Wednesday, August 27, 2014

August Blocks.

Even with Fava's arrival, I've somehow managed to get some sewing in this month. It feels a bit odd that I'm not sewing every (or almost every) day, but then again, I'm usually so busy that I don't even notice.


First, my August Stash Bee block for Tiffany. I think this is the latest I've ever taken a photo of a bee block before. See that blue countertop? That would be the counter at the post office. (But I got the photo done, folks.)


And my August Gypsy Wife blocks. Eight square in square blocks down, eight kajillion to go. As much as I love this quilt pattern, and I'm sure I'll love the finished quilt, I am soooooo ready to be done with it.

Linking up with the August GW link up at Farm Gal Designs.  

Friday, August 22, 2014

FF: Ikat Quilt Top.


I finished my Ikat quilt top. (Woo!) I modified the pattern from the May/June 2014 issue of Love of Quilting, meaning that instead of a throw size I only used a fraction of the blocks the pattern recommended to make a baby quilt.


This bad boy is a little wild. When I saw the original picture in the magazine, I fell head over heels in love with this quilt, and I knew I wanted to make it in the exact color scheme and spirit of the original. (Yep, blatantly copying. But how could I possibly improve on the original? I couldn't. Unless maybe I made it in pink. But since this is a Team Green quilt, probably not the best option.) But when I finished piecing all of the blocks together, it just seemed a bit too much. Then, I remembered a post from Quilting Jetgirl in which she took a super fun crazy wild orange quilt and reigned it in a bit by adding a thin border of Kona solid around the edge.


So, I did the same. (Thanks Yvonne for your awesome inspiration!) I added a two inch border of Kona black, and yeppers. I love that a whole lot more. I had originally planned to bind the quilt in black, but my backing choice vetoed that option for me, but this enables me to still frame the quilt in black while using another color for binding. It's almost like I plan this stuff, folks. (And do I have a picture of the backing fabric? Of course not. Because that would be too much awesome for one post. Let's just say, there are unicorns on the fabric.)

I have two plans for quilting, and we'll see which one wins out. The safe straight line quilting option or the slightly crazy (for me) FMQ option. It could go either way at this point. I'm glad to have the top done even if I don't have to have this bad boy done until Thanksgiving-ish. And can I just say, it took me 1.5 hours to rip the paper off the back of the blocks? Not awesome. But I'll forgive this quilt since it looks awesome. And really, when you look at the whole, you can barely see the row where my points don't line up, which just makes my little heart happy.

I'm linking up today with TGIFF hosted by Leanne at The Devoted Quilter. Woo for a finish!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

The Other Woman.

Most (all?) of you know that I do all of my quilting on a 1953 Model 15-91 Singer I've named Agatha. I adore my Agatha something fierce, especially since she was my husband's grandmother's.

But Friends, there just might be another woman in my life. No, I don't have a new machine. I have a new old machine.


This is Gertrude. You met her some time ago, but she didn't come to live with me until quite recently. I have found out that she is in fact operational, and that she is a Singer Model 99, which is the 3/4 version of the Model 66. I read somewhere that she sold in the UK for a little over 6£ when she was first introduced. Six£. Wow.

When I originally acquired Gertrude more than a year ago (thanks again, Daddy!) I was unable to get her from my home in the southwest to my midwest abode. But during a recent visit from my wonderful father (I'm not just saying that--he really is one of my favorite people EVER) he surprised me because he had brought Gertrude with him! (And then proceeded to cook me a gallon of his famous spaghetti sauce, which is waiting politely in my freezer for me to devour it.)


After having her serviced, I was able to bring her home, where she sat for a couple of weeks untouched because Fava decided to make his appearance, and I was a little preoccupied with mommy stuff. But I decided to take Gertrude out for a photo shoot the other day.

Except, I couldn't get her case opened.


Sooooo...here's a pic of the spot where you attach Gertrude's knee lever. I had grand plans for a great reveal, but let's be honest--who knows when that's going to happen?

I think the guy that serviced her accidentally kept the screwdriver I used to open her. And the screwdriver I use for Agatha (a full-size Singer) is too big. I'm going to have Mr. Audrey take a look at it, and if he can't figure it out, I'll have to visit the vacuum/sewing repair shop again. Hopefully I'll have some delicious photos of her soon. And I'd really like to actually sew with her, you know? Not because Agatha can't get the job done--she is practically perfect in my eyes--but because of the novelty. Sewing on a machine from the 20s? Yep, that's pretty freakin' cool.

Friday, August 15, 2014

FF: First Quilt.

I started blogging shortly after I started quilting, so I only have two quilts that I haven't shared on this site. However, I thought it would be fun to get both of them posted, and why not link up with Don't Call Me Betsy's Quilt Flashback Friday while I'm at it? I originally posted my first two quilts at my personal blog, which is now defunct, so I'm going to copy and paste the original text here because that's simpler, but it will also give you an idea of where I was as a quilter.

This first quilt is from December of 2011. (Wow, have I really been quilting almost three years? It doesn't feel that long!)

----

So, a very very good friend of mine is having a baby boy this spring. (We'll call him Dude Baby.) Since she is a very very good friend, I wanted to do something fantastic and magical for the little Dude, and I knew I wanted to make something for him, and preferably something that would be lasting, you know? 

Switch to quilting--I've been wanting to learn to quilt for YEARS. However, whenever I researched it, it sounded like an expensive hobby to get into, and one that would require personal instruction and the acquisition of a whole new jargon. It was intimidating. Also, for most of those years, I didn't have a sewing machine. 

After having a lengthy discussion with my friend K, I decided to give quilting a go, and just in time to make a quilt for the Dude Baby. Awesome, right? Forty plus hours later, the quilt is done, the Dude Baby's awesome mama has received it, and I'm posting photos this photo for your viewing pleasure.


----

Friends, this was my first quilt. OMG. It was a little intense. I probably bit off a bit more than I should've been chewing, but I'm glad I did. It was funsies, and I loved making it. The fabrics were sheer craziness, the quilting lines are crooked in a bad bad way, but it all came together in the end. Best of all, the Dude Baby (who is now 2) adores this quilt, carries it everywhere with him, and I get frequent photos of him snuggling it. It makes my heart melt, and it reminds me of why I quilt.

Life after baby #3 is slowly coming together. I haven't sewn much at all, which is to be expected, but I haven't minded not sewing, which is unexpected. I thought I'd be freaking out without my regular Agatha time, but instead, I've been enjoying spending lots of time with my three littles and my husband, who has kindly taken some time off. We've taken a couple of day trips, spent lots of time at the park, gone for ice cream, gone swimming, taught my oldest how to play Mario Kart...so much goodness. Fava is a delightful baby, and my two older sons cannot stop giving him kisses and snuggles.

Thanks for all of your lovely well wishes!

Monday, August 4, 2014

The Last Two Weeks.

Fava is here. He arrived last week, and his arrival brought with it upheaval of order and schedules and systems and normality. We will find a new normal. In the meantime, I'm stoked he's a sweet, snuggly (and sleepy!) baby, and Banzo and Lito adore him. In fact, I have to limit their kisses because otherwise, Fava would never sleep or eat! 

I was working on this post shortly before I went into labor, and I can't imagine I'll be making much progress on any projects in the near future--except my August bee blocks! I will have them done on time!--but I thought I'd post it anyway so you can see where things stand.


First quilt celebratory doughnuts with my first quilt student!
(Yes, they were delicious!)


Work on a baby quilt that was so promising, but apparently the quilt hates me.


Rows 1 and 2? Decent connection points.


Rows 2 and 3? Not awesome. But from afar, you can't see it so much, right?

I do have a fun post that I'd like to get up sometime this week, but that will be if my kidlets provide me the time! I hope y'all are doing well!

Friday, July 25, 2014

July Blocks

I finished my Stash Bee and Gypsy Wife blocks some time ago, but I seem to always find it hard to remember to post them here!




For Stash Bee, I made two blue and green pinwheels. The block was quick and fun! Our July queen requested this block in 6.5" or 12.5" unfinished sizes, and I think the finished quilt will be super fun. (I feel like I always say that, but I really do mean it. Truly.)


My Gypsy Wife blocks for July. I got tired of cutting small pieces of fabric, and I figure there are going to be twelve kajillion square in square blocks in the final thing, so why not have a couple of repeats? Probably a bad idea that I'll kick myself for later, but for now, it was simpler, and simpler equals better in my current state.


Even though I'd been warned about July, I forgot, and it turned out meh in the center. But I like the colors, and I think all in all it's okay.

I should get started on August's blocks, but I just can't seem to motivate myself to get started! All those square in a square blocks. Or maybe I'll just start putting sections together? Either way, I should do something....

I'm linking up with the July Gypsy Wife link-up at Work in Progress Girl!

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!

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