baby quilts

Nine thousand, seven hundred and twenty six

9,726: the number of visits I have had on my blog in one year. I have nothing to compare this to since this is my only blog and it’s my first year. But it kind of sounds like a lot of views. And it’s really close to 10,000.

Last year, today, I posted my first blog post. I can’t tell you how many times I reread that post wondering if it was okay. Now, I just kind of write.

I can’t believe how many things have happened in the past year:

  • Sewed many baby quilts, bags, pouches… and bought a little bit of fabric…
  • Joined the Boston Modern Quilt Guild
  • Took sewing classes at Laura’s Sewing School
  • Bought a kitty, who is part bengal
  • Left my job in Cambridge, MA
  • Started working in Los Angeles, CA
  • Moved across country due to above job change
  • Went to Sewing Summit 2011
  • Had two miscarriages
  • Had my one year anniversary (can I just say: best husband ever)
  • Started a sewing group at my house in LA
  • Diagnosed with Lupus
  • Became vegan

And I’m still kickin’ it! Seriously, how many changes can you have in one year?

Thanks for following along, I’m excited for year number two!

– erica

Retro Flowers Bandwagon

I have officially joined the retro flowers quilt bandwagon.

This beautiful quilt is all over the web in both blogland and on pinterest, and I guess I decided I needed to make one.

(photo from The Sometimes Crafter)

After a broken needle, many rounds with the seam ripper, and a few expletives, I have this little stack of pieces ready to sew together. Getting excited!

In order to make this, I had to buy the quilt pattern, two templates, and a curve foot adaptor for my machine. There is a great video on youtube that shows you how to use the curve foot.

– erica

Kate Spain Baby Quilt

This post is a long time coming. I actually cannot believe that I cut out the squares for this quilt when I was still living in Boston. I had the BMQG at my house for a sew-in one of the lasts nights we were in Boston, and I cut the squares that night.

I sewed the basic squares together both at Jake’s parent’s house (when we were temporarily staying with them for 2 weeks) and a at Sewing Summit— in OCTOBER. It’s amazing to think that this quilt has been put together in so many places over such a long period of time.

The fabric in the quilt is Kate Spain Fandango. When I started quilting last year this is one of the first fat quarter sets that I bought. I bought it to make a quilt for a girlfriend that didn’t know if she was going to have a boy or a girl. And almost a year later, I still love the fabrics (she had a girl).

I think my style is changing a little bit over the past year. I find myself being drawn to quilts with mostly solids. Which kind of makes me sad because it’s really fun to buy prints (Although I still have plenty of prints in my stash to use up…)

Here’s the back of the quilt, beautiful fabric.

I’ve really liked the look of striped binding.

I did more traditional quilting so I wouldn’t disturb the beautiful prints. I quilted along the edge of all the fabrics, which also created a diamond shape in the center of each group.

And there she is!

-erica

Stumped.

I am working on another baby quilt and I haven’t moved forward because I can’t decide how to quilt it. I was originally thinking of echoing the diagonal seams on each side but then realized that would make a funky pattern in the middle of some of the squares. I’ve never stippled anything and that makes me a little nervous (although there always is a first…). I’ve been collecting different ways to quilt on pinterest, but still, nothing is coming to me. Suggestions?

There will be a polka dot border and solid border around the pieces that are pieced. The fabric is Kate Spain Fandango.

-erica

Bienvenidos Andrew!

Sarah and Francisco had a baby boy on March 8th! Andrew is adorable. I can’t wait to meet him in person. He is an absolute cutie!

When Jake and I were out in Los Angeles for my job interview we went to a quilt shop, Sew Modern, in Hollywood. It was my first big splurge on fabrics (Of course I had to celebrate). I bought this great car print that looked totally “boy” to me.

I decided to make a zig zag quilt. I’d been seeing many of them in “blog land”. I followed a tutorial that I found here that showed how to do a zig zag quilt without using half square triangles.  I decided to alternate the car pattern with coordinating solids. I have to admit that I think the quilt looks a bit too “Charlie Brown”.

I couldn’t decide on any single binding color so I did a pieced binding with all the solids from the front. I love how it turned out!

I also love the backing fabric- I actually love anything with polka dots. I purchased it at Sew-Fisticated (a discount fabric store) in Cambridge.

It’s very cute folded up. 🙂

I met Sarah in elementary school. We lived about 6 blocks away from each other. We would bike to each other’s houses and “meet halfway” which usually meant that Sarah went almost the whole way because it always took me a little longer to do the dishes than I thought it would (optimist).  In 6th grade she called me on the phone and told me (about the best news I’d heard so far in my life at that time) that her family was moving only ONE house away from mine! That was the beginning of endless adventures together.

I couldn’t help but put in this picture from summer camp. I can’t actually remember how old we were in this but our permed hair is awesome.  Sarah and I are in the front row: Sarah is in the middle with a blue t-shirt on and I’m next to her on the right with the short “poodle” hair do.  My friend Anne is right behind Sarah in the red t-shirt.

This might have been halloween in Junior High or early High School.

For some reason I know that this isn’t halloween. We really loved these nun costumes.

If I ever was even slightly cool it was because of Sarah. She was homecoming queen in 1996! I actually sewed the dress I’m wearing in this picture. Back in high school I did a little sewing (clothes for me and clothes for my American Girl Dolls). I was starting the DIY-Handmade movement in the 90’s, before it was hip.

Here we are on the last day of high school!

The summer after high school we worked together on the overnight shift stocking shelves at the local grocery store, Hy-Vee. We had a lot of fun. We went on a trip together to Lanesboro and put up a tent, tiki torches and did daily biking trips, so fun! There was a tornado warning during our trip so we spent time huddled in the campground bathroom with the other campers. So Minnesota!

For college, we both went to the University of Minnesota. And we both studied languages. Sarah studied German and I studied Spanish. I got into Salsa dancing and Sarah came out a few times to First Avenue for salsa night. She met Francisco Naranjo and they got married, YAY!

So adorable! What a cute couple!

This blog post was so hard to write because my life is filled with so many memories of Sarah that I had no idea where to start…. this only slightly touches the surface of our lives together. Now we live a long ways apart, but Sarah is always in my heart. She is a big influence on who I am today. Sarah, I love you.

-erica

 

Welcome Emma!

Another beautiful baby has joined us! Emma Yejin was born on June 4th to my beautiful friend Beth and her husband Sam. Emma has an adorable older sister Anna. I am so thankful I finished this quilt before they return back their home in China next week (because i don’t trust mailing overseas…).

I have to say I am absolutely tickled at how this quilt turned out, and it’s my favorite so far (shhhh, don’t tell Sarah, Samuel or Finn).  I got the fabric from the fatquarter shop and was initially super excited.  But then I went through a period of time where I wasn’t so sure anymore. Luckily after changing the pattern (and vision) I fell in love again.

The construction of the quilt turned out to be more complicated than I thought- it’s just a bunch of squares, right? I first pieced together the rows (horizontally) with the patterned pieces and white rectangles. Then, between each row there was a white strip- which sounds nice and easy. But all of a sudden you realize that you actually have to mark the strip or else all the patterened pieces won’t line up. I think it actually would have been easier to piece white pieces together (the same size as the patterned pieces and rectangles) so you could just pin and match seams.

I’ve been wanting to finish a quilt with parallel lines and this seemed like the perfect quilt to do that. I marked one line with a red chaco roller and then spent a long time freaking out that the red line wouldn’t wash out (but luckily it did!!). So, for the rest of the quilt, I used a hera marker to mark the lines, and I have to say that it’s a SUPER COOL tool. If you are a quilter and you don’t have one- get one!

It actually took me many hours to sew all the parallel lines- I spent more than one sewing class doing it. During one of the classes, Linda (a fellow classmate), said: “And then there’s erica over there, lawn mowing her material”. Which is kind of what it was like. I loved it. Very zen like, and peaceful.

 I find that it’s very hard to take good pictures of my finished quilts- to get them to look as beautiful as they do in real life. Suggestions?

 

My “lawnmowing”.

 

Tabacon loved this quilt. She was always running around on it. She might need her own quilt.

So, back to my friend Beth. We met our freshman year in college. We both lived in Territorial Hall at the University of Minnesota. One of my first memories is that she had a little minature fridge stocked with minature Sunkist orange pops (if you’re from the east coast: pop=soda). Our sophmore year we moved into off-campus housing and lived with two other girls: Mindy and Elizabeth. We had some weird quirks- one was taking silly pictures.

 

This is us raising the lamp in our living room (I think it’s supposed to mimic a famous flag photo?)

 

Beautiful fall weather in Minnesota- required: Minnesota college gear. (I almost forgot I’m a natural blonde).

 

This is one of my most memorable halloweens. We were an interactive fall scene: a peasant (me), a hunter (Beth) and a tree (Angie). Hours of entertainment. Unfortunately you can’t see my yellow socks that were my peasant feet.

 

Minnesota wasn’t so beautiful all year, it got cold.

 

I’m not sure why we are dressed up like this. I’m acutally a bit embaressed to show my short pixie haircut. Hmmm.

 

We dubbed our apartment “Coolie 302”. At the end of the year Mindy drew this beautiful whiteboard art that shows the four of us: Liz in her crew sweatshirt talking on the phone (note that this is pre cellphones), Mindy and Beth playing guitar and me sitting at my computer.

Beth and I lived together again our senior year, just the two of us. We continued to drink Sunkist pop and eat lots of Homestyle microwave popcorn.

Beth, I love you! You are such an important person in my life. I wish we didn’t live so far apart and we could actually spend time together. You have two beautiful girls. I send you my blessings.

-erica

 

 

Welcome Finn!

Jake and I were lucky to see baby Finn on his 4 week birthday in Los Angeles. He is the adorable son of Autumn and Jesse. I had immediately fallen in love with the prince charming prints from Tula Pink when they came out (so thanks Jesse and Autumn for having a boy!) and couldn’t wait to make them into a quilt.

I used the “frames” pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. I love her simple quilts. Instead of using all the prints, I decided to accent a few prints of the prince charming line with chartreuse (a kona solid). I was originally going to use teal, but Jake talked me into using chartreuse, and I think it was a great choice! (So great having a designer as a husband!).

I took a long time cutting out all the pieces because I wanted them to be directional (ie- I didn’t want the raindrops falling sideways). Here’s my first try at planning out a quilt on paper…

Then I laid out all the pieces on the floor before sewing them together.

I decided to quilt the sandwich using straight lines on each side of the seams- with blue thread on the back and chartreuse on the front, happy!

Here’s the final quilt (I think I need to figure out a better way to take photos of the finished quilt):

We’re so excited to watch you grow big, Finn!

– erica

 

Too Much Deliberation.

I’m finishing up another baby quilt (post coming soon) and starting yet another baby quilt. (I already mentioned that all of my friends are having babies right?) Well, I bought some fabric awhile ago from the urban hullaboo collection and when I got it, I didn’t love it. It just doesn’t seem to look that great together. I had already bought a pattern to use the fabrics, but the more I stared at it, the less I liked that as well (see below):

So, I went hunting again and found a simpler design that I liked. I could have probably figured out how to do this myself without downloading a pattern, but I decided to be lazy.

I am changing the dimensions of the pattern, so it will be baby size and will use the 6 prints above with white as the background. I have really been wanting to try to finish a quilt with “pebbling” but I’m not sure this quilt will look good that way. Shoot, will have to find another design to do with “pebbling”.

So, finally, off to cut up the material!

-erica

Double the Fun.

My first two baby quilts are finished! I had such a blast making them.

My friends, Joe and Marina, had twins (a boy and a girl) so I decided to make coordinating baby quilts. This was my first quilting project and I found the pattern on “eHow”.

I’ve been taking classes at Laura’s Sewing School and she helped me do the “quilt sandwich” for the first time. I decided to quilt it using diagonal lines. I love how the pattern extended into the border.

For the “boy” quilt, I quilted diagonal lines through the pinwheels but then quilted parallel lines in the border. I bought the book The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman which opened my eyes to different ways to finish a quilt.

I machine quilted the binding on the girls quilt.

And hand sewed the binding on the boys quilt. I think the hand sewing looks better.

I love how they turned out, but if I did them over I would put a mitered corner in the border instead of a straight border.

All packaged up and ready to go… ENJOY, Joe and Marina!!!

-erica

Sew Much To Do!

I am finally joining the world of blogging. This is a little secret wish I have had for some time. However, I didn’t know what I really wanted to blog about or how to do it. Thanks to my wonderful husband and a new passion (quilting) I have a blog!

After returning from our honeymoon, with all the craziness and planning over, I needed something to do. Luckily, I had bought a sewing machine many years ago while in medical school and I recently had a lot of friends whom just had babies– so the obvious combination was: BABY QUILTS!

Over the past few weeks I have:

  • Finished my first baby quilt (post coming) and will hopefully finish the second one tonight
  • Joined a sewing class with 4 other fabulous women which I can only liken to really good therapy
  • Found the most amazing blogs by women which have inspired me
  • Shopped at websites with fantastic modern prints
  • Attended my first Modern Quilting Guild meeting (awesome!)

Did I mention I’m also working full time? It’s all I think about right now: from the first thing in the morning to the last thing when i go to bed at night (and I’m even waking up thinking about sewing in the middle of the night). I’ve got the sewing bug, and I think I will soon be an addict. Needing a budget.

I’m hoping that this blog will be a record of my new journey and someday be an inspiration to others.

-erica