Saturday, July 31, 2010

they're fraternal

I have four nieces, and they all have birthdays within a month of each other. This year, the two littlest ones both turn 4, so I set out to make twin doll quilts. Same materials + different design = fraternal.

Aren't they lovely? The finished size is 22" x 26” and I had fun experimenting a bit with two options using the same fabric.

For the quilt tops, the fabric requirements are less than 1 honey bun and about a half-yard of kona white -- combined. Here's how they came together.

I started with this one.

I picked 30 strips from a Soiree honeybun and organized them in the color flow I wanted. In this case, I made a sort of rainbow.

Next, I _folded_ the pattern fabric to the desired length (between 7 and 16 inches in this case) and messed with the whole thing some more.

When everything was set, I cut TWO pattern strips based on the folded length. I put one set of strips aside for Quilt #2, and kept the other set handy for this one.

Then, knowing that I wanted the quilt to be 22" wide, I subtracted the pattern strip length from 25 (for seam allowance and leeway to square up later), divided that number by 2, and then cut two, 1-1/2"-wide strips of white that length -- one for each side of the center stripe. For example: if my colored strip was 7", I cut two 9" white pieces, because 25-7 =18/2=9). 

Ultimately, I ended up making a little cheat sheet for the cutting so I could go a little faster.
From here, I sewed everything together, pressing all seams to the side.
Now on to the other quilt.

For this one, I arranged the strips more haphazard. The sashing and assembly technique is basically the same as the center-strip quilt, but you only need to cut one piece of white (obviously).

When it came time to do the quilting, I knew immediately that I wanted to try freeform straight lines. I'm totally Type A, so the idea of doing anything completely freeform gives me the heebies. What's a girl like me to do? Make a plan for freeform quilting, of course. Here's how I handled it:

I marked a chalk line every 6 inches and stitched over those first. Then I freelanced everything in between. The interval marks helped keep my freelancing from getting off track, but it's still got good "movement." I had a hard time with the stitches at first (kept skipping), but fixed it by adjusting my stitch length slightly bigger. I had to switch the needle twice, too, because I used basting spray instead of pins on these little guys.

The lines are 1/4 to 1/2" apart, which worked just fine on these doll quilts (24 x 30). I'd probably go a bit wider on a bigger quilt. I knocked these out in an hour each but it would take FORever on a big quilt.

All told, it took me about 6 hours to make both quilt tops. When you get to the point where you've got all of your sashing strips cut and laid out I HIGHLY recommend doing all the sewing for each quilt top in one sitting. I tried to break for lunch at one point and my brain went soggy.

The verdict? You tell me.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Little Folks Scarves

Heaven. That's what this fabric feels like. Honestly, I could just swim in a pool of this stuff. it's like butter.

I whipped up this trio of scarves so I could maximize the feeling on my neck. Purrr.

My sister is staying with me this summer, so I have an instant model for all of my creations. Isn't she lovely?

I woke her up from a nap to take these pictures. "But I'm supposed to be on holiday!" she said, "in Car-mel. And you're workin' me!" This one's my favorite.

She's a good sport. Anyway, I couldn't be happier with how these turned out. I found that the 54-inch WOF wasn't quite long enough for my taste in scarf format, so I added on extra patchwork bits at the end. As usual, Anna Maria Horner's fabrics all coordinate beautifully.

All three scarves are for sale in my shop. (update: the yellow one is g.o.n.e.)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


Havaianas!, originally uploaded by ellesquare.

My sister-in-law went to Brazil and brought me home an early bday present. Bedazzled havaianas!

the time has come, the walrus said... talk of crafty things.

Let's see how this goes, shall we?