Monday, April 30, 2012

Granny squares: a finish

Good morning everyone! How was your weekend? I must say that I did a lot less sewing then I intended, but it was a good weekend. Now I just need to make it through the middle of this week and then the semester is mostly over and life will get a bit easier.

On to more quilty things. I am finished my granny squares quilt! It has been washed into some crinkly goodness and I have been found a few times snuggling under it already :) My favorite thing about this is that aside from the white sashing and the batting, it is entirely made from my scraps. I love looking at those little squares and seeing pieces of so many things that I've made.

Each square with border is 12" and I don't remember how wide the borders are, but after washing it ended up 60" anyway, so it shrunk quite a bit. I tried some loopy meandering for quilting and it went...okay. My loops are certainly not as loopy as I'd like, but I'm working on it. I definitely need more practice, but I like how it turned out. For the back, I decided to use some large pieces I had with some postage stamp blocks randomly put in.  Even after I pieced the back, I still have a bunch of those little squares left. I'm actually afraid to count up how many little 1.5" {finished} squares I used for this.

I am so happy with how this quilt turned out. It is so bright and cheery and its scrappiness goes with just about everything.  Also, it feels really good to have those scraps turned into something pretty. Now I just need to get my scrappy triangles done! I {finally} started and I'm plugging away at it...but I did calculate that I will need over 900 triangles to make it the size I want. So that might take a while. That's alright, once I get tired of them I'll take a break and make some smaller things....and maybe quilt my cosmic burst quilt.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Skill Builder Sampler: some odd shapes

Another month of skill builder blocks to show! We only have 2 months (6 blocks) left to go! We are definitely down to some more difficult things at this point, but it is so much fun to try all these things. I love that as we go I find all kinds of things that I can't wait to try again in a whole quilt (equilateral triangles for example) and things that I never plan to do again (say, apple cores).  Good to try first on a small scale. So here are my 3 blocks.

Block 28: Tumblers
Tumblers are way fun and oh so cute. I have only tried them before as a border, so it was nice to see what it is like to do rows of them. I think I may need to do an entire tumbler quilt at some point. 

Block 29: Apple Cores
I have wanted to try apple cores for quite a while now. As it turns out, they look cool, but are not as fun to make. I think I might have liked this block more if they were smaller an took up the whole block, but I don't know. If I ever use this shape again (doubtful), I don't think it will be much larger than a pillow. I actually think, and I do not say this often, these might be easier to hand piece. I don't know, mine are a bit wonky and I definitely have a few small puckers in there.

Block 30: Equilateral Triangles
I love this block. Love. I absolutely want to make an entire quilt like this. Which is funny, because I am just about to start sewing my scrappy triangles which are similar, but not equilateral. My block did come up a bit short though and I'm not really sure why. I don't think it will matter though.

I can't believe how close to done we are. I am so looking forward to putting this quilt top together this summer. And then, it can go on our bed. Unless I can't bring myself to kick my farmer's wife quilt off of there :)  So, anybody got any good weekend plans??  I have none so far and it feels glorious just to have a weekend of nothing ahead of me. If we are lucky, it will be nice enough to go to the park, but I'm not counting on it with this crazy weather.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday {4.25.12}

Wednesday again?!?! Woah, how does that happen?? Also, we seem to have lost spring. It took a wrong turn and got lost or something so winter came back. I don't much like it. This weather is just crazy. Which has nothing to do with sewing except that I suppose I can get a bit more done since we won't be going outside much.


Echo Kaleidoscope Quilt

I love it! I just love it. I snuggle under it just about every night. Definitely one of my favorites. 

Boxy Bags

These were pretty easy to make and oh so cute! Those elephants just kill me!

Skill Builder blocks 29 & 30

Apple Cores (not so awesome) and equilateral triangles (totally awesome). I am caught up again. I can't wait to see what's next.

Still Going:

Granny Squares

I got it quilted and am almost done sewing down the binding. Another movie should do it. 

Cosmic Burst

Done the 2nd & 3rd quadrants. So this is the top half of the quilt. I love how it is turning out so far. This week we should finish up the top, and then I guess I have to start thinking about backing....

Travel Purse
The cutting has begun! I am going kinda slow on this because I am not exactly sure what I am doing; I am making up the measurements as I go....and I am having a hard time committing. I think today I will sit down and just make myself do it. It will be really really cool if I can make it work.

Scrappy Triangles
Alright, seriously, I am going to start sewing this. This week. Promise. I just need to do it. I must conquer the piles of triangles! I can do this!

Toddler Dress #2
I don't know if I am ever going to make this one. I just really can't make myself care. I might just end up trashing it. We'll see.


*dresden toddler quilt
*toddler swoon quilt 

Not too shabby.  I can't wait until the granny squares quilt is entirely finished. Soon, very soon. And I am {finally} going to start those stinking triangles. We'll see how far I get, and how many more I end up needing. Things are feeling a little more relaxed this week and that is an excellent thing. I think my list seems pretty manageable finally, so it should be a good productive week. Now to go plan that purse.....

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Boxy Bags

In between quilting projects, I have been busy making some more travel accessories for our upcoming vacation (24 days!!!). One of the things on my list was a toiletry bag. Two actually since I decided we each need one. So I made a couple boxy bags {Japanese style}.

It started on Pinterest, as many things do. I saw this pin.

And I thought the boxy bags were so stinking cute and set about finding the tutorial. Which I did. The only problem: the instructions were in Japanese and the pdf couldn't be translated by google. Luckily, the pictures were enough to go on and I figured it out from there. I started out with this tutorial, which I have used before, for the initial steps, except my starting piece of fabric was a bit smaller. Easy peasy. I even laminated some fabric this time so that I could use the prints I wanted to. Then I did the ends using the pictures from the Japanese tutorial.

Here is my question: Why don't more people do the bag ends like this?!?!?! It is so easy, only one seam on each end instead of 3, and seriously, it looks so stinking cute!! The only down side to doing it this way is that it makes it a bit difficult to add a handle to the end, but I think that's okay. And I suppose that is only if you are okay with having the seams inside instead of hidden in the lining. So really, if you are thinking of making a bag like this, I highly recommend this method for the ends. It really wasn't hard to figure out from the pictures and I did a quick test piece to make sure I understood.

I am loving these little bags. I think they ended up 7"x4"x4" which is pretty much perfect. I just wanted it big enough to fit my toothbrush since that is probably the longest thing I will want to put in there, so this works perfectly. I think the fabric I started with was 12"x17 and I used a layer of fusible fleece to make it sturdy. Honestly, my only issue with it is that it crinkles every time you touch it thanks to the vinyl, but I'll deal. And I was glad to be able to use pac-man and elephants. So that was a win :) I even remembered to switch to polyester thread so that it won't wick through the cotton immediately if it gets wet. I think I need to make one more for the little one....

And there you have it, one more thing to make for happy travels :) Next up is my purse. But not until I finish those darn skill builder blocks! I'm almost done!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Liebster award

Becky over at The Thompsons passed along the Liebster Blog award to me :) What a happy way to start a week!

I know, you're saying:  What exactly is the Liebster Award?  The Liebster (German for favorite) is an award for bloggers with 200 followers or less.   The award is just a way of saying - Hey, I enjoy your blog!  Thanks for sharing a little bit of yourself with me and with others on your blog.  As a recipient of the award, you have the chance to thank and link back to the blogger who gave it to you as well as pass it along to five other deserving blogs.

 I started blogging my projects back in 2008 when I was just really starting to make things. I had pretty much just started sewing anything and was still knitting more than sewing.It wasn't until last year that I decided to try and blog more regularly and I am so glad I did and have kept it up :) I love having a place to share my projects and inspirations with other crafty people, not to mention it sure keeps me more organized and on top of things! People actually reading it, that's just a super sweet bonus!  So thank you Becky!

The Liebster Conventions says that :
1. Thank your award presenter on your blog and link back to him/her (I would have done this anyway, but I guess they have to make it official like)
    2. Copy and paste the award to your blog
    3. Present the Liebster Award to 5 blogs that you think deserve to be recognized
    4. Let them know by leaving a comment on their blog
    5. Have faith that your follower will spread the love, too !
Now to share the love:
1. Claire Jain @ Sewing Over Pins
2. Mareenchen @ Aquamareen Crafting
5. Allegory @ {sew} allegorical

Friday, April 20, 2012

Kaleidoscope in Echo

Hm, I should probably try an think of more original names for my quilts. Purely descriptive is pretty boring. I don't know, we'll see.

Anyway, Happy Friday! I have been having a pretty good week, and I am hopeful for a good weekend. I am super excited to be able to share my kaleidoscope quilt today. It is definitely one of my favorites. Echo is a line of fabric that I loved from the first sneak peek. I decided as soon as I saw it that I had to have it. All of it. So it is one of the few fat quarter bundles I have purchased. It sat on my shelf for quite a while while I tried to figure out what I wanted to do with it, and although I considered just using it as eye candy on my shelf forever, I thought I should probably make something out of it.

I wasn't sure how much I liked the kaleidoscope quilts actually. Then one day I saw a slightly different version where instead of all the blocks being the same, it alternated the placement of the solid and prints on each block making a much more clear kaleidoscope pattern. I fell in love and immediately added it to my to-do list. I decided the echo bundle would be perfect. I had a bit more trouble with a background color, but ultimately went with some kona charcoal. It is such a wonderful dark gray! I used the templates and instructions from the Kaleidoscope Quilt Along with Don't Call Me Betsy. It went pretty well. Honestly, there are some blocks were the points are perfect and some others that make me cringe a little. But the overall effect is so worth it. When I am snuggling under it, it is just a bunch of pretty triangles, but I love the kaleidoscope effect when you step back a bit.

The back is some kona navy with two rows of zig zags. I love how simple it is, especially with such a busy front. I quilted it with gray thread in organic wavy lines something like 2" apart and I love it. It is bound with some kona coal. I am just totally in love with this quilt. I guess I am in love with a lot of the quilts I make, but I think that is probably a good thing. Speaking of quilts I love, maybe this weekend I will get the granny square quilt quilted too! That would be awesome. I plan on basting it today so it is a possibility. I'll have to squeeze it in, somewhere between the picnics, cleaning, shopping, vacation planning....and I should probably catch up with my skill builder blocks and keep up with the cosmic burst....wish me luck!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

WIP Wednesday {4.18.12}

Happy Wednesday! And now that I am past my working season for the year, it certainly is happy :) I feel like now I can actually focus and figure out what I am doing. And I better go into overdrive here soon, my fabric cabinet is absolutely overflowing, so I need to get busy. But anyway, that's another story.


Dress for the little one #1

I finished up one of the dresses I had started. And it is cute, just a bit big in the shoulders. Still working on a cute fix for that one....


Travel Bags

Before we go on our trip (in a month!!!!) I want to make a few more bags to come with us. I am planning 2 toiletry bags and a large purse. I am still working out details on the purse...I need something large enough to hold magazines and snacks and such, but still considered a purse and not a carry-on. And I don't like the proportions on the mock up I made. We'll see. I pretty much know what I am doing for the toiletry bags though once I finish getting fabric/zippers.

Still Going:

Echo Kaleidoscope Quilt

Almost done. I have like 24" of binding left to hand sew down, I just couldn't make it through last night. Then wash, dry, photograph, snuggle. I should have it posted by Friday :)

Granny Squares

The top is done!!! And I love it more than I anticipated. I am working on the back now and I am pretty excited about it.  So you get sneak peak of what I've got for the back so far too. Maybe I'll even be able to quilt it this weekend.

Cosmic Burst QAL

Quadrants 1&4 are done. I love how it is shaping up. I am a little concerned about some of the fabrics blending together too much, but I am hoping it will be fine. It is definitely going to be a happy spring quilt.

Scrappy Triangles
This is next on the quilt list after I finish my granny squares. Which means hopefully next week I can start sewing them together. Unless I get distracted by something else {bags, for instance...}

Dress for the little #2
The other dress I started will be in a pile hiding somewhere until I feel like putting it together. I hope the motivation comes soon. But at the moment, there are way too many other things I'd rather do.


*dresden toddler quilt
*toddler swoon quilt 

I have more going on right now then I'd realized. I better start planning all this out and see what I can get done before we leave. I think not this week though. This week I will just spend the rest of it relaxing and working on whatever I feel like. And getting a pedicure. It is going to be a good week :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Festival Of HSTs

I've decided to join in the fun over at Canoe Ridge Creations for the Festival of Half Square Triangles. I am going to link up my Broken Diamonds quilt. I have already posted about it here, but since I finished it in March and it is entirely HSTs and sashing, I figured it qualified. And seriously, I love this quilt. It helps that it is the first design I came up with all on my own :)

To be honest, I still haven't seen my aunt and uncle to give it to them, but I think I am going to send it down with my parents next time they visit so hopefully I'll get it to them soon. So that's all, I just wanted to share that. And now I need to go make it through my last day of work!! I'll be back tomorrow with some WIP goodness.

Monday, April 16, 2012

One Dress Down

Monday again? Already? Man these weekends go too fast. They always do though, I don't know why I'm always surprised by it. I did manage to get my kaleidoscope quilt quilted and I am super excited about it. I have already started the binding so hopefully by the end of the week it will be done and ready to reveal. Also, aside from finally getting out my wii fit (which is totally fun, by the way), I finished one of the two dresses I had started for my little one.

I don't know what came over me a week and a half ago. I just decided that my little love needed a dress. And I knew what I wanted it to look like so I traced a pattern and started cutting. And then I didn't have time to finish it and then I got lazy and figured I could do something quicker. Preferably without sleeves or a closure. So this is a super lazy dress. That I still didn't finish for over a week after I started it.

When I say lazy, I mean it. I literally took just about a half a yard of fabric folded in half, cut a neck hole, sewed the sides up to the armholes, folded under the edges and sewed them down, made an elastic casing which I sewed around the middle, threaded the elastic through, hemmed it, and voila! Overall it came out quite nice. The only problem is that I cut the neck hole too big so it kinda falls down on the shoulders a bit which you can see in one of the pictures. I did consider bias tape for finishing so I would have that extra bit of fabric instead of folding it over, but I didn't have any that matched. I am considering doing a little pleat in the center of the back to make it a bit smaller so it stays on better, but we'll see. I like it a lot though. And the fabric is some stuff that someone was getting rid of so I grabbed it, and it's not my favorite, but it looks cute on her and it was a good test. I need to see how much smaller I can make the neck and still get her head into it without adding some sort of closure.

So that's one down. Now I am going to continue avoiding the other one. One of these days I will make it. Of course by then she'll probably have grown out of it....Oh well, we'll see. On a completely random note, it is apparently supposed to be quite warm today and I am excited to go play outside. I am thinking lounging on the porch planning out some projects while the little one naps might be in order as well :) Sounds like a good way to start a week!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Granny Squares {quilt} top

Happy Friday! Is everyone else looking forward to the weekend in a big way? I know I am. And this weekend, I am determined to quilt my kaleidoscope quilt! So that's the plan anyway. I need to get that out of the way.

But this isn't about that quilt, this is about my scrappy granny squares quilt. The top is finished! I tried for some nice outside pictures, but the weather was not cooperating, so we'll just have to deal with some inside pictures. This top finished at about 68" square. I fully expect it to shrink a lot since only half of the fabrics are pre-washed, but that's alright.

I'll be honest, I am so much more in love with this quilt top then I thought I'd be. Initially I was just going to throw it in the pile of quilts to find a home for, but I am loving it way too much for that right now. We'll see once it is finished. I am trying to plan a back using only scraps. And probably using as many 2" squares as I can manage since I still have an insane amount. If I am lucky, I will bind it in leftover binding too.

I wasn't sure I would like the scrappy border, but once it was on, I just loved it even more. I think it helps that this thing has scraps from so many different projects that I've done. I can't wait to quilt it and see how it comes out. I am thinking of some FMQ practice of some kind, but we'll see. I guess I can deal with that decision later, right now, I need to focus on one quilt at a time. Which I guess means I should really go finish the back for my kaleidoscope and get it basted. Hopefully the quilting goes fairly quickly and painlessly! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

WIP Wednesday {4.11.12}

Wednesday again? Wow. Just wow. I am feeling kinda overwhelmed right now. Kinda by life, but mostly by sewing projects. I am pushing through though and I am confident that I will feel better by next week. Unless I don't :-P

I did pretty well this week considering I didn't sew a single stitch all weekend. I was planning to, I just got distracted by more important house organization projects and whatnot. Oh and holiday fun, mostly involving food. Anyway....


Tova Tunic

It's done! And I wore it! In public! I really like it and I am proud of actually having made an article of clothing for myself. 

Skill Builder Sampler - Block #28

These little tumblers are so stinking cute. 


I hate to admit this, but I started and decided not to finish not one, but two dresses for my little love last week. They are sitting in a pile where they will probably remain until I need a quilting break. I couldn't even bring myself to take a picture of them. And one of them would really take like 5 minutes to finish. I don't even know if either of them will fit. I figure if I make myself list them I'll have a better chance of finishing them in the near future....

Still Going:

Granny Squares

The top is thisclose to done. Seriously, I just need to add the white borders on the edges and it is done. They are all ready to go. I am so in love with this one. 

Cosmic Burst QA

My fabric is cut and ready for further instruction :)

Echo Kaleidoscope - I will hopefully start piecing the back today. I have fabric and a plan. And hopefully I will get it quilted this weekend. I would love to have this done soon. Very soon.

Scrappy Triangles - I need to start sewing these together.


*dresden toddler quilt
*toddler swoon quilt 

And of course I have a bunch of things that I have planned to do, but not started. We won't talk about those though. I really really hope I can get this kaleidoscope quilt quilted this weekend. So much to do, so little time....Have a great week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, April 9, 2012

I made a shirt {for me}!!!

Oh Monday, why do you always sneak up on me? Sometimes, the weekends just fly by. And this past weekend, while good, involved absolutely no sewing time. I am actually suffering from a bit of project overload right now, but I am hoping today to get enough done today so I don't feel so overwhelmed. We'll see.

Anyway, on to the point. I finished my Tova tunic top last week!! Not only did I finish it, but I then wore in in public! And I wasn't even ashamed!!! This is huge for me since the only other thing I've really made for me to wear (a dress), well I don't really want to talk about it, and it has since been turned into a bag for my yoga mat.

I used the Tova pattern and the directions were nice and clear, although having Kerry's Sew-Along to help made it even easier. I used a fairly lightweight quilting cotton from Joann's because I wanted to see how this was going to go before breaking out the good stuff. So it's a bit stiffer because of that. I do want to make another one in voile so I am interested to see the difference. I shortened the sleeves since even though I love 3/4 length sleeves, I though it would be a bit much in this fabric.

I have a hard time telling how it is supposed to fit. It feels kinda big, but I suspect that is just the style and if it were much smaller I might have a hard time getting it on and off. 

I actually had a harder time with it then I thought I would. The front inset gave me all kinds of trouble (you can see some of the puckering in that last picture) and at the end the collar was a bit difficult, which is my own fault for not hand sewing it down on the back before topstitching so I didn't catch it all and there were some gaps even though I used tons of pins. I tried to go back and fix them, but after I washed it I ended up with a hole where the collar attaches, so I was pretty bummed about that. I guess in the grand scheme of things it wasn't too bad, but I think for the most part I'll be sticking with quilts/bags/baby and toddler stuff. I don't mind making clothes for little ones, but for me, not so much. I will still make a voile version one of these days though I think because it really is a super nice shirt.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Skill Builder Sampler: The wonky blocks

It just occured to me that I never posted about this batch of skill builder blocks. What with Leila taking a break since she was sick and all that, it has been a while. This set of blocks was wonky blocks. I really really like wonky blocks but it is not something I am naturally good at. I am working on it, but I still have a ways to go apparently. Anyway, the blocks!

Block 25: Wonky Log Cabin
This was a pretty fun block. In the end, I don't love my fabric choices, but it still came out nice. I would like to do an entire quilt of these someday I think. 

Block 26: Wonky Stars
Since I just recently did my Stars for Edie quilt which is all wonky stars, using the same tutorial no less, I decided to mix it up a bit. I used the stargazing block from Modern Blocks and I love it. That itty bitty on in the corner is my favorite. I think I would love an entire quilt of tiny star blocks. Luckily, I am not crazy enough to do it....yet.... I love this block though, it is definitely among my favorites.

Block 27: Wonky Fan
Yeah, this is where I can tell that I do not tend toward wonky. Even my free hand curves came out almost as even as when I try! I tried to make it wonky, but I guess I need to go a little more drastic with it next time. It's a nice block though.

And that's that. I believe next (today in fact) we start on odd shapes. I am looking forward to it. Only 9 more blocks to go in this sampler, I can hardly believe it! And now, I'm off to enjoy the weekend!