Monday, December 7, 2015

Allietare Link Up Week 2

Alright, it's now Week 2 of Bonnie's Allietare Mystery quilt!

Winter Mystery 2015 - Allietare!

I'm really happy so far this year because I've actually managed to keep up! Last year I think week three was where I fell off the wagon - that one clue took me around a month. I hoping to stay on track this year.

So here's where I started:

I'm hoping the teal will give it a fun modern pop.

Here are my clue one colors in more details:

I'm not using a constant for the grey because I'm trying to use as much fabric that I already own as possible, and all of my greys are so similar that I think they will read as constant. Now you might see a purpley white in there, I haven't actually used it yet, I think I only will if I run out of all the other whites since I think it stands out too much.

For week 1 I was out of town for Thanksgiving. Here was my makeshift cutting area:

It's actually way better than my normal cutting area. The shelf is at perfect cutting height and it had these great bright lights right above it! (It was a little cluttered though).

Here's my week 1:

I have a fun story about these. For a lot of the week 1 whites, I was able to use leftover binding strips from my Celtic Solstice quilt! I bound that in a pretty sparkly white and I had a good amount of 2" binding strip left over - perfect for this use! I'm happy we are using 2" strips for everything this year because it enables greater use of scraps than last year's 2.5" size did.

Week 2: I went step-by step here, very methodical. :)

First, trapezoids!

Next, triangles!

Flying Geese - sort of!

White pieces! The circled one bothered me. I actually took this photo to look at it through the viewfinder and see if it still stood out as much. I think it blends it ok but it was really bothering me so I went ahead and got rid of it. Go with your gut!

And then I made the mistake of cutting 98 grey squares instead of black.

That's more like it!

All done! Phew!

Now go see what everyone else is doing over at Quiltville! (hint: this sentence is a link! Click it!)

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

It's the holiday season!

December 1! I can officially hang up Christmas decorations around the house! Woohoo! And I am also pleased to say that all of my Christmas sewing is done! Double woohoo!

The first thing I worked on in November was quilting a wallhanging for my mom (she pieced it).

And like a chump this is the only photo I took of it:

The pattern is called "Tall Trim the Tree." I like it because you hang little mini quilted ornaments all over the tree. It's on my to-do list...maybe next year. I definitely have to do my personal Christmas sewing early in the year because once September hits, I'm just thinking about sewing presents for others.

Anyway, here's a low quality zoom in. I quilted spirals on the background and a sort of zigzag pattern that reminds me of crocodile teeth on the tree, since it looks like pine needles. And I used my pounce pad to trace out a basic looping design for the borders.

Now, as for is the first:

These are the blocks from the Patchwork City class I took in September. And I sewed one orphan block into the back:

Next up we have a mystery project I can't share, but here's a sneak peak!

And finally, these guys:

Now I can honestly say that I intended to sew many pairs of oven mitts, but this pair was such a pain that I left it at one. First off, that lovely quilted pattern took quite some time to stitch out on four separate pieces.

Do you see that bar on the right below? That's supposed to help me mark out the line spacing. But I am missing a screw that's supposed to hold it in place. So I had to hand mark all of the lines, which added a lot of time.

Since I machine stitched the binding down, I glue basted it. Here are my handy dandy wonder clips holding things in place while the glue dried. I can't imagine this technique on a full size quilts but it's been great for my pillows and other small projects.

Now when the final mitt was assembled, I had a lot of trouble in the thumb area.

First I had this ungainly bulge:

I was able to do some trimming on the inside to ease the bulk around a bit but there's still a lot of thread visible here:

Luckily I was at William Sonoma the other day and I looked at their oven mitts and they had some thread visible in that spot too. In conclusion, these look nice but they took a lot longer than expected, which made them prohibitive to mass produce. Oh, and the heat proof insulation stuff makes a really annoying crinkling noise! I'm hoping that goes away with use, after it is "broken in."

And that's about it for presents! I scaled back my present sewing this year and I'm very glad of it. Why? Because I can participate in Bonnie's Hunter's new mystery with my spare time! I was really worried that I wouldn't have time to participate this year with all of my mandatory sewing, but since I gave up on the idea of making everyone mitts, now I have time! I also promised myself after the amount I spent last year on supplies that I would only do it if I could use my stash. Well, here is my first fabric pull:

All from my stash! Now I won't lie, I did go out and buy some fabrics to supplement this (because, really, who has 5 1/2 yards of white lying around?), but you can see I got a fair amount from pre-existing fabrics. I also loved that this year's only really featured two colors (red and yellow/orange) which made it a lot easier to swap out different fabrics.  I think my red and teal has a fun modern "pop" and I'm excited to see where it goes!

My clue #1 is already complete...more on that in a future post! For now, it's time to go sew!