Friday, December 28, 2012

WIP: Good Fortune Quilt

I started working on my first large quilt shortly after I gave into enormous temptation treated myself to a new sewing machine. Previous to that magical day, I had been using a Singer from college. While it was a fine little starter machine, it was pathetically unfit for accurate piecing and free motion quilting. The day my Janome came home, not only did the quality of my sewing improve, but so did the speed! I had no idea what I was missing!
Scrappy zigzag backing in progress

I've been steadily working on this quilt through a series of other projects, but it's really beginning to come together! I started with a layer cake of Kate Spain's "Good Fortune" and coordinating solids, and then added additional prints from my stash. I followed the pattern for the Lemon Squares from Fresh Lemons Quilts, and choose to highlight the purple, green, and aqua colorways in Good Fortune. If I did it again, I think I would use more of the aqua. Oh well, live and learn.

For the backing I decided to do a scrappy zigzag. It took FOREVER to piece it out of 2.5 inch squares, but I really love the outcome. I think I actually love the back more than the front!

I choose a largish stippling for the quilting. I'm still not perfect at it, but my free motion skills are definitely improving... I just need to find a way to stop obsessing over every little mistake I make!

I hope to finish quilting it tonight, and maybe bind it over the weekend. I haven't been able to commit to a fabric for the binding. I'm torn between a turquoise argyle, a dark purple floral from Good Fortune, and a multi-colored fabric that's heavy on the orange. Maybe it will speak to me once it's finished being quilted!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Spoiled by Santa!

Remember how giddy you were to play with your new Christmas toys as a kid? Well, there was a certain present under the tree this year that brought ALL that excitement right back for me. She isn't the prettiest toy on the block, but she has taken over my dreams just the same. Drum roll please...

Helllooooo Sizzix BigShot!

I did a lot of research on fabric cutters before sharing my decision with Santa. At first, it seemed like the Accuquilt Go! was the obvious choice. The Go! is marketed exclusively to quilters, and their selection of cutting dies are truly drool worthy. But then I found some less than stellar reviews about the Accuquilt which prompted me to question my choice in die machines. After an obsessive amount of internet research I stumbled upon this review by BadSkirt. Her review really spoke to  me and I decided to go with the Sizzix, knowing I could still pickup a few Accuquilt dies if I so desired.

Santa delivered my shiny Sizzix on Christmas Eve, and I've been obsessing plotting ever since. I have a few new dies on order, including a hexagon die. I've never tried english paper piecing (honestly that just seems like crazy talk!), but now I'm sorely tempted. I'm also contemplating some curved piecing a la their Robbing Peter to Pay Paul die. Part of me knows it's overly ambitious nonsense, but the other half is ecstatic about the new possibilities! I am sure there's more to come!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Cathedral Craziness

I swore I wouldn't do this to myself, and yet here I am. It's Christmas morning, and I still have to wrap this mess of pincushions having only just finished them late last night! And truth be told, I'm one short.

I made a pair of these once before for myself, but *three days ago* I decided to give them as small gifts.  They look complicated, but they are actually pretty easy -- just a bit of fabric origami and some careful stitching. If you're interested in making your own, you can find the tutorial here.

What I really love is how well these lend themselves to scraps. You can easily use scraps or charm packs since the colored bits are all 2 1/2 or 4 1/2 inch squares. Overall, pretty awesome for a quick project. I hope they go over well!