Moving on

Some days I have to remind myself that there is joy in the process, not just the product. Today was one of those days. After cutting and sewing and puzzling out pattern directions and sewing and ripping and sewing again, I got far enough along with the pullover cotton shirt I’ve really wanted to have to try it on.

Let’s just say it did not go well.

Apparently, my weight gain has been a lot more – is impactful a word? – than I had realized.

And it isn’t as if this was a tight fitting outfit! It is a damn tunic! I’m bitter.

Bitter, but I also got on the treadmill for an hour, so the process part of all this continues.

As for the product, it now belongs to my mother. Who, I’m sorry to say, is gloating a little bit about the fact that it fits her. I’m no longer sorry I made her climb on that chair in the wind and rain yesterday!

I made version D with the long, cuffed sleeves. Both Mom and I didn’t like the width or stiffness of the cuffs, so despite all the wrestling and ripping out and resewing I did to get the covered plackets right, in the end I whacked them off and did turned up 3/4 sleeves. Much better.

I’m not giving up on having something new to wear. I dialed back the ambition and got out the pattern for a V neck t-shirt that I know fits me and I’m sewing again.

Scrappy coins

It turns out that sticking my poor 77 year old mother into my husband’s shoes and dragging her out into the rain and wind and making her perch on a chair to hold up a quilt is fraught with peril.

And blurry photos.

I guess this is a Chinese Coins quilt, though I don’t know if it affects the definition that I made the columns different widths. For me, it was a way to make another scrappy quilt, this time using up a lot of leftover strips. There is fabric in here from pretty much every quilt I’ve ever made, even my sister’s zombie quit. (I need to remember to blog that one!)

I especially like the backing fabric, which is a Kaufman fabric called Quill by Valori Wells. It is a riot of peacocks and flowers and vines. It wasn’t wide enough, so I added a deep teal stripe to finish the back and used the same teal for the binding.

When I quilted it, I did white straight lines in the white sashing and free motion square(ish) boxes in the color columns. I used gray on the front for the boxes and changed the bobbin color from white in the print section to teal in the teal stripe. It isn’t perfect but I like how it turned out.

Adjusting the color wheel

I’ve gotten enough of the HS triangles done to start putting them up on the wall to decide the arrangement, and it quickly became clear that I didn’t love the overall color scheme. While it is hard to say that there really WAS a color scheme as the plan was just “throw in all the colors,” it was off nonetheless.

Pulling out all the oranges and orange reds made it much more appealing.

But now I have to decide if I’m going to shrink the overall size or cut more squares from my rapidly disappearing fat quarters. I suspect more cutting will happen in the end.

And some seam ripping to recover the other colors that were sewn to oranges. Luckily I decided this before they were all sewn and cut.

But maybe the dark yellow should go too?

Triangles as far as the eye can see

Something about these tiny slivers of fabric is very satisfying. A pile of inaccuracy, trimmed away. Wish I could do that with other aspects of my life!

The leavings are pretty as well. Someday I’m going to save them all and display them in a jar on a window sill.

I spent some time this morning turning more squares into half square triangles. I experimented with an idea gleaned from a Pinterest photo that led to this blog post From The Studio Blog. It would work better with smaller squares, as mine block me from seeing the tape in the first inch or two, but I’ve figured out where to start and the lines work for guiding the second half of the line. It speeds up the chaining not to have to draw the lines first.

This is not what I should be doing. I should be shopping for Thanksgiving, which is at my house and which I have only a bag of sweet potatoes for. Unless I want to mold them into different shapes, more will need to be purchased. But I’m sewing and trimming instead and perfectly happy about it.

Thanksgiving isn’t stressful to me anyway. By now, the menu is so established, and my family gathering small and non-critical. My cousin’s family can’t be here as usual this year, but we’ve added my sister who will come up from the basement, and Mom just called from the Phoenix airport to say she is heading into the air on time, so it will be a good Thanksgiving.

Sunny fabric for a gray day

We have definitely entered the rainy season around here, and won’t likely leave it for more than a day or two for some time to come. Which makes me reach for the brighter projects to work on.

This baby blanket top has been hanging around a few weeks. I cut the triangles from fat quarters I got from a Craftsy sale. I bought the 50 fat quarter box of Free Spirit prints. This is my second time buying this box. I was a little disappointed this time. The fabric prints are great, but I wasn’t expecting to get two of each. So instead of 50 different prints, I got 25. Not as helpful in adding to my scrappy quilt options as I’d hoped. The first time I ordered the box there were 50 different prints, so I guess it can go either way.

But I do like the fabrics choices I did get, and used 12 of them in this little quilt, adding in some coordinating solids. I echo quilted the seams on either side so the triangle pattern shows up on the back too.

The quilt back has a scrappy stripe with leftovers and a soft yellow polka dot. Perfect colors to offset the dreary day outside!

Usually I hand sew the binding to the back after it is attached, but because baby quilts tend to get washed a lot more often, I machine sewed it this time so it is extra security and can hold up to the machine turbulence. And the sunny gold continued the warmer days theme.

This one is going into my Etsy shop as soon as I can get some decent finished shots. (And after it’s first trip through the washing machine.) I just need a brief break in the rain!

Snowy days

We had a snow day yesterday, that turned out to be an ice day instead. The kids and my sister both had days off school and we all sat around in our pjs all day and had hot chocolate with marshmallows. Lots of electronics for the boys and a marathon of Veep episodes for my sister and I. (How did I not watch that show before yesterday?!)

Today everyone is back in school, leaving me in a sunny, dripping world, with embroidered snowflakes as a reminder of yesterday. I did the last bits of finish up work on this quilted wall hanging. It is a combo of machine quilting, fused fabric appliqué, and hand emboidery.

It turned out just the way I wanted it, from the quilt lines of the falling snow flakes to the little bunny pausing to watch the bids fly over the trees. So much fun to make!