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Happy Mail!

Look what I got in the mail yesterday!!! That’s right, I got my swap goodies for DQS10. And I couldn’t have been more thrilled to find this little beauty, made by the delightful Jessica of SewCraftyJess.

I’ve been following Jess’s fabulous blog for a while now, and she regularly links up to WIP Wednesday, so I followed along with the whole process of creating this stunning quilt from start to finish—without ever once realizing that it was actually mine. Although I do think I begged her to be my partner at one point, because, well, who wouldn’t want this amazing piece? Here it is, already hanging in its new home above my machine. Doesn’t it look great? (Admittedly, at the moment it’s just stuck up there with painter’s tape. Anybody have a good, slightly more permanent way of hanging mini quilts?)

The curved piecing, the hand-quilting, the way all those prints work together so beautifully—wow. Every detail is just perfect, right down to the carefully chosen thread colors for the quilting. Believe me when I tell you that the pictures just don’t do it justice.

And that’s not all! Jess also made me this adorable matching pincushion. Would you believe that the only pincushion I owned (prior to this one) was a tomato that I bought at Joann? I know, how sad is that? And check out those adorable buttons! My daughter is already begging me to make her something—anything—with those buttons. I’ve already got several possibilities in mind!

Last but certainly not least—how flipping cute are these little pin toppers? Cupcakes! And an apple! And you guys, Jess made them herself! For real!

Thank you, thank you, thank you to Jessica for such a sweet package and amazing doll quilt. As beautiful as it is, it means that much more to me coming from one of my blog friends. It is the perfect addition to my sewing room. And be sure to check out Jess’s blog, if you haven’t already!

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Hope Valley Top Complete

I finished my Hope Valley quilt top last night! I’m very happy with it, although I can’t say I’m sorry to be done piecing it. : )

This one started out as a sketch. I didn’t have any particular fabric in mind at the time—I was just sketching. But I knew I wanted small-scale prints with very little white. Hope Valley jumped to mind immediately.

Next, I made a mock-up in Adobe Illustrator. I don’t do mock-ups for all my quilts, but I knew this design would take some hard-core planning in order to pull it off, so no flying by the seat of my pants on this one! I like to use Illustrator for my mock-ups because you can import scans of your fabric and save them as pattern swatches in the color palette. Then you can easily fill any shape with that pattern—it will automatically repeat the pattern to fill any shape/size. It makes mocking up with prints easy, quick, and accurate.

Even with the mock-up, I kept making adjustments to the design as I pieced it. Most notably, I dumped the yellow/green inner squares. And that was after I sewed all the HSTs! (But before I squared them up, at least. And I’m sure those HSTs will make an appearance in something else.) There are a few other smaller differences between the mock-up and the finished top. I also went back and forth about the borders and sashing before finally settling on what you see here.

And I am so happy with how all of those seams came together! Finally my seams are starting to match up! As I finished piecing this last night, I thought back to when I started quilting and would get so frustrated because things just wouldn’t line up. It’s so nice to realize that all my failed attempts and all my practice are finally paying off. There are certainly places where this top could have come together better, but it is head-and-shoulders above where I was last year at this time. Now I just need to work on that quilting!

So of course, I’m planning to quilt this one myself—probably diagonal lines through all those little squares. Hopefully I can get to that after Thanksgiving.

Oh, I’m also adding this to Quilt Story‘s Fabric Tuesday. And don’t forget WIP Wednesday tomorrow—please join us with your WIPs!

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Work-In-Progress Wednesday

Since “wordless” isn’t really my strong suit, I’m going to start devoting Wednesdays to a WIP round-up. Maybe it will motivate me to finish more of them. At the very least, it’ll help me keep track of everything I’m working on. (I’m an obsessive list-maker—I don’t function without a to-do list!)

Hope Valley quilt
I’m piecing this one now, and I am SUPER excited to show it to you. But for now, here’s just a little sneaky peak.

That Girl … That Quilt Along quilt
I don’t know why, but I just wasn’t feeling those Oddysea charms that I picked out. I love the line, but I decided it just wasn’t working for this project. So I’m changing things up—I’m busting out my Farmdale! The more I look at this line, the more I love, LOVE, LOVE.

Modern Meadow baby quilt
Top’s done, but I’m still considering how to quilt it. This one’s not needed until February or March, so plenty of time to keep thinking about it.

Fat Quarterly Quilt Along quilt
Top’s done. I’m definitely going to try Imagingermonkey‘s easy-peasy wavy-line quilting. (Hey, click on the link—there’s my quilt in the lower right corner of the mosaic!). But since this top is not for any person or place in particular, it’s not high priority right now.

Figgy Pudding Christmas quilt
The pattern I’m working from is above (it’s a free pattern from Moda). I’m about halfway done piecing it, but I just haven’t been motivated to work on it lately. Other things interest me more right now. That’s probably because I’m doing this one straight from the pattern, with no modifications at all. But I know the girlies would love having a Christmas quilt. I’ll get back to it one of these days.

Wonky Log Cabin quilt
I started this one while I was still pregnant with my 18-month-old. Oops—I guess that officially makes it a UFO. But check it out! I forgot that it’s actually kind of cute. I’m not sure why I stopped working on it for so long. I find improv a little intimidating, but I also love how forgiving it is. I really need to drag this one back out.

UPDATE: Elizabeth suggested I do a little WIP Wednesday linky thing. I love it—great idea, Elizabeth! I’ll start that next Wednesday. Anybody who wants to do their own WIP Wednesday post and link it up here is welcome. I hope you’ll all join in. Should be a good motivator—let’s all knock some projects off our lists together!