Brinley’s Blossoms baby quilt

My brother and his wife had their first baby last week.  A little girl.  They named her Brinley.

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We visited them this week, and she is adorable!  She looks just like her mommy, and is smaller than any of my 8 babies were.  I loved holding her, even though it made me feel like my baby is huge.

We took Brinley her baby gift, a rag quilt that I designed and named “Brinley’s Blossoms” in honor of my niece.
I managed to get a little tag on it before we wrapped it up:

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I used the same fabrics in this quilt that I used in the one I made for my baby a few months ago.  I really loved this line!
(Forgive the poor pictures; we were in a hurry and it was night and I couldn’t take any decent ones.)

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It’s a simple strip quilt with some flowers appliqued on top and in a couple of block strips.

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It was a lot of fun to make, and gratefully it was a quick project (or I might never have finished it!)
I always love the way the backs of rag quilts look:

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There’s no plain side with quilts like these!

And, finally, here is a close up of a new idea I tried, and I must say I’m really excited about it both because it turned out so cute and because it’s truly my very own idea!  I’ve never seen anyone do anything like this before:

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A scalloped border!  I love the way it turned out, and I think that I’m going to try another quilt using this idea.
I’ve got something in mind….

Rouenneries by French General

I’ve been waiting to see this fabric for MONTHS.  I’ve been stopping by my local quilt shop WEEKLY since the first week in October to ask the same question:  do you have French General’s line in yet?  And they kept telling me to come back next week.

Then, finally, on Halloween, I walked into the shop and saw this:

Rouenneries by French General on the bolt

Oh my!  “Forget Halloween!”  I thought.  Let’s do some sewing!

So beautiful!  I love the reds, the neutrals…

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I seriously stood there, just looking at all of it, unable to decide which prints I liked best or which to purchase some of, for at least 20 minutes.  Finally I just got out my camera, because I couldn’t really decide, and I can’t afford all of it (not to mention the fact that my fabric stash is already too large).

Rouenneries on bolts

The wovens were amazing.  That one above, with the red dots on a neutral, is so classy!
These linens with the birds are also beautiful.

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And can I just say that this little dot and stripe pattern near the selvage on each bolt is the cutest thing ever?
What a classy way to introduce yourself to the world of fabric designing!  In case, you’re not familiar with French General, you can visit their website and learn more about Kaari Meng here.  I promise, you’ll love looking at all of the vintage beads, baubles, millinery and so forth that she sells.  Really beautiful.

Rouenneries selvage

I’ve never seen a line of quilting fabric before where I actually wanted a piece of every one.  This time, I’d love some of everything, thank you.

The bummer is, though, that none of the quilt shops near me ordered the print that I liked the most (based on pictures).  It’s an oyster stripe with big bold neutral stripes of equal widths.  I had this project all planned out in my head and it was built around that print, but nobody has it!  Thank goodness for the internet, where at length I was able to locate an obscure quilt shop which has some of it.  (What would I do without the internet?  It makes possible so many treasure hunts that could never happen otherwise.)  When it arrives, I’ll get to work on my project.

In the end, I went home with one of these:

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A layer cake, which will provide a nice sampling of the beauty.  Something about seeing a stack of fabric bundled up like a fresh pad of paper really gets me.  I’ll sew a simple quilt with it, supplemented by some 1/8 yard pieces of a few wovens which I purchased as well.  With this line, I’m preferring the patterns that let you just look at the fabric, instead of having the prints themselves overwhelmed by the design of the quilt.

There’s also a kit for one of these with my name on it.   So simple, but gorgeous.

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And don’t you think that dotted fabric would make a smart looking one of these?

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I’m thinking I might need to grab one of those patterns and make one, since my current purse is, literally, threadbare.  You can find it at Fig Tree Quilts.  I love their patterns.  Someday I’m going to make this one.  Every couple of months I get the pattern out of my stack and look at it and sigh.

Seriously, everything I’m seeing lately I’m thinking would look lovely with the Rouenneries line and it appears that I’m not alone.  So wherever you are, Kaari, well done.  I love it.

Vintage Finds, Quilt Projects, and fun with my Sister

I have been so excited about this weekend that I’ve felt like a kid at Christmas!
A week or so ago my sister emailed me and said she didn’t have class on Thursday or Friday.
It turned out that my kids had a fall break on the same days, so she and her husband decided to come down for a few days.

On the list of things to do:
design a Christmas quilt and shop for fabric, hit the thrift store in search of cool old picture frames, do something creative in general.

This is my lovely sister Kristen and her husband Jake.

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Thursday night we went to the thrift store and had a blast.  Now, I enjoy looking for wonderful old things, but usually I’m doing it alone.  I learned that it’s much more fun when you’re with a friend.  I had so much fun!  Kris bought some cool old frames for a project she’s working on.  Here’s what I found.

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The pitcher is silver plate, but was black.  I bought it for $5.00 and polished it a little when I got home.  I’m not usually really into candlesticks, but they were pretty and really inexpensive.

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And I love the little cup.  I’m totally into silver things on pedestals.

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And for the first time in my life, I decided to sort through the vintage jewelry.  I think I scored pretty well, and now I have a few things to play with.  I’ve got a bunch of ideas bobbing around in my head involving fabric, rosettes, vintage rhinestones, and so forth.

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The big rhinestone broach is about 2 1/2 inches long and every stone is clear and intact.  And the rose is actually quite pretty with the marcasite.  It was $1.  Lots of fun!

I also picked up an old picture frame that will look great painted white.

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We came home happy!  It was a lot of fun.  Yesterday involved a little bit of cooking, taking care of all the children, and a trip to the spa for a pedicure.  Kris gave me a gift certificate for my birthday which I hadn’t used yet.

This is the ONLY time I wear flip flops.

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Don’t our toes look pretty?

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After the pedicure we went to work on the Christmas quilt idea.  I had some ideas in mind, and when I sketched them out, she liked my proposal.  A little math to work out the pattern and generate a shopping list, and we were off!

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We’re trying a twist on the traditional Christmas color scheme by tossing in some black and white.  We found a great bunch of fabrics that she really likes.  It’s way too much fun to shop for fabric.  It’s like shopping for clothes, but you can buy a little bit of every color and pattern that you like and you don’t have to worry about whether anything fits because the creating is all up to you.

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We’re going to try to cut it before she has to leave for home.  If we don’t get to it, we’ll have to plan another weekend like this soon, very soon.  I’m liking this project so much that I’m feeling tempted to make one for myself as well.  So far I’ve resisted, though.

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I tried my hand at making my first rosette with some silk fabric.  Needs some work and I could use a real lesson in how to do it.  I was just sort of making it up.

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Last night my brother and his wife came over for a late dinner, an impromptu movie, hot chocolate floats and a hilarious reading of my 10 year old daughter’s most recent story.  Brent and Christa are awesome;  they are expecting their first baby in just a few weeks.  They’re like we were,  stuck on a name.

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This morning we made some pear french toast and got the logo she designed for my blog all set up.  (Hope you like it; I do!)  Little sisters are the best!

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So, we’re about to wrap up the weekend without any finished product, per say, but we’ve had so much fun and are full of plans.  We miss our Mom and other sister and have to do this again soon.  After all, we’ve got a quilt to make.  We’ll show it to you soon!

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