Wednesday, February 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday {2.27.13}

Well it has been a long week and it is only half over. Not even really, but close enough I guess. But, I did manage to get quite a few little things done so I am feeling pretty good about that. I am kind of project hopping, which is a little unusual for me, usually I just stick to something until it's finished, but I am enjoying this. I also might have another quilt coming up for our neighbor who wants one for her new bed. We'll see where that goes.

marcell medallion quilt - I started this the other day from the book Liberty Love, destined to become a baby quilt, and only got the center finished before I got stuck on the next border. I want to keep this more calm and coherant than the original in the book, but I haven't entirely decided where it is going yet. I love it so far though!

pony club quilt  - I finished 2 blocks  and have the templates cut for the next 9 so I can work on them as I feel like it.

hexies - I have a little over 100 done. And even better, I finally sat down and figured out how many I actually need for my pillow cover, so I hope to make some serious progress on this soon.

sew south sample swap items - I finished my trial run! I am trying to decide if it is good enough to continue on and make the others to swap. I love the bag though and I really needed a little pencil case!

 honey cowl - I didn't touch it this week
lilly belle quilt - I am planning on picking up the back this weekend....if I can remember.

So I guess I just really need to make a call on the sample swap and make those, and keep going on my ongoing quilts. Maybe I'll even get a back and get lilly belle basted! Who knows! All I do know, is that it is very nearly March, and that is insane, but a little awesome. Have a great week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, February 25, 2013

Some crazy math

Weird, right? :) Alternate title: I'm so crafty.....I make people bahahaha.

So sometime in the second half of the summer, my little lady is going to be a big sister. Not that she has any idea what that really means at this point, but we'll get there. And that, my friends, is mostly why I fell of the sewing/blogging bandwagon for a while there. Not that moving 700 miles helped or anything haha. All things considered, I think I kept it up pretty well, but still.

In any case, I am feeling much better at this point and have a smidge of energy, hence actually sewing/posting more. I felt like I should mention it since I am starting to think baby sewing :) In fact, I am pretty sure my marcell medalion quilt from Liberty Love is going to be for baby. I started it the other day and have the center done, although I haven't photographed it yet. I should get on that. I am really excited about it though and can't decide whether to keep going or work on some pony club blocks. We'll see how I feel about it by naptime.

I guess that's enough excitement for one day :) I'll be back wednesday with my bits and pieces of progress!

Friday, February 22, 2013

ironing board makeover

I am happy to report that my iron has arrived and I am back in business! I am feeling pretty productive right now too since I basted some hexies and made my next pony club block and got the templates printed for the next set. I also may have gotten Liberty Love and started plotting a quilt....I'm just saying it's possible. And by plotting a quilt I mean be ready to start cutting at any moment :)

Anyway, one thing that I managed to do the other day was to recover my ironing board. Here are a couple before pictures in all it's grungy glory

I wanted to go with something nice and neutral so I picked up this nice fabric at Joanns the other day. I followed this tutorial at comfortstitching and used a nice packaged yellow binding I already had on hand. I had to put it on a little differently since it was already double folded, but I made it work. And I ended up just putting it over top of the old cover with a layer of batting in between because a layer of batting was not thick enough, but it seems to be working well.

So that's my story. I am hoping to get started on the aforementioned quilt today. I have big plans, I tell you, big plans! And then hopefully a relaxing weekend. Have a lovely weekend everyone!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

WIP Wednesday {2.20.13}

Here we are again. Wednesday. Somehow it just keeps happening :) After the tragic death of my iron the other day, things have slowed down as I wait for my replacement. Hopefully it will arrive some time today and we'll be back in business. In the meantime, I am planning on a bit more hexie basting/knitting to get me through.

floor pillow - done! the little one loves it :)

ironing board cover - I decided to tackle this one while I was without an iron. I'll post more about it later this week, but it looks much better now, even if it hasn't been ironed

pony club quilt  - I have fabric picked for the next block so I will get back to this soon.
hexies - still quite a few to baste
honey cowl - I worked on it a bit, but it still has quite a ways to go.
sew south sample swap items - my trial run got put on hold since I had no iron, but I am planning on doing these very soon.
lilly belle quilt - I have the back narrowed down to two options, so I'll make a decision on that soon and get to work.   

It was definitely one of those weeks where I felt like I did a lot more than I did. That's alright though, I don't consider two finishes bad. I am planning on taking care of the next pony club block and doing a test run of my sample swap item this week if I can manage it. Today, I think there will be some hexie basting in my life :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, February 18, 2013

swooning for a floor pillow

So, it's Monday. On the plus side, it is warmer than the weekend weather. Other than that, just Monday. Also, tragedy struck this weekend when my iron up and died. I don't know what happened, the light just didn't come on when I plugged it in the other day. It was so sad, and I did get it to work for a bit, but now it seems I need a new one, so I am waiting on that.

Before said tragedy though, I finished the swoon block floor pillow for the little one. She loves it and has a great time throwing it onto the floor and then throwing herself on top of it. Ahh the good life. This was pretty easy once I decided on fabric. It was hard since I wanted to avoid white since, ya know, floor pillow. And I knew I wanted that green in there because it's her favorite color, but after that I was stumped. In the end I am happy with my choices though and she seems to really like it. I picked solid gray for the back since it will theorectially show dirt less, and a gray/white herringbone for the binding, which I love. I was thisclose to sewing the binding down by hand when I realized that with the amount of wear and tear this is likely to take, that was a terrible idea. So I machine sewed it and it looks pretty good. The lines blend in on the front since I did a pretty dense grid for the quilting.

The quilting was the other thing I debated for a while. I wanted to just outline the star initially but somehow got it into my head that a tiny grid would be the way to go. I couldn't ignore it so I went with it and it was pretty intense. I am really really proud of it though. Thanks to my super sweet walking foot, I have no puckers. None at all, which I consider totally insane! I love the way it looks and the texture it gives.

So that's that. I don't know why I put it off for so long, but I am glad that I finally did it. I will probably make her another one eventually, but I already had this pillow form, so it will be enough for now. Now I have to go figure out what I can get done that doesn't require my iron. The answer, unfortunately, is not pony club blocks, which is what I was setting out to do when the tragedy struck. That's alright, all will be right in the world soon enough :) Maybe this will give me the chance to baste some hexies, or even knit some honey cowl!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Once upon a time...

Like, two days ago, I had this dream that I would have a completed pillow to show today. Then life happened. And instead we made a fresh strawberry cake with cream cheese icing for Valentines day. And yes, it did indeed take all day (little helpers will do that to a project) but it was pretty freaking amazing. It is surprisingly difficult to find a recipe for strawberry cake that does not use either boxed cake mix or strawberry jello, but this one came out really delicious. In any case, that is what I spent yesterday doing instead of working on the pillow. Oh and then I went a bit crazy with the quilting.....

Anyway, I thought I would show the before and after pictures of the doll stroller that I redid the other day. It is kinda hard to see, but the old one had one strap that was completely frayed and useless and my little love brought it to me pretty upset about it. I had been meaning to get around to making a new one anyway, because let's face it, that thing was ugly, and this was the push I needed. It really only took an hour or so to do. Here is the before:

As a side note, do you ever look at things like this and just realize in amazement how terribly made they really are?? Because seriously I looked at the stitching on the original seat and laughed. And then was horrified because it was just so bad. Thankfully my mother-in-law found it at a yard sale for $1 so I didn't feel too bad. 

The little one picked out the fabric that I used and then I found the twill tape on a roll at Joanns and I love the color. It doesn't really go with the pig fabric, but that's what she wanted and I really love that teal. Technically it is only 3/4" instead of the 1" original, but it works. To make it, I just traced the other pieces and cut them out. I didn't even have to worry about seam allowance since I was tracing a bound edge. I did end up cutting the two pieces apart to see if the top piece was curved (it wasn't...come to think of it, it wasn't even straight....) but I should have just gone for it. I was being cautious since I only had a fat quarter to work with. It took a bit of finagling, and there is an extra seam there on the front under the binding, but I made it work. Here is the after:

It came together wonderfully and it was great to have such a quick finish after working on that weekender for so long.  Now maybe today I can finish this stinking floor pillow. I can hope anyway! Have a good weekend!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday {2.13.13}

Hello Wednesday, so we meet again! I am happy to report that this has at least felt like the most productive week I've had in quite a while. Now that my weekender bag is out of the way, I feel like I can get around to working on so many other things that have been sitting around.

weekender - done! pure love!

doll stroller makeover - the old one was coming apart and she was pretty upset about it, so like the good mommy I am, I made a pretty new one  :)

floor pillow - I finally just did it. It was hard to pick fabric, but we are now underway and should have a pillow cover completed very soon.

pony club quilt  - I have fabric picked for the next block so I will get back to this soon.
hexies - still needs work
honey cowl - I worked on it a bit, but it still has quite a ways to go. 
sew south sample swap items - I am going to do a trial run this week to see if I am making what I think I am making. 
lilly belle quilt - after going back and forth for a while, I decided that this will be one of the wedding quilts that I need to make. I think they will love it and I wasn't loving what I was coming up with for my other idea. I need to get a back and quilt it and everything, so fairly soon I will be doing that and ditching the hand quilting in favor of the machine. 

I also really want to make a new cover for my ironing board, but that hasn't quite made the official list yet. We'll see what else sneaks up. I am really in the mood to knock out a bunch of little things that I have been meaning to do, so I don't know exactly where that will lead me. Always an adventure! Hope everyone is having a lovely week :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, February 11, 2013

I did it!

I finished my bag! I consider it a great accomplishment that I have finished an Amy Butler Weekender bag. And what's even better is that I love it, I absolutely love it! I wish I had somewhere to go rightthissecond so I could use it. For the time being, I guess I will have to stick to admiring it. I wanted to make sure I did a good post with all the changes I made and the things I found most difficult so that 1. if I ever make another I can remember exactly what I did and 2. it may help someone else. I found a lot of helpful hints and good ideas from the long weekend flickr group and the blogs linked there and just kind of pulled in what I thought would work for me. So consider that your warning that this will be long with lots of pictures.

To start with, I did what has now become quite popular and quilted all my pieces to batting and outdoor fabric instead of using the suggested heavy interfacing. I imagine this is much easier after my one experience with extra stiff interfacing in a bag, but I can't be certain. It made the pieces hold their shape well while still giving them a bit of flexibility. A lot of people use duck cloth or canvas to quilt their pieces to, but I chose outdoor fabric since it is a bit stiffer and was super cheap at the end of the summer. I made my pieces and then quilted them using straight lines, although many have done quilt as you go. I made oversized pieces and cut them down at the end. One thing I did that was really helpful when working with the outdoor fabric, was to zig zag all the edges once the pieces were cut which really stopped the fraying from getting on my nerves, something I have dealt with before. Also, I used my walking foot for just about everything. It is much easier to use that on top of the piping then to try to get close enough with a zipper foot. Clover wonder clips were also a life saver. I love them.

Other than that, I used a 24" separating zipper. So that I didn't have to worry about the separating part once it was cut down, I added zipper ends. You can't see them much in the end, but it was much easier to sew them in and I didn't have to worry about it being secure enough. I read that the recommended 30" zipper does go down into the pocket and I didn't really want that, so this worked for me. 

I made the straps wider, cutting them 6" instead of 3" and I still think I would have been okay if they were a bit wider still. They are also a bit longer at about 60". I used a medium weight interfacing just in the center 3" of the strap and it seemed fine with the essex linen I used and they feel pretty sturdy. I also had just enough piping to add it to the end pockets. I like the way it looks, but I don't know if I consider it a really necessary change. I'm not as attached to the end piping as I thought I would be is what I am trying to say. And speaking of piping, I did use this method to get all the bias tape I needed out of one fat quarter, so that was pretty sweet.

As for the lining, I used a light interfacing on all those pieces, and added pockets on each side. The one side got a large one using the large pocket pattern piece which I divided in half. It is a bit thick since I did 2 layers and bound them at the top and I don't think that was necessary. It makes it a bit heavy, but hopefully it will work. The other side was meant to be a zipper pocket, right up to the point where I didn't have a zipper and didn't want to wait to get one. I opted instead to try a single welt pocket using this tutorial. I really love the way it turned out, even more than a zip one I think.

That is about it for changes I think. I thought the worst parts where putting in the zipper where it is really hard to sew from the opposite side, and trying to get close to the piping when sewing the main bag pieces together. It is so thick it is hard to tell where the piping is. I also hated hand sewing in the lining, but it looks so nice now that it is done. I hope I tacked it down in enough places to keep the lining from falling in when it is filled up. I guess we'll see.

It was a great challenge and for once I took my time and did it right. Who knew that actually pays off!! I love everything about it and I am looking forward to bringing it to sew south with me next month.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

WIP Wednesday {2.6.13}

Happy Wednesday! I have been busy slaving away at my weekender bag recently and I am happy to say that I have made some really good progress. I might even have it finished by the end of the week!! I am hopeful, but we'll see.

house block for sew south - finished! I need to mail it out soon.

weekender - I am just about done the outer. I am planning on doing that and making the lining today, or at least starting it. I am so in love with this bag!

pony club quilt  - I have fabric picked for the next block so I will get back to this soon.
hexies - believe it or not, I actually did baste some more of these the other day....still not done though...
honey cowl - needs love
floor pillow - I am still debating this one.

That's all I think. I have a few other things I need to get figured out, but I'll think about that once my weekender is finished. One thing at a time!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, February 4, 2013

Another week

Here we are at the beginning of another week. I have high hopes for this week. If I am really lucky, I will have a weekender bag at the end of it, we'll see how quickly I can get it together. I finally got what I needed on Friday so I have the piping made and am ready to start construction. I am really hoping it is not too painful. Making piping was not nearly as scary as I was afraid it would be. I will write more about the process when I am finished, but let me just say that I used one FQ to make all the bias tape I needed for my piping as per this tutorial. It was amazing. Anyway, here is a little picture of how far I've gotten. I sure hope it comes together well!

In other news, I did make my house block for Sew South. It is less than 2 months away and I am so stinking excited!! I'm planning on starting my sample swap items soon, but this needed to be done first. I opted for a nice simple house block in solids since most other people seem to be making busy and wonky ones. Hopefully it will look nice in the quilt!

And I guess that's about all that is going on at the moment. I am planning on {finally} buying some fabric for one of the wedding quilts I need to make, so that will be good. And I even printed out some pictures to make a smash book for the vacation we took last spring! I still have a lot to pick out, but I started and that is huge. I am hoping that will give me a push to actually make the first year scrapbook for my 2.5 year old. I would really like that done before she is 3 haha. I have an awful lot to do, but I am trying to take it one thing at a time and not overwhelm myself. First, the weekender!