Saturday, March 15, 2014

Cut, cut and cut some more

For a while now, I have been promising Emma that the next quilt I finish will be hers. And this is the thing - its a one patch, all squares quilt, so it shouldn't be complicated. So of course I had to make it more difficult by deciding to make a scrappy plus quilt with the blocks, using different prints in the same colour group to make the plus-es


See, doesn't it look pretty? The problem is, when I get to making a quilt that is 12 blocks by 15 blocks, it gets a little more difficult to get the cross pattern to appear. Especially since I have all these great i-spy fabrics I want to include, and a lot of them are busy, small or medium scale prints. So I end up with something like the mess below when I fit all the fun prints in that I want to include.
After shuffling fabrics around for 2 hours in the middle of the night (while Amy, Rory and the Doctor ran away from things in the background), I realized that I had too many busy prints, and so the quilt ended up looking like a bit of a mess. Due to toddlers and cats, I can't leave my design wall out anymore, so you will have to excuse the middle of the night photo. The purple and pink blocks were looking the best, because I had all these pink and purple blender prints. So, I decided to pull a bunch more almost-solids and solids to add to the quilt:
The funny thing about this quilt is because there are so many prints, I have spent hours cutting squares. HOURS. And now I have to cut some more.

At least I'll be able to whip up baby girl quilts in a jiffy for the next 4 or 5 years . . .

Sunday, February 2, 2014

I was just waiting for the right backdrop, really.

 What better morning to have finished my quilt top than when we get fresh, beautiful snow?
 I've went on enough about the blocks in this one - tonal / value / scale experiment, blah, blah.
 I would love to tell you all my thoughts on colour play and why / how I chose the border etc, but this is all I can manage right now. Sorry.
 Still, I am here, and still sewing. Its just that my evenings have been taken over by a new obsession, I'm afraid.
Its funny, because when I used to watch Dr Who in high school it was so weird and nerdy. Now its cool. And a very good reinvention it is - excellent writing, classic BBC costumes and acting, but with actual good special effects. But somehow keeping and making scary the old Dr Who creatures look good by updating them just a little bit. Genius, really. I'm almost done series 4, and sad that David Tennant and I only have 3 more episodes together. I love the BBC.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Finished Quilts in 2013

Finished Quilts in 2013 by davenjilly
Finished Quilts in 2013, a photo by davenjilly on Flickr.

Speaking of 2013 sewing (as I just was - but you haven't read it yet - sorry) I did finish these four quilts. The funny thing is that only one of them is in fabric that I would normally choose. I think fabric wise my quilts were pretty out of my comfort zone.

Ah well, I have no sewing obligations or pregnant friends right now, which gives me free reign to play in 2014.

Finished in 2013

I should remember how to post things from Flikr , but I don't. So, here is my lame from-Flikr post of everything I finished this year.

It was a bit of an odd year - I spent a lot of time planning and making things for my etsy store that I quickly gave up on, or stitching practical things. I took a forced "break" during the summer when Dave had his motorcycle accident, and have only sewn gifts or swap items since October, other than the quilt that will not end.

So all in all, not my most productive sewing year, but since it was a pretty turbulent year, I will give myself permission to be happy that I stitched anything at all. And gosh, those penguins are cute.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Well, it has clearly been a busy month here, as I haven't blogged at all! I feel like I am just coming up for air around here, as it has taken me a while to figure out how to insert 20 hours of work into my full time parenting role. I have ended up taking a night away from home to work for four or five hours from a coffee shop (my workplace doesn't have an office) which makes it so that I'm not always trying to either work at midnight or work around the corners of family life. There are lots of things you can do in those little pockets of time, and I manage about 3 or 4 hours of stuff during those, but some things take sustained concentration, and I can't do those in tiny intervals.

In any case, around the other corners I have been trying to knit again. I thought a simple cowl would be a good, easy project. This cowl is in seed stitch, but it has an uneven number of stitches per row, so you really don't have to concentrate at all - just check what your last stitch was and do the opposite. I have found that if I leave the yarn at the front, I tend to make extra stitches when I come back to work on it again, but as long as I leave the yarn at the back when I walk away, it is perfectly fine.

This yarn is a chunky yarn - Cascade 128 - and its supposed to make a 15" cowl in about a skien and a little bit of yarn. I guess my knitting is tighter than I thought, because I'm almost finished my first skein and I only have 5 or 6" dones. I don't know if its my fault or the yarn's fault, but I'm definitely NOT buying a third skein of yarn - when I'm done two, I'm going to be done.
Sigh. One day I'll figure out knitting. It just doesn't seem to be as intuitive to me as sewing - maybe I just forget what it used to be like when I started sewing.

In other news, I've been working away on my windmill quilt, too. I have all the rows sewn together. I finally decided to just sew them together and add a border.
The border is going to be mostly rail fence blocks, but I don't quite have enough fabric leftover, so I'm going to add a few squares of other prints. I think its fun to have a border where I mix up the fabrics and explore the colour relationships between them, after having blocks that are all single colour blocks.

I love the crazy colour explosion of this border. I think this is going to be a great winter quilt, when everything is white outside it will provide lots of happy colour inside.

Sunday, October 20, 2013



Hello, everyone! Well, I've been rather busy since the wedding, and blogging has not been able to be part of my list of priorities. Do you like the ceiling at the Winnipeg airport? Its one of the only photos I remembered to take while I was there. Trekking around with a baby and trying to figure out rides, etc, everywhere was busy - so busy that I didn't end up taking many photos. One of my neices took some photos of my siblings and I, but I haven't seen then yet.

I started a job as a youth co-ordinator at my church at the beginning of September, so I've been scrambling to get everything sorted out there and figure out how to keep everything going at home as well. Between that and the disruption of my trip to Winnipeg and then (Canadian) Thanksgiving (although my American friends tell me its much more low key than American Thanksgiving), I have been running around trying to catch up with everything.

In any case, before I went to Winnipeg I thought I needed one more cute, comfortable blouse. So I pulled out some linen/cotton that I had laying around and Pattern 2 from Simple Modern Sewing, and I whipped up this blouse:
I could put this together in two nights because a) its really simple and b) I bought the bias binding from Fabricville last fall just because it was cute. Fabricville occasionally has these cute bias bindings for sale by the metre, and whenever I see them I always pick up two or three for occasions such as this.
 I lengthened the pattern a few inches, and did not gather it as much as instructed so that I had a wider neckline. I love this shirt and wear it at least once a week. It is linen, so I can pretend it is wrinkly on purpose, and I feel cute and snappily dressed in it with skinny jeans and just about anything else.
And it covers the pernicious post-baby / approaching middle age tummy. So what is there not to love? I think I might actually make another one in a mini dress length with pockets to wear with leggings. I have navy blue plaid binding, I just have to figure out what to pair it with . . . stay tuned. Or perhaps instead I will find some drawers for Owen's clothes instead of the change table and declutter my bedroom.

In other news,we rescued a lost / abandoned kitten that had hidden under our shed a few weeks ago. It is very patient and tolerant of the kids during the day . . .
 and much, much, much loved . ..
 and often reminds me of that book Olivia, because it looks like and gets carried like the cat in that picture book . . .
 and it gets is revenge every night, by attacking the children's feet while they are sleeping. He he he.