Friday Finish: Hipster Cat

Hipster Cat. Pattern by Shwin and Shwin.

Hey look! It’s a finish! One of my biggest issues as a quilter is my inability to finish anything, whilst constantly starting new things. For the last three years I’ve been making a list to follow along with All People Quilt‘s yearly UFO Resolution list, which I then mostly ignore for the year. The first year I finished I think nothing, the second year 1 project, the 3rd year I finished two, and this year… I’m up to four! (I should be on project 8, since it’s one per month, but honestly I’m happy with 4. I hope I finish a few more, but if I don’t, that’s okay!)

Hipster Cat. Pattern by Shwin and Shwin.

Hipster Cat is a pattern from Shwin and Shwin that’s done with freezer paper applique which is sewn on a whole cloth piece of fabric and then quilted. Basically super easy and super cute!

I made mine almost exclusively with fabrics from Rifle Paper Co’s Wonderland line… with Moda Grunge in Vanilla for the background and one of Rashida Coleman-Hale’s prints from Kujira and Star for most of the backing.

Hipster Cat. Pattern by Shwin and Shwin.

Of course, I didn’t order enough for the backing (I ordered 1 yard instead of the 1.25 or whatever it should have been), so I had to piece some of my leftovers into the backing as well. The gold stripes and dots are a lot of fun though, so I guess I’m okay with that! (I’m less okay with the fact that I did not get it lined up straight and so if I showed a full on view of the back, that strip is noticeably narrower at one end than the other. Not enough to look intentionally wonky, no. Just enough to look like I was being lazy about it.. haha!) (I probably was being lazy about it!)

Hipster Cat. Pattern by Shwin and Shwin.

I quilted this one with a big cross-hatch in the background using my walking foot, and then just some really simple free motion quilting through the cat – the loopy meander through the dotted parts of his body, a zig-zag through his striped belly, and then just stitch-in-the-metaphorical-ditch around the eyeglass applique and the entire outside of the cat. It’s super lightweight and fluffy – probably because I haven’t for once quilted the project to death – and though it’s small (about 34″ x 42″) I think it’s just perfect to be loved to death by some grubby-fingered little kid.

Hipster Cat. Pattern by Shwin and Shwin.

I LOVE this quilt and I don’t have anyone to give it to, so it will probably go to charity at some point, which will be great. For now it’s been making the rounds for various photoshoots (I finally decided to buckle down and just photograph it pinned to my own deck where the shade was enough to keep it from washing out like it did pretty well every where else I tried) including one memorable trip to Calgary Zoo, where my friend Christina tried to hide behind it while holding it… her feet were just too obvious every time, so here is Hipster Cat with Zoo Lion Statue, and my friend making a silly face:

Hipster Cat. Pattern by Shwin and Shwin.

Come join us for Thank Goodness It’s Finished Friday! I can’t wait to see what everyone posts!

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Also linking up to Finish or Not Friday with Alycia Quilts!

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WIP: #leadlightquilt

So I’m testing a quilt pattern called Leadlight for Morgan at Cedar Makerie

#leadlightquilt

This was the first block I tested – which is only one of two alternating blocks – and I’ve changed the look a little bit…

#leadlightquilt
#leadlightquilt

I am loving how this is coming together… I just need to start making the second block that will finish off the star points and make the whole lead window look come together. I’m just aiming for a baby size version of this, but it looks so good I kind of want to expand it out to a larger size to keep it for myself!

I’m using all Libs Elliot fabric – the colour prints are all from her newest line Greatest Hits Vol. 1, and the white background print is from Tattooed North. So pretty!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday with The Needle and Thread Network.

Talk to Me Tuesday: 13 August 2019

So for those who don’t know, I periodically make videos where I talk about the things I’m working on or the things that I’ve finished. I share these videos with a group of ladies (mostly from the US, though we’ve had people in Australia and still have people who post intermittently from South Africa and England) at Talk to Me Tuesday. A lot of us are quilters and some do crochet or knitting or various other crafts and it’s a nice way to share things – even if it is a bit unnerving putting my face (and perpetual “but, um, anyway”) out into the world. This has been a really off year for me for posting and it’s been around 2 months between videos (usually I manage closer to one a month, maybe every other week), but here’s my newest, in which I show a couple finishes (not yet posted here!) and a couple things that I’m working on.

Carolyn Friedlander Patchwork Quilt

So I made my usual yearly goal of tackling 12 projects for the year. I’m pretty behind on the goal – it’s been a rough year for my family, so I’ve not done as much crafting as I might have otherwise – but I’ve gotten 4 quilts finished and this is the first of them.

January #apqresolution quilt, my Carolyn Friedlander patchwork quilt.

This quilt followed no patterns, it’s just a set of Carolyn Friedlander Botanics charms and Kona cotton charms matched to the Botanics line mixed randomly with the white charms to make it a decent size. (It’s about 63″ x 72″.)

January #apqresolution quilt, my Carolyn Friedlander patchwork quilt.

I wanted to use this lap quilt to practice free motion quilting, but I didn’t want it to take a decade to quilt so I did the white all in orange peels and then did different quilting in all the colour squares. This isn’t all of them, but it’s pretty close…

A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.
A lot of quilting variety on my January #apqresolution quilt.

This is probably the visual equivalent of Too Long; Didn’t Read. But I enjoy trying out different things with the free motion quilting and this gave me lots of chances to try things out.

The backing is a wide width crosshatch, also a Carolyn Friedlander print. I like this quilt a lot and I’m so happy to have it finished.

January #apqresolution quilt, my Carolyn Friedlander patchwork quilt.

WIP: SS Bluebird Patchwork

Pattern Info: Melissa Marginet’s 6×6 charm pack patchwork quilt with borders [Link to original Walking Foot quiltalong]

Size: Baby quilt, about 36.5″ x 36.5″

Recipient: A friend who is having a baby very soon

Ideas about the Project: A charm pack of SS Bluebird from the OG Cotton + Steel – laid out in an ombré from light to dark, with 2 dark borders and 2 light borders hopefully from SS Bluebird fabrics with the extra 4 charms as cornerstones. Planning to quilt with a pattern from Melissa Marginet’s Walking Foot Quilting Designs book (available on her website). It’ll be quilted with a beautiful blue Aurifil thread #2780.

Project Stage: I’m done everything but trimming and binding.

General Thoughts: I’d have liked to have done a quilt with some kind of dog fabric because my friend who is having a baby this summer is super into her dogs. But I don’t know of any good dog themed fabric that’s out right now. Also,.. I already had the SS Bluebird charm pack. Just need to buy backing and borders.

The quilting is a pattern called Bevel – it’s not finished here but it’s kind of an idea of what it looks like in the centre of the quilt. I’ve done something a little different in the borders… and I’m not so happy with them. I didn’t give myself lines to follow and just eye-balled the points I needed to hit and it’s all a bit… hit and miss. I’m hoping that when it’s washed it’ll blend down a little better.

Except for the red block, I did the whole layout in an ombré with the lightest at the top left and the darkest in the bottom right. I pieced everything directional in a particular way except somehow managed to get that ship upside down. Oops.

Finish-Along Q1 2019

So it’s me again… after a long break. Something about the new year makes me want to try blogging again, even though I often find it inexplicably too hard. (It takes toooooooooo long etc.) And then simultaneously I find myself annoyed that I can’t put more information into my Instagram posts without overloading the format. (I mean, IG is NOT built for blog length posts.)

Anyway, another thing about the new year is how it makes you want to get on top of things, makes you want to tackle problems head on. So naturally I’m doing a few finish-my-projects type challenges. One of them is All People Quilt‘s APQ Resolutions challenge, in which you make a numbered list of 12 projects you want to make headway on and then each month they give you a number, which is the project you then try to tackle. The other is the Finish-A-Long, which is hosted by a number of bloggers. I have intermittently participated in both in the past, but nearly always forget to actually link up with my finishes (when I have them…), but hey! No harm in trying again!

Because I only know which APQResolutions projects I’ll be working on in the month I will be working on it, it’s not very practical to combine those projects into the Finish-a-long projects…. unless I just load all 12 projects in each quarter and tackle them as they come up. So that’s what I’m going to do! These are mostly dreadful photos, but here are… well, 13 projects I hope to tackle in the next quarter (and the rest of the year).

1. Blue Nine Patch Quilt — Need to baste, quilt, and bind.
2. Blue Orange Big Block Quilt – Need to make the backing larger, then to baste, quilt and bind.
3. Carolyn Friedlander Patchwork Quilt – Need to quilt and bind.
4. Cat Baby Quilt – Need to baste, quilt, and bind.

5. Christmas Figs Starfish Quilt – Need to add borders and then baste, quilt, and bind.
6. Mermaid Baby Quilt – Need to baste, quilt, and bind.
7. Midnight Mystery – Need to baste, quilt, and bind.. (I might add borders to this one, haven’t decided.)
8. Moda Love Baby Quilt – Need to add borders and then baste, quilt, and bind.

9. Modern Block of the Month Baby Quilt – Need to baste, quilt, and bind.
10. Pink/Black Bear Claw Quilt – Need to make 3 more blocks, then baste, quilt, and bind.
11. Quarter Section Quilt – Need to finish piecing the top, then baste, quilt, and bind. 
12. St Louis Sixteen Patch Quilt – Need to baste, quilt, and bind.

Finally, 13. South East West Quilt – This is a pattern I’m testing for Schneider House Quilt Studio. I need to finish piecing the blocks, then to baste, quilt, and bind. 

My real goal this year is just to finish more and a lot of that is just tackling the quilting. I actually enjoy quilting, but it is time consuming and doesn’t leave me a lot of time for piecing (I need a second machine! and a second table! and space to put it in!), which I also enjoy. I also really despise basting, so I tend to put it off. But an unfinished quilt is not a quilt and if I want to call myself a quilter,… I should probably make some quilts. 

So to that end: my January project for APQResolutions is #3, the Carolyn Friedlander Random Patchwork. 

I pieced this top in 2016 and then never did anything with it, but it’s basted now and ready to be quilted. I just need to decide how exactly I’m going to quilt it. I’ve been toying with the idea of doing sort of… orange peel quilting in the white squares and then doing something more complex in the coloured squares. Or the opposite maybe. But I don’t know… I’m paralysed by indecision, sometimes. 

My other current project is #13 South East West. I am pattern testing for the designer and won’t be showing too many pictures of it while it’s in progress, but at the moment I’m getting my last few HSTs completed so that I can start piecing the blocks. I’m hoping to have the top done by Monday, but we will see how it goes! 

Linking up with Finish-A-Long Quarter 1 at Sarah Goer Quilts.

Sunshine (on a cloudy day)

So last year I decided not to participate in so many swaps, and so I didn’t, but then I missed doing it. It’s fun doing swaps… you get to try things you might never otherwise try and you have the benefit of quick finishes so you’re not adding another WIP to the pile (which, of course, is my usual MO). So when I ran across a quilted postcard swap on Instagram, I had to join!

This swap was run by Patty of Elm Street Quilts and had some fun and easy requirements. All we did was give a prompt word and then we made our cards based on the prompt that our recipient requested… however we wanted to interpret that prompt.

Postcard I made and sent away

With this project I decided to try out trapunto and doubled up my batting under the round bits. It doesn’t show so well in any of the photos I took, but there is a huge amount of puff. I had planned originally to use a different shade of yellow in each of six squares, but got distracted by the idea of improv piecing and so landed on this look instead. To be honest, I’m not sure if I like it as much as I’d hoped I would, but I don’t dislike it either. It just sort of makes me go, hmm.

Postcard I made and sent away

So, can you guess what prompt I received?

Well… it was ‘Summer’ but I immediately thought of sun and sunshine..

Postcard I made and sent away

It’s just been nothing but snow, snow, and more snow this year. I’m desperate for some summer sun.

Funny thing… my prompt word was ‘Glow’ and I was sent some summer sun by Mommaneen on Instagram:

20180323_163540

Lovely!

Also, there will be a postcard parade at Patty’s blog, Elm Street Quilts, on April 7, so do go check it out! I really should have held this post until then!

Oh Canada mini quilt

Look how cute!

Oh, Canada!

Every year I try to make my mom a mini quilt for a different holiday or season, for a quilt rack I bought her a few years ago, with my sister usually pitching in some cross-stitch (as her craft of choice). I’m slowing picking away at major holidays and some more generic ones to hang in between times. There are a few I’ve never posted here (including one for winter and an Easter one), but if you’re interested you can go see: a purple orchid, Valentines, summer/growth, Halloween/fall, Christmas.

Oh, Canada!

This, of course, is for Canada day, featuring a beaver (our national animal) and the flag and maple leaves and little bit of anthem lyrics.

I drew out the lettering for the ‘Oh Canada’ by hand and stitched most of it myself, with a little help from my sister, using back stitch and chain stitch for filler. I should have drawn on a line so that my writing would have been straight, but I didn’t and so it takes a really sharp upward slant.. it’s a bit goofy, but there was no fixing it.

The beaver is a fantastic pattern by Lorna of Sew Fresh Quilts. I think it’s so cute! Although my mom did say, ‘Now what creature is that?’ and…….. I don’t know how she missed the beaver thing. I told her to show it to her friends without telling them it’s a beaver and to see if they can figure out. It’s not that hard to tell it’s a beaver, is it? (Is it?!)

Oh, Canada!

The rest of the pattern is my own. The leaves I just worked out based on the size of the partial leaf in the flag/beaver and I added the checkerboard at the top to get the project up to an appropriate size.

The quilting is pretty simple – a fairly tight meander in the background, some veins in the leaves, straight-line quilting the red part of the flag and an outline around the beaver. I did match my threads to the fabrics so nothing really stands out that much.

I’m really happy with how it turned out and even though my mom didn’t realize it was a beaver, she seemed really pleased with it. (Of course, the colours are amazing, so… how could she not love it?)

Finished February 17, 2018. Approximately 15.5″x 22″.

Talk to Me Tuesday

So I haven’t felt like making a post about any of my recent finishes – three so far this year! – or about any of the bee blocks I’ve been sewing up or anything of the things I’ve been working on, so I thought I’d post this video instead.

I periodically do Talk to Me Tuesday videos with a group of ladies around the world (but mostly in the US), which are basically us talking to each other about the crafty things we’ve been working on. You can find us here if you’re interested!  Anyway, this is my most recent video.

In other life news: I have a mystery elbow injury and spent a bunch of time at an elbow specialist’s office today learning that my elbow dysfunction – I can’t extend my left elbow all the way without extreme pain and even with all that pain I still can’t extend it all the way – does not function like any other elbow issue the doctor has seen and there are no apparent visible issues in any of the tests done so far. I have some elbow exercises to do for a while and then it’ll be back to see if there’s any change. Exciting stuff. On the plus side: it doesn’t affect my ability to do basically anything I love… like say sewing.

Plume Quilt Progress

I film videos about what crafts I’m working on about once a month or so to share with friends in the Talk to Me Tuesday community.  Usually I’m on camera showing things, but this week I filmed a lot about my Plume quilt, with all the focus on the quilting.

In the video I talk about the quilting that isn’t finished and trying to figure out how to finish it. I’ve decided to do straight line quilting every half inch, so I’ve got the inside part of the borders done and tomorrow will get the outside part of the borders quilted. After that it’ll be trimming and binding.

I need to make new plans for the binding. It was supposed to be the same brown fabric as the flanges, but I hadn’t been able to find the binding fabric anywhere. I went looking today again after filming this video and I found some of it… and it’s only about 8.5-inches by width of fabric. Definitely not enough to bind the whole quilt. I was prepared to swear I had at least a half yard of that brown fabric, but I must have…. used it for something. I can’t think of what or why I would have done it, but it doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Frustrating. I have very, very little Plume fabric in my stash, so I have to decide now if I want to just use a solid brown (if I can find a match!) or if I want to use some other Tula Pink fabric in my stash or…. I don’t know. Something else entirely? Brown feels like the right finish, like a frame around the project. Why on earth would I have used my binding fabric for something else?!