Friday, August 31, 2012

Infant towels

My friend Tracy wanted 3 infant towels to give as a gift to her babysitter, who is having a girl.

I used the tutorial from A Crafty Mommy and embellished them a little. I also used the leftover chunk of towel and made an hourglass shaped burp cloth to match each one.

The first one I completed is a deep purple with the sweetest fabric trim:

Simple petal shapes arranged with a circle in the center:

Then I found another type flower with instructions by Quilted Fish, but now I can't seem to find them online. Maybe you're a more persistent googler than I am.

I can just picture that poofy flower on top of a baby's head, can't you?

The last towel took some thought. Even though my flowers were different from each other, flowers were done. This one had to be something else. I thought about an E, since the baby's name will start with an E, but I even struggled to find an E I liked. I wanted soft, feminine, and delicate, but needed something sturdy enough to hold its shape during the applique process. And then I found some printable fabric, right in my local Walmart. I designed a quick little applique piece on the computer, printed it right off & had on the towels in minutes.

Tracy loves anything remotely romantic, so I think this will be her favorite of the 3.

I shipped them out today, with no time to spare for the baby shower that is next weekend.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Too good to limit to Halloween

Speaking of the Ghastlies, of course. You either love them or hate them and I fall squarely in the former category.

I saw a messenger bag on ETSY using this fabric that I really liked, but I have no use for a large messenger bag. Coincidentally, the very next week I was somewhere with my daughter wishing I didn't have a big, heavy purse on my shoulder that I had to keep up with while I tried to play with her, so the idea of a mini messenger bag was born. I've seen a few on the internet, but I'm basically making this one up as I go - sized to fit my favorite images from the fabric of course.

This is the front flap that will cover the front of the bag:

And these little cuties will adorn the side pockets:

And I will be using this bag at times other than Halloween!

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

I bought a book

When I saw the quilts in it, I just had to have it. Not owning it was not an option.

Here, I'll show you my 2 favorites:

See what I mean? The kind of quilt you could just sit and look at for hours. I should know because I've already spent about that just looking at the photographs.

The thing is, these are not easy quilts. Imagine something in a quilt pattern that would make you afraid to even try - templates, odd shapes, odd sizes - sizes measuring into the 16ths, y seams, partial seams - if there's any sewing technique you're afraid of, these bad boys are full of them. So what am I going to do with these patterns? Am I going to spend the better part of a year making one? Trying to make one? And what would I do with it if I got it completed? Straight line quilt it on my domestic machine? Send it off to a longarm quilter to be custom quilted - on my budget?

I think I bought the book for the privilege of looking at it. That's what I think.

I have a hundred things waiting in the hopper for my few scant hours of sewing time, but I'm considering, maybe, trying to make it a goal of doing one of these in 2013. Not caring how long it takes, or if I get anything else done - relieving myself of all other sewing pressure for the goal of one great masterpiece. Sometimes I think a quilt is worth that, and these patterns seem to fit that bill.

In other news, a weird turn of events involving a 4 or 5 year old e-mail address gave me the opportunity to speak to the buyer of the quilt I sold this week. She was an extremely pleasant person, so I'm not only glad to speak to her in general, but I was also glad to see what was going to be the life of the quilt I made. She purchased it, and one other, to go on beds in her guest room. I know that information is not of any value to anyone but me, but I enjoy having it, knowing my little quilt is going to be gracing the room that her nieces use when they come to visit. That's so much better than just shipping it off, never to hear from it again.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

WIP Wednesday - the one in which I get good and mad

Remember the flying goslings? Still working on those.

They're now part of a comedy of errors otherwise known as a table runner.

And in that first shot, you probably noticed the first thing wrong. After weeks of micro-work, I trimmed the dang thing wrong.

Luckily, the only thing affected is 2 setting triangles, which shouldn't be too hard to replace. After I forgive it for everything it's done to me. Still working on that.

Before I lamblast it any further, I would like to take a minute just adoring the fabric:

It's Angel Cakes by Alexander Henry. I bought it last year not having a clue what I'd do with it, and it was already out of print by the time I found it, so no coordinating fabrics were available. When I saw this table runner pattern, with it's large 6 1/2" squares, I figured it would showcase the fabrics beautifully, which it does.

The most minor problem is my choice of brown. The swatch looked good with all the gingerbread men, but now that I have it all together, I'm really wishing I'd used light, cheerful colors instead. The red doesn't bother me as much, but I really wish I'd pulled the pink & blue out instead. I have more fabric, so it's not outside the realm of possibility that I'll do the whole thing over.

The second issue is that while I cut on the diagonal for the inside squares, my setting triangles did not end up on the diagonal.

It's not a huge problem due to the overall 'tossed' feel of the fabric, but I would have preferred them going in the same direction as the inner squares.

While I'm super proud of most of my flying goslings (remember, they are only 1" tall):

most of the corner ones are cut off a bit:

This bugs me perhaps more than it should.

And finally, the entire thing is spattered with what I assume is apple juice.

Are you kidding me! I think that was the straw right there. The thing that made me just fold it up & set it aside until I can work through my forgiveness issues with it. I should be glad I didn't serve grape juice that day, but I'm just too unhappy right now to really get into that. At some point, I'll replace the setting triangles, see if I can re-do the seams a bit so that the points are not cut off in those few places, own my brown color choice, and wash it, obviously. Someday, it will be a very pretty table runner. I hope that day occurs in 2012.

In the meantime, I still have Aster Manor - I'm up to 10 blocks with only 3 more to go.

The blocks are kinda running together at this point, but I think this is the one I did last night:

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday. I love clicking through all those links and seeing what everyone is working on.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

My first ETSY sale!

I had my first ETSY sale today!! 

I really liked this quilt, and to be honest, I was scratching my head a little as to why it was taking so long to sell. Designer cottons, a simple design that showcases the prints, a great size for a twin bed or a large throw - I just wasn't getting it. 

But it's sold now and that's all that matters. I'll take it to the post office later this afternoon and it will be at it's new forever home later this week. 

And lookey what I bought to celebrate!

(This photo was borrowed from PSIquilt)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

WIP Wednesday

What I've worked on most this week is Aster Manor. I now have 7 blocks completed out of the 13 I need. (They will be set on point if that number confuses you.)

I got off on a slow start with this one, primarily because each block takes about 2 hours, and that's with all the pieces already cut out.

Do you often have 2 hours of uninterrupted sewing time?

Me neither. So this week I decided to sew on it when I can & however much I can without feeling like I have to finish one block in one setting. I did 3 blocks in 2 days with that mentality.

I wondered when I started this how I would like this "scrappy". Some parts are fine and others bother me. None of the red stars bother me. I guess that's a large enough piece of fabric that it can handle any design. Plus the white around it gives it plenty of contrast.

The only brown that bothers me is this busy leaf.

Just because all the leaves serve to reduce the contrast. And I'm not crazy about the tan at all. It isn't enough contrast from the pink background. It just gets lost. The only block that works in is the one with a plainer, tonal tan.

My first making of this pattern was also my first work with flying geese, and that didn't go so well. I followed the pattern and used the "no waste" method and for me, that resulted in way too much variance from piece to piece. That might have been fine if I'd then used a flying geese ruler to trim them, but I didn't and therefore had some wonk on those blocks. Some cut off points, some smaller than standard seams. This time I used the Fons and Porter flying geese ruler:

Waaay more cutting time, but no trimming time, and really consistent results. I'd say the overall time involved is about the same, and this works much better for me. Personal choice to be sure.

I'm linking this up to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday. Lots of great projects represented there already!

First day of real school

Today is my daughter's first day of real school. (She's had some pre-school). She wants to know where all the toys are, and that makes me a bit nervous. I know when I figured out just how little play time I had in kindergarten, I was pretty miffed. I felt like they pulled a bait and switch on me - showing me all the fun stuff and then making me sit in a chair and learn.

We were off to a resistant start:

But had a better attitude by the time to go:

She's a very social person, which is a bit sad for an only child, so I think being around other kids will make it all worthwhile for her.

So, did you notice the backpack peeking out from behind her? Would you like to see more? Of course you would.

I bought the pattern (from Fig Tree & Co.) at the beginning of the summer and spent the next few months wondering what fabric to use.

At some point I remembered having 3 half-yard pieces of Happy Flowers in yellow, and remembering how well it coordinated with bright pink.

I used a pretty heavy interfacing, but it's still a very lightweight and soft backpack. It's perfect for the 40 pound girl who is using it to haul a spare change of clothes and a water bottle, but it certainly wouldn't work for a teenager with a heavy load of textbooks.

I had wanted to find one of those plastic draw string push things, but couldn't find one large enough. Not sure whether I'll keep looking, or just replace the current tie with a cord small enough to go through the fastener I can find.

She likes it, and that's all that matters.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

This little handful

This little handful of patchwork represents 6 hours of work. Approximately.

I saw this book a couple of months ago

And bought it specifically for this table runner

Despite not having enough scraps to do anything with yet. But I loved the table runner & figured it didn't have to be scrappy. I did not, prior to making my purchase, read the directions well enough to notice the size or the number of flying geese.

Each unit will finish at 1" x 2".

I call them flying goslings.

And there are 122 of them just in the table runner.

There will not be matching placemats.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for her WIP Wednesday.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sweet pillow

As promised, I made my daughter a throw pillow for her room. I picked these fabrics off e-bay pretty cheaply and knew they'd be perfect for her.

The front:

The back:

Aren't those little flowers the sweetest!

It looks pretty good on my couch too...

And then something happened with this project that I didn't think would EVER happen. I just assumed it would be an ongoing problem pretty much the rest of my life - I ran out of batting scraps. Isn't that crazy? Who does that?

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Just because I don't have enough to do

I started a baby quilt a couple of weeks ago and got it to a flimsy yesterday.

I saw this adorable fabric at Joann's, with the coordinating leaf print, and just had to have it.

If I had it to do over again, I would have fussy cut the owls so that each little green square had one in it. It's so cute when that happens in the quilt:

I think it's unfortunate that it doesn't happen with every square. But overall, I love the design and colors. It's going to be a great quilt nonetheless.

And yes, I did have plenty to do before starting this.

Linking up to Freshly Pieced for her WIP wednesday.