Thursday, June 26, 2008

Panda Power

I've been sewing again. This time it's a baby blanket for a neighbour. It's so cute.

Just a meter of the panda fabric sandwiched and bound. Gorgeous stuff.

Here's a close up of the stitching along the bamboo frame on either side of this panda - one of the fancy stitches on my Janome.

And a shot of the back and binding.

And in blogging news, this is my 400th post. Woo hoo! Hard to believe I've had so much craftiness to share over the years, I know!

Hope you have a crafty weekend, M

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Denim Stars

It's a bit crazy, I know, but I haven't run out of projects to show you yet. To be fair, though, I did start this one ages ago and am just finally getting around to stitching it up.

If you recall this and this, from last winter (or even if you don't) it's now front and centre on the craft table again.

I've secured each star with a button in the middle as part of the sandwichy-quilty process (yes, that's a technical term).

At the beginning of this project, I intended to hand stitch all the stars on. And that might just be why it sat for over a year in the "I'll get to it later" pile. However, I have recently rediscovered that the Janome has a blanket stitch option and I used it!

(In fact, I'm starting another applique quilt with that blanket stitch option. I'm a blanket-stitching fool! Bwahahaha!)

Anyway . . . this one's in the hand-stitching-the-binding-phase now (another technical term). I did a funky hand quilting thing with it that I think has turned out great. It has a very free-form, folk-artsy feel to it. I'll show more pix when I'm completely finished before I send it off to it's new owner.

In other news, the camera has suffered a trauma this week and I'm not sure it's going to recover. The cats were testing it, and while it passed the "demonstrating gravity" experiment, it hasn't done so well on the "surviving the fall" debriefing. I may have to go shopping for a new one today.

So that's my news for this sunny Saturday morning. I'm off to enjoy the first weekend of summer!

Happy crafting, M

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Whatcha doin?

"Are you sittin' at the computer again?" Stella asks.

Stella likes to sit on my laptop. The keys are nice and warm. I haven't actually caught her sleeping on it yet but I do suspect that she naps on it while I'm at work. Cheeky girl cat!

I have another nearly-there quilt to show you.

This one is a very simple design. Large batik that I love in the center, simple green/gold batik rail fence blocks around the edge. (The red you see on the edges is the backing folded over and pinned until I finish the quilting. That's why it looks uneven.) Then a big celtic knot in the middle.

I haven't decided if that's the knot I'm going to use. I was thinking something larger but simpler might be better. But you get the general idea.

Hope you're all having a good week! M

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Mother's Day

I do realize that the day itself was weeks and weeks ago, honest I do. But I am just getting around to posting these pix of the quilt I made for my mom for the day.

My mother, like so many other people, has a shoe problem. Not only does she love, love, love them, but she owns very many pairs of them. But mostly her problem is that she only has one daughter and that daughter (me) prefers running shoes or Birkenstocks to anything else! Down right embarrassing in my mother's eyes.

Anyway, to give my mother a quilt that I knew she would love, I was pretty sure it had to involve shoes in some way. Thus this fabric was chosen:

I actually think it's gorgeous stuff and, fortunately, she agrees.

In order to show off the feature fabric the best, I chose a couple of highlight colours to do a faux log cabin around a large centre square. No rhyme or reason to placement of the log cabin strips, just some combination until I got to the same size for each block.

Then I put them all together like this:

I'm very pleased with how it's turned out!

As for predictions as to when it actually gets quilted and finished, hard to say. Don't place any bets but I'm thinking if it gets done by Christmas it would be a minor miracle.

I'm off to the sewing room in a minute. Haven't been in there since Wednesday as I started a new job this week. I am so looking forward to some creative time

Happy weekend, M

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Laundry Dance of Joy

My old house has had a very old washer and dryer. So old in fact, the tub on the washer wouldn't spin anymore. We've been hauling laundry to the laundromat for several weeks now. This is never a great idea but especially when one (read: me) is recovering from a back injury.

Today, we do the Laundry Dance of Joy because these babies have arrived:

Joyful Washer

Joyful Dryer.

They are teeny, tiny little things but they need to be because the basement stairs in my house are exceptionally narrow. At 25 inches, each of the new appliances barely made it. They had to be "coaxed" by the movers to get past the narrowest part. Kudos to them for not swearing out loud.

But they're here now. Hooked up and running. I have bed linens sudsing as I type. I am smiling at the thought. And it hits me square in the forehead that I am a Laundry Geek. Love me anyway!

Laundry facilities are definitely part of my crafy life, it's true, but I also have crafty goodness to show you. Another quilt top I finished very recently.

It's a rail fence, with an odd nine-patch thrown in because we don't want to waste lovely fabric, done in yummy pastels.

Ahhh, such a satisfying day.

Happy Tuesday, Crafters, M

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Pocketful of Pink

Good day everyone! I have been creating.

This time I've been using up some leftover fabrics and scraps from my ever-present pile o'pinks. It makes for a very pretty Chinese Coins quilt top.

Little Miss Sailor seems to like it, too! She's such a good helper.

For backing fabric, I have a baby pink fleece. I'm hand quilting it with bright pink embroidery floss and I think it's adorable. Once it's finished, I'll post another pic.

I find it fun to use fabrics from other projects. I get to remember the original quilts, their recipients, and what was going on when I made them.

I hope you're having a crafty week. M

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Point In Case

Susan over at Zen Knit was teasing me yesterday because I claimed, in my last post, that I am a newbie quilter. She's very quick that way, picking up that very small reference I made. :)

I've really only been quilting in earnest for just over two years and am mostly self-taught. I do consider myself very new to all of this and there are so many techniques, etc. that I have yet to learn.

To prove my point, I'll show you this little quilt top I finished a few weeks ago.

This is the first time I've ever pieced a quilt "on point." It was way more challenging than I thought it was going to be and there were a lot of curse words and some tears of frustration.

I did finally get it, though, and have learned a valuable lesson about using triangles at the ends of rows like that. The trick? Cut 'em bigger and trim 'em down. Otherwise it'll be all wonky and ugly and sucky.

I made this little top from scraps and leftovers because I wanted to try the on-point setting. I also wanted an excuse to use my new toy:

Quilt Design Wizard from Electric Quilt.

This is the little sister of the bigger software programs produced by Electric Quilt and it suits my needs very nicely. It's better than video games (which I've never been good at) and I have spent many an hour fiddling around with fabric choices, block layout, borders, sashings and the like. Very fun stuff!

So that's my story, crafters, and I'm sticking to it. I am a newbie quilter and proud of it! :)

Happy Tuesday, M

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Place To Be

Apparently, my sewing room is it.

Or at least all my furry babies think so. From left, the dogs are Laddie, Emmett, and Molly. On the right and from the top, the cats are Stella and Sailor. You can't see Reuben because he's sitting under my sewing table, refusing to compete with all those other ones for a place on the bed.

Fortunately, it's still a very productive place even with all those bodies in it. This is what I made on Friday, (before I took my Janome to the shop for a tune up and they told me I wouldn't get it back until, gasp, Wednesday!).

A very simple block used in a very simple way but still lovely. I do enjoy the geometry of this one and it will be a baby quilt for the next boy. I have former students expecting.

I got the inspiration for this top from a book called Bundles of Fun by Karen Snyder. The designs in it are very simple but used to great effect. I've had the book for ages and only just recently pulled it out again, when I wanted simple blocks to show off specific fabrics in fun ways. Worth the investment for newbie quilters like me.

I'm off to do housework and laundry this morning.

Happy Monday, M