December 19, 2012

some Christmas gifts

I've started in on my Christmas sewing to-do list but I'm so running out of time! I've already crossed a few things off my list but I think I've made more for myself than others.  I've already made three of these infinity scarves and I am addicted! They take about 10 minutes to make and if you're lucky enough to find a knit remnant at the fabric store they cost $2 or less. So I don't feel too bad I've made myself two scarves.  What? You want a sweet photo collage of me wearing my favorite scarf and trying to take a picture using my bathroom mirror? If you insist...

I am in love with this sparkly scarf. For about two seconds I considered giving it to my mother-in-law for Christmas but decided I couldn't part with it. It looks good long or doubled up. (See how I'm wearing both a scarf and a necklace? For me that's accessory overload.) They're so easy to make I'm going whip up some more. I'm also making some of these scarves for my nieces for Christmas. With the leftover knit fabric I want to make some coordinating t-shirt bracelets. What handmade Christmas gifts will you be giving?

December 3, 2012

some baby gifts

I did it! The converging corners quilt I first blogged about on September 25 and that needed to be finished for a baby shower on December 2 is complete, wrapped and gifted! (Though I am so tacky I asked mom-to-be if I could borrow it back for a day to show off at my quilt guild meeting this week.) I still can't believe I actually finished this quilt (it's the most intricately pieced project I've made so far), and I am so, so happy with how it turned out.
converging corners baby quilt

My coworker is expecting her first child in February and her nursery colors are aqua, green, orange and some gray.
blue back of converging corners quilt

I backed it in Kona Bahama Blue. The only part I'm not completely happy with is the binding. It really needs a darker binding but I convinced myself a white/green polka dot from my stash would work.

personalized quilt label
I added one of my personalized quilt labels I made on Spoonflower.

I also had time to make a few other little gifts--some flannel burp cloths and a monster bib. (Though I was seriously sewing the bib the morning before the shower.)  And after all this sewing, I still had to fight the urge to race to Target and buy something off the registry to add to my handmade gifts.
burp cloths and monster bib

I normally don't give alcohol-themed baby gifts (the burp cloth) but daddy-to-be works at a brewery, brews as a hobby, and the baby shower was held at the brewery so I though it was appropriate in this case.

I'm so glad to have this project done.  Now it's time to start in on my Christmas sewing to-do list!

* * *
The converging corners quilt is my favorite project of 2012.


November 14, 2012

wip Wednesday {11/14/12} & 100 day hustle recap

We're over halfway through the 100 day hustle, so it's time to evaluate my progress.  (My original post is here.)

Finish sewing the item I'm making for my WISH do. Good Stitches swap partner.  Done!

Make a converging corners baby quilt for my coworker who is due in February but the shower is in DECEMBER!  I'm making good progress!  I only have 4 blocks left to do.  I finally got the Kona color card I ordered so I can order fabric for the backing and binding.  I was a little discouraged because the blocks looks so random and ugly--a mishmash of fabrics.  I finally laid them out and it all came together--it's going to be awesome!

Make some cute fabric baskets for the same coworker's nursery. And some stuffed toys. And some bibs.  I'm not going to get the baskets done.  I'm totally making some of these monster bibs, though, and some of these burp cloths.

Make my son's Halloween costume.  Done and adorable!  (He's the red Lego Ninjago Kai in case you can't tell.)

And I managed to whip up a witch costume for myself.

Make a convergence quilt for the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild challenge.  This did not get done and is moving to the back burner.

Finish 2 shopping bags for my aunt which I had planned to have done in August.  (She needs them for Christmas gifts so it's all good!)  No progress here but it's only November--It's still all good!  (Although I did buy fabric to make more bags when I haven't even finished these yet. . .)

Finish this stack--four quilt tops to sandwich, quilt and bind and one quilt to finish hand binding.  I did finish hand binding one quilt.  It is probably the last quilt I will bind by hand.

And our course I've started new projects.  My son and I adopted a Christmas family through our church.  The mom wanted a blanket for her 17-month-old daughter so I whipped up a quick "I Spy" quilt top.  I just need to sandwich, quilt and bind it.

I have one more chevron quilt to make for my brother who was in need of some baby gifts.  Hopefully I can have it done by Thanksgiving to give it to him then.

I'd better get back to sewing--I've got my work cut out for me!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

November 7, 2012

wip Wednesday {11/7/12}

November already?  So much to do and not enough time to get it all done.  At least Halloween is over so I can get on with my long to-do list.

I finished the quick and easy chevron baby blanket I started.  I used one yard of Riley Blake's large chevron print fabric.  I quilted a chevron pattern in the white areas following the fabric print.

It is backed in an incredibly bright orange Kona and the binding is Riley Blake small dots in navy.

I ordered a bunch more chevron fabric.  I think these will be my new go-to baby gift.

For our November blocks, the members of the WISH circle of do. Good Stitches are making Simply Woven quilt blocks.  They look complicated but are very straight forward but I still managed to mess up one of my blocks.  The first one turned out fine.

The second one did not turn out fine as I measured incorrectly before I cut the last piece off my almost finished block.  The right side of the block is wrong. :(

And I wouldn't have even noticed if I didn't set my blocks side by side to admire how beautiful they were. . .

And finally, a horrible picture of the progress on my converging corners quilt.  (I really dislike taking pictures inside my poorly-lit basement.)

I have 8 blocks left to go and need to have the quilt finished by the baby shower on December 2.  Each block goes together a little faster so I think I'll get it done in time!

Today I also used Spoonflower for the first time and made some quilt labels.  Two of my fellow Omaha Modern Quilt Guild members made triangular quilt labels on Spoonflower so I thought I'd give it a try, too.  I typed the text over a photo of the sidewalk--I love the texture and color of concrete.  I ordered them today so hopefully they turn out okay.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

October 28, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

For those of us who couldn't go to Quilt Festival in Houston, there's a Blogger's Quilt Festival over at Amy's Creative Side!
Amy's Creative Side

I've decided to enter my Polka Dot Pinwheels quilt:

I made this quilt using polka dot charm squares from the very first charm swap I participated in--the beginning of my fabric swap addiction! The pinwheels are made with half square triangles. I free motion quilted just in the white areas of the quilt which gave it an interesting look on the back.  I like how you can see the outline of the pinwheels:

The back is Kona cotton medium gray and the binding is a red and white polka dot I had in my stash.

I didn't make this quilt for any particular reason other than I love polka dots and I wanted to experiment with HSTs. I think it would make a wonderful quilt for a baby girl so I'm going to hold onto it just in case. :) 
Finished Quilt Measures:  35.5" x 43.5"
Quilted By:  me!
Best Categories:  baby quilt, home machine quilted

Thanks for stopping by!

October 24, 2012

wip Wednesday {10/24/12}

What does one do when one has a very long sewing to-do list? Why start a new project, of course!

I am in love with the Riley Blake line of chevron fabrics. (And the polka dots, too.) I picked up a bunch of prints for my coworker's baby blanket and decided to get a few yards of the large chevron prints. The large chevrons are perfect for a whole cloth baby quilt. The chevron is printed the length of the fabric which is parallel to the selvage. I purchased one yard, flipped it on it's side (I'm sure that broke so many quilting rules), and trimmed it up to a piece approximately 35 inches wide by 42 inches long. I backed it with some crazy bright orange Kona and am quilting the chevron pattern at various intervals in the white spaces. (Yet another bonus of using high-quality designer fabric is the pattern is actually printed evenly. I can follow the chevron print and my lines are straight!) The original plan was to also quilt in the gray areas but I could not find gray thread that was anywhere close to the right color. I think I'll bind it in a navy blue polka dot then it's off to my brother who needs a gift for his neighbor's new baby boy. (I always find it funny when family members ask me if I have any extra quilts I'd be willing to sell. I never have any extra finished quilts. But if you're looking for an unfinished quilt top or quilts in various stages of done-ness then I'm your go-to person!)

After not getting a chance to do any sewing this past weekend it feels good to sit down at the sewing machine again. For now it's time to put the quilts away and sew a Halloween costume--I've got a 5-year-old son who wants to be a Lego Ninjago. (The red one in case you were wondering.) Happy sewing!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

And unrelated to sewing, I volunteered to provide a trunk for my son's school Trunk or Treat. (I really have to stop volunteering for stuff!) If you have any suggestions for a creative way to decorate a trunk, please share!

October 10, 2012

wip Wednesday {10/10/12}

I managed to get some sewing in this last week. I'm still plugging away on the converging corners quilt blocks for my coworker's baby quilt.

I've almost finished up the little quilted pouch for my partner in the WISH do. Good Stitches swap--it just needs drawstrings. I used this patchwork drawstring bag tutorial but I just used a patchwork strip instead of making the whole thing patchwork. I also quilted it and made boxed corners on the bottom to give it some depth.  So I pretty much didn't follow the tutorial at all except for the size and making the casings for the drawstrings. :)

The pouch turned out kind of small and I don't think it's enough of a gift for my partner so I'm also making her a small reversible grocery bag from this Michelle Pattern.  The outside is linen and the inside and handles are purple Kona.  I added a fun little raw-edge applique leaf on the outside. I should be able to finish this up pretty quickly and get her gifts mailed off to her this week.  I hope she likes them!

I made my November do. Good Stitches blocks.

We used this herringbone block tutorial.  I love the bright colors and can't wait to see the resulting quilt. I really hate wasting fabric and I didn't have enough 11 inch strips but (I think) I figured out a way to use charm squares or scraps for the small end pieces.  Everything seemed to match up correctly and my blocks measured the correct size when completed so hopefully they match up with the rest of the blocks.  (And after going through my scraps looking for fabric for these blocks it's pretty evident I really like polka dots.)

Now back to the sewing room to get a little more work done before my son is out of school for the day.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

October 3, 2012

wip Wendesday {10/3/12}

I almost forgot about wip Wednesday this week! It would have been a shame since I actually have progress to share on some of my projects.

I have 4 converging corners blocks finished for my coworker's baby shower. Only 16 more blocks to go!
I think I might change the dark gray/orange polka dot strips on the upper left block, though. It just doesn't seem to "go" with the rest of the fabrics.  It "pops"--but in a bad way. :)

I finished 2 quilts this past weekend--my Polka Dot Pinwheels and a random fat quarter baby blanket.

I made some progress on the item I'm making for my WISH do. Good Stitches swap partner. It's going to be a little quilted drawstring pouch. I just need to find a cute fabric for the inside and buy something to use for the drawstrings.

My brother needs a baby boy quilt for a gift so I pulled this out of my pile of completed quilt tops. It just needs a backing, some wavy quilting and a binding.  I told him I could have it done in a few weeks (I'm a slow quilter) so I'd better get going.  At least there will be one less item in my wip pile!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

September 30, 2012

2 finished quilts! {finally!}

I don't know why it takes me so long to finish a quilt. I love making the top--choosing the fabrics/colors, the design, piecing it together. I dislike making the quilt sandwich and pinning it. It takes up so much room and it's a pain in the rear trying to keep everything straight and smooth. Then there's the difficult decision of how to quilt it and getting those first few rows of quilting in. Binding used to be the most time-consuming step but since I started using Rita's machine binding tutorial, it makes for a quick finish. Yesterday I found some major motivation and finished 2 quilts!  I present to you my Polka Dot Pinwheels quilt:

I started this back in April. It sat around for a long time waiting to be quilted because I knew I wanted to do free motion quilting and I'm not very good at free motion quilting. I did FMQ just in the white areas. It turned out well and I like the effect it gives on the back of the quilt.

I also finished this random baby quilt which is the last quilt I will make with a hand-stitched binding. (The binding looks great but just takes too long!) The earliest record I have of it was back in April (when it just needed the binding finished) but I know it had been sitting around for awhile before that. I used Elizabeth Hartman's loopy flowers quilting tutorial.

(And sometimes your little helper thinks you're taking to many pictures of quilts and wants to get in on the action.)

Part of what got me motivated to finish these was Flaunt Your Finish over at OKC Modern Quilt Guild. Plus now I also have two quilts to share at the Omaha Modern Quilt Guild meeting on Tuesday.

OKC Modern Quilt Guild

September 27, 2012

Yoda costume

Since Halloween is a little over a month away, how about I share costume pictures from last Halloween? Yeah. I just realized I never blogged about the awesome Yoda costume I made for my Star Wars-loving son.

1) Jacket made from McCall's pattern (M6184).  I made the karate robe (view A) out of Osnaberg, but I did not use the extra facing  and left the edges raw so it would fray.
2) Hood from Butterick pattern (6695).  I used green fleece and made the tiger hood (view C) but made my own pattern for the Yoda ears. I used elastic thread in the bobbin to shirr some the forehead wrinkles.
3)  He wore brown pants and a brown shirt we already had.

4)  I made some stuffed Yoda hands and sewed them to a pair of cheap gloves.

The results were an adorable Yoda costume that garnered lots of compliments!