Monday 3 September 2018

Summer Sewing

Despite having a busy summer I did find time to sew. I have several that are nearing finishes but I thought I would track a bit of what I have been up to!

My Aviatrix Medallion is almost done! I just need to get the binding on it and then it is going right on my bed!

I had it quilted because I was worried that I would mess it up. I chose an edge to edge pattern and Quilting by Design quilted it for me.

The binding is ready to go on. It is the same fabric as the backing, an Alison Glass fabric from my favourite of her lines, Ex Libris.
I have also been hard at work on my Polaroid quilt. The top is actually all finished and I just need to get the backing made. I even have the batting ready to go!

I also have been enjoying Summer Sampler 2018. You receive a new travel-inspired block pattern every Monday. This coming Monday, September 10, will be the last of the blocks. I have managed to make every block on time! I challenged myself to do them in neutrals (blacks, white, grey) and with scraps. It has been such a good exercise for my creative brain! Here are the first blocks!

I will have to decide how I want to finish this one up.

I also did LOTS and LOTS of fabric purchasing this summer. I mean, that is not unusual but I am definitely ready for a fast. From September 1 to January 1 I will not buy any fabric with the following rules: 
1) I can preorder Lizzy House Constellations. She is THE designer for me and she is not even designing fabric anymore so I absolutely need her to add to my giant stash of LH.
2) My guild has a shop hop on October 20. I will try to be modest but to not be able to buy anything will make it much less fun.
3) I can buy materials that are required to finish a project. Batting, more of a solid that I need, zippers, fusible, etc. If it is for a specific project that can't be completed without that then I can buy it.
4) Spending gift cards doesn't count.

I think the just because buying will be shut down with this fast but note that I have many preorders arriving in the next few weeks because of preorders so I will still be showing lots of pretty on my Instagram account!

Hope everyone else has been getting lots of sewing done!

Friday 17 August 2018

Level Up: A Finished Quilt

Years ago my husband picked out a pattern from the book Geared for Guys by Emily Herrick for me to make him. He then lamented loudly to people who asked me about my quilts that I have never made him one. Little did he know that this year I got my act together and actually had his quilt all done without him knowing so I could gift it to him on our thirteenth wedding anniversary. He was delighted!

(To be frank, however, I am confident he will never actually use the quilt. He is always hot and rarely uses a quilt while on the couch. But we shall see!)

Here is Level Up:
 The letters themselves are appliqu├ęd which I have tried about three times ever but it worked out pretty well. One of the instructions for cutting was a bit strange but I figured out what had gone wrong and fortunately had enough fusing and fabric to recut and redo. 
 The backing was this cool fabric from Oh Look Fabric. It is Art Gallery City Loft Fusion "Subtle Journey" in City if you are interested. 
It is geometric and works well with the graphic front, I think. Plus my husband hates pieced backings so I knew I needed to pick a single fabric. 

For the quilting I echo quilted down each of those lines that extends from the letters as well as went around all of the letters with a zigzag for extra security. Then I did some single lines that hit a certain point and spread out into multiple lines, in keeping with the geometric look. I like the result!

Pretty much as soon as I gave it to him I made him hold it up for pictures. As one does. Happy anniversary to my (mostly) patient husband!

Tuesday 19 June 2018

Alpine Company: A Finished Quilt

A man at work is expecting his second child, a little boy, this coming July. I have no idea what the nursery colours are and didn't have a lot of time so I went with my go-to baby quilt pattern. I started with these adorable black bears on a cream background and then built a white, black, grey and gold quilt around them. I have to tell you, I LOVE this quilt, so if the new owner isn't a fan I will gladly keep it for myself!

Here is Alpine Company:

The polka dot binding makes me giggle. I had a bit of the Nummer fabric from Ikea left in my stash and decided this was a great, modern choice for this modern quilt.

The overall impact is so cute.

Those black and white mountains had me giggling in delight. I don't even remember how or when they ended up in my stash!

A strip of bears brought the backing up to size.
This will be gifted to my co-worker next week. I hope his new bundle of joy enjoys it!

Wednesday 9 May 2018

Rainbow Radiance: A Finished Quilt

When my scrap buckets were overflowing I decided to make several colour-block slabs and then make one gigantic scrappy quilt using those blocks. They were a blast to make and when I found myself lacking in some of the colours (beige and lavender in particular) my quilty friends jumped into action. If you check the lavender block there is some very precious Tula Pink Parisville from my friend C. That's friendship, people.

The plan because of the size and shape was to make the quilt an outdoor quilt, designed for the many picnics and play events my eldest daughter engages in all summer long. I chose a colourful and inexpensive thicker weight (and looser weave) fabric from Ikea as the backing and used (mostly) polyester thread to make the quilting stronger. I also did machine binding instead of hand binding (which I hate because it doesn't look as good as hand binding but it would make it much more secure for heavy play).

For the binding I used up bits of leftover binding from other quilts and it worked out perfectly!

Here is Rainbow Radiance:

I am tempted to take an individual picture of each block so you could revel in the gems in each and every colour block. It is a delight for me to remember each fabric and point out "There's Lotta! There's Lizzy House!"

This is the backing. I was worried about the brown that was in this print but I find this picture reassuring because you really don't notice the brown.

This shows you the binding a little bit more. It is colourful and perfect.

Doesn't it look perfect for a summer picnic?

Here is the thicker weave that is the backing fabric.
I opted to not use batting for the first time ever. The backing is thick and heavy already so I wanted it to not get too heavy and I thought it would dry more easily when it gets damp in the grass. I feel mixed about the end result. It is already VERY heavy as a quilt but the batting would have prevented the colour of the backing from being seen through the lighter colours. It also would have kept the stitches more even.

I also opted to quilt each block with a different pattern, some free motion and some with the walking foot. The size and weight of this quilt made that a giant pain many times but I powered through. I'm happier with some blocks than others in terms of quilting. It adds an interesting texture to the quilt for sure.

I am also glad that I have another WIP off my list!

Friday 4 May 2018

Pineapples: A Finished Quilt

I finished a quilt for my mother-in-law using the pattern Pineapple Farm by Elizabeth Hartman. I showed her the pattern before I checked out complicated it would be and...guys, don't do that. Check how much you're committing to before it is too late! It was complex and time consuming but my mother-in-law is worth it so I persevered.  

The end result is pretty awesome, and she definitely loves the quilt, but I can't pretty much promise I will never make another one of these ones!

Here is Pineapples:
There was a fresh layer of (spring) snow when I took the pictures which worked out for me because quilts look great on the white background!

I did a crosshatch quilting at varying widths.

My little helper was very useful holding up the quilt. This is the quilt in totality. Warm, mostly red colours as per my MIL's request.

I LOVE this backing I found on extreme clearance at Sew Sisters (I think it was $4.99/m!). I used the backing fabric for the binding as well. It reminds me of the inside of a pineapple.

She sure added cuteness to the photo shoot.
I'm really happy with the end results and I am glad my MIL is too. It will be appreciated and loved which makes all the hours of work worth it!

Linking to Finish it Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday 16 March 2018

Kitties: A Finished Quilt

A former co-worker recently had a baby boy. When I asked about the colours of his nursery she let me know that she was keeping the same colours her daughter had, teal and grey. The daughter received Meow Mix from me when she was born, and so I jumped on making another teal and grey kitty quilt (they love cats at their house!)

I also had the perfect fabric on hand- a fat eighth bundle of Sarah Watt's line Cat Lady she did for Cotton + Steel. 

I used some Alison Glass feathers and some other neutrals from my stash to even out the colours, and I love this pattern for baby quilts. I think this might be my sixth (?) quilt using this pattern. 

I love this cat twisted to lick himself. So typically cat.

The back is a bunch of a Cat Lady print I had in my stash plus some other leftover bits. Love using up little pieces on the back!!
I will be sending this to the parents (and a gift for big sister too!) and I hope they find it charming. 

Hooking up with Finish It Up Friday with Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday 14 March 2018

I Swear I've Been Sewing

Even though it has been crickets here on my blog, I have been steadily working on my mother-in-law's Pineapple Farm quilt and making real progress. After what seemed like forever I got all of the pineapples done:
I finished all the red pineapples first and then added in the orangey and yellow ones.
 I then had to add the sashing which was a little tricky at first. There are a LOT of bias seams which meant they were a bit rippled, so I followed the rules very carefully and pinned every 3" (which is ridiculous) and then sashing went on MUCH better.
My cat was his usual helpful self.

Smooth sashing. That's better.

This was when I had all the centre sashing done and just needed to add the borders, which are now done.
 I also went on a shop hop with friends on Tuesday (as we are all in education and this is our March Break) and I did a LOT of damage.
There were some awesome deals. I even have a plan for many of these.
And I completed some lined drawstring bags to gift to my nephews at Easter. They are filled with stickers and some treats.
Next up on my agenda is finishing this pineapple quilt and then on to finishing the next WIP. My goal, if you remember from my first January post, is to have no WIPs by the end of 2018. Wish me luck!

Sunday 4 February 2018

Pineapple Pergatory

When I saw Elizabeth Hartman's new pattern Pineapple Farm I immediately thought of my mother-in-law and sent her a picture. Her enthusiastic response had me delighted because she is usually quite reserved. I didn't pause to consider just how much work Elizabeth Hartman's patterns tend to be. This one is no exception.

After my mother-in-law directed me to a colour scheme- rusty reds and terracottas (so out of my own comfort zone) I got to work collecting a sufficient stack of fabrics. Then I started cutting. And cutting and cutting. 

Below is the cutting involved for three 10x10 squares that will make two pineapple bodies. It is painstakingly slow work with very precise tiny measurements (like one 7.5" x 1.5" piece and one 1.5" x 3.25" piece get the idea).
These three cut pieces end up being arranged in a very specific and complicated arrangement (see below).

This is what the pieces look like when arranged just so. The diagram is quite complex and time consuming to make sure you do everything in just the right way.

There are a lot of pieces in this quilt. This was me cutting 400 tiny 1.5" x 3.5" rectangles.

When you rotate the block after it has been sewn together and trim it down to size, this is what you get on the right. I still need to add the corner pieces to make it more pineapple-shaped and make the green leafy top.

This was another block ready to sew together. I came up with a system
This is part of my system- I arrange the two layouts on the large square ruler and on my portable, turning cutting mat and then transfer them beside my sewing machine to carefully assemble before moving on to the next pair.
I have been making progress, but there will be 80 pineapples in the lap size and even after I trim them all I have to add tiny squares to the corners to give them the shape (4 squares per block for 320 squares worth) AND I still need to make all the tops of all the I have a long way to go. My deadline is April when my mother-in-law returns from six months in Florida. I should have plenty of time if I can keep up my motivation!