Work-in-Progress Girl


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APQResolutions 2017

So All People Quilt runs a yearly UFO challenge designed to get people working on old and unfinished projects. And I’ve got plenty of those.

apqresolution

I haven’t been updating in a while, so I’m hoping to get back to updating at least a few times a month and some of those posts will hopefully be about me working on (and finishing?!) some of my UFOs. This list contains just twelve (of many!) and each month APQ will choose a number and that number is the project I’ll attempt to finish in that month, so here’s my twelve…

ONE
All Solids Churn Dash Quilt

Churn Dash

This project was begun as part of the Simply Solids Bee in… 2013 (?) and then again in the Stash Bee in 2014. I can’t remember how many blocks I have, either 30 or 42 and they’ll be pieced together like this, staggered with partial blocks on certain columns. I’ve got all my blocks, but need to piece them into a top, which then needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

TWO
Baby Moda Love Quilt

Moda Love

A baby quilt (or very large mini quilt?) using the Moda Love Charm Quilt pattern. It looks brown in this photo, but it’s actually a burgundy/maroon sort of background. I wanted to put a border on this – it’s only 32″ square – but wasn’t able to track down any of the prints that I thought would work best for a border (namely one of the burgundy/maroon-y ones), so it might just stay a small quilt. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

THREE
Blue Nine Patch Quilt

First Project Ever

This was my first project ever and has been a UFO for over 10 years. The top is pieced (the blocks by hand, even!), just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

FOUR
Blue-Orange Big Block Quilt

[No existing photo?!]

My second oldest UFO, this was in progress when I moved to Calgary almost 10 years ago. I might be wrong, but I think it’s basted and just waiting to be quilted. For all I know, the pins are rusted into place. I think I won’t like this one much when I fish it out from the closet again, but it’d be good to knock such a long-standing project off the list!

FIVE
Carolyn Friedlander Rando Patchwork Quilt

Botanics Random Patchwork

A truly dreadful photo – I should pull this one out of storage just to get a better shot of it. Needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

SIX
Charity Quilt-as-you-Go Quilt

QAYG

This quilt doesn’t look like much in photos because I’ve got so little of it done – 1/6th of the rows – and couldn’t think of a good way to photograph a single column of a quilt. It will be donated to a charity that benefits my younger sister (who is disabled). It’s following a slightly modified Herringbone quilt pattern from Maureen Cracknell’s Craftsy class, Quick Quilt As You Go. I need to finish sewing up the columns of fabric, then piece them into a top, which then gets lightly quilting to hold it and the back together.

SEVEN
Dad’s Quarter Section Quilt

Quarter section quilt

This one is further along than the picture implies – all the blocks are sewn, they just need to be pieced into rows and then a top and then to be basted and bound.

EIGHT
Doctor Who Quilt

Dr Who Quilt-in-Progress

I had big plans for the border on this quilt, so most of the quilt is pieced… just the side border needs to be finished. Maybe the answer will be to scale back the border idea,… but I like that border idea. I guess we’ll see what happens! Once the border is worked out, then it needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

NINE
Halloween Plus Quilt

Halloween Plus Quilt

I usually don’t go for holiday specific quilts, but this one is pretty subtle and in slightly unusual colours – rust, teal blue, deep purple. I don’t have a good photo of it, but the top is completed, it just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

TEN
Midnight Mystery QAL Quilt

Midnight Mystery Quiltalong

I really don’t like to finish quilts, do I? This is another, yet another, that just needs to be basted, quilted, and bound.

ELEVEN
Mom’s Hexi Quilt (Confetti Go Lucky)

Q1 FAL projects

This one is getting to be a pretty long standing UFO of mine, and as it’s meant to be a gift, I’d really, really like to get it done! It’s partially quilted, but there’s still a long road to go (because I had the GENIUS idea of quilting it with quarter inch spacing around all the main units.. quarter inch!!). Quilting and binding is all that’s left.

TWELVE
Plume Quilt

Fabric Friday: Tailfeathers in Lime

I seem not to have a picture of this quilt top, which is about throw sized and has been laying around for several years. I wanted to try to quilt feathers on it, but was terrified of trying. I think I’m finally ready to just give the feathers a go, whether they turn out good or bad. So basting, quilting, and binding is all that’s left.

apqresolution

So that is where that is at! Twelve projects desperately in need of finishing! All People Quilt has already revealed their pick for January, so I suppose I can reveal that Number Six – the Quilt as You Go Project is my goal for January! Just as well because it has a due date early in the year, if I’m going to donate it to my charity of choice!

I’ll also be participating in One Monthly Goal, hosted by Elm Street Quilts, and so that same project will be my goal for that linky as well!

OMGjan


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The 221B bag

So I’ve been on a bit of a blog holiday. I didn’t really mean to be – I’ve got four draft posts of things to show – but I’ve been drowning in things to do lately and haven’t been managing my time very well, so blogging was the bit that went by the wayside. (Even that Sunday Stash post the other day? That was written ages ago and then scheduled. It wouldn’t have been posted at all if not for that.)

This is probably the least important thing I’ve got to talk about right now, which means it is the easiest to talk about and therefore the one that will get talked about. Today (Yesterday, at this point – I fell asleep before I finished writing this entry!) I went to Calgary Comic-Con. I’ve never been to any kind of comic-con before, I’m not really into costuming or comics particularly and I think paying for photos/autographs is kind of lame (sorry if you’re into it, but I’ve never put too much stock in celebrity, which means I find it kind of appalling to think of paying for an experience that several hundred other people are also paying for – what’s the experience really?) and while I enjoy some fannish pursuits, they’re largely of the Easy Entry variety. Doctor Who, Harry Potter, Sherlock… there were so many more cosplayers for things I didn’t recognize even remotely, but who were probably among their people, so to speak.

Untitled

Anyway, there’s me in a terrible Instagram photo, dressed sort of… costume adjacent, if not in a costume exactly. In theory, you could say that I dressed up as 221b Baker Street from Sherlock, but since I don’t really do costumes I wanted the sort of costume that could be not a costume without much effort – take off the earrings and hide the bit on the scarf and it’s not a costume at all!

Comic-con was interesting, but I was super tired, so I’m sure that affected my response to it. I spent most of Thursday sewing my 221b bag, then slept for about three hours, got up and worked a night shift, came home by 8:15 AM, got ready, and left for the convention at 9 AM. So tired! I’m surprised I was still walking by the time we left because by that point I’d been on my feet for most of 15 hours. I’m surprised I didn’t crash into anything while I was walking because my eyes were trying to close too by the end.

Anyway, the bag. Even though I bought my ticket in January, naturally I didn’t actually do much by way of costume creation until the dead last minute. On Tuesday this week I washed and pressed my fabrics, then on Wednesday I cut out and started adding interfacing/fusible fleece to my pieces, but I only got so far:

Birdie Sling bag

At this point, there were still 4 pieces without interfacing and I hadn’t actually started any of the sewing. Patterns for things other than quilt tops always give me a bit of a fright – they often don’t make all kinds of sense to me and Amy Butler patterns in particular really set my brain into knots, but I got from there (the photo above) to here (the photo below) on Thursday:

221b Birdie Sling bag

Okay, Amy Butler patterns scare me, but this one – the Birdie Sling – wasn’t scary at all. It was easy, even for someone like me who can find a way to mess up any sort of non-quilt sewing pattern that gets put in front of me. It all came together perfectly and I couldn’t be happier with the finished bag. (Actually, yes I could be happier. The print on the fabric faded when I washed it so that my black straps/band around the top became way more intense than the black in the print. If I’d had a charcoal twill, it would have worked out perfectly, but I did not.) I suspect I’ll even make this pattern again, if I find a fabric I want to use for it. It’s easy to make, it looks fantastic finished, and it holds a TON of stuff.

The reason I call this the 221B bag is because that fabric on the base is the same print as the wallpaper in the lounge in 221b in BBC’s Sherlock. I bought it from Spoonflower in a cotton-linen blend, which was nice to sew with (and large enough that I could probably cut a second bag out of the leftovers), though the print seemed to fade unevenly in the wash. The proper wallpaper from the show, if you’re a fan, has blue stripes that fade into cream, but I thought it would be a bit more versatile without the blue (you can buy it with the blue stripe though). I had planned to stitch a yellow smiley face into the black band, but to be honest I couldn’t bring myself to ruin it that way — it looks good enough to use every day without it and if it had the smiley face, I wouldn’t. I think what I need is to get a badge/pin with the yellow smiley that I could just pin on if I were going somewhere like Comic-con again.

Birdie Sling Bag Interior

Please forgive these terrible photos – it was getting dark when I took them (yesterday) and then it snowed all day today and was kind of dreary out. (Yes. It’s almost May and we had a day long snow. It’s all been melting as it hits the pavement, but I bet there’ll be a dusting of it at least when I go to work in the morning.)

On the interior, I used an Amy Butler print, largely because it was one of a few fabrics I had enough of, but also because I just really love that print and it gives me a way to use it. The print is Sketchbook Roses from her Alchemy line. It’s not terribly visible, but on the left I added a kind of lobster claw clasp – this is an enormous bag and I don’t want my keys getting lost in there!

221b Scarf

As for the rest of the “costume”, I also wore my 221B scarf, which I bought from Geekiana on Etsy and a pair of earrings I made out of the Sherlock and John charms I bought from Red Bow Tie (also on Etsy, but currently on vacation). I put the IOU apple onto a bracelet chain, but I didn’t have any other charms to go with it (I’d have put on a Union Jack and… I don’t know, other things that apply) so I didn’t wear it.

Sherlock and Watson charms

I’m pretty sure Sherlock isn’t nerdy enough for Comic-con, but it was still a fun way to get at least a little bit into the spirit of things, since I’m not quite ready to go full on Batgirl or Lego Fig or Disney princess like so many people did.


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Random Thursday

I have eleventy billion comments to respond to and also I need to go to bed because I work a night shift tonight and want to at least get a couple hour’s nap in before then and also I need to do laundry and vacuum and take out recycling to the bin and and and so here’s a bit of random bits and pieces:

1. My goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes, February:

Hexaquilt

Acacia

Baste both these quilt tops. I feel like that’s not very ambitious, but I know myself and if I say “Baste Quilt and Bind” for even one of them… I probably won’t get it done. I just hope I have enough pins to do both tops. (I’m thinking I might, maybe, possibly, try to quilt the Acacia quilt instead of tying it like I’ve been saying. But we’ll see. If I do tie it, I’m thinking I should just tape it down and tie it while it’s on the floor instead of pin-basting first then tying it. Tying is basically just basting anyway, just slightly more securely and one hopes with longer lasting results.)

2. Craftsy Mystery Box Saga
FreeSpirit Garden FQ Pack

The end of the Craftsy Mystery Box saga. If you remember, I’d asked to have 6 additional FQs sent out to me to complete my order. The terminally chipper Bob sent me this 20 FQ pack of FreeSpirit Garden fabrics. It’s not exactly what I’d have picked out, if I’d picked out my own replacement fabric, but it’s fabric I’ll use and some of it I even like quite a lot. (There’s lots of fabric in the world I wouldn’t buy but like well enough. This is some of it.)

3. Fandom Stuff
Sherlock and Watson charms

I bought some Sherlock charms from RedBowTie on Etsy. I’ll talk more about that later, though. In the background of the picture is some fabric I bought, printed to look like the wallpaper in the lounge/living room at 221b Baker Street. I’ll talk more about that later too.

4. Hey, it’s Kristel in person!

I haven’t posted one of these here in a while. If you’re curious what’s up with the Sherlock stuff, you could watch the video. But it’s 12 minutes. And I say um a lot. So, you know. Entirely up to you 😀 Also, if you’re curious what the video is about, me and some friends on Livejournal post Talk to Me Tuesday videos on as many Tuesdays per year as we can manage. I aim for one every other week, but sometimes do them more often than that and sometimes less often. This one I recorded today… I’m behind on EVERYTHING this week.


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Sweet and Simple Swap Package Received

So late last week I received a package in the mail from Rockislander, who is the swap mama for a Flickr swap group I’m a part of, the Sweet and Simple Scrappy Swap. For our first round, we were swapping a handmade pouch, a notion of some sort, and a collection of 50 charms cut from our own stash. I didn’t open it until today, because it’s my birthday and I thought it would be fun to save it and open it on the day since I’m spending my birthday largely alone (I went out for lunch with a friend, but my family is all out of town) and otherwise birthday gift free. (I’m not actually super big on birthdays – or not big on my own, anyway! – but let’s face it, getting gifts is ALWAYS fun.)

Simple and Sweet Swap Pkg Received!

I couldn’t have asked for a more awesome swap package than this. I mean… seriously. Doctor Who. A Doctor Who pouch. The cutest thread/floss winder in existence. A seam ripper (unbeknownst to all of you, I’ve been using a straight pin + a pair of scissors as a “seam ripper” for quite a while – I used to have two, but I lost one and broke the other, and neither was as brilliant as this one which has a long enough handle that I’ll be able to see standing up in my container of tools and actually be able to hold onto decently). White piecing thread. A piece of typewriter fabric – there’s a thing I’ve never had, but always liked! A bit of potions bottle fabric! A great selection of charms AND some extra island charms, because Ms RockIslander lives in Bermuda. By the way, did I mention the Doctor Who pouch? Because if I didn’t, I should.

Doctor. Who. Pouch.

Simple and Sweet Swap Pkg Received! Simple and Sweet Swap Pkg Received!

This apparently is licensed Doctor Who fabric, though of course out of print. I didn’t know such a thing had ever existed! I’ve seen stuff on Spoonflower that people have created, but never anything licensed. So there is the Tardis and there are Daleks and please note the frequent flier privilege of a key for the front door!

Simple and Sweet Swap Pkg Received!

These extra charms are Mari-Ann’s “way of sending a bit of Bermuda” my way, and they’re lovely and beachy! I am thinking that maybe I need to make a little wall-hanging with these, maybe my own little hexagon mug-rug so that they will retain their beachy islandness and maybe give me something warm and lovely to think about once winter hits in a few months!

Simple and Sweet Swap Pkg Received!
Simple and Sweet Swap Pkg Received!

And finally, the rest of the charms. This is such a nice mix of different fabrics: the super cute owls and hedgies and ladybugs and safety pins and that lovely tree down at the one corner that I love love love. And then there are great basic blenders like the Art Gallery Natural Elements and other tone on tone/tone on white prints. I didn’t give Mari-Ann a lot to work with in terms of things I like or was looking for, so she did a great job with the little bit of information I did provide. She also doesn’t know it, but I’ve had long (long!) term plans to do a dots quilt, someday, using only prints with dots on them, and quite a lot of these fabrics will work perfectly for that as well.

It was a really great (unintentional) birthday gift to open today. So many, many thanks to Mari-Ann!


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Stuff and Things

Earlier this week, every time I thought about writing up a post about what I got done over the weekend, I’d start thinking instead about how I needed to be stitching up my Tardis block and so I’d wind up not writing that post. But here’s more or less what I finished up this weekend:

1. Sewed, pressed, and trimmed all the half square triangles and flying geese units in my Star Surround quilt top.

Star Surround Flying Geese

I still can’t pretend to love these fabrics, but I do like them a lot better here than I did in that collection I was trying to create for a baby quilt. Maybe by the time this is all sewn, I’ll like it so well, I’ll just give this baby quilt to my friend rather than doing the double hour-glass thing I’ve been planning.

2. Sewed up a sample pouch for the Simple and Sweet Swap (wherein we will swap a pouch and 50 charm squares with someone)

Don't be scared off, Simple & Sweet Swap Partner...

I hadn’t made one of these in a while, so I picked a few fabrics up off my pile of solid fabrics and thought “The more garish, the better” apparently, and then added some matching scraps of an Amy Butler print. This has a kind of early 90s vibe (for me, but most trends hit my hometown late). I just wanted the practise, so it didn’t really matter what I used. Style-wise I think the pouch is pretty great. Colourwise… it’s certainly interesting. I may give it away someday, but I’m not really sure who would want it. (I had someone in mind, but seeing it finished in all it’s technicolour glory, I’ve kind of lost the desire to send it to her.) There are a couple small flaws (my ruler slipped when I was trimming one half of it, so you’ll notice the colour lines don’t meet up on the side seams – I lost close to a quarter inch on that one side) and I flubbed something to do with the zipper that I can’t really explain but which means it’s a bit lumpy near the opening of the zipper. (I pressed the fabric to one side, but should have opened the seam.) Anyway, now I know what to avoid, so I can make a proper pouch for my recipient. (But I won’t show it until after she receives it because it’ll be obvious to her that it’s for her if she sees what I’m planning to make.)

3. Stitched up a Hufflepuffian quilt block.

Black and Yellow Quilt Block

There was yellow and black fabric on the futon in my sewing room, so… I made something with it. The colour is a little off in this photo – the wall is beige not grey – but it’s surprisingly close to the real deal. The yellowest yellow you’ve ever seen.

I feel like there should be more – I wanted to do another churn dash block and I wanted to get a couple flags done for Lac Megantic – but I went on a cleaning spree in my bedroom and got rid of a bunch of stuff that needed to be recycled or donated and I straightened up the fabric shelves in my sewing room. Surprisingly, both those things took quite a long time.

Stash

I went through most of the fabric that was new or hadn’t gone back onto the shelves after being put to use (or after testing and rejecting it for some project or other) and got it refolded and stuffed back on the shelves. I haven’t come up with a storage solution for my solids (not visible in this photo) yet or my voiles, flannels, children’s fabrics, home decor fabrics, linens or linen blends. Or the few pre-cuts I’ve got. (There aren’t many, two or three jelly rolls besides what’s stuffed into one of the shelves on the right.) Oh, or the “quilt in a bag” kits that I’ve got – the bag in the bottom right hand cube is actually a quilt top in a bag (along with the pattern), but there are two or three others I’ve never gotten around to making…

And then finally, the other thing I did was sort out the unruly, unholy mess that was my “Quilting” bookmark folder in my browser. I went through and sorted everything by type of link and deleted any dead links and links to things I don’t think I’ll use (or know I won’t).

Quilting Bookmarks Folder

You can’t, of course, see into any of the folders, here, but all of it was in one very, very, very long folder, mixed in with a bunch of embroidery related links (I still need to sort those ones out, but there aren’t nearly so many). So much neater and more usable now! The ones at the bottom that aren’t in a folder are for projects currently in progress and though there is a folder for that, these are ones I want dealt with now, not just soon. (The Leibster link… I’ve been nominated 3 or 4 times, but keep not following through. I’m really undecided on the whole concept because I’ve never liked anything that involves chain letter style attempts to make people “pass it on.” And it’s a nice thing to have someone choose you, but I don’t know what point it serves? I don’t know. Still churning that one over.)

Anyway, I guess it was my weekend to organize as much as anything else! But now… I should go sew.


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Up and Downy Stuff in a Big Blue Box (A belated Twelfth Week of the Doctor Who Stitch-A-Long)

Aw.. the Tardis. No spoilers up above, but spoilers for the episode in question in the video below:

From what’s maybe my favourite episode with the Eleventh Doctor, The Doctor’s Wife.

If I were remotely making-things-with-wood inclined, and if I had tools, I might very well build myself a Tardis. Well. I’d need a place to store it, and I don’t think my sister would like me to build one (and store it in her house, as I would have to do). But never mind that. Of course we had to end with the Tardis (though the revealing of the Twelfth Doctor on Sunday does practically give a person a chance to create a pattern for Peter Capaldi. But no sense in that until we know what sort of Doctor he will be and what sort of clothing he will wear. (I know some people are upset about him, but I think Capaldi could be interesting!)

DW-SAL-Badge

So finally, The Tardis herself:

Big Blue Box

This pattern was designed by Angelica Rodriguez, also known online as Hewtab. Angelica once upon a time designed a Firefly t-shirt, which I own, featuring Serenity, caught, like the firefly, in a jar. Her take on the Tardis is a sort of playfully wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey version, with spirals representing the space-time vortex the Tardis travels through. You can find the pattern and Jennifer Ofenstein’s version of this pattern here at Fandom in Stitches. Or you can find all twelve original patterns in one convenient location here (also at FiS, of course) along with a collection of Bonus Patterns, some created by the original designers (none by me, alas, though I’ve got plans I’ll likely never execute for a somewhat 3D Ood – need to learn the bullion stitch first!) and some by participants in the stitch-a-long. (In particular, check out Woozelmom’s awesome take on Twelve, which I just saw half way through writing this entry. Even though we don’t know yet just what he’ll look like once Capaldi puts on the character and his costume, I think she’s caught some of the essense of Capaldi.)

Time Vortices?

As with my other blocks, I stitched this one mostly in split stitch, but I also rounded things out with a little backstitch, running stitch, and some French knots. I photographed this while it’s still a little bit damp and I was afraid to press it (because I didn’t want the damp to steam up too much and damage the meltable rayon thread), so please forgive the waviness of the fabric. I still need to press this one into something like submission.

Police Public Call Box

I was somewhat ridiculously concerned about getting the words to fit without looking too cramped, but I think they turned out pretty well! Surprisingly, the difficult thing about this pattern wasn’t any of the small words or getting that star and circle to look like a star and circle… the difficult thing was just getting all those many, many lines that make up the Tardis finished. I watched nearly the entire season of “Michael: Tuesdays and Thrusdays” (this awesome Canadian tv show that, like most of my favourite tv shows, got cancelled after its first year) just stitching up the last half of the Tardis. (And parts of “Bored to Death”, another too quickly cancelled tv show, and parts of “Party Down”, still another too quickly cancelled tv show. Apparently I was in the mood for quirky humour when I was stitching this block.) I don’t know why it seemed to take so long, but it somehow felt like no matter how many hours I poured into it, it would never be finished. Maybe it was some psychological thing, though, about finishing the last pattern… it’s always good to get things done, but sometimes I like to draw out those last moments of a thing and get as much out of them as I possibly can.

A few details:
Fabric
Background – Essex Linen Blend in Natural
Threads
Blue – DMC 939
Icy Blue – DMC Satin Floss S932
Medium Blue – DMC Satin Floss S798

So that’s my last note on these blocks! I used up 2 skeins and a bit of DMC 939 in these blocks. I used a pretty good variety of the Satin Floss: S798, S702, S550, S666, S504, S995, and S932. I almost completely filled a tic-tac container with thread ends. And even though I mostly did split stitch, I did branch out on occasion and do some running stitch, back stitch, French knots, seed stitch, and stem stitch.

But I DO still need to finish sewing on all that sashing, and I really, really want to get that quilt top finished by the end of August, so this month I’m going to join up with A Lovely Year of Finishes – hopefully I can pressure myself into getting this all finished up! (I’m still somewhat undecided on the borders, so there’s still a lot of thinking going on, if not much else…)

Back to the Stitch-a-long… If you are stitching-along, please share your photos at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group! You’ll be entered to win a monthly prize and I’m also offering a special prize to someone who finishes all twelve patterns by August 12 – Nine Fat Quarters from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabric:

FQ Prize

This is the Lunar Landing colourway of the line, which has richer, more royal blues than the fabrics I’m using, and doesn’t have the purple tones. You MUST post your pictures at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group to win, so if you’re stitching along, don’t forget to share with the class! Just to be clear, you only need to have the patterns stitched, you don’t have to have a quilt top completed. You also have to stitch all 12 of the original blocks. Although minor modifications are okay — if you want to add eyes or adjust the style of the numbers, for example — your blocks should be substantially similar to the patterns as designed.

And finally, I’m linking up to The Needle and Thread Network and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Although I finished the stitching on this block and I have, indeed, finished all 12 blocks, there’s still so much more work to go/to come. Check back next week for hopefully all twelve sashed blocks in one location. (But we’ll see. No promises.)


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Late again!

And still not done my very last Doctor Who Stitch-A-Long pattern. There’s just so many lines! And I went out with a friend after work yesterday instead of coming home and stitching. Here’s what I’ve got done so far:

TARDIS-in-progress

There’s a lot not visible in this photo – all the swirls around the sides to represent spinning through the time vortex, I guess? – so I’ve really still got a long way to go. I’m hoping to be finished this weekend, but I’ll be honest: I’ll be happy if I’m done by next Wednesday! If you want to see a finished version now, though, and get the pattern, it’s available right here at Fandom in Stitches.

Like I said, I went out with a friend yesterday rather than coming home to stitch, but it was such a mixed evening I think I almost would have rather been home to stitch! We went to a movie, The Heat, which was only so-so at best (a lot of the jokes just don’t quite hit and it’s too long for what it is, they should have tightened it up a lot), and then we went out for dinner where my friend didn’t enjoy any part of her meal and although mine was fine, it was also not really anything special at all. Just wasn’t our day, I guess! Anyway, by the time I got home, I was more interested in sleeping than staying up to stitch or write up a post about not being finished.

I should have been stitching today, but instead I got sucked into a vortex of trying out a Bonnie & Camille “Happy Go-Lucky” honeycomb with half (well, a couple… I’ve got piles more, just in really inappropriate colours) the solids/near solids I own. Here’s far too many of them, with my thoughts, and request for your own. The pattern I’ve decided to use is the Confetti quilt by V & Co., which has a baby size and also a… twin? size that uses two honeycombs. I haven’t seen any pictures of the quilt top that show it in the larger size, but there are several photos at V & Co.’s site that’ll give you a general idea of what the quilt will look like, at any rate. There are very large open areas in the quilt, so that background is going to be much more visible than it is in any of my photos (and the light was kind of weird, so you’ll get a lot of sun at the top of each photo and much less at the bottom – what I like about that is that it gives you an idea of what the fabrics will look like in different lights, but it does wash it out some up top).

Kona BlackKona White

First the Kona cotton in Black, which I like for how it lets the colours/fabrics pop, but which I think is just all wrong regardless. It’s just too dark for such a sunny collection of fabrics, even if it does work in a technical way. And beside it a Kona white, which is fine but… also just all wrong. It somehow emphasizes the non-whiteness of the white in the prints and even though white suits the prettiness and delicacy of some of the prints, it sort of feels fussy to me to have florals paired with a pristine white like that.

Moda Natural or SnowModa Natural or Snow

And then these two are two Moda Bella cottons, one is Snow and the other is Natural, but I don’t have a colour card for Bella, so I can’t figure out which is which. (And in photos, they’re nearly indistinguishable.) The whites in the prints look more pristine here, less dingy I guess, than in the photo on the pure white, but the’re just so BORING.

041Kona Medium Grey

I thought I would wind up liking it best on grey, but I tried two greys and don’t really like either of them. Kona Ash (left) is a nice grey, but it while it doesn’t hurt the prints in any way, it also doesn’t do anything to elevate them, if that makes sense. The Medium Grey isn’t too bad – like a black, it gives the fabric something to pop itself up from. But I don’t know.. it’s only just okay. I didn’t have any darker greys to try with – I thought I had more Kona Charcoal, but couldn’t seem to find it.

Essex Yarn Dyed Flax035

So okay, Essex Linen blends. Nothing I have is labelled so I’m often uncertain, but I think this is the Yarn Dyed Flax, it kind of looks like a grey and white cross-weave, in a way. The one on the right is maybe Essex linen in Natural – it kind of has an oatmealy colour. I like them both, really, because they’ve got a bit of interest even though they’re near-solids, but they are a little bit boring still. And I wonder if it would be heavy having a quilt top made with 6 yards of linen? Maybe that would be nice, I don’t know.

So something more interesting, but also maybe more scary?

Kona Deep BlueDeep Blue

So how about Kona Deep Blue? I actually really like this one, but I worry quite a bit about the way the dark blue in the line will play with that blue as a background. Also, is it way too intense to make up the majority of a quilt top? (In the plus column: I already own 6 yards, so I wouldn’t have to buy anything but the binding/quilt backing.)

Kona Sunflower

The Kona Sunflower? (Or is it Daffodil? It seems to match Sunflower on my colour chart, but Daffodil sounds more like something I’d have actually bought. I actually like this one – it’s a great match for the print – but it’s scary to think of 72×96″ of yellow with a scattering of other colours. I think it would be a little too intense in a not very good way.

So finally that leave me with two unknown shot cottons. I’m pretty certain I bought both of these from Mad About Patchwork, but I can’t figure out what either of them are.

Turquoise shot cotton?Blue/Green Shot Cotton?

I’m pretty certain the one on the left is from the Kaffe Fassett collection. It’s a kind of turquoise colour but it looks like it’s made up with two different turquoises, one darker and the other lighter. I actually kind of love the way this one looks, but I don’t know why. I feel like it shouldn’t work, because it’s turquoise rather than something more bluish-blue. I quite like the one on the right too, but haven’t got any idea what fabric this actually is – it’s made of a blue and a green cross-weave, which is more visible than in the one on the left. It’s a bit quieter of an option, but probably in a good way, as it wouldn’t overwhelm the quilt like I think the turquoise one would (and like the deep blue up above would).

I don’t know, I’m pretty torn! I’d like to make this quilt for my mom for Christmas, if I can (though hexagons? Scary!), so I need to make a decision so that I can get started, but I’m not really sure what to do. I lean towards either the Kona Deep Blue or either of the two shot cottons, but I don’t know how to find out what colour I’ve got (without buying a colour card, which is.. not cheap). Any suggestions? Other colours you think I should try?


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I do embroidery now. Embroidery is cool! (Doctor Who Stitch-a-long Week 11)

I have such back and forth feelings about the Eleventh Doctor. Sometimes I love him and sometimes I find him annoying (in an unfortunate way) and I still think I liked him best in that first episode with Amy as a child when he was manically asking for food he’d enjoy eating. The way he interacted with her is the way I like him best. Anyway, it seems like every time I start to warm up to him, an episode that annoys me will come along and drop me somewhere back in the middle of indifference.

Okay, maybe it’s just that I like him best when he’s a little bit silly:

Anyway, the end of the most recent season has me quite interested to see what’s coming next! Great ending, perfectly mysterious, and hopefully they’ll do the idea justice.

DW-SAL-Badge

No prize for you if you’ve guessed what the next pattern will be (because everyone will have guessed what the next pattern will be, even if they’re not following along very closely!), Matt Smith’s Eleventh Doctor:

Doctor the Eleventh

Eleven was designed by the talented Soma Acharya of Whim’s and Fancies, where she often posts the incomparable paper-piecing patterns she designs. She’s got a kind of realistic style that a lot of paper-piecing designers don’t attempt and though I’ve never made any of her patterns (the level of detail is amazing, but it makes them look amazingly difficult!) there are several that I’ve love to try out someday. (Top of the list: her Weeping Angel that I mentioned last week.) You can see her version of Eleven here at Fandom in Stitches, where you can also find the pattern for Eleven (and all the other doctors).

There’s a lot to love about this pattern, Eleven’s floppy hair, the super skinny tall eleven, his silly hipster boots/high-water pants, the bowtie. I enjoy it.

Eleven's Hair

This is one case where my two-strand split stitch maybe didn’t serve the pattern as much as I’d like – it’s just not delicate enough for the hair, which has a better gravity defying flop in Jennifer (here) and Soma’s versions. But maybe it’s just the very up-close photograph that makes it look thick and unwieldy. I have definitely decided that I need to fill in the bowtie (or satin stitch over it). I keep saying things like that, that I should do these little edits to the blocks, but then I keep on not actually doing them. I think the bowtie would look so much better on my block if I filled it in though, just look at it in the top shot, where it’s from further away… doesn’t it just NEED to be darker and solid red?

A few details:
Fabric
Background – Essex Linen Blend in Natural
Threads
Blue – DMC 939
Red – DMC Satin Floss S666 — Can I just say how hilarious I find it that the red thread has 666 as it’s colour number? They should label it Hellish Red or something.

If you share your photos at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group, you’ll be entered to win a monthly prize and I’m also offering a special prize to someone who finishes all twelve patterns by August 12 – Nine Fat Quarters from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabric:

FQ Prize

This is the Lunar Landing colourway of the line, which has richer, more royal blues than the fabrics I’m using, and doesn’t have the purple tones. You MUST post your pictures at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group to win, so if you’re stitching along, don’t forget to share with the class! Just to be clear, you only need to have the patterns stitched, you don’t have to have a quilt top completed. You also have to make all 12 of the original blocks. Although minor modifications are okay — if you want to add eyes or adjust the style of the numbers, for example — your blocks should be substantially similar to the patterns as designed.


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Weekend Works

I meant to post this yesterday, but I forgot, and then suddenly it’s past my bedtime and now’s my last chance to get this up before tomorrow’s big Whovian post. Anyway… I haven’t been talking about work, but my department head quit about a month ago and since there was no one else trained, I’ve been working 6 days a week (plus additional overtime) since whilst trying to train people who’ve never previously spent a day in my department. Which is not the easiest way to spend a month, certainly. (And I’m not even being paid for it yet! They still haven’t updated my pay scale! A month! They’ll have to back pay me, but still! We get paid weekly, which is why I find it shocking they haven’t updated it yet.) Anyway, I decided this week to chance leaving one of my new ladies alone for a day, and that day was Sunday this week. My first proper day off in a month!

I had goals for my first proper day off in a month. And those goals didn’t involve deep cleaning my house or shopping or lazing around in the sun or… whatever. They involved crafting.

1. Get at least the coloured part of my next Doctor Who stitch finished
2. Cut, package, and prepare to mail away fabric for my month in the Simply Solids flickr bee
3. Sew up another Churn Dash block to be certain I was sending the right amount of fabric to my bee-mates
4. Finish my Mug Rug for my Modern Scrappy Bits Swap

I hate sports metaphors, but I hit it out of the park!

1. Stitchy stitch?

I didn’t just get the coloured part done, I got about 90% of the blue part done as well. Sweet! And I had to start right from the beginning – the fabric wasn’t even cut out! So there was pressing, cutting, pattern printing, pattern transferring, and then stitching after all of that. I watched old episodes of Happy Endings and Party Down for about the third time (each!) while doing it and I know the rhythm of those shows so well now, I really just had to listen to them while I stitched. It worked out great!

2. No photo, but done! They’re in the mail as of yesterday, and I managed to package all but three of them into envelopes small enough it didn’t cost me eleventy billion dollars to send. (I ran out of small envelopes though, so a couple people will get 4 strips of fabric that weigh under 100 grams in biggish kraft envelopes made of and padded with old newspapers. Kind of ridiculous, but I didn’t want to go buy more small envelopes just to finish up. And it was only about 80 cents more expensive to mail.)

3. Churn Dashes

I finished the Churn Dash and did cut the right amounts to send away! The new one that I made is the blue and pale green one top right. I made the two grey/green ones several months ago (and I’m sure I talked about them, though I don’t really remember). The others are all blocks I’ve received from the swap group at the Livejournal Birthday Blocks community. The two blocks with orange came from Aalia, the yellow and purple block is from Suri, and the newest (just arrived this week!) is the yellow/blue one in the centre, which came from Kiss Mary. (She also sent me a fantastic tomato red fat quarter – in exchange for some fabric I sent her – and I think I’m going to make at least one more Churn Dash that’ll use that red because it’s fantastic!)

4. Mug Rug

I’ll talk more about this later, and post more pictures, but this was for the Modern Scrappy Bits swap – I just had to finish the binding, which I managed! I used bias binding (which I thought might help with those weird angles, though in retrospect, I don’t think I needed to use bias binding) and it was a bit hit and miss as to how it worked, but generally speaking I’m pretty happy with it. I love the colours on this one and can only hope my partner will like it half as much as I do!

And now, I really should sleep. More training tomorrow, which is scary because I’m throwing my new gal off the deep end and I wouldn’t normally do that until I was absolutely certain she could swim. (One solo Sunday is not enough time to be sure about that!)

I’m linking up to The Needle and Thread Network and WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced


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Don’t Blink. Blink and you’re dead. Don’t turn your back. Don’t look away. And don’t Blink. (Doctor Who Stitch-a-long Week 10)

That’s a clip from what’s probably my favourite episode. It’s pretty light on the Doctor (and Martha, who I think was underrated as a Companion), really, but it’s such a fantastic episode. If you ever see just one, see Blink (series 3, episode 10), because wow. All the best bits of time travel and a little bit of fear and Sally Sparrow, who is an awesome character played by Carey Mulligan before she got a bad haircut to be in a bunch of movies I don’t care if I ever see. Great episode. (And if you watch this episode and if you quilt, then you’ll want to stitch up Soma Acharya’s truly brilliant Weeping Angel paper-pieced pattern. Even if I didn’t like the show, I’d love that quilt block. So beautiful. If I weren’t so scared of all those little pieces, I’d have made it already.)

Anyway, David Tennant. Sigh. Swoon. Come back. (He’s my favourite.) I could link a dozen clips with him, but I won’t. And not just because BBC has blocked a ton of those clips because I don’t live in the right country.

Okay, one more:

DW-SAL-Badge

The tenth pattern of the Doctor Who Stitch-a-long is, of course, David Tennant’s Tenth Doctor:

Doctor the Tenth

This pattern was created by the brilliant Jennifer Ofenstein of Sew Hooked and Fandom in Stitches. She came up with the idea of running this stitch-a-long and you might remember that she also designed two of the previous patterns, Two and Six, and came up with the layout for the final quilt. Jennifer has also designed paper-pieced patterns for the TARDIS (two versions!) and Daleks, which will be featured on her own version of this quilt. (And I might totally steal the idea because I am a dirty rotten thief.) You can find those patterns, and a few other Doctor Who patterns, here at Fandom in Stitches, along with the pattern for the Tenth Doctor which is right here.

Here is Jennifer’s version of Ten, done in backstitch, with the word “ten” a bit more jagged and not all smoothed out like mine (the damned window-as-a-light-box-through-linen transfer method has lost a lot of fine details from my stitches):

The Tenth Doctor

Lovely. She’s also doing a slightly modified version of the basic layout, where she’s doing three rows of the sashing around each block (I swear she had another post with actual pictures, but you can see a proposed layout here if you scroll down a little) to bump up the size of the quilt to bed-sized. I’ve been toying with the idea of upping the size of my quilt as well, but I think I’ve settled on keeping it small enough to hang on the wall. I think. We’ll see…

Ten

My “ten” before rinsing out the pattern lines and pressing. I used this same blue on the Eighth block, but now I’m pretty certain I’m going to go back and rip that out and redo it in green. I stitched most of Ten while watching the Doctor Who movie with Paul McGann as the Eighth Doctor, and it was pretty terrible, but I did notice that he’s actually wearing what looks to be a green velvet coat. I also might use a variation of the Seal of Rassilon in place of the “eight” since it pretty much IS a stylized eight. Anyway, I thought the blue was better to represent the blue pin-striping on Ten’s suit.

Close up of Tenth Doctor

Anyway, every bit of this was stitched in a 2-strand split stitch, even the pin-stripes which I’d meant to do in something a little more delicate, like maybe long couched straight stitches. (I forgot all about that thought because I was watching “Scott Pilgrim vs The World” through the rest of the stitching of this pattern, and it was a very distracting movie. Not a good one for stitching along with at all. As silly as it sounds, it’s far too visual a movie to watch without watching, which is what I normally do when I’m stitching. Just as an example, there’s a part where Scott Pilgrim has to defeat a girl and he won’t hit a girl, so Ramona holds his arms and throws his punches for him, which… if you’re not watching, you’re not going to grasp just from listening. Such a bad movie for stitching. But fun as all get out. Unless you’re not into the whole video game/anime stylized thing. It’s got a rocky beginning, but once all the fighting starts it’s a lot of fun.)

A few details:
Fabrics
Background – Essex Linen Blend in Natural
Threads
Blue – DMC 939
Shiny Blue – DMC Satin Floss S798

If you share your photos at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group, you’ll be entered to win a monthly prize and I’m also offering a special prize to someone who finishes all twelve patterns by August 12 – Nine Fat Quarters from Lizzy House’s Constellations line of fabric:

FQ Prize

This is the Lunar Landing colourway of the line, which has richer, more royal blues than the fabrics I’m using, and doesn’t have the purple tones. You MUST post your pictures at the Fandom in Stitches Flickr group to win, so if you’re stitching along, don’t forget to share with the class! (For the interested, you only need to have the patterns stitched, you don’t have to have a quilt top completed.)