Despite obstacles and malicious internet imps who decided to steal Sarah's broadband, Sarah's Online Baby Shower took place and was fun.
And now I can reveal my wee gift to her - lullaby for Bean:

I might share some more details about the quilt a bit later, now let me just show you all the threads I got to use in appliquéing (is there such a verb?) the letters:

I do hope Sarah enjoys using it as much as I enjoyed making it.



This was supposed to be "catching up part 2" post, with photos of my current WIPs, but one of the WIPs is already finished and I really need your help with the one I've just started.
Let me explain.
There is this quilt I wanted to make for my godmother and I wanted to make it according to her likes and wishes. So, it should be in brown, with some red and orange, too. And it should be not too fancy, not too busy or crazy, rather calm (if you can say it about a quilt).
After lots of thinking and sketching and going through various ideas I finally came to the conclusion that the best way for me to do it would be to make a bed size version of my first frost mini but in brown and with several more appliqué leaves of various shapes and sizes (red and orange, and maybe one little yellow one too). So I bought some nice brown fabric (#browncanbenice). I cut most of it into strips of various width. And I tried and tried, and tried to arrange the strips so that I'd be happy with them but to no avail.
*really crappy photos alert - I didn't think I would need to share them*
I didn't like the almost-random-but-trying-not-to-have-too-big-clumps-of-the-same-fabric look.

I tried arranging them from light to dark, but somehow that didn't work either.

Apart from the fact that the light patches are a bad idea, in the top version these two prints (links to online shop photos, just so that you can see them better) seem to be rather jarring. And the second one, the brown squiggles, doesn't look too good in the bottom version either.

After exhausting (for today at least) the ways in which I could arrange them horizontally I tried some others, like herringbone:

but I'm not too keen on either of the two versions above.

One more idea I have is to make a string quilt similar to Ashley's but I'm not sure if it would look OK in only 9 brown prints plus a creamy almost solid for the thin centre strips.
Or maybe I should stick to simple square in square blocks? (I mean something like mini log cabins, with a square in the middle and one round of contrasting print around it).
So, as you can see I'm stumped and I'd love to hear your suggestions. Please.


catching up part 1 - what was

Lately I've noticed that time doesn't fly for me anymore, it whizzes past so quickly I usually can't even see it.
Still, I managed to catch a bit of time and use it to sew:
* coasters for Di
to accompany our little swap, in which I got a jar of hot pepper jelly and sent some Polish dried mushrooms.
I hadn't tried this kind of jelly before, now I know from experience that the jelly Di makes is not only lovely to look at but also very tasty.

* a block for Euro Siblings Together Bee
I usually show them on flickr only, but I'm so happy I finally got to use the ugly duckling print I've been saving for the right project.

*a phone cozy for my (not so) new phone

*a fabric plate (which actually is more like a shallow bowl)
from Michelle's tutorial; a test run for the prizes I'm making for Sarah's Online Baby Shower

*and something that's still a secret

And if I post big pictures it doesn't look that bad as a summary of all of my sewing since the end of September...


sunny Friday

I've been thinking about this neglected blog of mine, I've been planning to compose a post about trying to decide what to do with it, whether to continue or give it up entirely and just use instagram to share my quilting projects... but it's my Friday off today, it's finally sunny and, you know, I simply don't need a definite decision on this.
Instead, let me show you the I-don't-want-to-call-it-broken-wheel quilt:

 I finished quilting it almost two weeks ago, but the combination of me at home and the sun shining happened only today.
The back is a simple one, but it shows the quilting nicely.

The first block I made for this quilt was 9", but after thinking it through and deciding 38 more blocks like this might be slightly too much, I used 12" blocks for the quilt top and incorporated the smaller one into the backing.
And then I took a big breath and decided to FMQ it densely, in, let's say, a free interpretation of paisley. It took me a few days and most of my treasured aurifil light grey spool, but I enjoyed it immensely. I was a bit worried that it might make the quilt a bit stiff, but it's actually still soft, nice and crinkly and I think it might be even more so after washing. (Washing has been postponed due to the weather, too. Uhm, not all the washing, you understand, just washing of this quilt.)

And yes, my FMQ skills are still far from perfect, and my stitch length is still something to work on, and the shapes could be rounder, but there are many places in this quilt I'm really proud of and, as I've already said, it's been pure joy to quilt it this way.

Incidentally, this is also the finish I was planning in my 2013 Finish-A-Long (Q3) extremely short list, which is one more reason for me to be happy with this quilt.

Edit: And since it's currently (and rather unexpectedly) my favourite quilt, I'm linking it up to the favourite quilt linky at Mary's


Fat Quarterly Retreat 2013

I'm sure you've already seen many of the FQR recaps (if not, you can find many of them listed here), but I still want to share a bit of what it was like to me.

And it was such fun!
It was such a treat to finally meet at least some of those known only through blogs and emails. And it was very nice to as well as those who I now want to find online too. And to laugh like crazy on many occasions, and to listen a lot and to talk a bit.
And yes, I learned lots of great sewing tips and tricks and was inspired both by the teachers and by other participants. And it was such a great feeling to sew together with others who are also interested in sewing.

So a big great thank you for all the talks and laughter and hugs (and sewing instructions, of course).

And well... better look at the photos here, because I didn't take even a single one. I don't know what I was thinking.
Anyway, the only photos I can share are those of:
1. my spoils:

i.e. the contents of the goody bag, with some fabric from Eternal Maker and Riley Blake and Moda and Makower, and a scrap bag of Pat Bravo fabrics, some silk thread from Silk Ribbon, some notions from Woolworths, as well as some coupons, a lovely surprise packet from Emily and my raffle win of Aurifil thread.

2. my very restrained buys:

the lovely Liberty key fob made by Hadley, the Aurifil thread from Cindy, and some fabric from Tracey
3. and the results of my classes:

improv - Lu's class

precision piecing - Lynne's class
EPP with curves - Julianna and Joanna's tabletop session
Well, after the class it actually looked like this:

We also might have chatted more than anything else in Katy's class, which is why after both the class and a few hours on the train, my triangle city block is still only in, shall we say, a very early stage of completion:


Almost last minute...

...but yay, I'm going to the FQ Retreat and I can't wait to meet you all!

I'm not sure if you get a chance to see this post before the FQR, but just in case you do, here's something that could help you recognize me:

Ok, ok, I won't be wearing headphones (although I usually do while I sew and quilt - I love audiobooks), you will also notice that I don't have short hair but a plait.
And I'll be sporting the cutest badge ever. Thank you so very much Sarah xxx. 
Oh, and my name is Agnieszka, which might not be an easy name to pronounce, but quite easy to recognize, I think.

For a bit of background  - I started quilting less than 3 years ago (it was also then I learned how to use a sewing machine) and I still feel quite a newbie (maybe an advanced beginner by now). Of course that doesn't prevent me from making quilts and enjoying the process immensely.
If you feel like checking them out, they're here on the blog.

So, see you soon to those who are coming, and huge warm hugs to those who can't make it this year - I'm sure we will finally meet, too.

(And this is the small print where I tell you that I'm shy, but I've read that many others are too...)



Just one

Can you believe it?
I only have one UFO and it's not a very old one, either.
So, here is the shortest ever list for 2013 Finish-A-Long (Q3):

1. Finish the broken wheel quilt (and possibly find a nicer name for it).

Of course with 38 more blocks to go, not to mention the sashing, backing, quilting and binding, there's probably enough work for this quarter, but still one item on the list feels weird.

And hopefully there's still enough time to actually link this up.

she can quilt


Q2 finishes - 2013 Finish-A-Long

I might have been quite clever to make my list for Q2 (here's the original post) very short, that way I can feel as if I've achieved something.

So, let's sum it up:
  • The smaller sampler quilt only needed binding and it got it.

  • The wonky kites quilt needed borders, backing, quilting and binding and it was a successful finish, too, and the quilt is now at its new owner's.

  • The apron needed to be sewn together and to have a pocket added, and it was actually the first finish of Q2.

  • And this leaves us with the 2 blocks from Forest QAL, of which I finished only one.

Then, instead of making the rest of the forest blocks, I made a quilt with what I had:

I'm not sure if this can count as a proper finish for this particular goal, but it makes the post end in a nice picture, don't you think?


summer morning in the forest...

...well, OK, more like in front of my block of flats, but still quite cool, don't you think:

7 a.m. photos mean no neighbours' laundry yet and a bit of nice morning light.


And a bit of detail (I'm really happy I decided to quilt the black blocks in white, too).

Some quilt stats:
Size: about 59"x 83" (149x210cm)
Pattern: blocks from the splendid Forest QAL plus some simple patchwork
Quilting: FMQ flowery (or maybe leafy) doodles, not too dense to leave the quilt nice and soft.

And I just can't pass the opportunity to paste the QAL button, as I'm adding my post to the Forest QAL linky.


not-so-forest quilt

Slowly, slowly the quilt featuring forest QAL blocks is taking shape.

I don't usually name quilts but I think of this one as forest pictures although in these colours it does not look very foresty at all.
I started with a rather different look in mind, but then it evolved into this.



It might have taken much more time than planned but the wonky kites quilt is finally finished (weeeell, apart from a few threads that need hiding), and I'm quite happy with how it turned out.

The clothes line I'm stealing borrowing from my neighbours seems to have sagged a bit, so the top of the quilt is actually on the other side:

It might be a bit difficult to guess the size from the photos, but it's 202x220cm (slightly bigger than 79"x86").
I hope the intended recipient likes the quilt and will take it home next weekend.

Oh, and yay, it's actually the biggest finish from my Q2 2013 FAL list.

Note: I started the quilt in 2011, so its beginnings are quite blurry to me now, but as far as I remember I was searching for a design that would allow me to make a bed sized quilt and showcase the little bundle of lovely fabric I got from my cousin. And I came across this quilt by Alex at Teaginny and this one by Ashley at Film in the Fridge.


just thinking...

This is Patch.

Ok, ok, very original, I know. Not too accurate either, since his Polish name is Kropek, which would be more like Spot, but well, he simply refuses to be Spot.

I'm trying to decide whether he belongs to my (completely neglected) other blog, or if he wants to have something more to do with sewing. We'll see.


slow coming spring - forest QAL

My forest blocks are growing as slowly as the spring was coming this year, so Julka's name for the most recent block in the forest QAL seems doubly fitting.
Still, the spring is here, and so is at least this block:

My plan now is to sew first the blocks that fit best the idea of a quilt I'm planning to sew with the forest blocks, but then my sewing plans are often changing  evolving.


aspen grove - forest QAL

Yesterday I finally managed to sew the aspen grove block, which is block 3 of the forest QAL.
It's not very hard to sew, it just has lots of pieces. Naturally, it's taken me a long time to put together - I'm a rather slow sewer (gosh, it looks wrong - sewist? seamstress? /for those reading Pratchett - no, not that kind of seamstress/)
But it was quite relaxing and enjoyable.

You'll find the more "official" looking photo of the whole block here, but I like this one taken just after sunrise, although I had to crop my ugly hanger.
I was hoping for an early spring look, with bare trees and flowers blooming before the grass even shows, so I altered the pattern a little to add some branches to the trees and stuck to just one fabric for the forest floor.
I think with a bit of imagination and goodwill we can say I succeeded ;)

Small finishes - part 2

The little sampler quilt only needed binding, so it's finished, too.

in tricky morning light

a simple back

I'm very happy about finishing the next item from my Q2 FAL list, but I think it's a sign some new projects need to begin.

Small finishes - part 1

Last weekend I was planning to tackle the aspen grove block from the forest QAL, so it's very logical that I sewed the reversible apron from my Q2 FAL list instead.

I know what some of you think about brown fabric, but it's warm reddish-brown and it matches my new red hair nicely (which is a bit of a lucky coincidence).


2013 FAL - Q2 list

Before it's too late, here's the list of projects I'm hoping to finish this quarter. Short again and hopefully completely achievable this time.

1. Known to you from Q1 list, this is the second little quilt I've been making from the Skill Builder Sampler blocks. As the batting arrived I was able to quilt it, so now I only need to prepare and sew the binding.

2. Also known from Q1, and this one still needs almost everything: borders to make it bigger, backing, quilting and binding.

On a technical note  - this might have to wait till May, at least as far as quilting is concerned, since the shops here in Poland I buy batting from will have it only in then. I started investigating the possibilities of buying the batting abroad but I still have to compare the costs. I only ever tried quilters dream cotton batting in select loft but I like it very much and wouldn't really want to use anything thinner, I'm also not convinced about polyester. 

3. This is not a true UFO, but I'm already behind with sewing these two blocks in the Forest QAL and since I really want to see them finished, I thought adding them to the list will give me some additional encouragement. Hope they still qualify.

4. This one has been started only recently, but I've been planning it for ages. I don't care much for aprons, but every time I've had a pile of dishes to wash or bread to bake I've been dreaming of the perfect apron with just the right shape and a pocket (I love listening to audio books). I've found what I hope to be the perfect apron shape in Lotta Jansdotter's book, and a pocket will be easy enough to add.

It might a be a bit hard to see in the photo, but the other side, which I still need to cut, will be reddish brown (shh, I know, I know).

she can quilt