April Stash Report!

Time for my April stash report.  I haven’t bought any new fabric (for me) this month.  (My guild’s charity committee had a sale of all the extra fabric they had on hand and I bought a bunch of fabric for my mom.  So it is currently in my apartment but not going into my stash, and therefore I’m not counting it.)  (And I just had a dream that an acquaintance who doesn’t quilt had some really nice fabric and I told him I was going to take some of it, and now that I’ve sat down to write this I realize it was a dream, which is a pity – it was beautiful Asian-inspired fabric, my favorite.  My subconscious has played a trick on me!)  Anyway, my incoming is zero this month!

Outgoing:

The octopus quilt = 3.8 yards

Another baby quilt I made that I haven’t posted about yet =3.25 yards

April stash bee block = .3 yards

Shoe bag for A = .21 yards

Coasters (see above link) = .25 yards

Tray mat for my grandmother = .33 yards

 

Total outgoing for the month of April: 8.14 yards

Total for the year so far: 56.139 yards!

As you may remember, my initial goal was to get 50 yards out of my stash, and I’ve revised that to 75 yards.  I’m still planning to donate more fabric to my guild (I think the desire to not have to pack it will be a prime motivator in forcing me to get rid of some of it), and I have plenty of projects on my to-do list.  Wish me luck for May!

 

Update:

I did my math very wrong – my total from January through March was 55.325 yards, so my total through April is actually 63.465 yards.

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Octopus Baby Quilt – Part II

Hi habibis!  Welcome to part II of the octopus baby quilt I made: applique.

I traced a piece of white fabric in my best approximation of a sailor hat.  I sewed it, right sides together, to a scrap of muslim or some kind of light fabric.  Then I cut a slit in the muslin and turned it inside out so I’d have finished edges.  I embroidered the lines in a variegated blue thread.  Then I machine appliqued it using white thread.

When I got close to finishing the applique I stuffed batting in and then sewed it closed.  I hadn’t done this before – I made it up as I went along – and I’m sure there are better methods of doing this, but it worked.

Next I moved on to the fish.  I used all yellow and orange fabric scraps.  I cut them into various sizes of squares.  I sewed them to more little scraps of muslin, same as with the hat, and used the same method to turn them right side out and get the finished edges.

I embroidered little eyes and smiling mouths using the variegated blue thread.

I made little tails out of scraps of yellow and orange fabric.  I folded small squares or triangle scraps, right sides together, to make a smaller triangle and sewed around the edges, leaving one side open to turn them inside out.

I sewed the open sides of the tails closed.  Then, once I decided the layout of the fish, I pinned the tails appropriately, matching yellow to yellow and orange to orange.  Using coordinating thread, I sewed down the center of each tail, so the side points aren’t attached to the quilt.

Next I appliqued the fish.  I sewed three quarters of the way around each fish, attaching it to the quilt stop.  I stuffed batting into the opening, and finally I sewed the fourth side closed.  (Again, using coordinating thread – yellow for yellow and orange for orange – because I wanted the thread to blend in, not to highlight the applique method.)

Lastly, I covered the rough edges of the octopus in a zigzag with lime green thread.  I think I’m getting better at the zigzag/satin stitch on my machine – look, I’m even using the right foot!  (Boy, does that make a difference.)  I started doing a satin stitch by hand, but it took way too long, so I went back and did the zigzag all the way around, covering my initial stitches.  (I’d done the left side of the head and part of a tentacle, and that was it.)  I hand stitched the one line below to delineate between two different tentacles, one behind the other.

The center of the quilt with all the applique finished:

Tomorrow I’m going to post about my incoming/outgoing totals for the month of April, and next week I’ll post more about this quilt.

Octopus Baby Quilt – Part I

I’ve been working on this quilt since January!  Now I can finally share it with you.  In this post, I’ll share the design  of the quilt and the applique I did.

I’ve known for a long time that I wanted to make an octopus quilt for this baby.  When Sew Fresh Fabrics was closing and having its big sale, I bought a ton of blue Kona solids and some green for this quilt.  I used Kona’s Jade Green for the octopus.  The blues for the ocean background are various shades of Kona solids and one batik-y blue that I had in my stash.  I envisioned the ocean background being more improv pieced and wonkier, but I guess (being relatively new to that) I manage that better working with scraps than when cutting from yardage.  I wish now that I had cut much small pieces to do the improv piecing, but instead I cut long strips.  Some of them are angled but not enough to really look intentional.  Oh well!  It still looks pretty cool, right?

The octopus is appliqued using fusible applique.  I traced the octopus shape I wanted on the my fabric, then cut it out and laid it onto the applique paper and cut it out again.  I know that’s not what you’re supposed to do, but the octopus was larger than one sheet of paper.  It worked out alright, except some of the edges weren’t covered 100%.

Before I appliqued the octopus, I traced the eyes and then embroidered them.  It’s just the outlines.  I’d considered filling the outlines in but I decided I liked how it looked.  I embroidered a smiling mouth, too.

Next week I’ll share more about the applique!

April Bee Block: Scrap Jar Star

Hi habibis!  We’re three weeks into April and I’ve finally crossed my first to-do item off my April sewing list: my April bee block for Stash Bee.

Shari asked for Scrap Jar Stars using this tutorial.  I found it easy to follow.  Shari wanted the following colors: aqua, navy, pink, red, orange, yellow, green, gray and purples, and as bright and scrappy as possible.  I pulled mostly from my scraps (but some of them are buried under other things, so I had to use a bit of a fat quarter here or there).  I also used up more of that quarter yard of Kona white I’d bought in February.

Here’s my layout.

First you make the center sixteen patch.  Then you add two sets of half-square triangles to the sides.  Then you make the corner patches and add those to the other sets of half-square triangles and viola!  You’re done.  Once I had everything cut, the assembly went quickly – it took me under an hour.

I tried to be sooo careful with the construction.  You’re supposed to press open the seams when you sew together the half-square triangles and mine came out so nice!

Careful or not, my sixteen patch was two small for my half-square triangle sets.  I think I need to work on my precision/construction skills.  I made it work, but I hope it meets Shari’s standards!

The instructions call for making eight HSTs from four prints, but Shari suggested making sixteen HSTs from eight prints for more variety, so I did that.  I sent along the extras to her, along with two sets of HSTs I’d made from solid brights, and a couple of extra 2″ squares I’d cut.

I liked making the block, and I like the result, but I’m frustrated that I seem to have construction issues every month.

 

Handstitched Quilt Update

Hi habibis!  Here’s my update, a little delayed.

I’ve made more progress!  But it’s slow progress…

I’ve finished all the Storm at Sea subunits. Now I need to go back to the class instructions to refresh my memory on how to join them into the full-sized blocks and then I can actually put this border together!  The next border is more fusible applique, which I already know how to do, so from here on out the assembly should go quickly as long as I can spare the time for it.  April is already flying!

Oops!

Hi habibis!  I had planned to post an update on my slow, slow, slow stitching on my Handstitched quilt, but I forgot to download the pictures and now I have to run to get to work.  Oops!   I’ll try to get it up tomorrow.

Recent presents

Hi habibis!  I wanted to share a few presents I made recently:

I made this quilted bookmark for a cousin for her birthday, using leftover Air Force fabric.  I quilted it with white thread.

These sashiko coasters are from the Handstitched class.  (Yes!  I finally finished a project from the class.)  I didn’t follow the instructions 100% when it came to the design because I couldn’t figure out how to replicate it properly, but I’m very happy with the design.  I made them as a birthday/apartment warming gift for my friend R.  I love the geometric print, and I think I matched it up nicely with the solid.  I used variegated thread.  I swear I took pictures but I can’t find them, so here’s a picture R took.  Isn’t she a great hand model?

This shoe bag is for my friend A.  I let her pick from a few different fabrics, all of them blue/purple-y. (She loves cool tones.)  I wish I’d made it bigger – it should fit most shoes, but I would have liked something larger.  I love the butterfly print.