Tag Archives: December

Fascinating…a retirement gift

Mr. Spock

Way back in the Spring, I saw on Craft a post about a totally awesome Spock quilt. Event though there was a tutorial on how to design the quilt, I thought, gosh, I wouldn’t know where to start.  I showed it to some co-workers who thought it was awesome and that it would be a great gift for our boss, who is a Trekkie extraordinaire.  But ethics being what they are, it really wasn’t appropriate for me to make it for him.

Fast forward to Octoberish when our boss announced his retirement in early December.  I immediately thought of the quilt and did a search to find the post again. Lo & behold, not only did I find the original post, but I found that Carol, the brains behind the blog Funthreads, had started a really amazing, simple to follow, quilt-a-long!  It made the whole project a lot less daunting.

Carol’s quit-a-long makes a twin-sized quilt in eleven parts. I thought a wall-hanging would be much more appealing to our recipient (and also easier for me to complete!), so I printed out each week of the quilt-a-long and wrote in new measurements for the pieces.  If you want to change the size of a quilt pattern, do not skip this step!  Have you ever tried to halve or double a recipe without re-writing the ingredient measurements? I ended up having to triple a batch of cupcakes just recently because I thought I could do the doubling math in my head as I went!  When halving quilt measurements, be sure to take into account the 1/2 inch for seam allowances. Remove the 1/2 inch from the original measurement, divide the resulting number in half, then add the half inch back in.  This will give you the correct (finished) measurement and your full 1/4 inch seam allowances all around.  Also remember that when you halve both the width and height you are essentially making a quilt a quarter of the size of the original.

I free-motion quilted my version of this pattern only in the black/dark parts to make Spock’s face stand out more.  I also stuck mainly with white/cream and black/grey for the darks and lights.  I have to say I am exceptionally proud of this project. Not only was my boss thrilled with his quilt, but I really enjoyed making it – always key.  I’m looking forward to designing my own quilt next, using the Funthreads tutorial – I’m thinking a Dr. Who quilt in TARDIS blue next?

Holiday Gifts: Necktie

Pirate ship Necktie
Pirate ship Necktie
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander

Strictly speaking, this was not a holiday gift.  My dad’s birthday falls just a few days prior to Christmas and, because I understand how much it must suck to get a load of Christmas ‘n’ birthday combined gifts each year, I make a concerted effort to give him one gift for each. This year’s birthday gift was a pirate ship necktie.

Now, be honest, a necktie is kind of a lame gift. But a handmade necktie?  It kind of rocks. I used the Osman Tie pattern from burdastyle.com (http://www.burdastyle.com/patterns/osman-tie) – it is available in a PDF download for all of $2.  The most painful part of the whole process was taping the pattern together and then copying it out onto pattern paper. I do HIGHLY recommend this step, though. Pattern paper is much easier to deal with than taped together printer paper.

I used cotton, not tie silk; and to make matters “worse” it was quilter’s cotton – already relatively thick and stiff on its own. I also didn’t buy tie interlining, but used a piece of suiting that I had on hand  as suggested in the pattern instructions. The whole thing went together in the matter of an afternoon. I ended up leaving out the interlining all together – the quilter’s cotton was so thick it was unnecessary.

Just a couple lessons learned on this one: don’t just eyeball where the design is on the material. As you can see from my photo, I only ended up with one little pirate ship on the front of the tie because I thought I had it lined up correctly, but I didn’t check. Also, if and when I make this again, I’ll move the stay up a little — the skinny side of the tie is a little short to stay in my stay.

Necktie - back
Necktie – back
Originally uploaded by alyson_olander