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 sewkatiedid.com) - 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.


Jan 28, 2017

A little catch-up

I've been fairly busy. I like to make time for crafts, and my husband has his own hobbies that I don't share, so I can count on time when he's hunting or shooting arrows or hard-core 4-wheeling as time when I can get stuff done. I couldn't count on a last-minute teenager to choose a school project that has me (gladly) providing the content, but that happened. The project was on the creation of preemie quilts for donation and I had some orphaned blocks that I'd already plotted. It didn't take much time to piece them together and then do a bit of piecing on the back, do some straight-line quilting and bind it up.

Eggsrus.wordpress.com is the school blog where you can see the finished video. It's about 3 minutes long.

This is the quilt we ended up with - Free Spirit solids and a Kaufman print on the front and back, striped binding, 50w dove gray 2600 Aurifil for the piecing and quilting, and the back just wonky enough:

Then it was time to get on with making the bunting. A person in my modern quilt guild was selling bias tape for 20 bucks. I jumped on it because you never know when you're going to need bias tape. It turned out to be way more bias tape than I thought, so I was a little dismayed. Then, around the same time, I got my mother-in-law's Christmas fabric scraps. She's not a fan of scraps. I shoved them in the cupboard and when I pulled them out later to plan a project, I saw that the scraps were pretty picked-through. There weren't many straight edges to be seen. What to do? Well, I decided to cut whatever triangle sets I could from them so I could make bunting (for decorating). I was cutting and cutting and cutting for so long.

They aren't all the same size, and I don't have a reliable possible pattern. If I started from yardage, it could have been consistent and planned, but it's scrappy. Some triangles are 8.5in high by 7in wide at the base, which is what I aimed for most often. When I could get a bit more, I went bigger. Most often, I went smaller. I didn't figure out the angle and make sure that all the triangles were the same shape. Wonky.

Then I was sewing and sewing for so long (right sides together). Then I was turning and turning them for so long, and ironing and ironing for less long. Hooray! It's time to sew them together. I shoved them up (gently) into the bias tape with a .5cm gap between the points, which looks like a bigger gap when finished. Why stick with imperial measurements when you can go metric?

All done! 6m of bias tape with room on the ends for hanging.

Purl Soho posted a No Purl Scarf pattern and the smooshiness of it caught my fancy right away. I'm casting on with an alpaca/merino blend that I dyed a while ago. It's sport weight, so I'm holding it double. I'm using 5mm needles. The pattern is written to be knit flat and you couldn't knit it in the round and avoid purls, so I'll stitch the two short ends together at the end. It'll go around at least a couple times so it will become my favourite cowl. Nevermind that I have a cardigan and an angled scarf already on the needles.....

I'm pretty lucky. My mum knits too and she has knit me more socks than I have. I wear a pair every day in the winter. Here they are drying for the coming week.

By the end of this weekend, I'll have this stack turned into about a 13m stretch of bunting.

Then there's this largest stack of the blue triangles that will probably become two strings.

This is turning into the longest post ever, but I'll keep going. On February 11th, I'm doing a workshop with Katie Pederson and these are the fabrics I've picked. I freaking love red and that blue came from my mother-in-law and it's going to give me a good pop of colour. I'll show you when I'm done.

On March 18th, I'm doing a workshop on paper piecing and the pattern is for placemats by Judy Neimeyer. I haven't done any paper piecing really, so it will be good to have a lesson. I'll show you when I'm done.

Happy weekend!


Jan 2, 2017

Happy new year!

Would you look at that? The subject line on these blog posts now defaults to sentence case (capital letter at the start).

I've been busy. Lots of things to report....

I finished this quilt entirely at camp (it was a completed top when I got there) and gave it to my kid for Christmas. She loves it, and she ought to because she picked the fabric, which was bought already cut into tumbler shapes.

And the back, with double-wide fabric that I love love love.

These are two 36" square quilts that I made to donate to the preemie program at the children's hospital. They were supposed to be one quilt for a Riley Blake challenge with the Modern Quilt Guild, but the challenge was really restrictive and I couldn't get the fabrics that I needed.

I sandwiched and quilted those two at quilt camp, and then bound them at home once I received the guild labels.

I made this one entirely at camp, but bound it when I got home. I just ran out of time. It was a panel that I chopped up and redid. It was for my 1.5 year old nephew for Christmas.

On the knitting front, once I had finished a cowl for my kid:

I started a shawl with Caterpillargreen yarn, which is made for shawls and works in such a way that every stripe stays the same height, even though you're increasing every row.

And I also started a Christmas quilt for my neice, using a jelly roll that I picked up in 108 Mile House, close to Sheridan Lake, where we went last summer. 

And I used the leftovers to make this tiny quilt for my neice's cabbage patch kid, which we also got her for Christmas. 

I picked up some 1/8" cotton cording and thought I'd made some bowls or something. That's pretty fine cording and I don't think I'll go that thin again. 

First I made a bowl with some fabric wrapping the cord here and there. Then I made a trivet with different coloured threads.

Today I started cutting up Christmas fabric to make bunting. I'll have more to say on that when it's finished, but to sum it up, I've cut a bunch of triangles in pairs, I'll sew them right sides together, turn them right sides out, and then sew them onto purchased bias tape. I bought some off a guild member and didn't realize it was going to be so much. I also took my mother-in-law's fabric scraps and didn't realize how many Christmas fabrics there would be, nor how oddly shaped the scraps would be. So the triangles for my bunting will not all be the same size, but that's OK. We will call it modern bunting or wonky bunting - your pick.

Happy new year!


Nov 29, 2016


I should have taken a TON of photos at quilt camp this past weekend, but I didn't take a single one. I was seriously focused and I did have some non-sewing, non-eating, non-sleeping time, but I clearly didn't use it for taking photos. I was there from 1pm on Thursday to about noon on Sunday. What a fantastic way to spend a weekend and some days off work! What a terrible mistake to not take any photos!

I took three tops with me and finished one entirely. Obviously they didn't have very intricate quilting, and none of them was especially large. Two little ones got straight lines in one direction. The bigger one got loops and swoops all over. I have the two little ones waiting for labels (donations) so their binding isn't on yet. I like to stitch the label into the binding so that it's good and solid on at least two sides.

I had samples of free-motion quilting that I did in a workshop, which I bound together into a runner. I like quilt-as-you-go, and the finishing to get squares together isn't hard at all. Here's a tutorial that matches what I do. I'm really happy with the way the samples went together and with the success I had with the quilting.

I started a quilt for my nephew and got it sandwiched and ready to quilt at home. It's freaking adorable, if I do say so myself. It's from a Lorax panel, which I cut up and re-arranged. My kid wanted to steal it, but it really has to go to the nephew.

I sandwiched some pre-printed Halloween placemats and got them ready to quilt at home. I saw my expert quilter auntie Robin do some line-following on a panel that made it a thousand times better than flat and I thought it would be excellent practice for me since I have a hard time following lines or my own stitches. Practice, practice, practice.

Quilter auntie Jocy recently went to England and gave me a supercute little bus tin that could be a piggy bank, and came with some lovely tea in it.

Quilter auntie Cathy was there too, and she brought her finished one-block wonder top for show-and-tell. She was working on that at our last camp in March so it was good to see it all together. This camp, she set to work on a lot of Christmas things and made a lot of great progress.

While I'm naming names, there is a retired woman named Pat who attends all 5 or 6 of the camps that this one shop puts on each year. I see her there no matter what time of year I go. She's close to 6 feet tall, she's (I think) 85 now, she dragonboats, she skips and bounces during the fat quarter swap, and she loves to laugh. Inspiring.

I finished (they were close to done when I arrived at camp) three of these train cases (no piping) and they almost killed me. All that Soft & Stable and so many layers of everything! Expert quilter auntie Robin suggested a denim needle of size 100 to get through all the thicknesses and that was the best attempt I had had on the last few steps. My machine's timing was way off with smaller needles. Mum offered to try to finish the corners on her machine because mine didn't like corners, and that worked - thanks, Mum!, so then all I had to do when I got home was the hand-sewing to seal up the linings top and bottom. My thumb is sore from pushing that needle through so many times. But I am SO HAPPY THEY ARE DONE!

I'll have pictures of all this when I am able to get them outside and take photos. It's been miserable and gray and mostly rainy lately.

I have knitting too - a pair of socks, a gray cowl, and I have a mustardy-gold cowl in progress. The gray one is a Purl Soho pattern that's sort of an offset brioche, and the mustardy-gold one is a basic mistake rib of no documented pattern.

Anyway, that's enough words. More pictures! Fewer words!


Nov 6, 2016

love me some kootenays!

So here I am again in the beautiful West Kootenays. It's a long stretch this time, which is not so great, but it did let me spend a weekend here, which I haven't done on my own before. Luckily I had an extra almost 20 hours of work to keep me busy. However, I did have time to visit with my knitting buddy from Nelson - Karen! We met at the junction of 3 and 6 and got into one car together. We had made plans to go to New Denver to visit the yarn/fabric store called Sew Much More.

On the way, we stopped at a little coffee shop called Frog Peak and Karen goes there all the time, so she got hit up to knit pockets for someone's sweater. It was a really funky little shop and I can see why it's popular.

We drove through Slocan Park, Winlaw, Silverton and then got into New Denver. It wasn't a sunny day, but it wasn't raining either. Karen showed me where her knitting friends live, where she buys her eggs, and let me blow right past the street I needed to turn down to get to Sew Much More.

After I turned around, we found the shop. It was 10:38 and it opened at 10:30. Not keeners at all.

WHAT A SHOP! They probably don't have the biggest customer base, but with product like that, I'm sure she keeps things moving. She's got Sweet Georgia, Malabrigo, Madeline Tosh, Hedgehog, Regia, Cascade, big Lopi-like stuff, and SO much more (punny). I should have written it all down, but it's probably on their website. Needles from KnitPicks, Addi and Chiao Goo as well, plus another brand I can't remember right now. Really, anything you'd need for knitting, crochet or felting. On the fabric side of the shop, she has Moda solids, collections that it would be super easy to pick from for whatever project you have in mind, jelly rolls, layer cakes, charm packs, notions like needles, thread, rulers, and so on, and tons of fat quarters. All hiding in New Denver!

We spent about an hour there. I got a couple skeins of Tosh Merino light for a shawl, a fat quarter set, and a half a meter of some Christmas owl fabric. Oh, and three pens. I like the Frixion pens for writing, not for quilting, but they're getting harder to find. So I got three.

Then we went back to Silverton to the Cup and Saucer. We both had the Valhalla Salad and it was amazing.

After lunch, we walked up to a big tree we had passed on the way and Karen took some pictures of my recently-finished Oda. In nature. On me.

My hair matches the building. Karen thought that was hilarious.

More hair matching the building.

From there, we went back to the junction and split up. It rained a little bit, but nothing too bad. It was the nicest day of the week, I think. Well, since the Sunday before I got here anyway, when it was 20 degrees. It wasn't bad today either. When I went out at lunch, I had to wear sunglasses.

Anyway, on my way back from the meeting point, I saw that the lady just south of Castlegar had her quilt shop sign out, so I turned off the highway to go into the shop she has in her house. I added a few more things to my bag there. Gotta support the local guys, right? They be having good prices in the Kootenays.

And then it was time to work.

Here's an interesting tidbit. To drink a Guinness from a can, you're supposed to pour the whole thing out of the can, with the can held completely upside-down. It doesn't foam over or anything. I think the widgit has a role in that. When you're in a hotel room, you don't have a big beer mug, so I creatively took two plastic cups and, with a single pour, filled them without spilling a drop.

Can't wait to be home on Friday!