Thursday, June 23, 2011

mug rug Provence style

In the end, we all seem to succumb to this virus, the 'mug rug fever'. I'm no exception. 

I've been eyeing one particular section of my stash for quite some time, and today I wanted a project easy and fast enough to test my sewing machine quilting skills. I also wanted to try a new batting (some light felted fabric) and see how it comes out once it's quilted.

I had a little fat quarters bundle (6 pieces) with Provence colors and patterns which I've always wanted to use: I decided for a somewhat modern design, very easy and speedy for my first mug rug project.

freshly pieced stripes for the project
The top sewed up in no time, it really was very easy. Then I cut the batting and a solid cream back (I didn't want to complicate things) and started quilting with a very simple straight lines pattern alternated with curly ones. You can see what I'm talking about in the next photos:

on the front

on the back

Next I sewed and attached the binding (sorry, I still handstitch on the back, I'm not brave enough to try out the machine binding tutorials you all keep talking about).

I'm satisfied with the final product and I've achieved my goals for this project:
  1. I did make a mug rug that's pleasing to watch;
  2. I've finally used my long-eyed bundle of Provence fabric;
  3. my sewing machine is quilt-ok;
  4. the (felted) batting works for this kind of projects, but it probably will be too stiffy for a quilt.

Yes, it's been a productive day! Got to have some tea...

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

sudoku training quilt

While I wait for the Chrysalis bundles to arrive, I decided to train my skills in a sudoku training quilt. It's incredible how I'm perfectly able to piece crazy or traditional blocks, but when it comes to simple square blocks I am clumsy beyond belief.

So, back to the point. I had these two cuties:

With some pieces from the layer cake and coordinated pieces from the charm pack I put together nine 5" squares in nine different patterns:

and then proceeded to piece them following the sudoku game I previously prepared.

It came out pretty well (pinning when piecing does help), but when I was pressing open the seams I realized I made some little and definitely unwanted block swapping... Since it's a training quilt, and it's quite balanced nonetheless, I didn't take it apart.

Tonight I'll cut the batting and the pieces for the back, and I hope I'll have something for you to see very soon!

Monday, June 20, 2011

planning of Chrysalis Sudoku Quilt

Today I sat and planned my Chrysalis Sudoku Quilt.

Since we took the process pledge, I'll drabble a little about that planning (failure).

traces of planning
I was naif enough to think that a single charm pack would do. That firm belief lasted a few seconds, then the math section of my brain kicked in and started calculating slicing and sashing. Very soon it was clear that, needing 81 blocks with only 9 types of pattern on the fabric, I should have sliced each 5"square in four pieces... losing the beauty of the Chrysalis patterns and having definitely too much sashing.

I resolved then on ordering two more Chrysalis charm packs (and finding them was more difficult than I thought... but thanks Frontier Fabrics) and rearranging the squares I had chosen to use.

I already completed a (medium level) sudoku game, which will be the pattern for my piecing, and I have clear in my mind the whole project. But I must wait for the charm packs to arrive before I can start. Huff! That will be the hardest part.
the sudoku game for the quilt
(feel free to play, it's easy)
By the way, I've learnt an important lesson on sudoku quilts: charm packs are not the best choice. You would probably do better with layer cakes or (better yet) with yardage.

Oh well... next time!

Christening day

Yesterday Smurfette#2 had her christening. It really was a fantastic day, and she was very good and nice and bouncing from sibling to sibling to get her share of hugs and kisses. She was quite the princess...

I don't have photos of the christening yet (I was a little occupied to take photos...) but I hope to have something to show you soon. Hubby took some photos with my phone when we sliced the cake (which, by the way, was fabulous).

fantastic cake

that's me (awkwardly) slicing the cake, with Smurfette#2 "yelling" at the chef (!)

You can't see Smurfette#1 nor any other kid (and parents accordingly) because they all were outside playing like crazy in the sun. Figures.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

something on my mind

I've been toying with an idea for a quilt, but I wasn't ready to actually implement, because it's not so conventional... but yesterday I was reading this post @ 2hippos and... hey! that girl had my very same idea, but she was brave enough to give it a try. Well done!

So I'm soon making the Chrysalis Sudoku Quilt, with this little bundle of great fabric:

Yes, a sudoku quilt. A sudoku quilt is a quilt using a sudoku 9x9 square pattern: you number the fabric (1 to 9) and 'play' sudoku, trying not to repeat the same number/fabric on the same row, column and 3x3 sub-block.

I'm currently planning a fitting sudoku scheme. Whatever size comes out, I'll "use" this project to tune my idea into something real. It really doesn't matter if the final product is not ok, I need to try this idea and see what comes out of it.

I can't wait to begin!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

in the mail

Just arrived in the mail:

I have some serious studying ahead. I'll review as soon as I have the chance to read this wonderful knowledge base... :)

Monday, June 13, 2011


I've spent the late morning finishing up my confetti bags. There you are (I know, you already saw them, but now there are all 16 of them).

confetti bags

Smurfette#2's christening is very VERY near (next sunday) and I'm focusing on sewing and making confetti bags for siblings and friends.

They're not complicated and it's quite relaxing making them. This little basket makes me very proud, it's very cute!

cross stitch bib

In a month or so a friend of mine is having a little baby girl. It's a tradition: newborn = bib with name. So here it is.

little Martina's bib

Thursday, June 9, 2011

progress on quilt top

I'm slowly making progress on this quilt, and I'm almost finished with the top.

Smurfette#2 has been sleeping (!) through the early afternoon, so I got to sew:

quilt top in continuous string :)
the long string trimmed and ready to be sewed
This is the center part: 

I've found the name for this quilt: I'm going to call it "Paths in my garden".

Now I'm planning the rest of the top... hope I'll be able to sew it soon!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

gloomy weather

We're having a week of gloomy weather, which in turn is having quite some influence on my mood. And it's something I really don't like. Hope it'll pass soon.

This is what I see from my window: although I can't obviously complain for the view, everything is flawed by those enormous clouds and the thin rain. And did I mention that June should be warmer than that?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

teacher's gift - complete

Now we're ready to give Smurfette#1's teacher her gift.
Besides the tote itself, we included the following:
tote and its content

  • two little books of crafting with kids (a teacher should never get short of those);
  • summer bracelets in different colors (this teacher really likes this style);
  • a paper flower (made by Smurfette#1), 'cause (and I quote) "teachers should always have flowers";
  • a string bracelet (again by Smurfette#1): you may have noticed the small beads in green, white and red... Smurfette#1 really likes this Italy's (150th) birthday thing and never fails to celebrate... (she scolded us because we didn't have a flag to show off on the balcony - like half of Italy, I might add: she painted the flag on paper and she attached it with tape on the door...)

I'm also going to include a special note for the teacher as a "thank you so much" for everything she's done for my daughter in these three years. Hope she'll like her gift!