WIP Wednesday: Yarn and Stuff...

Here's what I've been up to on Instagram!

I've been completely taken by spinning yarn!  I made a two ply practice yarn that was fat and loose.  And while it was real yarn that I was able to knit with, I really wanted to make a nice, tight, DK-type yarn.  (Sara at Knotty Gnome spins beautiful yarns, and I've been following her Instagram feed for inspiration.) 

So I pulled some more roving from my friend's stash and set to work trying to make the yarn I wanted.  I spun the single plies tighter and thinner so that I could ply them together tighter.  It wasn't perfect, because I'm still perfecting my ability to eyeball the twist, but it was a lot closer.  I'll keep working on keeping my twist consistent and my plies thin.

And I've started working on some Christmas gifts!  My daughter has gotten very excited about this one doll she has that I've made some clothes for already.  Last week, as I was putting her to bed, she told me that her doll couldn't sleep because she didn't have any pjs, so I obviously pulled some flannel and whipped up a nightgown.  

Then she started making her doll a bed out of a box and an old baby blanket, and I had an idea.  I made a quick pillow and pillowcase, and started working on a mini quilt for the doll's bed.  These are all one inch squares, that finish to a half inch, and they take forever!  So it's a good thing I'm starting now.

Quilts are getting labels and sleeves and heading off to a show!  My guild is putting on a special exhibit at the Quilters Gathering in November, so we finalized our selection of quilts last week and started everyone working on that last step of prep work.  I have four quilts in the show, two smallish quilts and two bigger ones, so I prepped the two smaller ones and handed them off.  The two bigger ones still need a solid washing before they can be sleeved and labeled, so they'll be my project in the next couple weeks.

And if you guys are in New Hampshire next month, you should check out the show.  We have a really great pile of quilts that we'll be showing, and the show has some really great teachers doing workshops.  Should be good times.

Linking up with Lee for WIP Wednesday!

Friday Finish: Lizzy House Mini Swap

After such a rough start to my Cotton and Steel Mini Swap, I really was against joining another swap.  I was really worried about getting another quiet partner, and I was thinking of thinning out my to do list, but then my friend Sarah signed on to be one of the swap leaders for the Lizzy House Mini Swap, so I knew I would be in good hands.  

My partner was awesome.  We had very similar style and she was up for anything.  And the best part, was that her IG was full of photos!  Win!

So my first step was to gather all my Lizzy.  I'm a fabric hoarder, but didn't think I owned much.  Ha!  I just kept finding more and more in my stash (even after I had finished my mini).  My partner really liked Catnap, which I was a little light on, but a friend generously let me cut some of hers up.

I brought my pile of Lizzy to my guild's retreat in April without a plan, but once I started looking at the fabrics I had, I knew that the best direction was something that would let me fussy cut.  I separated my fabrics into a pile of fussy-cut-friendly fabrics and a pile of blenders and noticed that there was a complimentary blender for each fussy, which is perfect for Elizabeth Hartman's Sparkle Punch pattern. 

I cut up all my white-ish pearl bracelet fabric (which was just enough!)  and got to making stars.  Then I ditch quilted along each seam to hold everything in place while I did some big stitch quilting in perle cotton.  I think the quilting was my favorite part of this quilt, and I'm already planning on doing more, which means I'll need a bigger stash of perle cottons.  

I'm so pleased with how this one came out, and my partner loved it too, so that's a big win.  I need to buy another yard of the white pearls to make another for myself.  

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday.  And this is one off my list for the 2015 Finish-Along!

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

Friday Finish: The Testy Snake Mini

This is probably the tiniest and quickest finish I've ever posted.  My guild (go Seacoast MQG!) is putting on an exhibit at a quilt show later this year.  We're showing what we think Modern Quilting is in a show that is very traditional, so as a side challenge, we were given traditional blocks to modernize, interpret, and make into a mini.

This is not that mini.

After figuring out my direction (which took quite a while) I made a template.  And I was just about to cut into my fabric, when I had a moment of reason: I should test out my template first.  With scraps and fabric that I didn't care about.  (I'm pretty sure this is my most responsible quilting moment to date.)

The blocks finish to three inches, so those curves are tiny!  I'm pretty glad that I got a chance to practice my curved piecing before really getting into it.  I'm not the most proficient curve sewer, so I needed the extra credit work.  

I made up four blocks and declared that my template was a winner.  Not all those curves are perfect, but it did what I wanted it to do.  And I'm really okay with ripping out stitches and resewing in the final product, but there's no reason to rip out on a practice piece.   

And when I get into my mini for the show, I really need to work on sewing the blocks together, but the seam between the bottom aqua curve and the yellow is spot on!  I might have to draw up a diagram to keep track of which way to press my seams.  I was pressing them all the same way, but these nested really well, and I think that was what made it so successful.

The next step is obviously to quilt it to death.  I just did some echoing curves.  I'd like to say it was a very deliberate and artistic choice, but it just seemed like the easiest design with the same foot I had on the machine already, because who wants to pull out the free motion foot for a tiny block of sewing.  

Once it was quilted, I just went into autopilot mode, and put on a binding.  I did get a little creative with it and pulled up this tutorial from Sew Fresh Quilts for a flanged binding that I've had bookmarked for a while.  This seemed like the perfect chance to try it out, because if it was tedious, I only have 36 inches of binding to sew.  

(Turns out, it's super easy.  Once you sew it to the back, you wrap it around and then stitch in the ditch between the flange and the main binding color, so it's super fast.  I'll be adding this little detail to many quilts to come.)

And now it's a mini mini?  It's about six inches square, which makes it perfect for a mug rug, but all that white is going to be stained the second I walk near it with my coffee cup.  So I'm just going to hang it on my wall for now.   But now I have a cute thing and I know my template works, so I can get started on the real check-list item!

Linking up with Amanda Jean for Finish it up Friday!