Thursday, September 25, 2014

Sewvivor Challenge Four - Lap Quilt

I'm absolutely thrilled to be here in the top three! I would have never guessed in a million years that i would have made it this far, i'm so very thankful for everyone's support, sweet comments and of course votes ;) 

This quilt is one that i've had in my head for some time now and making it this far in Sewvivor has given me the push i needed to get it out of my head and into reality! So without further ado, may i present...


Carrousel is a mixture of bits and pieces from Melody Millers's first line for Cotton and Steel, Mustang. Such a wonderful variety of prints in this line and the colours are to die for!

 I also used one of my all time faves from her Ruby Star Polka Dot line for Kokka, the patchwork cheater print in blue, love this print so much! And i love how it works beautifully with her new work.

I also finally cut into this delicious stack of RJR Cotton Supreme Solids,

I spent a ridiculous amount of time fussy cutting images to feature in the Star Dresden wedges and even went so far as to piece three of them with little plus signs to mimic the little plus signs used in some of the Mustang prints. For the most part all the Dresden wedges were made by strip piecing sections of fabric and then cutting out the wedge shapes. I think most of my time with this project was spent mixing and matching the solids and prints together, the combinations were endless!

 I used up a lot of the little left over scraps to improv piece a strip for the top of the quilt.

I knew i wanted the giant Dresden to be the center of attention so i had planned from the beginning to bind it in the same fabric i used to applique the Dresden onto. So i thought a splash of colour along the top of the quilt would be needed!

The giant Dresden measures almost 50" across from point to point and i absolutely love the effect of having the one edge scalloped.

Basting it was slightly more difficult than a regular quilt due to the scalloped edge, which was sewn right sides together then turned right side out before basting. But not hard enough that i wouldn't do it again!

I made thirty six wedges, and tried my best with the fabric i had, to make three of each wedge.

Sorry for the rubbish night time cell phone picture! But i like how they look before they've been pointed. (I was stalling on making the last three, the +wedges!)

I used Carolyn Friedlanders widescreens for both the front and the back, grey on the front and black with a strip of grey for the back. Keeping it simple, just how i like my backs ;)

 I also used the grey for skinny binding. I cut the binding at only 2" and machine stitched it to the front and hand stitched it to the back. 

In an effort to keep this one soft and drapey i minimized the machine quilting and used the dresden wedges to guide where all my quilting lines went. I just did simple lines with Aurifil #2606 Mist through the centers of all the wedges from point to point and continued on in a straight line to the edge of the quilt. It creates a fantastic crossing of lines in the center! Where the lines reach the outer edges the quilt they were too far apart for my batting so i made the decision to do some hand quilting.

I love the little vintage pyrex looking starbursts on some of the Mustang prints and decided that they would be perfect to quilt all over the grey area of the quilt. 

I used Aurifil #2975 Brass, (surprise surprise!) for them and also for the simple stitches around the inner and outer edge of the whole Dresden. 

 The perfect amount of hand quilting!

The details:
Pattern - Carrousel by me!
Finished size - 64" x 80"
Fabrics - Star Dresden is all Mellody Miller Mustang, and Ruby Star Polka Dot and a selection of RJR Cotton Supreme Solids.
Front, backing and binding all Carolyn Friedlander Widescreens in grey and black.
Pieced with Aurifil #2600 Dove Grey and quilted with Aurifil #2606 Mist and #2975 Brass

High fives for a super fun quilt finish, and high fives to all of my Sewvivor friends! It's been a blast!

Voting is now over and the wait is on, Monday cannot come soon enough!! Be sure to visit Rach on Monday to see who the winner is!
And because it's been way too long i'll be linking up over at crazy mom quilts for finish it up Friday!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

+Hex Tutorial

Just popping in to share how i made the +hex blocks for my Sewvivor challenge three entry, enjoy!

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plus hex tutorial

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High fives for hexies! Especially +hexies!!
xo nicole

Monday, September 8, 2014

Sewvivor Challenge Three - Hexies

Thank you so much to everyone who's cheered me on this round and from the beginning, and for all your words of encouragement! I'm so excited to still be here and be able to share with you all my entry for round three!

I decided for this round of Sewvivor, the hexie challenge, i wanted to make something for our home. I'd made a mini quilt for round one, then the bag for round two and with a lap quilt being the final challenge (fingers crossed i make it) i wanted to make something new. Something that we would use regularly. Something like a giant floor cushion? Perfect!

hexagon floor cushion

Once again i found myself pulling stack after stack of fabrics wondering what direction to go in (there was talk of a rainbow and Unikitty from the Lego Movie, but in a testosterone filled house there really isn't a lot of room for rainbows and unicornkitties!) So in a brief moment of insanity i pulled out my highly coveted half yard of Melody Miller typewriters that i've been hoarding and sized it up with my Hex N More ruler. I could perfectly get a 6.5" hexie out of it, but do i dare cut into such precious fabric?! Oh i did! And so it began, cutting into some of my most treasured bits of fabrics, after all this was something that was going to stay in my living room, why not use all my favorite fabrics!

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And while we chop with reckless abandon, lets mix things up a bit and make some + hexies and some kaleidoscope ones as well! I love the way the + hexies turned out and will be posting a little tutorial for them, super easy to make! Tutorial can be found here!!

hexagon floor cushion

I wanted the quilting on this to hold up to the two little boys that will no doubt be jumping all over it so i wanted it somewhat dense. That being said i just didn't have the heart to quilt all over the little typewriter, (does anyone else have this problem?) So i've echoed the star/typewriter block and for the rest i stitched about a quarter inch apart in a v formation with Aurifil in turquoise (#2810). 

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I love the lattice effect that happens when two sections of the v cross and the turquoise Aurifil looks amazing against the black fabrics!

hexagon floor pillow

The sides of the cushion were pieced with slightly smaller hexies, 4.5" and i kept the quilting fairly minimal. Just a quarterish inch from the seam on both sides of each diagonal with Aurifil in black (#2692). Makes a fantastic little x pattern all the way around! 

hexagon floor cushion

I've tried my best to use only stash and things i have on hand for all of my Sewvivor projects, so when it came time to find something for the back of this cushion i immediately thought of this Parson Gray print that i had picked up last year. I had hoped to back a quilt in it but when i got it it was a little more green than the cream i thought it was online. So it's been sitting in my stash just waiting to be used. I kept the closure simple and went with an envelope style and it works perfectly!

hexagon floor cushion

In my life pre-quilter i always slept under a down duvet, but now that i have experienced sleeping with a quilt i'll never go back. So what to do with the old duvets? Well i used one to stuff this cushion with, and let me tell you, while i no longer enjoy sleeping under one... it is so supremely comfy to sit on! Shorty agrees!

So does Max!

hexagon floor cushion

It is the perfect size for sitting back and reading a book!

hexagon floor cushion

High fives to all the girls this round and good luck!
xo nicole

Make sure you stop on over to Rach's to check out the rest of the competition and if you feel so inclined i would absolutely love your vote! I have a killer idea for the final round so fingers crossed i make it through!
I also have a little interview with Ange from Gnome Angel over on her blog, lots of fun so be sure to pop over and check it out! Just click here!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Sewvivor - Challenge Two - Quilted Bag

You underestimate the power of the Dark Side. If you will not fight, then you will meet your destiny.   -Darth Vader

star wars bag

And folks, i can say after this challenge that making quilted bags is not my destiny! I lost count of how many ideas i tried to build on and how many bag options there are to work with. In the end i stuck with my original bag choice, the Dorothy Day Tripper from Swoon Sewing Patterns. I like that it's the same shape as the Weekender, just smaller. So there's still a fair bit of surface space to improv piece with, but not be overwhelmed. (which was nice for my first foray into quilted bag making!)

star wars bag

After pulling stack after stack of fabrics i finally decided to work with my rapidly dwindling collection of Lizzy House Constellations. And what works perfectly with the starry prints? Star Wars of course! So a Storm Trooper was whipped up using Kristy from Quiet Play's fantastic and free Lego Star Wars pattern.
And what Dark Side Day Tripper would be complete without some wonky stars to run alongside the zipper!

star wars bag

I matchstick quilted everything using Sulky invisible thread and i absolutely love that it's just complete texture without really seeing the lines from thread. 
Despite that fact that it blew up two of my bobbins and was an absolute pain to sew with!

star wars bag

But when the light hits it right, it sparkles! And every bag needs a bit of sparkle, right?!

star wars bag
Love my Hera marker!, seriously if you don't have one you should go right out and pick one up! For those that don't know what it is, it just leaves a crease in the fabric for you to sew on. Instead of marking with a pen that needs to be washed or ironed off.

star wars bag

I eliminated the pocket on the back of the bag and replaced it with a caravan of AT-AT walkers that i appliqued on after the quilting was finished. Need i say more? AT-AT walkers people! You can never go wrong with AT-AT walkers!

And finally, what Star Wars bag would be complete without a patchwork Death Star zip pouch! 

star wars bag
This little bit of awesome was made using Melinda from Quirky Granola Girl's Patchwork Death Star pattern printed out at 75% and hand sewn with Aurifil in Dove Grey. For my first time hand sewing curves i think i did pretty well!

star wars bag

It sits safely latched behind the Storm Trooper for protection :)

star wars bag

With that, i'll leave you to go and enjoy the other entries! I can't wait to see what everyone else has made :) And if you feel inclined to vote for my little Dark Side Day Tripper, thanks in advance! Here's a link to get you there! I would love to carry on to the third round!

High fives for the finish of round two,
and fingers crossed on making it into round three!
xo nicole

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sewvivor - Challenge One - Nautical

So yeah, summer blogging is pretty scarce around these parts. But for those that follow me on Instagram (@snippets101) you all know what i've been up to.  You'll remember my last post was my audition for Sewvivor over at Family Ever After, well... 

I GOT IN!!! I'm absolutely floored that i made it and have been nervously waiting to reveal my first challenge piece, which was to be anything we wanted as long as it was quilted and nautically inspired.

So without further ado...
                                 may i present, Hold Fast!

My first thoughts on hearing "nautical" go to two things - Peter Pan and his Neverland Pirates and old sailor style tattoos. We can all see what direction i took with this challenge! I love old ships with giant mast's full of sails, despite not being able to stomach being on any form of ship, or small boat, canoe, rubber dingy... who am i kidding, even the conveyor belt in the grocery store make me nauseous! So this was a chance for me to make the tattoo that i would love to have if i were a sailor pirate! (come on who doesn't want to be a pirate!)

I opted to use mostly applique for this mini, i like the look that it creates when layering piece after piece on top of one another. And i think for things like the waves it was the perfect application to use. I used all shot cottons for the waves, i love the way the colours change with shot cottons and wish it was something that you could see in photographs!
The roses (which i cut from my last piece of Anna Maria Horner's Social Climber print) were also another piece that i wouldn't be able to get the effect i wanted using another method.

I embroidered the hold fast banner with 12wt Aurifil in brass, my all time favorite colour! And doubled up the fabric (Essex linen in natural) so i could get the folded look of a scroll.
For those that don't know, the term Hold Fast (when used by sailors) means to bear down, grit it out, and stay the course. Such an appropriate term when working on a deadline!

The quilting was varied throughout. The waves were all hand stitched with a chunkier stitch in 28wt Aurifil in teal, i think the chunkier stitch gives great texture and movement. In addition to sketch stitching the ship and sails i also hand stitched a few stars in the sky (Lizzy House Twinkle Twinkle in black). And the brass band around the whole thing, that was done with my zig zag stitch with the length set just a hair over 0. You have no idea how long it took to make two laps around the whole thing!! Forever!

The rest of the quilting consisted of radiating lines in turquoise and brass 40wt Aurifil from behind the medallion, which were doubled up in the corners and center lines.
Backed in another of Lizzy House's prints, Constellation in teal and bound in the same Twinkle Twinkle i used for the sky.
This little mini finishes off at 27.5" x 35" and i have to say, for my third mini ever... i quite like it! 

High fives for all my awesome competition this round! It's been so much fun getting to know you all!
Good Luck to all of you!
xo nicole

Make sure to pop on over to Rach's to see the rest of the entries, and vote for me! Or you know, someone else... but really, you should vote for me ;) Just kidding, I've been watching the sneak peaks on Instagram and let me tell you , the competition is tough! So many amazing bits and pieces, so while i'd love to make it to the next round, vote for the project that you love most and if it happens to be mine, thanks ;)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sewvivor - snips snippets

Welcome, welcome new friends and old. I would like to take a quick minute to show you all my entry into this season of Sewvivor. Fair warning, picture overload is about to commence!
 Enough chit chat already!!


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There she is, in all her unfinished glory, my proudest quilty achievement! My Gypsy Wife!
That's right, still not finished. I really underestimated how long it would actually take to hand quilt this. I was positive it would take a month or two tops. Wow, so wrong. I've been at it almost four months now and i still have quite a ways to go yet.

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I did however manage to get enough quilted to finally put the binding on. I was hoping to have it finished in time to use it as my entry for Sewvivor 3. (that was after i was hoping to have it finished for Bloggers Quilt Festival!) So on a whim, i thought i'd email Rach at Family Ever After (superstar host of Sewvivor) and see if it was okay to use semi finished projects. You have no idea how ecstatic i was when she emailed me back and said it was okay! I hustled and bound the half of the quilt that was fully quilted and thought i'd be fine with it. Nope. No way i was going to post my very first full shot of my Gypsy Wife with only half a binding on. So i pulled out my tools of the trade and desperately tried to get as much stitched as possible!

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I did my best to get at least some of the bigger blocks partially quilted so there would be minimal movement once they're fully quilted.

Fingers crossed it doesn't all go to pot when i finish the quilting!!

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I've really, truly enjoyed hand quilting this. Though i should have timed it better so the quilting portion was being done in the winter. Sitting under this sucker in middle of the summer is like wearing saran wrap in a sauna, blech!

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I probably would have been done the quilting had i gone with a simple design or even just straight lines. But all the Anna Maria Horner prints were begging for special treatment!

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But where some get the royal stitchery treatment,

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Others are left to shine without the grand details.

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For my very first foray into hand quilting, i think i'm doing pretty well.

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My stitches could definitely be better, but slowly i'm getting there. And i think by my next hand quilted project (and believe me, there will be more!) they will be better yet!

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I wish you all could feel the texture that the quilting is giving this, so awesome!

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And the mix of super dense quilting with random embroidery work and sparse quilting is making for a pretty interesting back!

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Which of course has been kept pretty simple as always ;)

And you can see on the left hand side of the above shot is where all of my blocks have been finished. The right, not so much. And i love how you can see where the strips at the bottom of the quilt are on the back. Quilting them was some of my favorite work.

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That strip of AMH with the little squares, how could i not fill them with cross stitches! I'm envisioning a whole canvas of that print, cross stitched like crazy. Hmmm. Yep, adding that to my to do list ;)

So i guess you all want some details (probably not, you're all here for the eye candy right?!)

The pattern is the fantastically crazy Gypsy Wife by Jen Kingwell.
And if ever i was to design a pattern that best shows who i am, this would have been it!

Most of the fabrics were gloriously fussy cut Anna Maria Horner prints, from multiple lines.

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Mostly Field Study and Dowry, but there are some bits of Hand Drawn Garden in there as well. (You have no idea how badly i wanted to start over when i had Pretty Potent in hand!) And for the most part, most of the low volume prints are Carolyn Friedlander, goddess of the low vol prints!

I used AMH Cracking Codes in Petal for the binding and i definitely want to add yardage of it into my stash!

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All of it was pieced by me on my little old Ken, using whatever colour of Aurifil i had loaded in at the time.

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Mostly Dove Grey though, that colour is the best neutral thread ever!

But winner of the best thread ever in the history of the world...

aurifil #2975 brass

Aurifil #2975 - Brass. I love this colour so very much! Gypsy was quilted entirely in this shade in 12wt. Though i do also have it in 40wt as well and used that for hand sewing the binding down. I want to quilt all the things in brass!

So yeah, i guess that's it. I'm unsure of the overall size, though i'm guessing it's pretty close to what the pattern states it is, 59x68. I will do a final measurement after washing and drying. (which i'm terrified of doing, so any tips on washing and drying hand quilted dealies would be greatly appreciated!)

I have my fingers crossed that i make the cut for Sewvivor but i guess we'll have to wait and see! Though even if i don't make the cut, you can bet that i'll be there following along with those that do! Lots of awesome entries!

High fives for finally kinda, almost, finishing my Gypsy Wife!
And double high fives (or would that be high tens?) for bravely getting out of my hobbit hole and actually daring to do something so very out of the norm for me!!

And here's one more shot for the road ;)

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