Friday, May 22, 2015

Sew Demented

Sew Demented - I always assumed she chose her name to be funny, a little self-depreciating humor.

But now, after making her famous bag, I realize it is us - we are the ones demented.

We put 4 zippers in one project.

We wrapped that side panel around three different things, and then we defied the laws of nature, physics and fabric to attach it to the base without distorting the inside pockets.

And like just about everyone else who has made one, I am now planning my next one. Yes, we are the ones demented. We're on our way to the padded rooms, you realize that don't you?

And the scary thing, they don't allow rotary cutters in those padded rooms. I think they're afraid we'll cut the padding off and use it in a project.

I'm sure you figured out by now that this is for my friend, Mandy, who recently graduated nursing school. The fabric is Calling all Nurses by Windham fabrics. My favorite is this text fabric:

Full of puns, but I love it anyway. I bought extra of this and I'm thinking of making something for my sister-in-law as well.

I also love the hats, mostly for the pretty blue background:

I really didn't like the band-aids - I'm not even sure why I bought them, but I did, so I relegated them to the inside of the pockets.

I think the next one will be easier. I think. If not, I will gladly surrender my rotary cutter to the men in the white coats.

Friday, May 15, 2015

A couple of little distractions

I mentioned at the first of the year that one of my only two goals for the year was to make a quilt for my bed. I actually have the top done, but I haven't decided how I'm going to quilt it, and I haven't gotten any pics of it yet. But it was a pretty tedious process, being such a large quilt, so I thought I'd show some of the weekends I took off from working on it.

One was this Backyard Baby plus quilt:

I love Backyard Baby! This was the first plus quilt I'd ever made and I really liked the process. I'm sure I'll make more of these.

The other was just one of those times when you start and don't really have a plan. I started putting some 4 patches together, and then I cut some larger squares and framed them. Moved them around until they made sense, and that was that.

I bought these fabrics at Joann's a couple of years ago and got tired of them sitting there. I just wanted to do something whether it was the "right" thing or not. They're really cute fabrics:

Both of these quilts were quick, weekend quilts. Just what I needed when I was so tired of looking at the same fabrics for so long it was in danger of all being put in a drawer somewhere.

Linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday series.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Another memory quilt

I mentioned in an earlier post that some things were changing for me this year, but I didn't go into details. It's a somewhat controversial topic, with everyone not only having an opinion, but seemingly feeling free to judge you if your opinion doesn't match theirs. We made the decision over Christmas break to homeschool our daughter. With this semester almost behind us, I'm feeling more sure than ever that it was the right decision. Not every child is made for the 7 hours at a desk lifestyle that traditional classrooms require. And not every child can take the medication that is required to force them into that environment. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

So my days are a little bit more full, and my time a little bit less my own. Honestly, it hasn't slowed my sewing down all that much, but the blogging has obviously taken a hit:) I think I've finished 4 quilts since my last blog post. The one I want to talk about today is maybe not the most attractive, but I think the most special of the group.

After the commissioned memory quilt I made, my husband mentioned a cousin, still struggling with the grief of losing her husband, and how she might be comforted by a memory quilt. I don't even know this cousin, other than reading her facebook posts, but without even thinking I said I'd make her one for free. She was delighted with the idea and sent me quite a selection of his shirts to make it from.

I used a Missouri Star Quilt Co. tutorial to make the blocks. It's a pretty quick, easy, and fun way to make a block that I think is pretty darn cute. But the method - making a large block, cutting it in pieces, and rearranging the pieces to sew back together - isn't the most accurate way to piece. Where this is most noticeable in this block is the little pinwheel center. Sometimes it's a bit off.

But unless you're zoomed in on it, I don't think it ruins the overall block:

Amongst all the manly shirt blocks, I wanted there to be something pretty & floral. The quilt is for a woman after all, so I added a print from my stash that I thought coordinated with the overall feel, and liked it so much that I used it on the back as well.

And I offset the blocks in the rows because I love the shapes created in the negative space.

The background is Kona stone, and the binding is a stripe that coordinates with the backing. It's a nice, snuggly size for an adult - I think 55" x 65". I can't imagine the pain of losing your husband. I think this is a beautiful way to honor his memory and keep a part of him close to you. Despite the materials not being as pleasant to work with as designer quilting cotton, I think I'd like to do more of this for people.

I'm linking up to Crazy Mom Quilts for her Finish it Friday. And now I'm going to get back to my machine while I have the chance for tonight I get to see my dear friend Mandy graduate from nursing school!! She did it, and I am over the top proud of her!!