IMG 9041 1024x691 The Most Beautiful Quilt in the World

Yesterday, I received this quilt for my almost-here baby girl in the mail from my friend Dana Seltzer. I opened the box, pulled it out, and immediately burst into tears. Happy tears, missing friends tears, totally overwhelmed with love tears.

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I gained my composure and then turned the quilt over, only to see a label with the names of 41 friends–quilting friends, quilt guild friends, long time friends, family members who are friends–and I started to cry again. My poor kids. They thought I was losing it.

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Everyone should feel so loved. The quilt was organized and pieced by Dana, quilted by Cindy Luby, and bound by Natalie Hardin. The color scheme is based on a fabric line called Lotus Pond by Rae Hoekstra–I love all of the prints in this line, and I love all of the coordinating fabric everyone used. (Let’s see how many times I can use the word “love” in one blog post.)

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The quilt top and back are pieced. What a labor of –you guessed it–love!

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There are too many blocks to take a photo of each one, so I just included a few close ups I took at the park yesterday.  Or rather, the quilt was too big for my 8 year old to hold, and everything was wet from the rain, so he helped by taking some photos.

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Isn’t this the sweetest touch? I love the November fabric.

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And the binding fabric–those frogs!

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Thank you to everyone who participated, from the bottom of my heart.

Posted in Favorite Things, Quilts, Sewing + Friends | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Responses
IMG 5058 1024x682 Bloggers Quilt Festival: The Braddock Road Quilt
I love the Blogger’s Quilt Festival, hosted by Amy Ellis from Amy’s Creative Side, and usually participate.  This year, I’m entering Braddock Road, a quilt I designed and made for the July/August 2014 issue of Quiltmaker Magazine. I enjoyed working with Quiltmaker and Robert Kaufman, who sent me the Kona solids for the quilt, as well as Widescreen fabric by Carolyn Friedlander for the back of the quilt. The fabric is 108′ wide, comes in 6 colors, and is just awesome! I love not having to piece quilt backs.  My good friend Cindy Luby quilted it for me with a square meander, which you can see pretty well in the picture below.
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My first entry was actually 5 years ago (!!!), at the end of  a difficult pregnancy, 3 weeks before my daughter was born.  Sounds eerily familiar to this year, except I must have been feeling better, because I have done exactly 4 hours of sewing since March.  I’m thrilled to mention that my days of being sick (pregnant with hyperemesis) are almost at an end; in two weeks we will be able to meet this baby girl! And then my days of exhaustion will commence. My sister and mom helped me go through all of my daughter’s old clothing, organized them, and washed the itty bitty items over the last two weeks. I’m finally starting to get excited to meet this little girl.
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Back to the quilt.  This quilt is graphic, easy to piece, and fun to make. There are lots of opportunities to play around with the quilting, as well. If all goes as planned, I will release it as a stand alone pattern here, along with several others which are in the works, sometime in 2015. See, I’m giving myself a lot of leeway here, with the new baby and all. Moda remade the quilt in Christmas fabric (Solstice by Kate Spain), which was a fun spin on the pattern. This quilt is a great size (68” x 76”) and saw a lot of time on my daughter’s “bed” this summer (the couch in our rented downtown loft).
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We took these pictures in August at a waterfall down the way from Multnomah Falls. Oregon is a beautiful place, and I’ve enjoyed watching my family explore from the sidelines (and have gotten to explore a bit myself, from time to time). Looking forward to more of this in my future.
Fall 2014 BQF Button small Bloggers Quilt Festival: The Braddock Road Quilt
Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the Blogger’s Quilt Festival! (I entered this quilt in the Original Design category).
Posted in Quilts, Sewing + Friends | Tagged , , , , , | 8 Responses

Summer Reads 1021x1024 Favorite Things: Good Reads

My kids had the best-summer-ever! The spent 6 weeks with grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins in California and Utah, while I spent most of the time in Portland.  It was a godsend for all of us, and I’m so grateful for the sacrifice of everyone to help us all out, especially my mom and dad.

Since I had already binge-watched everything Netflix had to offer in the preceding months, I spent the 6 weeks reading. I’ve still been sneaking in some books here and there since the kids have gotten back and school has started, although when they go to sleep, I go to sleep. And many days, I’m even a semi-functioning parent.

I wanted to share some of my favorites from this summer (I read about 20), and solicit some recommendations. By this list, it appears that I like contemporary fiction and mysteries, but if a book is well written and interesting, genre doesn’t matter as much.

Recently, I decided I didn’t have to finish books that I didn’t really like/hold my interest.  If I read part of a book one day, and wake up the next day and just don’t care enough to finish it, then I read the summary online and move on with my life (hello Cheryl Strayed’s Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail (Vintage) Favorite Things: Good Reads

Here are some of my recommendations, based on my summer reading

I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban Favorite Things: Good Reads

I knew nothing about Malala besides the fact that she had been shot by the Taliban.  I was surprised to find out about her accomplishments and accolades as a supporter of education for girls and women long before that day.  I found the book cloying at times, but finished it for two reasons–I wanted to honor her grand efforts, and I gave her the benefit of the doubt–writing a book as a teenager in not her native language.

The Rosie Project: A Novel Favorite Things: Good Reads

I thought this book was pretty clever.  The main character is a 39 year old brilliant man with no social skills. He decides he wants to get married, but dating is pretty pointless. He prepares an extensive survey in an effort to find an appropriate match. He is teamed up with Rosie, a young woman who fails every.single.question. I found the characters interesting and the writing quick-paced.  [If profanity bothers you, this might not be your favorite book. It isn't excessive but its there]

Where’d You Go, Bernadette: A Novel Favorite Things: Good Reads

I picked this book up at the library last week, for no other reason than I had seen it EVERYWHERE. The story centers on quirky and elusive Bernadette Fox, her sudden disappearance, and her daughter, Bee’s efforts to piece together the story. Similar to the Rosie Project–fun characters, lively writing. It certainly isn’t high literature, but makes for a good read.

Maisie Dobbs Favorite Things: Good Reads

I enjoyed this recent write up on the extensive Maisie Dobbs series on NPR recently.  I started reading the series, out of order (because it doesn’t bother me to read out of order and because I’m getting them all from the library). I like some of the books better than others, but for the most part, Maisie is a compelling, smart, independent female detective. She works in London and the surrounding areas between WWI and WWII.

The Silver Star: A Novel Favorite Things: Good Reads

This is the latest book by Jeanette Walls, author of both The Glass Castle: A Memoir Favorite Things: Good Reads and its subsequent predecessor (I know, I know. Published after, takes place in time before the Glass Castle), Half Broke Horses: A True-Life Novel Favorite Things: Good Reads. Both of her first two books are autobiographical/semi-autobiographical, and both worth reading. Anyway, not surprisingly, this novel follows similar themes–strong children/teens that live with mentally unstable adults. Crises occur as a matter of course. Familiar story, but worth reading.

How the Light Gets In: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel Favorite Things: Good Reads

I did not realize that this was part of a series (perhaps the 9th or so book?) I really like both the characters and the writing. Thoughtful, intelligent, a bit of a page turner. What’s not to like? But now I know the “end” of the story, and I’m not sure I can go back and read from the beginning.

Books on request at the library:

Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China Favorite Things: Good Reads
The Light Between Oceans: A Novel Favorite Things: Good Reads
The Forgotten Garden: A Novel Favorite Things: Good Reads
The Book Thief Favorite Things: Good Reads


[Amazon affiliate links included above--I get a small percentage of any sale--thanks for supporting my site]

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Curves Quilt 1024x682 Finished Quilt: 100 Quilts for Kids

I’m so happy to share my quilt today as part of the 100 Quilts for Kids blog hop hosted by Heather @ Quilts In the Queue and the DC Modern Quilt Guild.

 Finished Quilt: 100 Quilts for Kids

If you have read this blog for a while, you may know that I started an annual charity quilt drive a few years ago called 100 Quilts for Kids. The idea is simple–make a quilt and donate it to a child/teen in your own community. I’m so happy that this year, Heather has taken over 100 Quilts for Kids and done a beautiful job!  A bit more about 100 Quilts and my donation quilt below:

Past 100 Quilts Info at Swim Bike Quilt

100 Quilts 2014 Links
100 Quilts for Kids Linkup (open until September 30, 2014–just scroll down)
100 Quilts for Kids Sponsor Information
100 Quilts for Kids Donation Ideas
100 Quilts for Kids Waves Quilt Along
Instagram Hashtag: #100quilts4kids
Flickr Group

My Circles Quilt

Circles Quilt 1024x845 Finished Quilt: 100 Quilts for Kids

When we packed up our house in June, I grabbed this project (drunkards path blocks cut with a die cut machine) to take with me. I knew everything would be in storage for a while and I would HAVE to bite the bullet and sew up these curves, something that had scared me a bit before this project.

Charity quilts are perfect for this type of thing–finishing works in progress, trying something new, etc.  When I heard the Portland Modern Quilt Guild was collecting small quilts (36” square at the time, although I think the size has changed) for a local NICU, I decided to join in. I worked on this quilt in 10 minute intervals, fits and starts, mostly because I’ve been feeling poorly.

Curves aren’t scary, and I didn’t pin the blocks.  They aren’t perfect, but it was fun.  When I think “quilts with curves,” I think of three people–Jen Carlton-Bailly,  Latifah Saafir, and  Angela Pingel.  All have great information and videos about sewing curves on their blogs, Instagram accounts, etc. Angela also has a great new book out all about curved piecing called A Quilter’s Mixology: Shaking Up Curved Piecing Finished Quilt: 100 Quilts for Kids

There is currently even A Quilters Mixology Sew Along at Sew Sweetness, but I digress.

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I had a hard time photographing this quilt–the colors aren’t quite as soft as they seem in the photos.  I chose to quilt it with simple straight lines  (because it was easy), used a pretty pretty plum backing from Aneela Hoey’s Hello Petal line, and a great Cotton and Steel basics for the binding, Voila! Finished.

Circles Quilt Back 1024x682 Finished Quilt: 100 Quilts for KidsI hope you think about making/donating a quilt!!

If you need a little inspiration, check out some of these finished charity quilts for 2014:
Improv Wonky Cross Quilt by Teaginny Designs
Half Square Triangle Quilt by Quilting is More Fun Than Housework
Busy Hands Quilt by Christa Quilts
Disappearing Hourglass Quilt by Kinda Quilty

Others stops on the DC Modern Quilt Guild Blog Hop

8/6 - Lynne
8/13 - Meli
8/20 - Alyson
8/27 - Carla
9/3 – Susan
Posted in 100 Quilts for Kids, Quilts | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Responses
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