Archive for the 'Quilting & sewing' Category

Denial, or OMG two weeks?!?

August 17th, 2012

So I had a momentary freak-out yesterday when I looked at my calendar and realized, OMG, school starts in two weeks.  Two weeks is about my usual gear-up period; I start heading to school in the morning and come home later and later to accustom the dogs to the idea that I do, in fact, work.  Usually I notice much earlier and go through my pouty phase  prior to the gear-up period.  I think this  year I was so busy with Sophie I didn’t notice.  The possible upside is that I have to speed through the pouty period to get geared up.  I guess that’s something.

Another reason I didn’t notice is because I’ve been quilting like mad.  I currently have three finished quilts sitting in the laundry bin, waiting to be washed, but I don’t have pictures of them.  Although this is the binding of one:

In addition to the three finished quilts, I have two finished tops.  One of them is pretty big, and I don’t even know if I have enough room in the kitchen (my customary basting area) to pin it, plus I don’t know what I want to back it with, so it’s just hanging out.  Probably until next year. Or later.  The other one I made in a fit of inspiration.

I have a substantial stash of batik fabrics, which I love but don’t often use.  For one thing, scrappy quilts are a lot of work, and I’m lazy.  For another, I have a non-productive aversion to using up my precious collection.  And finally, I’m currently obsessed with baby quilts and modern fabric, and batiks don’t always play nicely with either.

I found a nice big 12 x 12″ block pattern, though, sketched out a color scheme, and went on my merry way.  My plan was to make nine, for a 3 x 3′ quilt, which, with borders, would be a decent baby size.  That plan went out the window after I made one of the blocks and decided eight more just weren’t going to happen.  (At least I’m in touch with reality.)  So then I had a “genius” idea.  I blew up the whole block to four times its size, and made one giant 4 x 4′ block.  I like it a lot, but it has the same problem as the other unfinished top: no backing, awfully big. So how did I deal with that?

I left it piled on top of the first one and dug through my stash until I found fabric for a quilt I knew I could bind in the kitchen and that I had backing for.  That one’s done, quilting and all, except for the binding.  I hate binding.

So I’ve really been very productive, in a completely unproductive sort of way.  Although I have all of these fabulous quilts (at the moment, I have something like seven in reserve), I still don’t have the one that I was really committed to this summer, for a colleague.  I have the perfect fabric, but not an accompanying pattern, and thus, no quilt.  So, school gear-up time notwithstanding, I don’t think I’m quite done with the quilting kick yet.


September 5th, 2011

I am officially done with:

  1. Advance cooking for the week.   Matt and I made bell pepper casserole, edamame salad, and quiche with spinach, mushrooms, bacon, and cheese.   That should cover lunches and a dinner or two.
  2. Dogs.   They got a walk by the river.
  3. Quilt pictures prior to giveaway.   We only took pics of two, not the four that are actually finished, but one of these needs to go in the mail ASAP and the other I’m slated to give away at school tomorrow.

Going into the mail is a quilt for my college roommate Rebecca and her husband Andrew’s daughter.   She was born in March, meaning I’m actually only five months late on this one, which has got to be some kind of a record.

My new kick is quilting with jelly roll strips, which are 2 ½” strips, cut the width of the fabric.   They’re nice because you can get a collection of lots of coordinating fabrics at once, which gives your quilts a scrappy look.   This was my first jelly roll quilt, and I’m hooked.

The quilt will head off to LA, along with the crayon roll I made a while back, for Leah’s brother Isaac.   That’s assuming I ever manage to get them into the mail.

The second quilt Matt and I photographed today is rather later.   It’s for my colleague Sean and his wife Catherine’s son Henry.   I’m something like a year and a half late on this one, but then again, I was a year late on their daughter’s quilt, so another six months doesn’t seem too bad.   Plus, I think they’re officially the first people to get a quilt from me for multiple children, so I’m going to choose to believe that mitigates some of the tardiness.

Besides, it’s a great quilt.

This was my first attempt at curved piecing, and I’m really pleased with it.   It also features another first for me, a pieced back.

It’s now rolled up, beribboned, and sitting ready to go with yet another crayon roll (new tutorial this time, I likes it) for big sis Poppy.

This has been a very productive weekend for me.   Here’s hoping it’s an auspicious start to the school year.

In the mail

August 5th, 2011

Continuing my quilting streak, today I mailed off a quilt to Matt’s brother Andrew and his wife Jen, for their baby, who is due very, very soon.

I know I’ve said it before, but I love wrapping quilts, largely because you don’t have to.   They really just wrap themselves.

(Admittedly, this is a re-purposed Banana Republic box, but I figured a cardboard box is a cardboard box.   I hope Andrew and Jen aren’t crushed by the lack of preppy onesies.)

Congratulations, Andrew and Jen!

On a roll

July 31st, 2011

A crayon roll, that is.

I’m on a quilting kick at the moment.   You see, it’s (nearly) August, the time when returning to school looms large.   In response, I typically start a slew of projects that don’t get done before the school year starts, resulting in half-finished debris for the rest of the year.   (Ask me about the year I “painted” the living room.)   This year is no different, and my project of the moment is trying to put a dent in my insane quilting backlog — I have a list of recipients for baby quilts that’s miles long and constantly growing — and stockpile a few generic standbys for rainy days, so to speak.

The crayon roll was a quickie diversion from the main event; I made it by adapting this tutorial to fit extra-large crayons.

I’m planning on pairing it with a coloring book and sending it along with a baby quilt for the baby’s older brother.   That way, everyone gets a present.   The beauty of this particular item is that it’s neither labor- nor cost-intensive.   Since I used fabric and batting scraps on hand, my total cost for this project was $3 for the crayons.   (Plus my time, of course, but I always count that as free.   After all, it’s a hobby.   Also, it only took about an hour, start to finish.)

I think it turned out quite nicely.   :)

I think I’ve found my new instant gratification project.   Sweet!


* For the curious, my crayon pockets were 1 ¼”, rather than 1″. That made the crayon roll 10 ½” long, rather than 12 ½”. All other measurements were the same.

More quilts! More quilts!

August 18th, 2009

Little-known, but interesting, fact: In Kim-landia, tomorrow = four days from now.

batik top view

This quilt was sitting in my UFO box, blocks already sewn into rows, and thus was an obvious candidate for my get-finished-quick scheme.   It’s a bit difficult to see, but I quilted puppies into two corners.


Amazingly, there is no intended recipient for this quilt — it’s just a spare.   I’m trying to build up a reserve.   We’re in a recession, you know.

Special note to Corrie: Pictures of Steven’s quilt to follow.   It’s going into the mail soon, although “soon” in Kim-landia = possibly never.   If you want an early peek, it’s after the jump.

Special note to everyone else: More quilts after the jump!

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Twelve months later

July 31st, 2009

I finished this quilt:


Miracle of miracles, it’s actually going to its intended recipient.   That’s especially good in this case, because it’s very customized to said intended recipient.   She’s the daughter of some teacher friends of mine, and (last year) as soon as I heard they’d named their daughter Poppy, I hopped on Esty to look for poppy-themed fabric.   The fabric I decided on is called Fresh Poppy (!) by Amy Butler, and the pink and green matched the colors Catherine chose for Poppy’s nursery.   Perfect.

I got the quilt top done before school started, and intended to have the rest by the time Sean returned from paternity leave, but, well. . . didn’t.   My failure to meet the target date is not exactly unprecedented.   Though my goal has always been for my friend’s babies, especially firstborns, to receive something handmade, the specific gift given depends on two factors.   One: What craft I’m feeling into at the moment.   Two (and much more significant): How much spare time I have.

Hence, though my intentions are noble, in reality, one is much more likely to get a handmade gift from me if one’s offspring is born in the summer.   Which goes a long way toward explaining why the quilt I intended for Corrie and Steve’s Steven (born in April) currently looks like this:


(I just gave up and got Steven something off the registry.)

The “quilt” intended for Rebecca and Andrew’s Isaac (born in January) shows even less progress.


(Isaac got a hand-knit sweater, six months late; that means it arrived in June.   Thankfully, I sized it for 9-12 months.)

But Poppy, ah, now, Poppy was born in late July.   Which, as it turned out, was still not enough time, but the timing remained fortuitous one year later, when Sean and Catherine invited Matt and me to a barbecue for her first birthday and I had the perfect, if only half-finished present, and plenty of time to work on it.

As for the finished product, I’m pleased with it.   I found a fabulous coordinating fabric for the back:


It’s covered with the names of flowers, and yes, Poppy is amongst them.

I deliberately arranged the solid blocks in the middle with an eye to a wee bit of decorative quilting, which came out reasonably well, I think.   If I were doing it again, I’d probably embroider the name for a look that’s a bit smoother.


This was my first time with free-motion quilting, which I both enjoyed and found to be reasonably rapid.   I’m hoping the latter point will help me clear out some of my backlog of quilt tops.   (No, Mom, I don’t want yours.)

Poppy’s party is tomorrow, and it will be nice to see people from school again.   I’m also hoping to avoid my customary last-minute gift-wrapping rush, due to the fact that quilts pretty well wrap themselves.


The moral(s) of the story:

  1. If you want a quilt from me, have your baby in the summer.
  2. Pick a summer when I’m in the mood for quilting.
  3. And don’t hold your breath.

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