isabelle’s

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The last eight weeks have been crazy busy.  During that time I’ve worked almost exclusively on just one project – Isabelle’s Quilt.  

Out of the blue, my childhood friend approached me about making a quilt for her daughter, Isabelle.  When her son was born, I made the very first Bricks and Bunnies quilt for him, and she wondered if I could make something for her daughter.  I was pretty inspired and chose a bunch of rather soft, girly-looking fabrics from my stash to play around with.  At that time, I wasn’t sure if my friend had something specific in mind that she wanted, but I just felt like playing around with those fabrics, whether I ended up using them for this project or not.

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Original fabrics pulled out. I based it all around the green sheep.

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Stack of 33 quilt blocks I worked on with Schped at night.

It turned out that my friend left everything totally up to me, so I went with the soft colors of pink, green, yellow, and purple, and I chose a pretty simple block.  I had this green fabric with little sheep on it, and I based everything else around that.  I work full-time, so I usually work on my projects late at night, as I tend to be a notorious insomniac.  I stayed up late with my dog Spiro sewing these blocks and watching late night news coverage of the Boston marathon bombing.  Spiro died on April 25, and in those last few days when it became clear that we were going to lose him, the two of us stayed up late together, and I will always remember that this quilt is what I was working on.  It is hard for me to give it away for that reason – it’s just a connection to my beautiful, faithful little dog who I still miss so much, and what a great dog he was, and what a sweet companion to me in the wee hours of the morning when nobody else was ever awake.

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My sweet Schped (Spiro), laying on his own quilt.

It’s hard for me to know if the reason that I love it so much is tied up in my feelings for Spiro, or if I just think it turned out awesome.  Maybe some of both 🙂  I love, love, LOVE the backing I made for this quilt.  It’s a deep purple solid (Art Gallery Pure Elements), with a giant strip of random pieces sewn up.  That idea came about because I wanted to use up some of my scraps from the front of the quilt.  I have so many scraps laying around here and I love scraps as much as anyone, but I just don’t need any more right now.  So I started playing around with sewing them together, and then I came up with the vision of making a giant, randomly pieced strip to go across the back.  It was so fun to make.  I actually didn’t have quite enough scraps to make the strip long enough, so I also got to raid my scrap bin and use up more scraps from other projects that fit in with my color scheme.  For that reason, I think the strip is my favorite part of the quilt.  I love to see all the pieces of this quilt along with pieces of previous projects that all bring back good memories.  And I think it looks really modern and cool.  I bordered it with some mustard yellow and the deep purple matches, yet doesn’t match, the girly front.  It’s almost like having 2 totally separate quilts, yet they look good together.  The front is soft, girly, and traditional, and the back is a little edgy and awesome.  I just love it.

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Quilt back (part of it) draped over our front porch rail.

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Random sewing of scraps for the quilt back. I kind of wished my nieces were over while I was making this so I could suggest they count the scraps on the back, which I’m sure is several hundred. I’m kind of curious how many, but definitely not curious enough to count them myself!

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We rented a townhouse on Lake Superior in mid-May, and I spent a little time working on the back strip while it rained.

Of course, there are always a couple things that go wrong with any project, or things that don’t turn out *quite* right, or things you’d do over differently if you had the chance.  With this quilt, my main “complaint” is the giant size.  It’s only a tiny bit bigger than a standard twin (according to the internet), but it just seems really big and I wish I had made it a little smaller, maybe the size of a twin mattress with no hang down.  My other complaint is with some of the purple fabrics on the front of the quilt which I think are a little too blue.  But hopefully it’s all ok and nobody will really notice too much.

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Close up.

I love this quilt, and I had so much fun making it.  I’ll also always remember it because it was what I worked on during those last nights that Spiro was with us, and he was my constant nighttime companion.

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The whole thing 🙂

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Backing strip detail.

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The full quilt back (love this part!)

I hope it is well-loved in its new home in Connecticut.  

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Catch Up

Just because I haven’t finished a ton of stuff recently doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on things. I’ll give a run down on what I’ve been working on for the past 11 months, hopefully with pictures!! (Fingers crossed.)

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Gratuitous shot of my beautiful homeland.

First we have my bag-making phase that I went through last summer and fall.  I had made a couple of simple bags before, but suddenly I got really into bags, and not just simple bags, either, but bags with hardware and adjustable straps and everything 🙂

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AMH Mail Sack

One bag that I’ve used a lot, especially in the fall, is my Anna Maria Horner Mail Sack.  This pattern and these AMH fabrics were the inspiration for me tackling bag-making in the first place. I had previously made the Mail Sack and the Mini Mail Sack in quilting-weight cotton, but doing it in home-dec weight cotton gave the bag a really nice, sturdy feel.  I really like this bag and use it in my purse rotation often.

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Topstitching detail.

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AMH Mail Sack.

Then there was my Bricks and Bunnies (Surgery) Quilt. I actually started working on it a year ago, if you can call a fabric pull “working on it”.

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Cutting bricks and having tea in my favorite mug during surgery recovery in September.

I began working on it in earnest after a minor surgery in September left me home from work for 2 weeks. I even made a funky pieced backing which I might love nearly as much as the top side. I worked rather diligently for quite a while, but then when I got to the quilting part I petered out. It still sits in my WIP pile, about a third of the way quilted. But I do really love this quilt, so I want to finish it soon. I just can’t get excited about the quilting part of making quilts, I guess.  My favorite part of this quilt is that I cut up some of my precious collected bunny fabrics to make it.

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Cutting bunnies.

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Quilt top, finally!

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I used some scraps from the front on my pieced backing and made a few random blocks.

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My pieced backing. I adore it.

As I was losing interest in quilting my Bricks and Bunnies quilt, I started my Lobstah, Mingo, Skyrat & Friends quilt.  The only fabric line I’ve ever owned all of in yardage is Emily Herrick’s Shore Thing.  And that is actually thanks to my husband who bought me a full set of half-yard cuts, plus extra of the blue lobsters 🙂  Anyway, I decided to cut into my Shore Thing fabrics to make a blockless quilt that basically just uses large pieces of the super-cute fabrics.  What a great way to show off these terrific prints.  My color scheme was blue, which isn’t a color I’ve really used much of before.  I pulled out all of the blue prints, most of the multi-colored prints, and some navy solid to make my quilt top.  The pieced back is rather like the front, only with no vertical strip, and an orange-blue color scheme.  So I still have a lot of my Shore Thing fabrics left over after making this, including all of the red prints, which I didn’t touch at all for this quilt.  Right now this sits in the WIP pile as a quilt top and a quilt back.  I just need to make the sandwich and quilt it.  Can you see where I always lose interest??

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Piles of “Shore Thing” waiting for me to cut them up.

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Quilt top!! Only part showing in this picture.

Well, I think that is a good enough catch-up for now.  When I finish these, I’ll share for sure!  I have several other things I have worked on or that I am *still* working on (sigh…), but I think those will be a post for another day.

I’m Ba-aacckkk!

It’s been awhile, I know.  I have so many issues with my pictures importing into my posts and it’s so frustrating.  I will give it yet another try, though.  It’s been nearly a year since I’ve been here.  Wow, time flies.

A lot has happened in the last 11 months.  We’ve gone on a few vacations, had a surgery, cooked a lot of new recipes, started quite a few projects (finished very few of them), lost both of our beloved, old doggies within 6 weeks of each other, and got a new dog, Percy Faye, who in no way fills the holes left by Oscar and Spiro, but is nice to have around in an entirely different way.

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Miss Persephone Faye

This is kind of a test post, to see if I can get any pictures to work.  If so, hopefully I can write a catch-up post on projects that we’ve been working on over the last 11 months.  Many of those projects are long-term type projects that are now coming to their ends!!  I haven’t had a lot of finishes in the last 11 months, but I have a lot of projects that are almost finished, so that’s exciting, huh?

Well the picture actually worked, maybe because I am importing from my iPhone rather than my nice camera?? Can’t caption the photo, which sucks, but at least it’s there??