Saturday, May 30, 2015

Mystery Quilt Steps 1 & 2

I have long wanted to do a mystery quilt.  When I sat down and made a Quilting Bucket List about 2 years ago, that was on it. A few shops around here have done classes that are mystery quilts, but they were almost always on Saturdays and I worked Saturdays on rotation for most of the past 9 years, and of course these days it is very difficult to do a whole day class, because Munchkin.

So when I stumbled on to a mystery quilt along hosted by Carole From My Carolina Home, I threw my plan to not start any new projects out the window.  First of all, I discovered the quilt along in mid-April, and she started in late March, so I wasn't that behind yet.  And it was scrappy, plus I had enough of a light-colored fabric that would work for the background, so I didn't need to buy anything.  And many of my scraps were already cut to the right size, thanks to when I was cutting scraps into usable sizes pretty regularly. I couldn't start right away, because I was on a strict timeline for Geoff & Laura's quilt, but I knew I wanted to do it and could get caught up when my work went to Fridays off for 2 months of the summer.

I finally finished Step 1 yesterday, which included all of the cutting and making, then squaring up, about a billion half square triangles.  I am doing the lap size.  I chose to do truly scrappy, and didn't really weed out any scraps other than decide to not use batiks.  So there isn't a theme or a color scheme or really anything making it cohesive, other than the background fabric and the fact that I think that including everything tends to make everything go.  It's been fun to see so many of my scraps; many of them are from long ago projects and seem almost like old friends.

Step 2 was not nearly as labor intensive and I was able to complete it in 2 decent evening sewing sessions, last night and tonight.  Here is a sample of the strips from my Step 2:
Since the project is only up to Step 3, I'm very nearly caught up.  Step 4 is scheduled to be posted on June 10th, so as long as I can do Step 3 by then, I'll be on track.  I'm having a blast not knowing what is coming up and wondering what the final product will look like!

Friday, May 29, 2015

Finished! Goeff & Laura's Quilt

This one is a bit of an epic finish, because it was a UFO for so long.  As a wedding quilt, it is over 5 years late.  And I started it before they got engaged.  So to say I am thrilled to finish this is an understatement.

I'm not sure the picture does it justice, as I especially like the main print.  It ended up looking almost rail-fence-like, but that was not my intention.

Geoff and I have been friends since our freshman year in college.  Several years after we graduated, I met his then-girlfriend Laura one weekend that a group of us from college were hanging out in the booming metropolis of Westfield, Massachusetts.  I started making their quilt the week after that visit.  (Yup, I was that sure!)  I already had the main print and an idea of how to use it, and I decided that it would work for the two of them.  The colors in the main print were similar to the color combination on Geoff's website at the time, and it has a very Asian feel and Laura had just spent a year in Japan. The pattern inspiration is a bit hard to explain.  In Quilt Sampler magazine, each feature shop has an original pattern.  The quilt tester for this and several other quilting magazines did a variation of a pattern that I really liked, so I created my own variation of that variation.  How's that for complicated?!

I did the big push to finish this because I knew I would see the recipients over Memorial Day weekend at my college reunion.  Here are Geoff & Laura with the quilt, oddly enough in front of the dorm that both Geoff & I lived in as sophomores.  (Tallest building in the county!)

And just to demonstrate how late this was as a gift, here is their daughter Zoe, almost 3.  She's clearly so excited about the quilt, she's celebrating with jazz hands!
This is a Quarter 2 finish for the Finish Along, hosted by Adrianne at On the Windy SideClick here for my original project list for Q2.

This was also my May goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes.  I was goal-setter #62 at Sew BitterSweet Designs.  

My Button

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

A Lovely Year of Finishes: May Goal

When looking at other crafters' Quarter 1 finishes for the Finish Along, I saw a lot of people linking to something called A Lovely Year of Finishes.  I saw it often enough that I went investigating.  Like the Finish Along, the goal is to help motivate you to finish projects.  Basically, each month you pick one project that you want to finish.  Finish can even be loosely interpreted, so it's really more about picking a single goal for the month and meeting it.

I saw all this about 8 hours to late to participate for April.  And of course since I don't have a project until May, I won't actually have a full lovely year of finishes.  But since goal-setting seems to be helping me complete projects, I'm joining in.

I should be seeing Geoff & Laura at what is Geoff's & my college reunion over Memorial Day weekend.  So last month I got it out, decided not to tie it as originally planned but to machine quilt it even though it is huge, got the quilting done and the binding attached.  Now I just need to finish the binding, make and attach a label, and gift it!

Linking with hosts Sew BitterSweet Designs and Fiber of All Sorts

Finished! Ocean-themed baby quilt!

When I switched jobs in February, I inherited 2 expecting coworkers.  Since I adore making baby quilts and none of my friends or relatives are currently expecting, this was good news.

First due was my coworker Blaise.  I had planned to give him (or rather, his expected daughter) the all animal I Spy quilt that is finished but had no intended recipient.  But then at the baby shower at work, I learned that the theme for the nursery was The Little Mermaid.  And I spent the drive home that day thinking about all the ocean-themed I Spy squares I had.  So that night I got out my I Spy squares, sorted out everything ocean and mermaid related, and picked my 41 favorites.

There are a total of 6 mermaid squares.  I had just enough of that aqua dot to do the alternating squares--I thought it looked ocean-y.  This was the first project I did entirely on my new sewing machine.  I also did the binding completely by machine and used one of my new decorative stitches.  I actually think it was too dense a stitch and wish I had chosen a different one, but by the time I decided I didn't love it, it was too late.  I had hoped the circles would look like bubbles, but they don't really.  Oh well.

Baby Poesy arrived April 1st and I had the quilt ready when her dad returned to work 2 1/2 weeks later.  But there was a mix-up when the baby's name was emailed out to staff, and the last name I had on the original label was wrong.  So I took it home, made & attached a new label, and am pleased to say the quilt is now with baby Poesy.

This is a Quarter 2 finish for the Finish Along, hosted by Adrianne at On the Windy Side.  Click here for my original project list for Q2.  Please note that this is listed as "Blaise's baby quilt" on that list. 

And a mini-rant/soapbox moment: I mentioned that there are 6 mermaid squares in this quilt.  All of the mermaids are white.  Not a single mermaid of color of any ethnicity or background to be found.  Now, I was working exclusively with stash, but I'm fairly certain that what I have is a decent representation of what is out there, mermaid-wise.  We can do better, fabric designers and fabric manufacturers!