Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Staaash, Buttons and (managing) Obsession

Oh it has been a long time since I've acquired fabric. Oh yes, how I miss the feeling. I've bought a fat quarter here and there, mostly for bee blocks but yardage is very different.

Yardage has substance to it, significant weight. Like you could endeavour to make a big quilt out of it and not find yourself stranded, having run out of fabric in the middle of piecing. Or like you could hit someone with it and it would hurt. Substance.

I confess, I didn't even buy this bundle. I'd left it behind with a whole bunch of other fabric when I moved back home and I've only just gotten it back now. But it feels like new fabric!
  The quilt I'd decided on for this bundle was mail-themed and I obsessed over it, I loved it. I've changed my mind though, I'm not sure if I like the combination so much anymore, and the mail-themed quilt has lost its allure. I know I'm going to use this selection to test out the centre of a medallion quilt I have planned, so that will help me see if I do indeed like these fabrics together, but apart from that, this bundle is project-less!

A couple of weeks ago I bought two sets of covered buttons because they were very cheap and I was dying to play with them. I've a perpetual calendar in mind, based on the one in Rashida Coleman-Hale's book I Love Patchwork. She's made a few iterations over time and I adore them all. She uses covered buttons in other projects as well, and I think I'm just falling in love with them in general!
   Do you ever have those projects that just consume you? Ones that you get obsessed over and you think them and re-think them and re-think them again just because it's such a beautiful idea? I absolutely love it when that happens. It's a strange kind of obsession because while it can take away from other creative pursuits, suddenly you just have so much fire in you for this one thing and it's beautiful, to be full of that energy.
   I get obsessed sometimes, not just with projects but with whole crafts, or games. It was crochet, then knitting, then Pokemon (oh that was a bad time for me) and now quilting. Recognising that I go through stages of obsession is important for me so that I can weigh up if I really do want to start this new thing, because it may not last. It also means that I refuse to get sucked in to TV shows ('fandoms', I guess you'd call that) because I just can't afford to lose the time and creative energy if I got hooked. I'd like to lightly enjoy an episode a week of something-or-other but I don't seem to have a 'gentle river outing' setting on that sort of thing; it's more like a 'waterfall' setting. Quilting appears to be the closest I've come to that 'gentle river outing' level, and that's rather pleasing.

Have you had creative ideas that consume you, that you just can't stop thinking about? An idea for a new quilt, perhaps?

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Rada WIP

I had to stop working on my sewing machine cover because the quilting was hurting my fingers. I haven't found a thimble I can use comfortably. So I decided to work on something else for a while!

I've been working on Rada, the quilt for my older brother that was due... oh, about the 12th of May, you know. Progress on it had slowed considerably given several factors that couldn't be overcome, and this time, I'm not going to be hard on myself about it. Things happen!

I changed the design around a tiny bit, mostly to compensate for the missing row - my brother decided that he couldn't stand a square quilt. That's okay, I guess. Little less work for me, and four extra blocks to make into pillows. Neat!

I used QAYG sashing to join the QAYG blocks together. I was worried that the sashing would be too stark a contrast against the blocks, especially the light grey ones, but I think they hold their own pretty well!

I used this tutorial from The Quilting Edge to help me with the sashing, except I folded over the wider strip an inch instead of folding it in half, to save fabric, and used the narrower strip for the front of the quilt instead of the back. I would definitely recommend that you cut the wider strip wider and fold it in half because folding over that inch was annoying, fiddly and imprecise.

I used the narrower strip on the front of the quilt because I wanted the sashing to be crisp and uniform there, without the slight variance of width the folded-over strip adds into the mix. This also meant that I needed to hand-stitch down the flap on the back of the quilt since I didn't want a stitching line showing on the front. Doing that really makes you appreciate just how long the total sashing in a quilt is!

It was pretty exciting seeing the quilt come together as I pictured it! The scale drawings helped with visualising the quilt, that's for sure.

Wow quilts get large and unwieldy very quickly. I couldn't imagine free-motion quilting anything this size (it's almost queen-sized, I think?), definitely not with my current machine anyway.

So this is what it looks like at the moment! I've just got to trim it and add a 6" black border all the way around. I think I can do some fun piecing on the backside of the border to use up some of the scraps, too!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced!