IMG 2077 e1422477729681 1024x1024 Works In Progress: Cotton and Steel Travel [baby] Quilt

Happy New Year! It’s still January, so I feel very comfortable still saying that.  The last few months have been a whirlwind of holidays, baby, skiing for the big kids, baby, long walks, baby, sewing, baby, a bit of cooking, a lot of eating, and baby. Its been beautiful and wonderful and frustrating and happy and exhausting and good. Throughout 2014, I hung onto the hope that 2015 would be peaceful and uneventful.  It has been that, but it has also been uncertain. I’m not sure what exactly the future holds for me.  I of course want to do All. The. Things, and of course I can’t. If I figure it out, I’ll be sure to let you know.

IMG 2081 e1422478188620 1024x1024 Works In Progress: Cotton and Steel Travel [baby] Quilt

I have had a great time making this quilt, using a Cotton + Steel Basics jelly roll and a yard of the white cross fabrics. I have actually sewn quite a few things over the past few months, usually in 15 minute increments. One day I wash or iron fabric.  I cut on another day, sew a bit a few days later, press a few days later for a half hour, etc.  This quilt has been nothing like that–once I decided on the layout, I completed it in a day or two! And yes, my house is a disaster now.

IMG 1715 e1422478261298 1024x1024 Works In Progress: Cotton and Steel Travel [baby] Quilt

It started out as a simple strip quilt for my soon-to-be-born niece (hurray!), and morphed into a version of the Travel Quilt from Liesl Gibson’s  Oliver + S Little Things to Sew: 20 Classic Accessories and Toys for Children Works In Progress: Cotton and Steel Travel [baby] Quilt

This is a “bucket list” quilt for me, I have wanted to make it since the book came out (2011). I’m glad my sister-in-law loves stripes! Hopefully I will share the finished quilt next week!

IMG 2072 e1422478141129 768x1024 Works In Progress: Cotton and Steel Travel [baby] Quilt

My dining room has very yellow light. The white and cream colors in last picture are more true to life than the other photos.

amazon affiliate link included in post (which is where I bought the book)

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FullSizeRender copy 1024x1024 Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

I hope all of my friends who celebrate Thanksgiving had a lovely day, filled with food (lots and lots of food) and family and friends. We are spending the weekend with my parents and aunt and uncle. I feel very thankful this year.

Screen Shot 2014 11 26 at 7.14.36 PM e1417066622601 1024x569 Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

Recently, I have had a lot of time on my hands where I am holding or feeding a baby.  I have finally started watching a bunch of Craftsy classes that are in my queue (and have been for… a long time!) Additionally, they are all on sale for $19.99 right now!!! See the end of my post for more details.

Over the last week or two, I  finished Jaquie Gering’s excellent class, Online Quilting Class: Improvisational Piecing, Modern Design.  I have done some improvisational piecing in the past, so the information in the class wasn’t completely new to me. Even still, I really enjoyed watching the class, learning from Jacquie, and being inspired to actually sit down and sew!

IMG 9924 Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

screenshot from my phone, Jacquie’s Blue Ice quilt is in the background, found in her book Quilting Modern: Techniques and Projects for Improvisational Quilts Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

Here are some thoughts on the class:

Jacquie is very comfortable behind the camera–she is easy to watch/listen to.  She offers very clear directions, step outs, demonstrates by sewing at the machine, and offers suggestions on how to fix common mistakes.  I would classify her improv style as carefully considered improv. She is incredibly precise, and definitely follows the adage measure twice, cut once.

She teaches to the quilter for whom improv doesn’t come naturally, as well as showing how she really puts together blocks, which is more of a make decisions as you are sewing, or, improvise! method. If you don’t love improv piecing, I think you would like her very methodical, pre-planned manner: sketch a design, follow the design, take the design to the design wall when placing blocks, etc. Her techniques and quilts build on each other, which is a plus.

FullSizeRender 2 Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale [screenshot from my phone--the Craftsy platform lets you ask instructors and classmates questions, provides quilt instructions to design and save, and lets you pause, rewind, and add video notes...]

Jacquie’s Crosscut Quilt (above) was my favorite (an update of her slice and insert technique, also found in her book and I believe she teaches in person classes on it, as well.) Overall, I would highly recommend this class. I was impressed with Jacquie’s precision and the care she took when making the quilts (look how flat and straight they hang!) I tend to be a slap something together and see how it goes type of quilter–this class inspires me to be a little more careful–and amazingly, I was when I was making these blocks! 

IMG 00761 1024x1024 Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

My quilt blocks aren’t from a pattern/project in her class, per se, but were definitely inspired by watching it.  Jacquie’s love of orange and one inch strips comes through in the video!

craftsy logo Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

I like the Craftsy platform. It cut out on me a few times, which was annoying, especially as I was watching in the middle of the night.  I like that I can watch on my phone, iPad, or computer, and go from device to device without losing my place. Additionally, I appreciate that Craftsy has added a ton of classes recently, including cooking and gardening classes (as well as painting, drawing, apparel sewing, cake decorating, etc.)

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A few I have been eyeing:

Tara Rebman- Quilt-As-You-Go: Patchwork Bags
Sew the Perfect Fit  (how to alter patterns, which I seem to always need to know how to do but never get it quite right!)
Sewing With Knits (my experience sewing with knits has not been awesome)
A Modern Take on the Mother Sauces (food, glorious food! I can eat again!)
Mexican Comfort Food (w/ Deborah Schneider) (you had me at street tacos!)
Homemade Italian Pasta with Giuliano Hazan (again, food, glorious food!)


BL Valentine 300x250 FINAL Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale

Finally, Craftsy is having a giant sale! All classes are $19.99 (some usually go as high as $49.99), and there is a huge sale on fabric, yarn, clothing kits, etc. Go have some fun shopping! I know I’m going to. I have a lot of up-during-the-middle-of-the-night nights in my future.

Note: Affiliate links included in this post. If you shop from one of these links, I earn a small percentage. And then I get to buy magformers for my kids for Christmas icon wink Improvisational Piecing: Craftsy Class Review + Craftsy Black Friday Sale  



Posted in Quilts, Sewing + Friends | 2 Responses

IMG 9180 e1416021692809 1024x1024 Favorite Things: Quick Sews for Baby

About a week before our baby was born, I had a sudden desire to  I wasn’t feeling well enough to do that, of course, but I decided I could finish a few small sewing projects. And so I did. A single flannel bib. A wet bag/zip pouch.  A double sided knit blanket (I just had to finish hand stitching the binding). A hemmed Nani Iro double gauze (single layer) blanket.

IMG 9103 2 768x1024 Favorite Things: Quick Sews for BabyMy kids wanted to make something for baby, too, so they each made 1 burp cloth. Sewing with kids requires both patience and energy–I’m glad I spent the time (on one of their many days off this month) to teach them a bit more about sewing. My son did his entirely on his own, even the decorative top stitching.  They were so happy to bring their burp cloths to the hospital.

I figured I have plenty of time to sew matching dresses, and make a Liberty quilt, and all of the other fun baby projects that are swirling around in my head late at night… right?

Posted in Favorite Things, Sewn | Tagged , , | 4 Responses

Baby Ellie b and w 1024x768 Favorite Things: New baby!

I’m thrilled to share that baby Ellie was born on Friday, November 7. She was 7lbs, 7 oz and 21.5”.  I can’t believe that she is a week old! We are thrilled that she is healthy, happy, mostly calm, snuggly, extraordinary beloved, and of course, the cutest baby you have ever seen.  :) I’m also glad the delivery is behind us and I am healing pretty well.

My big kids couldn’t be happier. I feel almost embarrassed at how much we all just adore her, but then I just think how lucky we all are, how grateful we are she is here, and how happy we ALL are that I’m no longer pregnant and sick. In fact, everyone’s biggest complaint seems to be that they don’t get enough time to hold Ellie. Its definitely a good problem to have.

Thanks for all of your well wishes, in the past and with her birth. I’m not sure if its relief, or hormones, or teetering on the brink of exhaustion, but I feel like our joy is complete.  I don’t know if I have ever felt that way before, so I’m just going to sit back and savor it.

Happy weekend, friends.

Posted in Favorite Things | 42 Responses
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