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

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!

Needle Roll

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It’s finished!

I wanted to make a mini quilt (it’s about 11×18) to practice the quilting and binding steps before I quilt/bind Ezra’s quilt. It took me a few hours to sew on the binding, but I think it’ll be much easier the second time around. It turned out lovely, too. I think Tripp was really impressed! A few more photos:
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I made it into a needle roll for all the lovely bamboo needles Tripp got me for Christmas last year. He’s amazing.

Speaking of Tripp being amazing, he got a job today! We moved to Austin a month or so ago with hopes that he’d get hired at an entertainment company, and today they offered him the job! We are so jazzed! We’re going out to dinner this week to celebrate. Hoorah!

Now on to lunch and then…Ezra’s quilt is calling to me. 🙂

-K

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:
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Handkerchief:
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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

New Block on the Block

Here’s a sneak peek of…
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The first block in Ezra’s quilt! Ezra is 3 months old, he’s my friend Griselda’s first baby, and he’s so cute I want to cuddle him! Unfortunately, I live in Austin and Gris lives in L.A., so she asked me to make him a quilt. She specifically requested reds, browns, and whites to match his baby gear — I threw in a bit of blue because I thought it would offset the darker colors nicely. Here’s the whole block:
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I thought this would be a great time to use the wonky style log cabin blocks. It gives off a relaxed, creative, fun vibe — perfect for a little boy! What do you think?

On Tuesday, I bought some new yarn. It’s a bamboo blend, so it’s not only renewable, it’s also amazingly soft and is a gorgeous olive green.
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Bonus: Odie is super pumped about it!
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Tutorial for the hexagons is coming soon!

-K