Taking a brief break from my Looong List of Projects to make some smaller items. I found a super-cute wallet pattern on Etsy, so I’ve been making a few up as gifts for friends and family.
I picked up a fat quarter bundle to play with, and I have a few other FQ’s set aside from my semi-abandoned table-runner-pattern project, so I’ve got enough to make several of these this week… assuming my sewing machine starts to behave. (Having some major problems with thread tension, and I’ve got a ticket in to Brother customer support to see if they have any ideas for me.)
This has been a very nice little diversion, but it’s time to get back to quilting, as I have a project “due” the Friday before Mother’s Day, which only gives me a few weeks to finish off a lap size quilt. Hopefully I’ll be feeling better (mentally) in the next few days, due to some medication issues I’ve been sort of out-of-it for a while, and that’ll help my productivity a bit as well.
I’ve had a copy of Ricky Tims’ “Convergence Quilts” sitting on my bookshelf, and I finally had the opportunity to try the pattern out today. I’m making throw pillows for my parents’ living room, and only had 3 colors to work with, but everything I found on Quilter’s Cache in the right size used more colors than that. So out comes “Convergence Quilts,” and about an hour and a half later, I came up with this:
I love how it looks, and I think it’ll only look better when I get a border on it. (It’s currently about 15″ square, and I know the pillows will need to be bigger than that.) I love the method, it was quick and easy, and I look forward to making three more of these!
I guess having bipolar shows up in my blogging patterns… sometimes I post a lot, other times I don’t, and it’s either one or the other. I want to get good about posting, especially with my exciting news coming up (see next post!), so here’s a bunch of info on the things I’ve been working on lately.
Ya know, I’ve never been good at making up my mind about sewing projects, and this past few weeks has been no exception. I’ve started and aborted probably three or four projects for Quilts for Kids, since I was at a loss as to what to make for my “test run” for the charity. In the end, I found a nice set of 10″ squares at my LQS, a lovely pattern on Etsy, and spent about eight or nine hours putting this one together. QFK has a particular need for quilts for teenage boys, and I think this one will fit the bill perfectly.
I love the pattern, the execution is great… but there’s a bit of a problem. Every 3′ of stitching or so, I got big loops of thread on the backside of my stitching, which is okay until there’s any tugging on the seam, in which case you can see a 1″ or so section come loose. Baaaad news if I’m trying to prove that I know my stuff. So I’ll have to go back over this with a fine-tooth comb and check the strength of ALL the seams. But after that, I can do a quick meander quilting in beige thread, and it’ll be all set to go. I know some guy in the hospital is really going to like this one
In addition to doing some sewing at home, I also got to take a class this past weekend. This was another “mystery” class, and the fabric I had initially picked out was kind of, well, bright.
Very happy, very springlike, very cheerful– and definitely colors that I love! But with any uncertainty about the final design, I decided that it’s a risky scheme with the potential to be WAY too busy. So instead, I decided to add this stuff to my stash and make another trip to the store for something a little more sedate. And sedate I was– in fact, I don’t think I’ve EVER picked out a color scheme this calm in my entire quilting career!
That turned out to be a great choice. I have many hours of sewing left to do after Saturday’s class, but I think it’s going to turn out really well, given the results of this single block. The finished will have very wide pieces of the Asian flower fabric between pieces like this, with little accents of red between the blocks. I think it’s going to look great! I think I may end up donating it as a door prize to my 10 year high school reunion, which is happening this summer, so people can at least have SOME fond memory of me back in those days. (Kidding. Mostly.)
In addition to doing quilting, I’ve also been doing some non-quilt sewing over the past weekend. I found the neatest pattern for a book-style e-reader cover on Etsy that uses only two FQs, so I made one of those as a test run and I love the way it turned out! I had to get a bit creative because it was designed for something a little bigger than my little Kobo, but I think it still works just fine.
I’m making at least one more, with a “Day of the Dead” skull theme for a friend from college, and I’m going to see if any other Facebook friends are interested, since I have enough of the batting/stabilizer/Peltex/etc. to make two or three more at hardly any additional cost. Since they only take about four hours to put together, I’ll probably make a few extras and stick them up on Etsy; I imagine people would be willing to pay $25ish for one of these, since a boring old plain one at the bookstore is $30+!
Also on my plate are a set of throw pillows for my parents’ living room. My mom picked out three pieces of batik fabric in tan, sage, and eggplant, and I’m going to use them to make a set of four 18″ throw pillow covers. I’m thinking of practicing my paper-piecing skills and using this block design, courtesy of Quilter’s Cache:
I think that should cover everything that’s sitting around finished or in-progress for the time being, so I feel “all caught up” on that front right now. Huzzah!
So here’s the story: I was originally planning on finishing up the pink/blue/white Mystery Quilt to donate to a charity auction. But after trying to quilt the darn thing, I came to a realization: I absolutely HATED the darn thing. I think it looks AWFUL.
So with one day to go before my shipping deadline, on a Sunday morning, I decided I was going to make ANOTHER quilt from scratch to donate. I had one plan in mind as I headed to the fabric store, but came up with another one once I walked inside, and managed to find the perfect fabrics, combined with a few bits from my stash, to make something super-quick.
10 hours of sewing later, I had this one put together, quilted, and bound!
I love doing kaleidoscope-style quilts, and this one definitely turned out well. The sashing is a little wonky, but you can’t really tell unless you’re looking closely at it. Overall, I’m really happy with the way it turned out, and I wouldn’t be surprised if I make a few quilts in the same style using different focus fabric.
Long time, no blog! My quilting has definitely slowed down over the past two months, since my health hasn’t been all that great, but I’ve still done a fair bit of sewing. Here are some snapshots of what I’ve been working on since November:
A one-block wonder using some neat Asian fabric I picked up at the quilt shop. Still sitting on the design wall, waiting to be assembled!
Applique alphabet quilt, a baby gift for one of my best friends from high school. Still sitting on the design wall with applique fused on, so I need to start stitching the letters down before I assemble it!
This one came out of a magazine, and I’m really happy with how it turned out. The colors are very bright and happy!
Last week, I FINALLY finished this quilt from a “mystery” class I took back in October. The original border fabric looked hideous (trust me), so I ripped it out and applied this new one. I’m still not too sure what I think of it, but it’s on the “machine-quilting-to-do” list for this weekend, as I’ll be sending it off for a charity auction next week.
I’m taking another mystery class next month (two of them, actually), and I went fabric shopping for the first one today. After attempting a pink/black/white color scheme and failing, I found this rainbow batik-like fabric and spent the next hour and a half trying to figure out what to put with it. I have no idea what it’ll look like, but I bet it’ll turn out great!
Two projects got finished today, and overall I think I did okay, though there are things I dislike about each project.
I like the colors on one. The block pattern I’m ambivalent about. The sashing I’m very frustrated with! I was just a TEENY bit short on the dark blue fabric, and didn’t have enough to sash the top and bottom borders. I may toss it out for that reason, unless I can come up with some other way to do it. (Maybe there was enough yellow fabric left over to sash it in yellow?)
I stole this color scheme from the Sherwin-Williams website, since they have a lot of color schemes designed for home decor. The pattern works up really quickly and it’s nice not to have to measure all the teeny little pieces. Unfortunately, because of the way I used the fabric for the sashing, there was only enough fabric to make the runner 28″ long. I suppose it’s a good size for a small table, but I’m not sure it really fits in with my other projects, size-wise.
Overall, I think I made a good effort today. I now have five completed projects for my book, and I have instructions for three completely written. I’m working on instructions for the two projects I made today, and I imagine I’ll be finished with numbers four and five in the next day or so.
The third project for “Table for Four” is finished, after two failed attempts at other designs this evening. This one took some creative piecing, as I mis-cut the green and navy FQs and had to cobble pieces together in order to have enough fabric. I knew that restricting myself to limited yardage would be tricky, but this is the biggest challenge I’ve had yet!
I’ve written up the instructions for this one and I’m running it past my fellow quilters on Livejournal. After having a previous pattern critiqued, I feel better about my ability to concisely communicate sewing instructions, and since this one isn’t very complicated, I doubt I’ll need to make any major revisions to it.
If anyone reading this would like the pattern, I’d be happy to send a PDF by email, just leave a comment
Here’s the second finished runner top for “Table for Four,” which I call “Sassy Stripes.” It’s pieced together very quickly and easily, and I really like the effect that the varied stripes gives the finished piece.
I’m writing up instructions now. I didn’t take pictures of the process this time, so I have to test myself to see how much of the story I can tell with just words and have it be understandable!
I think because of the simplicity of piecing, this one would be the first project in the book. It’s very beginner-friendly– it still works just fine if your seam widths are all over the place!– and I think the effect is still striking enough to make for a good lead-in. I might make one in a brighter color palette to see some variation as well.
Some friends that I used to play WoW with will be welcoming a new arrival to the family in a few weeks, and they asked me to make a Tetris quilt for the new baby.
This one went together fairly quickly, though piecing all the plain squares together was a little bit tedious. (Thankfully, there were only 200 of them!) I’ll be sandwiching it and doing the quilting tonight, using rainbow-colored thread, and hopefully have it in the mail by the weekend!