EPP Party #3: Thirds beauty

I found the third block for the #EPPparty quite challenging: not for the shapes themselves (it’s like sewing hexagons), but for the fabric placement. I gave it a lot of thought before deciding how I was going to face it, not wanting a scrappy block. I reminded myself I was aiming at a “Garden of succulents” with this quilt, so I fussy cut the succulent pictures and added the leaves print to reinforce the idea.

Although I decided on the red-orange fabrics to give contrast to the other two, and thinking perhaps on succulent flowers, on Instagram I got comments pointing out they resembled terracotta pots. I just loved the idea, so now this block is a potted garden.

On this one I changed the heavy paper used before (120g/m2) for a light card stock (160g/m2). It worked better, so I think I will continue using the later on the following blocks.

Total block pieces: 50

(The party is hosted by Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo and runs on Instagram under the hashtag #EPPparty).

Star Sampler Quilt (12): “Aunt Eliza’s Star”

The 12th block for the Star-Sampler quilt-along was a pretty easy one, comparing to other blocks on this sampler. It was really quick to piece, and regarding the fabric choices, I was limited by a self-imposed criteria of using each print at least twice. And these two had been featured on one star only.

Despite having the choice already made, I think these two fabric provide a nice contrast for this pattern. My only concern is with the green vs. the background fabric, but I hope they will work better once the quilt top is pieced.

Speaking of which, this is how all 12 stars look together. This was the last block, and although I have a plan of my own for the top, I’ll wait to see what Amanda has in store before going ahead.

(This sew-along is organised and hosted by Amanda Rolfe at 3and3quarters).

EPP Party #2: Equilateral

After the 1st block, the second one for the EPP Party QAL hosted by Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo seemed quite easy. However, it allowed for an extra twist: pattern matching in the big triangles. The challenge was to be able to sew the three pieces with a continuous pattern, despite the fabric cuts.

It was something really fun to try, although it consumes lots of fabric. In fact, for this quilt I’m fussy cutting a lot, which is outside my comfort zone due to the fabric waste it generates. But I must admit that the results are absolutely worth it!

I used paper and glue for the templates; however, for these bigger pieces it should have been better to go with light cardstock. So far, glue basting is working really well.

Total block pieces: 26

(The party is on Instagram under the hashtag #EPPparty).

Stars-quilt May’17 update

Last month I fixed a minimum number of stars to be completed each month. This May not only I reached that goal, but I was able to add two more finished stars to the count. Now I just hope I can maintain that pace!

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 504/504
Stars completed: 42/84 (+8 from the last stats)

EPP Party #1: Hexie’s Madness

As if I hadn’t enough projects running right now, there’s always something new popping on my social media feed that catches my attention. I’ve been able to resist to join several QAL since the year started, and when I saw that Mister Domestic and Pat Bravo were launching an English paper piecing QAL, my first thought was “I need to progress on my Stars-quilt”. Then I found myself wondering which of the fabric bundles I already had could be used on such a project.

And the rest is history.

So here is my version for the first block, “Hexie’s madness”. 68 1″ hexies on this one. I tried glue basting, and I changed the cardboard I’m using on the Stars-quilt’s templates for paper. I think that, for this smaller size, paper works better, specially taking into account the amount of folding needed to put the hexies together. However, I’m not seeing myself trying to baste with thread using paper as a base, and so far I’m pretty happy on how the glue is working.

For this QAL I’m using a fat-quarter bundle of “Succulents”, by Heather Givans for Windham Fabrics. I had this bundle sitting on a drawer for more than a year, and it seems that it was meant for this project. As solids I’m using Grunge, by Basic Grey, for Moda. This collection is becoming my favourite to use as a solid print, although they really aren’t. That’s what I just love about them!

So in the following 21 weeks I’m going to grow a garden of succulents. It looks like this year I’m going to do lots of hand stitching!

(The party is on Instagram under the hashtag #EPPparty).

Star Sampler Quilt (11): “Square & Star”

The Star-Sampler quilt-along (organised and hosted by Amanda Rolfe at 3and3quarters) is coming to an end, as it has only one block left. Before that happens, the 11th block was a quick one, and it seems that pressing all seams open is paying off, although sometimes I miss those nesting seams when pinning everything in place.

Looking forward to the last one, with no release date scheduled yet, which is perfectly fine now that I have all the sashing fabric to start working on The Splendid Sampler™ again.

Adorable Ewe KAL

The past weeks I was busy knitting a baby sweater. I didn’t plan to do so, but I was told about Michelle Hunter’s KAL and, well, I couldn’t resist. Also, I thought it would be a great training before attempting my own sweater, and that it would be a terrific gift for a friend who is expecting a baby.

And I did have lots of fun knitting this one, as well as learning lots of things along the way too. Lots of “first time doing this…” on this piece! The focal point of the garment is the back, which gives the name to the pattern, and among others, includes working intarsia and knitting bobbles. I think it will be some time until I knit bobbles again, though.

On the front I used buttons I already had, instead of going for the sheep-shaped buttons the pattern calls for. I really like these wooden buttons, and the natural look they give to the finish piece. For the yarn itself, I had trouble finding one that would meet the pattern requirements (reminder: don’t try to buy winter yarn in the middle of Spring), and although I wasn’t at all convinced with that yellow, it has grown on me and now I think it’s pretty appropriate for a gender-neutral garment, isn’t it?

With the leftover yarn from this project I made a baby hat. I still need to block it so I can give it its proper post.

Project: Adorable Ewe – baby sweater-
Date: April 2017
Pattern: Adorable Ewe, Michelle Hunter
Yarn: Lana Grossa Bingo, colour 23, 33, 67
Needles: 5.50 mm, 6 mm

Button Jars quilt

Ta-dah! This little one is finished! I started this quilt a year ago, as a part of a course with Me and My Sister Designs. Despite my good intentions towards it, it didn’t see much progress for months, until I moved the project’s box next to my sewing machine and used it as a leader-and-ender. It looks like it was all I needed to get it done! The pattern is pretty straightforward, and with all the pieces already cut, it can be pieced in no time.

After some thought, I decided to keep the quilting simple and just stitch in the ditch around each jar, the shelves and the border. I didn’t press all the seams open, and you can tell the difference between these and the seams pressed to one side when you’re trying to quilt in the ditch (the first ones are easier!). This quilt surely would have benefited from a denser quilting motif, but neither my FMQ skills nor my machine would have allowed for it with a satisfactory result.

Trying to keep consistent with the fabric line, I chose for the border a pink print from Cotton+Steel, and I stepped outside my comfort zone with the binding. But it just seemed the right colour when I audited it, and now I think it was the perfect choice.

I’m using this quilt as a wall hanging for my sewing area. I sewed two small pockets on the back to hold a thin curtain bar, but after hanging it, I think a sleeve would have been better… just to keep in mind for the next one.

Project: Button Jars (Wall hanging quilt)
Size: 81 x 71 cm / 32 x 28″
Date: April 2016 – April 2017
Pattern: Button Jars, Me and My Sister Designs
Top fabric: Dot. Dot. Dash-, by Me and My Sister Designs (selected prints), for Moda Fabrics
White: Bella Solids White Bleached, Moda Fabrics
Taupe: Bella Solids Stone light grey, Moda Fabrics
Grey: Bella Solids Silver grey, Moda Fabrics
Border: Netorious Melody Pink, by Alexia Abbeg, Cotton+Steel
Batting: Quilter’s Dream Cotton 100%
Quilting: machine-quilted, Isacord Thread 40, col. 0010
Binding: 1000 Colors Collection
Purple (713), Lecien
Label: Bomull, Ikea

Stars-quilt April’17 update

After my last update, I set a goal of stars to be finished each month. I decided that a minimum of six was really doable, breaking the number into 1.5 stars/week, or at least two pieces of background attached every day.

This month it seems it worked. Thanks to a weekend trip, I even managed to do a little bit more! (EPP and its amazing portability!!!). If only I can sew more than six stars per month twice this year, by the end of it I should have all the stars completed (and so my initial goal for this 2017!).

Stars basted: 84/84 (504/504 templates)
Stars sewn: 84 /84
Background pieces basted: 504/504
Stars completed: 34/84 (+7 from the last stats)

Knitted baby shoes

Back in November a friend of mine told me he was to become father this Spring. So I knitted a small gift, that now that has been delivered, I can openly share.

This was a really quick and easy project, perfect for beginners. I enjoyed working with small needles and that cotton yarn for babies. It’s extremely soft!

Although I already knew the gender of the baby, I decided to opt for a neutral colour (I love neutrals for babies!) and couldn’t resist to use these wooden buttons I purchased in a patchwork festival last Autumn.

Project: Baby shoes
Date: November 2016 – December 2016
Pattern: Patucos – zapatitos bebé, Oh! Mother Mine DIY (in Spanish)
Yarn: Baby smiles Cotton, Schachenmayr, colour 1066
Needles: 3.00 mm