A Quilt pour Moi

Mikey (boyfriend) pops into my sewing room to say hi, checks out what I’m working on today, and asks the usual question.  “So who’s this one for?”  Well guess what, my man.  It’s for US!  YEP.  This one will finally be for our house.  I’m stoked.  I’m making a spiderweb quilt using Essex cotton/linen blend and the Washi Tape collection by Rashida Coleman Hale.

These blocks come together quickly and are easy-peasy.  The only reason I made just one today is that I spent a couple hours cutting the background fabric and all the strips.  I could see myself making this quilt top in a weekend (it would help if I had Season 3 of Downton Abbey to keep me company, but National Geographic specials will hold me over until then).

Here’s Layla girl (a/k/a Beanie/Brownie/Brownlee/Weanie) standing guard to make sure my block doesn’t get stuck in a Ziploc bag, packaged and shipped to some lucky recipient across the country.  This is her “don’t even freakin’ think about it, crazy lady” face.

(She doesn’t stand a chance!  I could eat her in one bite.  It’s impossible for me to even look at her without gritting my teeth from the cuteness.  Do you know what I’m talking about?  That thing you do when you see something so cute you can’t even handle it so you have to grit your teeth?)  ANYWAY.  In case you’re wondering how I got the picture to look “Instagramy,” I used this tutorial, which I found–where else?–on Pinterest.

Here’s a picture of the back of the block, because I have a weird love for the backs of blocks and quilt tops.  I just think the seams look cool.

One block down, 29 to go.  As my dad would say: “i dats it!”  (Polish/English ebonics for “and that’s it!”)

I’m putting this quilt to bed.

The past couple weeks (in between work, a little gardening, and some family time), I’ve been designing, cutting, sewing, and trimming half-square triangles for a quilt that I’ve now regretfully decided to hide away indefinitely.  Here’s how it went down:

Inspiration struck!  So I dragged my surprisingly agreeable man with me to Fancy Tiger to help hold bolts of fabric while I strolled along the shelves looking for the perfect prints (dinner was my treat that night so don’t feel too bad for him).  My idea was to make something colorful, with pops of black and white here and there, using Kona coal as the background fabric so the colors contrasted against the dark grey.  I picked yellows, pinks, greens and corals.  I then took to Photoshop to make a great design, and the project took shape.  I cut and sewed all 120 HST’s for the quilt, then realized as I began arranging the squares that the coral was all wrong.  The values were wrong, it looked wrong with the pinks, it just wasn’t working.  I grudgingly took the corals out of the design and started thinking of Plan B.

Back to Fancy Tiger (this time, by myself—I was a woman on a mission).  I needed a color to replace the corals.  Blue seemed like my best bet, so I found a nice batch that I imagined would be the deal-makers.  Here we go.  I’ve got blue, pink, green and yellow.  The yellow and blue would pair well together, as would the pink and green –I could incorporate these pairings into the design.

I went home, cut my blue fabric, sewed the half-square triangles, placed this stack next to my other color stacks and thought enthusiastically that this would be the answer.  “Okay,” I thought, “I think it’s safe to trim these up.”

120 HST’s later, the project is now scraps.  Mojo-less.  A quilt abandoned.

I trimmed and trimmed (120 HST’s isn’t that many compared to some of the 500-count projects I’ve seen, but it’s still no picnic).  Took all my perfectly square HST’s back to the design board and could not find a single arrangement of the colors that I liked.  Not one.  Shield your eyes from this next photo if you don’t wish to endure the dullness of the color scheme.

I wanted the quilt to be modern and colorful, and for the color combinations to be something an adult woman would like (I can’t give away much else about the possible recipient, but know that I’m very disappointed she won’t be getting a quilt this year).  I love these prints individually, but there’s something about the way everything looked together that wasn’t “brightly colorful adult mod” enough for me.  It looks a little childish, a little amateurish, and a lot uninspiring.

Rather than wasting time overexposing myself to such a lackluster project, I’ve decided to cut my losses and move on.  I have so little time for crafting as it is, and don’t want to waste any of it on something I don’t love.  Plus, I think my continued manipulation of the design of this quilt will not be doing it any favors.  Maybe in a few months I’ll pick it back up, take out all the colors except yellow, and make this:

For now, though, I’ve had too large a helping of this “quilt to nowhere” and will revisit when I’m more inspired.  Or maybe I won’t revisit it at all.  Don’t judge me.

Anyway, I’ll finish with an upswing.  All of the dullness above is nothing a little—AHEMFlea Market Fancy can’t fix!  Enjoy the eye candy and have a great week!

A Bit of Everything

I’ll start where my last post left off: retreat with the Front Range Modern Quilt Guild (FRMQG). After such an epic weekend, I planned to write an equally epic blog post, but instead will keep it short and sweet. It was a blast. I got what felt like a minuscule amount done, but made up for it in late-night bonding sessions with incredible women and giggling until my tummy hurt.

As planned, I completed Kelly’s Dresden plate block and learned some new tricks while doing so. Then, the Swooning. Ah, yes, the Swooning. I made two blocks from the ever-popular Swoon pattern, of the nine needed for my quilt (nine doesn’t sound like a lot, but these blocks are huge, so nine blocks actually make an 80″ by 80″ finished quilt).

The print fabrics in my Swoon blocks are all from Laurie Wisbrun’s Modern Whimsy collection for Robert Kaufman, which is decidedly my favorite fabric collection of all time. It’s whimsical (duh), and has a wonderful folksy Scandinavian feel that I’m crazy about. Just look at the little bunnies! And the colors! So cheerful and awesome. Wait ’til you see the sheep…

I didn’t get to working on Caiden’s 1-year quilt during the retreat, but I sure did get a lot done at home the following week. I cut all my fabric and assembled all 20 blocks. What’s left for me is to sew the sashing, assemble the top, and quilt the thing! This one’s from another great fabric line, Patty Sloniger’s Backyard Baby for Michael Miller Fabrics. It has all kinds of cool boy stuff like bugs and snakes and beehives and ants and anything else “backyardy” that little boys would want to get their hands on. Here’s a little preview, but I won’t reveal too much because that’ll ruin the final reveal for Caiden’s momma.

Some non sewing-related things have gone down in Chinatown this week as well. My beloved pup, Zeppelin, needed surgery to have a tumor removed from his paw. He’s recovering and the prognosis is looking good, but he still looks utterly woebegone (thanks, Jo Rowling, for the best ever use of the word “woebegone” in the Harry Potter novels that I use any chance I get).

Don’t you just want to cuddle him? We’re hoping for this face to come back as soon as possible:

To conclude this newscast: beautiful weather in the Rockies, and some beautiful little crocus stems beginning to poke out of the ground. Hooray! Spring fever is in full force (which of course means there will probably come a typical Colorado snow storm or five in the near future). In the meantime, I’ll enjoy my tiny glimpses of green.