Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Revisited: Baby Shower gift basket

Sometimes a friend is having a baby and I don't know what to make or what to give.  My original plan had been to make a quilt for my good friend's first child, "Baby G."  A few mutual friends decided we would all get together and make items using similar fabrics to  make them match or seem more like a collection.  One of the ladies in the group really wanted to make a quilt so I thought I might stretch myself and see what else I might be able to come up with...
Burp rag made from a cloth diaper
Two versatile burp rags/lap layers
Burp rag, misc layers, & 3 cloth blocks
I already had new unused colored cloth diapers and white cloth diapers so I started with those items.  The two lap pads have a layer of cloth diaper in them to be more absorbent and can be placed on one's lap or under a child at changing times just in case. I made three cloth blocks from a square print one of the ladies was using in her project.  My favorite part of all these items is the 3-D Butterfly on the pink burp rag!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

WIP Wednesday

I've seen others who designate Wednesdays on their blogs as a time to talk about "Works In Progress" or sometimes called WIP Wednesdays.  It' a great way to get one on a schedule for blog postings or just to get the chance to alliterate.  I am currently working on a project where you sew the squares together along with  3" sashing all around and then you use a tool to cut squares out of it.  I ends up making a sort of wonky pinwheel.  Now this is the first time I have used this tool so I am still not sure that a) I know what I am doing or b) that I will be successful, or c) that I will still know what I am doing when I am finished.  In an effort to use more alliterations I am hoping to show you a finished project by Friday; maybe called "Friday Finishes".  Hmmm...I may have to work on that one.  Now I do have other projects that I have in progress, but this is the only one I have started in the past week.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Revisited: Quilt for Co-worker's First baby

This is one of my favorite accidental Quilts!  I had cut pieces to make this quilt for my co-worker's first baby.  This pattern was born from a mistake.  You see I was trying to repeat one of the layouts of the two boy's Quilts.  I made the blocks, and had them piled up with some extra fabric I had on hand for reworking any issues I had with any of the blocks.  One day I was laying the blocks out on my bed and I noticed that a orphan piece of fabric had made its way into my design and it was turning out another pattern all together.

I gathered up some other scraps, played around with how I laid out the blocks and this is what I came up with.  When I quilted the Quilt I just used straight lines to outline the stars.  I love the beautiful green stripe fabric on the back which came from a roll of cotton home decorating fabric I had laying around.  This is the sort of Quilt pattern that I will repeat in the future!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Lap Quilt Finished!

I finished the binding on lap quilt this morning (I am attempting to get up at 7AM every day).  I tried to take pictures out in the courtyard of my apartment building at lunch time when all the children and their Mothers leave the area for the AC inside.  I learned two things, a) it is hot and sunny, I should go inside too, and b) I really am not that great at taking pictures.  I used some of my precious "Lovely" fabric designed by Sandy Gervais.  I have a few blocks left of the Stars that I will perhaps make into a table runner.  The pattern is from The Moda Bake Shop, called Charming Stars Quilt.  I modified it a little to use the green fabric with white poka-dots instead of white.  I might try to take a better picture tomorrow; I am not sure if you can see the Stars in the middle.  For the back I used a yellow/white check print and scraps of fabric from another quilt using the same fabrics.  I was inspired by Julie at Jaybird Quilts to do something with my Quilt Backs.  I am hoping to do more interesting things in the future.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Psuedo TV and a little handy-work.

I was planning to put projects on hold this week while our church had its annual VBS.  I made it there Monday for the opening, but yesterday (Tuesday) morning it took us 27 minutes to drive about 3/4 of a mile from our apartment.  That's when we learned that there was an accident on the major expressway that was about 15 miles from where we were currently parked in traffic and that the expressway was backed up past our Church.  So we turned around and went home.  There are certainly some disadvantage to living in an area that has more population within 5 miles all around us than the entire population of the State of Alaska.  Which at moments like this I sorely miss more than ever!  

By last night I had come down with a cold or virus and I was glad I had not exposed the children to me.  I am still feeling poorly today; a little feverish, a little congestion and other sick-type issues.  I let my VBS partner know she would be missing me once again today.  So being a little stubborn at staying once again in our apartment, I set out to work on one of my many projects (yes, honey, I did take a  nap). 
I finished the machine stitching on the Quilt in the corner of my crafting room.  I have the binding on, clipped, and ready for hand sewing the binding on.  My husband is going to put Hulu on the computer (we don't actually own a tv since we can find out favorite shows online).  We are going to watch a marathon of shows (my husband is trying to get me to rest on the couch)!

  1. The Voice  (So much better than American Idol I think)
  2. Master Chef  (Such a funny show)
  3. Master Chef  (two episodes!)
  4. America's Got Talent  (some do, some don't)
Maybe I will get the binding done and I then can show you the finished project tomorrow and enter another project into the FYPC (Click on the icon on the right hand side to find out more about this contest!) drawing.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

What am I doing next?

 What am I working on next?  Two boy quilts using a tutorial from Moda Bake Shop which is designed by Mary from The Tulip Patch.  The fabric picked for the first of the quilts is a charm pack of Moda's Chrysalis, 1.5 charm packs of Moda's Basics charm pack in natural.  For the second quilt I have decide to change one aspect of the pattern which is to change the connecting squares to brown.  The fabric chosen will be a charm pack of Moda's Chrysalis, 0.5 Moda's Basics charm pack in natural, and 1 Moda's Basics charm pack in Brown.  When my Parents-in-law were visiting a couple weeks ago we went to JAF to look at some fabrics to match.  

The Blue fabric almost seemed made for this line of fabric and I was delighted that my FIL found the Orange fabric.  I am still debating which to use for sashing and which for binding.  Perhaps I will show the inner pieced pieces and you all might give me your input.  I have already put these two quilts on my Projects in Progress list along with the two quilts that are ready for me to begin machine stitching them.  I may not make much progress this week however.  Happy crafty to everyone out there!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Finished: A Pair of Baby Girl Quilts

 Several movies later, my binding is completed on both quilts.  Well, I get to cross two more things off my "Projects in progress" list!  I am very please how these two quilts turned out.  I am not normally a pink kind of girl, but I think it works well with the purple and the yellow.

I did not use any designer prints per se on these quilts; just scraps of fabric from my stash.  I tried to match the border fabrics in their brightness.  The lime green sashing/backing is fabric that I bought a bolt of about 5 or 6 years ago and I think I may still have quite a few yards left, so it may make its appearance in several more quilts along the way.  I had a 50% coupon at JAF back when solids were $1.99/yard.  So a $1/yard is not bad at all!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

It's time to bind...

So yesterday I overdid it a bit and I am exhausted, but the quilting is done on these two Jacob's ladder quilts! Now it is time to put the binding on them.  I used a meander stitch on both quilts and with my gloves the stitching went so much quicker than it used to.  I had already cut the strips for the binding at 2.5"X WOF (Width of Fabric).  My friend Grace came over late yesterday afternoon to help me figure out which binding looked best with which quilt.  You might be able to tell that the same block pattern and fabrics were used in both quilts, but I switched where I used them a little bit.  I find it really interesting that they sell this item called "binding clips" and they turn out to be just like my hair clips only much, much cheaper!  Another item my husband loves because they are not pins.  So the next time I need more hair clips I will run over to JAF!

My original idea was to make two girl quilts and two boy quilts for whatever genders our children were going to be.  I finished piecing these two quilt tops in early January and they have been tucked into a box since then.  I figured that I should get them completed and perhaps put them up for sale when ever I get a store set-up.  It's really nice to get some of my projects completed.  I am glad for the contest to get me going last month.  It is nice to have something little to do each day that I can accomplish.  And now to choose a movie to watch while stitching the binding on by hand and resting!  Any suggestions of what I should watch, this will take a few days.  What are your favorite movies?  As you may be able to tell I do like Jane Austen adaptations (I even have a couple more that are not in the pile)!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Basting Day

 It's Basting Day here in my craft room.  I spray baste my quilts because a) it's easier, b) my husband has a hate/hate relationship with my pins, and c) did I mention how much easier it is?  The first lesson I learned about spray basting is that everything needs to lay flat, so I iron everything including the batting to make sure that wrinkles have been removed.  About 4 days ago I started using spray starch to keep my blocks from shifting around.  I usually spray the blocks before I have squared them up and before I have attached them to the sashing and/or other blocks.  In the case of the Pink/Purple Jacob's ladder Quilt here on the left, I starched the whole top.  A moment here to tell you what a difference the starch has made!  Now I have not yet machine quilted my tops that have been sprayed with starch, but I can tell you that block assembly and squaring them up is a whole lot easier.  I learned this little tip whilst putting together the scrap blocks together for the Quilting bees I am/was a part of (my part is finished). 

In the corner are three more quilts basted and ready for machine quilting.  The quilt standing up measures at 50"X50" and so I used an empty upholstery fabric tube to keep it from wrinkling.  Both my second Jacob's ladder quilt (Pink/Yellow) and my attempt at modern quilting (bright colors/black) are measuring at 40"X40".  I tucked them both onto empty cardboards for a regular bolt of fabric.  I already like these storage methods better than the fold and stack on my desk method.  Especially since I have someone coming over tonight that needs a hand with a quilting project (a scrap quilt using her son's old clothes).  I like to baste a couple quilts at a time; today I worked on both of my Jacob's ladder quilts.  Since I just have a regular, cheap sewing machine, it takes a lot of arm strength for me to machine quilt.  I am trying to get projects ready for my good days and hopefully soon, I will be all better!  Since the basting spray can be sticky if one gets it on themselves (and I almost always do), you can do clean-up for multiples rather than having to clean up after each individual project.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Revisited: Quilt for my Mother-in-law

This lap/nap Quilt was made for my mother-in-law for Christmas last year.  I love the country colors.  The blocks were made using the idea of a modified log cabin; although now they called these log cabin blocks as well I think.  I made them using fabric from the Kansas Troubles' line called Summer's End.  I can't remember what my original plan had been, but as it ends up every time I find myself using many colors, I put them in color order or close to that.  The back and binding/sashing was a thick green Khaki material so I decided not to use batting for this project.  I wanted the lap quilt to be warm enough to knock off a chill but light enough that one did not feel like they needed to sleep 10 minutes after they put it on.  My husband always feels like Quilts are too heavy because he tends to get hot all the time.  I figured since this was to primarily be a gift for the MIL's living room it needed to fit in there in the colors.  She has a few other light blankets in the living room which is why I also went without the batting.  My sewing machine had a cute little flower stitch that I used to quilt the blanket and the edging.  Since Thanksgiving (when we had out family Christmas) my husband has wondered when I will make him a nap quilt of his own!

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Second Quilting Bee & More Pictures From the Quilt Asylum

These are blocks are for another quilting bee which is also with Margaret's Hope Chest and it uses the same tutorial but with the colors blue, green, red and pink

More From The Quilt Asylum on Saturday: 
This Quilt was made by the Lady in the blue shirt from a collection of fat quarters that she admired.

This Quilt was made by the lady in the white shirt with the "Nature's Notebook" line of fabrics.
This Quilt top was made by the unknown lady in black in different batik fabrics

This Quilt was made by the unknown lady in light green.  She wanted to make it for her own bed and with the left over fabric she made a "bed runner" which is in fashion these days (not pictured).
This Quilt was also made by the lady in light green in the last Block Swap.

This Quilt was made by the lady holding the quilt; again, I wish I gotten the names of the ladies who made these beautiful quilts.  She used an old quilt top that was wonky and she came up with this design to make use of it.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

"Fresh Fabric Treats" book signing at the Quilt Asylum!

A few months ago I heard about Moda Bake Shop's new book coming out called "Fresh Fabric Treats" and it would feature projects for pre-cuts written by some of the Moda Bake Shop Designers.  About two months ago I pre-ordered my book off Amazon because I had a gift certificate.  It arrived in the mail this past week on Thursday just in time for me to bring to the book signing which I found out was going to be about 23minutes-2 hours away (depending on traffic). So I begged my husband to drive me there because my list of stories about getting lost in Texas is so vast I really didn't want to add another one.  I found my SP a Starbucks with free wi-fi to stay at for the 3 hours was anticipating on being at the Quilt shop.  
Jenny Garland with Harper, and Angela Yosten at the Quilt Asylum signing their pages of "Fresh Fabric Treats."
When you first walk into the Quilt Asylum it is bright and colorful, I so wish I had taken a  picture.  So colorful in fact that it is hard to focus on one area because my eyes excitingly danced from one side of the room to the other.  I came to the store primarily for the book signing, but I also wanted to get sashing for a quilt which I had not found yet at the quilt shop in Plano or at JAF's.  Not only was the perfect fabric 4 rows in the door, it was actually from the same line of fabric as the Charm squares I used to make the Quilt.  Yes, the fabric was available online, but you just can't experience on-line the whole process; the fabric has to be seen, touched and painstakingly debated over in the lighting.  The book signing involved two of the authors, each one a designer of a project in the book, Angela and Jenny who brought her daughter.  You have to check out their websites for they are both very clever ladies!

Speaking of which, I have to tell you about the ladies at the Quilt Asylum; what sweet women I met during those 3 hours!  When I wondered over to the side room there are patterns and such to be looked at, and that is where I met the first of the ladies.  I am very sorry that I do not remember her name; my head was aching and a bit swollen today.  She made the first quilt pictured made with all the batiks; my picture simply doesn't do her amazing work justice.  She introduced to me to several ladies who were starting to gather in that room and later when I wondered back over to that side of the store she motioned for me to join them in their meeting.  They were having a show and tell meeting, sharing all the work they have been doing in the past month.  

The Pink Quilt was one of the quilts shown in the second meeting which was a show and tell of their last "Block Swap" which ended up being 114 squares.  It was interesting all the different ways one can use similar squares.  And somehow I found myself signing up for the next "Block Swap" which will have me making 80-6" squares in the next 6 weeks!  What?!  Well I also was able to purchase thread to machine quilt two quilts which have been waiting for me to make up my mind; I have decided to use colorful thread!  I also won a prize drawn at the first meeting, a graph paper book for designing my blocks.  What a wonderful day this turned out to be!  I wish I could get started making something, but alas it is time for an afternoon nap!

Friday, June 3, 2011

The challenge returns & My First Quilting Bee!

Its Back!  Another month and Ruby Slipperz started another round of the challenge to finish more projects!  My last month was very slow on the numbers as I have been slowly working on my recovery as well.  I was able to finish 6 projects (although I forgot to send the last two in for a ticket to win, oh well) and of course in typical fashion I started many more.

I participated in my first online Quilting Bee!  I received the news on March 2nd that I had been accepted in a newly formed group at Margaret's Hope Chest.  She assembles, makes, quilts, (enter in other sewing/quilting type terms here) and distributes quilts to charities.  I suggest you check out the work going on at her website, it is pretty amazing stories.  Well I finished my two blocks for the first Quilt I signed up for and I am hoping to have them in the mail by next week.  The blocks are based on the PS I Quilt’s Block O’ Strings Block tutorial and quite fun to make actually.  I learned a little tip from the tutorial that will continue on for the rest of my quilting/sewing endeavors! 

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

I won a contest!

It was my first year to find out about "Give-a-way Day" which is hosted by Sew Mama Sew each year.  Each year a list of blog sites and stores sites sign-up up to give something(s) away.  This year it was divided into three categories, there were sites from all over the world participating, and the lists were massive!  I was having a bad recovery week and thus was only able to check out about 20 blogs on one list and maybe 4 blogs on another list.  Today my package arrived in the mail from Karamat; I was informed a few days ago that I won!  

What did I win?  Well, Karamat has an etsy store which sells fabric.  On her blog she required each person to pick two yards of fabric they would like from the Etsy site and make a comment.  I pointed out the listings for one yard of each of the prints from the "Frolic" line that is in the first picture above.  In the second picture the new fabric is tucked in with the "frolic" stash.  You may be able to tell that I end up stashing more from Sandy Gervais' lines than any other fabric designers (she currently has 1.5 drawers with her name on it), although I have started to branch out a little.  I originally saw a line of fabric called "Fresh Squeezed" in a quilting magazine and really liked it.  It could not be found, but "Frolic" was by the same designer and had similar prints that I really enjoyed.  

Moda Bake shop has a great pattern using "Frolic" called "WhirlyWheels Baby Quilt" that I was drawn to, so I started collecting fabrics.  However, in the end, I could not bring myself to cut into the fabrics since it was my first foray into the lands of designer fabrics and so I made this pink quilt last year for a friend out of other fabrics. I found another Moda Bake Shop pattern inspired by "Frolic" that I will be attempting in the future.

Project 6: Craft Room is Finished!

Small scraps are stored at the very top by color; the small drawers hold working projects, & tools, the bigger drawers hold half-finished projects, finished projects & random scrap strips; below that the long tubs hold fabric from fat quarter sized to 1.5 yard cuts by color; on the wall above my cutting station hangs the Memory quilt for my babies; below that is my two sewing machines & a basket of scraps to sort; under the shelf is a blue bin to sort fabrics & finally my purple tub where I store larger pieces.

In the corner is a dresser where embellishments and finished knitting projects are stored; 5-inch or "charm" squares are kept in the bottom of the clear drawer, while the top two drawers have my sash of Sandy Gervais fabrics;  the table along the wall folds out to an impressive work table; I plan to use the light colored desk for my painting and non-sewing crafting; and finally,  the white board will go on the wall above the desk.

This is the view you will see when you look in from the doorway.  The brown shelf in the corner holds all of my scrapbook supplies; basket on top holds more scraps to sort; the darker brown desk in front of the window is where I plan to do most of my sewing; and a comfortable chair to sit in for relaxing or perhaps reading a book!
Having finally finished those baby shoes, I decided that my Craft room would be the final project I would complete for the Finish Your Project Challenge (click on the picture on the right side of my blog for more information).  I wanted to get this completed before my friend comes over tomorrow morning for some mending help.  I am pretty proud of this accomplishment, especially since the rest of my apartment looks absolutely wonderful as well!