Wednesday, 17 June 2015

Sporadic Handsewing

Every once in a while I manage to get myself organized enough to do some hand sewing. I have been slowly making blocks for Project Seventy-Two and I have even come up with a more solid plan of what I will do them.

Project Seventy-Two is an English Paper Piecing project that I am designing myself. The name comes from the basic requirement I have given myself for each block in the design, as each block contains 72 half-hexagons. Maybe when I am all done I will have a more clever name, but for now this is what it will be. I am also making setting triangles out of half-hexagons to put between the blocks. The half-hexagons have 1 inch sides and the full blocks are 6 inches on each side.

Block 5 - Cube (The first one with a name)

Block 6 
Block 6 was sewn completely in one weekend while I was away without the kids, it felt great to finish something so quickly. It was a fun one to sew up and has made me want to make more of than one of these blocks every 2 or 3 months.

Here are the first 6 all together, bottom row is sewn together and top row is still in pieces because making new blocks is more fun than joining them.

Thanks for having a peak. I am linking up with Linking up with Sarah at Sarah Did It! for HeLP for Hexia-aholics and Lorna at Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social.

I am posting progress photos of these blocks on Instagram: @geomamaquilts


Monday, 8 June 2015

I have created a 4 year old dress snob.

Shortly after our wedding and finishing my first Peppermint Swirl dress for Monkey the LQS store had their half-price fabric on sale even further, and while I wasn't really looking to buy anything I couldn't avoid getting at least a little bit quilting cotton for $4/m. I found a lovely blue floral print that would look great on my blue-eyed, blond haired niece who was about to turn 4. I paired it with Northcott solid blue and turned it into another Peppermint Swirl Dress.

As we took this one to the post office to mail to my niece Monkey asked me to make her another one for her birthday.  Shortly after that a friend was clearing out some of her fabric stash and had 2 gorgeous pieces that were each 1.5 m long. Adding a 3rd colour to get enough yardage was easy and I sewed up my third one in the nights leading up to her birthday.

Hope 2 twirly-whirly dresses will be enough for her for a while, but she has said that she thinks she should have 3. Maybe I will find another smoking sale and get some more fabric for a 3rd one.


Saturday, 6 June 2015

Tranquility: A Quilt Finish

 After our wedding GeoDad and I figured things would be a breeze, our basement was going to be repaired and re-finished and we no longer had to plan a wedding. Anyway, life has funny way of giving people a big middle finger when you start thinking that way and throws curve balls in your face.

Shortly after the wedding life happened.

Anyway, there is nothing about the situation that I can change myself. So I did what quilters around the world do. I sewed.

I took an afternoon off work and pieced most of a quilt top.
Spent the next week of evenings adding borders and making a backing.

Then spent 11 hours on the rental longarm at my LQS quilting.

It took about a week to get binding sewn on.
And this is the biggest quilt I have ever made and it took start to finish less than 3 weeks. (A bit of a whirlwind if you will and I had a deadline, it was getting on plane with me to be gifted to someone when I arrived). 

The embroidered label is simple, it says "May this bring you tranquility where ever you are."

Quilts Stats:
Name: Tranquility
Pattern: Majestic Beauties by Daphne B.
Fabrics: All from the Majestic Beauties Collection for Willington Prints
Size: 96"x98"
Quilted by me on a rental Handi Quilter Fusion 24
Thread: Pieced using Presencia 60wt,
Quilting top thread Isacord Embroidery thread, color Old Gold,
Quilting Bob Thread Wonderfil DecoBob in light grey
Notes: The pantograph I used was called Peacock Palm, it seemed fitting and I wanted it to have feathers, but have never quilted feathers before. The pantograph was very forgiving because nothing had to line up to closely. I didn't realize how much quilting it would be when I started. It is quite dense for a pantograph and very time consuming for such a large quilt. I used more than 2 km of thread between the top and bottom threads for the quilting on this one.

The quilt was gifted to half of the couple it was intended for while the other was out of the country. Now that they have both seen it they are planning sheets and decor to match. I know it will be treasured and I hope it brings them tranquility. 


Friday, 5 June 2015

I Married GeoDad! Part 2: The Peppermint Swirl Dress

A while before wedding plans got rolling I came across a beautiful pattern for a little girl's dress. It was called the Peppermint Swirl Dress by Candy Castle Patterns. I was in love and thought that Monkey would be too.

After we pick the tuxedos for the GeoDad and Groomsmen I decided to make Monkey's dress in pink and gray. Since I was using Art Gallery Fabrics  Nature's Elements and Floral Elements for the wedding flowers (see previous post for those photos and info), I thought it would be nice to have Monkey in the same fabrics. The dress uses a ton of fabric, and takes lots of time but it is so worth it.

Photo Credit: Digital Path

Photo Credit: Digital Path
Monkey adores her twirly-whirly dress and asks to wear 3 or 4 days a week. She is getting tons of use out of it.

It's a little girl's dream dress, the twirling never ends.
I will say that the amount of time and fabric is totally worth it because she loves wearing it. Also, I may have turned my daughter into a dress/skirt snob; no others are twirly-whirly enough, and she will occasionally throw a tantrum if she puts on another dress and tests it twirl and it doesn't measure up. 

Thanks for reading.

Friday, 3 April 2015

I Married GeoDad! Part 1: The Flowers

Just under 3 weeks ago GeoDad and finally got married. We have been planning to do so since before Monkey was born and she turns 4 next month. We had the perfect day picked:
March 14, 2015 - Pi Day
GeoDad officially proposed in October, 2013 and we sort of started the planning stages of the wedding, but mostly put off any big planning until after we bought our new house last summer. Once the venue, a local hall, was picked and I had my dress I started to think about flowers. I knew I would be having our photos done outside no matter the weather. (GeoDad and I have parkas, I was willing to wear them if needed). I didn't really want to pay a premium for fresh flowers in the middle of winter in Alberta just to have them wilt in the cold and I like making things myself.

I set off online searching through tutorials on fabric flowers, I had a plan and no one was going to stop me. Initially I was picturing something elaborate with silk, organza, felt and fabric and had I not liked my first couple flowers so much I may have gone that direction. 
Craft night with 2 bridesmaids, my mom, grandma and brother.
Anyway, I made a single trial flower then spent a night at my Mom's having a wedding craft night. We managed to make about 30 flowers between the 6 of us and I am sure they all thought I was crazy. 

 But I am crazy and very determined. I loved how adorable the covered button is as the flower centre and prepping to sew these was simple. Starch fabric, cut rectangles, fold and sew. After our first craft night I started working on them while I watched TV. By mid January I had 100 made. 

It looked like tons of flowers and I was hoping I was done. And then I tried an initial layout on the styrofoam I was planning on using a core of the bouquet. 

16 flowers barely covered half of it. And I had 5 bouquets to make in total and boutonnieres. So I kept sewing and ordered more brads/buttons to cover and made somewhere between 200 and 230 flowers. As the wedding approached I started taking half an hour in the mornings before work to hot glue bouquets together. But by the time the big day rolled around I was done. 

Photo By: Digital Path
Besides the bouquets and boutonnieres, I also made attached flowers to bobby pins for myself and the bridesmaids to wear in our hair. (Mine were white) and a headband for Monkey.

Photo Credit: Digital Path
The bouquet looked great against my white dress.
Photo Credit: Digital Path
And with the tuxedos and bridemaids dresses.
Photo Credit: Digital Path

Photo Credit: Digital Path

Photo Credit: Digital Path

We had a fabulous day and all the bridesmaids get to keep their bouquet forever. I am so happy that I kept going with my crazy plan for flowers. I will write another post or two about Monkey's flower girl dress and the ring pillow I made. (Maybe I will sneak in some of a shot of GeoDad and I doing something sappy, like kissing). 

Hope you enjoyed seeing these and I look forward to sharing a bit more soon.
Mrs. Walker - GeoMama

Saturday, 31 January 2015

Piano and Electric Guitar Quilted Pillows

First off I would love to say Congrats to my cousin C and his new wife who were married shortly after the New Year. I was unable to attend the celebration but wanted to make something special for them.

C plays electric guitar and his wife plays piano. I found paper pieced patterns for both instruments from Soma Archaya at . They were perfect and I was eager to have another paper pieced challenge.   

The blocks came together fairly quickly before Christmas and then I stalled out when it came time to quilt them and assemble into pillows. 

The guitar frets were satin stitched with an ivory coloured Isacord thread and the strings stitched with black and silver metallic Sulky thread. 

Around each instrument I echo quilted at about 1/4 inch spacing with the ivory Isacord. In the border, simple straight outlines with black Presencia thread.

The pillows backs are simple envelope style which were quilted with groups of 5 wavy lines to represent a musical score. 

I had planned to make the pillows the same size but I didn't want to change the size of the blocks out of fear of scaling all the tiny little pieces and not having them go together properly. The guitars dimensions didn't work great to border on a square pillow which is why I set it on point. 

It felt great to put the final stitches in the binding last night and they will be mailed to the newlyweds tomorrow.  


Wednesday, 14 January 2015

WIP Wednesday: Handsewn Holiday and Wedding Prep

Since my last post sewing has been happening (just very slowly) as December was busy until Christmas and then we went away on holidays. Since getting back I have been trying to get projects finished but I am also less than 60 days away from being a married lady (ack.. so much left to do!) so there has been more wedding prep than sewing.

First off, before Christmas I managed to piece and put borders on 2 paper pieced blocks designed by Some Archaya from Both the piano and the electric guitar came together very nicely despite being a crazy amount of pieces. The plan was to have these quilted into pillows in time for a wedding gift but I was too exhausted to finish before the event. They will receive them before they have been married a month though, so that should be just fine.

I found that not wanting to baste in my unfinished basement was a big hurdle, but I finally bit the dust and did it last weekend. Since then I have been quilting pillow tops and backs. Echo quilting around the guitar and piano and then just simple lines in the borders.

Also just before Christmas I did a small commission project. A simple diaper cover, suspenders and bowtie for a friend's son's first birthday. She wanted to do a cake smash photo shoot and have him all dressed up. It was pretty quick once I got going and she loved it. 

Just after Christmas we went away to the mountains and I had a lovely time hand sewing all week. I sewed whole new block for Project Seventy-Two as well as 2 setting triangles. I was a little short on fabric but managed to finish a day after getting back. I also ran out of half-hexie papers for English Paper Piecing and had to scavenge out of the middle of the block to finish the edges and setting triangles.

This block brings the total to 4 blocks and I am finally starting to think about the bigger picture and what I want this quilt to look like. But I am not ready to share what that is just yet. All I can tell you is that I need ALOT more half hexagon papers and way more time. 

Finally, I have been slowly sewing away on my wedding flowers. I have about 30 completely done, and another 35-40 sewn that don't have centers yet. I have no idea how many I actually need for each bouquet, but for sure I need 5 bouquets and some extras for boutonnieres and corsages. 

Once pillows are done for my cousin it will be time to make a flower girl dress for Monkey and a ring bearer pillow for LB to carry. I am very excited to start on both projects and hope to have them both done by mid-February so I can relax for the month before the wedding.

Thanks for having a look and Happy New Year!