backpacking, Somewhere in between

Manistee National Forest, Michigan

Clyde and I finally embarked on our first backpacking trip! Since lightweight supplies are pretty pricy, we didn’t invest in these items on our fast-paced car-camping trip last year. This rainy weekend hike made us realize we have some more investing to do… like better quality sleeping pads and water-wicking, quick-drying hiking clothes. Also… in the supposedly bear scarce lower peninsula of Michigan, Clyde spotted the first bear we’ve ever encountered inside a campground. The good news, I think my bear fear has worn off because I slept like a baby in the tent that night!

Best part of this trip… visiting Lindsay, Katie, and Apollo at their Garden Fort farm!


The Triangle Wonder quilt (in progress)

What I’m calling the “Triangle Wonder” is the first quilt pattern I’ve designed. My goal was to design a repeating square (or triangle in this case) where the “squares” disappear once they’re all sewn together. After much trial and error (and teaching myself how to paper piece and design paper piece templates) I came up with 3 unique 6″x6″x6″ triangle pieces. Each of the 3 triangles has a unique pattern of 5 triangles in it. As I sew each row of 17 triangle pieces together, the viewer shouldn’t be able to easily see how this crazy quilt was made.

My new 56″ x 79″ throw will have a total of 221 triangle “squares” and over 1,000 pieces within all those “squares”. I’ve got about half of the triangle sewn together—luckily, each triangle piece takes less than 5 minutes to sew. Cutting fabric is the mind boggling part because I’m being a stickler for properly placing all the colors and patterns.

Are there much easier ways to pull off this effect? Probably. But I’m happy that I took the time to figure all of this out by trial and error. Currently this quilt is on hold as I start to design more complex architectural paper pieces.

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Amy’s baby quilt

Amy’s nursery theme has lots of owls and girly details for her little girl that’s due very soon! For her quilt, I used the same baby quilt patterns I’ve used before and matched fabrics to my favorite owl print. I’m so glad Amy likes her gift and can’t wait to meet her little girl!

For Amy’s baby quilt, I used The Crafty Cupboard’s Quick Herringbone pattern for one side and adapted See Kate Sew’s Pleated Strip Quilt pattern for the other.


Kate’s baby quilt

The good thing about my first quilt being massive: baby quilts are a snap! I loved every minute of making my second quilt for baby Mock’s arrival. We don’t know the gender, and the nursery colors are aqua and gray. Hopefully this quilt can stand the many tests it’ll endure over the next few years… :)

For Kate’s baby quilt, I used The Crafty Cupboard’s Quick Herringbone pattern for one side and adapted See Kate Sew’s Pleated Strip Quilt pattern for the other.


Adventures in quilting

It all started with a bag of my old t-shirts, this pattern, this textile shop, and spiraled out of control from there.

Thanks to my very talented aunts, I was able to learn the best techniques from experts! Since hand quilting my first giant queen comforter, I’ve machine quilted 3 more (smaller) quilts using some on-line tutorials. So far most quilts have been two-sided for two reasons: I can’t choose one quilt top over the other, and I enjoy the challenge of figuring out how to make the top and bottom compliment each other once quilted together.

Now I’m designing my own patterns to push my skills and the limits of my little sewing machine—I can’t stop! Designers have a nice advantage in quilting—I can use Illustrator to quickly create patterns and templates to scale. Cutting and squaring fabric… just like cutting paper with a ruler and exacto knife!

More quilt posts to come… :)