Monday, March 16, 2015

Three Small Finishes

There has been some sewing here. Some finishes, even! (And a lot of handsewing this week, pics to come.)

My husband recently asked that I make him something. Anything. He just wanted something handmade by me. How could I say no to that request? It's like when my four-almost-five-year-old asked me for a new quilt. A girl just can't say no. I decided to make my husband an iPad case using this tutorial. I used scraps from Fava's quilt and bound it in a print from B&C's Happy Go Lucky Line. The inside is the same print. It's a little wild for him, but he likes it and insists he's going to rock it everywhere.

The tutorial was okay. Steps were clear and easy to follow, and I liked the suggested diagonal stripes, so I went with that. I had stripes of differing widths, and I chose not to additionally quilt the final product since the QAYG should secure it well enough. (My husband thought QAYG was magic, and he listened to my description of how it works and then asked questions. Love that guy.) What I should have done was watch the entire tutorial video before starting, but I didn't. I'm the kind of girl who doesn't fully read a recipe until I'm actually in the throes of cooking. So far, everything has turned out well enough, so why wouldn't this? And it's fine, really. But what I didn't notice before I began is that there is no instruction for a closure on the case. You fold it over and let it be. But my husband needs a closure, so I handstitched velcro under the flap. I would have preferred to add a different type of closure earlier in the process, but it is what it is.

I finished this zippy bag, and I'm almost done with a near-matching friend. I used noodle-head's Gathered Clutch tutorial, which I've made before. This one was a lot easier though because I started with a taller piece of fabric for the front. Last time, I had to cut my pieces smaller than specified because the gathering made them go wild. Also, I have a lot more sewing experience under my belt now, and I was a relatively new sewist then, so I'm sure that had something to do with it as well. I used a metal zipper on this one--a first for me--and I'm quite happy with this little lovely.

Finally, my friend J's CHRISTMAS present. Yes, Christmas 2014. I KNOW. It's shameful. But it's done! I can't show the front just yet because I don't want John to see it before I actually give it to him. I'm partially through constructing S's gift, and then I only have ONE MORE late Christmas gift.

My mama is visiting for a few more days, and while we've already accomplished a lot, we still have tons to do! Hope y'all have a lovely Monday!

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Popping In.

I'm hoping to get a quick post in before an inevitable interruption claims my time. True story: with few exceptions, someone in my family has been ill at all times since just before Christmas. If I knew that that first round of flu would turn into this...well, I'm not sure what I would have done. Actually, it's probably better that I didn't know. As it is, all three of my kidlets are recovering from a nasty stomach bug, and I'm earnestly praying that I don't catch it.

There has been a bit of sewing. (This block is for Stash Bee, woo.) I've even managed a few tiny finishes. What I haven't managed is to blog about them. (OR celebrate my third blogiversary, which I fully intend to do. SOON.)

I like to finish one quilt per month, but that just might not be realistic for March. But I'd really like to have this one done. Actually, can I tell you my dream? I'd like to finish this one over the weekend. Top is done, backing is partially pieced, and I'm planning for really simple quilting. My mom will be in town. It's possible. It's a special quilt, or rather, it's a quilt that's headed to a special person, and it needs to be done pronto. But it might not happen, and I'm trying to be okay with that.

In the meantime, I've been handquilting this beast. As you can see, my lines aren't always very straight, as I'm not planning to mark it. But you know what, I think of all the quilts in the world, a gypsy wife quilt made of crazy saturated AMH fabrics will survive crooked lines and uneven stitches. I think it might even *add* to it. Is that completely crazy? I had hoped to finish this one too--the entry date for my local quilt show is looming at the end of March--but it would probably be a miracle.

And I've indulged in a bit of retail therapy. This is my favorite Tula line since Acacia, and I have plans that I'm pretty excited about.

And because spring equals kidlet birthdays in this house, I really really really need to finish up my oldest's new quilt. Because, you know, it was for those cold days in the car. And today will be over 60 (woo!) so he probably won't get any use out of it this winter, but at least it will be done. Thankfully, I finally managed to pick up some fabric to finish it.

The baby calls! I hope y'all are well. (And healthy!)

Friday, February 27, 2015

FF: The Ranch Quilt. Finished.

Back in December, I finished a quilt top for my niece, E, who was expected end of December/early January. It sat, untouched, until a couple of weeks ago, when I decided to just get it done.

The quilting had completely stumped me. How would I quilt it? What color thread? I considered a purple variegated and a lavender before finally settling on a gray that matched the background fabric. I considered a boxy FMQ stipple of sorts, a triangular/pointy stipple of sorts, echo quilting, straight lines radiating from the center, diagonal lines, a grid...and then I finally just put the quilt under the needle and stitched horizontal lines across each long strip. It wasn't anything complicated, and I had originally intended to go back and make the vertical lines to make a grid, but when I finished with the horizontal, I decided it was fine just as it was.

The backing is a large cut of this purple stars print that I picked up at my LQS, with a strip of purple scraps along the back. The back is much more plum than the blue-y purples of the front, but I like the contrast. I do not, however, like the stars fabric, as it did not behave well with my sewing machine. As Agatha is a rather undiscerning machine when it comes to what fabric she will sew, I'm fairly confident this fabric is just evil. Sure, Agatha is pretty snobby when it comes to thread--Italian all the way, baby!--but I've never had a problem with fabric. Then, as I was handstitching the binding, I encountered a lot more needle resistance than I usually do. I felt like I was stitching binding onto a batik backing! So something about this particular fabric was whack, and I was exceedingly glad to have this quilt finished.

I handstitched down this purple heart to serve as a label, and I am excited that Baby E will have her quilt soon.

While it's not exactly an original motif nowadays, I took my inspiration from an old bedspread and drew up the design. The cutting was a bit of a process, and I had to be careful when I was piecing to make sure I was on the right row, but it was pretty simple to piece, and I imagine I'll make this one again.

Finally, it's on my FAL list--finish four of nine--and it's my second quilt finish of the year, woo!

I'm linking up with TGIFF hosted this week by Persimon Dreams.

Friday, February 20, 2015

FF: Gypsy Wife Quilt Top Done!

I feel like this post should alternatively be called OMG, I finished this freaking beast, let's have a party! Better yet, a fiesta. (Because that sounds even more exciting.)

My Gypsy Wife Quilt top is done. Finished. Finito. And NONE too soon. Made primarily of AnnaMaria Horner fabrics from her Dowry and True Colors lines, it was an act of love to get this bad boy to the flimsy state. (There are also a handful of solids, mostly Kona, some shot cottons, a few Juliana Horner prints, a C + S print from their basics line, some DS, and maybe a few others that I can't identify right now.)

This is maybe my favorite part of the entire quilt. I love this fussy cut rose nestled inside of pink polka dots with a bright mustard shot cotton border. Some of my favorite quilty business right there.

I also adore this block. Also fussy cut. Which leads me to believe I should have done more fussy cutting, but I needed to make sure I had enough fabric, so fussy cutting was a matter of coincidence and luck, not specific planning.

This is my least fave part of the quilt. One of the downsides to the construction is that you make a ton of scrappy blocks first. Then assemble ten sections, which theoretically yields a super scrappy quilt. I made sure to make my blocks super diverse and scrappy, but I still wound up with this corner of blue and green madness. The same navy fabric and the same green kona in all. three. blocks. But there is no way in all that is good and wonderful that I am remaking them. Nope. What's done is DONE.

Overall, though. I'm pleased with it. I wasn't sure during the final assembly, but my heart gets happy when I catch a glimpse of it, so that's a pretty good sign of love, right?

I'm planning to handquilt it with perl cotton, which is maybe a crazy idea, but yet, it seems the way to go with this quilt. Never mind that I've never handquilted something so large. Never mind that it will extend this quilt's production even further. Never mind that I might not know what I'm doing at all. Since I first saw the pattern, I envisioned AMH and handquilting. (And I'm not the only one! I'm trying not to let Nicole of Snips Snippets's AMH version totally intimidate me with its awesome handquilting.)

And when she's done, and I'm snuggled up underneath her on my couch--or more accurately, one of my kids has stolen it from me and is snuggled up watching Octonauts--it will probably all be worth it.


I'm linking up today with Shelley at The Carpenter's Daughter Who Quilts for TGIFF because OMG, I'm not sure I've ever had a finish for which I've been more thankful.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

GW Progress, Part 2.

I never did make it to the fabric store. Maybe this weekend? But my week was full of Gypsy Wife progress, and since I'm pretty sure I'll throw this quilt in a fire if I pause and think about working on something else, I'm trying to forge ahead.

In lieu of a design wall, I've been using my design floor, which I unfortunately share with my kidlets. More than one construction truck has driven over my WIP in the last few days.

See that short pink piece? I cut it an inch too long (as there was no measurement for it in the pattern and I was guessing) and of course I guessed wrong and OMG. It meant ripping out a bunch of seams, including some gorgeous partial seams. I'm trying to tell myself that it just means I got to practice partial seams so that I can be totally wicked awesome at them, but a small part of me was like, "Don't you make me do those again!" (Note, I should have referred to the errata that Jen Kingwell posted to see if she had the measurements posted, but I didn't. My bad.)

Auditioning fabric for more strips. I've been cutting and piecing in sets of 3-5 depending on what works best with the pattern. It seems to work for me. If you're familiar with the pattern, you might notice my substitute block. I didn't have a filler block for that piece, and I didn't think I could make one more square in a square, so I made my own. I don't like it as much. I wish I had just made a square in square. But I'm not fixing it. Nope. It's staying AS IS.

More strips.

And more. As my quilt has grown, it's gotten more difficult to keep my kids from touching it. All the more reason to hurry up and finish it! I'm a bit further along than this picture shows, and I've got fabric cut for my next five strips. I think I'm about halfway through? I waver between really liking it and worrying that I don't. I really think I'll have to see the full top before making that judgment. But that's not terribly uncommon for most of my projects, so hopefully this one will turn in my favor.

Dear GW Quilt, 
I will rock your face off. 
Love, Audrey

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Gypsy Wife Progress

I'm slowly plugging away at my 2015 Q1 FAL list. Three of my nine goals are finished, and five are stalled because I need various fabric/thread/batting needs. I promised myself I would purchase those things this past weekend. (Oops.)

That leaves me with my Gypsy Wife quilt.

I have finished quite a big chunk of the blocks, but peeps familiar with the pattern will know that the final assembly of the blocks and the twelve kajillion little strips isn't something to take lightly. I will tell you though, I'm almost looking forward to the Y-seams and intricate piecing after the twelve kajillion square in square blocks and the measurements to 1/8"!

This block took four or five or twenty times longer that I felt it should. 16 HST units. It's not like HSTs are something I have never seen before, and yet...

This one also took a chunk of time, but that was to be expected. I think I counted 41 pieces of fabric in this 8.5" unfinished block?

And the filler blocks. OH, the filler blocks. If I'm counting correctly, I think I have three more big blocks left, and twelve more filler blocks. *sigh* And then I have to start cutting strips, and I have no idea what to do for that. I really really hope this quilt is as amazing as I had hoped. It will definitely be the most intricate (and scrappiest) quilt I've pieced.

I am 98% sure I will not finish this before the end of March, and I'm 98% sure I won't have my Tula Pink City Sampler quilt done either, but I am happy that I worked on both projects and pushed them farther along towards completion.

How is your FAL list coming along?

Friday, January 30, 2015

FF: Another 241 Tote.

We've discussed my feelings about the 241 tote. I made two in 2014 and have made two (so far) this year. There will be at least one, maybe two more this year. I love this pattern!

This one had to be extra special because it was for an extra special person! I used some leftover shot cotton scraps from my Tessellated Leaves baby quilt, and I paired them with the trees batik I used on the back of the same quilt. I made another adjustable strap using navy cotton webbing and mailed it off. This is finish #3 from my Q1 FAL list.

I thought it would be fun to take a look at all four that I've made, side by side, so to speak. (I love them ALL.)

And because it was not only Christmas time, but my friend also has a December birthday, I made her this mini and sent her a couple extra goodies as well.

Believe it or not, I'm still not done with belated Christmas/birthday gifts. One day, I will be done! :) 

Hope you're having an awesome Friday! I'm linking up today with TGIFF hosted by Leanne at Devoted Quilter. 


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