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Small stitching 

Life has been a little stressful lately with some pretty serious health problems for my dad, relationships that aren’t smooth sailing and having more month than money. So what do I do about? I start stitching little stuff, like this mini Bartow quilt using Kona mini charms from Quilt Market. Because sometimes I need to concentrate on totally insignificant things, like 1/4″ strips and 1/8″ seam allowances.

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Birthday quilt–finished!

20131203-155349.jpgShe didn’t want me to show off a picture of her, so this is as close at it gets: my daughter holding up her birthday quilt. She did let me take a photo of her with it, though, which is a minor miracle in itself. I just can’t show it off publicly and that’s okay.

I made this using Aria Lane’s Concerto pattern and I have to say it was so quick and easy that it almost seemed like cheating. The pattern itself calls for four solids, but I decided to mix this up with a little fabric for the Sierra collection by Bren Talavera and some Kona Snow, Pomegranate, Chartreuse and Caribbean.

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I was able to put it together by using strips for the Snow rather than peicing blocks. It worked out fine, required less sewing and when it was all quilted, it didn’t make any difference (imho) in how it looked.

I sent this to Nancy Stovall of Just Quilting PDX, one of my favorite peopl and an amazing longarm quilter. She’s been an integral part of the Portland Modern Quilt Guild and I was thrilled when she said she’d quilt it up for me. The only thing I asked for was a bit of girly, but not overboard and to hide some hearts in there somewhere to remind me daughter how much I love her. And that she did. 20131203-155712.jpg

It took me a week to stitch the binding on, but at last I tied off those last stitches, washed it and it got all crinkled and lovely. Isn’t it beautiful?! I really love how washing gives it a really texture, showing off all of Nancy‘s awesome quilting.

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Pattern Name: Concerto from Aria Lane
Time Required: 10 hours to piece the front + quilting
Rating: Beginner (start with the smaller size if you’re a newbie)
Would I Make It Again?: Yes!
What I Changed: I cut strips instead of squares for the Kona and used a mix of solids and prints, rather than only solids.

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Starry, starry PJs

I spent the weekend doing a little sewing, a rare treat for me. Thanks to the Worldwide Quilting Day giveaway, I need to check the website frequently to approve comments which means I don’t get to really do anything that requires me leaving the house for the day. So despite the rare treat of sunshine, I spent the weekend inside–sewing!

I managed to sew these PJ bottoms and pillowcase (as well as a Tova top I’ll have to talk about when I’m not sad about it being ugly on me–sigh) before my back forced me to call it quits and swallow some meds.

PJs and pillow

I decided to use Lizzy House’s Constellation collection for both (perfect for sleepovers, right?!) and love them. They have a great hand and are nice and soft and make me want to make some for myself in a big grown-up Mom size. I bought the fabrics over at Modern Domestic (where I’ll be teaching kids how to sew these) and Lupine helped pair up a Kona solid that’s the perfect purple. Almost a periwinkle, but not blue enough. Is that a violet? I really should learn my shades of purple.

The pillowcase turned out well for being made without any sort of guide. It turned out a little smaller than I would’ve liked, but worked okay. I should do a tutorial on it because it was really easy, looks super nice with the french seams and is a nice little treat for yourself.

For the pants I used the Little Sleep Well pattern, which I’d definitely recommend. The primer is slightly confusing  with its “optional” instructions and could see a beginner getting a tad irritated by it, but overall it was great. No separate facings to deal with and easy-peasy construction.

When I finished I asked my friend’s daughter to model  them for me, which she was, of course, quite happy to do. She grabbed one of her Pop’s tees and a stuffie to complete the ensemble. Adorable, really.
Maya_PJs and PillowShe was a total ham for it, setting up the lights, laying out the quilts. So sweet of her! I wish my camera would have gotten a clearer shot of her, but I didn’t realize it was so grainy until too late. Bummer. Miss M makes up for it with her cuteness, though, right?