Friday 25 July 2014

Tardis Pillow: Always Learning

So I made a tardis pillow. A tardis, for those non-Whovians, is Doctor Who's space ship. Space/time ship? Whatever. It is a police box from Britain and Trillium Quilts put together a HUGE paper pieced Doctor Who-themed quilt for her son and shared her patterns free on Craftsy. Brilliant, generous woman.

It came together much easier than I could have hoped, especially since I am not a paper piecing fan. Except I was disappointed that the curve of the pillow distorts the shape of the tardis and ruins the 3D look. It works better as a flat quilt block, I think.
I like the fabric I chose for the timey-wimey-outerspace- a Tula Pink print.

I used a tone on tone Pearl Bracelet print in dark grey for the back.

All those tiny seams look so much more impressive from the back!
I wasn't 100% thrilled with the end result. My hubby said it looked great and was sure his coworker would love it (it was a thank you gift for lending us all of his Doctor Who DVDs). The coworker did love it so that is a win. And here are some things I learned for in the future:
  • paper piecing can be totally worth it
  • some blocks don't work well for pillows because of the curvature of the pillow
  • use dark thread when piecing dark fabric to dark fabric, otherwise any stretch to the seam shows the light coloured thread- my laziness about switching out thread bit me in the butt on this one
  • careful pinning with tiny pins is key, but pinning it from the front while looking how it will fit together is even better (I got that tip from my quilty friend C)
And I will paper piece again. But only if the outcome will be really worth it to me!


Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts Finish it Up Friday!

Thursday 24 July 2014

Keeping It Real: The Sashing is Killing Me

Really, the whole quilt is sort of killing me.

Sometimes it feels like there is a curse over certain quilts. I definitely felt that way when I made my grandmother a quilt and nothing seemed to work out. Granted, she ended up loving that quilt and when she fell very ill she said it was the quilt that made her feel better. She took it with her to the nursing home and then was buried with it this past spring. So it was totally worth it.

Though that is a sombre example, I know that when I struggle with a quilt it will be worth it in the end. And this plus quilt will look amazing. I know it will. The little boy for whom it is intended should get lots of use out of it and I think his mom will love it.


THIS QUILT IS DRIVING ME CRAZY. It was easy to piece- 3.5" squares and lots and lots of nine patch blocks to make the pluses. Then when I started putting it together the moon must have been full or I spilled salt or walked in the path of a black cat or something because it has been disaster after disaster.

I put together the first three rows including sashing and it was looking fabulous. Then I put on the forth row and...
Holy crap. That is WAY short. What happened?? I made all the blocks at once.
I knew what happened after I paused for a minute and put all the other rows side by side. Rows 1-3 are one length and rows 4-8 are another length. Why? Because I decided to not be lazy. For once. But I decided it part way through the quilt. You see, I trimmed the blocks to perfect 9x9" squares. Well, the blocks for 4-8, anyway. 1-3 I just pieced as they were. BIG PROBLEM. Stupid me. Serves me right.
Do you see row four on the left slowly getting out of alignment with the first three rows?
So I picked stitches for hours. I was so mad at myself. My hubby even offered to help (thanks, dear, but no thanks. I could just see the distorted blocks littering the floor). 
My eyes were getting strained from all the white-on-white stitch ripping.
After hours of ripping this was the result.
And then, calmly, I trimmed them all, added the short sashing between the blocks and then sewed the rows back together. BUT I MESSED UP AGAIN!
I put in row 2 backwards. Not sure how I did it. But it meant patterns right next to each other. Nooooooo!
Out came the stitch ripper, and I pulled out that long sashing again. And reassembled it again. Hours of work to get back to where I thought I was.

And while attaching row four I noticed I put the sashing in upside down so I had to pull out about a foot of sashing and fix the seam. Deep breaths.

And then when I sewed on row four and went to press I noticed the bobbin had run out about a foot in and the majority of the row was not, actually, attached.

Pause while I sob. *sob*

I have been soothing these aggravations with cookies but I've eaten so many cookies now that I may have to turn to wine next. And if I am making all these mistakes sober you can only imagine what will happen if I've had a few.

But I will get this top done. I will not let it beat me!!

Wish me luck. And remind me to not be so lazy. Sigh.


Sunday 20 July 2014

July Kona Solids

I was much happier with this month's Kona Solids from Sew Sisters this month. The inspiration photograph was a particularly Canadian- specifically Ontario- summer image. Those chairs by a lake up north? I wish I was there!
Don't you want to be sipping wine in one of those chairs?
I also liked the colours quite a bit (especially after the sickly sweet June offering).
From top down: Zucchini, Sky, Spring and Lapis
I love getting these solids but I am running out of room in my storage bin! Maybe I need to separate them by warm and cool like I do with my scraps? (Where I am also running out of space, don't you know).


Friday 18 July 2014

Swoon Along

I have a group of quilty friends. It started with A and C whom I began working with three years ago and discovered they quilted. We have since done shop hops and sewing days and they have taught me so much (and I like to bully C to buy fabric and I bullied her to start a blog, too. You're welcome, C.)

Well they recruited two friends from work to also start sewing and quilting. K took to it like a duck to water and already has an impressive stash. CW is very, very new but already put together an amazing HST colour value pillow. It is sooooo nice. I want one. Plus she is turning into a bit of a fabric hoarder too, so that is a bonus.

Along came the idea of a Swoon Along. The more experienced of us knew we could tackle it and figured the two newer sewers would have our support if they got stuck. We all bought the pattern and decided this would be the summer of the Swoon.

A hosted our first "meeting" at her house. She is incredibly generous with her space. Of the group of five only three of us made it but it was a blast. A even made lunch for us, shared her sewing machine (I didn't want to haul my heavy new baby all the way there) and her iron and ironing board, cutting mat, etc. It worked out fine with us three sharing and we all got a block finished! Thank goodness for generous people!
My first block starting to come together.

K starting to do her cutting.

A has piles cut because she is using the same fabric for all the blocks (and is doing 6, not 9, blocks).

K kept making cutting errors but she didn't let it get to her. I think she is learning so much!

Here is my first finished block! Love that Tula Foxfield! I'm using Kona Shadow instead of white as my background.

Here are our three blocks. I thought it was funny to see that A's block (purple) was the most "perfect" with the seams and such, mine (turquoise) was pretty good and K's was a beginner's effort (she struggled with some seams and such) but they all look amazing!
Since then I have been working away to do more blocks.
Here is block #2. 

Block #3.
I was worried that block 3 had two fabrics that were too close in value to really show the Swoon pattern but now I think it is my favourite block so far!

C has one block done but was away on our first day (she totally ditched us for another friend) and came home for less than a week before jetting off again. I know she'll keep up, though. K has a second block done (and it looks even better than the first; you can tell she is improving with each attempt) and A has another block done (it looks the same as the first). CW has come down with a nerve injury in her arm or wrist or something so she is on pause for the time being, but hers is going to be in all contrasting Kona solids so I can't wait to see how it turns out!

I hope our next Swoon Along day is as relaxing and fun at the first!


P.S. I'm actually keeping this quilt when it is done. Like, for myself. Crazy, right?

Friday 4 July 2014

And Then I Cut Some More

This is an Avitatrix Medallion update.

I had some time the other day because my oldest was first at a sleepover at Grandma's and then at school. I took over our kitchen table (so both the dining room table and kitchen table were now sewing tables) and I had the iron set up in the living room. Thank goodness for supportive husbands.

I managed to get all the oranges cut in one day. This was a miracle.
About the tackle the greens.
The cuttings for this quilt are pretty gorgeous. I think the quilt will be so beautiful that I won't want to stop looking at it!
So pretty! Each colour family addition made it more rainbow-licious.
And after two days of dedication, I did it! I finished the coloured fat quarters!
This is the stack of Template 1s all ready to sew!
I still have 288 (or something like that) Template 1s to cut and all the white and background grey. And then real actual sewing can start!

I can almost taste the cutting finish line...


Wednesday 2 July 2014

Another Bolt Already?

I feel like I should be in a ten step program for my fabric addiction.

I ran out of Kona White (or, rather, I had less than a yard left of Kona White and I needed at least five more yards in the next couple of weeks). I bought a bolt for the first time a few months ago and I'm sort of shocked I went through it that fast. I mean, come on.

I ordered it from a LQS, Greenwood Quiltery, who was able to get it lickety split. This necessitated a trip out to pick up my Kona and indulge in some fabric petting. Oh, and buying. Because apparently I can't just look at fabric.
They had Lotus Pond on display at the front. This is why I love this shop- they have really new stuff as it is in season, something very hard to find in Ontario.

They also had Leah Duncan's Meadow which I had been eyeing. I bought some of the greens because GORGEOUS.
I also made a beeline for their remnant wall where there can be great deals.
Before reading further, can you guess what I went straight for?
I bought some delicious Amy Butler for my quilty friend C. It is so her. It was waiting for her that day, I swear.
Soul Blossoms. Bright and beautiful.
And if you guessed I grabbed that on sale remnant of Pearl Bracelets you would be right! I also bought a few other things...
Some white on white that is crisp white enough to finish my red and white quilt. That navy deliciousness was in the clearance section for $7/metre. I bought the bright pink Squared Elements as the binding for the quilt my friend's mother is making my youngest daughter, and those Pearl Bracelets wanted to come home with me. I already have plans for it (just waiting to find out the sex of some babies!)
I also loved these Fort Firefly organic prints:
They are so sweet. Those fireflies!
I also grabbed some fat quarters. Many of them were in the $2 bin. How could I resist? I have plans for those pinks (again, waiting to here sex announcements from two different people).
I also grabbed some more navy prints because I can't seem to get enough navy lately.
I sent this shot via text to quilty friend C. She asked if I had cleared out the store. I countered that I thought I showed great restraint!
Stacks of fabric=happiness
I feel like I need a sign that says "I haven't bought fabric in ____ days" and every time I fall off the wagon the count goes back to zero. I think zero would show up a lot. Yikes.

Oh, and I got my bolt of Kona White. And some white Aurafil. And some new 80/12 Microtex needles (they're the best).

Now back to sewing!