This and That

Have you heard Google Reader is going away soon?  In light of this not-really-that-sad-in-the-greater-scheme-of-life news, I’ve made the easy switch over to Bloglovin and so far it’s great.

Do follow my blog with Bloglovin, would you?

In other news, I’ve almost got a finished quilt to show!  All it needs is a binding.

Quilted Swoon - from Marta with Love

This quilt came together using a Swoon block that’s been in my unfinished object pile for over a year.  I finally conceded that a whole 9-block Swoon quilt wasn’t in my future and decided to make the most of this pretty block by turning it into a baby quilt to donate.

Quilted Swoon - from Marta with Love

I started with the lone Swoon as my base and built the quilt top around it.  There wasn’t much intention in my process; I simply slapped it up onto my design board and laid prints around it until I found what looked good.  In two short evenings, I had my quilt top and backing all pieced up!  Then I basted and quilted in a classic infinity scroll à la Denyse Schmidt (after seeing her work in person at QuiltCon, I want to quilt all my quilts with the infinity scroll, no matter how amateur mine look by comparison!).

Tangerine Quilt Back - from Marta with Love

I really love the backing.  I’m not a big orange person, but the right shade of sherbet or tangerine can make my heart sing.  The print on the left there is Pebbles in Poppy from Lotta Jansdotter’s Bella collection.  I love it and I love all her designs.  The flying geese block you see was my very first paper pieced block from several months ago (awww).  It uses the same fabric as the Swoon on the front so I wanted to give it a home in this quilt.  I’m really putting my dormant blocks to good use!  And of course, plenty of yarn-dyed Essex Flax makes its appearance in this quilt as well.  I’m an addict.

Last on my list of “this and that” are some fun bee blocks.  I haven’t chugged a full gallon of the Scrappy Trip Around the World Kool-Aid (find #scrappytripalong on Instagram –you’ll understand what I’m referring to), but I did take a sip and really enjoyed making these two blocks for Nicke’s month in our Heal Circle.

Scrappy Trip Bee Blocks - from Marta with Love

Octagonal Orbs Quilt Finish

My Octagonal Orbs bee quilt is finished, packaged, and off to its deserving owner across the country.  I sincerely hope it can provide her comfort and joy this Christmas.

Octagonal Orbs bee quilt

Octagonal Orbs bee quilt back

Octagonal Orbs bee quilt scrappy binding

Octagonal Orbs bee quilt close-up

Octagonal Orbs bee quilt close-up

Madrona Road Bow Clutch

Yeah, I made another clutch. Guilty as charged.

Like with all my projects, I made it with love. But this clutch (tutorial here) contains an exceptional amount of that sweet ingredient. It’s for my beautiful friend, Nicke, who just lost her mom.

Nicke is in the Heal Circle of the do.Good Stitches charity quilting bee with me, and October also happened to be her month in the circle. Rather than just send her a couple blocks and call it a day, I decided to package her blocks in an extra special shipping container :)

Nicke has been a phenomenal leader of our circle, and her huge heart makes her that much more deserving of some extra love and support during her own tough time.  Not only is Nicke one of the kindest people I know, but she’s edgy and speaks her mind, which I LOVE.  Her sharp tongue and wit crack me up on a daily basis, and her realness is infectious and refreshing.

Nicke loves modern fabrics, so I chose Morning Glory in Charcoal from Violet Craft’s Madrona Road as the main print and Kona Berry for the bow and strap (the same Kona Berry I used to bind my Heirloom table runner –I’m a berry/purple FREAK lately).  The lining is Sketch in Citron by Timeless Treasures.

Of course, I also made her the bee blocks she requested this month: Japanese “x and plus” blocks. She sent us a PDF of the dimensions she wanted for 13″ blocks and requested they be SUPER duper scrappy.  You’ll notice I used more berry hues in Nicke’s blocks.  I can’t. get. enough.

Side note: while I absolutely love the black and white chevron print from Ann Kelle’s Remix line, I have to look away while I’m ironing a bigger piece because the print is so psychedelic it makes me physically sick if I look at it for too long!  Talk about a visceral connection to your craft, man.

I hope you’ll be inspired to make a little something for a friend you care about this holiday season, even if it’s something small. I’ve been on the receiving end of some pretty thoughtful gifts in my day, so I know how absolutely touching it is to open a handmade gift and bask in the love that comes with it.

Octagonal Orbs Quilt Top

In my last post I said I finished two quilt tops this weekend, which means I have another one to show you. It’s the product of twelve pairs of hands from the Quilts for Cancer bee, each making and sending me one block for the quilt.

Our bee is called “Quilts for Cancer,” but we’ve been realizing throughout the months that these quilts are really for anyone in need of some comfort in their illness. Mine will be for a client of the law firm I work for. I wish I could tell you more about her because her story would amaze and inspire you. I hope this quilt will not only provide her and her wonderful family with a little happiness, but also show them how much they’ve inspired everyone at our firm with their courage and love.

As for the quilt design, I posted about Elizabeth Hartman’s Octagonal Orb block in a previous post if you’re wondering where you can find this fantastic block pattern to make yourself. I decided not to sash the blocks because they’re already large and I didn’t want the quilt to be so big.  Instead I trimmed all the blocks a little to bring them to the same size and just assembled them side-by-side, which I think turned out looking pretty cool.  This pattern would be great with a more contrasting background fabric to really make the orbs come forward and the diamonds at each intersection pop.

I do still love my linen choice for the background fabric in this quilt (yarn-dyed Essex cotton/linen blend in Flax) and have lately come to the realization that it’s my favorite fabric.  I’ve been incorporating it into almost everything I sew and don’t plan on slowing down soon. I think the texture is what grabs me –it’s delicious.

I haven’t fully finished a quilt since my Backyard Boy so I’m stoked to finally get my quilt on! For this one I think I’ll echo the octagon shape in my quilting design. I’m also really looking forward to doing some hand-stitched bindings. Taryn at from Pixels to Patchwork recently had this to say: I *love* hand sewing the binding. It allows me to be lazy and productive at the same time! I totally agree! You KNOW I’ll be watching me some Downton Abbey while I bind these. That or Harry Potter. Anything British, really.