Friday, 30 August 2013

And Then There Was This Time...

So I decided to take the easy route and go with a looping free motion pattern over every block in Little Red. I used matching thread colour to the blocks (turquoise, grey and white) so that the quilting doesn't stand out all that much. I like the cohesive look of the same quilting on every block, and though it is not fancy:
a) I could manage it on my small machine and impossibly small harp and;
b) it was within my skill range to look okay afterwards.
The loops are soft and look nice when you see it overall. I'm happy with the choice.
And then, after being so relieved to have finished the quilting, I laid it out on my dining room floor at 10:30 at night to trim the excess batting so I could then square up the quilt and do the binding.

And then I noticed it. Finally. After working on it for weeks. After quilting it for days.
Do you see what I see? Or, rather, do you see what I don't see?
I forgot the borders.

What. The. Hell.

Keep in mind, I have a pattern and the borders are all cut and ready to go. There is supposed to be a 6" border in that Lotta grey around the whole quilt. 

My husband said "Oh, yeah, I noticed that the other day and thought you just decided not to do them."

Well, it is too late now!!!!!!!

So. Grey binding it is. I know just where to get the fabric for the binding.



Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Quilting Quandry

I finally got down to business quilting Little Red:
FMQing large stippling in the white parts of each block
Now that the white areas are filled, I am torn about the centres. I am thinking I may do some grey waves through the sashing, but the centres? Hmmmm. Each one different? I'm feeling stumped. And I want to get this quilt DONE!

I think I may just go FMQ wild in each centre. Gulp. Wish me luck.
I hope it looks good when it is done...Baby A is so edible and I want her to love it too!


Monday, 26 August 2013

Fast Failure

I was supposed to be on a fabric fast until school started on September 3rd. But I am part of the Sew Sisters Kona Solids club, so there are four fat quarters there. And I am part of the Fat Quarter Shop Blogger Bundle of the Month club, which sent me this for August:
I will not be using this as a complete bundle but, rather, splitting up the contents and pairing what I like with other fabrics from my stash.

And I had to use my golden ticket from Pink Castle Fabrics. I mean, it expired August 31st. So I had no choice, right?

Here are the goodies I ordered:
I fell hard for Glow with the Flow, a blogger bundle by Terri of Sew Fantastic. I absolutely adore the bright colours and modern vibe. I think I need to make something for myself with this one!

Flannelette! I have plans for these beauties...

Painters Pallet in Sky and Chevron Remix in Garden

Some Indian Summer (this print is Wilderness in Rock) for the backing of my Indian Summer baby quilt.
 You can see why I needed to so horribly break my fast, right? And I think I may have to buy a bunch more Kona White before back to school as well since I am running really low again.

Oh, and I had a wonderful experience (again) with Pink Castle. I was able to enter my golden ticket for a discount (it was worth $25 dollars! Score!) but then I couldn't enter the bundle discount. I emailed them and they quickly refunded the difference, even changing the input of the codes to save me the maximum amount. I LOVE shopping with them!

Other than buying I started playing with some of the fabric I cut for a little boy born early August. Here are some sneak shots:

Trimming HSTs. Had just the right ruler.

Very little waste, considering the number of HSTs.
Playing with the layout.
And now, back to work (sewing work, that is!)


Sunday, 25 August 2013

One is Fun: A Finished Quilt

My sweet, energetic, adorable nephew turned one this month and I decided to see if I could fit in a quick quilt. I made him one for when he was born (my very first quilt I quilted, actually) but now, a year later, I think he needs a new one.

His mom oooooed and awwed over the Tumbling Jungle quilt I made for our neighbours and so I decided to do another quick charm pack tumbler quilt using more Tim and Beck fabric.

Here is One is Fun:
Bright and colourful.

The tumbler is so easy with my Missouri Star Quilt Company template and a couple of charm packs. Some Kona Tomato on the edges and you have One is Fun!

The prints are soooo cute. Tim and Beck really design great fabric.

A little FMQ in Aurafil grey on the borders.

A colourful binding (leftover from my Dr.Seuss quilt).

Cheerful Dr.Seuss fabric, from my stash, as the backing. I normally piece the backing but I was trying to get this in quickly!
I think a tumbler quilt with charm packs should be my go-to "I-need-a-baby-quilt-super-fast" pattern because this came together in no time flat!


Wednesday, 21 August 2013

August Kona Solids and What Happened?

My Sew Sisters Kona Solids FQ bundle of the month has arrived. Here is the inspiration photo:

And here are the solids I received:
From left to right: Sunflower, Kiwi, Leprechaun and Blue Jay.
I don't mind the Blue Jay and the Leprechaun is okay. The Sunflower is a bit too muted for me (too much red maybe? Not a yellow I am drawn to) and the Kiwi is very loud. Not my favourite. I'll add these to my new solids storage and continue to admire my growing rainbow while crafting thousands of ideas for using all these pretty Kona colours!

Also, while piecing Little Red I discovered that the strips between the rows (with the mini nine-patches) have some sort of measuring something that went wrong. 
See what I mean? Not even close to lining up!
I really don't think it was an error on my part (this time). I instead lined up the nine patches with the vertical sashing and then pulled the stitches, trimmed and resewed the centre sashing piece. It seems to have worked and the nine patches will line up much better (though still not perfect).

The summer is winding down and I can feel the sewing time slipping to try to fit in some more sewing!


Monday, 19 August 2013

What I Learned

I recently stayed at my mother's house for two days because she had her knee replaced. Knowing that I would be away from my sewing things and that I would have lots of downtime while my mother rested, I brought lots of fabric to cut. Four quilts worth.

I cut this delicious bundle (all from my stash) into squares for an HST quilt:
This baby's nursery is green and blue so I love the combo!
I remembered how much I like this Joel Dewberry print which will make up most of the backing of the baby quilt:
I should have bought more!
I cut all the materials for the twins' quilts (due September). 

Boy colour scheme on top, girl colour scheme on bottom
These two quilts are ready to assemble. I even got all the sashing cut!
I feel ready to go!
I also cut the fabric for a gender-neutral baby quilt for  neighbours across the street having their first:
Ann Kelle Urban Zoologie is so stinkin' cute!
I learned quite a bit through this away-from-home experience. I learned that with no other distractions (like my daughter) I can cut lots of fabric. I could have easily cut another two quilts and still had time.

I learned not to take my ironing board for granted. My mother's is terrible, particularly the cover. I hated it so much I went and bought a new one the second day I was there.

I learned that my Oliso iron is more awesome than I thought. I learned this by bringing my old, cheap Proctor-Silex iron (from pre-quilting days) because it is so much lighter than my Oliso. It takes so much longer to iron with this light-weight!
Sorry, old iron. You didn't work very well. (Note the towel? That is because I pulled off the other cover immediately it was so awful).
Now I need to actually get the time to sew all these quilts together. First I have to finish my Little Red quilt, though, because baby A arrived right on time this Sunday on her due date!

Oh, and my father-in-law loved his quilt! I'm so pleased and hope he gets lots of use out of it!


Sunday, 18 August 2013

A Zipper in Time: A Finished Quilt

My dear father-in-law celebrated his 60th birthday August 12th with the big party yesterday, August 17th. I got the idea to make him a quilt a long time ago and chose the perfect pattern...Zipper by Thimble Blossoms (Camille Rosekelley's pattern company of Bonnie and Camille).

I opted to use a jelly roll of Reunion by Sweetwater that I have had for ages (I don't even remember buying it) along with lots and lots of Kona Steel.

It took a long time. And it is huge. And there are 480 parallelograms, which almost drove me insane. I planned to make a big one for my own dad for Christmas but I think he is getting a lap size after dealing with this beast!

Here is A Zipper in Time:
The front. I love the effect of the parallelogram "zipper" look.

Pretty cool, right?

The back is mostly a print from Reunion (also from my stash, by the way, and also don't remember why I have so much of it), some Kona Slate(I think? I will have to check on that one)Kona Ash and a bit of leftover grey and white graph paper type of material used on the backing of Giraffe Love. (Wasn't I so good about using stash for this one?)

I did straight-line quilting using my walking foot using Aurafil grey and loosely  outline the zigzag pattern of the parellelograms. It took a long time. It was tiring. Every five seconds I had to pause, lift the presser foot, shift the direction of the quilt and sew again. But I think it looks cool!

The binding is mostly a solid red from stash (not sure the colour or brand) and this snazzy striped red print from Riley Blake. I think the pop of red looks awesome against all that grey.
I know my FIL will love it (and I commented to my husband that even if it was ugly and girly with pink flowers my FIL would still make a big deal of appreciating it) but I think I have chosen fabrics well for him and that he will actually, honestly like this quilt.

Since I'm writing this in the past (pre-gift) I will have to update you on his reaction!


Tuesday, 13 August 2013

I've Been Busy

A very brief update with what I've been up to:
Figuring out the layout
There have been some tricky parts, but today is pressing each row and then sewing the rows together. Maybe even get the border on tonight? I can hope!

Also, I'm feeling a bit perplexed about how to quilt this one. Ideas?


Sunday, 11 August 2013

Baby Needs a Sleeping Bag

While playing house with my four-year-old, she was lamenting that her doll has no sleeping bag. I promptly pulled out my bins of scraps and let her choose the fabrics she thought should go on the sleeping bag. And, with no plan, I quickly sewed up a sleeping bag.

I only enclosed one of the seams at the top and wish I had done both, and I didn't line the sleeping bag (it is just batting on the inside) but she likes it and baby fits perfectly, so I count this as a win! (Plus I got to practice some random piecing and play with some FMQ).

The pieces ready to be FMQed:
Quite the interesting choice of scraps, don't you think?

Back of sleeping bag.

Front of sleeping bag.
Sometimes a little fabric play is a nice break from all the careful pressing and piecing using a pattern.


Saturday, 10 August 2013

Little Red

I am working away as fast as possible on a baby quilt for my friend C and her husband P who are expecting their daughter August 18th. I missed the shower deadline (and since I was hosting the shower I figured it would be okay) and I'm hoping to give the new baby her quilt when she arrives.

I am using a pattern from Camille Roskelley's Simply Retro and though it looks amazing in the book it also looks deceptively simple. When I actually read the instructions I felt a little bit like I had taken on more than I expected/could handle.

So I made one block from start to finish to decide if it would be worth the effort:
Come on. That is totally worth it.
There are also some fiddly 9-patch blocks for the sashing that involve 1 1/2" blocks sewn together. Yikes! So I made one to see if it would drive me nuts: 
Irritating? Yes. Adorable? YES.
I since have been doing lots of mass piecing and pressing: 

 And chain piecing is saving me oodles of time:

 The flying geese were my least favourite part but I do like how they look once you have them done:

 And the little nine patches are sooooo cute:
Now I am putting the rest of the blocks together and then getting on cutting the sashing. I reduced the size of the quilt from 4x4 to 4x3 because 16 blocks at the size these turn out (18x18 plus sashing!) that quilt would be HUGE. I think 12 blocks will still be a very generous size.

Off to sew some more!


Thursday, 8 August 2013

Can't Post...Too Busy Sewing...

I have had a very productive last weekend and most of this week. Last weekend, a long one here in Canada, allowed me to do lots of basting, making binding, quilting and finally finishing binding.
I love the way a roll of binding looks. It sure is tedious to make, though.
A sneak peek of a quilt I've made for a special little boy.
Two quilts ready to hand bind. And guess what? They're BOTH finished!
A Zipper in Time is finished (hooray!) and will be gifted to my father-in-law in a little under two weeks. Look for a post on the finished product. Also, I managed to fit in a simple tumbler baby quilt for a special little boy turning one at the end of the month. I've kept all pictures of this off Instagram since his mom follows me, but I'm letting these ones out on the blog. I'll post finished pictures of this quilt in a separate post as well, but not until after it is safely with a certain one-year-old.

I'm also making lots of progress with the turquoise and grey baby quilt I'm making for a life long friend who is expecting her first baby, a little girl, August 18. I don't know if I'll make it before she is born, but she should have it before September arrives for sure! I'll post more about that quilt soon!


Monday, 5 August 2013

Off the Wagon

I am supposed to be on a fabric fast until September 3. But then I needed to go to a LQS to pick up three metres of Kona Canary to be able to execute a pattern for two baby quilts that are on my to do list and I knew temptation would be too much. It was, after all, the day after my birthday. And my mother gave me money to buy myself fabric. So yes, I cheated. I couldn't help it. Maybe more self-restraint for the rest of August? (Unlikely since I have to use my Pink Castle Golden Ticket before August 31).

Here is what I bought:
Tons of Kona Canary and three fat quarters. The Lizzy House Peeps print is in a colour I haven't seen before, so I scooped it up right away.

A whole bunch of Elk Grove by Birch Fabrics. I am so in love with this combination I can't even tell you.
 I also have started cutting the fabrics for my friends C and P's daughter due mid-August. I discovered the bundle I had put together was four prints short and pulled these out of my stash to compensate:
 I also have been working away on quilting A Zipper in Time. I have had lots of help:
Thanks Marlowe.
 But it is looking pretty good. It is very time consuming because every two inches I have to stop, lift the presser foot, rotate the massive quilt to the next angle and start again. It is very hard on my neck and shoulders but I am more than half done!
I'm doing echo quilting using Aurafil grey and a very loose outline (not measured). My walking foot is awesome.
I am enjoying all this time to quilt. I am already dreading back-to-work in September if only because of the drastic drop in my sewing time!