Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Nuptial Shawl - Q3 FAL

My Nuptial Shawl - A Q3 Finish!

My (not-so) little brother got married recently, and I found the dress early on, but knew I'd want something to wear over my shoulders.  On my quest for a shawl pattern, I stumbled across the Echo Flower Shawl in a ravelry thread discussing the best free patterns that people would have paid for. Perfect!

It was wonderfully written, easy to memorize once you got the first bit of each row going.  And, the shawlette used less than a skein of Malabrigo Silkpaca.  I am so pleased with it!

It's also a wonderful example of the magic of blocking.
 I'm out of unwed siblings, so I guess I need to be taken somewhere fancy so I can wear it again.

This is project 2 of 10 on my Q3 Finish Along List!

Friday, August 15, 2014

Ulitmate Scrap Buster: The Rag Rug - Q3 FAL

I've been using this rug in front of my washing machine for a few weeks now, and I love it!  It's cushy without being too nubby, and doesn't travel as much as I thought it might.  Feels great to cross this one off my Finish-a-Long list!

A Brief How To:
To begin, I cut 1" strips from pieces of quilting cotton that I knew I wouldn't use.  Most came from mixed lots I bought at the thrift store, scrap bags purchased at local quilt shops, cottons of questionable quality from the remnant bin, stiff-as-a-board 70's calicoes, you name it.  The beauty of this rug is that no fabric is too ugly, and all of the patterns are obscured in the finished product.  

I joined the strips on my sewing machine using this method from crazy mom quilts, to not have a million tails to weave in later.  I must be a slow ball winder, though, because rolling them was taking me forever.  So, after finishing the first ball, I dumped the next batch (in one unclipped chain) directly from the sewing machine into a bucket, and clipped the strips as I used them.  Since they were all loops joined end-to-end, no tangles!

My bucket of joined strips.

To make an oval rug, I chained just over 20 with the biggest hook I had, a US P-15 (10mm..)  I single crocheted back to the start, and then increased on the ends to go back down the opposite side.  Increasing was more art than science, but I tried to do at least 4-6 on each end, varying the spacing as I went along.  

At first, I carefully counted stitches between the increases, but about halfway through, I switched to using Clover clips to mark where I'd put them (and where I was planning on putting them.)  

At one point, the straight edges looked like they were pulling in a little, so I increased there.  Big mistake.  It made it wavy, and I had to go back and pull it out.  If you use this method, keep the increases around the curves on the ends!

When I ran out of scraps, I wove the tail ends through with my hook, and stretched it into shape a bit.

I weighed a yard of quilting cotton to get an idea of how much fabric was in this thing.  A yard was around 6 ounces (I weighed a couple, they varied from 5.7 to 6.2), and my rug was 45.  

Which means I've got about 7.5 YARDS of scraps in it. 

I had planned to use it in my sewing room under my ironing board, but figured it would get quickly buried in there.  I spend most of my time here, anyway, folding, pulling rocks out of pockets, musing over what in the world could have caused a stain like that, etc..  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and now it doubles as a welcome mat for the sewing room, which is just through that door.

Happy Friday!

This is project 1 of 10 on my Q3 Finish Along List!

Friday, July 18, 2014

The Airstream Pillow

My good friend recently purchased a vintage Airstream to restore.  It's got all the original goodies in it, and I know she's got big plans, both inside and out.

For her birthday, I got a picture of it, and then went to work on this pillow.  I drew it out in a simple line drawing, and then cut out the individual pieces to use as templates.  I had way too much fun digging through my scraps for the perfect fabrics.  As if I needed more incentive not to throw out anything, ever.

I pieced the ground and the sky out of solid rectangles, and attached the trees and trailer to it one piece at a time.  I used a little bit of applique adhesive spray (I think spray baste would work just as well) on the backs of the pieces, and free motion quilted around all the little bits, leaving the edges raw.

She's got four Jack Russell Terriers, and so I knew there needed to be four dogs.  One of them does not play well with others, so he got put inside.
Little boy hand models are all I've got...please excuse the fingernails.
My friend loves thrifting just as much as I do, and she is always bringing me bits of vintage sewing notions and supplies when she finds them.  As a nod of thanks, I included a piece of rick-rack that came in a vintage sewing box she gave me.

I had a blast making it, and I see similar projects in my future.  Maybe even a quilt!

Linking up to Link A Finish Friday!
Thanks for hosting, y'all!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Q3 - Finish Along!

A good bit of sewing, but not a whole lot of finishing going on this summer with the kiddies home.

The other night, I ran into the Q2 Finish Along posts at The Littlest Thistle, and the timing didn't leave me any excuse not to do a list of my own, as Q3 has just begun!

So, here it is, my embarrassingly long list of half-done what-nots:

1.  Farmers Wife.  Though I am quite proud of this being an actual top now (it was a stack of blocks a couple of weeks ago), it still needs to be made into a quilt.

2.  Nuptial Shawl.  It has nupps!  I will wear this to my brother's wedding in early August.  It must be done. (Ravelry Linkage)

3.  Random Socks.  Gosh, I love these sock(s).  But I made up the cuff pattern on my own and didn't write it down, thinking surely I'd remember.  I've tried 3 times to figure it out.  No go.

4.  Snowball Showers.  A charm pack of April Showers, and some Hello Betty Green from my stash, and I had this pieced in a week...and then...it sat...and sits....

5.  Courthouse Steps.  We bought our log cabin as a foreclosure (Courthouse Steps, get it?) and I started this quilt in honor of the purchase after seeing one similar in a quilt shop downtown.  That was in 2010.

6.  That Star Quilt, With The Birds.  I liked the flowers and birds in these prints, so I bought a pair of charm packs, and then started putting it together.  Mmm hmm.

7.  Cathedral Windows.  This one is made from jeans.  Fun!  But not actually as fun as I thought it'd be, apparently.

8.  Postage Stamp Quilt.  My perpetual leaders and enders project.

9.  Triple Irish Chain.  From my 2.5" scrap bin; no rush on this one.

10.  Crocheted Rag Rug.  A trillion 1" strips.  Inspired by crazy mom quilts, though I should have stuck with a rectangle, I'd be done now.

And that's it!  I would be thrilled to have 3/10 completed...one a month.

Good luck to the other finisher-hopefuls!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Storm At Sea

After seeing a photo of a similar quilt, I became obsessed.  It was one of those quilts that gets stuck in your head and you're Googling and Pinteresting until you've spent more time ogling it than you would have spent making it.

I eventually found a suitable free pattern for the block, and went to work.  Once the top was done, it sat awhile, but I finally pulled it out and quilted it last week.  One of my few finishes of the summer!

apologies for the photo; it was taken from upstairs, looking down, on a ladder, in my foyer...it's a wee bit off center.

Made mostly from scraps and stash, I really only bought the binding, and the navy border fabric for it.  I enjoyed revisiting fabrics from projects-past, as this block offers the chance to put smaller pieces to use.

The back was made from leftover graduated strips, and some Kona Snow.

I quilted 1/4" from the seams on the body, and then did wavy lines with my walking foot on the border.  I love the pattern it made on the back!  Made all those mind-numbing 1/4" lines worth it.

More Storm at Sea eye candy:
Quilt Inspiration
Storm at Sea Pinterest Board

Linking up to TGIFF there's a great giveaway today!
And to Link A Finish Friday!
And to Can I Get a Whoop Whoop?!
Thanks for hosting, y'all!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Bunny Quilt

Yay for Friday Finishes!
In progress, with my homemade bunny chart

I had a couple of Luna Notte strips left on my cutting table after the last quilt, and decided to go ahead and use them up.  I also had a leftover bit of Kona Cream, and a big enough batting scrap for a wall hanging.  I ran out of cream thread on the final border, so while I'd like to say this quilt was free, I had to spring for a new spool.  Oh well.  Almost free.

I looked online for a cross-stitch or knitting chart for the bunny, but I couldn't find one that translated well, and was the size I wanted, so I printed out some graph paper and made my own.  I tried to keep it within a 10x10 square, but that little ear just popped out, so I went with 10x11, and then added a plain border, and a pieced one with my leftover squares.

All the quilt squares are 2.5 inches, my HST's were done using the trim method (since I only had 2.5" strips), but I did cheat and use a couple of longer cream strips in the background.

I used a brighter white for the tail, but it's kind of hard to see in the photos.

We've had a lot of snow (hey, for Georgia; don't laugh), and I am very ready for spring.  Even though Easter is a good bit away, I think I'm going to hang this one up early.

While I was at it, I also bound the crumb block from the last quilt to make a new pot holder.  I used my Clover clips for the first time to machine bind.  I always hand sew my binding because even with the most careful pinning, something inevitably slips.  But with the clips, it turned out perfectly (no paid endorsement, here!)  I stitched in the ditch  from the front, so that is all done without looking on the green side.  This is the first time that I haven't had a slip or a wonky stitch, and there was 3 layers of batting in that puppy!  Not sure if I'm ready to do a whole quilt that way, but I would definitely do a wall hanging, and don't think I'll ever hand sew another pot holder.

Well, that's all I've got, Happy Friday!

Linking up to finish it up Friday @ crazymomquilts, Link-A-Finish Friday, and TGIFF

Friday, February 7, 2014

Country Oasis: A Second Chance and a Finish

Scrap bin inspiration

Last Friday, I happened to see Amy's last call for the Virtual Quilting Bee.  At the start, my intention was to make the quilt from scraps on hand; half a Hometown charm pack, leftover Urban Cowgirl from a purse project, partial FQ of Oasis from my Farmer's Wife, and some random strips of Luna Notte from a Moda scrap bag.  After the first five blocks though, I realized that what looked like a giant mound in my scrap bin, wasn't enough.  And so, it has been sitting since last May.

But then, on Sunday, I was at my LQS for Super Bolt Sunday (cute, huh?), and there it was.  A partial bolt of the same yellow Oasis with a $20 sticker on it.  Plenty to finish the quilt AND back it.

Thank you, quilt angels.

Monday, I laid it all out on the dining room table, and started cutting.  I constructed another four blocks, added the setting triangles, sashing, and border.  Pieced my backing, pieced my binding, and quilted it all up. 

Last night, the final bit of binding went on.  With about 8 inches of binding to spare, and about 2 inches of thread in my bobbin.  Yay!

Country Oasis - Front
Country Oasis - Back
Country Oasis - Close-up

Now I just have another 3 yards of Oasis to find a use for.

But no crumbs...I took care of those.

Thanks again to Diary of a Quilter for hosting, and to all of the lovely bloggers who shared blocks.  
It was fun!  
Virtual Quilting Bee