Archive | January, 2009

State of the quilt

31 Jan

This doesn’t look too encouraging. I had hoped that by this time, I’d have the top pieced. Instead, here’s how it looks, still. And the backing fabrics have not even been prewashed!

morning bliss cuts

I’m using a pattern for the quilt since I can only accomplish randomness when I plan it carefully. What an oxymoron. Tomorrow will bring progress, I promise. Yes I can!

In the meantime, I have entertained myself with some new books. The free shipping at Bookdepository proved too difficult to resist with the pound being so cheap.

new books

Once again I have way too many projects planned. But: the weather is nice, so I’m gonna go for a walk. Piecing can wait now that we’re seeing sun for the first time in weeks.

Stay tuned for more quilty pleasures. There has also been some knitting, would you believe it?

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Pillow fight, anyone?

22 Jan

My quilt is all cut! I won’t get to piecing it until next week though. The birthday party is this weekend so I’m going back home.

In the mean time I wanted to take a few notes on the throw pillows I made a few months back. They’re Hourglass pillows based on a free pattern by Amy Butler. I did tweak it a bit to fit the inner pillow forms I had at hand plus I skipped the button in the middle for comfort reasons. Okey, I was too lazy to find those buttons you can cover with fabric.

hourglass pillow

The fabrics are from the Nigella collection by Amy Butler. Only the front is pieced as I wanted to leave one side plain just in case they’d look too busy. I don’t think they do but now I get to switch them around anyway.

hoursglass pillow back

I did the neat zipper closure based on a tutorial. Erin at house on hill road has several great tutorials online.

hourglass pillow zipper

Spring on my mind

18 Jan

Remember how I said the next quilt would be for me? Turns out I needed to churn out a quickie before that one, so here it is. A baby quilt made from vintage linens I’ve collected in the past years. Vintage might be pushing it, but “preowned” just doesn’t have the same ring to it.

I can usually tell if I like something I’ve crafted, after it’s all finished, at least. But today I can’t. I mean, it’s pink and baby blue. Even worse, it’s got florals and tiny sheep. Now, I knew this when I selected the fabrics which is why I decided to quilt it as modernly as possible.

spring baby quilt front detail

The back is less girly but blue florals, none the less. The random quilting pattern works a bit better on the backside. Since there was nothing to lose, I used a yellow and orange fabric from a pillowcase for the binding.

spring baby quilt binding

The finished quilt measures roughly 43×43 inches. The “pattern” is a basic brick tile layout, with 3×5 inch tiles. I copied the use of the borders from a friend. I noticed that she sent quite a few readers my way, so thank you and welcome! The pink fabric of the wide border is my favorite, by far. It’s a 1977 print by Tampella called “Vinterblomma”.

spring baby quilt front

spring baby quilt back

It looks alright in tiny doses. It’s the complete thing that will take some time to grow on me. That’s alright because this quilt will be homeless for a while, until a baby announcement is (inevitably) heard from somewhere. It can stay on my cabinet to remind me that I should sew (and knit!) more from my stash. Maybe next week I’ll get started on the more subtle fabrics chosen for my quilt. That is if the pinks are out of my system. I did kind of like that combination of yellow and pink…

Daydreaming

10 Jan

What does an almost 7-year-old girl want for her birthday? I have it on good authority that butterflies might do the trick. To be completely fair, my niece chose the fabrics herself, so the only risk is that she might have overgrown them in the weeks it took me to actually make this quilt. This is my second quilt, and the first with a pieced back and homemade binding, so excuse the silly amount of photos below.

Daydreams quilt

The fabric is Moda’s Daydreams, which I bought in the form of a jelly roll and two charm packs. The quilt measures 57 by 48 inches which I deemed to be enough for nap times and such. She has an enormous bed for a six year old and my tiny machine was not up to making a bed spread.

Daydreams quilt front

I pieced the front in the fashion of the Bento Box quilt, though I didn’t have a pattern to use. This had its drawbacks, as the arrangement of the strips isn’t as balanced as it could be. Note to self: invest in the actual pattern next time. In any case, I pieced log cabin squares first, then cut them into four smaller squares. These cut squares were repieced so that each resulting larger square would have the correct combination of lighter and darker fabrics.

Daydreams quilt front detail

For example, this square is made up with two smaller squares featuring dark fabric in the middle and lighter fabric in the center and outer strips (up left and bottom right) and two other squares where the combination goes the other way around: lighter in the middle, darker surrounding it (up right and bottom left). Phew, I’m sure that made no sense whatsoever. And nevermind the slight wonkiness of the square, I like to pretend its due to gravity and not my piecing skills.

Daydreams quilt back

The back was pieced, too. Not due to any ambitions, mind you, but simply because the butterfly fabric was not wide enough to use on its own. The green prints came from my stash and are from previous Moda and Marcus Brothers collections. The horizontal strip is pretty much all I had left over from the jelly roll and charm packs after the front was pieced. The quilting, made in concentric squares in the middle of the strips, shows well on the backside. This was a really easy pattern to quilt with the help of some 1″ wide masking tape. Much easier than stitching in the ditch, where mistakes show much more.

Daydreams quilt bilding

As mentioned, I made the bias tape for the binding myself, out of 1/2 yard of Moda’s In The Pink fabric. Easy and faster than I thought. I machine stitched it on the front and then slip stitched the back for an invisible (nearly) result.

I’m pretty happy with the results, and can only hope that my niece likes this quilt, too. Quilting for qifting is fun, but the next quilt will be for me to keep! Fabrics for two quilts have been chosen but I haven’t made up my mind yet on which to start.

In with the new

8 Jan

During Epiphany I knit sleep socks for my goddaughter, age 20 months. I cast on 40 stitches with 2,5 mm needles and made a simple rib sock. We’ll see if she lets them stay on all night. The yarn is a lovely merino-soy fibre mix from Legacy Lane Mill.

sleep socks

After complaining about not being able to photograph any of the Christmas presents I made, I managed to steal some pictures during lunch today of the things I have to abovementioned goddaughter’s mom, a colleague. I sewed a small pouch for a pencil case, and adorned a simple notebook from Muji with fabric scraps.

gift combo

I made about 10 of these combinations of puch and notebook. The instructions for the booklets came from Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts and were a breeze, even though I initially worried about sewing cardboard on my precious machine!

notebooks

Along with the even older

7 Jan

Winters here are dark, if not always as cold as they used to be in my childhood. Last December it was so dark that when I finally finished my gift sewing and knitting, I couldn’t get any decent pictures of the lot. And since the gifts were awesome, they’re getting some heavy use now and cannot make it back to my photo shop.

But here’s something that I finished in the spring, during good weather. These are socks for a dear friend, modeled by an equally dear friend. The yarn was dyed by me, with heather. It gives a strong, natural yellow, which I really like. The books say it should turn brown with some iron as mordant, but I haven’t been succesful. Oh well, yellow should get more sock play anyway.

Heather's Denmark

Pattern: Denmark from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush
Yarn: Novita Nalle, naturally dyed
Made for: Heather

I modified the pattern slightly to make an eye of partridge heel. Apparently I’m not alone in thinking it’s pretty, since some Estonian acquaitances demanded I explain how to make one. They traditionally make a similar slipped stitch reinforcement as us Finns but the eye of partridge seems more…ornamental while serving the same function.

My plan for this year is to have all Christmas presents ready by the end of August. Crazy, you say? I just want pretty pictures with puppies and flowers in them.

Heather's Denmark

Out with the old…

6 Jan

Since all of this year’s new crafty results are still drying, here’s something from good old 2008.

Pencil roll

Pattern: Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts
Fabrics: Assorted fabrics from my stash, to match the 24 colored pencils
Made for: one crafty niece, age six

Pencil roll

This was a fast project (~ 4 hours in a parallel no-rotary cutter universe), and was received with shrieks. I ought to make one for goddaughter when she grows up a bit, me thinks.