A finish and progress on two other projects

That’s right! I’ve managed to start and complete a project! Remember the crochet from the last post? Well, it’s done and has been done for a while. I’ve just been so busy with work, baby and moving house. The main reason I’ve made progress on any of my projects is my commute to work. Which means, of course, that the only projects that get my attention are the portable ones!

First, I finished the crocheted scarf. I really enjoyed the double-hook Tunisian crochet process. It was quite a lot of fun… once I figured it out.FP_160103__MG_2128.jpg

The scarf was one long piece that I’ve sewn into a twisted spiral. It’s effectively a Möbius strip. And because I only had one skein, it is more of a cowl than a scarf. But I like it! FP_160103__MG_2131.jpg

With the scarf completed, I went through my project closet to see what I had that was in progress and doable on my commute. I rediscovered my Alabama Chanin Indigo Star Quilt! The nice thing with this project is that once the top is done, the project is done! I used Inklingo 6″ Le Moyne Stars to print my shapes.

Apparently I started this blog after I started and abandoned the AC Indigo Star quilt. I bought the kit from Alabama Chanin, the fabric and notions, shapes not precut. It came with a printout of the blog entry and I was told that the shapes just needed to be enlarged. Except they didn’t fit with each other and I didn’t know how much to enlarge them by. Maybe it was my experience as a quilter, but I just couldn’t handle the vagueness of the instructions. This was what sent me off in search of a better solution: Inklingo!

I was told that the finished block size was 7.5″ but at the time, Linda only had the Le Moyne star in 4.5″ or 6″ blocks. I decided that 6″ was close enough and set off printing and cutting diamonds. Just so you know, printing on cotton jersey works just as well as printing on quilter’s cotton!

I already have many stars sewn together but I haven’t really printed many of the squares yet. I’m hoping to get those printed soon because it’s really satisfying seeing the completed block.

Here is the kit I’m currently taking on my commute. Two stars completed in this bag, a third star almost finished, and a stack of diamonds to go.

 And in Big, Exciting news, the Winding Ways baby quilt top is finally complete! Doesn’t it look glorious in all its precise-matchedness? And the circles are so perfectly round. Makes me happy.


It’s also basted and in the midst of quilting. I’m currently quilting a quarter-inch inside the circles and I’m thinking of adding an extra ring an inch or two inside of that. Still deciding, though the single ring doesn’t feel like enough quilting. FP_160124__MG_2399.jpgSo that’s the update, finally! Next new projects will likely be of the wood furniture variety. To be continued!

Alabama Chanin Wedding Dress Progress

wpid-FP_141213__MG_9749.jpgSo it seems that I’m getting married very soon. Even though it has been booked for months now, I still feel like it’s snuck up on me. I’ve been frantically working on this and I’m really feeling the panic now as the day looms in front of me.

Dress details: I ordered a custom DIY corset from Alabama Chanin. Tea for both layers, white thread for the reverse applique and construction. Anna’s Garden for the stencil pattern. I had to order extra large, anticipating my increasing girth as my baby grows.

Some detail shots:
wpid-FP_141213__MG_9751.jpg wpid-FP_141213__MG_9750.jpg

Some more Alabama Chanin projects

wpid-IMG_6070.jpgFlat bunny! This is how the bunny looked before getting stuffed. Such a quick project to complete! Once I had all the pieces the right size, it was really fun to put together.
wpid-IMG_6072.jpg
And here it is, full of stuffing. I think more stuffing might have been good, but I didn’t want it to be too firm.
wpid-MG_5627.jpg
These portable tables were on sale and they really are quite handy for providing an instant workspace on a nice day.

wpid-IMG_6073.jpg
I created the facets stencil out of felt and since I still haven’t broached the airbrush hurdle, I thought I would use a sharpie to transfer the design. wpid-MG_5628.jpgThis will eventually be a tunic from the third book published by Natalie Chanin.

 

The importance of scale

20131223-141628.jpgI decided to make this cute little bunny toy as a quick baby present for my friend because it’s looking likely that the baby quilt I’m planning won’t be finished before she is born. So I downloaded the pattern from the Alabama Chanin site and printed it up, cut out the pieces. But they didn’t make sense when you put them together. The pocket is massively huge, the apron doesn’t reach the sides of the body piece and the ear insides are bigger than the actual ears. To illustrate, I overlapped the pieces.

Bunny-Rabbit-Pattern-badscale

I checked the book that the pattern is originally published in and the scale is the same as the scale in the downloadable file. I found this completely aggravating as I had to recut three of the patterns (keeping the original body size) before it would look remotely like the photo they provided.

After rescaling, you can see the difference is significant.

Bunny-Rabbit-Pattern-comparescale

This isn’t the first time I’ve bumped into difficulties with Alabama Chanin patterns. The other pattern was the Indigo Star Throw (which I still haven’t finished!) where the supplied “templates” refused to match up to a logical size. I ended up buying the Inkling0 6″ Le Moyne Star collection as a compromise.

Here is the Bunny Rabbit pattern with the pieces in correct scale with each other.

Bunny-Rabbit-Pattern-fixed

It’s more than a little disappointing that I have to do this.

One project down, two to start!

DIY Swing Skirt

My projects keep multiplying but my free time seems to be halving. Gah!

So this skirt is finally done! It basically took a year from receiving it. The facets pattern is great, but there are a lot of shapes to sew around and cut out. My next Alabama project will be to attempt airbrushing and making another tank dress. I definitely need more of those!

Tanya's Storm at Sea Quilt DesignI got the go-ahead on this design, so now I’m busy working out fabric requirements and cost. At the moment, purchasing materials for this quilt will have to wait until next year, but she wants to go scrappy, so this will be fun!

As far as the Winding Ways baby quilt, I’m planning to buy fabric for that soon, though I’m considering ordering from overseas if I decide to go down the designer fabrics. They are more than twice the price in Australia, and shipping doesn’t really justify the jump!

 

Alabama Chanin DIY Swing Skirt is finished!

But it’s late and I want to take a decent picture of it.

In the meantime, I’m still busily quilting away on the red and white quilt. I really love this part and I find it hard to stop for the night and go to bed. Unless my fingers are sore like this:

20131209-234627.jpg
It might be hard to see, but my thumb and first finger are cracked and aching from all the needle pricks received under the quilt. I’ve been spending the last few days looking for alternatives to using my fingers to turn the needle or at least feel that the needle has gone through all three layers. I’ve read about Aunt Becky and the TJ Spoon, tried the technique with a normal spoon, but keep going back to my old ways. I looked at the thimble lady’s video and folding the fabric more, and it’s better than it was, but I’m still damaging my fingers some.
Anyway, it feels like I’m making good progress with the quilting, though I suspect if I were to spread it out fully, it will still be less than 25%. Just gotta keep plodding on.