Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sewing again!

Nothing screws with your sewing time like starting a new job. And moving to a new town for that job.

Things were (still are, actually) in boxes and belongings were split between apartments.

But now life is settling into place (and my sewing table is back!)

Here's what I'm working on:

This baby quilt, from a fat-quarter bundle from Fabricworm. There's some Bella by Lotta Jansdotter and some organic fabric, Mod Basics by jay-cyn designs for Birch Fabrics.


I started by fussy cutting the Bella tree print and building log cabin blocks. Then I filled in the space with random bits of fabric.

This top is small -- about 40 by 40 inches. I've got some grey dots and leftovers from the fat quarters for the back.


I've been doing paper piecing the last few nights.

When I get home from work, I'm pretty fried and not feeling creative at all. The by-the-numbers feel of paper piecing is just what my brain needs.


The print is a Denyse Schmidt one I found at JoAnn and the background is Kona Bone.


I spent a fair amount of time at the Butte house during the move (doing prep for a new tenant).

Tom, Chowder, house, Butte


On one of my million drives from the old town to the new one, I got a killer old Hudson Bay point blanket for half off at an antique shop that was closing.



I did sneak in a quick iPad sleeve.



During the move, I was without my beloved sewing table for weeks! I set up my machine on the old post office desk I used when I first started sewing, and I can't believe I ever used that setup.

But now, the big guy is back!

(There's more on the walls now ... I promise)

My new place is small. REALLY tiny. I've lived in small places (about 800 square feet) since I got out of college. And those never seemed that small to me.

But this place is 600 square feet, tops. Maybe 500.

At first, I planned on renting a small office for my sewing stuff. But I do most of my sewing late at night, and decided that -- if the table would fit in my house -- that was the best place for it.

It takes up most of the living room, but that's OK. :)


And now, the standard cute-dog shots.




Friday, September 14, 2012

Something new, sort of

Not that wonky log-cabin blocks are new turf around here. :)


It might be a little bit crazy.


I started with a Fabric Fiesta Blogger's Bundle from Pink Castle Fabrics, with 12 fat quarters.

I was worried about having enough fabric, so I'm mixing in some of what I have on-hand (those bikes). But now I'm worried about it being too busy (those bikes) ... I'll have keep putting squares up on the design board as I go to check how it all looks.


Rough life.




Holy shallow river.



I scored this old Cosco step stool/chair at an estate sale on Thursday. And a little bowl that goes with another old one I already have.


I plan on covering the stool with some beautiful Anna Maria Horner Field Study Laminated Cotton. I ordered it yesterday and am trying to be patient while it gets delivered.

I think I'll spruce up the chrome with some Rustoleum spray and make steps and brown parts orange, also with Rustoleum!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A jacket for a little guy!

I've been sewing, but not sharing any of it.

I traveled north and west recently and crashed with friends who have the cutest little guy ever. They've been nice enough to put me up several times this summer, so I wanted to reciprocate their kindness with a sewn gift for their kiddo. And I really, really, really wanted to sew a little-kid jacket.


The pattern is School Days Jacket by Oliver+S. I have the Little Things to Sew book, so I was familiar with their patterns and how well-written and easy to follow they are.

The outer fabric is wool that I bought for probably $4 a yard at the Knittn Kitten in Portland two summers ago and have been hoarding ever since. I'm so glad I saved it for this project. I was nervous about sewing with wool (all I've used it for is to sew a stuffed fish ... how very Montana of me). But it was awesome to work with.

I used my walking foot for the whole thing, and had no problems. The lining is an organic sherpa by Robert Kaufman that I can't find online anywhere. I got it at the quilt store in Bozeman for half off, so all in this jacket probably cost $15. And I had all the materials on-hand, except the leather button loops and buttons.



I seriously love sewing clothes for little kids. It doesn't take long (I taped together and traced the pattern onto freezer paper one night after work and sewed the whole thing the next day) and the payoff is awesome. I still get amazed every time when I follow a pattern and it turns out to be a real coat or pair of pants or whatever. It's like magic. :)

The little guy it's for loves bikes, so I added a patch of bike fabric. He LOVED it. He turns 2 in February and I made the 18-24 months size. It fit perfectly and looks like it'll last through winter.



I hectically finished a baby quilt recently, too.


First time using a flannel back, and it went great.


I love corners.

My friend made half the blocks, and I made the other half and quilted and bound it.


Wrapped up



And now, the usual dog shots. :)

Pup and quilts

Buddies ...


Chowder and her friend

Sunday, June 10, 2012

My quilt

It's been a seriously brutal last two months.

The big quilt on my bed and its owner moved out.

It sucked. No other way to put it.

The day it happened, I started cutting into my Denyse Schmidt fabric. I had a clear plan: to make a bed-size quilt for myself.

Part of the idea was to keep myself busy and to not stop doing the things I love.

It was important for me to fill the void by making something to replace that quilt and not buying something. And it feels like a new step -- to have something on the bed that was made just for me, by me, not something created with someone else's preferences in mind.

So here it is:

The front.

Wonky log cabins


The back.

Wonky log cabins

It's always windy when it's time to take quilt photos.


I started with quarter-yards of most of the fabric on the front. There were about 12 different prints.

I bought a few quarter- and half-yards for the back, and then pulled from my stash (the swans and orange). My favorite fabric in the whole thing might be that green floral in the center. The back is basically just a big log-cabin block.

The quilting is all straight-line, with some variation in horizontal and vertical.


The dogs sure seem to like it. They sleep on the bed with me, which is starting to make me rethink my preference for white and light-colored quilts. Good thing quilts are washable!



Wonky log cabins

I love it too.

Wonky log cabins

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Help with the binding

Yup. "Help."




In their defense, all the other soft places to lie down were in the washing machine or otherwise occupied.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A wrinkly quilt top!

It wasn't wrinkly, but the first time I went to take a photo of it, the wind came up. It wasn't windy all day ... until the second I put the damn quilt on the ground. So I rolled it up haphazardly and left it on the table for later. Hence the wrinkles.


I went outside over my dinner break with the top and four cans (two of beans, two of tomatoes) to hold down the edges and get a photo, but the wind had died down by then. So I was just the crazy girl outside with lots of fabric and cans of things.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Lately ...

We've been doing a lot of this:


Things have been generally crappy. But at least there's quilting.

I've been working on these blocks:


Totally wonky log cabins.


Make with various prints from two (I think ...) Denyse Schmidt collections at JoAnn. The bolt ends just say DS Quilts, and so do the selvedges, but the receipt I looked at the other day said something about Aunt Edna and maybe Sugar Creek?


The pieced part of the blocks vary in size. I'm going to frame each in white to make them all 18.5 inches, of 18 inches finished. At this point, I think the final layout will be 4 by 5, or a quilt that's 72 by 90 inches. It might end up square at 90 by 90. Who knows.

I've been thinking about quilting ideas, and first considered a loop-d-loop, but I think I'm going to go with vertical straight lines, equally spaced. I have one quilt on my bed like that, and I love the drape. Plus I like how those kind of lines look over so much negative space.


The garden plot got all gardened:


These guys were already there. A good sign?



Old buddy ...


It is baseball season, after all.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Half-square triangles finish

It's done.


And I'm linking up to the Festival of Half-Square Triangles over at Canoe Ridge Creations. I'm so glad the festival was happening, because I needed some serious motivation to finish this quilt.

These aren't the colors I'd normally use, but this quilt is for someone else to give as a gift for a new baby. So they picked the fabric from a fat-quarter pack at Fabricworm.

I took a long time deciding what sort of quilt to make from the fat quarters. I wanted to feature the animals from the Urban Chiks Hullabaloo Zoology print, but I didn't want big blocks. So half-square triangles it was. I like how you can see snippets of the animals peeking out.

I cut charm squares (5-inch) from the fat quarters, and then divided the fabric into a blue-yellow pile and a pinkish pile. I then paired up squares (one from each pile) and sewed two lines just off the middle and cut each in half. Like this. I used a Clover Hera marker to mark the lines and it worked great.

I trimmed each finished block down to 4.5 inches to make it extra accurate. It was a lot of trimming, but worth it. There are 121 squares on the front, and all the leftovers on the back.

It took me several days to pick out the backing and binding fabric. When I work with colors and fabric I wouldn't normally use, I lose all instinct for making choices.


As hard as picking backing and binding fabric was, the quilting was a breeze. I think I spent longer trying to decide how to quilt it than the actual quilting. It's a good feeling when you can do something that use to be so hard with a measure of ease. It's not perfect, but it's much better than the results from the hours I spent on my first quilt.

I went with an all-over free-motion pattern. I like the drape it gives the quilt, and (I have no idea if this theory is legit) it seems like this type of quilting will hold all those seams down.

When I make a quilt, I want it to last a lifetime, but that thought is especially true for baby quilts. I think of all the blankets and quilts I've drug around my whole life, and I hope that what I'm making gets packed up for college in 18 years. Or something like that ... you get the idea.





I ran off to Butte this weekend for a much-needed escape and tried to get a cool photo there, but it just didn't pan out.


I sure miss that town.

Throw a quilt down on the floor and dogs will emerge. It works 100 percent of the time.

Tom checks it out

Pup paws