Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Digging into a UFO

The other day while I was working on a quilt for a Christmas gift, I tuned into Bonnie Hunter's quilt cam. What fun! I found out that she archives the episodes on her YouTube channel, so that weekend I loaded up another one while I finished quilting that project.

After that, I was inspired to dig out one of my quilt UFO's, which is one of my favorite Bonnie Hunter patterns, Crab Apples. This quilt I had designated for ME. I had completed the blocks and bought most of the setting fabrics, so I started putting the blocks into rows. I always underestimate the time this step will take. In my head, I sew a few seams and the quilt top magically appears. But no. There are cornerstones and sashig strips and it's easy to turn the little triangles around so they are facing the wrong way... Don't get me wrong, it's all fun, but what I think I'll finish in an afternoon usually turns into a couple of days. (Darn that pesky day job!)


I've decided on an olive-y green fabric for the inner border next to the checkerboard to compliment the trees, so I just have to cut and sew those strips on. Then I have to finish out the checkerboards (I made the quilt a bit bigger than the one in the book, so I'm adjusting). I haven't completely decided on the outer border. I had originally thought more of the pink, but that's not ringing my bell, and I don't think I have enough anyway. After trying several colors, I think I like red the best, but of course I don't have enough of the sashing red left, so I'll have to figure out when I can get to the quilt store next to match something up.


Monday, September 16, 2013

Choosing a new project

I just finished quilting (still hand stitching the binding down) a quilt for my daughter, and now it's time to begin thinking of something new for my young man. I've seen some blue and brown quilts floating around the blog world, and it seems this would be just the right combination for my teenager.

I saw this quilt on Pinterest, fell in love with it and immediately downloaded it. I thought the pink and brown could easily be switched out for blue and brown. The little scattered stars give it some interest, but it's still unfussy enough for a boy.


Then I started to figure out how I would resize it for a twin or an extra long twin (that he could take to college in a few years). First I mapped it out using the orignial 2 inch stars and immediately chickend out when I realized it would take 115 of the 2 inch stars for the first layout I had in mind.


Then I started over using 4 inch stars. This looks more doable at about 40 sawtooth stars. It might work, adding a couple of stars to each corner to even things out.



I then reconfigured it so the 4 inch stars were again represented by one grid sqare each. And I started to try to figure out the square-in-a-square border (represented here by triangles). I kept playing with the borders to find a number that would work to jump up to the outer border of larger squares. At one point the area inside the square-in-a-square border was so large, it didn't need the outer border.


But I really like the floating square-in-a-squares.Maybe with less space in between the sawtooth stars?



After a couple of hours of this, I'm thinking I just need to find something else for the young man and make this quilt as per the pattern directions. It would make a cute throw or baby quilt.


It's a good thing I have one more quilt in line that I'm sashing and adding borders to while I let this gel in my mind a little bit more.


Friday, September 13, 2013

Santa's Village Update

I continue to plug along on my Santa's Village project. I love how it is turning out, and I've been able to complete each one before I pick up the next pattern each month at my LNS. Hopefully I will be able to complete the last one with enough time to have it framed for the holiday season.





Sunday, September 8, 2013

iPad bag

If you stitch it, an idea will come.


Over the summer I stitched a couple of small cross stitch projects because I needed something portable: the bee from Blackbird Designs' Honeybee Hill and a parrot from Sampler and Antique Needlework Quarterly, Fall 2008. I had no idea what I was going to do with them, but I liked them.


Meanwhile, my iPad has become an essential tool at work. I take it to all my meetings. It's so convenient to be able to email people notes without transcribing them from a notepad. But it's a pain to juggle my iPad, phone and files from place to place.


So I decided to make a bag from my iPad. I took inspiration for the embroidery from Jardin reve, jardin brode by Cecile Franconie. This is the most gorgeous embroidery book I've ever seen. It's definitely worth the shipping price to order from Amazon France.


I combined the cross stitch with some batik 5" squares I've had forever. Unfortunately, it didn't put much of a dent in my baggie of squares. Many more projects in there.


It's hand quilted on one side with tatting thread that happened to be a good color, and machine quilted on the other. All of the lace on the parrot side is hand-dyed by me - more of my stash that was going unused.



I like carrying it around, and I like the fact that I made something usable instead of my work sitting around unfinished.