Wednesday, 25 June 2014

WIP | Drunkard's Path

I think it must be a full moon - the past couple days have been nutty, and unproductive and more than a little frustrating.  Thankfully I can come home to some sewing which always helps to boost the mood.  That and shoe shopping, of course.

To date I've had a bit of a love/hate relationship with my limited FMQ experience, so thankfully it's been relatively smooth sailing and hasn't been adding to the frustration this week.

I've been working on a Drunkards Path quilt, based on this quilt from the cover of the March/April 2013 issue of Quilty, for what feels like an eternity!  Curved peicing equals slow piecing.  Plus the high-contrast piecing and curvy pattern has presented a challenge in figuring out the best way to quilt the dang thing!  I finally decided to just dive in, so I'm winging it with some curvy lines and pebbley circles and maybe some petal-y motifs in the pie-shapes spaces - TBD.  Here's a sneak-peak of the progress so far, I hope to have the finished quilt ready to share in a week or so.

I'm linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced - I can't wait to see what everyone else has been working on this week!

Happy Wednesday!

Friday, 20 June 2014

Finished | Pedal Pusher

Don't let the title of this post fool you.  You won't find any garment sewing tips here, or insight on the many different names for capri pants.  Nope, that title is meant to be a cheesy bike-riding pun.  (Sorry for the cheesy pun).

In order to explain this quilt's raison d'etre, I need to back things up a bit...

In August, my sweet niece Avery came into the world and shortly after her birth she was diagnosed with a rare disorder called Phenylketonuria - aka PKU - thanks to newborn screening.  People with PKU are missing the enzyme that is needed to break down a specific amino acid called PHE, which is found in essentially all proteins.  Ongoing exposure to PHE can lead to mental retardation or other neurological issues.  Thankfully, with early detection, super strict diet, and medical food, Avery will be able to live a healthy and normal life (or at least as normal as is possible, what with being a member of our kooky family and all!)   

In honour of Avery, and in an effort to help families everywhere that are dealing with PKU, my brother-in-law created Avery's Ride for PKU and has decided to bike across Canada this summer to raise funds and awareness for CanPKU - the organization in Canada that advocates for PKU patients.  Fundraising events will be held across the country, so I created this quilt as a silent auction prize that will be up for grabs, hence the cheesy bike-riding pun.  Fingers crossed that it brings in some big bucks!!

This quilt was super simple to make.  I just pulled a stack of coordinating fabrics (the top is 100% from stash), cut up a whole bunch of squares, tossed them in a bag, randomly pulled squares out of the bag and placed them in rows on the design wall, then sewed the rows together.  A little controlled chaos is just fine in my books!  I backed the quilt in Kona Berry, which is such a beautiful colour, and really showed off the straight line quilting.  Confession:  I tried to do a pretty FMQ Dogwood pattern, failed and ripped it out 3 times before giving up and switching to my go-to straight line quilting.  Sigh, one day I'll master FMQ, but today is not that day.  As you can see in the photo above, I used white thread in the top and purple in the bobbin so it would create a subtle effect when viewed from the back.

Please check out these links to learn more about CanPKU and Avery's ride for PKU:

Since it's Friday, and this is finished and all, I'll be linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday!

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

WIP | I'm Too Hexie

English Paper Piecing.  I love it.  This is the portable hobby that got me to quit knitting.  I mean, who wants to knit when you could be sewing?

It's been pretty toasty here in Ontario - almost too hot - but after the weather we had this past winter, it feels like a sin to complain about the heat.  So I won't.  No worries.  It might be too hot for the sewing machine, but it's perfect weather for a little EPP.

I began work on this quilt back in August and have continued to pick away at it since.  One of the things I love best about this quilt is it's connection to so many of the other quilts I've made through the scrappiness of the fabrics. You see, I tend to gift my quilts to loved ones and often the fabrics I choose remind me of those loved ones. At first glance some of the fabric picks may seem a little odd (like the bananas that were a leftover from the Sock Monkey quilt I made my niece) but these reminders, this collection of bits from my past projects and the people that they call to mind, are what make this project extra special. 

This is the latest "Block" to join this quilt.  I decided to get a little wild with the center hexie and made it out of a bunch of tiny diamonds.  This was so darling as it came together, I couldn't help but squeal with delight.  Which was awkward, since I sewed that bit up while on a road trip to Chicago last week with a few of my coworkers!  It's fine, they understand my brand of crazy!

If all goes well, technology-wise, I'll be linking up to WIP Wednesday with Lee at Freshly Pieced.  This will be my first EVER linky, peeps!  Exciting stuff!

Happy Wednesday!

PS:  I'm auditioning some alternate names for this quilt:
  • Hexie and I Know It
  • Let's Talk About Hex, Baby
  • Hexie Back
  • Hexual Healing
Any preferences?  Other suggestions?

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Finished | Improv Taggie Blankie

Hello again!

I've finally got a finished 2014 project that I can share!  I actually probably shouldn't be sharing this yet since it's a gift that hasn't made it's way to it's new owner, but since no one reads this blog - not even my mom - I figure it's safe!

I mentioned my Bestie, Christine's wedding in this post - well guess what? They had a baby last week!  A sweet little girl!

Of course, I had to make something quilt-ish for this little one, but Christine's mom is a very talented quilter and I knew she had made Baby a quilt already, so I decided on a Taggie quilt.  I'm told that babies love those little ribbon tags so I worked up this quick little blankie using the quilt-as-you-go method. Instead of the usual binding, I joined the front and back wrong sides together, turned the thing right-side out and topstitched, while tucking in the ribbon tags on each end.  This blankie is small, about 24"x36", sized to suit a car without being overly bulky, and once she starts toddling around it's small enough that she can drag it around with her wherever she goes, much like everyone's favourite Peanuts character, Linus.

I initially planned on an improv style with more evenly distributed chunks of fabric, but I came to really love the asymmetry of this layout, with longer strips on one side and shorter bits on the opposite side.  That's the beauty of improv - you just never know what you'll come up with.

I had so much fun mixing and matching fabrics for this quilt.  This detail shot features some Glimma, Botanics, Acacia, Alison Glass Feathers and many others that I can't name or that don't have selvages.  Note to self: Keep better track of fabrics/designers when stocking up the stash.  Fun combo though, don't you think?

Happy Hug A Cat Day! (yup, it's a thing)