Wednesday, June 21, 2017

feeling groovy

There are people who just do everything fast.

I am not one of those people.

I wish I were.
There are certain tasks
 (vegetable chopping, for instance)
that I've done so much - I've naturally gotten faster;
but as a rule,
I'd say I'm average, at best,
and even sometimes, downright slow.

Bag-making is pretty much my molasses.

I'm usually tickled with them in the end,
but goodness, the making of bags
takes me a dang long time!

I do believe this one,
clocking in at 7 1/2 hours,
is the record.

It's a good thing I really love Amy,
and I think she really deserves it,
because that is just about ridiculous!

But -
it's a really cute bag!!

You might remember that Lily had a really rough night at camp,
and Amy helped her through it,
so I was already thinking I ought to make her something as a thank-you.

But then,
when she up and went to Lexi's camp also
(and changed her bandages
because Lexi wasn't sure the nurse would do it properly)
I knew I needed to.

Amy is a little bit of a hippie,
so I was kind of already thinking maybe something with a VW.
I found out that she drove the big ol' church van
(through the construction area that brings me to tears 
nearly every time I drive in NWA)
she loves Volkswagen Beetles,
and well, that sealed the deal.

I added elastic to the inside of the bag,
so she could securely carry essential oils in it if she felt so inclined.

And then, thinking that 
if she did carry oils in it,
maybe there should be some padding in the center, too,
so the glass bottles wouldn't be hitting each other,
so I made a padded pocket divider thing.

And after I had the entire bag done,
and the opening sewn shut,
I discovered 
that when you add a divider
to a zip pouch with boxed corners,
you must remove some length from the divider.

How much length 
seems to be determined 
by how much you box the corners.

It took me about a half hour to fix my error,
so I guess, 
the bag only took 7 hours.

But that's still a record, I think...

In all seriousness,
I am so grateful that Amy sacrificed a week of her life
to love on my girls,
and I was happy to spend a few hours of mine,
to make a bag that says
thank you, sweet friend!! I think you're groovy!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Sleeping Porch, Squares

Continuing in our Sleeping Porch Series,
(3 different quilts, made with the same line of fabrics,
Heather Ross' Sleeping Porch,
and some Art Gallery Fabrics' Specktackular, in gold)
next - we have Squares.

This one was a bit of trickster.

When I saw this quilt,
I knew it would be perfect to showcase the unique SP fabrics.

Instead of piecing it the way Shannon did,
(sew a corner onto 4 squares, then join those 4 units into a block)
I thought to myself,
'why not just applique those squares on?
that would be so much faster,
plus - no seams in your beautiful fabrics....'

I am here to tell you 
that it is not faster to applique those squares
on point
onto larger squares,
even if you don't calculate in the time it took 
to prep the squares
(also - do you know how hard it is to press 4 sides and 4 corners
into a perfect square??)

I took to Instagram to see if I was ignorant of some all-important
applique knowledge that would speed up the process,
but no,
the consensus was - it just takes a long time.

I foolishly thought that so many people enjoy this applique thing,
surely it doesn't take forever;
but I was wrong.

Applique takes for-ever.

But look!
Invisible stitches!!

Once I got the darn 2 1/2" squares sewn on,
sewing the 10" squares together into a completed top
was nothing.

Because I had anticipated
 I would have very little labor in this quilt
(cough cough)
I had decided to splurge on a yard and a half 
of the moths on green
for the backing.

I may have seriously underestimated my time,
but y'all,
that backing was a good idea,
because this quilt is positively the most delightful quilt
I've ever felt.
It is so light and airy;
it's the quilt angels dream about, I'm pretty sure.

After lots and lots of practicing,
I free-motion quilted feathers around all of my squares,
and I must say,
I am really quite pleased with how they turned out!

Then I added hand-stitching to all of the appliqued squares
with magenta perle cotton
and inside that,
machine quilted 4-petal flowers

I finished off the quilt
with pink lawn,
machine attached on the back,
and stitched down on the front
with big stitch hand quilting.

At approximately 40x48,
this quilt is perfect for growing with a baby for many years,
and it'd also be a good car quilt,
or even a small lap or wheelchair quilt.
It's beautiful to look at,
but honestly,
this one is far too scrumptious to hang on the wall!

Sleeping Porch Squares is available in my shop
(and 100% of the profits
will go towards buying a sewing machine for Rahab's Rope)

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Sleeping Porch, Diamonds

I know I just introduced you
to the finished Sleeping Porch Series,
but I wanted to give each quilt 
an opportunity to shine, on her own, if you will.

For Diamonds,
I made 80 half rectangles
  Heather Ross' silky Sleeping Porch cotton lawn
and Specktakular, in gold, by Art Gallery
and arranged them with Lexi's expert help.


I wish I would've tested before sewing up all 80,
because my corners did not match up 
about as often as they did.

I let go of some of my perfectionist tendencies, though,
because even with some sawed off points,
I think Diamonds is very striking.
(It'd actually look great hanging on a wall,
but gosh - I'd rather see a quilt getting used and snuggled)

Instead of quilting with a walking foot, 
I used a ruler foot and my add-a-quarter ruler
(which would have been far more enjoyable
 if my machine wasn't so finicky!)
I didn't mark anything, just picked certain 'landmarks'
as quilting guides.

And, of course, 
I added in a bit of hand quilting.
I hope the recipient loves that touch as much as I do....

I used a thrifted sheet as the backing,
to keep costs lower.
The bonus surprise
was the quilting looks really great on the back.

I decided to keep with the soft and silky theme,
and bind it with lawn,
so it's extra nice for little fingers to rub.

I hope the little one that gets this quilt
sleeps well under it,
plays and grows and learns new things on it,
and loves it to bits.

Sleeping Porch Series

as I like to call them,
the 3 Sisters.

A few months ago,
my friend, HydeeAnn, started a series of quilts.
She used different fabrics,
but made the same pattern.

I knew I wanted to do the same thing,
only - different pattern
same fabrics -
and my Sleeping Porch Series was born.

First up, 

Bold, flashy, beautiful diamonds.

Next was Squares.

I thought she was going to be the easy one, 
the quick one,
but I thought wrong.

For all of her simplicity,
she took way more time and attention than I'd planned.

But -
with bamboo batting
and that lawn backing,
and the quilt top being 91% lawn, too
she is the dreamiest of them all.

Last, but not definitely not least,
we have 
Sparkling Stars
(because I obviously don't have stars out of my system yet 😏)

She took quite a bit of time,
what with all that piecing

but the quilting went pretty quickly

and, man!
I could just look at her all day long.

And guys - guess what??

They are all available


I have a shop now!!!
(Free advice gratefully accepted)
It's called Lily and Lex 💗

Friday, June 16, 2017

flowering snowball, a finished (squishy!) quilt

I never shared my finished flowering snowball quilt!!

This was made simply for the pleasure of it.

I dreamed about this quilt for over 2 years,
and made it in just a little over 2 months.

I loved making the blocks.

(well - maybe I didn't love all of the seam ripping... ;-) 

I loved sewing them together.

And carefully pattern matching 
when I sewed up the scrumptious voile back.
(I used the same fabric that I used on Hadley's quilt 💗)

(okay. Maybe I only liked that part.
But I loved that Lily helped me...)

I really loved hand-quilting it.

and machine quilting it was an absolute breeze,

once I decided to simply (free motion) quilt
 a small circle where the blocks meet.

And of course, 
I loved adding the binding,

In short - I just really really love this quilt.

(a lot)

And I'll quite possibly make another FSQ someday.