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!

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!