Saturday, March 19, 2011

dad bag

I mentioned previously that I made a nice diaper bag for myself. Well I had to make one for DH as well.  I used the "dad bag" pattern from Anna Maria Horner's book "Handmade Beginnings".  The instructions were very clear and I had no problem following them.  The cool thing about this bag is that it is almost totally recycled! Most of the fabric came from furniture store sample books.
Dad bag
The strap was taken from an old computer bag of mine that for some reason came with an extra strap. I did have to purchase a zipper, but the lining was from my stash (not sure where it came from though--I think a scrap swap with a friend).

And....I conquered my fear of the zipper!  I will admit that the zipper is still not as lovely as I'd like, but it was my very first experience with a zipper EVER, so it'll get better the next time (and the time after that, etc.). One of these days I'll even do an invisible zipper (like the kind you use on pillows).  But we'll take things one day at a time!

Friday, March 18, 2011

deep breath baby quilt

At the CMQG retreat I finished this quilt top, so I wanted to quilt it as soon as possible.  I used the "Deep Breath" quilt pattern from Weeks Ringle available here. I ended up making it much smaller than the pattern calls for, but it still finishes pretty large for a baby quilt (54.5"*41").
deep breath baby quilt
It was pretty simple, I got to use some more scraps, and it's super modern. 
deep breath baby quilt
Plus I hope the blue hides stains well for the new baby.

I had originally planned for it to be bigger, so I had some extra blocks that I put together for the back.

I highly recommend the pattern if you need a quick modern quilt for any occasion.
**Edited to add--this is not for my baby--another friend is having a baby, so this is off to its new owner now!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

table runner finally done!

I have had this project in progress since November! It really isn't that complicated but I just kept getting busy with other things, and then got distracted by other projects.  It's a simple table runner--the entire thing is made from scraps. Unfortunately it doesn't really make a dent in my scrap pile at all!
table runner from scraps

I do like how it turned out, and it is now off to its new owner!

table runner close up
The project was inspired by a table runner in the Spring 2010 issue of Stitch.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

CMQG retreat

As I've mentioned before, my guild is totally awesome.  We had our first ever quilt retreat the first weekend of March.  It was super fun and I'm so glad I went, as I imagine I'll be pretty busy soon and won't be able to have a carefree weekend.

It was a very unstructured retreat, so everyone could work on whatever they chose.  It was fun to see what everyone was working on, and just to have dedicated quilting time. It was great getting to know people better--sometimes you don't have a ton of time at a meeting to hang out and chit chat, so it was great to have that. We had a few "10 minute tips" where a member would show a neat trick/tip that they know.  We also had a charity challenge where we divided into teams and raced each other to see which team could make the blocks for a rail-fence type quilt the fastest. My team won! What did we win? Bragging rights, glory, fame...

Here is the "official" write up of the weekend on the guild blog.  Here is Emily's post with her take on the weekend.

I worked on a table runner and a baby quilt (future posts as they are so close to DONE), and got to use Ebony's AccuQuilt Studio Cutter, "Mr. T".  Wow. Who knew that a die cutter would be so popular? There was a sign up sheet and I'd say Mr. T was in high demand all weekend! 

I got a ton of pieces cut for a drunkard's path quilt.  I've wanted to make one for the longest time but the prospect of cutting out all those curved pieces using a template made my head spin.  With the die cutter, I did 80 blocks in about 40 minutes. 

I still have to sew them together, but my initial tries at sewing the curves has been great--they fit together so perfectly that I don't need pins!  Can you believe it? No pins for curves.  I told Ebony that she should rent time on the cutter--it saves SO much time that it would be worth it to pay $10-$15/hr just to use it. Seriously, if there was a quilt store with one, I would totally pay to rent it.

Overall, a fabulous weekend--and I didn't feel guilty leaving DH at home because he was at a conference in DC! We had such a great time that we'll be doing it again in the fall and next spring--the dates are already confirmed!

Monday, March 14, 2011

my guild ROCKS!

I'm a proud member of The Chicago Modern Quilt Guild.  They know that I'm expecting (any day now!!!) so at our last meeting they presented me with a quilt they made together. It was a total surprise--I had no idea they had planned something. Various people contributed blocks, Ebony did an AMAZING job with the quilting, Jen, Beth, and Sarah pieced the blocks together, and Sarah did the binding.  I love love love it.  It is so bright and happy. I know our baby will love it too.

front of baby quilt

label on baby quilt

back of baby quilt

Ebony quilted each person's name into the block that they made, including the ones on the back.

close up of Ebony's block
See how she made each one radiate out like a sunburst? Very cool.
close up of Beth's block

Seriously, if you need someone to do your long-arm quilting, Ebony is your woman!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

my new diaper bag

As promised, here is a picture of the new diaper bag I made for myself. The pattern is from Anna Maria Horner's book "Handmade Beginnings", and the fabric is Joel Dewberry's Ginseng collection.

It is pretty huge but I imagine I'll fill it up with all sorts of stuff. I really like it because it is sophisticated and doesn't look "babyish". I haven't taken a picture of DH's diaper bag yet because I still need to attach the strap.  He tried it on and decided that if possible he wanted an adjustable strap, so I need to get the right bracket to do that.

In other news, I had a fabulous time at the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild's first retreat last weekend.  I'll post about it shortly once I get some pictures of stuff that I finished and/or worked on.