Saturday, December 31, 2016

2016 Year in Review

2016 by the numbers...

15 pillows - 2016 will definitely go down in history as the Year of the Pillow.

13 finished quilts.

1 hard core crush on Heather Ross' Briar Rose which resulted in 2 quilts and 3 pillows.

The #100Days100Blocks challenge.

4 delightful days on retreat with the amazing ladies of the Boston MQG.

More La Passacaglia pieces than I can count

3 skirts added to my closet for selfish sewing week.

18 Spools of Aurifil.

137 Books Read - Best of the bunch: The Fireman, Last Days of Night and All the Missing Girls.

2016 was a year of changes for me and I'm still processing what all those changes mean.  My goal for 2017 is focus...  and lots of quilts;-)  Wishing you all the best for the new year!

Friday, December 30, 2016

Let's Do the Time Warp Again

So the problem with getting all your holiday making done early is it leaves time for people to say "Oh, I want one of those..."  In this case my son claimed the first Tardis pillow and I was forced to make another.  This time I went for a slightly simpler 10" Tardis by SewHooked.

There aren't as many pieces and it's straight squares rather than parallelograms but those paned windows are killer.  I definitely think the Constellations background works better with this design.

Since this is a smaller block I added some sashing to the block to make it a bit bigger which gave me more room for quilting.  For this one I quilted rings that get further apart as you move out to try to create a black hole effect.

Wouldn't you know I have a zillion zippers and not one in royal blue.  In the end I did find a black one but it would have been cooler with a contrasting zipper.

This time I skipped the piping and used my regular bound edge finish and zipper back à la s.o.t.a.k handmade.  I'm much happier with the results!

Wrapping up the year with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.  We're on vacation so this will be my last make of the year.  How are you wrapping up 2016?

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 14" x 14"
Pattern: Tardis block by Sew Hooked for Fandom In Stitches.
Fabrics: Fabrics: Kona Cottons from stash, Constellations by Lizzy House for Andover Fabrics.
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Black.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Black (2692).

Friday, December 23, 2016

Oh Christmas Tree!

alidiza: Oh Christmas Tree!
I've been obsessed with this Christmas Baubles quilt ever since last year's tempest in a teapot.  In my mind it was just absolutely perfect for my holiday foyer.  When I found myself with a little break in the action prepping for our annual cookie party I decided it was time to try it again.

I'll admit I had to psyche myself up a bit for making all those snowball blocks again...  sewing 88 1 1/8" squares on to the corners was bad enough the first time.  Doing it again was painful!

Once that's done the rest goes together pretty quickly.  I took my own advice and added a white border to give the tree some breathing room and provide room for more quilting.  Definitely an improvement!  I went with the same BettyCrockerAss inspired snowflakes but did a better job spacing them this time.  Practice makes perfect;-)

Audrey wandered thru as I was putting on my binding and asked, "Mom, don't you ever learn?"  Apparently I'm incapable of working without a cup of tea at hand...  luckily no spills this time.

I got the binding on just in the nick of time so I'd have something to do at the basketball game.  Cheer season never ends but at least it makes time in my schedule for hand work.  I don't think I'd have finished this in time for the holiday otherwise.

alidiza: Oh Christmas Tree!
And now I have the foyer I dreamed of...  wait, maybe it needs another pillow;-)

Feeling festive with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Quilt Stats:
Finished quilt is 20" x 26"
Pattern: Christmas Baubles by Jen Daley for Moda Bake Shop.
Fabrics: Assorted Solstice, Flurry, and Jingle scraps by Kate Spain, Bella Solids Bleached White
Batting: Quilter's Dream Orient Bamboo.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Natural White (2021).

Friday, December 16, 2016

In the Bag

For this year's Boston MQG holiday swap I decided to think small...  a stuffed Tiny Lined Drawstring bag.  I'm always envious when my friend Taz whips out her adorable little bag full of clover clips to bind her quilts.  I figured I couldn't be the only one secretly plotting how to liberate Taz's so I decided to make 1 bag for my swap gift and 1 for myself while I was at it.

Of course I got carried away digging thru my scrap bin and ended up making 5.  The more the merrier;-)

I'd already used In Color Order's amazing Lined Drawstring Bag tutorial to make retreat bags for my friends but in the spirit of giving (and to save my brain from quilt math) I bought the full pattern to get the measurements for the tiny version.  I'm not going to lie, making something 1/2 the size is twice as fussy!

A few lessons I learned...  I prefer to place my turning hole on the side rather than the bottom so that it's hidden and to give the bag more structural integrity.  The sweet spot to start stitching is about 1 1/2" above the bottom corner.  You want it high enough not to interfere with boxing the corners but also below the drawstring portion.

I also used this genius tip I learned from Elizabeth Hartman to anchor the bottom lining to the exterior.  Match up the bottoms so that the sewn seams match and stitch each side together inside the seam allowance.  It's a bit fiddly and your bag will look at bit like a twisted infinity symbol but when you turn it the lining will stay in the bottom and it gives the bag more stability.

For top stitching the drawstring channel turn the bag inside out and stitch around the edges with the excess pointing up.  Rather than marking I just used my 1/4" foot to stitch around the top edge and then used the other side to stitch 1/4" above the focus fabric seam.

Ta-da!!!  They're just sooo cute;-)

That's the last of my "mandatory" holiday making but I'm still hoping to finish up a few little things.  Have you finished your gifts yet?

Feeling festive with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Tiny Bag Stats:
Finished bags are 4 1/2" x 3 1/4"
Pattern: Tiny Lined Drawstring Bag by In Color Order.
Fabrics: Assorted scraps including: Cotton + Steel, Nicey Jane by Heather Bailey and Bonnie & Camille.
Thread: Coordinating 50 wt. Aurifil threads.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Serving Up Some Holiday Cheer

My holiday making continues...  I churned out two sets of napkins this weekend.  I used my self binding napkin tutorial but changed the size so I could get all 8 out of the white linen I had left in my stash.  For these I cut the linen squares at 10 1/2" and the prints at 14 1/2" so I end up with 12" napkins.

I used Burgundy Aurifil for all the top stitching to help unify the different prints. I'm getting faster at whipping these out...  I finished all 8 of these in just under 3 hours.

Now I'm on to my next project, a Yankee Swap gift for our Boston MQG holiday gathering.  Are you still working on your handmade holiday gifts?  Tick, tock... only 15 days left until Christmas;-)

Spreading holiday cheer with this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Napkin Stats:
Finished napkins are 12" x 12"
Pattern: Adapted from my Self Binding Napkin Tutorial.
Fabrics: Assorted prints from Figgy Pudding and Fruitcake by Basic Grey.  Essex Linen in White.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Burgundy (1103).

Friday, December 2, 2016

Look Who's Here

With the long holiday weekend I got to sneak in some sewing time and finish up this paper-pieced Tardis pillow.  Caroline's advice to applique in the missing piece worked perfectly.

My original plan was to embroider the text along the top but after writing it on with a white pen I was happy enough with the result to call it done.  Apparently my inability to spot lint on my blocks until after I've photographed them continues...  a better person would have reshot this but I wasn't in the mood;-)  I loved the Lizzy House constellations print for the background on this but I wish I'd used something different to get more contrast.  The black of the beacon disappears into the background.  The outline quilting around the Tardis helps a bit but next time I'd do something different.

I got the crazy idea in my head that I wanted to finish this with piping and a faux invisible zipper rather than my usual bound edge zipper back.  It came out pretty well but it was a great reminder that I hate working with piping!  I love this geometry print for the back.

I'm thrilled to have my first holiday gift finished...  have you started your holiday making?

Spending time at this week's Finish it Up Friday by Crazy Mom Quilts.

Pillow Stats:
Finished pillow is 16" x 16"
Pattern: Tardis block by Trillium Design for the Doctor Who Along.
Fabrics: Fabrics: Kona Cottons from stash, Constellations by Lizzy House for Andover Fabrics.
Batting: Hobbs Heirloom 80/20 Black.
Thread: 50 wt. Aurifil in Black (2692).