Wednesday, December 26, 2012

I went shopping...

I went shopping at Intown Quilters, the quilt shop near my extended family in Atlanta. I've been doing more and more color experimentation lately, and today's shopping exemplified that (THANKS, MOM!).

The top 4 bolts will become a HST quilt of some sort - there are SO MANY patterns out there that sneakily use HSTs to make something incredibly complex. Thanks to Pinterest and Flickr, there are lots of inspiration quilts, and I'll probably go through 4 or 5 iterations before I choose my final design.

The bottom two bolts which are much harder to see in this picture are stash builders. I've realized that I have very few reds and pinks in my stash. That clearly needed to be remedied.  It's also surprising since I really like red and white together, and red/white/black combinations.

Anyways, I won't be back with my sewing machine until the evening of January 2nd, and then I start major studying for the Nursing Licensure Exam (NCLEX), so I'll keep planning out quilts in my head. I'm sure I'll piece as a destressing tool leading up to the exam, but most of my time will be spent at school or Starbucks up until mid January. 

Monday, December 24, 2012

See you in the New Year

I'm on my way to Atlanta and DC for the next 9 days. I'm sure I'll take a field trip to Intown Quilters in Atlanta, but otherwise no project work for me until I'm back in Boston.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Bound and About to be Gifted.

Since I'm leaving town on the 24th, and I'm seeing A tonight, the yellow/green helix quilt is going to its new owner this evening. This past week of studying for an hour-ish a day, going running, and quilting has been great, but that's ending soon with traveling to Atlanta and DC for the holidays then full on hobbit hole hiding while studying for the boards once I get back to Boston.

Quilt Stats:
Top: Riley Blake Cotton Stars in Green and Yellow, Robert Kaufman Kona Coal
Backing: Minky Dimple Dot in Oatmeal
Quilted: Meandering loops & double loops inside the green and yellow areas with Aurifil 50

 I took the quilt outside my apartment, the wind picked up that corner. The light sucks, but it's winter, and I didn't finish before 3pm, so c'est la vie. 

 The binding is pieced from the yellow and green star fabric. I still have just under half a yard of each of those left. I also have it in gray, so I see something with the green/yellow as accents to the gray stars. 

This is to show the Minky Dimple Dot in Oatmeal. 

Rolled up and ready to be gifted. Especially key that it's easy to carry since I'm taking the T to dinner tonight since it's in an area of Boston with limited parking (oh wait, that's all of Boston). 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

More Free Motion - Double Loops

Today was quilting day on the green and yellow helix quilt. I'm on a kick for backing with the minky I got a few months ago when it was on mega sale on (it was only $8/yard and normally it's $11-13). Since it's 60" wide, it's whole cloth backing which makes my life a lot easier. And I'm also in love with spray basting, so it's super quick with whole cloth and spray basting to get a top and a back ready to go. I fully assembled the center area of the quilt this morning. I had already gotten all the rows joined, but then I had to join the rows vertically. I did it in sections of 4 rows at a time, then connected each of those three sections to get this - my points matched up quite well, so I was pleased when everything was fully joined how crisp the corners were.

This is fully quilted, so the fact that it's not laying flat is okay, because I was just being a little lazy in smoothing it out. There aren't any puckers on it. The gray areas are just regular meandering loops. The quilt is 60" x 70" - perfect for sitting on the couch.  

The green and yellow helix parts have double loops for their quilting. And I did it continuously within each color. It was easier to handle that way.  This was a new free motion pattern for me; I have the book Beginner's Guide to Gree Motion Quilting by Natalia Bonner, and it's fantastic for learning the basics, and this is one of those patterns. 

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Working on a Present

I have been working on a quilt for the past week with all the blocks made and ready to be assembled. It's a Christmas present/thank you for listening to me complain about nursing school for the last year and a half present. I'm making this one right now and a second one will be made in January for the other good buddy (these guys are also on my rowing team, but we go out as a trio off the water quite frequently). These are for two of my close friends in Boston. The first one is a pattern I've been itching to try. It reminds me of DNA and I'm making for someone who is a Post Doc in infectious diseases and immunology. He works in a lab and actually discovered a new strain of the disease he's researching. So this pattern just made sense to me for him. Also, his high school and undergrad university have the same colors, so I used those as the basis for the color scheme.

The only blocks not in this picture are the green and gray HSTs. The overall quilt will be 60"x70". the helix pattern is 6 blocks by 12 blocks, with each finished square coming to 5". I used the stack two squares, sew around the edge, then cut diagonally for the HST making, so 4 at once. Then I squared them up to 5.5". Didn't take long at all, and the solid areas on either side will be whole cloth, so no block making other than the helix - and the helix/DNA thing is why I thought of this pattern this buddy.

PS I graduated from Nursing School this past Friday. I am now a BSN and will be taking the boards in January with a big move to DC immediately following become a member of the US Navy Nurse Corps. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

The quilting has begun on Asterisk

Last night I pieced all the rows together to finish the top and this morning I spray basted it to a minky dimple dot backing.

Now is the big reveal of which layout I chose, it wasn't either of the ones shown initially, but it is an organized one; I couldn't get any random ones to look right.

The quilting itself is an all over stipple, and I'm using a turquoise to white variegated thread from Aurifil.

Update (8 hours later): The entire top is quilted. There's one small pucker on the back, but since it's Minky it's not very noticeable. I'm quite pleased. Spray basting is definitely my new, favorite quilting tool. If Only I'd learned of it sooner. 

Friday, December 7, 2012

Flannel Fun Time

Last week during the snow row, one of my teammates was complaining that you can't get a decent scarf for less than thirty bucks. He is not a fashion connoissieur, not by a long shot, but apparently he cares about scarves. To that end, I told him for a lot less than $30, my sewing machine and I could produce something he would be happy to wear.  Today with $8 of flannel and some HSTs later, there is a scarf for him.

I used the layer two squares on top of each other method to make the HSTs. 

 Here they are, still folded. 

And voila, a scarf was born. I actually made it into chevrons first, then folded it over to end up with the candy cane striping. It's top stitched around the edge to stop the tube from being anything but flat. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Green Baby will be handed off tomorrow!

As mentioned, I was making Green Baby for one of my nursing school classmates. Well, tomorrow is our last day of classes (holy crap, we graduate in 8 days!). I will be passing the quilt off to N and baby AJ. This sweet little girl will be getting a cuddly quilt. I finished the binding this evening so that next week when we have finals, I'm not stressing about a quilt, because I know I would.

Here are the fully finished pictures. Apologies for the poor lighting, but it's nearly 11pm, and I don't have sun here in Boston at these hours - if only. These are all of the quilt rolled or folded - go back a few posts and there are plenty of it open wide. For any keen observers, this is the same binding that I used on the Irish Road (pink and green quilt).

Monday, December 3, 2012

Decisions, decisions - which layout to use?

I have finished all the Asterisk blocks as of about half an hour ago. This means it's layout time. I did the first layout organized by pattern and the second random-ish which would still need some blocks moved around (mind you this is in the area under the stairs on the first floor of my apartment building since it's the only open, unused large, flat space so I didn't spend a ton of time on the random-ish).

Note that in the random-ish layout, there are three of the plaid 
diagonally together, so those would need to be swapped
with one of the dotted patterns - too much of a pattern there. 

Let me know in the comments which one you like better. I'm leaning towards the random layout, and so far the couple votes I've already gotten off the blog go the same direction. I'm looking forward to finishing this one up since it's one I'm actually keeping for myself. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

2/3 of the the way there

I have finished (and squared up) 20 of the 30 asterisk blocks. I really want to finish this one since it is going to be the quilt for my couch. I'm backing it with minky, just like the green baby squares so it'll be super soft for movie watching.

And now it's time for my rowing team's holiday party - we had a snow row this morning which was a lot of fun, even if my toes were numb by the end. We even had candle hats to make one of the boats a menorah since the masters coach and I are Jewish. Plus a Santa and some reindeer scattered in the other boats on the water.