Thursday, April 10, 2014

March craftiness

I've been so busy coordinating content for the VMQG blog, I've been once again neglecting my personal blog. There might also be some guilt (and therefore blog posting procrastination) around not making a lot of progress on my Library Project selections. Heh.

I seriously think I might have a case of crafter's ADD, because ... oooh, shiny new thing/book/cool idea on instagram/blog post/guild challenge.

The VMQG has started doing book reviews, which I'm organizing.  We've gotten some really fabulous books from both Martingale and Stash, and we have about a dozen guild members on the review team.

I'm reviewing this really cute book called Kitchen Stitches, which is a curated collection of patterns for things like placemats, table runners, tea cozies, pot holders, and more.   My review will be posted to the VMQG blog in the next few weeks, but first I want to finish off a project set from the book.  I completely fell in love with the "Circle Blooms" tea cozy and placemat set designed by Amy Struckmeyer.  She blogs at form*work.

The set uses a reverse applique method, which is something I've never done before and, if I'm honest, the thought of any applique at all makes me nervous.  The tea cozy was too perfect not to attempt, though, and the instructions were so fabulous that it not only came out perfectly, but was completely stress free!  I made mine out of some very fine black corduroy, and I put an extra layer of batting in to help keep my morning tea hot. I also added about an inch of width so it would accommodate my pot.

Amy's tea cozy from Kitchen Stitches

My version

I still need to finish up the matching placemats and then the review of the book will be posted here and on the VMQG blog.

The VMQG also had a chance to participate in the Riley Blake Basics fabric challenge.  Each member of our guild received a fat-eighth of 6 lovely Riley Blake fabrics, with the instructions to make a quilted item.  Usually I'm pretty good about working on challenges far in advance of the completion deadline, but this one... I started 2 days before it was due.

I'd been wanting to try a wonky log-cabin technique using a shape other than a square or rectangle, and this seemed like a perfect group of fabrics to use for that.  I added in some matching solids I had in my stash and quickly stitched up a 22" block.  

You can never have too many cushions on your couch, so after the block was done, I made a quilt sandwich and then pondered how to quilt it.

"I know," I thought.  "Seeing as this is due at the guild meeting the day after tomorrow, I'll quilt this thing in the most time-consuming method possible! A complicated pattern of nesting lines 1/4" apart!" Great idea, brain.  Once I'd visualized this quilting idea, there was no way for me to quilt it any other way.  A couple late nights followed.

Tah Dah!
It did get done, though. In time for the meeting too.

Looks great on my couch and R told me a bunch of times how much she likes it.
Ok this blog post is getting epically long, which I guess is what happens when you don't update for a month.  

Quick wrap up on 2 more finishes.  My very sweet Aunt and Uncle did something amazing for me this past month that really helped out in a tight situation.  As did my mom, and she's already been thanked profusely and there may be a surprise for her in the future as well. :)

I stitched up this cutie-pie "home sweet home" cross stitch for them and mailed it off.  Here's a link to andwabisabi's etsy page for the pattern, if any of you are interested. My Aunt and Uncle loved it and have it sitting right on their coffee table. 

My friends (and former Paper Moon band-mates) had a beautiful baby girl named Sadie a couple weeks ago.  New baby = baby quilt, right?

This was made from a Riley Blake layer cake I skived off my mom (she offered!) some left over Kona Snow jelly roll strips and a bit of fabric from my stash.  The pattern is from the Moda Bake shop and is from Cynthia Lammon of Hyacinth Quilt Design.

Lastly, my girl has definitely inherited the crafting gene from me and her grandma.  She asked for and got her very own sewing machine this past Christmas (A Janome MyStyle), which she is thrilled with. She had a quilting lesson from grandma a few weeks ago during spring break.

R has a small bedroom with a tall ceiling, so she has one of those nifty loft beds where you can put a desk underneath.  She had a small desk under there that was really only big enough for her laptop. BUT! We were at Ikea this past weekend and they had the shelf and desk attachments for her bed on sale for $20.  $20!  Done and done.  She now has a lovely huge workspace and is thrilled that she has a place where she can leave her sewing machine permanently set up.  Just like mom, she says. <3

Until next time, which hopefully won't be a month from now.  *shiftyeyes*


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!

Had a bit of free time this weekend so mom and I scooted quickly down to Joanne's in Bellingham.  I have decided that "Basket Case" (the Boo Davis skull quilt) will be done with a PLAID background.  I know.  Genius.

I looked at the homespun and the colours all seemed really muted so I wandered over to the plaid shirting and found an amazing selection of really fabulous plaid flannel shirting.  My selections are below; I picked lots of brightly coloured plaids because, hey, go big or go home, right?

Plaid-y goodness.

I also got some grey herringbone that will be the backing and the binding, also slightly flannel-ish.  This quilt is going to be so snuggly.

As we're in line to get fabric cut, my mom turns to me and says, "It's going to look like the Bay City Rollers."  And then I remembered how much my young teenage self loved that Scottish power-pop band.  Look at this album cover!  It's a quilt!

It's a quilt adorned with cute 70s boys with fashion mullets!
I have a couple other things to get to first before I start Basket Case but I'm really excited to make it.

Don't leave until you watch this video!


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

I can't get "Basket Case" out of my mind.

I'm totally working on "Fast Forward".  Really.  See?

And I'm loving it and can't wait for it to be done and on my bed.

But I keep thinking about "Basket Case" and trying to figure out what colour I'm going to make the background.  The hot pink/red on the original in Boo's book is pretty fabulous but I'm SO not a pink person.  But then again... maybe I should embrace it?

I've found some pretty awesome finishes of this quilt on Flickr too.

A red one by Ann Read.

A purple one by Whitney Taylor.  Radiant Orchid is the Pantone colour of the year for 2014. Food for thought.

Of course I LOVE this blue one by Viv... but it would be a safe choice for me.

Black and grey by sami.sees.quilts -- awesome and suitably gothic.

Totally open to suggestions....


Saturday, January 18, 2014

Library Party QAL choices

Oh boy.  I know I'm a day late posting my Library Project QAL choices but blahblahsinglemomblahblahworkblahblahchoresblah.  Anyhow.  The kidlet is at her 3 hour theatre class this morning learning how to become a cast member on Glee 2021 and so I finally have some moments to post my choices for this year long quilt along!

1.  "Fast Forward" by Jaybird Quilts

Embarrassingly, I've had this pattern and special ruler for well over 2 years, as well as fabric to make it with. I purchased the pattern and ruler on a long ago trip to LA and it's been sitting in my to-do pile forever.  Sigh. This will absolutely be the first one I make.  I've actually started cutting already so I hope to have this one done soon!

(The orange background in all these photos is my crazy coffee table!)

2.  "So What" from Brave New Quilts by Kathreen Ricketson

This book.  This book is full of amazingness.  I could honestly make just about anything in here; everything is unique and edgy and wonderful.  I was originally thinking about taking on the totally punk looking "Break the Rules" but I'm trying to be realistic about what I can ACTUALLY get done in the next year.

So my choice is going to be the more bite-sized "So What".  I think I can even take a few nibbles out of my stash to complete this one!

3.  "Across the Quad" by Jennifer Mathis in Modern Quilts from the Blogging Universe

My mom (also a quilter) got me this book for Christmas and I love a lot of the quilts in it as well.

I've also made an agreement with myself to use up some of the pre-cuts I seem to hoard and never use.  So my choice is this charm-square friendly pattern, combined with the 2 charm packs of Oh Deer that I've had laying around for about 8 months.  I'm not sure what the background colour is going to be yet.  This looks relatively simple so hopefully it will be a fast finish.

4. "Flying Rainbow" by Amanda Sasikirana in Pillow Pop

Also a Christmas present from my mom, this book is FULL of super cute pillows.

I'm going to make this fun flying geese pillow, although I don't think I'll be making it with a white background. That's just a baaaaaad idea with an 8 year old in the house.

5.  "Basket Case" from Date to Be Square by Boo Davis

This is a book I have actually made things from. I've already made Hootenanny (the cover quilt), as well as the Bright Lights, Patchwork City pillow and the I'm A Weiner! baby quilt.  I LOVE Boo's designs.  I popped down to Seattle about a year ago to see some of her quilts on display -- I met her and she's just a lovely person.  At the time she was working on some more of her trademark skull designs as well as a Grim Reaper quilt that I BEGGED her to sell as a PDF pattern from her website.  It was the coolest.

Yep, so skull-y goodness is on the to-do list.  My mom will hate this one.  :P

Wish me luck! This is a LOT of quilts for me to get done in 12 months!