Monday, July 18, 2011

Quilting done (!)

Tire wisdom



Binding will come on the road trip.


Maybe later I'll explain what a pain the last night of quilting this was.

I'm not ready to talk about it yet.

Actually, I'm at work. But, more later.


Thursday, July 14, 2011


I say seam ripper, Tom says whatever.


I decided to leave the quilt as-is, got a little creative with getting enough fabric together for the backing and assembled the quilt sandwich last night after work.

I should have stopped there.

But I didn't.

I was all gung-ho about charging through this thing. To my credit, I did take the time to make a tiny sample quilt and test out the aesthetics of my proposed straight-line quilting approach. Yesterday I lamented my lack of free-motion skills, but I honestly thought the straight lines would look good here.

They looked good on the little sample. Really.

So I jumped in. And it looked OK. And then bad. And then awful. I figured that was just because it was late and I was tired. This normally happens (I think something stinks, go to bed and wake up in love with it all over).

Not this morning.

So I made the call. "Screw it," I declared to the dogs. We're going to start over.

I've never ripped quilting out of a quilt before. It sucks. It's slow.

But I am VERY glad I did.

Here's where we're at now.

Zig, then zag

These are the lines. They look awfuler in person.

Those lines look awfuler in real life

I made the switch for several reasons.

1) I feel like the lines forced you to follow the motion of the quilt, instead of just letting it exist. I think this quilt top has enough motion all by itself and needs a quilting pattern that is evenly distributed. That makes sense, right?

2) There is so much piecing, and I wanted to quilt over as much of it as possible for a solid construction.

3) The strip piecing is wonky, and the lines, which I tried to keep as straight as possible, looked horribly off.

4) It looked wrinkly, and like it would not wrinkle in a nice way when washed.

I tore out one line of quilting this morning, and it look about 15 minutes. So, uh, tonight's going to be long.

First, I'm going to fix myself a gin and tonic. Then I'm going to finish zigzagging the half I started this morning.

Then it's seam ripping until my eyes cross.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A real seam ripper

@#!%&*# -- I've used all my swears on this quilt.

I'll explain why later, because I'm at work right now.

But... PHOTOS!


It's from the Block Party book! Well, sort of. I ordered the book but it hasn't arrived yet. But I couldn't wait that long to get started.

The strip off to the side is for the backing.

I have NO idea how I'll quilt it. I bought painter's tape today in anticipation of some straight-lined sumthin-sumthin.

I wish I knew how to do free-motion meandering, because that'd come in handy here. It's a skill I wish I had a lot. I've tried, but I always end up overlapping after just a few inches. Some day. But not today. That would mean more swears.

Which would be bad, because I might pull out the seam ripper again when I get home tonight.

Here's the deal: When I was piecing the last row of this guy, I thought I was short a block. But I really wasn't. Instead of a complicated explanation, I present you with this:

Oh boo

It's embarrassing to admit how long it took me to figure this out. Like overnight plus a few hours. I was almost out the door, fabric-store bound to buy more Kona Ash (the lighter grey) to fix the problem and THAT was when I realized it wasn't a problem.

So it all worked out. Except it made the darker blocks dominant. And I'm not so sure I like that.

The quilt on the left doesn't exist yet (thanks, Microsoft Paint. I swear I'm way better when Photoshop is available), but I think I like it more than the one that does.


Bring it, seam ripper.

Thursday, July 7, 2011


Gulp. I don't qualify as in my mid-20s anymore, do I?

But being 27 means I now have, courtesy of the most wonderful boyfriend, a design wall!

I love it, love it, love it, love it. So much.

And look at this!

It is a HUGE Moleskine notebook. Just massive. With new colored and drawing pencils, too.

It was even wrapped by a kid at his office.

The best. He is.

So now I'm just here, at my desk (at work, shhhh) waiting to go home and play with all my new toys. For the first time since we've lived here, I'm excited to do laundry. Because once my fabric is washed, I can assemble my blocks and USE the design wall.

Blocks are coming from these. After some Googling, I learned that I'm making a Roman Stripe block. Who knew?


I'll REALLY need the design wall when I start on this quilt.

It's for someone I love who has: had a pet squirrel, loves Christmas, used to take me and my brother to her trailer at the beach to watch wales, took me to the county fair to see the piglets and planted roses like my grandma.

Hence the fabric choices. I've also made about 15,145 chocolate chip cookies with this person,, and there's one more fabric coming to represent that. And maybe some stars, if I can find a print I like. We watched shooting stars from her backyard every august.

It's for my Aunt Donna, who made for and gave to me what is probably one of the most-loved quilts ever made and given.


The quilt that's topped every bed I've had since 2002. See the roses?

My goal/plan is to get both of these quilts pieced and quilted so I can bind them during our drive to Oregon at the end of the month. The recipients will be in Oregon, so the pressure is on.

And, finally, I think the yellow:blue:white quilt is ready for its debut. Again, TOTALLY NOT MY OWN DESIGN. Total ripoff.

As you can see, I ran out of fabric. I need to add a yellow-white strip on the end of the yellow-white square rows. But here's the terrifying part: I also need to add a whole two more rows. This thing is already huge. And it will only get huger.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Little sewing projects

For a friend's baby. My first attempt at appliqué on a onesie.

I used a very lightweight interfacing on the back of the appliqué piece and also on the inside of the onesie. No fusible though.

I'm gifting these with the disclaimer that they're also my way of testing appliqué methods and may fall apart in a day.




For the business baby

And a burp cloth.

Burp cloth

New quilt, and some kitchen stuff

I did something this week. I started on a new quilt before finishing the last one.

It happened because I don't need to get the first one done before any set time. And I'm really excited about the second one. So excited I don't want to show much of it yet.

I don't name my quilts, but everything has to be called something. There was "Henry's quilt," "Mom's quilt," "bandanna quilt" and "Birthday Cake quilt" (a real, official name given by the pattern maker). This one is currently stuck with the cheesy "sunny quilt."

The reason for that will be obvious.

Love these colors

It is in NO WAY my own idea. Total rip-off of something I saw on Flickr. And since it's just for us, it doesn't matter. Plus, I came across the Ira Glass beginners pep talk and I feel like it's OK to just have good taste and copy what others create for a while.

I can be all improv and stuff with things I know. Like the baking/cooking world.

Good summer-ish produce is arriving. Not from our garden, and not from the farmers market. That starts at the END of July here. Really. In the last place we lived, at the top of the Divide, it started in May. But here, in the farm belt of Montana, it's basically August. Whatever.

But there are good, new meals to be had. I love eating something I never have before. Like these garlic sprigs.

This + two cups of Parmesan + some olive = wonderful pesto
Garlic sprigs

So good

We ate it with homemade egg noodles, and it didn't last long enough to take a photo
One of my favorite sights

Also in the kitchen, there were lemon cupcakes with blueberry frosting.

Just a basic cupcake recipe with lemon juice and zest. Frosting was a tub of blueberries, minus a few for decoration, cooked down, smashed and mixed with butter and powdered sugar.
Lemon cupcakes with blueberry frosting