Monday, September 09, 2019

Circus Act Baby Quilt

My husband's best friend is pregnant with her first child and went above and beyond decorating the nursery in a circus theme, specifically The Greatest Showman.

While helping her sew the red and white canvas fabric for the focal wall, I immediately knew that I wanted to give her this quilt that I was still waiting to finish:

I already had it quilted, trying out my very first pantograph, so it was just waiting to be bound. I decided to add a couple of handmade burp cloths to complete the gift.

Now we're just patiently waiting for the little meatball to arrive.

~ Diana

Tuesday, September 03, 2019

A Wedding Table Runner

My cousin got married last weekend and I wanted to make her something for the house she and her husband are fixing up. Since I made a table runner for her sister a few years ago, I thought it only fitting that I make her one as well. After learning that she loves the farmhouse look, รก la Fixer Upper, I knew I chose the right pattern.

The pattern is called the Disappearing Pinwheel and it's a Missouri Star Quilt Company tutorial.

I have to admit that I loved this so much on my own table that I've decided to make another one just for me and the mother-of-the-bride has also commissioned me to make one for her as well.

~ Diana

Thursday, August 08, 2019

Charity Quilt Design

Every year my local quilt guild participates in a holiday charity event called the Festival of Trees. It's a fundraising event for one of our museums where there are beautifully designed and decorated Christmas trees end up being purchased through a silent auction. Among all of those gorgeous trees is our contribution - a quilt wall-hanging of a holiday tree. Here are just 2 of quilts that we've contributed in the past:

Orlando MQG Festival of Trees Quilt 2014

Orlando MQG Festival of Trees Quilt 2018
This year I took on the task of co-chairing the committee to create this year's quilt. There are 6 other people helping to create the quilt over the course of 4 months. Here is the design that I came up with:

The size would be approximately 50" x 70" with a variety of improv trees in various sizes. The snowflakes would actually be white (not black) but I couldn't figure out how to change the color in EQ7. For added sparkle, beading will be added to some of the trees. The biggest challenge is going to be putting together all of the various blocks. It's going to be quite the puzzle that I hope someone else in the group tackles. :)

The fabrics that were purchased couldn't have been more perfect, especially the background fabric. Here are some of the blocks I've made so far:

I'm looking forward to seeing how this entire project comes together.

~ Diana

Monday, June 24, 2019

2019 Stash Bee Blocks

I am once again participating in Stash Bee this year but what's different for me is that I'm no longer running it. I handed it off to 2 very capable women who have things running smoothly. It's a nice change of pace for me. Anyhow, here are a few of the blocks that I've made so far this year for my hive mates:

Even though it was quite the challenge, I love how the Dr. Seuss themed block turned out. For my month I chose a very simple block called Stacked Squares.

Once I receive all the blocks from my hive mates, I'll cut them up and create a quilt like this:

Photo courtesy of My Quilt Infatuation
It was originally a Moda Bakeshop pattern but it really didn't catch my eye until I Saw Kelly's version of it from My Quilt Infatuation. Of course, I have plenty of other projects to work on so this isn't high on the priority list right now.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Bionic Bag Finished!

I'm so pleased with how this project turned out, I can't help but smile every time I see it. Was it a challenge? Absolutely! Toward the end, I thought I might not make it given the fact that I broke 2 needles in 2 days but perseverance won out.

I think my biggest struggle was with some of the pattern instructions being a bit vague. For example, there is a pattern piece that you trace for the sides. It states to cut out 4 but it fails to mention that you need to have 2 going in one direction and then flip the other 2 to go in the other direction. Luckily I figured it out before cutting but that could have been a costly mistake. While the pattern has some good pictures, there are other parts (toward the end of construction) that don't show any photos for clarification. The pattern creator has several video tutorials for this bag but they aren't free and you have to pay to access them which I wasn't overly thrilled about (and refused to purchase).

I'm definitely not afraid of zippers anymore. I quite like how they all turned out but more than once I accidentally pulled the zipper pull off and then had to struggle to get it back on.

When deciding to make a bag like this, I was debating between this pattern and the Sew Together Bag pattern. I ultimately decided on the Bionic bag because it had one more compartment and was a bit bigger. Ya know - more bang for the buck. But in hindsight, I think the Sew Together bag would have been a bit easier because it doesn't have the curved back and the different size zipper pouches. You can also see how the front has a wider opening that lays flat.

I think I might use this one for traveling to carry toiletries. I want to make another one and try my hand at altering this pattern to be more like the Sew Together Bag now that I know what I'm doing. Until I get around to doing that, I look forward to using this in a few weeks when we go on vacation.

Saturday, June 08, 2019

Why is this so hard?

Hello Blogland. Yes, I'm still alive despite my silence. I don't know why but blogging has become so difficult lately. And don't get me started on keeping up with everyone else's blogs. I just don't get it. If there was ever something called blogging mojo, not only did mine go missing but I think it up and moved permanently.

Some of my time has been spent trying to get healthier - eating better, moving more, and I've even started to play tennis again (although with summer being in full swing that's been put on hold because of the extreme heat and humidity). I've still been sewing but it's mostly been little things. My son had a huge project for 3rd grade that required him to wear a costume. He did his project on Alexander Hamilton. I wasn't about to sew a costume from scratch but was able to score a George Washington costume online that was too big so we altered it. The pants were full length but we wanted them to be at the knees so my son sewed the casings for the elastic.


I took care of the remaining alterations for the finished product:

Once that was done, I could focus on some of my own projects, like trying out my very first pantograph. Here it is loaded on my machine.

I can appreciate this type of quilting and how you can create some great motifs but I have to admit that it stressed me out a bit not being able to see the needle while quilting. I'll definitely try it again in the future and if I have a client that requests one, I now know that I can do it, but it's not my first choice. Once I put the binding on this quilt, I'll definitely share the completed project here.

I pieced this spring table runner before Easter but just haven't had the chance to get it quilted. It's on my machine now, it's just a matter of deciding what to quilt on it.

My most recent sewing endeavor is the Bionic Gear Bag from Sew Like a Rockstar. I admit that 3-dimensional sewing other than a basic boxed bag intimidates me so this is definitely outside of my comfort zone. I'm a bit more than halfway done with it though and so far so good. If this comes out well, I think I may be hooked and more bags will follow.

With it being summer break from school, my sewing time is greatly reduced and my days are filled with trips to theme parks, the pool, swim lessons, and summer camps. If I'm lucky and play my cards right, I can usually sneak in a bit of early morning or evening sewing if I'm not too exhausted from the day's events. Hope your summer sewing is going well.

~ Diana

Monday, February 25, 2019

A Farewell Gift

A few weeks ago I was very saddened to learn that my boss and friend had accepted a new position at a performing arts center in Michigan. My first thought was how is this native Floridian going to survive Michigan winters? My second thought was what I could make for him to remember me and the arts center where we'd worked together for the last 4+ years?

Don't get me wrong, I'm so happy for him and I know he'll do well on his new career adventure, but work won't be the same without him. That's why I decided to make him a mini with the Dr. Phillips Center logo on it.

This abstract symbol was inspired by the four-beat motion of a conductor’s baton. The mini is 9.5" square, the perfect size to put on the wall of his new office. Safe travels my friend, and I look forward to seeing you when you come home to visit.


Linking up to the Beauties Pageant link party that is hosted by Michelle From Bolt to Beauty.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Seattle Showers

With everything that's been happening at work, it's been quite a while since I'd posted anything quilting related but I'm happy to say that I'm getting back into a groove and have a finish to share.

This is a quilt for my brother and his wife that I'm calling Seattle Showers. Since the fabric line is actually April Showers by Bonnie and Camille, I think I'm being clever since the recipients live in Seattle. (I know I'm not that clever, but please don't burst my bubble. ๐Ÿ˜Š)

I really enjoyed quilting this even if I had some struggles with my machine. It didn't seem to like my backing fabric. I used Freefall by Tula Pink and it almost has a sateen quality to it. For some reason, it made adjusting my tension more difficult. I also encountered a needle detection error and after that, whenever I got halfway through a bobbin (I was using magna-glide bobbins), the bobbin thread would jam. I've thoroughly cleaned my machine and I'm hoping that the issue has resolved itself. Here's a close-up of the backing so you can see the quilting detail:

This is a belated Christmas gift that I will be giving my brother and his wife when their family is visiting from Seattle this week.


Linking up to the Beauties Pageant link party that is hosted by Michelle From Bolt to Beauty and Needle and Thread Thursday.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Hamilton Takeover

The last 3+ weeks have been an absolute whirlwind due to work. The touring production of Hamilton was in Orlando and it was at The Dr. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts, where I work. That meant a lot of long hours. But it also meant a lot of opportunities for me to be "in the room where it happens." ๐Ÿ˜

When it was all said and done, I saw it twice as a guest and worked another 14 performances. Needless to say, I got very little sewing done during that time opting for naps instead, but it was all worth it. I loved every minute of this show and was sad to see it go. I'm looking forward to when it comes back again.

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Quarterly Goals

So I missed the opportunity to participate in the link-up for the First Quarter of the 2019 Finish-A-Long, but that's not going to stop me from posting the things I hope to accomplish.

1) First up, is the quilt top that is currently on my long arm. I'm halfway done with it, just need to quilt most of the blue areas.

2) Next is my red and white quilt top.

I won these blocks from my local guild sometime last year and they've been put together for quite some time but I couldn't decide on a backing fabric. Now that I have the backing fabric, it's just a matter of piecing the backing and getting it quilted.

3) Last on the list is my StashBee blocks from 2018. I just finished piecing the top together this past weekend. I have a few possibilities for a backing for this one.

I guess with all of these projects I should probably buy some more batting.  ๐Ÿ˜Š

Thursday, January 10, 2019

The Great Purge of 2019

I'm not sure what started me on this path the other day but in opening up one of my scrap bins to find some fabric, I realized that I have saved every single scrap from the time I started quilting in 2012. Originally it was because I didn't have a stash to speak of, but eventually I'm sure it just became habit. I decided then and there that enough was enough and it was time to just get rid of all those tiny scraps and start fresh.

Over the last few days, I went through my clear shoe box bins for each color and got rid of all the small scraps that I know I would never realistically use. I also got rid of most of those edges that I cut off from squaring up quilts after they'd been long-armed. By the end of this afternoon this is the pile I had:

Now the question is - what do I do with these? I hate to just throw them away so I'm going to see if anyone in my guild wants them for anything. I think there are a few members who use scraps to make pet beds out of them and another guild member is known for making quilts with super tiny scraps (she won a 2018 QuiltCon award for her quilt Leftovers).  All I know is that I feel lighter somehow when I walk into my stash closet.

~ Diana

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Happy New Year

We rang in the New Year on a week-long Caribbean cruise and with the new year came... the PLAGUE. It started with me while on the last day of the cruise, then my son on the first day of school, and today my husband has been afflicted. Having the flu is not the most ideal way to start off the new year.  I had high hopes of starting a new exercise and sewing routine this week. Instead, it will be spent on the couch and catering to those sicker than I am (and catching up on some blog reading if I'm lucky).

~ Diana