Wednesday, July 23, 2014

WIP Wednesday: LV Edition!

It's kind of a low volume with pops of color kind of WIP Wednesday.  I got my Orange Peel QAL top sewn together last night, but it still needs top and bottom rows of LV squares, plus any borders I decide to add.  I love it though.  I just want to quilt it because it looks like it will be so much fun.

And I started on this Honey Cowl, even though it's pushing 90 degrees these days.  I got this yummy Tosh Merino DK in Cosmic Wonderlust from Purl Soho on our last vacation to NYC, and I've been trying to figure out what to do with it.  A cowl will be perfect since it's so soft.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Friday Finish (on a Saturday): Chicopee Crosses!

I really love this quilt.  I think it's because it's a combination of all the things that I normally love, mixed with a lot of firsts.

It's one of the first times that I bought a whole line of fabric to use together and actually used it.  (Sorry fat quarter bundle of Comma that I love but has been on my shelf for a year.)  The recipients have a lack of color in their lives, and I wanted to give them some rich color, but not blow their minds.  So Chicopee was perfect.  There's that amazing citron, but also navy and dark green.  It's low volume in some prints, but loud in others.

And to balance all the color, I used Essex yarn dyed black linen, which is the first time using linen in a quilt.  I absolutely love the texture, and that the neutral isn't just a boring solid (though I still love a solid).  I'm a little nervous because I started using 1/4" seams before I realized that the weave was really loose.  I'm planning on just quilting it to death so there's no chance of critical fraying.  And I didn't realize there was so much stretchiness in the fabric until I started pressing.  Again, I'm going to quilt it to death, which solves all problems.

Last first, it's the first time my quilt math really worked out the first time.  I was trying to figure out what pattern to use with these fabrics, and a quick Google search of Chicopee quilts brought up this Crossing pattern by KelbySews.  It was perfect, but I wanted the color to be on the crosses, so it didn't make sense to center them in the middle of the block and have all the seams be linen to linen.  So I changed the block to be a cross in the corner with two large borders of linen on top and a side.  Little change, but I managed to calculate out everything, including seam allowances, and it worked the first time.  Nothing ever works the first time for me!

So now I just have to quilt and bind it, but I'm not sure whether I want to use the backing options I already have, or search for something else.  I'm letting it simmer for a while until the choice becomes clear.

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Orange Peels!

So I'm taking part in the Orange Peel Quilt along over at Quilty Habit.  It's one of those shapes that I've always loved how they look and have always wanted to try them, because there are so many great tutorials that promise to make it really easy.  

Last night I just got the urge to do it.  It was weird, and I was just going to work for an hour or so to get the peels started, but hours later, I was still going.

This tutorial from Crazy Old Ladies is so simple.  You just trace the peel onto interfacing, sew it to the right side of your fabric, then trim and turn right side out.  Magically, you have all your raw edges inside and a nice peel that will hold it's shape when you sew it down.

Pay no attention to the gross carpet.  Weeks of rain + two kids and a dog = nastiness.

I combined that super simple method with glue basting, and by the end of the night, I had enough blocks for a decent wall hanging if I went with the random layout, but I laid them out in a rainbow vine, and they were just awesome.  It'll probably still be a wall hanging, but I might end up making it a lap quilt that I hang on my quilt rack in the living room.

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Summer Things and Clamshells

 Summer things are happening.  The strawberries already came and went.  The little girl ate every last one of them, so sadly no strawberry ice cream got made, but she enjoyed them.  Now the berries are starting to come, and neither child likes them raw, so we'll have jams and syrups and maybe ice cream from them.

There's also been lots of outdoor and beach time.  They're both old enough to just roam around safely and entertain themselves, which leaves plenty of knitting time.  I've got most of the Little Sperry knitted, just one sleeve to go.

I have plans to start an orange peel project once the sweater is finished.  Jessica at Quilty Habit is having an Orange Peel QAL, and since it's already on the list of things I want to try it must be the perfect time.  I was thinking of using the stitch and flip method from Crazy Old Ladies.  It seems the easiest and I have a pile of non-fusible interfacing that I must have bought thinking it was fusible.  I just have to sew up a bunch of peels and toss them into a bag for on-the-go stitching.

In actual sewing news, I managed to get this little beauty stitched up this weekend.  We had a great workshop at the latest Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild meeting, where Amy (from During Quiet Time) showed us how to machine piece clamshells.  And we got to cut them all out on her Sizzix, which meant we had enough to actually finish a project.  

I have almost all the clams sewn, I just had to run out and buy some green thread to do the last couple.  (How did I not have green thread?!)  I haven't decided whether this will become a pillow, or a panel for a bag.  I'll probably let it sit for a few days once it's all quilted and see if the elves come and finish it for me. 

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WIP Wednesday: Little Sperry Sweater

I love a fast knit.  This is another basic raglan sweater, but I actually bought the pattern for it.  Mostly, because it was perfect already and cheap, but sometimes it's just fun to support other crafters.  (Go Team Craft!)

Anyway, it's the Little Sperry from Amy Miller (get it from Ravelry here).  I love Amy's sweater designs, but this one is just perfect for what I wanted, a lightweight summery sweater for the boy to throw on on chilly evenings.  And my friend Laura (of Little and Lots) recently knitted this up for her daughter and it was just adorable.  She didn't post about it, but trust me, it was killer.

I got this great variegated cotton yarn on sale at Joann's, because I can't get a solid answer from the boy about his favorite color.  After years of blue, now it's green, but I didn't want to risk an all green sweater that never gets worn, so he gets both, plus yellow!  I'm skipping the stripes on this one, but I'm definitely going to do them on the next sweater.

Another fun tidbit, I actually knitted a swatch for guage.  Weird.  I ended up going down two needle sizes to get it right, apparently I'm a very relaxed knitter.

I couldn't get a good picture of the girl in it.  It's way too big, but the boy was unavailable for modelling.  This sweater is obviously too big, but I really liked the length on her with the shirttail hem.  I might make one as a sweater dress for her next.

Linking up with Lee for Work in Progress Wednesday!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Friday Finish: Earthy Goodness Quilt

It may have looked like a quiet week on the blog, but really, it was pretty crazy.  It was our first week out of school.  Husband built a new set of stairs for the front of our house.  I knitted half a sweater!  And we played in pools and got ice cream with friends.  (I also put some serious thought into naming my quilts, specifically this one, and failed to come up with anything.)

And I also got some serious sewing done.  This quilt was commissioned by my cousin who wanted a quilt for Father's Day.  I had about a week and a half to do it, so of course I said it would be no problem.

She wanted browns and creams, and I added a little pale blue and green.  I love how those colors aren't really screaming, but they quietly cheer the whole quilt up.  Because I had so little time, I went with a simple block, the disappearing 9-patch.  I think now that it wasn't the fastest block I could have chosen, but I love how it turned out.

I backed it in some super soft flannel and did some loopy quilting.  The result is a pleasantly floppy quilt that's perfect for cuddling under on the couch.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for TGIFF!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday Finish: Teacher Thank You Totes

So last night I had to sudden realization that today was the last day of school for my son.  And not only that, it's his last day at Montessori school because next Fall he'll go to the public kindergarten.

Anyway, I've been so caught up in all the last week of school festivities and looming deadlines (and maybe a little bit of avoidance), that I'd missed the class collection for gift cards, and hadn't even had the boy write out a thank you card.  But I really wanted to do something for the teachers because they are amazing.  Isaac is a very specific type of kid, and I could tell that while there were tough days in the class room over these last two years, they really loved him.  It's a big deal for him to go to kindergarten and ride the bus next year, but I'm really sad to be leaving this school behind.

So last night I pulled out a bunch of fabric and some batting scraps and made some book bags.  What teacher doesn't need more book bags?  I cut out a long rectangle, and then sewed the strips to the bag quilt-as-you-go style.  Once I had the whole rectangle covered, I sewed up the sides and boxed the corners.

I used some home dec fabric I had to line the bags and to make the straps.  In hindsight, I wish I'd added a pocket, but I was in such a rush, I decided to just make them as simple as possible.

Now to go deliver them.  I'll be that parent with glossy eyes awkwardly hugging the teachers.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Riddle and Whimsy for TGIFF!