Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Clam Quilt Started

My birthday was on Sunday. It was the big 39, which means I've got one more year til forty. 39 might be more depressing/scary than 40 to tell you the truth. You start looking back at what you've done, accomplished, missed and want to have happen in the future. Glad to say, very few regrets and lots of good times. So it came and it went. And even my mom kinda forgot, which, come on, even a mom should remember her own kids birthdays right?!

Anyway, it's been one of those weeks, you know, we all have them (still snowing, aaahh STILL SNOWING!!, everyone sick, house a wreck, no sleep, crappy day at work, etc.). Maybe you're having one right now. (If you are- sorry- hang in there, it gets mildly better. And then someone vacuums for you and the world is amazing).

So I started working on a new quilt, because, well it needed to happen. The very motions of cutting and piecing and putting things together without having to think about any other chore, or need-to-be-done, or worry is very meditative. I find the same thing when I draw. (Until I open what I've been drawing and find little people have "helped" the process along).

I'm not sure about the clam shell thing. I got the pattern by Latifah Saafir, off of Craftsy, cause I didn't feel like making my own when it's already been done (I'm all about efficiency). I started out cutting all the little notches into each piece, but quickly got tired of that and just hacked through the rest (again,, ok..laziness). I may regret that decision later. I need to also work on some more colour placement, but that will get there.

The designing part is always what takes the most time for me. I rearrange things probably more than I should. I don't think I could do without a design wall. My design wall is a bed protector sheet I got from Target. It's vinyl on one side and a flannel on the other. I just bought the queen sized sheet and stapled it to the wall. Easy-peasey and only a few minor holes in the wall. Or you could use it on the floor. I found that the vinyl back made it easy to roll and unroll without any pieces getting stick to the backside if you know what I mean.

I also have plans on quilting the Star Wars quilt this week. The FAL quarter finish is coming up fast and I need to get some more things done.

So if you're somewhere nice (like most of my teacher friends on spring break right now), look me up on Instagram (@jehnnymiller) and send me a pic of beautiful skies or beautiful fabric!

Linking up with Freshly Pieced as always!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Saturday, 22 March 2014

241 Tote Finished

So, despite being the intended target of a round of wailing and crying, I am blogging right now, because sometimes, just sometimes three year old demands are ridiculous. Because I cannot, despite my own laziness or really wanting to sew, let my children watch more than a couple hours of TV/movies on a Saturday. Or play Play-Doh on their bed. I'd like to say go play outside, but it's in the minuses again, so even I wouldn't go outside today.

On a bright note, I finished the 241 tote, by Anna at Noodlehead, that I've wanted to sew for a while (go here for pattern). The pattern is nice and simple. It could be completed in an afternoon. That is if you don't have other things to do.. or feed (They are ALWAYS hungry. I fear for the teenage years. My aunt actually put a padlock on her fridge because her teenage sons were literally eating them out of house and home).

It took me a while to come up with material for the lining and the pockets of this tote. In the end, I went with a solid on the outside pockets and a Kaffe Fasset print on the inside. I find myself more in love with the Kaffe print the more I see it.

I used some black Essex yarn dyed linen and an Anna Maria Horner print for the exterior. The feathers are a linen/cotton blend and a little heavier material, which makes it great for a bag.

Anyway, great little pattern and I'm sure I'll make more of them, which means you'll probably see more of them. It also counts as a finish for my FAL list. BOOYAH!

Finish Along 2014

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Lists and WIPs

 This was my list yesterday (I'm a big list person).

Yes, fabric buying is on that list. My birthday is coming up and my parents are going down to the States to visit my sister. Which means that I buy fabric for my birthday, send it to my sister for a lower shipping fee, and have my parents pick it up. It's just the way of the world my friends. (I do buy from Canadian online places lots too- Mad About Patchwork is one of my favourites). But sometimes I can't get what I want unless I pay like a million dollars to ship it here. And, um.. well you might not know this about me, but I don't have a million dollars. So, my my sister becomes my middleman and my parents mules- fabric mules that is.

Anyway, not on my list, but being worked on, usually to the neglect of the chores that are actually on the list, are the following:

241 Tote-I decided to print out the pattern and get to work on it. I'm hoping it will be big enough for me. I need a large bag, but not a honking, oversized tote, if you know what I mean. I keep changing my mind about what fabric to use. Even though I already bought fabric for it (that my sister 'muled' up for me at Christmas).

And the triangles quilt top is getting there. I repurposed some pillows on the couch to make this one, thus sparing anyone random checks at the border.

Also, if we're talking lists, for my quilty bucket list I want to make this Bargello quilt in modern solids (which will be a birthday buy for sure). I have a lot more that could go on the bucket list too, but, well, you don't want to be reading this blog forever.

I'm not sure the library will let me keep the book for that long though.... (my husband and I have this deal where he gets to match the amount of overdues I pay. Um...he has a lot of money in that little slush fund, just saying).

 Linking up all over the place:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced
Right Click to Save Image
The Tilted Quilt

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Olliblocks Finish

Finally, these got done too. My boys are actually playing with them, although that won't last long.

What is it with kids and getting bored of new toys in like five minutes!? (I say as I tire of my iPad and ask my husband for a Wacom tablet for my birthday).

You can download the PDF for the Olliblocks blocks here. They are quite cute and fun.

I even made a simple drawstring bag to carry them all in. And then I made another one, because the first was too small. Because I eye-balled the measurements of the first. Who does that?! Apparently, me... Since measuring is something other people do. I just like to make things twice I guess, hehe.

Anyway, done and out of my hair, out of the sewing/sunroom, now underfoot all the time. So, now I just seem to be picking them up all the time. Maybe I shouldn't have finished them...

And even though these aren't an official finish to my FAL list that can be counted towards prizes or anything, they are a finish on the list. So thpppt... to you FAL list!

Monday, 10 March 2014

Feathers Quilt Done!

Feathers quilt is finally done! Like all done! Not just the top, which too often I count as "being done", but everything!

The binding was the hardest part of this quilt. I'm not sure for what reason. Why is binding my arch nemesis?!  Oh wait.. I do know. I hate my walking foot! It has this small gap right in the middle of the foot that catches the fabric. I've tried many different needle positions, etc., trying to be able to get the stitching close to the edge, without it continually getting caught, but to no avail. And the guide is useless. It's arm is too short, so that when you attach it to the foot, the guide arm is behind the foot. Like way behind. How it that helpful?! I want to be able to guide the fabric in before it hits the needle not after! So, really, all that means is that I'm in the market for another walking foot- if they make a different one for my machine.

Anyway, after all that complaining, I really like this quilt. Mostly, because I love the fabrics used. It was also fun to make- and hallelujah!- I did such a good job on pressing and sewing that I didn't need to square the quilt up after I quilted it. I guess cause I'm just that good hehe.

I decided on straight line quilting spaced further apart than what I typically find aesthetically pleasing. I wanted the quilt to stay soft and comfy cause I'm going to use this one.

On the back, I went with  more feathers, slightly modified, lots of Anna Marie Horne Dowry, and Essex linen. Essex linen is also on the binding. I prewashed the Essex linen- but nothing else- because I discriminate that way. The linen feels nice after it's been washed and dried at the highest temperature possible. Hopefully, I won't have any issues with mixing quilting cotton and the linen.

My mom keeps asking what I'm going to do with all these quilts.. Um.. I don't know, I just make them. What a weird question. Hehe.

Note to self- husband is not a good quilt holder. Good at so many other things, but not holding up quilts. Just take my word for it he's not. Much direction needed. Much. To hold a quilt.
So into the snow it went. Which hopefully won't be here too long- hurray for chinooks and sunny days!

I'll be linking up my quilt with others of the Feathers QAL on Nydia's blog, ADD Crafter. You should take a look.
Feathers QAL

It also is another check off on my FAL 2014! Double huzzah! (let's just not look at the rest of the FAL list yet to be done okay)!

Monday, 3 March 2014

Monday, Monday, la la lala la la...

Yay for Monday again, and for freezing temperatures AGAIN!! I will echo all those out there who are saying, nay who are screaming: COME ON SPRING!
And if you somewhere where the breezes are warm and wonderful- well, so, so jealous...

When the air was finally breathable and you could walk on the floors without either sticking to them, or risking life and limb, I was able to start to put some of this quilt together. I had plans to baste my star wars and feather quilt last week. But progress was impeded by a sunscreen/mosquito spray incident and the marble dust catastrophe (sigh, yeah, just don't ask). I was too busy cleaning, airing out and mopping to take pictures of either disaster, of course.

And then over the weekend I had a basting party and basted my Feathers and Star Wars quilts. Now I just have the quilt them. I look forward to doing it, yet at the same time just wish they were already done.

On Saturday, I watched/took/attended/participated (what is the right verb to use? I guess just pick one..) in a webanar on how to paint illustrations using Photoshop by Will Terry. Holy Moly! It was awesome! It had nothing to do with quilting whatsoever, but still, so much great information and inspiration. Now I want to start creating illustrations in Photoshop.

Illustration Will Terry created on webanar.

But then when will my quilts get done...sigh.. Too many things to create, not enough time in the day for my sons to nap so I can get something done. Such problems I have! (Please sense the facetiousness of that comment)(please also love that I just used the word facetiousness).

Please also have a great Monday!