Friday, 31 October 2014

From A - Finished Baby Love Quilt

Back in June, I was busy studying for a big exam and had almost no free time to sew or really do anything enjoyable. After a couple of weeks, I started going a little stir crazy and decided that I would let myself work on a baby quilt for a friend.

I spent an afternoon picking a fairly straightforward pattern and laying out a couple of charm packs and some scraps from my "light neutral" drawer. From then on, I let myself make one block per day until I had a finished quilt top.

Baby Love Quilt

Trying to avoid adding yet another WIP to the pile, I whipped up the world's simplest backing from stash and basted it in early September. I spent a few weeks trying to figure out howto quilt it before finally opting to stick with boring old Stitch-in-the-Ditch.

Baby Love Quilt

Although it's not too exciting I think the quilting actually highlights the blocks quite nicely. The quilting and scrappy low volume background prints minimize the secondary square-diamond-square pattern between the the blocks that I was trying to avoid. The Dream Wool batting I used gave this quilt just the right amount of puff.

Baby Love Quilt

I used a remnant strip of pink voile to make a bias tape label and bound it with another print of Acacia yardage that I was hording.

Baby Love Quilt

I think my favourite part of this quilt is the fact that the squirrel print on the back is perfectly centered and symmetrical on the back of the quilt. Definitely not planned but a welcome surprise after I trimmed up the quilt top.

Finished Quilt Stats:

  • Quilt Name: Woodland Walk
  • Finished Size: Crib (36" x 48")
  • Fabric: Two Tula Pink Acacia charm packs and various low volume scraps.
  • Pattern: Baby Love by Camille Roskelley in her book Simply Retro (with an extra row of blocks since I'm not a fan of square quilts).
  • Quilting: Ol' Faithful Stitch-in-the-Ditch

Our lobster-dog wishes you a safe and happy Halloween!

Halloween Lobster Dog

Linking up to Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Friday, 24 October 2014

From K - Modern Maples Quilt Top

Fall is hands down my very favourite time of the year. Honestly what's not to love? Fresh crisp air, warm spicy drinks, a house that smells of baking, boots, outfits with lots of layers, and of course, fall leaves! There is no other time of year that I feel as happy, or surprisingly as domestic, as I do in the fall. As a quilter, there is no better way to celebrate this season than making a special quilt inspired by it.

Back in September while pulling fabric from my stash for a baby quilt, I accidentally pulled a rather sizeable stack in a perfect fall palette, quickly side-tracking my mind away from baby gifts and towards selfish fall sewing. Amanda WoodWard-Jennings' quilt pattern Modern Maples immediately came to mind, and seemed like the perfect solution to all my fall inspired quilty desires.

I have been on the road for work on and off since Labour Day, so most of the cutting and sewing of this quilt top happened in various hotel rooms across southern Alberta. If you're ever looking for a great portable pattern, this is it!

I was inspired by so many beautiful variations of this quilt design that I found online. I knew when it came to the leaf blocks, I felt like more was better, and though I'm not typically one for sashing, I couldn't resist tossing in more low volume neutral prints to mix things up.

I have been severely tied up with work this past month so I unfortunately missed by dream deadline of finishing this by Halloween, but at any rate, I am thrilled that the top is now complete.

My new self imposed deadline for this quilt is to hopefully finish it before December rolls around. I can't wait to make the back so I can quilt it!

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

From A - WIP Wednesday

I have amassed a huge stack of WIPs over the years. For every type of craft I have ever tried, there are at least a couple of unfinished projects waiting in the wings. I'm not really sure why this has become such a recurring pattern since I love the feeling of finishing a project, sending it off to its new home and watching people enjoy it for years to come.

Most of my quilts end up getting stalled after they are basted and ready to quilt. Currently, I have at least 6 quilts that are just waiting to be quilted and bound. I can't quite explain it but there is definitely something about the process of choosing a quilting design and forcing the quilt sandwich through my machine that makes me cast a project aside faster than you can say "new fabric."

Stack of Quilty WIPs

Three of these almost finished quilts are taking up some prime real estate on our living room couch. I'm going to try and tackle them this weekend since two are baby quilts that should really get mailed off before the intended recipients start walking.

That said, there is a good chance I'll get distracted by this little number somewhere along the way. That is the Spring Quakers pattern by Rosewood Manor that I started just about a year ago.

Spring Quakers Cross Stitch

Most of my slow and steady progress on this project happens when I am supposed to working on something else. Those beautiful hand-dyed Valdani flosses with their perfectly saturated colours are irresistible when facing something I "should" be doing.

Spring Quakers Valdani Floss

Do you have some long-forgotten WIP skeletons in your closet? At what stage do you usually get bogged down? Any tricks for "breaking the cycle?" Please do tell!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

Monday, 13 October 2014

From A - Heather Ross Rainbow Quilt Top

After a couple of weeks of dedicated sewing, I managed to finish up my Heather Ross Rainbow Quilt top last week.

Heather Ross Rainbow Quilt Top

I used a free pattern from Windham that was released with the Briar Rose collection and opted to add four rows of blocks lengthwise and a half block width-wise so that it ended up a little closer to twin-sized. This also allowed me to use more fabrics to better flesh out the rainbow gradation.

Heather Ross Rainbow Quilt Top

This was such a fun project to put together. The fabrics are gorgeous and I really liked the process of setting the blocks on point. It meant that every row was different enough to keep me entertained throughout all that plain vanilla piecing.

Heather Ross Rainbow Quilt Top

I really want to keep the backing pretty simple and found some beautiful Nani Iro double gauze in my stash that will be perfect. Basting this quilt will be my first priority when I wrap up a few more baby/Christmas gifts that have been happening behind the scenes.

I really can't wait to can enjoy the finished quilt. It is just too lovely to spend much time in my WiP pile.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

From A - Tinsel Treeskirt

About two days before Christmas last year, I started a tree skirt for my sister-in-law using the Tinsel Treeskirt pattern in Issue 11 of Fat Quarterly. Realizing at the last possible moment that it wasn't going to get done unless someone gave me a time-turner for Christmas, I shoved it into the long-term planning box hoping that I would get it done in time this year.

Tinsel Treeskirt

Sometime last spring, I pulled out the top and basted it using a Marimekko print I picked up from my local Crate & Barrel outlet for about $2.00 a yard for the back. It continued to sit while I thought about how I wanted to quilt it until I saw how Kelsey chose to quilt her camping quilt.

Tinsel Treeskirt

This was my first attempt at free-motion quilting and although I was a bit scared. I had a ton of fun with the freedom it gave me. It really forced me to let go of my perfectionist tendencies and even though it's far from perfect, I really love the effect.

Tinsel Treeskirt

I opted to cut a smaller tree hole than called for in the pattern (only about 3.5") to account for the fact that the intended recipient uses an artificial tree. I used some purple double fold bias binding tape that I found in my stash to bind it and make the ties. Love finding exactly what I need in the stash!

Tinsel Treeskirt

I'm really glad I managed to finish this with more than 2 months spare. Now to tackle the rest of last year's Christmas gift list. Wish me luck!

Sunday, 5 October 2014

From K - Finished Grace Cardigan

18 months ago when Amanda was teaching me how to cast on to start my very first knitting project, I would never have imaged that I would be sharing a finished sweater less than two years later. Today that's exactly what I'm doing!

This is my new favourite cardigan, and not just because of the cashmere blend yarn (though of course that doesn't hurt!).

Front details:

The lace work was a bit tricky at first (surprisingly more challenging than one would suspect) but after looking at Ravelry a bit, it didn't take long to see where most folks go wrong. Some rows end in a YO and it's easy to forget if you are busy watching tv or otherwise not laying close attention. Jane has provided charts in an updated release of this pattern so I'm sure if I make it a second time I won't run into any issues.

Back details:

Part of what drew me to this pattern was the lace work in the back. I tend to wear a lot of cardigans at work since Canada tends to be a bit nippy. The lace work seemed like the perfect touch of softness to a cardigan that will get a lot of wear with dresses.

Final Knit Details:
  • Pattern: Grace by Jane Richmond
  • Finished Size: 34-36 (custom body sizing)
  • Yarn: Zen Yarn Garden Serenity 20 in the colourway Grape Stone
  • Buttons: 12mm metal buttons from Fabricland
I was so excited about finishing this sweater that I cast a new sweater on the same evening I finished sewing the buttons on this one. Sundottir is next up, anyone have tips to share on fair isle colour work?

To read more details on the making of this sweater, visit my Ravelry page found here.

Friday, 3 October 2014

From K - Finished Constellations Camping Quilt

Last month I shared an update on the retro camper that my hubs and I were busy working on over the summer. While he was labouring over custom woodworking, plumbing and electrical work... I prioritized the important glamping details... a camping quilt of course!

I had been slowly collecting prints from Lizzy House's Constellations line for months and when we purchased our Travelux Pearl, I knew instantly that this line was perfect for a camping quilt.

To round out my Constellations collection, I added various bits of other Lizzy House fabrics including some Jewels and Pearl Bracelets.

After trying out a few shades of pearl bracelets for the background, I landed on a dark gray with metalic shimmer to add some dreamy moodiness to the quilt.

This quilt turned out to be larger than I had anticipated, so I had to get a bit creative on the backing as a result. To compliment the front, I used a small scrap from each print to replicate the purple-to-white gradient shown on the quilt top.

I tried a new-to-me FMQ design on this quilt since stars just seemed like an obvious choice. I love the crinkly texture that appears between the stars, and hope that with time it will continue to emphasize their shapes.

Final Quilt Details:

  • Quilt Name: Constellations Camping Quilt
  • Finished Size: Somewhere between double and queen (75" x 90")
  • Fabric: this entire quilt is exclusively Lizzy House fabric, largely composed of prints from her Constellations and Pearl Bracelets fabric lines.
  • Pattern: designed by Kelsey using TouchDraw
  • Quilting: chains of stars by Kelsey

You can read more about the making of this quilt here, here and here.