May 18, 2016

modern twinsies

I got my act together and lined up the photos of the "same, but different" quilts that I did for the wee twin boys who aren't born yet. I have met their mother, through their grandmother, with whom I work. Grandma is a lovely person and I probably went overboard on these for the mother who I had only met once, but none of the effort was painful and all of it added to my experience (I still consider myself new, having quilted for only a year and a half). Also, my friend Amber advised me that it would be the, "Best gift at the shower, bitches!". She's a quilter too, and she has totally gifted quilts at showers. Heck yeah!

So anyway, here they are, before quilting, after quilting, after binding and all-things-finished, and the back:

A disappearing 9-patch that really, really disappeared.
All-over meandering, free-motion quilting that has a couple of goofy spots, but is actually follow-able. I bound them both with Kona gray and now you're thinking, "Which Kona gray?" and I don't know. It's lighter than my other Kona gray; I know that much. The colours on the front are all Free Spirit. They're kind of primary colours but kinda not, right?
Those are my slippers. I don't wear socks with sandals. My daughter does and says it's totally okay, and even pointed someone out at the mall last weekend who was wearing BLACK SOCKS with her Birkenstock-style sandals. I cringed.
The flannel for the back wasn't quite wide enough (40-inch squares is what they are), so I added a strip of white flannel.
This one uses all the same fabrics, but it's different. See why I called them "same, but different"? Again, those are my slippers.
My daughter HATES the quilting on this one. I did each quadrant with a line toward the centre, and then another out toward the edge at 90 degrees. I didn't measure them and many of them have an apex that isn't in the middle. They're wonky and I like that. The thing my daughter really dislikes is the 'diagonal' line that joins the apices (I had to look that up) of each of the 90-degree quilted lines. The apices aren't in a straight line. The 'diagonal' line jogs back and forth.
I think this one is more of a modern quilt than the other one, but they're both all solids. This one has more negative space and a wonky block design that I made up as I went along. I made them both up as I went along. They would have been BOTH made from disappearing 9-patches, but I had a bunch of 9-patches that didn't make the cut because they were too flowery. So I only had enough for one quilt and then had to come up with this one separately.
And this is the back of number 2.

Yes, that's me. Yes, I have blue hair. Yes, I'm wearing a Batman shirt. No, I don't wear socks with sandals. For the last time, those are MY SLIPPERS!!!!

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May 17, 2016

startitis and a linky post

I have a bad, bad case of startitis. That's when you start everything. All of it. All the things.

I have just finished three pillowcases and three pairs of pyjama shorts in the past week.

I've cut fabric for a topper for a big chest that will serve as a side table in the living room, and which is too dear to damage in any way.

I've still got that round robin quilt sitting there with the pins in, waiting for the rest of its quilting.

I've completed two quilt tops that are 36" square, which will be donated to the preemie program at a local hospital. They need to be sandwiched, quilted and bound. (That should be quick because they're small and I'll do the binding on the machine.) They were made with some Riley Blake fabric that I received from the Modern Quilt Guild in a challenge, but I couldn't procure the necessary fabrics to finish them up and get them entered (I had to use other fabrics). The Riley Blake fabric, though, was super easy to work with and aside from it being 3/4 of a yard long rather than the width of fabric (the design runs parallel to the selvedges), it's perfect. I suppose if you bought 2 yards and wanted great lengths of it, you'd be annoyed if there were only 40ish inches of it based on the width.

I've been downloading patterns like crazy and am itching to make summer pants and shorts.

I've got a paper-piecing project planned. Just a mini, but it's got 20,000+ pieces and I want to get it done and out of the way soon. It's for a girl at work. She will probably outwardly scoff at it, but she's a prickly pear and I know she'll be thinking sweet thoughts on the inside.

I have some abandoned pieces from a disappearing 9-patch that will come together to be a quilt of their own, with only a little bit more sewing. And maybe some really bold orange added to it. That'll be a wild one. I hope the other girl at work is having a girl. She won't know for a couple weeks, but if it turns out that it's a girl, this quilt is ear-marked for that baby.

My walking foot broke the other day. It's this one. I only bought my Janome 8900 Quilter's Edition last August, and I had the world's best experience at Toew's, where I bought the machine. No questions, no issues, just a new part. WOOT! So because of that, I thought it best to support this local business just a little bit more and so I also got the 1/4" foot for the walking food (Accufeed), and I picked up a 'teflon' foot for doing a project with vinyl as well.

That's the other project I've got started - the sewing machine mat from Make It, Take It. It's made with selvedges on muslin, and then quilted onto batting and a back, and you add the vinyl to the front bit that hangs down in front of your machine so you can put things into pockets that you stitch into the vinyl. It's going to be epic - I'm making it as wide as my machine plus plexi-table, not just the width of the machine. Hopefully my machine will be a little quieter. Not that it's terribly noisy now, but it isn't silent and I don't have a sewing room with a door. I have a nook area off the kitchen, just around the corner from the TV-watching area.

So .... yeah. You can see that I'll have lots of things to show you in a while, but they aren't done yet. It's because I keep starting other things.

(Truth be told, I have finished a set of two baby quilts for twins that a friend's daughter is expecting, but I haven't got the photos available right now, so they'll have to come later too.)

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Apr 2, 2016

unending scraps #scraps4life

I sewed the 2-patches into 4-patches and then the 4-patches into 8-patches (so much chain-piecing!!), prepping to create the 16-patches.


My scraps that would become 16-patches don't really go together to become quilts at this time. Know what that means? I need to make more 8-patches and see what happens, or build frames for 8-patches or tall 16-patches and tie them together that way. Just having a white buddy on each little square isn't enough to bring cohesion.

So this project will continue. I'll keep building new quilts and creating new scraps, and eventually it'll work out. It's all good.


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Mar 24, 2016

scrap happy

I went to quilt camp this past weekend. I intended to do the quilting on my round robin top but I just got it pinned. I didn't really have enough room to quilt it there. I also have no idea how I'm going to quilt it. I did get my 12-inch mini finished - I'll be sending that one to the Maritimes for a swap.
And the back is pretty cute too.
It was fun to tinker with. The paper airplanes are paper-pieced and that was really my first time doing that. Then I chopped them down and improv-pieced them back to square. I did pretty minimal quilting, but I'm happy with the jetstreams and the ghost cloud that echoes the back.

I also finished a quilt for a coworker's daughter. They have both been sick lately so I don't know when I'll get it to her, but at least it's done.
I love love love the pink stripe binding on this one. And the owls (Riley Blake) in the centre of each square are totes adorbs. I have a really cute fabric on the back that looks like inter-lined paper. There's the odd word and picture, but it's mostly blank. I don't mind if she writes on it when she's able to - I did. No label required!

At camp I also made a pair of oven mitts that you can't get your thumbs into. I'll head to the store for the Easter weekend sale and get more Insulbrite and see if I can make a better pair. I'll actually have the current set of mitts to use as a template instead of going from memory, which is sure to result in success.

I had a terrible time with cheap flannelette squares on the weekend - I made a few nine-patches and then decided that I didn't like the fabrics or the way they were going to go together. They'll be orphan blocks for a while.

Remember how I was sorting my scraps? I went a little crazy with the 2.5" squares. I decided to sew them to a 2.5" strip of Kona White, and then realized how quickly you could eat up a meter of fabric doing that.
I got 17 squares on each strip and I had about 21 strips in the end. Then I ironed the seams and opened them all up. Then I spent some time meticulously cutting them into their white-and-x sets.
 And sorting them into colour stacks and colour  families.
And then planning all the 16-patches and stacking them for sewing.
It's going to be an interesting design exercise to line up the 16-patches that can go together into a quilt. I still have 2 stacks of 2.5" squares, so I can carry on and provide more options if I need to, and I can also sock them away and wait for more scraps to be born. I'm going to do 2.5" strips instead of squares wherever I can, though. Squares are finicky.

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Feb 19, 2016

let's try that again

I wrote a bit and then I paused it (without saving) to go take a crappy cell phone picture. I lost the writing. Rookie mistake.

So I just finished this Hayley's Comet shawl, with a different colour arrangement than in the pattern because I was using odds and ends:
It isn't really properly blocked. Just enough for me to weave in the ends, and then I may block it again with pins. Maybe.

I'm going to cast on the Antler sweater this evening and I'm stoked. It doesn't actually have antlers on it. It's a fingering-weight sweater with interesting details like the saddle shoulders, garter cowl, coloured sleeve ends and things like that.
She's helping me ball the yarn. I do it by hand because I enjoy it.
And here it is all balled. It's four 50g skeins all wound up together with the ends felted together to make it think that it's one big 200g ball. It's a big beast. I can't wait to cast on. But first I shall take my daughter for Thai food and we will grab something from the coffee shop on the way home. That's very exciting - I don't have Thai very often.

This new knitting project is going to live in the new project bag. The yarn is excited about that.