Fancy Foxes

You wan to know what the most fun quilt ever is: Elizabeth Hartman’s Fancy Foxes. Yay, now you know.

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Sadly blurry ūüė¶

I made this one for a friend’s first baby. I knew the mom-to-be was a veterinarian and that they had rescued more than one wild creature from their backyard. I figured I couldn’t go wrong an animal theme. Plus, I’d been eyeing that fox pattern for a while

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Making each little fox face became a bit obsessive ¬†– “just one more and I’ll go to see” – level obsessive. I think that red/orange one is my favorite

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No, maybe the polka-dot one.

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Or.. oh I don’t know. I love them all.

While I Wait

Idle hands and all… ¬†so while I wait for my new sewing machine to arrive I pulled out an old friend. ¬†A good project that has sat for quite some time as I didn’t really realize how much work it was going to be. ¬†Still pretty though. I’m making much better time now that I decided to make my stitches bigger. ¬†I may even finish.

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Quilting Class Output

Remember that quilting class I said I was going to take? ¬†I really did take it. ¬†And it was totally fun. ¬†A lot of my reason for going was to figure out all the stuff I had been doing wrong. ¬†Just like when I learned that I was so, so not purling correctly a full half sweater in.That sweater has since been¬†sacrificed¬†to the frog and no photographic proof remains that it ever was. ¬†I am very happy to report that quilting class didn’t unearth any similar face-palm lessons. ¬†Most of what I had been doing, I had been doing¬†correctly¬†or close enough. ¬†The biggest things I took away from it were

  1. Keep a hot iron close.  Really saves a bunch of time and helps you not give into the laziness of just not ironing
  2. Measure all the damn time.  This one was a biggie.  We made 9 square blocks.  Measured each piece, measured each block, measured each row, etc. I need to be better about this
  3. A 12 1/2 inch square ruler is kind of essential.  See measuring above.  That thing makes it far less painful.
  4. It’s totally ok if at the end of attaching your binding, you finish with a flat seam for the two ends instead of a bias one.¬†Quilting police did not storm the building. ¬†It was like they don’t even exist.
  5. Binding stitch. Most things I found I had been doing mostly right except this. ¬†I have been hand sewing the binding wrong on every quilt I have made, making my life more difficult and my fingers more…¬†perforated¬†in the process. This is the way to do it.

I ended up with a nice little quilt made out of a things I already had in my stash. One of my rules of class taking is that I shouldn’t buy materials if I already have them. ¬†This is for practice not for the family heirloom (right, like my son is going to want to keep any of this. ¬†He’ll likely go to college with the 2 yards of star wars fleece currently on his bed that I picked up for 40% off at Joann’s).

I am very lucky to work with humans. Humans who have babies.  Humans who have babies always need blankets, even little wee ones.  Aaron from two desks over was very happy to accept my homework for his new Little J.  I hope Little J gnaws on that new-stitch-learning binding to his hearts content.

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Full quilt taped to the wall

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9 block detail

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back side with cool ghost print

 

Thanks A Verb for Keeping Warm for the great class. ¬†I’ll be back.

 

New baby, new blanket

The baby deluge continues with some friends from work welcoming their adorable (and I mean adorable) little guy to the world last month. Check out those pictures! ¬†Aren’t they awesome? ¬†If I ever have another baby, I am getting Agnes and her camera over here ASAP. ¬†Speaking of photography, these pictures didn’t come out great. ¬†Photographing ivory isn’t the easiest thing to get right inside the house.

This was a really nice blanket to work on. ¬†The top dotted fabric is a gauzy japanese cotton. ¬†The back is a soft quilting cotton with a slight sheen to it. ¬†I used 4 different shades of grey-blue¬†embroidery¬†thread to hand quilt the layers together. I did a good section of this on our weekend away in the Russian River so the lines got a little… “wabi sabi” – that’s a nice way to say they aren’t even. ¬†I actually liked the way it was turning out enough to add a couple more lines with even more movement.

 

The fabrics here are beautiful but neutral.  Most of the interest here comes from texture.  The japanese fabric gauze really shows the stitch definition.

I finished the binding with some standard ivory bias tape and washed the whole thing Рit had been all over the place with me.  The fabric was so nice and soft afterward, I really hope mr. cuteness enjoys it.

 

This one was a fighter

The baby boom continues around these parts. ¬†And while the robot blanket and the (soon to be completed) moderne log cabin knit blanket went basically according to plan, this blanket fought me hard. ¬†It really doesn’t look difficult but any way it could find to trip me up, it took. ¬†It was sneaky, I tell you, sneaky.

See, it looks innocent enough, with its diagonal machine quilting over a single panel of (very cute) bicycle cotton. Yeah, that took me two tries. See the big border of grey fabric?  That was supposed to go all the way around with mitered corners.

“Not this time” says the blanket. ¬†Not sure how I messed those up, but I REALLY messed those up. So much that I needed to go into the stash and find something to cover up the corners with. ¬†Luckily, this little blue circle fabric matched close enough. ¬†If I was really dedicated I would have blind stitched the corners on but to be honest, I was just about D for Done with this thing. I cried mercy and admitted defeat. The blanket smirked at me, reminded me of my place, and proceeded to turn out pretty darn cute anyway.

 

New Post at Long Last

Work has been crazy. ¬†I haven’t made things, I haven’t blogged, I’ve barely done what is necessary to be still be considered a good parent. ¬†I have not enjoyed it.

I have made my way through a couple of baby blankets.  First up, the robot blanket:

The baby this one was intended for lives in Florida. ¬†I didn’t want anything too heavy or warm since I knew they would never use it. ¬†The top is a Japanese robot print and the back a light-weight cambray. ¬†The blanket has enough weight to stay down as a play mat but the weave of the cotton makes the blanket cool to the touch.

The very talented Monique designed the big appliqué robot.  My design requirements were 1) cute 2) easy enough for me to sew on to a blanket.  She came up with this adorable little guy.   I used freezer paper to get her design on some bamboo felt then used Sashiko thread to hand sew the design down.

And off it went to it new home…