Saturday, December 22, 2012

Happy Halloween?

I had made myself a Halloween Quilt a while ago.  Not quite sure when I finished it or why I never posted about it...will have to remedy that in the New Year.  Anyways, my sis commented that she liked it and I just happened to have some extra fat quarters left!  I decided to try my hand at a zig zag quilt from Crazy Mom Quilts...and here's the result!
I'm lucky that my sister's birthday is in it was perfect timing!  It got sent along a little after her birthday...but before Halloween!

I did a straight-line quilting following the zig zag pattern and was happy how it turned out.  I found the backing for 50% off during a sale - so that made me happy too!

As we round the corner into a different holiday...wishing everyone's family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Got Pink?

A former colleague welcomed a baby girl into the world right around Thanksgiving.  Surprisingly, this quilt was actually finished before the little one was born. Nothing like a baby shower to provide a deadline, right?  This one was finished up right before the shower in October.  Mom's a girly-girl, so I figured I couldn't go wrong there!
The pattern is "Due Date" and the fabric name escapes me right now.  I was most proud that all the fabrics came from my stash!
I think Mom liked it and hopefully baby does too!
It got wrapped up along with a rubber ducky (not from my stash) and delivered at a lovely shower hosted by the mom's sister. 

Mom and baby are doing well.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

May the Force Be With You...

Mr. Gnomemade and I have been very lucky to develop some great friendship with my co-workers.  We call them and their spouses very close friends.  One couple - whom we've known for over four years now - a great people with some very big passions - Star Wars for him and Wizard of Oz for her.  They welcomed their first child into the world in August 2011, so when it came time to celebrate her first birthday, I wanted something fun.  Cue a web search and the wonderful find of these Star Wars finger puppets!  It was a no-brainer that I needed to purchase the pattern and make them!
I think it actually took me longer to find the right color felt (especially for C3PO and Yoda's face) than it did to make them.  Granted I did burn myself with the hot glue gun a couple of times, but well worth it in the end.

Overall, I think they were a hit.  Dad seemed to love them...while the birthday girl was more interested in the tissue paper.
They may be a little old for her, but hopefully she'll grow into them and they're a good way for dad and her to share one of his greatest passions!
And if nothing else...who wouldn't want to put on a Darth Vader finger puppet and say..."Luke...I am your father."

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Welcome to the World!

My blog has been quiet since June because...well, because it's been a whirlwind around here.  Since June, I've changed jobs, Mr. Gnomemade and I  have moved, we've taken a vacation with my parents and sister, hosted Thanksgiving for Mr. Gnomemade's family, and lots of everyday life things in between.  All of these have been great opportunities/experiences, but we're enjoying our first real weekend of "downtime".  I realized my blog has been sorely neglected, as has my sewing machine.  But, we're hoping that's going to chane now that we're a bit more settled.  We're hoping that 2013 will be a much more calm year. 
While it's been failry quiet in the world of blogging and crafting, I did accomplish a few things in the latter portion of 2012. 
First up...a baby quilt for my best friend's baby!  He's their first and we welcome him into the world in late spring.  They said they were decorating in browns, greens and blue - so I ran with that theme.  Not my best work, but hopefully they know it was made with love.
The little guy shares a name with Mr. Gnomemade, which made welcoming him into the world even more special.
Unfortunately, they live many hours away, so I have yet to meet him...but hopefully soon!

Will be back with more 2012 finishes!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Out of Season...

I'm a bit out of season with this post.  And while I'd like to think I'm just really ahead of the game, in fact these little guys have been in the works for a couple of Christmases now...and all it proves is I'm horrible about starting projects I don't finish.

More Santas! by gnomemade quilts
More Santas!, a photo by gnomemade quilts on Flickr.

My summer is significantly lighter at work than any other season, so I'm trying my best to get some projects done while I have the time.  With that in mind...this past week or so, I finished up these four Santas!  Aren't they adorable?

I had made a few before for Christmas presents over the past several years for families and friends, but I still had some felt left over to make four more!  I must have cut these guys out over a year ago and had the best of intentions to get them finished.  But without anyone in mind to  give them to, they took a back seat to all the other shiny items that distracted me.

But, with my Quilt Guild's craft show coming up, it motivated me to finish these guys up.  We're keeping one, and at least one will be heading to the quilt guild.  Not 100% certain where the others will find homes, but I'm thinking I might have some more family or friends who wouldn't mind a seasonal addition to their family!

Friday, June 8, 2012

More Bags!

In an effort to get through some of my stash, get ahead of the game (which never happens) and help out my quilt guild, I continued making Drawstring Bags for my guild's bi-annual quilt show boutique.  

I've got a bunch of fabric floating around my apartment that I can't seem to part with, but I'm never certain what to do with.  This is mainly in the form of fat quarters and scraps, so I figured I'd bust into them for this project.

I had already made several bags which I posted last week, but really got on the bandwagon and got nine more done!

Drawstring Bags
Three more bags - I made two of the one in the middle

Drawstring bag - cool or ugly?
Not sure how I feel about the color/pattern combo.
Pink and Orange Drawstring Bags
Made two of each of these for a total of four!
So, those - along with one more item, which I'll post soon, will be heading off to the Quilt Guild boutique!

I love these bags and Jeni's In Color Order tutorial (and pattern you can buy) is so great!  There will definitely be more in the future.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

London Fabric

On my shopping trip, I happened to come across this super cute fabric at another store near the LQS. 

London Fabric

I spent several weeks in London when I was in college as part of a summer project and absolutely loved the city, so I was immediately drawn to it - with all the landmarks and whatnot.  

Add to it my cousin is finishing up a semester in London and I just had to pick it up!  I'm going to attempt to make a pillow out of it with some jumbo ric rac and buttons and then send it a long to her.  Not quite sure how that's going to go...but we'll see!  Thankfully, I think I purchased enough to try again if I mess up!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Drawstring Bags!

My local quilt guild holds a bi-annual Quilt Show.  The next one is scheduled for the end of October - so just a couple months away.  The call has gone out to the guild to provide some items for a boutique we'll be holding as part of the show.

Now, with my work schedule, if I don't get anything done before August - it's just not going to happen.  So, I figured while I had the time and motivation, I'd work on some items for the boutique.

I wanted a fairly simple, but still fun project.  I was immediately drawn to Jeni of In Color Order's tutorial for her lined drawstring bag.  I had made two of them before for Valentine's day and knew they came together really cute!

Now, I know how hard designers work to make a pattern - so I wanted to make sure this was all on the up and up.  Since my guild will be selling these items, I purchased her pattern which provides instructions for a bunch of different sizes!

I went through my fabric scraps and put together some fun color combinations.  I stuck mainly with the original size in her tutorial - but made one larger bag as well.


Here are the first four bags I made.  The one with the trees is a bit larger in size.  The red and black ones have sheep knitting as the top fabric!  I wish I had enough scraps of that left over to make it the body of the bag, but just the top panels were a tight cut!

Here are some close-up shots.


Sheep and red bag!


I figured the fall one was appropriate for an October boutique!

All in all, I think I ended up making 13 bags.  I just need to take some photos of the others!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

I Have a Crush...

When I first started quilting in 2005, I had no idea the difference between high quality quilt fabric and the stuff that came from Joann's/Hancock's on the clearance table.  I also had no idea that there was a world of quilt designers out there who not only made patterns, but also designed fabric.

Rather, my first quilts were just thrown together with fabrics I liked and were my own very basic designs put together on graph paper.  I don't think they came out too bad, but nothing compared to all the wonderful things I've seen on blogs, in books and magazines and in quilt shops!

I'm slowly learning more about designer fabric and patterns, and definitely find myself drawn over and over again to the same designers.  But, in light of a recent order on the internet and cleaning of my sewing room, I realized I have a bit of a "fabric crush" on Heather Mulder Peterson of Anka's Treaures

Turns out...I really like her work...

Anka's Treasures Patterns

Last summer, I ordered a set of fabric to make a quilt out of the "Stop, Drop and Roll" book, which is the next quilt in my queue to make!  I also apparently picked up her "Bella Bag" pattern around the same time.

When I saw on her blog that she just came out with a book of kids quilts, I knew I wanted to pick it up!  With the number of baby quilts I've been making, some new inspiration was due.  The "Little Quilts 4 Little Kids" books is just so adorable!  And while I was ordering that book, the "Living Large 2" book just happened to jump into my cart too!  Add this to her "Favorite Quilts from Anka's Treasures" book that's not pictured above...I might have a problem!

Her designs are just so fun and her blog is inspiring - love her design style!  My goal is to start working my way through some of these projects and instead of just creepily hoarding her stuff, actually use it to make something!  What a novel concept!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Little Eye Candy

Last week, my "local" quilt shop sent an e-mail that they had been to Market and were clearing out some of their old fabric to make way for new.  All of their currently discounted fabric had been marked down to 50% off.  

Now, did I need anymore fabric?  Well - no...but it's a great deal!  Thankfully, Mr. Gnomemade was up for a trip to the shop (it's convenient that his favorite Italian restaurant is in the same shopping center).  So, we piled into the car on Saturday and went on a little shopping trip!

Below is my real rhyme or reason to what I have or why other than I  just thought they were fun!
Fabric Shopping by gnomemade quilts
Fabric Shopping, a photo by gnomemade quilts on Flickr.

I've already used the top yellow and pink fabric for the interior lining of a bag and I imagine the bottom fabric will be a backing for a Halloween quilt!

There's also some gnome fabric hiding in that stack too!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My New Arrival!

While everyone in our world is having babies...I have a new arrival of my own type! 

Meet my new Janome!  Isn't she a beaut?

My New Janome!

Sadly, my trusty Kenmore workhorse that I've had for over seven years just started running out of steam.  I brought her in for service, which helped a little bit.  But, eventually she just started lagging and making some weird noises.  

This was in November/December.  I explored lots of different options and was pretty upset about it.  I had invested a lot of money into my Kenmore in terms of bobbins, feet, extension table, etc. and I had a hard time giving up on it.  Thought about just replacing it - but they don't make them much anymore.

With the love and support of my family - we researched the Kenmore and found that it was probably made by Janome.  Filed that one away.

Anyways, after Christmas, I spent a day researching new sewing machines.  If I couldn't replace my Kenmore, I thought about upgrading.  There are some features that could be really an adjustable needle position, a needle down option, some more throat space, etc.  So there was a day in December that I visited all the dealers - Pfaff, Bernina Husquavarna, etc.  They were all really nice machines, but just didn't feel so comfortable.  Cue Mr. Gnomemade who looked up the closest Janome dealership that closed in an hour.  I hightailed it to the shop and fell in love with the MC 6300P.

It was perhaps the biggest decision I made in the shortest amount of time.  But with the blessing over the phone of Mr. Gnomemade, I pulled the trigger and I...
...absolutely love her.

 My New Janome! 

It was a bit scary to make a decision as big as this one, but I just felt so comfortable with the machine.  It's like my little Kenmore - only on steroids.  And what makes it even better is that all my Kenmore accessories (other than the extension table) fit!  So no rewinding bobbins and I have extra feet!  The machine came with an extension table and almost every accessory I'll need, and the shop I bought it from has been extremely helpful in negotiating learning how to use her!

I'm thrilled now when I'm sewing...and am really enjoying all the features it offers.  Besides being such a great machine, it really does hold a special place in my heart.  You grandma passed away right around the time my Kenmore started acting up.  Grandma was an active sewer and crafter, and I hope she'd be happy that I used some of the money she left me to invest in this machine.  And I know I'm happy to have made that investment - as (corny as it sounds) every time I sit down at the machine now I think of her.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baby Boy Chase Quilt

Yet another baby quilt!  As I mentioned in my previous post, there have been lots of babies in my world.  Within four days - three babies.  This was baby #2 in that streak.  He's the first child for a very close family friend - who I've known forever.

As you can see, I went with my trusty stand-by...a disappearing nine-patch with the baby's name at the bottom.  I just think there's something so fun about having the baby's name on the quilt.  However, with the recent trend of my friends not sharing the name of their little one until he/she is born, it definitely delays my quilts!

So, a little late, but better than never, this quilt is on it's way to baby in CT.  It's made with My Mind's Eye "Alphabet Soup" fabric.  I bought a stack of fat quarters and cut 5" squares from them to give me a couple sets to be prepped for all the babies.  I still need to put one together for the third baby born - so am hoping to work on that this weekend.

I was thrilled to find some great stripe fabric for the backing.  I found it shopping at Joann's with my sister in CT and love how well it coordinates with the colors on the front!

Hopefully baby enjoys!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Logan's Dr. Suess Quilt

The baby quilt trend continues here!  Yet another friend had a baby within the past few months.  Actually, within four days at the end of March, three babies were born to friends across the country.  I'm still working my way through that list, but have at least two of them! 

This was the first of the three babies born...Logan.  He's the son of one of my colleagues and is absolutely adorable.  He was born early, so he arrived way before his quilt did!  In fact, his baby shower was planned in April - about 15 days after he was born!  He was that early!

Anyway, the parents decided to decorate in Dr. Suess fabrics for the nursery, so when I found the Dr. Suess panel, I knew it'd be perfect.  I used a bunch of Kona solids to go along with the quilt and tried to design a simple block design to work with the different sized panels.

The quilt was a last minute effort - I was out of town when the baby was born - so my Easter weekend was spent quilting this!  Probably the most quilting I've done on a quilt.  It's hard to see in the very last minute photo I took, but I quilted around all the Dr. Suess pictures to make them pop out!

Overall, very happy with how it came together, but glad it's behind me.  Mom, Dad and baby are all doing well!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Baby Boy Sean Quilt

As I said, it's "baby-palooza" with my friends!  This quilt, I'm a bit embarrassed to say, took way too long to get to mom and baby.  Mom and I met in graduate school and she had her first son at the end of July.  The month of August is one of my busiests times at work, and this just got delayed and more delayed.  It eventually made it's way to St. Louis around Christmas (I know Sean's almost 6 months at that time), but I think it was warmly received nonetheless!

Baby Boy Sean Quilt by gnomemade quilts
Baby Boy Sean Quilt, a photo by gnomemade quilts on Flickr.

Baby Boy Sean Quilt 2 by gnomemade quilts

Disappearing nine-patch and the baby's name - simple, but cute.  I used "Max and Whiskers" charm pack for this one!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Baby Girl Ellie Quilt

Well, it's been quite a break from blogging now hasn't it? I'm not really sure where time has gone, but it's flown by...that's for sure! Work has been crazy busy, and lots of things have come up over the past few months. I wouldn't even know where to start. Needless to say, I haven't had much time for quilting, but have needed to fit some in, as so many people I know are expecting or just had kids!

So, recently it's been the era of "Baby Quilts". Here's one that was delivered to a friend from culinary school who just had her second child!  

Baby Girl Ellie Quilt, a photo by gnomemade quilts on Flickr.

I decided to play around with some disappearing nine patch blocks and this what I came up with. It's now my "go-to" quilt design for babies. It's not too big, so perfect either for a playmat while they're small, or a car seat blanket!

Let's just say there's more where this came from...details soon.