Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Astrology Quilt Top Tutorial

I have been designing quilts (on the down low) for the past month or two and needed a bit of a break so I made a cute quilt that I'm calling my Astrology Quilt due to the great focal fabric that has zodiac motifs on it.  So I wanted to do up 12 blocks and use my new parallelogram die that goes with my Accuquilt Go Baby.  I had never done 'Y' seams before but you never know until you try, so off I went.  Here is a photo of the quilt. 

My design wall isn't secured very well so the photo isn't as nice as it could be.

I had no idea how to built this block because most of the tutorials I found around the internet used half square triangles to build the parallelograms.  I don't think I built my block in a traditional way but I really am happy with the accuracy of the stars when all the blocks came together.  I used my Accuquilt Go Baby parallelogram die, but here are some cutting directions if you don't have the die/cutter. 

So there you have the written tutorial of this particular design.  If by chance you prefer video I have made my first quilting video and here it is.

I'm linking up to the Needle and Thread Network to share ideas and checkout the talented Canadian fiber artists out there.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Spider and Angle

Hat and toque combo for a little girl I know
First and foremost thank the gods it's back to school this week (I love my kids but I love my routine also).  My sewing nook (corner, cubby... half of the living room), has been sending me mixed messages these last couple weeks and I've found it hard to concentrate on any one thing.  That's not to say that I haven't been productive but I'm not quilting to my potential.  I'm feeling so constrained both by space and the all mighty dollar.  Sewing in the family living room is frustrating, considering it's also the only place for the kids to play, watch a movie, holds the one chair that my husband and I fight over, and is the computer room.  Winter started early so maybe it's just a little cabin fever, or the fact that I sing along to whatever Disney flick is playing in the background.  I could go into the whole money thing but I'm sure everyone knows all about that so I'll just leave it alone.   Life has been made all the more richer by our new family members... introducing the kittens.

On the left we have the high strung, 'cute as a button', what the hell was I thinking, Spider. And on the right the 'laid back unless he is awake' Angle (no that is not a spelling mistake, Angle like 90° ). My lovely children were lucky enough to receive said whirling devils (kittens) for Christmas from their insane mother, who thought there was (and I quote) 'more than enough room' (hence why my previous rant has now become both ironic and mute since I created my own hell). They steal, claw, rip, tear, jump, lick, and eat pretty much anything that is in my hand... Don't even get me started on the design wall, scrap box, or neatly stacked and organized block pieces. But like my children they are so dang cute I just have to smile and laugh and wait for the day my studio is done.
Awww... I totally get the pet photos now.

 But back to the quilting blog (while petting a cute kitten on my computer desk).  I put together a cute bag so I could practice free motion feathers as I'm planning them in a quilt for my mother-in-law.  I spent most of my Christmas holiday (some people call it that, I'm not sure I agree...) designing quilt after quilt trying to come up with something for my mother-in-law.  She is not picky, demanding, or overbearing.  She is the most wonderful mother-in-law anyone could ask for, but this causes me to panic a little bit.  When I made a quilt for my mom I just said "Give me the money, I'll make a quilt and it will be awesome."  Guess what,  it was awesome (Heron Quilt).  But I feel so much responsibility to make something original, genuine, and cool for my mother-in-law that I kept questioning my own aesthetic and over thinking it.  Anyhow long personal turmoil tale over, I finally just drew what she said to draw and I love it.

 So basically these feather shapes will be appliqued onto a cream whole cloth background and quilted with trapunto (fingers crossed) feathers and fancy things of that nature.  The colours are only to give you the idea of the type of colours she asked for, but they will obviously be a little (or a lot) different.  I'm working on collecting fabric but I see a couple of months work in my future.
Presently on the go at the moment I have my black and white wonky window quilt FINALLY put together with borders (which are not featured in the photo but I promise there is a border as she is all ready for the next step).  The next step will be to mark the quilt top because I'm going to learn trapunto on this quilt and apply those skills elsewhere (wink, wink).  I'll let you know how that goes but fortunately a lady I have taken some very good advice from (you may have heard of her), Leah Day, just posted a video (here) not so long ago about her process, so I'm sure I can figure it out too.  On my design wall now I have this beauty of a block that I have been promising myself I would tackle forever now. I'm planning on doing a tutorial on this block if anyone is interested and depending on how smoothly the stars go together.

So more scatter brain sent me down a fleecy path this past while.  My husband was complaining that the kids kept stealing his toques, which is true.  When Vanessa (Crafty Gemini) posted a video and pattern for these cute little toques I got right to work and started into my bin of scrap fleece.  Pictured are my toothless wonder and Payton (I added some lace for a little umph).  I made a couple for my niece and nephew (once removed) and sent them off via Canada Post where I paid $10 a package!

My little poser
Speaking of package, my good friend Chris over at Passion Quilting and I decided on an exchange since our quilting aesthetic are opposite.  I received my package and am planning, planning, planning.  Thanks Chris, and thank you Gwen for the cute little traveling dress.  I'm linking up to The Needle and Thread Network because everyone over there rocks.  Check out some Canadian fiber art blogs.