Not perfect, but..

I’ve been doing a lot (a LOT) of hand piecing while saving up for a proper sewing machine. The list is as follows

1)The beginnings of a Little Folks voile pillow, which will be completed when I receive my new machine (it shipped today!). These are 1″ hexies:

2) a Little Folks hexagon quilt, which will likely reside in my living room, draped over the couch so it can be appreciated regularly (2″ hexies):

3) an Echino pillow, to match another project (more 1″ hexies)…

4) a patchwork quilt! The plan is for it to be queen sized. It’s made of 7″ squares, and it’s about 15%-20% done so far, entirely sewn by hand. It’s a mixture of Anna Maria Horner’s Good Folks, Etsuko Furuya’s Echino line, a bit of Heather Ross’ Far Far Away I (and who knows, maybe I’ll throw a bit of FFA2 in there, as well); also in the mix are lots of Kona solids (Raisin, Pomegranate, Daffodil, and Candy Green, to name a few)

I’m interrupting this post to point out how beautiful Austin can be:

…and lastly, two actual finished projects. A complete, albeit extremely imperfect, potholder (inspired, of course, by Ashley from FilmintheFridge, though hers are considerably neater):

…and a Little Folks fabric rosette, sewn to a bobby pin so that I can 1) feel a bit retro and 2) force everyone around me to appreciate Little Folks, and bring a bit more fabric appreciation into the world 🙂

I realized last week in a few conversations with coworkers that I *never* discuss sewing at work. It doesn’t really relate at all to what I do, and I work mostly with men (not that men don’t sew, but these men don’t). I had a few people ask me recently “so what are your hobbies?” and they seemed genuinely surprised when I told them I spend each weekend sewing. It made me laugh a bit, because most people (myself included, before a year or two ago) seem completely unaware of the modern quilting movement. I also noticed that I address the issue in a self-deprecating way, for some reason — my response to the hobby question is usually something along the lines of “I like to sew and quilt…yes, I’m an old woman stuck in a 24-year-old’s body, apparently, haha” which I really need to stop doing. I’m proud of myself for learning how to create useful objects that could quite possibly become treasured items. What’s wrong with making something that is both useful and beautiful? Nothing at all! That’s my new goal: to address those who ask in an informative, non-self-deprecating way.

Do you ever find yourself dismissing sewing and quilting, even though you love it?
-K

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Getting back in the groove

So I started my new job March 1, I love it. I can’t really talk much more about it, but I work with awesome people. Sooo much better than my previous job, in that I’m actually treated with respect. Weird how much of a difference a bit of respect can make.

I’ve made some recent purchases to start sewing again. Now that I’m working full time I have little time to sew, but lots of money to burn. Of course anyone who works full time feels my pain. I definitely make the most of those weekends!

Ashley over at Film in the Fridge had a giveaway for her two year blogoversary. I commented (there were literally THOUSANDS of comments!) and I was actually one of the lucky winners! I couldn’t believe it! If you’re ever looking for quilting inspiration, definitely check out Ashley’s site. Everything she makes is droolworthy. All of it is gorgeous, great use of color, and very modern meets traditional. What’s not to love? Anyway, here’s what I won:

A half yard bundle of Laurie Wisbrun’s Donkeys and Wellie’s line from Spoonflower! Woohoo!

Looking at that fabric got me thinking about all the fabrics I’ve been meaning to buy. So I went on a bit of a spree…*guilty face*

A FQ bundle of Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks Pastry Line, aka Dobby Dots (8 FQs, purchased from Fabricpalooza):

A FQ bundle of Anna Maria Horner’s Little Folks Line (29 FQs, also from Fabricpalooza):

Laurie Wisbrun’s newest line, Tufted Tweets (12 FQs, purchased from Sew Fresh Fabrics):

Joel Dewberry’s Modern Meadow in the Pond Palette (16 FQs, purchased from Hawthorne Threads):

Joel Dewberry’s entire line, Deer Valley, in FQs (45 FQs total, from Hawthorne Threads) (the photo below is just *one* colorway!):

(photo from http://justdandy.typepad.com/)

So yeah…quite an investment. I’m currently hand-piecing a queen size quilt for me and Tripp’s bed. I’m buying (another, more expensive) sewing machine in two weeks, one that can handle (finally!) quilting Ezra’s quilt. I think I can, I think I can…that thing is going to be a MAJOR achievement. Soon!

xoxo

K

Block Party!

Block Party is having a quilt along kick off giveaway! Check it out here and be sure to check out their blog while you’re at it — much inspiration to be had there!

Also, here’s a chance to win a thread catcher over at PoppyPrint. It’s adorable!

THIRDLY (wow, lots of giveaways!) there’s an awesome chance to win a quilt kit and other goodies over at Jaybird Quilts! Go check it out!

Practice makes…perfect?

Today I (finally!) got my even feed foot in the mail. For my fellow newbies or you non-quilters out there, an even feed foot, aka a walking foot, looks like this:

It’s kind of a huge and awkward version of a normal presser foot.

Every sewing machine has feed dogs, which run underneath the cloth as you work, and they keep the fabric moving away from you as you sew. The walking foot allows you to cover or lower the feed dogs and keeps the layers of quilting moving at the same speed; essentially, it allows you to quilt without the bottom layer becoming shifted during quilting (even though everything should be pinned down well in the first place).

I put off ordering an even feet foot until I was actually ready to finish a quilt, because they usually run about $30 and I didn’t want to buy one until I had a reason to need it. I found a good price on one, and it came in today, so I’ve been practicing. I threw together a doll sized quilt (which will actually serve as a needle roll for my knitting needles and crochet hook) out of the Hello Betty! charm pack I received last week. I have to say, the colors are amazing. Have a looksie:
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I have quilted it but I need to rip out some of the stitches. Stippling is much more difficult than it looks. I stippled for a while but decided straight lines would look better with simple patchwork.

I poured over this tutorial on Oh Fransson! but I don’t think her methods are meshing well with my setup. Oh well, you know what they say. Eventually my stippling, with much practice, will be…a bit better. Ha!

Any stippling tips for a newbie? Leave ’em in the comments!

-K

P.S. I think I’m going to go with the handkerchief corner style for my Land and Sea quilt. My piecing isn’t neat enough to do bento boxes quite yet.

Progress!

Today, I took a break from Ezra’s quilt to work on another that’s been in progress since June. Well, that’s when I bought the fabric, anyway…I wanted to use Heather Ross’ Mendocino line in a way that would show off the fabric but also be bright and fun. It was originally supposed to be a bento box quilt, but I’ve discovered the handkerchief style and now I can’t decide!

Which layout do you prefer?

Bento Box:
IMG_4697

Handkerchief:
IMG_4712

Let me know in the comments!

-K

Vroom! Rawr!

I’ve decided to name Ezra’s quilt “Vroom! Rawr!” because of the numerous dinosaurs, animals and vehicles sprinkled about. Of course, Ezra can refer to it however he’d like (when he learns to talk!), I just have to have a name in my head to distinguish it from other quilts.

A peek at the new blocks I’ve done:
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gotta love those lions!

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Tripp and I had dinner tonight with an old friend of his that he worked with all during college. I was really happy to finally meet Andrew and his wife, Jenny — they were so much fun. We had dinner at a local and deliciously authentic Mexican food place. Mmm…those chicken tacos are to die for!

Also, this weekend one of my good friends from college got engaged. Congrats, honey! (I don’t want to say her name because I don’t know who she’s told). Her fiance is super nice and he is definitely a lucky guy, because she is a gem. They’ll be an amazing couple.

Oh! I almost forgot…I got some new fabrics in today…
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A charm pack of Hello Betty! by Moda, in the retro colorway. I love it already. Look at those amazing teals, reds and greys.

More quilting tomorrow!
-K

Goals of all sorts

I am one of those people who’s always got ideas ideas ideas floating about my noggin. Yesterday, for example, I was looking for oil for my sewing machine and walked out with new fabric. Oops! I am finally beginning to realize that without a list of things I need I am nearly hopeless, unless I’ve got hours to wander about and remember everything.

In that spirit, I’ve decided to make a list of quilting and sewing techniques I’d like to try/various things I’d like to make.

(from comfortstitching)
1. Hexagons. They’re so cute, and everyone is using them lately. I’m liking them as decoration on simple items like moleskines, or just as an accent to a quilt, like Ashley at Film in the Fridge has done.

2. Circles. They seem like they’d be difficult to sew, but they look so nice!
Image from A Commonplace Life
(from A Commonplace Life)

3. Wonky log cabin style blocks. All the excess trimmed fabric can be made into hexagons! (Can you tell I despair over throwing away any scrap, no matter how small? And that I love hexagons?)

(for sale here)

4. I have a sudden urge to make a potholder today. I might just do that right now!

(for sale here)

There are many more goals of mine with quilting, but I’ll stick to these for now. Don’t want to get too ahead of myself!

-K