Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Because I Needed a Finish

My current quilt project is in time-out. I’ll spare you the full story, but highlights include me sewing many straight lines of quilting, me stubbornly continuing even though the quilting didn’t look so great, and me spending many hours ripping all of it out. Sigh. My crafty little heart needed a finish.

So I turned to Lazy Girl Design’s Mini Miranda Bag. If you’re new to From Bolt to Beauty, you’ll quickly learn that I like making the same bags again and again. They’re my slam-dunk in-between-quilts projects. I’ve made this pattern three times before, all as gifts. This version, however, is for me.

Compared to my experiences with my Cosmo Bag, this pattern was easy. I paired Anna Maria Horner’s Postage Due, from her Dowry line, with Quilter’s Linen in chocolate and lined the bag with Michael Miller’s Cotton Couture in teal. The inside pockets were made with Twill Bouquet, another Dowry fabric, and I finished the bag by using some Clover handles instead of making ones out of fabric. Although the construction is straight-forward, the result is elegant, don’t you think?

I was happy to use some of my AMH stash. I love her work, but so many of her designs have big repeats. It breaks my heart to chop them up for the sake of a quilt. (I could say the same of Amy Butler’s fabric designs.) Of course, fussy-cutting around the motifs created a lot of waste. I’ll have to put the remnants to good use. Maybe they’ll end up in a quilt after all.

Speaking of quilts, it’s time to deal with the aforementioned one. I tweaked something on my machine and am ready to give it another go. Wish me luck!

Linking up to Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday ... 

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Mushy-Brain Sewing

I lost more brain cells than I can count this past Saturday night. I wish I could say it was the result of a night of fun and merriment, but that could not be further from the truth. I accompanied my little guy on an overnight sleep study at a local pediatric hospital. A four-year-old who doesn’t understand why he is being hooked up to a bazillion wires + the not-conducive-to-sleep environment of a hospital (oh, the irony!) = four hours of shut-eye for Mama. The happy ending is, we survived and (I hope!) will never have to go through that ordeal again.

Sunday was a wash. No church. No trip to the playground. No getting a head start on meals for the week. I caught up on laundry until I crashed hard and fast before noon.

This was not a day for sewing. When your brain function is as low as mine was, playing with pins, needles, and rotary blades is not advisable. But come midafternoon I was starting to feel like a real person again.

I passed on my top-priority project at hand, which involves manipulating fiddly 2.5-inch squares and matching many seams, for some super-easy piecing. Sewing a straight seam? Yeah, that’s about all I could handle.

Lucky for me (and for the safety of my fingers), I had already cut many strips in preparation for a rail fence quilt. This project was originally slated for Stitched in Color’s purge initiative, but that deadline came and went. Then, inspired by 100 Quilts 4 Kids, I decided to donate the finished project to charity. That is not going to happen: the 100 Quilts 4 Kids deadline is a week away, plus I’m considering keeping this quilt for my own family. (It’s a decision that would make me feel guilty if I hadn’t just made this quilt for charity!)

I’m following Amanda Jean’s instructions for this project. Most of the fabrics have been languishing in my scrap pile; I recognize a bunch of them as leftovers from my rainbow pencil roll. Others, like the orange frogs and yellow-backed snails from Rae Hoestra’s Lotus Pond line, are from my stash. I bought the moose and raccoons—both from Robert Kaufman’s Woodland Pals line—to flesh out the palette of mustard, orange, aqua, and brown.

I have 99 6-inch blocks, enough for a substantial throw-size quilt. I’d love to keep going with this, but my brain activity is back to normal. It’s time to tackle those 2.5-inch squares, fiddly or not.

BTW: My son is just fine! He is not symptomatic for sleep issues, but he is at higher-than-average risk for them. I’m hoping that the study results show he’s sleeping A-OK.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday, Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Mr. Rubik’s Cube

I’m not entirely sure what possessed me to use my limited sewing time to make a Rubik’s Cube. Perhaps it was the knowledge that the theme for this month’s Le Challenge is “era” and that a Rubik’s Cube points back to my childhood in the eighties. Perhaps it was mere procrastination: focusing on the cube prevented me from tackling more difficult projects on my to-do list. The real reason why I made a Rubik’s Cube? Because I can.

Halfway through my cube, I decided that it needed to be used in some practical way. Like a Rubik’s Cube paperweight. Or a soft, squishable Rubik’s Cube for the baby with an eighties-themed nursery. I decided on a Rubik’s Cube Christmas ornament for my husband. (You should have seen his expression what I revealed my plan to him.)

OK, back to more practical sewing! : )

Linking up to Le Challenge, Sew Cute Tuesday, Let’s Bee Social, and Needle and Thread Thursday ...