Friday, September 28, 2012

Random Friday

Yay! It's weekend time!!! This week was a long one for me, for no particular reason really, but I am happy to see it come to an end. I have been doing a bit of this and a bit of that, so nothing is really finished but that's okay.

This weekend I am planning to finish up my echo baby quilt. It is all quilted and awaiting binding.

I branched out in my quilting on this one and I am really happy with it. I can't wait for it to be done and all washed and crinkly. I am also planning on picking up some batting this weekend and basting/quilting my tragic kingdom quilt. I have a plan for that one too but we'll see how it turns out, especially since the quilt doesn't lay all that flat.

Also, at some point I want to finish up my first pair of socks. I haven't gotten much further recently as I've been spending my nights reading instead of watching things while knitting, and now I'll have a couple quilts to bind. But, I did go ahead and buy some yarn for my next pair(s). And maybe when I make another pair it will actually fit my feet instead of being huge. I do believe this current pair is for the hubby.

So anyway, that is my random list for this Friday. I have no idea what we will be doing this weekend, but I sure hope it is relaxing.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

WIP Wednesday {9.26.12}

Good morning and happy Wednesday! Halfway through the week *whew* This week is dragging and we are pretty tired around here, but we are making it through and I have two finished quilt tops this week! And both of them are destined for some new FMQ practice I think. Also, sorry about the bad pictures this week, I didn't make it outside to get any good ones so I had to work with what I could.

Completed/Still Going:

tragic kingdom

I am finished this top. It is definitely smaller than I wanted it to be but I don't have enough scraps for another row and I am pretty burnt out on these blocks anyway. I haven't decided on the back yet and I need more batting, but I do have some quilting ideas.

echo baby quilt

This was so quick and easy once I figured out how I wanted to cut the scraps. I finally decided on 6" and 3" squares all mixed together and I love it. I am going to use a gray flannel for the back. It is only 36" square, but it will be a perfect little floor blanket or one for the car/stroller. I already decided on my quilting for this one I think and I am excited to get going. I'll probably baste it today and get to work.


nothing. I just focused on finishing these tops up and haven't let anything else creep in.

*wedding quilt - I have started getting ideas together and will soon be gathering fabric :)
*baby quilt - still an idea just waiting for me to come play. Once I find the perfect fabric I will be on my way.

Believe it or not, that's all I've got right now. There is nothing else that I am really ready to start. I'm sure there will be soon enough though, so I'll just try to finish these up in the meantime. I do have a few vague plans, but I'm in no rush. Which reminds me, I need to actually make my list of holiday gift ideas....maybe I'll aim to do that this week. In any case, I hope everyone is having a good week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, September 24, 2012

A little fall jacket - simplicity 2534

So, Monday again. And I am definitely still in a bit of a food coma from our fall celebrations. It was delicious and a great way to usher in a new season. And guess what?!?! I finally got some pictures of my little love bug in her new jacket! They aren't great, but I take what I can get. After making her jacket last year, I just couldn't resist making another this year.

It took me a while to find a pattern I liked. I used simplicity 2534, view A and it came out pretty well, but far from perfect.

Let me start by saying that it was one of the more complicated things I think I've made. It had quite a few pieces and was a bit more....I don't know, professional?, then what I am used to. I tend to make sure I pick nice simple things, but I just grabbed this and ran with it. I used a gray suiting fabric for the outer and a quilting cotton for the lining, and I found the suiting a bit difficult to work with and I don't think it lays particularly nice in the finished jacket. I think I might have liked a heavier coat a bit better. Oh, and I made her a size 3 which was the smallest size. It is totally big on her as she has just started moving into 3T clothes, but it will work and maybe even for the spring and if I am super lucky, next fall. I don't know though, she is a little weed and pretty much wore her 2T clothes for 3-4 months before outgrowing them in length.

Anyway, the biggest trouble spots for me were the finishing instructions. It took me forever to figure out how to attach the lining at the sleeve and finally I couldn't get the bottom hemmed right so I just folded it up and topstitched the entire thing. Which worked well and helped control the suiting fabric a bit and I really like the look. Of course I didn't notice until it was completely done that I had a bit of a gathering issue on the one side which is pretty obvious, but oh well. She helped me pick the buttons (naturally) so she was pretty excited about those.

It does have pockets too which is nice, but they are in kind of an awkward spot for her so I'm not sure she'll use them.

In conclusion, it is done and it is cute and it will work. And I don't know if I'll make another next year....if I do it will probably be a simpler pattern. I think for now I'll stick to much more basic clothing. 

And now, I need to stop avoiding string piecing and push through a few more blocks. I think this tragic kingdom quilt is going to end up smaller than I planned. I am running low on scraps, but it should be a decent baby size. I hope. You would think after 2 days break from them I would be ready for more, but I am pretty tired of them. I don't know how people make large spiderweb quilts!

Friday, September 21, 2012

t-shirt: round 1

Happy Friday! I am so looking forward to this weekend. We officially kick off fall and I am thinking waffles, pumpkin scones, chocolate apple cake, and chocolate chip pumpkin bread are in order, at the very least :) I will be enjoying a nice food {and sugar} coma by the end of the weekend I think.

But anyway, I was going to post the fall jacket I made the little one today, but I haven't been able to convince her to let me take pictures of her in it yet. So I am hoping by Monday I will have that to show you. *sigh* the difficulties of having a 2 year old model. So instead, I thought I would finally post the striped t-shirt I made myself.

It was really simple to make. Almost laughably so actually. I was inspired by this and this and figured I could make it work. I only had 1 yard to work with which is why the sleeves are a bit shorter than I would have made otherwise, but I think it looks really good. It is a bit tight because I cut too close to the fitted shirt I was using as a guide not thinking about how I would want it a bit slouchier, but it fits and that is what matters. I put the band around the bottom, but since it is so tight it doesn't actually do much.

Obviously these pictures were taken last week, ya know, when I could still go outside in shorts. I want to try another t-shirt eventually, but I'm in no hurry. For now I continue on my quilting kick. I took a break and sewed up my echo baby top, so now I just need to get out and get a back for it. I know what I want already, I just have to do it. In the mean time I am still working away on my tragic kingdom quilt. It feels so slow since it takes me 45 minutes - 1 hour to make one block. So we'll see how big it actually gets. And we'll see how quickly it happens since this weekend is all about food and friends and fun and fall and not so much sewing.  Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

WIP Wednesday {9.19.12}

Can you believe that fall starts this weekend?? I guess the cooler weather is pretty much already here, but it just seems weird that we are almost 3/4 through the year and that it is officially pumpkin and apple season. We will be celebrating this weekend. But I digress, back to the matter at hand. It has been a good week. It is weird to have slowed down and not have a whole lot finished after the last few weeks, but it feels good.


fall jacket

I finally got down to it and finished this up the other day. It took a bit of guess work, but it came out pretty good. Far from perfect, but wearable. I'll post more about it Friday after we get some sun and I snap some pictures of the little lady wearing it.


echo baby quilt

I started cutting this the other day. If I'm honest it was to get some string scraps for my tragic kingdom quilt, but that's okay. I haven't thought through it far enough though so I need to do that and keep going. 

Still Going:

tragic kingdom

I have 9 blocks done! I am only doing enough blocks at a time to bring me to the next size just in case I run out of scraps. I am hoping to ultimately get 20 blocks, but I'm not sure I have enough. We'll see. They are going to need some good trimming though. I definitely ended up with some wonky squares.

pillow covers 2&3
Yeah, no rush on these. I'll get to them eventually. Maybe when I get tired of all those little strips. 

*wedding quilt - this is not at all a priority right now, but I don't want to forget it
*baby quilt -inspiration has struck...once I have time to put it together

I love crafting in cooler weather. Not just sewing, but knitting too once cooler weather hits. And in case you are wondering, my socks are coming along, slowly. I only have another 1.5" of the foot before I start the toe. I guess I just need more movie time :) For now I am just trying to make it to this weekend: movie snuggle time, picnic, beginning of fall party....just a couple more days now....

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, September 17, 2012

pattern storage overhaul

a.k.a. I finally caught the organizing bug and went a little crazy.

So for whatever reason, for the past few weeks I have been on an organizing/clutter reducing/simplifying mission. I don't much know where it came from, nor do I particularly care since it is precisely what we need around here. I was on a roll this weekend after we cleaned out our filing cabinet so I decided to attack my various sewing/quilting patterns and pattern pieces.

Does anyone else have a horrible time trying to figure out how to store these things?? I hate folding them up to begin with and then I just never know where to stuff them so that I can find them when I need them and all the pieces are together. I have tried a few things, but this time I think I've found something that will stick! Meet my new solution:

I went and got a 12" scrapbook binder from Joanns yesterday, picked up some {removable} labels and used some scrapbook page protectors I already had and ta-da! Some of the pages hold multiple patterns and some are just for one so I can label them as needed. I was going to just use a scrapbook, but the binder works much better and gives me a lot more space. This thing is huge!

It works perfectly so far. I am sure I will end up moving and readjusting things, but I love it. I don't have to fold things all that much which is nice and it holds a lot. I even put in pages for books that came with patterns that I have taken out to use so I can keep the pattern pages and any that I trace all together in one place.

Now this is just for sewing patterns. I did another binder for quilting that is just a regular 8.5"x11" binder filled with page protectors since nothing I had was bigger than that. It has some reference pages, patterns I have bought or been given or whatever, a page for templates and a page for random quilt block pieces all labeled and paper clipped together.  I'm curious though, how do you organize these things?

Seriously, I don't know why I never thought of this before. And I am telling you, with all the clothes and such I have been making, and the blocks from the skill builder sampler, all my pattern pieces and templates were out of control. As in, now I can finally see my top shelf again. It gives me a nice inner peace. Now I just have to decide whether to make more spiderweb blocks or finish that stupid fall jacket today. I still am not sure how it is supposed to go together at this point (the sleeve/lining finishing is completely baffling me), but I finally got buttons and kinda just want it done. We'll see which mood strikes me when I finally get the chance to work on something.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Tova time!

Since I am still plugging away at my tragic kingdom spiderwebs (is the song stuck in your head yet? You're welcome.), I thought I would share my tova tops today. I finally managed to get some pictures although as it turns out, the voile didn't photograph so well. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Way back when, I particpated in the tova-sew-along hosted by Kerry. After it was all done, thanks to some great input, I decided that I needed to go down a size. That meant that instead of jumping into the voile like I had planned, I needed another test, which was fine since I kind of love the pattern and had fabric that I had been thinking about using for another anyway. So I went down a size even though my bust measurement said I should be making the larger size, and I am happy to report that it seems to fit perfectly.

So this was the test shirt. It is some old fabric from a great grandmother's basement and there is just something about it that I love. I actually knew right away I wanted it to be a shirt.

The final version {for now} is the voile version I had been wanting since the beginning. I was a little afraid to cut into it, but it was so worth it. I even managed to line up the design across the inset/plackets and it looks so good! This may not seem that impressive, but it is not something I generally even think about, let alone manage to do without mishap. I can't help it, I'm pretty proud of myself. And as Kerry suggested in the sew along, I did a double layer of voile for the inset which worked perfectly. I did have to rip some stitches out once and it is far from perfect, but after that it came together easily and I couldn't be happier with the end result. Of course it occurs to me now that if I wear it with jeans it is a whole lot of blue, but I kinda don't care. And let me tell you, the voile is a dream to wear. It is so soft and comfy.  It was hard to photograph though, so the picture I have isn't great, but you get the idea.

I think I will be wearing this a lot this fall. I finished just in time too, it seems, since it is supposed to cool off quite a bit over the next few days. Which should make for a lovely fall weekend to go out and enjoy. We will also be braving the transition to a big girl bed, so I am hoping that goes well. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday {9.12.12}

Well, after a crazy productive week, I am happy to be slowing down and enjoying some more relaxing piecing. I finished most of my list from last week (which if you'll remember was huge) and my little lady is enjoying all her new clothes.


flashback skinny tees
I now have all 4 done that I had planned and she loves them!

pj set
Her crossover tee and sleeping johns. She has been wearing these this week to bed and seems to really like them. They are awfully soft so I don't blame her.

heart pants

I still feel kinda eh about these, but she wore them yesterday so that was good. I guess she likes them.

towel robe
She is so cute in her robe. We'll be trying it out this today for swimming lessons!

crib sheet
This came out really well. And every time she lays down she reminds me she is going to lay on the sheets that mama made :)

froggy hoodie
 I am calling this done even though it needs snaps. Man, everything is cuter when it's smaller. This is 6-12 months now just waiting for a sweet little baby to give it to.

t-shirt for me

Once I get a chance, I will take pictures of me in this and post about it. It is a bit more snug then I meant for it to be, but I think it will work. It was really simple anyway.

tova- the good one

I am so excited to wear this! I love the way it came out!! I'll do a full post once I get some pictures of me in it. 


tragic kingdom

My new quilting project. Which bears no resemblance to any of the quilts that have been sitting on my list. But once I got it into my head, I couldn't get it out and lets be real here, I have been trying to figure out what I wanted to do with all my strip scraps for months. I have no idea how big it will get or anything, but I am in love with it so far. And sorry for the crappy phone pic, I had to take what I could get since nap time was over and I had to clean up right quick. But you get the idea. I love it so far and I'm a bit obsessed. It does take forever though, so it will probably take me a while.

pillow cases
once we get the little one a pillow for her big girl bed (which we will be converting this weekend), I'll need to whip up a couple of pillow cases for her. Whether she'll actually use said pillow is, obviously, another story.

Still Going:

fall jacket
 I am going to get buttons this weekend I hope, and then I will finish it up.

pillow covers 2&3
Yeah, no rush on these. I'll get to them eventually. Maybe when I get tired of all those little strips. 

*wedding quilt - this is not at all a priority right now, but I don't want to forget it
*baby quilt -inspiration has struck...once I have time to put it together
*baby echo quilt - I decided I want to use my scraps, but I'm not quite sure how yet...

Honestly, I kind of can't believe I got all that done in a week. It makes me a little tired just looking at it so I'm sorry if it does the same for you. I have recently had ideas formulating about that echo baby quilt up there so that might get mixed in when I need a break from string piecing as well. For now I'm just chilling out for a while working on quilts that I just feel like making before I start the holiday gift making in a couple of weeks. So far it's really nice to be making things just because I want to. I hope everyone is having a wonderful week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, September 10, 2012

Knit Week: Results

So for the past week or so, I have been sewing only with knit fabrics. Mostly this was to get a fall wardrobe ready for my little love bug, but also to tie up a few other things I have had laying around approximately forever. So this is going to be a pretty picture-heavy post because I made a lot of things this past week. I suppose that is the advantage of them all being small :)

flashback skinny tees

I made 4 of these in the end from Rae's pattern. I kind of love them all and the pattern is really great. After the first one (the floral one) I did make the neckband a bit bigger since it was hard to get over her head and puckered a bit, but the instructions to do that were in the pattern. I made two of them with the 2" cuffs, one with 1" and one with no cuffs. I even managed to line up the stripes on the striped one!

crossover tee and sleeping johns

From the book Growing Up Sew Liberated (which I love by the way). These are her new fall pjs and they came out well. The shirt is definitely big. I made her the 3T because that is what we are starting to move her into, length wise, and it is just big. It was fine in the skinny tee where I made the same size, based on the same measurements. Not that it really matters since it is just for sleeping. And the pants were pretty simple and seem to fit her well.


I am not sure these will ever get worn. The fabric is leftover from a sweatshirt I made her last year and they are a bit busy and don't fit great. I used the sleeping johns pattern again but made it a bit wider since there is very little stretch to this fabric. And they fit well enough, but I don't love them....and she has no shirts to go with them anyway

bed sheet

So easy and soft and I love them.

towel robe

I used the pattern from MADE and it came out pretty well. I really had to fight with the bias tape on the tie, but I was using a tie I already had so it had bulky seems I was trying to work over. The whole thing is made from a bathrobe that I was done using for myself. I barely had enough fabric and as you can see there are pockets on both front sides, but it will work and it is cute.

In addition, I did finish the t-shirt for myself but I don't have a picture yet so I'll get to that later, and I finished the froggy hoodie that I had been planning. It is so cute. Made out of an old pair of my sweat pants, it is a 6-12 month size, so that will be hanging around waiting for a sweet baby to give it to. It just needs snaps.

So that's that. I was crazy busy getting all this done, and I am finishing up my tova. I just need to get buttons for the fall jacket and then finish that up. And I think today or tomorrow I am going to start working on a quilt. At a nice leisurely pace. Maybe I'll plan out more than one! I don't mind sewing with knit fabric, but I'm pretty glad I am done this round and my little love has some sweet hand made clothes to wear this fall, which appears to be here already. Definitely time to slow down a bit for a few weeks before I start ramping it up for the holidays. I guess I'm just making up for my leisurely summer :) I'll be back Wednesday with the full progress report!

Friday, September 7, 2012

September Birthday Gifts

Ya know what's weird? Being back to a time of year where it being Friday actually means something! But here we are and boy am I glad the week is at an end. It's been a long one. That said, I have been sewing like a madwoman and am really knocking out all those knit things I need to make. Of course I was doing really well just trucking along and wouldn't you know, yesterday I got the quilting bug and got like 5 quilt ideas. *sigh* I will behave though and finish up these last few things first. I am hoping all this knit stuff will be sewn together by the end of the weekend, and then I want to make my tova so I can start wearing it, and finish the fall jacket for the little one and then, quilts. 

Anyway, now that the birthday gifts for my mom and sister have been given, I thought I would show full pictures of them. For my mom, I made a patchwork version of the Nikki Tote, which I have made before. I love this tote and had been looking for an excuse to make another. As an added bonus, all the fabric is from my stash. I don't often have a good project for all the heavier weight scraps that accumulate. Though really, this barely made a dent. Still, it's cute. I didn't have enough of that lovely purple I used for the outer handles, so I decided to just make the inside completely different and go with the yellow. And of course zebra print lining. My mom loves it and I actually love it quite a bit as well.

My sister got 2 different phone cases (and the cowl I knit for her and the carry-on bag that I made...). She told me she wanted one and even picked out the fabric, and I just couldn't decide which design was better so I gave her both. The one is just a pouch with a velcro closure and a little pocket on the back for cards or whatever.

The other used this tutorial just tweaking the size a bit for her phone. I think I like this one a bit more actually and might make one for myself at some point. It actually came out better then I expected it to. I used a layer of batting in the middle to make it a bit sturdier and I think it worked well. I don't know which she likes more but she assures me she will be using both.

Now I should be good on gifts until December I think. Which I will start thinking about soon. Unless I get distracted by too many more quilts. Which I am not ruling out. I hope everyone has a lovely weekend!