Sunday, September 29, 2013

Warsaw Mermaid and a birthday girl...

For the last 6 months my oldest relish has been stating that she is 2 1/2 with emphasis on the 1/2. She was so adamant that and when I tried to tell her that she was 2 3/4 she cried. I am not kidding. Well, it's time for her to tell everyone she is 3 (for at least one day then she can start saying 3 1/2)! It's crazy thinking back to three years ago when she was so tiny and needed me for every single thing. Now, she is an independent, strong willed child that reminds me of my sister so very much. Not sure if that is a good thing some days, but I always tell people that at least I have 31 years of experience. Ha!

Annabelle's bday at school
Here she is (Snow White) at her birthday party at school.

For her birthday we decided to only give her meaningful gifts and let the relatives spoil her with all the fun store bought gifts. Keeping with tradition, she gets a scrapbook (I use Shutterfly) that highlights her year. I order two, one for me and one for her to treasure (maybe a little too much). My husband also gets her a new charm from James Avery for her charm bracelet, which we got for her first birthday. This year, we decided on a cruise ship charm, because I truly think that was the highlight of her year. She is still asking about the "big boat" and when we are going again. We even have daydreams about getting on the big boat. I tell her to close her eyes and I try to paint a picture for her to imagine. I am terrible at it but she loves it!

Now that I made you read all about my sweet girl's birthday, I want to share her third gift from me. Some of you(very few) might remember me sharing about Annabelle's Polish history here, you could imagine how delighted I was to come across this beautiful mermaid paper piecing pattern over at Sewing Under Rainbow for the Big City Girl QAL (hosted by ayliN-Nilya). I was very tempted to participate in the entire QAL that started a few weeks ago, but knew that would stretch me thin. This block alone took three days of my sewing time to complete. It was worth every second! I gave big relish a choice between this or a unicorn pillow. While I wished she picked the easier one, I am glad I made this one because it is just so beautiful!

Introducing the Warsaw Mermaid...

Warsaw Mermaid

I really practiced my FMQ on this piece. It was my first time doing all of these techniques...pebbles, swirls, and FM stitch in the ditch. It really gave me the confidence to move on to bigger quilts and get out of the meandering slump.

Warsaw Mermaid

I decided to make my mermaid blonde since so is big relish.

Warsaw Mermaid

Most of my fabrics came from my stash or from my new scrap box that I got two weeks ago; otherwise, I wouldn't have had those colors in my stash. It definitely takes the guilt out of cutting up FQs for just a few scrap pieces.

Warsaw Mermaid

I used a flax linen for the border, because I didn't want to pull out any of the colors in the block and wanted it to shine on its own. The border is an Amy Butler print and the back (Out to Sea by Sarah Miller) is an adorable red-headed mermaid. Maybe it will remind her of her mother ;).

Warsaw Mermaid

I made the back using a zipper closure. It was my first time and even though Ive seen lots of tutorials online, I just winged it. If you can make a zippered pouch, you can do this! Oh, and making this block bumped my paper piecing experience up from beginner to advanced! lol

Debbie at Sewzalot gave a great little history lesson about this particular mermaid in Warsaw and you must check it out! And here is an actual picture of the mermaid with the bridge behind it:

Warsaw's Mermaid

Thanks so much for reading all about big relish turning 3 1/2 and her new mermaid pillow. We are currently at the State Fair of Texas eating our heart out and riding the Ferris Wheel in celebration of big relish's birthday!

Melissa

Friday, September 27, 2013

MSBHQAL finish...

I showed you the completed top just a few days ago and it didn't take long to finish it up with the quilting and binding. Having both relishes in pre-school does wonders for the sewing soul!

MSBHQAL @ my fabric relish

I decided to do straight line quilting. I made one giant X working from the center out for each leg then echoing the X in each of the quadrants...make sense? It's hard to see the quilting with the brightness of the fabrics and white. Shashing is 1" and the border is 2 1/2 trimmed down to 2 after quilting.

MSBHQAL @ my fabric relish

I used white Gutermann thread and used the leftover jelly roll strips for the binding. The back is one of the prints from the Birds and Berries collection that came with the original quilt kit (I decided against the quilt that I originally intended to make using the jelly roll), then some Joel Dewberry prints from my stash on the back. I had orginally pieced a purple fabric to the back along with the orange floral and lighter print but it was just too obnoxious. So I sliced along the seam and put a much more subtle print on. I wasn't even sad about that purple.

MSBHQAL @ my fabric relish

This quilt was made especially for me to snuggle with in the one chair, besides my sewing chair, that I spend A LOT of time in...

MSBHQAL @ my fabric relish

My oldest loves to read books, as I've shared before, but she also requests that I stay in the room until she falls asleep. I am usually happy to do so, because this chair is the most comfortable chair in the house. I also recently bought a super fun ottoman cushion from Wal-Mart to make it even more cozy. I love to sit and read my blogs and books on my ipad mini while waiting for big relish to doze and all that was needed to make this heaven was a quilt. Duh!

MSBHQAL @ my fabric relish

Even though big relish has two of her own quilts in her bed, she refuses to share. I showed her! lol

Here is Dolly-olly enjoying the fresh new quilt right off the machine before getting washed. She had a rough day at doggie day care and then getting a bath. Ruff life! 

MSBHQAL finished sneak peek

If you would like to read more about this quilt or this QAL, check out my other MSBHQAL posts here and here.

TIPS: This quilt has lots of stretch since it's on the bias along the edges of each block. I highly recommend using starch when pressing each block before you trim and piece together, then again after. Use lots of pins when matching up seams and sashing. Baste your quilt thoroughly with either pins or spray baste. Mine shifted quite a bit, especially towards the end, because of all that stretch. I was even using a walking foot. Luckily the shrinking from the wash covered the bit of wonkiness on the middle right side of the quilt.

As for the sashing, I decided to attach my sashing one block at a time. So I randomly picked 12 to add sashing to the right. Then took 9 of those 12 and added it to the bottom. Then I took the 3 of the remaining ones to add bottoms. Does that make sense? I drew myself a picture to do it. My only regret with this random placing is the purple is a little clustered and the floral orange and white print is mostly on the left side. But I am super happy and wouldn't change a thing...except use more starch! lol

Thanks for visiting and hope my tips are helpful for some of my other MSBHQAL'ers!

Melissa

Molli Sparkles

Linking up with my friends at the right and of course Crazy Mom Quilts!

Plum and June Photogrpahy Challenge - Subject & Composition

Well, this month's challenge at Plum and June's Photography Challenge stumped me a bit. I wasn't sure which theme I would go for. I literally sat on it for the entire month and finally took two pictures Monday that I thought would express the theme...

"Things that Make me Smile"

Plum and June Photo Challenge
Sewing Time
I decided to make this one a black & white to emphasize the simplicity of it.

Plum and June Photo Challenge
Colors
I added a matte finish overlay using Coffee shop Blog's Matte Finish action. I kept this picture simple as well, but it identifies my favorite colors. I tend to only buy thread in my favorite colors and that makes me happy.

Photography blogging tip: To get crisp, full resolution photographs in your blog, add them to Flickr first, then simply add the HTML code in your blog post. It takes a bit more time, but makes a huge difference. I will add the thread picture from above through blogger instead of Flickr and see if you can tell the difference.



Make sure to hop over to Plum and June to see everyone else's pictures and get some of their tips. I will be linking up on Sunday!

Plum and June

Thanks for stopping by!

Melissa

ps - y'all like my new header and watermark? I spent all last Friday mastering some Photoshop techniques...whoop!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

my first time link party winner....

I am so honored that so many of you participated in my very first linky party! I spent the day cutting and piecing the top to Mr. Relish's super secret David Butler Curious Nature quilt and decided that charms from the fabric would be the best reward! I have 25- 6 x 6 in charms in 12 different prints all rolled up for you with your very own photo of Mr. Butler. If you can't have the real thing, then maybe you can make a cushion to cuddle or give to your main squeeze! The picture is all yours and do as you wish!!! Lol


So, the winner of the Butler bundle is....


#17 Jenn with her fantastic 19 year-old hand quilted rainbow quilt! Check our her blog and story here

In case you missed all the fun and want to see everyone's humble beginnings...check out the linky party here


Thanks for playing along!

Melissa

Again, thanks to Molli Sparkles for my personal meme. 


Tuesday, September 17, 2013

MSBHQAL WIP and a finish....

Howdy!

MSBHQAL

I am so excited to share my completed MSBHQAL top! I know I am way early and could possibly be labeled as nerdy or a teachers-pet, but I don't care because these blocks are seriously fun and addicting! I couldn't stop. The schedule was to make three blocks a week but I just kept making them until I was out of every last scrap of fabric...no joke. I used one jelly roll to make 18 blocks. I made my top with the same 1" sashing and then 2 1/2 inch border. I plan on basting the second I hit publish on the post and then hope to quilt it by the weekend.

MSBHQAL

MSBHQAL
{like my holding spot for quilts? I hate to iron twice! Last Christmas there were 4 quilts hanging there at once! AND look at where my seams don't match! This quilt has so much bias that it was almost impossible to get every single seam to line up even with pinning. Oh well, it doesn't bother me so I'm leaving it...nothing is perfect}

As soon as I pieced together this top, I took the two extra blocks to make pillows. One is for me (of course) and the other for a friend who is moving into a new house, with a toddler and pregnant...OUCH! She deserves a metal as well. Anyway, she loves bright colors and has a purple couch...so perfect! I hope she keeps that purple couch for the sake of this awesome pillow! I kid...sort of.

MSBHQAL

MSBHQAL

MSBHQAL

MSBHQAL

Molli Sparkles

Happy quilting,

Melissa

Linking up with all my fun friends on the right and Crazy Mom Quilts.

ps - I think I am skipping this weeks Zakka 2.0. I'm going to focus on finishing this quilt and then get started on some quilts that I have floating around in my head...don't want to lose the momentum. Ya know?!

Monday, September 16, 2013

stashing

I have received some lovely fabric in the mail lately and while I would love to participate in the Sunday Stash link party, I never have my butt in gear during the weekend to muster up a fabric post. So a day late and dollar short. I really do love looking at pretty pictures of fabric. It usually gets me in trouble because I end up buying so if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. You're welcome.

A few weeks ago, I got some gorgeous Nordika in and I'm still deciding what I want to make with them. I'm sure a quilt, but nothing has screamed at me as a potential mate. I will let them sit pretty waiting for their pattern suitor to arrive...haha! If you have any thoughts, please feel free to comment or send me an email.

Fabrics

Fabrics

I also got some handsome Parson Gray's Curious Nature to make a man quilt for Mr. Relish. I shared the pathetic first attempts at quilting here if you would like to see. There is also time to link up your first quilt. It's like a sleep over and everyone is spilling the beans about their "first time." I didn't take any fancy pictures of the fabric because I had to hide it from Mr. Relish since his man quilt is a surprise.

Quilt for Mr. Relish

Next up is...

ACADIA! There really isn't much to say about this fabric other than OH! MY! GOODNESS! So many possibilities!

Acadia!

Acadia!

And lastly, I had an impulse by last week and bought the Fat Quarter Shop's 12lb box of scraps. I really didn't know what to expect but I documented the unveiling...



There were some gems in there. Let me tell you. But there were some duds. Overall I am happy and will feel less guilty about tearing into these scraps for projects such as paper piecing or for practice. I already separated the duds from the keepers and will use those for my sewing class for the students to practice on.

That is all I have and have reached me fabric budget for the month of September and it was worth every. single. penny.

Happy Monday,
Melissa






Thursday, September 12, 2013

Modern Baby Quilt

Since January, I've been teaching a sewing class at my local library and this summer we did a Quilting 101 series where I taught three installments for learning how to quilt. Last week was the last class and we did binding. The students learned how to buy fabrics, sew a 1/4 seam, baste a quilt, quilting using a walking foot and trying out free motion, and then finally cutting and applying the binding. It was great seeing everyone's excitement with a finished quilt! Hopefully I spread the quilting bug a little!

Modern Baby Quilt

I, too, made a quilt as a demonstration quilt and I am so happy to have it finished. It's so hard to put something away for a month especially when all it needed was binding...haha!

Modern Baby Quilt

I didn't have any one in mind for this quilt when I made it and since it's baby size, I thought I would give selling a try. This is my first quilt to sell and might be my last. I would consider it gender neutral with just enough of every color to make any new mother happy.

Modern Baby Quilt

I used two charm packs for the quilt, one being Summerville by Lucie Summer for Moda and then a coordinating solids charm pack. The back is a turquoise print from the Summerville line and the binding is Sketch in Cherry by Timeless Treasures. The quilt measures 35 x 40 inches (prewashed).

Modern Baby Quilt

Quilting is a done in a wavy vertical pattern using Gutermann thread in natural and the binding is attached by machine for durability. I absolutely love this quilt and would keep it if it was a tad bit bigger.

Modern Baby Quilt

Modern Baby Quilt

Thanks for visiting and wish me luck!

Melissa

If you are interested in purchasing this quilt, please feel free to email me at myfabricrelish@gmail.com.


Linking up with all my buddies on the right and Crazy Mom Quilts!
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