Monday, January 13, 2014

I'm the Last One to Join the Hexie Club

You may remember from this post that I picked up an amazing nap-inducing quilt kit & pattern from The Quilting Loft a-ways back.


It has EVERYTHING (except backing) that you may need, including binding and all that jazz. Without a quilting project and while waiting for fabric for my next project (post coming to explain) I turned to this adorable quilt to get things started.


I am super in love with the fabric choices for this quilt. A great mix of reds, blues, pinks, greens, creams, and grays. All are Denyse Schmidt fabrics. They look really vintage, which I am a sucker for.


I even had to purchase two new rulers for the job. A 60 degree triangle and a hexagon ruler. Now, I realize that hexagon quilts have been all the rage for the last like two years. I finally joined the club and bought myself a ruler. Now I have to make more hexagon quilts to make it worth it. So far, it's a life saver when it comes to quick cuts.


I literally spent a good few hours ironing and cutting fabric yesterday. Neti at my side, and for the first time not necessarily in the way, for the whole process.


I finished all of the hexagons. They are staged and ready to go.


I also finished all of the contrast triangles, all 108 of them. All I have left is all of the background fabric to cut down, as I've already got the appropriate widths cut down from a few yards of fabric. Maybe I'll start that tonight.


Looking forward to my upcoming three day weekend! Unfortunately, this hexagon quilt may get set aside, once it's all cut, in lieu of some amazing fabric I have heading my way.

Also, I'm still sitting on that Swoon trying to decide what to do. If I want someone else to quilt it, I have to seam rip everything I've already started. It's just folded up in the corner for now until I have the energy to deal with it. I think I may actually be juggling more projects than I thought.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

And We're Back!

Finally! It's been forever. I took a major break from quilting/sewing and focused on house hunting, which led to heartache. To soothe said heartache I am now back with a vengence! Also, the cooling and cloudy weather is helping me back in to the groove of things. I started off with something small made from scraps I had around.
 
 
This all started when I re-decorated our living room area. I got a new glass top coffee table that looked oh-so-bare and remote controls made oh-such-a-clatter. It needed a mini-quilt. So I pulled out my Farmer's Wife Sampler book and picked a block I knew I could deconstruct. I figured I'd want a 12" x 12" square and worked it out from there.
 
 
Someone else was VERY excited that I was rummaging in fabric again and was glad to be a part of the action. Within two hours I had this:
 
 
 
Super simple quilting with a ton of impact. I am crazy about the color/fabric combos. This has to be one of my most favorite things I've made. Which of course spurned my need to make more.
 
 
I quickly decided, oh, I have a baby shower coming up in two weeks, let's make a baby quilt.
 
 
Again, sweet Neti's enthusiasm for quilting was just as high as mine.
 
 
I found a quilt pattern online that I liked, but I hated their color motif. Not to worry! I quickly deconstructed the pattern again for a small crib size quilt (each patchwork square is 2" x 2").
 
Wham bahm and done! It took me one day to cut and piece and one day to quilt and bind. Holy cow that was fast! I used four different quilting patterns, mostly due to boredom. A blasé quilt pattern turned bananas once all that grey thread was quilted in. It's crazy busy now and I'm super loving it.

 
I used swirls and pebbles intermixed for the bottom of the quilt.

 
Bowing squares and squiggles for the center along with some florets (I'm totally making up these words by the way, no technical terms here).

 
And leaves for the top. I hope no one thinks those are flames. I thought about that about half way through quilting. Oh well, I did not intend for the giraffes to be on fire, just in a leafy jungle.

 
FINISHED! Giving it to the new mom this Saturday. Can't wait for her to unwrap it.
 
And these two pictures of Neti are just here for fun. She was pestering me during basting of the quilt and I couldn't decide which of these was cuter. :) You're welcome, Auntie Lou.  



I'm sure you're also wondering, hey, what happened to that Swoon? Well, I think it's too huge for me to manage so I'm going to see if I can outsource that quilting. The problem is I already started quilting it. Yikes! Here's hoping I can find someone to save the day!

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Let the Quilting Commence!

It feels like it's been a million years since I posted last. Trust me, I have been getting a ton done on this Swoon giant while also dabbling in making jam and pickles on the side. Let's just dive in, shall we? Oh, and be warned, this is a very heavy cat picture post.

Finally! With a layout approved we moved on to chaining.


Neti helped me as I started chaining my stars, keeping as eye on orientation and what connects with what. Thank goodness for cameras! I had to reference back to placement more than once, but I got it done. Having finished, I now needed sashing between my long chains of stars. This was much harder than it looks. 


Or maybe it was exactly as hard as it looks.


I got hissed at a few times making her get up and leave so I could iron and cut fabric, but all in all, we know we will both get a lot of use out of this quilt once finished.

Sashing on and it was time to link all of my chains.

Whoa.


The apartment started looking like a fabric shop. I was literally drowning in fabric. Maybe this quilt is too big.


I found an AMAZING-I'm-so-in-love-with-the-back zigzag for the whole back panel. Pieced (9 yards!) and ready to go it was time to baste the quilt. This also proved to be very difficult.

You know my only favorite spot to baste quilts, right? The apartment lobby. Well, let's just say I didn't realize until a closer inspection that the "area rug" in the lobby is not just placed on top of the tile but built in. Man! This sucker is so big I had to baste it one half at a time. I also had to slightly compromise on my safety pin spacing, but I think it will still be just fine.


1.5 hours later, it was basted. 


And folded up to head back upstairs. I have actually started quilting it, after changing my mind a few times on the design I'm settled and really excited about it. I have three lines done from top to bottom of quilt and this thing is so heavy I was exhausted from continually re-situating it on my little machine. Oh for a longarm. Now I know why those things exist. Baby quilts? Easy! Giant King Size quilts that weigh 10 pounds (a guess, not actual)? Yeah right. This is going to be my new arm workout regiment. 

This may take awhile, but I'll keep you posted. In the meantime, 

Happy Crafting!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Swoon Blocks Finished

This weekend it was all about finishing the piecing of my Swoon blocks. It happened!!


Neti, of course, was front and center. It was HOT this weekend. Well, for Seattle it was hot and for no air conditioning it was hot. With the sewing machine burning and the iron steaming I somehow managed to push through and finish the last four blocks. The hubby called me the Desert Fox all weekend as he was amazed at my ability to stand up to the heat.


Swoon #13- Finished!


Swoon #14- Finished!


Swoon #15- Finished!


Swoon #16- Finished!

Of course, by the end, I had a serious efficiency that I wish I had had in the beginning. This specific to how I pieced and how many chained pieces I could link to speed up my sewing. Oh well, if you don't learn along the way you can't grow, right? Now I know to look for piecing patterns instead of following the given pattern verbatim. 


Once finished I laid out all of the blocks on the floor. I swapped this one for that one. I rotated corners. I moved one here one there. It just didn't look right. So I did what any self-respecting girl does in a similar situation. I called my Mom. 

We spent an hour on FaceTime together repositioning blocks. It was GREAT fun and so nice to have a second pair of keen eyes on the quilt that weren't my own. This quilt is so big and my apartment so small in comparison, that I had to stand on my kitchen counter with the phone near the ceiling in order for Mom to properly see the whole quilt. She would then suggest, "move the second one from the left third row down to first on the right top row". I would set the phone down, climb off the counter, run over, reposition the blocks, and run back up on the counter. "How about this, Mom?" It took us about 20 minutes to both agree on an arrangement, but we did it and it looks awesome! Thanks, Mom!


I had all the gumption to keep going and start ironing and cutting my sashing, but it was too hot! I decided I'd done good work and took the rest of the day to whine about the heat with the hubby and drink a pitcher of fresh brewed ice tea with mint from the patio. With the 4th of July off work I'm hoping to get it all to a point of basting by the weekend. We'll see, I don't even have a backing for it yet. Lots to do! Excited for a short week and a long weekend to make it happen. 

Happy Crafting!

Monday, June 24, 2013

Swoon #10- #12 & Momentum Returned

Finally back to the sewing machine! I had an incredibly productive weekend. So much so, I feel like I deserve a break and so went back to work (yeah right). This weekend was exhausting yet fulfilling. Here's a brief run-through of fun stuff (all chores excluded):


Well, I guess laundry is a chore. Laundry day is Neti's favorite because the basket is empty and she can knock it over and curl up inside. It's her favorite place on the weekend, when not on the sewing table. She occupied herself here all day so I don't have any sewing pictures with her. She couldn't be bothered.

I spent Saturday morning with an old friend who I used to sew with constantly. She's off at grad school in Illinois. Now home for the summer we met up for our usual coffee & pastry and something fun afterwards. We decided to hit up a local quilt shop-- The Quilting Loft. Twist my arm, right? I think we were both happy to go browse.


Yeah, I found something. This adorable Hexie Garden quilt kit! I'm a big fan of kits but somehow always feel like I'm cheating when working on them. They had a demo of the finished quilt in the Loft and the minute I saw it I wanted to throw it over my shoulders and take a nap. That's a good sign, so I had to grab it.


These are the included fabrics for the hexagon flowers. Apparently, hexagons are all the rage right now. I hate to follow the masses, but the quilt just screamed vintage with its creams instead of stark whites. I couldn't resist. I'm a sucker for vintage.

Renewed with a sense of urgency to sew so I could get to this quilt kit, I went home and got my other big project out of the way. 
Jam!


I bought some strawberries from a local farm near work. Peak of the season, best berries I've ever tasted, seriously the best berries I've ever had! They were picked that morning and although I felt like I was cheating (kinda like a quilt kit, all the choosing and cutting done for me) I grabbed and ran with great expectations. I made strawberry jam and strawberry balsamic jam and ended up with 2 more jars each than anticipated! 

Needing time to set overnight I waited until Sunday and then made some currant cream scones. I slathered them with strawberry jam and poured myself a tall glass of milk.


The jam (and scones) are HEAVENLY. Seriously. Heavenly. The hubby and I have already eaten half that jam jar, haha. Excited for more fruit seasons to rear their head! They don't know what's coming!

Between dirty dishes, oven loads and jamming I was able to squeeze in some girl-TV (Drop Dead Diva Season 4!) and a few more Swoon blocks. I actually missed piecing these. It'd been too long.


Swoon #10- Finished!


Swoon #11 (love that pink stripe!)- Finished!


Swoon #12- Finished!

All this activity! Including church, cleaning, laundry, World War Z, using the remaining strawberries to make homemade strawberry ice cream, chats with the sister, and zero naps made the kitten VERY sleepy. She was a doll this weekend.


There you have it! A super fulfilling weekend and only four more Swoon to go! I know what I'm doing this weekend!! Can't WAIT to start quilting it!

Swoon Count: 12/16 Finished!

Happy Crafting!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Devie's Getting Married!

Wowee! It's been awhile, hasn't it? The summer is starting off with a bang! I've been traveling and just overall super busy with some new commitments on the weekends while enjoying a sunny Seattle. I'm also getting ready for in less than 10 days seeing my sister get married!!!! SO EXCITED!

Just before my wedding, almost two years ago, my sister sent me a surprise preparation gift, filled with make-up and beauty supplies. It was amazing! I thought I would return the favor, but I don't really know make-up like she does, so I didn't even try. I stuck to what I know best-- sewing. (Warning: Picture heavy post).

I decided that the one thing I could help her prep for was the honeymoon! Or, at least packing for the honeymoon. This meant the sister needed a bunch of travel bags and goodies for getting ready. Let the pattern search commence!



I found the following:
1. A Make-Up Brush Holder (top left)
2. A (Hot) Curling Iron Carrier (top right)
3. A Clean/Dirty Bag for Undies & Socks (bottom left)
4. A Toiletries Bag (bottom right)

I tried to keep all the fabrics in sync with one another and focus on Devon's main squeeze (at the moment): turquoise. I found all the patterns at Sew4Home online. They have somewhere around 8 million free patterns. You could spend hours lost there. Neti and I got to cutting!


Finish #1: The Toiletries Bag

This little bag was a pain to make! But it turned out super great. The best part is the inside, which is a laminate fabric. How smart is that?! That way, if anything spills along the way it can easily be wiped out of the bag, no harm done and no staining. These were my favorite fabrics to work with. I also love that the bag holds its shape on its own, due to those nice boxed corners. Inside were two little surprises. You can't send a bag empty!


Finish #2: The Make-Up Brush Holder

This was the easiest to put together. I went most challenging first and then gave myself a break. Mentally, this is the best way for me to work. A super simple pattern with another super smart use of laminate on the backing. That way, any make-up left on the brushes gets held by the laminate and can easily be wiped off. Each little pocket perfectly holds a brush of all shapes and sizes. I included a little baby one, just 'cause. These fabric combos were by far the most fun. I may even have a little left over for one for myself. :)


All the while, Neti was nearby during the process. Since I haven't been sewing much she's really been missing the time spent at the machine and sewing table with its rulers and cutting mats.

Obviously.

Yes, that's Neti on my lap while working on the toiletries bag. It was impossible to sew, but I love it.
Finish #3: A (Hot) Curling Iron Bag

By far the most ingenious of the bunch and the most plush. I used that awesome batting (Insul-brite) that has the metal fibers woven in to it. This will allow Devon to grab her curling iron, just after using it, and shove it in to the bag, close it up, and run for the airport! It will hold that heat in without burning fabric or damaging anything else around it in her luggage. The back even has an "invisible" pocket for putting the wound up cord away. These people think of everything! I say invisible only because I lined up the pattern perfectly on the back. 


Finish #4: The Clean/Dirty Bags for Undies & Socks

My very favorite project to put together were these bags. I got the ideas from ladies in my quilt guild who actually found some fabric with bras and undies all over it and made similar bags. I decided this fabric was a little more Devon and went to work! I designed my own pattern, but that's not too exciting seeing as I could have made these with Grandma when I was 8. They are ridiculously simple. I did try and make them extra special though, with top-stitching around the bag's border and around the zipper. I even hand embroidered the Clean and Dirty labels and then appliqued them on to the fronts. I love these bags and almost kept them. Almost. These should help keep the clean undies/socks away from the dirty ones during their week in paradise. I made them big enough so she could share with her new husband (but she didn't seem too keen on that idea).


Needless to say, they all look great in a group and now Devon will be able to travel in style to her tropical honeymoon destination. These were super fun to make for her, I hope she loves them!



Sorry for the delay in posting, but I had to make sure she got the package first before sharing. This also delayed posting for about two weeks as I got them finished, but all is good now.

This weekend the hubby is racing mopeds down in McMinnville, which means I have a weekend to myself sewing. Swoon, I'm coming back to finish piecing you!

Happy Crafting!