Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sometimes, I really do finish stuff.

A friend of mine loves the phrase, "My starter works great but my finisher is broken." That's a problem I have. There's a veritable cornucopia of unfinished projects stashed about my house. I'm really great at starting crocheting and knitting projects, but man oh man, do I stink when it comes to finishing them. My husband laments the amounts of money spent on the tote bags brimming with balls of yarn that have knitting needles or crochet hooks sticking out of them. Someday, I'll find the gumption (or mojo, or energy, or a craft stunt double) and complete something with yarn. (Though for the record, I have made a lot of scarves and several blankets that were given as gifts, so it's not like I never finish anything. Really!)

My mom and I visited my aunt and uncle in July, and my sweet Aunt Velma gave me three quilting books. My favorite was The Quilting Bible, which, for a quilting n00b like me, was worth its weight in gold. I spent long hours perusing the different techniques and patterns, and finally decided to try my hand at making pinwheels. A week and 99 pinwheels later, I started laying out the design of the quilt. I quickly realized I had waaaay too many pinwheels and culled my stash by a third. I decided to take the remaining 36 pinwheels and make a smaller quilt for my daughter. I laid the blocks out in a rainbow effect (the closest I could get since my colors weren't evenly divided), added sashing to mimic the rainbow look, then backed and bound the entire thing with red flannel. I wanted it to have a more casual, kid-friendly look, so I tied it instead of machine quilting. I'll admit--I rushed through the binding to get it done because a certain little girl was so anxious to have it, and I'm not 100% pleased with how it looks. But it made her happy and since it's just for us, it doesn't have to be perfect.

It's the perfect Norah-sized quilt!

Once I finished the little quilt, my quilting juices were really flowing! I got started on the twin-sized quilt with the rest of the pinwheels. This was also the first time I tried free-motion quilting. That was...interesting. Definitely a skill I will need to work on because it was a lot harder than I thought it would be!

The "big" quilt. C'est fini!

Other projects:

This is the first quilt I ever made.  I bought a quilt kit on clearance at one of those big discount stores and thought I got a great deal until I realized that the instructions were horribly inaccurate and there wasn't enough fabric to complete it according to how they told me to cut the material.  This was my first experience in having to use mah smartz and make it work.  This one was destined for the Christmas grab bag.  Several people wanted it--that was such a great feeling!

The top (because for some unknown reason I never took any photos of the finished quilt.  D'OH!) of the 8-bit Super Mario quilt I made for a friend's son.  Poor Sam is still waiting for his quilt.  I have the fabric, but the thought of cutting out nearly 300 squares is daunting enough to make me put it off.

A table runner I made with some gorgeous Moda "candy bars" I won.  (This colorway is called "Antique Fair".)  My mother swiped this the minute she saw it and it now graces the top of her coffee table.  This was the first project I made with my fancy new sewing machine.

Travel-sized tissue covers.  Quick, easy, and très jolie!

This one isn't finished.  In fact, it's torn apart right now because that bottom piece of the heart was just too wonky for me to let it slide.  Once it's evened out, I plan to add more strips of white (it's a bit too small as is) to the top and bottom, then a generous band of the white on white on all four sides.  It'll be backed with the third fabric from the top (in the heart) and bound with the leftovers from the jelly roll strips.  This one is going to be a wedding present for my SIL and her fiance.  This is a super-duper easy quilt and would be perfect for a beginner!  Another fabulous tute from Jera's blog.

It's funny, because now that I'm sitting down and listing the all of the things I've done, it seems like there should be more!  Or maybe it just feels like I'm always sewing something.  Very weird!  I'll do a separate post with pics of the clothing I've made.  Maybe that's why it feels like something is missing...