Monday, March 22, 2010

Nephew's Big Boy Quilt

It occured to me that I neglected to mention where I got the pattern for Nephew's Big Boy Quilt. I found it in a copy of Australian Patchwork & Quilting about 5 years ago. I can't tell you the exact issue, as I ripped the pattern out and there is no indicator of issue number on the pages. Sorry..

It's called Postage Stamp Variation in the mag and was designed to be a 9 block quilt with half dresdens on all 4 borders. Yes, I am changing the pattern slightly. It needs to fit a big boy's bed, afterall.

A friend in the quilt bee I attended at the time challenged me to make this quilt with her. Well, she is the speediest sewer I've ever encountered - hand or machine sewing - so naturally, she finished long before I did. After she finished, I kind of lost the urge to work on it myself, and it was relegated to the UFO bin.

Anyway, DSis got to see the quilt yesterday and fell in love with it. She chose a dark purple print to go in the circles of the dresdens, so I'm working on appliqueing those down today. Hopefully I'll have the borders on this week and can get it to Mom's to get it basted soon. I'm planning to machine-quilt it with a variegated blue or green thread (I'm not sure which one I have on hand). DSis also requested a wool batting - she liked the thickness of it.

Out of here for now..

Some Tracing..

I've been spending some time this past week working an tracing patterns for a quilt that caught my eye recently. This is Sue Nickels' Folk Garden Applique Sampler. I love the playfulness of the patterns, so I'm expanding her half patterns into full-size layouts.

Lightboxes are especially helpful for this process. I first trace the pattern from the book onto a sheet of tracing paper. Then, using the lightbox, I trace it again - and expand it if necessary - onto a sheet of newsprint paper. I buy this in large sheets (18" X 24") and cut them down to the size I need - in this case, 10". I've been using newsprint paper since I first started quilting over 12 years ago.

The large patterns are stored vertically in a cardboard "book" I made a while ago. I just took a large box, cut out 2 of the sides, cut holes along one edge on each piece and tied them together like a book. It holds things flat very nicely :)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Candied Hexagons

This week I've finally decided to start working on my versions of the Candied Hexagon quilt that Janet made famous. She was also gracious enough to post close-up photos of her quilt here - just what this perfectionist person needed!

So I spent yesterday tracing pattern pieces and cutting out freezer paper templates. I've got enough for 6 blocks so far, I think. Lots and lots more work to do, but I enjoy every aspect of english paper piecing, so it's all good.

I'm thinking of doing 2 quilts at the same time - one in brown/pink/cream and another in red/black/white. I'm also thinking of making them more rectangular, rather than square like the pattern calls for. We'll see how things progress, though.

Next step - start pulling fabrics from the stash!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Another Snow Day

After being teased by Mother Nature for the last 2 weeks with spring, it's snowing again today. The ground was covered when I got up this morning - although the roads are still warm enough to melt the stuff. I figure it's a perfect day to hole up in my sewing room. Unfortunately, chores do need to be done. We're having my family over for dinner tomorrow and I have about a week's worth of dishes to do (yes, I hate doing dishes and put it off as long as I can), as well as vaccuuming. Ugh. Oh well, get the nasty stuff done first and then I can play the rest of the day guilt-free.

I don't think I've mentioned it here yet, but I pulled a UFO from the bin a couple of weeks ago and managed to get the center finished last week. It's hanging on my design wall, waiting for it's borders. The dresden pieces are just hanging out up there waiting for a decision.

One day while I was staring at it while knitting (more on that later), I realized this would be a perfect quilt for Nephew's Big Boy Quilt. It's definitely "boy" colors, it's close to the right size and - this is the biggy - it's nearly finished! So, I called DSis and asked her about it and she likes the idea, so tomorrow when they come over, she'll sign off on it and I'll get it done - hopefully next week :) I'm thinking of using the beige fabric for a top and bottom border to lengthen it, using the dresdens on the top border, then binding the quilt in the same beige fabric. I just can't decide what to use for the dresden centers. That's what DSis has to help me with.

And I finally decided to use the yarn I talked about here for the cabled wrap pattern I found here. I'm really liking how it's turning out. The picture isn't the greatest, but as I've said before, I'm not the photographer of the family.

And just in case you were missing your dose of DH sweetness - here he is last week making us some homemade peanut butter cookies. MMMmmmm! They sure didn't last long! :)

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

I Need a Middle Ground..

Why is it that when you work, you (usually) have the money to pay the bills, but no time to do the things that make you happy? And when you don't work, you have no money, but too much time on your hands?

I swear, if I could find a middle ground to this question, I would be one happy woman. These last 3 weeks have been soooooo long. I have been getting a lot of things done in my sewing room, but I'm so bored. This is the first time this has happened to me - I mean, I've been unemployed a few times in the last few years and have always enjoyed the time at home. Sort of a stressed vacation, of sorts. This time all I can think of is the family budget and how short we are on everything. I'm even going to the food banks this time.

I guess I just wish I could learn how to put all that behind me when I walk in my sewing room so I can actually enjoy myself when I'm in there. And then maybe the days wouldn't feel like they're 36 hours long.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

DH is the BEST!

I woke up this morning to breakfast in bed. What's the occasion? DH loves me :D It's not my birthday or our anniversary or any national sweetie day - he just thought it would be nice.

So, because I forgot to take a picture, I'll describe it to you. He came into the bedroom carrying a tray that had a plate full of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast. There was a glass of orange juice and he even added a sprig of flowers from the plant he bought me for Valentine's Day on there :)

He is such a sweetie-pie. I really love you honey :) Thank you.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The Wrap is Finished..

One good thing about being out of work is all those WIPs start getting some work done on them. I managed to finish the green crocheted wrap for my DSis this past weekend. And here you get to see me modeling it...

I gave it to her this week and she seemed to like it. I think she was more surprised that I got it done this year. I think she was expecting 3 or 4 years on it. LOL

If you're interested in trying your hand at one of these, you can find the pattern here. I made a couple of modifications to the pattern - basically making it wider. Instead of the 14 stitches on each side of the center work, I did 20 stitches on each side. I think it turned out pretty well.

I started a knitted version of this wrap that I found here. I was able to get about 2 inches of it done yesterday. But it's a pattern that I have to work with nothing else going on - I get lost if I try to do it watching TV... It's got both left and right cables... I ripped out the purple cable scarf I was doing and recycled the yarn for this wrap. I don't know what I'll do with a purple wrap - maybe it'll be a gift...

And I had to share the latest picture of Felix with all of you. I think he's just too cute not to share. I got a kick out of seeing him perched on the arm of the rocking chair and had to snap a picture. Enjoy!

I had an interview yesterday with a company in my hometown. I think it went well - DSis is interviewing at the same place today. Hopefully one of us gets it...