Thursday, December 18, 2014

So many swaps

I have this habit of signing up for too many swaps. My boyfriend is convinced I only ever make things for other people and sometimes he is not too far off the mark. I end up making a lot of things that I love and sending them off to new homes. The good thing is that I know they are going to someone who will love them as much as I do.


This past weekend we had our Seattle MQG holiday party and sew in, and there was a swap involved. I started making a super cute pouch for the party with some paper pieced letters on one side and tiny geese on the other. It was a major pain in the ass - don't EVER use Essex for tiny paper piecing! It's just too thick. The letters looked awesome in the end though and I loved the pouch.




Since this one wasn't destined for anyone in particular, I kept it. The boyfriend is proud of me for making something that I'm keeping. And I'll get to enjoy my own handiwork for a long time to come.

Allison

Friday, December 5, 2014

Free Motion Friday: Love My Life

I wasn't going to show this one for FMF but then I remembered that it does have a little free motion quilting in it, so why not! For the past 10 years, I've been involved on and off with Team in Training (TNT) for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. TNT trains people to complete marathons and other endurance events while they raise money for research to cure blood cancers. I lost two grandparents to blood cancers and have been unfortunate to know many more people who have lost their battle as well as many who have survived.



Along the way, I met Shellee. A breast cancer survivor herself, she lost her sister Liz to Hodgkins Lymphoma when Liz was just 31. Shellee has also done many event with TNT and this past spring took on the task of raising $70,537 in just 12 weeks. Her efforts funded a research grant in her sister's name.

Part of Shellee's campaign included an auction and I wanted to do something to help out - so I made her a quilt to auction off. I came across this heart pattern on Must Love Quilts and knew it would be perfect!



I named the quilt Love My Life, a Quilt with Heart in Liz's memory and was able to incorporate that into the quilting as well. Cursive letters are so easy to add in to a quilt! The rest of the quilt is just straight lines radiating out from the heart.



The whole thing turned out just how I had imagined. I love when that happens! I sent it off to Shellee for the event and later learned that not only did the quilt raise a lot of money but the person who won it in the auction actually gifted it back to Shellee. So sweet of them! So now it lives with her and reminds her of her sister the angel.



If you'd like more information on blood cancer please visit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

To hear more of Shellee and Liz's story go here: http://www.lovemylife4liz.org/ 

If you're interested in more information on Team in Training or you'd like to sign up to train with them for a marathon, half marathon, triathlon, or other endurance event, you can do so here or I am also happy to answer questions.


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Me Being Crafty

I had a great talk with Tsoniki Crazy Bull for her podcast Me Being Crafty. It's always a little odd to hear your own recorded voice but I think it went pretty well! Tsoniki was a lot of fun to talk to - you should definitely check out her other podcasts. Thanks for having me!

You can find the podcast at http://mebeingcrafty.com/2014/010-alison-dutton-alison-sews/.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Tudor Bag

I finished up another bag this weekend as a pattern tester for Sara Lawson of Sew Sweetness. The Tudor Bag is the perfect size and shape to tote around my laptop. To make sure it fit, I made the bag a few inches wider and I added some leftover Soft and Stable to an inner pocket.

Last time I made a bag, I substituted auto headliner foam for the S&S but never again. This stuff is a thousand times better. The handles and lower accents are Alissa Haight Carlton's Modern Solids and they are so soft! The floral print is from Maywood Studios, something I picked up on Instagram a few months ago.

Here are far more pictures than you'd like to see. Thanks to my friend Kristen for modeling the bag for me! Enjoy, and definitely check out Sara's new pattern.

















Friday, November 21, 2014

Free Motion Friday: FMQ Doodling

My birthday was a few weeks ago and I asked my boyfriend for some new quilting books. Lucky me, he was happy to get me exactly what I asked for. Two of them are FMQ specific, Graffiti Quilting by Karlee Porter and Shape by Shape by Angela Walters. They are both amazing! I've been having a lot of fun going through them to get new quilting ideas.



Of course, the best way to practice these motifs is to doodle them. I got these Stabilo pens in a swap last month and they are the best ever for this type of doodling. Plus, I like to change colors every page or so to keep the book extra pretty.

Here's some practice from Angela's book. I really love her signature design - it's instantly recognizable as hers. I'll have to practice this one some more but I think I'm getting the hang of it!







And here's some practice doodles from Karlee's book. I need to practice hers a lot more as I've never been one to just doodle all the time but I absolutely LOVE her style. 





So now YOU go and get your doodle on!

Allison

* Affiliate links above *

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Seattle MQG Retreat

This past weekend was the Seattle MQG's Fall Retreat and it was so much fun! Three whole days at a retreat center in the wilderness with nothing to do but sew. I guess we could have hiked or swam, but sewing was all I wanted to do.

Of course with the list I posted last week you would think I had tons of projects to work on but sometimes too many options are a bad thing. I made some Diamonds in Diamonds blocks out of some Cotton and Steel fabric I got a few months ago. I started setting them but need to do a little more work to finish the sashing. I'm really liking them so far though!


I made a cute little mouse friend to go with the Forest Abstractions coyote I pieced a few months ago. They are BFFs already and are going to have a lot of fun playing with their new owner. Just need to quilt this little guy and finish it up now!





I took my first stab at some graffiti quilting a la Karlee Porter and it was pretty fun! I was testing Juki to make sure he was ready for some FMQ so I could do a little work for a friend. Unfortunately I figured out that Juki does not like glue or applique work. Dang it, no quilting over her applique quilt. At least I figured out why the quilting didn't go so well on Falling - I had glue basted many of the pieces together.



On Sunday, I walked some friends through Noodlehead's open wide pouch tutorial, one of my favorites to make. They were great students!



This also happened to be my birthday weekend and my very sweet friend Kristen made me the most adorable birthday cake pincushion!


I'm already looking forward to our next retreat!

Allison

PS - sorry about all the IG pics. I actually did have my real camera there but only managed to take pictures of what everyone else was working on!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

The List



Do you ever feel like you have a million projects you could be working on, but then when you have some free time you can't remember what any of them are?? Yeah, that's me. All the time. So I thought I'd make a little list and update it once a month or so. Or just make a list and see what happens lol.

Started projects:
- Double gears quilt: I had a bee make me these blocks in 2013. They are still sitting there. I wonder if there are enough to make a quilt top with some negative space instead of 100% blocks? Hmmm...
- Julia cardigan from teal jersey sheets: pieces are cut, just need to sew!
- Butterfly washi dress: pieces cut, back shirred, need to figure out a sleeve option and finish sewing the dress.  *** This one is going to be my ALOYF goal for November ***
- Forest Abstractions baby quilt
- Finish hand-sewing binding on Metallion
- Finish hand-sewing facing on Falling
- Resonance quilt: back is pieced but needs to be fixed, top needs to be pieced still. Twin size.
- Talahassee quilt: blocks still coming in from Stash Fabulous bee and need to make LOTS more
- 2014 Pile O'Fabric Skillbuilder BOM

Projects I want/need to start:
- August C+S Diamonds in Diamonds quilt: fabric set aside, nothing else done
- Bitches Get Stitches Swap
- giant Aeroplane bag
- arrow quilt using Sarah No Hats free pattern
- Simply Color Medallion quilt
- Blackboard pencil pouch for side swap
- something with the quick curves ruler I bought
- something similar to Jaybird Quilts Delight pattern
- Zsalya top - raise bottom of yoke
- Syrah skirt
- V& Co Chelsea bag pattern
- Trail Tote
- more Julia cardigans
- more tiny pocket tanks
- more Washi tops
- Beyond Neutral Arrows quilt
- scrappy Forest Abstractions - maybe make a tiny dent in the scrap bin
- Plus block quilt from Bluebird Park charm pack