FO: Zig Zag Quilt Top!

27 03 2010

The unthinkable has happened.

I have finished something.

Something big!

I have been working on my zig-zag quilt top solidly now, most weekends, for the last 2 or 3 months. And I have finally finished the quilt top!

It’s huge! I don’t know why I do silly things like pick such a BIG quilt for my first ever attempt at both patchwork AND quilting! A nice lap size quilt would have been just fine….. but, no. I have to pick the biggest one ouot there!

As I have been working on this I started out loving the fabrics and the combinations…. then I fell out of love with them. They’re growing on me again but I’m still not sure how I feel about them. I’m hoping by the time it’s all done I’ll be passionate once more!

I went over the my parents place today since I literally do not have floor space big enough to lay it all out on to baste, nor do I have anywhere I could lay it to take a picture of the finished top. Even so, I couldn’t wind the clothesline up high enough to get a good snapshot of the bottom row of the quilt! You’ll just have to imagine it!

Oh, sorry, you wanted to see the finished top? Here ’tis…

Getting close!

21 03 2010

I cannot believe it, but I have two big straight lines to sew until I have finished my quilt top. It’s a miracle… I never get this close to finishing things (at least not without a 6 months hiatus somewhere in there!)

I have no photos to post yet since I should now be in bed… but hopefully next weekend I will be able to post pictures of the finished quilt top. Now I’m excited!


23 02 2010

I had made a promise to myself that I wouldn’t get sidetracked whilst I worked on my zig-zag quilt. I really tried. I wanted to buy fabric for a bag. I wanted to buy wool for a cardigan. I tried to talk myself into starting 100 other projects.

And I was so good up until now. Zig-zag quilt only, working on it every weekend.

Until I found the blog Tea Rose Home. I blame Sachiko. After finding her blog the other day and spending a lovely afternoon reading through all her past posts, I found a tutorial for adding ruffles to a plain shirt. Somehow, I convinced myself that completing this project wouldn’t really count as not staying focused on my quilt. In the same way as I really didn’t have that mars bar cheesecake this afternoon.

The tutorial is really easy and effective… once I had worked out how to adjust the tension on my new sewing machine for sewing with stretchy fabric it was quite simple. I started at about 5:30pm, and including a short stop of a microwave dinner (I was on a roll and wanted to keep going!) I finished just before bed. I even wore the top to work today, and I was so thrilled when I got a compliment on my top! My friend couldn’t believe I had made it last night!

Anyway, I know what you’re really here for is photos, not my ramblings, so here’s some pictures of my progress up until the finished product. Forgive the crappy pictures, but I was so eager to keep going I didn’t really worry about the bad light and the fact that I couldn’t quite keep my hand still as I took the pictures!

Hmmm.... a plain boring navy tank top. I can do better than that!

Just take another plain old boring tank and chop it up

Stitch a few ruffles in place

Ta-da! It's a really bad photo, but the tank top is definately more interesting!

Making progress

13 02 2010

Another project I’ve been working on is a knitted blanket for Wrap with Love. It’s slow progress… every now and then I’ll finish another square. But now I feel like it’s getting there, and hopefully by the end of winter I’ll have this ready to send off.

The finished blanket will be 4 squares wide by 7 squares long, so 6 more to go!

Mmmm….. cookies!

10 02 2010

Last week was one of those weeks. You know the kind. Where you don’t go grocery shopping, but should have, and therefore spend the week raiding the pantry for exciting meals like baked beans on toast, scrambled eggs on toast, etc etc. By the end of the week I was a bit strapped to find a meal! So this weekend I really HAD to do some shopping. Of course I bought lots of useful things to make meals, but I couldn’t resist making something nice, just because.

How about some Oat Choc Chunk Cookies? They looked pretty good pre-baking…

but I’ve got to say they looked even better afterwards!

How long do you think the box will stay that full?

The last of the half square triangles

7 02 2010

It’s been quiet on this here blog. Work, unfortunately, has gotten in the way of the crafting time I enjoyed over my holidays. I am trying, this year, to achieve that elusive work / life balance though, and the last couple of weekends I have been able to do a little more on my quilt. Not enough that I have really spectacular photos of my progress, but at least enough that I have something to report!

Over half of the top had been pieced by the end of the holidays, and now I have made the rest of the half square triangles and pressed and starched them.

I feel like I spent forever at the iron today, pressing and starching my squares. Good job it has a nice view of the tv where I watched some Sopranos from Season 1!

The next thing I have to do is the most boring part. I need to square up all my squares before joining them into strips. It takes me forever (I’m pretty sure there is some nifty tool or template out there for this that I don’t have) to do, so good job it’s transportable to in front of the tv too!

We interupt this broadcast…

18 01 2010

I have made pretty good headway with my quilt top so far. I know some people seem to be able to piece them in a couple of days, but I think being my first one I am pretty slow. It doesn’t help that I sometimes get distracted by the tv the happens to be on in the background too! At this stage I have basically done half of the quilt top. It’s going to be slower going from here thought because I will have a visitor for the next week and then I’m back at work (boo….. hiss…..). But I think I have reached the “tipping point” (the point at which I have enough momentum to actually complete it!)

I did stop tonight though and spent a couple of hours doing some hand sewing. I was looking for a new hobby to take up this year to meet a few more people and I have decided to try ballet again. I did it for years as a kid and I always loved it. Just becuase I’m much less flexible now doesn’t mean I can’t still give it a go! Anyway I found some adult classes nearby and went and bought myself some new leather ballet shoes today. For the unintiated, they come with elastics but you need to sew them on where you want them, so as much as I hate hand sewing, I got out the needle and thread.

Anyway, excuse the pudgy legs (the camera angle was crap and hopefully ballet will slim them down anyway!) and bad light, but here’s my new kicks and the elastic I stitched on.

Anyone else ever gone back to hobbies they had as kids? I’m hoping it’s not just my lovely childhood rose-coloured memories, but that ballet will be fun again!

It keeps growing

14 01 2010

Well, so far I haven’t lost any steam yet on my quilt. It’s slow progress (and I admit I think I had fantasies of being able to whip it up in a few days), but I can see that things are happening and so far I haven’t had too many major dramas.

Last time I had joined quite a number of squares to make some half square triangles and had them lain out. I’ve added to it since then, sewing some rows together and making some more half square triangles.

Here’s a shot of my beautiful seams, all neatly pressed and starched to within an inch of their lives.

The first two rows have been stitched first in strips, then the two rows stitched together, so I have a finished “zig”.

The next two rows have been sewn into strips, but I need to sew these together.

And the next two rows have just had the triangles pieces together but I need to sew each row into strips and together. I just had to lay them out to see what it would all look like!

It’s so satisfying to see progress! I’m running out of time before my holidays are over though. I have a visitor coming soon and since all of this is laid out in my guest room it will all have to be packed up and put away.  Oh, to have a dedicated sewing room!

Progress is being made

11 01 2010

Something I hadn’t considered. When making a ginormous (queen size) quilt, there is an awful lot of fabric to cut. So much that it’s quite possible to get completely sick of cutting out and wonder what you got yourself in for.

A question for the more experienced quilters? Do you find that you get spots on your cutting mat that are “too used?” And how often do you change your rotary blade?

The exciting part, of course, was the idea of starting to sew. This was the first time I cracked out the new machine that I got for my birthday, a Janome MyExcel. The 1/4″ foot that I bought this morning was well worth the $30 too.

Here’s some squares that have been stitched and need to be slicedto make two half square triangles.

And some that are ready to place.

But of course the most exciting part is to lay out the half square triangles into their pattern.

Here’s a zig:

And now two zigs and a zag:

It’s exciting to see it grow!

Fabric Choices Made

9 01 2010

In a previous post, I showed you the three shades of rose / red that I had purchased for my zig-zag quilt. Here they are again:

I was trying to work out what other colour to put with these and the beiges. I ended up settling on a turquoise / blue theme for the other three. Here they are:

So here’s one of all the colours together…

And finally one with the beiges thrown in too. This is basically the order that they’ll be in for the actual quilt, although of course the design is a zig-zag one. I’m so happy with my choices!