WIP Wednesday - Glitter, glitter and more glitter

This is the current state of my sewing room.  Not too bad actually, tidier than usual.  I decided to put away almost everything else and concentrate on these highly-addictive glitter blocks.  My goal is 16 per week - one row in the twin size quilt.  An hour here, an hour there, work and family permitting.    At the very least I can have five minutes of fun choosing fabric!
Thanks for stopping by.
Linking up with Freshly Pieced Quilts...

Friday Finish - One Scrappy Placemat

I've been so wrapped up working on my Glitter blocks, I don't have much to report this week, but I did finally finish a placemat for Olivia that I made using the tiny slivers of fabric leftover from her flowering snowball quilt.  I've had this project hanging around taking up space for a few months, so when I cleaned my sewing room last week I decided to just finish the damn thing instead of putting it in the WIP drawer.  
I had weird curved little shapes left, about an inch at the widest point, so I decided to make some really skinny half rectangle squares.  I pay a lot for shipping and duty on all my fabric so I really try to use even the smallest of scraps.  Oh to live in the states again and have free shipping!... sigh.  (After making this I did throw the rest in the garbage - I'm thrifty not insane!)
Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts...

WIP Wednesday - Glitter quilt blocks

This week I've been working on my Glitter blocks, making piles of fabrics, cutting so much I'm getting a callus, (a.k.a. quilter's finger), and then slowly getting faster at sewing the blocks.  It's actually become super satisfying ironing my pretty Y seams - who knew I could do those?  Oh - and I finally figured out that I needed to press the seams of the main shape towards the background fabric!  It's a lot of trial and error when you don't have any quilters around you.
I finally bought some template plastic, (I cut an entire queen size Single Girl quilt with paper templates!), and invested in one of those rotating cutting mats.  Both have made cutting easier so it was money well spent.  While at work I photocopied the template, and enlarged it to 125%, so the unfinished blocks are 11.5" by 4.75".  Since this quilt is going to be a mixture of fabrics and colours, I'm approaching each block's colour scheme as if it were a stand-alone mini quilt.  It's a lot of fun choosing the combinations of three fabrics, and I think this could be key in keeping the momentum going till I reach 128 blocks!  I hesitate to call this "scrappy", because I am using fat quarters and yardage, and not true scraps.
This is going to be a very labour-intense quilt, for sure, but I also feel like when it's done it's going to be the most beautiful quilt I've ever made.  Jen Kingwell's book, Quilt Lovely, has really revolutionized how I think about my stash, and I've been breaking up previously intact fat quarter bundles all week.  I had kept at least 75% of my stash in the collection bundles (or curated bundles, or bundles I set aside for future quilts), but now I'm just throwing everything together and I'm going to reorganize 90% of it just by colour.  This is major for me - full collection fat quarter bundles were sacred!  I can definitely see more scrappy style projects in my future.
If you'd like to see more, you can follow me on instagram, and if you want to see some real eye candy, check out the #glitterquilt group!

Thanks for stopping by!

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced Quilts...

Friday Finish - Far Far Away II Baby Quilt

I made this quilt back in March, and it was the quickest baby quilt I've ever made!  
In true Italian style, my friend told me her brother and his wife would be visiting with their new baby THE NIGHT BEFORE we saw them! Nothing like the last minute - I swear it's in their DNA!  The baby girl was almost six months old, so I'd been thinking about her quilt for a while, but I hadn't actually decided what to make.  I thought about not going, but then I decided to shift it into high gear and crank out a quilt for this long-awaited baby girl.  (Isn't she a little doll?)
So what could I make that would be fast yet still something special?  I knew the parents didn't want traditional pink.  Who could I turn to?  Heather Ross - don't fail me now!  I had a fat quarter bundle of Far, Far Away II that I purchased last summer, and I knew it would be perfect.  It had to be quick and easy, but I wanted the simple patchwork design to be balanced with some super special fabric.  I also added a few bees, frogs and strawberries from my Briar Rose stash.
For the backing I found some purple and white gingham that I had put aside for clothing for Olivia - it matched perfectly!  I quilted it in my go-to quick wavy lines.
I desperately wanted that thin yellow and white strip for the binding, but I only had a fat quarter of it!  Since the quilt is only 35" square, I did my calculations (twice) and realized I would have just enough to do it.  And it truly was, just enough - I had about a 3" long piece left when I was done! 
All in all, I made this quilt in six hours - three the night before and three the morning of the day we saw our friends.  The pictures we took outside that March morning were awful, with the terrible, harsh, end of winter light, so these are from my iPhone.  They are actually the progress pictures I sent to my mother!  (The third from the last photo is me bragging about my perfect corners! hee hee)
In the end, I was really happy with it, and so were our friends.  Who would have ever thought purple, orange and green would make such a sweet girl's quilt?  
Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts...

My New Love - Glitter by Jen Kingwell

Ladies, I've fallen in love.

A few weeks ago, Jen Kingwell's new book Quilt Lovely popped up on my radar.  I'm not a huge buyer of quilting books, mostly because there's so much information and inspiration out there in the blogosphere, and if a particular quilt takes my fancy, I'll just buy the individual pattern.

But, late one night, I was cruising Amazon, (as you do), and I saw the book again.  So I took a peek inside.  And that's when I saw it - Glitter - a quilt unlike anything I'd ever seen before.  I was transfixed.  My heart leapt... before I knew it I was clicking "buy now" and calculating the hours till the book would be in my hands.  I snapped a picture of Glitter with my phone to hold me over.

Three days later I had my baby in my arms.  I quickly flipped to the right page, my eyes skimming through the block instructions.  Suddenly, my blood went cold.  Oh no.  A knot formed in my stomach.  Y seams?  How could this be??  I'd been led to believe that we were a perfect match, that this quilt was The One.  And now it sprang Y seams on me??  It would never work.  Crushed, I put the book down and went to bed.

I thought about Glitter all day long the next day.  I looked at the picture on my phone.  I couldn't give up on us.  It was too damn good-looking.  It wasn't going to be easy, but some things are just "meant" to be.

I decided to bone up on Y seams and make a test block.  I watched a few videos about the traditional "sewing dot to dot" technique.  Then I found this little lady who proclaimed there was a better way.  I tried it, and it seems to work for me.  I'm just not quite sure of how to iron the seams on the back to avoid bulk (and the book doesn't mention these details).

The seams aren't perfect yet.  I'm going cut the four corner pieces more generously next time, and upsize the block a bit too.  It'll take some work, but hey, all relationships take work.  With a little patience, I think Glitter and I might end up happy together after all.

Will be linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced...

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