Friday, December 28, 2012

ava's christmas quilt : finished

I finished Ava & Ella's Christmas quilts just before Christmas.  I quilted them both on the long arm at my LQS!  I used pantograms for both quilts as they are simple patchwork quilts and I didn't need anything "fancy".  Although I do think they are very nice and fairly detailed pantograms.  (More on Ella's quilt in a future post.)

My Uncle John took pictures of the quilts (on his awesome deck!).  Thank you, John!  I owe you big time!  Now here comes a barrage of pictures:

I had a few blocks left over after I finished piecing the top, so I put those on the back of the quilt.

I decided to bind Ava's quilt with the green chevron fabric from V & Co's line Simply Color.  I love the look of it.  I didn't quite cut the fabric correctly, but now I know in the future to cut my binding strips based on the fabric.  I think I will stock up on these chevrons for future bindings!  (The pictures that follow were taken by me - as you can probably tell!  I forgot to ask John to get some pictures of the binding.)

A little close-up detail of the quilting on the back.....

One more picture I took myself while perching on the edge of the my deck railing, trying not to fall into the bushes.... (much better & safer to have John take pictures).

And here is Ava holding up her quilt on Christmas Eve....

I think she liked it :-D

Quilt Stats:
 Fabric:  Miscellaneous fabrics from Hobby Lobby
                Michael Miller Ta-Dot in pink, raspberry, aqua, & grape
                Backing – green Stonehenge fabric (forgot to document the details)
                Batting  Warm & Natural
                Binding – white & lime green dotted zig zag from the Simply Color fabric line by V & Co for Moda
Pattern: simple patchwork, strip pieced using 3” strips (finished at 2.5” squares)
Dimensions: 50" x 70"
Started quilt top: May 2012
Finished quilt top: August 3rd, 2012
Quilted: on long arm at Quilt-N-Kaboodle by me using computerized pantogram
Made for: my niece Ava for Christmas 2012

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday hosted by Amanda Jean @ Crazy Mom Quilts.


the one & only penny mat

You may remember this penny mat that I started working on 3 months ago....  I finally finished it about a week before Christmas.  I gave it to my sister as her "Christmas gift" since we don't exchange gifts.  It wasn't that difficult of a project, just time consuming.  In the time that it took me to make it, I could have pieced a quilt top.  I'd rather have the quilt top, but my sister likes the penny mat, so that is all that matters.  The only other thing I have to say about this project is that I am glad it is done. ;)


Friday, December 21, 2012

baby blanket : custom order

I made this baby blanket for my aunt to give as a Christmas gift.  She came into the quilt shop when I was working and I helped her pick out the fabrics. The red fabric is minky, which is a soft, plush fabric that is actually polyester, but feels amazing.  The black & white fabric is 100% cotton and has small paw prints on it.  She purchased a yard of each, so this blanket measures approximately 34" x 40". 


 I always pre-wash my cotton fabrics when making baby blankets.  I wash & dry, then repeat.  The first time I made a blanket, I did not do this and the cotton shrank and distorted the shape of the blanket.  The minky does not shrink (since it is polyester), so I do not pre-wash it.  Also, the minky would "shed" everywhere if it was washed with raw edges. 

After the cotton has been pre-washed, I square up the edges.  I then lay the cotton fabric on top of the minky fabric ("right" sides together) and cut around both fabrics.  From there, I sew the sides together with a 1/2" seam allowance, leaving a 6 inch gap to turn the fabric out.  Before I turn the fabric out, I clip the corners to remove the bulk.  Then I turn the fabric out, push the corners out, and pin the opening shut.  Then I top stitch around the blanket 1/4" from the edge, making sure to catch the opening.  It's just that simple.  The only other thing I do is I set my stitch length quite short when I am sewing the fabrics together on the "inside".  When I am top stitching, I set my stitch length a bit longer - I just think it looks nicer to have a longer top stitch.  These really are the easiest blankets to make and anyone can make one!  I hope you'll try!


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

rainbow hexagon quilt top : pieced

I finished piecing the hexagon quilt top almost 2 weeks ago.  (I think anyway.  I know it has been long enough ago that I have already lost track of the time.)  It went really smoothly since all I had to do was sew the half hexagons into long (vertical) rows and then join the rows.

I pressed my seams to the side throughout.  That worked pretty good to get the hexagons to "nest" nicely, and my points line up amazingly well on the hexagons.  I also pressed the long seams of the rows just to one side because it was easier and faster.  I definitely prefer the look and "feel" of seams pressed open, however.  This quilt top did not lay as flat as my others that had the seams pressed open.  Hopefully once this quilt is finished, the difference will not be as noticeable.

I pieced the back out of 5 fabrics from the "Cuzco" line by Kate Spain for Moda.  I love this fabric line!  It is full of vibrant colors & very interesting designs.  I am so fortunate that my LQS carries such great fabrics!

The quilt back has been pieced and everything has been dropped off at my LQS (Quilt-N-Kaboodle) for long-arm quilting.  This quilt is going to be on display at the quilt shop!  I think I might pee my pants a little when I see it hanging up there!  More pictures to come when the quilt is fully finished & ready for display.


Sunday, November 25, 2012

i'm baaaack

I promise I have been working on quilts - I just haven't had time to blog lately!  After the craft show I took a day or two off and caught up around the house, which was much needed.

But then of course, I decided to start something new & these solids at my LQS caught my eye.  Also, they had a new notion, the Hex N More ruler, that I had read about on Julie's blog Jaybird Quilts.

I really like the ruler, it made cutting the half hexagons very quick work.  I had them all cut out in just over 2 hours.  I'm glad I had the foresight to realize that this layout was going to take me awhile, so I laid an old white sheet on my basement floor (don't you just love the orange shag carpet?) and have been rearranging the pattern for the past 2 weeks.  Just this afternoon I finally decided I've had enough & this is (hopefully) going to be the final layout.

I also spent the past 2 days using the long arm machine at Quilt-N-Kaboodle to finish quilting Ava & Ella's Christmas quilts.  More on that as soon as I get the bindings sewn on & pictures taken!


Saturday, November 10, 2012

craft show booth pictures...

Our booth space - filled with "re•engineered" items!

Left side of booth.... including sewing machine table that I gilded with gold leaf. I didn't get a good close up picture of it, but it was awesome & sold, so this is the best you get. ;)
Center of booth... Instagram picture my cousin took

Right side of booth...

Far right side of booth... including chair I painted with Annie Sloan chalk paint & distressed, quilt I made, and sewing machine table.... these items didn't sell, so hopefully more detailed pictures coming soon...

End table I distressed, also did not sell, so better pictures coming soon... my sister's garden decorations in the background were a big hit!

Bookcase & hanging file drawer painted with chalkboard paint! I love them both! The bookcase sold, but the hanging file drawer did not... and lots of baby blankets & burp cloths that did not sell :(  They were displayed better to start with, but I needed a better system there...

Also, a link to our Facebook page, if you want to check that out:

And now, to catch up on some sleep & then get back to QUILTING!


Thursday, November 8, 2012

simply color + parisville table runner

Someday I will get better at naming my projects.... maybe... or maybe not.

I finished piecing the top of this table runner late last night:

and finally had the chance to take some pictures late this afternoon:

Picture edited by my Uncle John ;)

I love the bright, somewhat jewel tone, colors (not to mention the designs... clam shells! chevrons! diamonds!):

I wish my points matched up better in some spots.  I need to get better at cutting accurately.  Now I am impatiently waiting for the yardage of Simply Color to land at my LQS so I can pick out the backing for this table runner & get it quilted!

This is what Tensley did while I took pictures:

piled rocks on her legs and pointed at all the farm machinery in the surrounding fields

And this is what the sun was doing:


Craft show in 2 days & I promise I have more pictures to share.... a little overwhelmed trying to get ready, but it will be over soon & I will be back to quilting more!


Thursday, November 1, 2012

simply color table runner

I'm really looking forward to using these fabrics to make a bright, cheerful table runner.  The fabric on the top is Simply Color by V & Co for Moda.  The bottom fabric is Parisville by Tula Pink for Free Spirit Fabrics.  The colors match perfectly.  Simply Color yardage should be out in the next day or two, but my LQS had a charm pack on hand.  Parisville came out in 2010, but I managed to find some about a year ago and have been stashing hoarding it since then.  

Here they are cut into 2.5" squares....  Now I just need to find the time to get them sewn together!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

eeep - I won something!

I never win anything.  Seriously.  Never.  So when I won this fat quarter bundle from Svetlana at s.o.t.a.k handmade, I was thrilled & shocked!

It's 'Don't be Crabby!' by Laurie Wisbrun for Robert Kaufman.  I seriously love the colors and the designs!

I have no idea what I am going to do with it.  I absolutely love what Svetlana did with hers.  She set the bar pretty high!  Hopefully I can come up with something worthy of the fun fabrics.  But that is (unfortunately) probably on hold until after the holiday season.

Don't be Crabby! will be available for purchase in December.


Saturday, October 27, 2012

custom pillowcase dress

Remember this fabric?  I promise it did not actually take me 12 days to finish this dress!  I just got side tracked sewing baby blankets for the upcoming craft show & worked on the dress here and there between other projects.

I finished the dress late last night.  I really wanted to put it on my daughter for pictures, but since it is a custom dress, I didn't want to risk Tensley getting something on it.  That would be just my luck! 

This dress is really easy to make and goes together pretty quickly.  I don't have a serger, but my Brother sewing machine has an optional side cutter foot, which I immediately purchased, and really love using.  It functions similarly to a serger, so I can finish my raw edges and don't have to fold them under to prevent them from fraying.  (I should have taken a picture of what the inside seams look like so you could get an idea of what the side cutter does - sorry about not doing that.)

I am loving these labels.  I think I am going to use them up quicker than I originally thought!

Lots of stuff going on around here right now.  I am still making baby blankets for the craft show, as well as painting furniture (using Annie Sloan chalk paint!), plus I am planning / designing a table runner, and a really awesome quilt is in the works.  I can't wait to share it all with you over the next week. 

See you soon!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

craft show baby blankets

(Sorry for the boring / bad pictures.  We had a cloudy & rainy day today, so outside pictures were out of the question.)

I finished two more baby blankets for the craft show coming up on November 10th.

I have about five more that I am planning on making.

Then I am going to start working on some furniture for the craft show.  And then, I am going back to quilting!!!


Monday, October 22, 2012

just a few baby blankets

Practice making baby blankets (one side flannel, one side minky) and practice sewing labels into seams.  So far, so good.


labels have arrived!

I recently ordered labels from two sellers on Etsy.  The first shop I ordered from was Inked Papers.  Michelle was very good to work with.  I explained what I had in mind and she quickly sent a proof for me to look over.  I requested a few changes and she immediately sent me a proof with the adjustments.  The labels arrived quickly.  These are twill labels, 1.5" tall & 1.5" wide that I can fold over and sew into the seams of my projects.  The word "re•engineered" will show on the top of the fold and the back of the fold will have the wash & dry instructions.  The color is called "natural". 

 I had already received samples from Michelle, so I thought I had an idea of what to expect.  However, the labels that came looked a little more worn than the samples I had received.  Also, some of the labels are better than others.  The label on the left looks pretty good, whereas the label on the right looks like it is already worn off.  I hope they wash & dry okay!  I have sent a message to Michelle about the worn-looking labels.  If she responds, I will update you.

** Edited 10/26:  I heard back from Michelle & she has offered to send me new labels.  She had complaints about the plastic coating on the previous transfer material, so she had switched to a new transfer material and had not perfected it yet.  She said she has fixed some of the issues she was having with the new transfer material.  When I receive the new batch of labels, I will update again (or maybe do a whole new post...) **

The second shop I ordered from was Mommie Made It.  Lisa was also great to work with.  She was very fast with the original proof and the adjustments that I needed.  The labels arrived quickly.  These labels are also 1.5" tall and 1.5" wide, again so I can fold them over and sew them into the seams of my projects.  However, these labels are not twill.  They are a woven cotton material.  It is a nice heavy weight and looks and feels like it will not fade with washing.  I have to cut these out myself, but that is not a big deal.  The color is not a true white, but more of a grey-ish white.  I actually like the color better than bright white.  It is very complementary to many of the fabrics in my stash. 

The one mistake I made with these labels was not putting a larger space between the wording for the front & back of the label.  When I fold the label in half, I have to be very careful to not get the bottom of the 'g' in the fold.

Now that I have my labels, I can start making baby blankets for the upcoming craft show!  Lots of projects in the works for that... so stay tuned!


Monday, October 15, 2012

next up

The fabric for my next project....  Kaffe Fassett's Tomato Millefiore and a dark purple batik (not sure of the stats on that) - both from the Country Sampler in Omaha.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

finished quilt top: it's a hoot

(Disclaimer: Due to inclement weather you will just have to deal with indoor photos of this quilt top... also I had folded the quilt top to take to my LQS and I was too lazy to press it again, so please ignore the giant wrinkle in the middle....)

I finished the 'It's A Hoot' quilt top.  I am horrible at naming quilts.  I marvel at the names people come up with for their quilts.  I am completely unoriginal and just name the quilt after the fabric line, which in this case was It's A Hoot (by MoMo for Moda).  More about the fabrics used in this post.  

I had originally planned on using the fabric to make a chevron pattern like this one I saw on Pinterest.  However, after I pieced the HSTs and had them laid out on my bed, I just wasn't happy with it.  I had wanted to do some kind of a rainbow effect, but that just didn't work with the number of yellow prints that I had.  Then I tried a completely random layout in regards to color and that looked like a hot mess to me.  (It just now occurred to me that I could have copied the exact layout of the Pinterest quilt.  Wow.  Master of the obvious over here.)  Anyway, as I was mulling over my options, I decided to flip the HSTs so that all of the colored triangles were in the bottom right hand corner.  From there, I laid them out in a sort of rainbow effect, with the darkest colors at the top left and fading to the lighter colors to the bottom and right.  I liked the way that looked and so that is what I went with.  I'm pretty happy with it.  Not completely in love, but I like it well enough.

Also, in my original plan I had a border around the chevron pattern - using the small, green polka dot fabric that I used as my background fabric for the HSTs.  Basically just like the Pinterest quilt.  However, in this new layout, border fabric looks out of place against the HSTs (at least to me - I don't have a picture of this so you will just have to take my word for it).  It was too much of a visual break between the diagonal "lines" of the quilt and the horizontal / vertical lines of the border.  Which really is no big deal to me to not use borders - except that now this quilt top measures 48" x 56", which is a really random size.  Just barely large enough to be used as a lap quilt, but on the bigger side for a baby / toddler quilt.  I did not pre-wash the fabrics because they were charm squares, so there will be some shrinkage after washing.  Plus, the quilting usually shrinks the quilt up some.  So it will be interesting to see what the final measurements are after quilting and washing...

Which leads me to quilting it.  I think I know what I am going to do, but then again, this entire quilt has changed from the original plan I had, so who knows....  But that's just one thing I like about quilting - there is no right or wrong!  I think I know what fabric I want to use for the backing, but it hasn't come into my LQS yet.  So getting this quilted is on hold until that fabric comes into the shop and I make up my mind!  In the meantime, it is on to the next project!

I'm sorry this post got so long-winded.  Thanks for reading!


Thursday, October 4, 2012

i need advice...

I finally got all the HSTs trimmed to exactly 4.5".  If only I could sew more accurately, perhaps I wouldn't need to trim my blocks...

Then I laid them all out in groups so I could see the different fabrics.  Now comes the part where I need help.  I originally planned on laying the blocks out to make a chevron pattern, but now I am not so sure.  And I am also not sure how "scrappy" to make the layout.  Should I just place the blocks next to each other with no regard to color or should I try to stick with a "rainbow" effect....

Not sure if you can see the difference between the picture above and the picture below.  The above picture has matching fabrics on each half of the "chevron".  The picture below has matching fabrics on each "chevron".  Does that make sense?  Or I could go more "scrappy" looking and not place matching fabrics together at all.  I don't have a picture of this (yet)....

Lastly, I thought about laying out the blocks like this:

I am kind of liking the way this looks.  Maybe just because it is different than what I had in mind.  I wouldn't have to go with a rainbow layout.  It is just what I lean towards.  Although I do think the rainbow layout adds a lot to this design.

I have 2 more rows of HSTs to lay out, but I got lazy and wanted to take pictures.  I was originally planning on adding a 6" border around all sides of the quilt.  I'm not sure if the layout above would look weird with a 6" border all around.  Without a border, the quilt will be 48" x 56".  Just a little too small, in my opinion... but then again I am 5'10".  I should add that the border fabric is the same cream fabric with light green polka dot as I used to make the HST's.  I should also add that I still have a jelly roll of this same fabric (MoMo It's A Hoot).  I have seen a tutorial for making a chevron quilt from jelly roll strips, so I could always use the jelly roll to make the chevron quilt and make this one into the design above. 

And then of course there is the problem of how to quilt it if I don't go with the chevron layout.  If I go with the chevron layout, I will just quilt 1/4" from the edge of the chevron.  But if I go with the other layout, then I feel like I should quilt inside each triangle, and that would be A LOT of work!!!

So (if anyone reads this blog - haha), what does everyone think?  Which layout do you like?  What do you think about borders versus no border?  Quilting designs?  Please help!  I'm so indecisive!