Wednesday, September 25, 2013

WIP Wednesday {9.25.13}

I totally didn't even realize it was Wednesday. I guess that should give you some idea of what things are like around here haha. Amidst the chaos, I am making very slow progress. I finally made a list of all the things I need/want to do and I admit, it was totally overwhelming. I am still working on squeezing in regular sewing time, so it feels a bit frustrating right now, especially since there are things that are at least a bit time sensitive.

Anyway, my quick update for this week is:

big girl blanket - I have 2 more columns to sew and then put the top together. I am so excited about this, it is coming together so well! Of course once I finish the top, which really shouldn't take long, I still need batting and backing....

The other thing that has slow but steady progress is a crocheted blanket for the big girl bed. I am done 6 squares out of 42. I am aiming to do one per day and so far I am doing pretty well with that pace. More on this later. And maybe a non-blurry picture. Also, they look much more the same size in person.

I also have a pile of fabric for panties and some fall hoodie sweatshirts, I started a little fabric nesting bowl that I don't have a picture of, and I am falling farther behind on the penny sampler by the day. At least I have some fabric ideas floating around for once I finally can work on it. There are also a few baby things I'd really like to make and the big girl is in need of some fall/winter jammies. I am not even going to talk about the rest of the list right now since obviously I have enough to worry about :)  I have plans to be back with more updates soon, but I suspect that may not work out the way I plan, so hopefully at the very least, next week I'll remember Wednesday.

Hope everyone is having a good week!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

WIP Wednesday {9.18.13}

I'm back! Time to start keeping weekly track of what I am doing again I think. For sanity's sake, I am going to ignore all the things I need to do/should be doing and focus on what I am actually doing. I have some pressing things that need progress (and more time than I've got) so this should help me see that I am, indeed, making progress.

Things went into high gear this past week when a series of events led to the necessity of a big girl bed in a fairly short time frame. The frame has been found, we are on the hunt for a mattress and will go get some sheets, but obviously that leaves a quilt that needs making. I can't possibly imagine going out to buy one when I have all this beautiful fabric to use, so that has been what I have been working on when I can find the time. It will be pretty simple, but I have a whole lot of fabric to cut. Why, oh why don't I keep extra bed sized quilts in my house?!?! I really hope this comes together fast once I am done all this tedious cutting.

I also made some test pairs of big girl panties, which I do not have pictures of since they were snatched and worn immediately. Is it weird that I love making panties for my little girl? It feels weird, but they are so cute and satisfying that it hurts a little. This pattern, in case you are wondering.

In addition, I am working to keep up with the penny sampler. These are the blocks from last week, and now I am waiting for this weeks to go up so I can start pondering my fabric choices and be ready when I have the time. And maybe take a break from cutting a gazillion strips.

So that's mainly what I am working on. Along with a quilt, another "yarn blanket" has been requested for the big girl bed, so I am waiting for the yarn to arrive so I can start that. Hopefully by next week I'll have started and made some progress on that. Life is so crazy right now...and when it gets crazy, all I want to do is shut myself in a room and sew, so that is exactly what I do when I can find the time. Even if it involves wrapping the baby up on my chest while I cut fabric :)

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Penny sampler: 3 weeks later....

Man, 2 kids is rough. Awesome, sometimes fun, beautiful, but also exhausting, stressful and did I mention exhausting?? So here I sit, baby sleeping on my chest, trying to type while keeping her from rolling off. It is both sweet and comical :) I am just going to go ahead and say that until that changes, updates will continue to be sporadic, although it seems like I get myself together enough to manage one post a week and I am pretty happy with that, seeing as I am only making about enough to fill that anyway, even though it does take me all week.

So here we are, beginning the 4th week of the penny sampler class and friends, it is time to show off some blocks. I've shown you my fabric picks, but let me also explain again that the idea is to have a largely black/white/gray/cream quilt with pops of the bright blue/pink/yellow. This is hard for me since I love color and want to use lots of every block. Also, I tend to favor prints over solids, so I am making myself pay attention and use more solids too. I am definitely toning myself down and so far I don't think I am doing too bad. I don't know, you tell me.

Week 1 was the easy one with two heart blocks, a big quartet and a small single heart. I had picking out fabrics, and I continue to. I maybe shouldn't have used that bold print for the larger one since it does show through the hearts a bit in the right light, but I don't really care because it totally makes the block. And come on, gray with polka dots and a little pink heart, that's just cute.

Week 2 was two more little blocks and one large block. The little ones are so cute and so much fun. That big one there, that was a beast. There are something like 79 pieces in that thing! We are not even going to talk about how small some of those little windows are, or how they are a bit wonky. I do love the result though. I feel like appliqueing the roofs makes them seem a little funny and disconnected, but the more I look at it the more I like it and when I put them all together, all seems right in the world.

Week 3 brought three more little blocks and another big one, this one without any applique. The little ones, once again, fantastic. I did hate making those stinking little leaves though. And in the larger block, I managed to contain myself and do gray trees with an ivory background and I love it. I am hoping it will be a peaceful spot in the quilt and I just have to hope that it doesn't seem out of place in the end.

Here they are together. Even though I am pretty sure none of these blocks will be near each other in the finished quilt.

Obviously there is still a long way to go on this beautiful quilt. This week is our last applique week and next week we start precise piecing, which is definitely a lesson I need ha! Also, we got the extra project preview for this section and let me warn you, there is another baby quilt in my near future. I will say that all this sketch applique has been perfect for someone who is bad at applique. It is so forgiving and yet totally secure so I don't have to worry about the pieces falling off in the future due to my bad hand stitching (which may or may not be happening on one of my skill builder blocks...). I am looking forward to these last few blocks and I'll be honest, I'm a bit sad that there aren't any more of these sweet little sketch stitch blocks. Let's hope I can continue keeping up with this wonderful class!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

dogwood blossoms

I made a quilt top!! A whole freaking quilt top! I don't know when it will become a quilt, but that is neither here nor there. I have been really living it up with daddy home to help with these two little kiddos and taking full advantage of naptime. Older child "naps" (really just plays in her room)  and daddy and baby snuggle while mommy sews. It has been a winning situation all around. Unfortunately, daddy is back to work this week so I am expecting productivity to drop off quite a bit unless my littles magically synchronize their naps ha!

Anyway, back to the point. Quilt top!! This is the dogwood blossoms quilt top which is one of the practice projects for the penny sampler class at stitched in color. Our first section is all about the applique. We learned two different methods for finishing those edges and I tried both of them in this quilt, and it was great practice. I also did sketch stitching to attach all those petals for the first time and man, I love it. It is definitely my kind of thing, so forgiving and nice and bold. I actually love this quilt top more than I even thought I would. I used pretty much all the brown fabric I had and a lot of the pink, and made this sweet little baby girl blanket.

One applique method is using freezer paper and the other is sew and turn. And if I'm honest, I'm not all that great at either of them. I think they are easier for me than needle turn, but I think I am just kind of bad at applique. Maybe all this practice will make me not so bad, but I'm doubtful. I definitely have totally different problems with each method, but in the end, I think they all look pretty good and it's not so noticeable if you don't look too closely. 

The top finished at somewhere around 39" and I am thinking a nice plush minky backing (without batting) will be perfect. Once I go get some. I am a little scared of minky, but I am going to try it anyway.

So now I am working on the actual penny sampler blocks. I am almost caught up on the blocks from the last 2 weeks (spoiler alert: I absolutely love them!!) so I'll hopefully be back with those soon. Assuming my first week home alone with 2 kids doesn't kill me :)