Monday, February 20, 2012

Birthday Cake 2012

The Munchkin had requested a much simpler cake this year than in the past -and I requested frosting instead of fondant.  All fortunate choices, as the oven decided to go flaky on us in mid baking... so hubby finished up with a base of rice krispie treats, and I topped everything with some molded chocolate bricks, minifigures and LEGO logos.

Much fun was had by all.

Birth Month had some gifties, some sickies, and lots of good family fun... so far! We still have 9 days to go!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Jake's Rectangles and Squares Quilt

Last January I was working feverishly (or so I thought) on graduation quilts.  I had 2 to finish up for nephews who had already graduated, and two to prep for a niece and nephew graduating last June.   I figured with an early January start, getting caught up on all 4 would be easy-peasey.  Right?!??!!

I managed to finish one nephew quilt and sent it off to Jill for quilting,  Two more nephew quilts were started with this pattern and a whole lot of scraps from my stash.

Both were pieced by mid-February - and one lacked only its borders. They were also larger than my living room floor open area - so pinning them up would have to involve a visit to Shellie. And so they got put aside for a bit...

And then I decided to paint my studio, and start my garden, and then summer happened, and I got distracted with more new projects, and then windows and roof and furnace and Christmas and OH MY!  Before I knew it we were rapidly closing in on the one year mark.  3 of the 4 quilts were still not done, and although I now had room on my own living room floor to pin up quilts this size, time was rapidly ticking away.

Not anymore -at least on this one.  Jake's Rectangles and Squares Quilt - named such by the Munchkin - is now done, washed, crinkled and ready for gifting when I see him this Saturday.

This was done primarily in blacks, browns, golds and a nice cream - all fabrics I had in my stash with the exception of the border/binding fabric, which is actually a tone on tone paislyish pattern.  None of these are true blacks - more dark greys, which made matching them a bit more difficult than I anticipated, but I was happy with the end result.

I LOVE LOVE LOVE how this quilt turned out.  The quilting is dense and heavy parallel lines, and the shirting fabric back crinkled deliciously and has a wonderful woven texture to it.  I had to do a bit of piecing on the back, and love how that extra strip just makes it pop!!!

As usual I used flannel as my batting - with the size of this it makes it heavy and warm, and the whole thing just cuddles up to you.  I can't tell you how many times I dozed off under it while putting the binding on!

This is BIG - about 60x80 - but so is Jake so I hope this will cover him up and keep him toasty!!!

The second of these is a totally different color combination - and although I will use the same shirting fabric and quilting style I anticipate a different feel to it. I have the borders on now, and the backing prepped, but need to restock my batting before I can proceed to the next stage.

Jake's quilt - finish #6 since Christmas!!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

1600 - 600 = a new quilt

A couple of weeks ago I was sewing with Shellie and since we had lots of catching up to do, I decided to bring a project that I could work on without thinking about too much - a "Jelly Roll Race", or "1600 Quilt".

The only problem was that the "jelly roll" I pulled from my stash was not a true Jelly Roll - instead of 40 strips WOF, it only had 20.  So instead of 1600 inches of strips to sew end to end, I had half that.  I grabbed about 10 strips of white to fill it out a bit, and proceeded to sew.

Well... the nice proportions of about 48x64 that would result from a full Jelly Roll became a bit skewed with my gimpy one... not to mention that even with random placement of my strips, both the whites and the greens clumped together quite obviously.  Long and skinny - and adding borders would make it REALLY long and still pretty skinny (not that I am opposed to that... but...)

So after I got it home, I decided to do some selective un-sewing.  I removed 8 of the strips and set them aside to use for binding the finished quilt.  I then rearranged the whites and greens a bit to break things up -though I didn't go too crazy and still have a few clumps in the finished quilt.

The addition of some borders, some dense parallel line quilting, and a scrappy binding and the result is:

Unless claimed by my boys, this quilt will most likely be added to the 4Patches4Hope donation box, even though there are no 4 patches in it.  It is also my 5th finished project since Christmas!!!

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Short Thoughts...

I must be thinking in Facebook style lately - because I come up with all these short little quilty related thoughts to post... and then I remember that the majority of my friends on Facebook are NOT quilters, and I think "maybe I should put that on the blog?" - but that takes more time, and the blank blog post form seems to cry out for more than a single sentence sound byte... and do I need a picture or not ... either that or by the time I am sitting down to write something, I have forgotten what I wanted to share.

This morning I am home with a sick kid - and my "sound byte" is that, for me, washing a quilt for the first time is the "moment of truth".  I have a quilt in the wash right now -and depending on how the backing behaves will determine if I use the remainder of the fabric on another quilt I have ready to sandwich.  I usually don't have problems- though the backing on Jill's quilt did not behave and shrink like I am accustomed to - so it was a bit "loose" in the spots where my quilting is not as dense.

I do a LOT of scrappy quilting - much of it from found scraps or adopted materials - and so pre-washing is not really practical.  With a recipe of cold water wash, vinegar in the rinse water, and a Shout Color Catcher, bleeding fabrics has NOT been a problem, even with batik thrown in the mix.  I use flannel for my "batting" - so I usually get a nice crinklage with the first wash.  Jill's backing and the one in the wash right now are a bit more along the lines of "shirting" fabrics - still 100% cotton but they seem to be behaving differently.  I quilted this one VERY densely with parallel lines - so it should not be a problem, but I have at least another 10 min in the wash and 50 in the dryer before I will know for sure...  and then I may spend part of this "found" day prepping the 2nd quilt backing to sandwich.

Really hoping there are no issues - as this is another belated gifty quilt (last spring High School graduation gift) - and I hope to be delivering it on Saturday at a big family party.  Provided the Munchkin isn't still sick, that is.

So much for my "short" thoughts....

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

The return of Birth Month

Anyone who has been following this blog for at least a year may recall that in our house, February is "Birth Month".  This year will be heavily LEGO - as we are planning not one, but two LEGO themed birthday parties for the Munchkin - one with family and one with friends.  Nothing as ambitious as last year - but I am sure I will have some crafty ideas to share later this month.

Today was Day 1 - and we started off our FIFTH year of "Birth Month" celebration with a gifty for the Munchkin... LEGO of course.  He's taking more and more of a role each year in planning what gifts to GIVE - so that's fun.

We even have the extra little pocket for the 29th - our little bonus day to celebrate.  Now I have 28 more days to figure out what to do for that day!

Happy "Birth Month" one and all -I hope you will check in on us during the month to party along - even if your birthday is not in February you are welcome to party with us.