Ocean blue

Lazy, lazy weekend. I took an extra day which gave me energy to do a little dyeing. I am making a wilderness landscape and I wanted fish in the little pond. But the fish fabric I bought had a white background. I decided to dye it blue.
DSC04818

I used a Dylon dye in Ocean Blue.  I will tell you when I mixed I freaked a little because the dye bath looked purple!  But I already had it mixed, so I soldiered ahead. I was happy in the end with the results.

You can tell from the mottled end result that I did not mix the fabric as it was in the bath at all.  I also added some miscellaneous fabric that I had lying around also:

DSC04822

And this embroidered fabric:

DSC04820

I have no idea how I will use it but it really came out beautifully.

I know I running late today, but I have the Walking Dead Season 3 out from the library.  I must retire now to the zombie apocalypse.

2013/2014 Goal lists

A new year! A good time to look forward and back.  So this year’s goals:

2014’s Goals:

The first part is clothing construction:

  1. I plan to make some garments for myself this year one per season. I am going to leave this one loose, but I do still want to learn more about this year.
  2. I also have some pieced fabric that I want to make a garment out of possibly a robe.

The second part is UFOs.

  1. City chicken quilt.
  2. Angel quilt.
  3. crossstitch project
  4. grandma’s cathedral windows

The third part is mending:

  1. t-shirt quilt. This is in pieces but I plan to get it done soon.
  2. wedding ring quilt.  I have the fabric, I just have to get to it.

The fourth part is new projects:

  1. New girl quilt.  This is a new quilt that I need to make for a gift.
  2. New male quilt.  There is one person who doesn’t have a quilt made especially for him.  I have begun this one and pictures will follow soon.
  3. Steve’s denim quilt  When I made a denim quilt for our elephant exchange, I had Steve remove the pins while watching football and he fell in love with it.  Thus, football and quilting days begin today and we will jointly make a new quilt starting today!

I only have eleven, so I won’t be necessarily assigning one per month.  Although my goal for January is to mend number seven.  I have three others I want to work on right away: 3, 10, 11.  I may try to do one a month.

Now for the retrospective.

2013’s Goals:

The first part is clothing construction:

  1. I plan to make four garments for myself this year one per season. I made two successful garments this year:  a plaid skirt and a green dress.
  2. I also have some pieced fabric that I want to make a garment out of possibly a robe. I got out the fabric and the backing muslin, but that’s it.

The second part is UFOs.

  1. Ducky quilt. I want to get this one done by spring for sure, but I would love to get it done by February. Done in April.
  2. City chicken quilt. I made progress but still not finished.
  3. Country chicken quilt. I call this done.
  4. Angel quilt. No progress.
  5. crossstitch project a tiny bit of progress
  6. grandma’s cathedral windows no progress

The third part is mending:

  1. Fish quilt done 1/27/2013
  2. t-shirt quilt started, more to do.
  3. wedding ring quilt no progress
  4. my winter coat I just got a new coat which I guess counts as a finish.
  5. Patchwork quilt done
  6. green pants done 1/27/2013

Not great: 5 done, 6 with progress and one that kind of is a cop out.  Two of my big successes of the year didn’t even make the list: the anniversary quilt my siblings and I made in May and the landscape quilt I finished in November.  Oh well, a new year is starting.  I want this to just plot a course not hold me in.  I am excited to see what 2014 brings!

white elephant craft gifts

This is the last post of 2013 and the end of my first little book.  I will continue to post, but it will go to a second book – if the first one goes well. In any case, this was the first I could post these photos.  These are two of the three craft white elephant gifts I made for my extended family’s gift exchange.

I made this leader ender denim quilt.  I have made several of these: random squares with polar fleece back and no batt.  They are super warm and comfortable. I did add the triangles using my new templates.  I love the way the triangles look, however, I wouldn’t place them on the edge because somehow they make the edge a little wobbly.  I think I needed to trim the intersections of the triangles on the edge off.  In any case, it is warm and super comforting.

DSC04803

The other quilt is pure Christmas: psychedelic and a little overwhelming.  It is exciting, chaotic and of course, being my quilt wonky.

I really love the way it worked out.  I used bells and bells on the tops of the trees, so it jingles when it is shaken. 

This quilt is unusual for me as well because I used pre-quilted fabric.  I have never done this before.  Mainly, because the pre-quilted fabric is often so poor quality.  I had about a yard of the dark blue pre-quilted fabric from my aunt.  It was one-sided and older, so the fabric while pretty, had a little polyester in it.  I picked up some more quilted fabric at JoAnne’s: the holly, white background fabric with green leaves and berries.  This was two-sided with different, but related motifs on each side.  It is a slightly better quality and feels like it is at least cotton on the top and bottom.  It was also 70 per cent off.  I only bought a half a yard which was barely enough to do the front of this quilt. I am regretting a little bit not buying more.  I loved how quickly this quilt went together because of the prequilted fabric.  The downside is that the finished quilt is pretty stiff. This is fine for this decorative piece but if I were making a bed quilt, I wouldn’t like that. 

DSC04813

I will post again in 2014, so, my friends: may 2014 be a year full of joy and blessings for you!

triangles and fabric postcards

So again the week, the day got away with me and I didn’t get much done this week. I did get these denim triangles pieced:

DSC04777

It was fun to try out my new templates.  I am still learning about bias.  Also, if you try to attach more than four you need to have an odd one.  In other words, if you make sets that are an even number only they will not attach to each other.  So you need to make sets in even and odd numbers.

I will show you a cool project that I finished a couple weeks ago and never posted.  It was my mother-in-law’s 80th birthday so Steve and I decided to make her a fabric postcard.  I haven’t made one for a long time but she always loved them.

DSC04755

She always signs her cards “you are loved” so we sent love back to her. Here is the back:

DSC04757

We did actually mail this on her birthday so it was postmarked on her birthday.   I have to admit making this was really fun and only took me one morning.  If you decide to make a project like this, remember if you are mailing without a envelope you need to sew some paper onto your card.

promoted to Broseph

DSC04751

I had seen a handle for a seam ripper at Wedding Dress Blue so I asked my son to make one for me.  He spent some time trimming a stick from the yard and then he did this wood burning.  It is much more comfortable than what I had before. 

What cracks me up is that he put “Broseph” on it. I looked this up online to let you all what this means: The highest rank a bro can obtain in all of brodom.  I am deeply proud to have achieved this level of Brodom. 

mending and leader and ender

DSC04736

This is a little shag rug that my grandmother had made.  I have had it for many years since she died in 1988.  The back is burlap and it had ripped.  I was not willing to give it up.  I needed a sturdy piece of fabric to reinforce it.

DSC04738

As they say, there is lid for every pot.  This rather ugly, but extremely sturdy fabric my friend Patti gave me a while ago that she picked up in a give away pile, was perfect.

DSC04739

Since I had my Bernina set up to finish the landscape quilt, I pulled out this old White sewing machine to finish the rug.  My mom gave me this sewing machine a few years ago for just this situation when I have my other machine set up for a specific project.  It was also my grandmother’s so it really brought back memories.

I finished the rug-although I was reminded several times why I bought the Bernina while working with this machine. Since it had been too fragile to wash before, I had rug washing day and washed all of my handmade rugs.

DSC04742

As you can see, my next mending job may be this hand-woven rug I made in college.  Not quite as ancient as the shag rug from my grandmother, it is still older than my fifteen year old son.

On another note, I have been steadily working on a denim leader ender:

DSC04743

It went together almost without effort when I was putting the landscape quilt together.  I already have some polar fleece for the back.

landscape quilt and Christmas begins

DSC04726

Yesterday, I finished quilting the landscape quilt.  I did a very simple quilting- just wavy lines across.  It really adds to the landscape feeling of this quilt by continuing the horizontal nature of the patchwork.  I am really happy with it and hopefully I will finish adding the hearts and the edge next week.

On another note, I decided to get a jump on Christmas by making these little ornaments.  I hopefully will be more proactive to make some little gifts this year. 

DSC04729

I used a quilted fabric for the base then added the red fabric to make the shape.  I have to figure out how to back and edge finish it.

landscape quilt

I guess I haven’t said but I have been thinking that quilt is called the landscape quilt.  Mainly because of the colors and the horizontal orientation.

I put this quilt into four patches.  Then I spent last weekend laying out the squares.

DSC04683

I just didn’t like it no matter how I arranged it.  There was too much going on.  What bothered me the most were the green and white stripes which were just too garish or Christmassy.  So after much thought, I dyed them.

DSC04687

I put together a dye wash and painted the parts I didn’t like.  I wrapped them up in plastic bags and left them overnight to process.

Of course, I over estimated how much I needed.  So I had a jar full of activated dye, so picked up a few pieces of random fabric that I thought would be much improved by dying.

DSC04689

I just pushed the fabric down and turned the jar a little bit to get the dye to come partway up the sides.  In the end, the dye saturated all layers.

DSC04691

I was very happy with how the patches turned out. It was enough of a change to tone down the white stripes.  I wonder if my dye is getting old or if I need to use some urea to make the color a little more intense. That being said for this quilt it is perfect.

DSC04692

My “jar” fabric also turned out great. Unfortunately, I can’t show you a before picture, but here is the after:

DSC04694

The dots, hearts and stripes are a light blue.  It makes this fabric less Christmassy, less garish.  I have already put together some of the patches so my goal is to have the top done by next weekend.

busy week

We are have some friends coming over today so I have been doing crazy cleaning.   That combined with vacation bible school, back to school planning and anxiety (countdown to ninth grade: 7 days) have left me no time to sew.  So while I was at Savers in the back pack area, which conveniently is right next to the sewing section, I found a few treats.  First, because an idle mind daydreams on new projects not projects already started:

DSC04678

I am thinking about a sleeveless sweater.

My big surprise was this:

DSC04679

For 3 dollars I got this package of a couple of fat quarters and a bundle of six inch squares.  I could only see the top, so imagine my surprise when I discovered these:

DSC04680

In the inside of the pack some great pieces right in the palette for the friendship quilt! I can’t wait to show my friend when she comes over today!  My inspiration is reinvigorated. And hopefully in a week or so, I should have some actual sewing going on.

thinking

We as a family are in a waiting time.  Both boys are starting new schools this fall and the energy is one of excitement mixed with nervousness. I am working very hard on the blog book which cuts into my sewing time.  It seems I have a limited amount of creativity. 

Yesterday I did some real thinking.  I realized that I was tired of making the little strip squares.  I suddenly wondered how many I had made.  I have made nearly 150.  I decided that was enough.

Then I laid out a sample.

DSC04675

Wow! For once my picture is better than the actuality. I can’t manage to keep them sorted in any meaningful way beside basic color in this size.  I decided to sew them in groups of four, then lay them out to see what I have.

As I was sitting in my sewing room, bored of making these squares my gaze fell on this quilt:DSC04670

Several months ago I determined that this quilt was unmendable in its current form.  However, there are several sections that I really like:

DSC04671 DSC04672

There are two quilts here: the parts I Iike and the parts that have emotional resonance with my husband, mainly the t-shirts.  The third part is too worn to be salvaged.  So I cut it up:

DSC04674

More to come