Thursday, April 17, 2014

Pillows and Fancy Free Motion Quilting

Recently I've been working on honing my skills at free motion quilting. I've been working mostly on smaller projects which lend themselves well to being densely / intricately quilted. I'm still not where I want to be with this, but I'm working on getting the movement and flow down so that it will translate easily into all my quilts.

On a whim this week I decided to make a pair of pillow covers for my cousin and his fiance. They are getting married this weekend, and as of last weekend I still hadn't decided on a gift - so handmade seemed to be the best option!

You might notice that these are made with the scraps from my "Modern in the City" challenge. The strips and strip sets were already partially pieced so why not? Jason and Andrea have not yet solidified their decor style - but both their living room and bedroom have grey and blue so these can go either place. I sure hope they love them as much as I do!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Blue Hair, Box Pouches, and Secret Sewing.

dyed hair at home blue

Well hello! I dyed my hair blue.

I've been working on several smaller projects the last few weeks. Truthfully it's still really hard to carve out the time for quilting while working full time (I miss my more part time schedule!). I've been working and quilting, and planning.

oil cloth box pouch blue

My ever growing quilt goals. I have so many of them -- but I'm slowly making a little progress. My ultimate goal is to be teaching. I'd love to teach classes locally, and I'd love to do so regularly. Getting myself out there is just the hardest part for me. It might be fear of rejection (many shops only hire their employees to teach - so it's pretty likely). Or fear of just not being good enough. Surely I know how to teach quilting, since I've been teaching my non-sewing friends for years, but something becomes more real when you're asking for payment in return.

kona curry
Secret project
If I had extra space here at home I'd give individual lessons... that would be easier. I am not very good at the business side of requesting proper payment - from a shop or individual. Does anyone want to be my billing dept? 

quilted pillow
FMQ practice on a quilted pillow
I am working slowly toward the goal of teaching, and toward the goal of sustaining my quilting habit through quilt related earned funds. I've recently been working on a couple magazine submissions, and I filmed another episode with Quilty. I'm super proud of these things. It feels good - like validation that I'm growing. I'm stacking up items on my "quilting resume." As a result I don't have a lot to share - these projects will be shown on blog hops, at quilt market, and in magazines in the future. I'm still holding my breath on some of them. We'll see how it all pans out.

I've been keeping busy and breaking up the "important sewing" by making smaller - nonsense projects (no thinking needed). The pictures in this post are all of these sorts of projects. Oilcloth boxy pouches, quilted pillows, and small little fabric buckets.

fabric bucket
Fabric bucket
If only I were using this play time to make a dent in my personal sewing! My mind is so full of my next projects. I have a quilt in my head that will be for my brother and his new wife (!!). I also have plans for some fabric buckets and baskets - I'd love them to be intricately pieced - because what could be cuter than a very useful item that's intricately pieced? I also need to get working on items to sell - I need to amp up my Quiltcon fund before registration happens next month. I think I'll be making several oilcloth box pouches - and some sets of pouches. I'll probably sell them on Instagram so if you're into those sorts of things be sure to follow me there, my Instagram name is MommysNapTime. 

Friday, March 21, 2014

Chicago: A City Of Hope.

I can't believe it! I finished my challenge quilt on time!!

I finished on Wednesday, and it was so gloomy out that my pictures were not that great. This challenge was to be entered online, and the judges will only have our pictures and artist statement to go off of when deciding which quilts are used for the show... so I wanted my pictures to be great. I waited until Thursday (the last day for submission!), so I could get some better pictures.

I did indeed get better pics. I'm quite impressed. My friend Judy suggested taking my quilt to the public library to photograph - since the architecture at libraries typically allow for lots of natural light. She was right! My library has huge windows all along the sides, and they're the frosted glass kind, so it's not direct sunlight. Perfect! I walked back to the young adult stacks and laid my quilt on the floor (dark brown carpet - pretty neutral background!) - and I started snapping away. No one even noticed me, and if they would have I'm sure they wouldn't be bothered. 

So there you have it. Take your quilt pics at the library. Pick up a good book while you're at it!

My challenge quilt is titled "Chicago: A City of Hope." It's a really abstracted version of the Chicago map. The quilting is done in the layout of the Chicago El map, and it's bound in (pieced) Chicago flag stripes! 

I'm really happy with how it turned out. I don't specifically have a need for this quilt (other than to enter into the show), so I have listed it for sale (should it be accepted for the quilt show, it will be for sale there). That would be a nice addition to my Quiltcon fund. :) 

For now I'm just glad I got it done. Here's hoping it will hang with the rest of the "Modern in the City Challenge" quilts at the IQF in Chicago! 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Chicago MQG "Modern in the City" Challenge

My guild (and the other local MQG, Naperville Modern Quilt Guild) is having a challenge. The theme chosen is "Modern in the City," and some of the quilts will be chosen to hang in the show at the International Quilt Fest in Schaumberg this summer.

Clearly I would love to have my quilt included... but I'm running out of time! Last week my family was taken unexpectedly by illness (double ear infections on a five year old who wears hearing aids - ouch!!). We also had the unexpected trip back home for a funeral. Funerals are always fairly unexpected, but we had some heads up, Grandpa had been sick for a while.... At least Allie was well enough to travel, and she was so well behaved. I really can't believe how well she handled it all. She was so supportive of Grandma too!

Given the situation, I don't know if I'll be able to finish my challenge quilt. It only has to be 36" square - that's pretty small for a quilt. I have a solid idea though, and I'm going to give it a try. I might not get it completely done, but it's worth a shot.

My quilt will be an abstraction of the Chicago map. It's main focus will be a dense area of free piecing which will be surrounded by more free piecing. The city is dense and unexpected, it's harsh angles and smooth curves. My color palate is cool and blue, a nod to Lake Michigan, with bits of Chicago's aqua blue. The addition of the grey variations are a subliminal mention of the parts of the city we'd rather not think of, the shadows. The poor, the dirt, the smog. It's something I don't immediately associate with Chicago, but that is definitely there. The ultimate feel I am going for with this quilt is one of hope. Hope in the good, hope for the bad, creative growth, and community sharing. 


Well now I know what to write when I'm asked to "describe your quilt." If only I get it done in time!

I have approximately two days off before this quilt is due. That's a mere 6 hours of piecing. If I can get the quilt top pieced by then then I'll push through to get it quilted too! Here's hoping!!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Hope NICU Quilt for Benartex

I'm guest posting on the Benartex blog today!

Once it's all quilted up I'll be donating it to my local Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) - so it can bring some hope to a baby in need of a bit of hope! 

Doodle Dog Fabrics
You've got a chance to win a fat quarter bundle of the Doodle Dog collection that I used for my quilt. There are three chances to enter:

1. Sign up to follow Benartex's blog, either via email or a blog reader program like Bloglovin' (both on the righthand sidebar of the blog). Leave a comment letting me know you did so. 

2. "Like" Benartex on Facebook and leave a comment letting me know you did so. 3. Follow Mommy's Nap Time and leave a comment letting me know you did so.

This giveaway is open through Sunday, March 2 at 11:59 PM EST. 

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

WIP Wednesday

Whoa it's been forever since I did a WIP Weds post! I was just polishing up a blog post for later this week when I noticed Lee's post on my feed. So I guess I'll play along!

Here are my WIP's:

The Economy Block-along. This is actually already pieced into a quilt top but I'm unsure if the big border is too much for it.... we'll see.

Sabrina's Quilt (um... this kid is over a year old now...) I've got the backing and binding all prepped. I need to borrow a longarm. This quilt is supposed to be my longarm practice so I'm confident enough to do the detail work I want on MY quilt. :) 

Do you prep bindings all at once? I do if I have two quilt tops done at once! These bindings go to the two projects above.

And of course I need a new project! I just received this Jaybird Quilts pattern and ruler in the mail! The quilt finished so tiny that I can't wait to get started!!

Thanks for stopping by - I hope you'll poke around if you're new. I have lots of finished quilts and a bunch of free tutorials. Oh - and a quilt tutorial coming later this week!! 

Whew! Now if only I could find some spare time to work on these WIPS. I'm so inspired to finish them now!!

Saturday, February 22, 2014

QuiltCon: I can't wait!

It's no surprise that so many are already planning their trips to Austin next year for QuiltCon. Yes, the MQG only just announced the dates today (a mere dozen hours ago!), and yet already several of the local hotels are sold out! It doesn't surprise me one bit. QuiltCon was the most exciting and inspiring thing to happen in my creative life - since joining the Chicago MQG! 

I'm going of course. I've booked a room, gathered some roomies, and I'll make it there somehow. I'll be devising a financial plan later, but for now I'm going to revel in the memories and be excited about the new memories to be made. 

If you're even remotely thinking of going to QuiltCon - do it! Make it happen! I'll see you there!