Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Little Finishes

 Earlier this fall, I was trying to use up scraps and found that I didn't like the color combinations.  My friend Bailey is an NICU nurse and suggested finishing up the project as a mini quilt to donate.  The bassinet mattresses are 12.5" x 26".  So these 2 were my first attempt.  After using them at work, she found the 22x34" (flimsy size) was a bit too short on the sides to be convenient.
 So I started another round to use up some gifted fabric that I never liked.  This one is 26x36 before quilting.

Addendum 12/14: Here's the other one.  Using 2 orphan blocks from a larger quilt and scraps from several different red quilts.  It was a great way to practice some FMQ.  But the light contrasting back really shows off wobbles in my quilting as well as the fact that my machine needs a tune up since it is randomly adding weird loops on the back side of the stitching.

 This piece Was a Round Robin from 1995.  It's been my hand quilting piece for the last month.
Love the movement in the hand quilting. 
I may turn this into a big couch pillow. 
The problem with these "little" finishes is that there is actually a finite number of pillows one can use.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

More Distractions. Scrubbies

 I've been collecting the mesh bags from onions and mandarin oranges thinking that they should make amazing, free scrubbies.  Today, I finally found a tutorial.
 I started with the orange bags.  Combined the mesh "yarn" with some cotton yarn I had on hand. It was far thinner than what was in the tutorial.  To be fair, there were 3 other tests of yarn with the plastic mesh before I came up with something that was OK. I tried both nubby stuff and standard acrylic yarn, but ended up going with with a thin cotton yarn for the best texture.

The instructions for the scrubbies are at Make and Do Crew  I ended up using the bags noted as NOPE in the tutorial.  Cut them wide enough to include at least 2 full diamonds so they didn't fall apart.  Then a tug to make them behave.  This also means that I needed twice as many produce bags as recommended. I also ended up just tying bits together with square knots, not the fancy fisherman's not suggested.  It also turns out to take 4-6 bags to make 1 scrubbie with this style.

As you can see from this final picture, adding some yarn really helps the final shape of the scrubbies.  The Right one is the mesh only.  The upper one includes a crochet cotton with the mesh.  And the bottom one is a light weight cotton yarn.

So excited to use up all my saved bits.  But a little discouraged that it takes so many to make a functional piece.  (Since what I thought might be 10 Christmas gifts is actually 2).

Friday, November 30, 2018


While I have been doing some quilting, the past couple weeks I've been distracted by this project. 
My friend Kim is a Hooker.
She is working on a teaching certificate for rug hooking and needed students for her class.
 I started with some little leaves and learned that it turns out best for me if I outline, then fill the leaf after the stem is done.
 Her class, and the challenge of the project, is to use multiple types of stitches in wool.  This is woven strips. 
 The blues are ruching.  This I was familiar with from applique.  The upper stem is a chain stitch.  And the bottom leaf swirls are quilling, then stitched down. The stems on the left are traditionally hooked strips from upcycled wool and the ones on the right are a nubby hand spun wool.
These adorable flowers use a technique called proddy, which makes them 3-D.  The center and stems are done with yarn. 

The dotted design is made using the "beading" technique. 
I am working away at the leaves, and waiting for some custom died fuschia & pink wool to finish the flowers.  Planning on a purple/black background to make the flowers pop!

The pattern (purchased drawn on the linen) is from Honey Bee Hive.
The wool and the class I took is from Nampa Farmgirl Creates .

Sunday, October 14, 2018

UFO Finish

I have been back to finishing up UFOs.  This one started back in 2012. 
 The quilt group I belonged to at the time, had a tradition of people making blocks for the hostess' project.  I provided packets of the pink fabrics with instructions to combine it with black and return a 16.5" block using HST.  This was what I found that had been returned to me. 
 I kept adding bits until I had a quilt about 75" square.
 And I quilted it with a million feathers.
 Since it was for my BFF, I used some of my favorite stash fabrics, including this paisley that was supposed to a skirt for me. 
And now this is Cassandra's quilt.

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Summer Quilting

Since my last post, I spent nearly the whole month of July on my motorcycle.  We rode over 5000 miles, in 6 states, 3 different trips. The result being no quilting, but excellent additions to the fabric stash.  The quilt shop in Halfway, OR was closing and everything was 50% off.  Since it was cold that weekend, I was wearing everything I took on the trip so the saddlebags were empty.  Interesting fact:  You can fit 80 yards of fabric on a Victory Cross Country.

I did spend some time doing some FMQ to make this logo pig pillow for a fund raiser. 

Which inspired me to donate a custom pillow as another prize.  The winner wanted something beach theme in "neutrals" and teal.  Specifically her house is decorated in tan, grey and teal.  I had imagined a pair of simple pillows with a coral colored crab on one and a starfish on the other. But once I started designing, things got out of hand. 
 I fell in love with pictures of a Maryland Blue Crab and knew I had to make one. 
 And compared to the crab, a lone starfish seemed lame.  So I added some friends. 
 I had plenty of teal in the stash for the backs. 
 The crab was hand quilted for this lovely scrunchiness.
 The shells were machine quilted
 This is as "neutral" as I have the ability to make. 
My husband drilled holes in some shells from my collection which became the buttons on the back. 
It was a blast to do something totally out of my normal topic and color scheme. 

Next on the agenda: Tidying up the sewing room.  Organizing all the batiks I acquired over the summer.  Some Hawaiian Shirts I've collected fabric for over the past couple years. UFOs, including the bookcase quilt.

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Bookcase Start

 I started this project with the fabrics I had collected for the Cookbook section.  This is "Pies".  Partially because I found good fabric for this and also because it's a memorial for my dad.  He loved pies.  It was the cooking I perfected in my youth.

I learned a few things from this section.  1) I think there is too much height variation b/w the books.  In real life, I would have put the tall things and short things together.  2) Just b/c you have it doesn't mean you need to use it.  In retrospect, there is too much yellow/tan in this section for it to be interesting.  I added a few darker neutrals, but it could have used more.

I am much happier with the next section of "Entree" cookbooks.  Better color variation.  Retrospectively, a thin bit of solid with some contrast would make the others stand out more.  Concepts to remember for the next sections.

I rather like the jar of marmalade.  I'll improve the jar lid with quilting.

I like the tipped books.  But next time I will take the extra step to tip each one, not a duo.

So I moved on to the paperbacks section.  Selvage edges which I usually use to tie up tomatoes in the garden.  I cut them wide with a bit of the print remaining.  Sewed them onto a 3" black strip then cut into strips.

Sewed them together, making it a point to starch and trim to square up every 3-4 strips.  These are typically 1/8" seams to take advantage of the selvage prints.  Learning from previous mistakes, I kept all of these top distance variations w/i  1/2 inch, but more typically 1/4" variation from it's neighbor.

For beginner sewists (ROBIN), that narrow of a seam allowance is pretty tricky.

But I am super Happy Chuffed Psyched about how this turned out!
When I sewed the selvages to the black strip, I tried to make the most interesting bits show near the top.  The Chicken and Flower color dots are my favorite!

I am just winging it on this project, but have several friends who are doing this project at the same time, so I hope to keep giving insights and ideas so you don't have to make the same mistakes I do, and hopefully benefit from my happy results.

Monday, June 4, 2018

Destiny Finish

 Destiny is done! My sweet leftoversfor my dear friend Vicki.
 Machine quilted with my favorite square flowers with wine colored thread.
 And some green feathers outside.  Resulting in a very calm monochrome back that can be swapped out if the front feels too busy.  Love you sis.  Can't wait for this to be at your house.