Aug 252013

It’s finally the week to make the project that I was most excited about in Ayumi’s book: the cute cute hexagon trivet. I even made two!

I’m so not fast that it took me an hour to choose fabric out of my scrap containers. Then I cut approximate chunks out beforehand, which made the piecing simple. It was a very straighforward project, so there’s not too much to say about it.
strawberry trivet

I was chintzy as usual, and I used some not-super-pretty scrap flannel for the backs (instead of super cute fabric, like Ayumi used in the book samples). No one looks at them after I take blog pictures, anyway.
trivet back

I was happy at how relatively neat the bound corners turned out. I used my usual lazy pinch-fold-fold-mark-mark-sew-sew method. Wasn’t that descriptive?
trivet front corner

I’m glad that the Zakka 2.0 Sew Along exists, because it’s nudged me to make time for projects I normally wouldn’t have done. These scrappy things are super cute! They take longer than things I’m naturally inclined to make, but I really like them when they’re finished.
bear trivet

Jul 282013

I’ve been looking forward to making the Books for Baby quilt, but I wasn’t paying attention and didn’t realize it was this week’s project til it was announced! So I jammed and made it in a week. Blammo! (It’s fast for me…)
books for baby quilt top

I made about four books a night from Monday through Thursday, then Friday and Saturday were for the final assembly, and here we are: one baby quilt top, done!
owl block

I made the book blocks using all scrap bin fabric, so it looks a little crazy because I didn’t have many low-volume scraps to use for backgrounds. And I didn’t realize the peachy border fabric would have such a strong effect on the quilt — I kind of wish I’d used more of the yellow for borders. Oops!
ladybugs block

Since I knew I was going to be handling the quilt blocks a lot (I took them to work for the removing paper part), I used a pinking blade in my rotary cutter. The back of the quilt looks super tidy, but all of the little confetti fabric bits made a huge mess on the floor!
books for baby, back of the quilt

Even though the quilt came out kind of peachy-colored, I’m still really excited about it. Cosmo and Sunshine have fun pointing things out in our I Spy picnic quilt, so I’m hoping they’ll do the same with this one. I’m planning to finish it up in time for Cosmo to use it for naps when preschool starts up again!

Jun 232013

I made this week’s Zakka 2.0 sew along project with an entire day to spare, this time! It’s a tea cozy with an adorable Ayumi-style panel on the bottom.
zakka 2.0 sew-along tea cozy

My brain is seriously only operating at 10% while I’m on maternity leave, so I made a whole bunch of mistakes. My cozy turned out about 14″ wide instead of 12-ish because I sewed the four blocks at the bottom together at each patterns’ cut line instead of the seam line.
tea cozy my mistake

I also cut my lining pieces with the height and width dimensions reversed, so I had to add strips on each end to make up the width. And I just plain wasn’t thinking when I was doing the diamond quilting — on the front piece, I stopped quilting the diamond pattern at the bottom edge of the solid piece, but I should have extended it all the way down the batting so that the interior would look nice. Instead, it looks a little crazy, and I didn’t even backstitch for security at the exposed ends of the quilting. I hope it still lasts!
tea cozy inside

This one’s a modification instead of a mistake: I did a normal quilt-style binding on the bottom (with a straight strip of binding) instead of making a closed loop and sewing that on like the pattern instructs. With my luck, I’d have had extra fabric when I got around to closing the loop!
tea cozy binding

On the bright side, I got to use a very appropriate bit of ribbon for the loopy thing at the top!
tea cozy tabby thing

I love this sew-along! This is a really cute project that I normally wouldn’t have gotten around to completing, but now it’s done, and I have a Christmas present finished way ahead of time! 🙂
tea cozy on the steps

Jun 092013

Goodness! I was lazily catching up on a little blog reading, and then I realized that the zakka-along I had been waiting months for had started this past week, and today was the last day to make the bell pepper coasters, which were the thing I liked the most from Ayumi‘s book!

Half of my sewing supplies are still at our old house (my batting scraps! my scrap-scraps!) and I’m currently iron-less (my husband dropped it when we were moving stuff), but patchwork is supposed to be about making do with what you have, right? So I quickly made just one coaster before the kids woke up.
bell pepper coaster
(I also don’t have my camera here, so that’s an iPod pic, and my computer’s not hooked up yet, so there’s no nice touching up of thingies on my parents’ computer. Wha-pow!)

This is such a fun, easy pattern! Ayumi’s construction method is brilliant and painless — I probably finished this in under an hour (I’m a very slow sewerer, so that’s amazing for anything I do), even though I was grabbing sewing supplies from all kinds of crazy places and finger-pressing and generally acting like a headless chicken. 😀

I wish I could find the nice picture link thingy to the sew-along, but my kids are seriously threatening to wake up, so I must post now. Blammo!

Edit: Well shucks, I missed the linky by 15 minutes! I think I’m going to console myself with a little shopping therapy (I need a new iron, after all), and at least I have a cute new coaster out of it. 😀

Feb 102013

I had actually seen A Quilter’s Table’s triple zip-along a while ago, but didn’t think I needed such a pouch until Svetlana pointed out that it makes a great epp project holder. Ah hah, sold!

I (what’s the slow-pokey version of “whipped one up?”) last night to hold my hexies for my future rainbow quilt. I like Debbie’s way of doing zipper ends because it forces me to pay attention to where I place the fabric and how much of it will show once the seam is sewn. Also, it requires one fewer pressing step than the previous way I was doing it!
triple zip pouch

Unless I missed a step (which I totally could have, since I tend to skim instructions), the back of the top zipper can’t really be top-stitched, but it’s okay since the fabric got pulled down away from the zipper by the stabilizer. (I used sew-in stabilizer instead of fusible fleece.) Also, I couldn’t really figure out what I was supposed to do in the final set of picture-less instructions, but it was easy to sew the side seams by just having the whole thing inside-out with the main lining flipped up and away from the exterior and other pockets, and then just sewing along the open edges.
triple zip pouch, back

The biggest pocket is the perfect size for my unsewn 1.5″ hexies, the middle pocket holds the sewn ones nicely, and I think I’ll put different color threads in the smallest pocket. Hey, do you have an opinion about how you like stitching together epp pieces? I know people generally whipstitch them together, but I like the no-thread-showing-ness of ladder stitches. However, I was worried about how strong each of these methods would be, since I like my quilts to be tough and machine-washable. With that in mind, do you think whipstitching or ladder stitching would be better?
triple zip pouch, inside