market street handbag.

Market Street Handbag by lelandavestudios

Ready to go to market and pick up some fresh tomatoes to go with that basil!

I’m so happy to have a finish to share with you on this lovely Friday! My first version of the Market Street Handbag by Kenzie Mac & Co. is complete! It came together easily. It only took me three days to finish (not working consistently, mind you), so that says a lot; because I never finish anything that quickly. I used a toile, cotton-duck fabric, which has a linen-like appearance– but feels sturdier — more like a home dec weight. I love the way the natural look of the fabric works with the jute webbing (something I also purchased from Kenzie Mac).

The structure of the bag is created with ByAnnie’s Soft and Stable. Have you ever worked with it before? I hadn’t and I was concerned that it was going to be thick and difficult to maneuver under the presser foot. In the end, I can say it was pleasantly flexible and the needle moved easily through it. Even when I was sewing the binding on, other than the shape of the bag making it a challenge, getting through the layers was no more difficult than sewing the binding onto a quilt.

Market Street Handbag by lelandavestudios

This photo gives an accurate representation of the color of the cotton duck fabric.

If you do choose to make this pattern, there are a few tips I can give you. The first is that you should cut your lining to size (including the curve along the top edge of the purse) prior to edge stitching the pocket to the lining. This will save you from chopping the top of your pocket off (as I did!), if you attach it 2″ from the top lining edge per the instructions.

Another thing I am going to try when I make my next version (using these fabrics) is to use a wider binding. I’m hoping that it will help to cover any stitch lines that stray from the perfect 1/4″ mark when stitching the raw edges of the bag together. Especially since I still consider myself a novice when it comes to curves, I can really use another 1/4″ inch or so for margin of error.

Market Street Handbag by lelandavestudios

I love how the variegated thread looks like sunlight streaming through the trees in the right light!

Overall, I’m thrilled with this little tote, and I can’t wait to make another one using the knowledge I’ve gained from having made a practice version! Oh, and it’s way roomier than I expected — large enough to fit a bunch of library books, sewing supplies or even a laptop (if the strap were longer). Once I’ve mastered it, I see this as my go-to gift for the future!

Okay, that’s all for now. Hope you have a great weekend! And if you have any bag-making tips that you’d like to share with me, I’m all ears!

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday, TGIFF, and Can I Get a WHOOP WHOOP!

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2015 New Quilt Blogger Blog Hop

Hi, there! A big hello to all who are visiting because of the New Quilt Bloggers Blog Hop! I’m Kim, and I’m not quite sure how to introduce myself  — if I’m being completely honest!

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To give you a little bit of history about me, I am a former attorney, who is now a stay-at-home mom to my three boys ages (as of this week) 7, 4 and 3. I am obsessed with the idea of a quilt as both a functional object AND art. I guess because of my background, I know that in the eyes of the law (copyright in particular), quilts are considered utilitarian objects. However, when a quilt is hung on a wall, it is really a piece of art. In most of those cases, however, art quilts are usually not washable, usable quilts. I am on a mission to blend the two concepts into one — a functional piece of art. It’s not really something that I see happening tomorrow. But I feel that it’s the goal that I’m working toward as a quilter and an artist. Creating something that exists in that gap between art and function.

improv image quilt by lelandavestudios

My mom began quilting when I was a teenager. It was something that I considered old-fashioned and dorky (at the time). When I was pregnant with my second son, my mom gave me a sewing machine for Valentine’s Day. I decided to make a quilt for my baby boy-to-be, and as you can guess, I became hooked! From there, I made a few more baby quilts before moving on to bags, makeup brush holders, and ultimately the quilts that I’ve started making today.

Modern Sampler Quilt

Long Island Modern Sampler

One of my favorite quilts that I’ve made to date is the Long Island Modern Sampler. It’s my own interpretation of blocks that were shared through tutorials on various quilting blogs. My guild picked the blocks as its “block of the month”, and when it was time to assemble, I added various blocks that I liked, in order to create an outside-the-grid arrangement. It even won a ribbon at QuiltCon 2015! (I know, crazy, right?!?)

quilt for jane by lelandavestudios

Quilt for Jane

Another quilt that I still adore is this quilt I made for a friend’s little girl. It was a baby quilt using exclusively Chicopee fabrics from Denyse Schmidt, assembled in a courthouse steps log cabin.

rectangle log cabin by lelandavestudios

Most recently, I revisited the concept of the log cabin, but this time with hand-dyed fabrics from Kim Eichler-Messmer. I decided to hand-stitch the quilt to achieve a folk-type aesthetic, and to echo the quilts of Maura Ambrose, who is a huge inspiration for me. I used 12 wt. Auriful cotton to hand-stitch the quilt. It is obviously imperfect, but in a perfect sort of way. I am seriously proud of this quilt, and it is newly hanging in my sewing room as a testament to my love for it!

One thing I have to suggest, as a quilting tip, is that patterns are merely suggestions. I love to pull inspiration from patterns. But I have found that patterns can sometimes be construed as rules. And when it comes to quilting, rules are meant to be broken. Patterns are a great guideline. But if you look at a pattern and think to yourself, “I can do this better”, then by all means, do it!! All you need to tell people is that you were inspired, and give the pattern-writer due credit. But you are free to embellish, stray, and break the rules as you see fit to make yourself happy! Quilting is both a craft AND an art. Which affords you creative license to express yourself through your work. There is no right way. Just YOUR way.

As far as a blogging tip goes, I’m not sure I’m expert enough to even share one! I guess my mantra when it comes to blogging is the age-old adage that content is king. Blogging is not always easy. There are lots of guidelines that tell you how to build readership, SEO, and how consistently you should post. But life is messy, and real, and there’s lots of times that blogging has to take a back seat. Readers are mostly forgiving and kind. Deep down, I believe, that if what you are sharing is quality content, then people will read what you have to say and they will come back to your blog, even if it’s not perfect.

Some other facts about me:

I am an only child.

I was a studio art minor in college (with a major in english).

I think podcasts are the best invention ever.

My love for avocado and egg on toast knows no bounds.

I married my college sweetheart.

Our second son was born on our 7th wedding anniversary.

My favorite genre of movie is documentary.

I belong to a CSA, which I love, but have yet to find a good use for gooseberries.

I dream of the day that I can have my own backyard with an organic vegetable garden and chickens.

So, now that I’ve shared some trivia about myself, tell me, what’s an interesting, random fact about you? Anything at all. A secret dream, a silly fact, or any juicy tidbit that you’d like to share!

Oh, and of course you know I’m not the only person participating in this blog hop today! So, please, give some love to the other members of my hive!

Cassandra @ http://thenotsodramaticlife.com

Deb @ newcreativestate.wordpress.com

Colleen @ https://colleenscustomquilting.com

And last but not least, a huge thank you to our hosts. This has been a great experience, and you guys have done a terrific job! Thanks so much Cheryl @Meadow Mist Designs, Yvonne @Quilting Jet Girl, Terri Ann @Childlike Fascination, and Stephanie @Late Night Quilter.

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summer stitching.

IMG_4442 Hello, friends! How is your summer going? We have been spending every bit of time possible at the beach and outside! It’s been glorious, and it’s almost making me forget how brutal this past winter was.

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Since we’ve been mainly out of the house, my sewing has been happening a bit here, and a bit there. . . I did manage to squeeze in time to work on this month’s do. Good Stitches blocks. And I am proud to call them my first finish of July!

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I was hoping to have finished my hand-stitched, hand-dyed quilt  to share with you today, but alas, it is called slow stitching for a reason!

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I’ve also made some progress on my improv blocks. I’ve sewn a few together to show you here. Any ideas on what they are going to be???

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I’m thinking I may add a bag or two to my to-do list, just so that I can accomplish a finish in a shorter period of time. I picked these fabrics based on a bag made by Victoria Findlay Wolfe that my mom went bananas over. It’s the Market Street Handbag by Kenzie Mac and Co. My mom’s birthday is end of August, so I’m hoping to get it done in time to add it to her pile of presents!

IMG_4449In other news, my oldest son broke his arm. So instead of camps, he’s become his mommy’s constant companion. I think my quilting is rubbing off on him, because when my husband asked him tonight “Should quilts go on a bed, or on the wall” his answer was, “Well, Daddy, that depends on what kind of quilt it is. . .”

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I hope you are having a beautiful summer so far, and since I have admittedly not had as much time as I’d like to keep up with all that you have been working on, please tell me, what sort of things have you been sewing? Do you find that your sewing patterns change with the seasons?  I’d love to hear!

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday and TGIFF!

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what it’s like to {design hand-printed fabrics}.

CitronHydrangeas_LovelyandEnough

photo courtesy of Kelsey Boes

I recently purchased a hand-printed bundle of fabric from the Etsy shop Lovely & Enough, owned by the talented and charming, Kelsey Boes. My first introduction to Kelsey was through her blog, also named Lovely & Enough, when she participated in last year’s New Quilt Blogger’s Blog Hop. Since then, I have followed her transition from undergrad at Wheaton to graduate student (she’s pursuing a PhD in Textile Chemistry at NC State) and shop owner. The reason Kelsey is so captivating, is that she lives with intention, and her work reflects this. Peruse her blog and you will see simple, well-crafted fabrics and quilt designs at their best. I think you will find her as lovely and endearing as the name of her business implies.

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photo courtesy of Kelsey Boes

Before we get started, Kelsey, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself!

I am an avid lover of books and chai tea lattes. Recently I’ve been enjoying Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World that Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain and the ever popular Savor Each Stitch by Carolyn Friedlander. After finding a good book, the hunt for the perfect coffee shop ensues in earnest. Morning Times is winning me over with its honey-infused chais and exposed brick walls, peaceful and yummy. Most Saturdays if I’m not in said coffee shop studying and sipping said chai, you can find me hunting down mid century modern furniture and vintage kitchen utensils at estate sales.

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photo courtesy of Kelsey Boes

You have an undergrad degree in studio art and chemistry. Tell us about your artistic journey, and how you got started as an artist.

It was a tad tumultuous. I kicked off college as a Graphic Design major but quickly felt overwhelmed with the need to have an artistic voice. In fact, it was enough to push me out of art and into the mental acrobatics and perceived job security of chemistry. Then the summer after my sophomore year, sitting at the wheel in a ceramics class, I realized what I still deeply desired—to be an art major and cultivate my own senior exhibition. I sweet-talked my prof and turned in a late portfolio to be accepted back into the art department as a double major, and that was the beginning.

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photo courtesy of Kelsey Boes

When did you determine that textile arts were going to be your medium of choice? And how did you come to screen printing on fabrics as your main method of expression?

My love of textiles began with a pair of knitting needles from Disney World when I was eight and has morphed and blossomed unimaginably since with incredible nurture and encouragement from my mom. Just two years ago I stumbled upon Leslie Keating’s Hand-printed Fabric Swap online and printed my first fabric design, Drunken Circles, with a stencil and embroidery hoop. That next summer I took a textile silk-screening class for a month in Florence and fell in love. It’s a year and a half later now, and I have never looked back.

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photo courtesy of Kelsey Boes

You have a very clean aesthetic, what is your inspiration?

I am obsessed with midcentury modern furniture: clean lines and eye catching angles. If my quilts could be sold just one place, I would choose Room & Board. (Okay, or Three Chairs Co. It’s a toss up.) When I’m dreaming up a new quilt, I imagine I’m standing on the first floor of Room & Board in Chicago, and I try to picture how the quilt would look hanging above the Eames chairs and minimalist table there. If the quilt fits, it’s a winner.

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photo courtesy of Kelsey Boes

What types of printmaking methods do you use? Can you tell us a bit about your process?

Primarily, I screen print. I enjoy the crisp, graphic aesthetic it offers. If you’re not familiar with screen printing and what it entails, I detail the Screen Printing Process on my blog. It’s a bit more involved than you might think. However, screen printing allows me to print yardage faster and more precisely than block printing affords. I’ve also been experimenting with screen printing designs onto already pieced quilt tops. With such modern and dynamic results, I look forward to exploring this further.

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photo courtesy of Kelsey Boes

How does your ultimate end (i.e., making a quilt with the fabrics you design) impact your color choices and your design choices?

I have three goals as I sketch new patterns: scale, repeat, and versatility. When it comes to scale, the current quilting cottons available offer countless small prints but not many large. Since I like my fabrics to add dynamism and movement, not miniscule pattern that reads as a solid, I aim for sizeable patterns. This is probably my primary objective. Second comes the repeat. I seek to avoid awkward empty patches that might leave a small HST completely unprinted or a yawning gap in the middle of a quilt. Lastly, versatility. Although I adore my first Longlegged flamingo print, it’s not quite as practical as the all-over design of Pistachios.

CoralPistachios_LovelyandEnough

photo courtesy of Kelsey Boes

You are working toward a degree in Textile Chemistry. How do you see your art fitting in to your final goal? Will it be a part of your job description? Or will your art become something in addition to your “day job”?

It is my dream to either design fabrics for Art Gallery or develop breathable raincoat materials for Patagonia. Disparate aspirations, I realize. To be honest, I don’t know what the future holds. I do know that I am loving grad school and adoring working with textiles on the side. Where life might take me is an exciting new adventure in the making. I will know what is to come when I get there.

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photo courtesy of Kelsey Boes

What’s next for you? Are you looking to expand the shop? Sell your works as an artist? A little bit of both?

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photo courtesy of Kelsey Boes

Definitely both. I am thrilled to release a set of small quilts early this summer. Initially just listed in the Etsy shop, I sincerely hope to be able to sell them at two adorable local shops, Ramble Supply Co. and Gather. As for fabric designs, I am taking a small recess from fabric and quilt design for the summer to be able to enjoy gardening and reading books. Perhaps some new designs will grace my printing table this fall and join the collection.

Thank you so much, Kelsey, for sharing your process and your goals with us! You are such an inspiration to me, personally,  and I’m sure many others will agree! To find out more about Kelsey, be sure to check out her Etsy shop, her blog, her IG feed and her Kickstarter campaign! Oh, and you can listen to Kelsey’s chat with Pat Sloan on her quilting podcast, American Patchwork & Quilting!

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the summer of improv.

IMG_4284These blocks will probably not make a lot of sense to you yet. To be honest, they barely make sense to me, and I sort of know where I am going with this! (Sort of). They are part of a larger plan to use improv piecing to create a finished image. I think there will be about 60 blocks total when I am done. IMG_4285Unfinished, they are 6.5″ and I’m hoping to have a finished quilt top by the end of the summer. (taking deep breath).

In addition, my guild is sponsoring an improv challenge over the summer. Inspired by a lecture on improv piecing by Jess@ Quilty Habit, we exchanged bags of our favorite scraps with a name inside. We have the summer months to make anything we’d like  — using an improv piecing method — for the person whose bag of scraps we pulled.  I have some lovely scraps to work with, but now I’m feeling the pressure to create something really lovely with those scraps!

And finally, I’m hoping to get my Charley Harper quilt basted and quilted before summer is over. Since I improv pieced the tree, I’m lumping it in with my “summer of improv” theme.

So, how about you? Have you been working on any improv projects? I’d love to hear about any inspiration that you’d like to share!

Hope you have a great weekend! Our middle guy is all set to graduate from pre-K tonight, so you *may* see a pic or two of him in my IG feed! Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

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a new direction.

IMG_4241 (1)Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the direction I’d like to take my quilting. I think as a new quilter it was important for me to stick to traditional ideas while trying to give them a modern twist, either through fabric selection or by altering block sizes.

But as I think about the types of quilts that I’m really attracted to, they are the quilts that scare me as a maker. Sometimes I think I’m so afraid of messing up or disappointing myself that I don’t try. And I make another quilt that is comfortable to me.

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That’s where this quilt comes in. If you’ve followed this blog from the beginning (and not many have — except for you, Michelle!) you’d recognize this Charley Harper quilt and the many, many, many variations it’s had over the past year.  I finally settled on this design after much trial and error.

I hope that this quilt marks a transition for me. It still has traditional blocks. But it forced me to really push myself, in order to improv piece the tree design. The tree is the symbol of where I’d like to go. I’m not sure how bumpy of a process it will be to get where I’m going. But I’m nervously excited about the things in my head that I’d like to create.

Do you feel like your techniques and aesthetic have evolved since you first started quilting? Please tell me I’m not alone in this quilter/maker identity crisis! Ha!

New Bees Hive Page

In other news, I’m participating in the 2015 New Quilt Bloggers blog hop. This year we’ve been broken down into four groups (“hives”). I’m a member of Cheryl@ Meadow Mist Designs‘ hive, and we are calling ourselves the New Bees (get it, newbies! ha!). I’m looking forward to learning more about all of these great new bloggers, and sharing a little about myself as well! Be sure to check ours and all of the other hives (hosted by Yvonne@ Quilting Jet Girl, Stephanie@ Late Night Quilter, and Teri Ann@ Childlike Fascination) out!

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday! Have a great weekend, everybody!

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pretty quilt row markers.

Quilt Row Markers TutorialThis is a quick and fun scrap-busting project! And the best part? Next time I make a large quilt, I won’t need to mark my rows with pieces of paper torn out of a notebook scribbled with letters and numbers!  These pretty quilt row markers are so easy to make, you can whip up a batch for yourself (and have a gift for a quilting friend!) in less than an hour.  C’mon, let’s get started!

Supplies:

  • fabric scraps, no smaller than 2″ x 6″ (Tip: If you are working with a double-sided fabric such as a solid, batik, etc. you can use scraps as small as 2″x3″)
  • number and/or letter stickers
  • laminating pouches (credit card size – 3″x5″)
  • laminating machine (Tip: Don’t be intimidated if you don’t own one! I don’t either — but it turns out, a lot of people that I know, do! Just borrow one — this project is so quick, you’ll be able to return it within an hour!)
  • marker/pen
  • hole punch
  • key ring (optional)

The How-To:

Step 1: Trim your scraps to size and press in half.

Quilt Row Markers TutorialIf you are working with a one-sided fabric, trim your scraps to 1 and 3/4″ x 5 and 3/4″. I know this is a random size, but it will leave you enough of a border for the laminating pouch to seal shut nicely AND leave enough room at the top to punch holes without trying to punch through fabric. Fold the fabric in half and press.

If you are working with a double-sided fabric, trim your scraps to 1 and 3/4″ x 2.5″. There is no need to press.

Step 2: Apply stickers.

Quilt Row Markers Tutorial

If your fabric is folded, you will want to apply the stickers so that the fold is at the bottom. I made a set of numbered row-markers and a set of lettered row-markers.

Step 3: Insert fabric into the laminating pouch.

Quilt Row Markers Tutorial

Open the laminating pouch as much as possible and center the bottom fold of the fabric as far down as the pouch will allow. (Tip: this would be a good time to turn on the laminating machine to allow it to heat up. The hotter the machine, the better the seal.)

Step 4: Run the laminating pouches through the machine.

Quilt Row Markers Tutorial

Follow the directions for your particular machine.

Step 5: Mark your laminated cards and punch holes.

Quilt Row Markers Tutorial

At the top of your first card, mark two dots approximately 3/4 ” in from either side.

Then — this is a key tip — to ensure that all other cards have holes in the same place, place each card individually on top of the first punched card to mark the location of where the holes should be. Trust me, it’s quite accurate and the easiest way to make sure they will all line up if you’d like to store them on a key chain. Punch holes in each laminated card as marked.

Step 6: (Optional).

Quilt Row Markers Tutorial

Place all of your cards on a key chain so that they are organized and ready to go when you need them!

Quilt Row Markers Tutorial

And there you have it! No more scrambling to create paper markers each time you make a new quilt. These pretty quilt row markers will be ready to go, and will make you smile each time you use them! If you make a set, I’d love to see, so please share them with me on instagram!

Quilt Row Markers Tutorial

Linking up with Late Night Quilter for Tips and Tutorials Tuesday!

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blogger’s quilt festival: exodus :: modern category.

exodusThere’s a reeeeeeally good chance you already know that the Blogger’s Quilt Festival is happening over at Amy’s Creative Side. This year, I’ve decided to enter my quilt “Exodus” into the Modern Category.

exodusThe idea for Exodus came to me when I viewed a piece of art in which it seemed that small pixelated fragments were moving away from the whole. I wish I could tell you what piece I was looking at — I’ve since tried to find it a number of times — unsuccessfully. But it inspired me (thank you, whoever you are!) and I thought it would be fun to apply the concept to a traditional nine-patch.

I created eight blocks, each of which had a different “escaping” square. In the final block, the middle square is missing, but if you turn the quilt around. . .

exodusta da!

If you’re visiting here from the festival and feeling so inclined, you can read more about Exodus (and my sad scorching mishap) here. Or, you can check out my last entry to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival. Orrrrrrr, feel free to take a peek around at some of my other finished quilts (winky-smiley face)!

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Thanks so much for taking the time to visit me! Be sure to check out all of the awesome entries on display at the Bloggers Quilt Festival! I believe voting will open on May 22nd and will remain open until the 29th, so, still lots of time to soak up inspiration and show love to quilters from around the globe!

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the girliest quilt I could think of.

the girlies girl quilt

This past month I’ve been very quiet. I apologize, and thank you so much for bearing with me! I am finally typing this on my brand new computer, and though I am adjusting to the “newness” of some of its features, I’m super-psyched to be getting back into an online groove! I have many things I’ve been waiting to share with you over the past few weeks, so let’s get to it!

the girliest girl quilt

I recently had the opportunity to make a quilt for the sweetest little girl. She is a complete gift to her family after many hardships, and I wanted to make something that just screamed happy! joy! GIRL!

I think I accomplished that (wink).

I also think I had waaaaaaay too much fun making something pink! As a mom of three boys, it’s not often I get to make something exclusively feminine and sweet!

the girliest girl quilt

My goal was to work with value to create the illusion of the bottom right corner being lit up by the fireflies, and then as the squares graduated away from the “light”, have the fabrics become darker. Much like working with value on Diamonds in the Deep, I find that I tend to purchase fabrics that are way further apart in value than they should be to create the gradual shift that I intend to create. I definitely did not need to pick such a light of a pink for the bottom to create the desired effect.

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In the end, I know the recipient is not going to care that my lights were too light and my darks too dark. And I know that with each project I am learning about color, value and hue. So I’m happy to wrap it up with a bow and know it’s going to keep someone that I love!

the girlies girl quilt

So happy to be back here! I’ve missed you! Hope you are having a great week! the girliest girl quilt

Linking up with Sew Cute Tuesday and Quilt Story.

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navy plus quilt.

navy plus quilt
Hi, there! Just stopping by to say that I’m still around, even though things have been quiet lately. My computer is suffering a major malfunction, and as I type this, it is burning hot and sounds like it is getting ready for takeoff. We’ve had a good run over the past 7 years. But I think the time has come to say goodbye. Until I can upgrade my tech, posting will continue to be limited, but I’m hoping to get back to normal again soon!

navy plus quilt
Enough about that, I’m here to share a quilt that I just finished up! It’s all ready to donate to my sons’ preschool fundraiser. Made entirely with Art Gallery fabrics (with the exception of the Kona solid plusses), it came together in a snap! That’s because I used almost every charm that I collected through the Art Gallery charm swap (hosted by Michelle and Chelsey). And to make the blocks, I used the super-simple Flickr tutorial by Wooden Spoon. You may remember the blocks I made for do. Good Stitches with the same tutorial here. I fell in love with Cath’s idea of the dark navy plus among the low-volume colored fabrics, and basically applied the same concept here with louder fabrics. I love how spring-y the fabrics feel all together. And yet the deep blue navy of the plusses gives it a sophisticated feel, in spite of all the pastels. I also have to add, the Art Gallery fabrics are soooooo soft! This quilt is perfect for the warmer spring weather!

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I hope that the new owner loves it as much as I do. Happy Spring!

navy plus quilt
Linking up with Needle and Thread Thursday and Finish It Up Friday! Woo Hoo!

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