Saturday, March 22, 2014

Radiant Orchid Quilt Challenge

Here is my quilt for the Pantone Radiant Orchid Quilt Challenge. Normally I don't find out about these kinds of things until after the fact, but a couple weeks ago I happened to see a post about this years challenge. I was a little bit excited about this one since I am a huge fan of the color! Just ask my favorite shirt...or my handbag...or my roll of masking tape. :) Usually it takes me the whole year to warm up to the "color of the year" --so by the time I get around to making a quilt using it...there's a new color of the year! :) This year, that was not a problem! I already had some good fabrics in my stash so I figured I could whip out a Mini in no time flat...but let's talk about it...I am finishing this up with less than one hour to spare. Woah. That was close.

This mini quilt is 21" x 27". It actually took me a little while to figure out what I wanted to do. Surprise, surprise. I thought about it a lot and even came up with what I thought was a really good idea. I mocked it up in Inkscape and showed my husband and he looked at it kinda funny and said "I don't get it." So that kinda ruined my enthusiasm for the whole project...since it was Sunday night-- I had less than a week to get it done and I was now back to the drawing board. I got all frustrated and decided I would probably just forget it. I went upstairs and held the baby for a while. When I came back downstairs I just started messing around in Inkscape, looking at old files...and found a quilt design I made last year...the Circles and Rings Baby Quilt. Somehow, ten short minutes later I had come up with this design. And I totally loved it. Luckily, my husband did as well. (Good thing too or I might have fired him again for killing team morale). 

This quilt is entirely appliqued using fusible web (I use Pellon 805). I stitched around all the shapes using a blanket stitch in matching thread. Then, rather than drive myself crazy trying to figure out a cool way to quilt it, I decided to just do a grid (similar to the original quilt) only I decided to make an imperfect grid that I drew on with disappearing ink before quilting it. Then I bound it in my favorite black Alexander Henry June bug dot. It's the same fabric I used when I made my small wall quilts a few years ago...I am hoarding that fabric...but I think it was perfect for this quilt so I figured it would be ok to use a little bit of it!

I haven't decided what the fate of this quilt will be yet...I have a friend who just had a birthday who might like it, and one of my daughters wants it on the wall in her room. And I made a crib/baby size pattern for it!! I made one for the Circles and Rings Quilt but loved this one so much I added a bonus layout to the pattern so you can make either quilt (or both!) with the same pattern (get it HERE)! Glad I didn't give up on this challenge!!

2014 Pantone Quilt Challenge: Radiant Orchid

Saturday, March 1, 2014

The Rainbow Dress

A rainbow exploded at my house last week! I half expected skittles to rain from the sky. My oldest daughter turned 6 and decided she wanted a rainbow birthday. She requested a rainbow cake. And a rainbow dress. And a rainbow pinata. And rainbow shoes. You get the idea. She LOVES rainbows. I planned and started working on a rainbow quilt for her bed, but of course I didn't finish that with all the other rainbow stuff I had to come up with. But that's ok...that will give us all something to look forward to in a future post! ;) On to the dress!

Isn't it SO cute??? I searched far and wide (pinterest) for the perfect rainbow dress and eventually I found one on etsy (this one) that I thought was almost perfect!! As I was looking at the price, I was wishing I could just find the pattern for it (since I like to make dresses)...well I scrolled down a bit and lo and behold, there was the name of the pattern they had used! Score! It is called the Peppermint Swirl dress pattern by Candy Castle Patterns. I hopped over to and bought the pattern so fast it was scary...(since I rarely buy patterns).

I have never used a pdf clothing pattern before, but it was actually pretty easy to print out and attach the pattern pieces together. I changed the neckline a bit so it went straight across and decided not to add the optional flutter sleeves. I also added lining to the bottom of the dress (the pattern included lining for the top) since I knew my sweet girl would think it was scratchy if not lined. It was a surprisingly easy dress to make considering how complex it looks.

I had a bit too much fun picking fabrics for this dress...I decided to do white for the top and the sash...and I had all but the orange and dark blue in my stash. I know real rainbows have red in them, but I couldn't bring myself to ruin this bright fun rainbow with red. And after the fact my daughter asked me why I put the purple after the pink...apparently real rainbows also read from left to right. I'm just not a rainbow expert, ok? ;)

So after the dress was mostly put together, I was trying to figure out a good way to tie the top and bottom together. I was thinking of just using bits of the extra fabrics from the rainbow to embellish the top a little. But then on a random trip to Walmart, I found this giant bag of flower buttons that matched perfectly!! I bought them thinking I would just use them on the back, but then decided that some of the bigger ones would be so cute on the front too! I love it when stuff like that happens!

Here is the back...

And the best part about this twirls...really good! I made bias tape for the hem and it worked out really well...gave it more volume too! 

And some of the leftover fabrics became this cute rainbow headband. I saw one similar in one of the pictures in the pattern- so I decided to make this at the last minute. Just happened to have a white headband to glue it on too! The dress was a surprise and Madi girl loved it and she looked so adorable in it on her big day! Now here are some pictures of the cake and some of the decorations...just for fun! 

The rainbow cake! This was fun. I had no idea how I was going to decorate it until the day before...then I had a stroke of genius to add that rainbow to the top of the cake. I had the star candles, but the rest I just made up as I went along so I was happy with how it turned out! Oh...and wish I would have snapped a few pictures before my 3 year old decided to stick her fingers in it and mess up the name!

Here's the back side. The white blobs on the left there are supposed to be clouds (in case you couldn't tell). I thought I was pretty clever making the squiggles wrap around from the front to the back of the cake. The squiggles aren't beautiful, but no surprise most of us know, I have issues with loops! I used cream cheese frosting (flavored with coconut - yum!) which tastes so much better than buttercream in my opinion...but this dang thing took 3 batches of frosting. I don't even want to think about how much sugar was in it!

And here is the inside! Yes! This was in the original plan...normally we are totally chocolate cake people, but sadly, you can't make a rainbow cake out of chocolate. So we had a mediocre tasting cake that looked AWESOME inside! I used Wilton gel food coloring --I had the regular ones and the bright ones with purple, orange, magenta and teal. And I was too lazy to level off the cakes with a knife so I just smashed them flat with the bottom of a spring form pan that was weighted down as they were cooling. Yeah. I like to cut corners. ;)

We had a little get together with some friends for is the fruit and veggie rainbow my sister set up for it! 

And here is the rainbow streamer wall...I got this idea from my friend Mindi who did one of these for her daughter's rainbow party. I decided to add white balloons at the bottom for clouds. :) Yay for birthdays. Glad the next one isn't for a few months! I need to take a break and do some quilting! :)