Monday, April 29, 2013

wrapped maternity top

Good morning! I have been busily sewing recently {for a change} and I feel like progress is finally being made. I am halfway done the little ones clothes, although I have yet to try and gather them up for pictures. And perhaps even more exciting, I made a maternity top for myself!

I actually acquired this pattern {wrapped maternity top by Megan Nielsen} by accident. I ordered a different pattern (still a Megan Nielsen maternity/nursing pattern) and was sent this one instead...from a shop that was closing....that never answered my inquiries after I got the wrong I figured since I had it, I might as well make it. And since I now have a pretty good belly and wanted to be able to wear it some, this was the perfect time.

Let me tell you, I stinking love this top. I would say that if you run into me in the next 3 months, there is a fair chance I will be wearing this shirt. It is so comfy! And while the wrapping is a bit fiddly, I think it looks so cute I am okay with it. I used a super soft micro terry fabric I found on clearance at Joanns. I was a little unsure of how I would look in yellow, but I really like it I think. I made a size large since pre-pregnancy I was right on the border and now that it is done, I am pretty sure I could have made the medium, so if I make another I will probably try that. I thought it was a bit weird that the instructions didn't specify whether you should be using pre-pregnancy measurements or not....I mean let's be honest, I have no waist right now so that measurement is pretty worthless. Anyway, as the fabric was a clearance purchase, I had under 2 yards to work with instead of the 2 1/3 yards it says on the package. It made things a little tight and I had to do some creative cutting, but I managed it.

I didn't change much from the pattern; I shortened the sleeves so it should be good for summer and I rounded the ties at the end, more out of necessity than anything else since my fabric was cut unevenly. I also decided to hem around the front and the sleeves. I didn't go very far down the sides of the ties so it gets hidden after that. The pattern is really simple and easy to follow, so that was great. And I love that the pattern pieces come on a regular weight paper instead of that tissue thin stuff.

I will say that it is a bit difficult to readjust after peeing and it does seem to bunch a bit above the belly, so I'll have to work on that, but I might just need to practice wrapping and tying it. Also, this particular fabric is pretty thin and a bit see through, so it is a bit hard to get it to lay exactly right sometimes, especially since the unhemmed edges roll a bit. That said, I really do love it and will probably be wearing it a lot. I am even hopeful that I will be able to make the ties shorter and use it as a nursing top once the baby is here. I totally recommend this to any pregnant lady. It is comfy and easy to make. The cutting is really the hardest part since you are working with such large cuts of fabric, but it is so forgiving. For instance, I am pretty sure my ties aren't even close a uniform width all the way down, but you really can't tell once it's wrapped.

I guess I should finish up the kids clothes now....I don't have too much more to make though, just a couple pair of shorts and skirts and maybe a tunic or two. I guess it does seem like a lot now that I wrote it down. Well either way, I also have a new quilt to start soon, I just need to finish mapping it out. I am pretty excited about it and can't wait to get it going.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday {4.24.13}

You know, every week I have such high goals and think I am going to get so much done and then....I just don't. Sometimes it's other fun things getting in the way, sometimes it's just being too tired to think straight, but either way, it stinks. I mean I know growing a life is hard work and all, but man, I have other things to do :-P So that is my mini rant for the day. I am just tired and feel like there is so much to be done, but I just have to remind myself that I am plugging away at it and I'll get there in the end.

On to the progress!

marcelle medallion - I did another round of quilting before I got distracted by other things. Here is a picture of the back. The circles are pretty wonky, but I just say it gives it charm :)

sun hat - after the little outgrew her old sun hat, she needed a new one. And I happened to have a pattern for a reversible one in the making children's clothes book. More on this later.

summer wardrobe for the little - in various stages of completion, the picture shows 2 flashback tees, 1 ralgan tee, 2 sets of summer jammies, and a reversible tunic. I am really hoping this gets done this week. I need to tape the pattern for the racerback knit dress and make that too....

pony club blocks - I seem to make these when I am avoiding other things. Oh how I love them!

wrapped maternity top - this is next up after the kids clothes. Assuming I can make the slightly too small cut of fabric that I have work....
hexies - someday I swear I am going to work on these....
wedding quilt - I need to order fabric.
baby quilt - design decided, fabric selection is next

I am hoping that I pick up speed at some point, but I am not counting on it. Either way, I'll keep going. I am hoping that now that I have set my machine up for knits, I will be motivated to get all those done so I can go back to pony club blocks. We'll see how it goes. Hope everyone is having a great week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Friday, April 19, 2013

More pony club blocks {finally!}

Um yeah, so it has apparently been over 3 months since I posted any of my pony club blocks. I have been making them here and there and just this past week made a bunch, so now that I have a set of 9 I thought it was time to share. My total now is 16/90 blocks. And yes, I did mention that I would like the blocks done before baby comes. Which seems unlikely, but I can try. Either way I do hope to have this quilt done by the end of the year.

Anyway, the blocks:

betty's delight

best of all

best friend

broken heart

boy's playmate

bright hopes

bird's eye view

clover blossom

colt's corral

There are actually a lot of these that I absolutely love and one day I want an entire quilt of bird's eye view blocks, but I was unsure of how they would look together so naturally I took a group shot. I love watching the pile of scrappy blocks grow!

And with that, happy weekend! I haven't quite decided what I am going to do this weekend, but I'm sure it will be terribly exciting. And hopefully super productive :)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WIP Wednesday {4.17.13}

Happy Wednesday! I, for one, am glad to be halfway done this week. The other day as I took some time to assess my crafty situation and figure out what I needed to do, I got completely overwhelmed and had to walk away. Let me tell you, the list is long and time is relatively short and I even knew that and was just going to pull some fabrics/patterns. Consequently, most of my week has been spent doing small, nicely contained, pony club blocks. It is helpful to be able to just make one and feel like I finished something. I am hoping after a few more and some more hand quilting, I will finally jump in and start some of the other things on the list.

lilly belle - finished and ready to be shipped off to the bride and groom!

marcelle medallion - I am moving right along with hand quilting. I slowed down a bit now that the circles are much bigger and I have to draw them on instead of finding something to trace around....

pony club blocks - another 3 finished. post with all the new(ish) ones coming soon! I love these little guys!

hexies - um yeah, about that....
summer clothes for the little -hoping to find some motivation to start these know, now that it seems to be staying warm outside.
wedding quilt - I need to order fabric.
baby quilt - design decided, fabric selection is next

So that's where I stand. I suspect I am going to have a hard time making myself work on other things until my medallion is finished, so I need to step that up. Good thing it turns out I really like hand quilting! I wonder if I can finish all my pony club blocks before baby comes....that is probably a bit ambitious, but we'll see. I hope I find some extra sewing mojo sometime soon.....anyway, hope everyone is having a good week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, April 15, 2013

Wedding quilt #1

As I was getting this post ready, I realized that this is my first finished quilt this year. And for me, especially considering I finished 16 quilts last year, this seems insane. I guess pregnancy and a move will do that to you. Not a complaint, just an observation. We'll see how the year ends up, but I only have a total of 5 quilts that I really want to make this year.

Anyway, I finally finished my lilly belle quilt, destined to be a wedding gift for one of my husband's cousins getting married next month (another is getting married in the fall). I am really hoping they like it because I absolutely love it. This is one of the few fabric lines I love enough to have purchased a bundle of. I cut the squares nice and big to show off the pretty fabric and only had to add one square to make it 9x9, which is the one I ended up embroidering.Please ignore the fact that the embroidery looks like a 5-year-old did it....I am just going to call it charming and move on.  The squares finish at 8.5" each making it a nice snuggle size. I also kept the quilting simple and just echoed each seam.

The back is a sheet from target, and the binding is a dark gray dumb dot from Michael Miller. Using a sheet is so much easier than piecing yardage, plus now I have the rest of the sheet set to make other pretty things.

I am so in love with this quilt, and I am a little sad to send it away, but I think they'll love it and I know that they appreciate beautiful handmade things, so I am feeling pretty good about it. Other than that, I am feeling pretty overwhelmed by life, so I am just hand quilting and making a few pony club blocks and ignoring everything else for right now. Soon though, I know I am going to have to hunker down and get some of these things done. My list is huge and almost all of it needs to be done before baby comes in 3.5 months.The clock is ticking!

Friday, April 12, 2013

marcelle medallion: adventures in hand quilting

Alright, I know I have been talking about learning to hand quilt for ages now. One of my goals has been to hand quilt at least one quilt to see how I like it and so I can say that I did it. It just feels impressive, even if it looks like crap. Originally it was to be the lilly belle quilt, but that fell apart once it became destined to be a wedding gift (once I get it washed and everything I will have some pictures of it all done).

Which leads me to my marcelle medallion quilt. As soon as the top was finished, all I could think of was how awesome concentric circles would look. And even better if they were hand quilted. So I decided to go for it. I got to start it the other day and so far I am done the center part. I am loving the way it is looking so far and at this point, I kind of enjoy hand quilting. I have been using a quilting hoop and it has worked really well for the center. Now that I am beyond that I am a little scared since I am out of things big enough to mark the circles and I am going to attempt it without any sort of hoop or frame. Things could get ugly is what I am saying.

It even looks pretty good on the back! I love the slight wonkiness of the cirlces, which is good since I don't think I could do much better. And the voile is really wonderful to be hand quilting with.

In case you are wondering, I am using size 12 pearl cotton because they didn't have any 8 at Joanns when I went to buy it and I was impatient. I have been marking my circles with a hera marker and I am loving it. I got my hand quilting info from Anna Maria Horner, Stitched in Color, and Sarah Fielke  (video on the side) and all of them were quite helpful although I think I follow the Anna Maria one closest.

So far it has been going fairly quickly so I am hoping it won't be too long before this is finished, but as long as I am enjoying the process, it doesn't matter much. I do need to find a good, comfortable thimble though so if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

And with that, I am off to prepare for my weekend. Which will probably be spent outside as much as possible enjoying the suddenly warm weather :) Hope everyone has a lovely weekend!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WIP Wednesday {4.10.13}

It has been a few weeks since my last WIP post, and I am finally back on the bandwagon. I don't have much to show yet, but I finally rounded up my to-do list so I have an idea what is coming. And soon I will even start working on it! For now, I am going to first finish up my binding and then learn to hand quilt.

vacation smash book - I am throwing this out there because it is my big finish for the week. Our vacation was last May and I just now finally got around to making this book. It is not perfect, but it is done and it is a much better way to enjoy our pictures and memories. Now if only I could make myself make the first year scrapbook for my almost 3 year old....

lilly belle - I am hoping one more movie spent binding and this can be washed and sent.

marcelle medallion - ready to start hand quilting. If you look closely you can see some of the circles I marked. Once the lilly belle binding is finished I will start this. I am hoping to have it done by bloggers quilt festival, so I need to get a move on.

pony club quilt - I am itching to work on these, so between hand quilting that is what I will probably be working on.
hexies - um yeah, about that....
summer clothes for the little - my next big project once I get some other things out of the way. She even helped pick out some fabric!
wedding quilt - I need to order fabric.

I am going to stop there for now. I need to keep it in manageable chunks, so I'll start with this and see how I do. I hope I love hand quilting once I try it....or at least that it doesn't take as long as I fear it will. Hopefully I'll have an answer to that next week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, April 8, 2013

Still nothing finished....

Alright, I admit it, I am a boring blogger lately. I just can't seem to focus and finish anything, so I don't have much to say. Not to mention we had our parents visiting for a week, so time was spent going to the beach and aquarium and things like that instead of sewing. My dad also helped me to frame my cheap target mirror it looks awesome! I haven't gotten a better picture yet, but this will do.

I did manage to get the binding on my lilly belle quilt and have started sewing it down by hand. I also finally basted my marcelle medallion quilt and got it ready for some hand quilting. Which may take me forever....but I'm going to give it a try and hope it looks awesome!

Now I am itching to do some pony club blocks and I have a whole list of clothes and such to make for the little(s). Once I get myself organized a bit I should be on my way :) Assuming I can get myself to stay inside and focus, which is difficult when this is what it is like outside.

Happy Monday! I'll be back Wednesday having sorted myself out and made a list, and maybe soon I'll actually finish something!

Monday, April 1, 2013

I feel like such a big kid!

Alright, well my in-laws were here all weekend as the first influx of guests this week, so no sewing has occurred. I am hoping to get a bit done today before my parents arrive for round II, but I guess we'll see. What did get done, was the purchasing of a new bed frame and its subsequent makeover!

It feels like my first real bed frame. First we had just the metal stand, and then we upgraded to an ikea frame, but it was low and not great so we ditched it when we moved. Ever since then we have been just using our boxspring/mattress combo on the floor. Like this. Excuse the is from right after we moved in.

We've been looking for one we liked since we moved, but hadn't had much luck. Then, the other day, we scored a super sweet metal bed frame off craigslist. It is nice and solid and I love the design and how airy it is. But, it was a bit dark. (this is from the listing)

And when you looked close, you could see the smears of gold shimmery paint all over it. And that was a problem.

A few cans of spray paint and a couple hours later, we had a beautiful new bed frame! I am absolutely in love and it makes me feel like such a grown-up! It's the little things haha. And before you worry, no, the pregnant lady did not use any spray paint, that would be my wonderful husband :) It is a nice light blue, I forget the color, but it was a valspar from Lowes and it seemed to work pretty well. It was hard to photograph in our small room, but you get the idea.

I am so happy with how it turned out, and it is nice to be off the floor. Plus we even have space for a bit of under bed storage now! Definitely a win. I feel like our new place is really coming together and that feels good. This along with some rearranging in the living room have definitely made it feel more like home. Now I need to go enjoy the peaceful break between visitors, and maybe make some binding and a quilt back....