Sunday, December 25, 2011

Finished Off! Quilt from world's most gorgeous fabrics...

Until recently I didn't consider myself a Kaffe Fassett fan.  All those super bright clashy colours and enormous cabbage type prints are just too out there for me.  However...I have now, somehow, made two quilts in Kaffe fabrics.  The first was Jill's quilt, where the chevron stripes design really worked the fabrics to their best.  The second was this quilt for my sister in the Kaffe Fassett wovens:



I saw the original in this book and instantly fell in love with the fabrics and general construction of this quilt.  Rather than feeling guilty about buying (yet) more fabric, I decided to make it for my sister, who would love these sorts of colours.

By the time I got around to it I was in somewhat of a hurry to get it finished before my parents headed off to visit her for Christmas.  Jill at Patchworks very wisely suggested I should up the scale of the chevrons, both to aid in speedy construction but also to display the fabrics to their best.  This really sat well with me - I feel like you could just cut big squares of these fabrics and sew them together and the thing would still look fabulous.  I ended up cutting 6.5 inch strips to form the chevrons (I can't recall the original dimensions - maybe more like 4 inches).

A rather poor and wibbly looking shot of the whole top is below.


I was extremely chuffed when Jill asked if she could hang it up in the shop :)  I have never had anything hung up there until now so I was super pleased with myself!  As the picture shows, I also decided to leave off the borders and just continue the chevron design right to the edges.  Again this decision was a combination of how easy and quick it made the construction, as well as a feeling that the quilt didn't need to be complicated.



Overall the quilt was easy to make, though the wovens are so thin and stretchy they are a bit tricky to achieve really crisp piecing with and in this case they are bias cut which virtually guarantees a bit of squidginess.   I didn't actually mind that in the quilt - it seems soft and snuggle and welcoming, but it doesn't give great pictures!   I machine quilted the rows horizontally to stablise the whole thing, then did some perle cotton chunky hand quilting in rows following the chevrons (which you can just about see on the above where the cotton has more contrast).



I bound the quilt in a lovely burnt orange solid and for the back, I used a mustard colour solid cotton with a strip of the chevron for interest.  I mixed it up a little by putting an inch strip of the binding orange down the centre of the chevron.  While the picture (again) isn't super, you can see the quilting more clearly here.  I have to confess I almost like the back better than the front (and I love the front!).  I think because I just kind of made it up with the leftovers rather than basing it so much on someone else's design, it feels more like mine.  I also totally adore the mustard and the orange with the wovens - they look so good together, better than this picture captures.

I think this is the nicest quilt I have ever made (though I still love the asian indigo drunkards path on my bed - unblogged as yet).  I have lots of the fabrics left over also, so there might be a quilt based on the back in my not too distant future also :)

I guess I had better say it rather than ignoring the obvious - Merry Christmas too!  :)

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

"Laptop" Cases (Touchpads actually...)

A few months ago, the husband and I got seriously lucky in an HP Touchpad fire sale and scored two of the little gems for less than the price of a crappy phone.  Ever since, we have wanted to look after them, knowing that discontinued hardware and a super special price actually makes them irreplaceable!  Anyway I found this tutorial from Elizabeth at Oh Fransson!.  This was featured at Sew Mama Sew a little while back and I loved this tutorial because it was simple and not tailored to a device of any particular size (i.e. an iPad!!).


So the lighter one is mine and the other is my husbands.  I made mine first, hence it's all a bit wobbly as I didn't have the thing worked out yet.  My only issue with this pattern was that the instructions for cutting the flap were incorrect - they have a formula for cutting (which why I didn't realise they were wrong until a bit later in the process) along the lines of Width by Height + 1 inch, that sort of thing.  Anyway, for the flap; it says height when it means width - which in the case of mine was an error which was just about manageable, but things are a bit wibbly...



The second time I made this (the stripey one), I had the measurements right and it worked like a dream.  My husband was pretty pleased and it took my less then an hour to make as I had the thing down pat.  I really like this pattern and it was quick and easy with a nice finish.


My only other issue (which I know was my issue and not an issue of the pattern) was that my husbands version is still pretty tight to slide the touchpad in and out of.  I suspect that is because the first one was made from a flannel pillow case which would naturally have a lot more give than the woven stripey fabric.

Anyway, I like the pattern heaps and would recommend it.  If you are looking for a quickie chrissie present for a techie (or actually anyone with a similar tablet or laptop) then you still have time :)