Friday, October 20, 2017

Ghastly Beauty

alidiza: Ghastly Beauty
What can I say, I'm still feeling rather Ghastly...  I was totally inspired by Natural Born Quilter's Nightshade Emperor's Wheel quilt and since my Ghastlies stash was still strewn all over my studio I just kept on going.

For the construction I adapted this NY Beauty Circle of Flying Geese pattern by Better off Thread.

I had a couple of options for adding the center section.  My initial thought was to turn under the edges of the flying geese and applique my ring to the center panel.  I also could have used my favorite circle technique and done the opposite.  Instead I decided to challenge my skills and sew an inset circle.  I'm pretty pleased with the way it turned out and I definitely liked not having the extra bulk to quilt thru.

I had the haunting feeling someone was watching me quilt this;-)

Since I was challenging myself I decided to test out quilting with Aurifil's Lana wool.  As the website recommends I used coordinating 50wt thread in the bobbin and I switched to a 90/14 needle.  I love the extra definition this gives the rings!

alidiza: Ghastly Beauty
Making this pillow was great therapy, despite it's 101 pieces, but in the final analysis I don't love the result -  there's not enough contrast.  All those flying geese and they just don't pop.  If I use this pattern again I'll definitely try for something bolder. 

That said, it's a lovely addition to my ever-growing Ghastlies collection.  Still feeling Ghastly with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 21" x 21"
Pattern:Adapted from NY Beauty Circle of Flying Geese pattern by Better off Thread
Fabrics: from the Ghastlies collections by Alexander Henry, Spellbound by Cotton + Steel
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient
Thread: Aurifil 12wt Lana Wool/Acrylic in Faerie Pink (8464), 50wt Victorian Rose (2445)

Friday, October 13, 2017

Excuse Me While I Swoon

alidiza: Excuse Me While I Swoon - ghastlies swoon pillow
As I've mentioned before I'm really not that in to the whole fall thing.  Those "crisp" autumn days put me in a ghastly mood so quicker than you can say pumpkin spice latte I escaped to my studio, dug into my stash, and got sewing...

There really isn't enough space in my house for yet another Ghastlies quilt but there's always room for pillows.  I've been on a bit of a Swoon pillow jag lately.  It started started with my Christmas version and then spread to a patriotic version so obviously a Halloween one was in order.  Most of the Ghastlies focus prints are too spread apart for these smaller pieces but the Ghastlie Web print was perfect.

For the quilting I made a free form spider web.  This is such any easy and forgiving pattern and perfect for Halloween decorations!  Lori Kennedy has a great spider web tutorial if you've never tried quilting one.  Next time I'll try adding the spider.

For the back I had a little fun and used this colorful 9 Ghastlie Lives print.  As always, I used this zipper closure tutorial by to S.O.T.A.K. Handmade.

alidiza: Excuse Me While I Swoon - ghastlies swoon pillow
Feeling Ghastly with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 20" x 20"
Pattern:Adapted from Swoon by Camille Roskelley - Thimble Blossoms
Fabrics: from the Ghastlies collections by Alexander Henry, P&B Basics, Onyx Grunge by basic grey.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo
Thread: King Tut Rosetta Stone (978).

Friday, October 6, 2017

To a Tee

This is another project I worked on this summer during my blogging hiatus.  A dear friend of mine lost her husband to cancer.  These quilts were made for his daughters from his favorite T-shirts.

I've never made a T-Shirt quilt before, and I have say this is one of the most labor intensive projects I've ever done.  I used an entire bolt of SF-101 to interface the shirts.  Of course I did this during a heat wave...  I was literally sweating over a hot iron.

Fitting all the pieces together was a bit like putting together a puzzle.  I tried to keep them to consistent widths and the height in multiples of 3".  This was definitely one where I was thankful for my design wall!

Huge thanks to my friend Jane for letting me use her longarm to quilt these.  I used a big loopy scribble and was able to get them both done in a day.

As usual these got dragged around while I hand tacked the binding.  I don't know what people who don't quilt do with all those random wait around times.  I go crazy without something to keep my hands busy!

I backed these with some snuggly flannel.  It's almost like a hug...  I know nothing can ever replace their Dad but I hope these are a warm reminder of him.

Checking in with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilts are 68" x 70"
Fabrics: Sashing and Binding FSDS Cosmic Blue.  Backing Mammoth Flannel Checkerboard - Ocean.
Batting: Quilter's Dream Cotton Select.

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

W.i.P. Wednesday: Totally Trippin'

I spend a lot of time sewing in the car but this weekend may have set a new record.  We traveled to Western Pennsylvania and back to celebrate my parents' 50th wedding anniversary.  With a newly permitted driver looking to get in her required practice time I was regulated to the backseat and relieved of driving duty which left me with 16 hours of enforced blissful sewing time...

I kicked off the trip with a finish.  It was sooo hot to be sitting with this snuggly flannel backed quilt in my lap but I love tacking bindings in the car.

From there I moved on to my La Passacaglia and finished up this rosette.  I searched long and hard for the perfect cotton candy pink to make this one pop.

I thought I'd finished this one on our last road trip to Maine but I decided I didn't like the fabric I'd used on outer diamonds so I swapped it for this one.  Much better!

And I made another hexagon ring - or would have if I hadn't forgotten the last piece;-)  I didn't get as much of this prepped as I'd hoped before we left.  I've really been struggling with fabric choices for my remaining rosettes but I'm hoping if I just keep chipping away at it the pieces will fall into place.

With many miles left to go I pulled out my backup project and finally started hand quilting my Blue Plate Special.  I love how fast big stitch quilting goes - I was able to quilt around 4 of the Dresdens before it got dark.  It will be a long time before I get back in the car for more than I quick trip around town but I'm thrilled with how much I accomplished.  What's your go to road trip distraction?

Friday, September 8, 2017

Patriotic Pillow Party

alidiza - Patriotic Pillow Party: Swoon pillow cover made with Anna Griffin's Madison Collection
I have a tendency to get a bit obsessed with fabric collections.  After a bout of bad weather in Maine earlier this summer we came home for a few days.  I was cleaning up my studio but when I went to put away my stack of Madison fabrics from my Star Struck pillow I decided it would be much more fun to whip up something else...  next thing I knew I had a trio of patriotic pillows.

These were really quick and easy since I'd already made both patterns.  I started by copying my Kate Spain Holiday Swoon pillow.  One of the things I'm obsessive about is keeping a project sheet for everything I do.  It is so nice to be able to look back and see what thread you were using or how you did something.  For this one I just pulled out my notes on how to resize the block to 16" and went to town on it.

A Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, Season 2 binge helped the endless rows of quilting along.


From there I went back to Camille Roskelley's Stars and Stripes pattern.  I took my own advice from my Flower Sugar version and made up a R/W/R strip set and then cut a shorter piece and then added the extra row of white to what was left and added that to the bottom.  Once I was done I trimmed the length to size.  So much faster and more accurate than cutting each strip to size and sewing them together individually.

Some easy wavy line quilting and I was ready for a day of poolside binding to finish it off.

alidiza - Patriotic Pillow Party: Stars & Stripes pillow cover made with Anna Griffin's Madison Collection

Catching up with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished Swoon pillow is 20" x 20"
Pattern: Adapted from Swoon by Camille Roskelley - Thimble Blossoms
Fabrics:  Anna Griffin Madison prints from Marden's, Knoa Snow
Batting: Quilters Dream Orient
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Ermine (2312)

Finished Stars & Stripes pillow is 13" x 17"
Pattern: Stars and Stripes  by Camille Roskelley - Thimble Blossoms
Fabrics:  Anna Griffin Madison prints from Marden's.
Batting: Quilters Dream Orient
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Ermine (2312)

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Fruits of My Labors

I've been on a bit of a sewing/blogging break.  Summer is just too short not to get out and enjoy it but drives to Maine and lazy days at the lake are perfect for handwork.  With all that time I've made a lot of progress on my La Pass this summer...

Lots of people seem to start with this one but I finally made the one small full cog.

Gratuitous piecing by the pool shot...

I couldn't resist adding in some Mendocino.  I love them all but I think this may be my all-time favorite cog.

I liked this one when I made it but now that I've put it in place I may swap out the purple and teal diamonds.

It turns out if you don't have time to prep your pieces before you leave on a road trip you can do it in the car... though I draw the line and cutting while moving!

All those little bits paid off and I was able to wrap up my 3rd large cog over the Labor Day Weekend.

And here's my progress to date... while we may be saying goodbye to summer it's hello football season so there will be plenty more opportunities to La Pass the time away;-)

Friday, July 21, 2017

Coastering Into the Weekend

I'm probably the last sewist on the planet but I finally jumped on the Rope Bowl bandwagon.  I'm not sure what finally tipped me over the edge, probably the fact that you can't open a design magazine without seeing a room styled with one of these, but here I am catching up to 2014.

I'd asked my husband to get me the longest length of clothesline they had because I wanted to make a big basket but then I realized I'd probably be better off starting with something small.  Back to the hardware store for a 50 foot starter length.  For thread I picked this Aurifil Light Leaf Green  (#1147) mainly because I had a fully wound bobbin and an extra spool.

There are a million and one tutorials out there for Sewing a Rope Bowl but I went with Flossie Teacakes because I just adore everything she does.  To get some practice I started out making a set of coasters.  This was a great way to get a feel for making these because I got to practice lots of starts and ends which really is the most challenging part.  I did find it difficult to get my coil started because my cord immediately started to ravel.  What worked best for me was to wrap my end with some scotch tape and then cut the end just above the end.  I also saw a suggestion to wrap the end with water soluble thread which would be a great way to use that up as well.  I also experimented using different feet.  Here I'm using my open toe embroidery foot (#3) but ultimately I found I preferred using my walking foot with the regular sewing sole plate.

When my bobbin ran out I switched to Delft Blue (#2730) and made 2 more.  I experimented with different ways for ending.  I'm not sure I've found one I love but I am pretty happy with the technique of making a loop and then backstitching over the end.

With a set of coasters completed I decided it was time to try bowling.  Back to my thread rack I found another full bobbin of Mint (#2830) which I used to make this adorable little bowl.  This is a great way to free up bobbins.  I'm tempted to make a rainbow bowl just to empty all the rest of my prewound bobbins;-)

And now for my next project...  what's your favorite rope accessory?

Coastering into the weekend with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.