hop on over and stay awhile

me at the lake

Hello to all of you hopping along from the Let's Get Acquainted blog hop! I am so happy to introduce you to myself and my blog!

I'm Jess - an interior designer turned homemaker and quilter. I started on my quilting journey just a bit over a year ago. I got my machine (a basic Husqvarna Viking Emerald 118) and began piecing a quilt for my guest room. After I had finished that quilt, I got involved in my local guild, began collecting fabric and spending my free time making hand sewn goodness.

first quilt collage 2
my first quilt
I really like projects that stretch my creative muscles. I've been working on some projects from patterns recently, but I get pretty bored with those rather quickly. The projects where I start and don't know where I'll end up, tweaking and working and creating as I go, are my favorites.

sewing cover/ mug rug/ curtain
I also love scrappy projects. I really enjoy taking the leftovers from old projects and making them into something unexpected.

placemats/ scrappy trip
I always like having a few projects going on. Right now, I'm working on a Retro Flowers quilt, my first commissioned quilt, my scrappy quilt-as-you-go (below left), and my hand stitched Modern Medallion quilt (below right). I like moving back and forth from projects in various stages, but nothing beats a finish!

qayg/ modern medallion
When I'm not sewing, I really love to cook and I love the outdoors. I often go hiking with my husband and our pup, Fleury (a sneaky little pup with a sarcastic sense of humor). Speaking of the fluff ball, I recently made him a bed and since y'all asked for one, I also created a tutorial on how to do it, so stop by again next week to check that out, won't you? Fleury asks that if you make one for your puppy, that all thank you correspondence be sent to him (and if you are feeling like sending a little something, he prefers liver treats).

he likes it!
You can find me on flickr, threadbias, and bloglovin'.

Also check out these other great blogs, posting as part of the hop today:

Green @ So Sew Green
Gwendellyn @ The Rainbow Revolts
Amira @ Little Mushroom Cap
Kathy @ Kayak Quilting
Michelle @ Factotum Of Arts
Paula @ The Sassy Quilter
Kris @ Sew Sunshine
Camilla @ Faffling

sew and tell: a surprise quilt!

As quilters, we all know how good making a quilt makes us feel. And by giving our quilts to some deserving person, we hope that it makes them feel similarly good - a fabric hug of sorts.

lizzys quilt - front

lizzys quilt - back
Last year, a neighbor of mine (and one of my little sister's besties) was diagnosed with bone cancer. Everyone knows the C word is kind of scary, but this girl and her family met the diagnosis with a strength and faith that left me humbled.

People back home were able to surround her and her family with comfort and support (and food - the casseroles were pouring in!). Since I wasn't able to send a casserole, I thought I'd make something that might keep just a little better through the mail - a quilt!

I reached out to some friends and they helped me quickly put together the quilt top. Then, the short sale that had been stalled for. ev. er. finally went through! Moving and a new pup added a delay, but I eventually got finished with the quilting and binding!

lizzys quilt  - label

lizzys quilt - binding
And the quilting.....the quilting on this was giving me fits. I couldn't wait until this project was complete and out in the mail! It was a serious headache - but once I got it all bound (in some simply color ombre strips!) I started to come around again and discover the fun, vibrant, cheerful quilt that I had envisioned.

I hope my neighbor enjoys it!

(not) a love, fleury post

*Warning, this post contains graphic images...Hide your eyes people, hide your eyes.*

I have been slowly introducing the pup to the sewing room and teaching him good sewing room manners. Basically, lay down on the quilt on the floor and be a good dog so mama can get some sewing in.

Unfortunately, he likes fabric scraps as much as I do...

puppy + sewing room = disaster

puppy + sewing room = disaster
....and tries his own paw at designing.

And recently, he tried his hand at sewing, but he couldn't quite figure out how the machine worked...

this just happened.
....and murdered it instead.

Later, he gave me lots of kisses to try and make up. But I learned my lesson: do not trust a cute puppy. This face - it does bad things.

did i do something wrong?

string scrap sewing kit

When I was making my qayg string quilt, I ended up with small, beautiful scraps. Since these were still far to beautiful to throw away, I pieced these tiny things into a sewing kit. It has been on my to do list ever since I made one for my modernista swap partner almost a year ago. I had wanted one for myself but had pushed that aside in favor of other projects.

strings and things sewing kit
I like this little one. It's so very me - the calm me - not the jacked up on three cups of coffee me. There's three pockets, one on the left panel and a divided pocket on the right panel. There's also a scissor pocket, a felt needle book and the white ribbon to hold thread. The measuring tape is mostly for show, but I guess might be useful sometime.

strings and things sewing kit
I had fun with the quilting, although it is a bit hard to see in these photos. I machine bound it (still trying it on small projects, even though it still isn't coming out nicely) in a shot cotton. Never bind in a shot cotton. It was ridiculously hard to keep pressed well so the binding is a bit wonky. But all in all, I'm pleased with it and it was a fun use of the scraps leftover from my strings quilt.

strings and things sewing kit

options

I'm making a second dog bed for the Flower. His first bed gets taken upstairs and then downstairs and then upstairs...and well, it's exhausting. Ok, it's not really that bad, but I figured if we had one up and one down, it sure would be convenient.

I decided to make the top out of linen - Essex white and the yarn dyed flax (gosh I love that fabric, my fav!) in the Houndstooth pattern that I'm using for Genny's quilt. For the sides, borders and bottom, I wanted to add a bit of color. Here are the fabrics I pulled from my stash:

option 1-2
I really liked these two. They are boy-ish but soft. I think they would go nicely with the light houndstooth while still adding a touch of playfulness and color.

option 3-4
But...I also really like this yellow linen Heather Ross print. I bought it on sale (50% off!) at my local quilt shop and have been trying to insert it into every project since. It is sunny and pops against the light houndstooth pattern. It's a little girly, sure, but it is for a dog and I'm pretty sure he won't know the difference. I could always combine it with the greens above for a little masculine touch. The two navy prints really are quite bold against the light top and I'm not sure if they work, but maybe if the top is quilted with a navy or aqua thread it would tie nicely together.

What is your favorite combination?

**And stay tuned - I'm working up a tutorial for those of you that asked that should be up soon.**

mug rug swap

My local quilt guild is swapping mug rugs with the Fort Worth Modern Quilt Guild. I made two, with scraps from my chevron curtain. I went with fairly dense quilting so it would lay pretty flat and sturdy - nothing is worse than your morning coffee spilling.

I thought they turned out pretty fun, although I tried machine binding again. Still hate it. I had so many misses on the back it was driving me crazy, and on a piece this small, I don't even think it was faster. Still, I hope my swap buddies enjoy it and I can't wait to see what I receive from my far away guild buddy!

mug rug swap with fort worth MQG

mug rug swap with fort worth MQG
I'm linking this up to Ellison Lane's mini quilt challenge. Click the link to check out other mini bits of pretty. 

under wraps

This surprise quilt has been a long time in the making. Almost a full year ago, I asked some friends of mine to help me out in making this quilt. They obliged and sent the most amazing, colorful, cheerful blocks and I pieced them all into this quilt. I had meant for this surprise quilt to come together quickly, but between moving, a new puppy and my over ambitious quilting ideas, it's taken me some time.

surprise quilt
I decided to quilt frames around each center block in that open white space. I think when you stand back, the crosses really stand out, so this was a nice way to emphasize the center block and also add dimension to the "boring" white space. But it's taken for. ev. er. Looking back, I should have done qayg on this quilt, but I had it all pieced and basted before I even discovered that technique, so shoving and holding and pushing it went.

I've got it all quilted now, and am working on tacking on the binding by hand since I have been totally hating all my machine binding skills (or lack thereof).

surprise quilt
Fleury will be sad to see this go, but he'll make sure to send lots of dog hair with it!
I can't wait to get it totally finished, wrapped up with a bow and stuck in the mailbox to it's intended recipient. She/he has no idea that it's headed their way, so I'm hoping she/he enjoys it and think it's as charming and pretty as I thought it was frustrating.

The back is also pretty fun (if I do say so myself), but it would totally give away the receiver of this quilt, so I must wait to show you until it's in their hands. So, stay tuned!

I'm linking this post up to Plum & June's Monday Link Up!

last weekend

fletcher canyon, mt. charleston
Last weekend, we went up to Mt Charleston to escape some of the desert heat. The change in altitude was welcome as it brought cooler temperatures, the smell of pine and lots of fun! We decided to do Fletcher Canyon as it was one we hadn't done but had heard was pretty and fun.

fletcher canyon, mt. charleston
We hiked up to the canyon where the walls got steeper and the passages got narrower. We made it to a dry waterfall, which would have been roaring earlier in the spring (we'll have to try again!). The pup enjoyed climbing on the rocks and fallen trees and enjoyed the lack of cactus. He made a regular point to stop and smell all the new plants and even some rocks. We stopped for some trail mix and water while the pup continued climbing on the rocks surrounding us, enjoying the cooler weather himself I'm sure. Afterwards, we hiked back down to the car and drove back to the hot, dry city where we all took a much needed nap.

let's get acquainted

Plum and June

I'm so excited that I'll be participating in this year's Let's Get Acquainted New Blogger Hop hosted by Plum and June. It's a great way for new, modern quilting bloggers to get to know one another in the vastness of blog land.

It kicks off today with some great blogs. In the list of blogger's participating, I only recognized one (and it's because she's a fellow LVMQG sister), so be sure to check it out as I know you'll also be inspired by some new bloggers as well!

housekeeping

Just claiming my blog with Bloglovin.

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love, fleury

Hello to all my adoring fans,

fleury
You will just not believe what has been happening around these parts. Birds have taken over my yard - quail to be exact. A whole family - twenty or so little babies chirping and traipsing all over, taunting me from the window.

I tried to take one since they've been just driving me crazy. I figured there were so many if I took just one it would be ok. But mom freaked. She's so dramatic. She came running outside, yelling at me to drop the little birdie I was holding in my mouth. I knew I shouldn't have let it's little leg stick out, my fault really. After I dropped it she started waving a treat bag around like a crazy lady, yelling at me to just leave it alone and let it run back to it's mom.

I've never had fresh quail before, and now mom screwed up my chance. After just that one little taste, the whole family left the yard. I guess the good news is that they won't be running all over anymore, especially since mom wouldn't let me out with them after "the incident." That woman's got trust issues.

Have a good weekend, peeps (get it, haha!).

Love,
Fleury


ETA (by Fleury's mom): Kidding aside, he picked off the suicidal mom bird a few days after writing this post. I got him to drop her and come inside and she survived enough to hobble out of the yard at least. But if you have ANY tips to train out this behavior, I am all ears!

last weekend

Last weekend, we went on some new hikes. One of those was to tackle the Oak Creek Canyon hike that we so miserably failed to do the weekend prior. This time, with a triple check on the map and a peek at the way points, we were ready to go. We did find the trailhead, which certainly makes things easier. And the trail itself was very easy - mostly flat, packed sand with some small rocks.
oak creek canyon, red rock
Once we began to go off trail, down into the wash, things got a bit trickier. The big finale is through a large boulder field which leads to the inside of the canyon. Supposedly, there is water there and it's very scenic. We went as far as we could with the puppy but we didn't push it as we were too far in if he decided to dive bomb off a boulder (which he definitely thought about). So, we still haven't made it to the elusive end of Oak Creek Canyon. Still, it was a scenic hike, with a nice stopping point at a dry waterfall, lots of boulders to climb (my favorite!) and some lush vegetation.

oak creek canyon, red rock
And just so we were aware, they have a posted sign to tell you just the point where "wilderness" begins.