Saturday, July 30, 2011

paintbox hexie doll quilt top

I am unbelievably incredibly pleased with how this turned out!  For some reason I was doubting that those little hexies would actually come together like I was envisioning them in my head the entire time I was putting them together, but they pieced together seamlessly.  The entire top is machine pieced, and I used the method described here to piece together the hexies.    

Hopefully my DQS 11 partner is just as thrilled with this as I am!  The top measures approximately 17" square, and the hexie center measures approximately 11" square.  I don't think I repeated a solid "ring", or fabric, and there are 16 different Kona solid colors represented.  The borders are Kona white and Robert Kaufman quilters linen in Grey.  

I'm mulling over how to quilt this, and I'm sort of at a loss.  I am typically not a huge fan of stitching in the ditch, as I like the quilting to add something to the quilt design...but because this top is so so busy, I'm thinking that may be the route I take.  Possibly some hand quilting around those borders.  I'm going to leave this on my design wall for a few days, and see what comes to mind.  More on this soon!

I will be linking this post up to Sew Modern Monday over at Canoe Ridge Creations stop over and check out what everyone is up to!

{Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday {7.27.2011}

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday already?  And by the way, where exactly did July go??  No seriously...
Anyways, here's what I've been up to..

New/Completed Projects

Zippered Laptop Sleeve

This commissioned laptop sleeve was a new project and a completed project this week.  More about it here.

In Progress

DQS 11

I put together a few more of these mini "hexed in" hexies, and they are reminding me of sort of hexagon paintbox blocks.  I'm still a little unsure of the final arrangement of these, but I'm thinking I'll need about 9 more and perhaps a border (or a few) of some sort to finish this mini off.  My partner seems to be digging it (yippee!) so I'll keep at it...

For the Love of Solids {a modern swap}

For the love of Solids Swap idea

I've sort of had this idea in my head for a while, and when this tutorial popped up over at Sew Mama Sew, I thought it might be something my partner would like.  I'm thinking of 1" chevron stripes in greens, yellows and oranges with white in between.  More on this soon!

This Weeks Stats

New Projects: 1
Completed Projects: 2
In Progress: 7

July bee blocks
DQS 11
For the Love of Solids {a modern swap}
4x5 bee blocks
Secret Mini Swap
UFO Quilt tops (maybe, one day...)
Postage Stamp quilt top
Central Park quilt top

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July Bee Blocks

I have been having a bit of quilty ADD these past few days, I feel like I have so many things "in progress" that I just needed to work on something and finish it.  I turned to my July bee blocks (nothing like down to the wire, right?), and now have something to check off my list.

Solid Bee-August/Littleloops

This block is for Lynda (Littleloops) in the Solids Bee.  She sent us some black and white solid fabric and asked that we make any pieced block we'd like!  I decided on some 2" HSTs in a fun zig zag design.  I just find this so striking, I will have to keep a black and white quilt in mind for the future.  These blocks will be made into a quilt for her daughter, I don't know how she will part with this quilt!

Simply Strings-August/SparklySabah

For the Simply Strings bee, Sabah (SparklySabah) sent along some fun red scraps with a fussy cut square for the center and asked for a log cabin type block.  I added a few of my own red scraps and ended up with a wonky log cabin/drunk love style block.  This has to be one of my favorite blocks to piece together, it's fun to not have to think about precise measurements and lining up points every once in a while!

Friday, July 22, 2011

zippered laptop sleeve

I have to admit, with the temperatures in these parts in the upper 90s all week, and heat index in the 100s (for Pittsburgh, this is crazy!) I've not been in all that much of a sewing mood lately.  I'd say the only thing getting me sewing, is that my sewing room is in the basement, and its a solid 10 degrees cooler down there, even the dogs venture down to hang out with me!

A co-worker of my mom's contact me about making a commissioned laptop case for her.  Now, I've never specifically made a laptop case, but thought I could surely figure out a way. 

I scoured my favorite crafty blogs for some free tutorials, and ended up with a mish mosh of a few tutorials to end with something I liked.  The rouching design came from Crap I've Made, but I wasn't crazy about how the tutorial installed the zipper.  So I continued searching, and found this tutorial which was more the shape I wanted. 

So I went to town, following  the rouching instructions from tutorial #1, and the dimensions suggestions from tutorial #2, and altered the zipper to add zipper tabs (like I did with these, following Kelly's tutorial), got things all finished, aaaaannnndddd it was too small!  Argh.  Really??  Now luckily I had a ton of this Amy Butler Daisy Chain fabric so I make a second, with a much better result. 

I thought in case you ever had a desire to make a zippered laptop sleeve like this, I'd share a few tidbits of how I made mine (and to ensure it will fit your laptop!)

First, I used what seemed like a crazy insane amount of padding!  After cutting the proper outer fabric and lining fabric, I applied fusible fleece to all 4 fabrics (2 outer, 2 inner) I cut the fleece about an inch smaller than my fabric, so I didn't have overly bulky seams.  I then cut 4 pieces of quilt batting about 1/2 inch smaller than my fabric (just so that it would catch in the finished seams (I used spray baste to temporarily hold the batting in place).  Again, while this seems like alot (and it is!) it's a quite nice thickness and provides some protection when all is said and done. 

Ok, so to figure out how big to cut my outer fabric (and to allow for the zipper tabs) I had to put my math hat on for a moment.  I started by figuring out how long I needed my zipper to be:

length of your laptop + height of laptop (how high it sits off the ground) + 1.5 inches. 

In my case, my laptop I was making this for was 15" and 1.25" high + 1.5"= 17.75"  (I just rounded up to 18")

Now add 1.5" to how long your zipper is, and that is how wide you need to cut your fabric (19.5" in my case, again rounded up to 20" and it was quite roomy). 

To figure out the length, I added 4" to the length for the outer fabric, and 3.5" to the lining fabric (to avoid bulky seams).  My outer fabric was cut at 19.5" x 14" and the lining 19.5" x 13.5"

Whew!  Thats enough math for one day, I should think.  I think I need to make one of these for myself soon, so I'll snap some pics of the process if theres an interest. 

As for the flower, I used this tutorial and also attached it to a pin, so it is removable. 

Hopefully this laptop sleeve is well received, I know I like it!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WIP Wednesday {7.20.2011}

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Time for Wednesday!  Here's what I've been up to...

Completed Projects

Aviary 2 DWR

Double Wedding Ring Quilt

More on this finish here.  I'm still basking in the glory of finishing this up!  

In Progress

DQS 11

I've been tossing some ideas around for my doll quilt for DQS 11, my partner main request was that it be scrappy...I can certainly do scrappy!  This is what I've come up with so far, scrappy pieced hexies!  These are based off of Lee's hexing around block tutorial, only mini!  These little guys finish with each edge measuring 1 7/8", and about 2 3/4" tall.  I'm planning on making many more, and machine piecing them, but no solid design plan just yet.

Short and sweet this week!  Head on over to Freshly Pieced and add what you've been up to!

This Weeks Stats
New Projects: 0
Completed Projects: 1
In Progress: 10

DQS 11
For the Love of Solids Swap
4x5 Bee blocks
July Bee blocks
Postage Stamp quilt top (I fear this will be moved to the "UFO" category shortly...)
Central Park quilt top (also nearing UFO status)
Kaleidoscope QAL

Dining Room remodel
Secret mini Swap

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Completed Quilt: Double Wedding Ring

2ish months in the making, and my Double Wedding Ring Quilt is complete...and more importantly with 3 weeks to spare!  This quilt is a wedding gift for my cousin and her soon to be husband who are getting married on August 6th.  Now, I think I need to wrap this up and hide it in a closet for the next 3 weeks, so I don't convince myself I should just keep it!  

I used this free pattern from Free Spirit Fabrics, which uses a paper piecing approach to making the "arcs".  I did add one extra row of arcs, to add a little more length to the quilt.  I had quite a bit of fabric waste, but in the end think it was worth it, knowing that they were all 100% identical.  

I was really unsure of what to do with the back, but in the end went with something I was comfortable with, Kona Coal with a strip of my favorite prints used on the front (minus any predominantly grey prints).

I auditioned quite a few bindings also, mostly because my LQS did not have any Aviary 2 yardage, and I did not want to wait to order more fabric to finish this quilt up!  I used Stars in Turquoise, from Oh My! by Sanae for Moda.  It doesn't "match", but I think it compliments the colors in the Aviary 2 line quite well.  

I free motion quilted this using a loopy design, with a few hearts thrown in sporadically.  I think this maybe my favorite free motion quilted quilt to date.  The little hearts came out better than I had ever imagined they would!

I hope that Katie and Brian enjoy their new quilt as much as I do!  

Congrats Katie and Brian!

Quilt Stats:
Quilt Name:  Aviary 2 DWR
Size:  Approx. 55" x 67"
Fabrics:  Joel Dewberry Aviary 2, Kona Bone and Kona Coal
Binding: Stars in Turquoise - Oh My! by Sanae for Moda
Quilting: FMQ all over meandering loops and hearts

Friday, July 15, 2011

down on the farm

Farmers Wife Blocks 15, 16, 17, 19

Here's this weeks update from down on the farm.  These little bitty blocks are part of the Farmers Wife QAL.  Please excuse some of these pictures, my camera did not want to agree when snapping these, and at 11:30 last night, I didn't have the energy to fuss with them!

Block # 15 Buzzard's Roost

This block was one of the easier to put together, I knew I wanted to fussy cut my center block, and from seeing others blocks remembered cut my center on point!  The main fabric is Central Park.  I'm not sure what the yellow is, I picked up a bunch of new fabric at my LQS this weekend, and this was one of the prints. 

Block # 16 Calico Puzzle

This was the easiest by far of this weeks blocks to assemble, I've started writing the measurements of at least the square and rectangle templates on the actual templates.  I just find it easier to strip cut some of these easier templates than mess with keeping the templates aligned while cutting.  I'm finding a nice middle ground between embracing the templates, and being a rebel by cutting by measurement :-) (Again, more new fabrics added to my stash, the grey is Sherbert Pips)

Block # 17 Cat and Mice

Ugh.  Please just skip over this one.  And the terrible picture isn't doing this any justice.  Really, the fabric is a bright teal, and the dots are green.  Again, sorry.  Terrible picture.  This block just did not want to line up for me.  See those 5 whole squares?  When I assembled everything they seemed to be about a 1/4" too big for some reason.  At first I thought those quarter square blocks were too small, but that wasn't it.  Anyways, after finishing this block, and not really liking the design to begin with, I didn't care to redo it. 

Block # 18 Checkerboard

This block is a prime example about what I like best about this QAL.  Picking the fabrics!  Yes by far this is my favorite part!  It's so fun to see the transformation from how the book depicts what the block looks like (in this case, old and doudy) to what they look like in fun fresh fabrics.  And in case you're wondering, yes I did skip block #17.  Apparently when I printed out the templates, I decided to skip the ones necessary for block #17.  I didn't feel like printing them at the last minute, and I had the templates for block #18 instead.  I'll tackle those triangles with next weeks batch.

Here's what I have so far, kind of a schmorgasboard of scrappiness, but I'm liking it! 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday {7.13.2011}

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday again, here goes!

Completed Projects

DWR quilt top

Yes, I suppose technically this isn't quite a "finish" yet, but I don't care, I'm considering it a finish!  I pieced the last two rows of arcs together to finish this quilt top up, and after much internal debate, I've settled on a quilt back (I think, haha) and should be ready to quilt this in the next few days!

New Projects

DQS 11

DQS 11 Inspiration Mosaic

I got my partner information for DQS 11, and have been busy stalking away deciding on the perfect doll quilt!  Above is my mosaic, can't wait to dive into this one!

For the Love of Solids

My creation

I suppose this hasn't technically started yet,  but I couldn't contain my excitement..a swap?  using only solids? Yes please!!  Today is the first day to sign up, you can too, here!

In Progress

4x5 Modern Quilt Bee

4x5 trial block

I have to say, my bees in hive 14 are kind of awesome :-)  I started playing around with some block ideas and have decided on these fun mini whirlygigs for my block.  I suppose I technically could give this block to one of the ladies who selected aqua, yellow and grey, like myself (there are 3 of us in my hive!) but I think I'll keep this one for me, and make 5 new ones.  


No new blocks to report yet.  I was working on them last night, and ran into some trouble with block #17.  It was not pretty, like holy hot mess not pretty, so I left it for the night, before further curse words were uttered. More progress from down on the farm hopefully tomorrow.

Kaleidoscope QAL

Unfortunately I think I have piled too much on my plate with actual deadlines (blame it on my mild addiction to all things swaps, I suppose) but as much as I am itching to make this quilt, I am going to put it on hold until after I get a few of these swap blocks and doll quilts completed.

quilt tops awaiting quilting

Double Wedding Ring Quilt (yippee!!)
Postage Stamp Quilt
Central Park Quilt

This Weeks Stats:

New Projects: 2
Completed Projects: 1
In Progress: 11 (out of control...)

DQS 11
For the love of solids swap
4x5 bee blocks
July bee blocks
DWR quilt
Postage Stamp quilt
Central Park quilt
Kaleidoscope QAL
Dining room remodel
Secret little swap

Monday, July 11, 2011

4x5 trial block

I think I've found my block for the 4x5 modern quilt bee!  I've been playing around with a few ideas, and I have been itching to make some of these mini whirly-gig blocks, and thought why not try it out.  

This is my test block that just so happens to be in my colors, so I may just keep it :-)  I have had this doll quilt  by Mary on the Lake in my flickr favorites since last round of the Doll Quilt Swap, and wanted to make something like it, but was not interested in purchasing the pattern.  I kept thinking "I can figure out how to make that", so I took to scouring the internet for a tutorial to point me in the right direction.  

I loosely used this tutorial, however altered my starting block size to 2.5" x 3", and ended up using a paper template for slice and dicing the starting block, as I found it was more accurate than trying to measure for each cut.  I also took a hint from Mary and laid out all my pieces before I sewed anything.  Each whirlygig block measures 4" square when finished, and my complete block measures 12.5" square. 

I must say, making these little guys is quite addicting, I may have to use this pattern on a larger scale for the next baby quilt I make!

I just had to snap a picture of the back, I think this is the prettiest back I've ever managed with so many intersecting seams!!  Hopefully my hive mates approve, 5 more blocks to go!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Double Wedding Ring Quilt Top

It's done! It's done! It's done! It's done!  Yes, this is me doing my happy dance that my DWR quilt top is finally complete!!  I do apologize for the crappy indoor pictures, I finished this well after the sun had set, and just had to snap some pics and blog about my euphoria :-)

I used Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 for the fabrics to make up the rings and Kona Bone as the solid.  Aside from the many many pin pricks from pinning all those arcs together, it wasn't as difficult as I thought it would be.  I think the hardest part of this entire quilt was piecing together the rows.  The secret I found out one row into it is to leave those 1/4" seams unsewn at the beginnings end ends of your "cornerstones" so that you can make the seam lie nice and flat.  (Similar to how you'd machine sew hexagons together).  Once I figured that out, it was pretty smooth sailing...very slow sailing, but smooth none the less.

As for the back, I'm sort of torn.  I know I want to do some scrappy piecing using a few prints I have left over from the rings on the front, but do you think it would be okay to use a different solid than the Kona Bone that I used on the front?   I was thinking of either Kona Ash or Kona Charcoal, but the more I look at it, should I just keep things consistent and use Kona Bone as the main solid on the back?  Or I suppose I could chose a color color that is represented on the front as the main solid for the back...What do you think bloggy friends?  You always have such great ideas :-)  

More on this soon...Thanks in advance for all your help!