Monday, July 28, 2014

Box at the Opera Quilt

Last week a coworker, Sarah, asked me to make a queen-sized quilt for her new house. I couldn't have been more thrilled! We discussed patterns and fabric over lunch, finally deciding on a patchwork pattern using fall colors. With only a picture on Pinterest to work with, I searched and searched for a pattern, to no avail. All I ever found was the picture - no pattern, info, etc. I eventually gave up and decided to create a pattern myself, which would be very close to the pattern of the quilt she'd picked out.


The quilt was made up of about 50 pieces, all squares and rectangles of different sizes. I'm not so great at "random", so I decided to copy the general layout of the quilt pictured, and then add some extra pieces to get the desired length.

Although the math was frustrating, and the cutting process ridiculously long, the top actually came together very quickly. It took only about two hours to complete the piecing.




Sarah loves fall colors, which worked out perfectly because I already had a gorgeous collection of fabrics from Tipsy Star Quilts in Asheville that I've just been dying to cut into. I supplemented those with some purple (Sarah's favorite), tan, and orange from Joann's. The colors all worked together harmoniously!



This quilt is named box at the opera because Sarah is a musician and sings opera. I can't wait to finish this one up and get it to her. I hope she loves it as much as I do!


Friday, July 25, 2014

Roses and Gems

I am so excited to be almost finished with this quilt top! It was such a good challenge in so many ways and I couldn't be more pleased with the result.

It all started when this cheery diamond fabric caught my eye. I didn't buy anything to go with it, but decided to hold onto it until the perfect idea came along.





Between two different trips to the fabric store spread weeks apart, I somehow ended up with a beautiful pallet of reds, blues, and greys. I questioned some of the fabrics that didn't seem to match, but decided to go out on a limb and commit.




I chose the Boho Diamonds pattern by Katy Jones (from Love Patchwork & Quilting Issue 2, pg 50) because the quilt pictured used many bright jewel tones, and I felt that the pattern would really display each fabric individually, as well as how all of the fabrics related to each other. Even though it's busy, I think it's perfectly acceptable!







I think this quilt would be wonderful in a nursery, or just as a light summery throw. I can't wait to quilt it and see it finished! 

I just can't get enough of these colors together. They just work so well. I also feel, while each print is very bold, that they all have similar themes that tie them together - birds, flowers, feathers, etc.




Even though I didn't make this quilt for myself, or anyone in particular, I totally adore it and I hope that it finds a home with someone who will love it as much as I do!

Check back soon for another quilt top that's in progress. 


Ta-ta for now!
LB

Monday, July 21, 2014

A New Adventure

Well it has been quite the whirlwind summer for the Greene household. JT and I have both been quite busy at work, leaving little time for extra activities. I've worked on a few projects here and there, but nothing major. I do have two commission quilts in progress that I can't wait to share :)

I haven't had much time for quilting, mostly because JT and I are preparing for our next big adventure. We have always talked about wanting to travel and see different places. He wants to experience guiding other rivers, and I long to find communities of quilters and other artists among whom I can refine my skills. We often feel frustrated by our jobs, despite the blessings that they have brought. We have begun to feel as if we work so much to afford things that we don't have time to enjoy, and it seems that it can only get worse from here. The best answer, for us, comes with simplicity. Minimizing "things" and "stuff" so that we can truly enjoy the richness of our lives: time, relationships, nature, quiet, etc.

Although we have explored many plans and possibilities in our year of marriage, none have really felt right until now. By the end of this month we will be moving into my parents' 5-bedroom house in order to save up money...for a school bus. There are no concrete details yet, but the general goal is to buy the bus sometime between October and the end of the year. Then we will begin demolition and construction to convert it into our own tiny home. We hope to have it completed by next summer, when we will move in!

Here is a great look at how people around the world have simplified their lives and chosen to live in small homes. It seems to me that the smaller their homes are, the more they live as if the entire world is their home...that it somehow belongs to them. Also, if you have Netflix, check out the documentary called Tiny: A Story About Living Small.


I'm sure you all have many questions and concerns, as do we. But the fear is what tells us that it's right. This isn't just a pipe dream. We're very aware of the sacrifices we will make, as well as the time, energy, and resources required for this kind of project. It is a big order to fill, but we are confident that this is the next step in our life, and that God will provide. We ask you to pray with us and for us as we start this journey...that God would lead us, renew us daily, and draw us closer to Him through this adventure.

As always, we are so thankful for the encouragement that we have received so far, and look forward to sharing our story with you.

Don't be shocked...you should know that we're a little crazy by now ;)

LB

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Crazy for Bags!

I was raised to love bags...purses in particular. Not because my mother insisted on having every season's Coach, Louis Vuitton or what have you. No, she took a much more humble approach. The bag could be any shape, size, color, brand, material...anything goes was the theme. But one think that was consistent was that every Easter, instead of a cheap basket filled with plastic grass, my sister and I received a brand new purse. Of course the Easter Bunny did not neglect to provide us with delicious treats (I mean a girl needs her Reese's peanut butter eggs). But the best part was a brand new bag for the year. Like I said, it could come in any form...I think I actually recall something denim.

So now, at age 22, I still have a periodic itching for a new purse. For daily use, I prefer something store-bought, durable, and just big enough to hold the bare essentials. But I am also constantly in need of larger bags for all of the extensive traveling that my husband and I do. By this I mean monthly-ish visits to family in Georgia and the occasional wedding.



So after making several tote bags for Christmas gifts, I set out to create my perfect travel tote. I absolutely love how it turned out and I use it all the time! It's a great size for toiletries, shoes, books, whatever!

However, as far as clothes were concerned, I had still been sharing a thrift store suitcase (or something just a laundry basket) with my hubby. Until the day that I decided to tackle my next project...the duffle bag


Isn't she cute?! I am so excited to travel with it this weekend for my friend Emilie's wedding! I am so pleased with how the fabrics worked together. And the inside is teal polka dot :)

I actually used an "annoying old school tissue paper pattern that's really hard to work with and why didn't I just find a tutorial online"...and obviously I had a little trouble with it. My two trouble spots were the side pieces, which somehow did not match up with the front and back pieces. I "fixed" that by just making a tuck at the top of both side pieces. It's not perfect but I think it'll pass.

I also struggled with encasing the raw seams inside the duffle. I did one and wasn't too pleased with the results so I gave up on the other two for now. Not sure if I'll go back and do that or not. Maybe before it needs to be washed.



All in all I think it turned out to be a precious companion to my travel tote and I am so excited to put it to good use! Here's to many more travels :)




Cheers!
LB

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Kelly's Garden

Hello folks!

Again, I must apologize for my lengthy silence. Going full-time at work has definitely taken it out of me! July isn't going to be any better, but I'm hoping to knock out some unfinished projects, particularly some wedding quilts that need to be finished up before September!

On the business side of things, I've made some progress in how I present my products. My dear friend Katharine designed an official logo, which I've already used on home made business cards. It is so much more cost effective to make your own, and it just takes a pack of card stock, a cheap printer, and a knowledge of Microsoft Word (or Pages, for those of us with MacBooks). Katharine also created these adorable instruction cards for my "machine washable" goodies!



Although my Etsy sells have ground to a halt over the past few weeks, I've kept busy with commission work. JT's Nana has asked me to make her matching quilted travel bags: a large tote bag and a backpack. The fabric is waiting to be cut for those and I can't wait to get started! I also finished a french braid quilt top today for a very special young lady! More on that to come :)

My latest completed quilt was so fun to make, and I just love its history!!! A long time friend of our family came to me with a very unique request: to make a quilt that spanned four generations! So here's the family tree...and an explanation of this quilt's journey.

Kelly's great grandmother embroidered 12 beautiful squares.



Kelly's grandmother Charlotte had the squares made into a quilt. It is not pictured here because...let's just say we're not sure how much quilting experience its maker had.




Kelly's mother Paula bought the very sad-looking quilt to me in hopes that I could remove the original squares, and create something that looked more professional and more fitting to Kelly's personality. I was thrilled! I did my best to provide a fresh, bright backdrop for the timeless embroidery, while maintaining a traditional design. I used simple sashing and borders in bright, bold prints to bring out the vibrant flowers in the original squares. I also used crisp, white broadcloth to give the eye a place to rest. 







Of course I am still learning and fine tuning my skills. For some reason I struggle with long, straight lines on quilts, particularly when it comes to borders. Some of the places where the sashing cross are a little uneven, but I have to say it's much better than the previous quilt! I am very pleased with how it turned out, and I hope that Kelly will love it when she receives it! 

Below is my favorite picture of this project. I thought that it captured some of my more precise angles, as well as the adorable chevron binding. And then I noticed my "photo-bomber". Can you spot her?



Kelly's Garden is now complete...critters and all!!!

Thanks for stopping in! Have a great week!
LB

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

ADVENTURE IS OUT THERE!!!

Happy Hump Day everyone! I'm so glad to have a day off to myself today...but I have no idea what to do with it!!! I decided on a little artistic therapy this morning, and finally ironed all of the itty bitty pieces of this new art quilt. I hinted at it in my post a couple weeks ago, and it's finally coming together! I just LOVE the movie UP!


I found this great blue background at Joann's on Sunday and couldn't pass it up. Not sure how well it translates in the pictures, but if you look at it in person it almost looks like clouds!


There are at least 200 hand-cut balloons, ranging from the size of a dime to a quarter. WHEW!!! Glad the cutting and ironing is over, but I have no idea how I'm going to quilt them...


I also filled an order for Etsy on Sunday night. A sweet lady named Debbie loved my bird apron but wanted it in a slightly larger size for her granddaughter. I wasn't able to find that same fabric, but I did find something close! I hope she loves it!



Stay tuned for pictures of another order that I'm filling! It's a long story, but I have the privilege of using some very old embroidered squares in a bright, new quilt. It's coming along splendidly!

LB

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

HBQ is now on Bloglovin!

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