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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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…):

mosaic5574cfc68196e492b4700c6faf416cc886004dc2

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.

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!)