May 26, 2017

Little things

Could they be any cuter? They're made from the preemie-sized pattern for the Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmerman. I should have had something for scale so you could see how wee they are. They're done in worsted weight, so they should actually fit a newborn of full term, but they need a blocking first. And they need buttons. I used a 4.5mm needle as recommended in the pattern for a newborn size with worsted-weight yarn, but I might use a 5mm needle next time.

They're made from leftover yarns and were quick and easy to do. I would just caution a person to mind the instruction for the ssk abbreviation - it's not what you think it is.

I also finished the Casual Friday cardigan for me (except for the buttons) and I've worn it a couple times, but I don't have a picture yet. I deviated from the pattern because my gauge was WAY off and I didn't want to change my needles or my yarn. I rewrote the pattern in consideration of my gauge, and I finished the sleeves without additional decreases at a 3/4 length with seed stitch. You'll see.

Camping last weekend, I saw a shirt with a very interesting design on a young girl. I'm going to sew one up this weekend and we'll see how it turns out. I have a great piece of fabric that I've been dying to use.

Happy Friday!


May 13, 2017


I will admit that I haven't finished hand-sewing the binding on the main quilt from the Katie Pedersen workshop, but the cushion cover and the two preemie quilts are done.

I did straight-line quitling on them both, and used striped binding. The piecing and quilting was all done on my Janome 8900 with Aurifil 50wt in 2600 (dove gray).

On the cushion cover, with the few leftover pieces after all the other quilts were arranged, I did some free-motion swirls. I did an envelope back and although I could find a pillow form to fit, I decided to fill the cushion with quilts. There are two quilts inside, which makes the cushion really heavy and quite solid, but also gives us easy access to the quilts when we are chilly.

This is the straight-line quilting on one of the preemie quilts. I used the sticky-outy bar to get the distance between my last line and my next line, but then I used the width of the foot for the next line. With all the pieces so wonky, it was impossible to use the quilt to keep things straight, so I had to be careful with the first line at the centre joining point, and then follow that line for the rest of the quilting.

This is my super-cute dog. She was lying there so pretty, like she was posing for a picture at the Sears Portrait Studio.

We went to Granville Island for a bit of shopping and we went into the Cloth Shop, which is a lovely little shop. She picked out three Art Gallery fabrics and I'll sort out something to make her. The fabrics have a beautiful hand and will be absolutely delightful to sew with.

I'd better get on with hand-sewing the binding on that Psychadelic Baby quilt. Sixty square inches. It'll be a while.


Apr 11, 2017

And then I made a wallet

I actually made 2 wallets but the first one was really ... overboard. I broke my walking foot on it. It's fixable, but also regularly rebreakable.

Both wallets are made on the Slimline Wallet pattern. Six card slots aren't enough for me, so I added a second unit to the design.

Wallet #1 had the increased bulk of RFID-blocking fabric in the card panels. For the record, I don't think I needed that technology in my fabric but I bought it on impulse and thought I should use it before I forgot was it was. It also had leather from my old couch as its exterior and that added even more bulk. I had trouble getting the stitches to behave and I don't think my machine (a good Janome 8900) would like to do the top-stitching to finish that wallet off.

Super cute Riley Blake fabrics, though, right?

So then I cut the fabric for wallet #2 and didn't use linen on the outside, but instead pieced a 9-patch of 2 kinds of stripes. On the inside, I have three colours of reverse dots.

This is the extra card slot unit:

It's a pretty quick pattern, especially the second time you make it.


Apr 9, 2017

Kinda famous

I went to a workshop led by Maureen Wood on a Judy Neimeyer pattern called Broken Daisy. The pattern gives you templates and instructions for 4 placemats but I didn't bring enough of the gray fabric for 4, so I cut the templates in class for 2. I pulled my fabric months in advance, and forgot that I didn't have enough when I packed it up to go to the workshop.  

I was thinking I may or may not make the other 2. Maureen told me to keep the template pieces so I could do 2 more later (good idea!!). I was thinking of all the placemats my mum had ever made me and that I didn't have space for any more ... I thought the pattern would make a great tote bag and I had just brought home some waxed canvas so that idea bloomed.

I thought that I could make 2 totes with one placemat each, so I drew up a pattern and then got to putting them together.

I quilted the placemats on warm & natural batting with Aurifil 50wt in 2600 dove gray. I love that colour so much that I also bought it in 28wt and I used that to quilt the back panels. It's just a little bit more obvious. One of the backs got a wonky spiralling square and one got a big circlish spiral surrounded by little spirals.

I posted these pictures on the Quiltworx Facebook group and I'm feeling kinda famous. Over 150 people have liked, loved or wowed the post, and 6 have shared it. I've never seen that kind of reaction to anything I've posted ever.

Crazy, right? I mean, I'm no Kardashian, but still.

I'm signed up for the next possible date of a retreat with Maureen and I'll do a full-size quilt pattern then. I love how the patterns are so organized and logical so I don't find the idea of many templates, many papers and many bags daunting. It's going to be rad.


Feb 18, 2017

Organized and improv

I showed you the quilt I made for the preemie program that my kid filmed, so these are the other two that were donated at the same time, bringing my lifetime total to 5:

And this is the flannel I put on the back of them both:

For those 2 quilts, I dug into my collection of 8-patches and 4-patches and lined them up in 16-patches. They aren't totally coordinated or planned, but they work. Each square is finished at 2 inches.

I quilted straight lines on the diagonal through all the white blocks. I used Aurifil 50wt for all the piecing and quilting in colour 2600 - dove gray.

I don't have a ton of space where I live, so I am careful with my scraps. If I have leftover fabric, I tend to chop it into as big a strip I can get, of any length, and then I sort the pieces into bags. I didn't use to keep 2.5 inch pieces - I cut them into squares right away. Then, while I was at quilt camp, I sewed all those squares onto a 2.5" strip of white fabric and then cut them all apart. That gave me a stack of 2-patches. I still have some left as 4- or 8-patches. And I'll probably make more. 😊

I did a Katie Pedersen workshop last weekend (see - the improv class called psychedelic baby - and it was super fun. We made lots of strip-based blocks and you get basically a square shape that you then cut the diagonal block from. That gives you 4 corners of triangles that aren't part of the main quilt.

Here are my blocks all lined up for ironing:

When 4 of the diamond blocks go together, you get this sort of effect:

Then I used my 18 diamonds thusly:

And I sewed 2 of the off-cut triangles together to make squares, and I have 36 of those. I used 16 of them to make this top, using 9.5" squares:

I'll get another top out of the remaining 20 off-cut squares, and they're a little smaller. I'll play with layouts a bit tonight. I could get another 16-piece layout like above, and have 4 left for a cushion front. We'll see! 😊

The piecing for these two tops was all done with the dove gray thread as well. It's my favourite.