Friday, September 19, 2014

Friday Finish: Robotic Buzz-saw Baby Quilt


 Here's a super quick post, mostly because I made this quilt under a deadline and shipped it out to the opposite coast before I could get a good day to take pictures outside.  And light on pictures, means a short post, because who really wants to read a novel about a quilt?  No one.  But a picture book, absolutely.

Anyway, I blew a gift card a while back on a couple books that had just come out.  One was Amy Smart's Fabulously Fast Quilts.  I'm really pleased with that decision, because a week later I realized that I had nothing to send a friend for their baby shower.  And this Buzz-saw pattern was one of my favorite sneaky short cuts in the book, so perfect time to try it out.

I absolutely loved this pattern.  I had all the blocks sewn up in a day, plus some extras that I decided to cut out.  Day two, was putting them all together and making binding.  And the quilting was a short evening of sewing with friends.  I used a new quilting pattern, a squared loop, which is perfect with the graph paper print.


The parents are both science-types, and no doubt their son will also be a genius, so this fabric from Birch Organics was the perfect line.  Normally I don't go for a whole line in a quilt (said the woman who just made a Chicopee quilt) but this was the time for quickness.  I didn't have time for figuring out a color scheme and pulling fabric.

This also turned out to be a great idea I had, because this fabric is the softest, most buttery, heaven to work with fabric.  It presses so well, and crinkled into the cuddliest quilt.  I really want to buy all Birch and clothe myself in it. (for real guys.)


One of the most fun parts was making the label.  I knew, as a baby quilt, this would get washed a hundred times, and a fabric marker might fade or bleed.  And since I'm not usually a label person, I got really nervous that whatever I picked would be the wrong marker, and again, had no time for testing every marker in the store.

So, I just decided to pull out the embroidery floss and stitched up a label.  I absolutely love it, because I got to color-match my thread to the fabric.  And, I'm pretty sure that the floss will lose it's color about the same time as the fabric disintegrates.

This quilt did make it to the shower, and with a few days to spare.  It has yet to meet it's owner, but I know it will be loved.

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

Monday, September 15, 2014

Knitting and Stitching Things!


There's so much sewing happening here, I just don't have enough pictures to show you all of it!  I need a live in photographer, or maybe just a remote shutter control.  The latter is probably cheaper to maintain.

In the meantime, here's some progress on my mermaid.  See that little bit of red across her face?  Yep, that's it.  But I did manage to get the rest of the colors I was missing for this, so I can just sit down and finish her now.


And while I was shopping for the last of my colors, I decided to just buy another thread organizer and more plastic cards to wind the thread.  I have one of these somewhere absolutely stuffed with thread, but cannot find it.  It's extra large, so will take a bit longer to fill, but I still have a bunch of floss tucked away in baggies and drawers just waiting to be wound.


And I finally started on some holiday crafting.  Half of our extended family celebrates Christmas on Thanksgiving, so it tends to sneak up on me.  Hopefully this year I won't be binding and burying threads on the drive down to Connecticut.

What are your holiday crafting plans?  I usually make a big list then realize I should have started months earlier!


And you have one more day to head over to Quilty Habit to vote for your favorite Orange Peel Quilt-a-Long quilt.  I'm partial to mine, but there's a lot of great choices!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

My Little Cross Stitch Mermaid


Summer break is over!  Everyone in this house is excited for school, and I'm excited to get back to a normal schedule.


There was a lot of sewing this summer, but I did a lot of non-sewing crafts too.  I got back out my cross stitch and found this awesome pattern online.  I'm not sure who made it, and the website's all in Italian, but I'm really glad they did.  I started with Ariel, but they have all the Disney princesses done pin-up style.  (I've got them all pinned on my Pinterest board if you want to start your own).


Of course, stitching means that there's little embroidery floss tumbleweeds popping up.  


I was trying to think of what to do with this once it's done.  It's not exactly something I'd hang in the dining room with the family pictures.  I was thinking maybe of sewing it into a bag.  Or maybe stitching up all of them and making a wall hanging for my bathroom.  Still undecided, but it's taking a while to make, so I have plenty of time to figure it out.


Linking up with Blossom Heart Quilts for Sew Cute Tuesday!

  Sew Cute Tuesday   

Friday, August 8, 2014

Friday Finish: Orange Peel Vines!



I'm so glad I jumped at the chance to join Quilty Habit's Orange Peel Quilt-a-long.  It's something that I've wanted to do for a while, and I'm really happy with the results.  Like, really happy.  I can't wait to figure out where this will hang in my house.  I'm thinking my bedroom, but we'll have to actually paint first.  It'll give me time to add the hang sleeve.


I posted about a million pictures to Instagram while making it.  I knew I wanted a rainbow of peels, but couldn't figure out the layout, whether to add more, whether to machine sew them down or hand stitch... It just went on and on.  Thanks so much to all the great advice I got, I was just so scared of screwing it up since I loved it so much.

The rows won the layout contest.  The rainbow was more obviously rainbow-y when you lined them all up, and it kind of reminded me of my love or Orla Kiely.  Had I picked a different color scheme, I would have had to track down some Orla sheets to use as backing.


I ended up quilting ghost peels in all the blank spots.  For the two center rows, I used a rainbow of threads and the outer borders just got white thread.  Then I went back in and did some dense straight lines so the peels would really pop out.  They definitely pop, but you can't really see the straight lines.  I think I'm okay with that, but it was a little bummer that that portion of work wasn't obvious.


You can see the lines when the kids decide the quilt is a hat....


I still have to measure it to figure out which category of the QAL to enter, but you'll definitely see me in there somewhere.  And there's still plenty of time to get your orange peel on; the final link up is from August 23 - September 8, so that's almost a month!  Do it!  It's fun, and there's prizes!

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday and Quilt Matters for TGIFF!

Friday, August 1, 2014

Friday Finish: Morton the Map Turtle


So this one time, a friend brought over a book and asked if I'd like to make a turtle.  It was late, and turtle production wasn't really on my radar, but how do you say no?


At the last guild meeting, said friend had won a copy of a really cute book, Sewing Tales to Stitch and Love by Kerry Goulder, and thought that it would be fun to give some of the creations for gifts.  But first, we had to see if we could make them.  Both of us are quilters with some success at garment and bag sewing, but stuffies are an entirely different area of 3D sewing.  The turtle seemed easiest, so we dipped our toes in with that.


It turned out pretty awesome, even though there were a few steps where we both just stared at each other and scratched heads.  (How could it not turn out awesome when the shell features a map of both North America and Australia like they've always been next to each other?)  We were a little surprised by turning the tiniest cylinders, but luckily, I had a turning tool on hand.  And we learned part way through that a fairly short stitch length is best when making things you'll stuff and stress the seams.


But all in all, he's a pretty handsome little fellow.  He's whole, with no stuffing falling out, and all the body parts are in the right spots.  He also survived a day as a three-year-old's favorite thing, which isn't easy.  She named him Map Turtle, and was a little confused when he went to live with someone else.


Hopefully back to some real quilt posts soon!  I've sewn so much, but taken only shoddy Instagram pictures, so hopefully I'll get some time soon to take out the big camera and throw a quilt on the lawn.

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday and Quokka Quilts for TGIFF!

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!