Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sunday Stash - A moment of weakness...

Admit it. Sometimes you just want something.
There's no practicality involved. There's no plan. For me this time, it was this ginormous FQ stack of Cotton & Steel. This fabric line has been plastered all over the quilty blogosphere for months. When I walked into a semi-local fabric shop last Monday, there it was. I've become part of the fabric trend borg. Resistance was futile.

This pack consists of the available colours in the three Basics prints. First up, Netorious. Even the name makes me smile.
 Then, XOXO. How wicked would a plus quilt of these look?
Last up, Dottie. Some of the dots are white, others silver or gold. I'm not ga ga about the gold ones, but it never hurts to branch out.
And to top it all off, 30+ of the 40 pieces have selvage. I am a junkie. I accept that moniker. It is what it is.
Weak, so weak. And egged on by bee-mates. A deadly combination to be sure.
I'm linking up with the fabulous Molli Sparkles for Sunday Stash. It's not glitter, Molli, but damn, it makes me happy.

Did you add anything to your stash this week that makes you just plain happy?


Thursday, August 28, 2014

Quilty Little Secrets

Okay, I'm jumping on the bandwagon here, but after reading Amy at 13 Spools' post (as directed by the one and only Molli Sparkles!) I feel compelled to share my....

 13 Spools
  1. I eat and drink while sewing. Apparently, that's not good for fabric. Eh, it's washable.
  2. I hate pins. Yup, I can be precise without em. Well, precise enough.
  3. I label my Konas. This is not really a secret... and I wouldn't stop even if you mocked me to my face. Been there, ignored that. And I have an inventory system for my other fabric. Again, mock away.
  4. I don't change needles until I break one. Or my thread breaks multiple times in one project. Or the pattern specifically says to use a particular needle.
  5. This is more bloggy than quilty, but I check my pageviews... a lot. I know, I know, I'm a maker. I'm creative. I supposedly to do this for the love of my craft. But I like to know people are reading!
  6. I want to love Kaffe Fassett prints, but I can't. I think he's amazing... even been to one of his lectures. I keep waiting for there to be a print I can't live without, but it never happens. Same goes for AMH.
  7. Directional fabric annoys the heck out of me. 
  8. I don't see why people have so many rulers. 
  9. I don't like decorative stitches. My machine has...well, a lot to choose from... and it's rare, rare day that I ever think of using them. And I'd probably end up breaking a needle because I forgot to change to the proper presser foot anyway.
  10. Pre-cuts mystify me. Really, is it that hard to cut things into squares or strips?
  11. And a bonus just for fun!   I don't wash my quilts when I finish them. They'll get crinkly someday... probably after I drop chocolate coating from an ice cream treat on them. And that fancy quilt wash? Nope. Not in my house. Throw in a Kirkland brand detergent pod and away we go - probably with a few t-shirts or a pair of jeans.
How about you? Does one (or a few!) of these quilty little secrets resonate with you? Are you aghast at my willful disregard of needle changing dogma? Go ahead... leave me a comment. Or maybe you'd prefer to open the vault to your own quilty little secrets....


Update: There's a link-up for all our Quilty Little Secrets! Check it out!

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Challenge accepted... and a giveaway!

So, way back in the winter, I was approached by Sew Sisters to do a tutorial for their Kona Club Challenge. Who, me? It's not as if I even like Konas... yeah, right! Between one thing and another, it's been a long time coming... but today's the day! I'm being featured on their blog!

Learn how to make your very own boxy tote - suitable for fat quarters, scraps, and even (gasp) fabric that isn't Kona!

Pop on over and check it out. And to make it even more worth your while, there's a giveaway (open until Thursday, August 28th). Isn't that a nice way to celebrate the last week of summer?


Monday, August 25, 2014

Around the World Blog Hop

Hi all! It's my stop on the Around the World Blog Hop! Thanks to Kate from Thread Everywhere who asked me to be part of the hop. She was also a part of the Plum and June New Quilt Blogger Hop earlier in the summer.

As part of this hop, each participant was asked to share a little about our creative process... here's my 2 cents!

1. What am I working on?
As per usual, I have a number of projects on the go (and I'm not afraid to add something new if I feel like it!) Since January, I've been following the Pile O Fabric Skill Builder BOM. It pushes my limits in the technique department, but I've been really pleased with the results.
 I might just have concurred my paralyzing fear of appliqué... maybe.
 Since I'm soon to be a MoM (Mom of Multiples), I've been making a lot of baby stuff lately.
I have a few WiPs floating around the studio...
There's my Plus Two quilt(s).... it's now  layered and ready to quilt. And then there's this strip quilt...
It's the last hurrah for my batik stash and is destined to be donated to my local womens' and children's hospital for their youth mental health program. I kind of have a thing for making these super easy strip quilts. They're great scrap busters!

2. How does my work differ from others of its genre?
Honestly, I have no idea. I don't try to make it different... sometimes it is, sometimes it isn't. I try not to be too influenced by what's going on out there in the blogosphere, but sometimes it's fun to have the collective feeling of a QAL or a bee. One of my favourite quilt-dorky things I like to do is to photograph my finished quilts in interesting locations, often outdoors.

3. Why do I write/create what I do?
As I joke whenever I introduce myself at my local modern quilt guild, A Quarter Inch from the Edge isn't just a blog name, it's a lifestyle. There are a lot of days when I'm anxious or depressed and making some time to be in my "studio" helps with those feelings. Making stuff makes me happy. I don't have to be sewing - I can be organizing fabric or gathering ideas on Pinterest. It's also the thing I do that no one else in my family does. I'm the quilter. I make stuff.

4. How does my writing/creating process work?
Sometimes I make things just because I feel like it... I might have seen a similar project on Pinterest or someone's blog. A lot of the quilted and sewn things I make are destined to be presents, so I'll fall in love with something and think "That would be perfect for X!" Then I'll get to making it.

Now for the pay it forward part of my post...check out these great blogs!

Anja Quilts - She's a sister member of Maritime Modern Quilt Guild well as both the real life bees to which I belong (Do Bees and Q-Squared). Lately, she's been cranking out a pile of finishes!

Jada's Quilting Adventures - Another MMQG member and a newer quilter and blogger. Her recent owl quilt is super cute!

Buttons Quilts - Lynn's a Kona lover too and not afraid of a little Truth Tea now and then!

Thanks for visiting!


P.S. Pop back tomorrow for a little secret I've been keeping... there might even be a giveaway! ☺

Friday, August 22, 2014

Friday Finish - Two little beginnings, lots of little finishes!

Now that I've finally shared the news about "Double Trouble" with my bloggy readers, I feel better about sewing for them. Isn't that weird? I have started on their quilts, but am stalled by the need for a particular colour of Kona. #colourcardproblems.

While waiting for the perfect Kona to appear in my studio, I've had time to sew other goodies for them. I started out with burp cloths. I figure I'll need a lot of them. "The List" (as copied from Twiniversity... yes, that's a real thing) doesn't say how many we'll need, but I figure two babies spit up a lot!
I went through my stash and used some fat quarters that I had hanging around. Sometimes I give in to a cute fabric and buy a FQ just so I can take it home. They came in handy for burp cloths. For the backing, I used re-purposed t-shirts. They've already been washed a zillion times so they're very soft. When I first made these for Q-B's grandson, I used this tutorial at Made by Rae.

Then I moved on to bibs. I used this tutorial from Two More Minutes. I didn't have any terry cloth on hand, so used flannel for the backing. I found them a little small, but I guess the babies will be small... at least for a little while! ☺
I figure they won't stay that way, so I found this tutorial from Alice & Lois for some larger bibs.
I made sure I had terry for the backs of these ones. The ladies at my LQS are perplexed by my odd purchases of late - flannel, terry, interfacing? What on earth!?

Though I've seen some nice tutorials out there, I haven't bothered with making fancy pieced bibs. I mean, these are going to get messy, right?

We've got every last bit of painting done in the nursery and closet is finally rid of my fabric stash (don't think that wasn't a big job!), so I'm starting to think more about how it's going to come together. I've been making these...

...using the fabric I bought at Ikea when I was in Montréal for the exterior and lining them with Konas (Maize, Spearmint, and Robin Egg so far). I used a tutorial from Haberdashery Fun that worked quite nicely.

I will say that the first step in the sewing section of the tutorial that isn't 100% clear (you need to sew seams up the two short sides of the rectangle... but it doesn't exactly say that). And if you plan to use fabric that is very directional, this mightn't be the tutorial for you. As the bin exterior is made from one piece of fabric, you're always going to have some part of it that's upside down. Very annoying for us OCD folks!

Apparently, swaddling is the thing for little babies. I fell in love with Lotta Jansdotter's Snuggler when I saw it on Pinterest, but sadly, my local library didn't have a copy of her book, Simple Sewing for Baby. Lucky me, I managed to find a link that had the instructions and the full size pattern for just the Snuggler. Score!

I dove into the stash and found these Ann Kelle prints. I swear I could have bought every print in the Urban Zoologie line... but I didn't.
I don't normally buy large cuts, so when I need a metre of fabric for something, my choices are limited. That said, the pattern called for a yard of cotton print, but, with careful pattern placement, I was able to get away with 0.7 m. It didn't work quite as well for the owl fabric. I had to do a little matching of the print... I don't think it's too obvious!

The pattern isn't too tough, though I did have some trouble getting one area where multiple seams meet to lay flat. I don't think babies really care. I also opted to use flannel for the lining instead of microfleece.
These went together fairly quickly, but I think I'll wait to see if the critters like sleeping in them or not before I commit. I might be nice to have a few things that aren't gender neutral... which means waiting until they're actually here!

Hope I gave you a couple ideas on stuff to sew for babies... I'm not hinting here people! Sometimes it's nice to make something that isn't a quilt, especially if the baby on the way has a qulit-y relative! Please feel free to share your ideas in the comments... or you can just lavish praise upon me for my amazing work. Either is fine! :)

P.S I'm linking up with Finish it up Friday @ Crazy Mom Quilts and with TGIFF over at the Devoted Quilter. You should definitely pop over and see the EPP madness she recently finished. 1340 hexies... oh my!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

TLP - August (What the heck have I been doing with my time?) Edition

Okay, it's summer. I'm not at work every day. I should be finishing a quilt a week here, people. Alas, that is not so much the case. I have been working on things, but not Library Project things apparently!

On the bright side, I have finally finished J-Boy's Good Old Hockey Game quilt. The binding is on (hand-stitched... one of my fav bits of any quilt). All that remains is to sew the label on and wait until Christmas to give it to him!
And yup, that's all I'm showing you of it. There's actually one more thing for this quilt... a proper quilt-y photo shoot. I just need to find the perfect spot (I'm thinking a rink... but one with good lighting) and a willing assistant!

Way back in January, I committed myself to completing four projects for TLP.  I'm sticking to the number, but I've switched things up along the way. Here's the report to date:

Project #1 - Oh Deer for Young B, from Boo Davis' Dare to be Square Quilting
Project #1.5  - Christmas Candy Dish Pillows (½ project - small project)
Project #2 - Go Your Own Way (½ project - uses a technique from a TLP selected book)
Project # 3 - Good Old Hockey Game for J-Boy (as seen above!)

So just one more project to go to fulfill my goal for the year. Back in the spring, I switched things up a bit and changed my projects to more practical ones (usually gifts), but for #4, I'm going back to my original book selections. Modern Patchwork was on that list... the projects in it scare the bejeezus out of me, but the cover quilt just keeps drawing me back.
So there it is... I'm doing it. It's not practical... but it will be something special just for me. I plan to hang it in this spot....
... which is directly in front of my at the desk in my studio. This quilt, Honu (The Protector), will go to live in the nursery next door. Decision made. ☺ Time to begin the fabric pull! I'm thinking blues and teals with low volume prints.

Even though I'm terribly late this month, I'm linking up with Adrienne at Chezzetcook Modern Quilts for the monthly link-up. I haven't missed one yet and I'm not about to start now!


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

WIP Wednesday - A little bit of this, a little bit of that...

I've been feeling a bit ADD with my quilting lately. I mean, I'm spending a lot of time in the studio, but it doesn't seem like much is getting finished. I keep bouncing from one thing to another!

In the past week, blocks have been rolling in from my bee mates in the Global Scrap Bee. I was Queen Bee for July (you can read about my royal request here)... check out the lovelies that have arrived so far. far!
Last night I whipped up 4 more blocks... I love the way the corners come together and take your eye away from the original block. I figure if a couple more trickle in, it'll make a comfortable sized snuggle quilt. And I already have a good idea of who it might need to live with ☺

I'm also completely up to date on my Pile O Fabric Skill Builder BOM blocks. Yay, me!☺ This month featured more appliqué with Liquid Stitch. Again, I finished two blocks without even turning the machine on. So strange. These are meant to be spools of ribbon... a little more abstract than the rest of the blocks in the series!
 And these ones... can you guess?
If you said books on a shelf, you'd be right! I worked hard to match the font colour on the selvage to the Kona used. I know, I know... only I would care about that! And I managed to work in two selvages in French. Oh, the things that make me happy.

I'm linking up today with the Needle and Thread Network, as well as with WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Stash - Kona Play

A while back, another lovely little squishy packet arrived in the mail. As I've mentioned before, I receive Sew Sisters Kona Fat Quarter Club selection. A fine Christmas gift for the Kona lover in your life! :)
When I ripped the envelope open, I was.... underwhelmed.
Honey Dew, Petunia, Oyster, and Peony. Not to say that I haven't used some of these in the past, but the combo was... well, just a little too pastel for me! Lynn over at Buttons Quilts was pretty vocal about her dislike of the selections. Hey,  everyone's entitled to an opinion! But it got me thinking... just because you're a quilter, or even a lover of Kona solids, doesn't mean that every FQ combo that comes your way is going to float your boat.

So what's a Kona obsessed gal to do? First off, break up those four offending shades. Then, give them someone else to play with! First off, Honey Dew hanging with some new friends - Breakers, Sprout, and Robin Egg (left to right).
Honey Dew got a second outing - this time with Buttercup,  Robin Egg, and Maize (front to back). Sorry the colour's a little off on this one! 
 The Peony, when mixed with Cerise, Steel, and Ash (front to back), doesn't look so bad afterall!
For Peony's second go round, I went monochromatic. You know I'm not one to go all pink... but Pearl Pink, Peony, Camelia, and Pomegranate (left to right)? They just work together!
As for Petunia, I was thinking about pansies for this pull - Sunny, Petunia, Violet, and Lime (front to back).
So whenever you're faced with a fabric (solid or otherwise) that's less that your cup of tea, why not switch it up? You could pop over to Design Seeds for some colour combo inspiration, or make your own palette using Play Craft's Palette Builder.

I'm linking up today with Molli Sparkles (hope you're feeling better soon!) for Sunday Stash. These fabrics aren't necessarily new, but sometimes looking at things in a new way can be just as fun!


P.S. If you're wondering where Oyster went to play, even I have my limits! Just kidding! Feel free to leave me a comment and tell me who in the Kona class you'd have Oyster doing group work with!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Banner Blocks!

Woo hoo! My banner blocks are done on time! Each member was offered the opportunity to make a block to border the an amazing center section featuring our name and logo (check my sidebar for a pic of the logo).
And we even got the fabric - Konas donated by Robert Kaufman (White, Pacific, Prussian, Aqua, Oasis, and Breakers). 
I decided that since I was only making a couple blocks, I wanted to do something complicated. Why do I do this to myself? I had to take this apart more times than I'd like to admit... and there's still a spot that's a little haywire. But if you squint it looks good!

I was lucky enough to get to make two! For my next trick, I chose something that wasn't as likely to make me swear and reach for the seam ripper. It's sort of a Chinese Coins improv-y dealio. It's a little washed out in this pic... très sunny!

In addition to the border blocks, we were also asked to make a signature block for the black of the banner. Here's mine...
I used this tutorial to make it. Not too fancy, but it is for the back after all! And yes, I plan to sign it before handing it in! ☺ Can't wait to see what the banner looks like after Linda from Scrapmaster gets her free-motioning little paws on it. It's going to look wicked good!

Tonight I'm off to our August meeting. I love that our little guild meets 12 months of the year! To make it even better, we're meeting at that new fabric shop I told you about last week. And we'll find out who won our guild's Michael Miller Challenge. I'm pretty sure it wasn't me! ☺


Monday, August 11, 2014

Global Scrap Bee - August Edition!

Well, I've been replaced! Now that July is over, I'm no longer Queen Bee. My bee-mate and sister Square, Q-D, has replaced me. Her request for the month is the Urban Chicken block from Wombat Quilts. Hard to believe she didn't pick something paper pieced!  In terms of colour, she requested bright vibrant colours. Of course, I was given a little nudge...
 Sadly for Q-D, I didn't have enough of either of these fabrics left in my stash to make the initial 3½ by 14½ inch strip required for the block. I went with these instead...
To make this block, I had to do something new to me... sew my strips into a tube. This technique always made me nervous, but it worked out perfectly. I made the tube, then sliced it up and detached it at different points to get my strips of coloured squares.
The Urban Chicken block even leaves room for a little improv - these triangles are supposed to be wonky!
I really worked at getting the seams on my squares to match up perfectly. I even channeled Q-D and used pins (though not in this pic!)
 And here it is all finished... lovin' how those Domino Dots and Pearl Bracelet look!
I enjoyed making it so much that I decided to whip up another one... and Q-D made me two blocks when I was Queen Bee, so it's only fair. I know one of these prints isn't as dark in value as it should be to make the block just right, but Q-D's been a little hooked on Carolyn Friedlander's Botanics lately, so I couldn't resist working some in!
It's hard to believe there's just one month left in this bee... and then I'll be bee-less. I've been toying with the idea of starting one of my own... anyone interested? I was thinking perhaps of a Kona bee...


I'm linking up with Anything Goes Monday @ Stitch by Stitch!