29 May 2011

Okay so....

... so I decided to move my blog over to Wordpress. I would very much love it if any of you who read me here, would join me over there at http://wipgirl.wordpress.com/. I haven't quite settled on a layout there, but it's a work in progress. And it's being updated, while this is not.

19 May 2011

Fabric Friday: Amy Butler or Kona cotton?

It's the Kona Grape and Aqua that'll be part of a quilt that I'm working on, which is part of the Mod Times Quilt-Along. A lot of people who participated are already done their quilt tops, but I've still got a stack of these to iron, then I need to sew the cross-piece in between (most of) them and then I can start piecing the top. This quilt is one made by the woman who is running the quilt-along, and is basically what mine will look like, though I'm making mine significantly bigger (almost 4 times the size).

And this is what my print bits will look like:
Mendocino Mod Time Quilt Along

The aqua in the cross-pieces will lighten up the darkness of the purple (a lot) and I'm really excited to see what it'll look like finished.

But I'm SO very not excited to go on ironing. I am usually a very haphazard ironer, which I know stretches the fabric and makes for wonky shapes where wonky shapes should not be, but I'm trying very hard to be careful with these. I'm even blocking them as I press to make sure they're the right size. Which I'm doing basically because this entire quilt is pieced with inset seams, and I find that slightly scary enough without my pieces not fitting where they belong because I've stretched them out of shape.

I'm hoping to get started on piecing the top this weekend (since I'm off Saturday/Sunday AND my sister and bro-in-law are leaving for Russia on Saturday, so I won't even have to worry about being noisy while they're sleeping or any of the other reasons I sometimes put off sewing till later. I've gotten quite a few more pressed since I took the photo, about 70 are done with 30 or 40 left to go. (I forget how many I started with, a lot though.)

(The Amy Butler is home decor weight Coreopsis in Spruce from the August Fields line.)

14 May 2011

Fabric Friday: Munki Munki Elephants

Munki Munki Elephants by clumsy chord
Munki Munki Elephants a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

Well, it's a day late, but I was sleeping most of the day on Friday and I just never quite got around to it...

Today's Fabric Friday is a piece of Munki Munki marching elephants that I got in a scrap pack I bought on Etsy. It's the sleeve of a pair of women's pajamas, and about 10" x 12" (it's wider at the bottom, about 12" wide, and has a line of holes where stitching was picked out). It's really not so dark as it looks, but it's very thin fabric and the black table I photographed it against really shows through.

I don't think I'll ever use it, so I think I'm probably going to post it in a swap community on Flickr and see if I can get something else in exchange.

Cute though.

06 May 2011

Fabric Friday: Mod Times Mendocino Quilt-Along

It's hard to imagine that these stacks of fabrics will actually make a quilt, but that's 65" x 83" worth of quilt top.

There are fifty rectangles and eight squares of Mendocino fabric. Three hundred thirty-six squares and rectangles in aqua. Three hundred ninety-three rectangles of purple.

If anyone is quilting along (Mod Times Quilt-Along) and wants to make their quilt larger, this is what I decided to do. I'm making mine nine columns across and six rows down, with no changes to the size of the pieces. It should come out about 65" x 83".

From the print fabric, you need:
50 @ 3.5 x 7.5
08 @ 3.5 x 3.5
From the border fabric:
049 @ 1.5 x 9.5
100 @ 1.5 x 7.5
108 @ 1.5 x 5.5
016 @ 1.5 x 3.5
120 @ 1.5 x 2.5
From the background fabric:
240 @ 2.5 x 4.5
096 @ 2.5 x 2.5

I very much hope that I got the numbers right when I was figuring out what to cut - I don't have very much spare purple and what what left I cut into 2.5" strips for binding. I really want to finish the quilt with that purple framing the edge, but I don't know if I'll have enough length left to do the entire way around. I may have to piece it with other scraps or to use some aqua (I do have a fair chunk of that left). I could try buying more of the purple, but I don't recall what colour it was and I'd be concerned about dye lot anyway. (Looking at the inventory at Simply Solid Fabric, where I bought it from, I think it might be Kona Raisin, but it could be Hibiscus or Dark Violet or some other very deep, dark purple.)

It took me a few hours today to cut all of that, and now my legs are tired, cramped, and sore, and I've got a headache to end all headaches. But hopefully I'll get started sewing tomorrow, because I'm excited to see what it'll look like.

05 May 2011

Talk to Me Tuesday #44: Works in Progress

In which I show off my Firefly shirt, show a bundle of black binding for a quilt, and talk about starting another quilt-along, the Mod Times Quilt-Along.

I very often record my TTMT videos on a Wednesday, as this one was. I was having problems with Windows Live Movie Maker crashing my computer though, so I wasn't able to save it until this morning and get it uploaded. (When it was at 99% recorded I thought for sure it was going to crash again - my laptop SOUNDED like it was slowing down, about to turn off, which was what had been happening - but fortunately it didn't.)

Here's a usable link to the Mod Times Quilt-Along. You can also see some pictures of what I and the other are doing at the Flickr Group. Somehow has posted a pretty amazing looking version done using Joel Dewberry's Aviary 2 line, which works really beautifully in this pattern.

29 April 2011

Fabric Friday: Black Binding

Binding by clumsy chord
Binding a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

This is a bit of a boring fabric Friday post, at least after the previous two weeks of Mendocino and Neptune fabrics. I guess I could have photographed the wad of fabric I stuffed in the wash machine today - 3 yards each of deep dark purple and light airy aqua - but this was what was closest to me.

It looks like such a lot of binding, seeing it rolled up like that, but it should be just about 12 inches or so longer than I need for the Super Secret Project that it belongs to. Well, the project isn't so very super secret, but it's something I've not posted online in years and years. Not quite my oldest WIP, but not too far off from it either. I can't actually remember how long ago I made it, but it's probably from the early 2000s.

Anyway, when I squared up the quilt top, I saved all the cuttings of backing fabric, and that's what I used to make the binding. I'm not sure what company produced the black fabric, but it's a very, very tight weave, and it feels very different from Kona cotton, which I've gotten used to using this last couple of years. The blue fabric is some of the leftovers of the fabric I used for a skinny border on the quilt. The bit of it that I have left says Exclusively for Fabricland/Quiltville, but has no other information about the name of the line or anything else.

I wanted to have this attached last week, so that I'd at least have the binding partially sewn to the back, but I haven't even started pinning it on yet. Maybe later today.

24 April 2011

WIP: Plume Quilt

The Plume Quilt

This quilt top is one of my favourites that is finished. When I first saw Tula Pink's Plume, I think it might have been the first time I really loved fabric with a lot of pink in it. The turquoise and pink and lime together is just so luscious and it was love. I only bought a layer cake (and later a bit of yardage for the borders and also for the backing, which fabric I can't seem to find, hence not finishing it).

The pattern isn't very visible in this particular picture, but it was from a Moda Bake Shop project, though I can't remember what it was called. I don't think the original had borders, I added though to make it large enough to be adult lap-sized. Also, I felt like it needed a yellow border to make the single yellow block make sense. (Plume only has one yellow print, and I don't know why it has it at all...)

I do need to go looking for the backing fabric though because my mom wants to tackle the quilting as a evening project. She has done hand-quilting for me a few times and I'm happy to give her something to work on. I plan to have something really simple done in the center of the quilt and in the yellow border, and then to have a traditional feather pattern quilted into the larger green border.

Left to Do:
- (find and) piece the backing fabric
- baste and quilt
- create and attach binding

22 April 2011

Finished Project: Flowery Wall-hanging

Wall-Hanging a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

I have the most insipid names for the things I make. Well, I suppose that's because I just don't name anything, so I always default to basic description. This is a wall-hanging with flowers on it and too many flowery prints, so flowery wall-hanging. A baby quilt that's pink? Pink baby quilt. I don't like to label my quilts, and don't, so I can't see any sense in giving names to them either. I tend to think of my projects by certain names - the origami quilt, the brown quilt-along, the reflection one - but I don't think they're art that'll someday be catalogued, you know? If, 200 years from now, some quilt historian finds the slightly tattered remains of this wall-hanging... I don't mind if it's called WH200129-94 with no name, creator, or date attached to it.

Anyway, yes. A wall-hanging that is flowery. I made this in the fall/winter of 2010, for my mom, but didn't actually get it finished until early in January. (My photo is dated January 6.) I bought it as a kit (for a table-runner, which I made square rather than long) because the colours seemed like they might match my mom's upstairs. I don't know if it matches as I've not been back home since I sent it off to her, but it seemed like it might work. There's a lot that I don't really like about this project - the fabrics, the colours, the style, etc. It's certainly not to my tastes, but when it comes to gifts, it's best not to please yourself, anyway, right?

Anyway, it's hard to tell in the photo, but there are buttons on the center of each flower, to help tie in the black thread I used to stitch down the appliquéd flowers. I quilted it using a kind of beige coloured thread, mainly straight line quilting around the outsides of things (kind of rounded-ish around the flowers) and then echoing the shape of the blocks.

This was the first project I ever made where I did the binding entirely myself. Normally I pass my quilts off to my mom for the binding, but it was for her, so it was time I learned to do it myself, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I've come to enjoy the binding process. Not so much stitching it on to begin with, but hand-stitching it down around the back. It's satisfying to do.

Fabric Friday: Tula Pink's Neptune

For a long time I didn't really get this line, it just somehow didn't work for me, and then it did. I think I saw a few quilts that used it spectacularly and then I just wanted it. A lot.

Thank god this and Mendocino are my only hard to find, out of print favourites, because I'd go broke if I were also trying to find Flea Market Fancy and... I don't know. Other expensive OOP HTF fabrics.

I kind of want to make something traditional but not with this - traditional blocks like log cabins, but non-traditional in the sense of being a mishmash of those blocks - not layed out in a grid with sashing and two borders. Maybe. We'll see. I bought the honey bun first, thinking about making log cabins, but of course on honey bun wouldn't stretch to far as just log cabins. So I've started sort of mentally cataloguing other blocks I think would work with these prints. I'll have to sit down and draw something out one day. (And add it to my mental pile of Someday Projects.)

Anyway, I'm done buying OOP fabric, so what I've got is all I'll have to use. (The top two rows are all FQs, then the rest of them are half yards except the bottom right green, which is a yard.)

20 April 2011

WIP: Pink Bento Box Quilt

Pink Bento Box
Pink Bento Box a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

I say quite often that I don't really like pink very much, and then I go and do things like this.

Well, these blocks I didn't actually make, although I did request them from an exchange on Livejournal. There is a community there, Birthday Blocks, where the participants make a block for each other member for her birthday, so for my birthday last year I requested Bento Box blocks, done in pink and white.

The reason for the colours, despite my dislike of pink, is that I want to make a lap-quilt to donate to my work for the breast cancer fundraising we do every year. I didn't get enough blocks from the exchange (and a couple were too large and weren't actually bento box blocks) to make the quilt last year, so everything was put in a box in the closet and it has sat there since. I've received a few more blocks in the meantime, so I suppose I should do an updated photo with all the blocks, but... maybe another day. I think breast cancer fundraising happens in... October, so my goal is to get to this one in the summer so it'll be ready for this year.

To do:
- count the blocks and make additional ones to bring it up to size
- piece blocks into top
- sandwich, baste, quilt, and bind

19 April 2011

Talk to Me Tuesday #43

In which I show off the pink baby quilt, and talk more about trying to find a brown to match a Heather Ross print.

I haven't been feeling too creative and crafty lately, so I haven't really gotten much of anything done. Maybe tomorrow.

15 April 2011

Fabric Friday: Fabric Glutton

Fabric Glutton by clumsy chord
Fabric Glutton a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

This is my precious, precious pile of Mendocino fabrics. I wish I could figure out what to do with them, but whenever I search for pictures of quilts people have made with this fabric, mostly I get to feeling like they've wasted what they had. (What a horrible attitude! I think I've seen too many quilts the chop up the mermaids into unrecognizable bits. But at least they've made something, whereas all I've done is horde mine up. (I did use some in this purple quilt top. And I have a Future Project in the works which will use the brown w\ orange seahorses print.)

14 April 2011

WIP: Christmas Quilt Blocks

Christmas Quilt Blocks
Christmas Quilt Blocks a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

This particular WIP is one without any clear plan. These blocks have been hanging on my design wall since... November, I suppose, but I can't quite mentally work out what to do with them.

These started out as 6-in squares in assorted green prints that I received in a Green Charm square exchange. I had a vague notion to do something Christmas-y with them, so I picked up four different pink/red Kona cottons (Pomegranate, Wine, Cardinal, and Tomato). I started cutting them up and sewing them back together with the strips of colour (which are 1/2-in finished), and started to think that maybe I'd make a tree skirt out of them. (We do have a tree-skirt at my house, but I think it's ugly. An update would be nice.)

But I couldn't really figure out how to go about making a tree skirt. Round is classic, but I'm not sure I'm up to working out the math for a round tree skirt, nor do I want to cut into the blocks in order to round the edges. So I have a vague plan for a kind of octogon (or hexagon? I forget.. I wonder where I put my drawing?) shaped tree skirt. These blocks are quite small (6-in), and I only have 36 and don't want to make more, so I think I'd have to either use sashing or frame each of the blocks (possibly with the colour that is already in the block or maybe with one of the other colours instead) so that they'd be a little larger and then cut setting triangles to fill in the edges.

I really should sit down and work out how to do it. Or else decide on something else entirely. Maybe I could do a wall-hanging (not that I'm terribly big on hanging quilts) or a lap-quilt (though I'm not big on Christmas themed items outside of Christmas) (or even during Christmas, really) or.... who knows.

I guess these blocks are not speaking to me too clearly.

To Do:
- decide on a project, finish blocks, piece top
- sandwich, baste, quilt and bind

12 April 2011

Finished Project: Pink Quilt-along Quilt

This is the very moment that the pin on the right let go and the quilt nearly went flying across my muddy, nasty backyard while I had a (video) camera hung around my wrist and the regular camera around my neck and a pair heels for shoes that were aerating the grass. Fortunately only three of six or seven pins let go, so the quilt stayed hanging awkwardly on the fence while I mentally debated the benefits of recording the moment versus trying to stop it from happening. (And in light of the shoes, I probably couldn't have made it over there fast enough to catch the quilt if it had gone airborne anyway.)

I'm going to have to try another day to get a full-on shot of the quilt, because I don't like any of the against the fence ones very much.

Of course, I do have other shots I can use anyway. It's not that they're horrible (though I'm no photographer), but the lighting isn't quite right and I really, really should have pressed the quilt before trying to photograph it. I had, originally, pinned the quilt to the fence down the right hand-side so that it wouldn't get caught by the wind, but that mainly worked to show off how badly it needed pressing.

09 April 2011

Outgoing: Fabric Postcards

I don't know why, but I forgot in my previous entry about swapping fabric postcards to include the name/location of the swap group. It can be found here on Livejournal. I've just opened up a poll there today to see when people would like to swap again, which I'm hoping will end up at the end of May (though I know one person at least is ready to do a swap pretty much immediately). The way I prefer to run the swap is a No Stress Swap, which means that everyone knows the end date in advance, makes what they want to make, and then signs up AFTER they've completed everything. Swap partners are arranged once sign-ups are over and that way no one gets flaked on.

Anyway, these are the postcards I mailed off in this past round.

Pennants postcard by hold your spin
Pennants postcard a photo by hold your spin on Flickr.

This was really my favourite postcard that I made. It started out with an idea one day when a co-worker was talking about looking for Buddhist prayer flags, and that got me google image searching photos of prayer flags. What I loved about the photos was the pop of colours against the bright blue sky, so I recreated that with pennants (since I don't know enough about Buddhism to be comfortable making representations of prayer flags). It's definitely a look that's been done in a lot of ways - when I searched flickr, I found pillows and mini-quilts galore - but it's just so beautiful. I frayed the edges of the pennants in hopes of making them look old and weather-beaten.

Elephants postcardElephants postcard a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

My next card was this elephant card, featuring snippets of Tip Top elephants fabric. I had this idea in mind based on the video for the Metric song Stadium Love, which features animals going head to head in combat. There was a long time between my seeing the video and making the card, so actually they haven't really got anything to do with one another in terms of appearance, but it's pretty cute anyway.

08 April 2011

Talk to Me Tuesday #42

I forgot to put this in here when I uploaded it on Tuesday. In which I try (again) to match brown fabrics, talk about one of the postcards from my previous entry, and show an updated look at the pink baby quilt.

06 April 2011

Incoming: Fabric Postcards!

At some point in January, I was talking to some people in the Quilting community on Livejournal about making/exchanging fabric postcards, and they were interested in setting up a swap. It took a little while before I got around to it, but we had our first exchange in March, and these are the five postcards I received. Eventually I'll write up a post showing the six cards that I made (five to send for the exchange, and one that I did a little tutorial video about), but I've got more things to talk about than time to talk about them.

"Be Still" postcard by hold your spin
"Be Still" postcard a photo by hold your spin on Flickr.

The person who made this card, Mrs-Dragon, had posted pictures of her cards before they all arrived and they were all gorgeous, but I was instantly drawn to the red one, mainly because red is my favourite colour. How lucky did I turn out to be to get the red postcard! She "made" the background fabric out of scraps using a wash-away fusible and then did sketchy-style drawing with thread on it to read Be Still and of course to trace on the heart. I LOVE the sketchy look that this quilting technique offers. And I'm pretty massively impressed by the fact that she bound the postcard. I've done proper binding once only and swore never to do it again. (It's HARD binding something so small.)

30 March 2011

Talk to Me Tuesday #41

In which I talk about this blog, a quilt I'm planning to make (and can't find the right fabrics for), and some fabric postcards that I got in the mail. One of these days I'll even post about the postcards.

(Talk to Me Tuesday is this. )

25 March 2011

Finished Project: Playday Posh Tot quilt

This finished project goes allllll the way back to January 25, 2011. It was my second finished project for 2011. I want to keep a record of everything I work on/complete this year, hence this post (and a future one on a wall-hanging I made for my mom).

Posh Tot quilt in blue

This is a gift for my boss's new baby, Ronan Quentin, who was born (early! hence the late quilt) on January 13, 2011.

The pattern is called Posh Tot and can be bought from Blue Underground Studios. It's about 36" x 48" and I made it using Kona cottons in Windsor, Chartreuse, and Brown, and a Robert Kaufman print from the Playday line. I didn't pick out any of these fantastic colours myself, I actually bought a kit from one of my favourite online fabric shops, Mad About Patchwork. (I also bought the Posh Tot pattern through her site, but the last time I checked I don't think she had it avaiable. Or maybe it was just the kit that's no longer available. Hm.)

21 March 2011

WIP: Cherry House Quilt-along Quilts 1 & 2

Brown baby quilt by hold your spin
Brown baby quilt a photo by hold your spin on Flickr.
Late in January this year Cherri House (of City Quilts fame - and if you haven't read that quilt book - yes, read it! it's worth it even if you don't do any of the projects - you really should) decided to do a quilt-along of a simple, but very lovely quilt. (All the entries about it are here. Scroll down the bottom and make your way back to page 2 to get them in order.) One of my favourite online shops, a Canadian one!, Mad About Patchwork, made up kits for each of the four versions that CH came up with.

I wasn't going to start any new projects this year, but somehow two of those kits made their way into my life. I picked up a kit in brown and blues and one in various pinks. They're both completed tops, at this point, but need to be quilted.

Pink baby quilt by hold your spin
Pink baby quilt a photo by hold your spin on Flickr.

They're very small quilts, about 34-in x 36-in, which means they won't take terribly long to quilt. So long as I can talk myself into actually doing it. I have bought thread and decided on backings - the pink will be a plain pink backing, the brown will have a print with tow trucks and cranes and that sort of thing on it - and even picked up batting. I just need to stop thinking about quilting them and start actually quilting them.

These quilts are both made primarily with Kona cotton, though the pink one has some sprinklings of Back Porch Bouquet in Pink and Tan Dots. The colours in the brown top are: Espresso (background), Ivory, Aqua, Robin Egg, and Sky. The colours in the pink top are: Pink (background), Baby Pink, Carnation, Pearl Pink, and Garnet.

To Do Pink: Completed.

To Do Brown: sandwich, baste, quilt, and bind.

18 March 2011

Finished Project: Pink and Brown Baby Quilt

I'm calling this a finished project, even though it's just a quilt top and hasn't been quilted/bound, because I'm sending it off to be donated to the Linus Connection in Texas. So, you know, finished, but not finished.

This is a project that I started in the fall on 2006 when a block of the month group started up on Livejournal (Block of the Month). I was trying to do the BoM in two different versions - this one using a line of fabrics called In the Pink (plus two extra fabrics - the blue and the green are from a different line) and a second one using a purple batik with black and white prints (eventually I added a nearly solid pink and solid white to some blocks). I didn't finish either of them.

I've been having an on-going freak out about having too many unfinished projects (many of which I am totally disinterested by, these days) so I pulled out a stack of shoe boxes, each of which have a different project in the, and chose these two BoMs to send away.

For this quilt top, I only had six blocks made, and it felt sort of lop-sided because I had three blocks with the green in it, two with no additional colour, and just one with blue. I decided to make two more blocks with blue so that I could try to balance it out a little.

There are a lot of things I would change, if I were to start back from the beginning, mainly to keep the same background colour on each of the blocks (two of them look like they're floating on the background and the rest don't) and to use more of the dark brown and less of the warm beige colour. But it's done, and done is good.

The eight blocks on point with a 3.5-inch border is about 41-in x 58-in if I'm doing my mental math correctly. In any case, it's not terribly big, but it should do for a little girl somewhere.

I didn't take any pictures of the 16 blocks I sent off in the purple group. I have pictures of them, but not as a collection. I should maybe have made tops with them too, but I wasn't sure if it would be better to make 2 smaller quilts with 8 blocks each or one larger quilt with all 16 blocks. This way the volunteers at Linus Connection can decide for themselves.

13 March 2011

The Unfinished Adventures...

I know there are a lot of Work-in-Progress Girls out there, and Guys too, probably, but lately I've been feeling a bit like my identity as a crafter is entirely caught up in the things undone rather than the things that I've finished. (It's possible I read too many blogs written by people who never seem to start anything, but always miraculously are finishing something.) I have finished a few things, a handful of baby quilts and a lot a lot of small projects, but I haven't ever finished a quilt that was big enough for an adult. I haven't finished any of the quilts I've set out to make for myself. I haven't hardly put a dent in the pile of fabric known as my stash.

In my dream world, I wouldn't have a stash. Or anyway, not much of one. I'd like to be able to buy what I want, when I want it, and actually use it, but instead I have a small mountain or three of gorgeous fabrics that I won't probably like any more by the time I finally get around to using them.

I'm not a very good blog writer. I get bored too quickly or forget to update or can't decide what to say, and eventually just sort of peter out, but my goal is to write once a week about an In-Progress Project (or an I-Wish-It-Were-in-Progress Project that I've got fabric and plans for). And then hopefully once also a week about the progress I've made on... something. (Hopefully those "somethings" will more often than not be my WiPs rather than anything new, but a girl's gotta have some variety, so...)

I hope, eventually, to get my hand-drawn header of WiP Girl put up, but, well... it's in progress. And I'm not a very good drawer. One of these days, anyway...