Thursday, February 18, 2016

Valentines and My list of "quilts to do!"

This year I fell in love. I fell in love with the fabric line "First Crush" from Sweetwater Fabric. I love all their fabric lines, and I always want to make something with them. I had been contemplating making a heart quilt this year and when I saw that line last fall I knew it was time! I picked up a layer cake from my favorite Etsy seller Olie and Evie. I'm pretty lucky that Rhonda lives really close to me! I can drive over on Wednesday nights when she opens her house to local shoppers. She's so sweet and has the best price on fabric around. Its fantastic!

Like so many others, I used the heart tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew and it turned out perfect!

Pardon the very blue picture. Its wintery and cold and really hard to get pictures these days. I absolutely LOVE how it turned out. It isn't very large, if I'm remembering right, I ended up going with the 7 inch sized block. I'm thinking that I'm going to use pinky for the back so its a perfect snuggly blanket for cold Februarys. 

My favorite part of this project was the amount of left over fabric I ended up with! I was able to make a super adorable table runner as well as THREE throw pillows for my entry way! HOW ADORABLE IS THAT?! 

The heart pillows are about 18x18 and they are made out of 2.5 inch squares. The smaller pillow is just strips. 

The table runner was so fun to put together! I love that it graduates from dark to light. I've never done something like that before.

I just have to talk about this little ham for a minute. She is so spunky and hilarious. We just started potty training and she is doing SO GOOD! I can't even believe my little baby is becoming such a big girl! 

Okay, so this post has gotten just a little long so I think I'll talk about my sewing goals for this year next time. Have a lovely day and sew something!

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Modern Maples

I am checking in with something new to show off! I'm so excited to say that my Modern Maples quilt top is finished! I don't think there is anything more rewarding than sewing that final seam and doing one final press!

This quilt was sort of ambitious for me. I found the block instructions and then decided on a layout all on my own. I even used graph paper to get it all worked out! There were so many blocks to sew! Sixteen blocks that are twelve inches finished and 36 blocks that are six inches finished. I suppose the fact that there were lots of blocks to sew wasn't the hardest part, it was the number of half square triangles that needed trimming.

I finished sewing it all and glanced at my thread...

...couldn't have worked out better. Is there anything worse than running out of thread when you have less than 15 inches of sewing left on a project? There isn't. 

Anyway, I finished up right before we were supposed be walking out the door for a playdate, so I had my son hurry and help snap a couple of pictures of the finished project. Side note: He'll be five next month! And while I love having such a helpful little friend, my heart is also breaking that he is getting so big! 

I especially love the dotted background I used. I think it adds a little interest without being too busy! And while this one certainly won't be ready to use this fall, it will be for next year! I can't wait!

Linking up!

Friday, October 16, 2015

WIP Progress update!

Hey my friends! I've been a little MIA from my blog the last couple of weeks. We went on a little family trip and I just wasn't ready to post anything but I'm here today and I have somethings to share!

First! If you follow me on instagram (@emilylaraesews) you saw me post last Friday that it was a day nearly as good as Christmas, pick up quilts from the quilter day! I dropped off two and my mom dropped off one and it was so exciting to get them back and run my hands down them. You know you do that too.

So here they are!

First is my Winter Wonderland quilt. (I talked about it more here). My mom offered to get this one quilted for me for my birthday. She was tired of knowing it was sitting in my closet just as much as I was! I picked a swirling snowflake pattern, it just seemed fitting, and it turned out AMAZING! Even better than I had hoped it would! For the backing, I used a print from Hello Darling by Bonnie and Camille. I'm a sucker for their fabrics and the red was just too good to pass up! Now I just have to decide what to bind it with. A solid? A stripe? The left over backing fabric (which I've pretty much ruled out, that seems too boring.) Basically, I'll take any suggestions at this point!

 Next up is a quilt my mom did. Its the perfect 10 pattern from Swirly Girls. When I say that my mom did it, I really mean that I did almost all of it. I cut it out and laid it out and did the majority of the sewing. My mom helped piece some of it and put the borders on. Oh and she paid for the fabric. Apparently, I have zero skill in the center the quilt in the frame department, but here it is. It is bright and cheery and whimsical and so much fun! My mom decided to have a swirly Christmas tree as the quilting pattern and it fits the feel of the quilt just perfectly! I'm sure my kids will be snuggling under it this Christmas season.

Lastly, but certain not least! Is this fabulously cute Fireworks quilt I made using Art Gallery fabric. I hadn't ever really used Art Gallery before but I'm hooked. Its just so smooth and high quality. I had to replace my needle because it was just a little too dull to sew with! I've never made a quilt with so.many.points. before and my blocks definitely got progressively better as I went on. Some of them I'm even really pleased with! I couldn't resist using the butterflies on the back. I'm thinking this quilt will be on my daughters big girl bed. So perfect! I picked a loopy quilting pattern for this one and I adore it. Seriously. Too good.

Have you made it this far? okay!

Next I've been working on a Modern Maple quilt. Originally I had wanted to get it done in time for fall but since fall is now strongly upon us, I guess its going to be done for next fall! Ha! A long while back, I bought a bunch of Flea Market Fancy fat quarters. I bought them with the intent to make the perfect ten quilt, but then started doubting that choice (are you sensing a theme in my quilting?) so it went in the bin of pretty fabric. Well, I saw a bunch of maple quilts and knew that was my pretty fabric's destiny! So here are the 7 blocks I have done now! I need to have 16 of the large (12 inch) blocks and 36 or the small (6 inch) blocks. I got settled on a layout that I liked and then I realized that it is pretty much identical to a layout that Lori Holt has in her book Farmgirl Vintage. So! that is exciting, and I'm really looking forward to getting it done!

So that means my round up of things to finish:

bind winter wonderland
bind fireworks
finish blocks of modern maples
hello darling fireworks quilt

Looking forward to it!!

Wip Wednesday

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Hopscotch and a Win!

Hi. My name is Emily. It has been 3 days since I purchased my last bit of fabric.

I'm not a hoarder, I'm a *ahem* collector. I collect the pretty fabric with every intention of doing something fabulous with it right away. And then I doubt that my plan is really the best use of my pretty fabric. So it goes into my drawer of pretty fabric and there is waits.

Well. One day I'd had enough of that nonsense. I pulled out a jelly roll I have had for months (years?) and decided it was time to get cracking! I wanted to make a Hopscotch quilt from Thimble Blossoms and my Sweetwater Reunion was just the fabric for it.

I got the top sewn together pretty quickly. I mean, it has A LOT of pieces to it. But thats jut part of what makes it so special right?!

Triangles all sewn together, but not into strips yet ^^^

And like MAGIC, the strips all sewn together ^^^

Back and binding all picked out ^^^

And then I decided that straight line quilting was the way to go. Worst. Idea. Ever. Don't get me wrong, I totally love how straight line quilting looks once its done. But it took For.ever. Hours and hours of sewing line after line. And probably two spools of thread. 

This was at the half way point. I wasn't totally sure I was ever going to finish. But I just kept going and one day had a marathon of sewing. I think it took me four hours straight to finish the quilt, but I was determined and nothing was stopping me from finishing that darn thing!

Somewhere along the way I decided that this quilt would be for my dad. He is such a great man. Supportive and kind and loving to everyone. I knew it was something he would love. I also decided somewhere along the line that I would enter this quilt into the State Fair. This meant that I needed the binding to look good, and that meant it had to be hand sewn down. Normally I do the quick and dirty method, and just sew it on but I'm never totally happy with how that looks and so I knew I needed to be able to make sure it looked great. 

Don't you just love that floating triangle on the back side? I think its a fun little addition to the quilt.

My dad came over to visit two weeks ago and I told him that I had a birthday present for him and that he could see it early, or he could see it once the fair has finished. He wanted to see it right away and he loved it! 

Last night we were finally able to get over to the Fair and see if I won anything and I got a blue ribbon, first place, in my division!! I was super excited to see that! I'd geared myself up for no ribbon at all so that was exciting for me! So now my dad has the pleasure of owning a first place quilt! HA! 

I'm linking up!

Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Tale of the Never Ending Quilt

One day, a long time ago, I was wandering through my local quilt shop. It was just after Christmas and all of their holiday fabric and patterns were on sale. I casually looked through their merchandise and then I saw it! The quilt I'd seen made before and thought how lovely it was. It was on sale for 60% off! Of course I had to buy it! And I put it in my pattern box, never to be remembered again, until one day in July. I was talking to my grandma and told her that I had this quilt I wanted to sew, it was sort of intimidating to me though and I wasn't sure that I was brave enough to take it on. One of us suggested that we sew it together! We could get together once a week and work on cutting out our blocks and piecing them. Serve as motivation for each other, to help make sure it got finished. We picked out the fabric, and got all the stars sewn. Then came the embroidery. I did a couple of panels and in the same time my grandmother decided she didn't want to embroider, but would rather use a fabric pen and draw the panels. Hers was finished quickly, mine was not. I slowly lost the motivation to finish my quilt and it ended up in The Pile. The Pile Where Projects Go to Die is actually the official term for it. This was in 2011. Then, one day in 2013, I was one million months pregnant and nesting fiercely. I stumbled upon my long forgotten Christmas quilt and during the long winter nights, while my husband was working, I slowly finished the last embroidery panel for my quilt.

Please note my pregnant tummy

 I got all the panel pieces put together and trimmed and threw myself a little party! I attached the star boarder and returned the quilt to The Pile. I didn't have money to send her to a quilter and in my millionth month of pregnancy, already didn't have the energy to quilt it at home.

Well. I was talking with my mom and she asked me if I would like to have my beautiful quilt finished off for my birthday! Of course the answer was yes!!! So I retrieved that quilt once again from The Pile, ironed her out and started searching for a backing. I settled on the red floral print from Bonnie and Camille's newest line Hello Darling and I am over the moon excited to see how it turns out! It is currently at the quilter now and I'm very impatiently waiting for her notice to come and pick it up!

So, in the meantime. Here is a shot of my lovely Winter Wonderland quilt (pattern from Crabapple Hill) just the other day before I sent her off to be finished. I love all that this quilt means to me now. Precious time spent with my grandma putting it together, and embroidering the panels while my baby girl was still a part of me. And isn't that what quilting is all about? Preserving memories and bringing happiness? I certainly think so!

I'm linking up!
Fabric Tuesday
Pet Project

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Thrift Store Score

Do you ever get the urge to just update your house? Buy all the good stuff, the pretty things, the practical (and not so practical) and make your house look like a magazine? And then you remember that you aren't, in fact, made of money and that you should probably reign it in captain crazy.

It happens to you?

Not to me. Not ever.


It totally does. I get things just how I want them (for now) but then, a couple months later, I start looking around and think of ways things could be even better. And that is when I hit up the thrift store. Nothing calms my crazy like a good, old fashioned bargain.  The other day I was wandering the thrift store in the hopes of finding a piece of furniture to beautifully store/display my quilts. I saw these ideas:



And I just knew that with a  little determination I could find something similar that would work in my house. 

Well, this trip the thrift store didn't yield any of these finds, but I did find a cute little wall vanity for a steal!

We haven't had a something like this in our bathroom for a couple years. I ripped our old, 70's house original metal corner vanity down one day in a fit of fed-upness and so we've done with out one ever since because the wall is narrow and awkward and nothing we found would fit. When I stumbled on this cutie for only 8 bucks I knew it would be coming home with us! 

I'm not totally sure that I'm sold on it now that I have it hung up. It sticks out kind of far from the wall. I think it is mostly just going to be an adjustment. I love that our regularly used toiletries are up off the countertop though and everything looks neatly put away. Ahhhh!

I'm linking up!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

It's beginning to look a lot like... Halloween?

This week I decided to take the plunge and start a Halloween quilt! It did feel much stranger searching for and gathering fabrics when it was still August but now that it is September (HOLY COW, WHAT?!) it feels just right. I saw this quilt over on Lella Boutique and I just had to make it. I hadn't seen the Witch Hazel line of fabric before but I absolutely LOVE it! The minty green and pumpkins and web prints? Adorable. I searched, and searched and scoured and finally found all the prints I wanted (and threw in a swiss dot and a cute little spidery print and I was ready to go.

I ended up buying my fabric from a couple different shops. One bundle (the one above) came from Simply Love Fabric on Etsy. The green dots came from Olie and Evie on Etsy and it just so happened that Rhonda was pretty close to me and I was able to go and pick up my fabric and check out her longarm quilting (BEAUTIFUL) and see her lovely fabrics! Both these shops were WONDERFUL to work with and had such amazing prices! Check them out!

Anway, once I gathered all my supplies, I jumped right in and got to cutting. I shamelessly copied Venessa's quilt and decided to use the Starlight pattern from Thimbleblossoms. I love a good triangle quilt, they are just so good!

 After lots of pressing and laying out, I finally have to rows sewn together. Slowly but surely is coming together. I'm just sew excited to get it done and ready for cool October weather!!

What are you working on?

I'm linking up!