Blogger’s Quilt Festival: Metro Rings

Junior year of college was one of those years where a lot came together for me. I finally had my major figured out, I had some great friends on campus, and I was the RA in a building inhabited by the people who would go on to become more great friends. My room was long and skinny; technically it was a double, but my fall semester roommate had gone to study abroad in Italy. I turned the extra bed into a couch. My next door neighbor B and I would sit on the couch for hours talking about life, boys, relationships, career… but mostly boys. I remember her telling me that when she got married, her father-daughter dance would be to Summer in the City, because as a toddler, she used to dance with her dad to that song. Although we both wanted to get married, it seemed so far away at that point.

Metro Rings complete

The next year, we lived in the same six-person apartment on campus (Emily was also there). When things got stressful, somebody would often turn on Brick House and we’d dance around the apartment. I put both Summer in the City and Brick House on a mixtape I made for everyone at the end of the year; hearing them remind me of the good times we had living together.

Metro Rings

Life went on, we both graduated and stayed friends. I moved up to NH for grad school then to Oklahoma and then back to MA for work and she stayed in the Boston area. We exchanged volumes of emails about relationships, weird dates we’d been on, cute guys, and breakups. We danced to Brick House at a couple weddings (including mine; it’s one of my favorite memories). I was really, really happy for her when she started seeing G a couple of years ago. G makes Bi happy. He brings out her silliness and makes her laugh. They’re complimentary in personality and in living habits. They share a similar outlook on delicious food (but not cheese, but B is OK with that).

Metro Rings quilting

They got married last weekend and it was so joyful. I’m so happy that B and G have found each other. I definitely got misty when B and her dad took to the floor to Summer in the City and again while dancing with all my favorite people to Brick House. It felt like a culmination of all those emails, all those times dancing around the apartment, all those years looking for the right person.

Metro Rings
Taken by my friend B

I know you’ve seen a lot of these pictures before but it meant a lot to be able to make something for B and G and their new home. This is one of those projects that had some emotional depth for me, and I’m so proud of the finished quilt. That’s why I’m entering it into this year’s Bloggers Festival of Quilts in the Home Machine category. The festival began on 10/24 at Amy’s Creative Side and voting begins on the 11th of November. Be sure to check out all the categories; there are so many great quilts this year!

AmysCreativeSide.com

Secrets and Flowers

The last few weeks have been slow sewing for me. I’m in the process of a job transition, which is sapping a lot of my after work energy. But hopefully I’ll be back in the saddle shortly!

I’ve been putzing along on Giant (not so) Secret Project. Here’s a quick shot, can you guess what it is?

Secret Project

I also picked out fabric for the Gathering Flowers (pattern by Anna Maria Horner) I’m making for my new niecelet. My Auntie sent room color paint chips and I think the fabric pull mostly matches – I need some more of that nice lime, which is curiously absent from my stash. And maybe some more rosy pinks; most of the pink in my stash has salmon undertones.

Gathering Flowers fabric pull

But it is a start, hey?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Quilted Aeroplane Bag

QAYG Aeroplane

Finished!

QAYG Aeroplane

…Except for stitching up the bottom where I turned the bag right-side-out after everything was sewn. The zipper is a little wonky, but I think it is just fine and functional.

QAYG Aeroplane

QAYG Aeroplane

I found the Aeroplane Bag pattern by Sarah Lawson at Sew Sweetness to be really clear. At a couple of places I wished I had the PDF pattern instead of a paper pattern so I could zoom in on the diagrams, but for the most part, this bag went together quickly and easily. And Juki handled the thick places like a champ, powering through at least 6 layers of fabric and Soft and Stable in places.

QAYG Aeroplane

QAYG Aeroplane

The lining is pink Outfoxed triangles and the pocket is Flea Market Fancy.

QAYG Aeroplane

And I even used it last weekend, packing it up and taking it to a cousin’s wedding in NH. It is the perfect size for a long weekend getaway!

This was my ALOYF goal for October.

Reasonable Autumn Goals

Remember my summer Finish Along goals? Remember how I completed… one project? Yeah. They were pretty lofty goals. For Q4, I’m going to try and be reasonable and only goalify things that I really need to get done. Or something like that.

My Q4 Finish Along Goals are:
1. Aeroplane bag
2. Four more Geranium dresses. I’m considering this one goal since I’ll probably make them factory-style.
3. Giant secret Christmas present. It is giant and secret. Sssh.

Something new

4. Metro Medallion needs batting patched together, backing to be worked out and then quilted.
5. Almonds baby quilt needs to be quilted and bound.
6. Fangirl Meadow

The last three are not as pressing goals and I may work on other stuff this quarter – I have a cowl and a sweater on the needles and a HST wedding chuppah to make for my best friend before next May and a baby quilt with pattern but no fabric… But them’s the plans! Linking up with the Finish Along link party at The Littlest Thistle.

Finish Along 2014

Metro Medallion Top

My Metro Medallion top seriously came together so quickly. The blocks themselves are fairly large (13.5 x 16.5) and it felt like I just sat down to sew a few blocks together and suddenly I had the entire top! I love when things work out that way.

Metro Medallion top

I waffled about the corner triangles, especially when I realized that the pattern directions call for cutting left- and right-facing triangles to get the neat diamond shapes and I disregarded all rules of geometry and cut all right triangles. So then I had to go back and cut out the correct triangle shapes.

Metro Medallion diamond

But it looks much nicer this way!

Metro Medallion block

And I managed to fit one entire octopus on one block. Sadly, the other’s tentacles seem to be across some sort of dimensional portal.

Aeroplane Bag

I’ve been drooling over Quilt As You Go (QAYG) bags for a while now. I love the ability to use scraps and bits of favorites and to frame motifs within the larger patchwork. I also need a weekend getaway bag. I’ve been using either a backpack or an open tote bag, which works but isn’t… cute. And with the open tote, has the possibility of tipping over and spilling my clean underwear all over the trunk. So a small, zippered something was needed.

Enter the Aeroplane Bag from Sew Sweetness. I like its domed shape, size, and that it requires no piping. I gathered scraps and quilted them directly on to the Soft and Stable top pieces using Elizabeth Hartman’s technique . I got to use pieces of my favorite lines: a fox here, a raccoon there, an octopus in the corner. Unable to decide on warm or cool colors, I went with all of them, with Kona Shale as the bottom and straps to tone things down.

QAYG Aeroplane Bag panel

So far, I’ve made the top and bottom panels and the straps.

QAYG Aeroplane Bag panel

I’m hoping to have this bag finished by this weekend and have made it my October ALOYF goal! It is also what I’m working on today for WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

A Lovely Year of Finishes

Around the World Blog Hop

Ann at anniemac original kindly tagged me in the Around the World Blog Hop! As I am always up for thinking about why I do what I do, I’m happy for my chance to participate!

What am I working on?
I’m really enjoying working on bits and bobs of stuff after finishing B&G’s Metro Rings. I finished my Metro Medallion top, knitting a cowl and a sweater, working on an Aeroplane bag (maybe to be finished by this weekend?), planned out 4 Geraniums, have a Meadow and another secret project in the works… I don’t think I’ve ever had this many WIPs at once! Part of me finds it a big exhilarating; if I get tired of one thing, there’s something else available to pick up. But part of me finds it daunting; when will I ever finish everything? I think once the bag is done, I’ll focus back in on one or two projects.

Foxes Out My Window requilted!
The one that started it all – my first quilt.

How does my work differ from other of its genre?
I think my work fits very comfortably within “Modern Quilting” or just “Quilting” in general. I’m not setting out to push any boundaries, and my work makes me happy.

Llamas in Log Cabins closeup

Why do I write what I do?
I started blogging way back in high school, back when I had a navel-gazey OpenDiary. I’ve blogged on various platforms for nearabouts 15 years (That’s half my life and sort of a crazy number to think about). In college, I read a lot of knitting blogs and may have had one, but I knit so slowly and posted most of my process on Ravelry that the blog felt a bit moot. When I started quilting, I started back into blogging on WordPress just to document some of the ins and outs of a project, my own process of learning new techniques, and what materials and pattern I use. I try to aim for the conversational/irreverent/excited tone I use when emailing my friends because writing to “the internet” can be a bit overwhelming for me. I like having a place to document the things I make, because making things is a big part of my life.

Neptune on the bed

How does my writing/creative process work?
I consume a lot of online media: blogs, instagram, twitter, online news, Pinterest on a daily or near-daily basis. Frankly, it’s hard not to be inspired when seeing 50+ quilty, crafty images a day. I keep a running project list in a Google document showing WIPs and what I need to do to finish each WIP, projects I’ll start in the immediate future, and projects I’d like to make someday. Sometimes inspiration is immediate: I want to make a quilt for friends getting married; they have very clear ideas about color and I have a pattern I’ve wanted to make that suits a wedding scenario, fabric is ordered the same day. Other times, inspiration takes a while to percolate. On my “to make” list for about a year is something with a fq bundle of Tula Pink Salt Water and coordinating solids. Ideas include a kaleidoscope quilt or something with isosceles triangles, or maybe a Honey Honey quilt, but I’m still waiting for clearer inspiration to strike. I’m OK with the hazy thinking phase of a project; I like thinking through all the possibilities and waiting for the right moment to dive in.

Triangle Constellations

I’d like to tag Sam at Diary of a Madfabriholic. She’s working on this gorgeous City Sampler with Tula Pink and AMH fabrics and it is going to be stunning when it is all finished.

Wee Mug Rug

I hope this isn’t a spoiler. Emily, if you haven’t received something from me recently, look away! Last week was my friend Emily’s birthday. Emily and I lived on the same floor in college freshmen year and her now-husband Brian lived on the men’s side of the building. We also lived in the same apartment senior year. Each of the 6 of us made dinner for the rest one night a week (with a forage day on Friday) and everyone present in the apartment (including friends, boyfriends, random classmates, etc.) got fed at dinnertime. It worked out well for all of us, and it was a happy year for the most part. Since college, Emily has started up the food blog Relishments. I appreciate her sense of humor, sensibleness, and friendship over the last decade. I’ve also been inspired by her success with blogging.

Mug rug

Last month, Brian reached out to me on FB to send a little something her way for her birthday. Emily likes tea (and has several (?) drawers full), so I made this little mug rug in some cheery colors using the Mini Dresden Plate pattern by elegantitus purchased on Craftsy. Feeling meta, I used a Melody Miller teacup for the Dresden center.

Mug Rug

Action shot at my desk at work!

Mug Rug

There’s a wee bunny on the back.

Back of Mug Rug

This was my very first Dresden and I may have to make more because it was pretty cute.

Happy Birthday, Emily!

Rainbow Fangirl Meadow

Somehow I blinked and early September became the end of September. Or end-ish? I’m really not sure any more. But it is Wednesday and Wednesday is the day I try to blog!

Last Friday, I heard and saw the wonderful, warm Rainbow Rowell speak. Go read at least one of her books because they will make you have All the Feels. I don’t have a picture of or with her, but I do have a picture of the marching band I found on the way to the event. Hello marching band, blocking Friday afternoon rush hour Boston traffic with your peppy brass sound!

Marching Band

On Sunday, I took Lizzy House’s Meadow quilt class at Gather Here. It was great and all of you taking The Meadow at various stops along her Meadow Tour are in for a real treat!

Meadow Block

Here’s my first block. I’ll probably use this one for a pillow or break it up into its components because it doesn’t work with the scheme I’ve figured out.

Meadow planning

I’m calling this one my “Fangirl Rainbow Meadow” mentally and I’m in love. I may keep this one too (in addition to the Modern Medallions WIP). I’m going to be So Warm all winter long.

My kind, generous, and wise husband also encouraged me to take Lizzy’s design and printmaking class this week. Here’s my efforts from last night: One carved block and a fat quarter of printed fabric!

Printmaking with Lizzy House

The best part of the class was learning how to design repeats. It was like magic to doodle, cut and rearrange the paper, and then trace it several times to see the repeat come together. It was so nice to sit and draw for two evenings as well.

You guys, I’m so tired. It’s been a really interesting week but my brain is so exhausted. So linking up with WIP Wednesday and toddling off to bed.

A Bit

It’s nice, after finishing a big project, to work on bits of things.

A bit of Metro Medallion.

Metro Medallion blocks

A bit of a label.

Metro Medallion label.

A bit of a sketch and a bit of a sweater.

Sketch and Sweater

And a bit of something new.

Something new

Linking up with WIP Wednesday.