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March 14, 2010

Birdcage on a Chain...finished





We've been sleeping under our new "love nest" quilt for about a week now (and so has our dog...see below) but I've just now gotten around to taking pictures. It's been a beautiful, sunshiny weekend here in New Orleans (and no humidity! huzzah!), so I didn't need any excuses to drag our giant quilt outside for a photo op.


I was going to shoo him off before I took this picture, but I thought it would be much more accurate if I didn't ;) He finds any excuse to eat, sleep & play on our bed. I'm probably going to be very glad one day that I made this out of substantial home dec fabric rather than quilting cotton. Oh, and as you can see, I got a little ambitious and made some flanged shams out of the leftover binding material. The front is Volumes in Rose and the back is more of the Mingling in Gold.







When it comes to quilting layers together, I'm not a huge fan of uber fancy stitching. I've seen so many quilts where the design and fabrics get lost in the chaos of the stitching. Besides, this quilt is already busy enough without adding complex stitching. My usual MO is to quilt straight lines that accent the blocks/lines of the quilt. But I didn't want to quilt straight lines on this quilt because it felt wrong. Not to get all philosophical, but the fabrics have such organic patterns (vines, birds, flowers, etc) that I thought straight, geometric lines would be a bit jarring. So I decided to stick the top of my quilt in the machine and sew with wild abandon. No guidelines, no measurements, nothing. Just a bunch of wonky, crooked lines. And you know what? I really like it. I think my crazy gamble paid off because it somehow works with the look of the quilt.



And here's a genius little tip I recently got from a lady that's been quilting since she was knee high to a grasshopper. When you have a lot of different colors in a quilt, don't use white thread. It seems like it would the best choice when you're looking for a neutral, but light gray thread is actually better because it's not as bright as white. It blended in really well with my quilt even though it runs over about a million different colors. I used Gutermann color #102.

March 10, 2010

The Mo Pouch


  1. I sit in a cubicle next to a lady named Carol, and every morning we swap stories about our impertinent pups. Hers is a wiener dog named Mo (short for Morpheus), and mine is a Scottish Terrier named Whiskers.
  2. Carol also loves Coke, and drinks one like clockwork every day at 2 o'clock.
  3. Her birthday is this week, so I combined her two favorite things: Mo and Coke.
And these are the humble beginnings of the Mo Pouch. I will be filling it with quarters and presenting it to her tomorrow :)

The main fabric is plain linen I bought at my local JoAnn Fabrics, and the weiner dog applique is courtesy of some Heather Ross fabric ("Dogs" from the Lightning Bugs & other Mysteries line) I had in my scrap bin. My inside joke "coke fund" tag is the type of thing I make all the time. I have a typewriter-style alphabet stamp set that I use for stationary and all my quilt tags. You can usually find rubber alphabet sets at stores like Michael's or Hobby Lobby - I think I got mine at Michael's, but I'm not 100% sure about that. Aside from the stamps, all you need is some linen tape (usually purchased on Etsy) and textile ink. Voila!


I also had a yard or two of the coordinating "Dots" from the Lightning Bugs line, so I used that for the lining. Since there's a lot of white in the print and money is very filthy (I know this because I worked at a bank every summer while I was in college), I used some iron-on vinyl to protect the lining. It's a big, crinkly pain in the butt when it comes to turning the pouch right side out, but I think it's worth it to prevent the fabric from becoming gray and dingy within a few weeks.

March 3, 2010

Birdcage on a Chain quilt...finally



When I said I was behind on my quilting projects, I meant it. I bought the fabric for this quilt almost two years ago, and have been putting it off ever since. I find the projects for me + my husband are the easiest to delay. Maybe because I feel I have to be more timely with my other quilts...or because I'm more excited to give someone a hand-made gift of love than to make something for myself...or possibly because I have a habit of putting others before myself to the point where it's a flaw. It's probably a big messy pile of all three.

My poor husband has been asking for an "us" quilt for 3 years now, so one of my New Years resolutions was to make a fancy pants quilt for our bed. I don't really believe in New Years resolutions, but I was determined to get this done. After 3 long years, it's time to put the proverbial foot down...especially when your bed cover situation is already bordering on the ridiculous.

When we lived in Chicago we slept under a down-filled comforter, but once we moved to New Orleans, we were boiling alive every night under it's ample feathers...and we're the kind of sickos that love to sleep in a frigid room with the ceiling fan on. When it comes to sleeping, heat is the devil. The comforter was henceforth banished to the living room for movie watching, and since we didn't have any quilts large enough to fit a king size bed (not even close), we've been sleeping under a hodgepodge of 3 different quilts/blankets for quite some time.

It's taken me since the beginning of January, but I'm almost finished! All I have left is the binding...I'll post more pictures once I finish.


March 1, 2010

Mixtape Baby Quilt

I forgot to take a picture before I left home, so my friend Erin agreed to "model" this at work before I gave it away!


I've been painfully behind on my quilting the past few months (too many babies! too many weddings!), so I had to give an IOU to my friend at work during her baby shower in the fall (cue sheepish grin). But the good news is, I finally finished it! Ninety-nine percent of the fabric is from Anna Maria Horner's Chocolate Lollipop line (I have a bunch of fat quarters stashed for "extra special" projects), but I snuck in one Amy Butler print (Martini in Fuchsia).

I really love this pattern because it only uses 8 fat quarters and a solid for sashing. It's ridiculously easy to cut and sew, and the finished product always looks amazing. It's pretty much my go-to pattern for baby quilts. I got it from Oh Fransson! and it's called the Mixed Tape quilt pattern. If you buy the pattern (purchase it here on Etsy), it's the Favorite Songs version in Baby Quilt size. I really, really love her patterns and I was so excited when she recently announced that she has a new one! Whoo!

Here's a close-up for you curious cats out there:


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