Saturday, September 10, 2011

Geo Grand Coasters

The one thing I love and hate about doing napkins are the scraps they produce. Mostly I tried to use the biggest scraps up making more napkins (here), but there are always scraps too small for this, so I decided to make some scrappy coasters to go with the napkins.
I realized after I finished the napkins that I missed one whole fabric from the Geo Grand line, so I made that the main fabric. I used a tutorial I found online (When I find it again I'll link to it). I got the measurements a bit out of whack as the main fabric is supposed to be wider (like the one bottom right), but I liked the greeny-blue fabrics better anyhow, and they are solid on the back so there is lots of brown there. I think next time I try this I would make them all differently sized & play around with the scraps a bit more getting more contrasts maybe with a few solids thrown in.

And as a bonus I got to use up some of my batting scraps to boot. Happy times!

Monday, September 5, 2011

You Don't Know Jack

Hubster has been at me for ages to make him a union jack quilt ever since he saw a pillow in a magazine. Given the odd angles to the union jack I couldn't quite figure out a pattern on my own in my few attempts and shelved the project until I could find a tutorial or pattern I liked. My other issue was that I am not a huge fan of red, white & blue together as it makes me think of the American flag vs. the British flag. (A condition of being Canadian I suppose). But when I saw the Jack tutorial I posted earlier I started to get excited about the possibilities of fabric combinations. (Please check out the original tutorial at Lily's Quilts here)

I have been holding onto some batiks I picked up at the local quilt store which I have been hoarding uncut as I didn't know if I could get anymore of them. I decided this project would be the right time to use so I created this:
I used the purple and teal colourways and added a Kona Solids stripe in ash left over from this project. I thought using batiks would be a smarty-pants idea as they don't really have a front/back. Here is where it went wrong. The pattern requires precise cutting (check, did that) and with that, definite ways to use the precision cut pieces. I should have marked the batiks 'right side' to keep the triangles in the orientation they required. Oops! So in the end I had backwards blocks and after resewing had to cut down correct blocks to match the bodged together blocks. In the future I will make sure to keep proper labels on all my cuttings. Excellent lesson learned.

Even with these issues I still really like the block, and now that I know what not to do I think I might try to make this into a quilt for hubbie. I am trying to find more of this batik before I totally commit to that, and so far I've only seen a few of the other colours left at the quilt shop (who I am not happy with at the moment, but that's another story). So, I might have to rethink the blocks a bit - mix batiks & non-batiks? have all blocks different? have all blocks the same? So many possibilities. I think I might make this first block into a small wall hanging in the meantime since these colours were the ones missing at the shop (always the way). Actually, that is another lesson learned - if you adore a fabric buy yardage up since it might not be around anymore when you finally get around to using it!

Owlberta Pillow

I started this project ages ago cutting out the pieces, and it has sat in my craft closet ever since utterly forgotten. So when I found it the week before last I decided I should just finish it to see how it goes before tackling one as a gift. That way I can mess this one up and get all the mistakes out before making the next one. And let me tell you, boy were there were mistakes!

Firstly, I didn't really cut the shape out right for the ears - I think I'd like them pointy on the next one.
I also bodged the felt bit on when I should have taken more care, and probably should have hand sewed them on with matching colored embroidery floss. Lastly, I didn't take enough care on the bottom sewing and totally missed the inside fabric to the pocket - duh! I will cut that fabric larger next time to make sure it will all be securely sewn then cut off the excess. Oh well, it is one big learning curve. The next one I make will be more boy-ish as it might be a pressie for my nephew to come. Jasper should arrive late November early December and I can't wait.

One other thing I tried after reading something about alternative filling for pillows is use up my loads of tiny scraps. Although I can see where they are coming from that it does indeed stuff the pillow, it also makes for an incredibly dense and heavy pillow. So, for Jasper's pressie I think I'll stick to some sort of stuffing to keep it lighter, or make the owl pillow sized and add a zipper for easier clean up. So much experimenting to do!

I will try to get some closer pics of the details - my hubbie was helping me with the pictures before the camera battery died and we didn't get around to more pictures since. I'll be able to show the back of the pillow that has a pocket for a book.

All in all I am happy with the result and with these few tweaks and the lessons learned from the mistakes on this one I think I'm ready to tackle the next one as soon as I find some inspiring fabric. The purple fabric I used on the front made me think of feathers, and I used a coordinating owl print on the back which is what sparked this project, so I think an outing to the fabric shop may be in order.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Next set of Napkins

I wanted to use up the leftover bits of fabric left after the first set up napkins so I whipped up 4 more. I think I actually prefer these scrappy ones to the original ones. Isn't that always the way?

I think making napkins might be a new favourite since there is instant gratification. The more I quilt the more I realize I am all about the instant gratification. I love making each block, but get bogged down in the actual construction and cutting. I think that's why I lean towards improv quilting most where there is less precise cutting and more playing around.

Up next will be the coaster set I made to go with the napkins, and a practice union jack quilt block. Oh and an owl pillow. I guess I was busy during my holidays.