Work-in-Progress Girl


30/30 Sewing Challenge: Month End

You know, I keep thinking I should have more to show because I’ve spent SO MUCH time crafting this month, but so much of it was absorbed in the beginning of the month with the Radiant Orchid challenge mini-quilt, that once I was finished with that, nearly all my time went into making things I had to make – bee blocks and swap projects. Which, hey, nothing wrong with that, but I still have so much more I wanted to finish this month!

It’s the last day of March, for example, [or the first day of April, even… I fell asleep before I could finished editing this post yesterday] and I didn’t even touch my Gypsy Wife booklet! Not a single Gypsy Wife block sewn in March! But if I get them done by the weekend, I’m still linking up with Ashley at Wasn’t Quilt in a Day.

Beginnings of two #quilts -- lowish volume and loud for the #gypsywifequiltalong

This (rather dreadful Instagram photo in a too-dark room) is where both my Gypsy Wife quilts are at. I’m really, really wanting to get working on these, but that Pershing block is really kind of scaring me – I’ve been having issues with details lately and none of my blocks lately have been working out quite like I hope. Pershing is not a good one for when you’re feeling wibbly about your sewing skills.

I’m also six blocks behind on the Layer Cake Sampler Quiltalong! Six blocks!

Layer Cake Sampler QAL... so far...

This is where I’m at though! Loving how this is coming together, although I do feel a little bit like it’s too pink. I’ll have to wait till I have more blocks together, but maybe I’ll need to sash it in a dark purple or burgundy or something. I think I have a bunch of yardage from this line (Eva by Basic Grey), which was meant to be used as backing for a different Eva quilt-in-progress, but depending what the fabrics are, maybe I’ll be able to use it for finishing the quilt.

So what have I gotten done since finishing my Orchid quilt? Well… a couple bee blocks:

Stash Bee Hive #12 March Block Stash Bee Hive #12 March Block

Neither one of them turned out exactly as I’d hoped – I don’t know… the first one came together pretty well, but that second one is a mess of bad points and it’s a little too small and I was really not happy with it. But I kind of love the colours – that domino dot was a great match for that centre print, although I think it’s a lot more green than the recipient was looking for. In any case, I had changed the needle (and thread) in between sewing the first block and the second and it was just a fight to get anything to work properly. I’m not sure what’s the culprit – maybe the bobbin is wound crookedly, maybe the needle has a bad point or it’s slightly misshapen or the wrong size or maybe I’m a poor craftsman who is blaming her tools. In any case, I’m going to start swapping things out and see if something helps.

I also finished a few things for the 4S swap on Flickr… I don’t want to write a full post about those yet, but here is a shot of the drawstring bag I created and the pincushion I tucked in along with some other treats (fabric and candy and chocolate…):


I feel like there must be more, but I’m drawing a blank on it, so I guess that’s what I’ve been up to with all my 30 minutes (and more) of crafting every day for the last while! Truly, the majority of the month was taken up with this guy, time hog that it was:

Radiant Orchid mini quilt

Linking up with Sarah at Berry Barn Designs for the 30/30 Sewing Challenge. In general I was pretty successful with the 30 minutes a day thing, I think I only missed once on a weekend when I was unexpectedly working nights (but had expected to have time off). It feels like not very much stuff, considering the time I put into it, but crafting really can be a huge time suck. I enjoy it, don’t get me wrong, but it is not a speedy thing, even when something moves along quickly.

Berry Barn Designs

Linking up also to WIP Wednesday at Needle and Thread Network and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced and Let’s Bee Social at Sew Fresh Quilts:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced Sew Fresh Quilts



WIP Wednesday: Seven Matryoshka Dolls

This shouldn’t be a surprise after yesterday’s photo, but here are the dolls for the family. (Or their front halves, anyway. I didn’t cut out the backing pieces yet.) Mom, Dad, sister, brother-in-law, younger sister, self, and Grandma. I’m still waiting on felt for the hair. (It should arrive this week. Fingers crossed.)

The next step will be stitching on the faces. On my practise version, I used a small circle of pink felt for the cheeks, but I think I’m going to satin stitch circles instead of using felt. It’s HARD to cut out an accurate circle when it’s so tiny.

Things to do:
– stitch on the eyes, mouth, cheeks
– cut out and stitch on the hair (once it arrives)
– stitch the faces onto the bodies
– cut out and stitch patterns onto the bellies
– stitch bellies onto the bodies
– cut out the backing pieces, stitch together with fronts, and stuff

I’m quite torn about what to do on the male dolls. I think the pink cheeks and eyelashes would make them look too feminine, but I’m not sure how the eyes would look without eye lashes. (I guess I can but try.) And I’m planning to give them a tie (rather than a patterned apron), but that does feel a little… boring. I’ll have to keep thinking about what to do for them, I guess.

As I said yesterday, there’s not really any sense in doing a status update on the Curio quilt right now. It’s currently sitting under a stack of felt, but I haven’t really advanced very far beyond my previous update. Once I get these dolls done, then I’ll come back to it. Hopefully I’ll manage all seven dolls this weekend. (I’m supposed to have it off – first weekend off in over a month!)


Skull and Crossbones Matryoshka

I’ve been working a lot lately, followed up by getting kind of sick (probably because of working so much), and so I haven’t had the time or energy to work on a lot of crafting lately. I did a bit of sewing on my curio quilt, but not enough to make a status update. (I’ve sewn half the beige sashing onto 14 of the 42 four-patches. I haven’t even pressed them yet.) Today I took a sick day from work, to try to catch up on sleep a bit, but I’ve got such a bad sinus cold that sleeping is proving very difficult. (Hard to sleep when you can’t breathe.) But in-between bouts of sleeping or attempting to sleep, I cut out and stitched together this matryoshka doll.

I have hopes of making one of these dolls for each of my family members by Christmas this year. The ones for my family will be a lot more traditional, with birds or flowers on the bellies of the ornaments for my female family members and little ties for each of the men. (I do know there are actual matryoshka dolls with men on them, but I haven’t been able to find enough pictures of them to get an idea of what’s traditionally painted on them. So many of the photos I’ve found have been of Russian political figures or popes/priests.)

So this doll was both a test run (since I’m not too familiar with felt as a material and since I’m always in need of practise with my embroidery) and a bit of a joke. In one of my Talk to Me Tuesday videos (which I may not have posted here), I talked about having bought all this beautiful felt to make these dolls, but having forgotten to buy any the colour of hair. (Nothing black, brown, yellow, gold, etc.) One of the people who commented suggested that I make a punk doll, with pink hair, since I hadn’t remembered “normal” hair colours. This is my version of that.

I probably should have given her spiked hair, though that wouldn’t have fit under her veil really, but instead she got purple hair with lighter purple “streaks” and an apron with a skull and cross-bones on it. I drew out the skull and cross-bones freehand on paper while looking at photos on Google, but I wound up stitching it freehand as well because it’s so awkward trying to draw patterns on felt. It came out a little bit wonky, and sort of looks like an alien skull rather than a human one, but I sort of like it anyway.

Anyway, it took me far too long, but I think I’ll go ahead with making these for my family. It’ll probably speed up when I’m not feeling so horrible and am a little more capable of focussing on what I’m doing.

Interested in making your own Matryoshka dolls? Here is the tutorial I used, from My Sparkle, which is a blog with several interesting tutorials.


Finished Project: Flowery Wall-hanging


Wall-Hanging a photo by clumsy chord on Flickr.

I have the most insipid names for the things I make. Well, I suppose that’s because I just don’t name anything, so I always default to basic description. This is a wall-hanging with flowers on it and too many flowery prints, so flowery wall-hanging. A baby quilt that’s pink? Pink baby quilt. I don’t like to label my quilts, and don’t, so I can’t see any sense in giving names to them either. I tend to think of my projects by certain names – the origami quilt, the brown quilt-along, the reflection one – but I don’t think they’re art that’ll someday be catalogued, you know? If, 200 years from now, some quilt historian finds the slightly tattered remains of this wall-hanging… I don’t mind if it’s called WH200129-94 with no name, creator, or date attached to it.

Anyway, yes. A wall-hanging that is flowery. I made this in the fall/winter of 2010, for my mom, but didn’t actually get it finished until early in January. (My photo is dated January 6.) I bought it as a kit (for a table-runner, which I made square rather than long) because the colours seemed like they might match my mom’s upstairs. I don’t know if it matches as I’ve not been back home since I sent it off to her, but it seemed like it might work. There’s a lot that I don’t really like about this project – the fabrics, the colours, the style, etc. It’s certainly not to my tastes, but when it comes to gifts, it’s best not to please yourself, anyway, right?

Anyway, it’s hard to tell in the photo, but there are buttons on the center of each flower, to help tie in the black thread I used to stitch down the appliqu├ęd flowers. I quilted it using a kind of beige coloured thread, mainly straight line quilting around the outsides of things (kind of rounded-ish around the flowers) and then echoing the shape of the blocks.

This was the first project I ever made where I did the binding entirely myself. Normally I pass my quilts off to my mom for the binding, but it was for her, so it was time I learned to do it myself, and I was pretty happy with how it turned out. I’ve come to enjoy the binding process. Not so much stitching it on to begin with, but hand-stitching it down around the back. It’s satisfying to do.