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Friday, February 13, 2015

My little Valentine...

Hi everyone,

And happy, happy Valentine's Day!!! 
Love truly is the essence of our lives and needs to be celebrated EVERY day in EVERY way! 

 I am sure by now you all know how much I love being grandma and having our Juliana's first Valentine is yet another opportunity to have fun, shower her with love and count my blessings. Of course, how do we quilters express all those emotions the best? - by making something! :)
Halt everything else, it is time to make sweet Valentine for my sweet little girl!

When I saw a mini-charm pack of Moda's Kiss, Kiss! collection in my local quilt shop it was just so cute and I had to have it... and I am not even a charm (or mini-charm!) kinda person!! So I just played with those perfectly cut (I can see how one can get used to this!), little squares until I had a HEART...

At first I picked only red and pink squares, but then I liked just a touch of that beautiful blue in there! Agree?

Now on to sew these 49 little gems together! 

Here is how I do these things to stay in order and somewhat organized. I sewed them in vertical pairs, using chain-piecing - so I flip the right most vertical column onto the next one and start sewing from the top:

Here are three columns of pairs and I had one leftover since it is a odd number.

I also take those "chained" pieces to my ironing board and, in order to have opposing seams later (to match the seams perfectly), I lay the chain on the board and flip every other one, like this:

That way, as I open each top fabric and press, my seams will be opposing. Does that make sense to you?
One gets opened up...

The next one down...

Uh, oh... that ironing board cover looks dirty, but honestly it is just some staining that happened once I pressed some fabric from Africa that my daughter brought for me...It is actually CLEAN. :)

OK, so here are my pairs all pressed and plus that one, odd row:

Now I flip the pair onto another pair (left part) and the odd row onto the third row of pairs. Here pins are necessary to keep everything in place...

So once I sewed that and joined two parts together, here is my chained piece!! At this point you can't make a mistake any more, since they are all connected! Now just to join the rows together:

And with those opposing seams, it was really a breeze, and NO PINS!!

Once I had that done, I wanted it turned "on-point" so choosing the fabric for that was the next order of fun!!

This print (Moda's "Flirt" collection) was my first thought:

Or beautiful print from AGF's Recollection line?

Or go with just solid, soft pink...lighter or darker?

I really liked how heart stands out on the solid, but liked BOTH shades of it, so here is a way to use both?

YUP - that was THE one!!
Now on to choosing thread colors for quilting - fun never ends for us quilters, does it??
Juts look at these Aurifil beauties!!

I went with the darker pink (kinda coral) color for the middle heart part and then switched to that whisper-light pink (I love that one so much!!), for the solid pink part...

Since prints hide quilting so well, here is the back. At this point it was after midnight and I was running out of stopped here for the day...

But, bright and early next day, the fun continues!! :)
In the corners I wanted a heart, a nice one - so I cut one out of paper and used it as a template to trace lightly and then go from there... Followed the traced line - that was HARD for me!! But every time there is a chance to try something new and challenge myself - I learn something new, yay!!

So this was the FIRST of the four corners done... definitely room for improvement!!

Next one - better!!

These guys were done free-hand but with little 1" marks on the edge of the strip (can you see them?) and that was really what helped to stay somewhat uniform!

Tried my hand in grand baby's initials too - not the best, but ok!

So here it is - ALL DONE!!

Binding time!!
That little touch of blue gave me the chance to use some blue in my faux piped binding and I just LOVE how colors work together!! Have you tried this kind of binding?? It is so much fun and not at all difficult! This is not my idea and there are many tutorials out there, just Google "faux piped binding"!

But basically, you choose tow colors and instead cutting one width for binding (usually 2 1/4" or 2 1/2" wide strips), you cut your main color strip at 1 1/2" wide (red one here) and your "piping" color strip at 1 3/4" wide (teal) and then join them together lengthwise to get your binding strip (you will have a 2 3/4" wide strip).

Once you press it as you would normally do, because one color is wider, it will "peek" from the fold!

And then you just go on to use it as you would normally do any binding!
What I love with this is also that once you are doing your final stitching of the binding, as long as you stay in the "ditch" between the two colors - your thread is almost invisible!!


I made this into a pillow cover (it is 20" square), so here is the back:

OOOH but wait!!! The afterthought... I got the idea to have a little pocket on the back, so that I can stick in a little note, a Valentine card, a book I also got for her.... Oh my - what is one to do??
Well, even though I should have thought of this before, I wasn't giving up!! Made a pocket, pinned the living daylights out of it to the back (used my little cutting board under  that top layer for easy pinning)...

...and then there was some major wrangling of that pillow cover, with the free-arm on my machine...

...but I DID IT!!! hoorayyyy!!!!

I love, love, love my little Valentine!!!

And I can''t wait to kiss that little cutie and give her all of this!!

Wishing you all love and joy,

PS - Marley says - good job mom, now lets go for a walk!! :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Playing with Recollection

Hi everyone, 

Hope you are all doing great!
I am popping my head in here to finally share that fun project I did as a gift for a friend, but couldn't share before she saw it. (I showed only a peek few posts ago)
Even though it was winter time and actually holiday season, I just received this entire, fabulous, gorgeous, ah-so-inspiring bundle of my friend, Katarina Roccella's  newest fabric collection for Art Gallery Fabric.
called Recollection, so I really couldn't wait to play with it...


The light spectrum...

The bold, beautiful colors and motifs that tug on my heart and soul heritage from motherland, Serbia's traditions... You should look at Katarina's inspiration while creating this beauty -  HERE!

Oh I can write pages on all the ideas and dreams I have in my head, which is probably also why I was so hesitant what to do first... You know the case when you just pet your fabric, and pet your fabric...and dream...and are almost afraid to cut into it?? Yeah, that one.
But when it was time to create my Secret Santa gift for fellow fabric lover and quilter, I knew I was going to use it! (and yeah - she did love it!!! :)  )

I started with some of my favorite block to make - 3D Flying Geese, in three different colors and sizes:

Notice how medium and small blocks have sort of "extended" background pieces? I am really having fun exploring that way of creating this block - it gives me a variety of size but yet the ease of fitting blocks together, since they are all the same width that way.  I also used it for Indelible Migration table runner.

So really, once I made those Flying Geese, and few squares with folded triangle overlay, (in the center and in the corners), -  this project was done!

Large and medium geese were left with straight edges and the smalles one got curved and stitched down...

Quilting was yet another fun play - I went with echoing some curves, some straight lines and then of course some FMQ fun!

The center square is just a 6" square of that beautiful rose print, with folded squares in four corners that I then curved and stitched. So echoing that round shape seemed like a good idea. Right?

Same thing in the corners - a 6" squares with also 6" square of that fabulous, bright yellow print as folded square, curved again:

For the corners, I was debating between yellow and navy and then decided to use them both!

All of it was quilted with this fabulous, unassuming, gentle, 50wt Aurifil gray that just quietly lays over any fabulous color, giving it a whisper of texture...

Here is a better view of quilting, from the back:

I made it into a pillow cover, so Kim can use it as a table topper, wall quilt or pillow. And of course, I am in love with this print used for the back:

Yeah, I could say it was a bit hard to part with this one...but it really wasn't!! Because, I just LOVE giving away what I make and also because - I just want to play more and more and more with this gorgeous collection!! :)

(oh and don't mind our new, beautiful gray chairs that are so not going with this old carpet, but that is changing soon...)

Looks good as a pillow too, don't you think?

Ah the play of morning light...

So, what do you think? 
Did you play maybe with this gorgeous fabric? I would love to see if you did!!

In the meantime, more recently, I saw this on Facebook and just had to have this fun shirt! I think all of us quilters need one!! Oh and if you want one, it's HERE. (no, I am definitely not affiliated, just think it is a cool shirt)

Other than that, my days are filled with love and fun with this little girl, our granddaughter Juliana - she is the absolute cutest, most precious girl in the whole wide world!!! When we are not crawling, or doing Patty Cake, or learning where is our nose, we get up in grandma's lap to see what is she reading... Yup, starting the education early!! Ha ha!!

Oh and another joy in my life? Our daughter is getting married!! YAY!!! So, this is what goes on too - looking for that perfect dress - can you say FUN??? 
Here are some ideas for now...

Lace, beautiful, whispering lace...

I can't tell you enough how much I love doing this!!!

So you won't find any winter blues here, I simply don't have time for that! And yes, I do realize how lucky and blessed I am - I am so deeply grateful for it all, EVERY DAY. Every single day.

Marley is here too, to remind me  how to love, simply and unconditionally. The only love there is.

Wishing you that love, to give and to receive, with all my heart,