Sunday, January 29, 2012

Zig Zag baby quilt

So I find myself tonight listening to the monitor, waiting for my son to fall asleep, my husband downstairs studying, and me without much to do. My sewing stuff is in the basement and it is cold down there, and apparently my machine is loud and the sound really carries. Plus, I like music on when I am sewing, and Kanye coming through the vents is not conducive to my husband's concentration.  He suggested I write a blog post, but I have not much photogenic progress going on, just plugging along piecing my Sparkle Punch quilt...
Ah, yes! I never wrote a post about a quilt I made for my friend and co-worker's baby! And it is a missing link on my newly created Quilt Gallery page on this blog. A topic- success!

Back at my old, pre-baby job as a vet tech in a specialty surgery practice, I made an excellent friend who was having a baby. Well, this was before I got pregnant with my baby, and I was jealous. Three months later, I got over that (because I got a positive test, and the good hormones were raging) and I decided to make her a baby quilt.
I wanted to make a zig zag quilt, and to make things complicated I asked our coworkers if they wanted to each contribute a bit of fabric to make it, and then we would present it as a gift from all of us. My only guidelines were to get fabric in her nursery colors, brown and green. Then I got the fabric, and things got complicated. It was hard to make things look nice with that eclectic mix! Here I am trying out a layout- all one fabric, or all mixed up?

All mixed up, of course! Readers will know that I do love a crazy, wonky, lots-going-on quilt. And that I am really not skilled at taking good photos of my quilts! See below as evidence...
But you get the idea. I hope. I quilted in two different colors following the zig zag pattern, but not evenly spacing them, and doubled up some very close to the adjacent line. The binding was my first print binding- I had no other non-brown in any appreciable amount. But I love the look of it. The back is simply the brown on white print from the blocks. And I did not measure it, but is that really important? It's baby crib sized.
Can you believe I am a scientist at heart, who works in exactitude and vigilant record-keeping? Naw, me neither. This is my fun time hobby!

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday: Bit by bit

Work in Progress Wednesday! I have some fun stuff to show for my work this week:
(and have been working on the blog too- new quilt gallery page!)

Ongoing projects:
Blocks for the Sparkle Punch QAL at Oh, Frannson!
These are nice and easy to punch out about 6 whole star blocks a day, but I am antsy to put them all together and see what they look like!

Scrap attack quilt blocks
(Thanks everyone for the encouragement to keep going last week!)

No progress:
Cutting for the Sparkle QAL (I am planning on the mini size)
Name tag for Portland Modern Quilt Guild Feb meeting

Completed or new projects:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, January 20, 2012

Resolved to Sew 2012

As you may know from the bloggy world, Very Berry Handmade is offering some very lovely prizes for writing a Resolved to Sew 2012 post, and I simply cannot resist those. But I also think making this list for myself was nice for (mostly) clarifying what I would like to sew this year, and in what method I would like to accomplish it. 

My overall goals are:
  1. Sew at least 30 minutes a day 
  2. Finish at least one non-quilting project 
  3. Use my stash as much as possible
  4. Resist perfectionism in all manifestations. This is supposed to be a fun diversion from mom and wife work!
My specific goals for projects will be amended a few times I am sure, but include:
  1. Finishing the whale I began knitting last year
  2. Use up my remaining Tula Pink Parisville, in a giant vintage star quilt or for hexies in a few mini quilts
  3. Make a Sparkle Punch quilt with Taza FQs
  4. Make some Mid-Century House blocks for a quilt, massively inspired by this post from Tallgrass Prairie Studio
  5. Make a scrappy quilt to clean out my scrap drawer
  6. Use my Kona Poseidon bundle remains to make that ill-fated DNA quilt, or a pennant quilt
  7. Make at least one project (weiner dog, quilt in the headlights or alarm clock) from Dare to be Square Quilting
  8. Do the projects from the Portland Modern Quilt Guild- I just joined, and it will be a blast
So this post has no pictures, and therefore is not as appealing, so I will add a shot from Very Berry Handmade of the fabric prize I would choose should I win, the bundle of Summersault from Backstitch.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday- are these scrap blocks working?

Work in progress Wednesday! And a happy snow day to those with one- we have one, and it is so beautiful! We rarely have seen snow where we live for the last few years (since Boston!) so it is exciting to have snow on the ground in Portland. 

New Projects: 
Scrap usage 

 I am working on using up some scraps, inspired by all the scrap posts lately, but I a not sure if these are a hot mess or just a mess. I kinda just wanted to go whole hog (wow, there is a lot of slang in this post already!) and just piece scraps together in a big block and then frame it in some neutral background, but I am not sure that will work. What do you think? Keep on trucking (couldn't resist) or just trash these and work from other scraps? I am tempted just to keep at it and see what happens...

Taza Sparkle Punch Quilt
I posted about this new WIP yesterday. These are my cut bundles of Taza for the Oh, Frannson! Sparkle Punch QAL. I am very excited about these, just have to get some grey Kona (coal? medium grey?) for the background. White would be too boring, and lots of the prints have white in them. Ugh, more cutting, but yay, more sewing blocks!

Old Projects:
Here is where I have re-evaluated. I have no uncompleted projects that I have started in the past, and I am making up a new list of what I want to do this year. Among them is a quilt from Dare to be Square by Boo Davis, which I got for Christmas, and some kind of quilt(s) to use up my Parisville FQs in purple. Either a giant vintage star or a couple minis in some cool pattern. I am open to suggestions!


Linking up...
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

New QAL project with Taza bundle

 This is mostly fabric eye candy, but I have been a bit silent- my son decided he wanted to learn to use the potty out of the blue, so I have been sitting on the bathroom floor a large portion of my day! He also got his first real injury, with blood and contusions and all, on his eye of all places, but he is fine.

So cutting fabric has been a nice break, especially when it is so pretty and I had forgotten I had it to play with! I actually received this fabric right after we moved, from the Free Spirit Fabric blog after commenting there. You should visit- they give away some nice packs of goodies! This is Taza by Dena Fishbein. They sent a whole FQ pack of 30!
 So I thought these would be perfect for wonky star blocks, and then found that Elizabeth at Oh, Fransson! is doing a Sparkle Punch Quilt-A-Long. Perfect! So I started cutting...and cutting...and cutting. Then I had to put together a test block to see if I could pull it off.
Yes! This is going to be fun.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Fabric basket to store letters (the ABC kind)

 I made a fabric basket! I have had this bookmarked forever as a to-do project, but I got the kick in the pants I needed because my son needed something to store felt letters in from a gift. I used the tutorial from Pink Penguin, and it would have been even faster had I actually looked at the photos!
 See, I sew in the basement now without a computer, so Saturday night I wrote down the tutorial and then went downstairs to sew. I had not picked out fabrics yet, so from that point until having the exterior and lining done only took me about 2 hours! So far, so much excellent-ness.
 Cut to today, when I sewed the lining to the exterior and realized I attached the handles to the inside of the exterior. Rookie mistake. So I took out the trusty seam ripper, ripped and flipped, then finished it up in another hour, I think. Not too bad, all in all.
I used fabrics salvaged from samples my husband's old architecture firm was trashing, and the lining is some fabric from my stash I was gifted. So I am no help there! I highly suggest design firms for small bit of cool heavier weight fabrics- they get rid of them all the time!

Linking up...
{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Improv quilt done for Project Linus (thanks Pat Bravo!)

I had my sister help me with the full photos after we took our run- so you get a peek of downtown Portland!
In case you missed the explanatory post it is here, but the gist is I made this quilt to be given to Project Linus after Pat Bravo posted on her blog that she had too many scraps and needed quilt makers to use them up. I thought it was an excellent chance to use some Art Gallery fabrics (I never had before) and to help do some good. (Readers may know I am a sucker for charity quilts.)
Fast forward to late December, when I decided to make my Christmas gifts, so this got put on the back burner. Another factor was tension issues with my thread and/or my machine. Either way, I fixed them and finished quilting and binding over 2 days! Whew, I can be productive when I put my head down- and when my husband does bedtime with our toddler for me. Heh.
 My mission was to make the quilt only with the scraps I received- and I did pretty well, but I did have to use some white on the backing and a stash sheet for my binding. The pieces I needed were too large, and I only had 1" strips left.
 This was my first time trying zig zag stitch for finishing the binding. I love how it is more forgiving, but I did get a bit off track here...full disclosure, process pledge, you know. But I can live with one spot.
 These improv blocks were a blast to put together, and I tried not to let myself care about the color combos too much either, except to follow some rudimentary cool/warm scheme for each. Malka Dubrawsky's method of improv piecing made this a blast. And wild. And colorful.

Thanks for reading! Let me know what you think about it- too crazy? I know it is a taste thing, so I am just curious- I promise I won't get my feelings hurt!

Quilt stats:
Finished size: 53" by 47"
Pattern: "Nate's Quilt" from Fresh Quilting by Malka Dubrawsky (I mostly followed it!)
Top: All Art Gallery scraps from many different lines, sent by Pat Bravo for the purpose
Binding: A stash sheet from Serena and Lily
Backing: More Art Gallery scraps and some stash Kona snow
Quilted: on my Brother in straight lines on the diagonal with variegated King Tut thread

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Hello to new readers- my 2011 mini recap

Here I am.
I have not had one photo of a person yet on my blog. So here I am. And yes, I do make that face an awful lot, so why not use it as my profile pic?
(If anyone knows how to get the photo rotated in Blogger from Picasa, let me know. I am not super techy-versed.)

I am linking with Lily's Quilts for Fresh Sewing Day and Small Blog Meet, so I am going to do a recap of 2011 sewing/crafting. Then you'll get a good sense of me and what I do.
I am getting used to this mosaic thing. 
Some quilts, some crafty stuff, mostly sewing. See below for links and details!
From top left to right:
Owl pumpkin

You may notice if you click through, these are not in date order. I am not that cool, or organized. Plus, naptime is over and my son is saying "all done" in his room. So, until next time!

Fresh Sewing Day
Small Blog Meet

Monday, January 2, 2012

My Blogger's Choice FQ bundle

Yes, I went bold. And pink.

From the top left to right:

LouLouThi Sugar Coreopsis Yardage LouLouThi by Anna Maria Horner for Free Spirit Fabrics 
Kaffe Fassett Collective Pink Japanese Chrysanthemum Yardage Kaffe Fassett Collective by Westminster Fibers 
Get Together Pink Squirrels and Nuts Yardage Get Together by David Walker for Free Spirit Fabrics 
Taza Pink Color Stripe Yardage Taza by Dena Designs for Free Spirit Fabrics 
Power Pop Orange Thirteen Yardage Power Pop by Jenean Morrison for Free Spirit Fabrics 
Modernology Rose Mod Vines Yardage Modernology by Patricia Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics
Kaffe Fassett Collective White Herringbone Stripe Yardage Kaffe Fassett Collective by Westminster Fibers 
Domestic Bliss Primary Window Seat Yardage Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott for Moda Fabrics
Domestic Bliss Aqua with Cream Beaded Curtain Yardage Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott for Moda Fabrics
Mimosa Yellow Mosaic Yardage Mimosa by Dear Stella Fabrics 
Summersault Rose Pinwheel Yardage Summersault by Erin McMorris for Free Spirit Fabrics 
Kaffe Fassett Sky Palm Fan Yardage Kaffe Fassett Fabrics by Westminster Fibers
Nursery Basics Sky Solid Yardage Nursery Basics by Cloud9 Fabrics
Bella Solids Porcelain Yardage Bella Solids by Moda Fabrics 
Pure Elements Festival Fuchsia Solid Yardage Pure Elements by Patricia Bravo for Art Gallery Fabrics