Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Order Fulfillment

Four grab bags, as ordered.

And one wallet, but we're not going to talk about the wallet because I'm mad at it.

My friend told me to just pick out whatever fabrics I wanted. The only thing I know about the recipients is their age. One of which is her young daughter, hence the flowers on a pink background. Although, I can't swear I wouldn't chose that for myself.

I've had a lot of fun with these bags, particularly using them. So handy. You would think one would be enough for me, but I found myself 'borrowing' my daughter's this weekend as well as using my own. The purple one - 3rd one back - that's my favorite of the group. I see no harm in making one of those for myself:)

Friday, May 25, 2012

I've never done a hexagon project

Which is odd, because it was a hexagon that first peaked my interest in quilting. My primary hobby, pre-quilting, was crochet and one of the things I loved about it was its portability. So when my friend Mandy brought out some hexagons and explained the process, I was very excited to learn of at least one way to quilt on a portable project. But the thing is, I'm not so crazy about hexagons. I tried to like them, but just didn't.

But I did love the Oh My Stars quilt that Crazy Mom Quilts did last summer, so I've decided to try that instead.

I completely understand the "addicting" word people use to describe this process now. It so is. And it's such a great thing to have on hand when my daughter wants to play somewhere.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

My first commission

I went out to lunch with a friend the other day and she admired my grab bag. So I made her one.

The only direction she would give me is burgundy. So I used Crimson Kona and found a small print floral using that color on a tan background. She intended to use this as a purse, so I went with a solid for the exterior.

Except since she's my friend and all, and since I've been wanting to try one for a while, and since I had some scraps left...

Yup, that's my first wallet sticking out of there, and I'm very proud.

It has 2 interior pockets, plus card slots

and a change pocket on the back

When I make a wallet again, I'll use interfacing on both the interior & exterior fabrics, but other than that, I'm very pleased with how this turned out. I just read several tutorials and picked what I wanted from each, so there's not a certain tutorial I can point you to for this pattern.

I was very happy to give this to her today.

And she was so happy to get it that she commissioned me to make 4 more for her to give as gifts! Sweet!

Edited to add: Linking up to Confessions of a Fabric Addict and Pieceful Life

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Quilts in Use III

This one really warms my heart!!

This is the Mystery Quilt in its new home with one of her three children snuggled up to it. She says "I'm convinced this most gorgeous quilt has magical sleepy properties. Since she sent it to me, I've laid down twice on the couch for a quick nap. Twice, Alex has snuggled up behind me and under the quilt. Twice, he's fallen asleep within minutes."

That's what quilts are for:)

Small Projects

I spent quite a bit of time with my sewing machine the last few days.

I finished 12 granny square shirt blocks:

This project is taking longer than I expected, but it's always on the back burner.

I made one of the smaller-than-I-expected, very adorable thread catchers.

Mine, of course. I'll get to Mandy's someday.

But the majority of the time has been spent making the grab bags. These have been great fun.

I made 2 of these using the batting suggested in the pattern:

They're cute. Love the size of this bag - so perfect for a portable project when a tote bag is too big. Love the way they close - just everything about them. Except that batting. I just didn't like how soft and smooshy it was.

So I tried out some pretty stiff interfacing:

And of course, the fabrics are much cuter.

I may need to go with a lighter weight interfacing next time, but I do like the crisp, sturdy feel of it much better.

My only sewing goal for the rest of the week is getting Strawberry Patch basted. Have a good week!

Friday, May 11, 2012

The Mystery Quilt Revealed

Ok, so here's the deal: You be my friend for about 25 years, listen to me whine every time any little thing doesn't go quite my way (because I'm quite the Diva), put up with me forgetting your birthday each and every year, and then I'll make you a quilt.

Yeah, we're totally even now.

You might recognize this fabric from a pillowcase I made for myself earlier this year, but it looks so much better in this, don't you think?

The pattern is called Victorian Romance, by Lyn Brown, and was in the Dec/Jan 2012 issue of Quilt. I will make this again. This is hands down the prettiest quilt I've made so far, and the biggest part of it is this pattern. But, I do need to perfect my flying geese technique. Mine were a little wonky.

Since my friend lives in Maine, flannel backing was a must. Most of it is a floral, but there are a couple small pieces of a green swirl (that I actually like better).

I straigh(ish) line quilted it an inch (give or take) apart. I got almost half-way thru when I realized my lines were starting to curve.

I set the whole thing aside for about a week, completely disgusted with the choice of pulling all that stitching out & finding a better way to keep my lines straight, or keep going and risk the quilting ruining the whole quilt. When I pulled it back out, determined to make the decision and go forward one way or the other, I decided that little bit of curve didn't make one bit of difference. I wanted all over quilting and the texture of straight line quilting, and that's what I had. So I kept going and I'm very glad I did.

My friend Mandy was over the day I finished the quilting, so she got to experience a couple of hours of me groaning and complaining about shoving the whole thing thru the throat of my machine, lifting the weight of it over my shoulder, dealing with the guide on my walking foot as it shifted. I got done, laid it out on the living room floor & she asked "are you ever going to quilt straight lines again". "Oh, yeah!" I said immediately. Love it!

I like it when quilts pretend to be sausages, don't you?

Happy Mother's Day Tracy!!!

Edited to add: Linking up to A Pieceful Life and Sew Many Ways.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

And then she cut her hair

In the time it took me to show you her improve puzzle, she whacked off the back of her hair. This is the second time she's done that, so I should have known better than to leave her unattended with scissors.

For whatever reason, I just grabbed some scissors myself instead of taking her somewhere. Maybe it was too close to dinner time, maybe I was too irritated to spend the money, or maybe I was in a hurry to do damage control.

(Still in the toga)

The funny thing is that her hair was so dry and damaged in the back, despite never having seen a chemical, that I actually think it looks much better.

She just wanted to be sure she didn't look like a boy. I think we're good.

Improv 4-year-old style

What? Doesn't everyone sew in a toga with one ponytail?

Friday, May 4, 2012

Table Topper, among other things

I've started a table topper

What you see represents the center of it and it has sort of a round-the-world border. I was browsing through Keepsake Quilting's web-site the other day & bought one of their scrap packs on a whim. The fabric is very traditional, and not designer quality, but it's great for a fun little project like this.

Crazy Mom Quilts is having another quilt along during the month of May for small projects. Coincidentally, I have a multitude of small projects planned for the next few weeks.

1. This table topper
2. a holder for my Nook, based off this tutorial.
3. A couple of thread catchers, one for me and one for my friend Mandy, from this tutorial.
4. A couple of pin cushions of my own design with a crocheted base.
5. Two wraps, one for me and one for my daughter, for our seatbelts to keep them from irritating our necks.
5. A couple of grab bags from this tutorial.
6. Some burp cloths/bibs/diaper changing mats/etc to match the yellow bug quilt I made a while back.

I still need to decide on borders for Strawberry Patch, and I'm of course still working on handquilting the Double Hourglass quilt, but I'm not in a hurry on either of those. I really don't see me getting all of this completed in one little 'ole month, what with a full-time job and all, but it will be fun trying:)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012


The quilting is done on the Mystery Project

And I'm over half-way thru handstitching the binding down

I've found myself slowing down to a crawl at this stage, I think to just handle it and look at it some more before shipping it off. My goal is to ship it on Saturday. Unfortunately, it may be another week before I can show it off as it has to go from Tennessee to Maine.

The receipent of The Mystery Project is my good friend, Tracy. I'm trying to find the words to relay what Tracy means to me, but when you have a 25 year-long history with someone, it's hard to condense it into a paragraph or two. So I'll just say that she's an amazing woman and I've been very blessed to have her in my life.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced.