2012 Year in Review

2012 mosaic
1. FinalWhole, 2. FQ-Close, 3. Front_garden, 4. Full_front, 5. BlueBlack-staggered, 6. Henrietta1, 7. Notebooks, 8. Sarah’s potholders (front), 9. Black bag 1

In 2012 I started quilting seriously, started blogging, met a whole bunch of really lovely people and learned tons from advice and tutorials and quilt-alongs, and finished a lot of small projects and several quilts, including one that isn’t featured in this mosaic.

In 2013, I’ll be joining the Inspire circle of do. Good Stitches (which I’m really looking forward to) and trying my best to keep up with the Pile O’Fabric Skill Builder Block of the Month in hopes of learning how to sew curves at the very least. And ideally, I’ll be a little bit better at keeping up with this blog during the spring semester than I was this fall.

EZ-Dresden Mini Quilt

This quilt is my entry in the EZ Dresden Challenge:

I considered trying to do a queen-sized traditional Dresden quilt and then decided that, really, I’d like to come out of August with my sanity intact. So I took the little mini-Dresden medallion I’d made up for practice, added a larger one and some fans, and ended up with this:

I’m pleased that this fabric set worked so nicely together: it was a lot of fun to play with it, and I was really pleased when I could cut out a little teacup and have it be just the right size for the center of the medallion.

I’m proud of the way some of the spokes line up:

Though there are spots where they don’t line up quite as well as I might have hoped:

The fans in the corners aren’t perfect, but I think they came out pretty well:

I’m proud of the way the quilting looks on the back of it, though I’m sorry I didn’t go get more fabric: the seam is more distracting than I expected:

Still, it’s going to hang on a wall (see the little corners?) so I suppose the back won’t get all that much attention:

And one more shot of the whole thing:

Now I have a question for all of you who have made Dresden quilts before: do you find rounded or pointed spokes easier to make? I found the pointed ones much easier than the fans, and I’m wondering if there’s a way to round the edges that I didn’t think of.

Smalls and a potential project

I made two other little pouches last week, and while I’d love to say that I intentionally made one of each type, the truth is that I went on autopilot for one of them and ended up with another little flat pouch instead of the boxy pouch I was going for. Both are appallingly pink, but they match the zippers I had on hand, which was the goal.



I also cut scraps for another set of coasters following this tutorial from In Color Order. They’re all a little bit different, because I cut them from my scrap bags, but I think they’ll turn out all right. They sort of match the potholders I forgot to photograph, and they’re going to the same home.

Finally, I think I’ve picked out my next large quilting project (which I’m not allowing myself to start cutting until I’ve quilted the Mixtape Quilt) — I’m fond of the Urban Cabin pattern, and I realized that I have two sets of fabric that might work nicely with that pattern:


I’d alternate blue Ls with brown striped blocks with brown Ls with blue striped blocks, with a white background. What do you all think? Is it too subdued and/or boring, or do you think it might work?

Why all the small projects? Oh! That’s why.

I’ve figured out why I’m making lots of little projects right now! It’s because the next thing I have to do on the Mixtape quilt is actually quilt it, and I’m a bit nervous about that. It doesn’t help that I filled five bobbins with what I thought was the white thread I’ll be quilting with before realizing that it was off-white. Ooops.

In the meantime, on Monday I made two little pouches, following instructions cadged together from a couple of tutorials, one of which is the Box Pouch Tutorial by The Plaid Scottie. It has fantastic instructions and pictures, and is very, very clear. I didn’t have any interfacing, so I quilted together two layers of fabric and some batting, as I saw in another tutorial whose link I have unfortunately now completely lost track of.

The first one I made is not quite what I was going for. Unfortunately, I didn’t look at the tutorial to see which way to fold the corners, so instead of being a little box, this is a little flat pouch. Oooops. It’s still kind of cute, though.
Flat pouch

The lining is a fat quarter from my local fabric shop’s bin, and the outside is Cosmo Cricket’s Circa 1934 Garbo, in cream. I love the way this fabric looks, all typewriter keys and subdued colors and red.
Pouch fabrics

That one was so much fun that I made another one:
Quilting a grid

The outside is Parson Grey’s Curious Nature, Universe, which I picked up at Purl Soho a month or so ago when I went in looking for a quilting ruler. (Isn’t that always how it happens? Fat quarters seem to just jump out at me and beg to come home, no matter what I intended on buying in the first place.)

I really like the way the pattern of it looks, and I’m a lot happier with this little pouch than I was with the little flat one.
Finished boxy pouch

I made ten little sachets for my sister for her birthday, and managed to only take one picture of them. These are six little teabag-shaped sachets that I made by following Mademoiselle Chaos’s tutorial. Thankfully, she thought they were cute. :)
Teabag lavender sachets

Finally, there’s a new button on the sidebar! I’ve joined the Let’s Get Acquainted Blog Hop! It’s a great idea, organized by Plum and June where lots of new quilting bloggers introduce themselves to each other / anyone who chooses to tune in, according to a master schedule.

Plum and June

So go take a look! It’s going on from now until November — there are tons of us, apparently!

Something of a streak

I’ve been on something of a streak recently, making potholders from Jeni B’s tutorial.

I made two blue and two green for friends I visited in Michigan in late May, and boxed them off and shipped them before I realized I hadn’t photographed them. So you’ll have to trust me when I say they came out well. Hopefully they’ll get lots of use.

Then I made a pair for the friend I went to the MA Sheep & Wool fair with, because she liked the blue and green ones, whose loops I was sewing up when I visited her.

I used three different sizes of dots: largest on the back, smallest on the binding. I didn’t have any brown thread, so I quilted them in white. I’m not sure how I like it, but hopefully the recipient won’t be quite as much of a perfectionist as I am.

I made a second pair for someone I don’t think that I’ve ever met. I got a package in the mail about two weeks ago, with no idea what on earth it was. I sometimes half-forget about having ordered fabric, so that getting the package is a pleasant surprise, but I always recognize the package when it arrives. This package, though, was a complete mystery.

I opened it and found a book on watermarks in Rembrandt’s prints, and a note from one of my mother’s former co-workers! Apparently she ran into my mother in the city and thought I might like the book. She’s right — I love it. It has wonderful photographs of the watermarks in the paper Rembrandt used, and all kinds of information about printmaking and paper in his time period. I’m a complete old book geek, so this is excellent.

So I made a pair of black and white potholders for her, as a thank you. I’m going to mail them to her along with a copy of The Left Hand of Darkness, because apparently she’s been getting into early sci-fi recently.

I particularly like the back, because the print is very clear: