Thursday, July 31, 2014

Soft Scoop Cushion

I subscribed to Quilt Now after hearing Katy Jones talk about it at Camp Stitchalot, and got my first issue two weeks ago (I'm guessing? I have no idea. My memory is unreliable.)

At any rate, it's very beautiful, with tons of interesting projects - I especially like Sara Peterson's Modern Curves quilt. And there are articles too! And now that I'm looking at it again, I can't help but think I only skimmed it before, and I need to actually sit down and read it.

I made something from it though, Laura Jane Taylor's Soft Scoop Cushion, because I'm obsessed with low volume fabrics. I made it all in Heather Bailey's Up Parasol fabrics (with solids from my stash) because, I don't know, the thought crossed my mind, and then I had to make it work.

I love this line, because it's so very low volumesque, but with these bright fun colors. And those birds! I thought this pattern was fun. It's fairly straightforward, but it looks complicated. The first block I assembled, I felt like a genius. Then when I was trimming them, I noticed one that had its hst block rotated, and had to sort that out. So, I guess I'm not a genius after all.

And here you can sort of see what I was trying to go with the quilting. It's not perfect, or anything, but it'll serve.

And now I have lots of bird themed pillows on my windowseat:

This is the second project I've made with my bundle of Up Parasol. I used three prints in this Road Trip Case I made for my kid:

And with all that, I still have lots of left overs, and 8 fat quarters I haven't cut into yet:

Must think of some exciting project for those...

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Farmer's Daughter Block 4!

It's the weekend, time for a new Farmer's Daughter Block:

This one has lots of favorites, several Tula Pink prints and two from Heather Bailey, who is my new favoritest designer ever, and a few new additions to my stash! A bit of Echino, too. The lower lefthand square is a screen print I made a while back. One of the colored suns ended up in the Pirate Quilt I made for my daughter two summers ago. (The suns on the outside didn't all end up getting painted...) You can see the whole fabric in this post.

I love doing scrap quilts, because I can use little bits of all my favorite things!

Farmer's Daughter blocks retrospective:

number one! number two! number three!

Or you can select the label (tag).

Feel free to join up - on Instagram the hashtag is #farmersdaughterblockalong

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Update on lime green squares, part two

Part one is over here. This is a back burner project I'm trying to make some headway on, but I have a few (secret!) things I have deadlines for, so I'm not sure when this is coming together, but here's where it's gone in the last week or so.

Today it looks like this:

Or broken down:

I have two trays of pairs to piece into four patches.

A few four patches waiting to be cut up into curves.

A box full of curves waiting to be pieced into blocks, trimmed on the sizzix as outlined in this post.

And 80ish backgrounds. But because these are larger than the sizzix die, I've been having to cut them with a template and a pair of scissors! I know, it's shocking. I've only cut 3/4 of them, which, seems like the rest of the quilt, doesn't it?

And these are some complete units using the sizzix for both the curve and the background. But I suspect, not as many as I need! Because... that's how things are going for this quilt. Well, maybe one day I can start assembling this, and find out. In theory, it's a twin sized quilt.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Center City Road Trip Case

I bought the Road Trip Case pattern by Anna of Noodlehead because my friend Jen made an adorable one for my friend Brenda, which she brought to the last Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild sew in, and I obviously needed one, now that I'm doing paper piecing, too. Right?

Any excuse for a new cute bag!

I used the few bits of Center City that I have hoarded. I was not prescient enough to buy more of this amazing line when I had the chance, unfortunately. I was a few rows in on that quilting when I thought, wait, I should have gone vertically, but it's fine. I also added this front pocket. I used the pocket flap pattern piece, and just added a few inches.

I messed up the binding, mostly, by not making it wide enough. It's bias cut, at 2.25", (and I'm honestly not sure what Anna put in the pattern because this was the bit where I stopped reading the pattern, because I'm not great at following directions) but I think 2.75" would have been better, would have made it less of a struggle to hide basting stitches. I added it as I would have on a quilt, but I wish I'd put the join somewhere a bit less visible.

I used some Anna Maria Horner in my favorite color to coordinate, and some Patty Young in my other favorite color to contrast with the big balloony dust balls. And a piece of felt for pins, but I should have squared that up, um, at all, but oh, well!

And I've already crammed the little pockets full of hexagons and pentagon templates. I recently bought sizzix dies for three sizes of hexagons, and I made some corresponding 1" long sided pentagons in Adobe Illustrator (necessitating a trip to Wikipedia to figure out what the radius of a pentagon would have to be if the side length has to be equal to 1"), because I'm going to attempt this amazing pincushion. But I couldn't get the template to open, so I built one. I have no idea how big mine will be, I just matched the pentagon's side length to that of the smallest hexagon die I bought. It'll be an exciting adventure! It might be immense. Probably not. We'll have to wait and see.

A note about the button! It's my favorite kind of button, a real button carved out of  a shell! So it has these flaws, but it's amazing. And heavy!

And now I guess, I'm going to make more of these, because my child saw it and tried to walk off with it, but let it go when I promised to make one in a different color.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Farmer's Daughter Block 3!

It's the weekend! Time for this week's Farmer's Daughter block:

Gold, mint, and purple. I messed up the placement of half of the fin units, but which half? I just look at it and sigh. Since I didn't notice till it was all assembled, chances are no one else will ever notice, right?

I was trying to just make these from the fabric in my scrap bins (though not the low volume squares, I'm actually stealing them away from a different project...) but setting up next week's block, I wanted turquoise, so I began to cut into my stash. Oh well! After all, that is what it's there for.

Farmer's Daughter blocks retrospective:

number one!
number two! Or you can select the label.

Feel free to join up - on Instagram the hashtag is #farmersdaughterblockalong

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

shorts shorts shorts shorts....

Having successfully made one pair of shorts for my kid, having rewritten a pattern to do so, and simply having the personality that once I do something, I just want to keep doing that same thing until I am sick to death and never want to do it ever again, ever...

I made some more! The two on the sides are oxfords, the one in the center is just quilting cotton.

I cut all the pieces out in one go, then I've been putting them together bit by bit over the last week and a half. Now I've put the pattern and the directions into an envelope and stored it away, and I'm moving on. Can't always only make shorts!

These were the first pair sewn of the set, and the last cut. I only had a half yard of these hedgehogs from Kokka, where the pattern needs 3/4 of yard, so it was a bit interesting. I shortened the leg by an inch, and the waistband was made from two pieces, rather than one, because that's how I could make it work. I believe the pockets are a Michael Miller Ta Dot?

Waterfall on the right.
For this crazy print, I fussy cut out individual pieces, trying to keep the map and the waterfall out of the crotch area. The pockets are Lizzy House stripe from Hello Pilgrim. I'm holding on to if for the binding of a quilt that's still (sigh) in pieces, but I have more than I need, so I sacrificed some, because it's nearly the same odd orange as the bear's flag.

And here's the map...
Maybe that could have gone better, now that I am staring at it again. Hmmm. Anyway!

The final pair is a Tula Pink ladybug print with some Monaluna trees. I don't really have a comment about it. I tried using starch on the waistband, rather than just steaming it, and that seemed to make things easy, I guess.

Now I just need to find a shorts pattern for me! I don't think I'd be chill with the elastic waist, though.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Farmer's Daughter block 2

Alright, here's my weekly Farmer's Daughter block!

 I've got lime green on the brain this week! I've made the executive decision that I can replace half square triangle units with solid squares at will. Not sure if this means I can replace squares with half square triangle units. Thinking about it, though.

Farmer's Daughter blocks retrospective:

number one!

Feel free to join up - on Instagram the hashtag is #farmersdaughterblockalong

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Lime green squares update!

Back in February (!) I posted a picture of a bowl of lime green 2.5" squares, saying I needed nearly 700, and I didn't think I was there yet. And I ask my guild, and they gave me lots more lime green fabric. I think in the end, I got much more than 700, but somethings you just don't count...

They'd been my leader and ender project since then, but I decided to move them to the foreground project a few weeks ago, as I didn't feel I'd ever get done at the rate I was going. (Well, in between making shorts?) I finally chain pieced the last about a week ago, and on Wednesday I pressed the whole bunch:

It took at least three hours!

Then I began to pair them up on Thursday. Because they're going to be four patches for complicated when drunk blocks they need to have their seams pointing in a specific way, so I used a pin to mark which side the seam must be on. I once again denuded my favorite pincushion (the last time this happened was when I pinned the bias strips to applique for Orbits), but this time had to move on to strip pins from a second pincushion as well.

As of Thursday evening, about halfway:

As of Friday evening, they were all done, covering 10 of these trays and most of an 11th:

Then I just need to do more sewing, cutting apart, pressing and then cut them into curves. No big deal, right?

Well, honestly, the trick is not to think about everything that's ahead and just do the step in front of you. It is a monster, but it will get done. Just not right this minute.

A note on the trays! I saw these trays at Ikea, and I got a pack of four of them for the kids to use with their play food, but that same day, I found myself stealing them back to organize the fabric I was cutting for my Garden Party Tango quilt. Not long after I started using Lori Holt's portable design boards when I was assembling that same quilt. Someone suggested them on instagram when I was floundering with how to organize a block for sewing, and they are fabulous for block by block construction. But the trays work well for the other kind of construction (mass construction?) as well as just holding small pieces flat until they're sewn up into bigger pieces. I guess, I enjoy having options. I got two more sets recently because they seem so handy (and they are really inexpensive, too - but they only come in red).

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Farmer's Daughter block 1

I've been thinking about the Farmer's Daughter block, since I discovered it to fill a need on a quilt, which, sadly, I have not touched since I attached those stars to it. 3 months ago. Hmmm.

I've been thinking about bee blocks, too, and dreaming of what I would ask for if I were in one, and thought this would be fun, but my schedule is insane, so I don't want to subject anyone to it. I decided to bee by myself, which I do realize is crazy. I'm calling the hashtag #farmersdaughterblockalong if you want to join in.

My plan is to have the blocks be different, either slightly or monsterously, and yet 10", using only 2.5" squares and corresponding half square triangles. But not paying much attention to the tradition color placement. I intend to mix it up entirely, to see what can be made from it. In symmetric patterns, or not, with coordinating colors, or not, based on whatever I feel like at the time, but anyway, I cut some fabric, out of the scrap bins for once!) settled on a low volume background, and off I went.

Block one.
So, I'm going to try to have a new one each week, and hopefully after a few months a quilt.