Saturday, April 15, 2017

The Troy Boy Quilt

I mentioned in my last post that I had started another project, totally unplanned. Full disclosure on my fabric buying fast, this little project required a fabric purchase! I didn't have enough different blues and greens in my stash for what I wanted to make, this quilt by Sew Katie Did was the inspiration. I was prudent though and only bought three charm packs of "Grunge" by BASICGREY for Moda. The fabric choice was a suggestion from my sweet quilty friend Julie. I already had the fabric for the back and binding in my stash. When I separated the blues and greens from the rest of the colors in the charm packs it wasn't going to be enough to make a large enough baby sized quilt. So, rather than buy more charm packs I shopped my stash for some neutrals to fill in the blanks. Once I got all the half square triangles made I didn't over think the arrangement too much, in fact I did just what Katie said to do and as I finished trimming each one I simply stuck it up on my design wall in ten rows of eight and kept on trimming. Of course, I'll be honest here, there were some blocks that needed to be moved! A few times! But not too many times, really I only took a couple of black and white photos for help with values and called it good. The hexagon shape in the upper right area occurred completely by what I'm calling the "trim-it-and-stick-it" process, and I liked it so much that I totally didn't mess around with it! For the quilting, which is the skill I'm least confident in doing, instead of going with simple horizontal lines I decided to challenge myself with straight lines starting on one side and weaving my way around corners and such until I ended up on the other side. That first pass is what set up the rest of the quilting design. Totally spontaneous, go with the flow kind of processing that goes on in my brain! The design I wound up with took time, much more than I originally had set out to spend, but I'm really pleased with the result! It is so crinkle-licious!! 

And so, after all that about the process, you're probably curious as to the unplanned nature of project and quilt name, yes? Well, a few weeks back my husband received a text from a friend of his that another friend of his had just had his fourth child, well the wife did the actual birthing of said child but you get the idea, right? The text went a little something like, "...had a boy and named him Troy." We both laughed and then wondered if there was someone in their family named Troy that they named him after, since Troy isn't an uber popular name these days. Turns out that he was indeed named for my hulking, handsome, ass kicking, name taking husband and they fully expect that with a name like his, Lil' Troy will grow up to be somewhat like his namesake. As you might guess, the quilt making wife of namesake decided right then and there that a special quilt was in order! 

 Now, I must mention that one of my favorite parts of the quilt making process is the picture taking of the finished quilt. People who know me, know that I love taking pictures and when it concerns taking pictures of my finished quilts I'm always on the lookout for interesting backdrops for my quilt pictures. Since I rarely keep any of the quilts I make this part of the process is, for me, that final bit of artistry that goes into the memory of the project. I finished this little quilt last Wednesday and decided the next morning to go to this little beach near our house to do the photo shoot. I had one of my lovely quilt models with me and when we arrived it was just gorgeous outside, the water was super still and oh, so blue! We began our process of quilt photography with my daughter's fancy camera, snap, snap, snap! Oh the wonderful pictures we never actually took! That's right, the memory card wasn't in the camera and it wasn't set to not take pics without the memory card. Always make sure the memory card is in the camera Kim!! Conveniently, I had more errands to run later and so we went back to try again, after all there was still nice light. In the span of just about an hour that super still, oh so blue water was angry from the wind and colored mud. I didn't even try and decided to wait until the next morning. As we made our way back home I noticed there was someone working on a vehicle in a lot that I've had my eye on for picture taking for some time now. The property has no trespassing signs posted but when I saw there was someone there I thought I'd ask about getting permission to take photos. So, I pulled in, parked, and mustered up all my quilty charm and began chattering to the man my need to take artsy fartsy photos of my finished quilts and yada, yada, yada. George was happy to allow me to take pictures, he was such a kind gentleman with a beautiful smile, and with those words I was able to coax him into some quilt modeling to boot! Don't you agree, he has a most beautiful smile?!!

This was such a fun project from unplanned start to serendipitous finish!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Q1 Project Report

That title, I'm starting to sound like my dear husband--chuckles and shakes head. Anywho, just a quick update post on current projects. I had hoped to have finished, or at least worked on, the two baby quilts I started but they haven't moved from the pile. There's also that purple quilt I mentioned. The binding is just waiting to be attached and hand finished.

I made two more Solvy blocks and started the project for using them, going in an improv direction using denim and so far I'm enjoying the process and the result.

This one was made with trims from the Crab Trap Quilt made in January 2015. 

The improv in progress...

And the finished canvas I started...

I decided, after several weeks of walking past it, that it needed to come off the frame...

and go under the presser foot for some stitching...

and then get be continued.

Right now this is what's on my table. 
Yep, another new project! 
It's an unplanned, but need to make for a special reason, project. 
I'll elaborate more when it's finished.

That's all for now, thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Last week I took a test block that I made a couple years ago for the Ladybug Star Block Swap and turned it into a delightful pillow cover for my daughter as a late birthday gift.

It's a simple envelope closure pillow cover and many tutorials can be found with a quick Google search. The borders that I added to the block were fabric scraps from the quilt that I made with the blocks that this was a test for. That pompom trim, so perfect for my little Sunshine!

The finished quilt is now available for purchase 
in my Etsy Shop at DolceQuilts

Thanks so much for stopping by and if you're interested 
in collaborating on a custom pillow cover or quilt, 
please contact me through a conversation via my Etsy shop.

Have a Happy Day!

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Boho Quilt Finish

I have a second finish for the year to report! Yay! I purchased the fabric, 20 fat quarters of the Indie Collection by Pat Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics, back in February, 2014 from Moona Fabrics on Etsy. I finally made the first cuts back in August last year. It's a simple quilt that didn't take long to piece.

Started by cutting from each fat quarter 9 strips. 
Three strips measuring 3 inches, 
three strips measuring 2.5 inches 
and three strips measuring 1.5 inches.

After cutting the strips I threw them in a bag and mixed them up.

From the bag I would reach in without looking and grab two strips and sew together. 
Chain piecing is very handy here!

After sewing together four pairs, then each new piece would get pressed and cut into three inch strips.

Once all the strips were cut then they went back into the bag and were sewn together end to end creating one really long strip, in this case a total of about 1920 inches in length, as in joining a jelly roll for a jelly roll race quilt.

Once all the strips were sewn together end to end then I treated it as a jelly roll race quilt.
Start by folding the one super long strip in half without tangling it and sew. The first couple of folds is the longest most tedious, but once past that it goes really fast! There are lots of jelly roll race quilt tutorials out there so feel free to Google away until you find one you can follow if you're not familiar with it. :-)

Once it was sewn together I shipped it to Sharyn of Blossoming Designs to work her quilty magic. Then all it needed was the binding and a photo shoot. My sweet quilty model made it shine!

This quilt is available for purchase in my Etsy shop, DolceQuilts 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Project Solvy

I mentioned in my previous post that I started a new fabric project. The project has been marinating in my head for a while. I discovered a post from on Pinterest that described a method of using leftover fabric trims to make fabric for applique cut outs and other projects. At the time of my discovery, pretty sure it was middle of 2015 sometime, not too long after I opened my Pinterest account and started pin, pin, pinning away, I had been hoarding, er rather saving, my fabric trims to use as stuffing. My youngest daughter likes to make stuffies and I thought my trims would be perfect for stuffing her little monsters, because, hello, I absolutely hate wasting fabric!

The directions in the tutorial were easy peasy to follow and I gave it a try last September with leftover fabric trims from a quilt I made for a very dear friend for her birthday. Funny little side note here, the blog post with the tutorial is dated September 23, 2011--my friend's birthday just so happens to be the same day. Yes, I'm easily entertained by serendipitous occurrences. The trimmings were just too beautiful to toss. I followed the tutorial and made a colorful little mug rug that resembled an abstract painting. I liked it so much, abstract paintings are my favorite, that I was tempted to mount it on a board and keep it for myself. But, it went really well with the quilt so I stuffed it into the package and sent it on it's way, late of course 'cause I just seem to roll that way these days.

I pretty much followed the tutorial as explained except I used Ultra Solvy for the stabilizer. 
Step one, starting in upper left photo, shows backing fabric with Solvy stitched down on three sides.
Step two, stuff your Solvy envelope with fabric, adjust and stitch down open side to close.
Step three, upper right photo, start sewing lines. Photo in bottom left corner shows stitching lines.
Step four, soak Solvy sandwich in warm water, rub gently if necessary and rinse.
Step five, allow to dry. I tossed mine into the dryer on medium heat.
Step six, use as you like. In this case I just topstitched around the edges several times.

This pic shows the back which is a leftover block from the quilt.

And here's the finished piece.

And, the quilt...

Okay, so I enjoyed this little project so much I have been itching to use my fabric trims to create additional blocks. So far I've made six more and I'll probably be making them for like, FOREVER since I have what seems like a lifetime supply of trims! Well, I hope not anyway. I mean I really like making them but there's other projects on my list! I have a plan for them and I'll post another update once I get to phase two of the project. For now, here's pictures of what I have so far...

For this one I used larger scraps and trims.

This one was mainly scrap thread and embroidery floss.

And just to give you an idea of what my space looks like with this project in full swing. 
I'm about halfway through the basket and that's a large Target bag filled about halfway.
So, yeah, that's quite the supply of trims. And then there's scraps...bags and bags of them hiding out.
Oh, and in the background there you can see my little painting space with a canvas in rest mode. 

Until next time,
Have a happy creative day!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Empire State of Mind 2.0

Okay, so I never wrote a 1.0 version of Empire State of Mind because my first trip to the Big Apple happened in October 2015 and I wasn't really doing a whole lot of blogging then. Let me just say this, my first trip there was pretty wonderful. I had the opportunity to visit several churches, including St. Patrick's Cathedral where my husband and I attended Mass on the feast day of Pope Saint John Paul II, see the new World Trade Center, ride the subway for the first time, do some shopping at Century 21 Department Store and visit The Museum of Modern Art. Oh, and eat some really delicious food.

The day after my previous post I was on a jet plane back to that magnificent city with my husband for yet another tag-a-long business trip. When we arrived it was snowing! It was nice to see a little snow actually, it gave me a valid reason for wearing my oh-so-cute boots and the opportunity to wear some of my other favorite winter pieces. I have a conundrum where fashion is concerned; I'm a hot blooded summer girl who loves winter fashion and I live in Florida. Yeah, not many opportunities to wear wool around here in the Sunshine State.

Fashion conundrums aside, New York didn't fail to entertain and inspire once again. Our hotel was located in the heart of the Garment District and I had a splendid time wandering around, taking in the sights and spending my husband's hard earned money while he was at his meetings. I know, I said I wasn't going to purchase anymore "unnecessary" fabric and so I'm just gonna be honest, I bought some fabric. Some of it was necessary and some not. Hey, sometimes a girl just has to do what a girl has to do.

One does not simply walk into Mood Fabrics in New York City and not buy at least one cut of fabric, especially if that fabric was what you'd been looking for, for like forever! Am I right? I think so. Anyway, I had been looking for a graffiti print for a purple quilt that coincidentally had just been finished by one of my longarm quilter friends while I was on this trip! So, this cut of fabric was retro-necessary! And, it was an Alexander Henry print that was newly released, no wonder I hadn't found it before! And, and, I didn't even touch the Liberty fabric with my hands! I just took a pic, smiled and waved goodbye.

Next, I visited Sposabella Lace, because lace is just so pretty and I've got ideas swimming in my head for using some. Well, wouldn't ya know there was a scrap basket on the floor next to the checkout counter and I managed to rescue a few pieces. I had a wonderful conversation with the lovely sales woman who helped me sort through the scraps and she generously shared with me some of her ideas for the pieces I chose. Totally unnecessary at the moment but they were very affordable and pretty! I mentioned they were pretty, right?

For entertainment, the next day my husband took me up to the top of the Empire State Building! It was a beautiful day, a bit windy and cold but not unbearable. It's the tallest building we've both been up in and the view, um yeah, breathtaking. Isn't he just adorable?

After our tall building adventure my adorable honey was off to a meeting, to do his thang, and I had time to do a bit more exploring. I easily found a few more fabric stores, thanks to my iPhone, and one that had huge bins of scraps! I'm not talking about little scraps here, I'm talking about yardage scraps! I was well behaved and found a scrap that the owner let me have for three bucks a yard, the scrap turned out to be a little more than five yards! Plus, he let me have another weird looking piece that I thought had potential. Total score! Sadly, I don't remember the name of the store and I didn't get a receipt, the guy just squished the fabric into a plastic bag that says "I <3 NY", took my cash, gave me an air kiss before dragging on his smoke and I walked out with my beautiful unnecessary purchase. 

A few doors down was Spandex World. I could totally get into some spandex but I must say no for now. It was tempting though, all those pretty colors that stretch.

After my husband's final meeting for the day we were able to make it uptown to The Metropolitan Museum of Art for a quick visit. We saw many favorites and met an amazing local artist named Dwight. He was sketching in the Degas exhibit and we had a wonderful conversation about art. 

Since I've been home I have been working on a new fabric project that I'll share in a future post. Plus, lest I forget, I started a painting! As I said before, New York didn't fail to inspire and entertain. It's that concrete jungle where dreams are made of...let's hear it for New York, New York, New York! Oh how I love thee!