When I read about the “To Boston With Love” project hosted by the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild, I knew I wanted to participate. Quilters and sewists from all over the world are making 6″x8″ flags that bear messages of hope and love to the city of Boston. They will be displayed in the Shapiro Courtyard at the MFA (home of my favorite Chihuly giant green glass spike) from May 23rd to June 16th.
The design was inspired by a print by One Heart Boston. This was my first experience with applique, and I dove in without really planning much out. I sketched out a design in my notebook and traced shapes directly onto fusible interface from the sketch. Then I picked colors (I wish I had a darker grey for the bridge, but I used what Kona solids I had on hand), ironed, sewed the edges, and then added details like the Prudential’s spire and the cabling on the Zakim.
The back is simple, bright stripes of fabric from Lizzy House and Laurie Wisbrun, and a little love note to my city. I really like how it turned out and glad that I could participate in a small way. I’m so proud of my city and my crafty people and I’m looking forward to seeing all the flags at the MFA!
Llamas in Log Cabins is finished, quilted, bound, wrapped, boxed, and sent!
Finally, I might add.
It is made up of 18 improv-ish 12.5″ on-point log cabin blocks. Each block has either a llama or another of Laurie Wisbrun’s fun prints in the center. The longest bit was figuring out how to make a bunch of on-point blocks end up on a rectangular quilt. I finally used Lauren + Jessi Jung’s Side & Corner Setting Triangles chart for figuring out the dimensions of the triangles I’d need.
A bit more sashing around the edges brought the final dimensions to 62″ x 78.5″ – a nice size for snuggling!
The back has one additional block off-centered in a field of some of the various red solids and one red print I had kicking around.
I hope the recipients enjoy this bright quilt and get a lot of use out of it!
No, I’m not attempting to tie up actual llamas. I’m finally approaching completion on a long in-process quilt! OHmygoodness am I ever glad.
Tonight, I’ll sew on the last few yards of binding. I’m hoping to take a few pictures tomorrow, and then it will be DONEZO. I want to deliver this one before the big reveal, but hopefully that will be sometime next week! Hooray!
First: I live about 12 miles from Boston and the events of this past week have in many ways seemed surreal. Four days before the Marathon, I had met a friend for dinner and afterwards, checked out the barriers and walked under the stands to get to the T stop that would take me home. It was difficult and frightening to see the images of a city I love so fiercely and my thoughts and prayers are with those directly affected and with my urban tribe of Boston-area dwellers.
Things from last week are lodging themselves in my memory. The relief in my dad’s voice on the phone when I told him that I didn’t have off that day and had spent the day in my cubicle, not in the city. The tense readiness in my husband’s voice when he called, an hour after the explosions, to tell me that he was heading in to work at MGH. Texts telling me to stay strong from my SIL.
I am thankful for Emily‘s link to Adam Robert’s “Why The Small Things Still Matter” because it reminds me that there is always a place for quilts and yarn, braised pork loins, board games, conversations with old friends, and the quotidian small joys of life with my husband.
In any case, I finished these quilt tops from Lotta Jansdotter’s Echo fabric line about a year ago and since then, they’ve languished in the closet. Last weekend, I took a spur-of-the-moment trip out to the Berkshires to visit some friends who are both pregnant and moving away and I wanted to bring something handmade. Babies need quilts, right?
The back is very simple (so simple that I forgot to snap a photograph) – a stripe of blue calico between panels of a grey floral print. I quilted it with a loose meandering stipple and tried a new-to-me method of machine binding (as opposed to sewing the binding on by hand) which was so quick and easy it will probably become my preferred method of binding. And shazam: finished quilt!
I’m calling it Spring Stripes I (II is still only a top but I have the backing fabric all thought out).
And I still had time on Sunday to finish the front and back of another project! My goal is to get to the long arm studio to finish this one up by the end of the month.
I did do a wee bit of sewing, mostly in the snowy days of February. We had a couple big storms come through (Nemo, I’m looking at you), that allowed me to be very productive at home. I decided in the weeks before the Big W to sew stuffed toys for the babies/future babies in attendance.
Little Rhino! By Justine Johnson Photography
The patterns are by Mariska Vos-Bolman, purchased through her Etsy shop, DIY Fluffies. I’ve never sewn stuffed toys before, so there were a few fiddly moments of having to take out or resew pieces so I could turn them right side out. And then stuffing them took just about as long as the actual sewing.
But the final product is pretty darn cute. I had two elephants, one rhino, and one hippo that would have become a rhino had I not run out of time on Saturday morning and had to run off TO GET MARRIED. (I was seeing said baby-having friends at the wedding and wanted to give the animals to them then.)
Each stuffed animal took slightly less than 1/2 a yard of fabric for the body and maybe an 1/8 for the contrast bits. I used several Denyse Schmidt prints from my stash. And really, the result is pretty fantastic!
There are a few more future babies out there and I’m looking forward to sewing a few more of these petite pachyderms!
Clementine and Rooibus, courtesy of Meg Walker
I wrote this post on my birthday last month and for some reason, it didn’t post. Phooey. And I just today realized that fact. So although it is +/- a month out of date, here’s the post!
Today is my birthday, and I’ve been thinking a lot about what a year can bring. This last year was really really great, possibly the best one yet. But on my birthday last year, I didn’t know that. Last year for my birthday, a friend and I went on a Stray Boots walking tour of Boston’s Beacon Hill neighborhood. We ended up at a pub for an early lunch and er… made friends with some revelers. They were dully impressed that St. Patrick’s day was indeed my birthday. And then I went home and fell asleep early watching Netflix. It was a lovely birthday but a quiet day.
And then eight days later, I met the man who is now my husband. He’s brought so much joy into my life, so of course it was only reasonable that we snapped each other up and got married 11 months after we met.
So it has been a year. And it has been a month – I switched jobs, got married, went on a honeymoon, and moved into my husband’s condo all in a period of four weeks. Because so much energy was being poured into the other aspects of my life, especially the final push towards the wedding, I’ve not really crafted much. So, I suppose that the “made” part of my blog title can be applied towards anything I’m making in life: a home for me and my husband, a place with my new company, plans and adventures with my wonderful urban tribe.
In any case, here are a few shots, courtesy of our awesome photog Justine Johnson, of the day we got hitched. It was a lovely, lovely blur of a day.
So I knit another Octopus.
This is no ordinary octopus. This octopus is a gift to my certain somebody, my less-than-30-days-from-being-my-husband man. Knitting comes up in our conversations sometimes, and I always offer to knit him something practical. A hat, or socks, or gloves most often, because he is often scandalously under-dressed (not even a scarf!) for this winter weather. But whenever I make these noises, he tells me that all he wants is an octopus.
Well, sir, if it an octopus you want, an octopus you shall get.
Made entirely from yarn leftover from other projects and the pipe cleaners I was amazed to find in my pre-moving, pre-wedding jumble, he is eight arms of octo-awesome.
Deets about yarn and needles and pattern is on the Ravelry project page.
Technically, my last FO of 2012 is also my first FO of 2013. I finished Mom’s Marilinda socks on the 30th, while “watching” the Pats beat some other football team but couldn’t for the life of me find a darning needle. Somewhere in the detritus of my life, I have a small green bag that originally was part of a Clinique Free Gift set that my mom got several years ago that holds all my knitting tools like stitch markers, small scissors, and darning needles. That and my needle roll were once inseparable buddies, but it has gone missing. It is probably somewhere in my closet and will resurface when I move next month. Anyway, no darning needles were to be found in there.
I also used to keep a darning needle in my knitting needle roll. I’ve kept one there for green-bag backup for quite a long time. But then I used it to embroider my On a Whim quilt with the names of the couple. For a while, it was floating around my kitchen table, and then it was on my night stand and then it disappeared. Again, I’ll probably find it and several more of its kin when I move next month, but darning needles do have a tendency to go missing.
When I explained all this to the fiance, he looked askance at me and said, “needles just… go missing?!” I could tell he was having visions of deadly sharp weapons hiding in carpet and on floors, just ready to stab a foot TO THE BONE. That’s not really what happens, especially as darning needles are pretty blunt and I wear slippers around the house. But it probably would behoove me to take better care where I leave them.
Anyway. I made a stop at a nice Joann’s in Concord last night and bought TWO PACKS of darning needles, one of which will live in my sewing kit for backup. Last night, I Kitchenered up the toe and Mom’s Marilinda socks (rav link for deets) are finally done! They are stretchy and blue and long and my mom really likes them!
…And then I cast on for a new hat for me. Because my old hat makes me look:
b) like I’m 12
d) all of the above.
We’ll see if this new hat is an improvement!
Unlike last year, I didn’t hand-make many Christmas gifts. Truth be told, my maker energy has been channeled elsewhere (wedding, non-blogworthy cooking). Times and seasons, right?
But when L mentioned that she wanted some new couch cushions, that was something I knew I could do! I used blue scraps from the On a Whim quilt I made for her wedding. She sort of has a bird theme going in the apartment she shares with her new husband. I’ve loved the Circle of Geese block for a while – it is so clean and crisp and I knew that would be the top of the first pillow.
I quilted the top with a simple circle(ish) around the geese and then with a curving stipple on the outside of the geese. I also realize that I used two different colors of cream fabric, but I didn’t want to buy anything new for these pillows. I think it adds a nice frame effect.
For the second pillow, I was inspired by Anna Maria Horner’s Feather Bed Quilt but drafted my own feathers based on her instructions to fit the pillows L chose. I ended up using a modified paper-piecing method, which worked fairly well with some trial and error and seam ripping. This one was quilted with straight lines (yay walking foot!) around the feathers.
The pillow backs are whole pieces of Lizzy House’s Outfoxed fabric. I’ve been hoarding a yard of this for a while, waiting for a suitable project. The backs are simple envelope closures for ease in removing the pillows. I knew that L loved this fabric, so when the opportunity arose, I used it! In fact, I sort of think that L likes the backs better than the front – she was so excited to see the fox fabric.
Hope your 2013 is looking bright!
Merry Christmas! Merry, merry Christmas!
Of course, my favorite Christmas song had to be today. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas is such a classic, there’s not much for me to say about it. My two favorite versions (of the twenty or so that are on my computer) are Judy’s, for being the ultimate emotional version, and Ella’s for being swingy, upbeat, and fun.
Hope you are having a lovely Christmas day!