Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Projects by the yard

And now for something completely different. It turns out that having an offline hobby has been quite useful on a boat, where connectivity is not guaranteed. So without futher ado, here is a photo essay of how I've been filling my time while Sean is fixing the black tank, chart plotter, BBQ grill, and stuffing box.


Baby quilt for a dear friend's great grandchild. I just finished this today. The last step of making a quilt is sewing on the binding, or outer edge. This is best done by hand, and is a great thing to do while trawlering slowly across a shallow Bahamian bank. My eyeballs are getting old enough that I need to do my hand sewing during day light hours.


New cockpit chair covers. Not a quilting project, but I think they turned out pretty spiffy.


Sewing machine cover. I tend to buy bird-themed fabric whenever I see it, so I used some of my bird stash. The sewing machine sits under the furthest forward portlight, and tends to get a bit of salty spray on it. Best to keep it covered, I think.


Wall hanging for salon. At this stage the background had been quilted, but not the bird panels. And of course, the binding hadn't been sewn on.


Wall hanging for guest stateroom (to cover ugly holes from previous TV installation). Look! Bird fabric. What a surprise. This is the top half; the bottom features two blue jays. I have about eight more panels of this fabric, with chickdees, finches, cardinals, etc. There is an enormous range of quality when it comes to quilting fabric content and design. I'm always looking for bird designs that are realistic (not cartoony), crisply printed, have a soft feel and aren't in bizarre colors. Not always easy to find.


Lightweight bedspread for master stateroom. This isn't quilted, but is just two layers of cotton for hot weather. The fabric is twelve squares of furoshiki, which is used in Japan to wrap gifts instead of paper. Each panel shows a black and white tuxedo cat in an outdoor setting at different times of the year/day. I like to think of them as depictions of our sweet George in cat heaven.


A gift lap quilt. The recipient is an occasional blog reader, so I won't say anything more at this point.


Hexagonal table topper for cockpit. The el cheapo table and chairs that we purchased at Home Depot back in 2013 are holding up well: the wood is sturdy and the brass hardware is not corroding. However, the "teak" finish seems to be just brown paint, and is fading and flaking, so covering it up a bit has helped. I actually prefer the back of this little quilt, and often use it upside down. The backing fabric has wrens flying through fields of chrysanthemums.


Gift lap quilt for a sick friend in Japan. There are some gorgeous blue fabrics in this, featuring butterflies, leaves, and metallic accents. It's such a pleasure to sew with quality materials.


Gift lap quilt for dear friends in California. They have very pampered, beloved cats who have claimed the quilt as their own. I love the colors and groovy patterns on this quilt, but the darn thing fought me every inch of the way because  I made a poor choice on the backing fabric. There was a lot of cursing and hurling of sewing tools during the making of this one!


Christmas table topper, featuring birds in wreaths: partridge, cardinal, jay. I really like the non-traditional turquoise in this one. The backing fabric is rainbow cats by Laurel Burch! So fun.


Gift table topper for another dear friend, made with wine themed fabric.


Christmas wall hanging, a gift for my Mom. She drapes it over the back of her love seat for a perfect fit. The bows on the packages are made from satin ribbon, so it's three dimensional.


A little Christmas themed thingy. About the size of a placemat. This small project was used to practice free motion quilting, the swirly stitching pattern on the gray background which is made by pushing the fabric manually rather than letting the sewing machine move in straight lines. There are five more coordinating panels of this fabric, so I'll probably make more next Christmas. 


Rough piecing for Christmas tree wall hanging. This was also finished using free motion quilting, but I never took a photo of the completed project.


Table topper for salon dining table. Made from beautiful hexagons of Japanese themed fabric that were a birthday gift from Stephanie and her Mom Sandy. The dark blue fabric around the outer border features dragons. For a change of pace, the back of this two-sided piece is bright, lurid, modern fabric in a wonky non-symmetic design. 


Rough piecing of pillow covers for master stateroom. Again, I never took final photos, but we use these on the bed every day. They coordinate surprisingly well with the "George in Heaven" bedspread!


Table topper for pilot house table. The soft wood of this table was getting scratched by my computer, so it needed a cover. I just love the blue fabric with the little birds on it. The back of this piece is a different bird fabric, in bright primary colors, and I flip it back and forth as the mood strikes.


"Rally Flag" lap quilt that I made for Sean. The lighter colored flags at the top are made from fabric that has pink, green and blue scooters on it. Making this little quilt is when I discovered that my husband loves bright colors. Who knew?


Rough piecing for antimacassar for Sean's leather chair.


TV cover, with octagonal medallions of Japanese fabric.


Falling leaves table topper for salon dining table and/or salon wall hanging.


Tessellating tails cat wall hanging in UCLA colors for our niece. There are four cats, but the contrast isn't great on the bottom cat. Now her sister is heading off to college, and has asked me to make pillow covers for her new dorm bedding, so that's my next project.

I also have several other gifts in progress that I'm keeping a secret for now. Since we will be having guests aboard Vector in about a week, I need to start cleaning up my sewing stuff and getting the guest room back into shape for their visit. Quilting generates an amazing amount of "spoo:" threads, batting fuzz, tiny fabric scraps, and lint. Time to break out the vacuum cleaner and get all that out of the carpet!

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