Friday, September 26, 2014

Friday Finish: Round Trip Quilts!

Remember back during the summer when I joined the New Blogger's Blog Hop hosted by Plum and June?  A few of those bloggers joined up to make the Round Trip Quilts round robin bee.  I've already send my center out to Chelsea at Patch the Giraffe, and I'm super excited to see what she does with it.

This center (the four blue/grey stars on yellow) was started by Leanne at Devoted Quilter, and I was a bit stumped by it at first.  As part of our package, we sent along notebooks with notes about our likes, dislikes, ideas for the quilts, etc., and Leanne said she wanted us to just do our thing and not to be scared of using any colors or prints, but to keep it stars.

So I knew I wanted to add a lot of color, partly because that's my thing, but also so it doesn't stick to one color scheme too early in the quilt.  I decided to do tiny little stars along two sides, but was pondering how to add more than six colors/prints, when my friend suggested I do some Victoria Findlay Wolfe-esque centers.  Normally, I wouldn't throw that much crazy at a quilt that wasn't mine, but I figured in such small amounts, it would be perfect.

I pieced the centers out of my tiniest scraps, then trimmed them down to 2.5 inches.  Then made flying geese for the points and trimmed them down to 2.5 inches wide.  It was a challenge working with such small pieces, but sewing bigger and trimming down made it a lot more accurate.

I'll be sending this one off to Chelsea as soon as I can get to the post office.  And soon I'll be getting Jennifer's (of Never Just Jennifer) center.  I was in love with it from the start and can't wait to see it in real life.

Here's the bloggers in the group!

Heather at QA CreationsLeanne at Devoted QuilterKim at Ties That Bind QuiltingLiz at Green Cheese QuiltingMary at See Mary QuiltChristina at WIPs and TutsJennifer at Never Just JenniferChelsea Huckins at Patch the Giraffe

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish It Up Friday and Glory Be Quilter for TGIFF!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

New Toys: Mini Hex N More Ruler

So I work in a fabric store.  It's pretty much like being told you have to browse for eight hours before spending any money.  There's a lot that I want, and my wish list just gets longer every time we get new bolts of fabric in, but I'm trying to not blow every paycheck the second I get it.

And in the spirit of spending smaller amounts of money, I got the Mini Hex N More ruler.  I get to see how I like it before buying the regular sized rulers, because those are obviously on the wishlist too.  And I figured it would be perfect for cutting out mini hexies for some EPP that I might get around to someday.

After storing the ruler in my bag for a couple weeks (read: it's so little I completely lost it) I finally pulled out my box of medium-sized scraps and decided to see if I could put together some pinwheels.

Cutting with such a little ruler wasn't as bad as I thought it might be.  I had a little snafu and cut the wrong sized triangles.  I tried to fix it by making some very scant seams, but the damage was done.  I tried some creative pulling and stretching and pressing, but I just ended up with bulgy centers.  They did come together fast though, so that was a win.

Here's the next batch of pinwheel parts, now with the proper triangles, ready to go.  I think the first set will get quilted to death and maybe made into a pouch or book cover.  And after this, I think I'll make a mini out of little hexies and triangles.

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday and Kelly for Needle and Thread Thursday!

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!