{Finished} Florence Kaleidoscope Quilt

Last year Denyse Schmidt sent fabric bundles of the soon-to-be-released Florence line to members of HMQG and challenged us to make items with it.  She selected a few of those items to travel with the line to market.  I chose to make a kaleidoscope quilt top, of course!

Florence Kaleidoscope Finished_04

I finished my top a while ago, but didn’t want to straight line quilt it, so it lingered unifinished.

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Recently, I decided to give it to Pam to longarm and I’m so glad I did.  Check out this amazing work she did!

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Pam used wool batting and quilted it so that the white would recede and the colors would pop.

Florence Kaleidoscope Finished_08

Mission accomplished!

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I bound the quilt using the dot plaid in carnelian.

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I think the print is equally cute in the other colorway, malachite.

Florence Kaleidoscope Finished_11

I love the colors and patterns in this line and I think they really work well with the fun kaleidoscope shapes.

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This is the year of selfish sewing and I am quite delighted that this beauty will live with me!

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I mean a quilt in one of my favorite patterns, using fabric from one of my favorite designers, quilted by one of my favorite people?

Florence Kaleidoscope Finished_16

Mine, all mine.  But you can stop by and visit!

~~~

Linking to Finish it Up Friday!

12 Quilts in ’12 – June!

Overall, June was a good month for productivity and finishes!

I crossed some Christmassy patchwork off my 2011 WIP list.

This quilt is made of some of my favorite Christmas prints and coordinates.

I’m looking forward to having this ready to go when the holidays roll around.

Many thanks to Jen for convincing me to back this in Lizzy House’s pearl bracelets…

…and to my IG friends for help with the perfect binding.

June was also exciting because I made my first “commissioned” quilt!

One of our closest friends asked me to make him a quilt for his sister, who is having a baby girl.

Her nursery is coral, aqua and not girly.  For some reason, I immediately thought of this quilt and decided on coral centers with scrappy neutral and aqua logs.

I found the perfect shade of coral in another Lizzy House pearl bracelet, which I used for the bulk of the backing and the binding.

I love the back as much as the front.  Word on the street is that the new mom loved it, too!

Finally, a family friend is having his first child.  We are so excited for him and his new wife!

I thought that since he is such a history buff, he would love this retro-inspired fabric.

The 1″ finished squares were a little fiddly, but wonderful in the end.

Plus it’s absolutely perfect for a little boy…

…so all-American…

…and the plaid binding is the icing on the cake!

We’ve made it halfway through the year and I’ve surpassed my goal of 12 quilts already!  I’ve made 14* quilts so far this year!

*The mosaic is missing one charity quilt, which can be seen here.

~

Let us know what you finished this month (and enter to win a Bliss layer cake) over at Amy’s!

12 Quilts in ’12 – May!

May was a month of therapeutic sewing.

During the last week in April, my husband and I received the terrible news that one of our friends had died, along with his father, in an accident.  To say we were devastated would be an understatement.  The day after the funeral, I also found out that my cousin’s grandmother had passed away unexpectedly.  All of this news left us reeling and a bit unsteady on our feet.  Initially it was helpful to plan flowers, funerals, food, etc., but we soon ran out of things to plan.

Fortunately, the universe sometimes helps you out with some much needed perspective, and I have also had eight friends deliver happy, healthy babies this month!  Focusing on new life, instead of loss, has helped tremendously.

So in that spirit, I dove straight in and made this baby quilt for a friend who is due in July.

I backed it with more of the DS Quilts circle dots.

This is the third month in a row with a Walk in the Woods quilt as my finish…

…and I blame Aneela for making such perfectly adorable fabric.

This is possibly one of my favorite quilts I’ve ever made!

Sometimes I work on projects with no intended recipient and the perfect person comes along later.

I was fortunate to have that happen twice this month.

When C thought my rawhide string blocks would be perfect for our friend’s newborn nephew…

…I immediately realized the rawhide swoon quilt would be perfect for our friend’s mom…

…who is coping with the loss of both her son and her husband.

I hope these handmade gifts can help in some way.

I can’t tell you how wonderful it was to have the HMQG retreat the weekend after the funeral.  Not only was a trip to sew with my girlfriends a great distraction, but they helped me complete the two quilt tops above and I made this fun jelly roll race quilt for myself!  I can’t show the whole quilt because we’re doing a fun challenge, but I will soon!

~

Let us know what you finished this month (and enter to win a handmade coin purse and a fat quarter) over at Liz’s!

12 Quilts in ’12 – March!

Spring is a time for rejuvenation and new beginnings and it also must be the time for babies, because I have been making baby quilts like crazy over here!  I have 3 finishes to share with you this month!

First, Jen and I were going to a baby shower for a friend of ours from law school.  Since she had planned a pink and grey nursery, we decided to use Aneela Hoey’s new line, A Walk in the Woods.  Jen had a charm pack and whipped up a quick quilt top using the Oh, Fransson! Charm Squares Baby Quilt pattern.

My job was to quilt and bind this sweet quilt, but yardage of Aneela’s adorable line wasn’t out yet.  I had the pink gingham in my stash and really wanted to use it for the binding, and after much deliberation, I chose the grey Circle Dot from the Aunt Edna collection for DS Quilts as the backing.

I quilted this with a simple serpentine stitch (someone blogged about this last year, but I just can’t figure out who!) and the whole combination seems to have sparked a mini-trend!  The best part is that our friend absolutely loves this sweet little blanket.

Next I was inspired to cross an easy peasy WIP off my list.  After letting this brilliant quilt top linger for an embarassingly long time, I quilted it in only 20 minutes!

What was I waiting for?  Probably someone to have a boy — I still don’t have a recipient for this quilt!

This quilt is small, only 36 x 36, so I was easily able to back this with a single piece of planet fabric.  I also bound it in Kona orange, which I used on my last Robot quilt, too.

The fabric is Robots by David Walker for Free Spirit fabrics, and I have a good stash of it.  It must be popular with everyone else, too, because I even saw a quilt made out of this fabric in a TV commercial!  How funny is that?

This quilt is ready and waiting for the next baby boy announcement!

Finally, I have some really exciting news… My cousin is pregnant!!  Since my brother is a lot younger than me and my cousins who do have kids are a bit older than me, this is the first person I’ve grown up with to have a baby!  Naturally, I am so thrilled for her and I know she is going to be a great mom.  She is keeping the gender a surprise, so I asked her what type of quilt she might like or what her nursery plans are.  She said that she would like something green and yellow.  While that concept was percolating, I was reminded of the 1001 Peeps line and instantly thought of my cousin.

1001 Peeps is a fun Arabian Nights-themed fabric with rich purples, peaches and blues (in fact, the purple colorway is “Persian Purple!”) and I think it’s fun and gender neutral.  One of the reasons I loved this line for my cousin is that she is very bold with color and loves to mix rich tones.  I especially think she will like these fun braids.

The quilt top is 42″ square and the backing fabric has all kinds of characters for a baby to check out, like Aladdin, snake charmers and fun little camels (who can’t spit on you since they’re, well, illustrated)!

I used this fabulous dark blue and black geometric for the binding, perfect for the sophisticated baby I know my cousin will have.  I also added a label so baby would know who it’s from!

The other reason I loved this fabric for her is that she now lives in Dubai, so it seemed really appropriate.  Even if this doesn’t match her nursery scheme, it can travel in their stroller to the beach or anywhere else!

But Cuz, I don’t want you to think I wasn’t listening!  I have already pulled a really fun spring green and yellow bundle to make the quilt you did ask for as well!

Now I just have to pick the perfect pattern…

~

Let us know what you finished this month (and enter to win a fat quarter bundle of text prints and a handmade goodie) over at Amy’s!

12 Quilts in ’12 – February!

I’m really glad to show you my finish this month, primarily because there actually is a finish this month!  I had lots of wedding showers on my agenda (including one that I hosted) and a surprise visit from my parents.  Throw into the mix a few really late nights at work, and I didn’t think I would get anything done!

Well, with many thanks to Jen, who came over Sunday before last and made me work, here is my February Finish: 

The adorable Lorax quilt is finished and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out…

I love the colors and the shapes…

…the adorable messages on the back…

…and the Kona Papaya binding!

Let us know what you finished this month (and enter to win a charm pack (of Pez!!) and two FQs) over at Liz’s!

~

And since today is Wednesday, I’m also making this my WIP Wendesday post.  I did manage to finish the quilt that Jen started for me last week.  I copied someone’s fantastic idea and did a serpentine stich on my machine.  Does anyone remember who blogged about this recently?  I can’t seem to find the post again, but basically you lengthen your zig zag width and stitch length and your machine automatically does this:

Easy peasy!  Another one bites the dust.  Can’t wait to get this list under 10…

2012 WIPs:

  • Hexagon Quilt
  • Robot Kaleidoscope Quilt (top basted)
  • Lorax Quilt (basted)
  • 3×6 Bee Top (top done)
  • Christmas Patchwork (top done)
  • HMQG Row Robin (rows finished)
  • Hello Betty Star Quilt (working on the blocks)
  • Rawhide String Quilt (working on the blocks)
  • Rawhide Swoon Quilt (working on the blocks)
  • Grinch Pillow Cover (top done)
  • HMQG Habitat Challenge (quilted)
  • Embroider Bee Quilt (blocks done)
  • Neptune Hexagon Project (an ongoing project)
  • Quilts for Kids
  • A Walk in the Woods Baby Quilt (top done)

The cold, hard truth:
Completed projects: 1
New projects: 0
WIPs: 11

 

12 Quilts in ’12 — January Link Up!

Hello and welcome to the January installment of the 12 Quilts in ’12 Challenge!  I’m hosting here on my blog, but Amy and Liz are playing along, too.  We hope you will join in!

This month I have a very satisfying finish to share… I finally knocked out my second-oldest WIP!  In April of 2010, Jen and I signed up to participate in the Jaybird Quilts Hexagon quilt-a-long.  Jen finished hers, but mine languished.

I think part of the reason I didn’t finish it quickly is that I don’t like samplers.  Controversial, I know, and something I took a long time to realize, but while I loved each of Julie’s hexagon shapes, I just didn’t like them together.  When I saw this photo on flickr, I knew I had my layout.  I got out the pieces a few months ago and finished the quilt top right before we moved.

This quilt was NOT easy…

…but it makes a great impact…

… and, most importantly, my little sister loved it!

A closeup of one of my favorite stars:

I had another (smaller) finish this weekend.  A really long time ago, Amy ordered some kits for HMQG from Quilts for Kids.  We finished a ton of them really quickly and sent them back but, for some reason, two got (kind of) forgotten.  Amy asked me if I would ship the last finished quilt and one (sad and lonely) unfinished kit back to Quilts for Kids.  I felt really bad about sending an unfinished kit, especially after having it for so long, so I told Amy I would whip it up.

I bought a new machine this weekend and was itching to test it out.  But I didn’t want to use it on any existing projects (I never mix machines!) so I decided to try my new Singer 185K on this quick, satisfying project.

It pieced together really quickly and my 185k sews a delightful 1/4″ seam!  When it came to the quilting, I wanted to stick to my vintage machines, so I decided to practice my free-motion quilting on my Singer 301A.  Turns out, I still need a lot more practice!

No closeup of the quilting for you today, but I think it will make someone really happy!

So what are you waiting for?  Link to your January finish below!

This month’s prize:

Giveaway details:

  • Blog about your finished project or post a picture of it to flickr
  • Link up to your project here
  • Any project you finished this month is eligible, but please link to only one blog post/flickr picture (it’s okay if you blogged about multiple finishes, we love that!)
  • Entries for this giveaway will be open until Monday, February 6 at noon
  • The dedicated folks who enter all 12 times will be entered to win a grand prize next January!

If you have any questions, please email me or leave a comment below!

12 Quilts in ’12 Challenge

Today is my birthday!

(Some of us are more excited than others…)

And I have a special birthday announcement: Amy, Liz and I are hosting a challenge for 2012 … finish 12 quilts this year, one each month.

At first I thought that 12 quilts was a bit of a lofty goal, but I when I made my 2011 mosaic, I realized that last year I finished 9 quilts and had 3 others basted and ready to quilt.

In reflecting on 2011 and what I want to spend my (quilty) time on in 2012, I have decided to participate in fewer bees and swaps and to try to make (and finish!) more quilts.  Quilts for gifts, quilts for all the babies due this year and maybe even a quilt or two for myself!  I also realized that I need to be better about photographing (as you can see from the mosaic, not all of these quilts were photographed in final form!) and blogging my quilts. Hopefully this challenge will help me improve on all these goals!

It’s very simple.  Each month you should:

(1) Finish a quilt: You can start something from scratch, finish a WIP or assemble those bee blocks you’ve been holding on to.  We’d love for all 12 finishes to be great, big, snuggly quilts, but bags, potholders and other projects count, too!

(2) Join our link party: On the last day of each month, one of us will host a link-up where you can link us to a blog post or a flickr pic of your finish.  At the end of 12 months, we hope you will share a mosaic of your fab finishes!

(3) Stand back and pat yourself on the back: A job well done deserves a reward! Each month we will have a little giveaway for those who participate and link to their finish.  At the end of the year, there will be a bigger giveaway for those who participate all 12 times and link their mosaics!

Some things that might wind up in final form this year:

Hope you join in, too!  Remember, the first link party will be on Tuesday, January 31…