Work in Progress

I’ve been thinking a lot about my work lately, both my 9-5 job and the time I spend making things out of yarn and fabric. I would love to have a job that would allow me to to use my time and energy more creatively but I’m not sure how to get there. This has been an ongoing discussion between me and my husband for the past few months and I don’t yet have any firm plans on how to scratch this itch.

When I get blue about my voice as a maker or when I doubt my ideas or skills, or when I fear that I’ll spend all my days staring at spreadsheets in a cubicle, I have to remind myself that I’m comparing my beginning with someone else’s middle. I’m working and I’m in progress.

Quilting Metro Rings is coming along, still. I feel like I’ll be saying that for a while yet, but I really want to finish it by the end of the month. And in the meantime, I wanted to start something new, so pulled the following fabrics for a Metro Medallion quilt.

Happy fabric pull

A good half of those are personal favorites. There’s some Tula, some AMH, some Rashida, Melody Miller arrows, Patty Young bumblebees, and Lizzy House stars. And then I needed an extra magenta and had to seriously give myself a pep talk to pull my one precious Mendocino fat quarter. But good, lovely fabric is mean to be turned into something good and lovely, wouldn’t you agree?

This introspective WIP Wednesday post is being linked up with Freshly Pieced! Boom!


Finished Neptune!

Finished Neptune!

Neptune is finished finished finished! I’m so very pleased with this quilt. I’ve seen my sewing skills improve over the course of making it – things like accurate piecing, matching points and corners, and general confidence.

Back of Neptune

Every time I get in bed, the corner flips back to reveal the happy frolicking kitties on the Lizzy House fabric, and I smile. I think it is very important to smile before you go to bed; this kitty fabric was therefore a very wise decision.

Neptune on the bed

Yes, to get this shot, I was standing on top of our dresser, holding the camera as far back as I could. I wish it were just a smidge longer on the the sides, as I’m a complete blanket hog, but I love it, it is done, and it really brightens up our room. My husband, he of beige and navy bedding, walked in while I was taking this, took a long look, and then told me that I make him less boring. That’s winning, I suppose.

And I finished my Lovely Year of Finishes goal!

My Button

Size: 72″ × 90″
Pattern: Sugar Block Club 2013, Traveling Star, assorted blocks from Vintage Quilt Revival
Quilting: All over stipple on my Juki
Fabric: Kona Poseidon bundle + a few extra Kona solids in pink, purple, blue, and yellow for the front and Lizzy House Catnap on the back

Triangle Constellations

You guys, Triangle Constellations is finished! And sweet sister in law, avert your eyes again! I sewed on the binding this morning and then got my husband to hold the quilt (in the snow).

Triangle Constellations quilt

I’m so, so pleased with this. I used a full FQ bundle of Lizzy House’s Constellations fabric, plus Pearl Bracelets in Grape Jelly and Juniper. The triangles were originally 7″ and the finished quilt is 68″ by 56.”

Triangle Constellations

The binding is Pearl Bracelet in Meyer Lemon – I think it gives it a little zip!

Triangle Constellations - back side

The back is the Bouquet print from Flea Market Fancy in turquoise edged with Pearl Bracelet in Hiho Silver. I’ve used FMF in a couple projects and the fabric has such a nice hand to it.

Triangle Constellations - back side

Triangle Constellations was sewn and quilted entirely on my new Juki and the finished product is so nice! I’m proud that this is my first finished quilt of 2014. I hope my SIL likes it!

Triangle Constellations

Actual Quilting!

If you are my sweet sister-in-law, stop reading this now. Or close your eyes. Or prepare yourself for SPOILERS.

Having a date when things need to be done usually spurs me to action, and finishing the Triangle Constellations quilt has been no different. Once I learned the date of the shower for my sweet SIL and future niece , and realized that it was nearly halfway through the month, I turned on the Olympics and leaped into action. I finished the back and cut binding, basted, embroidered a little (secret) monogram, and then it was time to quilt.

Quilting Constellations

I may have been a bit hesitant about the actual quilting but Juki. Oh my goodness, it quilts like a dream. I got set up, screwed in the FMQ foot, installed a heftier needle, and just dove right in.

Quilting Constellations

I’m still getting used to where to place my hands on the quilt to steer it and how fast to sew, but the finished product is looking so nice. I’m doing a large meandering stipple with a few loopdeloops and I’m about a quarter done.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced !

Socks and Stuffed Toys

Here are three quick and dark iPhone snaps for WIP Wednesday!

I finished one Porthos sock last week!

Blue Porthos sock

C’s best friend recently had a new baby girl. He already has a little boy, and C asked me to make stuffed toys for the kiddos. The rhino is almost finished – he needs his horn sewn on and to be fully stuffed and sewn up. Last night, C and I sat on the couch, got caught up on Parks and Rec, and rolled up little balls of stuffing (like how you would roll a ball out of clay). A friend of mine showed me that trick and I’m not sure if it is correct or not, but I like that it compresses the stuffing a bit before it goes into the toy so the toy doesn’t deflate.

Almost a rhino!

Rhino here is almost all stuffed and when I woke up this morning, C had filled an entire bucket full of balls of fluff, to use to finish Rhino and stuff Elephant.

Elephant in process

Elephant is almost done too – I’ll probably finish on Thursday. The patterns are from DIY Fluffies by Mariska Vos-Bolman. I’ve made each a couple times before and they’re just adorable. The fabric is Tula Pink, Prince Charming for Rhino and Birds and Bees for Elephant. I’ve been on a Tula kick lately – you’re going to see a Pink Tula Pink quilt here one of these months!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Poseidon Progress

Last week, I banged out two more Sugar Blocks for my Quilt of Poseidon. First up: August.

Sugar Block: August

I had an issue with sewing those HSTs to the small solid squares in the wrong direction. Other than that, this was straightforward to put together.

Next up: A modified Come Fly With Me block for September.

Sugar Block: September

So here’s some backstory. Last month, I was having some concerns about this quilt not looking cohesive. At that point, Each block used 2 or 3 colors of the Kona bundle + a pop of pink, yellow, or purple. I hadn’t duplicated any colors in the bundle yet, and things just looked… disjointed. So I made an Arkansas Traveler from 4 already used shades (and no pop colors), and that made things feel more cohesive. And then I saw this block and knew that instead of the propeller look suggested by the pattern, I would make a granny square similar, but bigger, than the ones I’m making for my Fortunate Granny quilt.

This quick mosaic shows that it is coming together.

Quilt of Poseidon Mosaic

1. Arkansas Traveler Block, 2. Sugar Block: July, 3. Sugar Block: March, 4. Sugar Block: April, 5. Sugar Block: February, 6. Sugar Block: May, 7. Sugar Block: June, 8. Sugar Block: January, 9. Sugar Block: September, 10. Sugar Block: August, 11. The Sugar Block Club

Right? The yellow and pink aren’t too bright and distracting, right? The final quilt is going to be huuuuge – I’m aiming for final dimensions of 90 x 90 (5 x 5 12″ blocks plus sashing and borders) so I think the whole thing will look good together, I hope.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Arkansas Traveler

Monday night, while the cold autumn wind was blowing in our 4th floor windows, I took a long look at my workspace. Stuff was piled everywhere: fabric, bits of thread, pens and markers, an errant skein of yarn, patterns, and my QAYG stocking project. I tidied up the space, took a long look at the QAYG project, and decided I’d rather cut fabric than futz with my walking foot.

A couple hours later, while humming along with Mary Poppins, I had some nice tidy stacks of squares and HSTs.

Squares and HSTs for August Sugar Block

This stack will be for September’s Sugar Block, Come Fly With Me.

Poseidon FQs for September Sugar Block

I even completed this lovely block, Arkansas Traveler. It will be part of my Sugar Block Quilt, but the tutorial, by Lee at Freshly Pieced, is part of the Summer Sampler Series

Arkansas Traveler Block

I’ve been plowing my way through Rick Riordan’s Percy Jackson and Heroes of Olympus series. They’re pretty fun – a modern twist on Greek/Roman mythology. I used to love ancient myths as a kid, so I’m getting a kick out of seeing familiar characters and tropes revamped in a modern setting. The main character is a son of Poseidon (and gets called that several times each book by various baddies). And I’m making a quilt from a Kona Poseidon bundle (with a few other solids). I think I’m going to call the finished quilt the Quilt of Poseidon.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

Pillow Finish

The stripey pillows for my mom are finished!

Stripey Pillow 1

Stripey Pillow 2

The final sewing bits came together pretty quickly. I had one miscalculation in size, that left an edge of the cardinal fabric out when I did the final pillow sewing but that was easily rectified. And they were passed along to my mom almost as soon as they were finished!

Quilting Cuzco

Slowly, slowly I’ve been making progress quilting Cuzco Crossing. I wanted to try straight line quilting for a while, and this quilt seemed like a good opportunity. I’m quilting horizontal and vertical lines through the hourglass centers.

Quilting Cuzco Crossing

I’m using painter’s tape to mark the quilting lines, which is working well for me. Hat tip to whoever in the blogoverse who introduced me to this method. I remember seeing it a couple weeks ago but I honestly forget where I saw it. In any case, it is brilliant. Thank you. I am about halfway done with the quilting and I think I’ve hit a good rhythm. Perhaps it will be done this weekend!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

It is Wednesday, so I’m linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

To Boston With Love

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.

To Boston with Love flag

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.

To Boston with Love flag back

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!