scrappystickyinkymess


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Really, this should be for a Sunday but…

I have fallen out of the habit of doing Sunday Someplace Else posts.  If I were doing them regularly I would hold this over for that but I just love it so much I had to share.

Recently, DH wrote down a couple of passwords I needed to have. He wanted to just tell me what they were, but they were long and I knew I wasn’t going to remember them as quickly as I needed to so I handed him a random piece of paper off my desk and told him to write them down.  He made me PROMISE to memorize them and destroy the paper. I didn’t.  I tucked it away someplace “safe” – but then I pulled it out cause what I gave him was actually a printed pattern from the internet that I was actually USING.  Anyway, cue panic when I feared I had just put it in the bin (and we burn all paper with names, addresses, etc.  Nothing identifiable goes in the trash. EVER) and that he would need to change the passwords.  I found it, it was all good, but still…

I was eating lunch at my desk, listening to TED talks, and saw this one.  SO interesting to me.  I found it amusing that MONKEY is such a popular password.  Can’t say I ever even entertained the thought of using that, nor ILOVEYOU or 12345678 or (heaven forbid) PASSWORD.

I love, too that there is a WordPress shortcode for embedding the video.  But what really tickled me was that the speaker made a QUILT from her password research.  Fab. Had I the time and the talent I would be tempted to make one for DH – it would, I think, appeal to him.

Isn’t it just amazing?  I covet it in the extreme.  You can read the little blurb in Science magazine here. Can you spot your password?  Are you rethinking changing all your passwords now?

🙂


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Freeform quilt, finally done.

Just AGES ago I started a small quilt.  You can read about the process here.  It’s the top two photos.  I am ashamed to say the other quilts in the post are still unfinished.  The dotty circles one is VERY close to having the quilting done, and the hack and slash QAYG one needs only binding, but I’ve not settled on the fabric.  Since my MIL is here, and she is the quilter, I might as well take advantage of that fact and see what she thinks.

But the Freeform one IS done, and the binding of it, is as close to perfect as I  have ever managed. I have to say the process is fabulous.  Read the book by Rayna Gillman or watch the Interweave video (or do as I did and get both) and you will soon see that it is both fun and easy to do.  You can sort of see the process in a short YouTube video,and  although I can’t say the cinematography is fantastic, it does give you an idea of how it works

Apologies for the early morning, not great light, rushed photos, but DS is due home this evening and there is far too much to do!

freeform

I love the BIG STITCH quilting and the wild colours and the organic way it grew.

2freeform

I won’t say it’s the best quilt ever but it makes me smile and that is always a good thing.

Have a great day.


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Unusual, possibly offensive to some, quilts

I stumbled on a couple of quilt in my travels. These are quilts that seriously push the boundaries.  The first one is OLD – It’s called  The Suns Sets on Sunbonnet Sue and depicting the death of Sue, in all manner of interesting ways.  With blocks named Run in with the Mob (Sue, with a cement block tied to her ankle) Eaten by a Snake (Sue, as a silhouette within the belly of a snake) and Sunbonnet Soup (in a cannibal’s pot) most of them made me giggle.

The Sun Sets on Sunbonnet Sue

The other one, I have dithered and dithered about whether or not to post the actual image or just the link to it.  I’ve gone for the image, because I don’t mind it and I do love the quilt.  With luck, those of a sensitive nature will have read the title and bypassed this post entirely.

…a handful of blank lines to give you time to hop away…..

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…really, if you are easily offended, don’t scroll down……

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…you have been warned….

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Called Give a F*ck, it is explained by the creator thusly:

In this project, a group of quilters challenge several boundary notions about quilts. Now that text in designs is acceptable, should the text be censored? We express our potty-mouths in patchwork using the ultimate in four-letter words.

While I wouldn’t make this exact quilt (but I totally would have if the idea had occurred to me) , I do love the word blocks idea.  And that is one to file away for the future…


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Bags? not really

I have been trying to sort out those quilts for LillyBo, a I’ll be taking them off to the WOYWW crop tomorrow.  First, the labels – I had been cutting up some old shirts for a project and was looking at the bits I was cutting off, and…

labels2They are small and seem to work pretty well – as these all had the bindings completely stitched they had to be top-stitched, but for future ones I can sew them in under the binding stitching, I think:

labels3Now, I ended up carrying through with my original plan which was to make them all nto “pillows” because I like the fact they could do double-duty then, for in the car, or in the hospital.  All made with fairly cuddly fabrics – polar fleece, terry towelling and flannel…

labels4 labels5 labels6I am doubting that I will be able to get all the quilting done on the in-progress one before tomorrow, but then I guess there is an excuse for JoZarty  to meet me for a coffee on her routine travels.  . . .

 


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Making progress!

I’ve managed to finish up the chili clock – really happy with how it turned out.

chiliclock

The quote is (supposedly) from Kit Carson – his lasts words, and clearly the perfect quote, as it mentions both TIME and CHILI!

chiliclock2

I am loving the UTEE embossing.  I left a sort of pebble-y finish on some of them which gives a more textured look, I think.  That, and the three different sizes of chilis keep it from all looking to flat.  I did do the smaller green ones and added all the numbers, which I think I prefer.  I am undecided if I want to add just a few more – leaving SOME of the background peeping through helps the illusion the whole thing is just a big pile of chilis, and I’m not sure if filling in will take that away.  Like many things, I think I will live with it on my desk for a little while and then decide.

The image is from The Graphics Fairy.  I downloaded it ages ago, with the idea of using it when making the booth sign for DH and his chili cook-offs this year, but haven’t needed it yet.  When he mentioned me making a chili clock last week, it was nice to say I have the perfect image for that! and open it up to show him.

Other progress:  I cut the sashing strips to join the long panels of the quilt.  I knew it was going to be tight to be able to use the same brown as the backing, but just HOW TIGHT I didn’t know.  Check it out:

joiningstrips

Yep.  Those are the three strips all cut, and that teeny tiny little pile of debris is what is left.  That was really cutting it close to the bone! Now I just need to decide on the binding and the back sashing.  I have two greens I am auditioning, one which is enough for the sashing, but I am pretty sure NOT for the binding.  I think I may prefer that one, which sucks, as I bought it as an end of the bolt for like £3 per metre and I suspect there is little chance of getting more.  Always the way…

chalkatcAnd I’ve been playing with my program to see if I could achieve something like the blackboard effect that seems to be EVERYWHERE at the moment.  I could do it in Photoshop but I’m more interested in seeing if I can do it in Intaglio.  Sort of.  I discovered a whole new menu that I haven’t ever played with at all, using Corelimage. Lots of nifty things to explore.   The text is too crisp and clear, but overall it’s interesting.  More play needed, I think. And it occurs to me that having a black ATC-backer that requires you to add the info in white pen might not actually be useful at all.  So I may abandon it for this little project, and wait for a better application of it.


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WIP for the week – so much in progress!

I have been mad crazy busy, and not entirely down to crafty things, so I thought I would do a little wrap-up of works in progress, some shared, some not. A mix of papercraft and quilting.  Going back to the oldest thing, is this little quilt.  I was playing around with the Jelly Roll Race idea, of sewing all the strips in one long line, then matching the ends, and sewing, halving the length and doubling the width with each seam.  Google it, it’s well-known.  I thought Humm – I have the 4 or 5 fat quarters, I wonder what would happen if I used them, in fatter “strips? Not a total success, the blocks of colour were too large. I might experiment with alternate rotating of the FQs, first sewing them slightly shorter side to slightly longer side, to vary the way the patches match up, IYKWIM, for the next attempt.

WIPfreeform2

I experimented with hacking it up and re-sewing it back together in different ways, then finally hacked it in to large squares, maybe 12 x 12, with the goal of having the most interesting mix of bits in each block.  I sliced THEM, inserting strips of super bright solids, and a bit of a B&W dotty scrap, did sone framing of the randomly sized bits, then laid it all out and joined in rows or blocks.  It was all a bit of a puzzle,  but I ended up quite liking the result.  I added some sashing and backed it with that cheetah print fleece that I mentioned once having NO IDEA what I might use it for.  I then experimented with BIG STITCH quilting with some high contrast, for each block, pearle cotton.  It’s appealing to me, but clearly my BIG STITCHES need some uniformity, although I actually LIKE the very rustic and almost childlike look of the imperfect stitches. Or at least that’s what I tell myself LOL!

WIPfreeform

So then I started quilting that other dotty one, using the CM circle cutter as a template.  Stitches getting better, more uniform, but still not there yet.  They get better towards the end of a long session, then by the next session, they get a bit less precise.

WIPcircles

Like it on the front, but REALLY like it on the back! Those circles really POP.

WIPcircles2

I also have on the go the LARGE one that I posted last week – that one is my first serious attempt at machine quilting,  Straight lines all of them, but that’s OK.  Three of the four long panels are pieced and quilted and trimmed – they will eventually be joined into a whole piece using the QAYG joining.  I find the long panels straddle the line between QAYG and full-on free-motion machine quilting, in the sense that they still need to be manipulated thru the machine, but are not as cumbersome as a full pieced top would be.  I consider it a sort of intermediate step. This is a slightly earlier stage, with only two of them quilted and only one trimmed.  Still playing around with the placement and orientation of the bias colour block strips, as I let it grow fairly organically, with no real plan when I began, except it was going to be sliced and the color blocks inserted with the alternating light/dark areas.  I think of it as my Escalator quilt LOL!

qlayout

The chili clock has moved on a lot too!  I have been using UTEE (thanks to all commenters who suggested that) to emboss the chilis. and leaving it rather pebble-y, not super smooth.  I’ve added the ones I previously Glossy Accented as the bottom layer, around the edges, so I can still USE them rather than cut a whole load more and re-do them.  I also did two more sets in two different sizes, so I can fill the whole surround, more or less. I also did the numbers (just the four) on green chilis and MAY decide to do the rest of the numbers, slightly smaller, as well.  Just the centre to sort out! Here’s the progress shot. Nothing except the edging of peppers around the black frame is stuck down so it’s all a bit of a mess at the moment:

WIPchili

I am determined to sort it fully over the weekend.

My last WIP is the ATC play for WOYWW.  I think I have decided on a plan of action.  I’ll do ONE that is unique, that is for the person for the “official” swap (i.e the person above or below me, whichever it is) and then as many as I feel like making that will be earmarked for those WOYWWers who want to swap additional ATCs outside the official one that I know/follow.  I may also do a handful that will be for people who want to swap but who are not ones that I manage to get to every week.  This is the one for people I follow, or at least the germ of the idea – I think you can guess where it’s going.  Gelli prints come in to play, the background on card, the topper on deli paper:

WIPATC

Just two more bits LOL! First, I thought I would repost the printable I did ages ago, of ATC backers.  If they appeal and you can use them, do feel free to grab them.

ATCsfromrubbish

I am sort of planning to update them – I want to look at a few more to make sure I’ve included all the usual info (Title, card series info, date made, email or address, and a signature on this one – am I missing anything??) and maybe update the font and colours.  I really like the title of ATC by Me so will probably stick with that.  I have an idea using my current pattern obsession (can you guess what it is?) but not 100% sure it will work like I want it to.

Last, finally, is a bit of software.  DH pointed me in the direction of this nifty little thing – called TextExpander.  Mac only, I’m afraid, but there may be a comparable PC thing, I don’t know.  Anyway, this week I was so late, doing my WOYWW visits and struggled with stuff that kept getting in my way on the day.  I was determined to at the very least visit anyone who visited ME and left a comment and then try to hit as many of the blogs that are people I know or think of as ones I “follow.” Now I know the whole copy/paste of the same generic comment in every blog (Nice desk with no indication the post was actually read) is not looked on favourably by some, and I have never done that, but I did want to note my lateness but NOT have to copy that into the comments section, then either type or copy and paste my blog name in a two-step process – since I don’t use Blogger or Google blogging, I always have to select Open ID and WordPress and fill in that info then submit and publish (for every comment!) What TextExpander does is let me type a snippet of text and assign it an abbreviation.  Then, every time I type that abbreviation, I get a little BLOOP noise and the text replaces the abbreviation.  Magic.  The abbreviation has to be something you aren’t going to type on its own (like WOYWW wouldn’t work, but for me, w late (all one word) gets replaced with this:
Happy WOYWW!

MA (8) (so very late this week!)

Then I can have my blog name stored in my command+P (paste) and both sign my comment and fill in my blog info in two strokes.  Normally I even type my “signature” and Happy WOYWW! every time, so this lets me spend MORE time reading the post and focusing on the content of the comment, rather than the generic stuff. If you have a Mac, check it out – there is a trial download.  If you are on a PC and know a way to do this, feel free to comment so others can see.  In just a day or two I have already found it massively useful for a number of things.

Good lord, that got way longer than I planned!  I’ll  hope to get the clock sorted and post the final at some point over the weekend. Thanks for sticking with me if you managed to read ALLLL the bits.  Kudos to you if you did!


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A quilt for ME!

Having done enough smaller quilts for LillyBo (although still not delivered them yet! I keep saying I have to make the bags! but can’t set aside all the stuff I am ENJOYING to do it.  I will, I will, soon) I had an idea so I just sort of went with it.  That is my way…

Anyway, I don’t know if this qualifies as a MODERN QUILT – I think it does –  but it has elements of QAYG, free-form piecing (only in that I am beginning with no pattern, making it up as I go along) and I am having a go at machine quilting, albeit using the feed dogs up and the walking foot – free-MOTION quilting I think I am still a way off from.

modernquilt

Basically, I am using some fabric I unearthed, pretty sure it is from some of DDs “ethnic” dolls.  As I’ve said before, row after row of peachy white faces didn’t appeal to her – she wanted Chinese dolls, Afro-Carribean dolls, Asian dolls….. I have NO IDEA why I bought the khaki colour.  I simply cannot think why I would.  Anyway I have a huge chunk of it (maybe destined for a backing at some point when I flirted with quilting in the past?) and it works with the beige and the bright strips, I think.

My method is this:  I am slashing the long strips of fabric, on a 45 degree angle, and inserting the strips of multicoloured fabrics to create the angled lines. I am finding in fiendishly difficult to make the side seams perfectly aligned!  Try tho’ I may, they always seem to be just that little bit off.  I am going slow, taking care of the seam allowance (I used an index card with a 1/4 inch line to position the needle to ensure I am keeping the 1/4 inch seam allowance – read that trick SOMEPLACE and it’s a good one), taking note of the bias nature of the seams, and making sure I am aware of the action of the feed dogs pulling the top fabric at a different rate than the bottom so I am stitching with the right fabric top or bottom. And they still don’t match up perfectly.  Grrr.

The QAYG idea I have adapted to fit my needs.  I am sewing the long strips then doing the quilting so I am dealing with only a small bit of fabric thru the machine at a time.  Maybe you can see the pattern in this shot?  The angles are sort of concentric lines into the middle and the straight bits (where I have two colourful strips close together, going at the same angle) are…straight lines.

modernquilt2

I am loving how it is turning out, but I do wish I could work out so the sides line up perfectly when I insert the strip!  The strips are about 2.5 inches wide, and mostly I have been looking at asterisk quilt blocks for guidance but they tend to end with squaring up the block, which I don’t really want to have to do with the long strips, and lose too much of the width.

Once I have the long strips pieced and quilted, my plan is to join then with long sashing just between the columns, in the QAYG style, using the SAME fabric for the sashing on the back so it LOOKS like one continuous piece of fabric, rather than a contrasting colour – but I may still change my mind on THAT – I joined Craftsy and got a free class on pieced backings when I did so I will watch that and see if making the backing with a pattern to it appeals to me more.

Now, I have to await delivery of 505 quilt basting spray as finding it at a local shop has proved impossible.  So I’ll carry on piecing and then see where this goes.  I am also still working on two different quilts with big-stitch hand-quilting but that is proving difficult to find time for.  I have high hopes for the long trip to skating tomorrow when I know I will have a good 90 minutes of travel time, at least, and provided I am not piercing my fingers with every stitch in the bumpy car, I should make some progress.

Oh, and the Tando clock – be warned!  I def. need to highlight the hands to make them stand out better from a distance, and OMG the TICKING!  It is soooooo LOUD.  Honestly, I can hear it over the TV.  If you like a silent clock this is not the thing for you LOL!


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Sunday-someplace-else – really SOMETHING else

I just had to share this.  I get a lot of email newsletters and one of them is Quilting Daily, from Interweave.  Usually, I just have a quick glance thru it and move on, but this quilt captured my eye.  I just adore the view, as if from Google Earth..

Details of “Canal Country” by Alicia Merrett,
photo by Alicia Merrett (April/May 2012 issue Quilting Arts)

Isn’t it fab? If the view of my own house was slightly more interesting I would be tempted to make a similar quilt, but the current view shows mostly brown fields.


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When quilting and scrapbooking collide…

…and not in the way you are probably thinking.  Not with photos printed on fabric or quilted mini-books, but using scrapbooking tools for quilting.

I had a group of I think 4 fat quarters of this dotty fabric.  I did love the lime, blue and purple ones, less keen on the yellow, but I wanted to make something to try BIG STITCH quilting on.  I love the look. I also wanted to try out something I had seem in a couple of places, most recently in the Freeform quilting book. It’s a technique where you lay your two fabrics on top of each other, right sides up, then cut a curve.  You flip and match the edges to create a curved seam.

This is the quilt top – really, it looks a lot less garish in better light!

dottyquilt

Can you see the wibbly-wobbly edges? I had four of the strips of dotty fabric.  I took one of them, laying a piece of the pale blue over the top, centred.  I cut the curve then swapped over the pieces so they matched and sewed.  But what I USED to cut the curve was my old CM curvy ruler! The plain yellow was a remnant so I had to add in the bumblebee stripe (which I THINK I have enough of to bind it with) and then I used my (still used and useful) CM circle cutter to mark the big round circles for the quilting!

dottyquilt3

I’m using a thick cotton thread (not like matte 6-stranded cross stitch floss, but not shiny like pearle cotton either) to do the hand quilting.  It will take me some time to find my rhythm and get the stitches more regular, but even so I am really liking how it is turning out!

dottyquilt2

I like it even more on the backing fabric (again, remnants, so pieced) although it does show my imperfect stitching better.

dottyquilt4

I’m quilting in a hoop so the wrinkly fabric is not due to bad basting – I think I actually did than fairly competently.

My MIL used to work on something small, to help her get back into the groove and get her stitches uniform, before going back to a major quilting project.  This is my warm-up piece, before I finally, FINALLY, go back to the quilt I started for DS about 5 years ago.  And I am sure that BIG STITCH is the way to go. I think the thick stitches will look fab on the striped denim fabric.

jacks1

I went to my local crop today and picked up a Tando clock kit.  I have a plan.  But that will have to wait for another day…..


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Fast Quilt!

You gotta love the internet.  I saw this little video about making a quilt in 90 minutes.  Well who WOULDN’T be tempted t give it a go?  There is a book, which presumably has a lot more info in it, but I felt like there was enough info in the video to have a bash.

Basically you cut all the squares then sew them in columns.  Then you do a Quilt as You Go method, by sewing the middle column and one to the side down to your backing and batting sandwich then flip the outer one out.  You carry on sewing the columns, just like you would making a log cabin or strip block – the NEXT column holds the loose edge in place.  Does that make sense?  Watch the video and it will all be clear!

90minute2

I use some polar fleece for the batting/backing rather than have three layers.  Even easier and very cuddly.  I seem to have a LOT of polar fleece, from back when DS and DD were younger.  There seemed to always be a reason to buy it, but often before I got around to satisfying their obsession, the obsession had passed.  I have a huge piece of cheetah print fleece that I have NO IDEA what I am going to do with!

Anyway, the video also shows a shot of the quilting map, so I did a little screen grab or two and used the printouts to mark the corner-to-corner lines.

90minute3

I used a hot pink thread which totally disappears on the back (I mean, you can see the quilting lines but not the colour at all) and have some maroon-ish fabric to bind it with.

90minute

Humm.  The seams look more wonky in the photo than they do IRL.  And where I usually don’t pre-wash, I did this fabric and I was astonished at how PINK the water became.  Glad I did, and glad I DIDN’T put anything else in with it!

As this was a bit of a lark when I began, I used some spare fat quarters I had from a pack that had OTHER FQs that I actually wanted to use.  These were a bit country and twee for my taste.  I had the solid brown also from doll-making in the past (DD liked her dolls to reflect reality so not for her row upon row of pinky white faces) so really none of it cost me a dime.  There are two SLIGHTLY different colourways f the fabric, one more pink/maroon, one more brown-y beige.

I have no idea if it will become a LillyBo one or not – just the other day DDs escort asked about something for her soon-to-be-born great-grand daughter.  She said her GD was very traditional and didn’t like anything modern so this may just fit the bill for her.  We shall see.

Anyway, the point is there is a lot of info out there,  if you go looking for it.  While I doubt I would have ever seen this book on the shelf at a bookstore and though Gotta have that! I was interested enough in the PROCESS to see if I could make something JUST based on what I saw in the slide show.  I am 100% sure the book has loads of tips and tricks that the video doesn’t cover, and while it was NOT 90 minutes (probably down to me – I would say maybe 3 hours) it was blinkin’ quick to do.  So I would def. flip thru it and see if I need to add it to my collection.  For a quick charity quilt I would say even the most inexperienced seamstress could manage it. The ONLY “difficult” thing was manipulating the full quilt thru my home machine, and again that is down to my inexperience with machine quilting more than anything else! Oh, and as I did not have a backing fabric, I can’t do the “fold to the front” method to bind it, so may have to do a more traditional binding.  The fabric is merrily tumbling in the dryer as we speak so I will think on it, watch another video or two, and see what I find.