Saturday, September 29, 2012


Today is the big day for the Sequintastic September Blog Hop! (Can I hear a woop woop?) Also, my apologies for my lateness! I set this to auto-publish while I slept, and alas, technology failed me! BOO!

This should not have been that hard of a project, but it really was. I waffled like mad on the design, went back and forth between different fabric lines and ideas, perused sequin shopping sites like no girl's business, and got really flustered over the whole affair! I finally sat back and focused on things I really really like, and after a bit of perusal on flickr, I stumbled across this table runner and found myself mesmerized. I'm kinda obsessed with pinwheels, and I loved the sharp white against the green. My initial thought was, how do I get me one of these, and like yesterday? Except that white on my table was not gonna happen in my house. Not with my oldest kidlet's newfound love of peanut butter.

But! I happen to be working on this quilt for my bed...and I had some leftover fabric...and I thought to myself, why not a pillow to match? Of course, I should probably finish the quilt first, but this seemed like an excellent opportunity, and I can't turn my back on that! So, I went with it and came up with this:

Oh yes, Friends. Those are pink sequins in the corners. I probably could've gone all out and sewn the entire border, but as this was my first time working with any sort of quilt embellishment, I thought I'd take it slow. 

I was surprised by how easy the sequins were to work with! Yes, I spent 3-4 hours on these two small patches, but it was my first time, and I definitely picked up speed as I moved along. I also didn't draw out the design entirely in advance, so I would sew up a small section, then draw a bit more, and so on. I tried a few different stop techniques, including the Stop Bead Method and the Two Loop Method. I also did a bit of experimentation with layering smaller sequins on top of larger sequins, but my camera isn't known for its magnificent close-up photographs, so you'll have to take my word on it. 

I used an envelope back closure--a standard Audrey move--but I pieced the back panels because I ran out of fabric for some added interest. The fabrics are Kona in Snow, Bella Solids in Jade, Kona in Pomegranate, a few prints from Tula Pink's Parisville line, and I picked up the peacock feathers at Joann Fabrics. The pillow measures 20" square.

And because I'm kinda nuts and learning to embroider with sequins wasn't enough of a challenge, I decided that now was the time to try my hand at handquilting. I handquilted the white portion of the pinwheels and 1/4" around the perimeter of the teal square. And oh my goodness. I had so much fun! While I can definitely see the advantage time-wise in machine quilting, I really enjoyed the process, and I love the way it looks. I can see more of this (small-scale) in my future. (I followed this tutorial from Susan, FYI, and it was quite informative.)

Thanks for stopping by my humble abode! And super big thanks to Sarah for hosting this blog hop. I enjoyed myself thoroughly, as I hope everyone else did! If you're not stopping by from the hop, and you'd like to see more of this sequin business, check out Saturday Sequins for a full list of participants.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIP: The Not Too Much to Show Edition.

I spent most of my sewing time this week finishing my sequintastic september blog hop and writing up the corresponding blog post. It's my big finish for the week, but I can't show it off just yet! (Sad!)

However, I did work in some other sewing! I started piecing the first of my I-spy quilts, and I sewed up a bunch of triangles to use for something fun. I finished off two more blocks for my Marie quilt--14 of 20 done, woo! Unfortunately, I haven't taken any photos of this stuff, mostly because nothing is far enough along to encourage my feeble photography skillz.

Ray of Hope Block by Carol Doak - template found here
I finished paper piecing this mini quilt for a friend of mine. Nathan took a looksie and asked me if I had to give this one away, and if I really did, could I make another one for us? (I love my husband.) I used this block in my black and batiks quilt, but this time I went scrappy and threw in a bunch of different fabrics in a bunch of different colors. I wasn't sure how I'd like it, but I really really do. I started handquilting it last night, but it was already going to be a late present, so I figure I'll take my time and do it up real nice.

I used this tutorial.
I also finished up this business card holder for a good friend. I used up scraps from the black and batiks quilt too. I accidentally on purpose offset the elastic band closure, but I like it. That button looks ugly in the photo, but I promise that in real life it's a nice shell gray and looks purty. You'll have to take my word for it.  

Friends, that's all I've got this week! I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced, and I'm seriously crushing on Lee's Cartwheels quilt. I need that block in my life! But maybe not right now. I have too much other stuff right now.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, September 24, 2012

the 100 day hustle.

If you've been reading this blog for long, you probably know that I am a huge fan of lists. Huge, crazy ambitious lists that almost never get completed in the designated time frame, but inspire me nonetheless to push through more than I thought possible! I love them! And the 100 Day Hustle link up signals that there are less than 100 days left in 2012. Why not make the most of them?

Soooo...the opportunity to create a list to finish off before the end of year? Golden opportunity, my friends. Since we'll be moving back to the midwest in early January, this list serves the dual purpose of listing projects I really need to finish up to aid in moving/shipping. 

I'm excited! Aren't you? (And have you made your list?) 

Totally New Projects: 
  • Four Capes for the Niece and Nephews and Banzo
  • Tote for me
  • Totes for others
  • I-spy quilt for my boys
  • Skirt for me
  • Drawstring Bags
  • Tags
In Progress:
  • Quilt for 100 Kids
  • Triangle Quilt
  • Marie Quilt
  • Andrea Quilt 
  • HST BOM and BOF blocks
Almost Done:
  • Sequin Project
  • Wonky Star Tablerunner
That's it. In typical Audrey fashion, I'm sure I'll add to the list. For instance, I have grand ideas for my charm packs of Oh, Deer! by Momo, and I should be getting my Low Volume Charm Swap charms back sometime before we move as who knows! But this is a good start, I think.

What are you planning to do with your last 100 days of 2012? (It's a little depressing to think 2012 is coming to an end, but then I remember just how much I love fall, so I'll be happy until winter hits.)

Friday, September 21, 2012


Oh, Friends! I had such big plans for this weekend!

You see those triangles? I had PLANS for those triangles, and now, in a matter of moments, my plans have been dashed, thwarted, destroyed! I received a phone call, and the bookkeeping project I've been waiting to start since May is finally ready for me. I have two weeks to finish a year's worth of bookkeeping. (Which means that I really have to get on it.)

I'd also planned to sew up this quilt top, and maybe even get it sandwiched and ready for quilting. And then there's my Sequintastic September piece that dare I say, I'd also hoped to make good progress on this weekend?

But instead I'll be doing tax prep work. See you...soon-ish?

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WIP: too much travel edition.

Oh, Friends. I am absolutely exhausted. We decided last Tuesday night to take a weekend trip to visit family. Folks at the airport thought we were crazy to be hauling as much stuff as we did, but seriously, for two adults and two children under the age of three, we brought two small suitcases, a diaper bag, a backpack with toys, my purse, our double stroller, and the two carseats, and that was packing lightly and knowing we could borrow grandma's washing machine if necessary. The security checkpoints on the flights were super fun, let me tell you, especially when everyone in line behind us just groaned and complained. (Why they picked our line, I don't know!)

I did get some sewing in, which is a good thing since I'm trying to conquer my massive September list!

Here is my September block for In Color Order's HST BOM

And all nine blocks together! I had left the first five back in our midwestern home, but I picked them up on my super fast trip back because I couldn't bear to have them apart! The red is a little intense, but I'm still glad I did it.

And here's block two (Angel!) from A Very Merry HST BOF over at Blossom Heart Quilts. I'm excited for the third!

Finally, here are two paper pieced blocks I'm working on for a birthday gift for a friend. White was perhaps not the best choice for background material, especially with such pungent colors, but lesson learned, right? I've made this block before for my blacks and batik quilt, but I made four identical blocks, then pieced them together. This time, I'm making each block a different color with wildly fun fabrics, and I have no idea what it will look like all together. Another lesson to be learned, me thinks?

My sister sent me this link a few days ago, and I'm thinking it's a must-have for October. I love dinosaurs, and my son likes to wear wacky clothing/costumes. Hooray!

I'm not sure what kind of sewing I'll get done this week. We seem to have brought home some sort of bug if Banzo's fever and lethargy and snot-nose are any indication, and I'm really really hoping it passes the rest of us by. 

Here is my September list!
  • Sequintastic September project--need to pick up a hoop for hand quilting
  • Finish binding on Black and Batiks Quilt
  • Finish wonky star table runner--need to finish handsewing the binding
  • Finish Marie blocks--12 of 20 done (pretty sure this isn't going to get done anytime soon.)
  • Tote--have pattern picked out; fabric and interfacing are here, squee!
  • September block for HST BOM
  • Blocks for A Very Merry HST BOF--one of two done
  • Triangle mini quilt--idea sketched--waiting on time!
  • Cut fabric for charm swaps
  • Drawstring Bags
  • Start work on Holiday gifts and a few birthday gifts
  • Another business card holder
And I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced. Love!

 WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIP: small project edition

Having finished my black and batiks quilt, I had a serious moment of indecision over what to work on next! That lasted about five minutes, then I got over it, and got to sewing! As much as I love the amazing feeling that comes with finishing a large (read: throw) quilt, there is also something gratifying about finishing smaller projects, especially from my to-do list.

I finished my first block for A Very Merry HST BOF, and I'm halfway through piecing triangles for the second.

I'm partway through quilting a table-runner from my wonky star practice blocks. I'm really excited about this one. Since we're not staying very long in this apartment, we haven't hung anything on the walls, and the place seriously lacks cheer. I think this runner will add some color POW to the place.

And I finished piecing my Sequintastic September project, which you can't see photos of yet, and I'm sad for you because it looks fierce!! The Blog Hop is later this month, so photos will be coming soon. Now, to get brave and start adding actual sequins from this mix:

Pretty, right? They were a birthday gift from my friend, S. (Thank you, S!)

I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced! Check out the Wednesday offerings! :) 

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, September 9, 2012

HSTs of awesome!

Happy Sunday, Friends! I hope y'all are having a lovely weekend!

I have big sewing plans for today, including cutting into lots and lots of fabrics. Today's theme is HSTs. HST BOM, HST BOF, HSTs for my sequin project...HSTs!

I picked out this stack of lovelies for my HST BOF mini quilt. I'm not usually much for holiday fabric, so I had a hard time picking out some prints from the very limited selection at my LQS. The only "holiday" fabric I picked was that creamy patterned print, which has some lovely metallic details and some blue and red and even some pink! Then, I abandoned the holiday section to search out some coordinating fabrics. For background, I'm using a Kaffe Fassett shot cotton (Thunder, I think?) which I'm very excited about because I love the look of shot cottons and have been wanting to try some out. As always, I'm a little nervous looking at this stack of fabrics. I always seem to be nervous when I pick out a stack, but I almost always like the end result. Why is that? And please tell me I'm not the only one.

More stacks of HSTs! (Squeal!) After lots and lots of waffling in regards to my sequintastic september blog hop project, I decided that adding sequins to the mix was enough of a challenge, so I was going to go with something simple and manageable, but still awesome at the same time. Enter, HSTs. Specifically, that front stack will go into pinwheel formations because I seem to be a one-trick pony when it comes to my original creations. (What can I say? I love me a good pinwheel.) And if you've been reading awhile, you may recognize the fabrics from another WIP, and yes, that's on purpose....

The back stack of fabric will be part of my September block for the HST BOM. Which I still haven't done. But you can believe it will be awesome when it's done.

Alright, I'm off to spend time with my boys! Have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, September 6, 2012

a finish and a now what?

Photo taken by David Morrison

I finished my black and batiks quilt on Tuesday! It was made for a very special friend who had some unexpected life junk happen to her, and instead of grumbling and complaining and allowing the weight of her situation to cave in on her, she has responded with strength and grace.

I knew I wanted it to be a quilt full on sunset colors. My friend and I are both from the southwest, and the sunsets there have no equal. (Also, the wide open skies and the lack of trees do wonders to provide viewers with the ability to actually see the sunset.) I then set about researching blocks and getting to work on quilty math, which I secretly enjoy, even if I usually abhor anything math-related.

Close-up of the above photo. Still taken by David Morrison.
1. New Mexico Block (Used this tutorial for inspiration.)
2. Star within a Star
3. Ray of Hope (Used this PDF.)
4. Carpenter's Knot
5. Hope Block
6. Illinois Block (Used this tutorial for inspiration.)

The other blocks I drew up from photos and sized and pieced them to my preferences. All six blocks finished at 20" square, meaning I had a lot of quilty math on my hands. It was also my largest quilt yet, finishing at 52" x 62".

So, it's done. After piecing and quilting and hand-sewing like a mad woman, it's finally complete, and now I'm faced with my long to-do list and this weird hesitancy. What do I jump into first? But I'll figure that out because I always do. Probably my sequintastic blog hop post...then the HST BOM...then maybe my holiday fabric will be here and I can start my BOF blocks...then maybe my tote because the fabric arrived...then maybe.....

Saturday, September 1, 2012

september goals

There is an ottoman in my house that is out to get me, and if you think I'm crazy, I offer you this proof: it broke one of my toes. Okay, perhaps I shouldn't have run into it, and since I happen to run into it quite frequently, maybe it was the last straw for the ottoman and it decided to teach me a lesson? Maybe. I must say, I haven't run into the ottoman since. (However, that didn't keep me from knocking into the couch with my other foot. Oy vey.)

It was my left foot, which I didn't think would hamper quilting too much, but I underestimated the amount of time I'd be standing. Or crawling around on the ground removing safety pins and squaring up my quilt. I also didn't realize that when I push down on my sewing machine's pedal, I have a habit of curling up my left toes, which is a big big BIG no no with the broken little piggy. So! Quilting has been a little slow since, and until it's better, quilting will probably continue to move slowly.

I did get a few projects done.

1. Quilt Top  2. August HST BOM  3. Patchwork Pillow
4. Baby Shower Bunting  5. Annabel's Quilt  6. New Ironing Board Cover


And my September goals, half of which have moved over from my August list.
  • Sequintastic September project
  • Finish binding on Black and Batiks Quilt
  • Finish wonky star table runner--need to sandwich and attach binding
  • Finish Marie blocks--12 of 20 done
  • Tote--have pattern picked out; ordered fabric
  • September block for HST BOM
  • Blocks for A Very Merry HST BOF--waiting on fabric
  • Triangle mini quilt--idea sketched--waiting on time!
  • Cut fabric for charm swaps
  • Drawstring Bags
  • Start work on Holiday gifts and a few birthday gifts
  • Another business card holder
Similar to my August list, I sincerely doubt I'll finish up all of these things, but I work better with a long list. I sidetabled a few of the items that I didn't complete off my August list, mostly because I just can't see myself getting to them this month, especially since I really should be gearing up for the holidays.

And that's August! I'm excited because September is definitely my favorite month of the year! I'm linking up!

Lily's Quilts
Lily's Quilts


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