Friday, October 30, 2015

change on the go

I have a new little make to share with you today.  Something quite practical, but cute..

a travel Changing Pad

I need a changing pad to use at our homes-away-from-home when we travel for therapy.  I have a waterproof one for my diaper bag, of course, but taking it in and out many times a day gets old and isn't entirely failproof!  So, I gathered my supplies:  super soft Chicopee corduroy, felted wool pads for waterproofing, kitty cats by Cotton & Steel and a Netorious print for trim.

a travel Changing Pad

First the unglamorous insides.   My wool pads are long and narrow (previously made for bassinet mattress protectors).  I cut a piece of batting in the desired size for this changing pad and sewed the wool pads onto the batting to prevent shifting.  I also sewed around the edges of the pads so that those wouldn't flip up or bunch inside the finished work.

a travel Changing Pad

After that unusual beginning, the rest goes together just like a mini quilt.  I pin basted the corduroy on one side and the kitties on the other, hand tied with pearl cotton and finished with my go-to zigzag machine binding.  Nothing fancy - just fold it up to pack for a trip.

a travel Changing Pad

The soft, black corduroy side is the "right side" for changing.  Won't show stains!  Underneath the corduroy is the layer of batting for a bit of absorbency and then the layer of felted wool to prevent puddles from wetting surfaces underneath.  Yep, my baby likes to keep those diaper changes interesting.  You never can trust her...

a travel Changing Pad

It's just a large rectangular pad.  Simple, but precisely what I needed.

a travel Changing Pad

For all the moms who're wondering, yes, we do use cloth diapers and also cloth wipes.  This is not heroic, I promise.  With all of Eleni's challenges, I'm not looking to win any medals and would switch to disposables if I thought they'd make my life better.  But disposables leak way more than cloth.  Cloth never "blows out."  If you know what that means, you know it really matters.  The washing machine does all the work, and they even go on and off in one piece, with velcro closure.  It's a no brainer for me.

If you've been around this space for awhile you might remember I used to have a natural baby store that sold cloth diapers, etc.  We actually have leftover brand new inventory of BumGenius one-size diapers just sitting in boxes, lots of colors.  If anyone wants to buy some at cost ($10 a pop), do be in touch and provide your email.  Might as well pass that on to you guys!  These are my favorite brand diaper.  If you've ever thought about trying cloth, they're the way to go.

what to make for baby?

Oh, one last thing!  My friend, Stephanie, gifted Eleni a generous yard of this adorable glasses fabric, resembling baby's prescription frames.  What could I make with it that would be practical?  Not a baby dress.  I've been racking my brain!  Any ideas?

You guys are the best.  Happy weekend and Happy Halloween!


Wednesday, October 28, 2015

How to use Triangle Scraps

Triangle scraps, a truly menacing sight.

truly menacing.

Ah, yes, I have a strange relationship with my triangle scraps.  They are demanding little suckers with their pointy, hard-to-classify ways.  Such an untamable lot they are, my nemesis.  And yet, they also embody so much character and possibility.  More than any other scrap, those darn triangles have forced out my creativity...

a la Bottled Rainbows

I think it started with triangle mosaics, which became notebook covers and pouches and more.

love!

Then one day the triangles insisted upon becoming hourglass blocks of random sizes, which eventually sorted themselves out as a mighty fine cushion cover.  I think that's the moment when I decided the triangles were too capable to ever be thrown away.

my Triangle Legions

Even the smallest triangle scraps hold potential as star points for wonky star blocks.

Rainbow Tilt-a-whirl baby quilt

I used to throw all triangle scraps in one canyon in my bottommost scrap drawer.  Whatever large, more versatile triangle scraps I owned were sunk in a sea of tiny binding-making triangle crumbs.  I faced up to that flawed system and started organizing triangles by size and shape when I made my Tilt-a-Whirl triangle scrap quilt.

foolin around with triangle scraps

With order restored it was all too easy to create this quilt from small, low volume triangle scraps.  I just sewed the little beasts at the corners of squares to make my Clashy Bright baby quilt.

how to use Triangle Scraps

More recently I drew on the triangle legions for a pineapple party and my current pickle quilt.  Triangles, they're good.  They're tricky, but they're good.

to a good home

Ok, have I convinced you?  Do you want some?  In the spirit of this book (which has been known to make me chuckle) I've decided to pare down my triangle scraps.  Their sheer number is overwhelming.  And yet, I can't bare to callously toss them.  They have so much potential!  Would another brave soul like to give them a good home?  The triangles in the above picture + some large linen triangles are a 10 oz lot of triangle fun.  Free to the first U.S. claimant!

p.s.  I've also packaged up about 2 lbs of rectangle and square medium-large scraps that I no longer desire.  These fabrics no longer spark joy, as the author would say.  See photo of actual scraps$10 to cover shipping in the U.S.  Provide an email address for me to send a Paypal bill, if you want them.

Update!  Looks like all scraps have found new homes.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Zephyr {Improv Handbook Score #1}

Zephyr {improv handbook, score #1}

Zephyr {improv handbook, score #1}

All finished!  This is Zephyr, an improv quilt made entirely without rulers (except for the backing and binding) and inspired by the first score of The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.  Sherri prompts us to reflect and share about our finished works along these lines:

{Surprises}  Cutting and sewing ruler-free actually saves time.  This quilt top came together faster than expected.

{Discoveries}  I work much better once I've settled on a general color scheme.  Although I did enjoy making my first and second "blocks" as I was getting to know the score, I couldn't feel confident about this project until I had committed to colors for the rest of the work.  I didn't want to "wait and see" with my colors.

{Satisfactions}  Limiting my fabric choices made piecing this work almost effortless.  I sat down with cut squares and just sewed and sewed things together, not worrying initially about how groups would join together.   With improv, sometimes every possible answer is a right answer.  In some ways, success is guaranteed.

{Dissatisfactions}  I have this nagging feeling that my quilt looks too much like Sherri Lynn's example from the book.  Both of our quilts have bright, multi-colored schemes dividing the quilt into chunks.  One thing I did differently was use a consistent feature fabric (Zephyr Puff in Mustard) throughout the quilt.  Also our piecing style differs somewhat.  It's not terribly surprising that they came out similar, since I really love Sherri's.  But, I hope that next time I'll land somewhere more unique.

{Next Steps}  It's on to Score # 2 for me.  I'm going to start the project by defining a color scheme to energize myself.  And, I refuse to allow myself to proximate Sherri Lynn's (fantastic) example quilt.  Let's see if I can end up with a quilt that's even more "me."

Zephyr {improv handbook, score #1}

Zephyr {improv handbook, score #1}

Stats

Quilt Top:  Kona Cottons White, Curry, Kale, Caramel, Coral, Gumdrop, Delft and Candy Green, plus one yard of Zephyr Puff in Mustard.
Quilt Back:   Pretty Potent Eucalyptus, True Colors Going Up, Doe Wide Diamond
Binding:  Doe Wide Diamond and Serape Dream
Quilted with a loose, organic grid

Are you sewing along with the scores from The Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters?  Add a link to your finished project post in the comments here.  We'd love to hear what you found surprising, satisfying and such.  If you're still working, feel free to come back later and share your link!

Also, if you're a Facebook fan you may like to join Sherri Lynn's group for the book.  I'll be posting there too in hopes of connecting with more improv-ers.


Friday, October 23, 2015

pickle progress

Pickle progress

Another trip to Chicago means more progress on my pickle quilt.  So named, because this block is a variation on the classic pickle dish block.  Pattern by Rita of Red Pepper Quilts.

Pickle progress

I opted to paper piece all the points, which allowed me to use scraps with only a cursory cutting. Couldn't believe how long it took me to work through enough points for a throw sized quilt though.  Wow, this pattern is a lot of piecing!

Pickle progress

Today I've finished sewing the curves, chain piecing without pins.  Feeling fancy!   I hadn't sewn curves in awhile, so I used pins the first few times to get a feel for it again.  A few passes without pins and some unpicking reminded me how to slightly stretch the convex pieces to make them match up.  It feels a little like magic when it all comes together.

Pickle progress

Now I'm cutting into my wildest scraps for the filler squares and making a pile of scraps to destash as I go.  If I don't like it enough to include in this quilt, I won't be keeping it!  I had initially cut some scraps for this quilt that I'm actually unsewing now, purging the quilt of their presence.  Why include the scraps that rub me wrong when there is so much fabric to love?

Pickle progress

Pickle progress

This quilt is going to be one of my favorites.  I'm totally copying Rita's take on scraps + value, so no credit due here, but I do so enjoy the process and the results.  Thanks, Rita!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Brown Is Winners!

Sorry, for the slow update here, friends.  At last, I have two very lovely and very different winners for our Brown Is mosaic contest...



Congrats to Sarah of Fat Fanny Fern, whose Morning Fog mosaic delicately captures quiet winter mornings. She leaned heavily on gray, white and black, isolating brown as the only color to be found.  Brrr...  makes me want some hot chocolate!  I do love the touch of woodsy animal theme too.  There's a good variety, but with contrasting scale and style that marry so well.

{Fabrics}  Line 1Cheshire Feathers, Oh Hello in Fog, Sketch in Ivory  Line 2Menagerie in Timberwolf, Sharp in BlackDeer Stag in Slate  Line 3:  XOXO in Ghost, Pearl Bracelet in Taupe, Crosshatch in Chesnut

Limited Quantities of Morning Fog bundles available here.





mosaic71003a974391e76b5299c4cff2e21a86de3bc355


Sarah Jasinksi also takes the prize with her Firefly Journey bundle.  Successfully bringing together a wide variety of textures and shapes, Sarah shows how Brown Is a handy neutral anchor.  The burnt terracota and hazy blue feel like autumn.

{Fabrics}  Line 1: Kona in Earth, Fireflies in Coral, Crosshatch in Curry  Line 2:  You Are Here, Ant March in Blue, Birdstencil AM  Line 3:  Kona in Honey, Coming Home in Clay, Under Water

Very Limited Quantities of Firefly Journey bundles available here, with one substitution based on availability.

Congratulations to our winners who will receive their bundles in fresh, delicious cotton real soon!  A great big thanks to Fabric Bubb for sponsoring our fun.

Thanks to all of you for participating with your mosaics and your votes.  Have a good night!


Monday, October 19, 2015

::Voting:: Brown Is Mosaics

Ok, I admit that I was a little nervous to run a mosaic contest centered on brown.  But I'm so impressed by your response!  Although we had slightly fewer mosaics than usual, they were of an excellent quality and so diverse.  You found a lot of lovely browns to work with at Fabric Bubb!  This morning I've narrowed it down to 10 finalists, choosing mosaics that felt cohesive and inspiring. 

Enjoy perusing these lovely mosaics!  I've presented them first at large size to help you find your very most favorite one, with the name of the artist under each mosaic.  Voting is below with smaller images for reference.  Vote now through noon (eastern U.S. time) on Wednesday the 21st.   The two winning mosaics with the most votes will be announced on Wednesday afternoon.

Good Luck Everyone!


georgia
Georgia by Annabelle Gardner

mosaic71003a974391e76b5299c4cff2e21a86de3bc355
by Sarah Jasinski

Rosy Brown by I love neutrals

Night above the Desert by Puppilalla

Foreshadow by Puppilalla

by Bety Piernaty

Pebbles
by Lia147

by Jodi of Tales of Cloth

Fireside by Sewn Barefoot

Morning Fog by Fat Fanny Fern



Saturday, October 17, 2015

done Good {Happiness Circle}

do. Good Stitches is a modern online community that quilts for good.  Over the years the bee has grown and grown, so that these days I find myself struggling to keep current with all the beautiful work being done.  I'm taking up the habit of cheering for them from here, in the way of finished object posts.  Every month or so, I'll share some "done Good".  Today, Happiness Circle takes the spotlight!

In August, Heather of Winding Bobbins served as lead quilter for the Happiness circle.  Quilter's take turns setting a vision for the monthly bee quilt, usually defining the block style, colors and block size.  Heather requested a collaborative quilt using Ashley of Film in the Fridge's tutorial for an Intersection quilt.  This is a block that other members of do. Good Stitches have used before, but there's nothing wrong with repeating a good thing!  Quilters for do. Good Stitches are welcome to use per-existing tutorials and to quilt with simple, straight lines.  No fuss necessary; just quality, cheery quilts!

Happiness Circle August 2015

For her color scheme, Heather invited bee mates to "use any colours you choose, as long as the three colours for each block have a lot of contrast from each other and that the prints aren't too busy." Above is one of her sample blocks posted with her instructions to inspire her team.

 Happiness circle August 2015.  All of my blocks are here and playing very nicely together :)

As the blocks came together the work in progress took on a bright, happy vibe.  Even though it's totally scrappy, the overall color scheme is saturated because Heather asked her bee mates not to use fabrics that are predominately white.

Happiness circle, August 2015 quilt finished.

And here's the finish!  Doesn't it look so cheery on that lush grass?  Thank-you, Heather, for stepping up to quilt for do. Good Stitches.   I'm sure this quilt will bless someone who needs a reason to smile. 

Happiness is a Canadian-based circle which makes quilts for various Canadian charities including Project Linus and Victoria's Quilts.  Well done, ladies!  Congratulations to Happiness host Colleenb23 and the entire Happiness circle, Flickr names:  Colleenb23, Waffle Kisses, annietwinkletoes (chelsea), Heather DD, Kirstin40, Retired to Quilt, Principiessa, arquilters, prairiepatchwork57 and createthepoint, plus retired host Marika Makes. 

p.s. Learn about do. Good Stitches here.  While quilts of all styles are wonderful acts of charity, this bee intends to bring together active Flickr-users who enjoy sewing with modern fabrics.  To join the wait list, please use this form.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

our little lamb

this little lamb

This post is definitely about a handmade Halloween costume.

this little lamb

 this little lamb

It is not an indulgent excuse to photo bomb this blog with images of Eleni.

this little lamb

Not uh.

this little lamb

Our little lamb is ready for festivities in a mama made costume, free patterns from Purl.  I lengthened the original jumpsuit paper pattern pieces by 2" to fit her 14.5 lb, 26" long self.  It's a bit roomy still, so she'll get to wear it in cold weather to come.

this little lamb

Fabrics are Michael Miller sherpa and Birch Organics shell knit for lining, such the perfect shade of neutral pink.  Love.  Eleni is wearing the 0-3 lamb bonnet, which probably fits a typical baby's 3-month head.  The hat is too generous for newborn, so plan to bring it in if your little one is truly new.

 this little lamb

Today we leave for Chicago, and I'll be taking along this jumpsuit to keep baby warm on brisk mornings.  Baby is not 100% well yet, but we hope, we think she is well enough for therapy.  We'll just have to take each day as it comes.

Anyone else have costumes in the works?  This is actually the first I've made.  Grandma makes costumes for my big kids every year!  I pinned this lamb costume for baby last fall and almost talked myself out of bothering, but I'm glad I went for it.  It was easy and that bonnet is just too cute!

xo,

Rachel

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