Monday, May 23, 2016

Pattern Testing, Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch

Hey all, some fun stuff has been going on over here. I recently had the opportunity to test a pattern for Sara of Sew Sweetness. I did the Annex Double-Zip Box Pouch that she released this weekend and I am so excited to share it!

The pattern comes with three options: small, medium, and large. Originally I was going to make the pouch in the medium size but I had a fabric in mind and after looking at the finished measurements I knew the large would be the perfect fit.

So here it is! My AD-ZBP! In Eden by Tula Pink. side
The pattern suggests using two different color zips to make it easier to remember what is in which pocket but with my fabric it felt so imbalanced. I've seen other testers bags and love how their two color zips turned out and even though I've suffered from opening the wrong zip I still feel like the same color zips were the correct choice for me, aesthetically speaking.
My linings are different though! I love that elephant fabric. If you look closely you can see his one eye peeking out at you :)
two linings
Is it weird that my favorite part of the bag is the bottom? Haha, I'm just so thrilled with how the patterns lined up and looks so sharp. It even looks like there are two little butterflies on either edge!
All in all this pattern testing was a joy. The pattern went together very smoothly and was a super quick project, not quite 1 hour but very close. The ease in which the pattern is written sets the bar very high for other pattern designers. I made some monkeys shortly after making this bag and the instructions were so frustrating and lacking in many ways. It was such a let down after following the boxy pattern. I highly recommend that you pick up this pattern for all your boxy pouch needs ;)
If you are interested in picking up your own copy of the pattern you can find it and more details from Sara herself, here.

Have a happy Monday friends, I'll see you later this week!
Have you ever done any pattern testing?

Have you ever made one of Sara's other bags?

Do you get as ridiculously excited about lining up your prints as I do?? Please say you do :)

Friday, May 20, 2016

Farmer's Wife Friday Week 1

Good morning everyone and welcome to week 1 of Farmer's Wife Fridays!
To recap I am embarking on the awesome journey of my first Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt. My ultimate goal is to have this quilt done in time to be a Christmas present for me and my husband. Breaking down that goal I hope to have all the 145 blocks done by my birthday (Oct 16). That means each week I aim to complete 6-7 little 6.5" blocks, though I wont hold myself back if I'm feeling like knocking out a few extra one week.
IMG_0143 (1)
1. Attic Windows

This week I made 6 blocks and I have a few thoughts on the process. This book and the set up are not my favorite.
IMG_0144 (1)
2. Autumn Tints

I would highly discourage any beginner from using this book. You need to be quite familiar with different quilt blocks and various methods of construction and ironing. This book offers no help in that regard.
IMG_0180 (1)
3.Basket- still needs a handle, must pick up heat-n-bond this weekend,

Which isn't quite fair because most of the blocks are fairly simple and could be done by a beginner with just a tad more instruction.
4. Basket Weave

Another irritating thing is that you can't print more than one template per page and some pieces are barely bigger than an inch! Oy.
IMG_0146 (1)
5. Bat Wing

In the end though, I love my blocks and I am certain this quilt is going to be adorable. IMG_0147 (1)
6. Big Dipper

Now the question I put to you all, Block 1 Attic Windows, Should I switch the green for a navy print? I don't feel like the green quite fits but my husband likes it so I'm torn. What do you think I should do?

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Talk With Me Tuesday

Hey y'all, I've got so much to say so hold on tight.

I have so many things bouncing around in my head and so many goals I want to achieve. I want to set a schedule and accountability to get these things done and I'm going to use this blog to accomplish that.

So first things first, What is it that I want? Ultimately it breaks down to one simple thing. I want sewing friends. All the sewing friends! I want to share what I love with others who love it too. I'd love to generate an on going quilty/ sewing conversation with sewing collaboration and a fun sew along or two. In the end I want to become a fabric and pattern designer and I think this blog can be an excellent platform to share my journey.

You may have noticed in the past several months I've been trying to decide on just the right name for my blog. One that accurately states who I am and what you'll find here and I'll be honest with you, I haven't found it yet so you can expect to see that change again in the near future.

My goal is to have things sorted out and running smoothly and regularly by this September. I'm going to Sew Pro in Chicago mid September and I want to be able to say, "This is who I am, this is what I do and these people even like to do it with me!"

With all that said, here we go with my first Talk With Me Tuesday:
I've got a lot of sewing type things going on right now but the forefront of my mind is consumed with my Farmer's Wife quilt plans and the Little Ruby half yard bundle I've purchased for it. I've set myself the goal of finishing this quilt as a Christmas gift to myself and the hubby. As I am making the king sized version I need to make 145 blocks. I'm currently working to finish the blocks by the start of November but by my birthday would be fantastic.

From here on out Friday's will be known as "Farmer's Wife Fridays". I will share the blocks I've sewn and highlight at least one of them here on the blog as well as on my instagram.
These prints are my favorites and you can bet they'll show up in this weeks post ;)
Stay tuned friends!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Navy and Coral Double Wedding Ring Quilt

How busy life gets! Since we last met my oldest was baptized and then I gave my life over to sewing a wedding quilt for my husbands youngest brother who got married this Saturday.
Brett, the kids and I were blessed to be able to travel to their wedding and witness their sealing in the San Diego temple. family
The bride and groom: Nasa and Randy

For their wedding gift I decided to make a double wedding ring quilt. I've always wanted to try one and this seemed like the perfect opportunity to get one done! I found out from Nasa, soon to be sister in law, that the wedding colors would be navy, coral and tan (for the burlap table runners).

I found a free Double Wedding Ring pattern by Free Spirit through extensive online search. I was a little surprised at how difficult it was to track down a pattern. To prove my point further I tried to share the link with you but it's not working anymore, it just goes straight to the Free Spirit Fabrics website, oh well. The was just for a wall hanging size but someone figured out the yardage requirement for a queen sized quilt so I went with that. Next I tracked down different prints I loved in the two colors and then I ordered some Essex linen, in linen to represent the tan, burlap.

I spent days and days piecing together the arches and honestly I dawdled about that part too much and was rushing it in the end. Sewing all the curves together was exhausting but exciting and empowering. It was looking so good as the arches became melons and then turned into rings and finally into a complete quilt top. I felt like a rock star getting that quilt top finished!
Here's a little something embarrassing about me but, I feel like we are close enough to share, don't judge me ;) I don't know what to call it, that I'm proud, or self absorbed or what but I really chafe at the idea of having someone else quilt my quilt for me. Yes it would have looked 100x's better than my beginners attempt but I really don't want to hand over all my hard work to the recipient and say, "I made this for you, except for all that beautiful quilting, someone else did that". So I took a lesson at my local quilt shop and then spent 5.5 hrs, one snowing Saturday, quilting this mammoth on their long arm machine. It's obviously done by a beginner but I wont apologize for that. I am proud of my work and I'm grateful I get to share it with the people I love.

So with out further ado, here is my first Double Wedding Ring quilt sewn and quilted by yours truly!
I had to recruit my husband and my dad to hold my quilt up for me. A queen size? Nope, fits quite nicely on my king sized bed :)

Here you can see what each medallion looks like. I didn't want stitching running over the arches so I had to 'jog' between each design. That meant 8+ hours of thread burying. I'm not sure I do that ever again...
When I started this quilt I did not set out to have scalloped edges. It was more of a, "well sure, look at that, this quilt top has scalloped edges, let's roll with that..." Haha, it all worked out in the end, as annoying as it was to bind, I think the scallops look gorgeous.
This shot is great because it shows a few of my favorite things. Love those zebras popping in everywhere! Also you can see that in the blue cornerstones I quilted little hearts for the newlyweds!
Remember this was supposed to be a queen sized quilt? Way, way bigger. I had to run out in the 11th hour and buy more backing.
Ah, how I love this quilt. It was so hard to let this one go...

How do you feel about farming out your quilting?

Do you enjoy curved piecing?

Would you attempt a Double Wedding Ring quilt?

Monday, February 1, 2016

January 2016 Fitness Report

Total Steps- 316,362..... 4,000 of which were on a hike with my little ones at Rocky Mountain National Forest. I hope to get in a lot more mountain hikes this year.
Av. Steps/Day- 10,205
Miles Run- 40.25 miles.... Brett and I are now running the entire distance on each of our runs. No more run walking for us hardcore runners ;) Mileage is going to kick up a notch during February as we prepare for our Lucky Laces 10k in March. There's been a lot of snow around during our runs and February is already shaping up to bring us a lot more. Fortunately I'll be in California for a week! I think its going to be so luxurious running without ice or snow, warmer temps and FLAT ol' Modesto. Pictured below is what Brett and I refer to as Death Snow. Just a teensy thin layer, enough to go slip sliding around and never feel sure footed. It's actually less scary to run on a couple of inches worth of snow than to run on this stuff.
Barre Classes- 6.... In an effort to round out my fitness routine I started scoping out Groupon to find some deals on exercise classes. I came across one for The Bar Method Denver and jumped on the opportunity. The promotion was for 1 month of unlimited classes and after two classes I knew I never wanted it to end. After one week I could already see some major changes in my shape, exciting changes! I only thought then to take some measurements & pictures to compare and contrast a couple months down the road. I'm going to be a Club Bar member now so I can keep going every morning. Ask anyone around me. I'm totally addicted.

Happy February Everyone!
How was your January?

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Plans

Hey sewing friends!
I mentioned at the first of the year that I have two quilts to sew in the next couple months and the time has come to get started on the first one. The colors for this wedding are Navy, Coral and Nude.

I'm in the gathering and prep stages right now. I have settled on a Double Wedding Ring Quilt and will be following the Free Spirit instructions as well as this tutorial. It is a lap sized quilt but one contributor included fabric requirements for a queen sized quilt and that is what I'll be doing. Crazy pants! A woman at Joann's asked what I was picking fabric out for and I told her, DWRquilt and she said, "Oh, you know those are hard right? I wouldn't attempt one". I didn't even know how to respond to that right off the bat. I just said, "Oh I know, it's going to be a great challenge".

Here are the fabrics I've gathered so far:
I nearly have all that I need. I am just waiting for an online purchase to show up. I thought I had ordered these two fabrics over a week ago but I never completed the purchase.
Untitled Untitled 
Well they've officially been purchased now and should arrive shortly.

The arches will be foundation paper pieced and I've got to print out 127 pages! That'll be 254 arches total. Gosh, I've got a lot of work ahead of me.

So while I am waiting for the last few fabrics to arrive I'll start cutting what I have and get those 127 pages printed and cut out.

One thing I've got to decide is, Do I want to have navy rings and coral rings or do I want them all mixed up together:
What do you think? Navy rings and coral rings or mix them up together?

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

An Escape

The National Parks are celebrating their centennial and one part of the fun is that in 2016 there will be 16 free admission days. Monday was the first of the 16 and as it was Martin Luther King Jr day it was also a day off school. Brett unfortunately had to work but the kids and I managed to escape into the mountains for an afternoon hike in the snow.

It was a first for all of us and we had a great time. The kids were convinced we were on an excellent adventure.

Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled Untitled
We didn't make it all the way to cub lake. It was too cold and too late in the afternoon. I think we'll go up in April when Brett can go with us and we can try again.
Untitled  Untitled Untitled
Lorelai's favorite thing was finding large boulders to climb and say, "I'm the first girl to ever climb this boulder!" :) There was something about the snow that made it feel like we were the only ones to have ever been there before.
So much fun! I can wait to get out there again.