Monday, July 19, 2010

Denyse Schmidt quilt

I finally finished this queen-size quilt! I wanted a summer quilt for our bed, something light and bright. I love Denyse Schmidt quilt designs, so I decided to make this one from her book "Quilts". She calls it "What a bunch of squares"! I used her color scheme, but added the thin strip of gray around each of the middle squares. And I used all solid colors except for one strip of one of her bright floral prints as a nod to the designer! (You can see it along the bottom of the quilt.)

The blocks are simple and went together well, but I found this huge quilt more than I could handle to machine quilt! I decided to quilt it and assemble it in strips, which I thought would be easier, but it was still really bulky for me to handle on my machine. I quilted it in concentric squares in each block, and despite my best efforts, I ended up with a lot of puckers where the lines of stitching came together. Next time (if!) I will quilt in a continuous design where the lines don't cross to avoid puckers. And in fact if I ever make another quilt this large I think I'll have someone else quilt it on a long-arm machine. I'm just not cut out for it!

All that said, on the bed it's the look I was going for for a summer quilt!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Soft Counting Book

I made this book shortly after Christmas. It came from an issue of Stitch magazine and my mom traced the pattern pieces and scanned the instructions for me. For such a seemingly-simple project it was very hard to follow the instructions. Some of the shapes are supposed to be appliqued with folded-under edges and some are fused and zig-zagged. The pieces are so small that they really should have all been zig-zagged. I found it very hard to turn 1/4 inch under for the 5 hexagons.
Putting the whole thing together was also difficult. The instructions tell you to put the pages together in a different way from the way they are presented in the final product. You make a long piece that has the number 1 and the 5 hexagons on it, then when the book is put together, the hexagons line up with #5. I feel like it would have been better to just make the pages as they are in the final product and bind it some other way. The binding of each page was tough and the edges are all wobbly and uneven.
All that said, I will probably never make this project again let alone try to troubleshoot it's construction.
My friend Hillary likes the book and I'll give it to her so James can learn his numbers with the tiny hexagons. I'm sure he won't be bothered with the fact that some shapes have even edges and some are zig-zagged!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Another Wedding Present

It's great having handmade crafters on both sides of my family, and not just for the awesome presents
This arrived last week from my uncle Mikel. It is all hand-made. The drawer pieces are all tongue-and-groove and it was hand-finished. It's beautiful. But what is it? It's a replica of an 18th century pipe box. The tobacco goes in the drawer and the tall compartment is for storing a tall ceramic pipe so the pipe doesn't fall over and break. Uncle Mikel specifically discouraged us to take up smoking so we will probably use this for storing keys and any very tall objects that need a new home. Right now it's hanging in our living room and looks great.