Monday, July 30, 2012

Birds of a Feather

So I spent the weekend doing a little sewing!  I turned all those little HSTs into a small quilt top!

Birds of a Feather, flocking together!

I decided to group them by columns of color - if you look at it like you're reading a book, it looks like birds flapping their wings up and down and up and down...

Since this top is so sharp and modern looking, I'm thinking a border would just clutter it up.  Right now my plans are to either quilt the negative space or quilt straight lines in a grid (at the tops/bottoms/sides of the chevrons) and use some Kona Ash for the binding.  Or should I send it off to a longarm quilter?  I've never had anyone else quilt for me and I've done all of my quilting on my own sewing machine.  What do you think?

It's so hard to do real actual work when you just want to sew!  Ohhhh Monday.

PS - If you missed my last post, this is made with scraps from another quilt.  All the scraps are from Good Fortune by Kate Spain and I used Bella White for the white background.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


 I've been pretty busy lately and haven't been doing as much sewing as I'd like to. This past weekend I went camping with 35+ friends and colleagues, so very little sewing happened. I did try to stop at a quilt shop in Uniontown on the way home, but they were closed since it was Sunday. I still haven't unpacked my gross camping clothes! At least the tent is dried out and put away.

Charming Stars is coming along nicely. About eight inches of binding has been sewn down - that was accomplished while sitting under a canopy in the rain on Friday. It is nice to have a hand sewing project to work on!

Charming Stars generated a lot of leftover HSTs. They're pretty tiny...sewing four squares together makes a block about 3.75" square.  I have them all sewn together into squares and pressed with the seams open to eliminate bulk.  Last night I was playing around with designs. 

I could make a bunch of scrappy diamonds and arrange them in some artistic way.

 Scrappy diamond test block.

Or I could make a bunch of scrappy zig-zags that continue across the quilt and then repeat vertically.

Scrappy zig-zag test block.

Or I could make a bunch of organized zig-zags... maybe do some sort of chevron pattern?  There just happens to be a multiple of four in every pattern and it takes four HSTs to make the chevron.  That's the direction I'm currently headed in.  
Chevron test blocks.

It's definitely going to require some white sashing somewhere to help the fabric go a little further - there's a good handful of blocks but the blocks are all going to be tiny.  This will most likely be a baby quilt.  Unless I go really minimalist and space everything out with a lot of white space.

What do you think?  Which block is your favorite? I'd love to know what you like to do with leftover triangles!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


It's Wednesday and I haven't blogged much lately...but I wanted to get something out for WIP Wednesday!  I've got plenty of WIPs, just not much time to blog about them if I want to get any work done on them!  And sorry the photos are a little dark or over-exposed.  I'm not very good at photo editing and I took these this morning before the sun was really up since the sun was already down when I got home last night!

I've been working on cutting out blocks for a memorial t-shirt quilt for a friend of mine.  He lost his brother to cancer a year and a half ago and wanted a quilt made with his brother's shirts.  I made some t-shirt quilts in high school (before I knew ANYTHING about quilting, I just made it up as I went along) and they turned out pretty bad.  And I swore I'd never make another one.  But I didn't know about fusible interfacing!  It's really stabilizing the stretchiness of the t-shirts.  I have yet to see how it performs while sewing, but it's making the cutting much simpler!

My workspace littered with cut t-shirts, wrinkled t-shirts, interfacing, and cutting accessories.  I need a bigger table!

It's so easy to get a perfect (not stretched!) square with the interfacing.  I love it!

I've been slowly progressing on my pebble quilting.  I'm about 1/3 through the quilt and I've gone through at LEAST 1000 yards of thread so far.  I'm almost through a 1200 yard spool.  It's certainly a thread (and time) hog, but it'll be worth it.

Adding texture to the gray areas really helped to liven-up the quilt! 

A close-up of the pebbles.  As I go along, you can tell they're "evolving" - I'm using a greater variety of pebble sizes (it's a more fractal distribution - determining the fractal distribution of stones making up ancient walls for my master's thesis will haunt me forever!) 

I'm also nearly done with my Charming Stars quilt featuring Good Fortune!  Over the weekend, I finished all the quilting and sewed the binding on - now for the hand sewing part.  I'm going camping later in the month and I think I might take this along for some hand sewing.  I'm just afraid it'll rain (because it rains on this camping trip every year) and then the quilt will get muddy and destroyed.  It has to stay in the car, in a plastic bag, unless I'm working on it.  Right?  

Again, the color is a little funky - it was too dark out to get a good picture then I tried fixing it on my computer and I'm terrible at that sort of thing.  The binding is Kona Tangerine.  

 It's tough to see, but I LOVE the quilting on this!  It's simple, but adding some curves really gives it a nice touch.

And finally, my Circle of Geese block!  I also finished it up over the weekend and decided that since it had a few imperfections, it could just be a potholder.  It's just a practice block!  

Christmas in July... it just doesn't feel quilt right to be playing with red and green fabrics yet!

I quilted in the ditch around the triangles - nothing fancy!  I've been out in the field for work this week watching some guys build a retaining wall I designed.  Sometimes, there's not a whole lot for me to do or watch, so I've been hand-sewing the binding on while sitting on a manhole cover.  I'm sure it's a sight to see for the neighbors.  "Is that girl wearing a hardhat and sewing?!"  Yes.  Yes, she is.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Cake Mistake

On Saturday, I went to the farmer's market and got some delicious raspberries.  I decided I wanted to make a lemon-raspberry pound cake, because what's better than lemon and raspberries together!?  Google lead me to a tasty recipe at Heavy Sifting and I got to baking.  "Tube pan? What's a tube pan??  OH!  Okay."  I greased it up and floured it up and made the cake and just from the taste of the batter, it was going to be the greatest cake ever made in my kitchen.  It cooled on the wire rack for maybe 10 or so minutes then I decided the cake was ready to come out of the pan.  It wasn't. Lessons learned: fruit all sinks to the bottom and creates a weak plane; if the cake is still hot, you probably shouldn't mess with it; when using a pan that allows you to lift the cake out, don't flip it upside down; and finally, cake still tastes good no matter how ugly it looks!
 Yes... I started by eating the part stuck to the cake pan.  It was delicious!

If you are looking for a good red-white-and-blue recipe for a picnic tomorrow, this would be GREAT with red raspberries and blueberries!  

After the cake fiasco, I got back to my pebble quilting and there were some serious tension issues on the bottom.  It started after putting a new bobbin in - maybe it wasn't wound right?  That's tonight's big mystery - time to get back to doing real work!  Have a great day and if you have today off, try making that cake!