Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Quilt #44 - Harry Potter Paper Piecing Mystery

I have finished my small version of the Project of Doom!  This quilt was made over the last many months, and may have been responsible for derailing me around quilt 22.   I do not enjoy paper-piecing.  This kind of work is very different than foundation piecing that I did on the Myster Quilt for Quiltville.  I do love the end result, but this is much smaller than the intended quilt.  The intention was to make a quilt that was 5 squares by 6 squares.  I got up to 3 by 3 with an owl on top!

I love the end result, and I'm also happy that it's done!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thangles Again... Naturally

Mom got me this pattern kit for an orion's star using thangles, and I am making this quilt now.  It is taking forever, and I hope that I have it done by the December 22nd deadline.

As you may recall, my last attempt at Thangles was not very successful... I purcased the wrong size, so I ended up having to cut all 600 Half Square Triangles down by .5" on each side.  It was awful.  I decided to give thangles another chance, and here we are.

I know I'm going to be thrilled with the end result, but the process right now is so tedious and monotonous that I'm slowly going crazy... I've been mixing it up with other small projects to keep myself sane, and it helps, but I seems to take longer to get the thangles done this way.  The paper stack of Thangles looks just as big as it did when I started...

I know that I will love this quilt and that my HST's will be GORGEOUS, so it'll be worth it, and maybe I'll end up loving thangles.  We'll see.

Harry Potter Paper Piecing Quilt Progress

I know some of you have been waiting for an update on my Harry Potter Quilt.  Well, here we go. 

I had been working on this quilt since the spring, and each week the quilt squares for this mystery got harder and harder.  It became difficult for me to keep up with the weeks and do my other projects at the same time, so I would work on a square when I had time.

When I got to the square with the owl on it, the new mystery became, "How long am I going to continue making these squares?"  because I realized that the paper piecing process is not really my "thing".  I do like the results, and it's fun while you are doing it, but I couldn't have this quilt hanging over my head anymore.  It took me two hours to do a square that was just rectangles, and I decided that I was finished.  Where every I was, was where I was stopping, so here is where we are now.  I made it through 10 of the 30 squares for the quilt, so I am modifying the pattern to make a smaller quilt.  There are my results so far, and i really like it...

Quilt #43 - A Quilted Dog Collar

I recently got a few pattern books for crafty items you can make for your dog.

When I first got Oxford, I was astounded that there weren't more practical apparell items for a dog his size.  We live in Chicago, so winters here are brutal.  The wind is intense for a small short-haired dog, it's very cold for a small breed, and the salt that they use to keep the sidewalks ice-free is very very hard on dog's feet.  The very first thing that I wanted Oxford to have was a reflective harness or collar so that he can be seen at night on walks.  I could find no such item. 

I ordered a few pattern books thinking that I could find a pattern and add reflective items to them, and this collar is my first attempt at actaully tackling one.

I found a plastic clip with a large red reflector on it, and used a black cotton (instead of nylon) webbing for the main part.  To make it more comfy than a conventional collar I put a wool felt on the inside.

The quilted bit is a couple dozen small quilt squares that I quilted to the top of the collar.  The end result is cute, but most importantly, it is practical and increases Oxford's visibility.

I had enough webbing and quilt squares left over that I made a matching leash.  It's not pictured, but it's primary features are that it has a "D-ring" on it to clip the poop-bag holder to and a big loop on the end so that I can put the leash around my elbow in case I need to use my hands while we are out on a walk.

The next item I'm attempting from this series is a soft dog harness.  After that (and I know that I have the disapproval of my friend Jeremy because "dogs shouldn't wear clothes") I'm going to make Oxford a winter snow-suit-type-deal that will keep him warm enough during winter walks, but will also protect his feet, haunches, and tummy from the sidewalk salt.

I know these photos aren't the greatest, but all the process photos were lost due to my camera snafu. 

Quilt #42 - Knitting Themed Table Runner

This quilt was completely impromptu.  This fabric was a birthday gift from my Mom, and I wasn't really sure what I was going to do with it.  It's too cute to cut up into tiny pieces, but I also didn't have enough for it to be the center piece of a larger quilt.  So, I had some scaps laying around from the red/music thangles project I'm working on right now, and I decided to just use what scraps I had laying on my sewing table.  It was so fun!

I cut a center rectangle, then put strips on the outside.  Cut some half-square triangles, and made three pinwheels.  It was fun not quite knowing what I was going to do next, and I really love the result!

Unfortunately, this is another quilt that the process pictures were lost for.  The final product will have to do!

Quilt # 41 - Flannel Rag Quilt

I have wanted to do a rag quilt for a long time.  This one was so fun to do, and the end result is so snuggly and lovely.  It's pre-quilted, so just when you start, you're done!  It's a great gift idea, and if you follow the photos along, you can probably figure out how it's done. 

This was a lot of fun to put together, and hopefully the person I made it for will love it!

Quilt #40 - Snowman Candle Mat

Had this scrap of Snowman fabric, and just went to the stash to find matching fabrics.  The quilting technique that I used was new to me.  I did an outline of each character.  It wasn't an exact science, but I think it turned out okay.  It's not my favorite technique, but at least I tried it.

I had a terrible time getting this to quilt up.  The thread I was using should have been fine, but it kept tangling and looping on the bottom.  I made every adjustment I could think of and nothing worked until I switched the thread.  Suddenly, it was gorgeous... I have no idea how sewing machines think sometimes.

This is another quilt where all the process photos were lost. 

Quilt #38 &n #39 - Fall Colors Table Runner, Christmas Carols Table Runner

This table runner was inspired by the trees outside my living room window.  This time of year, the trees are partially turned over to their fall color, and I wanted to capture that in-between time.  I jogged over to my stash and pulled all the fabrics that were the right colors.

The next runner is based on one fabric.  A glittery, red, music fabric that I've had in my stash for a while.  It is definitely a Christmas fabric, and since it's finally the time of year to use up all that fabric I wanted to make sure it didn't sit in my stash for all of 2012 as well.

One unfortunate circumstance.  All the photos from my camera were accidentally deleted.  It's not a big deal, since I had downloaded most of the ones that were on there.  The only sad bit is that all my process shots of these runners (and my next several quilts) were lost.  I have already given the red music-themed table runner to my boyfriend's mother (for use over the holidays), so I have no photos of that one.  I'm hoping to take some picutres of it tomorrow at Thanksgiving to post.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Quilt #37 - Tiny Minatures

I'm counting this series of dime-sized quilts as one quilt.  They are less than an 7/8" by 5/8", framed in silver.  They were a challenge to put together, but I love the result.  Some of these are on sale at the Fifty-two Quilts Shop on Etsy:  http://www.etsy.com/shop/madelynrenee?ref=top_trail

Quilt #35 and #36 - Quilted blanket-style dog poncho

I whipped up these two dog jackets free hand, based loosely on a jacket that Oxford already has.  I really enjoyed the process of making them, but really it was an experiment in quilting two fabrics without any batting in between. 

You might remember my quilting adventure with the Pashminas.  It started out great, and I thought I had finished them, but the layers were too squirelly.  I couldn't lay under the quilt becuase the layers would slip and slide on eachother.  I decided to put in more quilting stitches, and the squirellyness got even worse... I ended up with huge pucked sections on one side and tightly strained fabric on the other.  Not good. 

As you can see, even the edges wouldn't lay right, and once I started trying to put more reinforcements in, it got messier...

As I was thinking about the pashmina mess, and then about my success with layering fleece and with my quilt tops to back them, I realized it was all about fiber content and what you are choosing to layer.  So I thought, "What is a project that I could quilt that would require a very light, non-constricting weight?"  Voila!  Dog poncho. 

Oxford can't have too many layers or he won't be comfy, and the whole point would be to keep him comfy.

I tried two different fiber contents.  One was a regular cotton fabric (with motorcycles on it) layered with flannel, and the other is two layers of flannel.  They both quilted up beautifully.  In fact, you can hardly see the stitches on the cotton/flannel combo.