Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Leftover Fun in DC

Disclaimer: some of these photos are from my phone, but to be fair the light is better in DC than in Ireland - so maybe it equalises?!?

I'm back in Ireland. For six weeks of organisation, then the states for the forseeable future will be my home-base. While I was over in DC for the last two weeks I planned on making an Anna Maria Horner figure of 8 scarf. I started but didn't finish. It's very pretty though so I will.

I'm thinking, once I get the technique down, this will be my go-to gift for the ladies in my life!
Other than the scarf, there were no plans. I moved a lot of fabric over. Anything I knew I wouldn't get around to using before the summer. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with all things crafty (including blogging) so I decided that I'd just play with leftovers from various quilts. Making nothing larger than crib size (which are eminently store-able and easy to give as gifts right now, I'm at the age when all around me are breeding like rabbits).

I started with the leftover blocks from the Rainbow Skittle Quilt. I laid them out on the couch and just rearranged, and rearranged, and rearranged. I took over two-thirds of the couch for two straight days. And I felt really motivated to go for it. So I did. And this happened:

Rainbow Log Cabin Quilt (so inspired...)
I have no pictures of the backing, which is solid lime green with a ladder of coloured rungs in the centre. I didn't get to basting this one. It has no definite recipient, though Paul has said it is staying put with us for as long as possible. I have two possible ideas for who I can give it to, but they'll need to produce something small enough to use it!

Feeling that that quilt top was too linear. I decided to dive into the scraps from Freya's Quilt. All Apple of My Eye from Riley Blake, all different sizes, lengths, shapes. I loved it. But halfway through I knew who this one had to go to; so only this one small peek!!

Sorry 'bout the fuzzy.
This one I pieced, basted and quilted in two days. I love improv. I need to do more. Though right now, I have more structured tops to make. I'm thinking of dubbing this year, the year of learning quilty things, and next year will be a lot more self-indulgent. So it gives me carte blanche to try out tutorials, patterns, and the like to learn and practise techniques. But next year, 2014, is (in my head) going to be all out crazy things from my brain-pan.

Then, having gifted the last quilt in my head, I thought of another person in need of a quilt. And as my friends (who are all quite tech-savvy) possibly might maybe visit here occasionally this is another one I can't shout about. But I can tell you that this line has some really amazing geometric blender-type prints. I kinda want to use only them in something:


So, for a couple of weeks where I promised myself a break from anything sewing related so I could stop feeling pressured to sew, it turns out that I also sew for fun and relaxation. I'm in deep, and I love it.

Hopefully once I'm through the jetlag and unpacking, I will be back to sharing slightly more regularly! There's lots to get done and finished in the next 6 weeks, so they can stay in Ireland forever.


ooh, forgot in my excitement of posting! Linking up to Work In Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced!!

Thursday, 7 March 2013

stuff and bother

So I've been very quiet for a couple of weeks. I'm in DC now, for another week and a half. Before I'm back to Ireland for an indeterminate amount of time and then it's DC for good. All this moving around and lack of certainty is starting to drive me bonkers. And my back, while getting better, is restricting the amount of time I can spend doing any one thing (including sewing or housework or sitting watching tv...). The inability to be consistently productive sucks! I make a bad patient, that's for sure.

My sewing has been restricted. But I've also felt an urge to rebel against lists and aims. I only end up beating myself over the head when I don't meet them. So I've been staying away from the blog. Only sewing when I wanted to. Resisting writing about it, because once I say it, I'll feel the need to make progress so I can update the blog. But I can't make sure progress, so it's extra stress I put on myself when it's the last thing I need.

I'm rambling now. I have made one cushion cover in the last two weeks.

The Orange Peel cushion for Curves Class. The last project I wanted to get done during class time. I'm really glad that it accidentally ended up last. It was supposed to be our practise project for precise curves before tackling the curves in the final quilt - the Wheel Quilt. I did these in the opposite order. Thank God! The orange peel block was challenging. Bizarrely, the curved piecing was the least frustrating part for me. The seams get bulky where the curves end and when you try to sew all four blocks together to form the cushion... well, my sewing machine had a slight knicker-fit, there was cursing, but I got there. It's not perfect. It was never going to be.

And now, 10 days later I can admire the cushion for the colours and shapes. The horror of sewing those seams together is fading. I still don't think I'll be attempting that block again. I'd have to really love the idea of the project or really love the person who wanted it to go back there. It definitely would have put me off tackling the precise curves in the wheel quilt if I'd done it first. But I didn't, so now I have both done - yay for procrastination (this time) !!!

I pieced the back, envelope style (I was in no frame of mind to tackle an invisible zipper).

Yesterday was a snow day in DC, and while that made no difference to my day, it did mean Paul was home all day! He bought some Kokka airplanes in black a little while back and wanted to learn how to sew a cushion cover to get over his fear of the sewing machine's needle. In the end I got out all the Kokka linens I have (scraps and the odd fat quarter) for Paul to choose from. The whole thing went more smoothly than I anticipated, and he only got stuck with a pin once and we both still have all our fingers - success! And the cushion turned out great!

If this is really slightly fuzzy, I'm very sorry!

Here are the airplanes on the back (envelope style again!).

All the cushions living happily on our sofa.
In the interests of taking the stress off sewing, and not giving myself hard deadlines. I decided to play with the leftovers of Paul's Rainbow Skittle Quilt. I'm enjoying it. I had not plan when I started. I just laid out the pieces and rearranged till I was happy. Here's a shot of what the dining room table looks like right now.

Hopefully, I'll have a top made before I head back to Ireland. I'll do my very best to respond to comments, as always :)