Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My craft room: Reality needs a make-over

This is a very nice little room.  This office used to be our bedroom, but when we had found out we were having twins we quickly started making plans for this to be their room.  When I miscarried our babies my husband decided he would make this room a craft room for me.  His parents drove down and helped him get it arranged.  Boy do I need to organize!  On the fold out table (first picture above) I have some of the projects on my list for the FYPC contest.  I was trying to figure out which ones I want to tackle first tomorrow. 

So lately my stuff has started to creep out from their hiding places.  Most of my fabric was in containers like the big purple tub tucked in under the second desk.  They are great tubs, but they are not ideal when looking for a particular piece of fabric; this was noticed when stacks of fabric began appearing under the table. Fabric will be sorted by size; Large (Bulk yardage will go into a trunk), medium and small pieces by color (clear containers on the black shelf), and scraps (clear containers with by color dwelling under the fold out table).  When we originally planned this area the table was folded away, but it is almost always open these days since it is great for me to spread out the fabric of my 50"X50" quilts when I am spray basting them together.  This causes a problem since it blocks a part of the entrance.  We are hoping to get this room rearranged to allow for a better entrance, plus I can then closed the door to my mess!  Consider these the "before" pictures, if we get to an "after" I will post those to you as well.  Tonight I will leave you with a link to a post that is truly inspiring on Stash Manicure's blog.  My deep love for fabric is barely greater than my love for containers.  Consequently, I go back to the post at least once a week to drool...

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Project 4: A ruffle makes everything better!

For those who know me, I don't really believe that.  I am not a pink, lace and ruffle kind of girl.  I can neither confirm nor deny that pink may or may not be showing up in some of my future quilts however.  So this is another project that has been taunting me for a while.  I originally made this slip without the ruffle, I really should have taken a before picture.  I made it for a tiny little girl ("B"), daughter of my really good friend "S", but because she was very tiny at the time I had to leave the ruffle off or she would have been dragging the fabric.  But then she grew, and grew and grew some more so it was time to rip a few stitches out and add the ruffle.  I have actually been making children's clothes and costumes for 16 years!  It is really hard to pick my favorites though.  I am being tempted back to clothes making by Oliver +S patterns.  They are the type of clothes I want my children to wear, so I have been thinking of continuing my wardrobe formation for my future children's trunk, sort of like a baby hope chest.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Project 3: 4-year project finished!

I had another project in the making and in typical "shanna" fashion I found another project to finish instead! I finished this quilt a couple of days ago, but we are having a nice visit with my husband's parents (FIL is holding up the quilt for me in the picture). I have been trying to sort my scraps, fabrics, and well my stuff when I cam across a score of unfinished projects hidden in deep dark places. Now this quilt is a rough finished size of 45"x60" and I say rough because this quilt is a testament to my imperfections. I started this project in September/October of 2007 when Juneau got its first WM and to my delight they had "Veggietales" Fabric for only 50 cents a yard; in fact, I also bought the faded red and yellow prints for the same price.

I had originally decided to make this quilt for my future children which would make the tub of Veggietales themed items I have collected over the years (ie. Book club collection, mr. Larry head dress-up toy, stuffed figures etc). I have literally added something to this quilt every year to make it bigger and bigger. This time when I saw the quilt top tucked away, I was determined to finally finish it. I added the green sashing on the out side edge to bring it to the full crib quilt size minus an inch or twoish. After a round of spray basting, the quilt was sandwiched with a warm and natural cotton batting in the middle and a apple red cotton for the back/binding. The squares were quilted in the ditch in the middle and a meander stitch for the stripes and sashing. In some ways, though I was slightly ashamed of how badly this was put together, it is an encouragement of how far I have come in the past 4 years. Needless to say, although I plan to keep this blanket, I may go with another decorating theme if we ever do have children!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Leona's Quilting Adventures gives away a Go! Baby & 3 dies!

Do you ever see something and drool? Like the cartoons where the character's eyes go big and pop out of their head and their heart thumps in their chest; yeah that is me. I am in love with a pretty piece of machinery and we've never met. I have poured over the chart on the Accuquilt website so many times trying to justify the cost of simplifying my life. Well today, I find out that another blog, Leona's Quilting Adventures is giving away one of the Go! Baby fabric cutting machines and three dies. And I wanted to tell everyone about it! To find more about the give away and learn how you can enter the drawing, Check out her site!

I am off to finish a quilt today (I hope!) that I have been working on for many weeks. I used to be able to whip these Quilts out in a couple of days, but (enter in cool looking french phrase here), that's life! Adieu!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Revisited: Quilts for Twin boys

As I am working on deleting my project pictures from facebook, I am revisiting each project for my blog. Most of these quilts have been done in the last 9 months, because before that almost all the baby quilts I made were simple square patch quilts sewn together and donated to various places or causes. After a great discussion with my friend "K", I decided to take the chance to make a blanket for "D", another friend of mine who was to have a baby.

For years I had been collecting quilting magazines and books, but in all honesty I was afraid to make the change over to actual patterns. "K" helped me find a pattern that would be easy to make with the flannel fabric we found on sale at JAF. When I found out "D" was going to have twin boys, I decided to make them each their own blanket using the same fabrics, but change the way the fabrics were used. I made nine patches and half-triangle squares and alternated them. I did the "stitch in the ditch" method in the middle making one look like squares, and the second quilt look like diamonds. In the sashing I made a random stitch that I was trying to make look like the path of the flying bugs in one of the prints; I now know this is sometimes referred to as a "free-style" stitching. On the front in the corners I made little tags that had each child's full name stitched (I have not included these pictures for privacy reasons).

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Project 2: In Memory of my Children

I may not hold my own children in my arms, but I have held many of yours. I have taken care of many children over the years, picked them up off the ground, soothed their anguished cries, fed them taught them, entertain them, and cheered them on. I have loved them. And today I realized that although my children are not living or growing, I am still a mother too.

About a week after we lost the children, I picked this fabric out (with the help of my Mother-in-law) to a make a quilt in their memory. I used 1 charm pack(fresh flowers), 1 jelly roll (fresh flowers), 1 yard of yellow print fabric, and 1.5 yards of the Smiling flower green fabric that is from the same line of fabrics as the charm squares and Jelly roll fabrics. To be honest in the beginning I had no plan what this quilt was going to look like. I just started pinning "Thangles" to my jelly strips and hoped for the best. I started by making some star blocks and while doing that I figured out that the same pieces also make a heart block as well. The slashing is solid Red Cotton used also for the back and for the binding. I stitched the quilt using an abstract flower stitch that I made up as I went along. This Quilt is big enough for a lap at 50"X50". For now I plan to hang it on the wall of my craft room.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

What have I gotten myself into?

Well, it another day and I have not yet finished another project. In Fact, I started another one! You would think that this challenge would have enticed me to complete one project before starting another one. But you see, I had this idea for a block in my head and I had to get it down on paper before if flew out. Once I had described my idea and had a sketch to remember, I had to give it a try to see if it would work. Actually in my defense I was only going to make up one block, but as I cut the fabric for the one block I realized that it would be just as easy to at least cut the rest of the fabric in stacks. If I changed my mind, the fabrics could be used easily in another block. So once again my crafting room is piled high with more to do.

So here is my new list:
1. Finish making Green/Brown Quilt blocks (pieces being cut on the blue mat, pieces sitting on the iron, and those on the blue paper next to the iron)
2. Finish sewing together Coral/Blue/Green/ white quilt blocks (On the far left by the sewing machine)
3. Finish putting together Mauve/Taupe/Grey-blue/Cream blocks for placemat set (Top picture, in the middle next to and in front of the sewing machine)
4. Complete the baby shoes for my brothers new baby (They had a girl a couple days ago, those are in the red box on the table next to the iron)
5. Complete the 5 other pairs of shoes for other people with new babies or pregnant with babies (also cut and ready in the red box separated into bags)
6. 3 Quilt tops and a table runner that need to be quilted and binded (piled up between the iron and the pile of boxes, this is where I'll put more quilt tops.)
7. And many more projects that are out of site of my camera thankfully, but might be mentioned in the next merry list making.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Challenge: Project 1 finished

Hooray! I have finished my quilt at last. I started this project in March hoping to figure out a new trick for making pin wheels that I learned from a video on Youtube. Believe it or not this quilt originally started out as pin wheels blocks, but after accidently sewing the block together wrong twice I decided to make it into diagonal rows, but then I once again sewed the wrong side together and realized it made another square shape. There are actually squares in side squares and triangles on this quilt. The fabrics I used for this quilt are a "Origens" charm square pack (42-5"x5" squares) by designer Basic Grey, a pal green/white print from JAF (Joann's Fabrics) and a brown/white dots fabric also from JAF. I did a meandering loop stitch for the quilting, which holds everything together quite nicely. Another adventure in using charm squares to make a project. First Project down in the challenge and time to take a nap!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

And in this corner: A challenge!

My dear fabric friends! It has been a month since i have posted on my blog. It was my intention to have quite the list of finish projects as well as posts to this site. however, I have been recovering from Viral Meningitis, which has left me quite weak. When I last left you in March I had 4 finish quilt tops pieced but waiting to be quilted, several pairs of half finished baby shoes, blocks assembled but not put into a finished quilt top, pieces cut for making new blocks, various random projects I am finding half-finished through my crafty years, and items I started for our own children when I was pregnant with our twins.

Recently I came across a blogging site ( with a challenge I longed to be a part of: Finish as many projects as you can in two weeks and each item you finish will be a ticket for a drawing for a prize of a $30 shopping spree from one of my favorite online Quilt fabric stores. Well at the time I was so weak I was not even sitting up yet, but recently I find that she has extended the challenge until the end of MAY!

So as I am working on my recovery, I am taking up the challenge! I will post here on my blog every time I am able to complete a project. You should consider taking up the challenge too! For more details, just check out this link: