Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Stitchy goodness

In my last post I was sharing about the quilt guild bag swap.  It was a lot of fun seeing all the different designs and fabrics.  And of course 'drawing straws' for each of the bags.  :)

Here's a piccie of the swap group, with all of the bags. (Thanks to Liz, who heads up the Guild, for the photo)
DQB Bag Swap

The bag I received in the swap is absolutely lovely - it is a chevron and linen pouch that will be perfect for carrying my Nook.  I love the attention to detail on this:  super soft flannel lines the inside, with some cushiony padding to protect against bumps, and finally the chevron fabric provides a couple of pockets that I'll be able to use for Joe's glasses, and the recharging cable.  Isn't it a beauty!

Nook case from Denver Quilt Guild bag swap

Other than that, I've been plugging away on my Mum's quilt.  :o)))  Sick of hearing me say that yet?  Think of how my poor mother must feel.  Erm, slow and steady wins the race ;o)

Speaking of Mum, I unearthed these cross stitch when I was cleaning through one of our closets the other day. Mum had made these when we were little. I was thrilled to bits when I found them, and will be getting them framed for Naomi's room. For now I have them mounted in cross stitch hoops (which also looks pretty). Naomi loves that her Grandma made these "for her". (Ahem, not really but Grandma will be happy to know they are pride of place in her bedroom).

sew cute

It's also been a great week for mail - I'd received some more squares for Berties Blankets (the hospice blankets in memory of my Dad).  I wanted to make some more key fobs to thank the kind participants for their contribution.

More key fobs

I hadn't blogged about these before, but I am starting to add new scarves to the Christmas gift box. I'm getting an early start on this, this year.  The pink and mustard scarves both use lovely bulky yarn from Phydeaux Yarns. The other is an interesting thick-thin handspun yarn. Not sure who they are for yet. And sorely tempted to keep the pink one for myself. We'll see. I'm hoping we've seen the last of the snow this week in Colorado, and that I can start packing away the winter scarves, hats, gloves etc...

Pretty in pink cowlMustard cowlHandspun cowl

Hope you are having a good week,
Sam x

Monday, April 15, 2013

Storage Tote

The Denver Quilt Guild is meeting tomorrow night.  Last week the group discussed a tote swap for this month:  For anyone that wants to participate, they simply make a tote to bring to the meeting, and then we will swap them between the participants. I'm looking forward to seeing all of the designs.

I wasn't intending on participating in this swap.  Let's face it, my mother's quilt is still not done, and I really should be focusing more time and effort there.  But then the little girl in me kept raising her head, screaming 'I want to play, I want to play!"  :o)))  So, guess what...

Storage tote

I get the sense that the majority of folks will be making more of a bag style tote.  But I had other ideas... you see I'd picked up a great handmade storage bin/tote at a local craft fair one time and had been using it to carry my quilt swap boxes back and forth to the monthly meeting.  This last month one of the girls joked that if I'd made the storage tote that I'd been using, that she hopes she's my swap partner.  I hadn't made the original tote, but it got me thinking...  Plus, looking around the group, everyone was hand carrying their quilting bee boxes, plus their show and tell projects, plus any snacks that they may have brought to the meeting... A gigantic carryall wouldn't go amiss!

There's a number of great free patterns online.  I really liked this tutorial from Pink Penguin, and used that for the basis of my design (upsizing the dimensions so that it would fit the quilting bee box size that most folks are using):

Storage tote

The fabric is a simple tape measure design -- I figured that should have broad appeal with a quilting group :)  -- and I quilted along the tape measure lines to help emphasize them.  Although it's really not popping in these pictures. :)))  The solid is Kona Charcoal.  I used it for the base of the bag, and the lining.  I also used some batting in between the layers to give the tote a little structure.

There were a number of, erm, shall we say 'learnings' along the way.  The biggest one being how not to box corners.  I've since found this really handy tutorial on 2 different approaches to doing this:

On that note:  I love the relative speed with which sewing can deliver a finished object... but don't love the inability to just unravel mistakes, as you can in knitting.  Once that fabric is cut, it is cut.  There was much forehead slapping in this house this weekend, with my original attempt at boxed corners!!!

But all's well that ends well.  And I'm thinking of making a couple more of these for our home - between Naomi's toys, and my toys (read 'yarn') I could put some more to good use :)

I'll let you know how the meet goes.  In the mean time, have a good week!
Hugs from snowy Colorado,
Sam xxx

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Denver Quilting Bee: Box 2 for Katie P

A couple of posts ago I'd mentioned the Denver Modern Quilt Guild's quilting bee - anyone that wanted to particpate pulled together a box of fabrics and an inspiration quilt/guidelines.  The boxes are swapped at the monthly meeting: participants work on a couple of squares for each of the different quilts. 

I received my second box of fabric and accompanying guidelines at the last meeting.  This box is from Katie P.  Her guidelines were the Fresh Lemon Modern Quilts Blog, Summer Sampler Series

The majority of the squares in this series are paper pieced.  I'd previously had the chance to take a paper piecing class and then tested those skills on the Farmer's Wife quilt, which, ahem, is sadly neglected right now :(  If you haven't had the opportunity to take a class, or are in need of a refresher, the paper piecing guidelines on the Fresh Lemons site are wonderfully clear.  I highly recommend checking it out.

Katie's guidelines and the squares from Rosalynn

It was interesting to see the squares that the previous participant had created (pictured above).  I am wondering if the first squares in each box will set the tone for the rest of the quilt... I guess I'll see at the quilt guild next week. :)
Ooh, if you are local, consider popping in and checking out the guild next Tuesday evening.  It's a welcoming and informal group who meet at Treelotta fabric store on Broadway, in Denver.  (And if you can't make the meet, I recommend checking out the store :) 

I digress :) 

The fabric that Katie had provided was a selection from Happy Mochi Yum Yum, together with some complementary batiks.  Nice bright colours:

 Mochi Mochi yum yum fabrics

Here are the squares that I created:

Squares made for Katie's quilt

And here's the 4 squares together:

Mine and Rosalynn's squares

On a completely different note, the Bertie's (hospice) Blankets are coming together nicely.  There's a good number of squares for both the sock yarn blankets and the aran blanket now.  Thank you :)  We aren't quite there yet, but that didn't stop me from playing with potential layouts.  I've posted the progress over on the Bertie's Blanket blog.

Wishing you a great week.
Sam xxx