Thursday, May 30, 2013


Well I've been sewing in the living room of our 800 square foot home for the past 8 months.  I've been hauling my 'stash' (such as it is) around in boxes/bags and working out of them for the past year and a half.  Every thing is a mess! Everyone is tired of the constant hum of the my sewing machine, one room is a little tight for all 4 of us to be doing a different activity (thank goodness winter is over).  So my children informed me that it was time for them to sew, since it was raining anyway and I was being too loud for them to do anything else in the house (fair enough).  This excited me at first until they didn't get bored and my sewing area has been looking like this for the past 3 days.

Hahaha, look at the petal on the box!
The kids are having a ball and making some progress on their quilts.  The plan was just to make a quick little quilt for their special toys but it has snowballed into a full out quilt project.  I'm planning on teaching some youth classes once my studio is finally finished (Renovation Blog), so the kids are being my little tester monkeys (arn't they always).
Payton's block (6 years old) 9" square
Jordan's block (7 years old) 9" square

Anyhow I'll keep the updates coming and see what we end up with here.  They are both bound and determined to free motion the quilts when the time comes... I don't know if I'm ready for the frustration of this particular challenge.

With kids, renovations, damn bloody annoying personalty filled cats, and husband aside.  I have been making progress on my own projects.  I have been drafting (with help from my best friend Andi) and constructing a couple of patterns.  I'm not ready to reveal anything yet but I'm pretty proud of the free motion quilting I did on this one.  The pattern if from Angela Walters book "Free-Motion Quilting"  I really enjoyed the designs and instructions outlined in the book.  It has inspired me to try some different ideas and more open concept designs.

Back of quilt
Front of quilt

As I mentioned in the beginning of this post and seems to be a running theme throughout my blog, I'm cramped!  It's so frustrating trying to work on projects in this area.  I have recently taken up crochet because I can't actually work on my planned projects because they are just too big (literally, the fabric I want to use is bigger than the living room).  Sometimes I wish I had taken up crochet as a primary art.  It is so small and cheap compared to quilting.  Obviously it's too late for me because I'm way to far gone with my love of quilting to turn back now, but boy o' boy I'll think that one through in the next life.  My string art is most definitely something that isn't coming easy for me.  I mean it's like learning a different language in short form before you even know the language!  Geeze it took forever for me to work it all out!  I suppose it should have been easier but I don't even have a cell phone never mind text or understand any of the short hand.  Hmmmm, as I type this it's becoming more and more apparent that I'm making excuses...  Anyhow I think I have a handle on it now.

Well that is all with the fiber art stuff.  On a side note the garden I decided not to plant this year because I'm way to busy just got some peas, parsley and beans added to it.  *smack self in head*

I'm linking up to the Needle and Thread Network.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Finished Product

I've been so crazy busy with dry-walling and painting my studio.  I highly recommend checking out my progress on the studio (that's quilting related right?).  Renovation 800: The Colour of Insanity.

But otherwise I have finally finished this Zodiac Star quilt for my special little niece who I have yet to meet.  She has pretty blue eyes and I think this quilt will suit her just right.

Anyone who caught previous posts would perhaps remember the ins and outs of the construction process I used so I'll keep my description simple.

I cut out the parallelograms using my Go Baby, and built the star around the center blocks (because I wanted to have a single block of fabric to work with).  It ended up being a fairly simple process which you can find a tutorial for HERE.  I'm planning to use a bunch of trapunto in an upcoming project so I decided to test the process on this quilt.  I used Leah Day's trapunto tutorial and proceeded to quilt tiny little pebbles (also a test run).  My pebbling after 12 9x9 blocks around fairly complicated motifs is much improved.

After all that pebbling I just couldn't bring myself to continue quilting so densely on this baby quilt.  Plus if I didn't finish soon the baby was sure to be a toddler!  So I did some stitching in the ditch and left it at that.  I have been feeling bombarded with projects (mostly construction related) and decided to give machine sewing a binding a try for the first time... ugh!  Big mistake.  I thought I had done enough research, maybe I just rushed it I'm not sure but it sure didn't turn out the way I was hoping (although I'm thinking this is just another learning curve).  Thankfully I'm sure little Daylia won't mind in the least.

The back of the quilt is pretty cool, although my photography skills could obviously use a little work, hahaha.  I seriously didn't even notice my shadow until I was typing this post. 

Things I learned making this quilt:
1. Use spray starch on the 'Y' seams.
2. Use bigger and better batting for trapunto.
3. Stitch pebbles in a larger scale.
4. Do not bother to stitch pebbles or any other complicated design on a patterned fabric, you never see it! 
5. I need more practice at machine binding.  Or a better technique.  Or maybe just more practice. 

 I'm linking up with the most talented Canadian fiber artists, over at The Needle and Thread Network.  I have found time to read all the blogs and adventures (or misadventures) in fiber art.  I just haven't been able to comment.