Sunday, January 25, 2009

January STUD quilt received

Yesterday I got my January S.T.U.D mini-quilt from Eileen Sideways! She and I actually know each other in "real" life, so we decided to do an exchange at our local quilt shop instead of mailing our quilties. Unfortunately, we weren't able to meet up, but I did get my quilt from her and left mine at the shop for her to pick up.

The theme this month was "Read it, Sing it, Watch it." My quiltie is a little karaoke juke box, so it kind of encompasses all three! The lyrics on the "screen" are "1979" by the Smashing Pumpkins, of course! So sweet.

I love the color combo of brown and turquoise/blue. It's so simple, yet so sophisticated. And how about all those polka dots, eh?

Polka dots on the back, too!

I'll post pics of my finished quiltie for her once I know it's been received.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Baby booties

A friend of mine is pregnant and her baby shower is soon, so I made her these booties. The pattern is from Amy Butler's Little Stitches for Little Ones, which you may remember I won from Craftsanity a while back. This is the first project I've made from the book. The instructions were a little hard to follow at some parts, but I think the booties turned out okay. The pattern I used was for size 3-6 months, and I don't think I'd go any smaller because they're pretty little and it would be hard to sew something tiny on the machine. 

Here's what the bootie looked like inside-out. My friend is having a boy and I get the impression that she's pretty firm about enforcing gender roles, so I did what I could to make something boy-ish. I like the cute plaid, and I think the green lining really pops. There are more babies on the way for other folks, so I may get pretty good at making these. 

Edited to add: I just added a ton more crafty links to the sidebar. Enjoy!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

STUD updates

There I go, disappearing again. Without my amazing assistant and with only a part-time intern, I have been swamped at work. I put in a lot of overtime in January already, and I was getting home late and drained so that it was all I could do to make a bloody mary and try not to pass out before 10pm. I've been stressed and easily annoyed, which makes my commute such a joy. I've become pretty misanthropic. Rob and I (semi-) joked about making me a tee that says "Person-hater." I would if we had color ink in the printer! 

Anyway, things are settling down and I'm being better about carving out crafty time as a necessity (because it is, especially for my sanity). The pic above is of my received STUD December mini-quilt, made by Isaacsmama. The theme was sweet, sour, or savory, and this is definitely a sour little quiltie! It's about 9" square, and the colors are just great! 

Here is a sneak peek of my January STUD mini-quilt. The theme is sing it, read it, watch it. My quilt is inspired by Wes Anderson's Life Aquatic. It's my favorite of his films, and the colors and everything about it are so great! I re-watched it while cutting out my patchwork pieces and realized it's a hundred times better than anything we saw this year (and, yes, we did see Slumdog Millionaire). I finished hand-stitching the binding last night, so just need to pop it in the wash and it's done! 

It's been a couple of months since I started doing the swap and working on mini-quilts so much. I am using them to line the really drab hallway in the stairwell up to our apartment (which is the top floor of a three-family home, so nobody goes up there but us and our visitors.) 

It's really hard to photograph because the house has those narrow New England stairways and I couldn't get far enough from the wall to get everything in one picture. Still, you can kind of see what I'm going for. After this weekend, there should be two more quilts on that wall! I have my twin quilt for January done except for hand-stitching the binding. 

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blooming Nine-Patch progress

First, my apologies for the dark photos. These were taken late last Saturday night. This is the progress of my Blooming Nine-Patch quilt, the one I said I'd make for myself, the one I said I'd whip up over my 12 days off work. That didn't happen. I did make some decent progress, though. 

The book calls for making all the blocks, then laying them out and sewing them into rows. After making what felt like a million nine-patches, I had piles all over the place and I was worried I get confused about the orders of things before or while assembling the rows, so I decided to cheat by putting the rows together as I went. 

That seemed to work really well for me, plus it let me see my progress and how the fabrics were all blending together. Awesome. All of the fabrics are from Anna Maria Horner's Garden Party line for Free Spirit. I love these! 

I have yet to make the nine-patches (starting from the strips, so it will take a while) for the outer three rows, then cut the squares and sew them all together, adding in the triangles along the border. I'm making progress, but still have a long way to go. 

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lady Scouts sock creature

In the middle of a snowstorm, we had our last Lady Scouts meeting of the year on 12/21. A new Scout, Hilary, led the craft, which was making these little sock creatures. Of course, I was sick that day. I didn't finish in our time allotted (these babies are hand-sewn) and when I got home I just threw the pieces, needle, and thread in a drawer and forgot about it. Finally, on New Year's Eve, I felt good enough to finish this little dude. My last completed craft of the year. 

Kinda silly, with that big smile. Pretty cute, though, too. And I had to add that argyle ribbon. Artfully mis-matched, I say. 

We had quite the photo session, this sock creature and me. Here's one I like of the two of us together. 

And you couldn't see in the other picture, but I was wearing my new wooden necklace that day. Here's how it looks on. Pretty awesome, if I do say so myself. 

Thursday, January 8, 2009

December STUD quilt sent

I received word yesterday that my partner has received my December mini-quilt for the Swap Til You Drop mini-quilt swap on Flickr, so now I can post pictures! December's theme was "sweet, sour, or savory." I had a number of different ideas, but decided to go with what I call "chocolate box". It's a modified bento box block pattern (modified in that I forgot to add the outer border to all blocks--whoops) made of three different fabrics: the raspberry dot, the super cool floral, and a tonal Japanese brown. 

I quilted each block with one free-motion circle around the inside four-patch, trying to simulate a filled chocolate in a chocolate box, but without being too literal. 

These are pictures of the good quilted blocks. The quilting on the others came out a little wonky. I was sick and rushing to get this out, though I didn't know my partner would be out of town for two weeks. I'm still waiting to receive my quilt, though she says I should have it early next week. Will post pics when it arrives. 

I am thinking about my January swap quilt now. The theme is "read it, sing it, watch it" and the quilt must be based on a book, song, or movie. After much debating, I'm going to do a quilt inspired by The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, my favorite Wes Anderson film. I have ideas in my head, but sketching and hopefully cutting and stitching will have to wait until the weekend, as I'm dealing with another bout of this congestion/head cold ickiness. Though, knock on wood, I think I'm almost out of it... 

Monday, January 5, 2009

Some Christmas loot

Well, it's the new year and I'm trying to get back in the swing of things, including blogging. For whatever reason, doing anything but laying on the futon watching CSI was next to impossible for me while I was off for the holiday break. But now I'm back to work and, hopefully, back to the blog. I've had a few crafty exploits lately, but first I wanted to post about some of the awesome loot I got for the holiday. I guess for me it was the year of the necklace! From left to right, they are: 
  • Teacup necklace by Amy Belanger, via goodEGG industries. This was from my brother. LOVE!
  • Kitty necklace by Mark Poulin via Shana Logic. This was a little treat I found in my stocking. It is so cute! 
  • Freshwater pearl necklace, hand-knotted by my friend and coworker Lora. It is so much more beautiful than the photo shows. The irregularity of the pearls is so sweet and makes the color not so uniform--some are more blue or pink than others. It's really lovely. 
  • Wood and resin necklace by Garnish (home). This was from my husband and is probably my favorite of the necklaces (though that's a hard claim to make!) Just look at how cool it is: 
Yeah, pretty awesome. I've already worn all of these necklaces a couple of times each (and I have the teacup one on today). Also, they were all made by indie artists and crafters, so I am happy to support them with my gift-receiving! 

A gift from my sweet kitty Iris was this awesome shirt via BUST

Super cool. I really love the shirt and the throwback feminist screen print, but the tee itself is not so great. It's like a Hanes shirt or something (I was hoping for American Apparel) and has a not-so-great neckline and short sleeves that go almost to my elbows! I may have to take some shears to this and give it a mini-makeover. 

Also, from my mom, this Packer tee. It's really cute. I wore it the Sunday after Christmas while the Pack beat the Lions. The game was much closer than it should've been, but my mom still hopes the shirt will bring the Pack good luck next season. Fingers crossed. 

I also received some wonderful gifts, including: a new robe that feels like a wooby, slippers, a pair of Gingher stork embroidery shears, a Clover mini-iron with all the attachments, Son of Rambow, and a gift certificate to my local quilt shop. Nice. 

What did you get? 

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Garden Trellis quilt

And now, a full reveal! Here's the Christmas gift for my parents: a Garden Trellis quilt from a fat quarter pack from here, following the pattern in this book.

Because I used a fat quarter pack and cut the strips myself, the quilt as a less scrappy look than it would if I had used a jelly roll, but I like how it turned out. And, supposedly, my parents do, too! This quilt was a little tricky because it has so many seams. I quilted it in a zigzag pattern and free-motion quilted curlicues in the blue border. I free-motion quilted the straight lines, too, only a lot of them didn't come out as straight as I'd hoped. A problem for sure, but I didn't have to turn this quilt a million times on my machine (and it's a generous lap-sized quilt, so it was a pain to manage), so I guess I give up straight lines for some quilting ease.

This was my first project in which I used a scrappy binding, and I really like how it turned out! I don't think it would be as great if I didn't have that wide blue border. Still, it's really cute, and something I think I will be doing more often.

Here's another post-wash crumply photo. I love the backing fabric, a very sophisticated cream and yellow large floral print. I can't remember who the designer is--it's something the owner of my LQS helped me pick out. I think it's perfect. I just love the surprise of a light backing on a quilt.

This was the biggest gift I gave (both in size and time requirements to prepare), and also my favorite gift that I gave. What about you? What did you make and give?