Tag Archives: crafting

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress:)

Octopus Dance Cross Stitch

After finishing up the Pumpkin Passport, I had some time before the next month was released and the first installment of the new SAL (the Trick or Treat Costume Club), so I went back to my trio of mini nautical cross stitch projects in the Hands on Design’s Square-ology series.

I finally started the third one, Octopus Dance, and I hope to get it finished soon so I can frame and hang all three.  For once I know exactly where I want to put them, so they won’t sit around waiting to be hung up for months.

These little patterns look simple, but they can be tricky buggers! Doing only a quarter at a time, and rotating the pattern four times, has caused some counting errors but nothing too major. This third one is my favorite, so I saved it for last, and I’ve had the least amount of trouble with it so far. It might be because I’m using hand-dyed aida fabric from Picture This Plus instead of the cheaper navy aida fabric from my LNS that I used for the other two – there is definitely a quality difference that makes it so much easier to stitch on the PTP fabric.

The Amateur Librarian // Octopus Dance Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Octopus Dance Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Octopus Dance Cross Stitch

Sail Around was my first finish of 2016 (see here), and I finished up the Sandcastle Frame during a Pixar marathon over the weekend (we’re watching them in chronological order and just checked Cars off the list – #7!)  Pics of the finish are coming tomorrow!

 

Square Dance Baby Quilt

I started another baby quilt – I couldn’t resist! Simple patchwork (Square Dance pattern via SewMotion) and simple fabric choices –  white and two Cotton + Steel prints. I wanted something that would be easy to chain piece while gabbing at the Music City MQG Open Sew last weekend, and I made some good progress. I think this one will be so sweet when finished!

The Amateur Librarian // Square Dance Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Square Dance Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Square Dance Baby Quilt

 

And that’s about it!

The Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch: August

This is my third year to work on a year-long cross stitch project, and the second year to play along with a mystery stitch-along month by month. Stitching Once Upon a Time in 2014 and Woodland Creatures in 2015 was so much fun – it’s addictive!

In 2016 I’m joining the Frosted Pumpkins on an adventure around the world. The eighth stop was India, with the beautiful Taj Mahal front and center. This one stitched up really quickly since I was watching the Olympics most nights. I can’t believe it will be September next week already, and time for the next destination to be revealed. The new Halloween SAL is also releasing this week… so hopefully I can juggle two projects over the next couple months (all bets are off after baby arrives, of course!).

A few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The finished blocks so far:

August

August

Eight months down, four to go…

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

Blueberry Shortcake Quilt

This post has been a long time coming! First off, there’s good news and bad news. The good news: my friend just had a beautiful baby boy. The bad news: the quilt I sent her way never arrived!😦
Obviously the good news outweighs the bad, but as a quilter it’s just a bit heartbreaking to put so many hours into a project, thinking of the recipient at every step, and then have an irreplaceable handmade quilt lost in USPS limbo.
(Just in case you want the gory details: I shipped this baby quilt via Priority Mail in late June, the same day I mailed True Blue, but while True Blue was received within a couple days, poor Blueberry Shortcake got stuck somewhere. The tracking still says “in transit” with an expected delivery date of June 28!  After it was about a week late, I had to alert my friend about the package, and we both filed missing mail claims (she even went to the post office multiple times) to no avail. It’s possible it will still turn up one day, but it’s been almost 2 months now and I’ve chalked it up to a lost cause. Plus, I hate that the burden falls on my friend to track it down – a newborn is enough to keep anyone busy without worrying about a lost package!)
But let’s move on… at least I took pictures?
Blueberry Shortcake Baby Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
I used Cluck Cluck Sew’s Shortcake quilt pattern and leftover jelly roll strips of solid blue/green/aqua and a few prints from my stash… hence the name Blueberry Shortcake:) The patchwork blocks came together really quickly and the color palette is definitely one of my favorites – everything in our house is some shade of blue!
After the top was done, Studio V Quilting did the longarm quilting. To make it more baby-friendly, I chose a Moon and Stars pattern and aqua gingham backing. I really love how it turned out! There was enough leftover gingham to also make the binding, which finished it off really nicely.
I shared a few sneak peeks in WIP Wednesday posts, but since it was secret sewing I never showed much. Now I can final share a few more progress pics:
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
Ta Da!
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt
I’m still super sad this little quilt never made it to its new home, but I guess the cliche is true in this case… you win some, you lose some.
The Amateur Librarian // Blueberry Shortcake Quilt

I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday… when she comes back in September:)

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress:)

Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

I started the August portion of the Pumpkin Passport, and this month we stopped in India at the Taj Mahal. Thanks to the Olympics, I’ve gotten plenty of stitching time in lately and hopefully I’ll finish up before the new Halloween SAL starts on August 25th.

Also… I ordered my first Q Snap Cover (AKA grime guard) from HKats Crafts and I love it! (I’m still smitten with the Wee Wander fabric line and couldn’t resist the pink fireflies.) I never really understood what was so great about them, but not only does the fabric keep dirty fingers off the aida fabric, you can also roll up the excess fabric into the cover, which the elastic keeps in place and out of the way.

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

To the Longarmer

So technically this falls somewhere between a WIP and a Finish… I finished two quilt backs over the weekend and they are off to the longarmer now. I can’t wait to see the quilting and finish these up!

Vintage Star (see the finished quilt top here)

The Amateur Librarian // Vintage Star Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Vintage Star Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Vintage Star Quilt

Firefly Baby Quilt (see the finished quilt top here)

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

Square Dance Quilt

I couldn’t resist starting a new quilt, starring two of my new favorite Cotton + Steel prints (Birch in Periwinkle from the Les Fleur line and Clothesline Floral in Red from the Lucky Strikes line) and crisp white patchwork. I’m using the Square Dance pattern from SewMotion, a disappearing four-patch that should really show off the fabric.

The Amateur Librarian // Square Dance Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Square Dance Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Square Dance Baby Quilt

This weekend is the August Music City MQG meeting and we’re doing an open sew, so I should be able to make some more progress then.  Open sews are the best!

 

And that’s about it!

Firefly Baby Quilt Top

Firefly Baby Quilt

A finish of sorts today… a top, at least!

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

I finished up this sweet baby quilt top late last week, mostly because I needed to clean up the craft room and it was easier to store a completed top than bits and pieces before putting away the sewing machine. (Sometimes company is the best motivation… or not. My baseboards and corners and windows have never been cleaner, but my closets have never been as stuffed, ha!)

I love the Wee Wander fabric line by, and this free pattern was the perfect way to showcase the panel in the center and sweet details like fireflies in mason jars and galloping horses in the patchwork. I added two other prints in the patchwork to bring in some more color (and unicorns) – Cotton + Steel basics in Sprinkles Alexia Turquoise and Heather RossFar Far Away Unicorns in Purple). I really like this saturated color palette and simple patchwork. This little quilt is destined to hang above the crib and since we’ll probably keep everything in the master bedroom for a while, it will fit in nicely with the little patchwork quilt hanging above our bed already.

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

I could probably handle quilting this on my home machine, but I’m limited to straight lines and I fell in love with the swirls featured in the original pattern, so I’ll probably play copycat and ask for something similar from the longarmer (I told you, I’ll never go back to doing it myself if I can avoid/afford it!). I’ve got one more quilt back to make (for the Vintage Star) and then I’ll get both quilts off to the longarmer… hopefully soon!

You might have followed along with my progress during WIP Wednesdays over the last month or so, but bear with me for a few more progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

Ta da!

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

Hopefully I’ll have the finished quilt to share soon… and a couple other projects that are brewing too!

I’m linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish Friday… when she returns to the blog in September:)

2016 Crafty Resolutions: Mid-Year Checkup!

Now that 2016 is (more than) halfway over, how about we take a look at those optimistic new-year goals I set for myself at the beginning of the year? Always a good time to laugh at myself :) Of course, I didn’t know I was pregnant yet, so my crafty priorities have shifted quite a lot now that my childfree craft time is coming to an end… soon.

Here we go!

Resolution #1: Learn something new. I’ve been intimidated by foundation paper piecing, but there are a few ladies in my quilt guild who love it, and I really want to bite the bullet and look up a good tutorial to get started.

Status: Well… I tried., at least I brought a paper piecing project to the MCMQG Retreat in February and gave it a try, but my setup wasn’t great (pro tip: you need an iron close by!) so I gave up and never got around to trying it out again. Honestly, paper piecing isn’t high on my priority list anymore BUT I’d still like to learn something new… maybe I’ll make something for the nursery or try out an apparel pattern for baby.

The Amateur Librarian // Music City MQG Retreat 2016

Resolution #2: Make a  queen size quilt to use on a bed (maybe a guest bed… still not too excited about the idea of cats laying on it all the time and scratching it up). I’ve never made a quilt big enough to be used on a bed, but I really want to try it, which brings me to my next goal…

Status: Nope. I have make a couple bigger quilts but still haven’t achieved queen-size status and now that my time is limited and lots of bodily fluids are looming in my near future… this goal might not happen this year.

The Amateur Librarian // Vintage Star Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pixelated Heart Quilt

Resolution #3: Send a quilt top to be professionally quilted by a long armer. I’ve never made big quilts before because my home machine can’t handle the quilting, but now that I know a few ladies at my quilt guild who own long arm machines, the process seems more doable.

Status: Finally, a Yes! I’ve sent three quilts to the Studio V longarmer from my quilt guild, and I absolutely love the convenience and final product! After wrestling with my home machine for so long, I don’t know if I’ll ever go back.

The Amateur Librarian // Pixelated Heart Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // True Blue Quilt

Resolution #4: Use quilts instead of just displaying them. I’m guilty of making quilt after quilt and then hanging them up for display or folding them on a quilt ladder but never actually using them… and I want to change that! It’s just fabric, right? Quilts can be washed and they’re meant to be used.

Status: Yes-ish… no less than four quilts are hanging on the wall, but I guess that still counts as display. I do plan on using my stacks of quilts as play mats once baby arrives, and I’m already repeating to myself that “quilts can be washed and they’re meant to be used!”

The Amateur Librarian // Home Sweet Home In Progress

 

The Amateur Librarian // Home Sweet Home In Progress

 

The Amateur Librarian // Home Sweet Home In Progress

Resolution #5: Make more home decor pieces. Same goal I had in 2015, but with a whole new house to decorate!

Status: Yes!  So far all I’ve made are fabric baskets for scrap storage, and they’re great! The first trimester of pregnancy put a damper on my decorating enthusiasm the first couple months after we moved in, but as my energy came back so has my desire to make things to personalize our space. I also plan on adding some handmade touches to the nursery soon.

The Amateur Librarian // Music City MQG Retreat 2016

The Amateur Librarian // Home Sweet Home In Progress

Resolution #6: Finish WIPs before starting new projects (once again)! As always.

Status: Mostly. Quantity hasn’t been my strong suit this year, but even if it takes several months from start to finish, I’ve been pretty good about keeping WIPs to a minimum. Other than projects like the yearlong Passport SAL that are ongoing, I’m hoping to wrap up unfinished projects before baby arrives.

Conclusion: My priorities have definitely changed since the beginning of the year, and some of these goals don’t seem as pressing anymore. Checking in halfway through the year is a great reminder of what I want (and don’t want) to do during the next couple months and I try to wrap up most of my crafty endeavors before baby arrives in October!

Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch: Part 2

Part 2 of the Summer Beach Day cross stitch is done!

The second (and final) part arrived mid-July and I was able to finish stitching it up right before the baby shower festivities began over the weekend. I love quick stitches like this one, especially all the cute summery elements like citrus fruits, popsicles, seagulls, and smiles on everything from the sun to the beach balls.

See Part 1 here.

A few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

Finished!

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

It feels like summer is drawing to a close now that school is back in session, but there are still plenty of hot summery days to come in the next couple months. I’ll always remember this summer of waiting for our first baby, so stitching a summer project to remind me of 2016 feels extra special. I plan on getting this one framed to match the Autumn Harvest Festival pattern… and the rest of the seasons when they’re released too, of course!

 

WIP Wednesday

Another weekly update on my current Works in Progress:)

 

Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

I’ve been making steady progress on the second part of the Summer Beach Day pattern  and I might even finish it up before the weekend.. we shall see! I love every summery little element in the borders above and below the beach scene.

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Summer Beach Day Cross Stitch

Firefly Baby Quilt

Last weekend I was organizing the craft closet but I got distracted by the Wee Wander fabrics and couldn’t resist putting together a few patchwork rows… which turned into finishing up the four borders. I didn’t have time to complete the quilt top before I needed to pack up my sewing stuff (festivities and guests are arriving soon!) but I’m close. Can’t wait to hang this one in the nursery!

(Free pattern available here!)

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

 

The Amateur Librarian // Firefly Baby Quilt

And that’s about it!

Modern Quilt Design with Michelle Wilkie

 

Last Saturday the Music City MQG hosted Michelle Wilkie for her Modern Quilt Design: Every Day Inspriation class. That’s right, two weeks in a row of quilty fun:)

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

Michelle has only been quilting for four years but her original designs are stunning. She started out with a great show and tell to showcase her quilts and the inspiration behind them.

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

It was really cool to see how she draws inspiration both from everyday objects like street signs and traditional artwork, especially indigenous history.

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

She led us through several group exercises to translate images into quilt designs, including our own photographs that we brought, and ended with some resources and practical tips for constructing blocks out of our original designs.

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

And yes… a few pokemon snuck into the classroom!

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

I usually follow patterns instead of making my own, so the whole process was outside my comfort zone and I definitely learned a lot! (Plus everything sounds more interesting in her New Zealand accent!)

You can check out Michelle Wilkie at her blog Factotum of Arts (and her other courses here!).

 

The Amateur Librarian // Michelle Wilkie Modern Quilt Design Class

Michelle Wilkie was super inspiring and it was so much fun to learn something new along with the Music City MQG ladies! Another huge thanks to our prez Ashley for organizing it all (you snuck into another post!):)

The Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch: July

This is my third year to work on a year-long cross stitch project, and the second year to play along with the mystery stitch-along month by month. Stitching Once Upon a Time in 2014 and Woodland Creatures in 2015 was so much fun – it’s addictive!

In 2016 I’m joining the Pumpkins on an adventure around the world. The seventh stop was Egypt, with an adorable camel and smiling sun. This one came together quickly and I really enjoyed it. Who knows where we’ll visit next… which is half the fun:)

A few progress pics:

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

 

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

The finished blocks so far:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July

July

Seven months down, five to go…

The Amateur Librarian // Pumpkin Passport Cross Stitch

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