Saturday, April 27, 2013

It's going.... going....

Tonight is the night of the auction for Diva's school, so I thought I would finally show the quilt. I hope it was worth the wait!

The quilt blocks were designed by middle school students, colored by a high school senior, printed onto fabric and then hand embroidered by parents, staff, and friends. 

Custom fabric with the auction's artwork and logo was created for the backing. 

A close up of one of the blocks and quilting-- a swirling meander with random horse shoes.

I also made a small throw pillow. On one side was the custom fabric. On the other we embroidered "2013" and the names of all the middle school artists.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Come Be Our Guest

Diva's birthday party was this weekend, and in true Diva fashion we celebrated like kings and queens with a Beauty and the Beast themed party.

I wanted to do something really special for her 4th birthday, since it was the first one that she was having with friends from school. When she picked out Beauty and the Beast as her theme I was ecstatic! It's my favorite Disney movie and it gave me so many options to work with!

We decided instead of pizza we would have lunch be themed. Our menu consisted of "Selections from the Boulangerie" (croissants, mini muffins, mini bagels, etc.), "Formage," "Gaston's Wild Boar" (spiral ham), "Fritatta with Garden Vegetables," "Les Pigs in a Blanket," and beverages like "Lumiere's Lemonade," "Cogsworth's Cafe," "Chip's Favorite Sweet Tea," and of course "Mrs. Pott's Signature Tea Selections." 

I decided to invite Belle to the party, and wouldn't you know it, but her calendar was free! It was so wonderful for Diva to meet her. She did story time with the kids, pretended to be other characters (like Gaston and Mrs. Potts), and we even had princess training where the kids learned to walk with books on their heads! It was wonderful. Diva had a blast!

After all of that excitement we got ready for some cake. I made the cake again this year, and really liked how it turned out, despite it's simplicity. The cake was the story book, and then I added the enchanted mirror (with a picture of Diva inside) for effect. Both were fondant.

I hope you enjoyed this post, I know Diva enjoyed her party! One down, one more to go!

oh wait... I forgot to mention the birthday bomb that went off in our house when we got home.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Hands2Help Quilt Progress

I decided to use the blocks that I was making for the Beginner's QAL for my Hands2Help charity quilt. I decided to only use 9 of the blocks since I don't want it to be a bulky lap quilt (and partly because I didn't finish the 12th block! shhhh). I'm not totally thrilled with the black fabric in the quilt, but this was my second quilt I started, and the first one where I selected my own fabric... I think part of the reason it isn't sitting well with me is because all of the blocks are different, and those two really just stand out too much. It's not quite as harsh in person, but still not my favorite.

Linking up with Hands2Help.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIP- Baby Taggie Quilt 3

I mentioned earlier that my old college roommate (ok... she's not really that old!) is pregnant with her first bundle of joy and I decided to make her a quilt for the baby shower coming up in the beginning of May.

Despite everything going on, I managed to finish the quilt top. I'm not super proud of it, but it turned out way better than expected given the rush I am in and the fact that I didn't pin anything (please don't crucify me!!). Its also the first time I used charm packs, which has a learning curve all of it's own. For anyone wondering, I used Riley Blake's Willow Collection for a low volume, gender neutral top, and included about 7 yellow riccrac taggies. The back will be one of the yellow floral prints from the collection and the binding will be a satin blanket binding in pale teal.

I aslo decided to include 5 flannel burp clothes. I made these for myself when I was pregnant with Loo and they are my absolute favorite! I still use them and she is almost a year old... I use two different flannels, again gender neutral. The two below are sewn but still need to be ragged, and I have three more sets that are cut but need to be finished!

Wow that's a big to-do list for just 2 weeks from now. Not to mention Diva's birthday party is this weekend, and the school auction (that I made the Kentucky Derby quilt for) is next weekend. I've also been working on my Hands2Help quilt, but more on that on Sunday. My head is spinning just thinking about it all.

Linking up with WIP- Freshly Pieced and A Lovely Year of Finishes.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Charm Pack Tutorials

Although I am not using charm packs for the Hands2Help Charity Quilt Challenge, I think it would be great for future charity quilts. Additionally I am needing to make a couple of baby quilts rather quickly, and since I've never made quilts using charm packs I wanted to find a couple of great tutorials/patterns to have in my back pocket. So I thought I would take this opportunity to share them with you as well. Here are my top 5, in no particular order.

Wendy of Snippets of a Quilter published a great tutorial for the Disappearing Nine Patch. What I like about her tutorial is that not only does she show you how to do the disappearing nine patch, but she shows you three different ways to arrange the blocks.

Carolina of Always Expect Moore did a great tutorial on how to make a pinwheele block with two charm squares. Her technique is interesting because instead of making two HST and then cutting then down again she sews all the way around the 4 sides of the charm squares (right sides together) and there is no waste! Check it out, I've never seen it done this way!

Amy Smart of Diary of a Quilter posted a beautiful picture of her Rainbow Connection quilt. Its a really different look, combining charms and HSTs. The pattern is available for purchase here.

Natalia and Kathleen of Piece N Quilt have a wonderful tutorial for baby blocks using charm squares. I love how cute these are, and that you can give them along with a baby quilt. I night have to add that to my plans!

Minnesota Charms has GREAT sheets for charm packs, layer cakes, and more to figure out final dimensions and fabric needed. I highly recommend you check it out!

Linking up with the Hands2Help Favorite Tutorial Linky Party

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

April's To Do List

March is over and I am so proud that I finished up the auction quilt on time and completed a few other special, if unplanned, projects too!
My top priority for April (and the one for A Lovely Year of Finishes) is a baby quilt for my friend and former roommate who is pregnant with her first. The baby shower is May 5, so obviously I have a hard and fast deadline for that. I picked up some charm packs and plan to use those to put it together. It will be the first time using charm packs, so wish me luck!

I have some extra custom fabric left over from the auction quilt so I want to make a pillow for the woman who designed the artwork, so I'll add that to the list too.

I also need to work on my Hands2Help quilt. I'd like to try to put together the quilt-top at the very least this month. That shouldn't be hard to do since the blocks are all completed... I think.

The next thing I want to accomplish is cleaning up the sewing/guest room. It's a nightmare. My initial plan was to get it all pristine at the start of last month, but with the auction quilt looming I figured it was pointless since I was just going to mess it up again... But it is time.

This may not seem like too bad of a list, but I am also working feverishly on Diva's birthday party too. I have lots of things planned and I can't wait to show you what is in store for that. I started work on some of the pieces for her cake today (finally!) and I have been collecting props and menu planning too. I'm about to burst open at the seams but I'll try to contain it!

Linking up with A Lovely Year of Finishes goal setting party.