Hard to give away

Henry went off to his first day of school for this year, so I thought I'd try blogging again.  I'm behind on everything around the house, but why not procrastinate a little bit longer?

I have drastically cut back on my sewing bees and swaps--because I'm low on sewing time, my WIP's keep piling up, but mostly because it is stressful to sew for other people and equally stressful to send it away in the mail after working so hard on it.  Recently I saw the ice cream swap on instagram and I thought I'd give swaps another try.

The ice cream block comes from the 318 Patchwork Patterns book by Kumiko Fujita.  This book was recently release again in English and is for sale at the link (and I have no ties with the vendor).  I have loved that ice cream block since I first saw Penny's block (back in 2010!) and now I've finally made one.

ice cream pencil case swap
 

I used a bag construction technique found in a Suzuko Koseki book but then changed the dimensions to suit the pencil bag I wanted to make.  You quilt the front and back panels but use a separate lining and then you quilt a zipper gusset with the lining fabric.  Then when the gusset is sewn into the bag there are exposed seam allowances. 

 seam allowances unfinished

Then you stitch binding tape above the seam allowance by hand and then stitch it by hand again below the seam allowance but without wrapping the seam allowance.  This way the seam allowance is tucked down and that gives the bag more shape while making the inside cleaner. 

seam allowances finished


Here is a picture of the quilted gusset.

gusset


The finished zipper gusset,

gusset zipper


and the finished bag.  Yet again, I love the finished product so much that I really didn't want to send it off in the mail.  I'll probably be taking another break from swaps.  Call me selfish, but I don't seem to find time to make cute ice cream bags to stay here at home and I'll never will if I keep signing up for more swaps.

finished pencil case

For Pink Sakes

I am participating in the For Pink Sakes Blog Hop hosted by Anna of Life Sew Crafty.  Anna is collecting pink blocks to make a breast cancer quilt.  Her mother-in-law has been fighting breast cancer and she has more information about that here.

For Pink Sakes

For my block, I used the bra block pattern at Paper Panache.  I just fell in love with the duck and duckling fabric and now I wish that I had a bra like this.  Unfortunately, a bra made out of quilting cotton would probably be uncomfortable...

If YOU would like to contribute a pink block to Anna's quilt, please find more information on her blog.  Anna will also be hosting a giveaway on August 2 for anyone who has participated by reposting, sending a pink block, contributions, etc.  The giveaway items are pretty cool, so click through on this link and consider pitching in.

Now go check out the other bloggers on the blog hop!

May 10
Anna of Life Sew Crafty
Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict
Robin  Miscellaneous Thoughts
Kathy of Kwilty Pleasures

May 24
Jess of Quilty Habit
Melinda of quirky granola girl
Kristyn of Melon Patch Quilts

June 7
Amy of The  Calico Cat
Leanne of Devoted Quilter
Terrie of Quilting Nonnie

June 21
Carla of modern bias
Meli of Munchkin Quilts
Stacey of The Tilted Quilt
Julie of The Crafty Quilter 

July 5
Erin of Sew at Home Mummy
Lyanna of Blue Striped Room
Heather of Quilts in the Queue 

July 19
Katie of Swim Bike Quilt
Sarah of {no} hats in the house
Katie of Snuggle Up with a Dish from Karma

Baby quilt for a new little MQG member

Jessie, the president of the DC Modern Quilt Guild, just had a baby.  I was lucky enough to get to put together the blocks from the MQG members to make the quilt for the new little bundle.

Vivian and her quilt

I was inspired by Teaginny's Tiny Log Cabin Quilt.  So I asked for monochromatic log cabin blocks in each member's favorite color, out of their favorite fabrics and measuring only four to five inches.  I also asked each person to send some pale neutral scrap for the sashing.

Once I received quite a few blocks in the mail, I arranged them on my design floor.  I like to use the back of a picnic tablecloth.  The flannel side is very sticky and the other side is slippery so it is easy to roll up or fold and then flatten it back out without my blocks getting rearranged.

starting layout


Then I started improv piecing around each colorful block with whatever low volume bits I could find that worked.  Here is the first quarter,

1st quarter


the second quarter (after Henry trampled on it),

2nd quarter


the third quarter,

3rd quarter


and the fourth.

4th quarter


Once the top was all assembled I basted it,

needs hand quilting
and then did some quilting with white 20wt thread.


Then I added some black hand quilting around each block...

quilting


quilting


quilting


quilting


quilting
(that cerise block is mine!)


...and I hand stamped the back of the quilt with the first name of the person that made that block.

names


Linda attached the binding and hand stitched most of it and Anne finished the rest.  I'm so grateful that some people like to add binding because it is my least favorite step of the process.

Linda and Anne are awesome


I stamped DCMQG and wrote the year on it.

label 


These are 11 of the 24(!) people that submitted blocks for this quilt.

some contributors on retreat

Patchwork Death Star Pattern

The pattern is posted to my blog. Link in my profile. Please please tag it #patchworkdeathstar.  I'd love to see it.

I was hoping to post this a couple of days ago, but it turns out that I'm not very tech savvy.  Thank goodness I finally pulled it together.  Here is the link for the pdf file for the free pattern and some instructions.

I have a couple of pictures that I took along the way that I'll post here.  If you do make a patchwork Death Star please please please post a link for me to see.  If you are on IG, please tag it #patchworkdeathstar.  Thanks!  I can't wait to see different versions.  I originally dreamed of this all in tiny Libery florals.  Wouldn't that be cool?

Well anyway, here is a shot of a few of my pieces after glue basting.
basted


And here is a picture of the top half pieced and sitting on top of my first drawing of it. 
In process

The final pattern will make an 11x12" block.  The perimeter fabric can easily be made larger by extending the paper pattern.  The Death Star itself could be made bigger by bringing the pdf printouts to a copy store and enlarging them.

May the force be with you. 

Confirmation that I'm a geek

(As if you needed it.)

I sent this mini quilt off to a friend last week.  It is a Patchwork Death Star.

Patchwork Death Star


The inspiration for it started when my friend, Blair, sent me this most fabulous embroidery hoop.

I got a super sweet gift from the uber talented @silentblair.


Perhaps, more accurately, it started much earlier when we started talking about how smooth Lando Calrissian is.  Once it was determined that we were both Star Wars fans, the pins and tags just kept flying.  She is super sweet and talented so she made me that hoop of awesomeness up above.

It is really, really hard to craft for awesome crafters.  It took me a l-o-n-g time to decide what my theme would be.  And then I was stuck on making the Death Star all in florals.  It turns out that I didn't have enough small scale florals for my idea and getting the right value changes was going to be impossible.  But I have gray fabric up the wazoo.  Once I decided to do the pattern with English paper piecing things went pretty smoothly.  Some advice from Melissa and Jessie helped, too.

I really didn't think that there would be many people who would want to make a Patchwork Death Star of their very own.  But the requests for a pattern have been pretty insistent.  I still need to finalize how to print the pattern out, but I hope to have it up tomorrow. 

Have you ever shown your geeky side in your quilting?

March Recap

Two posts in two days may sound a little too crazy, but here goes nothin'...

In March:

I KNIT A SWEATER!  I don't mean to holler but I LOVE it.  I really really really do.  It isn't finished in this picture but you have to believe me that it is done, ends weaved in, blocked, and I wear it in all of its squishy, yummy, colorful glory.  I have a big crush...on my own sweater.  (Now I just need to gather the courage to take a picture of me wearing it.)  The pattern is Practically and is available on ravelry. 

I have about four rows left!!


I finished my last bee block for the Ringo Pie Bee and this one was for Penny (sewtakeahike) who was the one that taught me how to design my own bee blocks in the first place.   No pressure or anything.  I am very happy with how this one turned out.  I used a crapton of different techniques on it.  That seems to be my thing.  My little odd person niche in the world is to use a crazy number of techniques in order to realize the vision of the block in my head.  And that works for me.

My last #ringopiebee block for Penny at sewtakeahike.


We've been working a lot in our new community garden plot on warm days...

We worked on our new-to-us community garden plot this weekend. The plot is a bit of a disaster, but we did bust up a little patch of soil to get the sugar snap peas in the ground.


...and then we get a few more snow days.

I'm generally sick of snow days,  but Henry has been beside himself with joy all day.


I'm trying out sewing hexies by machine.  There is a big plan in the works for this piece!

Just the start of something good... #hexies


And I've had a few secret gift projects up my sleeve this month.  My first gift reveal gets it own post...very, very soon.