Friday, March 30, 2012

Ready to go

In 50 days, hubby and I will be on vacation. Not that I'm counting, obviously. We are going somewhere spectacularly warm and tropical to relax for a week without child. And for as much mom-guilt as I am suffering {already}, I am really excited. It is kind of a honeymoon take 2 since we couldn't go where we wanted at the time/10 year dating anniversary trip. I'm not sure I remember what it is like to have adult conversations for an extended period of time, or how to relax for that matter, but I am looking forward to relearning. But I digress.

The point here, is that I naturally needed an awesome carry-on bag to bring with me. Ideally it will be the only bag since I am not feeling the checked luggage. I thought about making a weekender, but I don't entirely love the shape of it and if I am going to put that much work into something, I am sure going to love it. So I bought this pattern. I was going to buy it anyway to make the small version for the little one to pack on trips to grandma's, but I liked it a lot and figured I could make the larger one for me. I changed a few things, like the straps and added some pockets on the outside, and I used an extra stiff interfacing so that it would be nice and sturdy and stand up on its own.

Honestly, making it was pretty horrible. It was so hard to work with such stiff interfacing and the piping didn't help. I had to rip out a bunch as I was sewing the outside together and I'm still not entirely convinced my seam allowances are quite wide enough in some spots. The piping is totally uneven going around and the sides don't exactly line up. Also, by the time I got done shoving it under my sewing machine, some of the interfacing was coming un-fused so I hope that's not a problem down the road. But, I love it. Assuming it will stand up to a bit of wear and tear, I think it will be fantastic. I love the look the piping gives, and the fabric makes me happy every time I look at it. Even when I think of how dirty it's going to get. I can't wait to do some traveling with it. I think the finished size is something like 20x14x7, so it is a good size and should hold a lot. I thought it might be a little weird with the pockets being so different on each side, one between the straps and on covering them, but I really like it.

And I couldn't get a nice outside shot of me with the bag to show the size better, so a crappy inside one will have to do.

At any rate, the pattern was pretty good and I love the way it finally came together. Now I just have to figure out how to pack for a week in a relatively small space. I guess I'll have to start practicing.... Well happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

WIP Wednesday {3.28.12}

It's Wednesday again! We are having a pretty rough week around here, but I am hoping things will be getting better from here. It has been one of those weeks where I was wishing for Friday by mid-morning on Monday, so I'm amazed that the week is only half over, but that gives me more time to sew, right?? Let's see how I did...


Carry-on Bag

Technically not completed until I hand stitch down a couple inches of the lining, but close enough! I will post it in full on Friday after I get some pictures, but this is a little sneak peek. I am so in love with it!

Skill Builder - block 27 

A wonky fan block. I learned that I don't do wonky as well as I'd like and my free hand curves are almost better then the ones I use templates for. Go figure. 


Cosmic Burst QA

This kicks off next Friday at Distant Pickles and my fabrics are all picked and ready to go! I'm pretty excited :)

Toddler Vest
I think I settled on fabric after I realized I didn't have enough of the one I had planned on and the pattern is all cut and ready. I will be using this tutorial and hopefully making it this week.

Still Going:

Granny Squares

 15 blocks done. I am planning 10 more and then I'll have to find something else to do with 2" squares since I am positive this will not use all of them. I love them so far.

Echo Kaleidoscope
On hold until I figure out a back.

Tova Tunic

The front is done. It's not very impressive....I had a bit of hard time with it and it's a bit puckery...but I am hoping it comes out wearable. I am looking forward to the next part when it becomes more of an actual shirt so I'll have a better idea how I'm doing.

Scrappy triangles

I haven't touched this one this week. But I did take a {terrible} picture of my stacks. I don't think they look quite as big in this picture as they do taking over my shelf....


*dresden toddler quilt
*toddler swoon quilt

I didn't do too bad. I have high hopes for this week, but who knows with the way things are going. I am hoping to finish my granny squares, work on my tova and whip up a toddler vest. The idea is that if I get all that done, I can start to work on my triangles sometime soon. We'll see how things go.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 26, 2012

Granny Attack!

Happy Monday! I think. Is Monday ever really happy? We are back to actual late winter/early spring weather instead of summer and it kinda stinks. I was really enjoying 80 and sunshine instead of 40 and rain. Oh well. It was nice while it lasted and theoretically it should come back at some point. It was a good weekend and of course it went too fast. It is nice to have a stretch of no visitors/traveling and actually get some relaxing time.

Anyway, I am going crazy with these little granny squares! I made myself take a break from them this weekend since I now have 15 done and I really needed to work on other things. I am aiming to make 10 more (since that is all the blocks I have scraps of white for) so I have 25 and can make a 5x5 quilt. I thought pictures of each of them individually would be a bit much, so I figured a few group shots will do.

My only problem is sashing. My blocks are not exactly square. I decided to just trim them 1/4" away from the points regardless of whether that is square or not and I think I'll just put a white border on each block and then square it up to 12.5" and put them together like that. I think it will look a lot nicer and let me square them up properly. Also, that will give me a nice 60"x60" quilt which sounds like a nice size. So that's the plan as of right now. I wonder how long it will take me to make the rest of them...I guess we'll see whether I get distracted by something this week or I use them to avoid something else haha.

Friday, March 23, 2012

big plans

For a while now, I have had a pile building of things that I want to do, but are not necessarily immediate concerns. And then yesterday (as I was adding something else) I realized how many things I actually have at this point! Ahh! I must be out of my mind! In addition to all my WIP stuff I posted Wednesday, I also am planning  a quilted vest for the wee one which will hopefully fit this spring, a carry-on bag for our upcoming vacation, and I may have decided to join in another quilt along.

The other day the Cosmic Burst quilt along was announced over at Distant Pickles. And I just love the big star. And I just started thinking about fabric I had on hand. And I couldn't get it out of my head. So that gives me 2 weeks to finish a bunch of other things before we start cutting fabric for that. I am going to use this selection of nicey jane with some solids and make the 50" quilt and I am super excited!

In other news, I got some happy mail the other day. Last week I may have gone a little crazy at Hawthorne Threads. It all started innocently enough because I wanted a couple Flea Market Fancy prints. It may have snowballed from there as I picked out a bundle to make a smaller version of a swoon quilt for my little love's toddler bed...which she will eventually transfer to. I haven't finalized it yet but I am thinking 16" blocks, probably 12 of them. So I picked out some raspberry, navy, mustard, and gray prints. I don't love them together in person as much as I did on the computer (the downfall of online fabric shopping!) so I may swap a few prints, but generally I like it a lot. I figure I better enjoy this quilt for her since by the next one she is bound to have tons of her own opinions that I must abide by haha. Of course I had to get some amazing AMH voile to make another tunic {assuming the first one goes well} and a pretty peacock lane print that really wanted to come live with me :)

I don't even know where I am going to start with all this stuff this weekend, but I guess I need to pick a place and start plugging away. Today, I get the 5 granny square blocks sewn that I have all laid out so that my table is clear for other things. After that, who knows! Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

WIP Wednesday {3.21.12}

I can't believe it's Wednesday again! This one totally snuck up on me, but that's alright. It has been a really good week around here. Beautiful weather, lots of walks/playground time, and a good bit of sewing. The way life should be :)


Broken Diamonds

It is finished and I am so in love with it!

Skill Builder Sampler - block 26

We started back up again last Friday with a wonky stars block. Since I did a whole quilt of wonky stars not too long ago, I mixed it up and used the stargazing block from the book Modern Blocks. And I love it! 


Granny Squares quilt

I didn't mean to start this. I was cutting my scraps so I could do my scrappy triangles and was cutting little squares at the same time, and I wanted to try one. And one turned into 10. And now I'm just going to keep going until I get bored. I love these blocks. I added another round, partly because I wanted more color and partly because my squares are only 2". I have no plans for the size of this quilt, all I have to say is that I made 10 blocks and it barely looks like I made a dent in my scraps piles.

Still Going:

Echo Kaleidoscope
On hold until I figure out a back.

Tova Tunic
Fabric = washed and ready. Pattern = taped and cut. I am ready. And we start today!

Scrappy triangles
The triangles are cut. Most of them. I think. I guess that depends how big it ends up being. I forgot to take a picture of how big the piles ended up...but trust me, it is a lot of triangles. Maybe eventually I'll even feel brave enough to start sewing them together....


*dresden toddler quilt
*toddler swoon quilt {I may have ordered some fabric for this the other day}

I suspect today will either find me working on my tova tunic or making more granny square blocks. Either way I am looking forward to it. Maybe I'll get lucky and get a granny squares top done to enter into the scrap attack festival of scrappiness at Stitched In Color next week. I doubt it, but we'll see.  For now, I think I need to go start enjoying this weather some more since it looks like it won't last forever. I believe our average high is in the 40's for this time of year and today is supposed to hit 80...but never fear, next week will be back to {almost} normal. Enjoy your day everyone!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 19, 2012

Broken Diamonds

Another quilt is done, and guys, I am so excited about this one! It is one of the best I've made. It's like I get better at this the more I do it {go figure}. This quilt is for my aunt and uncle who....requested one. As in I gave my grandparents the one I made them at Thanksgiving and they immediately asked where theirs was. Of course I don't know when I will see them to give it to them, but it is done and that's what counts.

This is the first time I've ever made up a pattern on my own. Of course it is a simple one, half square triangles sewn together and sashed, but I love the look. I actually got the idea when I was making the center blocks for my embroidery 101 quilt. I had the corners sewn on and trimmed and it was a snowball block with triangles facing in each corner and a plus through the center. And I thought about how cool that would be as a quilt so I drew it out and waited for the right opportunity. The hardest part was laying it out since I have very little floor space to do so. It also was kind of a pain that I couldn't use one of the quicker hst methods because of the color layout, but it wasn't as bad as I was afraid it would be.

For fabric I used 4 charm packs of Tula Pink's Prince Charming with kona coal as the sashing. They come in 6" squares so it is a bit bigger. I actually trimmed the squares to 5.25" because that was the biggest I could consistently get. The quilt finishes at 61"x72" which isn't bad considering it wasn't pre-washed so it shrank quite a bit. Also, because of the lack of pre-washing, it didn't crinkle quite as much when I washed it since it all shrank pretty evenly which I kind of liked. I did an allover meandering stipple on this one and for the first time, no puckers! I was ecstatic when I turned it over and saw how nice the back looked. It's not perfect, there are definitely some pointy spots and loops, the stitches aren't exactly even and then tension isn't perfect but I am improving! I used a gray thread that is a bit lighter than the sashing color, but I think it blends pretty nicely.  The back and binding are both DS quilts fabrics from Joann's and I love how well they work together.

I am just in love with how this came out. So now I need to get back to attacking my scraps. Yep, I'm still at it. It seems pretty never ending really, but I am determined to be done soon so I can start making something of them!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Random Friday Things

Happy Friday! I am so happy it's weekend time but I must say it has been an incredibly productive week. The weather has been beautiful and I had an extra day off this week so it was definitely a good one. I got two big things accomplished in the past couple of days:

Item 1: The beginning of what will come to be known as the great scrap attack of 2012. I have been planing this for months really, the idea being I will hack away at my scraps and sort them into triangles, squares and strips with the ultimate goal being 3 quilts. I have been avoiding it because really, it didn't sound like fun and I was a bit overwhelmed. But I finally sucked it up and started cutting, first getting any triangles I could, then squares, then strips. I am probably a little more than halfway done and this is what I have so far (not including the strips)

I have no idea how many squares are there and I have no intention of least not at the moment. And I plan to just keep adding to them as I make things. It is just the initial sort that is a pain. The triangles are all 4" across the bottom and 5" high and the squares are all 2" since a lot of my pieces were too small to make them 2.5". The triangles are destined to become a {hopefully} large picnic quilt. Like this one only bigger. And the squares are to become a granny square quilt...but I think I want each block to have more rounds like this one, but obviously much scrappier:

Item 2: I got my broken diamonds quilt totally quilted and the binding is on the front. I even started sewing it down last night! I am soooo happy with this one and I can't wait to finish it and show it off. Seriously it is amazing, and the quilting went so well, I am just so excited! At this rate I will have it finished this weekend and can show it off next week *crosses fingers*.

And finally, just in case you were wondering, I took pictures of the destruction that has befallen my childs crib thanks to her wood-eating ways.


The guard that I made is a layer of cotton, a layer of terry/fleece and a layer of batting in between. I sewed the long sides and turned it and then quilted the straight lines and then used binding on the ends and turned them into ties. I had to go back and add the other ties in the middle because I didn't think of that, so those are just sewn on at the end. It is working well so far and hopefully it continues. I was worried it would be too thick, but it is nice and sturdy with the quilting.

And now I am ready to hack away at the rest of my scraps. Which will hopefully not take all weekend. Hopefully this weekend will continue the nice weather trend and we can go soak up some vitamin D around here :) Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

WIP Wednesday {3.14.12}

Happy Pi Day! Haha this was always my favorite holiday in school when we all got to eat pie all day in honor of pi. Nerd alert! Moving on. In my crafty world, progress is being made which makes me a happy girl and this weekend looks to possibly have some extra sewing time :)



I'm not in love, but it is done. We'll see if I end up using it.  I used this tutorial.

Zip ID wallet

I love this one though! This little thing makes me so happy.  I used the tutorial here.

Still Going:

Broken Diamonds

Basted and ready to quilt! This is my project for later this week/this weekend, get this bad boy quilted. I am thinking some stippling or something...we'll see where I land on that. 

Echo Kaleidoscope

I can't decide what I want to do about a back. Consequently nothing will be done with it until I do.


Tova Tunic
Um, I may have bought this pattern the other day. And started looking for fabric. Did you see there is a sew-along?? I am so excited since this is a pattern I had been wanting to buy/make for ages.

Scrappy triangles
I haven't technically started this....aside from getting the template ready. But after the other quilt is quilted, I am going to start attacking my scraps and getting a huge pile of triangles. I am aiming for a good size picnic blanket so there will definitely be a lot of triangles.


*dresden toddler quilt
*granny squares quilt 

I think that's enough to keep me busy for now. I am actually doing really well not adding things to my list right now (aside from the tunic obviously). And the Skill Builder Sampler starts back up this week so I'll have that to do as well. Anyway, now I need to go find a good pie recipe....preferably one I have all the ingredients for!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sunday Sewing {results}

Well hey there Monday, where did you come from? Going away for a weekend always makes me confused come Monday. But here we are and the weekend was just lovely involving a trip to the zoo, a quilt shop and some family time. I must say I am enjoying this spring weather. I don't know if it will last, but we are taking advantage of it while we can. That said, I actually did get some naptime sewing in yesterday and it felt good.

Last week I started making a purse. One of those things that has been on my to-do list for ages, I just needed a kick in the pants to do it. And of course I decided on Wednesday that I needed a bag to come with us on our journey {which started Thursday morning}. I knew which pattern I wanted to try {this one} so I got to work picking out some fabric, determined to use something I had. I even ran out to get some rings and foam for it. But alas, it was not to be done before we left. I had it about halfway finished and picked it up yesterday and got it done.

I didn't use heavy stabilizer since I didn't have any, but just used some interfacing and heavier outer fabric, so it's not as sturdy as it might have been, but it's not too bad. I also added an extra pocket on the other side. My final feeling is: it's okay. It's cute, but not amazing and I'm not sure how much I'll use it. Maybe I'll find someone to give it to.

The other thing I finally made, that I have been wanting to make for ages, was a small zip wallet with an ID holder. I used this tutorial and changed the pocket on the back to the other direction and used a snap instead of elastic. I also ended up not using batting and quilting the back side since I didn't want it to be any thicker. There are a lot of imperfections (poor snap placement for example), but I love it and it is already loaded up and in my clutch.

So that was my weekend. How was yours?

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

WIP Wednesday {3.7.12}

Well, here we are, Wednesday again. And I can't seem to decide if this week has flown by or dragged. A bit of both I suppose. But it's been a good one. Thanks to a good chunk of sewing time this weekend, I got a lot done and I am so excited about it. It makes up for the fact that this weekend will have no sewing as we are doing a bit of traveling for a few days to visit family.

On to the good stuff!


Mini Quilt

I am so in love with this little mini. It certainly makes the dining room a happier place :)

Echo quilt top

I had really just planned to get this cut out and maybe start piecing, but thanks to the previously mentioned extra time, I actually got the entire thing done between Friday and Monday. I love love love it. It might be my favorite. I used the Kaleidoscope qal from don't call me betsy. Now I just need to figure out what to do for the back.....

Crib guard

This was one of those necessary projects since my child apparently aspires to be a woodchuck or something. Started and finished in less than an hour and so far seems to be working beautifully. She'll figure it out soon enough I'm sure since it just ties on, but maybe by then she'll stop eating her crib....

Still Going:

Broken Diamonds

I now have the backing/binding/batting for this one, so next week I hope to get it basted figure out how I'm going to quilt it {suggestions are welcome!}.


*scrappy triangles {I will hopefully start cutting soon}
*dresden toddler quilt

 All in all, a great week of progress. This week should be a lot in, I don't know if I'll get to do much of anything, but that's alright. And I am pretty much dreading time change + toddler, but I suppose we will survive. I hope everyone has a great week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, March 5, 2012

A happy little quilt

Happy Monday everyone! I am happy to report that after a wonderfully productive weekend, I finally have a sweet mini quilt hanging on the wall :) My super sweet hubby gave me some extra time to sew and I got so much done, it was awesome. Today I am hoping to finish up the blocks for my next quilt top. But that's not what this is about. This is about the happiest little mini quilt that I've made. I had been planning it for weeks and I finally got it all together.

This quilt finished up at 23" square and allowed me to try out a NY beauty block, something I've been wanting to try for quite a while. I knew I couldn't commit to an entire quilt of these blocks, but I really wanted to make one. And honestly, the one wall in my dining room was looking a little sad and empty. The pattern I used can be found here.  Perhaps the best thing about this quilt is that, aside from the white, everything else was scraps from my farmer's wife quilt. Well plus a bit of leftover polka dot binding. It is so bright and cheerful and I just love it.

After making the central block, I wasn't sure how I wanted to finish it. In the end I added the borders and I think it was the right thing to do; that scrappy border kind of makes it for me. I also had a hard time figuring out how I wanted to quilt it, but in the end I went with some simple outline quilting and I love it. So simple and accents the design so nicely. You can see it a bit on the back.

I am glad I love it so much since I now look at it every day :) Here it is hanging in its new home. Don't mind the messy basket of napkins.... I am so proud of how this came out. It is far from perfect, but I love it. Curves + paper piecing seemed a bit scary at first, but I made it through!

Modern Mini Challenge

Scrap Attack Quilt-Along

Friday, March 2, 2012

Goals for March

Happy Friday! I can hardly believe it's already March. In my quest to practice setting realistic goals, I have been trying to have some monthly goals. It's hard, especially early in the month, to figure out what I can actually get done since I really don't know how the month will play out, but I think it's important for me to try. Having these goals and pushing myself toward them really helps me keep going. It's funny because I am not really a goal-setter in any other area of my life, but if I don't have my crafty stuff all organized I feel so lost.

So really I just have a list of some things I would like to get done this month. I honestly think I should be able to finish more, but I think in order to learn to set realistic goals I have to practice figuring out what that means for me. In February I went a bit overboard and didn't get to everything, so I am toning it down just a bit.

finish scrap mini
echo quilt top
scrappy triangle quilt top

zip wallet
carry-on bag

That should leave me a bit of room to do random things that come up and hopefully add to my list a bit as the month goes on. But even if that's all I get done I'll be happy. And if I can't make all that happen, I'll know better next month. And I really hope to have my scrap mini done this weekend since that is a carry over from February. Now that I have that down, I'm going to go get to work. And then enjoy a glorious weekend with my favorite people :) Have a great weekend!