Thursday 28 November 2013

From A - Basting Party

No not the turkey kind. The quilting kind. Managed to get two quilts basted today and I can't think of a better way to celebrate U.S. Thanksgiving when there is no family nearby.

First up, the Posy baby quilt re-do.

Posy Baby Quilt Take 2

And next, the White Star quilt top I finished back in March.

White Star Quilt

It took me three tries to get the star quilt basted without giant lumps in the backing fabric. We were dangerously close to the point where professional intervention would be required. Fortunately I managed to overcome the issue by resorting to some James Bond style basting techniques that would make any of my quilt teachers blush with shame.

I was going to attempt a third but I think I need a mental health break from basting. Do any of you have any tips for basting on carpet? I am really missing our old hardwood floors, the bathroom floor was not nearly as cozy.

Wishing all of our American friends a wonderful Thanksgiving!!

Monday 25 November 2013

From K - Impromptu Snowflake Pillow

While perusing IG last week, I came across a number of progress shots of a Christmas snowflake block from @rachelwoodenspoon and I was downright smitten. Seriously, go check out her hashtags feed and you'll be smitten too (#christmassnowflakeblock).

Next thing I knew Lindsey from Thats What Lindsey Made (@thatswhatlindseymade) and I were both on board, starting an impromptu Christmas snowflake block QAL.

Christmas Snowflake Pillow

I chose to go a bit non-traditional and chose two shades of blue instead of red and green like Rachel. I think it adds a nice icy-ness to the block that I'm really loving.

Christmas Snowflake Pillow

Now I just need to choose a centre block colour (open to suggestions!) and between having the dark blue vertical or horizontal.


Christmas Snowflake Pillow

If you're interested in jumping in on an impromptu pillow yourself, Rachel has written a mini tutorial on her flickr page (found here).


Friday 22 November 2013

From A - Definitely Darling

PB & J String quilt top 

I managed to carry the momentum I had starting this quilt through to the end and now it's on its way to Lindsay so that she can work her long-arm magic.

PB & J String quilt top

I used this video tutorial and am pretty happy with the result. Especially since I started this quilt as a way to burn off some stress and avoid writing a paper for a couple more hours. It was fun to just pull some random jelly rolls from the stash and start slicing.

PB & J String quilt top

I managed to let go of my obsessive tendencies a bit on this one (inspired by Anne's recent post) which means no fussy cutting, zero agonizing about layout and a questionable adherence to the quarter inch seam rule. It felt great! A quick and simple project. Exactly what I needed to get my quilting mojo back again.

Linking up to Finish it Up Friday.

Wednesday 20 November 2013

From K - 16 Recent Finishes

Back in July I wrote a post where I mentioned an extremely over-ambitious goal that I set as a means of keeping myself focused and on track. My plan was to complete 15 Project in 15 Weeks between the dates of July 13th and October 25th. As my current WiPs are starting to pile up around me again and I'm feeling a tad bit overwhelmed, I figured it was high time that I reflect on what I accomplished during that time to help motivate me to keep on keepin' on. 

Until I actually sat down to write this post, I had no idea if I had met my target or not... and as it turns out I not only met my goal, but I evidently surpassed it by finishing 16 projects in 16 weeks. Wha?! *brushes off shoulder* All jokes aside though, I think it's good for us all to sit back sometimes and reflect on how far we've come and what we learned along the way - a task that I know many of us don't often do.
With that in mind, here are my 16 finishes:

I adore making bags and was surprised to see that when looking back, I developed new skill sets with each bag I made. I learned how to glue on a metal frame, how to QAYG and how to sew with both strapping and duck canvas!
Mosaic of Bags
From Left to Right: Metal Frame Clutch, QAYG Pouch and Duffle Bag

In total I made four quilt: two baby quilts, a throw and a queen sized quilt (my biggest finish to date).
Mosaic of Quilts
Clockwise from Top Left:

Amanda and I also collaborated on a special lap quilt for our great aunt's 90th birthday during this time frame.
Wonky Star Quilt

Over the past 16 months I also learned a ton about garment sewing. It was my first time sewing with both piping and voile.
Mosaic of Garmentss
Clockwise from Top Left:

I have been knitting up a storm as of late, completing two cowls, a headband and a pair of socks. I might also have 4 more projects cast on already... but that's for another day.
Mosaic of Knits
Clockwise from Top Left:

Sometimes I find it considerably too easy to get caught up in my WiP list and gifting deadlines. Today I'm taking the time to celebrate my wins and look back at what I've learned in the process. I'm feeling pretty energized now to make some headway on my current WiPs: a manly Christmas quilt, a late baby quilt, a Christmas quilt and a beloved sentimental quilt that needs some finishing up.

Reflection was the perfect remedy for me today to get back at my machine. What do you do when you need to rev up your quilting mojo?

Monday 18 November 2013

From A - Liberty Lap Duvet

It's starting to get chilly here at night and as a result, the Mr. and I have started fighting over the giant grey blob of a down comforter that occupies our couch. Wanting something a little more attractive that would offer warmth and restore marital harmony, I decided to make a Liberty and wool lap duvet.

Liberty Wool Lap Duvet

This is Liberty's Mauvey print. Definitely my all-time favourite! I just can't get enough of the combination of flowers and stars. I think I have it in three different colourways at this point.

Liberty Wool Lap Duvet

I used the satin stitch on my machine to "quilt" it all together with some yellow Aurifil thread I had from this project. Finished dimensions are about 32" by 54" which makes it the perfect size to snuggle up with in my favourite armchair.

Liberty Wool Lap Duvet

Although I was a little skeptical at how warm a thin layer of Liberty tana lawn and some felted wool would actually be, I was pleasantly surprised when I took this baby on a test drive last night while watching the boob tube with my blanket hog spouse. With this baby in hand, I can probably hold off turning on the heat for another month or two.

Sunday 17 November 2013

From A - Sloppy Josephine Tee

My general clothing philosophy is comfortable, casual and fuss-free. This basically means that I live in knits. Knit tops, dresses, pants. You  name it, I probably own it in a knit. Since I would much rather shop for fabric than shop for clothes and needing an excuse to play with my new machines, I whipped up a new t-shirt this weekend.

Sloppy Josephine Tee

This is the Sloppy Josephine Tee by Papercut Patterns which I bought a few months back when my lust for knits and sergers blossomed into a full blown obsession.

I used some burnout jersey knit star fabric that I bought with Kelsey when we were in Seattle. It's a rayon/cotton blend jersey that is super duper soft and downright snuggly.

Sloppy Josephine Tee 

This top went from fabric to finished in only a few short hours. The pattern was pretty straightforward if a bit light on instructions. I didn't alter it at all except to add some top stitching to the neckline. I'll likely shorten the neckband a bit on the next one so that it holds everything in a little more but otherwise this is pretty much exactly what I was looking for.

Sloppy Josephine Hem

And the new coverstitch machine? Genius. The hem was finished cleanly and professionally in about 15 minutes. It was so easy and painless that it might even have been my favourite part of the whole process.

Sloppy Josephine Tee

The finished result is extremely comfortable and dare I say, stylish. So cool in fact that even this little guy decided to fly in for a closer look (and probably some breakfast) while we were out taking photos.

Humming Bird

Happy weekend friends. What did you make?

Friday 15 November 2013

From K - A Manly Plus Quilt Top

Ever since I finished my Pink Pluses Quilt I have been wanting to make a polar opposite version of it. Rather than soft and feminine, I wanted to make something bold and manly, all while playing with the same plus pattern.

Since my husband often speaks of how he loved the pink plus quilt I made, I figured a blue-green version for him would make a great Christmas present.

While I originally imaged this quilt to have more blue and dark gray, I enjoyed the process of playing with the various tones and shades and I'm hoping my hubby will be happy with it too.

It's all basted up and ready to quilt. I have a straight line and FMQ combo in mind all prepped up for Saturday when I'm home alone!

Wednesday 13 November 2013

From K - Decisions Decisions

I started an equilateral triangle quilt a couple of months back at Sewing Summit, while taking a class from Jeni Baker from In Color Order. I have been desperate to make some progress on this now very tardy baby gift but a few other quilts with deadlines had be tied up. This weekend with the help of an empty design wall, I started to play around with different arrangements and have landed on two options to decide between.

Option A: Random Arrangement

Equilateral Triangles - Random Arrangement

Option B: Diamond Arrangment

Equilateral Triangles - Diamond Arrangement
While I hummed and hawed and procrastinated making a decision, I decided to knit up a swatch of some new yarn, purchased with the thought of a new cardigan in mind. I'm thinking it's the perfect balance of tone-on-tone semi-solid and cashmere *insert drool here*

Swatch of Zen Yarn Garden in prepartion for a new cardigan
I also picked up some of the cutest little stitch markers of all time. Packaged up in a tiny glass vial, called 'Message in a Bottle' complete with cork top, little tiny crystal beads and a message about creativity. It was the perfect weekend treat!

'Message in a Bottle' - New Stitch Markers
So what do you think about my two options, any preferences out there? I hate making decisions, especially between two good options, so I'm happy for someone else to make this one for me. Feel free to toss in your vote!

Linking up to WiP Wednesday.

Saturday 9 November 2013

From A - Fabulous

I've done a pretty good job of scaling back my fabric purchases since the great "shop the stash" resolution was passed but a big birthday meant that there were a few new things added to the craft pile.

Christmas Fabrics 

First up a delicious pile of Aspen Frost Christmas fabrics to make Vintage Holiday quilt for our couch.

Lizzy House Bundle 

Then there was this irresistible Lizzy House bundle. 130 fat-eighths from many of her OOP collections. Not sure what this is going to turn into yet but it will definitely be fabulous.

Babylock Imagine Serger

And then the big mister treated me to not one but two new machines. Meet my new serger and coverstitch machines!!!!! I am beyond excited. I have wanted a serger for years and years and this one basically threads itself, even better.

Janome CoverPro 1000CPX

I'll be sewing if you need me at any point during the next week. Happy Saturday!!

Wednesday 6 November 2013

From A - Magic!

While trying to stick to my "shop the stash" mantra, I pulled a couple of Jelly Rolls off of the shelf last week and tried to figure out what they were going to become.

Now I know that pre-cuts are generally looked down upon by "real" quilters but the truth is that when I was first starting out with the whole quilting thing, I bought a lot of them. They made quilting seem easy and manageable. I knew that the fabrics would look nice together when shopping online and it was an easy way to own a small piece of every print from a line that I loved.

In my search for a destination for these jellies, I stumbled on this video tutorial that I am sure that I pinned at some point (I never remember to check Pinterest...must work on that.) A bit more searching and I found actual written instructions for the same block which are much more detailed if that's your thing. Honestly though, I prefer the video as I too want to make a "darling, darling" quilt!

In the span of a couple of evenings, I took a pile of strips


Turned them into "tubes", cut them up


and ended up with perfect (and darling) string quilt blocks.


A little bit more cutting this morning, gave me a healthy stack of perfect little blocks.

Stack of Blocks

I forgot how easy and fun sewing with pre-cuts can be. Lately, my available sewing time has been measured in minutes instead of hours. At this rate, I might actually finish this one before the month is out


Linking up to WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Friday 1 November 2013

From K - Four Finished Knits

Over the past few months I have been knitting up a storm. I love to quilt but there is something so relaxing (and convenient) about knitting on the go, while commuting to work, and while watching my favourite tv shows. Here are a few of the projects I have recently knit up.

Licorice Twist Cowl - Pattern by Heather Love (Ravelry pattern link)
I bought the pattern and yarn for this at the Brooklyn General Store with Amanda when we travelled to NYC last April. It was the first time I have ever knit on circular needles and the first infinity scarf I've made. This cowl adds great texture to my fall basics and I've gotten a ton of wear from it already.

Hermione's Everyday Socks - Pattern by Erica Lueder (Ravelry pattern link)
I made these socks with a close friend in mind (a friend with very small feet I might add!). I love how the texture turned out and I could easily knit this pattern again in the future. For these socks I used Malabrigo sock yarn in the colour Tiziano Red.

Honey Cowl - Pattern by Madelinetosh (Ravelry pattern link)
When we were down in Salt Lake City for Sewing Summit this September, Amanda and I swung by Blazing Needles. I picked up a skein of Malabrigo Arroyo in Regatta Blue and had cast on before my first flight left the tarmac. This one is destined to be a Christmas gift.

Anthropology Inspired Headband - Pattern by Stash Needle Art Lounge (pattern not currently available for sale)
A few weeks ago I took a course at a local yarn store for this headband and was able to finish this up within the 2.5 hr class. It was a perfect introduction to knitting cables and a great way to chat away a Saturday afternoon with some similarly knit minded ladies.
It snowed here for the first time this weekend so I faced it with my head up (wrapped in my new headband of course). I'm grateful that I have a stylish new way to keep my ears warm this winter. I also might be hooked on cables!

I have a few more knitting projects on the go and a million more planned in my head. I'm doing my best to limit my stash to one medium sized box. This box just so happens to be full so I've promised myself not to add more to my yarn stash until I use more of what I already have. I think it's going to become a problem, much like fabric around here... well some say problem... I'm going to say 'opportunity'!