Friday 28 March 2014

From A - Contraflow Quilt Top

The immanent arrival of a house guest prompted a furious clean-up of my craft room guest room. First thing off the floor was the Contraflow quilt top that I've been working on for the past couple of months.

Contraflow Quilt Top

Another quilt sourced only from stash, I used a layer cake of Kate Spain's Terrain collection and some trusty Kona White. After working through some mistakes in the instructions, I followed the Contraflow pattern in 25 Ways to Sew Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes & Charm Packs (mistakes in finished dimensions and background fabric cutting, if you're wondering).

Contraflow Quilt Top

I opted to group similar colours together to try and create more of a flow with the prints. Although the bright orange block on the second row seems a little out of place, I am pretty happy with how it came out.

Contraflow Quilt Top

Coming in at 78.5" x 86" (almost full/double), this beauty is on its way to Lindsay for the royal long-arm treatment. I couldn't bring myself to attempt basting this beast on my bathroom floor and the idea of shoving it through my machine filled me with dread. A wise decision me thinks, since I only have about 6 weeks to finish it and two more baby quilts.

Thursday 27 March 2014

From K - Sew Together Bag Catnap Style

Ever since I received my Lizzy House Catnap bundle, I knew it would be great for small bags and accessories. Her colours are always so saturated and crisp. When I came across the Sew Together Bag again last month it felt like fate and I started plotting right away.

Coincidentally The Quilt Barn blog also happened to host an awesome sew along at the same time so I've been following along (albiet more slowly). She has some incredible step by step photos that take any guessing out of the pattern that you might have.

 So far I'm really loving the pattern and it's coming together quite well. The hardest part now is deciding on what fabric to choose for my exterior panel and binding. Decisions, decisions, Lizzy's line has some great options.

 I'll be sure to take lots of pictures when I finish it off. I'm hoping for a finish soon!

Thursday 20 March 2014

From K - Lowbrow Hat for Spring?

It's officially the first day of spring... Somewhere in the world I imagine at least. Just not in Canada. Definitely not in Canada. I typically find myself nearing a bit of a rut this time of year as I start to tire of winter and dream of spring. In order to fight the March blues I knit myself up a special end of winter treat to keep me excited for chilly mornings that make it practical to wear my new cashmere blend hat (and by excited I mean tolerant, and by chilly I mean blizzardy).

Let me introduce you to my Lowbrow Hat. I knit it with a skein of Plucky Knitter Primo Aran in Baroque and I couldn't be more smitten. So Mother Nature, you keep those winter winds blowing and I'll keep my new hat on my head. Deal? Deal!*

*but just to be clear today is the first day of spring so I'm more than happy for that to happen too. Like for real. The equinox is happening so hold your end of the bargain. Anytime Mother Nature, any time...

What are you doing to keep your head both sane and warm these days? Any and all tips are welcome!

Tuesday 18 March 2014

From K - Simply Style on the Design Wall

A new quilt popped up on my design wall this weekend and I'm excited to show a few process shots of how it's coming together.

64 HSTs in a rainbow of colours makes playing around with a layout so much fun.

To speed up the process of making a stack of HSTs for this quilt top, I used my fancy new Fons & Porter 1/4" ruler and a pack of Simply Style charm squares by V & Co.

I'm still playing around with the final layout but for now I'm really happy with the direction that this quilt is taking.
I took a mini hiatus from quilting over the past two months while I was caught up in sewing cat dresses and knitting all the things. This is the perfect project to get me back in the quilting game.

Friday 14 March 2014

From A - A Journey, Not a Destination

Many moons ago, I took a class at the Workroom to make a gorgeous hand pieced star sampler quilt. By the end of the class, I had finished the first block (a Lemoyne Star) and had made a pile of tiny pieces.

Hand pieced Star Sampler - Lemoyne Block

After many months of hand sewing while travelling and while watching TV, I managed to finish my second block last weekend on my way back from a weekend trip to NYC.

Hand pieced Star Sampler - Lone Star Block

The second block is a Lone Star block. The center pieces are leftover pieces of background fabric from my Swoon Quilt, the green fabric is an unknown mint metallic print and the blue is an Indigo Blue Snakeskin Dear Stella print I've had in my stash for eons.

Hand pieced Star Sampler - Lone Star Block

The colour palette that I am using for this quilt is a combination of aqua, yellow, cream, and navy. I chose colours that were pretty far outside of my comfort zone in the hopes that they were classic enough that I'd still like the quilt by the time I got it finished (sometime in the next 10 years or so).

Hand pieced Star Sampler - Lone Star Block

I really love the simple portability of a handwork projects and the precision that can be achieved by carefully marking your pieces as you cut. I would have really struggled to match up seams in the same way with a machine.

Hand pieced Star Sampler Blocks 1 & 2

The longer I work on this project, the more I want to increase the size of the quilt and design another 6 blocks. I've even started sketching out a few ideas. I should probably finish the blocks I've started before I actually commit. Then again, that's never stopped me before.

Monday 10 March 2014

From A - Sewing with Leather

Working with leather is one of those things that I have desperately wanted to learn more about. I love the idea of making bags with leather accents and small wallets and change purses as gifts for friends. There is something about a few pieces of leather that make the finished product seem so much more "professional".

Leather Clutch

While back in Toronto over the holidays, I signed up for a quick leather clutch class at the Workroom. In addition to being a welcome break from the intensity of a holiday with the in-laws, it was nice to spend some time back in my old stomping grounds.

Leather Clutch

Sewing with leather was much simpler than I thought it would be. After a few short hours, I had a super cute metallic leather clutch, lined with some paisley Liberty Tana Lawn, of course!

Leather Clutch Lining

Have I mentioned my obsession with plaids and paisleys. I'll buy almost any fabric if it has paisleys or plaid (in fact, I bought two yards of this lining print when a 1/4 yard would have been more than enough). Ask Kelsey, she's talked me off the ledge more than a few times.

Leather Clutch

The leather I used for this clutch was paper thin so I ended up interfacing it to give the bag a little more body. The finished bag is professional looking and decadently elegant (I am especially taken with the little pleat).

This project has me hooked!! I've already found my next leather work class. Perfect timing since I'll have to make something with leather for our next traditional anniversary gift.

Tuesday 4 March 2014

From A - Plotting and Planning

I have been making a concerted effort to finish old projects and use up some stash since last Fall. Frankly, it has been going pretty well until just recently when I began spending most of my evenings filling the pages of my trusty quilt idea book with various doodles and measurements.

The two ideas that I keep coming back to are a Gypsy Wife quilt (still can't decide on colours for this one) and my obsession with making a peach and mint quilt.

Unable to resist any longer, I dug through my stash and came up with this lot.

Donut Fabrics

It's not exactly a "pure" peach mint combo but close enough without completely abandoning my natural inclination towards tone and colour variation.

Not wanting to make something that was too involved so that I would be able to start working on a Gypsy Wife without feeling too overwhelmed, I opted for Johanna Masko's Donuts pattern. It's been on my list since seeing Amanda's version last year.

Although I love the pattern, I wanted something a little bigger for super cosy couch snuggling and I wanted to be able to add some more symmetry to the pattern with a four-sided border and another row of donuts. I spent some time with TouchDraw last weekend and ended up with a rough mock-up.

Donut Quilt

I'm pretty excited about this quilt and am hoping to get my fabrics washed this week so I can start playing with layout and start cutting.

How do you plan projects? Are there any colour schemes that are making you weak at the knees?