Quilting complete!

My October deadline is looming, but I put my head down and got the quilting done! And the binding made and machine-sewn on! You can still see the blue lines I drew for the inner circles of quilting. Can’t find my spray bottle, so I’ll soak it in cold water after I sew down the binding to the other side. I decided to use the fabrics from the top to make a scrappy-ish binding instead of the backing fabric. 

Hellboy Costume

We had a superhero costume party to go to and Hellboy was suggested as the costume to make. I knew that Oliver + S had a trenchcoat pattern, and thanks to Alabama Chanin and the tea party dress, I’ve been eyeing off their patterns for a few years now. So I jumped at the excuse to buy one of their digital patterns.

One of the things I love about the Internet is being able to download a pattern and start sewing right away!

Well, by sew right away, I mean, print out the pattern, cut out and tape the pattern, lay out the pattern on the fabric and then start sewing right away.  And of course, I only gave myself a day and a half to do this. The secret agent coat is complete just enough to look like a real coat. The remaining items are some extra buttons and the button holes. I still haven’t gotten around to finishing it. Or getting better photos of it. But I do have some candid shots to share:FP_160403__MG_2718-Edit.jpgFP_160403__MG_2781.jpgFP_160403__MG_2817.jpgFP_160403__MG_2747.jpg

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!

A little crochet 

My sister and I went to the Stitches and Craft Show here in Melbourne a month ago. I hadn’t been to this one before, but enjoyed it immensely. Though smaller, it had plenty of vendors and stalls and free parking! I found it to be more intimate overall, and while it was quite crowded in the middle of the day, was pleasant towards the end of the day. So I recommend it!

My sister was planning on participating in a class on crocheting snowflakes but we were too late and the class was full. So instead, we were able to join Prudence Mapstone’s class on double-hook crochetwpid-FP_151126__MG_1806.jpg

It has been a really, really long time since I last crocheted, so my initial stitches are quite loose and inconsistent, but I’ve gotten back into the swing of it. I’m enjoying the change from stitching, but that last seam on the Winding Ways quilt keeps calling to me. I just hate ironing and I really need to do that first!wpid-FP_151126__MG_1807.jpg

Anyway, this is the project that has been accompanying me on my commute to work. I’m thinking of using up all the yarn and somehow doubling it up to make a thick, reversible infinity scarf. Of course, we are heading into summer, so I have plenty of time to get it finished.wpid-FP_151126__MG_1808.jpg 

It’s been a while

And, oh, so many things have happened! But mostly, this little guy has been taking all my project time and then some!

Shenandoah, my little superhero
But that’s not all! I’ve been trying to tidy up my project closet, and found some treasures. My very first quilt was the quilt I started in my first quilting class twenty-something years ago. A pinwheel and single Irish chain.


Now, this quilt is in daily use and while my fabric choices would be different today, I’m still fond of my first quilt. I was absolutely determined to not have a UFO. It took a couple years, but I made it! So the treasures I found were the tools and items of process in making it.

My design sketches. wpid-FP_151031__MG_1670.jpg The teacher of the class had us make up prototype blocks. I’m not really sure why except maybe to give us a sense of the scale and how our fabrics look together. In retrospect, a good idea, ha!wpid-FP_151031__MG_1669.jpg

And my little plastic templates. The pencil lines give evidence to how often the pencil slipped. Oh, if only Inklingo existed then! And inkjet printers! But it worked and my quilt isn’t too wonky.


This was my mini test-quilt where I practiced certain techniques before applying them to the “real” quilt. Techniques practiced: Mitred borders, hand quilting, binding.wpid-FP_151031__MG_1671.jpgAnd finally, my Winding Ways quilt.wpid-FP_151029_IMG_7341.jpg

This is four rows sewn together, the last seam is the one that joins four rows to two rows, but I need to press first! I figure it’s easier to press the smaller pieces separately than to try to press the whole top in one go. I might see if I can get to this point today! Maybe even have that last row sewn this week! We can dream!

Clamshell Pillow

I signed up for the Curves class by Rachel through her Stitched in Color blog and the Clamshell Pillow is one of the many projects in the class. I haven’t had time to do anywhere near all of them, but I was determined to do at least this pillow! And definitely the Scallop Quilt.

Anyway, I already had a pillow insert but it’s 65 x 65cm, not the size in her pattern, so I used EQ7 to test the pattern on a larger pillow. I used the clamshell template as provided and increased the number to fill almost half the area of the pillow.

I tried out a few color configurations.

(null)And ultimately decided on the bottom one. Looking at them together, the first doesn’t look a lot different from the last!

wpid-FP_150209__MG_9815.jpgFirst row sewn, second row glued down. So much easier than pins!

wpid-FP_150209__MG_9817.jpgClose-up of the gluing.wpid-FP_150210__MG_9818.jpgAll rows sewn down! Very happy with the result. And the zips arrived in the mail the day before, so no excuses attempting the finish!wpid-FP_150211__MG_9819.jpgThe finished piece!wpid-FP_150211__MG_9820.jpgNot quite invisible, but good enough for first attempt!wpid-FP_150211__MG_9821.jpgAnd another close-up for good measure.

Spool Block travel pillow

I like to use a little pillow for lumbar support in the car. I don’t need it, but boy does my back feel better when i use it! But my current pillow is getting old, so I thought I would take the opportunity to replace it. I couldn’t find a pillow form of the same dimensions, but did eventually find a smaller pillow form that I think will work just fine. Of course, a pillowcase is required! After considering a few ideas, I decided on using the spool block (or x and plus block), because I also wanted to test a minor re-scale for another quilt which uses a similar block that finishes at 6 inches. Linda created her spool block at 7.5 inches which doesn’t quite fit in with the pattern but I’d really prefer to Inklingo it, if possible! (There is a lot of rescaling to achieve this to stay with the exact pattern, so I may just end up machine sewing according to the pattern instructions)

ANYway, I printed the shapes at 80% but they’ve sewn up to 6 inches unfinished, so my calculations were a little off. Good thing this was the test!

I splurged on some fat quarters:20140731-124533-45933683.jpg
Here are a couple completed blocks that I remembered to take a photo of:20140731-124532-45932765.jpg
20140731-124533-45933156.jpgAnd here is one side basted:wpid-FP_150113__MG_9787.jpgAnd here is the other side, waiting to be basted:wpid-FP_150113__MG_9788.jpgI’m looking forward to doing some quilting again!