Sunday, November 08, 2009

Creative Update

I have been a busy bee again, while my computer was in the shop. There were a few things I wanted to work on, but the tutorials for them were on my computer, so they have had to wait, but I got some more of my to-sew list done.

First off was finishing Lisa's baby's quilt. My friend Lisa lives in Columbia at present, and is due at the same time as me. Her mom is going to visit in Dec, so I have been working on a quilt to send with her. Lisa's older daughter, Morwyn, received one of my first quilting efforts . It was pretty funky, and Lisa loved the pattern, but the colours were definitely more in my crazy, bright colour preferences than in Lisa's more subtle, sophisticated favorite colours. And when I offered to make her last quilt, I had no idea how long it would take to stitch all those @$%& double flying geese that make the tesselating fish pattern.

SO, this time around, I decided to make her something that was simpler to put together, but with a softer pallate. So, I took a big gulp, and cut into my small Lightening Bugs stash and the co-0rdinating colours of my Mendoccino stash, and started putting this sweet little quilt together. Lisa loves the ocean, so I went for a mostly ocean theme again, with lots of fish and squid and sea horses. She is also of Finnish ancestry, so the gnomes are sort of a nod to her whimsical, Scandanavian sensibilities. The horse fabric on the back was a bonus -- it is super soft, and I found it on clearance, before Heather Ross announced that she wasn't designing any more fabric.

This quilt is SO soft, I want to keep it and take it to the hospital with me to wrap my newborn in. But I shall refrain, and let Lisa enjoy that.

It is small, about 32" x 40ish". It is quilted with my walking foot in random vertical and horizontal lines to break up the blocky feel of the rows. And yes, it is the same basic "pattern" (8 1/2" wide by random lengths rectangles, organized into four rows) that I used for my Craft Hope quilt .
And the binding, which in my mind totally pulls the quilt together, is from the local fabric store -- I love it when that happens.

I was also required by my biggest patrons to invent some superhero costumes. I know, I know, I could have went out and bought something. But I get tired of costumes that they want to keep wearing for months after, but that only last for about 2 days after Halloween and then fall to pieces. Or that they can't get into themselves and so I spend an hour a day putting them in and out of their costume five hundred times a day. So, we used the capes we already had, I whipped up some shorts a la The Creative Family tracing method, out of some old t-shirts, and we freezer paper stencilled some shirts. I know that's not really Batman's symbol, but I couldn't remember what it looked like, and Aaron is too little to care yet.

And yes, it was a classic Canadian Halloween, and the boys had to wear jackets under their shirts, and add mitts, touques and Sorel boots to their costumes. Even superheros need to be well proteced in a snow storm.

Last night, I just finished my new diaper bag. You might remember (if you're one of my two original readers) that I made the green one when Aaron was born. But it is getting ragged on the edges, and has a big ink stain on the back. I really liked the shape and size of it, however, so I decided to just make another one.
There is no applique on the front yet because the baby is sitting on my spine and cutting off the circulation to my arms, and so my hands are too numb for hand work right now.

The lining in this bag is a Tina Givens print I've been saving for something special for a long time. I love it -- in real life the background is this brilliant yellow, and the red is more of a deep fuschia pink. The outside fabric is two pairs of brown cords. I'm a little aggrivated that they are not quite the same shade of brown, and one has a red undertone while the other has a blue undertone. I don't think many other people will notice, however, so I'm not too worried.

The tricky thing about this bag is that the handles are also the side of the bag. This makes the lining part a bit fussy. Last time I had a lot of problems with the sides, and made a whole bunch of mental notes of ways to make it easier to put together. Unfortunately, I didn't make an physical, hand written notes or instructions (just some scribbled diagrams and cutting measurements), so I made a whole bunch of different errors while putting the handle/sides on again. I'm still not sure I could explain to you what I did. In fact, when I stitched the top edges of the body of the bag to the handles for the second time, I did it wrong all four times. Twice. But the finished look is clean and elegant -- no extra seams or messy, unfinished edges anywhere, so I'm pretty happy about the finished product.

I also love this back pocket for my stuff that is stitched into the sides of the bag, so that only the top is seperate from the body of the bag. It always makes me so happy.

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