Friday, April 27, 2012

An Upcoming Blog Hop in Red, White & Blue

To paraphrase the Reese's slogan ... blog hops and red, white & blue blocks are two great things that go great together, right?  They sure will this coming July!

Madame Samm just hosted a super fun blog hop full of table toppers at Sew We Quilt, and I had fun seeing all the creativity and meeting bloggers who were new to me.  Madame Samm is one busy gal.  She's already planning the next one!  This time, Jane of Jane's Fabric's will be hosting the festivities. Its going to be Red, White & Blue blocks and you will be able to hop around the web, viewing blocks on blogs hither and yon starting July 1st, including one here at Hot Pink Peonies!

Woo hoo!

If you'd like to join the fun, visit either Madame Samm at Sew I Quilt or Jane at Jane's Fabrics to learn more and to sign up.  Who am I kidding - go visit both blogs - there's lots of quilty eye candy in both places!  Let one of them know you'd like to join in, and then get planning!

I have a red, white & blue sampler quilt already in the works with 'tester' blocks I've used for swaps and whatnot and I'm super excited about adding to it!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Lone Starbursts

Just popping in to show you my finished blocks for do Good Stitches for last month.  These are Lone Starburst blocks, using the design by Six White Horses

We were asked to use navy, aqua, grey, kelly green or citron with white in certain spots.  This block is not for the faint of heart, but it is a show stopper!  I think I spent over 14 hours on the two.  Lots of seams and lots of pressing but she's a beauty.  I can't wait to see the finished quilt!

Back to the sewing room to hit my WIP list!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Its Wednesday again, and that means its time for a Works In Progress roundup, and a visit to Freshly Pieced

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Have you tried paper piecing?  I've seen some wonderfully creative blocks on the web that use paper piecing to make a shape within a block, and then there are all the gorgeous variations of New York Beauties.  In March, our assignment for the Inspire Circle of do Good Stitches was to use the Lone Starburst pattern from Six White Horses, using a combination of navy, aqua, kelly green and citron, with a white background and center stripe. I'm embarrassed to say this is still a WIP but I should be able to finish tonight.

What I love about being in a group like do Good Stitches is that each month, I get to create something with specific instructions and it almost always gets me out of my comfort zone.  We are either using a color combination that is new to me, or a new pattern, or a new technique and that helps to expand my skills as a quilter.  Plus of course I'm helping to make something useful and comforting for someone else.  I love this block, but man does it take a long time to matchup fabric, sew, flip, trim, matchup fabric, etc. etc. etc.  A. Long. Time.  Its a gorgeous block though and its going on the list of blocks to be included when I do a star sampler quilt. To learn more about do Good Stitches, please visit our Flickr page.

Another WIP is the sunglasses case for my friend's mom.  I am kind of winging it, and I've decided the prototype isn't quite right so I'm trying to figure out a new strategy for making it more of a clutch.  I tried putting binding on the flap edges but I had some difficulty so I ripped it off.  My friend said her mom would prefer bright & cheery to shabby chic florals, so I've gotten a new fabric combo ready to go.  It has to be ready by our lunch date on Monday, so you'll see the finished product soon!

And since I thought you deserved something pretty to look at, here is my blooming orchid.  I bought this plant on St. Patrick's Day when I moved to Florida in 2010 and its doing pretty well considering I have not been treating it very well.  She needs to be repotted for sure.  The blue & white china flower pot was a gift from parents several years ago when I started a new job, so it makes me quite happy to see a plant enjoying it!

What have you been up to?

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Weekend!

Hope you have time to enjoy your friends and family this weekend, whether you're celebrating Easter, Passover or just the glory of Spring!  

This plumbago in my yard is popular with the butterflies, but I can never get a good butterfly shot. Aren't the flowers a gorgeous shade of blue?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Expanding My Horizons

Do you have a favorite fabric designer or manufacturer?  I've always considered myself a Moda girl.  I love so many of their designers, and the fabric has such a lovely hand to it.  It has always been the benchmark of quality in quilting fabrics to me.  I'm starting to branch out though, and I've discovered that Michael Miller is slowly taking over my shelves of fabric stash.

This is a dreadful photo but that's what happens when you're trying to do 14 things at once and your camera battery dies. Anywho, I made this little apron a few weeks ago to wear at the shop, to keep track of my ever present box cutter, my cell phone, a pen etc. and have had several compliments on it. Not just compliments, but requests to sell them too.  So I've been working on improving my pattern and the overall scheme of putting one together and I'll make some to sell. This apron is made from a Patty Young fabric called Daisy Dots, and I just can't get enough of it.

In light of my new apron plan, I decided my stash needed some enhancing, so I took a wee trip to my LQS this week, Rainbows End Quilt Shop.   First I needed some extra choices for my doGood Stitches blocks for, ahem, March. I just don't have alot of navy in my stash and I've used up most of the grey.  I was also on the hunt for apron ideas.  This cute border print caught my eye.  Won't this make a cute apron? The border for the pockets and the red print for the backing?   I can't wait to finish one! This is part of Gypsy Bandana by Pillow & Maxfield. 

Photo courtesy of Michael Miller on Amazon
Back at home, I dug into the stash to make a new pillow for the garden bench at the shop and found this super easy square panel print, also in Gypsy Bandana.  It makes a 20 x 20 pillow and really brightens up the bench. The lime and hot pink are super cute. (The photo doesn't show you too well, so you'll just have to trust me!)

When I was sewing up this pillow cover last night, I was thinking about pink & green and I dug around in the stash and looked at some selvedges.  I have a nice selection of Whimsy in pink and green prints, some Flora & Fauna and some Mezzanine all by Patty Young.  I think I'm branching out & I have definitely added 2 designers to my favorites - Patty Young and Pillow & Maxfield.  Somehow they snuck up on me!

Are you surprising yourself with any fabric choices these days?