A Scrappy Festival Quilt

Hello! While Baby J watches a Sesame Street I'll share with you my entry in the Festival of Scrappiness going on at Stitched in Color.
The beginning of this little quilt came from a stack of left over scraps from some of my prized vintage fabrics. It was a Noah's Ark theme print with cute animals and plants in these really bold colors. Even though there was only a little stack left I knew I wanted to sew them into a quilt for Baby J.
You know when you make a quilt for someone and you're not sure if they will 'take' to it or not. Especially with kids...well this little guy claimed the quilt for his own. I could hardly take pics of it!
I based the 'pattern' on improv piecing and used white for the background. The white were also scraps I had on hand so it was exciting putting the pieces together and letting this quilt build itself. I love the little love birds sitting on the ark, and the elephant which is squashed because it's also pieced from little scraps! Even the binding is pieced from binding scraps!
Here's close up of all the sections and some quilting. Straight lines quilted close together vertically across the body of the quilt but skipping the little windows of color to let them pop. The boarders are simple lines vertical and horizontal so as to create a little lattice in each corner.
I backed the quilt with minky, which makes it hang and feel sooooo snugly! The down side is that red fuzzyness is pulled through the the front. Not a big deal, but lesson learned on that minky note!

All in all I love this little quilt and so does my boy and that's all that matters. Thanks for reading and have a wonderfully scrappy day!


WIP: A little bit of this week

Hello! So lovely to be writing a post...but I'd better hurry; Hubby and I have a date on the couch at 8pm for some Walking Dead! These past two weeks were busy Blue Bird Sews days...sold an item on Etsy (yeah!), had a little table for a local market, even got some fun just for me sewing and sewing for a good friend.

I've been saying for months about trying my hand at a purse. This week I made a cute purse for a friend out of some old jeans she'd saved and vintage fabric I had on hand. To be big enough for the pattern pieces I sewed the scraps together to make the basic shape of the purse then trimmed as I cut the pattern out. The shapes and design that came from it makes the bag pop. My plan is to keep making these hippie bags out of recycled clothing and see what takes shape with each one. Super Fun.  

So the NYB QAL is calling to me...these fabrics tease me at least once a day but there is no concrete plan to go on yet. I love the yellow for center, purple for points and background fabrics to round out the block. We'll see what happens! All I need is time...

And while the east half of the country is wearing shorts and sandals it's snowing here, again...like once a week snow for the past month. Weird for Portland on the valley floor of two huge mountain ranges. Cold but beautiful sometimes too. 

Hope you are having a wonderfully creative week as well!
Linking up to Lee at Freshly Pieced, check it out & Crazy Mom Quilts too. 

Friday Inspiration

I wasn't feeling very inspired these past few weeks. Heck, I didn't even feel like sewing either really; that is until I got out the scraps and started playing with an idea that's been rolling around the brain for a while. This is what happened; crazy, raw edge, scrappy, applique.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Galaxy Quilt: Finished!

So this post has been in the works for quite some time now. Early last year my friend J and I started talking about a quilt for his bed. Only a few requirements: no flowers, dark man colors and it had to fit onto a queen sized bed. With those parameters I set out to make an epic man quilt; Nailed It!

The design part of Galaxy took a lot of thought. I knew it needed a bold geometric foundation...as this is a man quilt! The offset squares in dark/light values make a dynamic backdrop for 12" sampler blocks made from the 2011 Summer Sampler SeriesI can't recommend this sampler series enough! Excellent directions and beautiful results. I could see myself making all these blocks over and over again. After making the six pointed string star block I felt like I could sew anything. 

The Minnesota block ended up being one of my favorites. I just love the way the colors and shapes play off each other.

Galaxy measures a whopping 90" x 88" and was quilted on a long arm by me. It was the 4th quilt I have quilted on the long arm and by far the most challenging. I sewed corner to corner on the dark/light background and then for the blocks did more detailed quilting to make an impact on each design. My best trick with the quilting details was to make a statement by not quilting some areas and heavily quilting others. This made for some cool effects.

The back of the quilt is completely pieced together with left over yardage. I had bought a lot of different colors and patterns and used up the ones with little flowers on the back. There was also a happy accident that made the back even more stunning. I had originally planned for a pieced scrappy boarder on the front but once it was on it just didn't work. So I decided to sew them up and use it on the back...as it turned out it was the exact width I needed. Amazing how things come together sometimes.

The way the quilt lies on a bed is magical. There is no way I could have known that the blocks would lie across the top pillows so perfectly, or that the center square would radiate so nicely from the bottom corner of the bed or that the blocks seem to burst out of the center gradually until becoming heavy on the outside. These are all wonderful coincidences that make me happy. 

Thanks for taking the time to read about this quilt! I really do appreciate every one of you that stops by! Happy quilting!
ps. Rhonda's Finish Along at Quilter in the Gap is ending 1st quarter and this was my UFO, find the original post here

Eat, Grow, Sew: You're Featured!

Hello Ladies and Gents! Hope you are enjoying Sunday. We just remembered that daylight savings was last night...goodbye hour - hello sunshine. This week was beautiful here. Sunny skies everyday and even a high of 60 on Friday! Baby J and I had lots of time walking outside and I got to work in the veggie garden getting my beds ready for planting next month. The sun was such a motivator! Walking to the community center, friends houses, grocery store, fruit stand and park is going to be a must this summer. I'm thinking a 1 mile radius around the house will get us just about everything we need - and get some well needed exercise after a long winter. I hope this next month of Eat, Grow, Sew will see lots of sunny garden and flower pics - and how about a recipe or two!

Heather writes at Crafting... and she's in the process of finishing up some quilt tops. Her most recent finish is the Chrysalis quilt and it's just gorgeous, love that circular quilting! Hop on over to see all the details, she's great at sharing the process!

Anne Marie always has beautiful crochet patterns and here's a super cute one just in time for Easter!

Blissful Sewing linked up for the first time this month with a pattern for a  little girl dress. She has loads of other sewing patterns for sale & a few free tutorials.

Thanks for sharing and linking up ladies! Grab a button if you were featured!

Eat, Grow, Sew at Blue Bird

Enjoy the rest of your Sunday and let's all hope for a quick turn to spring.

I have something to get off my chest...

I have something to get off my chest --- I don't like blogging.
whew. there I said it. 
But on the other hand, I love blogging. 
I know, contradiction right. 

There are things I love about having this wonderful blog and community. So inspiring! So many ideas! Such immediate response! But oddly those are also what chain me to the blog land. Too much inspiration? Too many ideas? Too quick gratification?

So I'm changing the way I blog and it has already started to change my day. More time outside and with Baby J during the day and more connected time with Hubby in the evenings. Just 2 simple things. 
  • I've cut the number of blogs I follow in half - at least. This saves loads of time in google reader. Loads.
  • I've turned off my comments. I know....but the amount of worrying and checking to see if a comment got left was literally driving me batty. I do love to see the kind comments everyone leaves and I know you guys wouldn't say anything bad anyhow! Plus you know what...just you stopping by adds to my page views which is just as fun and gratifying to see! And lastly if you'd really like to tell me you love my stuff or you have a burning question to ask shoot me an email: bluebirdsews @ gmail.com

I am still going to blog once a week or so picking among my favorite topics of WIP, inspiration Friday, showing off a newly done project or bringing you a tutorial. I am still going to troll around and comment when I simply can't hold back. I am going to be a happier person this spring. 


Modern Mini: Lone Star Dahlia

Hello! I am excited to share with you my entry for the Modern Mini Quilt Challenge at Ellison Lane Quilts. I have been working on this relatively little quilt for a few weeks now; many, many naps times later this is what I ended up with. Little isn't necessarily fast in quilt land!
Hung by the Chimney with Care
This quilt started with a Lone Star pattern, but turned into something so much more. I wanted to try out the pattern and audition colors for a quilt for my bed. I am still undecided as if this will be 'the one' but I am sure glad I tried it out on a small scale before attempted 7x7 rows of diamonds!

The colors I used were from all different fabric lines and it was really fun mixing and matching. 
Yellow: Ocher Kona
Green: #102 Moda
Light Grey: Coal Kona
Dark Grey: Charcoal Kona
Orange: #80 Moda
Blue: Mari Michael Miller Cotton Couture
Red: Cran Michael Miller Cotton Couture
Purple: Berry Kona
Quilted Swirls and Straight Lines
The quilting pattern came rather organically. I had a plan for straight line quilting the back ground with small lines and then decided to take it to the next level and make it all diamonds. The swirls in the center remind me of the center of a flower with petals on the perimeter.
Quilting Detail
This whole quilt pushed my comfort zone. First time working with diamonds; which gets easier as you go (just make sure the seam ripper is near by!). First time just winging it from start to finish not really knowing what this quilt was going to look like in the end. Pushing myself was rewarding...I am really happy with it!
Quilting detail

The Back. Scraps and White. Brilliant idea for hanging with dowel and pockets
The back is the left over scraps, i just love the row of diamonds, that is my favorite! The quilting looks as cool from the back as from the front. The quilt measures 33"x33" just under the requirement. One night while in the middle of making this I had a panic moment wondering if it was too big to be a mini...thankfully the cut off is 36"x36", whew! 

Modern Mini Challenge

Thanks for stopping by! I am so grateful to have finished my quilt in time and for the opportunity to enter into this amazing contest filled with so many beautiful quilts (and amazing prizes!) Competition is stiff, so wish me luck!

p.s. this post will be linked up this week to a bunch of parties...find them here and other places:


Fresh Sewing Day: February Review

1. Rainbow Scrappy Pot Holder Tutorial, 2. Organized Chaos Quilt Block, 3. Galaxy Quilt, 4. Warm/Cool 2 Quilt Block, 5. Warm/Cool Quilt Block, 6. Warm/Cool QAL Block 1, 7. Quilt Top Detail8. Mini Quilt Preview 9. Kaleidoscopic
Lily's Quilts

Hello! Welcome to Fresh Sewing Day! It's been a while since I linked up with Lily's Quilts for the review of the month and I am glad I did. It's great sharing and visiting to new blogs and quilts I would not have seen otherwise. 
February had a lot of sewing in it; mainly working on two things Galaxy Quilt (top right photo) & Mini Quilt for the Ellison Lane Quilt contest (middle bottom photo). In between those two things I have been putting blocks together for the Warm/Cool QAL (middle row photos) and playing with scraps. 

After completing the Galaxy Quilt I needed the freedom of playing with scraps and making something quickly..you know the instant gratification quilt. So I put together the Rainbow Scrappy Pot Holder and loved how it turned out so much I made a couple more blocks and shared the tutorial with you.  

Another little project the scrappy vintage modern quilt (bottom left photo) was born from the same need for something to complete. I made the top and then waited until a quilting design came to mind. When it did I started sewing little lines down the negative space and it felt just right. It was also practice for the mini quilt quilting which I am still working on...but almost done and it is feeling just right too. 

March has plans for the changing of the seasons. I have just a few more little sewing things to start or finish but no new big projects are looming for me. Instead it will be time to start seeds indoors and peas and greens outdoors for the summer veggie garden. Something me and Baby J can work on together. 

Thanks for checking out my month in review! Happy Sewing Everyone!

ps. if you are a shop owner of any sort won't you come over and check out my Store Front Meet Up link party...it's going on through tomorrow so link up your online shop or a post about your selling and share with us! 
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