Thursday, August 10, 2006

What I've been up to....

I've been having fun sewing lately. I made a skirt last week: M4970. It turned out well. The seam over the zipper isn't as perfect as I would like it to be, but for only my second zipper, I'm not complaining. Each tier has an unfinished seam, and since I haven't washed it yet I didn't bother with the pictures.

On the pic front, I have good news. I'm going to be collecting at least one quilt this weekend, so I should post more pics next week. Maybe I'll try taking pictures of a bunch of mom's quilts while I'm there. I don't know that I'll have anything specific to say about them, but pictures are fun all by themselves, right?

I started a new block of the month from the LJ Community: Block of the Month. I'm really psyched about it because 1. I get to use my stash and 2. since everyone else is using their stash too, we are getting to see lots of great variations for each block.

I've been giving my niece sewing lessons. She's seven so even though she's shown an interest in sewing, I wasn't sure how the lessons would go. Then yesterday she called me to hunt me down and see if I was on my way so that she could finish her project! Obviously I'm holding her back! I'm thinking she's having fun. ;)

Her first project was a simple apron using bias tape for the ties. The sewing machine was a bit too much for her, so after the lesson I decided to do a handstitching project for lesson two. I found this doll pattern on the blog Plush You. I've gotten totally addicted to making these dolls, as the pics will clearly illustrate...

first attempt:

made to order for my three year-old niece who picked out the materials:

my most recent:

When I showed this latest doll to one of the professors I work with, she immediately picked out this book to go with it. I think I'm going to have to hunt down my own copy now, so I can give both the doll and the book to my nephew.

That's about it for me. I have several projects in the works, but they are in the early stages.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Change of Direction

Lately I've been quilting up a storm. The best part has been the chance to teach two other people how to quilt. The not so best part has been forgetting to take pictures of the quilts in question before I give them to my mom for quilting. So I'm hoping to post several quilt pictures in a few weeks before school begins again.

For those of you who don't know me, which may be everyone who reads this blog, I am currently working on a masters in information science (librarianship). This summer is my halfway point, only eighteen more credits to go after next Tuesday. When the school year begins again in September I'll be back to taking a full course load and working full time, so this blog will be silent except for a few holiday breaks until next May. The good news is that after May, I'll be free to have a life again. In the mean time though I have an almost five week period between classes, and I'm hoping to get lots of quilting done! =D

~*~ ~*~ ~*~

And now I have a sad story to tell...

Once upon a time their was quilter, me, who had a vision of a quilt in her mind. The fabrics in this quilt would be blues and greens that went from light to dark. The fabrics would be used in Northwind Quilt blocks, each block subtly different, so that the colors would seem to bleed into each other. Unfortunately for this quilter, me, after she put sixteen blocks together, she realized that she had made a busy mess of blue and green.

The vision in her mind was strong though, so rather than giving up, she decided to try again. She unpicked all of the blocks and found a beautiful pale blue fabric that all of the fabrics would go well with (A Fairy Frost fabric designed by Michael Miller). She made new blocks matching each of her carefully chosen fabrics with the blue fabric. Still she wasn't satisfied, and the quilter, that's me, knew there was something wrong with this new design. She would get the unfinished quilt out, but then eventually put it away untouched.

Years past, and the quilter, me again, stayed busy with other projects. Then one day, the unimaginable happened: a magazine printed her design*! But worst of all? THEY MADE IT BETTER!!

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Image from Summer 2006 issue of Quilts and More

They had the wisdom to repeat the fabrics between blocks so that they formed pleasant rows of color, and then added super cute borders.

The quilter was very sad about this first. At first she tried and pass it off a joke. Then a friend pointed out that maybe this was an opportunity for change. The quilter dismissed the friend's comment at first but the idea wouldn't go away. Eventually, the quilter began asking herself what else she might do with those unfinished blocks. The quilter fortunately had lots of fabric to work with since she'd been saving fabric for the borders. Now the quilter found herself imagining a design that will show her progress as a quilter. Rather than an all over design that might have been cold and boring, the quilter began thinking of ways to assemble the blocks: bringing four blocks together to make a diamond in a square, having a short row of three blocks going the same direction, adding a large rectangle with an appliqued design.

The quilter realized that this was an opportunity for a change. She began looking toward the horizon with new hope knowing the future would bring new fabrics, new designs, and someday a new quilt that would be so original and interesting, no one else but the quilter could think it up!

*The magazine did not REALLY steal my design. Great minds think alike.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

On your mark, Get set...

My goal tonight is to finish a quilt top!

I have supplies....

And sustenance...


Wish me luck!


Monday, July 03, 2006

Independence Day

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

My Pretty Pets

You may have your kitties, puppies, hamsters, or pets of other species, but for me, only one pet will do....


I pet and stroke them, and say, "so soft!" I coo at them, "Ooh, aren't you so pretty? Now what am I going to do with you?" And I smile and hold them. I just love my pets!

The first one, affectionately known as Fabric A, is going to feature in a large medallion-style quilt. I'm trying to decide on a theme for the Fabric A quilt. Tell me please, what does Fabric A make you think of?

I only have a fat quarter of the pink fabric, aka Fabric B, which may not look like much in this picture, but it is just so luminous and beautiful in real life, that I had to have a bit of it. No idea what I'll use this for. It just makes my stash look pretty. :)

Here's an extra picture for scale...

(That's a highlighter btw.)

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Baby Cowgirl Quilt

I finished another quilt top! YAY!

The pattern for this quilt comes from the most excellent book, More Quilts for Baby: Easy as ABC by Ursula Reikes. If I had the money, I'd buy the whole series of these books, because they are each full of really fun and easy quilt patterns.


This pattern is basically and uneven 9-patch. Every block is strip-pieced. If I need to make any more baby quilts in the near future, I'll definitely stick to this pattern, it is just too fun. (I say that, but I'm actually planning another baby quilt in a different pattern, but that's a post for another day.)

I'll think I'll probably tie this quilt. I already have the flannel for the back.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Snow White and Rose Red

This quilt was created through a round robin quilting group. In a round robin quilting group each member begins a quilt, then passes it onto each of the other group members in turn. Each group member adds a border onto the quilt. There were six of us in my group, so my quilt has five borders, and our group created six quilts.

Like most of the quilts that I have created, the idea for this quilt began with the fabric. In this case the dark green fabric with red flowers reminded me of the fairy tale, Snow White and Rose Red. I began the first block, the two sisters dancing with the bear, and then the members of my round robin group did the rest. The first border, the house and the forest, matches up so well to the center block that most people don't realize it is a border.

The second border is a path through the woods. The third border shows the wicked dwarf and his bag of jewels. Notice the bag is leaking, and a few jewels have fallen to the ground.

The fourth border is a variation on a quilt block pattern called Bear's Paw. The last border was split in two: fairies above and red and white roses below for the two sisters.

This quilt is not complete. I intend to add one more border, a repeat of the Bear's Paw block in the dark green floral that inspired me in the first place.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Second Try at the Picture

I took some pictures of the quilt in daylight, and since the one's from last night are so wretched, I'm posting this quilt again. Hopefully the colors are easier to see.

Click on the picture for a larger image.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Hawaiian Scrappy Quilt- Center Complete

I finished sewing the blocks together this afternoon! I'm really enjoying how this quilt is turning out. The picture, taken in a poorly lit room, doesn't really do the colors justice. The quilt is bright, but not as crazy busy as I expected it to be. I think there are enough dark prints that the diversity of colors and prints don't become too overwhelming. With the two layers of fabric, it is already heavy and much larger than I originally planned. I'm really very pleased with the outcome.

Here's a funny close up of a block:

I went to the quilt shop this afternoon and found a great jumbo scale orange floral that I'm going to use for an inner border. (I know that jumbo scale orange floral probably sounds like a crazy choice, but it looks amazing! Then assuming that I don't hate it when it arrives, I'm using the ocean print that I linked to in my last post as a larger border. I really hope that ocean print looks good, but if not I'm not going to worry about it. I could finish this quilt now without a border and it would still work. :)

My goal is to have this top finished by next Saturday when I'll see mom and can hand it over for machine quilting. After today's bit of sewing, I'm sure that I'll be able to make that goal!

Thursday, June 08, 2006


I'm not sure if you can tell, but that stack of blocks is almost two inches high! I was pretty excited to see such tangible evidence of my progress.

I've even done a little more work since then, and begun sewing the blocks together.

The borders are going to be tricky. I wish that I had some more of the sky blue fabric to use as a border. Mom suggested that I use a darker print to sort of close up the center design, and then I can put a lighter print after it.

Here's the darker print:

I am considering this fabric for a larger border, but I plan to go to a quilt shop tonight and I may find something entirely different then.

YAY! Fabric shopping!