Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Basting away: WIP Wednesday

I finally pieced the backing and basted the baby quilt, and I'm eager to start quilting. Here's how it looks at the moment, front and back:

I'm particularly excited about the curved piecing on the backside. For the quilting, I'll probably use grey thread, but as I mentioned earlier, I'd love a variegated grey, pink, and red thread, if one exists. If anyone knows where to find such a thread, please let me know! For the actual quilting pattern, I'm thinking in terms of Angela Walters' jagged tile technique, with either swirls or an allover leaf pattern inside the tiles. Alternatively, I could use a range of patterns to vary the individual tiles, but I think I prefer the simplicity of sticking to a single pattern.

Let the quilting begin!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

APB: Is my dream thread out there?

I basted the baby quilt today, and I'm starting to contemplate quilting thread. I'll probably just use grey, either plain or variegated, but I'm wondering whether there's a variegated quilting thread that blends grey, pink, and red? I surfed around the web and didn't find anything, but if anyone out there has a favorite machine quilting thread that comes in the right colors, I'd love to hear from you.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A perfect Canadian Thanksgiving

DH was away on business this past weekend, so I joined friends for a trip to Tofino for Thanksgiving. The weather was gorgeous, sunny, and warm, which is an amazing treat in the Pacific Northwest at this time of year, and we enjoyed long walks on the beach in between lavish meals, including a grand Thanksgiving dinner on Sunday.

From the ferry, approaching Nanaimo:

Saturday's sunset on Cox Bay Beach:


An anemone (say that ten times fast) at Mackenzie Beach on Sunday:

We also sighted a few bald eagles at Mackenzie Beach, including this one:

The eagle might not look like much in the original photo, but after zooming in and cropping, it turns out that there's actually an incredible amount of detail recorded by the camera:

A treasure in the sand on Long Beach, Monday morning:

The view at Long Beach:

Friday, October 5, 2012


When I first started quilting, I tried machine-piecing a drunkard's path quilt. It was an absolute failure--I just couldn't get the curves to line up properly or avoid unwanted pleats--and I stayed away from curved piecing for the next 20+ years. Recently, however, I've been admiring the improvisational curves in other people's quilts, and VMQG's current Halloween block challenge seemed to provide the perfect opportunity to try again:

I can't believe how easily these two blocks came together! I don't know whether it was a matter of long years of experience with manipulating layers of fabric at the sewing machine, or if the gentle curves in these blocks are just a lot easier to piece than the quarter-circles in drunkard's path, but the curves didn't require too much more effort than regular straight-line sewing.

Janet A.'s tutorial also provided help and encouragement. Unlike Janet, I still pinned strategically--not too surprising, since I pin even when sewing plain old straight lines. I love the results, and I'm looking forward to a lot more curved piecing in the future!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Slow and maybe not so steady: WIP Wednesday

I didn't find as much sewing time as I had hoped over the weekend, but at least I've almost got the borders onto the baby quilt that I've been working on:

I still have to miter the bottom two corners, and then I need to piece the back before basting the layers together. At least the quilt top is almost done!

I also completed the first 35 rows of the vest with the shawl collar that I started knitting last week. Only 52 more rows before the armhole shaping begins...

Finally, I finished the fifth in a set of ID holder wristlets and have started listing them in my Etsy shop. There were supposed to be six, but I damaged the vinyl on one of them when ironing (grrr!), so I'm down to five. Four of them are made out of cotton from vintage yukata; the fifth (second from the left) is rayon and comes from a hitoe (unlined) vintage kimono.

Between the day job and travel, I won't have much time for quilting over the next few weeks. With any luck, I'll have photos of the basted baby quilt sometime in the second half of October, and I'll get it quilted in time for the November meeting of the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild. I might be out of commission for a couple of weeks as far as WIP Wednesday is concerned, but hopefully I'll be back in the swing of things before too long.