Nightshade

At the end of February I had the glorious opportunity to attend a weekend quilting retreat with my quilt guild (Dallas Modern Quilt Guild).  Most of the time retreats are out of my reach financially, but this one was going to be an in town retreat at a newly opened retreat space, Best Little Retreat Center in Texas.  I had been so looking forward to this retreat because I pretty much have done no sewing or quilting since the in town retreats the Dallas Quilt Guild put on ended.  And sadly, I haven’t even posted about the last couple I went to, but at the first one I finished my Tula’s Squirrels quilt top.  But, I think the last retreat we had was like in June of 2016, so yeah, it’s been THAT LONG since I sewed.  So, you understand when I tell you how excited I was to be able to sew all weekend long!

I started out the weekend by working on my Pixel Heart mini that I started with my Tula Pink Elizabeth fabric that a friend gifted me.

 

I had been inspired by Diana, itiskismet_stitches, to start this mini.  She had been encouraging me to sew a little bit, even if I could only do ten or fifteen minutes at a time, it would add up.  So in November of 2017, I started sewing my squares together.  And then I managed to get a few rows sewn.  But, in true to me fashion I ended up sewing a row upside down and then it sat there from November until the end of February with no movement.

 

 

So the first thing I did when I got my table set up was rip out that row and resew it the right way round.  I managed to get the whole thing sewn up relatively quickly.

I was a bit undecided on how to quilt it but I did a bit of searching around on IG for some inspo and also consulted the expert (Diana).  In the end, we decided that cross-hatching on the diagonal was the way to go.  And I’m pretty thrilled with it.  I also got the opportunity to try a hera marker for the first time.  And when I used it my lines were so much straighter and more even!  I got the binding sewn on and now it just needs to be hand sewn to the back.  Not a bad start to a sewing weekend!

Next project on my list was to get started on my Nightshade quilt.  I had started cutting this out at one of the other in town retreats, so I was able to keep going and get all the smaller pieces cut, including my background fabric which is the black & white moons and stars.

Then I started on the hard part.  Cutting out the cameos from the Coven fabric.  It is no joke cutting into precious fabric that you have no way of replacing if you screw up!

But I managed to get it done.  It is a pain the ass fussy cutting those though (as I learned with my Parisville quilt).

And one of the best things about the retreat center is that you also get your own design wall!  This is how mine was shaping up on day 1.

It’s always fun seeing what everyone else is working on too.  My friend Karen was busy making these fabric baskets for friends.  This is the one she made for me.  Isn’t it perfect?!

A little peek around the room…

And let’s just take a closer look at that Tula quilt in progress.

I so enjoyed being able to watch this one come together.  It is so so pretty and vibrant in person!

On day 2, Sunday, I continued on with my Nightshade quilt.  Now that I had all those lovely ladies cut out I could start making my blocks.  I added the corners to each of the blocks to start making “snowballs”.

And you may notice a slight issue with the block second from the bottom on the right side.  Yeah, I don’t have any of the blue storm cloud fabric.  Like none, except for that small scrap my friend Lee was willing to spare.  Not sure what I’m going to do, but I’m guessing I’m going to beg the Tula Troops to take pity on me and trade some storm clouds for cameos.  But, I soldiered on with my other blocks.  I added the borders around each block.

And then I started adding the background fabric on the corners of each.  Yeah, that one block is looking pretty darn sad now.  But OMG I am so freaking in love with this already.  It’s going to be SO GOOD when it’s done.  I can’t wait.

And here’s what the whole thing will look like more or less…

So, my next step will be to finish adding the background corners to the rest of the blocks and then start on the sashing strips and cornerstones.  Can’t wait!

 

So, all in all it was an awesome weekend.  I got to visit with friends, I got to sew and reinvigorate my creativity, I got to see inspiration from others, and I even got to witness a finished quilt top.  How amazing is that?!

I am grateful for finally finally getting to sew again!

Episode 51: Nevermore

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg flosstube/podcast! In this episode I share a finish for the #eapmacabre SAL and some WIP progress.
The #eapmacabre SAL is hosted by Amy and Jenn in the Bewitched Stitches group on Facebook and Instagram.
Finish:
  • Quote the Raven (which bugs me every time I type it) by Cross-Eyed Cricket from the Two Familiars leaflet.  Stitched with DMC on a 32ct linen I dyed myself.

WIPs:

  • Hex on the Beach – EPP (English Paper Piecing) quilt with Tula Pink’s Saltwater fabric line
  • Pixel Heart mini quilt with Tula Pink Elizabeth fabric
  • Snowglobe quilt pattern by Tula Pink with Tula Pink Nightshade fabric
  • Hallow Eden by Plum Street Samplers on 32ct hand dyed linen with the called for Classic Colorworks and Weeks threads

Gifts:

  • Fabric basket with Paris fabric

Shout Outs:

Nail Polish: Sinful Colors San Francisco

Flosstube Episode 50: And Now For Something Completely Different

 

Thank you so much for tuning in to the Cozyegg flosstube/podcast! In this episode I share a finish and some quilting plans.

Finishes:

  • Tree from Trick or Treat by Praiseworthy Stitches from JCS Halloween 2012 issue.  Added to my Halloween neighborhood piece.  Here’s what the original piece looks like.

Quilting:

  • Marcelle Medallion
  • Pixel Heart mini quilt
  • Nightshade Snowglobe quilt
  • Hex on the Beach EPP quilt

Nightshade and Nightmare

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If you’ve been reading my blog for awhile, you probably already know of my love affair with Tula Pink‘s fabric.  When Miss Tula released her Nightshade line a couple of years ago, matching her amazing design talent with an utterly gothic take on Halloween, I was instantly sunk.  This line is probably one of my all time favorites of hers and I have some carefully hoarded cuts in my stash.  I don’t share my Tula stash lightly, but when my niece’s birthday rolled around, I knew I had to make an exception.  
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My niece and I are surprisingly like-minded and she loves anything dark and creepy and cool, so I decided that a pillowcase made from some Nightshade would be the perfect thing for her to bring to sleepovers and such.  
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I made each side different so that I could use two different pieces from the focal Coven print.  I pulled some fabric out of my stash for the sashing around the focal prints, and then a different tone on tone for the edging of the pillowcase.  
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And I absolutely had to use the Spider Blossom fabric for the background.  It’s full of little hidden “Tula treasures” like skulls, lightning bolts, moons, and spiderwebs.  Plus, it matches the case on my phone, so I thought a little nod to us matching was a good thing.  
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If you’ve ever heard a twelve-year-old girl squeal with delight, you can imagine the reception this gift got when we celebrated her birthday.  It holds a place of honor on her bed, along with her One Direction blanket.  lol
And just when I thought I’d have a little break and get back to doing some stitching and quilting for me, I got a call from my niece asking for help with her Halloween costume.  You may recall last year she went as the Mad Hatter?  So, this year she wanted to go as Sally from the movie The Nightmare Before Christmas.  I swear this kid and I are sharing brainwaves.  So, in case you haven’t seen the movie, here’s Sally…
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Being a Tim Burton movie, it’s thoroughly dark and creepy.  But, here was my dilemma.  When you do a search online, what comes up is a plethora of horridly garish and brightly colored versions of Sally’s dress.  Well, no thank you.  So, a few weekends ago, my gothic twin came to spend the night and we went over to a resale shop.  I started pulling shirts off the racks that fit in with the color scheme I had in my head.  I wanted the overall feel to be dingy, muted, while still keeping with the patterned patchwork look.  We found a dress that could be used as the base, and then I began cutting up the shirts we got and sewing them on.  And here’s what I ended up with.  Trust me when I tell you that she looks super adorable (in a very cool gothic way) in the dress. 
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I sewed all the scraps onto the base dress, and then I went back in and added some big decorative stitches for effect. 
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Here’s the back.  We lucked out to find a dress that only fastened by a button at the top, so I wasn’t having to work around zippers or anything of that nature.  
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I can’t even begin to tell you how much work went into this dress.  Probably 90% of it was done by hand.  I did attach some of the larger pieces by machine, but I was trying to work between the lining and the dress itself, which made that a bit difficult. 
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I’m really please with how it turned out and so is she.  I brought it to her yesterday and she immediately went to try it on.  She paired it with some black and grey striped knee-high socks, black ankle boots, and grey wool wristwarmers.  Love that kid!  
But now that I have birthday and Halloween done, I’ll be getting back to my stitching and quilting.  I can’t wait to see pics of her on Halloween though.  
Thanks for stopping by, and you may have noticed that I’ve changed the template I’m using for the blog.  Hopefully this fixes the issue with commenting since I’ve switched it over to a template that isn’t dynamic.  Let me know if you’re still having problems though.  I absolutely love reading your comments and they are important to me!  
Happy Halloween!
I am grateful for matching macabre sensibilities. 

Summer to Fall

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Thank you so much for all the comments on my John Reed finish.  And apologies to those of you who wanted to leave comments, but couldn’t.  It seems to be some sort of hit or miss thing with either blogger or this template I’m using since some people could leave comments and some couldn’t.  So strange.  Hopefully it’s fixed now though.
I finally got around to taking some photos of some amazing birthday gifts from friends that I hadn’t had a chance to share yet.  This pincushion is a freebie design from The Sampler Girl that my friend Lori stitched and finished for me.  She actually had several friends who had August birthdays, so she made several of these and personalized them with each birthdate and initials.  Absolutely adorable – and what a perfect gift for an August birthday girl, like me!
And she backed it with this lovely blue fabric.  So fun!
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 And if that wasn’t enough, she also spoiled me with this amazing gift.  Although, when she gave it to me she said, “let me know if you figure out what it is”.  She found this at a local quilt shop and said that even the ladies at the quilt shop weren’t sure what it was.  But, since she knows my love for all things Tula, she felt like it would have a good home with me.
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It’s difficult to get the whole thing in the photo, but it does say Tula Pink for Moda (so you know this is from way back) and then it has four little pockets, which she filled with fat quarters of some Tula fabric for me, two Birds & the Bees, one Saltwater, and one Nightshade.
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So, since we were all stumped as to what this was I reached out to Miss Tula Pink herself and asked.  And she very kindly responded that this was a promotional banner Moda did for shops and the intent was for them to be able to change out the fat quarters in the pockets as new lines from the designer were released.  But the best part…
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It’s made to look like a fabric selvedge!  How fun is that???  It has a little sleeve at the top for hanging and then you can change out your focus fabrics at will.  The most awesome addition to my sewing room, for sure!  Thank you so much, Lori, for spoiling me!
Another friend of mine, Laurie, also spoiled me with a pincushion.  This is one of Jeannette Douglas’s Quaker Pincushions.  I love that it looks like a little pumpkin.  And the Halloween pins she added are absolutely adorable.
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And look at the back!  Gorgeous houndstooth patterned wool and a beautiful button. So sweet.  It’s perfect to put out for the season too.   I totally should finish up the Quaker pincushion I stitched for myself forever ago, shouldn’t I?
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She also gifted me with this blinged out skull needleminder.  I, of course, immediately put it on my sugar skull stitching wallet so it can keep me company.  So freaking awesome.
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So thank you both for my thoughtful gifts, they are much appreciated and will be treasured.
I also thought I’d show you all what I’ve been stitching on lately, now that John Reed is finished.  On October 1 I decided to start a new project.  This is only my third new start of the year, if you can believe it, and one of those was finished in January.  But, I was feeling the need for a fall project and this one has been calling to me from my stitching bag.  Please overlook the fact that the majority of this is out of focus, my 50mm lens was obviously punishing me for never using it anymore.
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Such a fun stitch, and just brimming with fall color.  This is a design by the same friend Lori I mentioned above.  She is so talented!  You may recall she also designed this little pincushion I stitched last fall.  I’ve been working on this still and hope to have it finished this fall.
The other piece I’ve been working on is the Sunday Mystery Sampler Paulette is offering as a free chart on her blog.  I look forward to each new installment on Sundays, and it’s the perfect thing to stitch on Sunday evenings.  And bonus, by Thanksgiving I will have a finished Christmas piece!
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I’m using 40ct Vintage Light Examplar and for the most part I am stitching with the called for threads, although I had to switch from Shaker White to Oatmeal because the Shaker wouldn’t show up on my fabric (which really is not as pink leaning as this photo shows).  I also changed the Espresso Bean to Pecan because I wanted it to be a warmer, lighter brown than my skein of Espresso was.  And I stitched Mary in blue, because I wanted that little pop of color.  The blue I used is actually a limited edition GAST I’ve had forever called Aquamarine.  I can’t wait to see what the next installment will be.  Oh, and I’m stitching Mary’s Sampler II, which is the more densely stitched version that Paulette is doing on black.
Oh, and speaking of The Sampler Girl (the pincushion from Lori reminded me of it), in case you haven’t seen, many of her patterns are going to be OOP at the end of October, and until the 31st, they are all on sale.  So scoop up the ones you want, while you can!!  (no affiliation, just a fan) I picked up Good Tidings with Jane Austen, which is the companion piece to the other two that I’ve already stitched.  I am excited about the new direction she’s taking though.

I am grateful for vacation and working on new things.

**Edited to add: Still appear to be having issues with comments.  Some people are able to comment, so do try refreshing if you’re not seeing the comment option.  I’ll keep researching to see if I can determine the problem.