Wednesday, 19 August 2015

Stars in My Eyes

Stars, stars and more stars. Using the Wonky Star tutorial from Owen's Olivia and a stack of Wee Wander from my stash, I've been plugging away at the baby quilts for twin girls due in the early fall to a co-worker.
I would lay out a star (having pre-made all the points) and then square by square sew them together. 
I totally love the result of the stars and the white background but it wasn't wide enough for my liking so I've since added (white) borders.
Fussy cutting some of the centres of the stars was so worth it.
When I got to work figuring out the layout of the warm version of the quilt I realized that somewhere my math had failed me (again!) and I was a block short.
Oops! How did that happen?

My youngest daughter was "helping." She thinks that blocks or fabric on the floor means she should lie down on it. Adorable? Yes. Helpful? Not so much.

I now have the borders on and I've moved on to piecing the back. I want to do it all from stash and ideally with lots of scraps. I liked the way it looked on Jungle Flame, so I'm going for it. This also allows me to use the tiny fat eighth of the panel for Wee Wander on each quilt.

This is the chaos on my quilting room floor:

All these bits to piece together to make the quilt top. Wild and crazy and I love it!

And can I pause to share this new favourite addition to my quilting room? A gigantic glass jar that now holds all my selvedges!
Happy to look at!
Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, 17 August 2015

Hera Marker Love

I am in a definite rut with my quilting. As in, the actual quilt-the-top-and-bottom-together step. My skills set is pretty limited. I have an Angela Walters Craftsy class that I'm dying to finish and I think as soon as I get the next two baby quilts off my list I'm jumping in.

I think one of the hurdles to me building my skills (other than never seeing practice as a priority- I have quilts to finish!) is that I hate marking on quilts. I prefer not to wash quilts before giving them to their new owners (I know how controversial that is in the quilting world) and so I hate using markers or quilting pens that need to be washed out.

I decided to give a hera marker a whirl. If you don't know what that is, it is a small tool that creases the fabric without using any ink. Just pressure. I tried it for the first time on Eclectic Ark and I had this thought: WHERE HAS THIS BEEN MY WHOLE QUILTING LIFE?

You can see here how I marked nice, straight lines with a ruler and my hera marker so I could then straight-line quilt it. And have the lines actually legitimately be straight!!
It is soooo easy to use, makes a great crease and can seriously up my quilting game. The only downside so far is that sometimes in less-than-ideal light (ie: my sewing room at 10 p.m.) the line isn't super easy to see. You have to really pay attention for the crease.

I can promise you, this hera marker will be getting a lot more use in the future!

Friday, 14 August 2015

Eclectic Ark: A Finished Quilt

When our (now former) neighbours told us they were expecting their fifth son I immediately did a fabric pull and was thrilled with it. I couldn't wait to get started!

Then mom dropped on me that the baby's name was going to be Noah, and that his nursery was green and blue and animal themed. I was torn. Stick with what I had picked or go with her colours and theme?

Ultimately I decided to put her wishes first and made this quilt, Eclectic Ark. The animals are for Noah's ark, of course. But there is a strange mix of creatures in there! I ended up using a precious Laurie Wisbrun print with lions, an Ed Emberly sheep print, and some Ann Keele turtles and owls. The backing is flannel and covered in giraffes. 
The blues and greens do go well with Noah's nursery. 
 I opted to use several Kona solids. I wanted to highlight the animal fabrics by leaving them big, and then I framed out each one with a different colour. For those who want to know (ahem, Jenn), I used: Stratosphere, Nautical, Spring, Leprechaun, Forest, Kiwi, Lake and Water. 

Well, giraffes were on the ark, weren't they?
 I did straight line quilting, adding an "X" on the corners of all the solids. It took a long time because of all buried threads but I liked how it looked overall. This is a quilt that probably could have used an all-over long arming treatment but I don't have the money for that. I'm still counting on quilty friend C getting herself a long arm and teaching me how to use it!
Xs all over the Aurafil White.

I used a yellowy-greeny Art Gallery Squared Elements print for the binding which I think tied in well with some of the accent colours in the prints. I was very pleased with this choice.
I got to snuggle three-day-old Noah when I gifted the quilt and mom was super happy with the gift. She immediately took me to show me how perfectly it goes with the sweet baby nursery she had decorated. I told her I hope he uses the quilt and wears in right out, and that I promise I'll make him a new one if he does wear it out!!

I still don't think I love this one as much as I would have my earlier pull, but I'm happy that Noah has a quilt made with love and that I put mom's wishes over my own taste/inspiration. I also used only fabrics from my stash which felt great!

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts and her Finish It Up Friday!

Saturday, 8 August 2015

Happy Birthday to Me

My birthday combined with a little shop hop with my quilty friend A resulted in me buying just a week bit of fabric. You'll see. In my defense, it was my birthday.

We first went to Sew Sisters, a go-to for solids that is not too bad a drive (about 45 minutes depending on traffic). They have a$7.99/metre room in the store that I like checking for backing fabrics. I didn't fall in love with too much but did find a great backing for a little boy's quilt I'm making sometime in the next year and about a yard of a print I liked that was on super clearance for $4.99. 

Then we tried a store I had never been to before called EweKnit which I never would have thought to visit because I assumed it was all wool. A promised me that there was a bit of modern fabric too, and we were both surprised to see that since she had last visited the fabric collection had exploded!
The entire back half of the store was wool but the front half was fabric!

This is just one little bit of the fabric offered. I liked the choices immediately.
I was able to restrain myself, buying just three pretty fat quarters. And then we went to another store that I follow on Instagram but have never visited- The Workroom. That is when things went downhill for my wallet.
A bit of a pain in terms of parking but fortunately A was kind enough to drive (which I hate doing in downtown Toronto).

The fabrics were DROOL WORTHY. The style of the store was so my vibe. I wanted to buy approximately 80% of the store.

And they have a shop dog. A SHOP DOG! This pup is super calm and sweet (and sporting hand sewn clothing, of course)
My haul was significant. This was the take from all three stores:
There is a LOT of Sarah Watt's Honeymoon line from Cotton+Steel in there. One friend bought me some and then I added the other prints that I was loving.

Okay, so I went overboard. Plus I got a squishy mail package the next day with more fabric. I'll post about that another time.

A and I had so much fun, including a nice lunch, and so I will forgive myself for the purchases (because I LOVE them) and just be happy that I don't shop hop more often. My bank account is happy about that. :)