Friday, January 31, 2014

Sorrento Quilt

This quilt was for my husband's parents this past Christmas.  They are world travelers and the pattern I found in one of my older American Quilt and Patchwork Magazine issues seemed to fit the traditional European look.

I chose the really bright yellows/golds, greens and reds because they have decorated their home with those colors.  It actually reminded me of Sorrento, Italy and the amazing textiles you see there. Even the buildings are painted in bright colors!

Hubby and I had taken a Med Sea Cruise about 10 years ago and it was one of our stops.  Ironically, they had visited it on a long bus tour of Italy that same year and had raved about the town. 

I started with the center medallion.  However, ithe original pattern dimension was too small for a nice throw.
It was at that point, I turned it "on point" and added a second inner border and large yellow triangles.  Just that small change made the quilt transform from 40" square to 70" square!

As you can see, I used the original leaves and dots for the outer border, but decided to play with them more to fill in the yawning negative space.   I included vines to extend the look. Otherwise, they looked like sad little leaves.

The one thing that was new for me was that I decided to use the pattern's technique for the applique.  I usually do needle-turn applique or machine stitch applique and then add embroidery. However, the pattern designer encouraged quilters to use the embroidery floss to not only enhance but stitch it straight to the background.

I have to admit, it made it faster, but I felt like it had more of a folk art feel to it, which was interesting.  I am not sure I will do it this way again. 

I did have fun with the quilting.  Swirls in the dots, vine and squigglies in the leaves.

Meandering in the outer border, s-curves in inner borders, swirls.  You name it.  We won't mention to them that I was literally quilting it, right up until 10 minutes before they pulled in the driveway. Just in time to unpin it off the longarm rails!

The medallion part was my favorite.  I echoed around the flowers and vines.  And then in the triangles around the medallion, I did a fun free emotion peony-like flower. 

I decided to go with the check binding to reflect the inner borders.  I snuck in bindig stitching late in the night after they headed to the hotel. 

I'm not thrilled with the backing. I had really wanted to have one solid color for them because they are traditional. It was this moment that I realized that I have been doing a great job of using stash only and just do not have significant yardage to do complete backings!

I did have fun with the label.  I really am digging embroidered labels.  The label went on Christmas Eve.  Wrapped and under the tree for Christmas morning.  

However, I did warn them when they opened that I knew I had to do a few snips here and there and wash it...I was in urgent care with Button for the flu Christmas Eve evening!

Quilt Stats
Measures: 70" square
Pattern: A Fresh New Attitude from AP&Q magazine.  
Fabrics:  Stash buster.
Quilting: myself on Avante 18 longarm 

I sure hope they don't just lay it on the back of a definitely is a good size to cuddle under!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

WIP: Charity Stitching

This week has been all about wrapping up some of my "unselfish" sewing.



Two needlepoint ornaments for my son's school auction.

The swan was finished just last night!


December's do.good stitches bee blocks were VERY late.  I just have been trying to gather myself after some unexpected news and trips.

Definitely gave me some trouble picking fabrics for some reason.  When I see "pink" in a stack, iI want to run in the opposite direction because my stash is sadly lacking.



Yes, it seems simple now, but I know that Toni has some tricks up her sleeves for January's do.good stitches quilt block.

She plans on slicing and dicing.  Can't wait to see the results with her gorgeous color pallette.

In Progress:


I finally recieved one of the stragglers for November's do.good stitches quilt.....the holidays were tough in our bee group this past season. Big moves.  Babies.  You name it!

I finally came to a conclusion for a border.  Rainbow colors, here we come.

But first, I need to stitch my Starstrip blocks together.  Can't get too ahead of myself!

 When I get this top pieced, I think I will get back to work on little Button's quilt.  He is patiently waiting, bless his little heart!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Show and Tell

I sometimes see blocks/quilts of tutorials I have shared on this blog and I have been meaning to share them.  Just a few today!

Spiders and Webs

Something Folded Block

Something New Sampler - quilting stage!
Via Flickr

Snowflake Row

via Flickr

Card Trick Block

May Bee Blocks (do. Good Stitches, Imagine)
Via Flickr
Starstrip Block

November do Good Stitches block
via Flickr

English Paper Pieced Projects
Quilted Leaf Potholders

 via Instagram (my friend at Toddlers with Scissors)

I have decided to start a Buttons and Butterflies group on Flickr 

A place for those who want to show off their progress or completed projects!  I love when I finish a project using someone's tutorial or block and say "Hey...LOOK!!"  

I want to see YOURS!!

PSSST.:  I also am on Instagram with the handle @buttonsandbutterflies

Always feel free to tag me and also use #buttonsandbutterfliesquilts

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Grand Traveler

I have to take an unexpected trip this coming weekend and I am getting pretty anxious about it.  To keep myself busy while I anxiously wait, I decided to put down the quilts for a bit and start making bags.

I skipped the madness that I call the "Weekender Woes" and just bought the Vera Bradley Grand Traveler.

Forgive me, oh quilting gods, for my sin.

To compensate, I decided to make all the things I need to FILL it.

A Manicure Set.  

I actually made one in November for my .do good stitches swap and have been meaning to make one for myself.

The only difference is that I added a small flap because my cuticle clippers would not stop falling out.

Love this Anna Marie Horner Garden Line!

A Tissue Holder

Again, I had a free pattern from about 5 years ago I never used.   I guess that five years ago the tissue packs were smaller because mine did not fit, so I had to make a second one with larger dimensions.  

I also added the snap.  I like my tissues contained!

A Make-up Roll

I have been DYING to make one for about twenty trips ago!  This one was a blast.   I did not use any particular tutorial, I just scrounged the internet images to see what shapes I liked.

I based the layers on the sharpie roll I did a few years back and went with it.

I added a flap and intentionally made sure it was captured in on the sides.  

And my vision worked!  I can flip it entirely to the outside to access all my brushes and tubes.

The only thing I'm on the fence with is the green ties.  

I was trying to give it a little jazz and intentionally used the pink thread to make it pop.   Not sure if I nailed it!  I can always change it...but it might be growing on me.

The Cosmetic Bag

Yup. This is my WORK IN PROGRESS.  It has changed, transformed and has sat here like this the last three days.  I CANNOT decide what I want to do.

I DO know that I like the fabric choices and the leftover EPP star I had hanging on my design wall.

I don't have a picture, but I am also making a snack bag for my everyday bag with more of this lovely Anna Marie Horner fabric (Garden).  It just seems to want to be in all my other Vera Bradely totes for daily use.  Button has ripped a few ziplocks the last few weeks!

So I might actually look like a grand traveler.....but I promise, I'm just pretending to be one.

Any bags or little projects that you have had on your "bucket list" that you just haven't gotten to?


Friday, January 10, 2014

SLIME {Minecraft Quilt}


And for those who have NO idea what I am talking about?
 This is a "guy" from the computer game called Minecraft, that is quite the craze!

First ever attempt at free motion square quilting!

It was REALLY fun!  I had no plan whatsoever and just moved myself along.
It reminded me of my Etch-a-Sketch doodling days!!

I was super excited about the design in the mouth.
However, even though I used black thread quilting on eyes and mouth? I used green in the bobbin.  I wasn't extremely happy with the tension...Another thing to work on!

I had other plans for the binding, but was vetoed by the boys. 
I was hoping for charcoal memoirs or a green print...but they chanted Kona Sour Apple.
Mom loses again.

But I did win with the minkee backing.  I really wanted the dot!

And the quilting still showed up VERY well on the back! 
 I might mock up a quick free pattern if anyone is interested.
   I figure give my new pattern design a try with something easy first?

Quilt Stats

Measures: 78 x 78
Pattern: Slime Pattern designed by JJ and myself
Fabrics: Top- Kona Black, Pear, Sour Apple, Kiwi, Clover, Fern, Palm, and Leprachaun. 
Country Classic Green.   Backing-  Green Minkee Dot  Binding- Kona Sour Apple
Quilting:  Green Tomatoe thread by Quilter's choice,
Free motion squares with my Avante 18" longarm


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