Thursday, August 30, 2012

Giant Granny Panties Quilt-Along, A Few Current Projects, & QuiltCon

That Girl... That Quilt

So let me break my almost radio silence to say that I'm excited to be participating in a quilt-along through one of my favorite bloggers, Jennifer of That Girl...That Quilt. I hadn't planned to participate, since I have a large stack of projects on my list, but then I saw the kits that she had made with the gals at Sew Lux fabrics, and I was completely taken with the Vintage Cool kit, so I took the plunge.  My fabric has already been delivered, washed, and ironed, and I am ready to go!  My goal is to actually keep up with the quilt-along, while also finishing the quilt that I started during Jennifer's last quilt along, called Chasing Chevrons.  More details and pictures to follow as things get moving!

I also thought I should post a few pictures of things I've been working on lately:

I'm one seam away from having the front of my brother's duvet cover completed.  Right now, I'm working on tying off all the threads and burying them in the batting, and then I'll do the final seam to join my four quadrants.  On the back, I still need to quilt some larger areas of fabric, but the pieced portion is done and quilted.  My goal is to finish this up by the end of September, so it will be ready for them for fall and some hopefully cooler nights in Athens, GA.

I'd pieced this little zig-zag quilt top awhile ago, but I finally got backing fabric (when I ordered my granny pants quilt kit from Sew Lux, they had some end-of-bolt clearance on the center green flower print, so I decided to go with a solid back on this one and get it quilted.  Since this picture was taken, I've made a bias binding in Kona pomegranate and applied it, so if I can find my thimble, it will be complete very soon.

My friend and colleague, Kakuti, is having her first baby in November, so I thought I'd get going early on a quick baby quilt for her.  This was a charm pack of Half Moon by Moda, plus some other squares of black-and-whites from my stash.  Here it is on the design wall (and you can see a bit more of my sewing nook!)...

And here it is as a finished top:

The design is, in concept, similar to a quilt top I made last year for 100 Quilts for Kids from a design by Made by Rae.  Katie, of Swim, Bike, Quilt fame, had come up with new measurements for using a charm pack.  I didn't look at the instructions before cutting my sashing, and I cut a bunch of 2.5" strips.  Sadly, they needed to be 2.75", but it gave me an opportunity to do a little problem-solving, and now I have a quilt that has some slight rectangles in it, and the sashing strips are different sizes.  The inner and outer red rings are 2.5", white the middle ring is 3".  I actually think it makes it more interesting than the original, so I'll probably plan to do this (perhaps even with a wider disparity) next time.  I also may make something like this with a larger central square.  The joys of charm packs - there are only so many ways to put them together!

And here's the back of Kakuti's quilt:

I really love those huge polka dots.  I'd bought the large butterfly print for the back for my version, but those dots are hard to beat!

Finally, I put together a little improv quilt that I started at the most recent DC Modern Quilt Guild meeting.  I really like assymetric quilts, and I had fun figuring it out (though it might have been easier had I made an actual plan instead of just cutting and sewing!) 

I've pieced an improv back for this one, too, though I didn't take a picture yet.  Yes...I have been busy!  I also completed 2 quilts, but I'll save those for another day!

Finally, I'm excited to say that I'm going to QuiltCon!  I hadn't planned to, but I mentioned it to my wonderful husband, who has been wanting to visit Austin, and he thought we should go!  (I should clarify...during the day I'll be drinking the Kool-Aid on Modern Quilting at QuiltCon while he explores the city, but in the evenings, I'll drag myself away from all the blog friends that I'm excited to meet in person to go eat wonderful dinners and see a bit of Austin.)  I'm so happy that he encouraged me to register, as I'm already really excited about it, and I've only been registered for an hour!  Please leave me a comment if you are going to be there so we can meet up! 

Friday, August 17, 2012

My wedding shower...

Well, I'm once again embarrassed by how neglectful of my blog I've been...but I have a good excuse!  Newlywed bliss!  I'll try to detail the last few months over a lot of posts so that it isn't too overwhelming (especially since I've made a bunch of quilts!), but I need to go back in time a bit further to post a few pictures of the lovely wedding shower that Anne held for me right before the wedding, since it was completely fabulous, and I've been remiss in never posting about it!

Clockwise: Me, Anne, and Aileen (who had recently found her feet)

L to R: Anne, Aileen, Me, and Talia
Anne is an amazing hostess.  Despite the fact that she had a baby under 6 months old, she offered to host a wedding shower for me!  This shower was extra special, because it was really an opportunity to celebrate with many of my girlfriends, since we weren't having a big wedding or asking people to take off work on a Monday morning to come to our ceremony (other than immediate family and my bridesmaids (and their husbands)).  My husband does not like to be the center of attention, and I realized at the shower that I'm not very great at it, either, since I quickly became very emotional/overwhelmed by how lucky I am in my friends.  Tears were shed when I was given the present that Anne organized from the group - they had all chipped in to hire a wedding photographer for us.  I had planned on everyone using their iphones to take a few snapshots since I had no idea how to go about hiring a wedding photographer (and figured we'd never find one in the short timeframe that we had to organize in), but my brilliant friends realized that I would have missed out on having something special to show our future kids, and they were right!  It was the perfect present!

For brunch, Anne had a beautiful spread.  Her Nicoise Salad Deconstructed was a real hit with me, but I'm a sucker for perfectly cooked salmon.  (My mouth just watered looking at the pictures!)  She'd made lovely placecards for everyone and used all her fine china and crystal.  She even made a spiced mango puree to add to prosecco for a truly elevated mimosa.  And she made "spa water", which is my favorite!  In addition, she put together a lovely fruit salad.

I didn't want her to do all the work, plus I wanted to share my grandmother's poppy seed rolls with all my friends, so I baked a pan of that and a pan of cinnamon rolls (in case the poppy seed rolls didn't come out well, since I hadn't baked them in years).  My friend Julie supplemented the spread with some lovely French pastries.  And of course, Anne the most beautiful flowers I think I've ever seen.  It was very high class!

L to R: Talia, Heather, Margery (my mother-in-law), Me, Ita (Anne's MIL), and Kakuti  (not pictured: Julie (thanks for taking the picture!), Anne, and Aileen (who needed a short nap before she could rejoin the party))
Anne, being the clever lady that she is, asked me if I had a picture of the happy couple!  I gave her a picture from Italy or Croatia, and she transformed it into this wonderful piece of artwork, which she had put in a frame on the drink table.  I absolutely love our look...and in case you aren't aware, the backdrop building is the Anne Arundel County Courthouse.  And Bryan and I really are that thin.  I guess with all of that attention and love, our heads just got so big!  :)
The Happy Couple, according to Anne
The other moment where I totally lost it...when we were getting together after brunch for some pictures with my bridesmaids, Aileen reached out, and first she grabbed my breast, and then she quickly realized her mistake and moved on to Talia (who is slightly better endowed).  The picture below is the result!  I love the looks on everyone's faces.

One other really fun thing to note: I asked Anne to do something that Talia had at her wedding shower.  Everyone brought me a favorite recipe, and Kakuti even brought me the hard-to-find ingredients for her dish (a Persian rice dish that sounds delicious).  I'm going to photograph them and add them to a little wedding scrapbook that I plan to put together.  Or maybe I'll make each one and post a picture of the finished dish and the recipe here!  That sounds like an even better plan!