Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Mug Rug Revival Swap

I joined a swap via Flickr (where else? that's where all my bees are). This is a secret swap, so we don't know who will be sending to us, all we know is to whom we are sending. My partner put in a last minute plea for one that would go well on her sailboat. I think what I created fits the bill - crabs, octopi, and waves.

This is the first time I've ever made flying geese. I used the no waste method which creates four at a time. I paired it with the scraps of the blue wave and octopi fabric I had left over from the baby quilt made in January. It's also bound with the save blue waves. The octopi border has the mitred corner piecing that I learned at the Balitmore Sewing and Quilt Expo a few weeks ago.

 I didn't take a close up of the corners, but these are the most perfectly mitred corners that I've done to date. I use the Red Pepper Quilts machine binding method, and it works so well. 

And for the back, I did a little strip pieced patchwork. 
This was a nice little break from working on the big quilt of many HSTs. 

Monday, May 20, 2013

Steady Progress

I'm still chugging away at the quilt that I'm pattern testing for Quilt Dad. Having a full time job really limits quilting time, how rude of it. But I suppose, it does support my fabric buying habit so off I go every morning.

 I'm to the point where I'm assembling full blocks so all you'll see are random photos without the blocks actually being visible. But for tonight you'll see them as I was chain piecing. I can't believe I've only used this on one other quilt. The way this pattern is designed, it just lends itself to chain piecing and I think I'd be going nuts if I weren't with the sheer number of pieces that comprise it. A big part of that is that it will finish to 72"x84".

Apologies that these are all phone pictures, they were all ones that I took for Instagram and I didn't pull out my SLR. Have no fear, this top will be done soon, and I'll be able to take real pictures of other, full projects without having to keep the blocks semi-secret. 
 There was much trimming of the HSTs that happened this past weekend - as in 16 each of 7 fabrics and that was just for the 3.5" size.
 Here are ALL the squares that will comprise the quilt. That includes another 34 HSTs in the 6.5" size.
And here construction of the full blocks begins with much chain piecing. I can get two sets of 8 blocks sewn in under ten minutes which pleases me. 

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Original Sewing and Quilt Expo Recap

Yesterday, my mom and I went up to Baltimore to visit the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo. I took one longer quilting class and she took 3 shorter garment classes and got to talk with pattern designers and got a personal fitting for pants from someone who is a big deal in the garment world (but whose name I don't remember).

The class I took was about set in triangles and mitred corners. We were given kits and instruction with lots of personal attention since there were only 7 people in a 3 hour class. There is a third square not pictured, too. Not necessarily my first choice in colors, but definitely fun fabrics and the contrast is there to accentuate the mitres.

After I finished my class, I wandered the vendor area and came home with a few fun things. I also spent time auditioning various long arm machines for down the line when I have the money to actually buy one. I definitely liked the Tin Lizzie the best of the ones that I tried. I'm very much looking forward to being able to get one. Espcially since now that I've moved to DC there aren't any LQS's that have rental time available on long arm machines compared to Boston where there are a number that do.

First is the Quilt Pounce and a few of the full line stencils. If yout haven't come across this, it's stensils for freemotion quilting where you push chalk through a fine mesh which allows it to be continous lines without the breaks that come from typical stencils. And the chalk lines disappear when ironed. I got three stencils along with the chalk applicator. 
And moving right along, I got a bag pattern that has many pockets and contrast binding. This pattern also includes a clutch purse to match. With the way the pockets are laid out in this bag, I can see it as being good as a camera bag for all the lenses or a diaper bag for all the various things that little ones need (I've got friends who have requested custom diaper bags). 

At the same vendor, I was introduced to PUL fabric - polyurethane laminated. It's non-toxic and can be wiped down so it can be used in lunch bags, or anything else where it would be good to be able to clean it. It still has a soft feel on the right side and the laminated side is the wrong side. 

And last, but certainly not least, I picked up four Malka Dubrovsky prints. If any designer out there channels me, it's her. The color choices and geometric designs that she makes are exactly what I like. Case in point, the asterisk quilt I made was three of her prints, the the blue with small green dots pictured here is a repeat buy since it was part of that quilt. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

I won, I won!!!

As you, my faithful readers, know I like to paper piece. It probably is anywhere from 25-50% of what I do (especially as of late since I keep joining the paper pieced hives in the Flickr bees). Well, this past week many bloggers participated in the Sew Mama Sew giveaway day. And I won what I think is probably the best of all the giveaways for me.

Kristy over at Quiet Play designed a set of paper pieced alphabet blocks both upper and lower case along with numbers and punctuation. Check out her Craftsy Store where you can see those and her retro kitchen series plus many, many more. I can't wait to use these in my quilting.

Along with waking up to the great email from Kristy, today my mom and I headed up to Baltimore for a sewing and quilting expo. We both took classes and shopped the vendors. There will be a full post about that coming later, probably tomorrow, but for now it's time for me to have a housewarming/birthday party now that my apartment is unpacked, and since I turned 26 this week. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013

309 Squares

I don't know about you, but when I'm going to start a quilt, I always do ALL my cutting, regardless of the size of the quilt in question. As I posted, I'm pattern testing for John of Quilt Dad. Today was spent getting ready to piece the quilt top over the next week or two.

This also shows that I have a cutting table now. Yesterday, my mother and I moved the last couple of furniture items from her house to my apartment and that allowed me to put this table into my sewing room (until yesterday it was what held my TV). I have a 24"x36" cutting mat covering all but an inch on the edge of the table top. 

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Making a Mosaic Block

I've seen mosaic blocks all over the place made from people's scraps. I just made one for the Simply Solids May Queen Bee, and I can say I'll definitely use this technique for some scrappy blocks of my own using warms or cools rather than the set palate that we used for this block.

Chelsie is going to have a fun quilt made of these blocks:

Friday, May 3, 2013

A sneak peek!

I'm pattern testing for John over at Quilt Dad - here are the fabrics that he sent me for making his new pattern. For the next few weeks, this will be my focus project with bee blocks sprinkled between. I can't show you the whole quilt until John gives the go ahead, but I can give little glimpses into what I'm doing.

I can't tell you how nice it is to have a gigantic window in my sewing room - 48"x66". Natural light photos are the best. And I've switched over to using my DSLR for the photos that go up on the blog. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

The last of the bee blocks (for this hive)

I finished all of the Star Seam blocks and put them in the mail this week. I also signed up for the summer round of the 3x6 bee and a full year paper piecing bee because as we all know, paper piecing is my thing. I love the precision and geometric designs that it allows for. Also, this whole being at work at 6:30 every day and going to bed by 9:30 is a bit of a drag when it comes to my quilting time. That said, the new job is great, and I'm learning a TON.

Here are the last 4 blocks that weren't previously pictured. They are already on their way to their new homes.

And for the April Simply Solids Bee, we were asked to make an improv block with a gray background via the fabric sent to us from this month's Queen. I enjoyed making this more than I was expecting to. It was nice to have a very abstract, free form design. The May block is also a very free form pattern, so my guess is I'll enjoy making it, too.