Friday, April 11, 2014

Finish A Long Q2 Goals

With Q1 a wrap, it's time to think about the second quarter of 2014 and what projects I'd like to finish. They are:

1. Black & White & Bright Hexies. Again. But I'd really like to get it done this quarter. Status: Piecing of top is underway. Slowly. I do love how it's looking but it's way more fiddly than I anticipated. I actually had to set it aside because I was getting aggravated by it.
Hexies

2. Friendship Tree. I proposed to G's classroom teacher that I could make a quilt with the class. We've done something similar to the preschool/kindergarten fundraiser quilts I made a few years ago, but instead of leaf shapes already cut out, the kids traced their hands and we used those as "leaves". Stay tuned for the reveal! Status: basted and ready to quilt.
Handprint leaves

3. William Morris 16-Patch for Quilts of Valour. Status: partially cut out.


4. Strippy Quilt for Another Nephew. When I cut out the strips required to cut out the triangles for Star City, I cut extra WOF strips because I loved the fabric combo so much and wanted to make a quick strippy quilt by piecing them together. Since then I embarked on my "a quilt for each of the siblings' children" plan, and using WOF strips would make this quilt too narrow for its recipient. Accordingly, I will be deploying the strips in a slightly different way than I originally intended. Status: strips cut.

5. Wonderland Sampler. Sew Mama Sew is hosting a fun sew-along  (with prizes woo hoo!). I'm so excited to have found the perfect way to deploy my rather significant collection of Wonderland by Momo. I am not usually one to go bazoo about fabric collections, but this is my one fabric collection weakness. I love all things Wonderland and have since winning a Fat Eighth bundle in a giveaway many moons ago.
Wonderland

Status: layout designed, thanks to Sarah Schraw of Sarah Quilts' wonderful tutorial.
Layout

I've got a lovely overnight retreat with the VMQG in early May (the guild's first!) and I'll be hitting this list hard (in between chatting, eating, wine-drinking and whatnot of course). It may be a wee bit ambitious but it's three whole months so I'm aiming high.

Finish Along 2014




Thursday, April 3, 2014

Finish A Long Q1 Roundup

Welp, here we are in late March and the year 2014 is one quarter over - how'd that happen, anyway? I think perhaps it went quickly because I was very busy!

Finish Along 2014

I must say - once again - that the Finish A Long has been a tremendous motivator for me to get working on projects and to make progress on others. You can join for the year's second quarter - just visit (or better yet, subscribe to) Katy The Littlest Thistle's blog for the scoop on that.

So without further ado, let's recap my Q1 list and see where I got to:

1. Kaleidoscope for Nephew. YES! So so happy with this one, since named "Star City" by G. I still love those colours and I feel like superwoman for conquering my piecing ineptitude (details in the blog post). This blog post, will be the one I link up for this particular finish.
Kaleidoscope closeup

2. Throw Pillow. YUP! This project was the test case and first of a trio of triangle projects. I believe it sold for $70 at the fundraiser.
Pillow Cover Back

3. MQG Riley Blake Challenge for Other Nephew. Triangle project #2 is a big yes. I found it impossible to properly photograph this quilt. My photography "skills" were just not up to managing the dark background + bright fabrics situation and that gives me the sads. But I still love the quilt, named Up, Up and Away!
RB Challenge detail

4. Black & White & Bright Hexies. Nope. I started to work on this one, intending to give it to my niece but something told me it just wasn't "her." So I (temporarily) abandoned this project in favour of a brand new project: Triangle Project Number Three. Worth it. Hexies will be a carry-forward to Q2.

5. Slabby Scrappy Fabric Boxes. YES! I am so happy to have a good system for finding my scraps!
Scrappy Pink Box

4 out of 5 is a great score and I'll take it. Especially considering I finished a whole quilt that wasn't even a twinkle in my eye when this list was originally conceived (see what I did there?), and I've also made some good progress on a new project that I'll tell you about in my Q2 FAL list. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Triangle Garden

In my family, we say someone's gone "off-list" if they select a birthday or Christmas gift that wasn't on the recipient's list. This quilt is off-list for me because it's not on my 2014 FAL Q1 list.

I had intended to finish up a UFO involving black & white + solids hexagons to give to my niece, but when I started to work on it, I didn't think it was her style. I asked her mom, my sister, what colours C favoured, and the response was an adamant GREEN! With a follow up: and maybe purple. But no pink.

Triangle Garden

I'd say this fits the bill, eh? My daughter named it: Triangle Garden. It's about 55" x 78".

To make it, I went to my stash and scrap bins and started pulling out greens. And a little purple. I used my Tri Recs ruler to cut out the triangles and pieced the triangles into rows somewhat randomly, literally pulling them out of a box and using whatever I chose with only a few restrictions: no same fabrics side by side, and trying to use different fabrics throughout the rows. I didn't impose those requirements when I put the rows together, though. I kind of like the odd diamond that appears.

Triangle Garden closer

The quilting is concentric circles with lovely 40wt Aurifil in a mossy, taupey green (#2324), and 50wt cream in the bobbin. I traced a cereal bowl to start and then used the seam guide to stitch lines 1" apart. Lots of threads to bury but I like the effect. Listening to an audiobook (Wild by Cheryl Strayed - recommended) helped pass the time.

Triangle Garden quilting

I love the purple binding - it gives the whole thing a nice frame.

Triangle Garden binding

This isn't a "sanctioned" finish but it's just the project I wanted to make and just the project for a special girl.

Triangle Garden upward

This is my third project involving triangles - I think they're out of my system for now. But not forever.

Triangle Garden and Arbour

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Kaleidoscope

Kaleidoscope

I'm so happy with this finish. Both that it's - you know - finished, and how it turned out.

This quilt began in 2011 with Elizabeth Don't Call Me Betsy's Kaleidoscope Quilt Along - I was really interested in how the Kaleidoscope block comes together so I jumped in. I pieced a bunch of the "kite" segments and then lost steam.

I'm going to tell you why so it doesn't happen to you too. The kites are composed of two pieces - both triangles. The small one is pieced to the large one like so:



Do you see the little tails on each side of the seam? They didn't seem like they were correct. These confounded me, making me think I'd done something wrong - cut the wrong way, used an incorrectly sized template, something. Because I pieced all the kites and then pressed them, I didn't discover this situation until I began pressing. And I became really discouraged and just gave up. For 2 years.

About a year into my Kaleidoscope hiatus, I observed a friend making a kaleidscope block, I inquired about this "mistake" and she reassured me that all would work out when I pieced the kite to another triangle. I was skeptical and put off the experiment. But she was right.

Check it:

It was allllll goooood! And this UFO quickly turned into a finished quilt just like that. It measures 60"x72", a great lap size. It's not perfect by any stretch - there are a lot of corners that don't meet up like they should. But I let go of my need for perfect perfection and just enjoyed the process.

Up Kaleidoscope

For quilting, I chose simple stippling, and used some beautiful Aurifil 40wt in a light greeny-taupe colour (#2324) that blended very nicely with all the fabrics.

Kaleidoscope closeup

Binding was some leftover strips from the quilt's top.

Kaleidoscope binding

I am gifting this quilt to a nephew but I won't say which one in case my sisters or sister-in-law happen to read my blog. They'll just have to hang tight and see what arrives in the mail!

Kaleidoscope and Arbour

This finish would not have come to fruition without the incentive of the Finish A Long - big thanks to Katy for keeping it going for 2014!

Monday, February 17, 2014

First Quilt Finish of 2014: Up Up and Away

Members of the Modern Quilt Guild received fabrics from Riley Blake's Basics collection for a challenge and Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild participated - yay!


I quite liked the set of fabrics we were given, and I was hoping to combine this challenge with my goal of making each of my nieces/nephews a quilt this year, so that drove the size of my project as well as my choice of fabric to add.

I've been wanting to do something with triangles for a while, and I decided this was the time. After a successful test run with this pillow cover project, I was all set.

First, I cut the triangles and the smaller side triangles using my Tri-Recs ruler, and pieced them into two long strips using Kona Nautical Blue as my solid:


Then I added more strips of solids:

I cut the solid strips on the lengthwise grain, parallel to the selvage. That way, I didn't have to piece them.

RB Challenge detail

For the quilting, I turned to my Aurifil stash, of course! First, I quilted some wavy lines the length of the quilt using my walking foot and some 28 weight thread in a very, very dark blue (2785). I love the texture it created. Then, around the triangles, I did some loopy loops in a dark grey 50-weight (5004).

RB Challenge Quilting

The binding used the leftover bits of fabric and solid. The finished pre-washed size is about 50" x 78". All in all, I am really pleased with this finish! And it's another one of my Q1 FAL projects - on a roll, baby!

RB Challenge full frontal


Finish Along 2014

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Scrappy Slabby Scrap Storage

Slightly off-topic: I am not a fan of the adage "always avoid alliteration." I love adore alliteration, as evidenced by the title of this post.

Scrappy Scrap Boxes

Anyhoo, enough rambling. While I was making the rainbow of slabs for Steve's placemats, I also made some for this project, and then made some others to round out the total colours to 9. I followed the directions in the lovely Arkison/Nyberg collaboration Sunday Morning Quilts with two small exceptions. First, I didn't bother to close up the turning hole in the lining (these things are never, ever going to be empty; also: too lazy), and I cut the cardboard pieces (used to stiffen the bottom and sides) about ½" smaller in height and width so that they'd fit better.

Shelf of Scrappy Boxes
yes, the green scraps are overflowing already and the blue are close

I love them. LOVE LOVE them. The boxes used many precious scraps in their making, and they store my scraps where I can both see them and get at them (opposite of my previous scrap "management" "system") and so far they've been wonderful. Since I've begun using the boxes, I've actually - get ready for it - put away my scraps right after cutting out a project! WINNING!

Scrappy Pink Box

This was one of my Q1 FAL projects and it's done done done oh yes it is.

Finish Along 2014

Monday, January 20, 2014

Getting a Good Start on the Year

Well now lookee here - a(nother) finish! Whee!

Pillow Cover Front

This pillow cover is 18" square and is a donation to my friend's ringette team fundraiser.

I was trying out a ruler I've got to see if the triangle shape would work for my VMQG/MQG Riley Blake Basics Challenge quilt. Again - two birds, one stone etc.! I liked what came out of my experimentation so I decided to make it into a pillow cover.

triangles closeup

Instead of batting, I fused the front and back pieces onto Pellon 987F Fusible Fleece and didn't use a backing when I quilted the lines. I marked them with a Hera marker. If you don't have one of these little gizmos and you like marking quilting or cutting lines, get thee to your favourite purveyor of quilt notions immediately and buy one. They're wonderful - they put a crease-type mark on your fabric that isn't permanent so you don't have to worry about pressing it, washing it etc.

Pillow Cover Back

I quilted straight lines on the front, and on the back, I added in some random zigzags to my seams and I kind of like the effect (look at the bottom right of the photo and you can see it):

back closeup

Anyhooooo, I followed the finishing technique described in Patchwork*Pottery's lovely Crane Star pillow pattern to make the envelope-style back with a nice little tie. I probably should've planned the placement of that accent triangle a bit better but this project was quite improv in its construction. A lot of "hmm...what next?" type thoughts. It was relaxing, though.

This is my first finish that counts toward my 2014 Q1 Finish Along goals. Hooray!


Finish Along 2014

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

First Finish of 2014: Slabby Placemats

I'm delighted to finally present this finish! These placemats were a barter arrangement with my friend Steve who did wonderful work to design my business cards and logo. Go check out his website!

He actually refused payment but I badgered him until he agreed that perhaps he and his wife could use some placemats. Nearly a year later, I delivered!

Placemats

During the process of creating the slabs for these placemats (using Cheryl Arkison and Amanda Jean Nyberg's technique from Sunday Morning Quilts), I also made the slabs necessary to create some fabric boxes to contain my scraps, of which there are many, even after making these placemats and the other slabs. Proof positive that I need a different scrap storage/management strategy!

Slab placemats

I backed the placemats in Essex Yarn-dyed linen/cotton in Black, and the organic straight(ish) line quilting was done in a matching colour to the front, using a walking foot.

Placemat backs

The placemats are each bound in a polka-dot fabric that matched the placemat. It would appear that I am a big fan of polka dots as everything that went into these placemats came from my stash.

placemat stack

I attached the (bias) binding to the back of the placemat then brought it to the front and attached it using my Janome's ditch-quilting foot. It worked well! The placemats measure 12.5" by 18.5" and I am really, really pleased with them.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

2014 Crafty Goals

Plans for 2014 indicate that it is going to look a lot like 2013 did, with sewing of all kinds happening chez Felicity Quilts.

I've made a goal that all 5 of the nieces and nephews on "my side" of the family (i.e. my siblings' children) will receive quilts in 2014. While one quilt is already done, the only way to accomplish this with any modicum of sanity and without quitting my day job is to transform current WIPs into finishes wherever possible/appropriate. Two birds, one stone, etc. etc. (I'm all about the multitasking.) I've loosely divided the projects into quarters based on when the recipients' birthdays happen so that the quilts can be birthday gifts. I know that stuff can change over the year, so the Q1 list has the most detail, and the rest of the year's projects are really just to put my goals "out there".

So here we go:

Q1 Projects:

1. Kaleidoscope (Nephew). I began this one in 2012 as part of Elizabeth Don't Call Me Betsy's quilt along. Status: partially pieced. This is my inital photo of the fabric pull and the inspiration (our towels!):
Kaleidoscope Fabrics Take 2 (With Inspiration)

This is some of the bits I've pieced:



2. Throw Pillow. The fundraiser for which I made my Strippy Rainbow quilt is happening again. This year, my contribution is a throw pillow. Status: the front is pieced and quilted:


3. MQG Riley Blake challenge (Nephew). I tried out the triangles on the throw pillow and liked what I saw, so I'm running with that design concept for this quilt. Status: triangles cut out.

4. B&W and Bright Hexies (Niece). This is the final set of VMQG blocks I won in the lotto (win #3 for those of you keeping track at home), so I want to get this one done up. Status: hexies pieced in sets of 3.

#vmqg May challenge blocks done! #presidentofthelastminuteclub

5. Slabby Fabric Boxes for scraps. Using instructions from Sunday Morning Quilts. Status: slabs for 6 of 10 boxes done (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple done; grey, black/white, pink and brown to do).

Rest of 2014:

6. Kaleidoscope strips (Nephew). The towel that inspired the Kaleidoscope colourway is a great design, so I cut out strips to replicate it in quilt form (Q2).
7. Scrappy Churn Dash. Sigh.
8. A project using the 5 (!) packages with 4 FQs each (!!) of vintage Liberty fabric (!!!!!!) my neighbour gave me. He's a lingerie designer and apparently these little packages had been hanging around his office for years. He knew I liked fabric so he passed them on to lucky, lucky me! I've got a plan for these beauties.
9. A quilt for Quilts of Valour. These beautiful William Morris prints will combine beautifully with some grey and taupe solid fabrics in a St. Louis 16-patch.


10. Provence WIP. This is an oldie, but I think it will be perfect for my youngest niece (Q2/3). I'll piece these rows (from a row robin) with the extra fabric (Marseille by Deb Strain for Moda).


11. Circle of Geese. These sweet scrappy blocks from my first online bee are of varying quality, so I'll salvage the ones I can and repurpose them into a quilt for charity.


12. Wonderland. This is still sitting basted in my sewing space. Need to just quilt it already.
Wonderland Quilt Top for Siblings Together

13. Some garments for me and the kid. I've got a bunch of patterns and a bunch of fabric. We'll see what happens!

That should keep me busy this year, wouldn't you say? I'm continuing on with the Finish A Long now hosted by the Katy Littlest Thistle. It's a lot of fun - have a look!

Finish Along 2014