Oh Happy Day!

My Briar Rose has arrived! 

I'm going to make my little one a quilt for when she gets a big girl bed, but not immediately.  First I'm going to look at it for a while!

Voile obsessed

Last summer, when I made my daughter's voile quilt, I fell in love.  I had never used voile before and was absolutely won over by its soft lusciousness.  I immediately bought a big half-yard bundle of the same AMH Little Folks voile in yellow and green tones with the idea of making one for myself.  I may have mentioned something about wearing it wrapped around my naked body toga-style, but let's not get bogged down in details!

I started working on the Little Folks quilt, putting 4.5" squares into a plus design.

I quickly realized that I had enough fabric to make a really big queen size quilt, but, as I just finished a massive queen-sized project, (which I will reveal to you as soon as I can take a decent picture of the behemoth!), I decided not to get into another big quilt right now.  

So, I tucked the Little Folks away for another day, and brought out my beautiful bundle of AMH's Field Study in voile.  I adore these colours!   

I stuck with 4.5" squares because I want to do an orange peel quilting on it, and I plan on using my 8" round cake pan to draw the lines on!  (Very professional, I know!)

After putting baby to bed, I poured myself and my sister a glass of bubbly, and started cutting.

Photo from my Instagram account:  anniemac_original

We quickly settled on a simple patchwork design - something I haven't yet.  I'm thinking a super light bamboo batting will make this a perfect warm weather quilt.

I love this line so much I even kept the 1" x 4.5" scraps - maybe I'll do a pillow cover with them.

Maybe I should rename this blog "beautiful scraps" - I can never resist photographing them... are you tired of seeing them?

And this is what I've been able to sew together so far.  Summer is in full force here and it's fairly unpleasant to be on the second floor of the house during the day, so I'm not as far along as I'd like to be.  I do hope to use this quilt before summer fades away, so I will not let this fall by the wayside.
Talk soon!

A bucket hat for baby

Since summer has finally arrived (92° yesterday!), I finally got down to making Olivia a bucket hat using this free Oliver + S pattern.  I saw it last year when I was pregnant and had been saving it.  So yesterday I grabbed some of Alexander Henry's Larkspur Meadow from my stash and got to it!

Now, I know that saying about "it's a poor carpenter who blames the hammer", and maybe the little glitches I encountered were completely my fault, but I thought the instructions could have been a tad clearer.  I don't know why I had to sew 1/2" seams, and then trim some down to 1/4" and others to 1/8".  As a quilter, seams that are less than 1/4" seem a little risky, especially on something that might end up being washed often, so I didn't cut them to less than that.  Also, the brim and bucket side pattern pieces didn't say "cut on fold".  I have sewn garments before, so I knew to do that, but someone without experience wouldn't have.

Another thing I've learned quilting is to be very precise when cutting.  Even though I was careful, the top part of the hat would not match up to the sides, so to be able to sew it without any puckers I had to trim off a bit.

I hope I don't sound too ungrateful, because I think it's really nice of Oliver + S to make some patterns available for free, but I feel obligated to tell you what my experience was!  I will definitely be making it again, so maybe things will go smoother the second time.

In the end I think it turned out pretty cute - don't you?

Or it could just be that the model's so dang gorgeous...

See you soon!

A New Blanket

This morning we went out for a walk to get a cappuccino.  I thought I'd take along the spring blanket I just finished for Olivia and try and get a nice picture of it.  Recently it dawned on me that you guys might enjoy seeing a little bit of Italy in my crafty pics - after all, I like to get a glimpse of life in Hawaii and New Zealand and other places through other people's blogs.  So from now on I'm going to try to include a little bit of local scenery for you.

It's a simple zig zag crochet, done with this tutorial, in cotton.  I bought the yarn at a place in Rome last year, and the colour selection wasn't the greatest so I ended up with pinks and purples.  Not my favourite, but I figure it's fine since it's one of many, many blankets Olivia will have!

And here's a behind the scenes picture of my little family waiting patiently.  You know he's secure in his masculinity pushing a pink stroller while holding two chihuahuas!

After coffee Olivia and I practiced walking for a bit.

Playing with scraps

Well, thanks to the weather today I wasn't able to take a decent picture to show you what I've been up to, so I thought I'd show you what Olivia gets up to in the sewing room. 

This is what I pictured when I was pregnant - puttering away together in the sewing room.  

Working on Woven

Around February, I got sick of winter.  I longed for warmer weather, bright colours, spring flowers.  I decided a new summer quilt was in order.  I had really loved Kate Spain's Terrain when I used a charm pack to make some pillows a year earlier - so I searched the internet for yardage of ordered a half yard of almost every print.  Then my buddy Jess wrote a Moda Bakeshop tutorial - and I knew it was the perfect design for my quilt.  

I tested out the pattern on a little throw pillow.  I used some solids from a Kona bright jelly roll, and Essex linen in natural.  I quilted it in various pinks and oranges.

I liked it.  I could do this block over and over again.  So I cut the Terrain into strips and got to it.  
Since a block only takes about 20 minutes, my goal has been two a day.  I hope to have the quilt done by the end of June - and by done I mean quilted too!

I keep the blocks under some books to keep the many seams nice and flat.  
(Yes I have a book about knitting dog sweaters - you got a problem with that?!?  I have chihuahuas - they get cold!)

I'm not quite sure how many I've got so far, but so far I'm loving it!

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Throw quilt

Do you remember my Kona squares quilt

It was my second quilt ever, made in the summer of 2011, but unfortunately it got put on the back burner when I got pregnant that fall.  It was inspired by the cover quilt in Cherri House's book, City Quilts.

I liked the idea of little squares, I just wanted to make them a little more colourful.  I grabbed a selection of fat quarters from my then recently purchased Kona box, cut up a ton of 2" squares, and started chain piecing.   

This winter, as Olivia got a bit older and I was able to get back to my sewing room, I decided it was time to finish it up and get it on my couch.  I wanted something warm to snuggle under while watching tv, so I experiemented with silk batting.  It turned out really well - super warm with a lovely drape.  I highly recommend it and will definitely be using it more in the future.  
I did simple straight line quilting, and backed it with a soft heather grey flannel sheet.  

With a few leftover squares I made a little detail in the binding.  

I love the shot of colour this quilt gives our aging grey couch.  

(My two favourite people)

It's also made a really nice background for some pictures of the baby...

(Olivia at 5 months)

I'm going to enter this quilt in the throw quilt category for the Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side.  This is the first time I've participated in the festival and I'm excited to show you all what I've been up to over on my side of the world!  Quilting is fairly rare in Italy, and it's easy to feel isolated when none of your friends understand your obsession for fabric and quilts.  I am SO envious of anyone who has a modern quilt guild in their city!  I started this blog two years ago to connect with the online blogging community, and I think this festival is a great way to connect with even more fellow quilters.  Thanks Amy!

Another AMH Voile Baby quilt!

This is another recent finish that I've decided to share - a baby quilt for a friend made with Anna Maria Horner's Little Folks voiles.  

It is very similar to a quilt I made for Olivia last year.  When I was making that one I was thinking the colours were perfect for my friend Ilaria.  She is always wearing pinks and burgundies, and luckily she was having a girl!  

Simple line quilting again and backed with a single print from the collection

 I embroidered the baby's name and birthday - definitely my favourite part of baby quilts.  Did you see that little miss Giulia missed having an awesome birthday by a few hours?  I called her mom on the afternoon of the 12th and told her to push and get that baby out by midnight!!!  

Baby testing...

Ok that's enough - up mommy!

Last year when I did Olivia's quilt I fell in love with AMH's voile.  It is just the softest, most luxurious fabric ever!  If you haven't tried it I highly suggest you do!  A few months ago I bought a half yard bundle of Field Study from Fabricworm to make a big throw quilt just for me.  Hubby will be jealous, but I don't care.  I just love that lush tangerine print on top!

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Wall hanging quilt!

Hi all!

I've been working on this little quilt for the last three weeks, just so I'd have something new to contribute to the Blogger's Quilt Festival.  I'm so glad I can finally show it to you!

Since this is my first time participating in the festival, I wanted to create something special, totally improvisational, and from the heart.  It has been a long and rainy spring here in northern Italy, so I decided to go with some bright solids.  I started by chopping up half a Kona jelly roll, a charm pack, and then added in a few more colours pulling from my giant Kona box stash.  

Mixed 'em all up and just started arranging them and sewing them one row at a time.

Once it started to grow, I just tried to make sure there was a nice balance of colours without planning too much (as is my nature!)

I knew I wanted some super dense quilting, something different from anything I've done before...

I always feel a little sad when I have to throw out such pretty garbage...

 It is just under 24" square, and I quilted it with an Aurifil light yellow. 

I have to say, I'm really thrilled with how it turned out.  I love colourful squares in art (I find I do a lot in my own paintings), and I really love quilts made from solids.  This is definitely going to brighten up the entrance of our house!

I am also working away (very slowly) on a hand-quilted version... here's a little sneak peek:

And a picture of my lovely assistant... I managed to get the quilt done with despite her help!

Almost ready for the Blogger's Quilt Festival...

Full reveal tomorrow!

Working on a little something for the Blogger's Quilt Festival...

Wow, it's been a looooong time since I've blogged, but that doesn't mean I haven't been quietly sewing away after the baby goes to sleep.  I will have a few finishes from this year to show you soon, and will be participating the the Blogger's Quilt Festival next week as well.  I've also been keeping up on what everyone else has been doing, especially thanks to Feedly's app for my android phone - VERY handy for someone with a baby who might not always be able to get on the computer.  

Anyway, here's a little hint at the mini I'm getting read for the festival.  It's been such a long, rainy spring here I really needed this explosion of colour! 

Talk soon!
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