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1  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / First attempt at sashiko on: January 09, 2010 07:10:11 PM
I'm planning a big sashiko project later in the year, so I figured I'd do some practice on a belated holiday card for my friend.

Since this was my first try, I just used some embroidery thread I had hanging around (rather than true sashiko cotton), so there are a few bits that are twisted more than I'd like.  I also made the idiot move of working right to the edges and not leaving any seam allowance, so it was a little tricky getting it into the "frame" of the card.  

The fabric is just plain cotton leftover from another project, and I used a chalk pencil to sketch out the design.  I pressed the fabric after washing out the pencil, and it flattened the stitches out a little bit, which I'm not too happy about Undecided  Any tips? Huh  For the full size project, it won't really matter as much but for this card it's a little on the annoying side.  Start to finish (design, marking, stitching, framing) took about 2 hours.
Next step? Queen sized sashiko embellished quilt . . .  Shocked
2  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / We scrabble every night before bed . . . on: January 06, 2010 06:19:14 PM
twice on Sundays!

Scrabble quilt on our full size bed

Close-up of the center block

Plain muslin backing and red binding

Partly machine pieced, partly hand pieced, hand quilted and bound

3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Quick baby quilt on: December 04, 2009 12:05:53 PM

The neighbors' son had a baby a few months ago, so while I was home for Thanksgiving, I threw together this baby quilt . . . it's about 3 x 3.5 feet.  Machine pieced, hand quilted, based on tumbling blocks, but scrappier.

Gwen is my quality control expert . . .

she approves!

Here's the completely irrelevant, but cute and soft flannel backing.
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Completed Projects / My super-soft Cold Mountain on: August 19, 2009 05:17:42 PM
This is my Cold Mountain (http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEsummer09/PATTcoldmountain.php), in Knitpicks Alpaca Cloud Lace, midnight heather


One end:

Modeled by my chair, to show how drapey-soft it is:

And over the teal Calvin Klein dress I made it for:

Took about 3 weeks.  The Alpaca cloud is sooooo soft and wonderful to knit with.  I'm doing a second one for bf's mom in knitpick's gloss, which I've worked with before, and the alpaca cloud makes gloss feel like knitting with a strip of burlap.  My only annoyance was that the join on the circular needle (knitpicks, size 3) kept snagging the yarn, and as the alpaca cloud is so thin, I was worried it might break--I actually didn't have this problem with my older, size 2 knitpicks circulars, so I'm not sure if it's a fluke, or a problem with newer needles.
5  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Bleeding threads on: July 24, 2009 03:16:38 PM
Not really thinking, I chose to quilt my next quilt with red thread (Coats cotton hand quilting, Art S980).  I'm already a significant way through the quilt, and only just thought about the fact that the red might bleed when washed . . . boyfriend is extremely allergic to dust mites, so our bedding needs to be washed somewhat frequently, and I'd rather not destroy the quilt as soon as I'm finished.  The binding will also be red (Wrights cotton-poly double fold, Brick--I think the dye lot is 706 087).

Does anyone have any experience with washing either of these, or any tips for washing?  Our laundry service is limited to the nearby laundromat, so our options are cold-delicate, perm press, warm or hot.

Photos added . . .

I've become very attached to the quilt-as-you-go method, it's much easier on my wrist, and in general easier to work with.  Bonus points if you can figure out what pattern I got my inspiration from!
6  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / 96,852 stitches, give or take on: July 14, 2009 08:01:57 PM
Thanks to my super awesome boyfriend for taking super awesome pictures for me!

I have triumphantly conquered my entirely hand pieced, quilted and bound log cabin quilt.  It's 8 foot square, and it dwarfs both me, my wooden fire escape, and my full size bed  Shocked.  I'm a little scared it's going to come out of its hiding place at night and smother me.

Luckily, it's going to the owners of a much larger bed . . . the dedication is embroidered on a corner.

The last photo shows how beautifully the light comes through the backing.  Info on its construction can be found here:  http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=295822.msg3366950#msg3366950
7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Super quick birthday quilt (pic preggo) on: June 18, 2009 09:42:29 AM
I've been working so studiously on my thesis research, new apartment decorating and log cabin quilt  ( http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=295822.msg3366950#msg3366950 ) that I nearly forgot my brother's birthday.  His ex-gf somehow took the last quilt I made him, so this one needed to be very personal and gf-proof . . .

The nearly finished quilt (I pulled an all-nighter before a 6 a.m. bus to hometown, but didn't have time to bind it with royal blue 1/2" binding)

The outline of each square and a 3 inch square within that outline are quilted in yellow.  The finished size is about 42" square.

Closeup of the fabrics for detail

Each fabric was cut into 1 1/2" strips and sewn randomly to form a new fabric, either yellow or blue.  If you're planning on using this sort of technique, press the new fabric very carefully to avoid distorting it, and avoid pulling the cut shapes while sewing them together to prevent the cut seams from spreading apart.

Then, HSTs were cut and sewn, and I played around with settings:

In case yellow and blue (his favorite colors) weren't clear indications that the quilt was to belong to him and no one else, I backed it with ratchets and wrenches

He loves it  Cool .  He's an architect and bike aficionado who's rehabbing his first house completely by himself at the moment.  Loves clean lines and bright colors, hates flowery prints.  I don't have pictures of the finished quilt (with binding), but the binding really makes it--and should look great against the bright yellow walls he plans to paint.

I had never been comfortable using a thimble before this quilt, but now I can't imagine quilting without it!  My fingers are really long, and it took me a while to figure out a comfortable position, but it has made my stitches so much neater and I can work for longer periods.  This is also the first quilt that I've used any needles smaller than sewing sharps . . . I dropped down to a size 10 between, and I've seen the light  Cheesy  Hard to believe I've made myself suffer so much on queen+ size quilts before these revelations.
8  QUILTING / Quilting: Discussion and Questions / Log cabin in progress on: March 08, 2009 01:13:52 AM
I've been working on a log cabin for the past 3 weeks, and I figured I'd post some pictures to tempt you all!

First, this is the most complete part of the quilt.  I've never used a quilt-as-you-go method, but hand working a log cabin calls for it, so I threw together the center squares to check whether there was anything I should be cautious of when piecing each block.  I'm sewing the edges of the finished backs by machine, and then "quilting" down the top edges so that it's more continuous with the pattern.  It seems to be a pretty sturdy seam so far.

(This image is the most accurate in terms of coloring of the blue pieces--there are some greens and purples in this picture that did not turn out very accurately, but it's a very blue quilt)

I'm doing an overall 8 x 8 barn raising pattern.  Since I have 24 blocks done, I have them laid out here in a 4 x 6 set.  I plan to attach the blocks "log cabin style", going around and around so that I don't have to worry about trying to sew down the middle of the quilt when it's in its full, mammoth proportions.  My original muslin (that I'm using for the backing) shrunk by about 2 yards (ugh terrible fabric these days . . .), and while I matched the color pretty well, the texture of some of the blocks will be slightly different, so I'm going to piece the rest of the blocks before continuing construction.

This picture shows a close-up of the prints of each fabric.  I selected 11 lights and 8 darks (I basically pulled every bolt that could possibly "go" from the calico and cotton section at Joann's . . .), and navy for the center square.  Each block uses 10 lights and 10 darks, so there's some repetition, but I've gotten pretty good at randomizing fabric choices by now.  I sliced up about 10 yards of the calicos into 1.5" wide strips x the fabric width before I came back to school (yes, I transported 2 gallon size ziplocs of fabric strips over the US-Canada border), and each set of strips lasts about 5 blocks, if that makes any sense ;-)

The last image is the back of one of the squares--it looks a lot less wonky in real life, promise!  I'm averaging about 5-6 stitches per inch, but I'm really working on getting that number up to 7, with more even stitches.  Each block takes about 40 minutes.  Each block is about 1 foot square, with the center square 2", and each strip about 1"

The only thing I'm not sure about at the moment is what color and width to bind it in.  Ideally I'd like to match the center square, but I don't know how easy that will be :-(

Hopefully the next update will have more of the construction done!
9  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Hello, we are giraffes! Quilt on: February 28, 2009 03:54:48 PM
Hello, we are giraffes!  We have silly smirks

Here is a diagram of our lengthy giraffe proportions, at two squares per inch.  We make a pretty good size baby blanket, if you ask us (long enough to drag around but not trip any of the baby feeders)

Here is a picture of us before we were born (and sadly, before we had smirky smiles)

And a glamour shot of our long, long legs and necks.

Here are some silly stuffed giraffes that are confused by our shocking likeness!

1/2 meter of each spotted print was used for the giraffes, with 1 meter for the background--I have enough leftover for a whole 'nother quilt worth of giraffes.  Backed in a flowery green and bound with pre-made bias tape
Machine pieced for baby friendliness, but hand quilted.
Faces are hand embroidered--The contrast in colors is better in real life
Cutting and piecing took 1 hour each, then 40 minutes to quilt each giraffe.
10  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / "Make my tat into a quilt for my b-day, plz" on: February 26, 2009 02:06:29 PM
So my friend and I are sitting in (popular bakery chain), when she spies a quilt on the wall.  Being a month past her birthday, and not having received anything from me, she demanded that I copy the quilt on the wall of every (popular bakery chain), but in the spirit of her new tattoo.

It was a relatively simple pattern, so here's the results:

The large green square is almost a direct copy of her tattoo.  Everything else is based on it in some way or another.
**Please note that I am not the designer of the tattoo (it was designed by another friend).  Please do not use it for any purposes, in respect to the designer**

Three mini flowers, and a couple of macro-images of the flower bud, flower, and stem

A hummingbird enjoying the dragonflower

The entire quilt, hanging on her wall.  It measures about 4 feet by 6 feet.

The fabric is classic cotton (or whatever JoAnn's calls its lowest quality quilting cotton), in muted peach, pink, green, cream, blue, and dark blue.  The backing is an unbleached muslin.  The quilt is machine pieced, then the pictures were drawn with Fabricmate pens in grey and dark brown.  The borders of at least every other block or line are quilted, with some extra quilting around the shapes of some of the drawings.

Oh yeah . . . and she loved it  Cool

PM me if you would like to know the name of the bakery chain--I didn't want to take pictures of the original or name it publicly, but I'll gladly tell you the name if you'd like to use the original for inspiration.

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