Bold and Bright : a boy quilt

I’m popping in today to show you the latest custom quilt I’ve finished.

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I had the best time choosing fabrics for this one. I love Ed Emberley, but I knew I wanted some bold almost-solids to make the full quilt less chaotic. Along with several of Ed Emberley’s prints, I used a Dear Stella Sunburst Stripe (which I need a full stash of, by the way!), some Crosshatch Sketch, a couple Michael Miller Cotton Couture solids, a metallic chambray from Andover, and a gingham from Riley Blake.

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I wish the photos could show off the visual texture of the quilt! Its absolutely scrumptious! The lint on the star is not part of that texture I’m referring to. :)

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The back of the quilt is a flannel gingham from Riley Blake and the blue Crosshatch sketch which is also found on the quilt’s front. I added a narrow stripe of the blue on either side of the gingham, and I think it give the appearance of an elongated quilt. I like that. I also love how the two colors pop so perfectly.

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I quilted with straight lines on either side of both the horizontal and vertical seams, and then quilted diagonally through the centers and points of each square.

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The binding is that wonderful gray Sunburst Stripe. Even though its muted compared to many of the other prints, I feel like it makes such a great statement. Its so crisp and clean, without being a stark white.

My time over the past week has been spent making more Liberty bags. After immediately selling the extra ones I made, I had many people request them. So I’ll be selling a very limited amount. I expect them to be ready to go on Friday. I haven’t decided yet, but I will most likely try to sell them on Instagram before Etsy just because that’s one less fee I have to pay. My handle is @thefooshe if you would like to keep up with what I’m doing on there.

I hope you’re having a great Tuesday.

-Meredith

New Projects

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Its been quiet here lately, but I’ve been busy with my machine. I made several Liberty + faux leather bags and did a little sale on Instagram. While I forgot to take pictures of most of the custom bags prior to sending them to their new homes, I did manage to get some of the extra bags I made. I only have one left, but I wanted to be able to show them off here because I love how they turned out!

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These were such fun to make. I was working with a bowl full of Liberty squares, and just mixing and matching in whatever way felt right at the time. The possibilities were only limited by the number of zippers I had on hand. But to be honest, I feel certain that more zippers will be making their way here before long because I could make these bags all the time and not tire of it.

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The bottom section of most of the bags is a gorgeous saddle color faux leather. It feels wonderful and has a very convincing leather appearance.

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I did have a few requests for the real thing, so for those bags, I was able to find a leather that was a bit darker. It feels like butter and was a breeze to sew with.

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This bag (^) is the only one I have left, which is now listed on Etsy. I’m sorry they didn’t make it on here before selling out, but if you have real interest in purchasing a bag (or several for Christmas gifts) you can contact me via Etsy and let me know what you want.

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Also in the works is a custom boy quilt with this precious selection of fabrics. I’m just obsessed with the way these fabrics play together, and I’m excited to show you the finished quilt.

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I’ve also had a request for a tutorial on attaching straight-grain binding, so that will be coming soon. And on that note, I do occasionally have requests for tutorials. If you are serious about it, please don’t hesitate to request a tutorial. I love putting together instructional posts, but with so much already out there, I struggle with knowing what sort of information you feel is pertinent and needed. Let me know if I can help!

Thanks for dropping in.

-Meredith

The Epic AMH Quilt

Forever ago (okay, it only seems that way) I began a quilt for my sewing bestie as a “thank-you” for everything she is to me. I had a vision of a one-of-a-kind quilt made up of a ton of different Anna Maria Horner prints with all sorts of little details. Truth be told, it was more a vision of the idea than of an actual planned quilt. You see, I’m not great at cohesive improvisation, and that’s exactly what I had set out to do. Don’t even ask me why because I can’t tell you.

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(you can see I don’t even have the binding finished in this picture…don’t judge.) 

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The quilt itself was not difficult to make. I began with the embroidery, which went quickly because I’m comfortable with embroidery. The difficultly was that improv part where I would have to pull a large assortment of Anna Maria prints and bring them all together in a sensical way. That part had me so scared (that I would mess it up), it took months and months to muster up the gumption to cut out the fabric. I’m allergic to waste, so that’s part of the issue. I wasn’t about to cut out something I wouldn’t like.

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Thankfully my friend’s birthday was coming up, and that turned out to be just the kick in the butt I needed to make the jump into improv. And you know what? Once I started cutting and sewing in sections, it worked out beautifully. I actually began to enjoy choosing fabrics and pairing them together, and just watching where the quilt took me.

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Its funny how I hesitate at times. Its silly, really. Here I am working with fabrics from an absolutely brilliant artist who is a master of color and pattern, and I’m worried about my pairing. Do you know how difficult it would be to mess up by pairing any two off Anna Maria’s prints? Nearly impossible. So why on earth did it take me almost a year to make this quilt?

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I backed this quilt with a favorite AMH voile, because voile is the most scrumptious backing ever. I just ate up the quilting time on this one. Again, I went with the idea of an improv style, and I just let each fabric and block tell me how it wanted to be quilted. The only rule I followed throughout this whole process was that my work needed to be crisp, not wonky, good quality, and consistent. Going with that, I was able to take the quilting one bit at a time and make a hundred tiny adventures out of it. I used all different colors of Perle 5’s and 8’s. I quilted diagonally and straight. I framed squares, and I embellished some of the floral motifs.

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I’m so happy that despite the moments of hesitation and doubt, this quilt is probably one of my best pieces. Perhaps not everyone’s favorite, but I’ve never had such fun making a quilt. I loved every second of actual making and there was no stress. It was a surprise for my friend, and I just wanted to make it the best I possibly could for her. She loved it! The added bonus was getting it there during the month of her birthday as well. :)

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So now you need to tell me- what project have you done that you anguished over? What project demanded perfection? Were you thrilled with the result? Spill it!

-Meredith

Handmade Christmas Decoration Blog Hop

Happy Tuesday! I was invited by Rosie over at Stitch, Craft, Create to do a blog post about Christmas making! I’m a complete Christmas fanatic, so it didn’t take a minute for me to jump on board.

I chose to make a project from Handmade Scandinavian Christmas, which is an awesome book packed with every kind of Christmas project you can think of from, crafts to sewing to recipes!

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I was really drawn to the natural aspects of this book, so I wanted to do a project that involved “repurposing nature” so to speak. I think it went splendidly considering I live in a place where the leaves never change and there’s no semblance of Fall or Winter whatsoever. It did, however, mean I improvised a bit.

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I chose to do a project inspired by the Larch Garland, and really all of the pine cone projects. I needed to replace my wreath and my pine cones were a bit difficult to source, so they seemed to be a bit more suited for this project than to be seen from all sides as with the garland. Working with the wreath I already had, I took everything off of it leaving only the foam base. It looks pretty beaten up, so I used some spray adhesive to cover the foam wreath in newspaper. (I had purchased some basting spray years ago, and I don’t spray baste, so it ended up working perfectly for this project). I then took the few pine cones I managed to find, and use a gold glitter spray paint to glam them up a bit. It only took a few minutes for the dusting of paint to dry, and I got to work with my hot glue gun, scattering the pine cones I had around the wreath. I didn’t have enough to cover the entire wreath, so to fill in the extra space, I purchased some fake berries from Michael’s and hot glued them to the wreath.

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The great think about Handmade Scandinavian Christmas is that it shows you that you can make decor out of what you have. Look what I managed to make in a winterless place! There have been so many amazing projects on this blog tour, and I encourage you to check them all out and give them a try. There are a number of books being represented, and they are all wonderful tools of inspiration. I have a list of the other stops on the tour below.

If you’d like your own copy of Handmade Scandinavian Christmas, you can purchase the hard copy or the ebook through Stitch, Craft, Create.

Be sure to check out Stitch, Craft, Create for loads more inspiration. They have such a fantastic site. Check out their ‘Handmade Christmas’ page and ‘Craft eBooks and Downloads’ page for tons of projects.

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Share a picture of your own handmade Christmas decoration with the lovely people at Stitch Craft Create and you could win £100! Just add your photo to their share board or use the hashtag #SCCXmas on Twitter or Instagram.

Sat 1st – Crafts from the Cwtch (knitted candle holders)

Sun 2nd – Patchwork Posse (ribbon baubles)

Mon 3rd – Moogsmum (paper bird garland)

Tue 4th – Yarn Demon (crochet snowflakes)

Wed 5th – From the Blue Chair (Washi tape cards & baubles)

Thur 6th Straight Grain (fabric Washi treat bags)

Fri 7th A Quilt Is Nice (wooden stars & paper baubles)

Sat 8th Haak & Smaak (crochet gingerbread men)

Mon 10th – Knits and Crosses (Scandinavian bakes)

Tue 11th A Bright Corner (Washi tape tea lights & gift tag)

Wed 12th Imagine Gnats (fabric gift tags)

Thu 13th – Thimbleanna (knitted hot pad)

Fri 14th – The Creations of Crazy Dazy (knitted bobble hat baubles)

Sat 15th – Ric Rac (pine cone birds)

Sun 16th – Chickpea Sewing Studio (Handmade Scandinavian Christmas review)

Mon 17th – Ellison Lane (Washi tape candles)

Tue 18th Olivia Jane Handcrafted

Wed 19th Boolah Baguette

Thu 20th Made Peachy

Fri 21st – Pieced Brain

Sat 22nd Rose Hip

Sun 23rd Sewing Is for Girls

Mon 24th – Miss Print

Tue 25th Feather’s Flights

Wed 26th Follow the White Bunny

Thu 27th – Dotty Doily

Fri 28th – Guthrie & Ghani

Sat 29th – Cut to Pieces

Sun 30th – Molly Flanders Makerie

6 Months

I’m still stitching away on my current craft, but I can’t resist popping in to show you some of the pictures Emilee took of Wallace on his six month birthday!! How has it been half a year already?

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Wallace is sitting up on his own without any wobbles.

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He still hates tummy time, and I doubt he’ll ever crawl because he doesn’t stay down enough to practice.

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He does, however, love pulling himself to a standing position by grabbing onto anything above him. He has us busy walking him around the house. I’m thinking he’s trying to trim down those yummy thighs?

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And what do you think of those little teeth?! They popped through about two weeks ago, and they hurt! As in, they hurt your fingers or whatever he decides to chomp down on!

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We’ve slowly started food. He’s only gotten breast milk, and will not take a bottle for anyone. Not even fresh pumped milk. But he reaches for everything in sight to put in his mouth. I eat with my plate in the middle of the table just to keep the contents there and avoid broken dishes. But he’s not at all psyched about a spoon of oatmeal (though he has done extremely well keeping it down), and any attempt at fruit has been met with immediate projectile vomiting. SO we’re working through that. His doctor says he has an extremely tiny air hole which means anything can cause spit up. This has certainly been the case thus far, but I didn’t expect it with food. So now you know what I’m working on this month. :) I need it (his eating) to work out so I can get out of the house with my husband for the first time since Wallace has been on the outside. Cross those fingers for me!

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Getting to know Wallace has been an adventure indeed. He is the polar opposite of Layla which has meant lots of challenges, but also many rewards. He is all about me, which I love, but even that comes with a challenge (like constantly having to carry around is 21lb body, while doing everything else I need to do). He has a bubbly little personality, and almost always has a big grin on his face. We love him to pieces, and I’m so happy I now have a son and Layla has the brother she’s always wanted. They just adore one another in such a special way. He’s held my heart since I saw that positive sign, and I’m practically gushing now. Thanks for letting me share my big baby boy with you. :)

-Meredith

Current Craft

Do you go through crafty phases? I know I do. I dabble in so many aspects of sewing, but I’m rarely doing everything at once. Generally I’ll have some machine project going and a hand stitched project at the same time that keeps me busy in the evenings. Right now I have a few machine projects going, but my current hand stitched project has me distracted. I’m swooning with every stitch, because the project is so me. Its so easy to take time on things you love!

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I’m working on this all AMH quilt, and the only rule is that there are no rules! I’m not ready to reveal the whole project, but I’m gushing with excitement over here, so I had to show you some peeks at the stitching.

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Do you have a project going that you just can’t stay away from? Any project current or past that has you neglecting all your housework? There’s nothing like the feeling of working on something you absolutely love.

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If you’d like to read about another one of my crafty adventures, I’m over at the Cabinet for the Curious (the Jones and Vandermeer blog) today doing a guest post about Atelier Brunette’s gorgeous fabric.

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Have a great day!

-Meredith

Bold and Beautiful

That’s the theme of my latest custom quilt. I was so excited to work with this rich palette of colors to make a quilt for a newborn baby girl.

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I pulled all Anna Maria Horner fabrics, an obvious choice since she wrote the book on bold and beautiful fabrics. Not really, but she could have. Most of these fabrics are from her Dowry collection, and it was such a treat to finally use some of them! I mixed in some coordinating prints from other collections as well.

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I quilted this beauty with my favorite 28wt Aurifil. I need more colors, but this dark maroon color, was just right for this quilt. 20141105-DSC_0058

My client wanted the recipients name and birthdate to be monogrammed, and just for the sake of privacy I won’t share a close up of that. I’ll just tell you the Janome did a killer job on the embroidery. No surprise there!

The back of this quilt is oh-so-scrumptious! Its the gorgeous red echinacea flannel print from Anna Maria’s Pretty Potent collection. I think it coordinates perfectly with the rest of the quilt!

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I’m really getting in my dose of Anna Maria Horner here lately, and I’m thrilled to death about it. I’ve been so busy with this project and that, that its been positively wonderful to get to spend time with my first love (fabric designer love, that is). I’m hoping to show you my latest quilt which is all AMH next week sometime. Its a very special quilt that I’ve been showing little teasers of on Instagram, but I’m not showing the whole thing until its done!

What have you been working on this week?

-Meredith

Custom Liberty Quilt

First, let me start off by saying, yes, I do still blog here. I’ve been crazy busy with custom orders, and I’m showing you one of those today.

One of my very best customers asked me to make her a quilt with the same zoo fabric featured in this quilt. She loved that print, but definitely wanted something unique- something that is very her. Well, thank goodness we were able to track down more of that print!

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She wanted purple to be the main color, followed by pink, with some pops of other colors here and there. She also wanted a random layout of squares and rectangles.

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Well when you put a small scale print into a random layout it can be difficult to make it really pop. The perfect opportunity to try to bring it into focus is in the quilting. I decided I wanted to make this quilt really special, so I hand stitched around every zoo print.

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I also added bits of embroidery like these around the quilt.

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Next I machine quilted in a diagonal grid on the whole quilt except for the zoo prints. To really bring those out, I went back and quilted squares in each of those prints to draw the eye there.

One of my very favorite parts of this quilt is the label. She really wanted me to label my work, so I wanted to make the label awesome. I machine appliqued some of the animals from the zoo print onto voile and embroidered “Handmade for Karen”. I just love that part!

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The backing is a scrumptious velveteen from Anna Maria Horner. It feels absolutely divine. Between the voile/lawn front and the velveteen backing, it will be the perfect quilt year round.

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She loved the Dear Stella metallic dot I used to frame the zoo print in my other quilt, so I used that for binding. I just adore white binding! It really makes the quilt pop, and the gold dots are just icing on the cake.

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Well this quilt is already en route to its destination. I cannot wait for her to receive it! I just love doing custom work!

I hope you are having a wonderful week!

-Meredith

Around the World Blog Hop

I was tagged by Ashley over at Mommy by Day, Crafter by Night to participate in the Around the World Blog Hop. Today I get to answer some questions and tell you a little about myself.

What are you working on?

I’m working on a few things at the moment, but I’ll show you a quilt top I finished this week that I’ll hopefully get to quilt up this weekend.

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I’m also making up some Liberty bags for an Instagram sale!

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A dress is also in the works, but I’m saving it for the big reveal day!

How does my work differ from others?

I think this is a difficult question to answer, but I’ll take a whack at it. I do what I love. Nothing more, nothing less. I’m not influenced by this brand or that sponsor. I purchase only what I LOVE and do with it only what I want to. I think that freedom is one thing that differentiates me from others in the crafting community.

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Also, I dabble in a little of everything sewing-wise. I have a passion for garment sewing, but I also love quilting and hand work. They’re all essential pieces in the making up of me as a crafty creature.

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Why do I create? 

I think the answer to this really ties into my last answer. Because I love it! I love the fulfillment I get when I complete a project. I love the process, the colors, the feeling of everything I make. Each project is its own adventure, and I get such joy making things whether they are for myself or others. I love to think that they will become heirloom pieces treasured by future generations. Its so important to me to have the things that my grandmother made. She died when I was 13, and even though I don’t have her around, when I see things of hers, I feel like I’m still getting to know her or that we can at least relate in our love of crafting.

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How does my creative process work?

Oh, goodness! I think I’m influenced both by creative ideas (like what I want to make), and by fabric. Fabric is really just a work of art on cloth. Some of that art is better than others, but I like to think I get the good stuff. :)

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I’ll often find some pattern I want to make, or perhaps find a need that I can meet through sewing. When an idea begins with a project, I often put a lot of thought into what fabric I’ll use and order only what is needed and go from there. When a project begins with fabric, however, I’ll often buy an estimated amount for whatever I think I’ll most likely use it for. For instance, I have a Liberty addiction and I know I love to making clothing with it. So when some print comes out that’s utterly irresistible, I’ll buy 1.5-3 yards and hold onto it until I find the perfect project that will justify using such exquisite fabric.

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And I do like for my projects and fabric to be on an equal playing field. I’m very much a perfectionist in this aspect. If I’m buying and using Liberty, it will be used on a top notch project, and I will do everything possible to ensure that it is perfect from the cutting, to pressing, so finishing every seam that could possibly need finishing. I suppose that’s another part of my creative process. I will take forever on something to make sure its awesome, and I rarely, if ever take a short cut like machine binding. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with that, I just don’t do it. I appreciate clean finishes, so I’ll prolong the project to make sure I have that.

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Thank you for stopping by. It was fun to share a little about myself and my creative process. Have a great weekend!

-Meredith

Opposites Attract + Handcrafted (and a little sale)

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I wanted to show you my finished Opposites Attract Quilt in Alison Glass’s Handcrafted line, which will be at Market this weekend in her booth!

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I hand quilted this beauty pretty densely with Perle cotton in the same color order as the quilt was pieced. I love that the colors pop without being overwhelming or stealing from the actual design of the quilt.

Quilting was a labor of love, to put it lightly. I think I stitched a little bit of my soul into this quilt! It took weeks to complete, and many nights of not going to bed until 2am.

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It was worth every last second of stitching. I mean, I really love this quilt. the labor was not easy, but it was like having a child. The second it was over I was so in love, I’d do it all over again without another thought. That’s why I love what I do. Its terribly fulfilling.

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I backed this quilt with a favorite print from Alison’s Field Day collection, which beautifully incorporates all those colors featured in her Handcrafted line (which has just hit stores, by the way).

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Anyway, I finished this quilt, took a couple of pictures and ran to the post office without one spot of makeup on my face. It was desperation, so please overlook the fact that these are pictures taken by me and not my uber talented sister. :)

Now I want to share the love. Through this weekend, you can purchase my Opposites Attract Quilt pattern for 25% off in my Etsy shop. Discount has already been taken, so you don’t need a code. A quilt along is coming, so go ahead and pick up your pattern on sale!

Thank you so much for your support.

-Meredith