Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Quick neck pillow finish

Nothing too exciting, but I managed to make another one of those triangular/bone-shaped neck pillows.  Just in time for Sweetie to take it to her mother for a belated Mother's Day gift.

The Minky used was purchased to make Mom-in-law a full-size throw for her bed at Christmas.  So it seemed fitting to make her a matching pillow with some of the leftovers.  I hear tell she thinks its pretty comfy already.  (Still waiting on a picture of the pillow in action.)

Who do you make sewn gifts for?  What's your favorite compliment from a gift recipient?

Stash used: 3/8 yard (between the Minky and the home dec leopard/palm print)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Bed Sheet, Circa 1980

This is a sheet.  

Last seen in March 2015, when I started crocheting a rug with 1" strips torn from said sheet.

Size Q crochet hook
 Proud to say that I completed the rug!  Used up all of the focal sheet, plus a couple rounds from a cream-colored flannel sheet, and a bit of dark teal sheet as the outer border.

How big would you say this is?
 As I was working with the teal, I was determined to use as much of it as I could.  How to know which row would be my last?  I learned a trick from my sister about working with leftover bits of yarn.  So I tried it out...

I weighed the ball at the beginning of a row; it weighed 157 grams.

After one row of crochet border, it weighed 63 grams.  So, one round used 157-63=94 grams of "yarn".  And I didn't have another 94 grams left on the ball, so I called it done at that point.

Hope that the intended recipient likes it.  These rugs-from-sheets are pretty durable--I already have a couple in my house.  I encourage everyone to try one of these!

Friday, April 29, 2016

A Quilt in 17 Days

Seventeen days:

I still can't believe it, but I made a t-shirt quilt, start to finish, in just over two weeks.  Seventeen days, to be exact.  Whew!

This was a charity quilt, commissioned by the senior class of Mills College, to be auctioned off.  Money raised will go towards scholarships for incoming students next fall.

Class of 2016: class color is purple; school colors are blue & gold
My challenge, in volunteering to make the quilt, was to balance the need for speed and efficiency with my inner perfectionist's cries of not good enough.

Walking-foot quilting: minimalist

Things I am most proud of about this quilt:
Best use of a zip-front hoodie in a t-shirt quilt!
  • I finished it!   
  • I used my beginner FMQ skills to quilt the border, and didn't falter or grab for the seam ripper when the stitching there wasn't perfect.
  • My favorite "block" is the one incorporating the zip-front hoodie; I managed to keep a functional zipper, backing the block with a zany people print that gets exposure when the zipper is down.
  • I cut into some long-stashed fat quarters to enhance a few of the odd rectangle shapes.
  • I made two "reference" blocks (adding an M for Mills and the year 2016) with fusible applique; tried a new technique to stabilize them when doing the satin-stitch outlines.
  • I camouflaged an "oops" cut into part of the design by using more applique
  • I used my walking foot quilting skills, and some creativity, to minimally quilt each of the t-shirt blocks without going over the printing.
  • This is the largest quilt I've ever attempted to machine quilt myself.  (Proof that it can be done.)
  • I made a label--which I've done only once before, but know I should do every time.
  • Did I mention that I finished it in only 17 days!?!?
Tissue pattern paper as stabilizer

Stashed fabric enhancement
 So that's what I've been up to in April.  Auction was held: quilt sold for a decent price.  Lots of folks on campus praised my creativity and workmanship (which feels pretty good).  And it was a really good practice to stay on deadline, produce a quality finished item, and minimize the amount of time I spent obsessing over tiny details that no one would ever notice.

Creative camouflage of an "oops"

I don't know how other prolific quilters manage their blistering pace.  (You should see the deferred housework that has built up in the past couple weeks.)

What's your fastest finish?

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Ugly Fabric, Cute Block

2016 "ugly" fabric
My fave quilt shop in Oregon, Something to Crow About, is holding their Ugly Fabric block challenge yet again.

And they let me play along from afar!

Here is the fabric swatch they sent me...

What do you think?  My first thought was, "That's not ugly!"

Every year, the chosen fabric has a bit of brown to it: in 2013, it was a brownish pink on yellow; in 2014, a very orange-y brown melange; last year, browns with purple.  I see some echoes of brown-with-purple in this year's fabric... but the total effect is just so much more lovely.

I saw this paper-pieced sneaker pattern in a 2010 magazine I recently got from a friend.  I thought it was super-cute, and would be a way to highlight the fabric. 

What can I say... I am charmed with my own work!

How might you use this fabric in a block?  (Or even, how might you use it in a whole project or quilt?)

Monday, April 11, 2016

Guild Blocks

Keeping track of finishes, here are my completed BOM blocks for quilt guild for the past couple months.  My attendance at guild has been spotty (Saturdays are hard), so I have more of a backlog of blocks owed than just these two...

First up: Crowning Glory, directions available from Quilter's Cache.  Thought I was very clever to use TWO Y2K/millennium fabrics (the black and the white) from my stash with the purple solid here.  Wish I could say I used them up--but nah, not happening.

Next: Balkan Puzzle, again find directions at Quilter's Cache.  I really like the strong on-point square in this block, but it almost didn't show up: turns out that color placement really makes a difference here.  I originally had the orange and lighter maroon fabrics swapped.  Not the same block at all.  (Sorry I didn't take a picture, you'll have to trust me.)

I miss the regularity of BOM.  Guess I could just try and keep up, whether or not I go to guild that month, right?

Do you have a block-making schedule?

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Love those Hotel Carpets

Been traveling a bit lately, and thus I've come in contact with a fair amount of hotel carpeting.

Say what you will, but I saw inspiration in those crazy, loud carpets.

This color combination!

I just kept snapping pix, hotel after hotel.

Ahh, circles: my current favorite shape...

Couldn't stop myself: I love pattern. And color.

An abundance of eye candy. 

Aren't these the strangest souvenirs to bring back from my travels? 

Yep, yep, yep!

Monday, February 29, 2016

February "garment" finished

I pledged to try and make more garments this year.  Don't know if this one really counts, but I finished something I can wear!

Simplicity 1959 - a collection of hats made from fleece.  I made view D: a beret-like slouch hat with super-cute tucks around the band (shown in pink on the pattern envelope)

What a simple pattern! Two pattern pieces, and only two lines of instruction. The only tricky bit was sewing so very many tucks. I worried whether my seam allowances would be accurate enough to allow the finished product to fit my noggin.

The fabric is from my scrap bin: camouflage fleece that made a very comfy pair of pants back in 2012.  (Pants that still see regular rotation as loungewear at home.)

Happy to make something useful from scrap fabric.

Not sure about the camo, but fingers crossed
Of course, I want this garment mojo to keep going.  So far, two months into the year, and two completions.

I have so, so much fabric--Must. Keep. Going.