Wednesday, February 22, 2012

the Scrap Hoover Quilt Top

Phew! It's finally finished! It's sort of a bittersweet ending to piecing this top - I'm happy to move on to new, shiny projects but at the same time I'll miss scrap bin diving and coming up with wild, random fabric combinations for this.
So here it is. I wish I could have gotten better photos but the grey Seattle weather is not going to cooperate. The whole thing measures in at a nice 80x80 size. If you haven't been following any of my progress on this, the quilt is a pattern from Sarah Fielke in Material Obsession 2 called the Maple Leaf Rag. It is essentially a spiderweb with crazy-pieced "kites" instead of the traditional solid for the background of the webs, making it the perfect way to use up all those too-tiny scraps. It really has made quite a dent in the old scrap bin, although I think I may be in the minority when I confess that such a lack of scraps on hand makes me nervous.

As long as we're on the subject of confessions, I must also confess that my piecing of this thing is atrocious. If you look closely, you'll see that almost none of the rings on my webs match up. As soon as I started sewing blocks together and I saw that this was going to be a problem throughout the quilt (most likely due to my inaccurate cutting, trimming and then stretching of the bias-cut muslin triangles) I threw a miniature internal tantrum and walked away from it for a day. After calming down I then realized that it really didn't matter - it's such a riot of color and pattern it hardly detracts from the whole thing once all together. But, if you're a bit anal in your piecing and want to attempt this pattern, consider yourself warned. 

This quilt, even with all it's imperfections, is going to be very, very loved. And I'm happy to say, it will be shipped off next week to the most talented of quilters - my very first professionally quilted quilt. So look for it again in a few weeks after Angela works her magic on it. I can hardly wait.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Small and Big

Sometimes I need to remind myself how satisfying it can be to finish a small project. I tend to gravitate towards things on a grandiose scale such as big quilts and entire sweaters, but breaking up the pressure of these with knitted hats and quilted bibs can be so rewarding.

I finished this hat last week and I'm really so proud of it even though it's sort of big and I screwed up the chart in a few places. It's my first time doing color work, or knitting with two colors at once, and I am pleased to report that it's not near as difficult as I thought it was. I see many more colorful hats, mitts and sweaters in my future. In case you were wondering, the hat is a free pattern on Ravelry called Baikal, and I used madelinetosh chunky in Mica and Cousteau for this.

As I was slipping a crappy store-bought bib over Olivia's head awhile ago, it dawned on my how pathetic is was that a child with a quilter for a mother should not own a sweet patchwork dribble catcher.
So I dug into my scrap bin (which is bottomless, I've decided) and pieced this little number. Much cuter than the Target version, except now I don't want to get baby food stains on it.

The Granny Squares are still rolling right along. I'm up to these nine now with one more today. If you haven't seen this yet, Dana just started a Granny Square quilt-along on Flickr. You should join us!

Most of my sewing time is being devoted to finishing this growing beast. I've only got a little more than one row to go and it needs to be done soon in time for it's date with the long armer.

I'm excited to finish it up but also a little sad. I think I'll really miss working on it!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Granny Square Fever

Yep, I've got it bad. Of course the last thing in the world I needed to do was start another quilt, but after seeing Jolene's beauty, I knew it was a MUST. MAKE. NOW. It seemed only fitting to pair this block with my current fabric obsession -

Suzuko Koseki. I want to marry these.

Here was the test block.

The next day I made another,

and yesterday another,

And one today. 

A Granny Square a day!

That's about all this little lady is letting me accomplish!

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Grellow and Blue in Love

 I can hardly believe I finished two quilts in January! The binding was completed late last night and I couldn't wait this morning to run outside in my bathrobe in between rain showers to take a few pictures. I apologize for the many photos in this post, but this quilt is my new favorite and I could not resist.

It was started over a year ago when I pulled a stack of grey, gold, blue and cream fabrics for a bee project and fell in love with the color palette. I knew immediately I needed a quilt using those prints. Inspiration struck in the form of Denyse Schmidt's Drunk Love pattern. I knew I wanted to go for something a bit more free form though, so this was made all on the fly with no pattern involved. Just slightly off-kilter log cabin blocks with no precise measuring involved except in the finished block size (12.5 inches).

It was so much fun to play with so many beloved prints from my stash. During the first few years of learning I made most of my quilts from one designer line of prints. Now I'm having even more fun choosing my own stacks and creating combinations. This quilt includes favorite prints from Heather Ross, lots of Denyse Schmidt, Uptown, Modern Meadow, Momo, Cosmo Cricket, a smattering of japanese lovelies and lots more.

I quilted it in an organic swirl pattern on my home machine (Bernina QE440). It's not perfect but I think it turned out pretty well. The backing is a Robert Kaufman Monaluna print I scored for $7 a yard on sale with a pieced strip using leftover scraps. I bound it with a Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley Prairie Rose I had on hand.

The quilt was originally going to be a king size for our bed, but in the end I stopped at a nice 70x70 to use on our family room sofa.

This one is going to get lots of snuggling for sure.