Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Stars — Work In Progress

For the past few weeks I have been working on a new baby quilt.  My sister Laura is expecting her second in October.  We don’t know if she’s having a boy or a girl, but the quilt I’m making her would work well for either.  I got it from Shots and Stripes by Kaffe Fassett and didn’t change much but the size.

His shot cottons are so soft and easy to quilt.  I made a baby quilt for my son using them and it is my favorite quilt, just because of how it feels to touch.  This quilt is square, 51” x 51”, because I think it’s a good size for a baby, but big enough to use in play.  I love that these stars really do twinkle!

It took me some time to piece the top.  The stars are not at all difficult, but there are quite a few of them.  Once I got a system in place it didn’t take too much time.  I used the no waste flying geese method for the points.  There are lots of tutorials around for that.  Its fast and, well, no waste!  

The quilting is proving to be one of the trickiest parts.  I wanted to do some dense quilting and really make some beautiful texture.  I have some pearl cotton in jewel tones to quilt the stars and thought I’d like to use some sashiko patterns in the alternating squares.  That’s not going to work.  I tried a small square of it and found that it really detracted from the stars.  Next I tried just straight line quilting with some of the bright thread.  This is also very distracting.  I have a grey thread that I’m going to switch to now.  I need to decide whether to do something decorative with it or very simple and de-emphasize the quilting.  I’m hoping to finish quilting it by the baby’s due date in mid-October.  

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Messenger Bag

School started a couple of weeks ago here and my oldest daughter needed a new schoolbag.  She opted for a messenger bag and I made it using a pattern by Sew Liberated called the mischevious gnome messenger bag. 

Paolina got to choose the fabric and she remembered these arrows that I bought several months ago.  She has a special connection with arrows ever since third grade when her class studied California's Native Americans.  She wanted us to buy her a bow and arrow, but since we were decidedly against it, she went to the playground and made her own out of wood and yucca plants (just like she learned in school).  We thought it was cute and weren't too concerned about it, until she sent an arrow flying.  It actually worked! 

Anyway, I’m not a bag person, so I read and reread the instructions several times before I felt comfortable.  Once I got going, the bag was simple and went together really well — even the zipper pocket!  I fussy cut some of the text fabric to send little messages to my daughter during her day at school.  I put I love you accross the front pocket, but forgot about the button closure going right through the middle.  Oh well!

We realized we needed the bag two days before school started, so we had to hussle.  I felt like I was in a circus, with kids "helping" at every turn.   James sat next to me and every time I made a cut would say, “Oh, I need this scrap for my project?”  Miles wasn’t at all interested, except to reorganize the fabric and pattern pieces into heaps.  Paolina was eager to help, and Lucia spent some time looking for fabric for her bag (which still needs to be made).  The pattern had to be good to get through it with a usable bag.  

Anyway, I’m planning to make one for Lucia next and then to reduce it to make one for James.  Does that work?  He’s about half the size of Paolina, maybe a little less, so I thought I’d just do some math reduce each piece by around 25% and give it a try.  
 I'm linking up with Finish It Up Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts.