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02/17/2014 / thriftomancer

Going to market!

Good news, everyone! I’ve been accepted as an artist in Leon and Lulu’s spring Artist’s Market.

For those of you not from these parts, Leon and Lulu’s is a very cool home decor and eclectic gift store in Clawson, MI. They do a ton of outreach and events for local good causes and are all-around good peeps.

The show’s March 9 and 10th. I’ll be showing my quilts, so if you’re in the area stop in and say hi. (And maybe buy a quilt. You know you want to.)

In other news, I built up 99 6″ blocks for the blue-green quilt. Turns out that’s plenty, so I went ahead and pieced them into a solid chunk. After reviewing that section of top, I made a design choice. Details at 11!

02/06/2014 / thriftomancer

Blue-green squares, months later

You last saw this quilt in early October when all I had were these nifty little cores of 43 quilt blocks.

Block cores

Adorable. It’s been 4 months though, and quilts grow up so fast. This is what I’ve got now:

Blue-Green quilt blocks

That’s 49 completed 6.5″ square blocks and 43 block cores. I’ve calculated that I’ll need 195 completed blocks to make a 78″ x 90″ top, so I’ve still got 146 to go. (Which may lead to me deciding to mix completed blocks with cores and unfinished blocks of intermediate size. could be cool.)

02/03/2014 / thriftomancer

Another new year!

Happy 2014, everyone! Belated, I know, but now that things have settled down I can show you what I was up to over the holidays and what is on my plate at the moment. (I bet you’re intensely excited.)

For example, there was this quilt.

An x-mas quilt!

(That’s the back of the pieced top, but the lighting was best in this pic.)

This year I’ve decided I need to update more (always) and on a wider variety of things because this blog is supposed to be about learning and making “stuff,” and that means more than textiles. There will still be a bunch of textile work, of course, but I’ll also be writing about:

  • Bonsai (year 2 for my saplings)
  • Crafting armor and metalwork
  • Dwarven beards

It’s going to be fun, you’ll love it.

11/26/2013 / thriftomancer

1 of 3, done!

Welp, it’s that time of year again, the present-making season where I can’t post much of anything without revealing gift-spoilers. I can, however, show you this. My HST quilt is done!

Cotton scrap HST - front

You might notice that I replaced the blue batik with a black/cream pinstripe. (Which is actually a linen blend and not cotton at all, but we don’t mention that.) I thought the stripes looked better with the other patches’ patterns than the more circular forms in the batik.

Here’s the back:

Cotton scrap HST - back

I was originally going to use that purple plaid shirting all by itself, then I remembered that a solid backing would waste an opportunity to use up even more of my blue/green scraps. So I cut up all the remaining scraps I could into 1.5″ wide strips and made a semi-pieced backing.

Cotton scrap HST - back detail

I didn’t expect it to get so wibbly, but I like it more than if the rows were all perfectly straight.

(Note: I took these pictures inside instead of out on the line like I normally do with my ‘done!’ pictures. This is because, at the moment, it’s a balmy 29 degrees F outside and windy. Welcome back, winter.)

This quilt is also the first time I’ve ever used polyester batting and I got some questions about it, so let me do a mini-review really quick:

I only chose to use poly because I foresaw destruction by cheese at the hands of my family when someone (my dad) inevitably dropped crumbs on it. Based on the poly horror stories I’d heard, I figured using the stuff was going to be a sacrifice I’d have to make in order to have the quilt last any appreciable amount of time.

I used Soft and Warm, made by The Warm Company. (The folks who make the cotton batting I normally use.) It’s needle-punched with no scrim and I was surprised by how distinctly not-terrible it was. It was soft, fluffier than I’m used to, and easy to stitch, so… Thumbs up. I still like my cotton batting, but this poly is pretty all right. I’m still keeping an eye out for bearding, haven’t seen nay yet, but it’s under observation.

10/22/2013 / thriftomancer

Tripling up for once

Usually when quilting I finish whatever project I started before moving on to a new one. Usually. Right now I’ve got three quilts going at once, which is a new record for me. The top of the manic quilt is done, the concentric squares are in progress (10 6″ x 6″ blocks finished), and now there’s this pie-like stack of triangles:

Half-square stack

That became this:


Since I was already in stash busting mode with my linen, I figured why not work on whittling down my cotton too? After all, my cotton stash had a similar problem with green build-up and it couldn’t hurt to finally use the fabrics that had been sitting around, some for years now. So, a half square triangle top is in the works.

Because this quilt’s cotton, the fabrics are a mix of new yardage (the solids, mostly), and reclaimed material from clothes, tablecloths, and whatnot. In light of that, I feel terribly lucky about how all the colors worked out. Like any other stash busting project, I was working with just what I already had on-hand in whatever quantities there happened to be. It was pure, stupid luck that I had enough of each fabric to carry the bands of color exactly as far as I wanted to. (Even if I did decide later that I didn’t like the blue batik pattern and replaced it with a black and off-white striped linen.)

For now I’m planning on making a solid backing out of some purple plaid shirting from my stash and using polyester batting instead of my usual needle-punched cotton. I’ve never worked with poly batting before, so I don’t really know what to expect or if I’ll like it. What I do know is that this quilt will be used on the living room couch, which means that people (my dad) are going to fall asleep while watching TV and drop cheese, M&M’s, lunchmeat, ect. on it, so it needs to be highly washable. Thus, polyester. we’ll see how it goes.