Sunday, December 30, 2012

One Final Finish for 2012

My last finished quilt for 2012 is actually something I started back in the summer of 2011.  I got all excited to make a quarter log cabin quilt after seeing the rug in this photo.  I sliced up all the solids into four and half inch squares and one and half inch wide strips and started making the blocks, only to find them overwhelming when I put them side by side.  Somehow the rug was perfect, but the quilt was too busy.  All the colors together were too loud for my taste, so I tried limiting the color palette.  I ended up with these six inch, finished, blocks.  
I tried laying them out together, and I still didn't like them.  Disappointed, they went into the closet for a year and half.  Do you have UFOs (unfinished objects) like that?  Well, now that I have a design wall I decided to pull out this sad stack of blocks and see if I could arrange them in a way I liked. Some reconfiguring and white sashing made them more pleasing to my eye, and I ended up with a small baby quilt at 35 x 35.
 The straight line quilting design I chose reinforces the quarter log cabin design in each of the four quadrants.
The backing adds a little whimsy to a quilt that might otherwise be a bit too serious for a baby.  Hopefully this gender neutral quilt will suit some modern nursery perfectly.  It can be found in my shop.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Last Minute Handmade

I finished up some handmade Christmas gifts just in time to mail them away.  I always have requests for homemade cards.  I used fusible web to adhere tiny scraps to a piece of colored card stock to make these bunting birthday cards.  I sewed a line across the tops of the triangles and used adhesive squares to affix the card stock to the folded card. 
I used my trusty micron pen and borrowed my son's water colors to make some simple thank you cards.
I realized after making this card that I had created a water color version of Carla's quilt!  I love it so much, but it took a lo-ong time to make - too long for a set of note cards. I think I know a way to recreate it in a more automated fashion - a job for the new year.
But for now, I love giving handmade for Christmas with one last frame purse for my best friend.  The outer fabric is my favorite Liberty Bloomsbury print, and I lined it with an Anna Maria Horner voile.  Isn't that a gorgeous color!  I stuffed it with a few goodies for her too.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Modern Table Runner

I have to agree with Jacquie: I never get tired of improvised log cabin blocks.  They are the perfect arena for play.  I used some lovely scraps of hand screen printed fabric from Blueberry Park to make some fun, minimal, improv log cabins.  My favorites are the ones that are missing a log or two. 
I surrounded the log cabins with Essex Linen on my new design wall.  If you do any improv piecing, this makes such a difference.   I don't know how I've gone without one for so long!
The quilting is a simple serpentine stitch on my Bernina.  For most machines I hear it is stitch #4.  I usually mess around with the stitch length and width to get it just right.  I love this stitch because it creates a nice texture with the ease of straight line quilting.
This extra block became a pot holder. Bonus.
I just need to tie these up in a bow and deliver them to a special friend who has encouraged me to think BIG this year.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Handmade Christmas Begins

I'm getting a late start this year, admittedly, but I couldn't let the start of the advent season go by without making at least a few gifts.  I used it as an excuse to make some frame purses after falling hard for so many by Kelly.  While I didn't get to take her class at Sewing Summit, I did follow the links she graciously posted on her blog to the tutorial and etsy source for materials.  If you're at all curious, you should try them out.  They are quick and easy to customize.  I made one with the basic template which has a flare at the base.
I tried one with rounded corners.
I made one with pleated strips of Liberty.
I made another using quilt-as-you-go, but only snapped a few Instagram shots before gifting it. That was my favorite method, and it was fun to use so many treasured scraps.
I found a little time to make the Idea Pouch by Michelle Patterns with some Washi fabric I have been saving.  This project backfired though, since I like it so much I need to keep it.
I have a few more handmade Christmas gift ideas up my sleeve.  Let's see if I can get them done in time.