Saturday, December 31, 2011

Taking stock of 2011

In the beginning of 2011 I set a list of crafty/quilty goals for myself. I pretty much forgot about them so I thought I should go back and visit them and see how I did.

  1. We are moving to a new house so curtains will be at the top of the list. - I did pretty good on this one. I made curtains for 9 windows! Only have 2 more to go.

2. Step out of my comfort zone and do new things!  I have already set this one in motion by joining a couple of swaps: The Make Mine Modern swap and the Spicing up the Kitchen swap. Very excited about these! -  Loved doing these swaps and plan to rejoin a few in the 2012. This was definitely a good way to do projects and use fabrics I might not have done otherwise!

 3. Make stuff from the books I have. This may sound silly, but I have gotten quite a few books and somehow I keep getting so much inspiration from the internet and making those projects instead. -I thought I did better on this one, but I did okay. Here are the projects I made from books and magazines I had already.

4. I love string block quilts and really want to tackle one this year. This may be a two-fer because there is a pattern for string block quilts in The Practical Guide to Patchwork.  I wound up doing several different variations on string blocks for bees, charities and such. Only the purple string blocks are for me.

5. I'd like to attempt a Cathedral Windows Pillow. - Fail. Never got around to this one.
6. A King size quilt for our new bed - check! See here.

7. A twin/full quilt for my daughters new big girl bed. Also check! See here.

8. I'd like to continue to try and come up with my own patterns more.  - Well, I only did one of these. But I also kind of lost interest. I see so much beautiful stuff I'm inspired by, I haven't really thought of doing my own patterns!

So those were all the goals and intentions I had for last year. I did pretty well especially considering I sort of forgot about them!

With the baby coming soon in 2012, I think I'm going to skip the goals this year and just hope I get a chance to sew at all! How about you? Any great intentions for the New Year? I hope it's a happy and healthy one for you.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Final finish of 2011

A girlfriend of mine is expecting in March (also a boy!) so I wanted to make her a baby quilt. She's crafty and can knit, but I know she doesn't quilt. So I know she'll appreciate this.

However, this was a lesson in reading your pattern carefully! I didn't realize how small this quilt was until the top was done. Whoops! Thankfully it's big enough for a baby quilt.

The pattern is Schnibbles Short Story made with charm packs and came out at 33"x33".

I used a mixture of Riley Blake's Fox Trails and Alphabet Soup charm packs with Kona Sky as my solid. The only thing that I wish I had thought of in advance was how small these blocks are. Some of the adorable little creatures in the fabric got cut up so much you can barely see them. But it is fun to search for them.

Again with this quilt, I think my favorite part might be the back of it! I'm so in love with these little animals.

I didn't need to do any piecing so I'll add my label later by hand.

I'm excited to meet this little guy, I know he's going to be a regular playmate of my little guy! Hope he likes his baby quilt.

Quilt Stats:
Size: 33"x33"
Pattern: Short Story (Schnibbles)
Fabrics: Fox Trails, Alphabet Soup, Kona Sky
Quilted: by me, straight lines diagonal
Finished: 12/29/11

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A bib fail and Merry Christmas to me

I mentioned before that I had some leftover FQ's of the Richard Scarry fabric I used in my son's nursery and I wanted to make a bib. I have Amy Butler's Little Stitches book and there is a bib pattern in there that I thought I would use.

It didn't go so well.

Let me say, it could very well be my baby brain. I seem to be terrible at anything that requires a lot of thought these days!!  I also think that my second mistake was trying to use the iron on laminate from Pellon. Not the products fault, but my fault. I should have made one without it first so I knew what the heck I was doing!

The pattern was listed as a difficulty level #2. So I'm pretty embarrassed about that one. But I have to say, the directions were really lacking. Because she has two different patterns on there, one with a pig and one just with fabrics, there doesn't seem to be a lot of detail. No instructions on when to turn your project right side out. If I read it correctly, it has me adding the bottom pocket inside out!? 

So I wound up just using the pattern piece to cut everything out and then winging it. HA! There's my problem. Here's my final result.

It's a wrinkled mess due to the laminate. And the neck straps don't reach each other.

Apparently I was sloppy attaching the pocket and this corner had raw edges sticking out. I had to topstitch it. :(

The back is cute though - lol!

So I think I need to find an online tutorial. Clearly I need stuff spelled out for me at this stage of the game.  If you have any you want to recommend, I would love it!

On a more fun note, I bought myself a little fabric Christmas present. I knew hubby wasn't getting me anything fabric/sewing related so I got myself some of the yummie Half Moon Modern fabrics that I've been loving. I got some at my LQS and others from Pink Chalk Fabrics. They came Christmas Eve!

And I had no idea how big those dots and chevrons actually are. That's a quarter on that dot on the top print for scale.

I'm thinking these will be great for a quilt back or a large bag. And the colors definitely make me happy. Hope you had a wonderful holiday too!

Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Finished the baby quilt!

I managed to finish the quilt for my coming baby boy with a little help from my quilter Margaret.  When I finished this top I knew I wasn't going to be able to do something special enough with the quilting myself. So I decided to send it away to her and I love what she did with it. Here's are some closeups.

As I've mentioned before, the pattern for this is Fast Forward by Jay Bird Quilts.  And the fabrics are Tula Pink Neptune and Prince Charming.

I used the raindrop print as the binding.

And my favorite is the frog print on the back. I had some extra pieces from the front so I pieced those in with my label. Once he's born I'll write all his stats on the label.

This is a great pattern and I'm so happy with how the quilt turned out. Excited to get to use it in about 8 weeks or so.

Quilt Stats:
Size: 48"x 54" (youth size)
Pattern: Fast Forward
Fabrics: Neptune, Prince Charming, Kona Coal
Finished: 12/20/11

Thursday, December 22, 2011

PMQG Angel Swap

Tuesday night was our December Philly Modern Quilt Guild Meeting and we had our Holiday Angel Swap. The month prior we had all picked names of the person we would make for and on with their name they had put a couple items they would love to receive.

I drew Anna who asked for a Christmas Ornament and a pincushion. Would you believe I forgot to take photos of what I made!?  I made her one of these ornaments. They are really easy and highly addictive and I've made several for our tree too. Her ornament was white and green with a red ribbon on it. Here is one of mine which I have hanging on my china cabinet.

I also made her my favorite pincushion, the Weighted Pincushion Organizer from Elizabeth Hartman on Sew Mama Sew. Another pattern that I highly recommend. I made Anna's version out of Central Park fabrics so it's bright and cheery. Still can't believe I didn't photograph it!

And the sweet Michelle (I don't think she has a blog) got me and totally spoiled me!! I had asked for a needlebook and an apron. Here's what she came up with. Sorry for the bad photos, we haven't seen the sun in a few days here!

She made me a half apron (which a goofy pic of me posing with it will probably pop up on PMQG soon). It's hard to tell, but it's purple and green, one of my favorite color combos!

And she made me a travel sewing kit AND a needle book. They both use the most adorable fabrics with buttons, scissors and sewing machines.  She even put notions in them.

And then she added these guys in.

I'm super excited to try those pens. I had heard about them, but never bought them. When you iron them, the lines disappear off your fabric. And the Binding clips are SO useful. My 3 yr old likes to help when I do binding and my clips are always disappearing. 

Thank you so much Michelle, I love it all!

Then I had an unexpected surprise from my friend Denise.  She made me these adorable burp cloths for the baby on the way. They are made with Lilly and Will which is one of my favorite lines.

Now I definitely have to get cracking on some more bibs. These are so cute!! Thanks Denise!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

do.Good Stitches finished quilt

I may have to stop being a quilter for do.Good Stitches, because I love this quilt and I don't want to give it away!!

This is the October quilt for the Bliss group of do.Good Stitches. It took me a while to get this one done (obviously since it's almost January). The block is the Lynnebobsquarepants block found here.

Part of the delay getting this done is that we were down a stitcher so I had to make 4 blocks instead of the usual 2. Here are my 4:

One of the things that makes this quilt so fun is that everyone did the blocks totally differently. My only request was scrappy with bright bold colors. Some people chose to color coordinate their block to make the design stand out like this one from Carol.

Some used a single fabric line for their blocks, like Elizabeth.

It all makes this quilt so fun to look at! I really enjoyed quilting it (which is my least favorite part) because I got to take a look at all those gorgeous scraps within the blocks.

And I learned that I rarely buy large pieces of fabric. As I was looking through my stash for backing fabrics, I found very few fabrics that were more than 1/2 yard. I don't know if that's a good or bad thing? But, I managed to find these three to piece together for the back.

What about you? Do you ever buy larger pieces of fabric? And what do you do when backing a scrappy quilt??

I put a label on there with care instructions and the name of our group.

I decided to machine stitch the binding again. This time with a zig zag stitch. I'm really happy with how it turned out except for a few small bumps.

I don't know if you can see those skipped stitches. I called my service place about this and it turns out it's because I used a Coats and Clark thread. Apparently they don't agree well with Berninas? I took out my Aurifil because it kept breaking and this is what I get with the Coats and Clark. Next attempt will be Metzler. Anyone else have these problems with their Bernina?

At any rate, I love how this quilt turned out. It will soon be shipped to Wrap Them In Love where hopefully it will bring someone lots of joy.

Quilt Stats:
Size: 60"X48"
Fabrics: scraps
Quilted: by me
Finished: 12/17/11

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Nursery Sewing

As I'm entering my third trimester, I'm feeling pretty good. But definitely getting big and uncomfortable. So I'm trying to get the sewing for the baby done and out of the way.

The first thing I managed to finish were the wall hangings from the Richard Scarry Busytown Panel.

I took the simple route with these and just wrapped them around foam core and stapled them. They are nice and light and should be easy to hang! The nursery still needs to be painted, but I'll take some photos when they are up!

I also got a bunch of fat quarters of the Busytown fabrics so I decided to make a diaper stacker. I used this pattern from It's not really fat quarter friendly, but I pieced my FQ's together so it would work. It wasn't the best tutorial, there were a couple steps missing and there is totally no need to cut pattern pieces from interfacing. But if you know the basics of sewing it gets the job done. Here's my final result.

And a close up of those cute critters...

I still have some FQ's left to use up. Anyone have some cute ideas? I've got enough burp cloths, but I'm thinking baby some bibs??


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