East Dakota Quilter


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La Passacaglia: Big 4 Complete!

Hooray! I am SO EXCITED to finally be finished with all four of the “big rosettes” in the La Passacaglia pattern – those with a double ring of stars. I’m happy with how the Liberty Tana Lawn Mabelle print in blue and red looks, too:

East Dakota Quilter - 4th Large Rosette

My overall progress looks something like this:

East Dakota Quilter - Passacaglia Progress
Yeah, I can’t believe I failed to blog about that little guy in the bottom middle, either. I guess I thought I must have done it when I posted to Instagram instead. Bonus rosette!

East Dakota Quilter - Passacaglia Rosette

Now I’m trembling with naïve optimism that, with the most time-intensive rosettes finished, the rest of the pattern should practically sew itself and be finished in the next month or so – HA! Never mind it took me over two years to get to this point. And I will be having a baby in a month or two, depending when she decides to arrive.

Speaking of which… I have been disappointed when bloggers suddenly shift directions and turn a blog about home DIY into a blog about polar bears. Just for example. I didn’t want to do that with this blog, so feel free to check out the secondary blog I created, Building Home & Family, if you’re into home renovations and family life. We’re just starting both ventures, so I expect a lot more content should start flowing in future months!

Building Home and Family Collage on East Dakota Quilter

I do have a few sewing-related posts over there:

Planning for a Market + Quilt
Free Boppy Cover Pattern
Crib Sheet to sew crib sheets

Reader Question: Is there any interest in having my family-focused sewing projects appear here, too? Or are you more interested in quilts-and-only-quilts? Most blogs seldom receive much feedback anymore, so it’s difficult to anticipate what readers might want without going the ol’ trial and error route.

That said, there is one question that keeps popping up in relation to this blog, and I thought I’d answer it here for posterity:

Q: How do you create your “progress” images for the La Passacaglia?
A: It’s really time-intensive. Kind of like hand sewing the Passacaglia itself. But if you’re still interested, read on…

Step 1: I used the pattern image from the book and desaturated it (i.e. turned it from color to black and white). Don’t have the pattern? It’s in the Millefiori Quilts book, available here. (The vendor I used is sold out, but the linked Etsy shop owner is someone I met through the DCMQG when I lived out east, and she’s great.)

Step 2: I photograph my latest rosette finish, preferably against a neutral background to make editing easier.

Step 3: In Photoshop, I open the photo and delete/remove the background, including the extra “tails” on the triangles of the rosette to get a clean shape.

Step 4: Finally, I open the full pattern image, copy and paste my newest rosette, and resize/transform/rotate it until it covers the space allocated in the pattern. I aim for “pretty close” vs. perfect because even an overhead photo of a rosette tends to have at least a little bit of angle that makes the proportions a tiny bit wonky.

A few people have asked me to share some of the templates I’ve created for my personal use in designing my La Passacaglia, but I think it’s important not to violate the designer’s intellectual property rights. She worked hard on the design, folks! Given all the hours I’m putting into my quilt, I feel the cost of the book is probably the lowest per-hour book cost I’ve ever spent! And I DEVOUR books!

Check out my WIPs page for links to all my La Passacaglia posts.


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Steampunk & Scrapbooking: Today is brought to you by the letter “S”

Two of my great-aunts have supported my blog and are accomplished sewers/crafters themselves. Over the years, their projects have included cross-stitch, dolls, scrapbooking, costumes, and crochet. I have received a number of gifts from them, from handmade items (like the hand warmers below, teddy bears, and dolls) to family heirlooms.

hand warmers by dorothy

(The hand warmers came with adorable paper cutouts of hands inside to indicate they were NOT beer cozies, haha.)

I wanted to show my appreciation, but what do you give someone who can make things with more skill? –especially when I didn’t want to send something that would just collect dust.

For one of the two aunts, I decided on a pillowcase, but not just any pillowcase… an embroidered steampunk pillowcase!

My aunts have attended steampunk events the past few years. Since I have no experience with steampunk and a pretty fluid concept of history, I didn’t want to make a mistake and include items from different decades/centuries that didn’t make sense together. Then it dawned on me: I could embroider an image of my aunt in the costume she made!

I present Lady Leontine:

lady leontine pillowcase by eastdakotaquilter

lady leontine by eastdakotaquilter

steampunk detail by eastdakotaquilter

The pillowcase even has French seams! I used this super simple tutorial.

The second of these two great-aunts makes incredible scrapbooks. For her, I made a scissors-themed mug rug. The block was inspired by the one in the book Patchwork 318 (see a similar block here), although I had to make my own pattern since the book is unfortunately no longer in print.

scissors block by eastdakotaquilter

Also included in the package was a cute necklace I bought at a craft fair in D.C. called Crafty Bastards. The chain is tiny, but I couldn’t resist.


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Elephant’s Child & Marcelle Medallion Love

An amazing former roommate discovered on Craigslist has sinced moved away, but I have kept in touch. I attended her overseas wedding a few years ago and later celebrated the birth of her baby girl with this quilt and this jacket. This past weekend, I visited her new home in Boston and FINALLY got to meet her baby — just before her first birthday! I wanted to bring a gift and decided a stuffed elephant and a copy of the book The Elephant’s Child would fit the bill.

elephant pattern by funky friends

I used this pattern for the elephant, which had the added bonus of giving me a second chance at sewing circles following last weekend’s chicken, whose round bottom was difficult for me. I saw the elephant’s pattern maker recommended by several stuffed animal enthusiasts. She has lots of other cute stuffed animal patterns, and this project wasn’t too difficult. You might even see the hippo or the lion on my blog someday soon since I got a buy 2, get 1 free deal.

elephant foot sewing

stuffed elephant in the making by craftprowler

In other news, I called several dozen stores trying to get my hands on a copy of the sold-out (even at the printer!) UK magazine Love Quilting and Patchwork, but to no avail. Fortunately, the featured product that caught my eye also appears in the book Liberty Love by Alexia Marcelle Abegg: the Marcelle Medallion Quilt.I picked up a copy while passing by the Harvard Bookstore and spent the baby’s naptimes pondering fabric selections. I can’t wait to get started!

liberty love

In other news, I am not doing such a great job with my fabric diet. I bought these fun fat quarters (which I had trouble photographing on the go) from the Cambridge Quilt Shop:

fabric

Maybe some of them can be incorporated into the Marcelle Medallion…?

I must say I was impressed that the store’s fat quarter section was so robust! The store had many fun fabrics (especially modern ones), and most were available in fat quarter cuts. I often find the fat quarters pretty picked through when I visit fabric stores. The clerk was also kind to me, whipping out a “T” (bus) schedule from behind the counter and directing me to the best stop.

Since my friend was working Friday and I was taking PTO, I backpacked around Cambridge/Boston until it was time to take the commuter rail to her house. It was quite the adventure! At first, I worried people would kick me out of their stores, mistaking me for a vagrant. But I actually got some fun comments when proprietors saw the embroidery hoop strapped to my pack!

backpack w embroidery hoop