Saturday, January 21, 2012

Star of the Magi Quilt--Complete!

Last year I made a fabulous yoyo toss pillow for a couple of my favorite people for Christmas--and forgot to blog about it. So here ya go...

That's chocolate wool suiting underneath hand-made yoyos.

But, of course, I had to top it this year. It started with a yard of the print on the left.

Yards of batiks were added once a design was selected...

Then, after piecing a backing from scraps and an extra yard of red, coming out with a wobbly (i.e. not flat) top, wrestling with it through the baby Kenmore, and using the white glue trick for binding, I hand-stitched the last bit today.

And, huzzah, not even a month late!

Please note, this block is called the Star of the Magi, NOT "swoon". "Swoon" is, in my opinion, a knock-off. But the star of the Magi block isn't well known. I only encountered it in an Elm Creek Quilts novel, and I've had trouble finding reference to it elsewhere. However, these friends, as a couple, are collectively known as the Magi, and thus, no "swoon" would do.

note the square print binding

The few bits not left from the backing were used in a pair of birds, my "place holder" Christmas gifts to the couple.

roughly 6 feet square

And yes, that's the Kitty Chronicle print you see. Once it pops out of the dryer, I'll fold the quilt to make sure that print is on top. I am stoked about delivering it--hopefully tomorrow morning!

To make the story even sweeter, as I was fingering a throw quilt around Christmas, my friend off-handedly remarked that her throws needed updating, and she was particularly keen on replacing the garage sale mass-produced quilts (in color schemes other than her taste) currently in rotation. (And for the record, no, she wasn't hinting... too much truth warrior in her for such schemes!)

And as if the sundae needed more than that chocolate sauce, said friend accompanied me for the purchase of the extra yard of red. Seeing the bolt in my hands, she proceeded to swoon (pun intended) and could not leave without buying a piece for herself. She claimed to work it into gifts... but I've seen nary half of what she bought actually used! Perhaps someone loves it too much to give it away? Muhahaha!

As I said, I am thrilled to surprise my friends.

Oh, and bonus:

Some of the Music City Modern Quilters roadtripped to Paducah, KY, today. That's 23 faaaabulous remnants you're seeing. Since I needed replenishing and all, now that glorious albatross is gone from 'round my neck...

AH! Dryer's done. Off for a quick test snuggle before getting this baby ready for its new parents!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Sew. Happy. Blocks. Weeks 2-3

... With a side of psychological self-analysis!

I am feeling perky and full of hot chocolate, Ben & Jerry's, and neuroscience-education reading!

I shall share my joy with you by sharing a few blocks from the Sew. Happy. Quilt-A-Long I put together in the past few days.

Hmm... perfectionistic zombies rearing their heads... i.e. I thought I'd killed that OCD-ish impulse, but those un-squared edges are getting to me...

There's an unintended green-grey thing going on with these blocks. Maybe I'm eager for spring?

Oh, and some Kitty Chronicle print coasters sneaked into my making as a hostess gift for a fellow feline aficionado!

Which reminds me:  having caught two mice in traps in the past few months, do I have enough evidence to convince my landlord we need a cat? Ought I to research pest control services and do a cost-benefit analysis, including average damage to flooring from hair balls and spraying? Or will Roommate and I just pray for favor and leave it at that?

'Cause every quilter needs a kitty, after all.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Wrought Iron Blocks

One of my favorite adventurers got engaged on New Year's Day! We have watched angels at a barn dance, flown commercially and on hang gliders, snow boarded, been roommates, walked in the snow at midnight, spent Christmas together, graced famous music venues with our presence, traveled internationally, gone on frou-frou girlie outings, feasted, laughed, danced, created, dreamed and interpreted dreams, sledded on plastic tub lids down the backyard, survived floods, celebrated birthdays, sang original music, defied expectation, lived every day of our lives... together...

So she and her fella deserve a truly wonderful quilt.

I love the idea that orienting bow tie blocks into rings makes them a True Lover's Knot. I chose fabrics that speak of life, hope, favorable impressions and joy, then surrounded them with black to evoke wrought iron.

Tonight I assembled the first three blocks. Please note that the first picture is most accurate for color as I continue to try to make up for compact florescence and camera flashes.

I'm loving the look thus far! Scrappy but intentional...

I'm not too concerned with matching blacks. I used whatever I had on hand and can do no more without purchasing a yard or two more. I even made a few black "poverty blocks" which, as I am NOT wishing poverty over this couple, I shall rename "good stewardship blocks" and bless them with wisdom to steward all their resources.

I'm looking forward to seeing this piece come together! The couple have not set a date, so there's no rush, but with such an adventurous bride, I figure once they make up their minds, they'll lose no time. Until then, I'll do the same!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lined Drawstring Bag...

... Hottest trend this season among glass carafes.

Made with this tutorial as a bit of a gift for a friend. Fabric courtesy of Wal-Mart's reinstated fabric department (hello, power to the fiber artists!) Now if only their solids weren't poly-cotton...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

First Stitches of 2012

It was four days into 2012 before I sewed a stitch, and within the week I've already added an item to my list for the year and foregone another.

So this box of awesome arrived, courtesy of some Christmas funds (thanks, Mom and Dad!) and the FQS "Blogger's Choice Bundle" thingamajig, over the course of which I encountered some gotta-have-its and oh-my-it's-on-sales. It started with that yellow cartoon print, destined to be tea towels for a couple that are perfectly depicted therein, and as it's not really worth the price of shipping to just purchase one yard, I decided to fill my stocking with gorgeous fabrics I'd never buy for myself otherwise. And, oh yes, all. on. sale.

I stalked the UPS site for days...

And inside there were yards...

And half yards...

And before they arrived, I saw the Sew. Happy. Quilt. Quilt-A-Long, giving me a perfect opportunity to put them to use immediately! So I've added this to my list, but I've dropped the hobbit cloak (thanks to a clearance item at Pier 1, I'm all set in that department).

Thus, week 1's blocks:

And speaking of blocks, here are my practice blocks for the OYG bee:

And the real thing:

I'm so excited about the rest of the quilt-a-long. It's so liberating to have holiday sewing behind me so I can work on things I love just because I love 'em.

And that's perfect, because my word for the year is LOVE. Hoping your 2012 has gotten off to just as lovely a start!