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July 13, 2011

WIP Wednesday 7.13

It's that time of the week again, and I am decidedly doing my part to help Lee make it to 100 link-ups this week (after dropping the ball the last two weeks!)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Memorial quilts!


Long-overdue Gathered Clutches
My mother-in-law asked me to make some small clutches for her a while back. Funny thing is, I think she knows me, because she asked for them in March and needed them done by Christmas. Now that's a can-do deadline. I used the infamous gathered clutch pattern by Noodlehead for these.

gathered clutches

In process
Hideoscope (pronounced Hide-oscope, not hideo-scope) (thanks to Katie for the name)
Well what do you know, I caught up with the Kaleidoscope QA! I think...should check the last post and make sure I didn't miss a step! Here are all my blocks.

kaleidoscope blocks 3

I think my favorite part of the Hideaway line is the little guy in the alpine village who is fishing in the stream and has a quilt hanging to dry. If his house were for sale, I might just buy it.

kaleidoscope blocks 2

My very first quilt
No pictures, but I dug it out of hiding. I'm hoping to finish piecing it by the end of the summer. Three years in the making...

Hope y'all are having a great week, and if you get a chance, write about what you are working on, and link up with Lee to help her reach 100!

July 11, 2011

On Quilt Alongs and Bicycles

Last Friday, despite my iron's free-will choice to fall over on the floor and melt the carpet again, I ironed out some Hideaway FQs and cut my pieces for the Kaleidoscope Quilt Along. Yay!

kaleidoscope QA cutting

I decided to use the yellow gingham from the Hideaway line as my 'solid' because I had a lot of it. And I made an executive design choice to use the other gingham prints for the right triangle pieces.

Then I jetted off to take photos of the memorial quilts. And after that, I set up for a nice relaxing weekend. Let me tell you a little story about that.

Remember how my husband's bike was stolen? If not, that's cool. It was stolen a few weeks ago. Then we replaced it with a fancy new bike which we picked up last week. One with a different frame, one that forced my husband into a new riding position. One that put his center of balance more forward than he was used to.

Now imagine my excitement when we could bike together again on Saturday. About 17 miles in, we are officially booking it. I set the pace way too high [by no means am I gloating here, I was just going too fast for the busy area]. And when another cyclist coming head-on pulled out into the center of the path to pass someone else going his direction, I had no room to squeeze by at my speed. So I slammed on my brakes. And so did Sean. Only I kept moving, while he toppled over his handle bars.

Now, when I said twisted shoulders were all the rage, I didn't mean it literally. My heart absolutely sank/broke/crushed all at once when he answered the question "Are you okay?" with a simple "No." He's tough and always positive, so I knew this was really serious. He broke his collar bone from the impact, and as evident from looking at his helmet later in the day, he took a pretty good hit to the head too [note: buy a new helmet]. Thankfully he has had no headaches, memory loss, or vision impairment. We are so lucky that my stupidity only resulted in a broken bone. Praise God. Someone was clearly looking out.

We spent Saturday at the hospital, and were comforted by some great friends who dropped what they were doing because I was pretty much hysterical on the phone asking where the best and closest hospital is. We also have to thank the complete strangers who gave me a ride from the trail to our car, and who stayed with Sean to keep him talking and alert.

Now my focus is elsewhere. It's fun-and-games-with-hubs around here now. I'm currently trying to challenge him to a left-handed wii battle (we're both right handed, and that's the shoulder he injured). I've also considered embroidering something left-handed. If you have any ideas from past experiences with dominant-hand-injuries, or for cheering other people with such injuries up, by all means, I'm all ears.

AND WEAR YOUR HELMET. And wear it properly, with the chin strap and everything. Have it fitted by a professional. A helmet that flies off before impact does no good, and one that shakes around will do more damage than not wearing one. If you don't have one, BUY ONE. I am positive that it at least prevented a head injury, and could possibly have saved his life.

Much love from the not-going-as-well-as-planned northeast.

July 8, 2011

my grandma, Ms. Marie

...and the beautiful quilts that grew out of her closet of clothing.


Okay, I promise, this is the very last you will hear about any sort of memorial quilt around here. I am officially retiring from cutting up clothes. But before I do, I would like to present the six Marie quilts, in memory of my grandmother Marie who passed away in October at age 98. She taught me how to crochet and embroider, skills a real Czech lady has [polka dancing, another skill a Czech lady should have, I do not].

Quilt #1: The Blue Room
My grandparents had three bedrooms, and the blue room, complete with blue walls and multi-tone blue shag carpet, was where guests always stayed. I don't remember a visit without asking "who gets to stay in the blue room??" It was my favorite room as a child because it had two touch lamps in it. So fascinating for a young engineer's mind.


original inspiration: the value quilt by Jess at sewcraftyjess

Quilt #2: Farm-girl Fancy
Marie was the daughter of the town banker. She was a classy lady. But she left the city to teach in a small schoolhouse and live on a farm with her husband Joe, where my mom and her siblings grew up plucking eggs from the chicken coup every day.


inspiration: broken dishes block

Quilt #3: Nebraska Wedding
This quilt is for my sister, who was wed to her born-and-bred Texan hubby in Nebraska so that our grandma could attend. The pinkish-purple diamonds come from the outfit that Marie wore to the big event.


inspiration: HST quilt at quiltstory

Quilt #4: Pretty in Pink
Marie's favorite, and I'm talking FAVorite color, was pink. She had this one housecoat, the pink-with-multiple-colors one in this quilt, that she wore at least once every time we visited. Sometimes it hung on the stairs to the basement so that she could throw it on and take a stroll through the deep freeze to find our dessert for dinner. This quilt is for my mama, complete with the lace from the outfit Marie wore to my mom's wedding.


Quilt #5: Go Huskers
This is the only quilt that has a touch of Grandpa Joe in it. The plain black blocks are from the suit he wore to marry Marie, way back in the 1930s. The corners have little touches of his tie collection. It was only fitting to sew them into a Huskers-colored quilt since he was an avid fan. You know, one of those that wore a fancy scarlet-and-cream outfit to the games.


Quilt #6: Corn Harvest Rows
A Nebraska farm is not complete without a few rows of grain. I tried to emulate them a bit with these HSTs.


And now they are all packed up and on their way to the family reunion to find their forever homes.

I'd like to send a special thanks to a lovely couple who lent me their yard to take these photos :) I bribed them with cookies and cupcakes. I think we're even.

July 1, 2011

4th of July tank

Today, I tackled Simplicity's 6-made-easy number 2892 pattern (I chose the one pictured on the front of the pattern). It involved lots of gathering. Gathering and me, we don't really get along. I also took it upon myself to make changes to the pattern. Something I have never done before.

I decided not to include the extra ruffled piece on the already-gathered neckline.

I also chose to eliminate one of the two yoke linings. Three layers of knit fabric along the neckline of a summer top just didn't jive with me.

And this was my first time making clothing out of jersey knit. 

Perhaps those three things are what led to this:

simplicity 2892 fix

notice: wing on your right (the left side is fixed already). I'd like to "believe I can fly," but I don't want to look like it too.

Solution: seam ripper + clipping out about a thumb's worth of lining. Only a small diversion to get to the finished product.

simplicity 2892 finished

What I learned:
1. ball-point jersey knit needles get two thumbs up.
2. so does my walking foot.
3. sizing is quite different if you decide to use a knit instead of a more stable fabric.

Oh, and I used a print from the City Weekend collection by Oliver + S. But I still think it looks like something an adult should wear :)

for real this time, have a great 4th :)