W.i.P. Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

It’s been a pretty busy week with work, but I’ve still managed to make some crafting progress! I settled on a layout for my Garden Fence quilt:

Garden fence layout

There’s still one block that’s not finished, it’s the really wonky looking one in the photo. The replacement fabric arrived today so I’m going to get that fixed later tonight. Then I can start piecing the quilt top! All the blocks are going to have charcoal sashing between them. I’m looking forward, but I can also see this thing is going to be huge and it’s a bit intimidating!

I also got to work on making some coasters for the living room. I was going to do fall colors, but surfing different color palettes I found this one, which I adore. I decided to embrace my love for pink for once (I usually find it too girly), and picked out some fabrics for making coasters using this wonky log cabin tutorial. So far it’s going okay, although not as wonky as I’d like and already too big for coasters:

in-progress coaster?

So now I need to decide what to do with it instead! I love the way the colors are working together. I’m thinking of a few options: a) making a huge block and cutting it into fourths for coasters, b) making it even bigger (or making a few other small ones) and making a mini-quilt, or c) turning it into something else entirely… perhaps the first page of my long dreamed-of fabric art journal. I’m liking option “c” quite a bit — so much so that I went through and made pinterest pages for both embracing my pink love and finding inspiration for art journaling.

All in all, not a bad week for craft productivity. The next week is looking less real-life hectic, so I’m hoping it will be more craft-life hectic!

W.i.P. Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wow, so it’s been a while. A really long while….

But I am newly inspired to blog craft progress, because we just had our first meeting of the South Bay Area Modern Quilt Guild! I’ve also been going to craft nights and setting aside more time in the evenings for me to work on quilting. So without further ado, let’s try documenting my quilting progress! Again!

Complete

Back in June, I completed the quilt I was making for my grandmother’s 90th birthday. I was following the pattern in Aimee Ray’s Doodle Stitching, which I adored, but as time ran shorter and shorter I had to modify it a bit. I ended up only doing a few of the circle appliques, but completed the embroidery which felt like the major part to me. And for a first quilt, I’m pretty proud of it!

My first ever quilt!

But of course, now that I’ve finished one I have to make more!! So I’ve joined McIntyreGirl‘s Garden Fence quiltalong…

In Progress

I’ve finished all but one of my 36 blocks! I managed to cut three of the long rectangles 1/2 inch too short, and didn’t have enough scrap to replace them. My quilt is in reds, oranges, yellows, and greys, and the sashing is Kona Charcoal. I’m pretty happy with how these are coming out. While I wait for my replacement fabric for the one mistake block to arrive, I’m plotting out ideas for what to do on the back!

Some of the blocks for my garden fence quilt.

With a weekly craft night and a monthly quilt guild to keep me motivated, I’m hoping to finish it this month. This is probably a bit too ambitious.

I’m also planning to use some of the scrap fabric to make some coasters and try my hand at free motion quilting! And I’ve got all these other planned quilts and pillows… I’m trying to take it one step at a time this time.

Summary

Completed: 1!

In-Progress: 1!

New: 0.5? Do coasters really count??

W.i.P. Wednesday

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Hmm, it’s slow going on this blog thing. I got swamped with work for the last month, and forgot to update it! I’ve decided I’m going to try doing Freshly Pieced’s “Work In Progress Wednesday”, in my ongoing effort to actually finish the projects that I start.

Completed Projects

So first, the good news! I’ve finished two projects in the last… uh… month. :)

At the beginning of March, I went to the Game Developer’s Conference in San Francisco. It’s an absolutely enormous event with networking opportunities galore, and I realized the afternoon before leaving that I didn’t have any way to store my business cards. “No problem!”, I think. And so I decided to make my own business card holder. This actually ended up being a good novice sewing project. I found a great tutorial from Delilah’s Momma, and decided to make a minor modification. I wanted an elastic loop wrapping around the end of it to a button on the other side, so it could be held closed. That ended up not panning out, as I foolishly put the elastic loop in entirely the wrong place, so I decided to turn it into a tri-fold card holder instead with a second pocket sewn on top. And here it is! I’m really pretty happy with how it came out, other than the wonky top-stitching. Lessons learned.

My new business card holder!

The other thing I finished last week was my entry to Spoonflower’s Project Selvage fabric design competition. Despite having absolutely zero experience, I decided it would be a good opportunity to improve my drawing and design skills. The theme for the competition is to design fabric with a “baby boy” theme. I decided to go for a print with trains, robots, rocket ships, and dinosaurs. I’m not entirely happy with the design (it feels too…. empty, maybe?), but I feel like I learned a lot in the process, so I’m happy with the project as a whole!

My Baby Boy themed fabric for the Project Selvage competition.

In Progress

I have a really ridiculous number of “in progress” projects. Many of them are still in the planning stages. Here’s just some of them…

Crayon-Tinting Fabric

I found this absolutely gorgeous fabric at Hart’s that would be awesome for trying out crayon tinting. I think I’m going to use it to make a case for my Wacom tablet. But first I needed to try out different techniques for crayon tinting to see what works. In summary, the lessons I’ve learned are: color with your wax crayon directly onto the fabric, don’t press too hard with the crayon, build up colors slowly. Here’s my progress so far, although the picture quality isn’t so great.

On the left: a mistake. Don't press too hard with the crayon! Although it would probably be a cute way to get little kid drawings on your fabric. Right: doing better! Light shading and building up colors works well.

Doodle Stitching Quilt

Over a year ago, I decided that my first quilting project should be ambitious. Of course! Which means that I haven’t completed it yet….. I’ve decided to do the lap quilt design from the amazing Aimee Ray’s “Doodle Stitching” book. It’s going to be done in purples, and so far I’ve got the quilt top done but not all the circles appliqued and none of the embroidery. My new motivation for completing this project is that, assuming it comes out okay, I’m going to give it to my grandmother for her birthday this June.

The quilt top for my purple version of Aimee Ray's Doodle Stitching lap quilt.

Roald Dahl/Quentin Blake Quilt

As a kid I absolutely adored all of Roald Dahl’s books. I think Matilda was probably my favorite. Quentin Blake’s illustrations are simply phenomenal, so I’ve decided that my second mini-quilt project (yes, before I’ve even finished the first) will feature embroidered illustrations from my favorite Dahl books. This still very much in the planning stages, though. I’ve got three illustrations traced onto my computer and ready to transfer to fabric for embroidery! Depending on how my other experiments with crayon tinting go, I may use that for the shading in the pictures. Here’s one of them:

One of my favorite pictures from Roald Dahl's Matilda, traced and ready to transfer to fabric for my Roald Dahl quilt. Original illustration and copyright: Quentin Blake.

Summary

Completed: 2!

In-Progress: 3+ (I’ll list more each week, as the in-progress ones advance towards completedness)

New: 0 (so far…)

Inspiration from the PVQA Quilt Show

The Pajaro Valley Quilt Association’s quilt show was held this weekend; Anne and I stopped by today to look at all the amazing quilts and stare longingly at fabrics sold by the vendors. I had a ton of fun, and wanted to share with you some of my favorite quilts. Unfortunately I forgot to write down quilt and artist names…. oops.

Lighthouse quilt

Third Place winner for the Lighthouse challenge

First up is this gorgeous quilt that won third place in the Lighthouse challenge. I just love the blues and purples in the sky, and the texture in the ocean. I have kind of a thing for lighthouses! I entered a raffle to win this, but the drawing isn’t until New Years Eve 2011.

Mind The Gap quilt

Road and warning signs from the UK

I got a big kick out of this quilt, since I was born in the UK and moved to the US when I was 10. A lot of these signs are quite familiar! The artists’ statement mentioned how interesting it is that although the British and Americans share a common language, each country puts a different spin on that language. It reminded me a lot of how I felt when I first moved to America, and found out that I could just barely make myself understood most of the time. This quilt made me feel a bit homesick, really.

Walking in a Winter Wonderland
Gorgeous example of embroidery and quilting

The first craft projects I really did were counted cross-stitch, and I’ve recently been branching out into different kinds of embroidery. I really love this example of combining embroidery with quilting, and how the quilting gives a lot of texture to the background of the scene.

After we walked around admiring all the quilts, we wandered back over to the vendor area. And that’s when I found out I’d won a door prize! Check out the gorgeous stuff I got from “Missing A Few Buttons”! There’s two kinds of embroidery floss, a crochet hook, purple tatting thread, buttons (!!!), and a vintage postcard from Boston, Massachusetts. I love it all, and I’m contemplating how to incorporate one of the purple buttons into my current major work in progress (to be posted later).

Buttons and more from "Missing A Few Buttons"
Look what I won!

I had such a fantastic time at the quilt show. I found inspiration for my future projects… now if only I could finish one of my current ones so I can start something new!