Thursday, February 27, 2014

And, in other news...

Sorry for the blog silence! I'm working on something exciting, I swear. And it's a quilt! But, for now, a quick announcement:

 I just bought my ticket to next month's Camp Stitchalot!

I'm super excited! There will be classes to learn how to make both these bags, plus lots of time for free sewing!

This is my first time to go to sewing camp, so it's doubly exciting. I know everyone who has gone to previous camps has had a blast!

If you want to come too, there are still some tickets available.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Snowflake tree skirt, and why I am no longer at home to white on white fabric.

First of all, I finally finished removing the basting stitches from my snowflake Christmas tree skirt. Actually, I finished Sunday night, but things being what they are, I didn't have a moment to photograph it until yesterday. And I took lots, so brace yourselves!

Snowflake in the Snow!
It looks awful pretty, doesn't it? I love this striking design! I took a class with the pattern designer Debbie Grifka on the tree skirt at Pink Castle Fabrics. I love taking quilting classes! This is the second one I've had with Debbie on an applique technique. Debbie is a fantastic teacher!

And here's my new kitchen floor!
Only 10 more months till Christmas!

For the back I used mostly this rose print from Birds of a Feather. I love this print! I managed to snag two of the three colors. But, so I could keep some in my stash, I filled out the edge with the leftovers of the Lotta Jansdotter print I used to back my Lotta Jansdotter quilt.

But, now, let's talk about the mistake of white on white fabric. White on white fabric is neat, yes, and there are certain shots you can see the difference between the white and the white...

Right? Here's the problem - white on white is a paint, rather than a dye. It changes the hand of the fabric, and worse, it's a paint. It lays on the surface, and every time you sew through it your machine (well, my machine, anyway) makes a horrible clunking sound.

But the real issue is that if you have basting stitches, as one does in certain forms of applique, for instance, the sort that forms the branches of the snowflakes, the needle leaves a scar that does not heal in that paint. So my lovely snowflake is riddled with tons of tiny holes!

It's one of those fabrics you can't make mistakes on. And that's not something I deal well with! I need to be free to make mistakes, damn it! It's just another case of not considering the fabric before starting the project! Living and learning, yes?

I still intend to use it, but just not stare at it too hard. It will look lovely, covered in presents, right?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Swapping again!

I sent out my swap package today! I'm in a low volume charm swap, which is pretty exciting. I don't know the last time I was in a swap - it was years ago. Something about rainbows?

Anyway, because that's exciting, and I'm also working on learning Illustrator, I designed a fabric completely on the computer for once, to go with the occassion:

It's not much, just the work of a few hours. The whole print is here, if you want to see my awkward repeat. (Illustrator and I still have several things to work on together...)

Fittingly, it's a little bit low volume itself!

The swap is one of those where you send all your pieces to an organizer, who breaks them down and distributes them, and then sends them out again, and since the due date isn't for two weeks, it will probably be a month before I get it back. So, it'll be a nice surprise for March then!

I chose Julia Rothman's gear print from Ride to send out. Luckily Pink Castle Fabrics had a yard left! I was pleased when I was cutting charms, that there was enough left over to cut into several 2.5" squares. That's actually my plan for the charms I get, too, to quarter them up for something... something amazing. I hope.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Unveiling the sewing room extention

I finished up, mostly, with my sewing room extention. The only thing left to do (apart from painting the baseboards, which I skipped) is to put down the strip of metal that forms the border between the carpet and uncarpeted portions of the basement. I'm sure it has a name, but I'm not going to look it up...

fabric is in place!
Actually, there is something else, which is that I should get another bookcase, somewhere to store pillow forms and batting, because currently, it's in a giant cardboard box...

But the exciting thing is that I now have a design wall! It's less than 6 feet tall, and a bit more than 6 feet long, and it's somewhat inconveniently located on a wall that's running at a weird angle compared to nearby walls, but it's more than that 3 foot square I had been working on. So, yay!

Currently I have a quilt on it that I'm assembling for as a charity project for the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Still scrappy plussing along

Actually, I'm done. Well. I have just ironed my final block for my scrappy plus quilt!

 So, I laid out what I had on the design wall at the A2 Modern Quilt Guild sew in on Sunday, after cutting up and sewing back together the last few blocks:

And I noticed something! Perhaps you can pick it out too... There's block missing. Sad face!

(The other thing to notice is that the lay out is wrong! These blocks will be in a 7x8 grid, but since they are rectangles, the long end is going to point in the long way, and the short side will go across. The quilt is somewhat square here, but will be, when lined up correctly, a twin size quilt.)

Then I had a cold, and things go kind of complicated at home for other reasons, and today, I took a few minutes (maybe 20?) and whipped up the missing piece.

I used my two neglected fabrics I mentioned in my last post. So, yay! They got in!

Linking to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Lime Squares and Home Improvement

It is horrible to admit, but I have not been sewing! I have been doing some home improvement instead. Mostly painting.

As my stash has expanded, it has come to take up two bookcases, and I need a new spot for the second. I was considering putting one in the guest room, but my husband suggested we move a few things, and suddenly they could both stand together in the hall. And! I will have a design wall! Not quite tall enough for a full size bed quilt, but certainly longer than my current one, which is about 3 feet square.

Needless to say, though, the hall needs to be painted first! I am hoping to finish tomorrow, though.  Then I can show that off!

The other thing I have been doing, in my time away from paint brushes, is cutting out lime squares. I had an idea, which calls for 670 (!) 2.5" squares.

I cut some from my stash, did the math, realized I needed tons more, and then cut some more, then went back and added in some fabrics I initially tossed out as not lime enough, then went to Pink Castle Fabrics and bought more lime prints, and swept through their fat eighth bins (snagging some Wee Wander, too! yay!) for more lime, and cut those.

And I think I am still short. 670 squares is what you would get if you took three yards of fabric and reduced it to 2.5" squares!

Based on weight - because I am not counting - two yards of fabric (in my case - a Thomas Knauer print) is about 11 oz. So, 3 yards should be around 16.5 oz.

My bowl of lime scraps is only:

14 oz! So, I'm shy about 2.5 oz. So, I've asked some people in the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild for contributions, because I would love it to be super scrappy. Though I may still buy another lime print or two, I am especially eying Citrus from Windham. And I found another lime print in my stash last night, so I'll cut into that tonight and that will add a few more squares. Every one gets me closer, right?

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Work In Progress Wednesday - Scrappy Plus blocks

I am desperate to start a new project, so I am trying to be good and finish up an old one first. At least one! I have several neglected projects.

But the new thing is always more exciting!

I picked up the Scrappy Plus quilt, as it's the closest to being finished of my works in progress. And I want to be done! Now!

That's my hand dyed batik in the front.
About half of these (16?) final blocks need to be bisected and inverted.

The other half are cut and pinned and ready for their final seam. I hope to get that done tonight.

Then it's time to trim... 50+ blocks... yay?

The super embarrassing thing is that when I went to put away the fabrics I cut for the final blocks, I found two fabrics I bought for the quilt that never got put it!

And they're gorgeous!
Also, if that's not bad enough, I have so much coral left over! I'm now the queen of coral. I think I may have used up maybe two prints out of the... dozens I have here. I suspect I acquired more than I used. Which is what I suspect I always do... I am going to have to do better, I suppose.

Linking up with Leigh Anne who is guest hosting WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Super Bright! Super Tote!

I finally made a super tote! I posted about this pattern a while back, and then I didn't use any of the fabrics I intended.  No echino was involved!

It's 1 yard of Essex linen orange, and a half yard of pink (though, I  didn't use all of either).  Though, it's huge! Seriously, it's monstrously large. Which is actually perfect for me, as I tend to need to carry a ton of stuff with me, apparently.

For the pieced front I made 5" stripes of both colors, sewed them together with 0.5" seams, ironed them open. Cut it into 5" stripes, sewed with 0.5" seams, and pressed them open. Fused it to fusible fleece, then quilted a 1/8" from the seams, with hot pink thread. Then assembled the bag as directed. Also with hot pink thread.

Though I didn't put in a front pocket, because I didn't think I'd use it. And the straps are longer than the pattern asks for (and I didn't make them the way the pattern says - I used the method in the 241 tote, because my hands are shot for turning tiny things from inside out to right side out.)

I also skipped the interior pocket, cause I didn't think I'd use it. I treat my bags like black holes... I also didn't put any zipper or closure of any kind (because I forgot!) I did make a little pocket for the side of the lining.

For the lining I used these amazing home dec scraps that Ronit gave me!

 Well, just the orange and yellow ones.
This leafy one is my favorite!
I took it to work on Friday, and one of my coworkers suggested it was too bright for winter! I said, because of the endless winter, we needed bright bags more than ever!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Amanda Stripe Swatch

I got this a day or two ago!

It's a swatch of the Amanda Stripe! It's on the silky faille, which does seem pretty silky. The color is super vibrant! I'm not sure that comes through with the cloudy day photography through which you are seeing it.

I love how the colors look in this one, but I've made the whole design smaller, so if you order it through Spoonflower, you'll be getting more girl per inch (and who could complain about that!) than on this swatch.

It's also available as a gift wrap.