It’s Le Challenge time again.  I won last time (thank you, thank you very much) so of course I had to enter again!

This time the theme was “Wilderness.”  Only one thing popped into my mind when I thought about the wilderness.

Deer.

Happy, pretty, frolicking little deer.

Deer RW

The funny thing about deer is that when you see them on vacation . . . they are happy, pretty, frolicking little deer.  When you move to five acres and see them everyday . . . they are annoying.  They eat your Hostas.  They eat your Day Lilies.  They eat your tomato plants.  They eat the tops off every dang thing you try to plant.  They poop in your yard.  They don’t move when you are jogging down the lane and you have to play a game of chicken over whose gonna veer off first (this actually only happened once to me, but I’m adding it to the list anyway.)  They carry ticks (we haven’t had a issue with this yet, but I’m sure the day will come.)

Once the wilderness theme was announced I rushed right out to the LQS and picked up 3/4 yard (on clearance too, wahoo) of the above deer fabric.  I decided to make another mini quilt, this time to reconcile me with my previous love of deer.  Happy, pretty, frolicking little deer.  It only half worked since I decided to use the deer on the back of the quilt and nowhere else.

I did use it as color inspiration for my fabric pull though and finally landed on this:

Wilderness Full Front RW

I’m calling it “Camp Snuggly.”  I’ll explain that more in a minute.

Side Front RW

These prints are all Cotton & Steel fabric.  I seem to be a one trick pony these days.  It’s just that I have a ton of it, I really like it, plus all the colors go together.  So.  Yeah.   And the lions?  I cannot get enough of the C&S lions!  Makes the perfect happy, pretty, frolicking little tent side.  At least something got to be happy, pretty and frolicking on the front of the quilt right?  Not that this lion has his “frolick face” on or anything.

Let’s move on, shall we?

Lion RW

This was only my second time doing applique and I learned something.  If you plan on dense, matchstick quilting, you don’t actually need to applique.  The quilting holds it all together just fine.  So I ripped out all the applique stitches as it seemed to busy with the quilting over them.

I love that sun.  And the clouds?  It’s one of the few purchases (and by few I of course mean a fat quarter pack, two yards and 7 half yard cuts) I’ve made from the NEW Cotton & Steel lines.  Most of my stuff is older and speaks to me more than the new lines do.  Talking fabric, now that’s WILD.

Wilderness Clouds RW

The trees were completely improv and my absolute favorite part of this mini quilt.  This is my second attempt as I wasn’t wild about the first try.  I’ll post a pic of it later.  My mom liked the first try okay so I’m considering a mini mini quilt for her.  Otherwise it’ll just be an orphan block.

Inspiration for the fabric on the tree trunks came from here, a lovely mini quilt called Winter Trees by Cassandra at The Not So Dramatic Life.  If you like mini’s check her out for sure.  She’s doing an awesome year long series where she makes a new mini once a week.  Plus, she’s super good at what she does.  Way better than me.  So hop on over there (once you’re done here though, mmmm K?)

Tree Trunks RW

 I’ve had several people tell me the trees looked like fireworks.

Trees RW

 I love the binding too.  It’s fun.  And who doesn’t need more fun in their lives?

Binding RW

Doing stellar with my corners still!  If you are thinking that binding looks big . . . you’d be right.  I use three inch strips to make my binding.  I sew to the back, turn to the front, and machine sew down the edge.  I started this for several reasons.  One, I don’t hand sew anything.  It’s just not my thing.  This way the bottom thread from sewing on the binding ends up on the back, not the front. Two, it gives me plenty of room not to catch the back binding when I’m sewing down the front.  Yes, when I first started, I was that bad I did catch the binding a few times even with three inches.  I’m much better now and have considered making smaller binding tape, but I’ve decided I like the larger size.  I think it adds a hefty frame to the piece and since quilts, whether mini or not, are ART, it just makes sense.  You frame ART!  You just do.  It always looks better that way.  It does mean I often have to add borders or leave a little batting showing when I trim down in order to save points so it’s not a perfect solution.

Binding Corner RW

Happy deer frolicking on the back.  I totally forgot to add triangles to the corners for hanging though . . . . grrrrrr.  My new friend Renee from Quilts of a Feather (yes! I have made a few quilty friends!!)  suggested just hanging with clear tacks.  This girl is AMAZING at free motion quilting!  You should check her out too.

Back RW

They can frolick as much as they want, so long as it’s not through my Hostas.  Or my Day Lilies.  Or my tomato plants.

Deer and Binding RW

That fence?  It does not keep deer out.  Not out of my Hostas.  Or my Day Lilies.  Or my tomato plants.

Fence RW

I promised I would mention Camp Snuggly, didn’t I?  Camp Snuggly is the nickname my husband gave to our two person dome tent that we used before the kids.

Camp Snuggly RW

I realize my quilted tent isn’t a dome tent (also, there is clearly no giant lion head on the side of the real Camp Snuggly), but it was a free pattern off Craftsy so I went with it.  This post has a link to the tent pattern if you want it.  Also, Renee crafted a free dome tent pattern (after I sewed this one up, harrumph) which you can find information on here if you’d like.  Fabric is expensive enough, I’m all about the free patterns.

Here’s another pic of Camp Snuggly from this same trip, all rolled up on the back of Rocky (that’s the motorcycle).  Also, my super hot husband.  Swoon.  Rocky has been sold and we don’t travel this way anymore since we had kids.  But I have some fond memories of these trips.

Motorcycle

– Joanna

P.S.  I keep comments here closed.  Thanks for understanding.  I caved and started an Instagram account, so you can catch up with me there if you’d like.  I use it sparingly to keep up with a few quilty inspirations and post the occasional duck picture and WIP.  I probably won’t follow you back though.  Just keeping it real.  Have a great day!

Linking up with Le Challenge, Blossom Heart Quilts for Sew Cute Tuesday, Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social, Quilt Art Designs for Paper Piecing Party

17. August 2015 · Comments Off on Finish – Tetris Baby Quilt in Flannel · Categories: Baby Quilt, Finish Finish, Quilting, Sewing · Tags: , ,

Another top I pieced together eons ago.  It was my third top I believe.  Maybe my fourth.

Tetris on the Pine Logs Top RW

I finished quilting it April-ish I’d say.

Tetris on the Pine Logs RW

To be perfectly honest, this quilt looks WAY better in the pictures than it does in person.

Tetris on the Fence Full RW

I made it for a friend who was due with her fourth baby!  Just the other day she passed my house running with two kids on bikes and pushing two kids in the jogging stroller.  She’s pretty much Supermom.

Tertris on the Fence with Back RW

It’s a tetris pattern pieced with flannel squares.  Some parts look GREAT!

Tetris Close Up Good RW

Other parts?  Not so great.

Tetris Close Up Bad RW

I made this quilt before I knew I had to nest my seams.  Before I realized how stretchy flannel is.  Before I bought a 1/4 inch piecing foot.  My mom says this foot is like training wheels on a bike and I will want to take it off eventually.  No.  You can pry it from my cold dead hands.    

My other mistake?  I made a flannel baby quilt for a late spring baby.  Yup.  It gets hot in the Midwest.  What was I thinking???  Oh well.  90% of the use of baby quilts in the beginning is to lay on the floor for the baby to lounge on TOP of so I think it all worked out okay.

Still.  This quilt holds a special place in my heart and I can’t exactly pin down the reason.

Thanks for stopping by.

– Joanna

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social and My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday.

13. July 2015 · Comments Off on Le Challenge – Direction · Categories: Finish Finish, Le Challenge, Quilting, Sewing · Tags: , , , ,

I mentioned before that I found this great blog called Le Challenge.  Each month there is a new theme and the challenge is to create something in any media inspired by the theme in the given time frame.  If I can take a moment to be nostalgic, it reminds me a bit of my Foodie Pen Pals Chopped Challenge days.  I still love re-reading those fun blog posts.  I just put “Ratsy” in the donation box (sob), STILL photograph food in trees thanks to this post (also, those were DARN good cookies) and my Big Balls musical parody post . . .  it’ll always be a classic in my book.

Sorry, I’ve segued.

This month is DIRECTION and my first time participating.  Here’s my entry:

Direction 1 RW

Up and Down and Around and ‘Round and Back Again

Finished size: 13.5 x 22 inches

The official title of this mini art quilt is “Up and Down and Around and ‘Round and Back Again”, inspired by a Jim Croce song.  I adore Jim Croce.  A.D.O.R.E.  If he were alive I’d sell the house, buy an RV, pack up the family and be a groupie.  I would.  I seriously would.  I listened to Jim 24/7 in the car when I was pregnant with my son, to the point that when Sweetey Petey was fussy Jim was the only music that would calm him down.

When I read the theme direction my first thought was “do not make any flying geese.”  That’s a quilting term for a triangle made by adding two squares of a background color to the top corners of a rectangle for those of you not in the know (Father-In-Law, Aly.)  Making flying geese would be too obvious a choice.

Direction 7 RW

 

My second thought was to quilt sweeping curves, representing a large permaculture landscaping project my husband has been working on, symbolic of the direction he’s leading our family.

Nope.  Scrapped that thought.  I wanted this project to be about ME.  Sorry, honey.

Direction 6 RW

I decided it would be free form.  Inspirational.  No measuring.  Life really can’t be measured anyway.  It would lead me the direction it wanted to go.  With a quilt from a Tula Pink book fresh in my mind, I cut and sewed five cotton & steel prints in six strips together. Various widths, about ten inches long.  Fabrics from my stash.  Fabrics I love.  Colors that played nicely with one another, that made me happy.  Then I placed the block I had created on a few similarly sized pieces of Moda Grunge Vanilla and sliced away, creating triangle shapes.

Direction 2 RW

 I sewed the vanilla triangles to the Cotton & Steel triangles and arranged them by direction.  Up.  Down.  Around and ’round.

Direction 3 RW

I learned that the direction you press your seams is important to how the quilt top lays.  Whether one portion pops out more than another.  I pressed the seams IN around the “pennants” as my F-I-L called them and pressed all the rest open.  So the pennants popped out.  I also quilted triangles in the negative space, allowing the pennants to pop out even more while reinforcing the triangle theme.  The binding is the same Moda Grunge as the quilt top.  I didn’t want to box the triangles in.  I wanted them to have the chance to continue on and out if they chose.  Up.  Down.  Around and ’round.

Direction 4 RW

 I cannot tell a lie.  

The fact that “North” is written on the pennant pointing north was a happy accident.

As a SAHM there are days when I feel like I’m running in circles.  Around and ’round, chasing my tail.  Dishes.  Laundry.  Breakfast.  Dishes.  Lunch.  Dishes.  Laundry.  Nap (not for me of course).  Dinner.  Dishes.  Repeat.  This quilt is symbolic of those days.  Those days that seem circular and cyclical and on repeat.  But despite those days, each season of our lives leads us onwards and upwards.  Sometimes down, sometimes around and ’round but always eventually up!  I mean, someday the kids will be old enough to do the dishes for me, amiright?!?!?!?

The back of the quilt is a fierce lion.

Le Challenge 1 Back RW

Okay, maybe not so fierce.  Still, he makes me happy.  Look at that face!!!

Direction 5 RW

This quilt now hangs in the guest room, which doubles as my sewing storage room (all official sewing is done at the dining room table.)  I love it.  It reminds me how much I love my kids and my family and my season in life and no matter how many dishes I do in one day we are always moving forward as a family in God’s light according to His will.

Direction 8 RW

If you are new here (Oh hello!  Hi!  Welcome!  Thanks for stopping in and if you like chickens check out my chicken page at the top!  If you just like quilts, well, I’ll get on tech-support aka my husband to make a quilting page too.)  I keep comments turned off.  Here’s why.  Sew more, social media craziness-less.

– Joanna

P.S.  Here’s a sneak peek at a few things coming up:

Backing 4 RW

Chevrons on Wire with Leaves RW

Tetris Close Up Good RW

Blenders 1 RW

Bed Runner 1 RW

Apron Pink 3 RW

Linking up with . . .

Le Challenge

Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts

Fabric Tuesday at Quilt Story

Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River

Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social

Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop

Needle and Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation

Quilt Matters for Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday

Richard and Tanya Quilts for Link a Finish Friday

Finish It Up Friday

 

 

22. June 2015 · Comments Off on Finish – Child’s Apron and Chef’s Hat · Categories: Finish Finish, Sewing · Tags: , , , , , , ,

Hi there.  Welcome.

So my three and a half year old son asked for an apron and a chef’s hat the other day.  I’m so happy I’ve found sewing and that I’m now the kind of mom that can just whip up his request in an afternoon.

Fox Apron 1 RW

Okay, okay, I cannot tell a lie . . . two afternoons.  I didn’t make the chef’s hat till the next day.

Chef Hat RW 

My friend Beth told me she shared the pic I sent her with her husband and was incredulous such a thing could be done!  I’ve been there, Beth, I’ve been there.  Less than a year ago, in fact, I was right there with ya.  I still have a lot to learn but I finally know my way around a sewing machine enough to complete this project with ease.

I used this tutorial for the apron, but I shrunk it down a bit.  This is the tutorial for the matching hat.

Fox Apron 2 RW

Yes, it’s a bit wrinkled.

It’s been played in already.

The backing fabric and straps are from JoAnn fabrics.  The foxes are the Fox and The Houndstooth by Andie Hanna for Robert Kaufman.  The woodgrain fabric is a Riley Blake.  The grey pocket is a Kona solid, I have no clue which one.  I used fabrics completely from my stash for this project.

Because it seems wrong not to show you a picture of this ensemble in action, here’s my boy and his new threads.

Fox Apron 3 RW

Yeah, I did put it on his back.  I don’t plaster the internet with pictures of my kids.  I think they’ll appreciate that someday, don’t you?

Don’t answer that.

– Joanna

Linking up with . . . Sew Fresh Quilts (hi Lorna! thanks for the nice e-mail the other day) for Let’s Bee Social

11. June 2015 · Comments Off on Finish – Bibs for Baby Charwee · Categories: Finish Finish, Sewing · Tags: , , , ,

That post title is misleading.  Baby Charwee isn’t a baby anymore.  She’s 15 months old.  And when I say bibs, I’m not talking tiny little cutesy baby spit up bibs.  I’m talking big ol’ honking protect her shirt as she shovels food into her mouth at an alarming rate bibs.

Bib 1 RW

I made four bibs out of flannel I had in my stash.  I had found the heart fabric super cheap on JoAnn’s remnant rack.  The hearts are all going different directions as I wanted to use up as much of this piece of fabric as I could.

Bib 3 RW

The dot fabric was another previous find at JoAnn’s, but these were a fat quarter pack.  One fat quarter is the perfect size for a bib!  Each bib is reversible and just as pretty on the back as the front.

Bib 2 RW

I’ve only ever sewn with cheap flannel from Joann’s and I’ve often wondered how the designer flannel differs.  I plan on finding out someday, but bibs that get food smashed into them on a daily basis aren’t going to be the way.  Cheap-o fabric will do just fine here.  It’s probably not going to be too long before Baby Charwee rips off bibs and refuses to wear them anyway.

The reason I made four new bibs is I finally decided it was time to retire some of the old ones.  Not only had they gone though my son who will be four this fall, but quite a few of them were hand-me downs to boot.  And some?  Well, they just weren’t appropriate for a girl.

Bib 4 RW

My husband got a chuckle every time I put this bib on our daughter and insists we are keeping it because it’s funny.  This bib was my nephews, who is going to be seven this month.  Sorry honey, it’s time for it to GO.

I had another fat quarter pack of the flannel dots which I turned into a baby quilt for a friend.  Here’s a sneak peek.

Tetris Close Up Good RW

See ya later alligator!  If I had comments enabled (here’s why I don’t) I would expect all of you to respond with “after while crocodile.”

– Joanna

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Be Social, Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop, Quilt Matters for TGIFF (bibs aren’t quilts but I’m walking on the wild side and linking up anyway), Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday, Fort Worth Fabric Studio for Fabric Frenzy Friday, My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday

LinkyBees

cooltext whoop whoop

04. June 2015 · Comments Off on Finish – Origami Baby Baby Quilt · Categories: Finish Finish, Paper Piecing, Quilting, Sewing · Tags: , , , ,

No I didn’t stutter in the post title.  I’m calling this quilt Origami Baby.  So since it’s a baby quilt, that made the post title Origami Baby Baby Quilt.  It has occurred to me that I should allow my husband the sole rights to name all my quilts as he is wittier than I am, as much as I hate to admit that.  I like to think I’m witty, when really . . . not so much.

Origami Baby Full RW

For the record, I took the above picture because I thought I was supposed to (gah, I almost never do that sort of thing.)  But isn’t that the thing in the quilting world . . . having someone hold your quilt and taking a picture with their feet sticking out???

Origami Baby Husband Holding RW

It seems to be.  I then realized I need to be true to me and do my own thing.  So I took a picture of my husband’s feet instead.

Origami Baby Feet RW

I swear he’s twelve feet tall in those boots.

Then to really sell the whole I’m marching to the beat of my own drum thing I took a picture of the Origami Baby baby quilt on top of the grill.  Because when have you ever seen that???  Never.  Probably never.  Note to self: wipe off grill cover next time BEFORE putting quilt on top.  Noted.

Origami Baby on the Grill RW

Okay, enough of the craziness.  Let’s get down to who I really am.

Origami Baby Back RW

Hi.  I’m Joanna and I like to photograph things in trees.  Or bushes.  Sometimes bushes.  Occasionally on moss covered rocks.  Ok, there was that one time I used the blacktop driveway to photograph cookies, but I swear I didn’t eat those particular cookies.  Ok, ok, ok, and the woodpile.  Cookies on the woodpile.  Did I mention I used to be a food satire blogger?  Yeah.  I did.  If you have no idea what a food satire blogger is . . . well, join the club.

Drum.   Dum ditty dum ditty dum dum dum.

Enough of that, back to the quilt.

Origami Baby Boat on Electric Fence RW

Inspiration for this quilt came from here.  I purchased the origami boat paper pieced pattern off Etsy and couldn’t be happier!  I adore that little boat.  You saw it once before here and you’ll be seeing it again I am quite sure.

I’m loving the wavy quilting – I think it was the perfect choice.

This was my first try at applique as well and I think it turned out great.

Origami Baby Applique RW

To this day I still can’t seem to get the tension set just right so you can see the pink bobbin thread peeking through the top.

Origami Baby Thread Tension RW

Now I either utilize this on purpose for effect (I have an art quilt still to share where it actually looks great) or I just keep the bobbin thread the same color as the top thread.  It is what it is.  I’m still new at this.

I get better and better at binding each time I do it . . .

Origami Baby Side on Electric Fence RW

. . .but the corners still gave me some trouble on this quilt.

Origami Baby Binding RW

I finished this quilt up a few months ago so I’m happy to report I’ve gotten even better.  Here’s a sneak peek at the art quilt I finished.  I’m super proud of this binding.  Definitely my best yet.

Meanstreak Binding RW

Fabrics used on this quilt:

Boat:  Cotton & Steel – Arrows in Coral Metallic and All The States in Pink

Birds: Cotton & Steel  – All The States in Pink

Sky:  Moda Grunge (I think Sugar Cookies)

Water:  I’m starting to rethink adding this info to the blog post . . .

Binding: . . . cause I really don’t want to hunt down the info

Backing:  oh geez, it was on the clearance rack and that’s all I remember

Thread: Aurifil

And that’s all she wrote.  And by she, I mean me, because I’m done for the day.

As is my new norm, comments are closed.  Here’s why.  Thanks for understanding.

– Joanna

P.S.  I have finished the Rainbow Bed Runner!  I just haven’t photographed it yet.  Other than the fact I forgot to increase my stitch length on the binding, it turned out pretty well.

I’m sure I will link this post up to some cool places.  I’ll add links as I do.

Sew Fresh Quilts for Let’s Bee Social.  My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday.  Quilt Art Designs for Paper Piecing Friday.  Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday.  Confessions of a Fabric Addict for Can I Get a Whoop Whoop.  (I don’t make up these link names, but I’ll try to learn how to “whoop”.)

LinkyBees

Needle and Thread Thursday

PPParty_zps2a200bca

cooltext whoop whoop