WIPW: Perfect is better than done?

No it isn’t… but my brain keeps trying to tell me that. I have too many works in progress. Each time I try to count them I loose track, and if I attempt to put them all on the sewing table it gets buried and takes forever to unbury it. Here is one of many WIP. I’m trying to whittle them done and not start new projects (but I have two I’ve mentally started anyway).

wonky cross blocks pillow top

This will be a pillow top that coordinates with a pillow that I finished two years ago and cut out three years ago. I had 7 extra blocks, so I made 9 more. I had to get a little creative with that red dot since I was running out of it. And then I went and decided that I couldn’t live with the blobby pinwheel in the center of the top so I had to rip three seams and reassemble it (lesson: layout before seaming blocks). I’m still not really happy with it, but am calling close-enough. Now to find my stash of crummy fabric to use on the back of my pillow-top quilt sandwich.

March 5, 2014. Tags: , . quilting. 5 comments.

WIPW: Aerial Quilt

In May I was able to take a class from Carolyn Friedlander about [foundation] paper piecing at Modern Domestic. The pattern/project for class was Carolyn’s Aerial quilt pattern. As written it can be a table topper, a wall hanging, a throw or a full/queen bed quilt. I love when pattern writers take the time to give us multiple quilt sizes (and their yardage requirements). The class happened the day after I got back in town from a week+ trip. Before the trip I pulled some fabric possibilities, but I forgot to finalize my decision until I arrived home the night before class (I left myself no time to start second guess, or shop obsessively for the “perfect” pieces). With my sister’s help I settled on the blue & grey selection and I love every piece that I choose (most purchased just because). I even tossed in a couple “my precious” pieces.

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I did a couple b&w shots to help me with value variation and started piecing. I think I finished two blocks during class.

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The week after class I was super excited about the project and worked on a block a night for a few nights. Then I had 5 out of the 6 blocks needed and it languished. I finished that 6th block over the weekend. But I’m not sure it should be a wall hanging anymore.

Should it be a table runner for my new rectangular table?

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(how long are table runners supposed to be anyway?)

A wall hanging? Or should I make 30 more blocks so it can be a throw? Do I attempt to bed-size it?

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(that is laying on the unmade bed of the guest room, I think the wall color is blue, but it looks minty in certain lights).

I never bought the border fabric, so while that is an undecided factor, it opens up possibilities instead of limiting them due to fabric quantity. I estimate that if I cut up the rest of the fabric (I cut one to two strips from each print initially) I need about one more yard to have enough for 30 more blocks. But I found that last block sort of tedious to make (there is one seam I find myself ripping and redoing 2-3 times per block). What if I hate making them after a few more blocks? Does it really work for my house? Do I just want to be done with the project? What sort of end project will I find most functional in my home?

September 11, 2013. Tags: , , . quilting. 3 comments.

Second Saturday in July

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The second Saturday in July is the Sisters’ Quilt Show. I’ve been lucky enough to go for the past three years but this seems to be the first year I actually managed to upload the photos and write a bit about it. The weather was just about perfect, hot but not too hot (well just a bit if you were standing in the sun for too long). It seemed a little bit less crowded than years past, but maybe I’m just adjusting my expectations. I got to wander the show with a few friends, that was nice and we took breaks for lunch, fudge, and ice cream. Kettle corn was also purchased. A bit of fabric shopping (I stuck to the fat quarters so I wouldn’t have to stand in line twice – once for cutting and then for paying).  This is a photo heavy post, so I’m going to make them smaller than usual, and if you click through to flickr you should find the accompanying photo with information about the quilt. There were many more quilts that I liked, but I tried to restrain myself with photos this year.

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Amy Walsh (L) & Betty Daggett (R)

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Hilde Morin (L) & Karla Alexander (R)

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Betty Daggett (L) & Besty Biller (R)

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Cathy Campbell (L) & Betty Anne Guadalupe (R)

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Tierney Hogan (L) & unlisted employee of The Stitching Post (R)

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Pam Bush (L) & Kristin Shields (R) (a better shot of the swing attached to the quilt)

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Kristin Shields (L&R)

And my own PMQG had a special exhibit (I did not enter anything in this – I keep saying “next year”). But I was an idiot who, since I recognized most quilts completely forgot to take photos of the tags. I’m sorry fellow guild members – if I managed to get all the info I’ll edit this so everyone gets credit for their quilt. Thanks to the PMQG post I was able to give attribution, and if you want to see larger photos of each quilt individually check out the PMQG post.

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Petra Anderson, Nancy Kennedy, Christina Lane (L) & Katie Sciarrino, Amber Wilson, Gail Weiss (R)

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Gail, Rachel Kerley, Linda Nussbaum (L) & Chelle Casey-Stevenson, Suzanne Gray (R)

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Jeri Bonset, Jen Carlton-Bailly (L) & Cris Pera, AnnMarie Cowley (R)

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Kimberly Lumapas, PMQG Collaborative Quilt

July 20, 2013. Tags: , , . Life, quilting. 2 comments.

Quickie Project

I see cute coaster projects on a regular basis, but I would always think, “that’s nice, but I don’t use coasters.” But recently I noticed the little wooden stool I use as a side table was looking sort of worn. Maybe I should make coasters… I took a pile a scraps and some small squares of quilt batting with me to SewDay.

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Since I had a few 2 1/2″ squares already cut I started by making four-patches. Then I put them on batting and did a bit of free form straight line spiral (echo?) quilting. And then sewed right sides together with a plain backing, trimmed any batting out of the seam allowance and flipped it out. Then I used the for the next month without slip stitching the opening shut.

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But I did that the other night – yay finished object.

July 10, 2013. Tags: , , . quilting, Sewing. 6 comments.

Great $1 sewing tool

I was tempted to title this “Best $1 sewing tool” but that started an internal debate regarding best and an attempt to remember how much I’ve spent on various doodads (how much is my favorite ruler again?)…

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I’m not talking about the iron, or the ironing board, I’m talking about buying a gallon of distilled water for your iron and keeping it stored as closely as possible. For a long time, a very long time I just used some of our filtered tap water, running downstairs the to the kitchen when I needed it, or pouring it out of my water spray bottle (which I think cost $1.60). Finally I bought a gallon and sometimes it is the little things – but it felt like a great improvement to my sewing space. My iron only holds about 4 oz of water (yup, I measured) and I’m a big fan of steam so it drastically cut down on water-gathering trips.

Additionally, I don’t think I ever wrote about my ironing station. In my last sewing space I didn’t have room for my ironing board to stay set up and not be in the way of something (the closet where my supplies were stored, the shelf the printer was and my futon were the usual things blocked). And I noticed that for quilting I wasn’t using most of the board anyway, so I re-purposed this cart (it fit in the space perfectly). I love that I can store things under the ironing space. When I need a larger surface I pull out my ironing board, when I need the narrow end I try using my sleeve roll first.

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ironing station in a former sewing space

The ironing surface is an unfinished wooden shelf I picked up at Ikea (the size and price were right), but they don’t carry the exact piece anymore (part of a discontinued secondary storage line). Then I covered it with insul-brite, two layers of cotton batting and light-canvas cotton fabric – in that order, using a staple gun to tack everything down. The covered board is just over 12″ wide and about 30″ long. I meant to fully attach the board to the cart but never got around to it and I find it stays put decently. Of course I don’t have little ones, or cats to cause it to go tumbling to the floor.

June 27, 2013. Tags: . Organization, Sewing, Solutions. 2 comments.

Challenge Accepted

I, Michelle of Anotheryarn Crafts, sign up as a participant of Me-Made-May ’13. I endeavour to wear one hand-made item each day for the duration of May 2013.

Eek! Since the first Me-Made month I watched along, envious of people diving into sewing clothes and loving their results. Clothes sewing was my first crafting love. I’ve wanted to sew my own stuff since I was 8 or 9. I used to do so (back when I naively skipped the muslim but garments turned out ok anyway), but in the last 10 years or so I’ve not been thrilled with my sewn results. However this year I realized that I do have some me-made garments and especially during “wool season” (in the PNW for lizard-me that is September through June at least) I often do wear handmade things (mostly hats and scarves but still).

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June 2009, I realized that I was wearing a lot of handmade: sweater, skirt and bag.

Anyway, I decided to give this a shot, I started tallying my handmade garments and have:

  1. purple corduroy skirt (seen above)
  2. grey twill skirt
  3. February Lady Sweater (seen above)
  4. Blackberry Cozy Sweater
  5. Blue peasanty blouse
  6. Amy Butler tunic
  7. Juniper pants (and I really want to make more)
  8. scarves/cowls/hats/jewelry/socks

Plus the two skirts that just need hemming. And plans, oh I have plans. I’ve been stashing garment fabric and it is time to stop treating them as too-precious to use (well, except the teal wool houndstooth fabric, that is still too precious). That seems sort of limited, but I don’t think my sartorial choices can get any more boring than they already are with the endless days of jeans + t-shirts + sweaters that I currently wear.

April 28, 2013. Tags: , , . Sewing, Thoughts. 4 comments.

WIPW: sewing this and that

On my cutting table: a stack of fabrics waiting to be turned into a quilt-back, a yellow skirt waiting to be hemmed and a grey skirt waiting to be put back together. Both skirts hit my crafty to-do list back in January, but with Me-Made-May 2013 just around the corner (which I haven’t actually signed up for yet) I’m feeling a crunch.

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April 24, 2013. Tags: , . Sewing. 2 comments.

Finished it Friday

My late Madrona Road challenge. No chance of prizes for me, oh well, I’m glad it isn’t a UFO.

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See the earlier WIP here. I tried to make the puddles work, and to incorporate a little bit of selvedge from the fabric line, but it just wasn’t. So I simplified and finished it. I bought more grey fabric (Northcott though I don’t recall the exact color at the moment) just in case, but in the end I just barely eeked out the binding (2″ strip leftover) from my first yard. I trimmed it to be around 27″ x 29″ and now I need to decided where to hang it in the house. I should probably title it PNW Spring, though I called it Raindrops at show n tell last night.

March 22, 2013. Tags: , , . quilting. 3 comments.

Imperfect

Perfect is the enemy of done. Done is better than perfect. Except most of the time when I try to remind myself of this fact, I transpose the two words and say to myself, “perfect is better than done.” Seriously, nine times out of ten. I try to think of this often as I set about quilting (maybe an odd choice, since sometimes quilting seems so focused on perfect 1/4″ seams and perfect points and corners) so when I was reading over the PMQG Madrona Road challenge, incorporate a word into your quilt, this idea of imperfection came to me. I don’t play with letters much in quilting; but I settled on imperfect for my word. I sketched a few things out (all too literal) but then got the itch to make Tula Pink’s raindrop quilt from her new book, Quilts from the House of Tula Pink.

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Well, except for the fact that I had 7 fat eights, so clearly I wasn’t getting a whole quilt. And then there was the tricky matter of bad formatting in the e-book that I had borrowed from the library, the list of fabric amounts and fabric cuts had some sort of bug, causing the numbers with fractions to be smushed together. I could have converted from the given metric measurements but I had another idea. Imperfect. Following the basic construction I decided that I would work on being imperfect in my quilting. Not quite improv, but close.

And so I started cutting rectangles. I wasn’t ready to abandon my rotary cutter and ruler, but I did not measure, simply used the guides to keep things square (baby steps). I placed those rectangles on my small design wall.

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And then I realized that I only had 1 yard of grey for my background – so I had to think smaller. I settled on one raindrop out of each fabric.

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There was a moment of crazy, when I thought 1″ squares were a good idea (I sewed two and then realized my error, so those tiny grey bits have gone to the scrap bin – ignore the crazy of keeping 1″ squares of fabric).

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And eventually I got stuck. The puddles (not part of the original inspiration piece but I had these thin strips of fabric and puddles seemed appropriate) were proving a little troublesome.  I’ve messed with them a little more since this photo, but nothing has struck me as right.

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And so it sits – for the past week. Which wouldn’t be too bad, but I feel like I can’t work on other projects until I get this top done. Oh, and there is that little thing called a deadline if I want to enter it in the larger Modern Quilt Guild’s Madrona Road challenge. I need to refocus on my word, imperfect, and get a move on it.

January 29, 2013. Tags: , , . quilting. 2 comments.

The Good Stuff

I did finish things last year, and yes, I never expect a period of time where I won’t have WIP or be dreaming up new projects. Hopefully this year I’ll be better about photographing the progress (and the finished objects, I’ve spent the last few days gathering and photographing things).

I finished my spring garden quilt and it was in a quilt show!
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I made pants. I find this so amazing I must say it again, I made pants – honest to goodness trousers with a front fly and a blind hem and they fit me.  Honestly I think sewing up the muslin and having help with the fitting (I took a class for the pants) possibly took less time than I sometimes spend shopping for a pair that fits.
And then my photo was a total bust, no worries I’m making another pair.

I made a bag for my featherweight sewing machine. I was told that since I have an original case I should baby it and not carry it by the handle if possible.
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I made a cute little zipped boxed bag to store knitting projects.
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I made a cute little drawstring bag to wrap a christmas present.

I made a carseat cover for my SIL (and niece).
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I made a chart keeper for my knitting.
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I made a tote bag and zipper pouch as part of a gift (I also made a second unlined tote bag).
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I made this fabulous small ironing station with storage.
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I finally finished this pillow (it started out as a rectangular mini-quilt).
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I finished my Quilt Club Block-of-the-month quilt top (and the back, now I just need to sandwich, quilt and bind it).
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And according to my Ravelry project page I finished the following things:

I made my sister a darling headband with cute crochet flower.
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A keyhole scarf for my nephew.
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A ribbed & buttoned neckwarmer.

A darling February Baby Sweater (and it fits my nieces!).
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A zig-zag (stranded colorwork) hat.
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The Aviatrix hat*, it’s been on my to-make list forever and I used scrap yarn!
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A pair of ankle socks.
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Two Baby Bibs*
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A Gretel Hat* (which will be frogged significantly or entirely)
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A Farm Hat*
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A cozy cardigan* (which I then decided to redo, but for today’s sake I’m counting it).
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*Yeah, these weren’t done in the official sense (end weaving, button sewing, that sort of thing) but I’m counting them anyway, some of them need to be re-done in some manner and so they managed to make both my WIP list and my  FO list.

January 13, 2013. Tags: . Knitting, quilting, Sewing, Thoughts. 4 comments.

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