Thursday, February 19, 2015

Hello Hazel!

It's so tough for me to resist a fun quilt-along that pops up, even when I already have way too many projects on the go. The lovely and talented Gnome Angel is hosting this quilt-along in February featuring the adorable Hazel Hedgehog pattern by Elizabeth Hartman. I have a couple of her patterns that I haven't yet made, so this quilt-along was a good push to finally try one. And oh was it fast and fun to put together!

And how stinking cute is this?

Mine is made all in Cotton + Steel fabric. (I have more of the arrow print in the mail, which is the only reason I wasn't freaking out about cutting into it. Crazy fabric-hoarder behaviour, I know.) I love how it looks like she's got a twinkle in her eye and a wet nose with the silver dots on the blue fabric.

I definitely want to make more Hazels, which come in different sizes from teeny to giant. I plan on making this one, which is 20" square, into a pillow. And keep it for myself! If you want to see all the amazing Hazels people are making in the quilt-along, check out #hazelqal on IG. Some are wearing retro glasses!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Just keep sewing

I've been busy as a bee in the sewing room, juggling a bunch of different projects. That includes making my very first quilting bee block! (Get it, busy as a bee?) The first Queen Bee for our group picked the Tic Tac Toe block, and asked for purple corners and a dark paisley-type print for the middle cross. Oh boy, did I have trouble finding the right fabrics. But then good luck intervened! I sent her a bunch of options for the middle and the one she liked best proved to be difficult to get at a reasonable price online and not in any local shops. Then what did I spot in the scrap bundle I got in a recent swap, but that very fabric! And just enough! I ended up picking up the purple and white-on-white from my LQS. I think it turned out very nice and I will mail it today. I did manage to write my name and hometown in the signature block legibly.

As the group leader, I suggested we could all make a signature block the Queen Bee can put on the back of her quilt. How cute is this little churn dash block? Plus I used salvaged HST from the main block for the corners, so it came together fast once I got the math down. I also suggested we could send a few charm squares of leftover or co-ordinating fabric. I may have gotten carried away when I started cutting, as I ended up with a considerable pile. Then I also made her a fabric basket. I tucked everything in there with a card to mail.

I've also been working steadily on my mini for the rainbow swap, which is quite time consuming for something relatively small. Look at all those wonderful colours!

Just cutting out the fabric took quite some time, and then I had 128 wee HST to trim before I could start piecing. Oh, the piecing. Each block takes quite a lot of sewing and ironing with 25 1.5" pieces. But now I've got 12 done, and only four to go! I hope it turns out nicely. I'm at the point where I'm having doubts about my plan, but I'm in the homestretch and must forge ahead.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Not so sweet

My latest swap was super fun, although a real challenge. Called #bitchesgetstitcheswap, it was a profanity themed swap. The field was pretty wide open. Pretty much make anything crafty with your partner's favourite swear word. Where to start?! People made crazy awesome, inspired things! Although not specifically a sewing or quilting swap, that's where lots of people went and of course it's my comfort zone too. Here's a fun picture I posted during the swap. My team was #foulmouthedmakers. So much effing fun!

Luckily me and my partner both have the same go-to for cursing: the f-bomb. And oh boy did I drop a lot in the course of making my item! So many problems and so many changed plans! Right away I knew I wanted to use pretty fabric to make hexies to spell out the word, cuz that's just fun to spell a bad word with pretty fabric.

The original plan was a zippered pouch with two letters on each side so she could use it without offending anyone. Well, dummy me, I thought about the height of the letters but not how wide they would be. When I started laying out the 50-plus hexies, the problem became immediately apparent. Insert f-bomb. Oh and that was after I discovered a massive tea spill I had in my work bag leaked into the pouch with my hexies in progress and I found a bunch of soggy, wavy hexies with a minty aroma. And so many other problems popped up, but I forged ahead with my mini quilt plan and I love how it turned out. No swearing there! How fecking awesome is this, if I do say so myself!

I top-stitched the hexies down with a light blue thread, and then echo quilted around the letters. It doesn't look like a lot of quilting, but it took a while. I really like the effect, though. And that hot pink is awesome. I was originally going to put it on a grey and then have pink and orange borders on the top and bottom, but this looks so much better. I cannot wait for my partner to get it. I really hope she loves it as much as I do, otherwise I want it back! I love that the swear word is subtle, so I hope she feels OK to have it out somewhere. She can always turn it and then the word disappears and it's just pretty hexies.

Here's the great package I got from my partner all the way up in Alaska. There was so much happy swearing when I began pulling out all these treasures. How fan-freaking-tastic is all this?!

The WTF basket is my favourite. And all those fun goodies! A wee Vincent van Gogh keychain, sans one ear! A little comedy book from someone who shares my love of vodka! Oh and in the fabric bundle is a bit of the fabric that is just what I need for my first quilting bee block. How perfect!

In the meantime, I signed up for two more swaps, putting the total in progress now at four. But oh I have so many great ideas and can't wait to get started on those!