Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Liar, liar

Aw, remember yesterday when I said I would be working on the Wonderland quilt and hopefully have the top completed? Well, I lied. I didn't want to lie. I didn't mean to lie. I thought I was telling the truth at the time. But then my sister called. The pregnant one. The demanding one. The one that's on a deadline/due date. She wants a diaper bag. So instead I worked on this:

Cute, right? I mean, sure it's no Wonderland. But still.... I mean, look at those wittle baseball players. And the puppy! So cute.

Monday, July 27, 2009


Over the weekend I made a little bit of progress on my Wonderland quilt. I've completed 11 out of 36 blocks. Here's a little sneak peak (for all two of you reading.)

Even though I'm not even half way finished, this bad boy has already taught me a lesson or two (ok, three.) What I've learned so far:

1) When purchasing fabric online, it's best to buy pieces all from the same collection. This ensures that your fabric selections will actually look good together. Quite unlike these:

...which were hand selected one by one from a variety of designers via the internet and to my great disappointment look really terrible together in person. Unfortunately, I didn't realize how unpleasant it looks until I had already cut and sewn blocks to look something like this:

(I'm almost too ashamed to post this here)

Granted, this is an awful photo, but you can still see what a poor combination this is. Now I need to figure out what to do with 16 mildly unattractive quarter circles.

So the lesson is, when shopping online, buy fabrics that are specifically designed to coordinate with each other to avoid the above catastrophe.

2) If I had it to do over again, I would've paid more attention to the direction of the prints when cutting. I was being quite stingy with these Wonderland fat quarters and cut all the strips in one direction. I thought I was being clever and efficient, but I've wound up with some oddly sideways butterflies and scissors that cut in opposing directions. For this quilt, I actually kind of like the disorientation, but for future reference, I'll be sure to cut with more consideration.

3) Kind of in the same breath as lesson 1, working with an entire collection of fabrics is just plain awesome! It really forces helps me to think outside the box when it comes to color palette and the way I piece. When creating the combinations for these blocks I had a tendency to want to put all of my favorite fabrics together to make some totally rad squares. This left me with nothing but the (let's just call them "less favorable" because there honestly isn't a bad color or print in this whole line) fabrics to create the remaining blocks out of which would make for an odd and unbalanced finished product. Using these colors and prints together forced me WAY outside of my comfort zone. And I liked it!

4) I really MUST develop a better system for photographing my work. Hovering over the top of the bed with my iphone is just not cutting it.

I'll be working on these blocks some more this evening and will hopefully (but highly unlikely) have a quilt top finished before I go to bed tonight. I'm thinking of piecing the top together sans sashing. Any thoughts?

Any one at all?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

My. hand. hurts.

Yesterday was the day in which a fat quarter set of this...

became this....

72 - 2.5" x 12.5" strips
144 - 2.5" x 8.5" strips
72 - 2.5" x 4.5" strips
36 - 4.5" x 4.5" squares

I used Allison's measurements for this quilt. I just hope mine turns out half as lovely as hers!

While cutting (and cutting and cutting) all these strips I kept asking myself, WHY didn't I just buy the Jelly Roll??!?! And then I remembered... it's because this way I wind up with all of these wonderful scraps!

Aren't they pretty?

And of course I had to have an audience...

It may be time to make an appointment with the groomer. Poor Annabelle can't see.

I did some shopping yesterday, too! I bought a Charm Pack of each of these...

....which are destined to become baby stacked coin quilts.

I have a friend that recently found out she is pregnant. This is my way of "willing" her to have a little girl. Plus, I am just so in love with that Hushabye fabric!

And because I don't have enough unfinished projects as it is (ha!), I also purchased this Summer Soiree fat quarter set from Pink Chalk Fabric. Not quite sure what I'm going to make, but I'm extemely excited about this one!

So pretty!

Friday, July 17, 2009

My first wearable item!

There should be a rule that you can't live or work anywhere within a fifteen mile radius of a craft store. That way you aren't tempted to go there on your lunch break and wonder aimlessly for an hour, picking out items that you don't really need but simply can't resist because it's cute/onsale/your lunch hour and you have nothing better to do!

I picked up this pattern for a steal at Joann a little while back.

(Simplicity 3835)

Simple, versatile, and cheap. Just how I like it. I fell in love with this weird bark-looking fabric and voila! My very first garment.

I am so darn proud of this thing, too. Even though it was probably the easiest thing anybody could ever make. I'm currently working on another shirt using the 3/4 sleeve with the tie. And I have plans to make one of the dresses with the same bark fabric. Overkill? I don't care. I just love it! This could very easily become an addiction.

Somebody got woken up from their nap and is not happy about it.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Getting the hang of things

I'm a new blogger, as well as a new crafter, so there are many things that I'm still trying to get the hang of. Binding and blogging are two that come to mind.

Here is the king sized quilt I FINALLY finished for our bed. It's been "ready" for quite some time, just waiting on someone to come along and bind it. I put it off as long as I could. It's simply too hot to be using our down comforter these days so I had no choice but to sit down and knock it out. It's really light weight, simple and bright, fitting for Texas summers.

I made a lot of mistakes in this quilt. Very trial and error. I was so ready to be done with this thing, I wound up cutting a lot of corners. The backing is a king size sheet from Target and I top stitched the binding through all seven layers. The end result is far from perfect, but it's over with and that's all I care about at this point. I promise I'm not usually this lazy, but man! This is a HUGE quilt!!!

Here's the quilt for my pregnant sister. Her boys' room has a "transportation" theme, so I thought this would be fitting.

I didn't cheat on the binding for this one, but it's still not up to par.

Again, this is far from perfect. I used the wrong foot on the sewing machine, the wrong batting in the middle, and the wrong measurements for the back (there's a really ugly part that got pieced together last minute that I'm purposely not showing you.) But again, it's finished and that's all that matters. I wanted to give this to my sister for Mother's Day, but it wasn't ready in time. It's belated, but at least she's getting it before the baby arrives, right?

The dogs don't like it when I quilt rather than pay attention to them. (I wish this picture wasn't so dark. His sad puppy dog face is priceless!)

They make seam ripping so much more enjoyable. (From left to right is Leo the Boston Terrier, Annabelle the Lhasa Apso and Murphy the Brussels Griffon.)

(All fabrics are from Joann.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

So much to do!

Once my mom saw the Margaret bag I made for my sister's birthday, she demanded, I mean requested that I make something for her as well. She wanted a tote that she could use casually throughout the summer - going to the lake or on vacations. It's not exactly my style, but my mom is the most patriotic person I know, so I thought this seasonal fabric I found at JoAnn's would be just perfect for her.

It's a very large bag, perfect for carrying a couple of towels, some bottles of water and a bag of snacks! The bottom is quilted for extra stability.

The next time I'll see my family is Father's Day weekend. That's nine days to finish the following projects:

+Resize the hooded towel to fit a toddler
+Lengthen the strap to my sister Amanda's purse
+Quilt and bind Amanda's quilt that was intended as a Mother's Day gift
+Finish quilting Mom's quilt that was intended as a Mother's Day gift
+Finish binding Nikki's quilt that was intended as a Mother's Day gift
+Cut, piece, and quilt Dad's quilt and hope that I can give it to him on the day for which it's intended!

Yes, I'm a month behind on gifts. Shhhh. I'm already tired just thinking about all of the stuff I have to do. Thank goodness I've decided to use the birthing, or turning, method on Mom and Dad's quilts.

I've never completed a full quilt before, but I have six "in progress" quilts and three others on my to-do list after that. I am either very ambitious... or a dang fool!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Birthday boys

I have two nephews with birthdays later this month. Andrew is turning two, and Reed will be one!
For Andrew I made this cute little crayon roll.

This was made using the tutorial from Skip To My Lou and some scrap fabric. The closure is just a hair tie. My sister, Nikki (Andrew's mom) is due in August with her second little boy and I figured the rubber band would be the easiest thing for her to manage with her hands full of precious boys!

For Reed I made this big-boy hooded towel, modeled by Oscar the Ikea lamp.

The towels are from Target. They are super soft, reversible, and they have really cute stripes: no embellishments necessary. Now the problem is... this thing is huge. HUGE! I'm really not looking forward to taking a seam ripper to these plush towels so I keep trying to convince myself that A) he'll grow into it. I mean, my brother-in-law is nearly 7 feet tall and Reed already seems to be taking after his dad. And B) he'll look really stinkin' cute being swallowed by this enormous cloak.

Not convinced, huh? Ok, I'm going to have to make some edits.

Now, this probably wasn't the smartest idea, but considering that my entire to-do list consists of items to make for other people, I figured it couldn't hurt to work on a little something for myself...


I've had these fabrics for about a month and I finally started to cut into them last night. I think I spent a good three hours picking these out on sew, mama, sew! and that's exactly how many hours a day I spent staring at these longingly. It was so hard to cut into them, but I just had to keep reminding myself that I'll still get to stare longingly when it's a finished quilt on my lap.

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