Sunday 13 May 2018

The Blue Room

 It's funny how we give things nicknames. Each room at the Inn has gotten a call name... the Purple Room, the Taco Room, the Blue Room... even though they're all painted white.  The last bit of stuff I made for Sister PurpleBoots was for the Blue Room.

I've have been hanging onto this octopus fabric from Cotton & Steel for quite a while, I picked up a couple of meters of it on a trip to the Lunenburg Makery more because I loved it than because I had any plan for it. Come to think of it that's how most of my stash has been accumulated... see-it-love-it-buy-it. Sister PurpleBoots loved it too and asked if it could be used for her Inn projects.  She has this super cool leather daybed that's a similar blue to put in the third bedroom and it seemed to me that the fabric would be an ideal candidate for some kitch so I reluctantly agreed to cut into it.  I'm sure that I'm not the only hoarder of cotton that feels a bit of a pang when the blade hits a long-loved hunk of cloth. It seems ridiculous, after all that's why we buy the stuff, but there's something kinda sad about letting go... it's like saying so long to an old friend.

Anyway, the fabric pull for this room was based around those cute sea critters. I really wanted to showcase the fabric so I decided to keep the patchwork pretty simple for this one.  I cut charm squares that blended nicely with a Free Spirit print that couldn't decide if it was a stripe or a border print. Had the yardage been printed with the design running the length of the bolt it would have been a fabulous border print but instead the designer ran it across the width of the yardage and so, stripe it is.

I pieced the back too of course...all these bed runners are essentially reversible. I like to peek at the back of things on the frame as The Robot works his magic just to make sure things are going along properly... and it occurred to me that that's a view you guys seldom see so I snapped a photo to share with you. (I know... exciting, eh? Try not to wet your pants!) The Robot did a beautiful job stitching out a design called Marmalade on this runner. Simple patchwork calls for beautiful quilting!

As for pillows, more octopus fabric!  All these little 3" triangles are more of a nuisance to cut than they are to sew so this pillow definitely took some time.  Voodoo Duck was happy at last to be part of the fun... with so much improv on the go here lately there hasn't been much demand for his services.  I ran the quilting lines on the same angles as the triangle patchwork which made for some groovy diamond shapes in the top part.

I'm glad to have some scraps left from this project...not sure what they'll work into or when they'll surface in my work again, but I do know that seeing a few bits in my scrap bin makes me feel better about setting those octopuses loose!

Sunday 6 May 2018

For The Love of Tacos

It's no secret. I love tacos. I do... but not nearly as much as Sister PurpleBoots does. She lovesLovesLOVES  tacos.  So when I saw this fabric at Patch down on Robie Street I knew she'd lose her ever loving mind over it and that it would make for some bitchin' stichin' for kitch'inn. Without any plan in place I got a big hunk of it and pulled some bits from my stash that would jive with it.

Like a lot of folks I spend  a lot of  a bit of time each day scrolling thru my Instagram feed where shots of the "2 by 4 quilt" by Film in The Fridge had been popping up occasionally. Well, with every picture the design grew on me and needless to say I just had give it a whirl. A bed runner for kitch'inn seemed like a perfect test run for the pattern. You all know by now that I'm not over the moon about repetitive sewing so I wasn't sure about this block. It's simple, so-so-simple, and I worried it would be monotonous to sew too many of them. I'll admit it's not at all a challenging block and they weren't really all that interesting to build, but they shine because they're simply clean, balanced blocks that have the capacity to show off some fabric and in the end that's what makes these quilts great! It's a place to use random bits and put into action all those super fun fat quarters that get passed over because they're just too much.  I'll absolutely visit this pattern again... just as soon as time permits ( 2024 potentially?) I am totally gonna make a giant 2 by 4 quilt. Look out fat quarter stash.... you're going down!

Anyway...the blocks sewed up quickly and there is very little waste from a FQ...and each pair of FQ's will get you 6 blocks.  Yes. You read that right. 6 blocks.
In minutes.  I. Kid. You. Not.

And then there were pillows. Super fun taco pillows!

First, I had something to say. Free pieced letters are my favourite!  I love making the quilts speak! This fella is a big pillow,  it'll finish at 25" when I get off my butt and finish it up. I finished up 5 pillows yesterday; a sewing marathon made possible by the bloody plague that kept me locked up in the house all weekend. (Ugh... I really hate being sick!)

I haven't made bargello loveliness for a long long time. Decades maybe...? But I had some strips left from the blocks and somehow I had a random thought....hey, they'd make a cool bargello. So I did that.  I made a scrappy panel and put that taco print down each side. Straight line quilting and bam! Pillow done! 

Then, with the chunk I had cut off the bottom of it I had another thought.  It was one of my brain-on-fire moments; those must-get-that-idea-out-now moments are the best. I don't know why I saw a fish in that scrap of bargello....maybe it resembled scales...but I knew it needed to be a fish. A fish taco to be exact, which happens to be my favourite sort of taco. I played with free pieced fishes a while ago but they weren't this big or this complex. And, they didn't have curves.

Curves aren't scary, especially if they're gentle curves that are essentially their own bosses.  These curves didn't have to answer to anybody and they didn't really have to play nicely and be all matchy matchy with other curves. These curves just swam in and did their own thing. That's how free piecing works. You get to decide where to cut and how to put things together. If you can imagine it, you can build it. I haven't finished it yet...I'm still chewing on the possibility of adding words to the block. I also haven't decided if I'm going to give it a room at the Inn. It may need to live here... at least for a while anyway. 

So, Sister PurpleBoots loves tacos. 
I loveLoveLOVE free piecing.