To be a bit cliché, this shoemaker is a professional Web Developer and her child is this blog, but it was past time to launch what I have of a new design. All the content is still here, everything else is a work in progress (kind of like most of my sewing projects)!
I’ll spare you a lengthy essay on the quilt title, but the tl;dr of my stream of consciousness was something like “for CCC / double plus / C++? / cout << 'Hello Triple C' / okay, C++ is good enough before you get too far down the rabbit hole and start an i/o stream of odes to unorthodox programming syntax and 'doubleplusgood's and other 1984 references. / Wait, Sea++? Get it? Salt Water, like from the sea… no, really, just stop." My mind: a confusing place since forever.
But as the start of that stream of consciousness reads, this quilt is for my sister Courtney, also known by her initials as CCC or Triple C, and the quilt was inspired by one titled “Double Plus.” She’s been waiting patiently for a quilt since I made the ones for our mom and other sister back in May 2011 (plus the otherfabricthings I’ve made Kaite), so I’m glad inspiration finally hit!
It all started with a six-pack of FQs from Tula Pink’s Salt Water line. I threw in a bit of shot cotton (maybe a Moda Cross Weave?) and Kona Nautical as binding from my stash. Rounding out the fabric choices are yardage of another Salt Water print for the background and Laura Gunn Painter’s Canvas for most of the block corners.
Ideas floated around in the ether for a bit, always coming back to plus quilts, so when I saw “Double Plus”, the idea took shape. A few rounds of digital sketching later, I had the plan to execute in 70″ square form.
This yardage from IKEA has always been slated for the back of Courtney’s quilt, even before there was an idea for the quilt front. My brain decided it, and so it is. The piecing was less about intention and more about making the fabric I had work for the back—particularly without another trip to the store. The blue is a textured linen-like cotton that has been in my stash for a while, previously seen in Carl’s bag. Had I remembered it was there, it likely would have ended up on the front as well instead of the Painter’s Canvas. Case in point: I need stash organizing, stat.
I picked up a spool of Isocord thread to quilt with and I really like the results, but had to battle a fair number of tension issues. This also isn’t my best quilting because I tackled it all with my free-motion foot—even the straight and stitch-in-the-ditch parts. I need much more practice with doing straight lines that way, but now that it is washed, all the little mistakes aren’t obvious.
Tula paired up with Urban threads to offer some embroidery motifs that pair with the line, including a quilting one, so I mixed it in with my FMQ. I planned to do more, but those tensions issues made me modify that plan. There are still a few anchors mixed in the quilting.
The final wavy texture is amazing and it drapes beautifully. It’s hard to part with, but nothing but the best for my very favorite oldest younger sister who is infinitely patient.
To top it off, I threw together a quick tote bag from another bit of Tula Pink—the Turtle Bay print from Prince Charming—paired with a stashed solid (I’m not sure what), another embroidery from Urban Threads, and lined in the Ikea text print. I made her a zippered cosmetic bag from this same print earlier in the year (but never photographed), so it all ties together pretty well.
That’s three quilts in three months. Can I keep up the trend?
Three years ago, I made my first quilt. I knew nothing about quilting but a fair amount about sewing fabric together, so I dove in, read a bit, and ended up with something that wasn’t half bad. I also made mistakes, particularly using fabrics that couldn’t handle the love its toddler owner has given it. So, three years later, that same recipient is getting a second quilt—my nineteenth quilt finish (if I counted properly).
I’m still not one to use solely quilting cotton. The solids in this quilt are flannel, and the back is Minky. But, those hold up pretty well, unlike silk.
The batting is low-loft cotton (Warm & White, mostly because I had it on-hand in the right dimensions); that first quilt is probably the only one I will ever use a high-loft poly on. His name is appliqued, but done so with the embroidery capabilities of my machine, rather than manually (I’m using the excuse that I needed to test out my machine post-service; I’m not sure that it was any faster that way, considering the rehooping and trimming, etc.). An embroidered dog keeps it company.
The quilting is a simple seam-line echo, in four of the colors from the quilt top; red, orange, yellow, green. There was no rhyme nor reason, those are just the colors I had that matched and didn’t have enough to use just one color. I went through an extra spool of the yellow, though, doing the applique.
I bound it in one fo the prints from the line, a red chicken wire pattern. When all was said and done, I still had a lot of that red, a matching FQ of one of the animal prints, and a bit of extra Minky, so I threw together an envelope-style pillowcase for a travel-sized pillow to match.
I had to add a hidden bit of velcro to keep it properly closed, as the envelope overhang gapes when the pillow is in there (I was winging it, measurement-wise). In the future, I want to play around and see what the minimum overlap is for that; it seems like an interesting problem to solve.
Three years, nineteen quilts (plus some minis and many other projects), but I think I’m just getting started considering I’ve already quilted another and am in the middle of one more at the moment!
My mom’s Christmas gift was a matching set composed of a quilted cosmetic bag, eyeglasses sleeve, and curling iron sleeve. Unfortunately, I may not have photographed it. I also promised to make a matching zippered bag for her purse, but didn’t finish it in time for Christmas. It’s suddenly the end of June, but now it’s made!
I was in the groove, and made a few more small storage pouches for myself; they’ve been on my to-do list for a while. I wrote a tutorial about the first ones I made over a year ago.
Since I still had fabric to match my mom’s set, I made one for her too. Because I used the last of my Velcro on mine, I improvised by adding a flap that closes with a button. There’s also an inner divider in hers using up the last of the yellow contrast fabric.
Not bad for about an hour and a half of sewing time!
I don’t want to sound prideful, but I’m proud of myself—I’ve made a good dent in my WIP storage lately. This photo is from Sunday:
At the beginning of the month, all twelve cubbies were full. Since the photo, I’ve also cleared out a small one that held Mom’s fabric; cut apart the pieces for my Miniatures Nine-Patch (one of the post-it marked ones); and migrated my EPP stuff to its new home in my new bag. Damn, it feels good to be a gangsta WIP finisher. Granted, that’s not my only WIP storage, but it’s a good feeling to have finished some projects, made progress on others, and organized even more.
Did you make any resolutions to tackle WIPs this year?
Every project has a story, but this one is more dear to me than most. It starts with a sewn tube of fabric that once contained cardboard, used to stiffen the base of a Vera Bradley bag.
Said bag was a gift to my youngest sister (Kaite) from our grandmother, who passed away last summer. It came into my possession via our other sister over Christmas—it was the only part of the bag that survived the fire that destroyed most of their possessions right before Thanksgiving.
Unpicked, it measured about 8.5″×16″, and miraculously had two full centered repeats of the main pattern. Perfect for a small zip bag with a boxed bottom, when paired with a mottled brown lining fabric from my stash and a couple of hardware pieces.
The dumb luck of the repeats meant that I was able to cut a matching front and back, making awesome matching patterns in the seams. I struggle to do this when I have a lot of fabric to work with—I’m still in awe that I managed with such a small amount of fabric.
It’s hard to imagine that this bag’s fabric started life as an odd little flat insert in another bag, but I hope its new life suits Kaite well.
I’ll find out soon… I’m on my way to pick her up from the airport as this post goes live!
First, the grand total of my recent completed projects, Valentine Mug Rugs made of mystery-fiber pinkish fabric and a charm pack of Bliss that I honestly don’t remember buying (I have a charm pack purchasing problem):
Actually, there are eight of them in various stages of being bound (I proved with this project that I cannot bind by machine with any proficiency at all. At. All.), all with slightly different blocks on the left.
Have I mentioned Urban Threads yet? I can’t get enough of their embroidery designs. That’s where the “Make Things” crest came from in the above project.
Hint: if you ever want to get me a present, a gift card to there would be splendid.
We solved the electrical woes I mentioned in my last post, but I haven’t managed to put my sewing room back in order after I moved it all around so I could use the other outlet. I did get the giant box of trash out and new shelves built, though: baby steps.
And maybe my 2012 Saturday Sampler blocks (December’s still isn’t complete, but I also have all the other fabric for the top now). Is it gauche to take a sampler from another LQS to the retreat?
Then there is the EPP-project carrying bag that I started in November, but stopped once I got to the lining part and never went back to.
I have a star block that needs finishing by Monday—maybe I’ll take it, or finish it up before I leave. I have some swap blocks that need making before the beginning of March, so perhaps those.
In short, I really need to Make Things, and I have a lot of things partially made. And then I need to Blog Things, but that will hopefully come after said making.
Here’s a shot of all eight mug rugs before I packed them up. I did end up figuring out how to sew binding via machine on four of them, with the help of Steam-a-Seam basting. Not perfect, but I was out of time! The blocks all finished at 4″ (the rugs themselves were 5″×9.5″).
Including the binding and a charm on the back of each, I used all but four of the charms in the pack (with very nominal cutting waste of some).
Three presents down (including this one from last week), a handful more to go. I am making three of the cosmetics bags total—the finished one here, the one cut out and half quilted that is also shown, and one other.
Also, one more of the little zipper bags, and one or two other small things. By next Friday. Yikes! It has been fun working out the kinks in construction process for the big bags. I am not sure how to translate my finagling into a tutorial yet, though.
I haven’t been quilting lately, but I have been coming up with great ideas for the new year!
From around the web this week: The Oldest UFO from the Quilter’s Newsletter Blog. Unlike the author, all of my unfinished latchhook projects are lost to the sands of time (I can think of at least three, one might have been finished). Did you do latchhook as a child (or adult, for that matter)?
Modern Mirage from Freshly Pieced. This is my favorite quilt I saw online this week.
One Christmas present down, quite a few more to go. The journal is store bought, but I whipped up the zippered pen bag. Quick, mostly pain free, and I only had to steal one thing from another project instead of running to the store (the zipper, but I have one in another color that will work for the other project anyhow).
The rest of my planned projects aren’t quite so simple.
My youngest sister Kaite loves Vera Bradley. She not-so-subtly hinted on Facebook to our other sister that said sister should buy her a laptop backpack for her birthday last week. Sane (also broke college) person that she is, other sister said no way, and so Kaite changed tack by claiming that she loves “Rachael Arnold” more than Vera. That little equivoque earned her a cosmetic bag in addition to the rest of her combined Christmas/Birthday/Finals Week present (I’d neither the time nor inclination to try making a laptop bag).
It’s quite a nice sized bag for toiletries or sundries. It’s around 11″×7″×4″. The outer fabric is quilted to cotton batting, and the zipper spans the entire top section, curving over about an inch on either side.
One side has a small handle with her initials, and a carrying strap attached via a clasp and D-ring.
I didn’t get a good photo, but I’m rather proud of how I managed to center the design on the hand strap.
The lining material is interfaced and has a label. All in all, the bag has a lot of body and was completely empty in the photos, so you can see that it stands fine on its own.
I believe I’m going to make another one or two of these in the next month or so. After I iron out the issues I had with this one, I’ll turn it into a tutorial if anyone is interested. The problem with making up a pattern like this as you go along means I forgot things like the lining when initially constructing it, and I still don’t know the exact length of the side piece, since I just sewed it onto the front and cut off the extra.
Baby quilt two of the fall rush is complete and delivered.
I was inspired by all the diamond HST quilts in blogland, and decided to throw in a heart just for good measure. It finished at around 41″×45″.
It’s backed with a solid piece of Minky fabric. It’s wonderfully soft and cozy.
Because of the Minky backing, I didn’t want to quilt it too closely. So, I just echoed the diamond inside the middle of the HSTs, and made a couple of echo lines inside the heart. Her initials are also in the middle of the heart. The density (or lack thereof) is pushing the limits of the 80/20 batting I used, but I think it will be ok.
Because of the lack of pieced backing, I didn’t make a custom label. I just used one I had printed from Spoonflower, and added a few details in handwriting.
To complete the set, I made another modified Simplicity 2613 dog out of the leftover Minky, along with a small scarf of leftover top pieces and some other fuzzy purple fabric I had in my stash. I like how the pattern goes together with the Minky… it will be used again, I’m sure.
Our friend just moved apartments and bought a new couch set (which I’m rather jealous of, although it wouldn’t fit properly in our house). When we were shopping with him, he really seemed to like this one set of pillows that unfortunately didn’t really match the new set very well.
So, Carl and I decided that I should make simliar ones in colors that will match. It’s a very simple design of upholstery fabric and fuzzy stuff on the back (for cuddle-ability):
The brown floral (which reads more like scales in some of the rectangles) is the same fabric as two of the pillows that came with the set—a happy find in the fabric store that will also help these blend in with the other pillows.
Here’s a super quick tutorial for how to make your own matching pair.
1⁄6 yard each of four different fabrics for the front (these were upholstery-weight)
½ yard of backing fabric (these were a cuddle fabric, but upholstery works too)
2 16″ pillow forms (or make your own. It’s better to have that extra layer of fabric than to just stuff the case you make)
If you use quilt-weight fabrics, you probably want a yard of muslin to use as an interlining for the front and back, just to give it more body. Unless your 42″-wide quilt-weight fabric is also super square, you will need a bit more than 1⁄6 yard (you need a strip that is 6″×40″ for standard width, or 5″×48″ for wider fabric).
Cut 16 3″×5″ rectangles from each of the four front fabrics.
Cut two 17″ squares from the backing fabric.
If you’re using lightweight fabric, cut 4 17″ squares from the muslin.
Because I recommend using heavy fabric, I’ve given all measurements assuming a seam allowance of ½″. Sewing a true ¼″ seam with upholstery fabric is annoying, fiddly, and begging for problems (not to mention it gives room to deal with the horrid fraying).
Pair up the two darker fabrics and the two lighter fabrics for the front (A and B, C and D).
Create blocks by sewing all of the A pieces to the B pieces along the long side. Do the same for the C and D pieces.
Construct the rows by alternating two AB blocks and two CD blocks. You’ll need four rows that start with AB and four that start with CD, with A and C always being at the top of the row.
Sew four rows together for each pillow, alternating the AB-starting rows and the CD-starting rows.
Making the pillow
One you’ve completed the fronts, place a front and back piece right-sides together. If you used light-weight fabric, baste a piece of muslin to the wrong side of each piece first.
Pin, then sew all the way around, leaving a 10″ opening on one side (or smaller, if you feel comfortable stuffing your pillow form in).
Turn out, clipping corners as needed.
Insert the pillow form through the opening, then sew the opening closed with a whipstitch or your preferred closing method.