Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Pink Nursing Cover

Yet another nursing cover. This is only my second time making it, but I still found some design tweaks.



The last time I put the embellishment on the bottom. But this time I put it on the top because it looked better and because the french seam on the inside might be less likely to bother the baby on the inside.

If I make it again I may also try changing the strap from a D-ring to velcro so that taking the cover on and off is less of a hassle for the mom and won't interfere as much with her hair. However, not having had to actually use this, I would appreciate knowing whether the adjustable d-ring is preferred over velcro.

close up of the top: gypsy rose is the purple and tea time florals is the pink

Monday, February 21, 2011

Finishing the Whimsy Series

I think that I have finally used the last of my fabric from the Whimsy line and inadvertently created my first ever series of quilts. First I made the zig zag quilt for my niece:


Then I made for my sister the "I'm Blushing" quilt by Natalia Bonner:


And the rest of the fabric is now in the most creatively named quilt "Whimsy Squares" (yeah, not so creatively named):


This one measures about 54" square and is backed with a super soft and cuddly minkee white dot. I had originally tried to quilt the top with the backing, forgetting just how frustrating that can be because the minkee tends to stretch and distort everything. So I then spent about 3 months unstitching every single quilting line before finally requilting the just the top again over the weekend.  I  then put the top and the minkee right sides together, stitched around the edges and turned the whole thing inside out.

close up of the squares

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Humble Triangle

The half-square triangle (HST) is like the Little Black Dress (LBD) of quilting. It goes with pretty much anything, is comfortable, and an easy favorite. It can go from

a star
to
a zig
to
a reverse zag
to
a full zig zag
to
a trip around the world
to
pinwheels blowing in the wind
There is even a Flickr pool devoted to quilts made with Half Square Triangles.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Beautiful Things

"Have nothing in your houses
that you do not know to be
useful or believe to be beautiful."
- William Morris, 1882

I really like this quote by William Morris. Not yet everything in my house (no houses for me) is yet useful or beautiful, but it's something to aspire to.

A while back Moda released a line "Arcadia" by Sanae that caught my eye, but I never got around to buying yardage since I was still new to sewing. A while back I finally gave in and bought a dessert roll (1.5" strips of all the designs in the fabric line) when it was on sale thinking that I would make a small quilt with it or something. But instead, I ended up using some of the strips to make my boring cork board into a useful and beautiful thing.


There are a lot of tutorials available on the internet about covering a bulletin board with fabric. Essentially you just cut fabric large enough to cover the front of the board plus some additional allowance to fold over the raw edge of the fabric to cover the back. As an example, the cork board is 17" x 23" so I made sure that the fabric cover was at least 21" x 27" (an extra 2" allowance for each side).

I pieced the strips like a string quilt onto a lightweight foundation, finished the raw edges with some twill tape, and then stapled the cover onto the back of the board.


The project came together a lot faster than I expected and the pay-off is so much greater than the small effort involved. So if you have been looking for a quick design pick-me up, you might want to consider making your own beautiful and useful message board with just a yard of fabric and a staple gun.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Why Holding Onto Things is a Good Idea

About two or three years ago, I bought this fabric to make into an apron as a Christmas gift for a friend.

Noguchi by Alexander Henry
The apron never got made and the fabric went into my stash. Often considered, but never picked for a project. But, it just goes to show that holding onto something can sometimes pay off.

That same friend is now having a baby and so I pulled that fabric out again and made her a nursing cover instead using the tutorial from A Diary of a Quilter. But because I apparently have a hard time reading and following directions, I ended up cutting the bottom short. Oops.

No problem. Nothing a little ric-rac and playful polka dots can't solve.


And the fun part is that the nursing cover looks more professional all because of a garment label. I ordered them to prepare for selling my stuff some time later this year.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A Day at the Park

Los Angeles has a lot of hidden treasures, but it's easy for me to forget or to take for granted all that is available. Unless something happens to make me realize that there actually are better ways to spend a free day than quilting and sewing indoors.

What better way to while away an afternoon than under a shady tree?
 Earlier this month, my cousin, friend, and I went to the Huntington Library in San Marino. I went because the Library had just received a Warhol as a gift and it was on display. And I thought my cousin who recently moved here from Korea and her friend, a native from mainland China who is here to learn English and teach Chinese, would both enjoy an outing and a day away from the office.

The vivid turquoise of the girl's umbrella caught my eye in the Japanese gardens.
The Library is an incredibly beautiful place with so many gardens and world-class art to enjoy. Sometimes being rich can really be fun as Mr. Henry E. Huntington proved. The Library was originally his residential estate and he left a legacy to establish the Library to be enjoyed by the public and also serve as a major scholarly resource.

Gorgeous statuary is everywhere.
This is one of the statues that line what used to be the family's bowling lawn.
The bowling lawn is bigger than most housing lots in Southern California.
If you're ever in the area, I highly recommend taking the time for a visit.

An occupational hazard of quilting is that I see potential quilt designs everywhere.
These tile-like stones line one of the paths in the Chinese garden.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Progress on the Fanciful Flowers Quilt

I am really, really happy with how this is turning out.


I had originally planned to use white for the corner squares, but the yellow adds a much needed punch, I think, to keep the quilt from being too monochromatic and, thus, boring.


I feel like a proud mama.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Quilting to Keep Me Sane

I finally finished piecing all of the monkey wrench blocks together yesterday and the quilt top is ready to take to a long-arm quilter for that special quilting magic. Yay! My goal is not take another 6 months to drop off the quilt like my last one. You can see the finished top in my quilts gallery page.

In other news, work has been a little trying lately so the only thing that has been keeping me sane is working on a old/new quilt. A while back I wrote about doing needle-turn applique for the first time to make some flower blocks for the Fanciful Flowers quilt (picture available here) featured in the book Material Obsessions. I finally finished the blocks in late December and am now getting around to making the log cabin blocks using the fabric in the picture below. Aren't they so pretty?

the fabric is mostly from Amy Butler although there is a smattering of Anna Griffin
Here are five of the flower blocks. My "design wall" is actually some empty space on one side of a very short and very narrow entry way, hence the very skewed angle of the picture, but you get the idea.


The postage stamp blocks partially obscured by the flowers are the left over pieces from my monkey wrench blocks. Not sure what to do with them. Maybe quilted placemats? Or a small handbag? Or a small basket? Maybe put them in a quilt with all my other infinite orphan blocks? No rush as they have been pinned up there for at least a year.
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