Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Value Add

I've finally settled on a quilt pattern to make for my daughter-to-be's baby quilt. I've decided to make Kaye Prince's newly released Orion lap sized quilt. Check out the link for a ton of photos.

I knew I wanted to use the coral colourway Tula Pink's Salt Water and I spent the last two evenings auditioning fabrics from my stash and surfing online to round out my selection. I was able to source most of the fabrics I was missing from The Workroom and I swung round after work to pick them up. They didn't have the Ice Peach Kona I wanted, so that's on order from My Fabric Spot. They were also sold out of the Sea Debris print, which is really disappointing. I found a source online, but it feels wasteful to pay shipping for just one fat quarter, especially since the Canadian seller didn't also carry Ice Peach.

I've been reading up on colour value, and I wanted to make sure that I have the right balance of dark, medium and lights so I took some photos and converted them to black and white.  Here is my first attempt at sorting my fabrics from dark to light.

Pretty close, but there are some that need rearranging.

Much better.

Next, I decided to arrange the fabric into colour groupings. I split them between maroon hues, pink hues, and coral/orange hues.  There were two fabrics that were really difficult to place so I left them in the middle.
So there you have it. My fabric choices for the Tula Star Quilt. Next step is to group the fabrics in groups of four, since each star uses four prints. I'll keep you posted on my progress!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Reversible Royal Crown

It's been a week since my last post, and that post was entirely photos. What can I say? The days are passing very quickly. This was a momentous week in our family.

Levi celebrated his second birthday, which is, you know, CRAZY! He's such a big boy now. His language is starting to explore which is really exciting.
We also bought our first car. Okay, Kivi's owned cars before and I owned a car for one month while living in Calgary, but I don't count that because it was a lemon and I insisted the sellers buy it back from me which they did. So as far as I'm concerned, this is my first car ever! Living downtown, we never felt the need to have a car, but with two kids under three? CAR!

In between all this action, I managed to complete two small projects.  Have I ever mentioned that Levi loves to play the drums? In particular, he likes to play marching band. He puts on a paper crown that he made at daycare and delights in leading us throughout the apartment. In the past few weeks, the feathers (yes, feathers) have started falling off and the crown is looking rather ragged. Enter, the Reversible Royal Crown! Gold on one side, Purple City from 1001 Peeps on the other, this crown is awesome. Best of all, Levi loves it! I've yet to snag a good photo of him in it, but when I do I'll post it.
The first is a little zippered pouch for my bosses son. I'm giving her daughter my Triple Zip pouch and you can't give one child a gift without giving something to the other.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday in Pictures

 Woke up to a very happy little boy.
 Alone time at the Junction Flea.
Stash enhancement at The Workroom (Constellations! More Jewels!)
He did not get his love of cleaning from me.
Triple Zip 2.0 in progress, because I'm nothing if not a perfectionist!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Triple Zip Semi-Success

I cut the fabric for the Triple Zip Pouch I'm making as part of Debbie's Triple-Zip Along weeks ago, but only got down to sewing it now. The tutorial on A Quilter's Table is very good, but lacks photos for finishing the pouch. Luckily, Marci stepped in with her Alternate Ending Tutorial, which was full of photos, for all us visual learners. I would have been lost without it!
This pouch is not for beginners. Try a simple zippered pouch before attempting this one. I've made many zippered pouches over the years and this one still presented several challenges for me.

When following a tutorial or pattern for the first time, I almost always follow the instructions exactly, unless the modifications are endorsed by the designer. I like to see how the piece is meant to be made, before adding my own twist. In hindsight, there are a number of things I would do differently next time.
The tutorial suggested using fusible fleece to add stability to the main pieces. I used Heat n Bond. Having using this product twice now, I can say with certainty that I will never use it again. See those wrinkles? They are impossible to iron out. It makes the pouch look cheap. Yuck! The fleece was also too stiff and made the finishing steps really difficult. I think I would use a heavier cotton, canvas, or even corduroy, instead of quilting cotton next time if I wanted added stability.
I would also use shorter zippers next time around. I followed the instructions carefully and even measured how far in to place the zipper tabs but I still lost my tabs on the left. Again, this made finishing the pouch a real beast. It also looks messy. I'm a perfectionist and the top zipper is driving me crazy!
I do love the fabrics I chose, and the pop of pink inside the pouch. I also really like the concept of the triple zip pouch. It's so functional and I can see it keeping all the random things in my purse organized. Thus, I will definitely see another Triple Zip in my future!

Take a moment and check out all the other Triple Zips popping up in the Flickr group. They are gorgeous! 
Oh, and I almost forgot! This pouch was my February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. Wow! February 10th and I'm done already? Impressive!
A Quilter’s TableA Lovely Year of Finishes

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Finish: Bungle Jungle Stars!

I am so thrilled to have completed my Bungle Jungle Stars baby quilt! This is my fastest finish to date: I completed it, start to finish, in about five weeks.
There's a lot about this quilt that I love: the simplicity of using charm squares; the straight line quilting; the super fun binding fabric; the softness of the fleece backing; the wonderful crinkly texture after washing; and, of course, the wonky stars!
Quilting with fleece was new to me. I was nervous that it would lint up my machine and make a total mess, but it didn't! Not at all.
I also used basting spray for the first time ever. Getting down on my hands and knees on the hardwood floors to pin baste was just not an option this time around - at five months pregnant, I'm having quite a lot of back pain. I was worried that the spray would gum up my machine, but it didn't. In fact, I had this quilt basted in under 20 minutes. I may never pin baste again!
I'll be packing this quilt up and shipping it off to the newest member of our family tomorrow. I'm so excited! I hope the little ones Mom and Dad love it as much as I do.

Quilt Stats:
42 x 42 inches (approximately)
2 Moda Bungle Jungle Charm Packs
1/2 metre of Kona Papaya for the Wonky Stars
Orange fleece backing
Binding is Raspberry Stripe from Marmalade by Bonnie & Camille for Moda

I'm linking up with Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday this week. Check out everyone else's finishes for inspiration!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February Goals

My ButtonCan you believe it's February already? Actually, with the lousy weather we've had in Toronto, January felt awfully long and I'm happy to see February arrive!

The beginning of a new month means it's time to set my goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes. There's a lot that I'd like to complete in February, including quilting, binding and sending my Wonky Star quilt to special new family member and my February blocks for the Lucky Stars BOM. But the rules Shanna and Melissa set are that we are to choose just one finish to link up to the monthly party, so I'm selecting my Triple Zip pouch.  The pieces are all cut and ready to be sewn. The deadline to be eligible for the prizes Debbie's arranged for her Zip-Along is February 15, so I've got 13 days to get 'er done.