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!