Sunday, April 28, 2013

I need a bigger design wall

I had a god day sewing yesterday. Today not so much. Back to yesterday - in between the never ending story of organizing fabric and all the rest I managed to finish all 14 strips of my italian quilt. I started out hanging them neatly side by side, but soon realized that there was not enough room, so I had to overlap them. Still, you get a good impression of what it will look like and I must admit I like what I see. The colours are warm and mellow with just a bit of azure and green thrown in to set the warm colours off. Yes, this is my idea of Italy all right. And now I have the strips hanging there in the right order until I get time to sew them together.
Today I got the bright idea that I should layer my xplus-quilt and do a bit of quilting on my numbers quilt instead, but I was just not into it. I got the xplus layered with batting and backing all right, so I can start quilting whenever. I also sorted the fabrics for backing on the italian and found a perfect backing fabric for the Valori charms quilt. By the time I got around to the quilting part I suppose I was too tired. I had thought that I might finish the quilting today (I have already done some of it), but it was just not happening. I didn't get into the flow and wasn't all that happy with my results, so I called it a day and went and made some oven baked spring rolls instead. Delicious, if I may say so myself. The ones I didn't eat are in the freezer, so no photos, sorry. I enjoyed making them and will make another batch with a different filling soon, I think. These were with ground pork, carrots, cabbage and spinach. Next time I will try a recipe I vaguely remember with crab meat if only I can find it (or make something up). Baking them in the oven worked really well too - I just brushed them with oil and baked them at high heat for 15 min. They came out nice and crispy. Mmmm.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Scooting along

Sorry, couldn't resist that title...
I just had to show you the 3 zipper pouch I made for my niece's birthday. She turned 17 last week and has been getting about on a scooter this past year. When I found this scooter fabric from Monaluna, I knew right away that I needed to make something for her, and why not another pouch - they are quite addictive...
Because of the directional fabric, I needed to add a seam at the bottom, but unfortunately I miscalculated. I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't notice until I turned it inside out that the seam ended up 1/4" up on the front. Pulling the whole thing apart to amend it wasn't an option at that stage, so I added tiny box corners instead, giving the pouch a narrow bottom - it looked as if I had planned it that way and I was in fact complimented on that. So I'm not telling ;-)
The young lady herself had one comment: "cool" - and that's about the highest praise you can get from a 17-year old, isn't it!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

On the wall today

I have been so good at working on my UFOs lately that I thought I might end up with too few of them.

I bet that's an excuse you've never heard before for starting a new quilt! Well, actually, it's more about not being able to stop myself. I have two quilts layered and ready for quilting, one finished top and backing prepared and two quilts I'm piecing, with a third waiting in the wings for the design wall to become available - that's April for you!
After cold winter months with very little going on, my creative spirit seems to unfurl itself like the buds of the crocus on the lawn outside. Suddenly the day has too few hours and my mind can't find rest - there are just so many quilts I need to make!

This one is based on a charm pack of Valorie Wells' Novella. I'm joining them with pieces of robin's egg blue and that wonderful text fabric from Madrona Road. I have used almost all of it now, and will be sad to see it go. Maybe I should get another yard, just in case...? The sashing will be a light grey. I'm still working on the details, but my mind has gone on to the quilting. I find quilting designs whirling through my mind while trying to sleep and my pen doodling furiously in the margins of my notebook during meetings at work - I think I'll have it all worked out by the time I finish the top, so I'll be ready to quilt right away - if I don't start piecing a new top first...

Such fun!

Monday, April 15, 2013

Finish-A-Long Q2

I managed to finish three things on my list during the first quarter, and start some new things, of course... While uploading pictures for this post I started thinking I might be overly ambitious, but why not? It's not as if I'll be punished if I don't finish them all, is it? I've been on a roll these last couple of days, so let's see if I can keep it up!
I've cut all the pieces for my Dreaming og Italy quilt and stitched all the fourpatches so now it's time to get it up on the design wall and start playing with the placement.
My xplus quilt top is finished and I've got the back and batting sorted. I should be able to finish the quilting during Q2.
I have all the pieces cut out for this one as well, so it will be next on the design wall.
Next in line - although it should have been first, since it has been ready for stitching the longest, but I will get there!

This one and the next one are both layered and ready for quilting.

Six quilts. That's doable, isn't it? Some of them are quite large, and I know I tend to procrastinate between finished top and quilting, but the promise of spring has made me quite motivated, so I believe I can do it. Let's get started!
See the rest of the entries here!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I've got my work cut out for me...

Sorry, I just can't resist those bad puns! And it's not accurate either, because I'm the one who has been doing all the cutting. The thing is that fabric has accumulated (don't know how that happens...) and I really need to do a bit of sewing  to create space for it all - I have such big problems, don't I?

The thing is that I am great at making plans, but it takes more of an effort to actually do something about them, so I have come up with a new plan: I am making my own kits. The idea is that if I have all the pieces cut out it will be easier to grab a few minutes here and there and sew some pieces together, and voila, we have progress! We will see how it goes. I actually managed to prepare two such kits for myself yesterday.

 The first one is based on this Novella charm pack by Valorie Wells. The quilt is a simple one, as you can see above - the EQ sketch doesn't show the actual fabrics, but gives an idea of what it will look like. I have added a text fabric from Madrona road and some solids in light grey and robin's egg blue. I think it might work.

The next one is my "Dreaming of Italy" quilt. I have a selection of fabric that reminds me of Italy: terracotta, tiles, mosaics, vines, flowers, postcards - lots of warm colours set off by the azure blue of the sea. The EQ sketch gives the overall layout, but I'm going for a more random placement in the actual quilt.
I fell for this bundle of fabric on a recent shopping trip, but I don't really know what to do with it. Maybe a jumble of coloured squares in different sizes a la Kaffe Fassett? A checkerboard style quilt with solid white or grey? Or something entirely different? Any suggestions?

At least I have a few things to stitch while I'm mulling over this one.

Saturday, April 06, 2013

2013 Finish-a-long Q1

I joined the Finish-A-Long with quite an optimistic attitude, and listed 8 different projects. So how did I do? Well I finished 3 of them. I must add that I also started some other projects and even finished some of them, so I have not been completely idle, LOL.
 Number 1 is my Christmas table runner, blogged about here.
 Number 2 is my Hometown Ripple bag, blogged about here.
And finally number 3, finished last night: my Bella X quilt, blogged about here.
I am well on the way with the quilting on the Numbers quilt and the Garden quilt is also ready for quilting, so I might just have something to enter for the next round!

Bella X - tada!

I finally got round to quilting this. The top was finished some weeks ago, but it needed a little rest before I continued... This quilt was made from the tutorial at Stitchery Dickory Dock and was really fun to make. The blocks are quite big and don't really take long to stitch, if you don't spend too much time dithering about and admiring what you have done so far, the way I tend to do, or avoiding the sewing room altogether because it is to cold...
I used my selection of fabric from Lotta Jansdotter's line Bella, and added some from my stash. I like the grid that the crosses create and find that it adds some depth and interest to the design.
I quilted lines along the grid and filled in the areas in between with a loose stipple to keep it soft and make it drape well, because I want to use this as a tablecloth.
The white fabric behand the crosses is the text print from the Madrona Road line, and to echo this I used that text fabric from IKEA for the backing (again). Finished size is 42x42". The colours are a bit brighter than they look in these pictures - I woke up to a blizzard today and it is a bit darker than it should be if the calendar is anything to go by, sigh. Oh, Spring where are you?