24 February 2012

In Honor of Poppies

I had forgotten that during my (ahem) sabbatical from this blog I fell in love with a new fabric line. Artist Karen Tusinski debuted her first fabric line, Gallery Fiori, at Quilt Market in May 2011.

For about a year now, as you all know, I've been a die-hard Tula Pink fan.  It had to take something pretty dang special for me to dub a new designer/line a favorite.  Tula Pink's fabrics play to my need for vibrant color, symbolism, joy.  Gallery Fiori is completely different: sophisticated pallet, meandering lines, muted colors, metallics.  You can actually see the brush strokes on her fabric.


Soon, I'll photograph the wall hangings I made using this line, but for now I'll just introduce you to the fabric.

Gallery Fiori Fat Quarter Bundle in Red from HawthorneThreads.com.

Just for detail's sake, here's a close-up of the poppies:

Unfortunately, I can't "zoom in" close enough to show the gold veins in the fabric.  See the lighter outlines of the layers in the poppies?  That's actually metallic gold.  It reflects light and makes the poppies simply radiant.

I'm sure she'll never see this blog, but just in case...

Well done, Ms. Tusinski. Gallery Fiori is gorgeous. I am already a huge fan and cannot wait to see what your next lines will be.

Party Time!

My daughter is turning 2 in just a few weeks, and I'm in the last stages of planning her party and heading into the execution phase. Her absolute, most favoritest thing in the whole world are ducks. Rubber duckies, stuffed animals, books about ducks, real ducks. You name something duck, and she loves it. So, guess the theme of her party. Yup, ducks.

When I relayed the duck theme to my mom, she immediately suggested that I use a blue tablecloth on the table to create a "pond" effect. Brilliant!

I've also had the idea of having a rubber duck derby, but without a body of running water it may be a little difficult. My husband suggested a slip-n-slide down our lawn...may have to give that idea some thought.

The first acquisition to the duck motif was Wilton's 3-D Rubber Ducky pan.

Thankfully, my awesome mother-in-law is amazing with cake decorating and is going to help me with this one. I've done the Wilton 3-D Cruiser for 2 of my son's birthdays, but most of the surfaces on that cake are flat. The rubber ducky is most definitely not flat, and I'm going to need help or else it will end up being posted on CakeWrecks!

I also found this tutorial on the Tidy Mom blog for Rubber Ducky Punch. It's oh-so-adorable, and soooo perfect for the theme.

I usually put streamers up for birthday parties, but since we're going with the duck pond idea, I think blue bunting and white cloud mobiles will be hanging from the ceiling instead.

Maybe something like this, sans balloons:
Floating in the Clouds 3D Mobile by GoshandGolly on Etsy.

Any other great duck/pond/cloud ideas before I move away from the planning stage?

20 February 2012

My First Ultra-Girly Quilt

**Ms. Tonovitz, this post is about your quilt.  If you happen to be reading this and would like to be surprised, well, stop reading!

****FAIR WARNING!!****

Ok, for everyone else:

Friends of ours are in the process of adopting a baby girl from China after having boys.  Understandably, the Mom has been aching for a girl and is going ultra-girly with her long-awaited daughter.  So when I decided to make a quilt for this little girl (and her mommy), I knew I would have to step out of my usual box. Hint: I'm not ultra-girly.

My friend Dawn posted this quilt on Pinterest months ago, and I instantly knew that it would fit the bill for this baby.

Quilt by NanaCompanyPosted on Pinterest via Flickr.
Since there were no other details about fabrics, I was left to my own devices to find fabrics to use. I perused my friend's--the recipient of this quilt--pins on Pinterest to see what she is drawn to. This caught my eye:

And after begging Dawn to help me find fabrics, then sidelining the project too long to be able to buy any of the fabrics Dawn found (sorry, Dawn!), I settled on the Cabbages and Roses Northcote Range collection.

Fat Quarter Shop is not paying me to add this image.
They just had the best pic of the collection.  I do, however,
think they are one of the best online quilting shops!

I'm planning on pulling out the more saturated blues and reds and sticking mainly with the pinks and greys.  I'll be using some yellow and green prints from my personal collection to round out the color scheme from the picture above.

I might also add that this will be my first attempt at a Dresden Plate (the flower in the center of the quilt), and I'm really excited to try my hand at it.  Fingers crossed, it will be easier than my diamonds were.

More on the diamonds and the Dresden tomorrow.

Good night, cyberspace.


13 February 2012

I hate Paris in the springtime...

No, I'm not flying to Paris to save my fiance from the clutches of a "god-dess" ala French Kiss's Meg Ryan.  I'm making my damned Parisville diamonds quilt. Who knew that diamonds were so difficult?!

I've done hexagons, I've done queen-sized quilts, I've done quiltagami. But nothing could have prepared me for the nightmare of diamonds.

Diamonds are 4-sided, like squares or rectangles, so they should be easy to piece together. It's all straight-line stitching. No applique. Large blocks making up a lap-size quilt. Sounds easy-peasy, right?  WRONG.

Diamonds have straight edges, yes, but they aren't on the x/y-axes.  They're diagonal. That means that instead of lining up adjacent pieces like you would, say, square or rectangle pieces, you have to offset them to adjust for the diagonality.  (Yes, I just made up that word.)  So say two diamonds are just a hair off and not lined up correctly. This seemingly minor error is the pebble that sets off an avalanche. Those two don't line up, so the whole row they're in doesn't line up, so the quilt doesn't line up. I think I've spent more time ripping seams than sewing them together.

Lesson learned: never attempt diamonds again.  Period.

Okily-dokily.  On to a topic not dripping with disdain: ducks.

My daughter is turning 2 in just a few weeks, and the greatest love of her young life is ducks.  Stuffed ducks, rubber duckies, ducks waddling across the road.  She loves ducks more than peanut butter loves jelly.

My mom had bought two prints from Lizzy House Red Letter Day collection to make her something for Christmas, but the project never materialized (rimshot, please).  She sent the fabric to me in hopes that it can be used for something for my daughter's birthday.  I adore this fabric.  It's fun and funky and soooo reflects my daughter's personality.

Does anyone have any suggestions for these prints?  The word "pillows" keeps popping into my head, but the girl has about 305897122984 stuffed animals that she takes to bed with her every night.  I fear pillows would get lost in the shuffle.  Thoughts??

11 February 2012

I'm Baaaaack!

Hello again!  Yes, it has been almost 6 months since my last post.  My good friend Allison has prompted me to pick this up again, so here I am!

I was thinking of filling you in on the projects I completed August through January, but sadly, a terrible fate befell our family computer and I lost almost all the photos I took of those projects.  Even more sadly, I have an chronic case of Mommy Brain, so recalling all the projects I completed would be impossible.  Bum deal.

I have a few pictures from my phone - they aren't great, but alas, they'll have to do.

The robot buddies for Finn and his best bed, Liam.

A rag doll for my niece, Elsie, made from a t-shirt, polyfill and yarn.

The face didn't turn out quite like I wanted, but an embroiderer I'm not.

Baby blanket no.1 for friends of ours at Stephen's work.

Next on my to-do list: Baby blankets nos.2-5.

For friends who are adopting a sweet baby girl from China.

For my nephew, Hezekiah, who is arriving in March!
(quilts 4 & 5 are TBD - one is for my niece, Sydney, who was born in November, 
the other for my cousin's baby who isn't arriving until September.)

And last, but not least, I am finally working on my Parisville quilt for me, myself and I.  (See post about it here.)  I love the fabric so much, and I'm really digging the diamonds.  BTW, I decided to go for the plain old diamonds similar to the first picture.  As soon as I have some better pics of this quilt, I'll post them!

A preview of Diamonds in Parisville.

Well, now that I'm back, you're stuck with me!  Talk to you soon!