Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I'm over at PATTERN CRUSH now until I decide what to do with this thing.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

What a World panel by Jill McDonald

I bought the "What A World" panel by Jill McDonald for P&B Textiles from my LQS at my son's behest.  It was a quick project for us, and we decided to quilt a grid like a "real map."

One complaint - There's a penguin chillin' in Greenalnd!  Penguins don't live in the Arctic!  Kind of takes away the educational quality a bit. :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012

What I'm doing this weekend..

Well, between Little League, Santa's Village, church, and Pirate's Cove... at some point. :)  
This is epic and can't wait until Monday.

Nightshade by Tula Pink
Purchased @ The Intrepid Thread on Etsy.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Pre-school/Kindergarten Quilt - finished

I'd like to show off the kids' final quilt - didn't they do a great job?  My job was easy - cut the backing, sew the binding.  Not much quilting to be done with the embroidery.  The children made the decisions and helped with sewing tasks.

I'm amazed - I have a boy going into Kindergarten, and if you told me that kids this age could sew buttons and squares together, and embroider shapes and letters, I would have had my doubts.  Kids are amazing, I hope this little girl is reminded of her friends when she sees it even many years down the road ...and she doesn't try to wash it too frequently. :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Pre-school quilt - advice?

The Kindergarten class at my son's Montessori school decided to make a quilt for one of their classmates who has recently been diagnosed with a rare autoimmune disease that has left her paralyzed from the knees down.  One day she's complaining that her legs hurt, they're saying it's growing pains, and the next thing you know she is diagnosed with Guillain-Barre syndrome.  Incomprehensibly sad....  The students all decided they wanted to make a gift for her, and they ended up wanting to make a quilt.  Each child decorated one of sixteen squares with embroidery floss, buttons, and cord.

Knowing I sew, they asked me if I could quilt it for them.  Of course!  It's certainly the least I can do.

But now, after getting the squares, I find myself in a little dilemma.  They're incredibly puckered.  I don't think I could fix the embroidering without compromising the children's work -- it's after all *their* efforts that are important, not mine.  My job is to sort of permanently attach theirs together.

Do I just sew them together as patchwork and let them pucker?  Perhaps I should cut them into smaller shapes around their embroider and applique them down on a backing fabric?   The gravity of the meaning of the project is making me indecisive.

Any advice would truly be appreciated!  I need to make it as soon as possible before this poor girl gets any worse and before school lets out.

pre-school quilt blocks

Didn't they do a fantastic job?  Some of these six-year-olds can embroider better than I can. :) 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Pinwheel quilt

I was invited to a baby shower, but she didn't find out it was a boy until only a few weeks before the shower.  Of course I had to wait and figure it out; I've made too many neutral quilts this year. :)  (Although this one would be fine for a girl, too.)

I had a considerable number of leftover squares from Dylan's zig zag quilt.  Luckily, I remembered them and turned them (literally) into a fun pinwheel shape for the Spring birth.


With the recycling of the squares, it took only a week, and best of all, made with fabric from my stash.  I added a few Backyard Baby panels to the center for interest.  

Solids are Kona; backing fabric is by M'Liss.  The trail of the airplanes blended perfectly with the meandering quilt stitch. 

My first pinwheel quilt is complete.  The baby shower was today at 3; I finished binding at 10 am and it came out of the dryer by eleven.  Phew.  :)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Zig zag quilt - finished

I was finally able to finish the zig zag quilt that I started for my son the summer before I got pregnant.  Pregnancy and sewing did not mix for me.  I was sick throughout the first trimester and my back hurt too badly the second and third to sit and sew, but I did get stacks and stacks of 5" squares.  I adapted the method from PurlSoho.  I realized that I hadn't made any quilts aside from the tiny cot-sized blankets he took to school, and he needed a warm quilt for his new twin sized bed.  After all, he is five.  It was finished, per usual, the day before I wanted it to be complete, his birthday.

Friday, January 6, 2012

I Made a T-Shirt Quilt ... and all I got was this crappy photo

1842140790e8__1325905441000 by twicethesky
Okay, well, and some cash. :)

I was asked to make a t-shirt quilt from 30 dance/cheer high school shirts just after Thanksgiving, to be done in time for Christmas.  I cringed, knowing I had other handmade gifts to be made, and a quilt already started.  Maybe I wouldn't get to hand quilting Christmas stockings for the kids this year, after all, but, equal parts flattered and needing the money, I said yes.

Has anyone mentioned that these are difficult?  Well, not to me.  I dived in.  The t-shirts were chopped up and interfacing was gallantly applied.  I opted to make 25 blocks and applique some of the random text that was too small to become it's own 12.5" block.

For the sashing, I used Kona Pepper and was very pleased with the blue-black color. To keep costs down and for the "puffy look" I used a roll of poly batting that had been given to me.  It made the quilt much bulkier and difficult to work with, but I think the aesthetic was much better than if I used a lower or mid loft cotton. 

Naturally, I noticed my machine skipping stitches.  Changed the needle, re-threaded.... works fine for a little bit, acts up again.  Very, very frustrating.  Nothing like a deadline to cause a mechanical failure.  Took it to the shop, sure enough it was out of time, for the very first time.  Quite stressful.

I ran into an issue in the bottom right corner.  My walking foot was no longer working properly, instead wobbling up and down in its rear end, causing the needle to hit the back of the plate.  Curse you, generic ebay walking foot.  So I switched to the standard 1/4 inch and sure enough, despite a million safety pins, the top layer was distorted by the time I got to the bottom.

I hefted it over to my local quilt shop where the ladies seemed horrified that I even "attempted to do this myself instead of getting it done on a long-arm."  But, they all said I did a fabulous job and it looked great, and we found a clever way to fix the overhang on the bottom.

Every employee at the shop said they would have paid someone (I asked - $90) to quilt it.  Really?  It's just 8 long lines of straight stitching.  It seems like they take MOST of their quilts "in."  I don't understand why an experienced home quilter would do that.  Are they nervous?  They're much better than I am.  Maybe they find more pleasure in the piecing than the quilting?  Or perhaps it's like a quilter's status symbol, paying to get it done instead of DIY, like going to a fancy hair salon instead of, God forbid, dying your hair yourself.  

Verdict:  It was a challenge, but it came out great.   Don't ever ask me to make another though. :)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year's

I'm going back to work full time for the first time since Audrey was born.. Kinda bummed, but also sick of not having any money. Perspective really affects how you look at things, and I'm going to refuse to think about the cons and only think about the positives and focus on the great things in my life I do have--like a good job and healthy kiddos.

Anyhow, I finally decided to bind this Moda Botany charm pack quilt that I did about two years ago when I was learning how to free motion quilt. My niece helped me piece the shapes together. Looking at the quilt now, I resolve to not nit-pick the sewing mistakes I made then and only look at the beautiful baby using it and the great memory of my five year old niece learning to sew with me. :)

Happy New Year!