Friday, January 28, 2011

Doll Quilt Swap 10: Begun

I've had enough time now to check my (secret) Doll Quilt Swap partner's information and likes / dislikes to develop a plan and actually get started. The deadline on mailing the quilts out is in about 2 months still but I plan to do a fairly complicated embroidery / applique piece for the center so the more I can get done prior to receiving my background piece of linen, the better.

Fabric choices for the Doll Quilt.

Inspiration mosaic for the center embroidered piece. All photos from flickr.

A bit of my scale schematics / sketches for the design and an (unironed / untrimmed) bit of the main border.

Back to the sewing machine!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

2010 Crafting Year in Review

For the last few weeks, I'd been seeing all sorts of year in review posts on flickr and blogs. It made me think about what I'd actually finished last year. Mostly what came to mind was house projects or gardening accomplishments. But, in making a mosaic of my crafting from last year, I realized that I'd actually done more that I thought I had. Good reason to do this kind of exercise!

I think I knit that first sweater last year rather than the year before last. I made curtains for my house (and learned about printing by hand in the process), scarves for my etsy shop, pincushions, a doll quilt, stockings, and potholders for various swaps (and improved my applique, paper piecing, machine quilting, pattern developing, and quilt binding skills in the process), and a pillow just for fun from some fabric from one of my favorite illustrators/crafters. There was also a cardigan just for me, and a quilt for my parent's Christmas gift.

I suppose that I did more than I thought I did, craft-wise, last year! (Although I did turn out to have read just as few books as I kind of suspected that I did -- Julie & Julia, The Making of a Marchioness, and Cheerful Weather for the Wedding are really the only books that I finished. I'll have to work on finishing books in 2011 -- I probably started 10 that I never finished!)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bitty Block Committee

Introducing my latest craze in flickr swapping -- the Bitty Block Committee! This is a swap wherein the participants can sign up by month to make 12-24 blocks in a theme to send to other swappers in exchange for different blocks, all measuring 3.5 inches square (3 inches finished). December's theme was "birds and owls", for which I made the little embroidered robin, 2nd up and over from the bottom left corner, and the stamped rooster, diagonally up and to the left from him. Also, not for the swap, but to try out paper piecing, I did the 2nd bird down from the top right corner, inspired by this wonderful mug rug. The rest of the blocks were made by my fellow swappers and I love all of them! More of the blocks were used for the pillow I showed yesterday and the last few are being saved for another project to be done in future. Perhaps after the DQS10 is over.

Speaking of which, in other swap news, I WAS ACCEPTED INTO DQS10!!!! How exciting is that? I had so much fun with the swap last year, I can't wait to get full tilt into it again this year. Good quilting on the horizon!

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Finished Project Explored

I finished a Bitty Block Committe project! December's theme was birds and owls and, as I signed up to get 24 blocks, I had plenty to separate out just the owls which matched one another. Then, based on this pillow of Amanda's, I made little 4-inch HST blocks and add 1/2-inch borders around the 3-inch owls, sashed it all and made it into a pillow.

The photo of the finished pillow was "Explored" by flickr (thanks to Lynne for explaining all of that whole new thing to me!) How exciting!

Monday, January 10, 2011

New Favorite Fabric

I knew I was going to love this one from La Petite Ecole (it's the one I asked them to look up when we were at Quiltworks, mom) but I love it even more than I thought I would. Good thing I bought a whole yard (ha!) rather than my usual "minimum they will allow me to purchase". My favorite of the little motifs is that Enfant there in the front. I hadn't seen him in any online previews.

No idea about what I'll use this for (unusual for me to buy fabric (especially this much fabric) without any purpose for it) or how I'll ever find a project special enough to make me cut into it but, for now, I'm enjoying just looking at it.

Friday, January 7, 2011

One of Six

Well, after a bit of indirect prodding by a flickr friend (who is also making a French General quilt) I managed to (somewhat) conquer those diamonds and my new triangle-in-a-square template to complete one of the blocks for my quilt. I'm still hoping that I can make the "stars" in the corners (only half of which are there now) more prominent with my quilting but I am enjoying a pleasant overload of red, white, and beige for the moment. Five more (and 3 center block portions) to go!

Thanks for the Christmas fabric, Mom!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Because I Was Asked

I've been a bit too busy obsessing over Bitty Blocks to get very far with this project but, since I created a little bit of interest in the project, I thought I'd go ahead and share the (very) little I've done so far.

The Lumiere de Noel layer cake was a Christmas gift from my parents which I've supplemented with just a little bit of other fabric from French General (just 2 quarter-yards). The pattern was inspired by the sashing on this quilt.

As you can see, I've mostly only done the simiplest parts so far. And have a few mistakes in a few more blocks of those squares-in-squares which I need to pick and resew. Already! But maybe I'll feel inspired this afternoon to tackle a few of the triangle bits and make a completed block.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Since the Last Time I Saw You

Hello there! I'm sorry for my extended absence. It turns out that handmaking all Christmas gifts and then driving from Oklahoma City to Upstate New York (straight through) is both time-consuming and tiring. But I'm back now. And happy new year to you all!

I just love paperwhites. That's been a major event of the last few weeks is that the ones I bought from the farmer's market are blooming. And have to be continually re-staked because they are so tall!

Also in the past couple of weeks we spent New Year's Eve here at the house with a couple of friends, playing cards. The fire actually refrained from smoking and it was a cozy and lovely evening. We even had a potluck dinner between the 4 of us. ("Company chicken", toffee candy similar to 7-layer bars, and my favorite broccoli soup)

And finally, I'm happy to finally be able to reveal some of the Christmas gifts which kept me so busy throughout December. (Not pictured, I made several of Liesl's gorgeous little boats and 4 pair of Toasty Mitts.)

Perhaps the largest project was this throw quilt for my parents. It was actually completely finished (I am notorious for giving unfinished gifts, as perhaps are most crafters) and the largest quilt I've totally finished to date. I think it looks very nice in their living room so I'm happy that it got done, even if I had to go through 2 walking feet to get it there (I think the first one was just poorly made -- it only managed to quilt 3 potholders and half of this quilt before breaking).

Here I am wearing the hat I made for my husband's step father, Howard. I hope it fits him better than it fits me!

Snowmen from this pattern (found via 2MayBoys and the Trim the Tree swap). I love these little guys!