Wednesday, October 19, 2016

WIP Wednesday

Fall has arrived, even though it still feels a bit like summer. The linden tree in the back yard is dropping its leaves in heaps and the squirrels swim in and out of them, chasing each other with acorns in their teeth. The massive flock of grackles (a plague?) has returned to feast on the acorns as well. The cacophony they create is amazing! I love this colorful change of season. 

I began knitting this Sunlit Autumn Shawl over the weekend. The pattern is the first published by my friend, Naomi! She's done a great job with this pattern, I'm really enjoying knitting it so far! It's easy enough that I can remember the pattern for a section without looking but then the lace section is just difficult enough to keep me paying attention! Head on over to  Naomi's website, Sew Knit Create, for some inspiration, or join us in the knit along on Ravelry! 

Friday, October 14, 2016

We Are The Music Makers

This quilted wall hanging was created for two different challenges, the Lincoln Quilters Guild's "Celebrate Community" wall hanging challenge and Lincoln Modern Quilt Guild's "Make A Statement" challenge.

The Lincoln Quilters Guild held their quilt show last weekend. I don't belong to that guild but the wall hanging challenge was free and open to anyone and my good friend Kristie invited me to play along. As I thought about the LMQG's make a statement challenge, I started to get the idea that I could combine the two challenges into one project. For my community, I chose to depict the music community at North Star High School where I work as an accompanist. This quilt is inspired by the show choir, guitar class and jazz band that all happen at the same time. Specifically, 5th period! 

 One Sunday morning, as I brushed my teeth before heading to church, I got the idea to have a piano and guitar nestled together. I quickly sketched out the idea and headed to church, where I pondered the idea for the rest of the morning. That afternoon, I improvised the piano and then gradually added the rest over the next week. The guitar started out as a full guitar but in an attempt to make things fit in a 24" square, I cut the guitar in half. The starburst section is jazz or a tambourine or sound ripples escaping. Use your imagination!  For the layout, I was inspired by the look of retro travel posters. To make it fit with the "Make A Statement" challenge, I added the words as a border, which also gives it a poster feeling, I think.

I had a lot of fun with the quilting! I did both machine and hand quilting. Since the piece is small, I really stitched a lot. Working small is good sometimes, I was not overwhelmed by the quilting!

My mom and I attended the quilt show last Saturday and boy was I surprised to see that I received second place in the wall hanging challenge! How fun is that?! Isn't the ribbon super cute? It has Nebraska's capitol building in the middle. I guess winning was a big deal because someone stopped me while I was grocery shopping a couple days later and asked if I was the one who made the music makers quilt! Wow, that was a first! 

I had so much fun creating this wall hanging and I'm so happy with the colors and design. I'm excited to take it to our next LMQG meeting! 

Quilt details:
20" x 24 3/4"
Improv design by me 
Machine and Hand Quilted 

Friday, September 30, 2016

Exhibit Quilt

Finished Exhibit Quilt! Isn't it fun? It's been almost a year since I received these blocks, so I'm happy to finally have it finished.

This quilt is the result of a block swap that was hosted by a local shop, Crafthouse, using the Exhibit pattern by Eye Candy Quilts.  

The fabrics for each block were chosen by Crafthouse. All of the blocks in my quilt, with the exception of one, were made by other quilters. I love the fact that so many hands were involved in the creation of this quilt! There are so many fun fabrics in here, mummies and bunnies, butterflies and kitties! There's a huge variety of fabrics, many of them I probably wouldn't have chosen for myself, but I'm really enjoying the whimsy! 

This is the one block I got back of the blocks I sewed. I'd love to know who made the others! As I sewed the blocks together, I could tell that there were varying levels of sewing expertise involved. Some blocks were perfectly sewn, with the fabrics fussy cut so each piece matched exactly. Other blocks had uneven seam allowances and wonky edges. But you know what? I didn't care that it was a little challenging to make these blocks work together because everyone who made these blocks tried their best and hopefully enjoyed the process, just like I did! We all have to start somewhere and I love that my quilt has both perfection and imperfection. That's life. And probably par for the course when participating in a swap. 
You know what else happens in my life sometimes? Laziness. The pattern called for sashing between the blocks but I was lazy and decided to sew them together as is. I really like the diagonal pattern that emerged though, which prompted me to quilt on the diagonal. 

For the back, I used Anna Maria Horner's free Feather Bed Pattern along with this feather fabric I found. I think it was meant to be how the colors just happened to work together, since I made the feather blocks way before I found the feather fabric!

Quilt details: 
47" x 60"
Blocks made by many AWESOME people
Machine quilted by me

Friday, September 2, 2016

Strings Quilt

I finished a quilt! It's about time. This one is just fun. When I organized my scrap boxes awhile back, I realized that I had a lot of blue and pink scraps that were already cut into strips. I gathered them up and started sewing them together. My only vision was to have long vertical strips. 

I didn't square anything up as I sewed and eventually, things were becoming pretty wobbly and wonky. I wanted it to be that way but I did have to take in some seams to avoid a bulging center. 

Originally, I had machine quilted this but I ended up hating it. I ripped out the machine quilting and hand quilted it with perle cotton thread instead. I love how the quilt looks and feels now! Finished size is 55" x 66". What a fun scrap busting project! 

Monday, August 22, 2016

Prayer Shawl

I finally finished something! This is the Bargain Matinee Shawl from Alice's Embrace. I began knitting it back in June for the prayer shawl ministry at church.

I used four skeins of I Love This Yarn in the color Ocean. The yarn is doubled to make it a bulky weight, which makes a very wonderfully warm and squishy shawl! I had to bug Gary to take this pic (thanks Gary!) but I wanted to show how big it turned out, 22" x 66". I might have to make one for me, it's super cozy!

This was an easy pattern to memorize. I was able take it with me and work on it in lots of places. I'm really happy with how it turned out and I hope it brings comfort to whoever receives it! 

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Experiments With Dyeing #3

So far, I've had fun making tie dye and sun prints. Wanting to continue my experiments, I got out my acrylic paints and was curious if I could dye fabric with them. Since I still had some fabric left, I decided to give it a try!

 I clicked around online and found out that yes, I could! One of the tutorials I found used acrylic paint for sun printing. For these squares, I mixed up the paint with fabric medium and water, then painted the paint onto the wet fabric squares.

I really pressed the leaves into the paint then set them out in the sun on my driveway. It was a perfect hot and sunny day and these were drying out when suddenly, a random thunderstorm rolled through and drenched my squares! Luckily, they had dried enough to make the print!

The fern is my favorite. Even with the fabric medium, these turned out a little stiff, like the paint on a t-shirt design. I heat set the paint in the dryer and then pressed out the fabric with an iron.

Next, I watered down the acrylic paint with more water to do a small tie dye.

I like this! I wish the turquoise would've come out stronger, though. 

I didn't want my leftover mixed up paints to go waste, so I grabbed some rocks from outside to try this shibori technique and slapped the paint on the fabric. 

It took quite awhile for this to dry, this also was drenched in the downpour. 

Look at how fun this turned out! I heat set the paint in the dryer and then ironed out the wrinkles. This is what it looks like after being washed. 

So that's the last of my dyeing experiments! I'm glad I tried using acrylic paint because I already had them on hand and was able to create something I like without having to buy anything new. I think the acrylic paint with the fabric medium works best for painting on fabric rather than dyeing because it does sit on the surface of the fabric more than evenly soaking through like a dye. Although, I was able to get a subtle dyed look on the tie dye piece by adding more water to the paint. I'm looking forward to trying more fabric dyeing in the future!