Friday, May 27, 2011

Back from vacation!

Hello, friends! I've returned from my vacation! I didn't sew for almost two whole weeks. I really missed it, but Disney was fantastic! I didn't bring my phone with me anywhere or check e-mail at was so liberating.

I do have two FOs to show you, but they're awaiting the perfect photo op. In the meantime, I have two blocks to show you. The first is my bee block for my wonderful friend Meaghan. She asked us to make a 12.5" block using a Ting Tong and Things tutorial. I loved the process of creating this block, and I also loved the colors she chose. I selected the ones I liked best to make a block that I think combines both of our personal styles very well. Meaghan, I hope you like it!

The second is the starting block for a very special quilt I plan to make throughout the summer. I think I swore off log cabins a while back, but I suddenly had an urge to do a log cabin quilt. After a huge fabric-buying splurge during the BMQG retreat (when I acquired 18 yards of fabric...but at least it was all on sale...), I felt so wasteful that I decided I had to make a scrap quilt. A log cabin seemed like the perfect thing.

I don't have enough solid scraps to make an entire queen-size top, so I cut into several of my newly-purchased fabrics as well. I made a significant dent in my scrap wall, and I don't have any scraps left in a few colors. See how economical I can be?

I hope you all have a fantastic Memorial Day weekend and get a lot of sewing time in!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Has it really been so long?

My apologies for the radio silence! My work schedule has been extremely hectic, to say the least, and I've been working on the same very small baby quilt for several weeks now. And it isn't very exciting! We had so many rainy days in a row that I couldn't get a photo of the top when I finished it, but here's a preview of the quilted and unbound quilt:

Since I took this photo, I made my binding using Yahaira's bias-binding tutorial, and I completely mucked it up. I think I have some sort of mental defect when it comes to bias binding. Yahaira described the method to me when I was visiting her, and I just COULD NOT understand it (not because of her explanation, but because of my own inability to comprehend 3D space...if you remember those tests you had to take in elementary school about spacial reasoning, perhaps you will appreciate that I regularly scored in the bottom 5-10%).

She explained that she used to belong to a very traditional guild, and some of the older/very experienced quilters showed her this method. They always have the best tricks, don't they? Anyway, the tutorial is great--detailed pictures and explanatory text--but I am an idiot when it comes to bias binding, and I ended up only being able to use about half of what I made. A lot of Moda Crossweave went into my trash can. By the grace of God, I ended up with about 3" remaining after I sewed it on.

Attaching it was followed by an attempt at the invisible join, which (somewhat inevitably) resulted in tears. But then I invented my own method of invisibly joining binding, which does not involve trying to line up unmatchable diagonal lines and sewing through your finger, so I will use that forever. When I have recovered from the trauma of the first invisible join attempt, I will post a short tutorial of my modification.

I also ordered some perle cotton because I'm hoping to hand-quilt my Ocean Waves quilt. I feel like the quilt wants to be hand-quilted, and since I've wanted to try big-stitch hand-quilting forEVER (since Lisa B. explained it to me at a NEMQG meeting early last year), it's serendipity. I'm using Anna Maria Horner's fantastic hand-quilting tutorial.

Now onto piecing the back and finishing the binding of my baby quilt...