Tag Archives: work in progress

Modern Hexies Mini Progress

One of the secret projects I have in progress is actually not entirely secret. It’s for the Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt swap. I suppose I can share all of my progress photos, I just can’t say for whom the quilt is being made! We’ve had a long string of uncharacteristically dark days here in midcoast Maine (it usually snows every few days with lots of sun in between), so I’m sharing photos taken with my iphone. Instagram has a wonderful array of filters and adjustments that help bring out the light and color in an otherwise dark space. Many (all?) of these are repeats from my Instagram feed, so I apologize to those of you who also follow me on IG. Just think of it as an inspiration flash-back de ja vu color explosion!

After I finished making English Paper Pieced (EPP) hexies out of the Anna Maria Horner True Colors fabric line, the foundation and inspiration for this Modern Hexies mini quilt, I decided I needed some supplementation.

evolution of a modern hexies mini quilt
Fabric pull for supplementary hexagons.

I cut out my chosen ones, and was all ready to EPP some more gorgeous hexies.

evolution of a modern hexies mini quilt

evolution of a modern hexies mini quilt

Next, I played around with layout and decided upon an Instagram-approved arrangement. It was decided that the bottom right dark blue-white hexagon would be best removed. I had been struggling with it already, upset that I didn’t have the perfect transition fabric to make it “work” in the flow, but hearing other IG friends and quilters suggest removing it helped me make the final decision. Out it went.

evolution of a modern hexies mini quilt

Next, it was time to start actually gluing! Yipes!

evolution of a modern hexies mini quilt

Nicole at Modern Handcraft’s tutorial is fantastic. This is such a simple and “easy” method, yet the outcome is so fabulously gorgeous. I love the aesthetic of the borders between each hexagon, and the range of possibilities is endless. I didn’t have the suggested Aleene’s Fabric Fusion glue, so I used Fabri-Tac, which I had already. Boy was it a stinky and stringy experience! The glue would bubble up on the tip of the bottle by the time I got the next hexagon trimmed and de-papered, so it was quite a sticky process. Next time, I will definitely try Aleene’s, since I love the all-purpose glue for just about any other craft project. Sticky stink aside, I finally got all 44 hexies glued down, in a little over two hours.

http://modernhandcraft.com/2013/11/hexagon-mini-quilt-tutorial/

I layered, basted, and was all ready for quilting! I only got a few passes done with the quilting before my sewing window ended for the day, but I’m very happy with my progress. I can’t wait to see this quilt completed, and I definitely will be making another one (or ten) in the future!

http://modernhandcraft.com/2013/11/hexagon-mini-quilt-tutorial/

Update: I have finished the quilting and I’m getting ready to bind! I will show the quilt in its full completion after the recipient has received it (most likely… maybe sooner if I just can’t wait!).

Question for those of you who have participated in mini quilt swaps before: Do you stitch on a hanging sleeve, or leave it as is in case the recipient would prefer to clip it or hang it in a different way?

I’m linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced’s WiP Wednesday!

Getting Brave with a Bag

I’m going to do it. It’s official, now. I’m going to attempt to a) follow my first non-quilt pattern and b) make my first bag! I bought all of the fabric, interfacing, and notions needed so now there is no turning back.

fabric and pattern for making my first bag by noodlehead

I recently stopped in my local (really local this time at 20 minutes away) fabric shop Fiddlehead Artisan Supply in Belfast, with a bag in mind and was taken by their colorful linen blend selections. Initially, I had in my mind that the feature fabric for my first bag would be linen blend, but I decided on a cotton print (the butterflies-“Flutter” by Laura Gunn for Michael Miller Fabrics) for the large front feature pocket for the bag. The main body of the bag will be the teal linen blend, then handles and inner pocket will be the lime green linen blend, and the inner lining will be the dark blue fireflies (from Water Garden by Jane Dixon for Andover Fabrics).

fabric for first bag

I bought the necessary interfacing, pattern paper, and a magnetic snap closure, so I think I have everything I will need. I opted for the Go Anywhere Bag by Noodlehead, for many reasons:

  • I’ve seen so many awesome bags made with Noodlehead‘s patterns,
  • Noodlehead was also recommended by the woman at Fiddlehead,
  • Fiddlehead had the patterns for sale, so it was one-stop-shopping,
  • The bag is BIG! which means it should fit all of my crap valuable items,
  • There are no zippers, so I don’t have to face that challenge yet, and
  • I feel like the pattern really highlights the fabric choices.

I can’t wait to begin!

butterfly fabric for my first bag

I am hoping (planning?) to have a chunk of time tomorrow to sew, and that’s when I plan to tackle this bag. Sure, I have other projects that could use some progress made, but I’m ready to sit down, bite the bullet, and MAKE a BAG! I’ve read through the instructions a couple of times and have been thinking about this project a LOT, so I’m counting it as a work in progress and linking up with Freshly Pieced’s WiP Wednesday.

WIP Wednesday

Any tips for a first time bag-maker?

 

Work in Progress: Pink & Grey Baby Plus Quilt

This week I’m focusing on finishing my pink & grey baby plus quilt, made with an assortment of Michael Miller It’s a Girl Thing pink & grey prints. I’m so very close to completing the top, with only four more long strips to sew together.

pink and gray baby plus quiltThis is my first quilt to be listed for sale in our Late Night Baby Etsy shop, which is primarily run by Michelle & Stephanie, my Late Night Quilter soul sisters. I bought a Michael Miller pink & grey fat quarter bundle over a year ago, since I am totally in love with the color combination. I love grey in general and am typically not a huge pink fan, but together it works so well. When Stephanie, Michelle, and I started talking about opening an Etsy shop in which to sell baby quilts and other sewn items, I was immediately excited to finally make a quilt from this bundle. I added a tiny splash of Moda solids, and if I were to make this quilt again, I think I would add more solids, but overall I’m very happy with how this quilt is turning out.

pink and grey baby plus quilt

pink and grey baby plus quilt
I love the guitar prints!

pink and grey baby plus quilt

I’m doubly excited because once this top is finished, I will be sending it to Stephanie for longarm quilting.

In case you haven’t heard, Stephanie and Michelle recently joined forces at Late Night Quilter to kick off their longarm quilting and pattern design business. They also released a new, free pattern as part of their kick-off, so go check it out, especially if you love triangles. Visit their post to see some closer details of Stephanie’s awesome quilting. I love the shadow triangles the most, I think, but the movement created by the quilting is awesome and unexpected. I’m definitely excited to send my quilt top off to Stephanie so that she can work her magic. They are offering free batting to all customers in the month of September, too, so if you have some tops you’ve been sitting on, now might be a great chance to get them quilted!

late night quilter love triangle pattern and longarm intro

Do you send your quilts to a longarmer, or do you quilt them yourself? So far I’ve quilted all of mine, but I’m silly excited to have my first longarm experience. I’m trying to decide how I want Stephanie to quilt this Plus Baby Quilt. Their design gallery has some great options. What design would you choose? I think I’m leaning toward Retro Revolution… 

I’m linking up with WiP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday

Work in Progress: Buoys

On the coast of Maine, lobster buoys freckle the harbors and are often seen hanging on the sides of buildings, sheds, boat houses, and even near mailboxes further inland. Many of my patterns are inspired by the Maine coast, and my latest works in progress are certainly not exceptions.  I’ve finally completed and posted all three of my buoy foundation paper piecing patterns in my Craftsy store.

buoys on a building maine coast buoys on a building maine coastLobster buoys come in all shapes and sizes, and definitely many different colors. I tried to create patterns for at least the three most commonly seen shapes, and I am happy with how they turned out.

IMG_4886The patterns are super simple and extremely versatile. While testing these patterns, I accidentally sewed the 4″x8″ of the middle buoy, instead of the intended 5″x10″ version. I’m not quite sure what I will do with the little buoy yet, but the larger ones will be made into a pillow once I make a 5″x10″ of that pesky middle one.

I love the detail and precision of foundation paper piecing. There’s something about the exactness of seams and the ability to create anything with fabric that makes me happy.

Buoy 1 foundation paper piecing pattern detail.
Buoy 1 foundation paper piecing pattern detail.

lobster buoy foundation paper piecing patternSince I still need to remake a larger version of the Buoy 2 pattern and stitch these all together, I’m linking up with Freshly Pieced’s Work in Progress Wednesday. Stay tuned to see the completed pillow, and stop by my shop if you have an inkling of making some nautical lobster buoy creations!

WIP Wednesday

Work in Progress: Vacation English Paper Piecing

It feels like I’ve been on vacation for most of July, which is not a bad thing! While traveling and away from my sewing machine, I have taken the opportunity to try my hand at English Paper Piecing (EPP) for the first time, delving into stitching my first and second Lucy Boston Patchwork of the Crosses blocks. I was inspired by Jan at Sew and Sow Farm blog to try the Patchwork of the Crosses as my first EPP.Lake Erie EPP Patchwork of the CrossesI completed my first block (left) during the car ride from Maine to Ohio, and have almost completed my second block (right) since I’ve been here at our rental house on Lake Erie. I have had a lot of fun finding the perfect little peeks of fabric for each of the pieces, called “fussy cutting” by the quilting community, and decidedly meticulous but perhaps not so fussy, per a discussion I recently had with my artist brother (more on that in a later post).

The coast of Lake Erie is gorgeous and very different than the coast of Maine. I had a good shot of my EPP wips on the rocks earlier today, and here are the results:

EPP work in progress

paper piecing wip on the rocks

Playing with depth of field in photographs is so much fun. I love the difference a little camera setting adjustment can make with the photo outcome.
Playing with depth of field in photographs is so much fun. I love the difference a little change of focus can make with the photo outcome.
Beautiful rocks with a gorgeous backdrop.
Beautiful rocks with a gorgeous backdrop.
Lark by Amy Butler lends itself well to "fussy cutting".
Lark by Amy Butler lends itself well to “fussy cutting”.

I have not yet removed the papers from either of the blocks, except the four center bee pieces more as a test to make sure I could get the paper out than anything else, and I love the way the backs look. Every little basting stitch, the crisp folds, the tiny hand stitches holding them all together: beauty.

back of epp

I think I have decided that these blocks will be turned into a table runner or centerpiece. My plan is to make another block the same as my first with the four bees in the center, and use the new Lark-heavy block as the center with the two bee blocks on either end, joined and bordered by some other background fabric. I still have to decide what color to use in the outermost border for the center block, but I’m leaning toward yellow.

auditioning fabric

I then might add one more outer edge of some other color, to make the center block larger than the outer ones. I am really enjoying the process of English Paper Piecing, specifically how portable it is and how it is so easy to pick up and put down for even just a five minute sewing stint. I’m looking forward to exploring other EPP template shapes. So far I’ve found hexagon, diamond, and triangle templates, but it looks like there are no rules; any shape or combination of shapes can be made into templates. Let the pattern creation begin! Well, after I finish these blocks of course.

What is your favorite EPP template or pattern?

Work in Progress: Rainbow Jellyroll Quilt

Lately I’ve been trying to multitask during my sewing time, since this summer is so full of outdoor adventuring that my time spent sewing is little. The last time I had a good chunk of sewing time, I worked on piecing three projects at once. It made for little bits of progress for each, but no big noticeable progress on any one quilt. Today I decided to focus on one quilt so that I can hopefully get a finish under my belt to renew my quilting fury. Since I have yet to complete quilts for my kids, I decided it was high time I remedied that, and I decided to focus on sewing together my daughter’s rainbow quilt.

rainbow quiltMy design wall is one huge fail, so I had to lay out the strips while the “wall” was laying flat on the ground, and then slide it up to take photographs as quickly as possible before the pieces all fell to the ground. The bumps bug me, but such is life. Nothing’s perfect, especially not a partially pieced quilt top! A new design wall is creeping its way up my to-do list.

My four-year-old daughter wanted a rainbow quilt, and while searching for ideas, I came across this gorgeous quilt on Creativebug.

Rainbow_Jellyroll_Quilt_on_Creativebug2I had never created a quilt using jellyrolls before, but only a couple of days after seeing this quilt, the deal of the day on Missouri Star Quilt Company’s site was the Andover Fabrics Color Collection Jellyroll. Sweet! Needless to say, I bought the jellyroll and added another work in progress to my list.

Today during my two-year-old’s nap, I finished sewing the strips into pairs. I’m hoping I’ll be able to finish sewing all of the paired strips together soon and will have a completed quilt top within a week or two. Next I will have to decide whether to keep it simple and finish it, or to add a border or edging to the quilt. Because it’s for my four-year-old, I’m leaning toward finishing it simply and letting it be small enough for her to drag around with her. What would you do?

I’ll leave you with some fun photographs from my playroom photo shoot today.

Depth of field rainbow jellyroll quilt

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I love playing with depth of field!

IMG_3274Since I’m sneaking this in before midnight, I’ll link up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday

Gardening by Day; Quilting by Night

After a long, especially cold and lingering winter, spring is finally fully here in midcoast Maine. Those first days of warm sun, cool (not frigid and biting) breeze, and sprouting green are precious days. I didn’t know it my first year here, but I know it now. The blackflies won’t be long.

Spring Magnolia

The past few days have been supurb: sunny, warm-even borderline hot, and too early for blackflies. Needless to say, I have been spending every daylight moment out in the garden, playing in the yard, or admiring the flowers with my kids. I know that once the blackflies arrive, we we hide indoors or only go out with long pants and a full head & arms bug net. The blackflies will subside, but for a good solid month, they are a wicked scourge. Swarming clouds of annoying and biting bitties. When my husband and I decided to move from New Jersey back to his home state of Maine, no one had told me about the blackflies. Some days I joke that if someone had told me about the blackflies, I never would have moved here… but I know I’m joking. I love it here in rural Maine.

Days spent in the garden makes for a tired momma, but I can’t help but sew once the sun sets and the kids are asleep.  I’m making slow progress on my Star Crazy quilt, and I like it more and more as blocks get added.

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Before beginning this quilt, I was thinking of adding grays into the low volume sides, to have some of the light stars be grey instead of just low volume. I think now I’ve decided to keep grays out of it, and just stick with the black and white stars.

Star Crazy progress

Star Crazy progress

These blocks are a combination of my favorite colors, AND of fabrics from some of my favorite designers and fabric lines. Seeing Botanics next to Wee Wander next to Architextures, framed by Perfectly Perched and Zen Chic makes me tremendously happy!

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While my sewing progress has been slowed by this gorgeous weather, I feel like I am spending my days the right way. Family, garden, and those first days of spring are SO refreshing and key to a joyous life.

Here are a few more shots of spring from around my homestead, for those of you who find inspiration as I do, from nature.

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Happy rows of garlic in our garden.
onion seedlings
Yesterday I planted about 120 onion seedlings that I had started indoors in early March. I inadvertently planted them in more of a chevron pattern than straight rows! Quilting meets gardening.
onions
Hopeful that these little onion seedlings get big and strong and heavy beneath the surface.

IMG_1125 Tulip Splendor

Fiddleheads coming up in the woods behind our house. Nature is so gorgeous!
A large patch of our lawn is covered in these flowers every spring. Picnics galore!

Happy spring!

Since it’s Wednesday, I’m linking up to Work in Progress Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday

Work in Progress: Lupine Paper Piecing Pattern

Now that I’ve got my printer figured out, I’m back to testing my new Lupine Paper Piecing Pattern. It’s a 10″ block with lots of small bits, but no complicated joining points. I’m excited to test this out and finalize the pattern, since I really think it will be a beautiful block, truly representative of lupine. Lupine grows all over Maine, and during early June you can see it sprawling gorgeously alongside highways and roads, as well as in fields and gardens. I’m working on a Downeast Paper Piecing Series, and this lupine is an essential piece!

Gorgeous lupine
Gorgeous lupine

When designing paper piecing patterns, I always battle with the balance of visual accuracy and simplicity. I want the finished pattern to look unmistakably like lupine, but I also want it to be simple enough that people will want to create it. With the lupine design, I knew I definitely wanted to get the heart-like flower petals into the pattern.

Hearts in the heart of a lupine flower.
Hearts in the heart of a lupine flower.

The recognizable radiating leaves also had to make an appearance, albeit simplified.

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I’m really happy with how my pattern turned out! I think it looks like lupine, leaves room for lots of color play in the flower, and is fairly simply pieced despite the many small bits. There are a few tricky angles, but using the printer paper foundation paper piecing method, I focus on being generous when cutting my fabric bits and haven’t had trouble yet.

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I’m not overly wild about my fabric choices this time around; they seemed like they melded and contrasted well when I looked at the stacks of fabric, but once paper pieced, I’m not sure it’s enough contrast for my liking.

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Mental note: when choosing fabrics for Lupine Paper Piecing Pattern, go bold!

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I’ve only completed one small section of the Lupine so far, but I will be sure to post my progress as it comes along. I’m hoping to have this pattern posted in my Craftsy Pattern Store within the next couple of weeks, just in time for lupine season here in Maine.

This pattern came about when a search for a paper pieced lupine pattern turned up nothing. There are many paper pieced flower patterns, but I could not find lupine! The only solution was to design it myself.

What’s your favorite flower? Would you take the time to paper piece it into a pillow, table runner, etc.?

Since it’s Wednesday, I’m linking up with
Work in Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

WIP Wednesday

 

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