Doctor Who-Along for 2016

A while ago, probably while I was researching paper-piecing for my brother’s wedding quilt (yes, I have yet to post about that, too!), I found a bunch of Doctor Who themed paper-pieced blocks on Craftsy, and shared it with some of my crafting friends. Well, I decided that in 2016, we’d do a Doctor Who-Along for these blocks so that at the very least, I can finally make them!

If you’d like to join me in this activity next year, here is a tutorial on paper-piecing if you don’t already know how to do it. Once you have the second piece sewn to the paper, it’ll make sense and be so easy as you continue.

Every three weeks, I’ll aim to finish a block. There’s 20 blocks in all, so this will carry me into 2017, too. Here’s the schedule I’m planning to follow, and I’ll be sure to make a post after each block I make. Please share yours with me!

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Nearly Completed Unicorn Quilt Top

This has been the longest I’ve ever worked on any project. I can’t remember when I started it exactly, but I saw this design in a quilt show in 2002 and decided then that I wanted to make it (even though I had never made a quilt before). Later, in 2007, I started procuring some of the fabric I needed for it. I may have started working on it then, but I can’t remember, and I really didn’t keep detailed logs of my projects like I do now. In any event, similar as with my first knitting project, in which it lasted longer than other knitting projects I had started and finished before I had finished it, likewise with this quilt, wherein I’ve actually started and finished a few quilts before I finished this one. And even this one isn’t totally completed, but this is as much as I can do until my mom can finish the satin stitching and (hopefully) quilting.

Every year, at work, we need to set goals for ourselves. One of them can be a personal goal, whether it be learn a new language or quit smoking. When my manager sent out a reminder for us to set our goals, he used “finishing a quilt” as an example. I realize it was only an example, but between that suggestion and my mom kindly reminding me that she’s “not getting any younger” I figured that this would be a good personal goal to set for myself. And thus, only a month or so before the end of the fiscal year, I’ve finished the quilt-top (well, again, as much as I’m going to be able to finish before sending it off to mom).

And once she sends it back, I’ll probably have some couching and binding to finish off, and then I will throw a party to celebrate the accomplishment of this masterpiece.

All I had left after assembling the completed blocks was the border. The border was rather easy, compared to the blocks, so I don’t know why I was dragging my feet for so long on it. But I told myself that I couldn’t sew myself any more fun summer dresses until this was done. And that’s exactly what I did.

Below is the quilt in it’s entirety (middle), plus each of the four borders. You can click through to view an enlarged photo of each border. Be forewarned, each photo is rather large, so you might experience a long download time.

Top border
Left border Unicorn Quilt with Border Right Border
Bottom border

I have just a couple more supplies to research and buy before I can stick this in the mail, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find what I need (even though the local quilt store doesn’t have what I need, so I might need to find the extra supplies online).

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Radio Silence

Yikes, it’s really been over a month since I last posted.

I lost my sewing motivation back in December, and have been struggling to regain it over the last couple of weeks. Fear not, at least I’ve been knitting.

Looks like a jellyfish

Looks like a jellyfish

Non-blocked lace doesn’t look like much, I know. Some of my friends say this looks like a jellyfish. I just hope it doesn’t look like this after I’m done knitting and it’s blocked.

The yarn I’m using is Shubui Cloud in the color “Blush”. I bought it on sale at KnitPurl¬†in Portland¬†back during the summer. It’s a very fuzzy, lace-weight yarn, and I’m just using one skein to make a scarf. I’ll have four skeins left over, and I’m thinking of making a pullover with the rest.

I made it back in my craft room the other day and surveyed what projects were laying around that had yet to be done. I managed to capture two UFOs (unfinished objects) in one picture.

Trench and quilt

Trench and quilt

I’ve been meaning to finish this trenchcoat for a friend. I like the pattern (an out-of-print McCalls pattern), but I didn’t like the fabric after I bought it (a laminated poly), so I decided to make it for a friend instead. I got to the point there I attached the sleeves to the body of the coat, and because the laminated poly doesn’t like to hol it’s shape, the sleeve cap is all gathered instead of a nice, rounded, smooth sleeve cap. I’ve just got to finish it.

Also, my Unicorn quilt. I’ve been wanting to start a new quilt for our bed, but mom encouraged me to finish the Unicorn quilt first, so I made it a goal this year to get it done. There’s still a bit to do on the boarder, but that’s it.

So I think the plan is (until the lining for a coat for Richard arrived) to finish the trenchcoat, then the Unicorn quilt.

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Made It Monday: Forest Animal Quilt

I haven’t heard from my sister-in-law yet, so I think I’m ahead of the game and got my future niece’s quilt done before she was born! Now, I have to wait for her to arrive so I can make up a label and stitch it onto the finished quilt.

Finished Forest Animal Quilt

 

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WIP Wednesday: Starting to Quilt the Forest Animal Quilt

Quilting Forest Animal Baby Quilt

I have a confession to make: I’ve never quilted before. Sure, I’ve made a few quilt tops, but until now, I’ve never actually quilted any of them. Before, Mom lived a scant 40 minutes away, and after scoffing that I could do this myself, she would quilt the quilt for me. (Thanks, Mom). Now, she lives halfway across the country, and although I could probably box up the quilt and send it to her and she would quilt it for me, I think it’s about time I do it myself.

After Craftsy had their mega-sale on all their classes, I picked up Machine Quilt: Free-Motion and More, taught by Wendy Butler Berns. I like that she’s not a perfectionist: her points don’t always match up, like mine, and that makes me more content about being able to just go with the flow when quilting. She encourages practice, and even shows you how to make the same designs freehand drawing on a piece of paper. I’m not a doodler, but I might start doodling now to practice stipiling or feathers.

I found some scrap batting and fabric and practiced some free-motion quilting with the darning foot. I already had a quilting pattern in mind for the quilt, but I couldn’t quite follow the outline of it well with free-motion. I did pretty well with stars and a little stipiling, but following lines on a pattern wasn’t going to happen with the darning foot. When Wendy was stitching her straight lines, she used a walking foot. So I threw the walking foot on my machine and tried that out. As long as I went slow and shoved the quilt through the throat of the machine every once in a while, I was able to follow my pattern pretty well. There were a couple times where it wasn’t “perfect” and I ripped out the stitching. Then I thought that ripping it out because of a couple misplaced stitches was silly, and my newborn niece wasn’t going to scrutinize the quilting I’ve done (plus, that fabric pattern is very distracting, if not headache inducing), so I embraced my mistakes. I EMBRACED MY MISTAKES. That’s not something I do often (unless I’m really lazy, and maybe I was just being lazy, which makes sense since I’m still feeling pretty sick still).

I’m so excited with the progress I’ve made so far. The design was suggested in the book I got the pattern for the quilt from. There two nested circles inside the snowballs, and the bowties have two hearts (I made from a piece of cardboard) connected by a sinusoidal wave. I have to say, quilting is pretty time consuming, and maybe it’s just because I’m starting out… maybe I’ll get faster by the time I’m done with it. :)

 

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Unicorn Quilt: All Sewn Up

Unicorn Quilt: All Blocks Completed

Click to view a larger image

 

A couple of things have been going on since I last wrote. Nothing big, but enough to throw me off the momentum that I had with sewing for the last few weeks. First of all, it’s basically fall in Seattle. It started raining again, with threats of more rain in the forecast, despite the sunny and warm days we’ve had the last couple of days. I guess the ground is wet outside this morning. So, I haven’t been in the mood to sew any more summery dresses.

Also, it’s National Sewing Month, and I set a goal for myself to make my laptop bag for this month. I haven’t… started yet. I need to look for some interfacing/batting to use for the project, and I haven’t done that yet. I don’t know why sewing a rectangle scares me, but it does.

Then, a ton of Craftsy classes went on sale, so I picked up a couple I’d been pining over for a while. This shouldn’t hinder my sewing progress, but it gives me the tools to continue working on some other projects, like the baby quilt for my future niece, since I’ll be quilting that myself.

And lastly, I’ve been sick. I got my first post-summer cold and I’ve been feeling like a Walking Plague or something. I’ve lacked any ambition to work on said laptop bag, so I’ve let myself work on easier projects… like continuing to rip the stabilizer from the back of the Unicorn Quilt blocks. I finished that quicker than I thought I would and spent most of last night sewing up the rest of the quilt. I didn’t even run out of sashing! (Although, I think I’m suppose to have enough to go around the quilt, so I hope I do.) I thought I would need to find fabric for the border (which is suppose to be the same fabric as the quilt blocks), but apparently I was smart enough to buy enough for that too (and that’s good, because I bought that fabric in 2007 and I’m sure it’s been discontinued).

I’m so happy that I’m one-step closer to having this quilt done, even if I still have a lot more applique to do.

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WIP Wednesday: Forest Animal Quilt

Forest Animal Quilt start

We have a new niece on the way, so onto another quilt! I’ve actually got a lot more done than what’s pictured here, but this is the gist of it. The pattern is called Snowbows and it’s from the book “101 Fabulous Rotary-Cut Quilts“. I love this print: it’s fun and trendy, I’d almost want to make a skirt from the purple fabric! My husband has been helping me with this one too. I gave him the task of cutting all those small squares into HST (half-square triangles), plus, he made a cardboard template for me to cut the corners off the purple blocks. This one I plan to quilt myself. I figure the Baby Lock can probably handle a small baby quilt, and my mom gave me some advice on how to transfer the stitching pattern to the quilt. Should be fun!

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WIP Wednesday: Starting the “U is for Unicorn” Quilt Top

20130826-190735.jpgAfter my mom sent me the last of the quilt blocks, I was able to make more progress on the quilt top. Every time I finished a row, I was squealing with delight and saying, “So pretty!”. The next blocks I needed in arranging the quilt top still had a fair amount of stabilizer attached to the back, so I needed to work on those.

This is the total length of the quilt, minus the border. Since it’s so big, it’ll be interesting to figure out where I’m going to hang this when I’m done.

 

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Last of the “U is for Unicorn” Quilt Blocks

My personal goal was to finish appliquing the remaining “U is for Unicorn” quilt blocks before my parents moved, and I managed to get them all done. But mom had already pack up all her embroidery stuff she’d need to satin stitch the blocks, so I’d have to wait until she got all moved and settled in before she would have time to work on them again. Four months after they moved, she finished them all and sent them to me. I’m so excited to finally have all the quilt blocks, although, it means now I have to spend a lot of time removing the tear-away stabilizer from the back of the blocks before I can stitch them into the quilt top.

Click on the thumbnail to view the quilt block:

Block M Block 37 Block 33 Block 34 Block 16
Block 21 Block Y Block W Block 18 Block H
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Starting the Spring Garden Tee

Now that I’ve finished three(!) knitting projects, I needed to make something a little more challenging than a rectangle (even if that rectangle turned into an infinite loop). I’ve spent a LOT of time on Ravelry (and any knitter or crocheter would probably attest to the fact that you can spend a lot of time on there) looking for my next project. I settled on the Spring Garden Tee–it looks like a fairly simple stockinette stitch t-shirt with a cute lace pattern on the cap sleeves.

I’m using CotLin (cotton/linen blend) from KnitPicks in Harbor for my shirt.

Three Skeins of Spring Garden Tee

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