February 17, 2013

Book Review - Sunday Morning Quilts

Oh well, what a pleasure talking about quilting books! Right now I have at least a dozen of them on my nightstand... I don't know about you, but when I like some book it seems I can not get enough of it. I'm always back, and  time after time, I am getting a new detail, being inspired in a particular way by the same project I already looked at over and over again.

It was so difficult to choose the first one to talk about... I found Sunday Morning Quilts: 16 Modern Scrap Projects  Sort, Store, and Use Every Last Bit of Your Treasured Fabrics at the Library two months ago and it has been in my hands in the past two weeks or so. I love going to the Library and checking the books before I buy them. I try not to buy before I can see at least a bit (I like when it's possible "look Inside" the books at Amazon!). After I putting so many  books in my wish list at Amazon, finally I decided to buy Sunday Morning Quilts! So, I am talking about my most recent purchase of books.

The authors of this book are Amanda Nyberg and Cheryl Arkison. As I'm not an experienced quilter I didn't know about their work before. They are friends and it makes me wonder how fun is quilting and writing with a friend!

The main topic of Sunday Morning Quilts is quilting with scraps. That's why I loved this book so much. Who doesn't have a bag of scraps waiting for some project idea? Who doesn't have scraps from favorite fabrics, some not even in the market anymore? I usually keep every tiny scrap, always thinking that some day in the future I'd sew something very special with them. I have lots, lots of scraps!

 Amanda and Cheryl have really nice ideas for using those very tiny scraps (The quilt called Gumdrops is a proof that it's possible make something very unusual with little scraps and I'm not talking about squared scraps!). Actually I thought it was very clever of them defining the different sizes of scraps like snippets (smaller than 4"), strips, strings and selvages and suggesting storage them by size. I never thought about that. I mean, it's much more efficient keeping them separated by size to help you choose them according to the projects's requirements rather than mixing them all together and try to figure out what to to with them without a plan or organization. And so are the colors: sorting scraps by colors and storing them is the best way to define your next project more quickly.

Another thing that caught my eyes was working with selvages. Instead of using them to make quilts they suggest knitting with strings and selvages! YES! That's it! There is a nice doormat in the book and actually I checked Amanda's blog and she is making another rug with selvages and strings. I definitely should give it a try! 

Some projects that really inspired me are the ones on the pages 82 (Scrapper's Delight) and 118 (High five quilt). I found the instructions very straight-forward and I could say that from 16 projects shown in the book I'm willing to make more than half of them! Some of the quilts there aren't really my taste for colors and didn't mean a challenge I'd love to be taking. But, there is a quilt for everyone there. Amanda and Cheryl are modern quilters and if you don't know much about modern quilt their introduction it's a good source to understand it. I'm seeing a lot of modern quilts out there and I like the free and improvisational way to make quilts that express your unique vision. It seems you never know the result of it, but, indeed it could be only if you want it. As I have read, it doesn't mean that to be a modern quilter you should not know traditional techniques. In a few words, the new comes from the old, and I agree with that.

I definitely recommend any quilter should have this book especially if sometimes you feel overwhelmed by so many new fabrics launched on the market and just want to take part of your mountains of scraps and do something special with them. Maybe right now you don't have a budget for a brand new collection of fabrics and that's OK! Or even if you feel that you should be emptying your bins full of scraps to make more room in your craft room instead of simply buying more. Or yet, if sometimes you want to have fun and create something very unique for you or to make a gift for someone from scraps that really means something to you. All the material you might need for the next project can be very close to you, on your boxes, bags or bins full of new and old scraps just waiting to be alive again!

February 11, 2013

A new bedding set

If you are a mom of a little girl like me you know how we can get overwhelmed by having so many pink things in our little girls room... Since I knew I was going to be a mom of a girl I tried as much as I could not to buy curtains, cribbing sets, rugs and even clothes in pink color. That is difficult, right? Yes, it is and I ended up having a lot of pink items before I could realized that! 

Recently I found this fabric from Riley Blake design and  I fell in love. I've been seeking the blue color lately, specially the acquas. I thought the "Dress up Days" pattern came just in time to help me to come up with a new bedding set for my daughter's room. I also totally got inspired by the new collection from Riley Blake that brings a lot of chevron. I decided to make the center of the sheet with a row of chevron pieced with the chevron block technique you can learn more here and here. As I wanted only a detail on chevron (since it was going to be a sheet and not a quilt) it didn't take too long to center of the white sheet with the chevron blocks. I matched the navy polka dots and made a pillow cover and also a small pillow to decorate and give a girly feeling to the final set. I'm planning to show how I made the blocks through a tutorial but, as I said you can  follow the instructions and steps at Riley Blake website and make you own chevron! I am also making pillows for my living room with chevron print (I will show it soon). Chevron is on everywhere, have you noticed that?  So, go for it!

February 05, 2013

Hawaii Dresses

I made these two dresses with some fabric that I bought last time I visited Maui, Hawaii, four months ago. I got very surprised with all the nice craft stuff I was able to I found there, lots of bags and decorating items almost everything quilted by hand. I found a fabric store right in the historic center of the city (called Lahaina). As you can imagine, I went crazy (!) and in the same time tried to not go for everything I liked there. But, I couldn't resist this cute Hawaiian theme print. I also couldn't decide which background color was my favorite, the yellow or the pink one. When I grabbed these fabrics I sort of had an idea what to do with it latter... there it is! I hope you like it as much as I do!

Rock this dress, girl! (she was literally jumping and dancing at the time of this picture!)

Aren't these pockets a nice idea for the kids keep around some favorite tiny toys ?

Yes, you do rock it!