Wednesday, October 30, 2013

WIP: Moon, Blue, Quilting

This week I've been working on make quilt backs, a moon for my Starry Night quilt, basting two quilts and I finally got to start quilting on of them last night.  And we have a contractor tearing out part of the wall between the kitchen and livingroom, so life is pretty messy and our routines are thrown off (read: not much quilting time).  Anyway, here's a bunch of photos documenting some of it:

Scrappy moon piecing, to kind of match all the scrappy stars.

I made a template from paper, starched the fabric like crazy, and then cut it out.

Before basting the quilt I did a quick outline of the moon onto the quilt top to secure it there.  

Terrible photo of the basting and moon placement.

I decided to make a separate TARDIS quilt (that is a cheater panel from Spoonflower, BTW)--I used scraps from the back of the Starry Night quilt for the back of this one, and used of spray basting I had (all my 300+ pins are in the Starry Night quilt, which prompted me finally buying a second box of 300 today...funny how often I have two quilts basted at the same time).

My basting "helpers".

Started with my walking foot, some Aurifil thread, and all the straight lines.  Rather disappointed with how the basting went...but hopefully it is sufficient.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival: Lone Star Quilt


This is my entry for the Blogger's Quilt Festival!

This was one of those quilts that was supposed to be quick, simple, easy...and then turned into a beast of a quilt that wasn't quick, simple, or easy.  I struggled through making it, deciding on colors, size, quilting.  Mostly on the quilting!  But in the end it was worth it, and I'm so glad I spent all that extra time and energy on it!

The stars were made following Better Off Thread's tutorial.  I used two layers of batting to add extra texture.

Feather Plume quilting inspired by Angela Walters.

Detail of the mariner's compasses (I drew that out first following Green Fairy Quilts tutorial)--the sun is shining from behind it.

I made it to be a double sided quilt, but generally I consider this the back:

The petal/feather quilting was inspired by this quilt.

Quilt stats
Size: 36" x 36"
Quilted by me, Renee Hoffman
Category: Wall hanging
Fabrics: Kona Charcoal, unknown pink, Amy Butler's Alchemy for the stars.
Thead: Mix of Gutterman, Superior So Fine, and Coats & Clarks.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Mini Lone Star

I made this mini Lone Star quilt with scraps from my full Lone Star quilt (which y'all will be seeing again tomorrow--you're not sick of it yet, right?).  But this time I used a fat quarter of pink quilting fabric instead of the random crappy pink fabric.  Better results this time for sure!

This quilt is a belated birthday gift for my friend Alexis (shhhh I haven't given it to her yet!)--she was my first Mommy friend after my son was born in 2010.  She's been a great shoulder to cry on, ear to rant to, and confidant through all of Mommy-hood's trials and errors.  She's also loaned me her home for the birth of my daughter, arranged vacations, babysat for me more times that I can remember, and helped us move.

So when she said I could give her my Lone Star quilt as her birthday and Christmas present for the next like, ten years, it got me thinking of making her something similar...since I'm not quite ready to part with the full size one.  And I had some scraps from the full sized one that I couldn't part with either...cue the seam ripper.

Carnage, I mean leftovers, from the full sized star quilt.
I chose one of each fabric that was in the best condition, then steamed/starched it the best that I could.  Unfortunately the diamonds were still a bit wonky, which meant the whole star/quilt ended up a bit wonky.

Those ragged points are destined to never match up!

Kona Charcoal border.

Pink!  A do-over, of sorts.

 Have I mentioned I'm on instagram yet?  No?  Oh, okay well I'm @quiltsnfeathers over there (there's a link with my other links at the top of the page).  So far I really enjoy it!  Fun way to quickly (assuming my stoopid windows phone app works correctly) share/save little bit of my life.

I used some lofty poly batting I found at the thrift store years ago.  Perfect for wall hangings.

Quilting to help hide the defects, and a few things I didn't get to do on the other quilt.

For the back I used this pretty fabric from a scrap pack I got maybe a year ago.

And then today I got it in my head to just finish it today--I gotta get back to the Starry Night quilt tomorrow, and just wanted this one to be done!

Maybe I should have added alternate hanging corners so it can be hung the other way?  Oh well, that's what thumb tacks are for.

I totally meant to use a different thread color for the quilting on the star (and maybe everything), but forgot to change it...and then it was too late and I liked the effect well enough.   I used Presencio thread in black--usually I would have used my black Superior So Fine, but I'm trying to finish up the spool of Presencio that I got at a LQS a couple of years ago.  I used the same thread top and bottom to avoid tension issues, and because I couldn't think of anything better for the back.

I'm really glad I made this quilt this week, I think it helped to rejuvenate my mojo.

Quilt labels.
Hopefully it is an acceptable consolation gift!  I'm pretty sure she'll like it :-)

Bound with Kona Charcoal

I'm linking up with Quilter in the Closet and TGIFF!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013


Finally I finished the Starry Night quilt top!!  It measures about 84" x 89"

So now I get to focus on the appliqued moon, mini-TARDIS and the "back"--which used to be the front until I went crazy complicated with the back. I bought this TARDIS cheater quilt from Spoonflower back in April, but it is no longer available (you can read more about it here).

I still really want to make the TARDIS panel it's own quilt, with lots of cool quilting...but I just can't bring myself to not put it on the back of the starry night quilt.  I think the quilting I have planned for the starry night side will still look really cool on the TARDIS side.  I should have the rest of the backing fabric by the end of the week and maybe get to baste over the weekend!  

I've also been slooowly working on a secret project, here's a hint:

Leftovers from my Lone Star quilt, taken apart, starched...ready to put back together.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Orange Super Tote

Little quail families!  So cute!

I hope you guys aren't tired of seeing Super Totes yet (go check out the purple one here)!  This one was made for my friend Jennifer, who is expecting her second in March!  I hope these bags work out as well as I think they will for moms with two in diapers--they are certainly big enough!  

So let me just start with saying I am not an orange or yellow person.  I do make an occasional exception for burnt orange and dark/rich yellows.  But Jennifer asked for an orange one, with essex yarn dyed in black.  Okay, not exactly, but she sent me this Super Tote as inspiration, and there you have it.  Luckily I had a bunch of oranges and yellows in my stash from various Scrap Packs (although almost all of the fabrics I used were from FabricWorm scrap packs--especially the larger pieces and organics).  I bought the essex yard dyed linen on etsy.

The back.

I did intend to do the recessed zipper on this one, but I was really short on the quail fabric, so it just didn't happen.  But again, I added a couple of color-coded zipper pockets inside to help make up for it:

Yellow side.

My little super tote has color-coded zip pockets too, and I love it--especially when I have to tell my husband where to find something!  He loves it too, actually--you know how men are when they have to find something in your bag!

Orange side.

Another small pocket in the exterior pocket (yo dawg, I heard you like pockets...):

I love all these fabrics together, so cute!

Again with this bag I reinforced the handles to the lining, but didn't reinforce the gusset pleats because they didn't match up (despite my best attempts).  I did do the top stitching on the gusset (you can see it in the first two photos), and really like how it looks.

I was excited to put this in both bags, first projects to get them!  


Purchased from TagsToGo on etsy.  Everything's gonna get one of these babies from now on!

I really love the way this bag turned out, even if the colors aren't exactly my style.  And thank goodness I took one photo of the side of the bag--those gusset pleats are such a nice detail!

Here are all three of the Super Totes I've made!  You can see how much shorter mine (in the front) is.

I love the Super Tote pattern, it is fairly simple, easy to follow, and adaptable.  It is really fun using different fabrics and weights, and trying out different methods that other people have done.  You can read more about the process I went through here and here.

I'm linking up with M-R at Quilt MattersTGIFF and Purse Palooza!
Sew Sweetness


Purple Super Tote

Gorgeous, isn't it?  I love the colors and fabrics!

When I wrote my last w.i.p. post about this bag, I was actually already done with it, and I mailed it out that afternoon.  But I wanted the recipient to see it first!  She's a childhood friend of mine that is due with her second baby this month, and signed up for one of the pay-it-forwards I put up in January.  Worth the wait, I think.

I made the full sized pattern (unlike my first super tote):

The full sized bag (left) is quite a bit bigger, and taller--my bag (right, please excuse how worn it looks, it just came out of the washing machine) is maybe 80% of the original, and intentionally shorter.

I fully intended to put in the recessed zipper closure, but messed up on the cutting immediately and decided to just go the snap closure route.  To make up for that, I added two, color-coded, interior zipper pockets to help keep small hands away from important things.

A purple pocket.

A pale aqua-ish pocket.

The zippers are from Zipit on Etsy.  All of the interior fabrics came from my stash, hurray for stash busting!  I put interfacing on (except the zipper pockets)!   It was a bit tedious to cut out and iron on, but worth it--the shape and feel is really nice, and it stands up on it's own!

I also added a small pocket inside the exterior pocket, great for keys, change, chapsticks, small diaper creams, etc.

Reinforced handles--don't worry, all those little stray threads were snipped before being shipped off!

I didn't do the optional gusset top stitching or reinforcing the gusset pleats--the second because the pleats didn't match up at all...hmm...oh well, no harm there.  The exterior fabrics are Robert Kaufman yarn dyed essex in black and some lovely batik from my local quilt shop.  The handles have a double layer of fusible fleece (one layer on each side)

I'm linking up with M-R at Quilt MattersTGIFF and Purse Palooza!
Sew Sweetness