May 172016

I’ve been wanting to do something for my cousin-in-law after she was such an awesome realtor for us, and I finally made her a thank-you quilt. It only took me two years, hah! I chose Meadow Mist Design’s free MQG Use Your Illusion pattern — it’s a great graphic design, and I figured that if it didn’t happen to be her personal taste, she could always use it for house staging. 😀

use your illusion quilt

The quilt design is obviously great, and I think the instructions are probably fine… I may have messed up cutting or lost pieces when I took breaks from sewing because I ended up having lots of extra strips in certain sizes, and I also had to cut more strips in other sizes when I ran out towards the end of assembling blocks.

I tried out a nifty swirl fmq pattern from Beginner’s Guide to Free-Motion Quilting, mainly because I was trying to justify having bought the book. My swirls were pretty uneven, though, and I kind of ruined the great straight lines of the quilt pattern. derp!

use your illusion - close up

Even though this didn’t turn out quite the way I wanted, hopefully it still made my cousin happy. I should probably practice those spirals some more, huh!

use your illusion quilt

Apr 042016

People in my office tend to retire without letting people know so they can avoid being fussed over, but that makes it hard to make quilts for retirement presents! So since I had the feeling that my favorite coworker was in a retiring mood, I made her a birthday quilt this year.
adore-la quilt

I used the free Adore-la pattern by Cut To Pieces. I love the all solids version, but I already had a small fat quarter pack of Carkai which worked perfectly with the pattern — I just had to add in one other print.
adore-la quilt

The templates were good, but they sure left a lot of wiggle room for trimming! I didn’t really mind, but I did notice that I cut somewhat hefty chunks off when I squared up the drunkards’ path blocks.
adore-la quilt

It’s quilted with a circuit board-like stipple. I tried to concentrate on keeping the corners sharp since the last time I used this fmq pattern, I sometimes got antsy and accidentally made rounded rectangles. I like how it turned out!
adore-la quilt

This was such a fun quilt to make! It made me really happy because I got to use up stashed fabric, finish a project quickly, and make something for a really nice person!
adore-la quilt

Jan 142016

I’ve been wanting a double gauze quilt of my own since it’s a little chiller lately, so before Christmas, I pulled out my hoarded Cotton + Steel double gauze and got working. (Glowbug totally stole the first one I made, and while later I made one for Sunshine.) Like last time, I used pretty double gauze for the top (Cotton + Steel), soft double gauze for the back (Kobayashi), and Quilter’s Dream wool batting. Then I machine tacked it to keep it poofy.

Cotton + Steel double gauze quilt

It was really fast to make — I think I only spent two days on it! Also, it turned out huge since the top is just four 1 yard cuts sewn together, and I used a twin-sized piece of batting.

I did the machine tacking in thread that matched the quilt top’s colors. I didn’t want them to stand out too much in the front because I didn’t put much effort into making sure the tacks were in an even grid.

double gauze quilt, close up

It doesn’t come across in these photos too well, but it made a pretty effect on the back, especially in the quarter where I changed thread colors for each stripe. It made me think of a field of stars.

double gauze quilt, back

The backing is actually purple (more like the previous picture), but this picture shows the multicolored tacks I like. :)

double gauze quilt back

I ended up mailing this to my sister for Christmas, and then her daughter stole it to use in her fort. The double gauze quilt thievery continues!

Jul 212015

I finally made a medallion quilt! Since it was so popular last year, I’ve been wanting to sew one up, but I hadn’t found one that I really liked the look of until I found out about the Modern Medallion Workbook, and the June medallion quilt in particular. It’s pleasantly wonky and not too cluttered, and I love it!
june medallion quilt

I would have loved to make a low volume clone of the sample version, but I don’t have very much low volume fabric in my stash, shucks. On the bright side, I’m planning to give this away as a baby quilt, and the yarn-dyed essex will hide stains better!
june medallion quilt

The instructions were super easy to follow; I think there were sets for sewing and attaching borders one at a time, and also for sewing all the borders at once and then assembling everything at the end. I think it’s good that I preferred to attach one border at a time (more instant gratification!) because mine tended to shrink! Definitely by the tenth border, my quilt was at least three inches too small.
june medallion quilt

My last triangle border is extra wide to make up the lost width… such is the beauty of medallion quilts! ;D Also, on that triangle border, I didn’t pay attention and made a different number of wonky triangles than the instructions specified, heh. I was being loosey goosey!
june medallion quilt

I actually made a complete strip of scrappy binding, but then changed my mind and thought it would be nice to have it just on one corner of the quilt.
june medallion quilt

The simple straightish quilting in the book was so perfect that I copied it for mine. I kind of wish I didn’t like the look of straight line quilting so much because I find it so boring to actually sew!
june medallion quilt

I’m so happy with my June medallion quilt! I’m super looking forward to making more medallion quilts from the book… when I have another big chunk of free time, heh.
june medallion quilt - with babies

May 072015

I’m posting over at imagine gnats today about Quilt Lovely and Flutterby, which I made from it.
flutterby quilt, from Quilt Lovely

I really like this one! I made it almost all from scraps and for three weeks I worked on only it (I kept wanted to procrastisew other things), so I’m really fond of it! I’m a little sad that it’s going to Mr. Yazoo’s co-workers, but on the other hand, it would be really silly if I kept all the quilts I made. :}
flutterby, with a baby for scale

There are a bunch of other quilts I want to try from the book, now… after I get through my current clothes-sewing kick!
flutterby and my baby hehehe

Mar 022015

hehehe, I’m blogging about two months behind my actual output…

Since Sunshine’s been in preschool for half a year, it was about time for me to make him a naptime quilt. ;D Also, at that time, there was a guild sew-in coming up, and I wanted to have a project prepped for it. So I started cutting out the pieces for a Hazel Hedgehog quilt… and it was so fun chain piecing everything together that I finished the top in two days! (Oops, sorry about the creases in the picture.)
hazel hedgehog quilt

I used the baby sized blocks and just added another row and column so it would be a better size for Sunshine. I wanted to make sure it would cover him, but not be so big that it would be difficult for him to put away in his cubby. The whole quilt is made from my stash, which I was a little bit proud of, since I usually end up buying sashing and backing fabric for specific quilts. I very carefully laid out my blocks beforehand to make the different colors spread out evenly… and then I messed up and sewed the rows together in the wrong order!
hedgehog quilt sunshine

I thought Elizabeth Hartman’s quilting was perfect, so I copied it as best I could with pointy stippling. It was my first time doing this kind of fmq, and I thought it was fun! I didn’t have enough light grey thread so I used light purple, and while I was quilting I kind of didn’t like it, but in the end I don’t think it’s really noticeable.
hedgehog quilt close up

The pattern is brilliant and so easy to follow — probably the reason I wasn’t able to stop and save any of the quilt top sewing for the sew-in. I thought it was super cool how all the pieces came together to make the hedgehog blocks. And they’re so cute!
hedgehog quilt in use

Dec 232014

My parents’ 40th anniversary is this year, so my sister and I made a quilt for them. Surprise! (My parents are hard to get presents for — they just buy what they want when they want it!)
anniversary Round & Round quilt

My sister drew pictures of everyone in our immediate family and sent them to me so I could trace them with fabric paint. My OMQG guildies were tickled when they saw me use a Crayola light board for a lightbox, but it works really well and is very portable! (I found out about this at ikat bag.)
anniversary round rents

I used the Thimble Blossoms Round & Round pattern since the circles of stars were perfect for framing my sister’s pictures. I didn’t mean to make it look so allthesamevalue, though! I even took greyscale pictures of my fabric to make sure I had light, medium, and dark values, and I didn’t notice until I was taking these pictures that the stars all kind of blend in with everything. >_< But my sister's drawings make everything better. 😀 anniversary round us

I really like how the Round & Round pattern turned out, but I have to say that the instructions are formatted really weirdly! It goes:

  • Page 1:
    • general instructions, including pretty detailed binding instructions
    • large quilt cutting instructions in bullet points
    • block assembly
  • Page 2:
    • block assembly, continued
    • finishing instructions – making the quilt sandwich and binding (binding information is spread out over three pages!)
  • Page 3:
    • layout diagram (why is the layout after the finishing instructions??)
    • mini quilt cutting instructions in paragraph format (why aren’t the mini cutting instructions in bullet points like the large quilt cutting instructions??)
  • Page 4:
    • binding illustration (why is this not on the same page as the finishing instructions?!)
    • materials list (why is this on the last page?!?)

I would totally rearrange the way the instructions are organized.
anniversary round sis

I don’t prewash my quilting fabric, and I’ve never made a mostly Essex linen quilt before, so I got nervous when Sarah told me about someone who made a quilt with not-prewashed linen, and then it pulled apart at the seams after the first wash. I didn’t manage to wash the quilt before giving it to my parents, but hopefully it’ll be okay because I quilted around every single seam, and also because I haven’t managed to baste very tightly since I switched from spray to pin basting.
anniversary round sis kids

My babies! This is my favorite block, hehehe.
anniversary round our kids

This one is Oscar, my mom’s favorite child. 😉
anniversary round oscar

I forgot to make a label for the back, but I figure this part’s kind of good enough? I actually had to make two of these blocks because I wrote in the wrong date on the first one!
anniversary round date

I liked how the quilting looked, except for around the pictures. They got really poofy since I didn’t quilt much in them, but I couldn’t figure out what I should have done. (Plus, it looks worse because of the creases from sitting folded for a while.) I guess I should buy one of those Craftsy quilting classes!
anniversary round back

Aug 292014

I wanted to be a poet-who-knows-it (hehehe) by titling this “Guilt quilt,” but then I found out that it has a different meaning…

Anyway! Every Christmas, we send all of Mr. Yazoo’s New York family’s presents to his grandma to hand out, and she gives them to people whenever they stop by — they don’t really do a big get-together, so I don’t feel the pressure of trying to make all the presents even. Last Christmas, I sent his grandma and cousin-by-marriage quilts, but no quilty present to his aunty. Normally it would have been okay, except that year, his grandma, aunty, and cousin actually did get together at Christmas, and they opened the presents we sent together! ARGH!!!

We’re going up to visit this fall, and in order to be able to face his aunty without shame(!!!), I planned to make a quilt to send to her before we arrive. Now it’s done, whew. (Sorry about the pictures — I took them as the sun was setting, so the colors are a little weird.)
paparazzi quilt

This is the 72″x72″ size of the paparazzi quilt. I really like it! I did accidentally make an extra block since I’m a terrible skimmer-of-instructions and the pattern set me up with 13 fqs for 26 blocks (13 of each type), and my brain didn’t engage at all to remind me that I’d only need 25 blocks for the 5×5 layout. It worked out in the end, though, cause Cosmo claimed the extra block to make a blankie for his monster.
paparazzi quilt occupied

Other than the white fabric, which I bought especially for this, I finally made stash withdrawals. (I feel like I’ve only been making stash deposits for the last six months.) The yellow bees and houses fabric has been in my stash for five years — the entire time I’ve had a stash! I managed to learn from my disaster quilt, and this time I sewed a verrry scant quarter inch for my flying geese AND remembered to trim them (doh), so putting the blocks together was relaxing and not mumble-inducing.
paparazzi quilt close up

I took the quilt sandwich to my first sew-in with the Oahu Modern Quilt Guild (we have a modern quilt guild yayayayayayayyyy!!!) and a lot of people really liked the backing, so I just thought I’d mention — it’s Dear Stella’s asterisk in multi flannel.
paparazzi quilt backing

I managed to do most of the quilting at the sew-in, and I just did easy little loopies since I wanted to get it done quickly. The other people at the sew-in were so nice and were praising my quilting; meanwhile, I was thinking, I know you guys can do much fancier quilting — this is kiddie scribble in comparison! I was happy enough that my thread hardly ever broke, and I mostly avoided having half-inch long stitches. :>
paparazzi quilt quilting

It’s such a relief having this quilt done — Mr. Yazoo’s aunty is awesome to us, and I didn’t want her to be offended. Plus, I’m happy because now my latest quilt finish is no longer that awful mess o’messy mess one! hehehe.
paparazzi quilt lotsa feet

Linking to Finish It Up Friday. :)

Jul 152014

One of my recent sewing dreams came true — I got to make a double gauze blanket for myself! Months ago, Rachael sent me some double gauze scraps in my fabric order, and the Kobayashi solids were just ridiculously soft and wonderful. I decided then that when it was time to treat myself, I’d make a tied, whole-cloth, double gauze blanket — I didn’t want seams or quilting to get in the way of the way the fabric felt. And here it is! It doesn’t look like much, but I love using it.
nani iro blanket full view

I tried to be economical since double gauze costs a little more than I usually feel like my budget can handle. It’s made out of:

  • 1.5 yards of Nani Iro’s Joy Flower — the white parts of the pattern are actually white shimmer paint! I don’t know how it’s going to like being washed, but I think I’d better remember to dry it on delicate.
  • 1 yard of the Kobayashi mustard solid
  • 2 yards of the Kobayashi blue-grey solid
  • 1 package of Quilters Dream wool batting, throw size (60″ x 60″). I bought it from Seaside Quilting, and the shop owner is crazy awesome. She included a sample card of all the different Quilters Dream battings (I LOVE that sample card!) and a little coaster kit!

nani iro blanket full view back

I thought it would be fabric-efficient to add a bit of the Joy Flower to the back in order to bring the front and back center panels to the dimensions I wanted, but that didn’t turn out to be a great idea since there’s a pretty significant difference in the way the Nani Iro and Kobayashi double gauzes feel. Nani Iro is for looks and Kobayashi is for feels. :> But since Nani Iro is for looks, I kept the selvedge on the front so I can show off (to myself) that this is my Nani Iro blankie. ;D
nani iro blanket selvedge

I forgot to get a picture of it (not that it would be super interesting), but the blue borders are mitered at the corners. I wasted significant (to me) chunks of fabric doing that, but I really like the way it looks. I’ve always thought that the pillows my sister made looked extra fancy, and I finally realized that it’s partially because she miters the corners of her borders.

This quilt is sort of tied — I used a snowflake stitch in the tie-down spots (I got a Juki F600 for my birthday, hehehe), and it’s holding up so far.
nani iro blanket fascinating backing

I’ve already got most of my supplies for my next double gauze blanket. For one thing, Glowbug keeps stealing this one. She kicks off any other blanket that I try to put on her, but when I’ve already snuggled under this one, she takes it from me! Also, it’s a little shorter than I like since I was too scroogey when I got the fabric for this one. And finally, it’s gotten a leetle bit scratchy. I think that some of the fibers of the wool batting have worked through the loose weave and are bothering me a bit. Next time, I’m going to try Quilters Dream Puff, which is even fluffier, probably just as warm, and definitely smoother-feeling. I say again: my little batting sample card is so cool!
nani iro blanket photobombed

Linking up with Sewjo Saturday :)

Sep 132013

When will I learn not to join thingy-alongs and then rush to finish by linky deadlines? Probably never. Here’s my latest disaster!
pile o mess quilt

It’s my finished quilt for the Star Surround quiltalong, and boy did I mess it up! In list form, the first of my mistakes:

  1. I was too impatient to order the background fabric I wanted (light grey), so I used a terrible combination of solids from my stash.
  2. I rushed when I made my flying geese, so they came out all funny sizes.
  3. I also was in verbatim compliance mode, so since the quiltalong instructions didn’t say to trim the flying geese, I didn’t even check to make sure they were the right size.

I was fed up with this quilt by the time the individual star blocks were done, so I decided to use it to try making a quilt-as-you-go kind of quilt for the first time. (I’m thinking of using that method for a dresden quilt I’m planning.) I also tried quilting orange peels, which was nice and easy since I was only doing one block at a time. That was actually my only success in this quilt! I used a 16 needle since I’d had problems with skipped stitches in the past, and this time I had barely any skipped stitches — the remaining ones were definitely user error, which is fine with me.
mess o quilt - quilting

Then I attached all the blocks+batting squares to make the top and:

  1. Screwed up trimming some of the batting bulk in the seams by cutting too much off.
  2. Got grouchy at Fabric Mart and chose a crazy bright pink flannel for the backing because all the other flannel looked babyish and I didn’t care about matching the back to the front anymore.
  3. (This is skipping ahead, but this is the best picture to see it in) Tried for the first time to do the kind of machine binding where you sew to the front first and then stitch in the ditch to catch the binding in the back, and mine was HORRIBLE.

mess o quilt with crazy backing

When you assemble quilts this way, you’re supposed to quilt just a couple of lines to attach the top+batting to the backing, so I did the least I figured I could get away with while making the quilt not too going-to-fall-apart-in-the-wash-ish — I sewed along both sides of the seams between the batting blocks. But!

  1. When I was pinning my big blocks together, I couldn’t see the seams (since the batting was already on), so I forgot to match up the little blocks’ seams.
  2. I somehow missed one of the big block seams and sewed a random line down the inside of one of the columns.

mess o quilt - quilting lines mistake

Bleah! I’m mad that I messed up what should have been a really cute quilt, but I’m going to think of it as my bad sewing heat sink that’s going to help me succeed in my next set of projects. Gah!
mess o quilt - cuteified