Posted in Quilts

Space Nerd Remix

Just a quick log cabin this week to use up all those science and space novelty prints from the commissioned Space Nerd Quilt. I added some solids and blenders so I would have enough to make a very large twin quilt. I cut 3 1/2 inch squares of the white constellations print (Lizzy House Whisper Palette) for the centers and then all the blocks are 3 1/2” wide (by 6 1/2, 9 1/2, 12 1/2). Because I decided to make them all square in the end, I cut the 15 1/2 inch strips after the blocks were otherwise complete, which actually made laying it out easier, as I didn’t have the same fabrics end up adjacent very often.

 
No fabric ended up in the same block twice (I think) and very few adjacent. This ended up as a very large twin (~75” x 90”), or double. And the blocks were all so large, it came together at top speed. Fun scrap buster. 

Posted in Books

Potter Series, Foray 3

I have just completed reading the Harry Potter series for the third time, and if you’ve ever completed reading the Harry Potter series, you know how I feel. Full of feelings. Hungry for more. Reflective. Pensive. Wise. Just all the feelings.

If you haven’t read the series ever, then 1: what is wrong with you? and 2. go read it and come back when you’re done. Spoilers ensue.

I never intended to read the series at all, but was badgered about it constantly by a friend (a wise friend), until I finally relented. And never once, even when I came to her in tears after the death of Dumbledore, did she rub it in my face that she’s been preaching the HP gospel to me for years. And then, while dating my now-husband, I read the entire series aloud to him. We were long-distance for awhile when I was in law school, and we only saw each other on weekends. So in two or three day installments, we completed the entire series. What if these books were never written?! I would have attempted to court my soul mate by reading him some dry textbook probably. There are no other books suitable for courting!

Anyway, hungry for more, as one gets, I rewatched all the movies, too. And now I’m considering reading The Cursed Child, although I’ve heard mostly lackluster reviews.

Most underrated character of the whole series? It’s a bit of a tie. Mostly it’s Kreacher.

kreacher

I mean he gets barely a nod in the movies. They even reconfigure the storyline so Dobby can steal even more of his glory! Rude. I understand the need to edit out much of the S.P.E.W. and house elf storylines in the movies. There’s just too much and it spans too many books and they have to try their darnedest to keep those movies under three hours. And I do love Dobby. His enthusiasm and eccentricity and socks. What’s not to love?

But Kreacher. True hero, complex being, leads the Hogwarts House Elves into the fray during the Battle against Voldemort, unconcerned with likeability. Hats off to that guy.

Also, underrated, but now that I think about it, so perfectly represented in the movies, so she gets second place for Most Underrated: Molly Weasley.

molly weasley

That scene in Order of the Phoenix where she attempts to get rid of a Boggart and ends up paralyzed with despair as it transforms into the dead body of each of her loved ones in turn…heartbreaking. The woman had SEVEN CHILDREN, people. And I don’t know how childbirth works in the Wizarding World (I’m terrified to dive that deep into the fanfic, but you just know this is addressed somewhere), but regardless, she raised seven redheaded wizards, and took Harry in as her own to boot.

It also dawned on me during Order of the Phoenix that Molly Weasley is always preparing meals for not only her seven children and husband, but ALL of the members of the Order, and their honored guests. Every time she ran off to fetch tea or snacks or meals for somebody, or more likely a group of somebodies, I could not help but yell, “WHY WON’T SOMEONE HELP MRS. WEASLEY WITH THE COOKING? PLEASE!”

She wasn’t in the original Order (because she was busy creating SEVEN wizards), but becomes a member in the fight against Voldemort despite having school-age children and an army of helpless adult males to tend to. Bad Ass.

 

Posted in Quilts

Finished: Eden Quilt

The Space Nerd Quilt has a sister, and it is the Eden quilt. This quilt is also headed to Italy this week to its new home with a girl who loves animals, nature, and the color “acquaverde,” which after many suggestions was decided to be comparable to Kona Ice Frappe.

So I modified the 2nd Grade Quilt pattern from the book Precut Primer Quilt Pattern Book by Me and My Sister Designs to be a bit bigger to finish at twin size, and finally got to cut into my beautiful pristine stash of Eden fabrics by Tula Pink. I added a couple Alison Glass Sunprints and a couple Lizzy House prints from the Lovely Hunt collection for a wider range of colors. This girl needs rainbows.

Kona Ice Frappe made a beautiful background for these super saturated prints, and over time, the new quilt owner will hopefully be able to spot the tigers, butterflies, elephants, and moths that are fussy cut (ish) throughout.

This pattern was super simple, a lot of meditative chain piecing, but with such small blocks, the final effect was almost prismatic, and it was nice to finally put to use all these dazzling fabrics for someone who will admire them.

 

Oh! and I almost forgot that backing. I finally used the Tula Pink Free Fall wideback fabric. I intensely dislike piecing backings, for some reason, so I love widebacks. I had heard that this particular collection had a lot of color imperfection issues, but not in my experience. This was beautiful, exactly the right color, and had a smooth satiny sheen and feel.

 

Posted in Quilts

Finished: Space Nerd Quilt

The Space Nerd quilt is finished and on its way to its new home in Italy. This is the Rapid City quilt pattern from Elizabeth Hartman, described in this post.

I am terrible at quilt photography to begin with, and I was very short on time to boot, as I handed the quilt over almost immediately after completing it. So, my husband had to play quilt holder in our backyard. I’m sad I didn’t get to style or overdocument this one because it was so much fun to plan and make and quilt.


I free-motion quilted this one in a geometric meander, and was careful not to quilt past the quilt top onto the batting because I really wanted to try out this method (tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew) of binding for the first time, where the backing is folded over as binding. This was partly to save time and energy, but also I wanted a neutral gray binding and both the background and backing of this quilt were already neutral gray. It would have been a waste to bind it separately. It came out really well. It feels much flatter and lighter this way. Like a photo without a frame. I like it.

I’ve already got plans for all the spare novelty space fabric I have from this quilt. Stay tuned for Space Nerd II: the Quilty Sequel.

 

Posted in Quilts, Works in Progress

Rapid City Space Quilt

I got a request for a twin-sized quilt for a boy who loved all things Outer Space. But of course, it couldn’t be that simple. The requester, who would be gifting this quilt to said boy, prefers bright saturated colors and so would need those incorporated among the space-themed fabrics. And “space-themed” needed to include rockets.

Once we had settled on a pattern and I had acquired some fabrics (including some overt, novelty rocket fabrics — not my general fave), an additional AND was given: AND the boy’s favorite color is orange and so that has to be included.

All these parameters just serve to make me feel like a dynamic and flexible quilt maker though. I love just making it work.

So, the pattern I settled on was the Rapid City quilt pattern by Elizabeth Hartman, from her book, Modern Patchwork: 12 Quilts to Take You Beyond the Basics. I am just fresh off making a queen sized version of one of her other patterns, New Wave, and I gotta say, Elizabeth Hartman is a quilt pattern writing genius. This book is a great investment. The patterns look very complicated, and they usually do require a full day dedicated solely to cutting up the fabric and labeling the pieces, but the end results are always worth it. And in every pattern I’ve seen of hers, she breaks down the process so sensibly, from cutting in the most efficient/ least wasteful manner, to choosing fabrics and colors in a way that will make each quilt unique and mod and unified.

This pattern suggests using 8 prints and 8 coordinating solids. She has fully converted me to incorporating solids into every quilt, ever since taking her Craftsy class on modern quilts. But I did sneak one blender into my coordinating choices. So 8 space-themed prints, 7 solids (including orange, of course), and some cobalt blue Sprinkle from Cotton + Steel.

Last week, I spent one full day cutting and labeling pieces as dictated by the pattern, and then the blocks came together quickly (as her patterns usually do because of all the intense preparation). Today will be dedicated to piecing the top together, maybe getting as far as basting and starting the quilting. My hope is to finish this entirely by this weekend, when I will be seeing the purchaser, so I can hand deliver her final products.

One pieced block (of 16 total):

Fabrics are Kona Ash and Black, prints from Lizzy House’s Natural History Collection, astronauts and space shuttles from Makower Galaxy collection, which are really adorable in these small amounts.

Posted in Quilts

Delicious work in progress

 Almost finished with this quick and satisfying quilt project. It just needs binding, and it will be ready for a full reveal. Lemurs and linen and straight-line quilting. Yum. 

Fabric is Lagoon by Rashida Coleman-Hale (not pictured, also a print from Melody Miller’s Kicks collection), Essex linen in Pickle, and Kona in Ash, my current favorite background color. 

Thread is isacord in a color called Baguette, which I’m pretty sure I purchased just for the name, but look how perfectly it sets off the Ash. 

Posted in kids activities

Total Eclipse (partial view)

Today a total solar eclipse was 58% visible from where we live. I had my oldest with me (school FINALLY starts back up next week). And because our library system is the greatest thang in the whole darn place, we went to a local branch’s “Sky Party,” where they had pinhole viewers, box viewers, many many eclipse glasses to pass around, sun print paper, and a lovely courtyard with a great view of the sun at the appointed hour. 

In another post, I will have to detail how our library system made our whole summer special with a Waldo hunt through all the branches. It was really fun and memorable and genius. It cemented my library love. 

So today, my brother took an “eclipse day” off of work, and at the library we got only our 58% eclipse, but it was 100% fun because there was such a huge turnout. I knew we would want to be surrounded a community to share in this phenomenon. Every natural phenomenon is enhanced by the wonderment of others. And honestly, the kids were so creative. I noticed some kids looking at their shadows and making fists, and realized every person can create their own little pinhole viewers with their hand. So clever. And it was more fun to pass around and share the glasses than to have hunted down a pair of my own, what with all the eclipse excitement this year. Supplies were scarce. This way, we all got to take peeks and then hand them to another person and watch them marvel, too. 


My daughter claimed it was her favorite day ever. That might be because we stopped at Chuck E. Cheese for lunch post-eclipse, but I like to think it was because of science!

Posted in Uncategorized

New Quilty Toy

I got myself a present! At the SDMQG quilt retreat at the beginning of July, it seemed like everybody but me had one of these little mini travel irons. Which is good because it gave me the chance to get the reviews from actual users. They were unanimously pleased with them. My giant Shark iron has recently started acting up after four years of faithful (and daily) service, so I hopped on board and got a Sunbeam Hot-2-Trot Travel Iron. I am not ashamed to say that I chose the cheapest one, nor am I ashamed to say that I was drawn to the cute name.


I don’t know how it works so well. I’ve heard that when pressing it’s the heat and the pressure and weight of the iron that do the job, so I don’t know how such a tiny and lightweight iron does it, but I’m gonna trust that the iron science adds up.

What I love about it most (besides its adorable size) is that it heats up super fast. It seems like it reaches full heat (hotter than my regular iron) in about 20 seconds. Here’s to hoping I get at least 4 years outta this puppy.

 

Posted in Quilts

Little Pink Houses final reveal

I took some photos of the final Neighborhood quilt made from Les Petites fabric before it gets sent off to its tiny recipient. 

I quilted doors on the homes, plants and fences and rows in the “vacant lot” spaces, and a little moon holding a star in the corner. 

As always, I am disappointed by my quilt photography skills. I just can’t capture them. But I am not disappointed by this quilt in person. Not a bit.