Friday, March 27, 2015

Four Little Easter Baskets

I decided to make the kids' Easter baskets this year. I made them with fat quarters. They are quilted, of course. No pattern, I was just winging it, these are pretty simple to make.

It did seem to take forever to finish these. Maybe because I did them all at once... I cut everything for all four, then I did all four bases, then I quilted all four boxes, then I did all eight handles. It just seemed like it took forever.

I guess I prefer to work on things that get finished quickly, which these would have if I had done them one at a time.

In the end I am pretty happy with the way they came out. I know I didn't use "typical" Easter fabrics. I just picked fabrics I thought the kids would like.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

A few quick finishes.

I made this zippered pouch with pink scraps. I was testing to see how a zipper would look if I only covered one end and left the other end uncovered.

Doing the zipper that way apparently let's it open wider, so that was neat.

Then I wanted to try sewing lace on something. I've never used lace before. I really love how this came out.

These are both available in my little shop.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Sewing with kids.

My 7 year old has been asking me if she can sew for a while now. I decided we would go ahead and do it, I would teach her how to sew.

For the most part it wasn't that bad and she did really well (I'm so proud). 

She said she wanted to make a pillow. I told her to pick some fabrics and I have to say it was really hard to step back and just let her do her own thing. I kept asking if she was sure she wanted those fabrics together? Yes, she was sure.

I cut 16 squares, 4 of each. As much as I'm excited to teach her I'm nervous about the rotary cutter, so I cut them myself. 

I gave her the 16 squares and told her to lay them out how she wanted. Again, I had to step back and let her be creative herself without my influence. It's a little hard, but I let her do it.

Then I just showed her how to line up her edges and pin them and she got to sewing. 

She was a little upset I didn't let her use the Juki. I put her on the Brother, which is smaller, doesn't have the automatic thread clip when you hit the back of the pedal, has a smaller pedal for her foot. 

Anyway, she got over that quickly. 

Her seams are not perfect and I really had to keep my hands by my sides and not interrupt her sewing to fix her crooked seams. I had to remember the point was this was HER pillow, HER project, she was using a sewing machine, she was having fun, her mother wasn't nitpicking.

She kept telling me how much fun she was having. Every time she would finish two blocks she would open them and get excited because "it worked". 

It was just so much fun.

She wanted to quilt the pillow so I laid that out for her and she picked a decorative stitch and did a line of stitching where she wanted it, then decided she wanted to try a different decorative stitch and did another line. She ended up with three lines, three different decorative stitches. She did not want more than that.

She is so happy with her pillow and I am so proud of her for making it. Most of my work was just explaining things and showing her what to do a couple times, and cutting the squares but 98% of the pillow was done by her. 

Now she says next she wants to make a stuffed animal. I can't wait to see what she comes up with.

Oh I didn't get a picture but for her envelope back she chose a bright blue Little Mermaid print....

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pocketed Zip Pouch.

Just a quick little update!

I've completed this pocketed zip pouch and managed to write a pattern for it... no small feat with a baby around.

It makes a great small project pouch. Or great for organizing.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Finished: a quilt for baby

My little sister had her first baby a week and one day ago!!! Now I love quilting and giving people art quilts, but as far as regular quilts go I make them for our home and my kids. But I really wanted to make my new niece a baby quilt.

Her crib sheets and stuff are brown and purple and owls. In soft baby hues. I found some bright bold fabric and made her a brown, purple and owl quilt.

The pattern I used is called "Garden Fence". You can find several free tutorials on Google or Pinterest.

I pieced the back and added her nickname by paper-piecing without the paper. I basically looked at the photo diagram of a paper-piecing template I had and went from there. I was feeling too lazy to print the pattern and measure and cut pieces and ripping the paper off.

Here is the quilt label. I found a site that has tons of quotes for quilt labels and went with one of those.

The entire quilt, front and back, used only 11 fat quarters (2 of them were solid purple) and less than 1/8 of a yard (the blue).

I quilted it with large clamshell loops. Not my best work, I have trouble quilting in large scale, I don't know why... These photos were taken prior to washing and  drying. Of course after washing/drying it's nice and crinkly and most of my quilting mistakes are hidden.

I had enough fabric leftover to make a zippered boxy bag:

 Boxy bag is for sale in my shop.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Boxy Bags & a Sale

While I should have been able to finish these three bags in a day it actually took me three days to finish them. A lot of the construction was done with Nomes on my lap, which  means super slow sewing so no little fingers get caught in the machine!

I started with y making some quilted panels for each bag. I just pulled fabric scraps that were in the same color family. Yellows and oranges. Greens. Blues and purples. I love how they came out. I'm not even a fan of orange but I love the orange panels.

 Here are the completed bags, which, by the way, are available for sale in my shop.

On another note. Now through March 16th Craftsy classes are on sale up to 50% off to celebrate National Crafting Month! Personally I am a huge fan of Craftsy's sewing and quilting classes. But they also have photography classes, cooking classes, and now paper crafting classes.

There are also plenty of FREE classes if you want to see what Craftsy classes are about.

(Craftsy links are affiliate links, let's face it, I need the money so I can take more Craftsy classes!)

Monday, March 9, 2015

Free Quilt Block Pattern.

This quilt block finishes at 10" square. Unfinished it should measure 10 1/2" square.

This is made using jelly roll strips but you can also use regular fabric to make this.

For each block cut:
(2) 2 1/2" by 10 1/2" strips for the outer edges
(10) 2 1/2" by 3 1/2" strips for the inside portion of the block

Sew five of the small strips together along the longer end using a scant 1/4" seam allowance.
Sew the remaining five small strips in the same manner.
Sew one long strip to one five-sectioned strip.
Line up the seams of your two five-sectioned strips and sew your two halves together

That's it! Super simple. Super fast.

When using blocks in a quilt, sew them together so that they alternate direction, as seen in the quilt below.


Friday, March 6, 2015

Finished: 7"-8" Quilted Tablet Sleeve

I don't have a whole lot to say about this except that I drafted my own pattern for an iPad sleeve... which somehow ended up being a half inch too short, even though my measurements on paper looked good and made sense.

Instead of scrapping the entire project I just cut it down in size to fit a smaller tablet.

 I made this using the leftover fabric from the car seat canopy I made.

The sleeve is currently for sale in my shop.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

One Vortex Block Completed.

You know from my last post that I enrolled in Elizabeth Dackson's foundation paper-piecing class on Craftsy (affiliate link), mostly because I wanted the patterns that came with the class...

I pulled some of my scraps to make a mini quilt using the vortex block from the class.

 Here is the work in progress (half the block). Please forgive the poorly lit cell phone photos...

 And here is one of the completed blocks. I have three more blocks to make. This block took me most of the day, not because it's difficult (it's not), but because most of it was sewn with an almost 7 month old sitting on my lap (gotta start young, haha). If you haven't tried sewing with a baby in your lap... well I don't recommend it.

 It feels good to be sewing again, for the first time in 7 months. I really missed it.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sewing/Craft Room Mostly Finished.

And now that it's pretty much done, I can start sewing. I'm pretty excited because I just enrolled in Elizabeth Dackson's paper piecing class on Craftsy. (affiliate link) I already know how to paper-piece but she does have a few tips I hadn't heard and the patterns that came with the class are beautiful (those patterns were my main reason for enrolling).

Anyway, thought I would share my sewing room. This will be the first time I can just close the door on my mess AND we will still be able to eat off the dining room table haha.

So this is... Design wall and ironing board on the left. My dress form in the corner and two folding tables for cutting, sewing, and quilting. They are easy to move around as I need to, which is great.

Then we have a bookcase with our photo boxes, also sewing books and other random stuff. My fabric scraps are sorted by color in the small plastic drawers and plastic bins on top. Yardage is in the three bottom drawers of the large plastic thing. Top drawers are Pellon stuff, buttons, lace, etc. Fat quarters are in the two bins on the right. Along with a bin for unfinished sewing projects.

Then this wall is my scrapbooking and stamping stuff. Everything on the wall above was made by the kids.

I kinda love it. It'll be nice to have my own space and its large enough that the kids can be in there too. I can even have Nomes in there in her walker or swing. Not crawling around though, too much for her to get into (yup, she is now mobile).