I’m a member on Craftster, and while browsing around on there the other day, I spotted the Challenge Section for the first time and the upcoming challege – 100 things – caught my eye. Some time ago, I’d been reading the blog over on Oh Fransson and had admired her Postage Stamp tutorial. 100 things, I decided, could *definitely* be 100 squares of fabric!
So it’s been a while, but I haven’t been completely idle! I’ve been away and then busy with work, but I have squeezed a few crafty things in here and there. Below is the little coin stack top I made:
I bought a big budget pack of charm squares and some marble charm squares and made this up quite quickly (for me!) It was originally going to be a quillow, but in the end I decided that it was fine as a regular quilt. I’m annoyed that my “coins” don’t line up exactly, but it’s quite fun anyway. I have some red starry fleece to back it with, I just need to get on and baste and quilt it. It’s a good size for a baby quilt at ~ 36″ by 48″, and people keep having babies at me at the moment so it seems a good idea to make up some appropriate quilts! I don’t really hold with gender stereotyping of colours, but this does feel more like a boy’s quilt than a girl’s quilt. Mind you, depends on the child!
What do you do when you’re house/dog-sitting for a fortnight? Spend it sewing, of course. I’d intended to make some progress on some of my many on-going projects, but ended up making the blue messenger bag as a birthday present for my cousin’s wife and a table runner for my aunt instead (which I only finished binding about half an hour before they got back from their holiday).
Pretty chuffed with how they came out. Especially the letter on the bag, which I’ve never done before and made up as I went. Apart from not being central (aaaaaaaargh, how did I manage that?!), it looks like an A and I’m very glad she doesn’t have a name that starts with something difficult, like a B or a Q!
I’ve been wanting to make some more bags for a while, so when a pack of five sashiko-themed fat quarters from eBay somehow found its way into the house, I decided they’d be perfect to use in a quilted patchwork messenger bag.
My new embroidery foot showed up recently and I finally got a chance to wield it; first on some test scraps and then, finally, on my rainbow Bargello! It was quite a challenge to keep the machine running at a sensible speed – fast enough to make nice stitches but not so fast that I couldn’t keep up and feared for my fingers – and there are a few places where I found myself in a quilting cul-de-sac and panicked, but all in all I’m quite pleased with how it came out and with the rainbow variegated thread I chose. I think it really works well with the rest of the quilt top.
The top is now neatly trimmed and just needs the binding to be a completed quilt! However, I’ve run into a fabric-shortage problem with the binding, and it’s entirely self-inflicted. I’d been to Annie’s to pick up assorted fabrics to finish off a couple of projects, including binding for the Bargello. After measuring and doing some very generous calculations, I ended up with almost a metre of dark red-orange fabric to use, which was more than enough for my needs. Unfortunately, I’d been tempted by a FQ pack of five blue-and-white Japanese prints on eBay, and after they somehow found their way through the front door I immediately launched into making a bag with them. Initially I’d had my eye on a different fabric to use as the lining, but it became apparent that it really wasn’t a good match, whereas the red-orange solid fabric I’d bought for binding was just perfect. The fabric had spoken, so I cut up what I needed for the bag and then cut the remainder into 2 1/4″ strips to bind the Bargello. It probably says a lot about how much fabric I bought that, even after using a lot in the bag, I’m only about 24″ short for the binding of the Bargello! It’s frustrating to be so close and yet so far, but it will just have to wait until I can get more.
Thursday was Quilt Club again, and the day that I’d designated to finally assemble and quilt my rainbow Bargello with the elaborate back. I’d left all the components there the last time and Stef had promised to clean the floor so I had a good area to assemble and pin-baste my quilt sarnie. The first clue that I might have problems was the fact that I couldn’t get my tape to stick to the floor (possibly due to some residual cleaning product left behind). This meant that getting the back stretched out nice and tight was extremely difficult. I wrestled with the back and the batting anyway, then laid down the top and basted it as well as I could, dreading what I was going to see when I lifted it.
Yesterday was Quilt Club day, and the day that we were all due to start our Attic Windows projects. I’d hoped to be able to have all my fans ready and fabric bought for the background squares, but January has been a busy month work-wise (yay) so I hadn’t had the time to spend playing with fabric (boo). As it was, I didn’t even have time to cut all the strips I needed before the session, so while other members zoomed along doing gorgeous Attic Windows with glittery New York skylines or vibrant poppies, I plodded along with my rotary cutter and sewing machine and generated a pile of bi-coloured rectangles in sets of three, enough for 24 blocks.
I’ve always been of the opinion that wedding lists (indeed, wishlists in general), are really only for use by people who don’t actually know the couple (or person) especially well. And also to prevent couples from ending up with five identical toasters from well-meaning distant relatives. Thus, when my sister announced she was getting married, I started plotting something a bit more personal, something not stocked by John Lewis – a hand-made Wedding quilt.