Wednesday, December 29, 2010

WIP Wednesday!

Hooray! The best thing about being between semesters is that I can actually SEW, and I have the mental energy for trying stuff out! To wit:


I finally have something to share for WIP Wednesday: These hexagons are my first crack at English paper piecing, and they are destined for a mug rug for a good friend. I have discovered why hexagons are such a craze! Basting was relatively straightforward, and sewing them together was more fun than it really has a right to be. *g* I'm really happy with how these turned out, and I think the mug rug for me is going to have to be a hexie one, too!

(Note that this isn't my only WIP. In fact, today I got a whole bunch more pinwheels done for my daughter's Tweetygigs quilt. But this is the only WIP with photos...)

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Finish! Dad's Sawblades

I'm so excited to share: My fourth big quilt, ever, finished! I present: Dad's Sawblades, the coziest lap quilt ever!

Dad's Sawblades, Finished!

51" x 64"
Flannel front and back, cotton batting
Quilted by Jan Johnstone at Adopt-A-Quilt

Dad's Sawblades

A little detail! I love the way it scrunched up in the wash, although I must admit I was surprised at how much it shrunk. I think it lost 8 inches or more...

Dad's Sawblades, labeled

Don't you love my new labels? *g*

I began this quilt in 2004; I bought the fabric from the quilt shop where I learned to quilt on our visit back to Ames for my Ph.D. graduation. It sat stagnant for several years until my dad delivered my beautiful handcrafted sewing cabinet and we agreed on a price that included a quilt for him. So finishing this was perfect!

My dad's a master woodworker, and my sewing cabinet is gorgeous. He's not the kind of dad who is particularly demonstrative, but how he feels is obvious from what he makes, and I only hope he gets the same message from my quilt for him.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Teeny projects are just my speed

As the semester comes to a close (and what a semester it has been!), the only time I have for sewing is when I can steal it. So I'm ridiculously pleased with the three teeny projects I've managed to complete in the last couple weeks:

Fabric projects!

A Christmas ornament for my Ho Ho Holiday Swap partner, Tricia Ann (from the fabric she sent me, even!), and two mug rugs that are currently winging their way across the country to Invisible Internet Friends.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In: November

This month's sew-in was really quite successful! Yesterday my daughter and I went to pick up Dad's Sawblades from the long-arm quilter, so last night's task was to prep the binding and sew it on the front. Thank goodness for the big sewing table my dad made for me--it really helped me manage all that fabric!

Now it's ready for the handsewing, which I'll do on the long holiday car trip:

Dad's Sawblades

And a close-up of the quilting, which may disappear a little into the flannel once the quilt is washed:

Dad's Sawblades, detail

It is so soft, and will be very warm, I think. I think Dad will have to be careful that my mom doesn't swipe it!

EDITED TO ADD: I'm so excited to have something to link on Fabric Tuesday!!

Friday, November 19, 2010

November: Friday Night Sew-In!

Joining late again, but:

Yesterday I got notice that the long-arm quilter was finished with Dad's Sawblades quilt, so tonight the plan is getting the binding ready and (maybe) machine-sewn, so it's ready for the hand-sewing that I can do while on our long Thanksgiving car trip.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Layer Cake Quilt-Along: Block 1

Last weekend I took advantage of the extra hour in my Saturday and got the chance to do just a little sewing (which proved to be very good for my mental health!): so I did the first block in the Layer Cake Quilt Along.

And here's my version of the Alabama Spinner block, designed by Gene Black:

Block 1: Alabama Spinner

I'm using Dream On by Urban Chiks, and I was a little dismayed by the fact that there's not a lot of contrast in this particular layer cake (compared to some of the other gorgeous blocks in the flickr pool). BUT! I still adore the fabric, and it will be a lovely, springtimey quilt when I'm done. And I am really quite pleased with how this block turned out. *g*

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ho-Ho Holiday Preview and Signal-Boosting a Giveaway

One of the very first blogs I found to love was Gen X Quilters, so it's fitting that I'm taking part in my very first online swap there, too. Right?

Gen X Quilters Holiday Swap

And I find that I keep collecting fat quarters to potentially send--I only need to send three, but I'm up to NINE:

Ho-Ho Holidays least I'll have plenty of fabrics to use in the ornament I'm making for my swap partner? I don't have a stash, but this is dangerous.

I'd also like to signal-boost an EXCELLENT giveaway (although I must confess I initially didn't want to, because I want to win it!). Lee at Freshly Pieced is offering two amazing prizes: A custom-designed blog header and some tasty modern fat quarters. Do go check it out!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In: Results!

OK, so the results of my first Friday Night Sew-In aren't exactly overwhelming, but I conquered some blocks for my hand-pieced spring sampler wallhanging that have been intimidating me: Flying geese.

Flying Geese the First

[Also, a note: Piecing by hand can be impeded by A) having Hugh Jackman on the TV, doing distracting things like leaping onto helicopters, being half-naked, and blowing things up, and B) two cats, who insist upon sitting directly in one's lap, which is also one's workspace.]

And here's the progress on the spring wallhanging, 20 of the 25 blocks are finished:

Progress: Spring Sampler

It's slow going, but I find that I thoroughly enjoy the process of hand-piecing, especially when I can do it while watching movies or talking with my husband or while we're traveling to places where I can't pack along my sewing machine. For the fall wallhanging I have a flying-geese all-batik quilt planned, and I'm tempted to hand-piece that one, too.

I imagine the next FNSI will involve the sewing machine--I really need to get going on my daughter's Tweetygigs, because she's going to be growing out of her toddler bed soon...

Friday, October 15, 2010

Friday Night Sew-In

I'm joining really, really late, but: FRIDAY NIGHT SEW-IN!!

My plan? I'm hoping to tackle flying geese. I've never made flying geese, ever.


The spring sampler quilt--the one I'm using to learn hand-piecing--has flying geese blocks. I don't know why I've been so reluctant to try to tackle them, but I have: I've got 20 of my 25 blocks finished, and haven't touched the flying geese yet. Here's hoping!

Pictures coming soon...

Thursday, October 7, 2010

WIP: Dad's Sawblades

I haven't been doing much sewing in the past week or so, but I thought I'd post what pics I have of my long-in-process flannel Sawblades quilt. This was begun in 2004, and was put away for several years with half the blocks squared up. I finally finished the top this summer:

Dad's Sawblades

Lots of firsts in this quilt--this is my fourth quilt, overall, and was my first time working with flannel, my first pieced borders, my first mitered corners. I don't think I did too badly with the miters:

Mitered corner

I should get it back from the long-arm quilter sometime soon, and I'm looking forward to seeing the quilting and doing the binding. It's going to my father, who is a fabulous woodworker, as partial payment for the custom sewing cabinet he made for me.

...apparently my mom already has plans for this quilt. ;)

Friday, September 17, 2010

Getting ready for a little sewing

The fabric for my daughter's twin-bed quilt arrived yesterday--I'm going to do a pinwheel quilt, using charm packs of Tweet Tweet and white fabric. I'm looking forward to it, however long it takes me! (It's a good thing she's not quite ready for a twin bed yet, eh?)

But first: I've been enjoying doing some smaller projects to keep my quilting momentum while I wait for Dad's flannel quilt to get back from the long-arm quilter's. My very first charm pack experience was a Christmasy tablerunner:

Adoring tablerunner

And the goal this weekend: Quilting and binding this 'everyday' Fandango tablerunner--it will look great in our family room:

Fandango tablerunner

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Testing out images...

Here's a peek at my very first quilt, a summer wallhanging, which I completed as part of a class.

I'm hiding....

We used Alex Anderson's beginning quilting book, and the original plan to 'learn how to quilt' was that I would complete four quilts from that book, one for each season. My second quilt was a log-cabin winter-themed wallhanging, and then I got sidetracked: I took a stack-n-whack class (and made a large lap quilt) and then I started on the buzz-saw quilt that is only just nearing completion (it's at a long-arm quilter now).

I've got plans for a fall all-batik quilt, and I'm learning hand-piecing and hand-quilting with the spring wallhanging. Pictures of all will be forthcoming! :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Hello, quilt world!

Hello and welcome!

My Christmas present in 2003 was a sewing machine, and I took my first quilting class in early 2004 -- I lived near a lovely quilt shop (Quilting Connection in Ames, Iowa). Apparently I decided, while writing my dissertation, that I needed a new hobby!

I've been an off-and-on quilter since then; in 2009 my father delivered my custom-built sewing cabinet and in summer 2010 I'm finally close to finishing the quilt I'm making him in (partial) payment. I'm also learning hand-piecing, and I've found the quilting blogs--talk about getting bitten by the quilting bug!

I'm not a fast quilter: I'm a university professor and a mom to a three-year-old, so my sewing time is limited. But I love it, and I'm looking forward to sharing and finding inspiration.