Grunge Moda Basic Grey – Wedding Gift

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After rejecting the Satsuki Jewel quilt to give as a wedding gift, I started looking closer at this jelly roll, Grunge by Moda. The Satsuki Jewel quilt felt too traditional and scrappy, and I thought a more modern quilt would be a better choice for the recipients in mind.

I did a search on the fabric, just casually looking for ideas, and I happened on a pattern featuring this exact fabric line!  http://static.fatquartershop.com/media/wysiwyg/pdf/Grunge.pdf

Kinda felt like cheating, but it was pretty much the look I was hoping for, and I’d never done a pattern like it before.

Lots of cutting…

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The blocks were really fun to piece! I enjoyed putting all the different colors together in so many different combinations. So satisfying.

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Free motion quilting

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Trimming off the edges is always thrilling

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Sewing the binding

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I love using wonderclips to hold the binding in place while I hand sew – it keeps the edges from fraying so much in the meantime.

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Love this one! Was fun and easy, and I look forward to trying this pattern with other fabrics.

 

Satsuki Jewel Quilt

I’d like to blog about my current project(s), but I feel like I need to catch up on old stuff first! So here’s another one I started in early 2015. I bought a layer cake of Robert Kaufman Satsuki Jewel, thinking it would make a lovely quilt for a wedding gift. I’d also been wanting to try out an altered squares pattern.

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I cut each square into 4 pieces – either equal squares or triangles.

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The fabric is pretty, but I really wasn’t crazy about the way this was coming together. Too patchy – I think the fabric needed something a little more orderly.

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I used this fabric for border and backing. This is another mistake I learned from – it’s best for bordering colors to go from lightest to dark, not darkest to lightest as I did.

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Quilt sandwich, first layer

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Quilted with free motion meandering pattern

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A full layer cake pack makes a big quilt!

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I always have helpers for hand sewing the binding

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I realized early on that this wasn’t the quilt I wanted to give as a wedding gift and started another project that I loved! (hate to say I’m so disappointed in this one, but it was another good learning experience).

Amy Butler Belle Quilt

20150328_235545I was so eager to make a quilt with Amy Butler fabric, and I knew my Aunt Linda would be the perfect recipient. I made this quilt in extreme gratitude for her help through a very difficult experience.

There was a Craftsy video featuring videos from QuiltCon 2013, and Amy Butler was one of the speakers. Her approach to colors and design is gorgeous and inspiring!

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Just look at this beautiful fabric! I used 3 charm packs to make this, along with a jelly roll of this creamy linen color.

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This is my least favorite part of quilt making – putting the quilt sandwich together. I generally clear space in the living room and use painter’s tape to secure the backing to the floor. The pinning process always seems to take so long. And it’s a losing battle to keep pets off, except for the Irish Wolfhound who actually obeys my request to step elsewhere.

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Free motion quilting – always a joy!

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This is a strange picture – why isn’t there a cat impeding my work?

There’s sweet boy Raoul, helping as I trimmed off the edges once quilting was finished.

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Sewing on the binding with Suey cuddling in the warm folds.

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I love wrapping my quilts with a big ribbon before gifting them.

 

Gift Quilts for Daddy and Father-in-Law

In 2014, I made quilts for my dad and for my father-in-law as holiday gifts.

I used a quilt kit from Craftsy for my dad’s quilt, the Kite Flight. The colors are so cheerful! This was m 2nd time using a quilt kit from Craftsy, which I did find very enjoyable as a beginner quilter.

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This is how the kit came – a jelly roll and one piece of yardage.

 

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Started by sewing strips together. Fun and easy!

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Here’s the back of a block – it’s interesting that they can look so sloppy on the back and so perfect on the front.

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Sewing helpers, as always. I tried using invisible thread for stitching in the ditch. I really didn’t like it, and I don’t think I’ll try it again. It was difficult to get the tension right, and I just didn’t appreciate the feel of it. It feels like fishing line – stiff. And it’s not soft to the touch – not what I want with a cuddly quilt.

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Finished quilt (before washing). I’d like to try this pattern again with different fabrics, and I think I’ll make it wider next time, as it’s a long and narrow shape.

 

For my father-in-law’s quilt, I used this pug fabric as inspiration (he loves pugs!). 20141030_205547

I ended up not using the red fabric, though I like the way it looks in this little bundle.

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I wasn’t too happy with this one. My husband talked me into the mustard yellow binding, and I don’t think it works (I’ve since learned to stop asking for his opinion). Plus, the black fabric bled onto the white backing when I washed it, even though I added 2 color catchers to the wash.

Mommy Fortuna Cosplay

For Dragon Con 2014, my husband and I dressed as characters from The Last Unicorn. I put my new sewing skills to the test!

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He was Schmendrick the Magician (see a previous blog for details on making this one), and I was Mommy Fortuna.

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I pretty much followed patterns except for extending the length of the tunic. I also added the ribbed fabric for the sleeve cuffs.

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The cuffs looked good, but I should have included elastic! They were custom fit to my wrist, so I wasn’t able to push my sleeves up when I got warm. Oops.

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The hat was the hard part. I started with a plain black ball cap purchased from Michael’s, and I used craft foam sheets (also from Michael’s). I cut the brim off the ball cap, and I liked that it was adjustable to my head, especially knowing there would be a wig involved.

I stapled the foam to the hat and used heat from the stovetop to gently melt and shape the pieces. This was challenging!

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I used a ball point pen to carve lines into the hat, trying to imitate wood grain.

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Here’s a test piece – I ended up using brown puffy paint to give it a more textured look, and I painted over it with black and brown.

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Added a few more branches and the crow. I used Elmer’s glue to attach the other branches (pinned in place with quilting pins until dry). I should have reinforced the top of the hat with something firm inside – it ended up drooping a lot when I wore it. It was fine at first, but as it got warm in the summer heat, the material relaxed.

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These are styrofoam balls painted with nail polish.

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The bone necklace is also craft foam.

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Schmendrick Cosplay

One of our cosplay choices for Dragon Con 2014 was a couple of characters from The Last Unicorn, Schmendrick and Mommy Fortuna.

My husband agreed to dress as Schmendrick the Magician. I loosely followed a pattern (Simplicity 4059 Renaissance Costume Collection) to get the general shape down. I I hand-dyed the fuzz on the shoulders (I think it was just white fur from Michael’s). And for the hat, I used Simplicity 1582 and didn’t add a brim. I added pockets for his convenience, and the leggings are store-bought. The nose is a “sultan style” prosthetic, and we added some Ben Nye makeup to try to blend it his face.

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Kitten and a Holiday Quilt

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We found Raoul in July 2014 in our neighborhood when driving home after watching a World Cup match. He was emaciated, dehydrated, and covered in fleas. It took a couple of days to nurse him to the point of acting like a normal kitten – he wanted constant human contact to ease his achy belly.

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This was the day he figured out how to climb on my desk and “help” me sew.

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This was made from a few charm packs – Solstice by Kate Spain.

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It took me a few months to finish this one, as I worked on it casually between other projects. No hurry since it was meant to be a holiday gift.

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I step away for a moment and come back to this!

See how he’s growing?

He always jumps into the picture immediately! Nice coincidence that he was wearing holiday clothes, too.