Tuesday, November 9, 2010

WIP - Happy thoughts, more happy thoughts?

Some more concrete ideas for Happy Thoughts

Hope                     きぼう   希望  Japanese
Faith                                   إيمان   Arabic
Love                     l'amour            French
Blessing                                   Chinese
Peace                                शांति  Hindi

Do I need more happy thoughts?  charity, longevity, patience, intelligence...etc?

maybe symbols?

The back is coming together, half of the squares are triangled this morning

Sunday, November 7, 2010

WIP - Happy thoughts and HST

update:  So I pulled out the fabric to cut the log cabins, and somehow it became over 400 4.5" squares for half-square triangles.  As I was cutting, I accidentally(at first) lay them out by value.  Then it was a tiny leap to a stack of darks and a stack of lights. 

The lights marked in half and stacked:

The darks shuffled in the Halloween candy bowl.

The first five cut and ironed, because I had never made a half square triangle before:

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Design book - Inspiration

At filminthefridge's interview on Elizabeth(Oh Fransson)'s blog book tour, she asked about inspiration.

I'm pretty right brained, logical and scientific.  In school, my teachers told me that girls aren't supposed to like sciences; I must be a bit rebellious because it drove me to work harder.  By the time I was starting college and choosing a major, I panicked! I was afraid that I may give up everything creative that I loved for perfect grades.  So I started sketching Every little thing I might ever want to make or learn, telling myself that after college I would have time for them.  Ta~DA!

Now, I sketch out any little idea that pops into my head: from what I did that day to what I just woke up from dreaming. BUT if it’s Really going to challenge me, I get inspired and start to work it up into a full plan. AND if I love it, I can’t not make it!

On my desk today:  tentatively named 'doodle earth' (love in different languages) and some henna designs

-whispers- sometimes, even if I don't like it, but it will be really challenging: I rebel against even myself and make it anyway (shh)

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

WIP - Happy thoughts and log cabin

I have these dull colored prints, and I can't imagine anything with any POP! to do with them

Plus I want to try piecing hearts and kanji and what not.

So far, I've sorted the prints by overall cool or warm colors and I've started hacking up bright solids for centers.

I started sewing:  This is chinese fu ~ means blessings. The plan from here is six over-sized log cabin squares making a twin sized quilt.  Maybe the back will be just regular logcabin squares?

Friday, October 22, 2010

working finally!

forewent (spell check says it's a word) gym tonight to SEW, yay.

Remember my love swatch?  I'm having trouble with curved piecing.  considering changing the heart to a triangle and the O to a blue nine patch with a yellow center! grr!

I'm glad I got that out:  I'm going to try the reverse tomorrow: cutting the blue curved corners and sewing them onto the yellow.


Wednesday, October 13, 2010


I have all these great sketches and all this fabric cut...

And exams tonight and job interview tomorrow.

I wanna sew :(

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Design book - WIPs and loneliness

So I revived my Babette.... and have nearly finished assembling it.  I've laid out the last section and the light at the end of the tunnel is looming.

I don't like finishing WIPs

I need something new to replace it... but what?  My great aunt destashed all these great little fabrics to me and I've sorted complete quilts-worth of fabric out of it.  I washed and ironed the quilts to be and left them with project notes.  GREAT.  The other stuff though: stuff I would never buy.  Photoshop, crochet, and photography have taught me a little about my aesthetic vs color theory.  I like saturated color.  For everything.  even babies.

So I have this fabric: pastels, grayed-out tones, and batiks.  This I see as an opportunity to really grow as a quilter.  I worked on some sketches last night.  But the loneliness of finishing Babette is making me too sad to start!

On a side note: my lantanas are doing beautifully:

Thursday, September 30, 2010

92 days

On an unrelated note:  I've always been too much of a procrastinator to make new year's resolutions.

I am considering the last 92 days of 2010... I think I'd like to start 2011....

- with a 4.0 (3.7 ?)
- having tried a cathedral window
- having finished my cousin's wedding(01/01/10) gift (a crochet blanket)
-11 lbs lighter.
- without losing patience and cutting off all my hair
- having tried a circle of geece
- having kept in touch better with my friends
- having designed and created a quilt entirely on my own

Are these my old year resolutions?

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Design book - stash

I sorted stash into usable units: projects to be.  Among them, rich prints in antique colors and jewel tones with some sparkle.  a lot of them

I'm trying not to buy more... but I do have that shopping problem

maybe just paqtchworked squares with a solid sashing?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Finished - bright baby scrap quilt

So I've finished a couple of quilt tops, but have been shy to quilt them.  When I finished the scrappy one, I quilted it.  Then I bound it: I like hand sewing the binding, maybe I'll hand quilt the next one!  I don't know what I've been afraid of!

I had planned to use the border fabric to bind with: but after I trimmed the quilt, I just couldn't.  So I pieced some of the solids from my colorbar quilt together at ransom lengths.  It's perfect, bright and cheery. A friend wants to buy it though: how much do you sell a quilt for? 

I had planned to back the colorbar quilt in fleece to make it more casual, but I'm enjoying the feel of cotton and batting:  maybe I'll repurpose the bright yellow fleece and find a back for my colorbar.

Monday, September 20, 2010

WIP - my babette

I was looking at the boxes of my crocheted squares and thinking about my sad, abandoned babette.

When I realised there were too many shoeboxes for as little progress as I remembered I pulled everything out!

I needed 17 squares... so I finished them this weekend!  and I tested 4 different joinings, and got started on the actual assembly!

I'm a just a bit excited, but forcing myself to go to bed: I have class tomorrow, I need to find a job, and I should see my doctor about this ear infection.  But it's only 10 'til 2 am... I could probably do one more?

I chose contrasting colors for each join; I like the little row of stitches that show. :)
The white space is the part I'm sewing right now, 3 more seams and on to part 4!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

the funniest thing

I've been working on a Babette blanket for a little while.  These are my shoe boxes full of squares.  I loved my babette, but I cut my right hand quite badly (01/2009) and my crochet tension suffered.  The blocks are no longer constistant and they make me sad.

I love the pattern so much though, and I was cutting fabric for KarrieLynn (@freckled whimsy)'s charm pack quilt along, I kept looking up at my squares.  I thought, oh, Babette, you'd make a cute quilt.

So I googled it: quilted babette, and I got this: and I was floored.

I sat boggled for a minute, thinking "I knew other people would have the idea, but it's Exactly the same?  weird..."

Turns out, it's a Kaffe design from Glorious patchwork... Which is what the crochet pattern said if I had just read it!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Design book - love stamp

When I was in college there was an arty love stamp that I loved:  They made a 37 cent vertically oriented and differently-colored variation.

This one appealed to me. I love the way the colors contrast, I had never been that bold, design-wise.

I found, at my lqs, Park Slope.  I bought 1/8 yard of a couple prints to tinker with.

I keep a zip binder of sketches and inspirations.  After planning an entire patchwork layout in Park Slope, I found this stamp again.  I tinkered, the sketches completely forgotten.

In a final draft, the curves would be pieced and I want the L to be in one piece as well.  I have an orange fabric with children jumping rope and a yellow poppy-like fabric.  I'll need freezer paper and something for the edge.  I think a crib sized blanket with 4 stamps that look like a sheet with perforations will be scaled large enough to be funny.  Maybe I'll put the kanji for love instead of the USA and price?

Design book - SMPTE baby

Remember my mixtape-y sketches?  When I got to cutting them, they changed in my mind.  By the time I was trimming the finished squares, I had become quite set on the color bars idea.  But my seams are still pressed open fransson-style

I wanted to experiment with fleece as a backing.  I've put it on like a pillow before, turned right side through a gap and stitched all around.  Fleece stretches, so I bought a walking foot, and will quilt and then bind this one... I'm thinking of piecing the solid colors together and making a patch-y, rainbow bias binding.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Design book - I have some stuff

I've been sorting through stash... making sets out of bigger pieces and writing plans for each set.  If I can't some up with anything (for these bigger pieces) I'll take it to Goodwill.

I have some rainbow-y prints and solids and I have some sketches and links.  I've been hovering over mixtape for 2 days now.   I think it's the way that she(Elizabeth - oh fransson) presses seams open.  I'm not just inspired, I want to touch them and have them...sigh. I -heart- really tidy work and I'm a crazyPerson.  I'll tear out and redo anything.

Anyway I'm pretty settled on this mixtape-like doodle.  I hope I'm not too literal and stale.  This Sunday I think.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Fabric problem

Hello, my name is Sabah and I have a fabric problem.

I have homework but I want to finish quilting my very first scrap quilt.

It feels better to say it out loud.  I'll only quilt for half an hour?

Design Book - my denim picnic blanket

I want to make this! I think I like how the paper piecing is set free in scrap land!  an exciting new tool.  (aside: I found a virtual bee, probably about these scrapy-strings, we'll see what happens...)

I've been preoccupied with the simplicity of 4patches and halfSquare triangles.  Design-wise, I tend to set strict guidelines and then attempt to go as wild as possible within them.  For example:

I want a denim blanket.  No batting.  Must use recycled materials: my own jeans, two shirts I love, and a skirt that may never have been in fashion but had an orange so bold I had to have it.  Neutrals are fair game, but only orange, blue, red and yellow. (colors pulled from the sentimental fabrics)

I found some coordinating prints, and a pattern to make.

A test swatch.  I need to wash it.  I think I would prefer to sew down the edges (using red?) with a straight stitch and let it fray.

The required fabrics are the striped button-up on the top, the yellow batik tunic under it, and the red and orange dragon wrap around skirt on the bottom.  They're on my blue and white ironing board.  I was surprised: the orange medallion print isn't from a LQS, it's from Jo-anns!  So is the blue and yellow that matches motif of the pattern.  I'm surprised and pleased. haha!

I Really Really Really wanted a red, white and blue denim blanket, to watch fireworks on, but I like this recycled one as well.

Maybe I'll string quilt in red, white and blue...

Sunday, August 29, 2010


There was nothing on TV and my library book was boring.

SO I thought, it couldn't hurt to just make a new bobbin.  Even though it's Sunday and I've chosen to rest and not be in any way productive... what could 1 little bobbin hurt?

And the sewing machine and iron are on the same power strip, since it's on, I may as well iron, Just Iron, the border fabric for my scrappy quilt.  I confess.  One thing led to another, and I finished the scrappy baby top.  I think this means that this week I start my first attempt at free-motion quilting.

relaxing Sunday

I set no goals today:  no design goals, no WIP goals... instead I took a leisurely day and made some pincushions.

I made a flower on a band for each sewing machine and a big one for my table.  I used my favorite scraps, embroidery thread, buttons, and hot magenta ribbon.

I am now prepared to face a new week!  Goodnight, all <3

Friday, August 27, 2010

Finished - kitty knitting bag

Kind of a strange day, on the drive to class I started designing a knitting project bag for a friend's birthday.  By the time I got to class I had already chosen fabrics.  I got home a whipped it out at my new work table.  

The idea is a large drawstring bag to open in your lap.  I wanted it to open out almost flat, sop you can reach everything at once.  I chose a drawstring top because I had this pretty cream and gold ribbon and because I want the bag to close up just as easily.
At the ironing board: the red is the lining and the cats are the outside.
8 Curved-sided trapezoids: four for the lining and four of the cats.  Almost: 2 of the cat sides were made 1/2 an inch wider, cut in half and sewn back together for a fake "button hole."  A rectangle of each fabric for the bottoms.  Sew each "bag" together, leaving a 3 inch gap in a bottom seam of the lining.  Fit the lining inside of the cat bag, right sides together and sew the top shut.  Flip right side out through the gap and sew an inch down from the top to make a casing for the drawstring.  Thread two ribbons and tie them.

Finished and open in my lap

Cinched shut and tied in a bow.
Close up of the kitties and if you can see the "button hole" for the drawstring?

This ended up being faster than I thought (I had no homework).  I think I'll make a roll-up for her needles and a notions bag.  I have 2 weeks and leftover ribbon

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Finished - lunch bags

While contemplating... I took scraps from the first pair of quilting fabrics I bought a few years ago and made a pair of drawstring bags.  One for my lunchbox and the other for my water bottle and a piece of fruit.  They're the same size though, *shrug
both finished
The pink box is my bento

Design book - a quilt for me

I have a quilt in mind for myself... I'm stealing the 2 half yards I loved and made my market bags out of stash fabric.  I've designed in knit and in crochet, and even sewing... is it the same in quilting?  grrr... the design I like I chose because it's simple and made big enough, could feature the fabrics well.  It's just alternating half-square triangles and 4 patches...

Perhaps I'll begin in my usual manner: with swatches and sketches

edit:  good news! I found the square I've been drawing, it's called a Jewel Box. http://quilting.about.com/od/quiltpatternsprojects/ss/jewel_box_quilt_3.htm and on quilter'scache

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Finished - killing acrylic

I knit a swallow tail shawl in left-over acrylic baby yarn, just to see if I could read lace charts.  I can.  :)

Blocking it.  I have to kill it, but am anxious about it.  I've pinned it out.... and am about to steam it.  Let's see...  eek!

It's perfect... smooth, even and drapes so well.  I'm really pleased!

I lay out a cotton towel on a bed.  I pinned out the shawl on the towel.  I had run a cotton string through the straight edge, and kept pulling that tighter and pinning it to mark out the top edge.  I wet a smaller thinner towel and wrung it out.  Then I lay the wet towel over the spine and stepped a cool iron across it every 5 seconds or so.  I followed that up with hovering with steam over the edge to hold the scallops better.

I have class tomorrow, so will try to get to bed early: but am excited and keep petting my shawl.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

teaching myself* to quilt

my original quilt, before becoming pincushions
I was maybe 11 when my great-aunt taught my younger brother, sister and me to quilt.  They're 2 and 4 years younger than me, and I don't really remember how old any of us were.  At the least, we were all big enough to use a sewing machine.

Whenever we visit, she's got an activity for us planned.  She took us upstairs, where we each picked out 16 blocks.  We pieced them together, backed and quilted them.  We each went home that year with a doll quilt we had made entirely by ourselves.

My aunt and her daughters(different aunt) taught me to crochet Christmas break my second year of college.  A couple years later, when I had the time, I took out my hook and scoured the internet for interesting and challenging patterns.  I made 13 different squares and made a little throw/sample for my sister.  Now I feel comfortable enough with crochet to write my own patterns all the time.

Aside: my design book - I'm working on this pattern: I have a yucky acrylic camouflage yarn that I want to make as pretty as possible, like the crystals hanging from a chandelier or a box of candy...

design book pattern - in a holding pattern
In any case, back to today's topic:  I want something like that for quilting!  I've had my basic lesson, and now, time permitting, I want a sampler that will whip me into shape! 

I've been flipping through books of block I've found at the library and confess I'm not really moved.  My great-aunt(the one who quilts) made me a blanket years ago and I love to touch it more than anything I've got that was crocheted or knit.  I bought these 14 quarters and the only thing I want to do with them is disappearing 9 patch.


I found Amy's creative side and her sampler quilt along!

More thrilled than I can say... just worried that school starts again in less than a week.

What happens next?!  Sadly I have textbooks to get started on before class next week!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Finished - Bookshelf secret

Chosen because most people overlook them:

I've made a couple of these now... and <3 them.

I call them books, because they grew out of my love for books.  I like old books with uncut pages.  I like hard covers where the spine of the cover separates from the bound pages of the book because the pages have become so flexible.  Lately I've been reading novels with sexy, flashy spines: neon orange or where the photo of the softcover curls right around to the back.

Old books withdrawn from the library, after their happy lives, I've collected them.  I'm turning them into boxes.  This is my favorite; it has the most character.

I put it on Etsy.  I figure, I like to shop Etsy and I like to craft...  It doesn't hurt to try.

Some progress on the learning to quilt front: I made a simple infant play mat.  I chose each fabric for developing eyes and minds: patterns, contrast, and colors to teach a tiny person how to see.  I backed it with green fleece and ditch-quilted it to hold it together.  I hope it's more of a toy than a blanket.  Something for a small person to make memories with.  I know a lot of people plan the aesthetic of their nursery, and these colors certainly aren't that.  This is for a small person (the first one was for my niece)  to learn to sit up on, play on, and then walk around and play with until it's mucky and worn.

The actual progress I said I'm making on the quilting front: Scraps.  Weird shaped and not consistant. (I need to plan where I'm cutting from better)  I'm making a little quilt top out of the scraps.  I intend to learn to quilt with a darning foot on it.  I already bought a coordinating fabric for the back and a little polyester batting.  I already don't like the feel of it: next time I'd use a light-weight cotton batting.  Progress so far:  The center panel is made of the tiniest, weirdest scraps.  It's framed by a strip of plain cream, a strip of blocks from the larger scraps, and another of cream.  Today I'm adding 7" of new big spots fabric.  I think I want the border fabric to curl to the back as the binding.  My great aunt made a quilt for me when I was little.  She had the backing wrap around to the front and I love it.  This one: the backing I chose is quite wild, and the border may tame it a little.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Design book - market bag

I have a couple of old totes I use on free days out: to the library, run errands, buy groceries, etc.  I prefer them to the reusable shopping bags, because I can throw 10 library books in there easily.  I've even taken my (trader joe's) reusable grocery bags and folded them up in there.

The point:  I want new ones!  Pretty bags that I didn't paint in the 3rd grade.  For about a month now I've been sewing in the back of my mind.  I want one continuous piece for the lining, for strength.  I want the outside to be diagonal stripes of fabrics.  Pretties.

This leads me to 2 boxes of fat quarters and scraps.  There's some nice stuff in there.  I've pretty much settled on a pair of fabrics: prints of warm neutrals with some gold sparkle.  One fabric is a medium-sized floral leaning towards cream-colored overall when you squint and the other is 3 inch cats looking overall brownish.


I have a creativity problem.  I wake up with Crazy Ideas and write them out and throw them in a (very pretty) zip-up 3 ring binder.  I need love before I dive in and finish it.  I hate starting and leaving it UFOed in the closet because it didn't pass muster.  I've taken to waiting for love first.  This means that I can write out a pattern that suits my NEEDS but can't start it until it's pretty high on my list of wants. :D

I post today to share the love!

The Love: I found a fabric store on the way back from a job interview(still don't know how that went).  35th Ave Sew and Vac.  I didn't want to buy anything.  Promise.  I left my purse in the car.  But I took my wallet and keys with me. haha!  You walk in to room of sewing machines.  To your left: another room, larger, this is the Vac part of your journey.  But straight ahead!  Through the sewing machine room... fabric.  I put my wallet in my pocket.

Blah Blah Blah... I'm sure you can guess what happened next.  I found my fabrics for my future market bags!  They had 6 shelves of Asian prints, I tried to ignore it.  Plum blossoms! I've never felt so weak.  I put them back.  But on the last shelf: someone else was just as weak to fabric as I was but left them.  These chrysanthemums had been moved next to this kanji print and abandoned.  I think they will be very happy with me.  You only need quarter yards for quite a large bag, but I got 2 half yards.  That's Love.  You can't tell in my (excited) blurry picture, but the green has little gold leaves occasionally.