Friday, May 1, 2015

Seeing Rainbow

{photo by me}

I can not believe it is May already! April and March have been such a whirlwind for me! I had family come into town to visit for a couple weeks- which meant road trips all over the South, sightseeing and showing everyone a good time. Then we found out that we will be moving back to the midwest at the end of the summer, which somehow crazily resulted in a spur of the moment "book a flight the day before the trip" house hunting excursion last weekend- which was a lot of fun but also somewhat stressful and tiring! ;) Plus, regular everyday living has been busy busy busy- but I'm not complaining! Life is good and I am so blessed.

  I've been sewing off and on through it all, but everything is still in a WIP {work in progress} state so I haven't had much to show here on the good ole blog....... Soooooo.... I decided that I better do a "What I've been working on lately" post for those of you that aren't cruising around on Instagram seeing the progress.  

Over the last few weeks I've done a bit of work on my La Passacagliasewed a Quilted Suitcase for quilt market, but the biggest things that I have been working on as of late are a couple mini quilt swaps- one that I am doing with a few close IG friends, and the other is the #cottonandsteelminiquiltswap. Both are pushing me to create something that will be loved and appreciated by the recipients.
{Rainbow is a improvised version of the Pickle Dish mini I made, the January block is scaled down to 50% which makes it roughly 6" square. }

Here is the progress on my Cotton + Steel mini. It is looking like it will be a sampler mini quilt of sorts, but I still have a few more elements to add and then will start to figure out placements of each block and whatnot. The colors are so vibrant and I love each of the blocks! I'm gonna have a hard time sending this mini to it's new home! 

I hope y'all have a wonderful weekend!
Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Monday, April 20, 2015

Quilting for Twins

Last month I started a fun project- quilting for TWINS! (But not my own! ;)
My sweet cousin is pregnant with twins... A boy and a girl. As soon as I heard the news, I started day dreaming about a fun color palette for coordinating quilts to make for her and the babies.
I wanted something that would coordinate, but not be matchy-matchy. I started pulling fabrics from my stash and the fabric that kept jumping out to me was Wild and Free Folk Plaid by Maureen Cracknell. I felt like it would be the perfect fabric to tie both quilts together. 

So first I pulled fabric for the baby girl quilt. I started with the plaid, and then added some peachy fabrics as well as some mustard. Some of my favorites were the Wild and Free Arrows, Arizona Desert Blanket by April Rhodes, Winged Plumage by Bonnie Christine, & Domino Dot in Geranium by Violet Craft.

I really love the way the colors came together. I think this combo is so dreamy- plus since most of them are Art Gallery fabrics, they have the softest hand and it is just an incredibly snuggly quilt!
After I finished the baby girl quit, I pulled fabrics for the baby boy quilt. Again, I used the Wild and Free Folk Plaid as the fabric to tie both quilts together. Then I added some Cotton + Steel Basics from the blue and mint color ways, Essex Dyed Linen in BlackHello Bear Buck Forrest by Bonnie Christine, and some black and white fabrics pulled from my stash. (I used the folk plaid for backing on this one and I am going to have to do it again! It was the perfect quilt back.) I tried to do a new and fresh color combo that I hadn't really seen before, and I think its perfect for a little boy. 
The quilts have made it to their destination and are anxiously awaiting for the babies to arrive and snuggle with them! Can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by my blog! Hope y'all have a happy week!
xoxo, Ashley

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Zip Up Makeup Case | Ribbon Blog Tour

 I'm excited to be a part of the Renaissance Ribbons Tour for Going Home to Roost. The tour just started and will last 3 weeks, with a new project everyday featuring Bonnie Christine's beautiful ribbons. Today I get to share the project that I designed using the gorgeous fabrics and ribbon that Bonnie sent me.  
Be sure to check out the yesterdays project by Audrey of Skirt Fixation and the tour will continue tomorrow with Sarah of Smiles Too Loudly.

I jumped at the chance to be a part of the tour because I have never worked with any Renaissance Ribbons and I am a total fan of anything designed by Bonnie Christine! 
{Have you seen the butterflies from her Winged fabric line that I am using in my La Passacaglia quilt? Gorgeous!}
I knew that this would be the perfect fabric and ribbon to make a case for my daughters to keep their pretend make up in. They love doing makeovers and are fascinated by momma's makeup case, so I knew they would love a case of their own. 
This make up was one of the very first projects I ever shared on the blog! It's held up for 4 years of playing and it's still going strong! Here is a link to the tutorial if you are interested in creating makeup for your little princess that doesn't make a mess! Just ignore the horrible pictures! ha ha I was totally new to blogging! ;)
 I chose to use the Ivory on Gray Nesting Blooms ribbon paired with a cute print from Bonnie's Hello Bear line and a print from her Winged line- along with a couple scraps from my stash to  create my patchwork for the front of the pouch. I love the colors! Plus the prints are manufactured by Art Gallery and have the most beautiful hand to them! 
{The ribbons are available for purchase directly from Renaissance Ribbons, or A Stitch in Time.}
 I just kinda made up my pattern as I went along. 
For the inside, I made one zipper pouch to keep their makeup in, and the other side of the case has a pocket to keep brushes in. 
(I kinda recreated a different version of my Field Study make up case for the pocket to hold the brushes.)
What makes it perfect, is that it zips together to keep everything contained and the handle makes it easy to carry around. 

  I used the ribbon for the handle of the case (I top stitched it to a fabric strap) and also used it on the inside of the case to cover up the "raw" edge of a zipper so it had a neatly finished look. The ribbon was great to work with. It is woven jacquard ribbon so the underside is "thready", which is why I had to sew it to something to use for the handle, but I can think of a lot of projects that the ribbon would work beautifully in! The pictures don't even do them justice! So detailed and vibrant.
My girls absolutely love it! I was their first "make over client" and I see many pretend make overs in my future! So fun to have "girly girls"! :)

Thanks for stopping by my blog!
Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Monday, March 2, 2015

Behind the Scenes | Plus a Giveaway

Are y'all on Instagram? It is my very favorite way to share the "behind the scenes" of all of the projects I am working on. 
I don't do a lot of WIP {work in progress} posts here on the blog, so Instagram is the place to see everything in it's "work in progress" state! It's so easy to snap a photo on my phone while sitting at my machine, or paper piecing in the car, etc and share it within seconds. 
{Trying my hand at paper piecing/appliqueing clamshells... Mine are totally inspired by the amazing Mary Dugan of Molly Flanders} 
It's also my very favorite way to stay in touch with all my sewing and blogging friends- plus make new friends! I love that it's so easy to click "like" or comment on a photo. While comments are few and far between on my blog these days, it is so refreshing to get feedback on a project I'm working on, or get answers to a sewing question I have. {I know you're still reading, and I totally get that it's kinda a pain to log into your account to post a comment on Blogger! No worries! But those of you that are still commenting on my blog have a special place in my heart! You are all the sweetest!}
 {Ever and always working on my La Passacaglia Quilt... You can find all of my progress under my hashtag #mbdcbnpassacaglia}
 {these star points are the tiniest and most tedious part of the La Passacaglia process, but when they are put together, they are so fantastic!}
I have heard from some readers that they are hesitant to get in Instagram, or that they are on there and don't like it. My only advise for you is to give it another chance. I really love it so much! I am inspired daily by the amazingly talented people I follow, plus I also find it so easy to search for inspiration within the hashtags. 
For instance, if I want to see anything made with fabric by Anna Maria Horner {my very favorite fabric designer}- I just look up the hashtag #annamariahorner, and over 6000 pictures pop up. {I have to be careful to manage my time, or I could loose myself for hours there!}
 {Baby girl quilt for a friend. Made of mostly Art Gallery fabrics... So soft! Coming soon to the blog.}
Another reason I love Instagram, is that it is a great way for me to let y'all know when I have a new blog post up. The link to my blog is found in my profile so it's always an easy way to click over and read posts on my blog.  
 I hope that you'll come play along on Instagram! I love talking with y'all there and seeing your creations too! Be sure to tag me if you ever make something using a tutorial you find on my blog! I love seeing your versions of projects I've made!
You can find me here: @crafterbynight.

Last but not least, Fort Worth Fabric Studio is doing a giveaway today for one lucky reader! 
$50 Gift Certificate to their shop!!
What better way to brighten your day, then to go on a shopping spree for fabric online!?! 
I think if I had $50 to spend there, I would definitely get a bundle of Milk Sugar & Flower!

All you have to do to enter the giveaway is head over to browse the Fort Worth Fabric Studio website and then come back here and leave a comment letting me know what you would get if you won the giveaway!
{your answer will in no way effect the result of the giveaway- just fun to hear what y'all have your eye on!}

One person will be chosen at random and notified via email on Friday March 6th. 

HI, I'd select "Indygo Nature", a beautiful collection!Thanks for sharing your neat Blog+a great Giveaway too!Happy Stitching!

Have a happy Monday everyone!
xoxo, Ashley

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Leopard Print Spinning Stars | Tessa Basket

Seems like every couple months the new "IT" pattern pops up on Instagram. The Tessa Basket seems to be just that right now! I've seen so many fun versions of it popping up in my feed and I put it on my to-do list a few weeks ago. I knew it would be perfect for carrying around my hand stitching WIPs, so when @greenletterday had a sale on her patterns last weekend, I took advantage!
 I wanted to make my version slightly different than the ones I have seen, so I went with a different approach to my patchwork. I made half of a Spinning Star block (scaled the size down a bit) and appliqued it onto the ruler fabric and trimmed off the bottom with some  kona charcoal. I really love the way it turned out! That leopard print is so fun!
I would definitely recommend this pattern! It is so fun and super easy! 
Hope you are all having a wonderful week!
Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Mini Patchwork Purse | Scripture Case

My girls love taking their scriptures to church every Sunday. 
3 years ago, I made a little pleated purse for my oldest to carry her scriptures in. At the time, my youngest was just a toddler so I didn't bother making one for her. Since she has gotten older and started taking hers to church too, she has just been using random oversized bags to carry them in. Poor thing begs me every Sunday morning to make her scripture bag when we get home from church, but somehow that project always got shoved to the back burner and forgotten.
This week I decided it was time to just buckle down and do it. It only took about 2 hours to make, and that's just because I just kinda made it up as I went along. Now that I've made it once, I think I could whip one in no time. (Why didn't I do this sooner?!;) 

I started by making a "Mama Block" (a mini version of a granny square block) that was inspired by these blocks I saw on NanaCompany. I used 2x2" squares of fabric to make the block. After I trimmed the points off and squared up the block, I added the strips of fabric to the side of the block to make the panel more rectangle. Once I had my front panel completed (6x8"), I cut one for the back and then cut two 1.5x6" strips for the side panels and one 1.5x8" strip for the bottom panel and applied fusible fleece to each of those. Then I assembled them to create the exterior of the bag. Then I cut coordinating sized pieces for the lining and assembled those. I made some straps for the handles to tie at the top and then put it all together. As an afterthought, I added a button and strap to the top to keep the purse from gapping open once she had it all filled up.
(this purse was constructed pretty similarly to the pleated purse I made my oldest {minus the pleated part}- so you can check out the tutorial for that here and make any necessary changes to create your purse how you would like.)
My girls just use the regular sized, paperback version of the Book of Mormon- so this purse fits the book with a little extra room for lipgloss or whatever tidbit they are bringing along to church.
When I gave my daughter the purse, she said sweetly, that it was the "best thing I've ever given her". Of course that melted my heart and I am kicking myself I didn't just do it sooner! haha!
At least she will have it just in time for this Sunday though, right? :)

Hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!
xoxo, Ashley

PS: If you would like to learn more about what I believe, click here.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Mini Quilt | Kaffe Fassett Pickle Dish

Do you ever get an idea in your head, and even though you have a million other things you should/need to be doing instead, you just can't seem to shake it? THAT was totally me for the last couple weeks! I have been wanting to make a pickle dish quilt ever since I saw one in my local quilt shop {Sew to Speak} by the amazing Mary Dugan of Molly Flanders
My photos are courtesy of my phone and instagram... sorry they aren't the greatest! 
 Then my friend Rachel started making one. She would bring it to work on when we would get together and I fell in love with the idea of making one myself! Obviously I couldn't add another WIP {work in progress} to my growing pile, so I decided to make one block and turn it into a mini. I had package to send Rach that I had been putting together for her and figured that a pickle dish mini was the perfect thing to finish off the package. 
 There are 3 patterns for a pickle dish quilt that I am aware of. There is a fabulous {and free} tutorial with step by step pictures and templates by Aneela Hoey. Then there is one called Gypsy Kisses by Sarah Fielke in the Material Obsession 2 book. And the last one is by Kaffe Fassett in the Quilt Romance book 
The Sarah Fielke and Kaffe Fassett pickle dish look very similar to my eye. I am sure if you had one of each quilt side by side, you would see that there are definitely differences in them, as they are assembled using different techniques, but at a glance they look the similar.
The one that I have seen by Mary, and that my friend Rachel is making is the Sarah Fielke Gypsy Kisses version. I haven't read the pattern, but I am pretty sure it involves hand applique and machine piecing. I have never done applique before so that kinda scared me! So I did a little research and found that the Kaffe Fassett one is all machine pieced. That seemed a little safer for me to try, but I have to admit- the curved piecing was kinda freaking me out! I have never sewed with curves when it comes to patchwork! So I tried to muster up the confidence needed and ordered the Kaffe Fassett book.
 I started working as soon as the book arrived. The pattern is great and very straight forward. The only changes that I made to it was I didn't add the final piece to the outside of the block to make it "square". I liked it curved around the edges since it is just a mini quilt. I also made my own center template by taping 4 of the "template B" pieces together to create one center piece of fabric instead of 4 separate pieces. 
(I cut the seam allowance off of the 2 straight edges, but left the seam allowance on the curved edge and then taped them to create one template.)
I was super excited to cut into my Liberty Bloomsbury Gardens stash and I knew they would pair perfectly with some of my Cotton + Steel and Anna Maria Horner stash. I used Kona Charcoal as the background, backing, and binding of the quilt. Then I hand quilted it with Valdani pearl cotton. I pin basted the layers together for quilting but I didn't use a hoop to stretch it out as I quilted it. I just wanted it to have a loose, soft, puckery feel to it and I really loved the result! 
(I definitely wouldn't use this method for a whole quilt, but since it's a mini and is just hanging on the wall, I figured it was ok.)

Now that I have made one block, I feel like I can go on with my other WIP's and I don't have a pickle dish quilt in the back of my mind....ok... ok... who am I kidding?! Now I want to make another pickle dish more than ever! 
I definitely need to make a mini for myself to hang on my mini wall and I'm totally adding a full pickle dish to my bucket list for sure!! I'm afraid I've awakened a pickle dish monster inside me! ha ha ;)
I hope y'all have a wonderful week!
Happy Sewing!
xoxo, Ashley