Sunday, June 30, 2013

MORE new shirts?!?

The menfolk wrangled a promise out of me to make them another round of shirts this year. Here's what they picked:

For Barry the Patriarch, who was very excited to find this fabric still available (and who is surely also getting a Nevermore shirt too...hey!!):

For L the Elder, who wants to dress like Shawn's dad (Corbin Bernsen) on Psych:

For C the Younger, who marches to his very own drummer in the style department:


Big busy weekend for our family, as our elder son had an open water swim meet on Saturday. He swam 500 yards in a lake, and aims to complete the full mile swim at next year's event! I believe his current intentions are to wear his "Open Water Swim Championship" t-shirt forever until it falls off...but he has earned the right -- I'm so proud of him!

The Nevermore/Waffle Time runners have worked up really quickly. Eventually I'll need to comb through my batting scraps to find some pieces big enough for these.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Another bag

Finished my batik bag this morning while the boys played Magic: The Bickering at a friend's house. I used a sliver of an upholstery vinyl as the first (lowest) strip, thinking that it would hold up a little better than cotton on the bottom of the bag in terms of both durability and washability. Two things I learned: (1) it was pretty bulky to sew through; I kept getting the "presser foot too high" warning label and I broke two (!) needles sewing the corners off; and (2) I should have made the strip wider so it would have run up the side of the bottom rather than just being the very bottom; this way there will still be cotton touching the floor when I set it down. Blerg.

I have know idea where the wooden button came from (journal group, perhaps?), but it was the perfect finishing touch for this bag.

JD's bag (Marlous Designs)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Sexy Pixels: The Mark Harmon Quilt (Series Finale!!)

So. I know there are many of you -- one in particular! -- who have been waiting eagerly...and after three afternoons of quilting with four shades of Aurifil (and one quick trip to the FLQS to replenish the white spool)...
Without further ado:
Close view of Sexy Pixels: The Gibbs Quilt. (64 x 64")

Moving out...
...a little further...
...still further...
From a distance I feel like he's IN MY YARD!!
As we were taking these photos, my menfolks' reaction was "Wow, that's really freaky!" I'll take that as a compliment -- but good firm Gibbs-style head slaps all around for good measure.
I even found the NCIS font to make the custom detail too small!
And there you have it!

With gratitude to Caro Sheridan for her (!) free (!) Pictures to Pixels Quilts class on Craftsy.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Newington Group Quilt winner!!

Somehow I never got around to posting photos of the Newington Schoolhouse Quilters' finished group quilts from this year. We used the Roller Rink pattern from Modern Patchwork (with the kind permission of Elizabeth Hartman) in a black-and-white color scheme with pops of brights. Both quilts came out lovely!

Our lucky winner was Jean Scibek!

This second quilt will be donated to Northeast Utilities, our meeting location, for their annual charity auction.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

New Treats!!

New delights at Lisa's shop!!! This "Nevermore" fabric may be the very best fabric that I have EVER seen:

I couldn't resist getting 1/3 yd cuts of both so I can make some quick table runners (using Atkinson's Waffletime pattern, which is great for showing off a fab print without cutting it up).

I even already have the perfect fabrics to use as the highlight squares around the centers of both runners:
Pen nibs for the lighter (more literary) print
Spiderwebs for the darker (spookier) print
Can't wait can't wait can't wait to make these!!! (But Gibbs remains the first priority...such a great incentive to finish him!)

Friday, June 21, 2013

Sexy Pixels: The Mark Harmon Quilt (Season 3, Episode 1)

After an exciting cliffhanger in which the top was completed and the layers basted, Mark Harmon returns in an exciting new season in which the project is quilted.

I sweated over exactly what to do for the quilting. After drawing some quilting lines on a bunch of printouts of the finished top, I quickly realized that I am not skilled enough as a portraitist to attempt facial realism (like eye lines, brow crinkles, etc.). Instead, I decided on just a fairly tight stipple using semi-matching thread colors. I have plain white for the background, black for the dark areas of the eyes, nose, mouth, and jawline, and two shades of grey, the darker for the hair and the lighter for his skin.

Stippling that luxuriant hair!
After a couple hours of quilting, I have finished the hair and most of the shadow areas. I particularly like the way the dark grey thread appears on the darkest fabrics; it's kind of a cool salt-and-pepper effect for His Handsomeness.
A peek behind the scenes
Tune in again for the next installment as Our Hero nears his exciting finale!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

River!! (Thing 3)

Nanohexie piecing is finished!! (Not sure when I made the mental adjustment from micro- to nano-, but I think it's a fair scale indicator.)

That's 1,107 hexies for those keeping track at home.
The photo is rather blown out; in person, the colors really blend beautifully, and somehow I think I actually pulled off a sense of the sunset reflecting and brightening just a small area of "beach." Nonetheless, I think I'm going to shade those gray rocks a little to lessen their focus, and of course I still have to quilt the whole thing. I finally made the jump onto Pinterest (well, a little toe-dabbling perhaps) and found a great way to finish the edges while retaining the neat crenellated shape. Not much more now! I'm very eager to get this finished, because I'm excited to start working on our group's next project.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thing 2...

Just two posts this evening; I do have two more Big Finishes to share, but I don't have good photos yet so I'll photograph those projects in tomorrow morning's sunlight.

A friend of mine asked if I would make him a shirt with some fish or octopus or something like that. Serendipitously, Tula Pink's new Saltwater line had just hit the shops. This friend is the same height as my tall husband, so I already had the basic pattern adjusted. Easy peasy! (I'm really getting fast at making this pattern!)

Hey, I guess natural light really DOES make for better photos!

These octopi crack me up! I love how the seemingly floral print is so much more!

Thing 1...

So many finishes this week. Sometimes I think I subconsciously leave a bunch of stuff lying around in a nearly-done state so I can have the rush of finishing a lot of things in a very short time. I'm going to make a concerted effort to post updates more regularly, even for in-progress items and processes that aren't always that exciting to report.

Here's a little hex bag that I started before we went to Maine last month. I found the pattern in a magazine, but I think it has since shown up in a new book. I hand-pieced the hexie panel then left it hanging out on the wall for over a month; once I added the top border pieces and started quilting it (by machine, of course) it went together in mere hours. If I make this again, I'd firm up the handles a little, but this is a fun little bag to grab for a quick jaunt to the shops.

Finished! I love the concept behind the prints in the Architextures fabric line.
I made sure to piece the hexies so they would be right-side-up on both sides of the bag; I positioned the less interesting prints where they would get swallowed into seams and the lower corners.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Bye-bye baby quilt

The puppy dog baby quilt is en route to its new home in Pennsylvania! I think it's just the sweetest little thing. Here are a few detail shots showing the finished meander quilting, the curved corners, and the custom label.

Finished size 42 x 54". 

The meander quilting was very soft and wiggly (like a baby). This should give a very nice quilty effect once it's washed.

The quilt was a scant hair too wide to use a single fabric, so I pieced these two prints. I love the polka dots at the top -- they look like they were made specifically to go with the doggy fabric.

Daddy is apparently a huge MJ fan, so the Air Jordan had to be on the quilt somewhere by special request. (Baby's name redacted -- sorry, NSA!)

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Hex n More Class Sample

Here's a peek at the beginnings of the hexagon pinwheel quilt I'll be teaching at Lisa´s shop this Saturday: