Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Just for a change...

I'm posting a finish that wasn't on my list of finish along goals.  It was a last minute thing that started with a phrase along the lines of "I sure hope I don't scratch the front of this e-reader while I'm travelling?" 

It turns out the the new Aura is just a smidgeon too big to fit in the Kobo Touch case.  And, since said trip was only a few hours away, there wasn't really time to go buy one of the flashy cases that are built for the Aura.  The only alternative was to make a cover.

So, after a quick rummage through my fabric collection (See, there is a reason why I just don't go out and buy fabric as I need it, I said.  I need a small stockpile for emergencies such as this.) and some time with a tape measure, and iron and my trusty sewing machine, I presented him with this.

I think that he was a bit worried that when I said I'd make him a case, it might look a bit girly, but he was pleased with this.  And he got some compliments on it, so I guess it's not too shabby after all.  These spontaneous projects can be so satisfying. 

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

2nd quarter finish number 4

I'm definitely on a roll here.  I can tick another project off my 2nd quarter list of goals.   This little tool kit is so cheery.  I just love the bright yellow and the pekako print. 

It's equally cheery on the inside, and there are lots of pockets of a variety of sizes on the inside--pleated ones on the left side and on the right side there are smaller pockets and a full-size one that I can use to keep notes. 

I'm looking forward to using this.

she can quilt

Sunday, 19 May 2013

2nd quarter finish number 3

This must be one of the oldest UFOs in existence.  It was on every finish along list in 2012, and while I left it off the first quarter list of 2013, I added it back on to my 2nd quarter list of goals.  I finished the quilt top some time in the late 1970s or early 80s.  Then it got lost in one of many moves and resurfaced last year.  It's not a brilliant piece of workmanship, so I was tempted to leave it "lost" but I just couldn't do it.

The large proportion of these fabric scraps came from my ex-husbands grandmother.  When she moved into a seniors facility at the age of 95, she gave me her giant bag of scraps.  I made a lot of things from these scraps, but sadly, very few remain.  They went into soft toys, bibs, place mats, pot holders, rag rugs, and the other assorted items a young mother needs.  I made two other scrap quilts in addition to this top.  The first is a double wedding ring quilt, entirely hand stitched and traditionally quilted in dense tiny stitches.  This was used so much that it is now in tatters.  The second quilt was taken by someone whose need must have been great, so hope that it is serving its purpose of keeping them warm.

That left this top.  I had to finish what is essentially a mini fabric museum. I had thought to take apart the blocks and add sashing, or even take the plates off the background since I really couldn't remember what I had used for background fabric.  Given my financial situation at the time, it won't have been anything special--probably a poly/cotton blend.  Then, I decided to finish as it was.  The first level of quilting lines were already marked.  I couldn't see myself quilting this in the same way as the double wedding ring, so I decided to keep the quilting to a minimum and make it colourful.  I used a variegated Auriful 30.  I would have liked to use a no 8 perle, but it was just too difficult to pull the thread through the fabric, so I went with the thinner Aurifil.  It looks very pretty on the white background fabric and on the lighter-coloured solid spokes, but not so much on the darker or patterned ones.

One of  my favourite parts of the quilt is the binding.  I think that I pulled out every fabric I had to find one that would work with this riot of relatively saturated fabrics, and I even cut and prepared one, but it just didn't work.  Finally, I settled on several fat quarters that I received in a grab bag and made a pieced binding that works with scraps in the quilt.

With its generous wool batting, it's perfect for these nights when a duvet is too warm, but a quilt isn't warm enough.  I'm using this as an extra layer on top of the quilt, and it's just right.  I'm very happy to have this one done.

she can quilt

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

2nd quarter Finish number 2

Well, these weren't done in time for Kid's Clothes Week, but I did finish them in this quarter, which was the primary goal.  There's no good reason for not finishing them sooner, since I already had the pattern pieces cut out when I added them to my list of planned 2nd quarter finishes
The pattern is Simplicity 5489, and the fabric is a very soft fine wale stretch corduroy.  A bit warm for the day we took the pictures, but we're back to our normal chilly damp, so the girls will still be able to get some wear out of them this spring.  And I expect that they'll still fit in the fall, since I planned a bit of "grow room".  Especially for Keira.  I'm expecting a growth spurt out of her any day now.  Elyse seems to have stopped growing quite so quickly. (Those are stickers she's slapped on all over, by the way, although she'd really like a real tattoo, or twenty. )  I wasn't sure about the yo-yo flowers, but the girls love them along with the binding "grass" and the perle cotton stems.  I could see making these with embroidered or appliqued birds running around the bias hem band.  Maybe next time. 

So, two down and a couple--well several--more to go

she can quilt

Saturday, 11 May 2013

2nd quarter finish number 1

When I started the second quarter of the finish-along, this is the progress that I had made on this quilt.  I thought that since the blocks were already sewn, it would be a quick finish.

It turned out that this was about half the number of blocks I needed to make a decent throw-sized  quilt.  The recipient is recuperating, and I wanted it to be large enough to cover him and ward off chills.  So, I made the extra blocks and arranged them all again, and it still wasn't right.  I wanted a rectangular quilt to accommodate his height, but it looked odd--as if the sides had been cut off.  I'm not fond of square quilts, but there wasn't an option here.  I needed those white pieces to meet on all four sides.  So, I made more blocks.

I used my walking foot to quilt around  the edges and through the center of each white section, then did some loopy free-motion quilting through the red sections.  Lots of turning and lots of thread ends to sew in, but it looked nice.  The binding didn't.  It disappeared against the red and made the white sections look oddly truncated.  Since I'd already trimmed off the excess backing and batting in order to sew on the binding, I used a quilt as you go technique to add white borders even though I prefer borderless quilts.  So, I ended up with a square, bordered quilt, and I have to admit that I really like it.

 I used a pieced backing and even though the quilt is square, from the back is appears to be rectangular.

I have to say that this is one of the cheeriest quilts that I've ever made.  I hope it helps the recipient to feel the same way.

So that's my first finish for the second quarter.  More on the way.

she can quilt