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1  Re: 14 Quilt Projects in 2014 Quilt Along! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: November 27, 2014 12:32:07 PM
I'm taking a break on my Fair Isle quilt to get some items with more pressing deadlines finished, but I have a reindeer done! 3 more to do, and I am thinking of giving one of them a red nose Cheesy

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2  Re: 14 Quilt Projects in 2014 Quilt Along! in Quilting: Discussion and Questions by MareMare on: November 18, 2014 10:15:29 PM
I have a few tops that need just a bit of piecing left. And have deadlines, but they are languishing....

So I decided to start a new project of course, ha! I'm doing the Fair Isle Quilt from Freshly Pieced. And she's doing a quilt along so I scurried to catch up. I started out 3 weeks behind and now I'm about 1-2 sewing sessions from catching up! I changed my color scheme to blues instead of reds (I used Kona Marine and Kona Pacific for my blues).

I've got the 2 poinsettia rows done (10 blocks total that are fairly intricate and 13.5 inches, that was a beast!) And 6 fir tree blocks. I have all of those stitched up into rows, and I'm well on my way through the Reindeer blocks! I have the snowflakes done for the Reindeer row and all of the chain piecing/strip piecing/sub cutting done, just need to put the actual blocks together now!





It's a really well written pattern and a good price, I'd totally encourage anyone with intermediate or higher quilting skills to go for it!
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3  Avant Garden On the Go Bag in Purses, Bags, Wallets: Completed Projects: General by MareMare on: September 23, 2014 05:26:50 PM
At this summer's Quilt Knit Stitch show, I was introduced to Patterns by Annie, a very cool pattern company and the makers of Soft and Stable, which is a kind of foam/batting hybrid to give structure to bags. I ended up buying the Patterns, Soft and Stable, and Hardware for two different patterns. This is the smaller of the two I bought patterns for, the On the Go bag.

I love having a smaller purse when I travel (my everyday purse is huge) so my goal was to finish this before I went on vacation. Mission accomplished! I hadn't done much purse sewing in a while, but my good friend klum78 is an amazing bag maker and teacher and she said she'd help, so I figured I could figure it out with her help!



I used some of my birthday fabric from one of my favorite designers--Avant Garden by Momo and the purple linen Mochi dot binding is also by Momo. After cutting out the main pieces of the bag, you sandwich the Soft and Stable between the front fabric and the back fabric and then quilt that, then you cut more pieces from that. Very cool way to get your quilted fabric in!

The front flap has a zippered pocket with slots inside, as well as a vinyl pocket.


Slots inside the front flap zipper


A slip pocket on the back


Another vinyl pocket when you lift the flap up


Inside of flap


Credit card slots inside main body of bag (inside zipper)


Overall this pattern was really well written and although some of the pieces were difficult to bind because of going through so many thicknesses of Soft and Stable + fabric, I am pretty pleased with my results!

I'm excited to work on the next pattern and kit I have from Patterns by Annie--Mini Organizer. I'm going to try to adjust it to add an additional zipper across the top of the bag, I like my bags securely closed!

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4  Sloth Sock Monkey in CHALLENGE 102 ENTRIES by MareMare on: September 05, 2014 03:35:42 PM
Sooo I made this so-ugly-he's-cute Sloth for the Goonies Never Say Die Swap 6 years ago!




Poor Sloth's lumpy face and head is particularly good for making into a sock monkey, because they can be difficult to stuff evenly. No worries here, lumpy is good!  I used some mismatched buttons for his eyes, fun fur for his hair, felt for his mouth, and bias tape for suspenders.  I'm kind of horrified now about how bad the candy bar and the t-shirt are, but hey, this was 6 years ago and my partner seemed to like it!

A couple pics from my partner craft_princess



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5  Double Dark Chocolate Zucchini Cake in Dessert by MareMare on: August 22, 2014 10:32:30 PM
I don't often make cake from scratch because it always seems to turn out dry, but when I came across this recipe a few hours before my annual quilt guild picnic meeting, I decided to go for it!

http://mybakerlady.com/2014/08/21/moms-chocolate-zucchini-cake-perfection/

I  used a smaller pan than the recipe called for, so I also baked some of the batter in a couple ramekins. I omitted cloves because I don't like them, added 1/2 teaspoon salt, and used special dark chocolate cocoa powder (6 T because it seemed like a lot of sugar, and more chocolate = more better) instead of 4 T of regular cocoa powder, double the vanilla, and 60% dark chocolate chips on top. And I added walnuts to the batter as well as the top. I love nuts Cheesy



It turned out really well, kind of in between a cake and brownies! The zucchini absolutely melts away and you can't even find it in the baked cake. Next time I make this I would up the vanilla even more and leave out the cinnamon.

I think I'm sold on zucchini to make a nice, moist cake! Oh, and it was a hit at my picnic!

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6  NICU Wonky Crosses from Stash in CHALLENGE 101 ENTRIES by MareMare on: August 08, 2014 08:50:53 PM
I love quilting from stash! After hearing about this challenge and a new charity request my quilt guild received, I was trying to think up what to do. I'd had a discussion with some friends about "low volume"* quilting and what it means to different people and how it's different from pastels. With those thoughts rolling around in my head, I approached a bag of pastel fabrics a friend gave me several months ago when she was cleaning out her craft room. I cut some strips of some of my favorite low volume fabrics, and got to work making wonky crosses.



After making the blocks using a simple slash and insert method, I stitched them together and bordered it out with my current favorite Kona Solid--Shadow. It's a newer one and I love it so much more than Kona Ash, which can just lean so yellow/brown. Before this one I feel like there wasn't a good Kona in light gray. I'm basically in love Cheesy



Some simple diagonal straight line quilting and a binding in a cute blue and yellow plaid finished off my little gender neutral quilt! I couldn't get a good pic of the back, but it is just
 a solid backing in a yellow similar to the print I used on the front.



*Everyone does have their own definition of what low volume means to them, but I was talking to a friend the other day and I thought she put it really well. She considers low volume to be a pale (white, cream, light gray) background with a print that covers 20% or less of the area.  In general I use a lot of word prints, white on white, etc. A couple low volume but color containing, low volume prints I really like and use are these:

Riley Blake Red Riding Hood Mushrooms

Lotta Jansdottor Tipu Birds in Schooner



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7  Criss Cross Metallic Xs in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: July 31, 2014 06:07:38 PM
Earlier this year my guild participated in two different modern metallic quilting challenges, one sponsored by Michael Miller and one sponsored by Robert Kaufman. This is the mini quilt I made with the Michael Miller Glitz fabric. It will be shown next month at Quilt! Knit! Stitch!, a quilting and craft show being held in Portland and put on by Quilts, Inc (the team that makes International Quilt Market happen!)

I used a technique that my charity group had used earlier in the year and changed the layout around just a bit. It's a pretty small quilt (15 x 18 or something like that?) so I did some very small cross hatch quilting. I really liked the effect but can't see myself having the patience to do that on a larger quilt!



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8  Greek Crosses Charity Quilt in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: July 31, 2014 05:58:39 PM
Hmm, I guess I never posted this quilt! This is from an online charity group I'm in, the Faith Circle of do.Good Stitches. Each month a "quilter" in the group picks a pattern and color scheme and every other "quilter" and "stitcher" sends 2 blocks. The quilters then assemble and quilt and deliver to the chosen charity. Our charity is called Restore Innocence and the quilts go to women rescued from human trafficking.

The color scheme for this was a bit different for me and was inspired by some brand new clothing I had hanging up next to each other--a coral top, a dress that was navy/plum/white, and a turquoise/teal t-shirt. I picked the Greek Cross block and this is what rolled in!

We quilted it on the quilting frame at our local Bernina shop, who is a good sponsor of my quilt guild. And a sweet friend of mine took it on vacation with her and did the binding on the plane!


Top only


The color scheme I gave the group


And the two blocks I made as example blocks
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9  Wonky Star Doll Quilts in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: July 03, 2014 11:00:38 PM
I wanted a fun, quick quilting project in between some of my other larger projects. After seeing some of my friends post pics of their little girls with baby dolls on FB, I decided to make some doll quilts to give them.



These 2 are for a couple of sisters who are about 3 and 5. Their mom said they like pink, purple, and lime green. I sketched up a quick pattern and got to work, fussy cutting some pink, purple, and green squares and cutting up my neutrals/low volume fabrics for the background. I used 3.5 inch squares so the finished quilts are 15" x 18".




I completed these in 2-3 sewing sessions and it was a super fun project to work on something fun and  get the creative juices flowing again!

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10  Sultry Lap Quilt for Me! in Quilting: Completed Projects by MareMare on: June 26, 2014 01:41:09 PM
I just realized in looking over old posts that I've been quilting for almost five years (This was my first quilt). I've made a couple dozen quilts in this time, but none for me! I've started a couple, but they've languished in the to-do pile as other things oust them for my crafting time. I decided the other day to finally finish one of them and have  a quilt of my very own!



Several years ago I found this Sultry fabric by Basic Grey for Moda. I looooved it! I bought a layer cake (10 inch squares of every print in the line, sometimes with multiples of some/all prints) and proceeded to sew the crap out of it. Pretty soon I had used it up, so I bought a Fat Quarter set of the entire line for myself for my birthday one year. And promptly lost interest in the fabric.



Fast forward a few years and I felt like I should do something with it. So, lacking inspiration, I cut the fat quarters (18x22 inch squares) into 6 x 22 inch strips. Then I proceeded to sew the strips into large log cabin blocks (16 inch finished blocks). I stitched the blocks together in a 3 x 4 grid, started sewing some borders from scrap pieces of all different lengths, and then lost interest again.



The other day I decided it was time for me to have a quilt, so I dug out the top and border pieces, finished the border, stitched the back up (I had bought yardage for backing along the way) and got that sucker basted!



Quilting it was a bit difficult on my home machine since it's a little bigger than I usually care to wrangle with (about 60x76) but I persevered and completed it in about 3 marathon quilting sessions.  



I did my go-to fully stitched binding and had it in the wash the night before last. That evening I cranked the AC and used it as I watched tv!



I've seen the "selfish sewing" hashtag on Instagram and while I agree with the concept, I don't care for the negative connotations associated with the word "selfish." I wonder what might be a better hashtag?

It makes me ridiculously happy every time I look at it or use it, so I guess the moral of the story is--make something for yourself! As crafters I think we are always taking care of others and making things for other people, but I encourage you to take time to make something for you or your house that will make you happy. You're worth it!

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