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.

Metro Rings is Done!

Metro Rings complete

There it is, in all its glory, my complete Metro Rings. I think this is the best thing I’ve ever made, or at the very least, the best quilting I’ve ever done.

Metro Rings quilting

The quilting, first stitching in the ditch around the rings with my walking foot and then filling in the FMQ bits took all month, but it was so worth it in the end.

Metro Rings

The grey borders are filled with a FMQ stipple, and the quilt is bound in the tangerine Modern Floral from Botanics.

Orange binding!

I’m so glad this is done; I can’t wait to give it to my friends B&G, who are getting married next month. I’m linking this up with the Sew Kind of Wonderful Quick Curve Ruler linkup. This was also my ALOYF August goal, and I’m linking up there as well!

Metro Rings

Finishing Metro Rings was one of my Q3 Finish Along goals and it looks like it’s the only one I’m going to complete!

Sew Kind of Wonderful Blog Hop

Welcome to my stop on the Sew Kind of Wonderful Blog Hop!

QCRbloghopbutton

When I started quilting, I appreciated the ability to be precise in cutting fabric. When a pattern calls for a 3″ square, I can cut a precise square using rulers, a mat, and a rotary cutter. Curves kind of wigged me out because they seemed so… imprecise. Enter the Quick Curve Ruler, a tool that makes cutting curves downright scientific. The ruler has a curved slit and is marked with a quarter-inch grid as well as curve guides, which helps with lining up and trimming blocks. If the fabric is the right size and shape and the ruler placed properly, every curve will be almost exactly like every other curve. Precision!

Jenny Pedigo at Sew Kind of Wonderful kindly provided the Metro Medallion pattern and I dove right in. I cut all my rectangles and lined up the QCR and began to cut curves.

Cutting curves for Metro Medallion

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Both small almond piece and larger piece are used in this pattern, which means there’s very little waste. The curved edge pieces are cut in a similar way, but this time, the previous curve cut is lined up with one of the curve guides marked on the ruler.

Metro Medallion border fabric

Cutting fabric for Metro Medallion seemed to take less time than cutting for Metro Rings and before long, I had neat piles of all pieces needed for the pattern.

IMG_8301

After a bit of chain piecing, I had all my block components ready for trimming. When I was piecing Metro Medallion, NaNa suggested marking the QCR’s 1/8” line for ease in trimming. I also marked the 4.5 line on the ruler and folded my component blocks in half, lining up the curves, to mark the center of the block.

Lining up curves

Curves are nicely lined up

To trim, I lined the fold up with the marked 4.5” line on the QCR and made sure the curved seam lined up with the 1/8th” line.

Getting ready to trim

This makes sure that the curve points don’t get cut off – not a big deal in the Metro Medallions pattern, but I still want to be precise.

Metro Medallion component block

And here’s the first finished block! The pattern also has a variation with corner triangles; I’m going to sew those on once all blocks are complete to make sure colors are balanced. I’m looking forward to sewing up the top, so many of my favorite fabrics are represented. I may have to keep this one for myself!

Metro Medallion block

Please go and check out Jenny’s blog and shop. You can also join the Sew Kind of Wonderful mailing list to get news of any new patterns or promotions.

There will be a linky party on the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog starting tomorrow for any quilt or block made with the Quick Curve Ruler. The party will run through 31 August. If you haven’t tried a QCR project, I believe Elizabeth will be hosting a giveaway tomorrow! And for more inspiration, check out #SKOWBlogHop on Instagram and the rest of the posts in the hop!

Monday 18 August http://quokkaquilts.com
Tuesday 19 August www.cluckclucksew.com
Wednesday 20 August www.fromthebluechair.com
Thursday 21 August liveacolorfullife.net
Friday 22 August www.happyquiltingmelissa.com
Monday 25 August www.greenfairyquiltsblog.com
Tuesday 26 August http://blog.sewbittersweetdesigns.com
Wednesday 27 August www.pleasant-home.com
Thursday 28 August http://www.lucymade.wordpress.com

AND

http://msmidge.blogspot.com.au

Friday 29 August www.dontcallmebetsy.com

The bloghop is going to be followed by a ‘Curve it up’ Challenge Quilt-a-long on the Sew Kind of Wonderful blog starting in September, so join in the bloghop, get inspired and get ready to Curve It Up!

CurveItUpQALbutton

Disclosure: this post was sponsored in part by Sew Kind of Wonderful; I received the Metro Medallions pattern for free. My opinions are my own and based on my experience with the products.

Tossed Almond Top

The last couple weeks have been full of QCR projects – quilting my Metro Rings (fingers crossed will be done this weekend!), putting together and a post for my stop on the Quick Curve Ruler Blog Hop (tune in tomorrow!), and lastly, putting those Metro Ring scraps together into some sort of simple top.

Almonds top

One of the great things about cutting curves with the QCR is that all curves match. Thus, all the bits left over from the ring segments could be pieced back together into a little something. Once I had the block, which measured around 19” x 19”, I bordered it with the white crosshatch from Botanics and floated it on a field of Kona Aloe. I’m calling it Tossed Almonds; wouldn’t an entire top using that technique be something?

Center block

Right now, it’s a smidge larger than 60” x 60” and I’m debating trimming it down to crib size. Pros: more focus on center block. Cons: will no longer be throw-sized. Thoughts?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Space Baby Dress

In addition to pulling together my projects and post for the QCR Blog Hop (tune in on Thursday!), I also whipped up a little Geranium Dress from a Made by Rae pattern for my sweet niece. You may recall that she has a space-themed nursery, and this fabric, Riley Blake Rocket Age in Rocket Blast, begged me to turn it into a dress. A Space Baby dress.

Geranium Dress rocket ship detail

The Geranium pattern came together really quickly, even though I felled the skirt seams and had to break out my old Kenmore sewing machine to do the zigzag around the flutter sleeves and skirt gathers.

Tiny felled seam!

I love that all seams, except for the flutter sleeves, are enclosed, which means that hopefully the dress will wear and wash well. Key when sewing for a baby.

Dress lining

I broke out the Kenmore again for buttonholes and let me tell you: the automatic buttonhole feature is MAGICAL. I want to sew another garment just to sew more buttons. And the buttons themselves are pretty rad; I do love a good pop of alternate color.

Orange buttons say hooray

Here’s hoping it fits for at least a little while! If not, the pattern was so quick and charming that I may have to make another in the next size up!

Geranium in Space

Metro Rings FMQ

You guessed it, I’m still working on my Metro Rings. I’m filling in spaces with free motion loops and stipples and it is going well!. Here’s a little sample:

I’ve also been cutting and sewing for my QCR blog hop post, but you’ll have to tune in next week for the reveal(s)! In the meantime, I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Thanks so much for your thoughts on work and craft. It seems like a lot of us are in the process of thinking on this issue and living in this tension. This week for me at least feels more hopeful; I have a game plan for some additional creating on the side of my 9-5. Within my 9-5, my manager told me yesterday that she knows I’m creative and wants to use these juices in a few upcoming projects. So my mindframe is hopeful. Here’s hoping for creative outlets for you as well!

Last night’s Arcade Fire show included Sprawl II (Mountains Beyond Mountains) which I’ve been humming all morning. Yes.