31 August 2011

Unexpected Treats

My roommate and I finally had our housewarming party this past weekend and we were very please that the Fuzzy Mitten family were able to make their way into the city to attend. Barbara was kind enough to give us some gifts as well. I'm very tickled pink with what she brought me.

Housewarming Presents

We each got a copy of this fantastic doodle book and do-it-yourself sticker kit for hours of our own entertainment. I also got this lovely package of precious fabric scraps curated especially for the ever-growing-beast.

Fabulous Fabric Scraps

Check these babies out. A couple of awesome vintage fabrics (appeals to my history crush), some fantastic small scale Japanese fabric prints including awesome awesome wolves (I don't have enough small scale prints in this quilt, mental note when next I refresh fabrics), and finally some of the most excellently named goldfish. I'm going to do my best to fussy cut the fishes into their own hexes.

I have to work up the courage to cut into these precious scraps. So far all I've done is take them out of the bag, look and stroke them, then put them back again. I think I'll get to it this week. I'm getting close to needing a full hex recharge (by which I mean baste a bunch of hexes onto papers). I have to remember to take some pictures. The scale of the recharge is kind of impressive.

29 August 2011

International Baby Friends

There have been some cryptic sneak peeks of this project over the past year, but FINALLY I can share the things for reals. So last fall, a couple of friends announced they were pregnant so a group of us decided to make them some quilts. This scheme was initially thought of to reduce our individual efforts, but in the end, the quilts had about the same gestation periods as the babies themselves. Amanda posted the timeline of events over here.

Madeleine's Quilt


The jumping off point was receiving a parcel from one of the international baby's mother-in-waiting over in Amsterdam. She sent us some fabric and other goodies, so this that was our starting point.

Kyr's Quilt


These babies are destined to be friends, even if at the moment they are only quilt buddies at the moment. But as you can see, Professor Hammy Cheeks has already put his to work in his mobile satellite office.

It's a baby in a basket!

P.S. These are officially my first ever finished quilt projects. I was surprised at how little fabric was needed for the binding. It's quite magical.

22 August 2011

The slowly growing beast

And another section added

This past weekend I finished and added another section onto the slowly growing beast that is the Hexagonal Quilt.

This is a section

I've highlighted where the new section and I'll explain a bit my process. It's become fairly systematic to achieve a seemingly random quilt. I really started this project with random evenness in mind. I started with a small smattering of fabrics and repeated them randomly as I was piecing.

The piece of quilt top started to become somewhat unwieldy so I stopped working on the main piece, and begun working on smaller sections that then get added to the "big piece". As the chunk of quilt top grew, I started to become aware of how many hexagons I would need to get a quilt that would fit my double bed.

Current Progress

Each section has 126 hexagons. These sections are attached together side by side to make a larger strip. Each strip has 707 hexagons. I figure I need about 5 of these 14 hexagon-tall strips to get the quilt size that I want. That's 3,535 hexagons folks. That's a lot of hexes.

Hex-a-flower

I have about 50 fabrics from cut up fat quarters that are included in each "repeat" of a section (2 repeats per section) plus a smaller selection of "wild card" fabrics that there are 4 per repeat. 4 each of solids, random scrappy hexagons and Liberty hexagons (as begun by the kit of hexes I got in awesome swap). The wild card fabrics are pulled out of some individual zip loc bags (only the highest of technology here) and then added to the randomizer (a smaller empty plastic container) where the hexes get tossed for a bit before being laid out in their final configuration.

25 fabulous Liberty prints

There are a few rules. I try to keep the fabrics from lining up or being to close to themselves in other repeats. This is much easier now that I have an army of hexes to work with. The polka dots are not allowed to be next to each other. And I try to keep from any one dominant colour to be too dominant in a specific location. Sometimes it takes a surprising amount of time to arrange the hexes to my arbitrary tastes but I try not to be too fussy about it. Once they're arranged, I start sewing the gazillion seams.

Almost out of thread

There are so many seams. But I kind of like the mindlessness of taking a stack of 63 hexagons and sewing them together. It's most satisfying to finish up a section and sew it to the big piece. So satisfying. Especially now that I've just about finished the first spool of thread that was dedicated to this project. Very satisfying indeed.

20 August 2011

And the hex continues

As an omni-crafter with a penchant for starting (too) many projects, I sometimes find myself overwhelmed with concurrent projects. As I work full time, I tend to start a bunch of projects when work's especially busy, but without the energy to advance them as much as I'd like.

And so it continues

So lately I've found myself drawn to the simplicity and methodical practise of the slowly growing hexagonal quilt. I work on a relatively smallish section at a time. Here I've just laid out one repeat of hexes in anticipation of getting stitched up. I do two of these sections before I attach it to the larger pieced top. It's getting quite sizeable and tricky to document.

Quilted coffee table

For several days, there was a quilted coffee table in our apartment. My roommate commented that it would be really cool if it were REALLY a quilted coffee table. But that project will have to wait for another time.

15 August 2011

Bye bye t-shirts

Pretty t-shirts

Things kind of got paused craftwise lately. My parents came to town. Whenever they come for their summer visit, there is a rash of home improvements that go on. Previous years have involved painting my kitchen and putting up many shelves. So it naturally follows that new apartment means new opportunities for home improvements. Especially if I hadn't quite managed to unpack everything since moving. My brother even got in on the home improvements and had my dad finish up some final details in his bathroom. Home improvement for everyone!

Old t-shirts

My mom made me helped motivate me to finish unpacking. Including sorting through my clothes, shoes and some of my fabric into "keep" and "donate". She must have started watching that show now that I think about it.

Old t-shirts

This is my stack of old t-shirts. I used to be a real t-shirt fiend, but about a year and a half ago I switched to dresses and haven't really looked back. But I had an idle plan to use these shirts to make a quilt. Like simple squares combining all the lovely shades of grey that I loved so much. But my mom had none of it as I have much more fabric with quilt plans than finished quilts. So away the t-shirts went.

bye bye t-shirts

I took some pictures before the shirts disappeared forever so at least I can recall the lovely colour combinations.