Friday 20 June 2014

Mini Finish

The beginning of my week was this- don't worry this isn't a post about food.

I was hosting and doing all the food for a bridal shower for a family friend. I was in the kitchen for two days prepping and cooking and setting up and... and..

And I thought I'd never get to my sewing machine, but here it is!

So the mini quilt that I am doing for the swap is done! Hurray!

It measures 23.5" x 25 3/4", which means the one side is a little longer than the 24x24" maximum size allowed, but I figure if you average out all the sides then it comes out pretty close. I wasn't about to make those little triangles any smaller, I'll tell you that.

I'm not even going to tell you all the problems I had with this quilt (yes, I will). You'd think that a mini quilt would mean that there are less things to go wrong.


It was mostly the quilting. I couldn't decide (surprise, surprise) how to quilt it. So I started with circles, and didn't like those, so I unpicked it all (well, I should say that I didn't like the way I did the circles. Or, no, actually it's my machine... yeah, my machine does terrible circles).

Then I tried some straight line stitching, and ended up unpicking all of that (all in all, there was a lot of unpicking going on). I ended up quilting it pretty organically, in other words, I just did what I felt like. There's some symmetry, but not much.

I finished it off with a scrappy binding. I hand stitched the binding on (I can hear the collective gasps of disbelief now). There was no blood, but I did manage to stick the needle up underneath my thumb nail a couple of times (don't ask's me and needles, it just happens). Anyway, it looks way better than when I machine bind my quilts (the fault of my horrible machine again of course).

I included some pockets on the corners so that it be hung easily. I put pockets on all the corners, just in case the recipient likes to hang it one way or the other. 

Most of the material is Denyse Schmidt with some Anna Maria Horner and Joel Dewberry thrown in (because I can't help myself when it comes to AMH).

Anyway, I'm now off to host and organize a party for seventy kids at the church today.

Party at the beginning of the week, party at the end- it's how we roll around here!

Linking up: Crazy Mom Quilts and TGIFF

Wednesday 11 June 2014

Mini Quilt WIP and Triangle Tips

So I decided that I would do this mini quilt swap. The Schnitzel and Boo swap.

I've never done a swap before (not even swapping gum with my best friend in middle school/junior high. Did you? Really? Haha, gross, or you loved your best friend way more than me. Although, I have to say that if my best friend needed gum and I was chewing some, she got half. Gross, yes. So I might not be a swapper, but definitely a giver. Don't want your germs, but I'll for sure give you mine).

Anyway, so I decided to do the swap (not the gum, the mini quilt). Along with, I think, like 600 other people. So far, so fun. My swap partner- that is, the person I am giving to- likes Denyse Schmidt and hexagons (that's all I'll tell you in case I give my partner away). Um, I have never bought any material from that designer before and I'm kind of a lazy quilter, so hexes are not my sort of party.

So I got some Denyse Schmidt (ha, always a reason to buy fabric) and then decided I'd do hexes via triangles. That way no y-seams, no applique, no English paper piecing (I have strong thoughts on English paper piecing... and so do you, so we will just leave it at that).

I've done a triangle quilt before (see here, it's still sitting waiting to be basted and then quilted...still). I always just make my own triangle templates. That way I can control the measurements and type of triangle (I tend to go isosceles, not equilateral. And let's be blunt, scalene is just absurd- poor thing will never make it into a quilt).

I used Adobe Illustrator to make my template this time, although I have used good ol' paper and pencil and they still seem to work just fine. Illustrator can measure your object for you, so as I draw a triangle I can see how big it is. Then it is just a matter of printing it actual size, cutting it out, and pasting it to a cereal box for some stability and thickness. I leave a quarter inch around the template to account for seam allowance. I guess I could do this in Illustrator, but it's just as easy to do it on the cutting table. While I'm making my triangle, I also fill it with smaller triangles. This gives me the template for a smaller triangle that I can use in my design also.

I was going to try and create an isometric grid so that I could design the little quilt in Illustrator, but then I found this website which tells you how to create an isometric grid yourself. It also provides you with a PDF that you can import into your photoshop/illustrating programs, or print out and use good ol' pencil crayons to colour in your design.

I just printed it out and drew in the design. I had planned to make some of the hexagons smaller, but, well, I'm lazy (told you), and I wanted the hexagons to fill the space. I felt like making them smaller would leave me with more negative space (white background) than I wanted.

I also cut my triangles off a quarter inch from the top. This makes its easier to sew for me. All I have to do is place the top of the triangle so that the two top points meet the bottom triangle's edges. That way I don't have to do the regular "place the triangle tips 1/4" apart", (or whatever you're suppose to do) thing. In fact, it's probably better to cut all the corners off your triangles- less bulk in the seams and easier to piece- but I'm always so impatient to sew that I usually settle for only one corner.

I'm in the midst of sewing it right now. I might even get it done this week (there's a little part of me that laughed at this). If you want to check out some of mini quilts being made you can check out the Flickr group or on Instagram at #schnitzelandboominiquiltswap.

Oh, and look one template has already been goobed by the boys (it was encased in playdough, don't ask why...)

Linking up: 

Sew Fresh Quilts
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday 4 June 2014

Later is Better than Never

Later is better than never, so I'm posting this WIP a little later this evening.

Also in keeping with later is better than never, my brother got engaged this week! You know that movie the 40-year Old Virgin... well, he's 37. And up until this point has also been living with my parents. Really, he's every terrible cliche that has gone into every confirmed-bachelor-finds-love movie. So listen folks, MIRACLES HAPPEN! (That was a quote from my grandma concerning the whole affair). Or maybe happy endings really do come true.

So needless to say, I decided I should make a quilt for their wedding. A Double Wedding Ring one, you know, because that won't be hard, and like, I have nothing else going on at the moment (can you feel the sarcasm running off that one?)

Ha, but like I'm going to pass up an opportunity to make a quilt! And a DWR is traditional.

Look, honey, I have to make a quilt for their wedding! I can just hear the justification in my voice as I say that to my ever-supportive husband.

Meanwhile, I signed up for the Mini Quilt Swap over at Schnitzel and Boo. I've been stalking my victim and changing my design everyday. In terms of colour, so far I've got some greens, purple and oranges. A secondary colour scheme I suppose. I'm still waiting for some more material I ordered to arrive.  Then I need to get to work! I can do it right? We have to have the quilt gone and in the post by the 25th of this month!

And hogging the design wall is the bargello that I've been working on. I've been slowly sewing the rows together. I finished one piece. The strips to go in-between each row are 3/4", which means they are 1/4" finished. Um, they're skinny, but I'm hoping the effect will be worth it.

Somewhere in the middle of it all, I used the scraps to piece together a musical themed Sew Together bag for our music teacher, who is moving. (Yes, another one)

Of course, I didn't get a picture of the whole thing. Just the treble clef. The whole thing is about 5" tall. I found the pattern here and reduced the whole thing by 50% so it would fit on the side of the bag. So holy super small pieces Batman!

So, better late than never?

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced