Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Late Summer Round-up

Hello, again! The summer has been slipping away from me and I'm about to spend the next, almost, month without my laptop. I will, however, have my camera and the ability to steal time on the laptops of others! Projects I've been working on since earlier this year are all going to be delivered in this next month so I can finally share them!! Yay!

In the meantime I thought it would be a good idea to catch up with the other little bits and bobs I've done recently.

Earlier in the summer I was tidying my fabric cubbyholes and tossed down these fabrics beside each other...

I've never been a big fan of pastels in my wardrobe, but I just loved these together. The patterns are all by Amy Butler, I've no idea which collection and I bought them in the first ever online fabric shopping trip I went on. The solids have just amassed slowly over time. That yellow in the back is not as crazy yellow in real life, but it just loves to shine like crazy in photos. It is definitely the stronger yellow in real life though, but I kept it.

I'd seen the hundreds of St Louis 16 patch quilts popping up all over the blogs, and been attracted by their simplicity and ability to show off patterns. And there was just enough of these cuts to make a small baby quilt, so I did!

I embroidered a little matching label for the back, and used the backing as binding courtesy of Rae's tutorial. Very useful!

The label's upside down , I tried inverting the picture but because I took it on a slope it just gave me vertigo, so upside down won out! I quilted it with horizontal, vertical, and diagonal lines in a yellow thread, that blended surprisingly well, and used my walking foot for the first time. I am a total convert, it's such an ingenious invention!

I really ended up loving this quilt a lot. Even with the mess up in that central square! I drew out my colour placements beforehand, laid it out, looked at that block multiple times thinking surely there's a way to distribute the colour more evenly in this block... It wasn't until I was basting it that my brain came up with the 'duh, green, yellow, green, yellow' answer... Sigh, it's still pretty with 'green, yellow, yellow, green' in there. What a lapse in logic and reasoning!

This quilt is destined to be donated as part of Swim, Bike, Quilt's 100 Quilts for Kids.

I have also made a few small things as gifts here and there over the summer. First up, there are these burp cloths:

They are double-sided flannel burp cloths, with the handy little shaping to help them sit beside your neck on your shoulder. There are loads of tutorials on these, I read a lot of them, and then just went for it. Each cloth turned out slightly differently, for instance I now know that rounded corners all around the burp cloth will give you a much easier time when turning them and topstitching!

I also made my very first zippy pouch! Someone who started at Paul's work soon after he did landed her dream job this last month and headed off last weekend on the six hour drive to relocate for it. So I thought a pouch filled with sweets for the journey, but useable for make-up/nail polish/emergency food upon arrival would be useful.

The genius tutorial is by Pretty Modern and the pouch is completely lined, with all the seams fully encased. It was surprisingly easy to follow (I'm always a little daunted by zips) and I even managed to get the zig-zags lined up on the top!!

Finally, I made two hot pads from Patchwork, Please by Ayumi Mills. Some of the ladies in the DC Modern had made these back in June as part of the Zakka-Along 2.0 and increased the size so instead of bell pepper coasters they got hot pads! I got the book for my birthday so I figured why not go for it!

I'm not 100% happy with them. I used two layers of Insul-Bright batting because I wanted to make sure that no matter which side you used to pick up hot things that your fingers would be protected. That seems to have made them a bit bulkier and puffier than I would have liked. Again, with these, I read the instructions a few times, found them slightly confusing in places, got the general gist of the thing, and then did it in a way that made sense to me.

That worked and didn't work. One of those has a white tag for hanging them up trapped inside and no-one will ever see it again! I'm just lucky that I didn't trap a pin in there too. I think I'll probably use Patchwork, Please to try and make the fabric covered box later in the year. I need something to put hair bobbins and clips in on my dresser, but to be honest, I'm not in a hurry to start deciphering the instructions again.

And that's it. I have no idea as to what sort of schedule I'll be able to update things on when I'm home. But I'll try and make a couple of Finished Friday link-ups.

I'm hoping to start truly making and blogging in a considered way. I think I got caught up in buying fabric just because I felt I had to have it, and over the summer I realised some of the projects that have made me happiest are ones that came from my stash, from things I didn't love love in the first place. I'm also learning that I have more fun designing and making things from scratch, I'm not such a big fan of quilt patterns...

That being said, I've now found a sort of zen in doing the curved piecing for Retro Flowers (right in time to have to put it down for a month!). Still though, now I know the zen is there, I'll definitely be back!