24 February 2013

Fly South, kinda

So I've been working on using the last part of my Christmas present, another pattern called Fly South. I waited to use this one because I am more than a little intimidated by flying geese. I've never tried them before but I have clear memories of my mom cursing their existence. So far, I think it's going okay.

One side on the geese

Baby geese all finished

Luckily, "at its heart this is an improv quilt" because I have a pathologic inability to follow directions. I didn't even use a charm pack which is more or less the whole point.... I am using fat quarters so I just cut one strip from the long side of each FQ and then cut it into triangles. I ended up with 5 from each strip and then two half size triangles (one from either end). I had 16 FQs to start so I got 80 big triangles which is exactly what I would have gotten if I had used a charm pack like the pattern says. I decided to make those small triangles into geese too because, well, what else am I going to do with them?

I got a flannel backed tablecloth from walmart so that I could lay out all the geese. I think I'm going to stick with this arrangement, so now I need to start sewing all those geese together. Moment of truth, I hope I don't loose too many points :(

My new design wall. Oooh. Aaah.

Baby geese!

If I get all these triangles together today maybe I'll go visit the quilt shop and get a backing. I like buying things ^_^

21 February 2013

Finished - Little Peeks and Mini Peeks Pillowcase

Here is the final installment on my Little Peeks adventure. I am generally pleased with the results, especially considering this is my first full size quilt in a few years and the most ambitious quilting I've ever attempted.

It was muddy (and cold!) and I didn't have anyone to hold the quilt up
for me so this pic is sideways, but you get the idea

Pattern: Little Peeks by Kat
  • Changes: different layout of blocks (intentional) and no extra row of white sashing before the first border (unintentional, I wasn't paying attention and put the blue on before I noticed...)
Fabric: Good Morning by Me & My Sister Designs for Moda charm pack, Moda Marbles purple (binding) and carribean blue (inner border), a flower print for the outer border, and a grey floral/bird print for the back
Batting: Quilter's Dream Request. I chose this thin cotton batting because this is a summer-y quilt and because the batting is white
  • Around the cathedral window blocks: grid of flowers, butterflies, and dragonflies connected with little curlicues with white on top and gray in the bobbin. 
  • Between/around blue and white borders: stitch in the ditch. 
  • Outermost border: one big flower in each corner with pink/orange variegated 
  • Inner blue border: words, hearts, and stars with blue variegated. They say dream-believe-love-explore with a star on either side of dream and hearts on either side of love.

It turned out much crinklier/puffier than I expected

The "believe"s definitely turned out the best

New Technique: free motion quilting something other than stippling! and cathedral windows

I'm pretty sure folded pics are required too...

In addition, I used the cut-off corners of the charms to make the Mini Peeks suggested in the pattern. I turned mine into a pillowcase instead of a wall hanging and quilted the white spaces with the same flower-butterfly-dragonfly curlicues. The other side of the pillowcase is flannel because I figured those folds would not be pleasant to sleep on. For the cuff I used the same fabric that is on the back of the quilt. I followed one of those pillowcase tutorials where you roll up all the layers and then French seam the sides together. It seems to be *the* pillowcase making method.

Mini Peeks pillowcase - so cute and tiny!

Friends Forever!

I'm linking to Finish it up Friday.

19 February 2013


My baby blanket success of last week has spurred on my other quilting efforts.

First up, Little Peeks.

basted and marked for quilting

another close-up

To finish it up I'm planning on using a purple for the binding and doing a little more quilting in the borders.

Also in the works is a disappearing nine patch sampler with a nautical theme.


back (that batik is gray, not green and the greens are more teal)

These are not particularly good snapshots of this one because I took them indoors at night but you get the idea. I have very little idea what I'm going to do for the quilting but the first challenge will be basting it so the stripes across the middle align...

And just so everyone knows I do stuff other than quilt, here's an SEM image of nanoparticles that I made this week. I'm super happy with these guys because they're so nice and small!

10 February 2013

First Finish and a Sneak Peek

I recently purchased a sewing machine and have been making things for about 3 weeks straight. I blame my former roommate for sending me some cool patterns and charm packs for Christmas. 

And so it begins.

I have done some quilting in the past but I always just used my mom's stash. Since buying my own machine I have made frequent visits to the ladies at the conveniently located quilt store (about 3 blocks from my house) and have been calling my mom all the time to ask for advice. I never realized all the nuances and decisions that have to be made. It was way easier when I just used whatever my mom had! Friday night I finished my first quilt with my shiny new machine. I had quite a bit of help with it along the way...

Loki consulted on the layout.
Admiral helped with the quilting.

This little guy (about 30"x40") is going to my cousin and his wife who are having their first baby in April. I don't know if it is going to be a girl or a boy so I tried to go for gender neutral but I really like blue so it ended up more boy-ish than girl-ish. Whatever, no one will begrudge a free blankie!

The requisite outdoor photo.

Close-up of the quilting and backing.
Pattern: Drunkard's Path
Fabric: Pieces of Hope by Riley Blake Designs charm pack with flannel for the back
Quilting: Concentric circles (only in the background fabric) using freezer paper templates
New Techniques: magic binding, sewing curves

I currently have two other quilts in the works using the fabric I got for Christmas (as seen in the first photo). The tops are pretty much done (minus borders) and one has a back. Here's a preview of one of them using a pattern called "Little Peeks" designed by my roommate:

I'm pretty sure it is impossible to quilt without a banister.