East Dakota Quilter


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The Big Move… and a New Sewing Room!

I loved living in Chicago; however, I am settling happily into my new place in the Washington D.C. Metro Area. The proximity to other destinations along the east coast is really exciting. Perhaps best of all? My new sewing room!

My boyfriend built a pegboard for my sewing supplies, and I finally have someplace to hang the only oil painting I’ve ever made so Myrna Loy is not smirking at you while you watch TV, use the restroom, etc.

EastDakotaQuilter_sewing_room

Here’s a close-up of some of the things I keep on my pegboard:

EastDakotaQuilter_sewing_room

 I have a place to spread out my Marcelle Medallion while I’m working on it so it doesn’t get crushed:

EastDakotaQuilter_marcelle_medallion

The room is doubling for now as a guest room, and there is some spillover with extra books. (*cough cough* The dresser might be full of fabric, though. And all the plastic tubs and blue crates, too.)

EastDakotaQuilter_sewing_room

Here’s my sewing machine. She’s on her last leg, but goodness, I love her!

EastDakotaQuilter_sewing_view

I even have room for some family heirlooms!

EastDakotaQuilter_iron_heirloom

 

I still have a lot of unpacking and organizing to do (and wall space to fill – yay!), but I love that I have a dedicated creative space. I hope to get back on track with this blog and begin to post more projects in the next few weeks.


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Marcelle Medallion: Nearly Complete!

My poor sister. I have been staying with her the past few months during a geographical transition, and she has had to put up with fabric scraps all over our apartment for weeks! It all started when I saw the Marcelle Medallion quilt on a few blogs.

marcelle medallion in liberty love, via craftprowler

Within the month, I bought a copy of the book Liberty Love by Alexia Marcelle Abegg that features the quilt. I was actually looking for a copy of the UK magazine Love Quilting & Patchwork, which has the quilt as its cover star, but it was sold out everywhere! (I finally located a copy of the magazine a month after starting the quilt.)

love quilting and patchwork

Both Liberty Love and Love Quilting & Patchwork have several other projects I want to try. I usually do not follow patterns or tutorials (not even for piecing my Sampler Quilt), so that’s saying a lot. Happy to have BOTH!

medallion love via craftprowler

Since my last post about the Marcelle Medallion quilt, I’ve added additional borders. I can’t say I have found piecing them as “addictive” as some other bloggers described. I am too impatient! What I find addictive is seeing the new borders finished and added. It’s turning me into a bit of an antisocial monster. Good thing the center was the most difficult portion; the rest has been going pretty smoothly.

marcelle medallion center by craftprowler

marcelle medallion border 2 via craftprowler

This is one busy quilt! But I do like having so many different things to look at in a single quilt top. I also like that I was able to incorporate little pieces of so many past projects, including Lotta Jansdotter’s Bella line from a baby quilt I’m working on, lots of greens and purples from my Mardi Gras quiet book, some red-and-whites from a new quilt that’s percolating, and random reds, aquas, and yellows from the quilt I use now.

marcelle medallion border 2 by craftprowler

By Border 4, my measurements were a little off. (Alexia warns of this in the pattern, so it’s not a big deal.) My quilt ran short, so I just removed one triangle from each side. Now I’m back on track.

marcelle medallion border 5 by craftprowler

My Marcelle Medallion involves a number of firsts for me:

  • It is the first quilt I have made from a pattern;
  • I made my first [successful] Y-seams (I tried to use them in my first-ever quilt – HA!);
  • This was the first time I made flying geese;
  • It was also the first time I sewed triangles (other than HSTs); and
  • It was my first large project that includes at least 50% scrap fabric from my stash.


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How Marcelle Medallion Brought Balance to My Week

I completed the center of my Marcelle Medallion quilt… finally! I’ve been spending much less time indoors with the nice spring weather, plus I have been hosting visitors from out of town, including my parents. But I’m pleased with the result now that it’s finally done:

MM center by EastDakotaQuilter

MM center block by EastDakotaQuilter

In particular, I’m happy to have made it through the y-seams. I tried four different times the first night and started to think that I’d either cut the fabric crooked or was lining it up wrong until a quick google search revealed that marking is really important with y-seams. I was under the impression it was a waste of my time. I mean, it was easy to line up the other pieces! (Hmmm… this flat end must line up with that corner…) But that whole trick of marking the y-seam corners was magic.

I am finding in blogland that quilters often apologize for imperfections. I myself planned to throw in a comment that my y-seams still weren’t perfect, but that I’m happy with them because they add character, right? Then I realized: quilting is probably the one area of my life where I don’t fret about imperfections. It is so liberating to decide a y-seam is good enough and seriously not give it another moment’s thought. It might not be the reason I started sewing, but it’s definitely the reason I’m still doing it. I had to laugh when I thought what it would mean if I used the same philosophy at work: Well, the acquisition is finished and the employment contracts are drafted, but I couldn’t work out the details of the non-compete clause, so I left it out. Now the former employees are starting a competing business across the street. It adds character to our business! Yeah, that’d get me fired. But my y-seams definitely have character. 🙂

I have the fabric for the remainder of the quilt and I’ve planned which fabrics to use for most of the borders. The hardest part of the quilt, the center square, is complete. I’m really looking forward to seeing the final product, imperfections and all!

MM center by EastDakotaQuilter

MM Fabrics by EastDakotaQuilter

MM planning by EastDakotaQuilter


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Design: A New Frontier

I chose “craftprowler” as a blog name because I never, ever thought I would be able to design my own projects. I figured I would just make minor alterations to the projects I found on Pinterest. However, I’ve spent a lot of time designing projects since the last time I posted photos. The burst of creativity feels amazing, but there is blessed little to show for my efforts so far!

Design Book

I bought the notebook featured above at Target. It is responsible for maybe 30% of the projects I’ve designed so far. (Another 40% is Pinterest, and 30% is me.) The reason? It has gridlines, with heavier lines around every 8 boxes. It’s perfect for sketching out quilt ideas.

I haven’t gotten far with sewing the Marcelle Medallion quilt, but I selected all the fabrics and cut out the middle pieces already. This is the layout so far:

marcelle medallion center by craftprowler

(Confession: I actually did start sewing the middle, but the Y-seams stopped me short. I am going home tonight to rip out some of the seams and try again. Apparently, marking is important. Oops! I like the pattern enough that this is the first time I won’t just plow forward with the awkward, first-try version.)

I’ve also drawn several more templates for my Barn Quilt, including this 1982 Buick LeSabre:

1980 buick by craftprowler

I drew a fox to grace either a purse or a pillow – haven’t decided just how to use it yet. Embroidery? Appliqué? Both are possibilities. If you want to use the image and end up making something before I do, please email to let me know! I’d love to see your projects.

After seeing some neat images at the Etsy store of cheesebeforebedtime, I tried doing a self-portrait with the intent to post it as my thumbnail here on the blog. The first result was embarrassing. The second definitely looks like a person, but not like me. Let’s just say it might take a few more tries before it’s worth posting online.

I have also been scheming the past few weeks about how to take better photos for my blog. A major issue is my work schedule. My evening commute is around 2 hours, so even if I get out at a decent time, there’s not much daylight left by the time I get home. The windows of my apartment also face directions/buildings that are not conducive to natural light. My new goal is to work on projects a week ahead of time so I can photograph them on weekends. (Disclaimer: Procrastination may still mean low-resolution iPhone photos.)


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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