Tuesday, January 31, 2012

One Block Wonder Finished

The kaleidoscope One Block Wonder is finished! I just flew through this project. It was so inspiring I just couldn't not work on it. Those snow days sure helped a lot too.

I know in all reality you've seen each and every piece of this quilt as it was basted, so the only real new item is the binding in white with little blue polka dots and the quilting.

I did a wave pattern on each diagonal through the quilt. The center is so busy I didn't think a crazy quilt design would really shine. With all of the spins and twists the center gave I wanted to keep true to the original design of the fabric and incorporate a really structured geometric shape. If you remember,the fabric itself had all these beautiful flowers and then all of these geo-shapes clustered in the background. I went with a simple grid pattern on the border of the quilt. It gives the eyes a place to settle-- the middle!

Whallah! All done! It took two movies to finish that binding. An afternoon well spent.

I am more and more in love with the backing. I have a tendency to overdo it when it comes to color (ask the hubby). It just seemed to fit so perfectly though and boy how! I LOVE it! 

So I finished the One Block Wonder! Now what? I am at a total loss for the next project. I have a feeling I will be digging out a quilt kit that has been set aside for two years. It is finally calling me.

Happy Crafting!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Snow Days, cont.

My snow day extravaganza continues! You'd think by now I was getting stir crazy and you wouldn't really be wrong. Being trapped in an apartment for two days straight (minus a quick romp in the snow) was getting to me. Especially because the hubby went in to work on Friday whereas my work had been postponed again. Alone with the cat I decided to knock out the one project I still had looming and finally had time to work on. Since I finished piecing all of my hexagons and couldn't move forward I turned to organization. 

I have this three drawer bin I keep all of my scraps in. I use them A LOT for small projects, like potholders, bag holders, lots of holders, apparently. Like any good quilter you just don't throw away fabric, of any size. Ok, I do toss selvedges that don't have any verbiage on them (I'm saving for a selvedge quilt). I also toss scraps so tiny you couldn't possibly do anything with them. What if I want to make a ticker tape quilt?! I'd be out of luck without those small pieces. Anyway, see the mess of fabric above? A few episodes of 30 Rock later, whallah, all folded and color coded. Reds and pinks, yellows and oranges, whites, multicolored, blacks and browns, blues, greens. 

And then they tucked away ever so nicely in the now organized storage bin. I do realize I am running out of space, but I'm trying not to think about it yet.

Any scraps that were too small to fold like a fat quarter (ticker tape sized) I placed in recycled containers of salsa or parmesean cheese. It's working for now but barely. You see the ricotta cheese container with blues? It's about to explode!

Now organized by color I had an idea! The old Christmas tree skirt got pulled out of the box this year and set aside to make room for the new skirt I made this year. Neti immediately fell in love. It's this big shaggy white fabric that looks like a polar bear was sacrificed and skinned. She LOVES it. So I cut out a big hunk of it and it's been sitting around. Neti monopolizes it during craft time.

With leftover stuffing from the elephants project and a ton of fabric scraps I just leafed through I decided to make a plush "little" cat bed for it using only scraps. Genius! I have a lot of colors that don't really look smashing together, so instead of doubling up on favorite fabric I went with planning by value. You can see below that first layout I made. By taking the picture in black and white you can get a better gist of the value of the fabric. Is it dark? Medium? Light? You can see in this first shot the value looks pretty well dispersed except for that one column, second from the right on the bottom. It just doesn't work. The fabric has the same value.

So I switched a few around and settled on this mix. I think it works.

So does the cat. Once I got it all sewn together she was mad at me for taking the fluffy white fabric to cut so she cuddled up in here.

Once sewn together and stuffed it is great! A big mix of all of my past projects being put to use. We don't spoil our cat (much). I kept all of my favorite fabrics for the edges since I knew those were the ones we'd be seeing all the time.

At first she was tentative. She recognized the white fluff as hers but was a bit unsure about its new form.

She was pretty easy to coaks on top.

And once on top of it, realizing it was hers, she spent the entire evening there!!

Waking up the next morning I found her still on her bed! Such a happy cat!

With three snow days under my belt and 95% of the snow melted by rain and 40 degree weather I ventured out of my cave to the fabric shop! The hubby tagged along and was super helpful in finding the fabric below for the hexagons.

I immediately went to cutting and basting the quilt. I can't wait to get started! 

I had a handful of hexagons left over from the front and found a way to piece them together for a strip across the backing. I am totally in to pieced backings. You usually have to cut down the fabric anyway to get enough to fit so why not embellish? I love the look. I"m also crazy about the hot pink and polka dots. 

For now it's just going to be some major time spent quilting. More pictures later! I have a feeling quilting is going to take awhile. I feel like I used my snow days well. My Bernina needs a breather!

Happy Crafting!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Snow Days!

I'm sure most of you have heard by now about all the crazy Seattle weather. Not only did it give me a chance to play in some snow but it gave me three days in a row off of work! Can you believe it? 2319 accidents says it all. Seattle is just not prepared for snow. No problem here though, three days off work and trapped in the apartment gave me three solid craft days! Let's get straight to it.

First off the cutest little hat! Look like a football? I hope so! I got a request from a coworker for a football knit cap after she saw a picture of one on a newborn decked out as a Seahawks fan. She is soon to have her own little Seahawks fan. Remember Baby F-M? It's been awhile, but more on that later...

And then the One Block Wonder. I finished all the piecing of the hexagons! Neti was with me through the entire process. I laid everything out on the floor to work through my finished look. I had some gorgeous teal pieces that I wanted centered, but I wanted it to look like it bled in from the bottom up to the center where the color pooled. Does that make sense? 

The piecing went pretty slowly, mostly because I couldn't keep straight which row I was on so instead of chaining (I had some confused moments) I had to do it one at a time, which increased my time, but I was able to be more exact.

Neti was so happy to have the hubby and I trapped at home during the snow/ice storm.

But she definitely caused some problems in keeping the growing quilt unwrinkled.

She super loves this quilt OR wants my attention.

The back looked crazy! I went through and trimmed all of the strings left over. I know with all of those seams quilting it is going to be tough.

Drumroll, please... TADAH!

I'm super proud of how it turned out. I can't wait to border it and get it quilted! But I'll have to venture out of the apartment to get that fabric. What do you think? Navy blue? Purple? Hunter Green? 

And finally the Baby F-M gift. Along with that cute football hat from above she has no idea she's getting these little add-on's. We have her baby shower at work this coming Friday and I can't wait to give her these!

Another little elephant. And a baby quilt similar to this one for Baby Baker. I actually had it finished awhile ago, as you can see by the finished border and quilting below. But the white quilting on the blue border just drove me crazy the longer I looked at it. So I sewed along the entire inside of the quilt and then seam ripped ALL of the border white out. It took forever and as you can see, my sweater took a beating.

But finally I finished! Quilted that border in blue and whallah! Done! And ready for the baby shower.

I made some matching booties and a hat and can't wait to give it to her! To be honest, I think this quilt turned out better than the Baby Baker quilt. The hubby says every quilt is practice for the next one so each one should get better. I guess he's right.

Today is day three of the snow days and that takes me straight in to the weekend! I have some other projects waiting in the wings if I can't get to the fabric store right away. I'll fill you in soon! This next one took some measuring of the cat. I'll leave you with that clue.

Happy Crafting!

Monday, January 9, 2012

One Block Wonder

With the new year it's back to weekends obsessing over new fabric and new projects. I think I've started out with a dousey.

While on Bainbridge Island last weekend, at Ester's Fabrics, I fell in love with the print you see above. I had promised the hubby a One Block Wonder after the start of the new year with all my Christmas projects behind us. Now, if he had been home and we'd been shopping for him this may have all turned out very differently. Of course, out with a girlfriend on my own, I fell in love with this fabric. But how could you not?! American-made and the concept originally hand painted this fabric is a gorgeous blend of florals and geometric shapes. I just couldn't pass up the color! Plus, it's a panel fabric, which is perfect for the One Block Wonder.

The minute I got home I threw it in the wash and ironed (BIG mistake by the way). Neti helped with the ironing process.

With the One Block Wonder you cut by the panel repeats. I layered six repeating panels "perfectly" on top of one another. My excitement in washing was soon squandered when I read you shouldn't wash the fabric prior because it has a hard time shaking out and aligning. Oops. See! I needed a practice run! Plus, I'm just making a lap size quilt, nothing huge.

Once you get the panels aligned, you cut them into strips, like you see above. Then each strip gets cut in to 60 degree triangles. I did all my cutting last weekend and started sewing the triangles together to make hexagons. It takes your gorgeous fabric and turns it in to a kaleidoscope effect. How gorgeous are these?!

When I was sewing with the Seattle Quilt Guild one Saturday past there was another girl about my age who was building one of these quilts. Knowing that the hubby wanted one I quickly asked if she'd learned any shortcuts and she had! See the safety pin keeping my two hexagon sides together? Well, that allows me, when I'm finished, to chain whole rows together as opposed to having to awkwardly sew whole hexagons together. Genius! So I followed suit.

While I was stationed at my sewing table going back and forth between machine and ironing board the hubby had brought in his moped IN TO THE LIVING ROOM! I was totally for it. It's cold outside and this gives us a chance to hang out while working on projects together. It's drained of all fuel, oil and everything. He pieced the engine together on the coffee table and began wiring for electrics.

The cat got quite the education in how a Peugeot works, and exhausted, ended up sleeping on a plush piece of fabric as I pieced hexagons.

It was an incredibly rewarding weekend of sewing. It's going to take awhile for me to get through these triangles. I'm kind of daunted by the thought of doing a king size quilt at this rate. Our little projecting family went to bed happy at the end of the weekend. And yes, the Peugeot is still in the middle of the living room.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year, Everyone! I had to check in and let you in on some Christmas awesome-ness. Yes. Awesome-ness. As you can see below there is a very happy baby. No, he's not mine, he's the recipient of his made-for-Liam baby quilt! That's baby Liam!

How adorable is he?!! You may remember this post on building the stacked coins quilt for him just after his birth. Now six months old he's able to enjoy it. I didn't actually get to see him in Virginia while the hubby and I were there for Christmas. I was sick over the holidays and time went so fast I didn't have the chance. I am so sad I didn't get to squeeze on him but I am happy to get all these pictures from his mom. Apparently he's enjoying his gift.

Here's a reminder of the front piecing, just in case you forgot. Sweet Little Liam has been spending his afternoons rolling around on the polka dot side of things, aka the backing. I'm in love with that side more too, I've gotta say. I think he looks great with it!

It's so awesome to see something I made get loved and used. It totally made my week to get these pictures. I was also asked how to clean it because he'd already... let's say... got super excited after a full meal. No worries, so glad he's loving to play on it.

I spent last Saturday on Bainbridge Island (le sigh) and FELL IN LOVE with some new fabric. I have now convinced the hubby to let me do a small, lap quilt "practice run" of the One Block Wonder pattern to make sure it's all good before making a king sized quilt for him. What a guy! Pictures soon, I have all my triangles cut and ready to sew!

Happy Crafting!