Sunday, August 18, 2013

Walking With Feathers

Lillian's Stitches is now CLOSED. For all future updates, please visit Walking With Feathers. Thanks!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Migration - A Giveaway!

It's the announcement I have been waiting to make since April...

I am moving to England!

In preparation for this move, I've reevaluated my blogging needs and decided to close down Lillian's Stitches. This blog has been absolutely wonderful, life-enhancing, and enriching in so many ways! I've stretched and grown so much since beginning in 2009, and I've met many lovely people along the way! I hope to be able to keep up with you, but from now on, the best way to do that is through my new blog, Walking with Feathers.

To celebrate this transition, I'm having a giveaway!

Go check it out, and I'll see you there!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Cat-Sitting Quilt-A-Thon

When last we left our heroine, she was flabbergasted to find her queen-sized batting and backing were, indeed, not the size she required for her ginormous Scrappy Trip quilt!

At least someone was amused.

Benedict Cumberbatch via BBC America's "Top Gear" kept me company as the quilting drama unfolded

My solution was to piece a backing using the best thing I've ever found at Goodwill (no hyperbole, folks!)

I groaned as I sliced the elastic off the fitted sheet, thinking how soft and wonderful they'd be to sleep on, but it's the sacrifice we make for art, no?

Besides, this quilt is worthy of Amy Butler organic cotton backing!

Kitty-approved, of course.

And a JoAnn's coupon and package of KING-sized batting later, finally I could proceed with the quilting!

Even creatively piecing all that Amy Butler goodness wasn't enough for a full backing, so I added in a few chunks from my stash that were worthy of such a monumental honor (or at least blended well, as seen above). Kitty-approved, of course.

I must confess, I lost some of my quilting mojo and did not get the entire thing done, but I made significant progress doing "organic" straight lines on the diagonal. This is definitely a quilt in which "done is better than perfect". I've never made something this big, and doing it all on my home machine is quite the undertaking, especially for a gal without access to a large dining room table.

I moved it to my parents for the time being. I'll commandeer their table some weekend soon and finish her up.

Meanwhile, I also had the chance to work on my Himalayan Salt quilt! Just a bit of binding to finish and this puppy's good to go! It's a birthday present due in October, but I was extremely motivated to go full-throttle on it.

I didn't get as much accomplished as I hoped, but I did get a lot done, and the rest will, I suppose, come in time. I am so thankful for the opportunity to use the space and the time to sew!

And, annoying as they were at times, I am thankful for my little "helpers"!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Scrappy Trip: More Progress

It's all about the floor space, really.

It's why I agreed to house/cat-sit. As soon as I could, I pushed back the furniture and laid out all 72 Scrappy Trip blocks.

The downside of cat-sitting, however, was my "helper".

Oh, that look of entitlement as if she belongs on that top! But despite interference, I finished piecing it before the guild meeting this past Saturday. I was hoping to sandwich it on Sunday. However...

... Sometimes packaged batting and backing lies.

Too short! Too small! Ack! What to do... I can whip on extra batting scraps to extend my "queen sized" chunk, but Plan B backing requires a trip back home. Le sigh.

Thankfully I brought several other tops and backs I could sandwich, piece, and quilt in the meantime!

And I'm sure I'll have "help" for those, too!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Cowgirl Castle - Complete!


I love the exhilaration of a finished quilt...

Especially when it goes to a friend for a birthday!

Backed in vintage sheet scraps, a chunk of Sunkissed by Sweetwater, and some leftover jelly roll strips.

Perfectly at home in its new digs, I think, and the birthday girl (not pictured) was thrilled!

And I'm thrilled to have my goal met for this month's Lovely Year of Finishes!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

LYOF Mid-Month Update

First of all, I want to say a big THANK YOU to Melissa and Shanna for hosting this year-long event! I've enjoyed watching everyone's projects come together, and I've gotten more "finishes" under my belt than I imagined!

Every month, those who complete their goals are entered into a drawing, and this time, I won!

What did I win?

The entire Spring House (by Stephanie Ryan for Moda) line in fat quarters! This was especially exciting because I've thoroughly fasted from buying fabric this year - only indulging once, and then the majority of those purchases were sent to a friend abroad.

I already have an idea of what to do with them. But I can't move on that yet because I have to finish this:

I just need to stitch the binding and label it, and then this baby is ready for its recipient - whose birthday party is Saturday, right after my guild meeting!

I am so happy to have this puppy mostly done. I have several others I'd like to complete, and I have a few days blocked off as "sewing days" coming up, and lots of adventures in between... It's as if life decided to go into hyperdrive all of a sudden! If I think about it, I get overwhelmed, so it's best to take 5 minutes at a time.

Thankfully, my roommate has the good sense to keep me stocked on Cadbury's. Five minutes' peace is made perfect with a cuppa, I think. Nothing soothes the mind like chocolate from the motherland!

Happy stitching!

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Scrappy Trip Blocks - Done!

Behold, my laziest blog post ever!

But who cares! I had a sewing marathon yesterday and finished all 73 of my Scrappy Trip Around the World blocks!

Photos taken with my phone from my bed - didn't bother to clean it up and make it pretty! Ha! 
I decided on a layout, then set out blocks in groups of 4 to begin to stitch together, which I will begin... later.

Lord of the Rings DVDs are excellent accompaniments to long sewing sessions!
Now it's time for a bit of rest! (I think I earned it.)

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

July Goals

I have two projects I'd like to finish in July, but if I complete just one, my goal will be met! (Shoot for the moon, and if you miss, you land among the stars, right?)

My main goal is to sandwich, quilt, and bind the Cowgirl Castle top that was my May goal. The friend-recipient is having a birthday on the 20th of July, so I need to get it done beforehand! I finished the backing when I finished the top, so now I just have to get the binding ready and start pinning!

Less imperative is sandwiching, quilting, and binding my Himalayan Salt quilt. This one is also a birthday gift, but it's not due until October. Even so, if I'm going to "flip my machine" (i.e. change all the settings and relocate it to a larger table for quilting) I might as well knock out more than one quilt! I also made a backing ahead of time, and I cut binding this morning!

I can hardly believe it's July! Where is summer going? Time is such a slippery thing...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Scrappy Trip Progress

As of this morning, I have 15 blocks done, 10 needing pressed, and 10 more cut for assembly. I'd love to spend the rest of the day working on them, but I'll pace myself.

Meanwhile it's just fun to lay 'em out and think about how to arrange them! Love how quickly they're coming together!

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Generations II Quilt - Complete

Something happened on the first day of summer. I placed a final stitch in my four-generation quilt.

I am not entirely sure what this one means to me; what it means that it came from my hands; the symbolism, the sincerity. Two sets of hands are now in heaven, two sets are clasped together here on earth, but we've all had our hands in this quilt, and it's fresh and warm from its first washing.

I will wrap up in it and let my thoughts and heart go as deep as I please, into the memories of my mother, her memories of her mother, and the stories I've been told of her mother before her. I will find myself in the things we share, the woods and hills and rivers, the love of life and children and family, the joy and the kindness. It is one thing to have things handed down. It is quite another to be an active participant in taking what was handed down and making it into more than it could have thought to be. I cannot imagine her, my great-grandmother who stitched this top. Could she have imagined me?

So this one's for my great-granddaughters, this handful of history and the knowledge that they are the fulfillment of my wildest dreams.

Friday, June 14, 2013

Black and White Blocks - June Goal Met!

Well, if that title doesn't give away the punch line... Don't think there's much more to say!

These first three blocks are not part of the Music City Modern Quilters Guild BOM, but as some blocks don't render into black and white too well, I am using them as substitutes.

Martha Washington's Star - tutorial here. Question:  how often do you actually do something you pin to Pinterest?

Rolling Stone - love it so! Tutorial here.

Sailboat based on this suncatcher. (I prefer taller masts on my ships than other versions I'd seen!)

Finally, I actually did stitch April's BOM. Little bitty hexagons on this one - oh my! I toyed with making a different arrangement of them, but I feel the flower ended up being striking and just cute enough, without being cloyingly sweet.

Oh, and I made some tiny cornerstones from the leftover flaps off my Rolling Stone block! Love 'em. I'm OK with their nonstandard size - adds personality, I think!

Guild meeting is tomorrow! I am excited to see what others made and thankful that I was able to meet my Lovely Year of Finishes goal, even with the earlier time!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Little Stitchers

Lately I've found myself spending one-on-one time with a few almost-first-grade girls. Either their interest awakens in the presence of my passion, or my presence in their lives coincides with their naturally occurring interest. Whatever the case, I've been delighted this week to instruct them on the very basics of sewing!

The first requested we make a drawstring bag.

While she worked, I made a duplicate - sample - and gave it to her afterwards as she intended hers for her mother.

The second child had already received some scrap fabric from my stash (low-quality fabrics are perfect for beginning stitches, no?)

We also worked on a drawstring bag, but as this was the child's second project, she was advanced enough to use a thimble!

While she sewed, I began stitching bias binding to my Generations II quilt. I felt the antique top deserved to be hand-sewn both in front and back. With such an undertaking, even a few minutes in between tying knots and undoing wraparound thread adds up. And I just love having that quilt in hand!

I'm feeling a little pre-nostalgic in these experiences. That is, I look forward to a time when I have not only lived moments of teaching daughters and granddaughters to sew but can look back on them. I think it must be the quilt's effect. But it's fun, this feeling of being unstuck from time... I'd like to see if I can get used to it!