Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day Music Monday!

Welcome to a special Memorial Day edition of Music Monday! Today, in true High Fidelity fashion, my Top Five Summer Road Trip Albums for 2010. What will I (and should you) be listening to as I cross the country (and drive down the street to the grocery store)?

5. Jack Johnson -- Brushfire Fairytales. This one is on my list just for nostalgia's sake. The summer after my junior year of high school I got my first car...and it had a CD player! And this CD didn't leave that CD player for (guaranteed) 3 months. Anytime I hear a song from this album I automatically think "summer"...and also, "Dirt Colored Chevy Tracker"...but whatever. It was a good car!

4. Iron & Wine -- The Shepherd's Dog, because there had to be an album on the list that requires you to roll the windows down, turn the stereo up, and drive. And this is it.

3. The Music of Glee -- Vol. 1, 2, & 3 I know I've already shouted my love for Glee from the rooftops, but seriously. I LOVE GLEE and I will be singing along ALL SUMMER. Just try and stop me...

2. A throwback...The Doobie Brothers -- Best of the Doobies. Another nostalgia inspired pick. I was raised right, so I have a deep respect for all things 60's  & 70's rock related. Any road trip we took as kids included the Doobies, Dr. Hook, The Guess Who, Zeppelin, Tommy James & the Shondelles, and (admittedly, out of left field) The Drifters. I chose the Doobies because they're my favorite of the bunch. Plain and simple.

1. Ben Folds/BF5 -- Just make a playlist of all of his stuff because you can never go wrong listening to Ben. And because last summer I met a restaurant before attending his show 2 hours later...the coolest day of my life...

And here's a peek at some new quilty fun that's going down this summer:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Baby Love

My cousin is having a baby any time now, so it was up to me to provide Baby Girl Z with a cozy quilt!

I found this great, girly selection of Cosmo Cricket fabrics & added some coordinating Kona solids and a couple of coordinating prints. I used a mint green flannel as my background & backing fabric. When I bought the Girl Friday fabrics, I thought I'd just be making a charm quilt or something like that, but I remembered a great block called Love In A Mist that I'd seen on the Modify Tradition blog and decided to use that as a jumping off point for this baby quilt.

I made a giant block, like I did with this quilt and I turned a couple of the half-square triangles in a different direction from the original block.

The quilt top came together quickly (as you can imagine) and I pretty much love it. I decided to quilt it with random curved & straight lines and am currently in the process of sewing on the binding that is made of leftover strips of the Girl Friday fabrics.

The edges look funny because the binding is stitched on to the front but not finished yet. The edges REALLY aren't wonky like that. The quilt actually ended up as a 39" square. A pretty good size for a newborn. I just hope I get the motivation to finish the binding in time for the baby shower on Saturday!

Monday, May 24, 2010

A carpenter, like Jesus.

My brother builds cabinets for a living and one time my sister-in-law told someone that he was "a carpenter, like Jesus". It still makes me laugh as I type it.

Anyway, I have been planning to make a quilt for them and when I saw the Avairy line of fabrics by Joel Dewberry, especially the awesome faux bois, I felt like I couldn't pass some of them up. I've been taking my time gathering bits and pieces of the Sparrows in Almond and the woodgrain as I found them online.

SO, after some new fabrics arrived in the mail today and I dug through my stash, here's what I'm considering:

Option 1 contains greens and a bit of yellow along with the browns and oranges from the sparrow fabric. I'm not sure whether the green adds some life to the party or comes out of nowhere...I just LOVE those yellow flowers on green. And for the record, some of those browns look REALLY dark. In reality, the dark brown that you see is a chocolate brown, not black!

Option 2 takes out the greens and is only oranges and browns. I don't know what to do...I'm sure I'll decide, but for now, the piles will sit nearby, unsure of their destiny! Most of the fabrics are Joel Dewberry fabrics, but they're from several different lines. There is also some Freebird by MoMo, Amy Butler polka dots, an Erin McMorris print, and some Denyse Schmidt (KJR & Hope Valley).

Now I'm off to bind a quilt and finish watching The Bachelorette! I seriously didn't intend to get sucked in...

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Blogger's Quilt Festival!

Today is the start of the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side and I thought I would participate!
I have several works-in-progress that I think will end up being favorites, but we'll have to save those for next year's festival! For 2010, I've chosen the GIANT maverick star quilt that I made for a silent auction whose proceeds supported earthquake relief in Haiti.

I started with a large maverick star--I used 12" squares to complete the block, so...roughly 34 1/2" across once assembled.

For a little perspective, this is the block by itself, unfinished, hanging in our crab apple tree.

I then added three borders. A border of white to the top and bottom (to turn the square into a rectangle), followed by a border of patchwork strips, followed by another border of white. The first border was 4" finished, the patchwork border was 2" and the outside white border was 1 1/2" finished.

After adding the borders, it was time to quilt! I used random straight and curved lines, making sure that the quilt was adequately covered. You can see in the picture below that some areas are more densly covered by quilting than others. I wasn't too worried about it because this quilt top used such large pieces of fabric that as long as there was quilting in each square I think it'll be fine.

The quilt is made of Kona Snow and 10 or so prints from the Love line of fabrics by Amy Butler. It's backed in a solid piece of Water Bouquet in navy and is bound in Sandlewood.

The finished quilt measures about 43x54 and because the quilting isn't too dense, it's super soft and cuddly! The best news? The quilt helped my church youth group raise over $1,500 for some friends who are currently serving as missionaries in Haiti. They have 5 small children and lost everything in the earthquake, but they are starting to rebuild and I love that my "hobby" (...obsession) can be used to help people in need!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Music Monday

Excitement abounds as I saw this today:

Available tomorrow on iTunes!!! And it has #s that haven't been on the show yet (including special guests Idina Menzel & Neil Patrick Harris), which I thought was kind of strange. One thing you can say about Glee is that the marketing campaign is genius. They're raking it in. And I'm so stoked about the NPH & IM episodes. WOO!

In quilt news, Babyville's population is growing, so I'm working on a quilt for my cousin's first child. Photos to come...

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


It appears as if I live in Babyville. Everyone is pregnant or just had a baby. Everyone.

In that spirit, I thought I'd show you one of the first quilts that I ever made, which was for a baby. I started quilting because I wanted to make a quilt for my nephew who joined us in this world in January. My first attempt was a quilt kit from Joann's. Boo. It didn't even have batting or binding. It was a right-sides-together then flip kind of a deal. Seriously, BOO. So I made my niece a quilt first (another post for another day) and then I got to work on Baby H's quilt. His mom and dad (my brother & sis-in-law) aren't very "cutesy" people. They have a very vintage, cool, different style and when I found this awesome 30's reproduction print, I couldn't resist.

Isn't it precious? It became the focus fabric and I added some coordinating fabrics (Amy Butler seeds in blue and orange, a gold solid, some awesome navy polka dots and an orange print whose origins are unknown) and used them to make pinwheels with brown flannel. 

It's the softest, coziest quilt for a January baby (even though it's not very practical NOW, seeing as it was humid and gross outside today).

sorry the picture is sideways...I forgot to rotate!

It's made up of 20 9x9 blocks and finished, measures about 36x45. I bound it with some American Jane Pez and some yellow stars fabric that I got from Joann's.

Aside from the baby that's laying on the quilt (isn't he just the CUTEST?!), my favorite part of it is the back, which I didn't take any pictures of. It's mostly just solid brown flannel, but in the center, I pieced a giant (22"across) whirlygig out of 4 of the fabrics from the top. I love it and Baby H and his parents love it and he actually uses it, which makes me happier than anything!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Music Monday

No quilt to show you today, so instead, I'll tell you what's new on my iPod.

The debut album by Broken Bells, a collaboration between James Mercer (frontman for The Shins) and Danger Mouse.

I'm enjoying it immensely.

I just looked up from typing this and saw the following:

My little contortionist. Just chilling.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day!

I love $1 fat quarters! My LQS doesn't carry a lot of the fabric that I'm drawn to (i.e. contemporary, non-civil-war-repro, colorful, non-Route 66 inspired, etc.). In fact, the majority of the fabric that I like in her shop eventually ends up on the $5.50/yd wall because most of her customers have a MUCH different aesthetic than I do. And today, along with the 10 fqs for $10 sale, everything on the Clearance wall was an extra $1 off! That meant that I got this:

7 yards of fabric for $30! Some Amy Butler, some Heather Bailey, some Moda Prep School madras (for a summer picnic quilt), and some fqs, including 30s repro prints and a couple of fabrics whose origins are unknown. I don't know where those purply-pink polka dots come from, but I'm in love. I wish there was more than just 1 fq in the shop today. I definitely would have bought more.

In the sewing machine today:

crappy picture, but it's hailing outside, so...

 I've cut into my complete stack of MoMo Wonderland fqs that I found 2 weeks ago at a quilt shop out in the country...on clearance!!! When I told the sales lady that I was really excited to find it, she said, "Why?" I told her that it's not in print anymore and it's really hard to find. Her response? "Oh, well good for you." She had no idea that she could have sold the thing on etsy or ebay for double what I paid for it...Lucky me!

Anyway, it's 7 rows of 7 (8.5x10.5) rectangles. I used each of the 40 prints at least once and added some solids to add a little umpf.
It's going to be gigantor, but that's okay. It's for me, so the bigger and cozier, the better. I'm pretty excited to make some baby quilts with the leftovers. I have 2 cousins having baby girls in the next month, so I think this will be perfect for them.