the first time in two years, I finally started to unwrap that green fabric trim from its bolt and was floored to find it had been folded over and was twice the width it appeared to be!  I knew it would be the star of this quilt that was practically begging to be made.  I pulled out scraps from Rio's sewing basket and started piecing the main strip in fabrics that I adored. 
The bold black strips of fabric are actually the backside of a fabric that really wasn't my style at all; I probably would never have used it that way.  The backside had more of a batik/tie dye feel to it which I was all about.  Other than the black piece and the green trim, everything was scrap fabric!  This quilt was actually SUPER fast and simple to make.  It's the busy-ness of the green trim that makes it look more involved than it actually was.
For the backing, I used the same fabric that I used on the back of this quiltI have loads of it in my shop.  It's so different in person!  It gives the quilt such a fantastic weight and I LOVE the way the quilting shows up on the back.  It's a good thing I have so much of it since I see myself continuing to use it on quilts!  As you can see, I quilted the hell out of this thing.  My lines aren't straight and I did back stitch here and there (gasp!) but I LOVE the finished product.  In fact, I'm typing this post up with this quilt in my lap!
For the binding, I just used some scrap bias tape I had on hand and it turned out to be the PERFECT length for this project.  The floral binding in the corner is actually made out of the only fabric I inherited from my Great Granny so I'm quite partial to it.
I wasn't far into this quilt before I knew that I would be keeping this one for myself.  I'm not the only one in our house that loves it - it's quickly become the quilt of choice for everyone here!  It's definitely become my favorite. 
I know it may not be everyone's style but for me, this quilt is perfect and that is what matters.  :)

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Quilt Made With Mustard

No joke, I have about ten quilts queued up to share with you.  I've been busy!  My quilt motivation has been overwhelming and I've just been going with it.  I figure I'm just ahead of the game for holiday stock!  Though, if you see any pieces that you love, the majority of these quilts could very easily be yours.  :)

Now, onto quilt babble!  I started this one by playing around with half square triangles at the last Crafty Weekender I attended.  The mustard-y color is leftover fabric from last year's Alliday dress which I loooooove.  This quilt was one I worked on in between several other projects and it just kept getting shoved to the back burner.  I think technically I nailed it, but ascetically I wish I had done a few things differently.  I think a more subtle background fabric would have made the triangles pop more and would have made me love the white stripes more.  Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love that background fabric (it's an old Vera Neuman sheet!) but I wonder how the effects would have been different with a different fabric.  Guess I'll just have to make another version some day!  ;)
I quilted this one TIGHT.  Most of it was done in vertical straight lines with a beautiful silky green thread except for the off-center section which I did in angled straight lines with white thread.  The quilting took forever but it's what made me end up ultimately loving this piece. 
It really washed up beautifully and is the perfect size for a lap quilt or baby blanket.  That crinkle effect is A+.  That mustard fabric and background (sheet) fabric are beyond soft. 
I went back and forth about binding it and ultimately decided upon throwing in one more color/fabric to pull out the subtle turquoise that is hidden throughout the quilt.  Any worries I had about that were quickly gone once I started stitching that puppy on.  I love it!
The back used up a few more scraps and some mega soft woven fabric I had on hand.  Did I mention that this quilt is super soft?  ;)  
Until later!

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Third Time Is A Charm - Sew OK!

Just a couple of weeks ago, I had no idea that I'd be able to go to SewOK.  In fact, I had given my sad RSVP many months ago, when the dates were released.  Turns out, I had horribly gotten some dates wrong and had scheduled three different events incorrectly in my calendar.  Long story short, my mistake royally sucked BUT in the end, I was able to run off last minute to SewOK!  Just TWO days before the retreat began, I was lucky enough to fill the ONE open spot remaining!  I was elated.
SewOK started three years ago and somehow, I've been lucky enough to attend them all (one and two).  It's been a real treat to see the event evolve and to have formed the friendships I have through it.  I've said it before and I'll say it again, one of my absolute favorite parts of these retreats is the relationship you form with the other attendees.  It's also a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills or tricks from those more experienced than you.  :)
Since I jumped aboard so last minute, I didn't have any projects planned or prepared for the weekend.  I threw some random fabrics in a bag and figured projects would just come to me...and they did!  The first night I made Rio a little dress by using another one of her dresses we both like.
I also made an Annex Double-Zip box pouch for the kid to use for overnighters.  The pattern was part of our swag and I ended up loving it even though I just about threw it out of the window due to frustration!  Should you make one yourself, just go slow and follow the instructions.
Finally, I spent a good majority of the weekend making Latifah Saafir's Molehills quilt.  She was our featured teacher and was SUCH a pleasure to be around.  Her presence was laid back, confident, and encouraging.  Plus, her quilt was SO much fun to make.  I never thought I would say that about sewing multiple curves but we were taught some A+ tricks that changed my curve-sewing world.  In fact, I've already made a second Molehills quilt!  It was such a fun and fast sew that I was able to complete the entire thing, aside from washing it, at the retreat!  I spray basted for the first time - game changer! - and then had the opportunity to use a long-arm machine to quilt it for the first time.  FUN! 
It's hard to imagine that I almost missed attending this year!  Fingers crossed that there will be future retreats like these and that I'll keep my calendar straight in the future! 
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