Monday, August 11, 2014

Sewvivor - Challenge One - Nautical

So yeah, summer blogging is pretty scarce around these parts. But for those that follow me on Instagram (@snippets101) you all know what i've been up to.  You'll remember my last post was my audition for Sewvivor over at Family Ever After, well... 

I GOT IN!!! I'm absolutely floored that i made it and have been nervously waiting to reveal my first challenge piece, which was to be anything we wanted as long as it was quilted and nautically inspired.

So without further ado...
                                 may i present, Hold Fast!

My first thoughts on hearing "nautical" go to two things - Peter Pan and his Neverland Pirates and old sailor style tattoos. We can all see what direction i took with this challenge! I love old ships with giant mast's full of sails, despite not being able to stomach being on any form of ship, or small boat, canoe, rubber dingy... who am i kidding, even the conveyor belt in the grocery store make me nauseous! So this was a chance for me to make the tattoo that i would love to have if i were a sailor pirate! (come on who doesn't want to be a pirate!)

I opted to use mostly applique for this mini, i like the look that it creates when layering piece after piece on top of one another. And i think for things like the waves it was the perfect application to use. I used all shot cottons for the waves, i love the way the colours change with shot cottons and wish it was something that you could see in photographs!
The roses (which i cut from my last piece of Anna Maria Horner's Social Climber print) were also another piece that i wouldn't be able to get the effect i wanted using another method.

I embroidered the hold fast banner with 12wt Aurifil in brass, my all time favorite colour! And doubled up the fabric (Essex linen in natural) so i could get the folded look of a scroll.
For those that don't know, the term Hold Fast (when used by sailors) means to bear down, grit it out, and stay the course. Such an appropriate term when working on a deadline!

The quilting was varied throughout. The waves were all hand stitched with a chunkier stitch in 28wt Aurifil in teal, i think the chunkier stitch gives great texture and movement. In addition to sketch stitching the ship and sails i also hand stitched a few stars in the sky (Lizzy House Twinkle Twinkle in black). And the brass band around the whole thing, that was done with my zig zag stitch with the length set just a hair over 0. You have no idea how long it took to make two laps around the whole thing!! Forever!

The rest of the quilting consisted of radiating lines in turquoise and brass 40wt Aurifil from behind the medallion, which were doubled up in the corners and center lines.
Backed in another of Lizzy House's prints, Constellation in teal and bound in the same Twinkle Twinkle i used for the sky.
This little mini finishes off at 27.5" x 35" and i have to say, for my third mini ever... i quite like it! 

High fives for all my awesome competition this round! It's been so much fun getting to know you all!
Good Luck to all of you!
xo nicole

Make sure to pop on over to Rach's to see the rest of the entries, and vote for me! Or you know, someone else... but really, you should vote for me ;) Just kidding, I've been watching the sneak peaks on Instagram and let me tell you , the competition is tough! So many amazing bits and pieces, so while i'd love to make it to the next round, vote for the project that you love most and if it happens to be mine, thanks ;)

Friday, July 18, 2014

Sewvivor - snips snippets

Welcome, welcome new friends and old. I would like to take a quick minute to show you all my entry into this season of Sewvivor. Fair warning, picture overload is about to commence!
 Enough chit chat already!!


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There she is, in all her unfinished glory, my proudest quilty achievement! My Gypsy Wife!
That's right, still not finished. I really underestimated how long it would actually take to hand quilt this. I was positive it would take a month or two tops. Wow, so wrong. I've been at it almost four months now and i still have quite a ways to go yet.

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I did however manage to get enough quilted to finally put the binding on. I was hoping to have it finished in time to use it as my entry for Sewvivor 3. (that was after i was hoping to have it finished for Bloggers Quilt Festival!) So on a whim, i thought i'd email Rach at Family Ever After (superstar host of Sewvivor) and see if it was okay to use semi finished projects. You have no idea how ecstatic i was when she emailed me back and said it was okay! I hustled and bound the half of the quilt that was fully quilted and thought i'd be fine with it. Nope. No way i was going to post my very first full shot of my Gypsy Wife with only half a binding on. So i pulled out my tools of the trade and desperately tried to get as much stitched as possible!

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I did my best to get at least some of the bigger blocks partially quilted so there would be minimal movement once they're fully quilted.

Fingers crossed it doesn't all go to pot when i finish the quilting!!

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I've really, truly enjoyed hand quilting this. Though i should have timed it better so the quilting portion was being done in the winter. Sitting under this sucker in middle of the summer is like wearing saran wrap in a sauna, blech!

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I probably would have been done the quilting had i gone with a simple design or even just straight lines. But all the Anna Maria Horner prints were begging for special treatment!

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But where some get the royal stitchery treatment,

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Others are left to shine without the grand details.

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For my very first foray into hand quilting, i think i'm doing pretty well.

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My stitches could definitely be better, but slowly i'm getting there. And i think by my next hand quilted project (and believe me, there will be more!) they will be better yet!

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I wish you all could feel the texture that the quilting is giving this, so awesome!

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And the mix of super dense quilting with random embroidery work and sparse quilting is making for a pretty interesting back!

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Which of course has been kept pretty simple as always ;)

And you can see on the left hand side of the above shot is where all of my blocks have been finished. The right, not so much. And i love how you can see where the strips at the bottom of the quilt are on the back. Quilting them was some of my favorite work.

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That strip of AMH with the little squares, how could i not fill them with cross stitches! I'm envisioning a whole canvas of that print, cross stitched like crazy. Hmmm. Yep, adding that to my to do list ;)

So i guess you all want some details (probably not, you're all here for the eye candy right?!)

The pattern is the fantastically crazy Gypsy Wife by Jen Kingwell.
And if ever i was to design a pattern that best shows who i am, this would have been it!

Most of the fabrics were gloriously fussy cut Anna Maria Horner prints, from multiple lines.

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Mostly Field Study and Dowry, but there are some bits of Hand Drawn Garden in there as well. (You have no idea how badly i wanted to start over when i had Pretty Potent in hand!) And for the most part, most of the low volume prints are Carolyn Friedlander, goddess of the low vol prints!

I used AMH Cracking Codes in Petal for the binding and i definitely want to add yardage of it into my stash!

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All of it was pieced by me on my little old Ken, using whatever colour of Aurifil i had loaded in at the time.

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Mostly Dove Grey though, that colour is the best neutral thread ever!

But winner of the best thread ever in the history of the world...

aurifil #2975 brass

Aurifil #2975 - Brass. I love this colour so very much! Gypsy was quilted entirely in this shade in 12wt. Though i do also have it in 40wt as well and used that for hand sewing the binding down. I want to quilt all the things in brass!

So yeah, i guess that's it. I'm unsure of the overall size, though i'm guessing it's pretty close to what the pattern states it is, 59x68. I will do a final measurement after washing and drying. (which i'm terrified of doing, so any tips on washing and drying hand quilted dealies would be greatly appreciated!)

I have my fingers crossed that i make the cut for Sewvivor but i guess we'll have to wait and see! Though even if i don't make the cut, you can bet that i'll be there following along with those that do! Lots of awesome entries!

High fives for finally kinda, almost, finishing my Gypsy Wife!
And double high fives (or would that be high tens?) for bravely getting out of my hobbit hole and actually daring to do something so very out of the norm for me!!

And here's one more shot for the road ;)

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Monday, June 30, 2014

Flying Geese by Four Tutorial

Just thought i'd pop in today and share this little tutorial i whipped up. I've been working on what has been temporarily dubbed my brilliant nut bag quilt and the first requirement was 156 geese. So while making the geese i figured i'd take some pics along the way and share how i like to make geese. Four at a time! Enjoy!

And this is the fruit of my labour, 156 of the most glorious geese i've ever made! I think i'm in love folks.

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High fives for a fabulous start to my brilliant nut bag quilt, which i'm hoping to rename soon!
xo nicole

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WIP Wednesday - The Insperation Overload Edition

So i'm here today friends seeking some advice, or an opinion or even a bit of direction. You see, i have this glorious stack of Anna Maria Horner fabrics.

That i'm desperate to use, but i think i may have over stimulated myself while looking for ideas.
I'm planning on making a queen size quilt for our bedroom but i can't seem to decide on what pattern. Here's a partial shot of our bedroom.

First of all, sorry for the grainy pic. Second this is a work in progress so no judging. My headboard is going to be stained darker to match a little better and the dresser needs a good sanding and to be re-oiled. That back wall is going to be a gallery wall so please ignore that fact that i have a giant canvas with AMH fabric stapled to it. I needed a quick blast of colour while i decide what is going to go up.

Also, that little caddy at the side of the bed needs to be painted so it doesn't stand out so much. (and yes it is a shower caddy!) But while we're here, check out my awesome bedside rug! It's a terrible picture i know. And i really must do a post on all the wonderful things i received for my birthday, it was in April! My awesome friend Gina made it for me after i mentioned that i was thinking about how perfect the NYB block would be for mat in front of my sink. So she thought she'd save me from another wip and make it for me herself! But when it showed up and i saw how gorgeous it was, there was no way i was going to put it in front of my sink... it could get dirty there! I was thinking on how i could hang it up when Gina emailed me and said that it was made as a mat and i must step on it!! So i put it on my side of the bed where i can enjoy it but at the same time keep it clean! And can we all ignore the fact that i just threw my unfinished gypsy wife quilt on the bed for the photo's. Thanks!

Now what was i talking about... oh yeah, my quilt.
My original plan was to keep it fast and simple. Something like a simple patchwork. But i just can't seem to do simple, at least not for me. So i've come to the conclusion that this isn't going to be a fast quilt. I have my AMH voile + and x quilt that i'm making as our summer quilt so this one is going to be for the colder months. And i'm hoping to back it in the same AMH velveteen that i'm using for "curtains."

Yes the fabric is still just tacked ghetto style up in the window. It would seem that i'm not so great at making decisions. Someday i'll make curtains.

So a velveteen backed queen size AMH quilt, sounds delicious! I've made up an inspiration board if you will of some ideas that i'm loving right now. The sane part of my brain is saying to go with one of the ideas and roll with it. The crazy part of my brain (which is generally the more dominant side!) is trying to fit all the ideas into one quilt. Help Me!

Okay, lots going on here. Let's start in the top left corner. And of course i can't for the life of me remember where the image came from, i'm certain i have it pinned i just can't seem to find it. When i do i'll link the original here. So for quite some time now i've been thinking i'd like to do a patchwork quilt with a scattering of different sizes of star dresdens all over it. But not regular patchwork, i'm thinking more improv style like the image on the bottom left which can be found here. I think there's a great idea here but i'm not sure if it's ideally what i want for this project, and also i'd like to be using this quilt in the fall, this fall. I think all the dresdens may take longer than i would like!

Next the top right and middle images. I've been watching so many people right now fussy cutting and kaleidoscope piecing projects that it's giving me that little itch to give it a try. So how about nice big hexies like the ones on the right and then throwing in some kaleidoscope pieced ones like the center image? I love this idea and it clearly works with AMH's fabrics.

Then there's the geese. How i love this quilt, and there's been a nagging in the back of my quilt brain that wants me to make some geese and get them out of my system. But a whole quilt of geese wouldn't display the AMH fabrics to their best, i'm sure it would be gorgeous but i want to be able to see a lot of the fabric images.

My gypsy wife also is making an appearance because it is the perfect quilt for me. It more clearly says Nicole than anything i've ever made!

So my thoughts are to use the Maya Hayuk painting in the bottom right corner as my starting point.

So here goes, that diagonal stripe of pink would be three strips of geese, the pale bluey grey block on the left side would be filled with big hexies and a few fussy cut kaleidoscope hexies. The striping on the top right corner would all be improv pieced but colour blocked in stripes. And in the bottom right... a giant scrappy star dresden! But not the whole star, i'm thinking just a quarter star, out from the corner.

Too much? Should someone get the white jacket with the super long sleeves? Am i really destined for the nut hatch? Or is this so crazy that it might just work? What do i do?!!!

So today is all about planning and plotting and taking over the world, i mean... crap, i've said too much ;)

High fives for world AMH domination, or at least in my bedroom.
Um yeah, that doesn't sound so great. You guys know what i mean!!

xo nicole

You need to pop on over to Lee's and check out her Cotton and Steel Aviatrix Medallion. Gorgeous!