Thursday, December 19, 2013

Niece Quilt Update

We have gender info on the other baby cousin coming, he's a boy.  I'm now calling them the niece quilt and the nephew quilt.  We bought fabric for the nephew quilt and I'll be posting some peeks on instagram as I get started on it.  I'm excited, I think it will be fun to make.
But onto the niece quilt.  While sitting in an airport, after being told her flight was delayed until 4am, my sister caved.  She needed to see it, so we all get to now, too.
Before all the Black Friday sales, I started emailing my sister links to fabrics I thought she would like.  She then poked around on the sites and choose colors and a fabric.
For the pattern, I wanted to do some EPP hexies.  I thought it would be fun for me, and a good fit for my sister.  Hexagons are just so crisp and orderly. 
I am loving the hexagons.  I need to make a hexagon quilt for me someday. 
I'm having so much fun piecing them together.  It's so satisfying to see it turn into a quilt top.  

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Baby Quilts

For the as yet undetermined niece or nephew, my plan is formulating.  I'm waiting on gender to finalize and determine colors, but I've got it mostly thought out.  I plan on machine pieceing that one, which will be a nice switch, seeing as I'm hand piecing the niece quilt.
Yeah, hand piecing.  Am I crazy?  Kinda.  I was feeling hexagons and the easiest way for me to do hexagons is EPP.  So, I'm doing it. 
I wanted to get started (my kids were sick on the couch so I may as well get some handwork in, right?) but I didn't know what to do about papers.  So after a lunch date with google and a consultation with my husband, I determined I was going to be brave and make a cereal box template and then trace it onto printer paper and cut out a bunch of hexagons.  I think I made 22 paper hexagons.  And then I went to it.
Aren't they just cute?  I feel so accomplished looking at them.  Of course I need a whole lot more, but it's progress.  The only slightly stressful moment came when I took out the paper.  I wasn't too eager to cut more just yet, so I took the paper out of two to see if I was actually capable of sewing two together without the papers to give them more structure.  It's not as intimidating as it seemed.  Turns out I really can EPP.  Must be the handsewer in me.

(and you aren't getting any real pictures yet.  my sister requested "part of his left elbow" with regard to pictures.  and if you know the movie, we should so hang out.)

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

20 Weeks of Sewing

My sister and one of my husband's sisters are both pregnant.  We have two new baby cousins coming in April (or thereabouts) and I'm in sew mode.  One is a girl and the other is as yet unknown.  I have free rein from my sister-in-law.  Ooooh, free rein could be really fun.
My sister knows better than to give me total free rein.  I know my sister's style, but I would never be able to resist adding a healthy dose of quirky or something just to bug her.  She is my sister after all, I have to do something to bug her.
I've already started on a few things for my sister; it's her first so she has to be fully stocked.  I like presents to be surprises and my sister is almost overly all about presents for her being surprises (which is a nice pairing) but it does present a blogging issue.
The solution to which is that I will be shipping as I go.  So once my sister has it, I'll let you see it. 
Until then, here's the fabric options she choose for Project #1.  Both from Joann's.

Friday, October 18, 2013

A Quilt For Me?!

I made a quilt for me! I know, I didn't give it away.  I think I just broke the quilters' code or something.
It was kinda an experiment quilt technically, but still, it was for me.  See, I have a few gift quilts in the works or just percolating in my brain and I needed to try out what size I wanted to make them and whether I could machine quilt them. 
As a die hard hand quilter, I knew my quilt agenda was not gonna happen on the time table I had, so enter the walking foot.  I was so intimidated by attaching it to my machine.  I had to use a screwdriver.  I was taking things apart!  This was way out of my pop the little lever in the back and swap from presser foot to a zipper foot comfort zone.  But I did it.  And I was almost embarrassingly proud of myself. 
I made a scrappy trip and since it's pretty much all my fabric, it is so me.  I super love it.  It's on the smaller size but works for curling up on the couch.  And it's backed in flannel, which is appropriate seeing as we had our first real snow last night.  Totally messed up my picture plans, we know how much fun I have throwing a quilt around.
Now on to the details I love on this one.  First up, my polka dot block.  Not all of my polka dots made it into this block, there are plenty others in the quilt top, but this block is all polka dots.  You can't tell unless you know, but it entertains me.
I did a rollover machine binding and just sewed it up fast.  At one point, I didn't catch the quilt top at all.  I noticed when I was moving the quilt to the dryer, so of course I hauled the wet quilt over to my machine.  I zigzagged it.  It is so not beautiful but I love it anyway.  It now has personality.  And it's for me and I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth!
Next up, a teacher quilt, a brother quilt, and quilts for the nieces/nephews that are on their way in the Spring!  And some more machine quilting.
linking up to TGIFF

Friday, October 11, 2013

This Quilt

 I apparently have a short attention span for piecing.  I loathe making the same block twice.  But this was just the right look for my sons' quilts.  And we have two sons.  And they have bunk beds.  So I made the same quilt twice.  I stinkin' hand quilted the same quilt twice.  And my goodness, I was so ready to be done with this quilt. (and just to be clear, I so did not match up color placement from one quilt to another, I'm not that masochistic)
 The oldest's quilt has been done for a couple years.  Between not enough fabric and not enough motivation, the youngest's quilt has been stalled for a couple years.  Finally, I had to chalk it up to a motherly sacrifice and get it done. 
And he loves it.  It was worth it, but I am so glad to be done.  
I gave them different backings for quick identifying.  And because I color code my children.
The quilts look good in their room, and seeing them all snuggled up in a mom quilt is good feeling.  But just the same, the first time somebody pukes on this quilt, part of me will be satisfied.

linking up to TGIFF and Crazy Mom

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

My Introverted Sewing Summit

It was great!  The class offerings were a good mix.  I wanted to take sewing classes that would teach me new things and I certainly accomplished that.  I learned English paper piecing, hand printing, foundation paper piecing, smocking, and how to draft a pattern for custom leggings.  I even made a metal frame pouch.  It was fun to learn new things and see all the different fabrics people were using.

There was plenty of time for socializing during meals and open sew each night.  Somewhere on their  website they say you can be as social or unsocial as you want to be at Sewing Summit and I will say that's accurate.  I am a super unsocial person.  It takes me years to be comfortable in most situations.  I can small talk if I have to, but generally I'm used to sitting by myself.  I only went to open sew to make some adjustments on my leggings and to do a little prep work for my clutch, a total of fifteen minutes tops.  And while there were clearly a bunch of people hanging out and meeting bloggy friends, I didn't feel like I was excluded from anything by not being one of them.  So introverts, don't worry, they mean it, you can be unsocial at Sewing Summit. 

Okay, now on to some pictures.  I didn't take many; I was busy sewing and being unsocial.
 I haven't finished it yet, but here's my first foray into EPP.  I love it. (it's reading black, but that square is actually a navy, it works, don't worry)  As a hand quilter, I expected I would, for all the same reasons I like hand quilting.  We precut our fabric for this class, and if I iron something I want it to stay ironed so I made myself a little travelling case.
Poor Black Beauty, I gutted another book.  I lined this one in batting and added an elastic loop to hold it shut.  It worked out great.  I hope to do more EPP and figure this will come in handy.  I love that EPP is so portable, and sewing the pieces together is just so satisfying.
 The clutch took less than an hour, it was like forty minutes and that includes glue drying.   I want to make another of these right away to make sure it really sinks into my brain.  It is an impressive finished item and looks like more work than it was.
 In hand printing we carved our own stamp and went to town on some fabric.  We're letterboxers so the carving was right up my alley.  Since I had blue I thought I add a school of fish.  Ideally it wouldn't have the messy edges of the stamp, but in person I really like the messy edges.  I like handmade.
Sewing Summit was fun and I liked learning so many new things.  If we had unlimited money and my husband had unlimited vacation hours I might make it a regular adventure.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sewing Summit Prep

That's right!  I'm going!  I am so stoked.  I got all the classes I really wanted and expect to have a great time and learn new skills.  A whole weekend hanging out and sewing? Awesome possum.
So onto the sewing.  I made my Crafty Chloe zip pouch that I already showed you and I super love.
 I also made another project.  This was one of those projects that just didn't work.  I theorize that I was over thinking it, but it took me three tries to get the stinkin' thing to work.  I was ready a few times to just give up, but in my mind it was so great and I had already gutted the book.  Poor, Now We Are Six.
But victory, I did it.
I figure I can use it to hold my phone, room key, class schedule, stuff like that; things I'll need along that I don't want to put with the sharp stuff. 
It has two elastic pockets, one on each side, and it zips closed on the three sides.  The zipper is what gave me fits.  I was trying to sew it to the fabric lining, but it kept getting all crazy.  I finally just hot glued the zipper in first, the book is thin enough that it was a perfect fit that way.  Of course.  Sewing instead of gluing has been my downfall before.  I should have known.  Next time, next time.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Summer Recap

School started up a couple weeks ago.  We now have two kiddos in school and they love it.  The youngest and I are adjusting to our afternoons alone together and I am slowly getting back to sewing as we get back on a schedule.
I managed some sewing over the summer.  As often as not, our guests come with little sewing projects for me, ranging from fixing a zipper to making a while skirt.  This time it was e-reader cases.
I didn't take many pictures; it was more of a finish then pack kinda thing, but I did snap a couple.
I made three hardcover style cases for my brother and various people he knows.  We hit up a used bookstore and struck gold.
My sister went the zip pouch route for hers.  She chose the fabrics from my stash.  It turned out great.  The contrasting zipper is my favorite part, I think.
This summer we also met Crafty Chloe.  And we fell in love!  I am a crafty type.  My girlie one is a crafty type.  I super love the book because it validates being crafty.  There's just as much girl power in being crafty as there is in having a black belt.  I like that it lets us know we can be awesome for being "domestic."  Anyway, as I was singing Chloe's praises to my mother one day, I mentioned the existence of Crafty Chloe fabric.  Soon thereafter a bunch of it arrived on our doorstep.  So the girl and I did some sewing.
The unicorn pouch is for her.  She keeps various treasures in it.  For my upcoming trip to sewing summit, I made my little pouch to hold my scissors, rotary cutter, seam ripper and the like.  I'm excited to bring it along.  I totally geek out over Chloe at her sewing machine each time I see it. 
I also did a little sewing for the kiddos.  What can I say, we're nerds and we own it.