Monday, October 17, 2016

More Weaving Projects

It started with the Mister Domestic Weave Along and Lillyella Undercover Maker Mat Sew Along projects on IG.  I didn't think I had time to make either but then I had the idea to combine them and of course, I can always fit one more project in.

And then my daughter wanted me to make her a mini quilt because I'd made her brother one which you can see here.  We had picked the fabrics together but then I was stuck on what to do with one...until I made the Undercover Maker Mat.  So here is her mini quilt, all pinks, purples, cats and flowers...
...which led to my son asking why I didn't make his mini quilt like hers.  So I pulled his favorite colors and started here:
...but  I hated it.  It was too plain for me.  In the meantime, I had made a bag for Dylan to take to his grandparents but it ended up super tiny.  I guess I should have paid more attention to what size it was but I don't typically follow patterns. I ended up seeing the Cargo Duffle Bag by Noodlehead and decided to proceed with that for something different.  I loosely followed the pattern, as is per usual and this is what I came up with. 
It is the tumbling blocks weave made from lots of Cotton and Steel with Kona Cotton Highlight and some V and Co Ombre and some Libs Elliott True Love Fabric.  I cut two inch strips, ironed them into 1/2 inch double fold bias strips, which makes this two sided with no need for lining on the inside.

I made a matching zipper pouch out of the leftover bits from the Cargo Duffle Bag.  I improv pieced the one side and made a simple weaving on the other.  My son said that he didn't like the bag because it didn't open and lay flat.  Um, what?? Kids, right?  I think it's fabulous and want to make one with some red and pinks.

And as it turns out, I won patterns from Lillyella's Undercover Maker Mat Sew Along and then I won the whole shebang from Mister Domestic's Weave Along which included some weaving books and a set of fat quarters.  How cool is that?  I didn't even realize there were prizes with either one.  Now I'm hooked on weaving and must weave all the things.

In case anyone is interested, changes I made to the pattern are the handles, I don't really know what the pattern says, I just made them how I felt; I used a 36 inch zipper instead of the 26 inch one; I excluded the pockets for obvious reasons, how could I cover up that tumbling blocks weave; I pieced together the zipper gusset because I didn't have enough of the one fabric I wanted; I put the zipper gusset and bottom gusset together so I didn't have to add a binding to that part; I sewed everything with a 1/4 inch seam out of habit but realized too late that it was supposed to be 1/2 inch but it actually worked out by rounding the corners, which also meant making the binding on the bias, first time for that.  I think that's it.  See what I mean by loosely following a pattern?

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Selvage Weaving...

is totally a thing now.  There's a hashtag #selvageweaving.  They're all mine.  I have been saving my selvages for a while, not that I need more projects to save fabric for.  It all started with the Selvage Challenge 2016 by Stash Builder Box. I'd been seeing some awesome weaving projects in my instagram suggestions and it clicked. And so it started with this tote...
...then became a bag...
...which was suppposed to be a quilt but my dog peed on it and I didn't really want it sitting around that long with pee on it.  As it was, it really stunk while I worked on it because obviously I couldn't wash it yet since I hadn't sewn a single stitch to it but didn't want to throw it away either.  She has a habit of peeing on my quilts so I knew it would wash fine, which is why I went ahead and worked on it. I left the selvage on the lining as well and included some Kona selvages, which have no writing but have a nice fuzzy edge. The bag is actually quite large.  Which all led to making a Cotton & Steel selvage only quilt...
...but I quickly realized that since the weaving takes twice as many strips as a pieced quilt, I was quickly running out and substituted with some Cotton & Steel Sprinkle in Counting Stars, which I also ran out of and had to buy more of, and then the color wasn't quite the same, ugh! A few IG friends sent me some selvages and I bought even more fabric and then a quilt was born!
I didn't draw any lines and realized that one section was extremely short and had to redo that whole section.  I had tried to make it work by adding a big piece of Sprinkle but didn't end up liking it. Really, so many things went wrong and I kept procrastinating on it. Also, the dog peed on this one too.  But in the end, it was totally worth it because it's way awesome and I think it might just find a wall to hang (in our new house, one day). The finished quilt: 

Now, I've started on another one with the rest of my selvages, but the blocks are on a smaller scale. I think this one will take up all the selvages from my whole stash. 


Saturday, August 20, 2016

Dog Silhouette Paper Piecing Patterns

I have three dog paper piecing patterns now available through my etsy shop. My favorite is my Rebel Doxie.  Based on my miniature dachshund, who thinks she is large and in charge and doesn't like listening to any authority. Hence the mohawk, lol.  I was inspired to make this pattern because I already had a dachshund pattern from thetartankiwi but my dachshund is a miniature and isn't quite as long as other doxies and she has a super long tail.

My rainbow mohawk Doxie
 Next is my Miniature Pinscher named Diesel.  I couldn't find any patterns for min pins but after searching for days, I finally found one but it actually looked like a doberman, which mine clearly doesn't.  P.S. Many people think the miniature pinscher is just a miniature doberman but it's not.  Min pins came first actually.  Anywho, I actually made the min pin pattern first and just made the silhouette only.  Then I made the Rebel Doxie and thought the min pin pattern was a little plain so I added a spiky collar, which my son preferred because it was more fun. The pattern includes both the plain version as well as the collar.

And last, what actually started this dog pattern making journey, my Harley Dog. I had gotten the pattern from thetartankiwi for the dachshund and put it in my drawer for a later time.  Then Harley got sick and died rather suddenly; she was only 12.  I then pulled out the dachshund pattern to make a mini quilt of my dogs (the other ones are also seniors, 9 and 10) and then couldn't find what I was looking for, for the min pin and especially not my Harley, as she was a Pointer/Staffordshire Bull Terrier mix.

Patterns can be found HERE in my etsy store.  

The finished mini quilt for my son, the idea behind the creation of the paper piecing patterns.  The back does include the dachshund by thetartankiwi since it was already made and small enough to fit. 

Friday, August 19, 2016

Paper Piecing Pattern

I started making paper piecing patterns.  I was actually inspired to start making patterns by tartankiwi's dachshund pattern, which I purchased and made and realized I wanted to make a mini quilt of all my dogs, especially since my first dog as a grownup had just recently died. I could not find anything that resembled my other dogs (dachshund's are so easy; they all look basically the same). So I finally figured out the programs to make the patterns and made some of my dogs, which I'll be releasing at some point when I finished testing them out (so be on the lookout for those soon).
Sneak Peek
But since I can never work on only one project at a time, I also started my pattern at the same time as I was imagining it as a Bible cover.  And it ended up being super tiny.  It wasn't hard, just tedious.  I turned the blue one into a cover for my son with paper airplanes and yellow, two of his favorite things.

I also made a cover for my daughter but didn't make the .org part (because it's so tedious) but now I think it feels like it is missing; but she loves it since it is pinks and purples and has butterflies.

 Now the good part.  You can download the pattern for free here.  It originally was only a 6.5" square pattern but I've also added a 9 inch option, just print which one you'd prefer to make. The pattern is for the block only and does not include the Bible cover.  You will need some paper piecing experience; I don't recommend this for beginners because the pieces are so tiny and many are held by only a few stitches.  But those with experience should have no trouble. The pattern can also be enlarged to be bigger, just remember to adjust seam allowances.

I'd love to see anything you make with it so don't forget to tag me on instagram (or send it to me if you don't do all that stuff).

Friday, August 5, 2016

Unknown Inspiration

I don't really like to "blog" or talk about myself much but that's the sort of thing people do, right? So here's a little bit about a series I had no idea I was working on.

Most of the time, I just make what pops into my head. I do very boring traditional quilts for friends and family.  Traditional basically holds no interest for me because they are so plain, no thought is really required, plain fabric is usually used, etc. Traditional does have its place with me; sometimes it's nice to work on something that doesn't require as much thought.  When I create for myself or whatever pops into my head, it's almost always improv of some sort.  They require a lot of "making it work", which is when I feel the most creative.

So here it goes: I made three quilts that were inspired by me, what I was into, at certain ages.
This is my mermaid quilt.  I had never sewn curves before and decided to improv cut all the curves in stacks of five.  This is one that I wish I had added sashing because all of the lovely curves that I spent so much time working on kind of get lost and jumbled together.  I wanted to add sashing but didn't have enough of any one fabric to do so and instead decided to make it work.  I may at some point take it apart and add sashing.  Crazy, I know but it really bothers me.  Anyway, this represents my 8-12 yr old self in that I loved mermaids and bright colors (Lisa Frank, anyone?).

I call this "Neon Geek"  I was inspired by the Robert Kaufman Sarah Johnston fabric that has glasses and math equations (it's really hard to see in the photos but this fabric started it all).  But I hated the green so I cut it out and had these irregular panels which I cut into strips and interspersed neon colors.  Then I used the leftovers and kept pulling color related fabric until it was big enough.  The x, + and - are obviously math inspired but I basically just sewed the leftovers up with them.  It was definitely a make it work quilt since nothing fit in the center and I hate wasting cutting parts.  This was inspired by my 12-15 years.  I was still into neon big time and loved math.
This The Cure t-shirt quilt.  This represents 15-18 (to now, really, still my favorite band).  I had an extensive collection that I never wore, and was never going to wear, so I cut them up.  It would have made sense to cut them the same size in order to sew them together easily but that didn't even occur to me until after I had cut every shirt based on it's picture and then had to piece them together somehow.  But it would have boring otherwise so it all worked out.  The back references one of their songs, Lovecats (I realized I forgot to add the triangles to the bottom of the cat faces too late.) It's very big and heavy and I don't really use it.  My house is always shorts/t-shirt temperature year round per my husband.

It wasn't until I finished the third one that I realized what I had done (that they were all me, but different aged me). All of these quilts were made with what I had, before I had any real collection of fabric and I had to make it work. So these are some of my favorites.

(The photos totally need updating too because they were from before we had our white garage as the perfect backdrop.)

Friday, July 15, 2016

Art and Stuff

I sew.  I sew a lot, probably more than I should. There's the kids, the house, the husband, so, so many things I probably should spend more time on but I don't.  I'm an artist.  I've tried many different mediums.  I was an abstract painter.  People didn't get it so I tried realism but it just wasn't for me.  (Just take a photo if you want it to look real! haha) I did printmaking in high school, which I did love but is a little hard to translate to real life without all the tools (acid baths). I even tried designing frames with decoupage.  I've tried sewing clothes but I hate following patterns and tried designing my own so my clothes never fit correctly.  I also worked as a graphic designer but the competition is fierce, especially when competing with the whole word through the internet. And not to mention, I don't actually like people telling me how to be creative!
Quilt I made for my brother and his wife when they got married, not my worst but certainly not the best either.
 And then somehow I landed on quilting.  My first quilts were horrible.  I didn't know anything about squaring up or even cutting accurately (don't rip the fabric like you can when designing clothes).  But we still use many of these quilts because I got some things right and they are soft and comfy and have been washed a million times and have held up surprisingly well.  
Sunset on the Water
I can be abstract with quilting and if you don't get it, it's just a bunch of blocks sewn together to create a blanket.  (My husband says he just sees a bunch of circles) Or maybe you see what I see, a sunset on the water. Either way, it doesn't matter.  I've made functional art and that's what I like.