Monday, December 30, 2013

Christmas Sewing

I've been working on a number of Christmas projects in the last couple of months. It sure has been fun to work on projects with specific people in mind!

I started two projects early in November - the first was a dress for my little niece, Anna.

I added a white ruffle at the bottom of the skirt, because it was a little short, but I - of course - forgot to take a picture.

The second was a set of Christmas place mats for my mother-in-law, Barb. I used a variety of Christmas fabrics that I had in my stash. A few were fabrics that I had made our kids' stockings out of, and a few were from my Grandma, who was the first person I knew who quilted.

Each place mat is different, and I didn't use a pattern, but tried to keep them approximately the same size by using 3.5" squares. I didn't get a picture of them all bound and finished, but they turned out pretty well, and my mother-in-law was able to use them all throughout the Christmas season!

I also made a few hot pads for my mother-in-law to give as gifts to family. Each one is made with scraps, and I had fun playing with some free motion quilting on them - they're all different!

Two weeks ago, I finally bought Made by Rae's pattern for the geranium dress, and I'm in love! So far I have made four dresses and a top, and I'm excited to make more and more! I ordered some fabric from Bari J's line, Bijoux, from Hawthorne Threads for a special project, and while I was waiting for it to ship from the East coast, I found a yard of fabric that belonged to my mom and whipped up my first dress for Audrey.

I was a little intimidated by the button holes in this dress, but I figured out how to do them on my sewing machine, and it was easy-peasy! No problem at all! 

And then, when my fabric came (they actually ship really quickly, but I'm not very patient!) I had enough extra after cutting out my patterns for a secret project, that I could also make a little geranium shirt for Audrey.

(David said this doesn't really look like Audrey, I think because she's sitting still, which doesn't happen all that often.)

It's been really fun to do all this sewing this holiday season, but I still have one more project to finish- it should be a quick and easy one though. :) Last night I finished a big project - one I can't share yet. It sure feels good to get things finished. And Audrey's excited too!

She's been sick this week, so it's good to see her smiling big like this, even though she's still a little sleepy.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Gray and Yellow Quilt - Blogger's Quilt Festival

I finished this quilt early this year - it's one of the first full quilts I had finished in a couple of years. I made it for a friend's baby girl, (gender unknown at the time), and it's truly one of my favorite quilts I've made thus far. The colors of their nursery were gray and yellow, and I added in the aqua, because it's my favorite color!

I used Allison Harris's pattern, Bizzy Kid, combined with the Maritime Modern fabric line and some solids, all of which I ordered from Hawthorne Threads. I free motion quilted this on my domestic sewing machine, my mom's hand-me-down Pfaff, in a double loop pattern.

This is the first time I've entered a quilt into the Blogger's Quilt Festival (or any quilt competition), and I'm really proud to be able to enter this one! Thank you for stopping by my little blog, and I hope you liked this quilt!

Quilt Stats:
Size - 48" x 60"
Quilting - by me, free motion on my Pfaff
Category - Baby Quilt


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Filling In Some Gaps

There are some gaps in what I've finished recently, and what I've actually posted about recently. In the last few months, I've finished a couple different quilts and smaller projects and forgot to share any pictures of them. We've been a little busy, soccer season is in full swing, but the end is in sight, so hopefully we'll get a better routine going in the next few weeks. 

I finished my Scrappy Trip to Ethiopia quilt in September. A family friend offered to quilt it for me, so it flew on down to Georgia, and came back looking so good! She chose circles for the quilting, and I love how it turned out!

This quilt was raffled off for a local family to take a mission trip to Ethopia, and surprise, my mother-in-law won it! I'm pretty excited for her to have it -- it's staying in the family! 

Another quilt I've been working on is a small, gray and red one, made of a fat quarter pack I got in a fabric swap a couple years ago. While I was piecing the top of this quilt, a friend's husband was in the hospital recovering for a pretty severe injury. I spent a lot of time praying while I put this one together.

It has such a special meaning to me, because I made it for a friend's little boy, who will be coming to the US very soon from Ethiopia. His adoption is almost finalized, and I am excited for him to use this quilt! Micah and I have prayed for him often, and many many times, so it seems fitting for him to have this one. 

For the back I used a gray flannel with white dots, and a red chevron for the binding. The quilting is a scallop design that I did free motion on my Pfaff, and I think it turned out alright. There are some inconsistencies, but it seemed to blend in alright. I need to get myself a good pair of grippy gloves that are solely for quilting, so I can get a better grip on the fabric! 

I have also finished a few other fun projects - one is a single Swoon block mini-quilt, which I made for my sister for her birthday. She hung it up in her dining room, by her sewing space. :) I really love this pattern, and I think I'll be making more soon! This picture is from when I was basting, of course, and I did straight-line quilting near the horizontal and vertical seams.

I also made this fun fabric banner for the baby shower I hosted last week -- I think it will live in Audrey's room eventually. At least, after her birthday party. I can't even believe that in 12 days, my baby will be a year old! 

Now I need to plan a quilt for her big-girl bed, which she'll move into sometime in the next two years. If I start now, maybe I can get it finished by her 3rd birthday? Maybe.

I've been working on Micah's Halloween costume the last week or so, and I'm excited to share the finished product in a couple of days! 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Giant Willow Star

A friend from our church had a baby in September, and I was honored to be able to throw a baby shower for the two of them at our house! It really was fun to plan the shower, but my favorite part was that there was a sweet baby girl to make a quilt for!

I found some fat quarters of Riley Blake's organic cotton line, Willow, at a quilt shop in Winthrop, WA when we were camping this summer, and they were perfect for this quilt. I also found Jeni Baker's tutorial for the giant vintage star, and wanted to try out this pattern. I love the idea of a quilt block enlarged to be a giant size. It was simple but I think it turned out really pretty!

I added a Moda solid, but forgot the name of it, as well as the green which was a fat quarter that I got from my mom. I'm not sure where I got the white, or what it is, but it's really soft! With a small scrappy border and scrappy binding, I think it turned out really well!

I did all straight line quilting which really isn't my favorite to do, but I love the final look of it! This quilt ended up having a vintage look that I didn't really anticipate. 

For the back, I ordered a yard of one of the prints from the Willow line off of Etsy, and got a half yard of the solid from my local quilt shop. 

I love how this quilt turned out, and now I want to make another, maybe even larger, for myself!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

A (very) Little Bit of Sewing

I've been working a lot of extra hours lately, and preparing for a work trip to Denver, so, unfortunately I haven't had a lot of opportunities to sew. 

I signed up a month or so ago for a Scrappy Trip Along block exchange. I was assigned five partners and I'm almost finished with all of the blocks. Thankfully we have until sometime in October to mail them, and I only have one left to make. 

I also decided the day before I left to Denver that I needed to make myself a new bag to take along. Makes sense, right? No pressure, or adding to what I needed to get done. 

I used fabric from the Simply Style line by V & Co., which I really love! I made the Simple Six Pocket Bag found on Better Homes and Gardens' website. It really was simple - it took me less than two hours! It ended up being a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but to be honest, I read the size of the finished bag, I just didn't pay attention. 

Overall, I really like it, and it has served me well on my trip! I'll be making another at some point. 

This picture isn't the greatest, but I'm sitting in the Denver airport, so I'll try to get a better one at a later time. 

Now I can't wait to get home and see David and these little cuddlers!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Scrappy Trip to Ethiopia

I finished up a quilt top this morning - one which I've been working one for a month or so. It feels good to turn a couple of blocks that I started as an experiment into a finished quilt top.

And this one feels even better, because it serves a really fun purpose!

It's for a raffle, the proceeds from which will help the Snyder family take a mission trip to Ethiopia! Shannon asked on Facebook if anyone had a homemade item they'd be willing to donate - and the Lord laid it on my heart that I didn't need this quilt. I started to make this quilt with no purpose, just to try it out - so this is the perfect use for it!

So, the last week or so I've been working to finish the blocks and arrange them. Many of the fabrics are ones that have some sentimental meaning to them, or are favorites of mine - the purple hydrangea fabric and two floral pieces are ones that I bought at the quilt store I worked at in high school. This morning I got all of the blocks pieced together, and now it's ready to be quilted and then bound.

It's been a great conversation piece with Micah - we've gotten a few opportunities to talk about Africa, and why we are giving this quilt away. Helping prepare him for more conversations about kids in Africa who don't have families?

I'm not sure when I'll be ready to quilt it though. I'm kind of loving it hanging in my dining room!

I'll share more details about the raffle when they have it all set up!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Popsicle and Progress

In early May, I took on a challenge, to try paper-piecing for the first time. I planned to make a summer-y mini quilt, following along with Jennifer's patterns. I made the first block - a popsicle - and realized that I really need to work on perfecting my 1/4 inch seam. The block's size was a little off. 

But I hung it up on my wall and didn't do any of the other blocks. Oops.

Last week, I decided I wanted to make a gift for a friend, and rather than starting something new I thought I'd work with this little block. My friend loves summer, but she's been injured and hasn't gotten to enjoy it like she should. So, I wanted to give her something to bring a little piece of summer inside.

It's a little quilted mug rug (coaster) for her morning coffee. This was a fun little project to finish up! The fabric that I used for the binding is one that my mother-in-law found at a garage sale - it's getting used in many different projects lately! 

I've been making slow progress on a few other projects lately too - like the quilt I started a year and a half ago for Micah's big-boy bed:

And I also started a scrappy trip around the world. 

This has been a really fun project to work on! I love how the scraps come together, and I never know exactly how a block will look until it's all put together. That can be a bad thing too, I guess, because I had to take a block apart and re-do it when the fabrics I grabbed didn't look very good together.

Because I don't have enough projects going at a time, I also started a baby quilt yesterday for a friend's baby - I'm in the very beginning stages, but it's always fun to put fabrics together and envision the final result. 

I'm planning to use Jeni Baker's tutorial for the Scrappy Star Quilt for this baby quilt. The blocks will be a little smaller, though, only 10 inches instead of the 18 that she used, which will make it a better size for a baby.

I can't wait to share more progress on the different projects I have going!

Sunday, June 16, 2013

A Few Finishes

In the last couple of weeks I've done a little bit of scrambling to finish projects, so I could give them away as gifts.

My sister-in-law, Marci, is a teacher and is always bringing school work home. A few weeks ago, she came over and brought a bunch of papers to correct - in a cardboard box! So, I decided to make her a bag to carry her school work in.

I've been wanting to try the Cathedral Window pattern since I first saw it, in high school, so I looked up a few tutorials. It seemed more simple than I expected, so I got to work, and I love how it turned out!

All of the fabric I used was from my stash (and left-overs of my mom's), so I don't know what any of the fabrics are, except for the inside. It's Michael Miller,  Backyard Baby - Fun on the Vine, in Green. Originally I bought it for Micah's quilt but it was perfect for the inside of this bag. 

I enjoyed this pattern so much, that I made a second, for a friend who is also going to be a teacher:

Most of these fabrics are from my stash too, except for the coral, which I bought to use in Audrey's room, but didn't. I can't remember who makes it. The aqua is actually from a couple of yards my mother-in-law bought me for $1 at a garage sale! I love a good deal on fabric!

I also made a couple of pillow cases for graduation gifts, but forgot to take a picture of one. Here is the

It's been a fun couple of weeks, getting projects finished! I have another fun little project to share in a few days. :)

Monday, May 27, 2013

Comma Quilt Top

We have a new quilt shop in town, and on its first day open, I made sure to check out her stock! I snagged a couple of charm packs of Zen Chic for Moda's line, Comma. I love the bright colors (yellow, green, orange) and how punctuation is used throughout the line to make up the majority of the designs.

I cut the charm squares in half, so they were 2.5 x 5 and sewed them into strips of 8. Then I trimmed each strip down to 4 7/8 x 15 7/8. I had some white fabric that has a subtle wood-grain pattern, and cut it into 16 inch squares. Using squares of the main star burst fabric as corner anchors, I pieced the top together, forming a colorful grid around the white squares.

Now it's hanging in my craft area, waiting for me to decide what to do with it. I contemplated putting on a border, but I think I like it the way it is. Now I need to choose a backing and binding, and quilt it.

For now, it's fun to look at while I work on other projects.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Orange and Teal Quilt

When I started planning the quilt I'm making for Micah's bed, I bought a bunch of gray, blue, green and orange fabric. Once I had it all together and had finished cutting, I didn't like the orange with the other colors.  So I set it aside and figured someday I'd use it.

In December, I got the sudden inspiration to piece together a quilt top using the orange squares I had already cut, and some extra blues I decided not to use in Micah's quilt. I also had some scraps (dots and a ___) that would coordinate alright, so I threw those in too.

This top has been sitting around in our house, waiting to be finished, as has a teal twin sized sheet that would coordinate perfectly. So, on Monday (I think... the days blur together a little bit), I sandwiched the quilt up, and I've been quilting it all week. 

I didn't have a piece of batting that was big enough for the entire quilt, so I improvised and used two separate pieces... so far I can't tell a difference, and there doesn't seem to be any lumps or anything where the seam is, but time will tell. I figured that since we were just going to use this for going to the park and around the house, I wasn't too worried about it.

I had fun with the quilting, using this as an opportunity to try some new techniques. I tried pebbling, which was pretty fun, but it sure used a lot of thread! And I also tried quilting words - I chose scriptures that are ones I really love and feel like our kids should know, and quilted them over the squares. It turned out alright. You can't read the words very well unless you spend a lot of time looking at it, but I like knowing that they're in there. From the back you can see the words a little better, but backwards.

Edited to add: Audrey started to cry and I forgot to type out the verses I put on the quilt! They are: 

Oh taste and see that the Lord is good! - Psalm 34:8

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord  - Joshua 24:15

The Lord is gracious and compassionate.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall have everlasting life.- John 3:16

Audrey made sure to try it out too. She seemed to like it!

We'll put it to use for the first time tonight at our softball game!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

A Fall-Colors Table Runner

A friend had a birthday yesterday, and I wanted make her a quick gift. She's very important to our family, so I wanted to be sure to celebrate her a little on her special day!

I put together this table runner for her, after being told that her favorite colors were fall-themed.

I based it off of a block from a quilt I started in high school, but I couldn't find the pattern so I just made my own measurements. I used 5 inch squares of the flowery print for the center, 2.5 x 5 inch strips of the dark brown, and 2.5 inch squares of the tan. 

This was a fun, two hour project (in between putting the baby down for a nap and playing with Micah).

I ended up with some wavy edges - I think the culprit is that I pulled on the binding too much when I was sewing it on. I'll work on that in my next project and see if I can reduce the waviness. 

Happy birthday, Kathy!