I finished this top about a week ago, but the weather was so terrible I couldn’t take any photos of it. The minute the sun came out, I darted outside with my camera and co-opted the monkey bars for a photo shoot.

I am so happy with how this turned out. So happy. It doesn’t match my original vision at all (things rarely do), but I think it is beautiful in a different way.

It measures 80″ x 96″, to fit a full-size bed. I’m worried about quilting it…it will be so difficult on my machine, but I would really like to do it myself. In Last-Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts, Joelle Hoverson calls a log cabin “a labor of love,” and it really was.

I spent about a month, start to finish, on this top, which is the longest I have ever worked on any project (notwithstanding my thesis and other academic pursuits). I loved working on it, but it did get monotonous.

My favorite fabrics are the cherry blossom fabric and the two Liberty prints (Lucy’s Farm), of which I have enough to make several matching pillows!

I think it’s relatively balanced, which I think is quite an achievement in light of the fact that I have neither a design wall nor a floor space large enough to accommodate such a mammoth top. I know the brown (called Bronze by K.F.) is slightly overrepresented on one side, but I am not tearing it out…I like the way it is.

My only issue with the process was squaring up the blocks, which seemed to take an eternity.

What a wonderful sense of accomplishment!

So, I have REALLY wanted to make a bed-size quilt (full-to queen-size, to fit my own bed, to be specific). I love throw quilts and decorative quilts just as much as the next person, but I feel compelled to make a quilt suitable for long-term, everyday use.  I waited patiently for my recent trip to Purl Patchwork, where I bought fabrics to make said quilt (of course, I ran out five days later and had to race to the computer, palms sweating, etc etc in order to buy more–because Purl is the ONLY US retailer that carries this one fabric I was obsessed with–but anyway).  Then I made a mock-up log cabin block, to make sure I was fully committed to the project, and this was the result:

I. LOVE. it.  The block measures about 17″ square, and I plan to make 30 of them (I got to 24 before I ran out of fabric). The fabrics are:

The two house/ town fabrics are Lucy’s Farm by Liberty (of course, I had to…y’all know how I feel about Liberty prints).  The pink dots are a Lecien fabric, and the cherry blossom print is Olympus Soleil (in my second order, I bought enough to make pillows, and effectively bankrupted myself).

There’s also Denyse Schmidt Hope Valley, the Princess and Frog gauze by Kokka, and something from the Retro Garden collection by Kokka.  I used a variety of KF shot cottons (my favorite solid). Despite the relative success of this project so far, it was not a good week for me for sewing. I tried to make a shirt this week using this awesome Cynthia Rowley pattern:

Winmil had run out of the cotton I wanted, so I hopped on the bad idea train and picked up a silk charmeuse…and I’ve never sewed with silk before, and it’s been years since I made a garment (and it was an evening gown…don’t ask me why).  The voice of Wendy Mullin (of Sew U fame) was echoing in my head: in her recent book on dresses, she explains that even very experienced garment sewers avoid this fabric like the plague.

I carried on and I got the shell completed…I even got so far as completing the gathers, but the binding just. wouldn’t. iron. I thought, “I’m a quilter, I can make a decent binding in no time.” But it was a no-go, and I had to put it away for another time, when I have more experience (plus, the fabric was only $5). I’m actually going to try again, this time with cotton. Usually, this would really get me down, but I desperately want to learn to make my own clothes, so I will persevere!!

Happy quilting, sewing, garment-making, etc…and good luck to those participating in the Ravelympics!

Sorry for the blog silence…my computer was being repaired and I went out of town for a few days (and to Purl, from which I’ll be showing my new fabric collection soon).  I spent my time in transit watching “Glee” and hand-quilting my animal squares baby quilt…I have ten of the sixteen squares completed!

Before I left, I finished the binding on the Stripe Posy Patch quilt and gave it to my mother for her birthday (sadly, she checks my blog more often than I thought, and she saw it before I sent it off):

I was very happy with it when it was finished. I quilted it minimally–only stitch-in-the-ditch–and I was happy I made that choice.  The lines are strong, and I wanted to emphasize them.

Sadly, I could only snap a select few photos, as I was doing this in the middle of (crowded) Harvard Yard and attracting the attention of groups of onlookers. I hand-embroidered the signature, which is now my favorite part of this quilt:

I have a completed wonky star top and another Gwen Marston-inspired creation to show you soon…until then, happy quilting!

…because that’s all one can usually afford, right?

I went to Waechter’s Silk Shop in Asheville, NC a few weeks ago and got myself some Liberty fabric, which I now remove and touch every night before I go to bed. Waechter’s is one of the few online and brick-and-mortar retailers of Liberty fabric in the US (the only other one I know of is Purl).

The buttons, of course, are from Windsor Button…where else? I hope I can find some use for the top two fabrics. They’re not very quilty, and I didn’t buy enough to make a garment…but for now, I’m happy to have them! I think I’ll use the bottom fabric for my Flying Geese quilt.

I’m off to Cambridge Quilts in a bit for the white fabric for the SIGGY SWAP. Have a good Friday!