Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Work on a Team Green Baby Quilt.

Some friends of mine are expecting their second bambino around Thanksgiving. Since I made their first little one a quilt, I'm definitely making their second a quilt. Except, this time, they're not finding out the baby's gender. Apparently they're now members of Team Green? (I had never heard of this concept, but maybe that's not surprising seeing as how I needed to find out my kidlets' genders as soon as possible.)

But even before they were Team Greeners, I knew I wanted to use this palette for their quilt. Weird how that worked out, right? 

Cutting all of this took approximately twelve million hours. I also determined during the course of cutting that I was short two pieces of lime fabric. LAME. But I suppose there are worse things than having to visit the fabric store?

And that twelve million hours really cut into my time for piecing! I pieced twelve of twenty blocks, then got excited and decided to start piecing the rows. And do you know what happened when I started piecing the rows? DISASTER.

The points don't line up, and not just a couple of them. ALL of them. And since this pattern is paper pieced, that really shouldn't be a problem. We're talking like a 1/4" off. And since my seam allowances were included in the template, and I know it was printed at 100% scale, I really can't understand the problem. Which makes me think there isn't a solution.

I'm a little grumpy. I'm going to seam rip the row and see if I can figure something else out, but the finished product might be rocking something like this. I'm trying to tell myself that it's okay if it is....

We'll see what the next few rows have in store, I suppose!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Quilting Lesson 6: The Finish.

My student's quilt is done. This is both terribly exciting and ridiculously sad. What fun will I get into on Tuesday afternoons from now on? I'm already feeling withdrawals, but I will comfort my grief with delicious yummy pictures!

The quilting, of course, was gorgeous. Absolutely stunning.

Everything squared up nicely. We had a quick binding lesson, and then my student proceeded to spend a kajillion hours killing her fingers by handsewing down the binding.

But I bet she forgot the pain when she saw the finish! (Okay, maybe she didn't forget it entirely, but a little?)

And you can see how yummy the quilting looks on the back too! And isn't the binding the perfect touch? I'm so ridiculously proud. I know I'm super biased, but seriously, isn't this pretty much a perfect first quilt?

I'm really thankful that we had the opportunity to pursue this, and there is talk about a paper piecing lesson in the future. (Yay!) We've decided to have doughnuts to celebrate this gorgeous finish. Because there must be a celebration, and we're all about doughnuts! Thanks for following along with this fun project. I hope you've enjoyed it too!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Fava's Rainbow Quilt.

Instead of a Sunday Stash report, I've elected to do a new quilt report because I (or rather, Fava) was recently gifted a quilt.

This is Fava's Rainbow Geese Quilt.
Um, yes. It's AMAZING.

(I didn't make it, so I can totally say that and not sound like a jerk.)

My quilting sensei K made this for my little love bug. Seriously, she's made each of my kidlets a quilt, and they are three of my favorite quilts she's ever made. (Here's a pic of Lito's.) When she showed it to me, I almost cried. (No, seriously. My eyes got wet.) It's totally a me quilt, but it's also totally a K quilt. And since we have different quilting styles and fabric loves, that's a really cool deal.

And the back. YUM.

I'm going to get a little sappy for a minute, so you can stop reading now if that's not your thing. But in the face of such an awesome gift and such an amazing friend, it's necessary to be serious every now and again. K taught me how to quilt. And for that, I will forever be grateful to her. She has also been an amazing friend, and even though she's moved away and lives in a far away magical state, her friendship means a lot. On top of all of that awesome, she cares about my kids and makes them gorgeous quilts.

So thanks, K, for Fava's amazing quilt, and thanks for being my super awesome friend. I'm really really grateful for you!

Friday, July 18, 2014

FF: The Littles Edition.

This week, I turned my sewing to my littles. All three of them.

Play aprons are on my Q3 FAL list. Using the Merry Christmas one as a template, I cut into some red and white chevron canvas and fashioned two aprons for the older boys.

Of course, Banzo is thrilled because we have three aprons now, so Baby Fava will have one too. I didn't have the heart to tell him that 1) Baby Fava won't be wearing a play apron for some time, and 2) I only made two new ones so that the older boys wouldn't fight over who got to play with the new one. These are item 2 of 7 from my Q3 list, woo!

Not on my list, but an exciting finish nonetheless, is a table runner I fashioned from this orphaned block. I originally made it as a bee block, but I didn't realize until much too late that I had printed my paper piecing templates a wee bit too small, and the block turned out 12" unfinished instead of 12.5". I then taped it to the wall of my quilting nook, where it sat untouched for over a year.

But not anymore. BAM. Done. I know full well I could have used this as an opportunity to bust out some awesome quilting. It would have been great FMQ practice at a very low cost. I used leftover batting scraps, an orphaned block, the backing is entirely scraps, and the charcoal part of the binding is even leftover from another quilt. But when I put on my gloves and started to think about exactly what I wanted to do...well, I realized I just wanted it done. And since it's going on top of a bookshelf in my boys' room, I caved and chose the lazy path.

Finally, some burp cloths for the new one, who should be making his appearance soon. (Every baby needs luchadores and ninjas, right?) They measure about 6 x 10", so on the smaller side, but they are backed in soft white minky, so they feel oh-so soft. I'm nearly full term, and as I am supremely uncomfortable, Fava is more than welcome to come any time after that.

I'm linking up with TGIFF, hosted by Izzy at Dizzy Quilts.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Quilting Lesson 5: The Basting.

Last week's lesson was all sorts of awesome fun. We tackled basting--my least favorite part of quilting--and I think my student now fully understands why it's my least favorite part, poor girl.

But first thing's first:

Tada! Ladies and Gents, we have a finished quilt top. I probably should have stopped and thrown a party at this point, but really, it's so unsurprising to me that she's excelled so quickly and efficiently (because she's awesome) that it was like, of course you finished that top in record time.

And don't you love the rainbow border? Mmmhmmm.

We prepared the backing. Smoothed out batting. Laid out the glorious top and admired our sandwich.

Briefly, of course, as there was a quilt top to get pinned and basted. Before we tackled the pinning, we had a long discussion on her quilting plans. She informed me that one night she couldn't sleep because she was thinking about the quilting, so she took out the quilt and figured it all out that night. Remember that enthusiasm I was talking about before? Yep. The girl is definitely quilter material.

Of course, I have to wait FOREVER to see the finished product--tomorrow is SO far away--but I just know it's going to be more yummy and delicious. The plan for our next lesson is to square it up and attach binding with hopes that she'll have it completed before Friday. (Easy peasy.) We should also talk labels. Remind me to talk to her about labels, okay?

And then we'll be done. Wow. That's sad! It's gone so quickly! I've enjoyed myself so much! But I'm excited to know that I'll have a new quilter buddy who fully understands the awesome of fabric.

In case you've missed the previous weeks, I'm working with a lovely lady on her very first quilt. If you'd like to read more, check out the fabric pull and cutting, the piecing, the chopping and re-arranging of the DP9, and the borders assembly.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

SS: GW Strip Edition.

I'm working on a Gypsy Wife Quilt right now, (GW QAL, woop woop!) and I'm using a F8 bundle of AMH's True Colors and a F8 bundle of Dowry. Plenty of delicious fabric, especially since I'm pulling in solids and other fabrics from stash, but definitely not enough long WOF strips for the final product. Something I did not consider when I purchased fabric for the project--oops.

I've started picking up small 1/8 cuts of fabric when I see something that strikes me. I'm not sure everything I pick out will go, but the blocks to this point are such a hodge podge of crazy that probably anything would work. That Shimmer fabric is actually intended for something else, but the others will hopefully work out. Shimmer on the far left, then some of Julianna Horner's new fabrics for Joann's--why not add in some of the daughter's fabrics with her mom's?--and one polka dot DS quilts print. I can't remember who made the metallic print on the far right.

But Friends. I had to make a stop at my LQS for more Aurifil this week, and when I was making a quick glance of their new fabrics, these immediately jumped out at me. SHOT. COTTONS. Oh, still my beating heart! You may be completely aware of my intense shot cotton love. You may not. If not, I absolutely adore them. And these feel so so yummy in my hand. (Of course, they're going to be a pain in the you-know-what when it comes to sewing those skinny strips, but it will be worth it.)

I waxed on to one of the owners in hopes that my huge immense love will encourage them to carry them forever and ever and in more colors to boot. These are from Studio E, and they've called them peppered cottons, but whatevsies. I didn't write down the colors names--that would be thoughtful and organized, and we know how I am about that--but I think the colors are Saffron, Blue Jay, Paprika, and Plum. Studio E recently held a contest with their peppered cottons, and wow. I especially loved this quilt, called Fresh Pack Potential. I've never had the pleasure of working with Oakshott cottons--one day--so my experience is limited to Kaffe Fassett shot cottons. It will be interesting to see how these compare.

I'm linking up with Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash. Now I'm going to drool over everyone else's purchases!

Friday, July 11, 2014

FF: Boo's Bag.

I cannot name quilts to save my life, but giving a nickname is a trademark of my love for a person. My younger sister, years ago, was awarded the name Boo. Before that, she was "Fluffy-Hair Kiddo," so she was probably thrilled to trade that nickname in, but poor thing. My kids (Banzo, Lito, and Fava--more of my awesome nicknaming!) even call her Auntie Boo. And she puts up with it, which is probably her way of telling me that she loves me.

Well, Auntie Boo has a birthday later this year, and I decided to make her a Noodlehead 241 bag. The original plan was to make me one, but because I am the best sister EVER, I sacrificed my bag and made one for her. (And it's totally on my Q3 FAL list, so one down, six outrageous goals to go.)

Fabrics are Kona Black, a random gray solid I had in stash, a hint of Waterfront Park, and the center print is from a collection called Poppy Modern. 

Consensus? I love this pattern. Once I got past the fabric cutting and interfacing fusing, this bag was amazing to put together. A part of me wants to start on mine today. Then maybe make one for every other person I care about. (My husband totally needs a 241 murse, right?)

Of course, that means cutting more fabric and fusing more interfacing. I received my first rotary cutter injury while cutting fabric for this--I was in a hurry and being careless, so totally my own fault, and it's not a terrible cut. However, the interfacing. OMG, the interfacing. I HATE interfacing. I used Pellon's SF101, followed the instructions, but STILL. It took forever, and then my super old and faded hot pink ironing board cover decided to leak dye onto the bird print from Waterfront Park that I had originally chosen for the contrasting side pockets. WHY????? I only had a little leftover from Fava's quilt, so I couldn't even cut more. The print now lines the pockets, which I guess we'll say is intentional and gives a peek-a-boo effect.

I installed a magnet snap for the first time, which was easy peasy, and I did install the interior slip pocket. I contemplated inserting the outer zipper pocket(s), but I actually prefer its look sans zipper(s), so I went the easy route. That outer zipper would probably be very convenient and nice...but too late.

There will be more of these in my future. I love this bag. (Other than the interfacing. And the brief fear my fingers will feel when I approach the rotary cutter again.)

I'm linking up with Audrey at Glory Be Quilter (fellow Audreys unite!) for TGIFF.


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