Monday, March 5, 2012

Why I haven't been here.

Hi there.  I know it's been a few weeks and I haven't been around.  My apologies for that.  I've gotten sidetracked with house stuff now that I'm here more often.

The baby quilt is still unfinished, the baby has been born.  I'm so behind on that.  But to be honest, I need to just set aside my quilting until I get my sewing room set up.  Right now, I work at the dining room table, gradually spreading my projects over the dining room.  Then the kitchen, then the living room and finally taking over the entire main floor.  This is not ideal.

Additionally, Mr. Moose and I have been picking up random bits of old/damaged furniture at salvage yards and the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store with plans to make these things into usable, unique bits of furniture for our house.

We started out with three old chairs.  We removed the upholstered seats, cut a piece of OSB to fit across all three and upholstered it in a brick coloured plaid.  We then painted the chairs black and gold.

As you can see, the bench above is none of that.  We got it done and did not like it.  The original fabric we used, I'd purchased YEARS ago to make an upholstered headboard.  Before I met Mr. Moose.  We found the paisley fabric above in the clearance bin at Fabricland and figured we could work with it.  That's probably about $5 worth of fabric.  Maybe.  I primed and repainted the bench in green and yellow to match the greens and yellow in the paisely.  I like the way this turned out, but now I think I need to paint the walls in the front entrance.

While I was repainting, Mr. Moose was working on project #2.  We picked up a 48" round coffee table at the Habitat Re-Store.  It was an old, beat up veneer, but quite a heavy piece of furniture and exactly the size and shape I had in my head.  What I want is an area in our living room where we can entertain in comfort - games, snacks, or just put our feet up and watch TV.

When we finally got the piece home and into our house, the base had broken.  Oops.  Clearly not as well made/sturdy as we'd thought.  Mr. Moose has the pictures of this on his phone.  So the base got removed and tossed out.  The top has been upholstered and tufted by Mr. Moose.  I had no part in the following pictures at all.

Ok, I lie.  The yellow buttons were my idea to start with.  Then I changed my mind, but it was too late, Mr. Moose liked the idea.  I also took the blurry pictures.

Why yes, it still does not have a base of any kind.  That is in the basement awaiting some final cuts and paint.

Also, hanging off the chair in that last picture, you'll see one of my next projects - drapes for the front windows.  And under that, you'll see the pillow form for the pillows I want to make for my couch.

The buttons for the tufting turned out great.  We're not really formal people and a little bit of unexpected colour is quite like us.  At the same time, I'm afraid that my "little touches of colour" will turn into a garish mess.  Which, admittedly is more like me.

Additionally, I have some Ikea shelves and a cheap desk that I need to get painted for my sewing room.  I think I'm going to try to be economical and paint them the yellow from the bench.  It should be light enough to brighten up the space without screaming "I'M YELLOW!" at you every time you walk in the room.

I hope.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Here it is Wednesday again.  And I'm linking to WIP Wednesday I didn't work on my geese on Friday, instead I started a new baby quilt for  a friend of mine - I posted about it on Monday.  I got the sashing on it, and that's as far as it's gotten:

but it looks pretty good.

I've also put together a couple more blocks for what may become a sample quilt at some point

Not sure about the color combination here.

But I really like the red in this one.  The green that was meant to be the tree is a little light. 

Monday, January 30, 2012

A baby quilt

I know a lot of quilters give away most of the quilts they make.  I don't have those kinds of friends

Or maybe I just lack that kind of confidence.  I worry that my friends would think a homemade baby quilt would be lame.  Cheesy.  Crappy.  I don't know that my friends are really the "OMG, A HOMEMADE QUILT!" kind.

Yet, that's what I worked on over the weekend. 

9-10 inch blocks all ready for sashing and borders.

I think it looks pretty good.  It's all pieced from fabric I had on hand.  I did pick up some fabric for the sashing and borders because I didn't have enough in my stash unless I went with the yellow - I'm going to use the yellow with birds for the binding.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Today is Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.  And I have Work In Progress.

However, I'm 300+ kms from my Work In Progress and the camera with the all-important pictures.

Today is also week 2 in the Solstice Stars Quilt Along at Fresh Lemons Quilts.

So what's a blogging, quilting girl to do?  What could I possibly share with you?  Old pictures.  And my apologies.

First up, here's what I did last week for the Solstice Stars Quilt Along
Ribbon Star by wading moose

I figure in the end, I'll get a nice table runner out of it.  I love the fabrics I'm using in this so much.

The work in progress I will be pulling out on Friday.  It's a quilt I'm working on with fabric from my Grandmother's stash.  Grandma was pretty important to me growing up she taught me to crochet and she made many many quilts.  I remember a shopping trip we made to a quilt shop once.  She wanted to make a maple leaf quilt so she bought this great fall leaf print fabric.  She made the quilt and I'm not sure what happened to it which makes me sad.  I would've liked to have had it, but I'm sure she gifted it to someone.

Anyway, I managed to put together a stack of somewhat coordinating fabric and started on a flying geese quilt some time ago.  Friday is (mostly) my day off.  I say mostly because I'm going to have to work whether I'm supposed to or not.  But in the time I do get off, I'm going to work on this quilt:

The fabric is far from modern like in my solstice stars quilt above, but it means so much to me and I really need to get back to work on it.

And finally, these:

Are all cut out and that's as far as I got.  If they're going to become a baby quilt for February, I'd really better get moving on that, huh?  I'm just not feeling the love for the roman square at this moment.  I'm tempted to chop them up even further (yikes) and go postage stamp on it.  Or something.  Maybe add sashing for a colour pop?  I just really don't care for what I've got there.

Monday, January 23, 2012

More blocks

I love the little bunnies and tea pots in the background fabric. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Back to basics for me?

One of my goals this year is to design and build a sampler quilt.  As such, I figure it's a great time to put together some blocks I've always wanted to make.  Last night, I pulled out the stash and started putting things together.

First up?  A block I've always wanted to make, but definitely not make an entire quilt out of - The bearspaw.  Bear's Paw? 

This is what I ended up with. Looks great right?  Look at those points - while ironing each individual paw, I was so excited by how great they looked.  How perfect they all were.  Yet, when I got the block sewed together, it didn't measure the proper 12.5".  Confession: I knew this before I sewed it up.

Now, I should start by saying when I trimmed the half square triangles, they were all exactly the right size (2 1/8").  But when putting them together, I quickly realized that one of the paws was about 1/4 inch smaller than the rest.  I'm still not sure how that happened, but it was late and i just wanted to finish it, so I put it all together anyway.  Not the right answer.

The most important part of quilting is accuracy. If you don't get the 1/4" seam, you're going to struggle with the entire block and quilt.  It's just not pretty.

With my first block yesterday (Ribbon Star from Fresh Lemon's Solstice Stars), I payed close attention to my seams and even measured after sewing up the first batch.  I even own the 1/4" seam foot for my sewing machine!  Should be easy, right?

Wrong.  Turns out, my machine's 1/4" seam line should be a thread inside of the mark on the foot.  Who knew!  Big deal right?  Wrong. At the end of the block, that could add up to 1/8" or even a 1/4" off!

So the first thing you need to do when quilting is find out where your 1/4" seam allowance is on your sewing machine.  Learn it.  Mark it.  I've used masking tape to create a more permanent line in the past.   I've marked my bobbin cover plate with a sharpie.  I've done lots of things before I picked up the foot.  And now I know where, exactly on my foot I should be targeting.

 The bottom right to centre of this photo shows a good 1/4" seam. It's nice, it's straight, it's a quarter inch.

Second thing, when it's late and you just want to finish the block, consider walking away and finishing another day.  Because you might be ok with just pretending you don't have a size issue.  And you might do something stupid like try to make it work.  And you might end up with a seam like this.

The light area in the centre right? How big do you think that seam is?  3/8ths?  Maybe even a full half? 

Is it any wonder my block is wonky and the wrong size?  I think not.

Where'd I put my seam ripper?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Ribbon Star

Ribbon Star by wading moose
Ribbon Star, a photo by wading moose on Flickr.
I've joined the Fresh Lemons Solstice Stars Quilt Along. This year my goal is to quilt more, improve my skills and use up the basket of scraps I've been accumulating. I figured this was a good start.

Plus, I've decided that with my red furniture, the red and aqua combination will work out fantastically.

I haven't decided yet if these will be pillows for the living room or a table runner for the dining room. Can't wait for next week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday

So I'm a little late getting started this year, but I do have some WIPs to share.   I'll be linking this on WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Ok.  One WIP.

I'm taking these strip sets

And turning them into these for a rail fence baby quilt.

If you've read my blog much, you know i usually work with much brighter colours than this, but I picked up a jelly roll when I was in Vegas.  I'm so jealous of you folks with any LQS that offers a good selection of precuts.  It seems that there are many many bali pops around here, but that's about it.

Additionally, I'm doing some reading for inspiration:
I want to make a sampler quilt and I'm trying to figure out what, exactly it'll consist of in the end.

Also, I need to find a better way to take pictures than with my cell phone!  Maybe I should just find my real camera.

Additionally, between Christmas and New Year's, I made myself a Sony E-Reader cozy.  Mainly it was a test run for the Kobo sleeve I made for my Mother-In-Law.

I have a bit of trimming that I apparently missed, but I made this with a bunch of scraps I had hanging around.  I love the fabric inside, but figured that the yellow would just start looking dingy and dirty on the outside.  It just needs a button for the closure and it's done.

I wish I'd taken a quick picture before sending off the one I made for my mother in law, but I forgot.  I'm not sure if she's going to take to the e-reader or not, but I hoped that giving her something pretty to store it in would make it more attractive to her.

Hers turned out much better (and completely different) because I learned from this one that I don't completely know what I'm doing.  It looks good, but I got it all sewed up and realized I didn't know how to attach the lining to the exterior.  I just had a complete brain fart and in the end, I was slightly rushed (had to be made that day) so I found a tutorial from moda bake shop and went with it.