Bellatrix

I love this mini.

IMG_9854

I was in a Harry Potter craft swap on instagram and my partner dropped out at the last minute. Instead of re assigning me at the last minute, the organizer told me I could keep my quilt and I’m so happy that I got to.

Wee Little Stitches has great cross stitch patterns for little pixel people. I used the Hunter Design Studio tutorial to convert the Bellatrix from the Harry Potter sampler into a pattern. I mimicked the backstitches you would do on a cross stitch pattern to make the straps on her dress by going over those blocks with one of the deco stitches on my Bernina. Instead of doing a million one and a half inch squares, I worked out how long each strip would need to be and cut them accordingly.  Majorly sanity saving. I added borders and did some cross hatch quilting to finish her off. I love how she turned out.

The Mystery Machine

I whipped up this pattern in Quilt Assistant for a cartoon swap I was in on Instagram IMG_9073

I decided that it would be easier to appliqué the flower and logo on after the rest of the body of the van was pieced together.

I traced the logo onto the orange fabric that I’d prepped with Wonder Under and then ironed it on before doing a satin stitch around each letter. I free drew the flowers before attaching them the same way.

IMG_9482

I also made a little zipper pouch that says “Jinkies!” using the From Blank Pages My First Alphabet paper piecing pattern.

I added in a few more goodies and sent the Mystery Machine to it’s new home. I wound up taking a very weird photo on the trunk of my boyfriend’s car because I needed to ship it while we were on vacation. At least the lighting is good.

IMG_9493

The zipper pouch wound up a little bigger than I’d have liked, I think in the future I may try and scale down the letters a little bit.

My #quiltsforpulse Experience

I was heartbroken when I read the first reports of the shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Senseless violence is impossible for me to understand, and that it so often is rooted in hate and fear makes it that much more unfathomable. When I saw that the Orlando Modern Quilt Guild was calling for quilts for the survivors, victims, and first responders, I felt compelled to contribute a quilt. I wanted to make sure that someone touched by this despicable act knew that they were loved and appreciated and cared for. I always feel better when I can do something productive in a situation I have little to no control over and making a quilt felt like a step in the right direction.

IMG_8792

I basically learned to paper piece making this quilt. I combined two of the suggested blocks the Orlando MQG had posted and made them in three shades of the 8 original colors of the pride flag. I used a combination of low volume prints for the backgrounds of the blocks.

IMG_8977

I pieced the back together with leftover fabric from the top. Matt helped me lay it out and baste the beast.

IMG_9090

This is the largest quilt I’ve made to date. Quilting it was a little challenging, but I learned a lot doing it. For example: quilts are heavy, and I should have twice as much support around the back of my sewing machine than I need. If my seams are a little too small, they may pop and will need to be repaired mid quilt – I had to appliqué a piece of low volume fabric over a popped seam at one point.  The low volume is pretty busy so it’s hard to see from the front, but you can see the zig zag stitches on the back of the quilt.

IMG_9198

IMG_9200

I got a lovely note from the Orlando MQG telling me that my quilt went to a victim. I felt really honored that I got to make something that may give a little piece of comfort to someone who’d had such a traumatic experience.

The Orlando MQG had a beautiful set up at QuiltCon in Savannah with all the quilts that they received. It was really beautiful to see the outpouring of love in the photographs of all the quilts – I believe quilts were received from all 50 states and 33 countries. Hearing that brought back a little of my faith in humanity.

IMG_0303IMG_0304IMG_0301IMG_0193.JPG

 

Matt and I spend a lot of time in Orlando. We love to ride roller coasters and spend time in the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Studios. We went for brunch during our last visit and this mural made me really happy to be from Florida.

IMG_0463

 

NFL Mini Quilt and Craft Swap

I was nervous to sign up for any swaps before I signed up for this one. I’d see references to “the naughty list” and I’d be mystified that such a thing existed for something that seemed so unregulated. When I saw this one posted, the woman running it (mrspalmer724 on Instagram) encouraged me to give it a go and I’m very grateful that she did.

img_8879

I got paired up with a Bronco’s fan and I was very pleased. It would have been much harder to get excited about making something for a Falcon’s fan.

Originally I wanted to design a paper pieced Bronco head. After I realized a) how ambitious that would be and b) how much complicated paper piecing is a pain in the neck, I decided that appliqué on a pieced background would be a better bet for me.

img_9020

I cut the pieces of the bronco’s head and mane on my silhouette after pressing on some Wonder Under. I pressed the bits together and then did a satin stitch around each element in matching thread. I quilted a line around the head and mane to try and make it pop a little bit and then stippled out from there.

img_9075

I had picked up some NFL logo fabric to use for backing. I made another hexi with some white scrap fabric for a label.

img_9080

I also used the backing fabric to make a little drawstring bag and a pin cushion with a little pocket. I stuffed the bag with some candy my partner and her husband like.

img_9082

My partner (roseandodin on Instagram) took a lovely photo of her goodies.

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-12-51-59-am

This was such a lovely experience, especially nice as an introduction to swapping. I signed up for this swap first, and it gave me the confidence to sign up for others (the Star Block swap shipped more quickly than this one, which is why I posted about it first).

Star Block Quilt Swap

Here’s what I wound up making for the #starblockquiltswap on Instagram, hosted by shoppershaz. img_8818

My partner said she liked Tula Pink fabrics and Evening Star blocks, so I picked up a charm pack and some coordinating yardage and a solid to tie it all together. And a block was born!

img_8949

I made a little pincushion out of the scraps. It’s filled with crushed walnut shells.

img_9024

I love the tigers looking saucily out from the flower in this fabric in the Eden line.

img_8999

I fussy cut four for the corners of the block. I used my BSR and free motion quilted out from the center of the block.

img_8998

I patched together a back from various scraps and charms, and I EPP’d a little hexi for a label.

img_9027

I had picked up a fat quarter of another Tula print before the charm pack I ordered arrived, and I’d originally intended to back or bind the mini with it. I didn’t love the prints together tho, so I threw it in as an extra. I did some diligent social media snooping and discovered my partner had a love of sour sweets and nerdy things. I tend to go a little bit over board when putting together gifts, but I restrained myself while putting together the package. My partner took a great shot of her goodies (she’s courtney.is.crafty on Instagram).

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-12-43-57-am

It was great fun to put all of this together.

Catching up

It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything I’ve been working on. My health has been weird of late, but thankfully I have a new doctor who may be close to figuring out what is causing all my strange pains and what not.

Since I last posted I’ve done a bunch of little projects…

I stitched this up for a friend’s anniversary. She’s very involved with Starbucks and I knew she’d get a kick out of it. I had it framed at Michael’s but I didn’t get a picture of it in the frame. I’ll have to hound her for one.

I finished three of the blocks for the murder mystery quilt. The fourth had reverse applique and I got very hung up on the colors of my trees so I haven’t finished that one yet. I think I finally found some fabric I like, so that’s progress.

I made two of these little needle books inspired by the Crafty Gemini Creates YouTube tutorial. I added the little tab and snap instead of using a button and some elastic. 

I have little pages for tapestry needles with small blocks of Adia I zigzagged on, pages for pins and binding needles, little tabs for clips and safety pins. I am ridiculously proud of these little things.

I also signed up for three swaps: NFL, star blocks, and Harry Potter. I wanted to do some paper piecing patterns for those, and so I needed to teach myself to paper piece.

I made this with the intent of turning it into a wall hanging for a friend’s birthday. He loves rainbows. I’m binding it in the purple print. I initially tried to quilt it in a spiral, but it is much harder to do than it looks like in a YouTube video! I slapped on my BSR and did some meandering that started in the center and spiraled out instead. I also pieced the back together with some scraps and I really like how it turned out.

My sewing machine can also embroider and I took a class recently to learn how the functions work. I made a knitting bag with a pattern I picked up from urban threads.

I ripped apart a shoe bag and then boxed the corners when I sewed the sides back together.

I also put together a freestanding lace TARDIS for my friend’s wedding anniversary. Her theme was Doctor Who. I got the pattern from oesd.

And finally, I’ve been working on some quilts for pulse blocks. I want to send off a finished quilt by September and I think I’m well on my way.

I have big hearts in three shades of every color from the original pride flag. I’m going to intersperse them with paper pieced rainbow blocks.

The pattern is from sew mamma sew. I scaled it down a bit so they would be the same size. I’m not the best with gauging the size of pieces I need yet, so I think I’m going to make templates for all the background pieces and have them cut properly before I start randomly sewing. I have gotten very good with my seam ripper the past few nights.

So while I haven’t had any big finishes, I’ve done a lot of little things. Putting it all together puts it in perspective. I was feeling kind of down on myself for not doing much while feeling poorly, but all things considered, I’m gonna let myself off the hook.

I’m glad to be able to participate in something as important as the quilts for pulse drive. I can’t imagine the horror of being trapped in that club, or the hatred in that sick man’s heart. I am forever grateful that I grew up with a family that wanted me to be happy in my own skin, as my own person, and that they taught me that love was love. To be able to give someone a little bit of comfort with a quilt while improving my own skills in the process is such a blessing.

And on that note, I’m off to make more templates.

N

Quilting on a time limit

A few weeks ago, my boyfriend told me his best friend was having a birthday party for his one year old daughter. He knows that I’m not the best around kids, so he told me I didn’t have to go if I didn’t want to. I was relieved I wouldn’t have to feel awkward for several hours, but I also wanted to contribute in some way. I played with the idea of making a baby quilt. 

  
The Saturday before the party, we were at our local quilt shop getting fabric for a few projects I had in mind. By the time all the fabric for those quilts had been selected and cut, we were both ravenous and mentally drained. We wandered around looking for fabrics that played well together that weren’t too this or too that. Eventually, I said screw it, I’m making a charm pick quilt. I found a beautiful line (Regent Street by Moda) and grabbed three charms, some coordinating backing fabric, and found a fun polka dot to bind with. 

I’d never made a quilt on a time limit before. I’ve never sewn anything on a time limit before, period. Time crunches are not my thing. I did, however, want to see if I could manage a small quilt in a week’s time even if I felt crappy. I’m glad to say that I am indeed capable. 

I sewed the charms into half square triangle blocks and organized them in an emanating diamond, lights and darks radiating out. 

  
I separated my rows out, squared them up, and sewed them together row by row. Somewhere in all this sewing I realized I wasn’t working with normal quilting cotton, that the fabric was actually “lawn”. I decided to line the top and the backing with some shape flex to give it a little more body. I was paranoid that I would kill the fabric when I tried to quilt it. 

The day before the party I realized I was out of spray baste, so I made a mad dash to JoAnn’s to get a new can. I sprayed everything into place and then realized I needed help making the binding if I was ever going to finish everything in time. I cut the strips, sewed them together, and my sweet, long suffering boyfriend pressed them open, trimmed, folded, and pressed again. Bless him. 

I decided to do random loops to quilt the layers together with. I really liked how it turned out. I added a little heart loop in at the end of one of the rows. It’s a little hard to find but I love that it’s there. 

  
I got the binding onto the front of the quilt, and sewed it to the back during three episodes of How To Get Away With Murder and one Law & Order. I managed to prick myself and got a few drops of blood on the binding but they came out in the wash, thank god. 

  
This quilt is sooooooo soft. I’m really into the lawn and how soft it became after a trip through the washing machine. My best friend now wants a grown up size of this quilt, and luckily the fabric was 25% off at the LQS, so I am happy to add a version for her to the long list of projects I have running in my head.  

  

I’m happy to know that I can make a beautiful and functional gift with a weeks notice. I’m told that the quilt was a big hit at the party.  

  

First quilt finished

Recently, I completely my first quilt. Well, my first real quilted object that wasn’t a mug rug. I purchased the Broken Herringbone quilt kit from Connecting Threads which came with some beautiful Michael Miller fabric from the Highlands line – which I loved as there are a lot of cats involved. 

  
I ordered some more fabric patterned with cat faces for the backing, and combined it with some strips I had left over from cutting the blocks that I had pieced together. I also pieced a long strip together of sashing and leftover trimmed bits of the top. 

  

 I did some wavy lines to quilt all the layers together and stitched the binding to the back by hand. I definitely went through too many layer on one stitch near the bottom. Whoops. Ah well. I can only get better from here!

  
 I’m ridiculously proud of it. It’s a few inches too short to be perfect for lounging on the sofa with my feet tucked under, but I take a lot of road trips with my boyfriend and I think it will be perfect for snuggling up in the passenger seat. Even if it is a touch too short, Mal definitely doesn’t mind. Cat approval is very important in this house. 

I’m very excited to finish my next quilt. Its a baby quilt for my boyfriend’s best friend’s daughter. I’ve decided to make it out of half square triangle blocks and have a diamond radiate out from the center. Will check in later. 

xo, n