Monday, September 15, 2014
My husband likes to joke that every time I cast on a new knitting project, I always make an accompanying bag. He's right. Project bags are so much fun to make and it's so nice to have a favorite piece of fabric on display whenever I work on my knitting.
A few weeks ago I put together two large drawstring bags. These are around 13"x13" and hold up to six skeins of yarn (and the accompanying sweater and needles). While I love the outside fabric, I love the purple peppered cotton lining even more. Can that chambray be any prettier?
Since it's the second annual Plucktember knit along this September, I'm spending most of my crafting time knitting the Gnarled Oak Cardigan from Coastal Knits. I'm using Plucky Primo Worsted in the Modern Vintage color. This yarn is an absolute dream to knit with and the color is so vibrant. We'll be in Oregon for a week at the end of the month, so I hope to spend some of our vacation finishing this up.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
Last summer new neighbors, who just so happen to share many of the same interests as Jon and me, moved in. I never in a million years dreamed that someone who is almost as crazy about knitting and quilting as I am would move in next door. It boggles my mind! It's so much fun to have impromptu craft nights in each other's home after a long day at work.
They're expecting their first son later this fall, so I made him a baby quilt for his new nursery. The quilt is 34"x52" and is made up of 70 log cabin blocks on point. I shrunk this pattern down to size and pulled together a palette of fabrics that should hopefully match the nursery.
Koko had to get comfy with the quilt before I could wrap it up for the shower. She's looking forward to having a new playmate next door. She loves staring at babies!
I quilted this with dense stippling and I'm so impressed with the crinkle factor of the cotton batting I used.
The quilt is bound and backed with some fun alphabet fabric. The librarian in me loves using text prints for babies.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
On Sunday afternoon, I had a cutting extravaganza and cut out fabric for several new quilts. Cutting is one of my favorite parts about quilting and I always enjoy turning a stack of potential fabric into a pieces for a new quilt.
I've got several projects in the queue, but for now I'm focusing my attention on making a patchwork quilt for our guild's charity project this year. My inspiration for this quilt was a fun navy robot fabric that I found in my deep stash. I pulled an assortment of coordinating orange, red, yellow and navy stash fabrics and cut each fat quarter into six 6.5"x6.5" squares. The final quilt will be 9 squares (54") by 13 squares (78") to make a larger quilt for an older boy. I've got a coordinating flannel that I'll be using for the backing and I hope to turn this into a cozy and comforting patchwork quilt.
I'm linking up to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday feature with this post.
Monday, September 8, 2014
Lately, I've been on a cross stitching kick. True to Rebekah form, I found a new hobby I enjoy, collected lots of thread and patterns, and started several new pieces at once. Luckily I was able to finish up my first large scale piece earlier this summer. The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's Cherry Blossom Sampler was a ton of fun to put together. I spent many warm summer afternoons listening to audio books and stitching away on our back patio. The finished piece was framed at a great, friendly local frame shop that does quality work and I'm now hooked on custom framing.
Right now I have three pieces in progress: Stitchrovia's Vegetable Sampler, Satsuma Street's Pretty Little Tokyo, and The Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery's Halloween Town Club mystery stitch along. I'm eagerly awaiting the final clue reveal a week from Thursday so I can finish this up and have it framed in time for Halloween. I changed and rearranged elements of the third clue and adjusted the color of the house and door, but everything else follows the main pattern. I'm not really a Halloween fan, but the kawaii designs and pretty colors sucked me into this pattern!
Thursday, August 7, 2014
When Radiant Orchid was named Pantone's 2014 Color of the Year, it unleashed the inner purple lover in me. I've always loved cool colors like green, blue and purple, but for the last fifteen years I've swayed more toward green or teal. I've fully embraced my love of all things purple again this year and this quilt is no different. My 7th grade self would totally go crazy for this quilt!
This quilt came together super fast. To recap my WIP Wednesday post, I used Rossie's tutorial (seen here) for quartered log cabins. The centers of each square started at 8"x8", the top and bottom strips were 3"x8" and the left and right strips were 3"x13". For this quilt, I made 48 large cabins and then cut them each into 4 different 6"x6" quarters (196 final blocks). I used up most of 24 different fat quarters for this quilt coming in at a final size of 66"x88".
I quilted this with free motion squares after being inspired by Angela Walter's craftsy class, Machine Quilting: Small Changes, Big Variety. In her class, she emphasized that it's best not to fret over how each tiny stitch looks and to use blending thread so that every seemingly huge mistake is less noticeable. While the quilting has lots and lots of mistakes in it, the overall organic look of the overlapping squares really shows through the errors I made and I love how it turned out. It's great to have another quilting technique in my arsenal, too!
The drape of this quilt is one of my favorite parts. I've been using Pellon Nature's Touch batting for all of my quilts and I really like the thickness of the cotton. The hand of the Andover Alison Glass Sun print backing fabric and the peppered cottons are fantastic too. I think those two factors, combined with the denser quilting, really created a soft and vintage feeling quilt.
I'm debating what to do with this quilt. I love it, but we're reaching quilt capacity in our house, so I think it's going in the gift pile for now. I may need to live with it for a few more months before I can part with it, though.
Monday, August 4, 2014
Back in 2008-2010, I participated in the Common Threads Quilting Bee. I never got around to posting about my second finished quilt due to my two year blogging hiatus, so here it is! Looking over my instructions post from November 2010, I see that I requested patchwork blocks with right angles and sent out a selection of prints and solids that coordinate with this butterfly print.
I loved receiving so many unique and creative blocks! I never would have thought to embroider a butterfly or use fabric paint to stencil a matching butterfly onto the block!
The finished quilt is 58" x 72" inches and has a scrappy binding. This is one of my favorite quilts and is in constant rotation in our tv room. Every time I pull it out, I notice another fun detail in the quilt.
I think these online quilting bees are a quilt blog thing of the past, but my modern quilt guild chapter does do a round robin each month. I'm considering putting some fabric together and joining in later this month, but first I need to come up with a fun concept!
Friday, August 1, 2014
Each summer, my aunt and uncle host my grandma's extended family at their lake house in northern Michigan. As a thank you to them for opening up their home to a 40-50 relatives each year, I decided to make them a quilt.
My aunt is an exceptional seamstress. She has made all of the drapes and many of the pillows in her home and has sewn beautiful clothing for herself. When I was just out of college and moving into my first apartment, she helped to spark sewing interest in me by letting me borrow her sewing machine to sew curtains. I have always been quite intimidated to sew anything for her because of her amazing attention to detail and skill level. Once I got over my hangups, I ordered a selection of yellow fabrics to match her home and then let them sit in a pretty stack for a few months while I waited to settle on a pattern.
I wanted to start with a traditional pattern to match her tastes and thought about enlarging this star pattern to make a one block quilt. After I realized that the white square in the middle would be the most predominant piece showing when the quilt is folded up on her couch, I decided to table that idea. Then I discovered the Designer Star pattern and this gorgeous version of it on from the blue chair and knew it was the perfect pattern.
The finished quilt is 72" square and uses a combination of yellow prints. I stippled the quilt and finished sewing on the binding with about one hour left before we had to leave for the family reunion. My aunt started crying when she saw the bag it was in and it took her a few minutes to even open it up and look at the entire quilt. She told me that she's always wanted one of my quilts but didn't want to ask me to make her one. It was so sweet and moving to receive such a huge reaction like that. She and my uncle have been so supportive of me through the years that it was the least I could do to reciprocate her generosity.