Monday, March 27, 2017

A Finished Commission: Spring has Sprung Laptop Bag!

Howdy y'all! Once again, time slipped away and I went a while without blogging again. But man, I've been sewing up a storm and having fun as the weather turns spring-like. And what better way to celebrate spring than with a bright, happy laptop bag?!

A work friend's mom saw some of my creations on Facebook and asked if I could make a bag for her laptop. Of course!

I was given free reign with design and fabric choices, which was surprisingly scary. I like having project guidelines when I'm creating for somebody else! But I persevered and I used this tutorial as a guideline to get started.

Rather than buy pre-quilted fabric, which is expensive and my Jo Ann's didn't have much variety, I simply quilted regular fabric with a layer of batting. I get serious heart eyes when looking at that gridwork of quilting. If you follow me on Instagram, you got a peek of my happiness as I discovered a seam guide (or at least I think it is, I still haven't checked the manual for sure) and used it to make a darn-near perfect grid of quilting without the hassle of taping or marking a bunch.

This was my first time buying hardware, but I only had eyes for that adorable zipper. Isn't it cute?! It added a bit of a hitch sewing it in; I had to make sure that cute little design didn't get sewn into the seam allowance, but it was worth the extra brain power! :)

I absolutely love the print for the lining. I used the yellow colorway of it in the Crown Royal Quilt and I'm pretty sure I would buy it in every color of the rainbow if I could. I just wrote on the lining with a fabric pen rather than sew in a label.

I've got some secret sewing in the works right now, but I've got some shareable sewing as well! I'm hoping to get to a point where I can share soon!

Friday, March 10, 2017

A Quilt to Crown a Royal: A Finished Commission!

Guess which side my 5'4" mom was on and which side my 6'3" dad was on. Poor mom was stretching as tall as she could and still couldn't get it straight! LOL
Howdy y'all! I can't tell you how excited I am to finally be able to say 'Look at this finish!'. I've been working on this commission for what feels like forever, but the end has finally arrived! This quilt was a commission for a coworker's boyfriend. He gave me a bag full of Crown Royal bags and said to have fun. The only guideline was that is needed to be king sized.

My parents' poor bed was dwarfed by this king-sized monster!
I didn't reinvent the wheel with this design, but I did draw it up on paper and audition different layouts before settling on this one. It really made me feel like a designer when I was coloring in my little notebook! :)

I learned a lot with this quilt. For example: No more king size quilts! Lol. To the ladies and gents that make quilts this large on a regular basis, you are super heroes! I was exhausted after lugging this monster around. I also got my fill of log cabin blocks to last me for a long while, I'm sure.

I did loop-dee-do quilting in the yellow areas and did some minimal straight line quilting around some seams in the purple areas. In the borders, I alternated some purple and white straight lines around the seam lines.

Now that this one has been delivered, I can finally take a breath it feels like! It's so good to have this one off my shoulders, I'm proud I finished it! :)

Linking up with Finish it Up Friday and Needle and Thread Thursday!

Thursday, March 2, 2017

Finish It Up Friday: A Finish is a Finish, No Matter How Small!

Yikes, y'all! It feels like I blinked and February was gone! It zoomed by in a fun-filled blur, so I can't complain.
The crew and I enjoyed some very unseasonal warmth, catching some rays on the back porch.
It's back to cold and rainy now, but these days were ah-mazing!
We even made a new friend!
This is my new cousin! :)
I've been enjoying myself more than I have in a long time, and guys, it has felt so good. :)

And of course, part of that fun has been at my sewing machine! I finally got around to making a pixie basket! This tutorial was uber popular a while back, but I just never got around to making one back then. I use two layers of batting rather than batting and muslin, so mine is a little squishy, but it is still wonderful and I love it!

It's so cute and tiny!
I also made myself a little magnetic pin dish! I'm bad for dropping pins or keeping them in my mouth when I sew because I don't want to look at my pin cushion when I'm focused on sewing straight seams. I figured this may help since I just have to set it in the dish and the magnet will do the rest! This cost less than $5 to make (yay for coupons and sales at Hobby Lobby!) and most of the construction time was me dancing around waiting for the glue gun to heat up. Lol. I've used this and I love it so far!

Alsoooooo, I've been quilting the heck out of the Crown Royal quilt. I was terrified to start quilting this king sized monster, but besides some tension issues in the beginning, it's actually been really good. My machine has been amazing! I'm down to quilting the borders, then it will be time to bind and deliver! :D

So all in all, a very busy, very happy month! By mid-March, I may have some cool news to share, so keep your fingers crossed! Happy stitching, y'all!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Quilt With No Name - A Finished Quilt

<3 I can't even make words to describe how much I love this. :)

Hey y'all! I have a special finish to share today. Do you ever have one of those quilts that you are almost afraid to finish? You want to, but it is sort of bittersweet as you near the finish. I was so excited to wrap things up with this quilt, but as I sewed the binding on, it literally took me hours because I kept dawdling, not sure I was ready to be done with such a long running project.
Simple rainbow piecing and quilting. Makes my heart sing. :)
This quilt was all kinds of new for me. In previous posts, I mentioned that this was the first pattern I 'designed', drawing it on paper and doing quilty math after being inspired by the loading screen of a video game! I used my precious Alison Glass fabric from Christmas 2015 and metallic Essex Linen from my birthday last year. I even went crazy and hand quilted this one! Even crazier, it was rainbow hand quilting! I don't foresee myself doing such large scale hand quilting again anytime soon, but I know I'm not finished with it. :)

I couldn't resist adding a few little pops of color on the binding!
I layered up and ventured out into the cold, knowing this quilt needed natural light to really shine! Depending on the angle, this quilt can look soft or it can be bold and shiny. You can see how the colorful strips are a bit puffy, courtesy of me learning how to keep things straight while hand quilting. Lol. I like it, so I'm not too worried about it!
No snow stuck in the last flurry, so this quilt gets a green backdrop.
Part of the driving force behind me pushing through and finishing this quilt is the Alison Glass linky party over at Quilting Jetgirl! I'm cutting it close, but I couldn't miss putting my quilt in with all the other lovely finishes. Head over and check out the scrumptious Alison Glass creations! :) Also linking up with Finish it Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts!

A slip of the camera and the finger resulted in a lovely little shot of the backing. I couldn't help but share. :)

Monday, January 16, 2017

Kite Flight: A Finished Quilt

Howdy y'all! I had hoped to have this one finished before the weekend, but basting with 3 crazy dogs in the house made for a difficult job. I eventually barricaded myself in my parents' bedroom and got it done in record time! Lol.

I did some simple straight line quilting and it was an absolute breeze on my new machine. There was plenty of space so things never got cramped and she stitched like a dream. I just need to get some FMQ under our belts and we'll feel like family, I'm sure of it. :)

I was going to take this one outside for a photoshoot, but it is a soggy, muddy mess outside in my neck of the woods. I just envisioned all that white being ruined and I couldn't muster the guts to take it outside. Lol. So of course, that meant no full length pictures (the closest I have are these from my last post) and not much natural light despite my best efforts. I can't wait for the longer, dryer days of summer!

I tossed this quilt in the washer shortly after pictures and did a gentle tumble dry and, guys, the texture is so soft and cuddly. It crinkled just right and I wanted to snuggle in it, it was so inviting! I'm sewing on the label tonight and hope to get it in the mail within the next couple of days.

Next up is wrapping up the quilting on my Alison Glass quilt! Yvonne over at Quilting Jetgirl is hosting a linky party for Alison Glass projects until the end of January, you should check it out!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Kite Flight: A Finished Quilt Top

Howdy y'all! I have excitement to share! I have my first finished quilt top of the new year! I wasn't able to get a picture of the entire thing since my camera wasn't agreeing with the lower light of the kitchen, but at least you get a sneak peek before it gets basted. :)

If you peruse Craftsy's sale section, you may recognize this quilt. A little after Thanksgiving, I was scrolling through admiring all the kits and fabric. I kept coming back to this one though! I'm not normally an all-solids kind of person, but this Kite Flight kit was calling my name! A stunning quilt and a killer price, a win-win in my book. And you know what? I bought it. With barely a second of hesitation even! :)

My very first jelly roll! Such scrumptious bits of Kona! :)
One of my New Year's goals was to treat myself and that's exactly what this was. I've worked on it for the sheer joy of working on it. No deadlines, no pressure. Just getting to play with Kona solids at my leisure. And I'll tell y'all, it has been...absolutely wonderful.
There were triangles everywhere! My Dad was quite amused that I was sewing fabric together, cutting it apart, then resewing it back together. :)
Despite this being a 'treat yo'self' purchase, I won't be keeping this quilt. You ever have those times when a quilt just whispers in your ear where it needs to go? This one did about halfway through piecing the top and, honestly, it really surprised me. It's going to go to somebody I hadn't talked to in a while - she was an RA for a summer nerd camp I went to during high school. I bumped into her at college on occasion and she was always a lovely, nice person. She's going through a tough time right now and I wanted to let her know, even though we aren't that close, I care and wish the best for her. I'm not very good with words, especially during times of distress, but I'm hoping this quilt will convey that sentiment to her. So after this one is finished up, it will be jetting across the country to Colorado! How exciting!
With 3 dogs in the house, this was what most of my outtakes looked like. I can't complain when they're just so darn cute! :)
In other news, I caved and joined Instagram! You can find me here or look up littleblackcatquilting!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

A New Year!

It's hard to believe we've made it to the end of another year, y'all! Most of you probably aren't surprised to hear me say I'm ready to kick 2016 out the door and start fresh with 2017. Once again, Yvonne at Quilting Jetgirl is hosting a goal setting link up (with prizes!) and I decided to hop in on the fun!

Last year, I had a big list full of quilting goals and I'm proud to say I've reached some of those goals. I learned how to paper piece and really liked it! I also made some quilts to donate, but I still have to actually donate them. I fell off the wagon when it came to staying consistent with my blogging, as well as giving my blog an update. Surprisingly, I had quite a few commissions this year as well! All-in-all, I count my quilting for the year quite successful.

This year, I'm approaching things completely different. This past year has worn me down. I like to think of it like a river wearing down stones until they are nice and smooth - it makes everything that has happened feel much more positive that way. :) Rather than make a huge list, I've decided to keep things simple. In fact, I've narrowed it down to 3 things. It made me uncomfortable at first because this list feels selfish (there's a lot of me and I in it), but I've thought on it for a week or so and I think it is what I need this year. 

1.) Choose Joy
This has been a mantra of mine during tough times, though it is definitely easier said than done sometimes. I try to remind myself everyday that there is always something to be thankful for. It may be as small as a dog wagging its tail when it looks at you or an extra chicken nugget in your lunch. I'm determined to fill my mind with all those joyful, happy things this year!

2.) Treat Yo' Self
So many people make it a goal to sew from the stash and spend less. I did so out of necessity for a long time, but things are different now. I no longer have to scrimp every penny to make ends meet. I don't have to take on commissions to keep the bills paid. This year, if I really want some fabric, I'm buying it. If I want to catch a movie or dinner with friends, I'm going to. Not to say I'm going to go crazy with spending (I'm saving up for a house!) but I don't want the anxiety that has engulfed me in the past to keep me from enjoying the fruits of my labor. I want to feel free to have fun!

3.) Take Care of Yourself
Over the last couple of years, I have run myself ragged. At times, I would work myself so hard and spread myself so thin that I would get sick. I have been plagued by aches and pains and unexplained 'yuckiness' and, looking back, it was because I didn't take care of myself. My goal this year is to get back to putting myself first some. I want to get back to working out. I used to be strong and fairly athletic - I want to get back to running, dancing, and yoga. I want to get more sleep. I want to stress less and smile more. I'm already getting a start on some of this (despite being sick for Christmas, I've laughed until I've cried multiple times, which is definitely good for the soul!), but I'm making an effort this year to be mindful of myself and what I need.

I hope y'all had a Merry Christmas! And if you celebrate other winter holidays, I hope those were wonderful as well!