Category Archives: Quilting

Are They Craft Worthy?

One of the reasons that I love quilting or knitting or crocheting is because you can personalize a gift for someone.  The colors, the patterns, the design, the function, and the sentiment, just to name a few of the options a crafter has.  Even though it is agonizing, I love sifting through patterns to find just the right design for a new born quilt for a dear friend and then picking a color palette that will be just right.  Time seems to stand still on those projects because everything has to be perfect and hold up well.  Mistakes that normally I might let slip if it stays with me, I correct as I would die if a recipient told me the quilt or other project didn’t hold up.

I’m sure we have all been so excited to present a crafted gift to someone to only have them not appreciate it, and all excitement and pride (the good kind) is sucked right out of you.  Now appreciate isn’t exactly the right word, but we’ve probably all encountered that giftee who has taken the gift, looked at it, forced a smile, uttered the words thank you, and put it off to the side.  Its not that I want them to marvel over the craftsmanship, investigate each stitch, or ohhh and ahhh at the color choice.  I simply hope that they would look at the item and know that it took many long hours, hours that I maybe should have been cleaning my house or cooking meals or sleeping.  With each hour I worked on the project I was thinking about them, and I hope they could see that.  I would hope that they may USE the item and it wouldn’t stay in the bottom of the purse where it went when they got it.  The hope would also be that it would stay with them and not be re-gifted to someone else, or thrown out.

Recently, I’ve taken QUITE A FEW knitting classes, don’t worry I am still quilting, and at the last two there has been a discussion about people being knit worthy.  We’ve all went around the room sharing times when gifts have been stuffed in purses without a care that those blasted cables took forever, or kept in a drawer, or asked if it could be redone in a different color, or given to the giftee’s best friend.  I started to really think of this, as I know there are people who are not quilt worthy.  The people, I’m sorry to say, would be gifted with something else rather than a quilt that took 30 hours.

I have a BFF who came back to work after a maternity leave and I wanted to make her a little something to welcome her back.  After much planning and thinking, a pineapple mini quilt was decided, after all, she loves pineapples and she complained that her classroom walls were bare.  The morning of her return I dropped it off, she opened it up, a big smile came across her face and she immediately put it on her wall by her desk.  SHE IS CRAFT WORTHY!

Once I made a gift for someone.  A lap quilt.  They opened it, I was so proud of it as it was an earlier work, and she faked a smile and put it aside.  A year later I saw that quilt at her friend’s place.  NOT CRAFT WORTHY!

Now, before I continue.  I will admit that at time ALL OF US are not craft worthy.  Well I know I have not been all the time.  Perhaps a great aunt made you an itchy scarf that you disliked wearing?  Or the sweater with a bunny and pompom as a tail when you were 14? But now I know what it took to make that, and the pride they would have had, and how they took time to make something JUST FOR ME.  My tune has changed.

Perhaps you are like me and have a little list in your head that you now go through of people who you may craft for.

For example – CRAFT WORTHY:

  • Have a past of using the crafted item been given to them
  • Supported your craft by asking about it or taking an interest in it
  • Have NOT said that your blog is dumb and why waste time on your hobbies
  • Will not give it away as a white elephant gift
  • Will take an interest in what would be given to them

How about you?  Do you have a CRAFT WORTHY list?

 

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Filed under Knitting, Quilting, Sewing

Mystery Quilt 2015

Last year the guild I was a part of did a mystery quilt that ran the course of the guild year.  I was the one running the mystery quilt so I knew what the finished product was going to look like.  I really liked it and thought it would be great in two colors or a scrappy look like the design was intended.

However, I wasn’t fully aware of how many half square triangles there was going to be.  Lets say over 300.  And they were all very very small – 2.5″ unfinished.  As many of you may know I have a LOVE/HATE relationship with HST.  I love the quilts that they are apart of, but HATE making them because somehow I mess them up.

I decided that this would be the quilt to use to try out the different methods of making HSTs, after all I had to share a demo about the HST in guild.  I search all over the place for methods on making more than 2 – again this quilt needed about 300.  I had originally tried the bias method – sewing all the way around your square then cutting it up along both diagonals.  Like the demo that Missouri Star Quilt Company has in this video.

But the math I tried, according to one tutorial, was a little wrong and I ended up creating smaller HST than I needed.  For every 1 that was the correct size I ended up with 3 the incorrect size.  I was worried I was going to run out of fabric.  Then I remembered that Melanie over at Melanie Dramatic did a HST mini series so I made my way over and discovered that 1. I did have the math wrong and 2. the simplified grid method where I could make 8 HST in one fell swoop.  Who wouldn’t want that?  Especially if you needed 8 of that color scheme.  It made this quilt much less daunting as well.  The method worked amazingly well and I was able to finish the quilt using this method.

HST and I still have a love/hate relationship, but using this simplified grid method may be the way for me to work with HST from this point moving forward.

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Filed under Flying Needles Quilt Guild, Flying Needles Quilt Guild Millarville, Quilting

Baby Quilts Galore

Though I haven’t quilted as much as I normally would like to in a year, I did manage to get some baby quilts ready for three new little lives that were entering our world. The patterns I picked out back in November when we first learned of their arrival and fabric was selected. My grand plan was to work on them a little at a time beginning on my Christmas break, then again during feb break and finishing them off during spring break. Well, things happened, and I lost my spunk to do them. I did pick away at them during Christmas break and here and there until February break came and I once again picked them up with more time that I could dedicate to them.

Around then I completed one called Arrow Feather.

27708026644_b65935bc50I loved the look of the quilt and tried to pick my fabrics close to the ones she featured in her pattern. I however found some of the instruction to be more geared towards more experienced quilters, though a confident beginner could handle it but may need to read the instructions a few more times to understand the direction she is going. In the middle of the project I wasn’t loving where it was going in. Was it the colours, the pattern, or the way it was taking shape, I just couldn’t put my finger on it. In fact, it was inches away from joining my incomplete pile or be repurposed for something else, but in the end I stuck with it and was pleased where it finished.  

During March it was my goal to complete the Preppy Pod quilt by Elizabeth Hartman as the baby it was going to was coming next. I had such a wonderful time making this one. I would love to make this one over and over again, especially the big version. It is a well put together pattern with clear instructions. And the cutting wasn’t unreasonable either – which really is my least fav part. What is wonderful about her patterns is that she provides size options for that quilt from baby to a large version. Anyways, I came close to the goal, but recovery got in my way a little bit. Luckily, it was completed before the baby was due – by a day or two, but still.

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Then came the what was I thinking quilt, also known as Fancy Forest. I should have started this in December and picked away at it a little at a time rather than what I ended up doing. I didn’t actually begin it until after my surgery. I remember it like it was yesterday…cue dream like music… Nate was going out, it was the first time he had left me alone with Ella since surgery. The night, once she was in bed, would be spent cutting out the fabric. Obviously, I was still delusional thinking I could get it all cut out in one evening. It took me a few days in fact as it was very detailed cutting and I still would get tired and I couldn’t be on my feet long. Needless to say, I didn’t enjoy that at all. Once it was cut and in individual bags, I set out making each block – or animal in this case. I started with the foxes as I’ve made a ton of those for the fancy fox quilt. Smooth sailing, which lead to overconfidence. The hedgehog was the next step as I’ve made that one before as well. Perhaps you recall me mentioning overconfidence, well it reared its ugly head and it began to go down hill. I made a mistake or three and had to unpick, then noticed that I had made some cutting mistakes, yep more than one. Which lead to some re cuts and starting again. I basically tackled an animal per night. Some, like the owl, took two, especially when I had to fix so many cutting mistakes. I think I cut this quilt out twice. I am pleased with how it turned out, though I wish I had made some fabric changes. It is another great pattern by Elizabeth Hartman, but I think I will put a hold on making the big version for a while.

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Swoon – Upsized

Friends of ours welcomed their second baby in May, I know I’m late on putting a post up about it.  Their second baby was a little girl.

Though, when I started making the quilt they weren’t sure if it was going to be a girl or a boy.  So I had to be careful about which fabrics to select and a pattern that didn’t scream FOR A GIRL or BOY.

Ever since making the wonderful SWOON quilt by Thimble Blossom, I knew I wanted to at some point take that block and make it BIGGER.  I thought it would be the perfect quilt for a little one.

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This was easier said than done.  I made the assumption that all I had to do was do some fancy math – figure out how big I wanted it and see how much I increased it by and viola!  Defiantly wrong there. Each block normally is 18″ squared.  I thought making the block double the size would be the perfect quilt size for a child.  Because it was doubled, I just assumed that I could take that pattern and double each of the measurements and it would work out.  It did not.  I can’t even tell you how I managed in the end because there was some fancy cutting and sewing here and there to get it to come together.  But in the end I am pleased as punch with how it turned out.   The fabric came from Connecting Threads.  The yellow is from Cotton and Steel’s Leo Lounge and I am sorry to say I can’t remember the blue with yellow dots at the moment and can’t seem to find it anymore.

One day I will try this block again in this bigger size and the next time I will have to write down what I did.

 

 

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Status Update: Shiny and Brite

Back in March I was telling you about the Crabapple Hill’s Shiny and Brite quilt I was working on.  I was also lamenting about how I wasn’t sure if I liked the fabric I had selected – well I take back everything I said.  In the end it turned out wonderfully.  I love it in fact, though I don’t have the foggiest idea of where I’m going to hang it at Christmas time.  But I will cross that bridge in October when it begins to snow here.

I think what clinched it for me was the red polka dot binding I used. It just makes me happy to see it outlined in that fun red.  This took a little while to quilt as I stippled in the middle section and then used a straight line patten around the pinwheels and a loopy pattern in the borders.  The straight lines took the longest part and it took me a couple of passed to figure out a good, logical and effective way to stitch around so I wasn’t twisting the turning the quilt to much.

I was even able to complete it for the deadline at Out of Hand for their shopping spree contest.  I didn’t win, but I was able to walk away with 12 other ladies who completed something in the year.  As a door prize I was given a pretty sweet little iron that I have very much enjoyed using.

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Hazel the Hedgehog

Good friends of ours announced that they were expecting their first child in November of 2014. Now before I continue, let me just state for the record, this quilt was finished well before now, I just haven’t blogged about it.  As I was saying, they were expecting their first baby.  They, like many, decided not to find out if the baby was a boy or a girl, which as a quilter can be challenging.  I have found some nice collections of fabrics but sometimes I struggle with what colors or fabrics to use.  I worry about using a fabric that has some florals, in case it is a boy.

Well, after some searching I came upon Elizabeth Hartman’s Hazel the Hedgehog.  I thought it was the prefect quilt to do for a little girl or boy.  I really leaned toward this one because the original was done in solid fabrics  and that is a great option when you aren’t sure if the baby will be a boy or a girl – no big flowers to worry about.

One afternoon I headed out to the local fabric store and picked some fun solid fabrics for the hedgehog spines and bodies. Of course I threw a red hedgehog in as red is one of the first colours a baby will see.  By the time I had all my supplies I had a little over a month to complete the quilt from start to finish.  Completely feasible as October is a fairly “easy” month at school.  I remember going to school on a Thursday morning and sharing with a friend which quilt and colours I was going to use. That morning I spoke with the mom to be on the phone about a surprise shower they wanted to have a work – as the dad works with me and nothing surprises him.  Then I got a text from the dad saying they were off to the hospital as the water broke.  Later that night they welcomed a beautiful little girl into the world and they moved the surprise shower up 4 weeks.  Which gave me just two weeks to complete the project.  After pulling an ALL NIGHT sewing bee in the kitchen (sorry again Nate) I was able to complete it for them.  I simply love how this one turned out.  Look at their cute faces?

The pattern is quite fun to do once you get a handle on all the spins and not misplacing them – or having someone borrow them off the table.  Because it is Elizabeth Hartman it is very well written, with great diagrams and options for bigger sizes. I love that about her patterns.  I would definitely make this pattern again, after of course I try the foxes, whales and bunnies.

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Shiny and Brite

I’ve really enjoyed stitching this pattern by Crabapple Hill Studios.  The color tinting was a lot of fun to do and I loved using the sparkle floss by Cosmo.

However, I’m not sure if I love the fabric I picked to do the outside borders.  I was also surprised about how big it ended up being.

I’m trying to get this finished for the Out of Hand challenges – so May 15 is my date to finish this, though I now have to find a wall to hang it on, once it is finished.

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Filed under Quilting, Stitchery