Monday, December 28, 2009

And Lo, There Was Gifting
(pt. 1)

Christmas has come and gone, and I was in a frenzy of crafting to prepare for it. My biggest gift was a twin-sized quilt for my niece Marja, who is 18 and headed off to college next fall. As I had previously made a quilt for her older sister (back in the hazier days of my skill level and fabric selection,) it seemed time to gift this fun-lovin’ gal with something funky.

I thought I had done my prep work well in advance, asking Marja’s mom (my sister) back in May what colors she might like for a quilt. My sister said she’d get back to me, and did, in September, after I had chosen the pattern, purchased the fabric, and cut the thing out. The September answer was “purple.” The reality was a mix of lovely aquas, greens and light blues; some Amy Butler Midwest Modern, some Flights of Fancy by Michael Miller and a lovely Kaffe Fasset polka dot.

The pattern, Eclipse, came from the Modern Quilt Workshop (Ringle and Kerr) although I tweaked it a bit, and shortened up the size of the squares. This change worked out great, giving me four cuts per length of fabric instead of three! If I have committed a serious design error by altering the fabric, I can’t really tell.

The circular piecing was pretty fun, and if I was careful, and pinned a lot, I found that I could do a pretty good job of it.

The quilting was pretty basic, but I really liked the outcome, my organic grid pattern played off the quilt pattern and lent an all-over quiltiness that pleased me. 

I had a bit of a struggle with the back: although I had purchased plenty of my current fave Dharma Trading’s cotton sateen, I ended up miscalculating my cuts! I hand dyed two hunks in ‘seafoam’ and ‘turquoise’ but ended up just a skosh short, necessitating a creative piecing job for the back. My oldest nephew, the Industrial Design major, quite liked my ultimate backing, what do you think?

I bound the quilt in the Michael Miller polka dot, having purchased an extra couple of yards from my fledgling LQS Creative Union Fabrics -- just the right touch, I thought! One of my favorite parts of this project was that I got the thing done sometime in November - far, far in advance of Christmas, and way before I decided that I would try to make all of my Christmas presents!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Giveaway Day Winner
Commenter #33 debbiekl was the lucky winner of Jed the doll! I hope this sqooshy little guy loves his new home

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Happy Giveaway Day!

The fine women at Sew, Mama, Sew! have organized a Giveaway and I am thrilled to participate. I took time out from a busy day yesterday to sew up a little someone, hurrying to finish so I could capture his charm while it was still sunny. I also scrubbed my kitchen floor, shook out a houseful of rugs and threw a recently completed quilt up and over the swingset to snap a few pictures.

But enough about me - what do you get? If you are the lucky winner of my giveaway, you just might get Jed. Dapper and optimistic despite losing both arms to a chainsaw mishap, Jed sports the finest in Pacific Northwest flannel. His hair is a jaunty acrylic boucle, a surprisingly luxe touch for such a homespun guy. Jed’s forbearers are Ted and Ned, hand-made for my two boys; Graham, 5 and Hayden, 7. 

Jed is stuffed with “100% Premium Polyester Fiberfill” making him very huggable, something I’ve discovered after rigorous product testing. Although squooshy enough to be pillows, Jed and his brothers have also been used as missiles, battering rams and all-purpose whackers. 

Oh dear now here come some tears! Apparently, Jed is THE favorite - when I told Graham that I was mailing him off to someone he started bawling! “I want him! I have three reasons: because I love him, I really want you to not, and because I like his pants and he’s a new one.” (Wasn’t that four reasons?) Hayden chimed in with,“Oh Jed I’ll miss you, I’ve certainly enjoyed those few short times we’ve had together.”

Perhaps you’re feeling more doll-quilty? If you are my gifted one, you might choose this delightful little doll/sample quilt, featuring a soothing palette of aquas and greens, backed in a light blue print with a kicky pieced stripe. The white cotton is a luscious sateen -- cool to look at, but warm and soft to the touch. Twenty two inches square, a gal could probably fit two, or even three Barbies beneath it. 

 Please specify which item you would like. I will have one of my assistants draw a number out of the hat and mail the prize off to the lucky winner. I look forward to your responses!