QAYG Christmas Stockings and Spinning

Happy September! Happy Wednesday after Labor Day! I hope those of you who had the day off from work on Monday had a lovely, restful day. Husband and I mostly stayed home (except for an outing to church and to check on his brother & sister’s kitties while they were away) and read and played games and cooked things and ate things. After a moderately stressful week at work, it was nice to bum around in yoga pants and listen to the rain (did I mention that it rained off and on all weekend?).

I’ve been wanting to make a pair of quilt-as-you-go Christmas stockings (tutorial from imagine gnats) for C and I to hang on our speakers near the TV with care, come the holiday season. I pulled Laurie Wisbrun’s Brrr! holiday polar bear line yesterday, along with some leftover batting, and began!

Stocking Stack

I love the polar bear holding the flower. He’s my favorite.

Stocking Stack

I cut stocking shapes from the batting and the lining fabric and strips for the fronts. I decided to spray baste the lining fabric to the batting, as when I tried to QAYG with one layer of fabric and batting, my machine started to eat the batting. No bueno. I stitched two rows of the first strip to the batting-lining fabric combination and noticed that my lines of quilting were causing the fabric to ripple a bit.

Two rows of QAYG Christmas Stocking

So I decided to think on it a bit and broke out my spinning wheel.

Monday Spinning

The fiber is a BFL/cashmere blend from Inglenook Fibers (no pic of the fiber – I’ll try to get one tonight)and it is so soft and easy to spin. I started spinning it back in April and am trying to finish it up this week. Once I have a bobbin full of single, I’m going to n-ply it back on itself to not muddle the colors.

I’m feeling all crafty and maker-y now that (at least in this part of the world), the air is getting crisper and fall is approaching. I love this time of year – I always argue with myself about if spring or fall is really, truly my favorite time of the year. Fall makes me want to wear boots and scarves and drink apple cider and take long walks. And knit. And spin. And sew. Hooray!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!
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!

Stripey Pillows

Last spring, my mom bought some new furniture for her three season porch and requested some bright pillows. I made two big paper-pieced bird pillows for her last year (here and here) but the smaller oblong pillows languished in my closet bin. I wanted them to be scrappy to match the scrappy borders on the first block, use greens and blues with a bit of red, but I didn’t have much of a plan beyond that.

Then this spring, Laurie Wisbrun announced her latest holiday fabric collection, Holiday Sweet Tweets. My mom loves cardinals, and I immediately thought of her when I saw the cardinal stripe print. So there are my pillow backs!

Holiday Sweet Tweets

Once that piece fell into place, I got thinking and Pinterest browsing for front inspiration. I knew I wanted to finish them soon, because it is summer, the season of sitting out on the porch. A week ago, I saw these pillows by Glamscience Glittergoods on Pinterest and was inspired to make something similar. I sketched out a design, cut templates, and picked scraps out of my stash on Saturday (“the computer room exploded in fabric,” was my husband’s only comment). By Sunday morning, I had three cute foundation-pieced squares.

Stripey scrap blocks

Last night, something shifted in the atmosphere and all the humid soup that has been hanging over New England blew out and was replaced by delightfully cool, dry air. And I got to sewing everything together. Here’s the first pillow front, finished but not trimmed.

Stripey Pillow 1

I finished the pieced block of the second pillow and all that is left is to sew white sashing on the top and bottom.

Stripey Pillow 2

Here’s hoping I can finish these within the next few days! As usual, linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Llamas in Log Cabins Quilt

Llamas in Log Cabins is finished, quilted, bound, wrapped, boxed, and sent!

Llamas in Log Cabins

Finally, I might add.

Llamas in Log Cabins closeup

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.

Side view of Llamas in Log Cabins

A bit more sashing around the edges brought the final dimensions to 62″ x 78.5″ – a nice size for snuggling!

Llamas in Log Cabins back

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.

Single block on back

I hope the recipients enjoy this bright quilt and get a lot of use out of it!

Polar Bear Potholders!

Last week, I posted a sneek peek of an adorable polar bear.  Ready to see the finished project?

Polar Bear Potholders

Polar bear potholders! Originally, I was going to make a pillow for the Banditos Misteriosos holiday swap, but I knew that there’s often an equal ratio of menfolk to womenfolk present and I wanted something that would be both cute and useful. And everybody uses potholders, right? Removing hot things from the oven?

I had a vague recollection of a potholder I pinned a while back, which I used as inspiration and went from there. There’s actually a tutorial on During Quiet Time, but I did my own thing. I started with 9″ squares of grey and red fabric, with a layer of Insulbright and batting sandwiched between.

The fabric I used, Brrr! by Laurie Wisbrun, has a couple patterns that are cute things in circles. I snipped out a couple of those and figured out how ‘d like to place them. I then appliqued the narrow red strips on.

Polar Bear Potholder

IMG_7420

Next, I spray basted the four layers together and then quilted the potholders with narrow lines. Then I stuck on the circles and appliqued them on as well. Lastly, I bound the potholders with cheery turquoise and added the little loops.

Potholder backs

We had a little hiccup on the way to the swap. Two friends and I were having a girls weekend down on the South Shore. We had a lovely, leisurely breakfast and got ready to go to the swap. A suggested that I check the time and place once more and when I did, I noticed that the starting time was noon. And it was 11:10 AM. Cue hectic running around, scrambling out the door, speeding up the highway into Boston, worrying about finding parking, getting stuck in traffic, finding a miracle parking space right next to the location, feeding the meeter, and sprinting across the field to the event. We got there late but they hadn’t started swapping yet, so we were fine! I ended up with a sweet stained glass orb and we met some fantastic people.

If you’re ever in Boston for a Banditos event, I highly suggest going. I’ve been to a few over the years and they’re always so much fun!

I’ve been nursing a cold for the past few days and I think I’m managing to shake it. I just ate a giant bowl of chicken noodle soup (made from this Smitten Kitchen recipe with the addition of garlic and ginger into the broth – YUM) and I’ve baked cookies for tomorrow’s feast and I’m looking forward to celebrating with my family!

Sneak Peek Polar Bear

What’s that you see? A sneak peek of an adorable polar bear?

Polar bear potholder

Indeed it is! And if you are present on Saturday at the Banditos Misteriosos Company-Wide Gift Swap, this adorable polar bear might just go home with you!

Full reveal of project will be up on Saturday sometime next week!