Monday, November 28, 2011

Christmas Sewing - minus naptimes...

(Aunt Kathy & Dad stop reading now)

Recently my three year old has been fighting that regular nap time. It's not that she isn't getting it, only that she resists until she passes out due to over tiredness. It's an everyday occurrence that we have to keep putting her back into bed several times before she sleeps. I don't think that it's time to get rid of nap time yet - so please don't suggest that, but it is becoming a lot less likely that I'll be getting any real sewing done during nap time from here on (the naps are shorter now too).

With all that being said, I'd love to be sewing right now, but should my girl peek out of her room and see me at my machine she's be way too into my projects to lay back down. So here I am. :)

Today I'll share a bit more of the marathon sewing that I did last week.

First, here are some sweet little baby leggings that I sewed for my cousin's baby Gia. Little Gia, I hope these fit on your cute chubby legs! I tried them on Allie (they fit) to make sure that the ruffled edge looked alright, and Allie asked for a pair. So Gia you get three pair instead of four. I have more knee socks if she really loves them - they took just a few minutes to make and are super cute. I cut the feet off of adult knee socks and used a zig-zag stitch around the raw edge, while stretching them a bit to give the lettuce ruffle. Adorable!

Gah, Blogger isn't working for me today. For whatever reason it rotated this picture. 
Next is a little quilted notebook cover for my aunt. I hope she's not reading this. I would have posted it to flickr to rotate it, but I know she'll see it there! I wanted to make something a little special for my aunt Kathy, since she helped fund my Sewing Summit trip by commissioning me for these table covers. Also, she started me on sewing by giving me my first machine at age... 11? So I pulled together some pretty scraps and just flew with it. This cover fits a standard composition notebook so she can use it for whatever, and replace the notebook as needed. :) Here's the back:

Yes that Kona Curry is slipping into every project these days! I love it! I loosely followed this tutorial, from memory since I'd made them before. the main thing that I did differently - was that I didn't use any batting or quilting, and used a piece of lightweight fusible interfacing as the center inside panel. After stitching it and turning right side out, I pressed it into place. No raw edges at all! :)

 The strap across the side is a bookmark - from this tutorial. I've made them for pretty much everyone. I especially love using fold over elastic for them. :) My family are all readers so they'll be used!

Skirt for allie

Next here's a quick little skirt for Allie. I used some sort of crushed velvet (the pink) and corduroy (the plaid). The plaid part is supposed to be a little apron... but well I winged it and that's what I get. lol. I think it may be a bit too big for the girl, but I'm not going to have her try it on - otherwise I won't be able to give it to her for Christmas! Again, I loosely followed this tutorial.


Finally, two awesome morsbags for my Dad. I think they're definitely more manly than most things that I make - thanks to Donna from the CMQG for giving me an extra set of fabric! I think they'll be perfect for holding choir music or his paperwork for work. They're nice and durable too. :) Here's the link to the Morsbag page

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Swoon Newborn Quilt.

About a two weeks ago my friend/co-worker had a sweet little baby girl. I think there's something about a newborn that makes people who are trying to conceive able to forgive/stop being angsty about a friend having been pregnant. Since of course we all know newborns cry a lot, and nursing is hard those first weeks, and the poop a lot... so who could possibly hate the parents of a newborn? lol. Ok so maybe in my head this quilt was about being a peace offering after being angsty about this friend having been pregnant when I wasn't. But whatever. lol.

Just when we heard the news that baby Mina was born, I had gotten a FQ of this gorgeous out of print Good Folks fabric in the mail (which then made me order two more yards of it!!). I couldn't resist pairing it with some Kona Curry for a more modern baby look. 

It's a fairly simple quilt, just the one block with a big border of white. I found the perfect grey polka-dot for the binding and quilted it up in just an hour or two! Perfection!! 

I free motion quilted the label. I think it turned out pretty awesome. It's all washed up now and ready to be delivered! Hopefully I'll no longer be sick later this week so we can stop by to visit baby Mina! 

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Finally a real post!

(warning spoiler alert - Mom don't read this!)

As I'm writing this I'm home sick from work - I think I may have the flu... slight fever and altogether feeling pretty  yucky. In my new knowledge that every medicine known to man has glycol in it (which I'm allergic to) I'm stuck taking disgusting alka-seltzer instead of dayquil. Whatever. At least it's working a bit. :)

I'd mentioned earlier this week how I'd finished tons of projects but hadn't taken pictures - I had my chance yesterday -- a moment of sunshine so I snuck outside to take some pics (even though I felt crappy). 

First I'm going to show you why regular machine maintenance is good. 

Before I began free motion quilting my mom's quilt I decided to clean out my machine really well. Knowing that I'd sewn quite a bit in the past week and that it really needed it. I opened up the casing around the take-up lever assembly to dust and oil, and this is what I found. A screw had completely wiggled loose. See that circle of light up there in the middle? That's where said screw belongs, it was found sitting inside the casing right below it. Eek!

This has happened before. I'm fairly certain that this is the same screw that came loose the last time I had major machine troubles - I took her to the repair shop and my repair man took 6 hours to find that a screw had wiggled itself completely loose. This is the general area where he'd said it had happened.

I put the screw back in and am now sewing much more smoothly. I took these pictures to show the repair man to see if it was the same spot. 

Then I took apart the bobbin casing and dusted in there. Whoa I had a whole sweater worth of lint! 

I think Nancy (my machine) was happy after I cleaned her up! Since she gave me only a little trouble quilting up this giant couch quilt for my mom's Christmas present!

More details on that later! :) 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

I'm slacking.

But only when it comes to blogging.

I've finished 5 projects since I last blogged. Yes, five. One of which was an entire quilt start-finish!

Hopefully tomorrow the sun will be out and I'll be able to snap some decent pictures of them! (I've already warned my family to stop reading my blog until christmas - so family, if you're reading this then stop before tomorrow's post!)

Friday, November 18, 2011

How to make your unread posts on google reader disappear quickly:

(before: 1000+ unread posts on google reader)

1) click on the the blog name of the first "craft gossip" post (this then will show all the unread posts by Craft Gossip in a google reader window), at the top scroll to "delete all" 

Seriously 70% of the posts there were from them, and while I enjoy seeing other random things from people I don't "follow" I don't have the time for it right now... and I've seen most of them on pinterest anyhow.

2) click on tab labeled "time out for pregnancy" (lol yes I have a category of them so I don't have to read them if I don't want to. Not all pregnant bloggers go there, but the annoyingly pregnant ones do). "Delete all" 

3) Read blogs for about 45 minutes.

End product? 372 unread posts. That's manageable. :)

LOL. I hope you've enjoyed this little insight into my brain....

Monday, November 14, 2011

List making helps me get things done.

Things to do before christmas!!
  • Make a quick little baby quilt for a friend (I want to do this tonight!) I"m thinking a single swoon block with borders.
  • Make a lap quilt / tiny quilt for my grandma - at the reccomendation of my aunt. (Started cutting fabric for this yesterday... but cutting 2.5" squares is boring).
  • Finish my mom's quilt - buy backing, quilt and bind.
  • Finish MIL's quilt - 5 more swoon blocks to go, buy backing and batting, quilt, bind.
  • Gift for hubby.
  • MorsBag for gift.
  • Zip pouches times a million.
  • Stockings for at least Katee and Rosemarie. 
  • Mug Rug Swap

I have a personal henna artist!

We all know that craftiness runs in the family right? Or at least for most of us. Same here. Although this new skill was unknown until recently. My sister is really excellent at free-hand drawing designs! She's recently been working on honing her skills as a henna artist. Pretty awesome right??

I've been excited to give it a try - but a little worried since I tend to be allergic to anything that goes on the We checked the label of the henna and there were no signs of shady ingredients, so we did a test patch - then another small test... then I dove in! Roseann worked on my ankle piece for a while... I really have no clue how long it was. We figured out some inspiration on pinterest and went from there. You can see my incredibly un-technical photo of the screen (no clue how to do a screen shot), to show our inspiration. 

Please disregard the crazy 3 yr old flailing in the background! 
While working on this, I made the suggestion that maybe she could make one of the centers a quilt block - and she did! Her OCD perfectionism made my block into one which would certainly require Y-seams but still.awesome! I'm really impressed with the henna and it's gotten pretty dark today. 

How freaking amazing??!!
We did realize through this, that Roseann is very much more organic in her drawing style, whereas I'm very geometric. This proved to be funny as she was adding the circles on my ankle - since I could never guess what she was going to do next - my mind would say dots or lines or triangles.... hers said leaves and petals and squigglies. lol. 

My second test sample: The Deathly Hallows!!!!
 I really want a tattoo of this!!
Wally also got some henna - his is on his forearm - a tree that has "hope" written in the trunk. Pretty awesome but he slept on his a little funny and had a little transfering onto his upper arm! 

Pretty amazing!! 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Bee {A little baby}!

I've kept my lips sealed about this for a while, and now it's time to share!

made with love...  for Jules (RelishAustralia).
Credit: Michelle Click on the link to see who made each block
A few months ago Michelle of I like Orange Too contacted me on flickr to ask if I'd be interrested in helping to make a quilt for our mutual flickr friend's new baby. The friend, Jules (RelishAustralia) had no clue we were working on such a project - so it was a nice fun surprise!

Michelle requested sawtooth stars made with a certain palate in mind (I can't believe that so many of us got together and somehow we did actually achieve that color palate!). I made three stars, they're really addicting. And working on this project inspired my tiny quilt project.

I also remembered (at the last moment) to add in my little seam allowance prayer for the baby. Don't give me the credit here, I stole this idea from a friend who helped out with Rosemarie's quilt - it's an unexpected little joy to include. I try to add a seam allowance prayer in each of my quilted gifts.

The prayer? "I pray for a long happy life for the baby, and for a happy family always. Always know that you are blessed."

And now for the obligatory "baby on quilt pics!" Jules received the quilt a couple weeks ago and it was awesome to see her reaction to it! Here is Violet enjoying her quilt!!

Credit: Jules
Thanks Michelle, for including me in this awesome little project! And, thanks Jules for being an awesome Flickr swap buddy! 

It's dark and dreary here...

So I don't have any cool pictures to share... just old ones from when I started the quilt.

But... Yesterday I officially finished piecing my mom's quilt top!! Now I just need to decide and purchase a backing and quilt it up! It looks pretty awesome! I am excited to see it all come together!

Other than that it's been a relatively unproductive week. I haven't made much progress on my swoon quilt since my husband keeps trying to get me to go to bed before 2AM... and it takes too much time/concentration to stop in the middle of that block - meaning I can only work on it after Allie is in bed for the night. 

Lets see... I joined up for the Christmas Scrappy Mug Rug Swap - after sitting out a round I feel ready to jump back in! Although I feel a bit weird because this round is not secret - so I feel the pressure of trying hard to make something for someone who knows I'm their partner. Luckily for me I received an awesome partner - Wendy, who I met at The Sewing Summit! 

Keep your eye out for a post later on about a super secret project that I can now talk about! 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Odds and Ends...

 What has happened this week in my sewing life? Not much. I've cut some more fabric for my Swoon quilt (which I've decided will be called "Free Spirit" As in the fabric manufacturing company. lol. I noticed as I was gathering fabrics that the majority of fabrics were Anna Maria Horner, Tula Pink, and Joel Dewberry... all printed by Free Spirit. Above are the fabrics that I ordered last week to round the others for the Swoon quilt. I'm really in love with that roundish Joel Dewberry print (the one in two different colorways). And who knew it'd play so well with that random AMH print? Spectacular. :) That stack makes me happy -- I haven't decided if the blue/white print on the left will make it into the quilt. Probably not.

Then there's this canvas bag from the Sewing Summit. I worked on this at the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild last week. In giving us all blank canvas totes at the Summit they challenged us to decorate them however we saw fit. I used some strips of charm squares roughly sewn together and then sewn to the bag. I've got more to do to the bag before it's finished, but I'm really loving it so far.

Speaking of the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild meeting... we made MorsBags - pretty awesome. Allie used mine for her trick or treating. This was the first time she went and she had no idea what she was in for!! She won't stop talking about trick or treating! lol. As you can see she went as tinkerbell - in a store bought costume that we already owned. :) At least I made the bag! :) I hope you all had a great Halloween! :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011


As you may know I've been having a rough time trying to conceive my second child. A process that's been 2+ years and counting. It's a struggle for me, but today life gave me a little perspective. One of my best college friends has been diagnosed with cancer. 


Granted I haven't been the best at keeping in touch with this friend, but she had been one of my closest friends during my college years.... My issues are nothing in comparison. Why can't we seem to find a cure for this?