Friday, August 30, 2013

Kind of a Finish

I didn't finish anything for real this week, I blame the killer sinus infection, but that's just me.  

But I did manage to get my unsold quilts back from the shop I was trying to sell them at.  It was a fun experiment, and I hated to leave the store, but I just wasn't selling in there.  The owners were the nicest of people, so I would love to figure out exactly what would sell there and go back, but until then, I'm a free agent.  

Hopefully, by the end of next week I'll have these all listed on my Etsy shop and will be on my way to fame and fortune.  I understand that's how it works.

Also, these came in the mail.  I'm in love and want to give them to everyone I ever meet.  

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Star Blocks!

This month's block lottery for the Seacoast Modern Quilt Guild is scrappy star blocks.  I swear I made these from my scrap bin, but I just happened to have enough of each fabric to have it look planned.  My background is scrappy, so I think it counts.

This was my first attempt at paper piecing.  I loved how the Caldonia Stars from 627 Handworks looked enough to give it a try.  And, I only had to make one, so if I hated it, I didn't have to make a bunch more.  

The ripping was probably the part I was looking forward to the most.  I figured it would be nice and relaxing, just tearing on all those perforated lines, but I ended up being so stressed out that I would accidentally pull out the stitches at the end of each seam.  I think next time I'll just take a few extra stitches at the start and end so I don't have to worry as much. 

I love how it turned out!  I may have to try the whole series of Block Rock'n stars, especially the Mercury.  

This is the Ribbon Star from Freshly Pieced.  I've had it pinned on my Star Pinterest board for a while, but the pin didn't have a good link, so I forgot about it.  I actually found it again after searching for star patterns on Pinterest, and had a deja vu moment.  I'm glad to finally know where this comes from, because it was really easy and looks awesome.    

Fingers crossed that I win this swap; I'm liking how the other stars I've seen have turned out.  I might make a couple more to increase my odds!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

WIP Wednesday

This week I dabbled in some paper piecing for our Guild's block lottery.  It went really well, and I hope to make another one of these before the meeting.

I found this fabric at Walmart (I know! Crazy!) and I've got it cut to make another Ruby Dress.  The pattern revisions were perfect, so I can't wait to get this finished.

And I'm onto the arms of my Sweatshirt Sweater!  I'm a little concerned that it's going to turn out too big with all those increases, but the cuff fits well at least.  I switched to smaller needles, so I'm going to see if that slows the growth.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Really Parsley Parsley Pants!

I finally broke down and bought the Parsley Pants pattern from Made By Rae.  I've been using the Basic Pants tutorial over at MADE for forever, but I haven't been able to make the pockets or flat front look good, even though there's plenty of info out there.

This is the "I know I'm not supposed to stand on the table, so why is she letting me?" face.

At four, the little dude really needs pockets for all his stuff, but we still like the elastic waist band because he can totally dress himself.  Having to shove one less little body into clothes in the morning is kind of amazing.

I found this green denim in a remnant pile at Joann's during my last visit.  It was just under a yard, which gave me the perfect amount of fabric to do both pants and pockets.  (Didn't love the way it bled in the wash though, I put it in with the fabric for his snack pouches AND a color catcher, but the pouch fabric still ended up with a green tinge because the color catcher was completely saturated!)

I'll have to start checking his pockets for rocks and crayons 

The pattern is awesome.  It came together really quickly, I got most of this done during the kid's nap including taping the pattern together and cutting it out.  The instructions are really easy to follow and have plenty of pictures, which I love because I'm a visual person.  And there's so many options to customize the pants; two different style of pockets, front creases, tuxedo stripes, knee pads, plus a tutorial on Rae's blog for cutting them down to shorts.

Photo bomb!!

I'll definitely be making more of these as soon.  I think the boy needs a couple more pairs and the little girl could probably use a few more pairs of pants for this winter.  I'll probably need to make a muslin for her since these pants fit her at the waist, but were super long.  I'm a little worried that if I go the next size down they'll cut off circulation to her legs.  We'll see.

Future pants model.  She insisted on getting in on the little photo shoot.

Linking up with The Train to Crazy for Make It Wear It Thursday!!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Washi Dress

Image from Made By Rae

So this is the second Washi Dress from Made By Rae that I made.  I'm kind of in love with the first one and wear it so often that it's always either wrinkled from wear or in the wash.  Oh well.\

And this is the one I made right after the first.  That pattern is so perfect, and I didn't have to make any alterations to make it fit.  Which is shocking, because I'm carrying a lot up front and in back. I actually double-checked the muslin of the top because I didn't believe it.

Love this fabric, it's from Benartex

For this version, I did lengthen it about ten inches so that I don't have to wear leggings with it.  (The first covers everything, but it's more leg than I'd rather show.  I swear I'll get a picture of it someday.)

And I lowered the section of shirring on the back.  For some reason, the first dress had the shirring across the middle of my back.  This version I made the bottom two rows my top two rows and just measured out four new rows a half inch apart.

Up next, I have this Anna Maria Horner Field Study Coordinates fabric that is begging to be a Washi Tunic.  Maybe with a navy collar?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Snack Pouches! For School Lunches!

It's my little dude's second year of preschool, but this year he's going to be staying longer and having lunch with the "big kids."  He's pretty excited about it.  We got a lunch box just for him; he put a lot of thought into it and had to look at every one they had.

So I decided to make him is own reusable pouches to pack his snacks.  The lining is a waterproof PUL fabric I found at a little sewing store (though maybe just water-resistant now that I've sewn through it a bunch).  I'm not exactly sure what it is, but it's similar to this one from

Of course, the only things I have now to put in for the pictures are cookies.  I have grand ideas about carrots and crackers, because preschoolers love that sort of thing!  Maybe if packed in a fun pouch.

I kind of just winged it on this one, but there's a bunch of great tutorials out there.  This is a great one from Mauby's that I've had pinned on one of my Pinterest boards for a while.

Linking up with Live a Colorful Life for Really Random Thursday!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WIP Wednesday

So here's what I've been working on!

Still plugging away at this sweater.  I've finished the front pouch and I'm on to the middle of the torso.  I'm really hoping to get this done before fall really kicks in, and I may actually do it!

The Dora fabric is something my daughter threw in and refused to stop hugging.  How could I resist when she kept pointing out Dora and Boots in the cutest sing-song voice?

I bought this pile of fabric today.  The small cuts will be snack pouches for my preschooler, who gets to have lunch at school this year!  The green is a denim I'm going to make into Parsley Pants.  Pretty excited to use that pattern.

I think I might start taping these to the porch wall since I'm clearly running out of space!

And these are coming along nicely.  Just today I added the two yellows and a magenta square.  Now I'm up to nine!  Up next is the red squares.  I think I have enough scraps to do a red-orange square and a true red square.  The dent in my scrap bin is tiny, but I might start digging out more scraps to make this quilt even bigger if my batting scraps keep coming.

Linking up with Lee at Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Ruby Dress Pattern Testing!

I was so excited to get to be a pattern tester for Made By Rae's new dress, the Ruby Dress.  She made the Arrow dress a while ago out of some gorgeous Ruby Star fabric, and then she just made it into a top and wrote up a pattern for it.

Now, full disclosure, it's not the best shape for my body, and maybe with some tweaking I could make it work, but I just wanted to make it as it was intended before I took liberties.  Also, cutting it down to a top as is would make it awesome, but I haven't gotten around to it.  It's basically a really great start that you can modify to your heart's content.

The pattern is really fast to make.  It's basically a yoke with some gathered fabric.  The only part of construction that took a bit of time was the bias tape around the neck and the arms, and that might just be because I haven't done that technique before.

And how cute is this fabric?  It's Makower UK that I found at the local Ace Hardware/Ben Franklin's, for about $6/yd!  It's out of print now, but they have the entire line, and I think I need to buy all of it!  And the light pink is something I found in a box of fabric my mom gave me.  I'm pretty sure it was used to make dresses for me when I was a toddler.  Awww!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Rainbow Quilt-As-You-Go Blocks!

I started looking around my tiny quilting space, and realized I was about to be eaten by all the scraps of batting.  I don't know why I can't throw them out, but I can't.

So I decided to start a Quilt-As-You-Go quilt because you don't need to have a piece of batting big enough to cover the entire quilt, just the individual blocks.  Perfect!

Currently my favorite.  Mostly because of that little race car in the middle.

And since I have an overwhelming pile of fabric scraps too, I challenged myself to only use scraps.  Absolutely no cutting into my fabric stash allowed.

My view from the machine.  I just love staring at these blocks!  They make me happy.

In one night, I managed to pull all my blue, green, and teal scraps.  (Well, almost all, there seems to be a massive clump in the middle of my bin that has been packed so tight that the fabric has fused itself together.  I could probably make this quilt a king size if I can iron those scraps flat enough.)  I had so many in the teal and green piles that I then separated them out to teal and aqua, and green and olive.  I probably could have don the same with the blue pile and had a dark blue and a light blue square, but oh well.

Progress shot of the purple block.  They go so fast!

I now have the piles made for the red, orange, yellow, pink, and purple squares.  The purple pile is pretty small, so just one square there, but I can probably get at least two squares from the other piles.  That would give me 14 squares, so I might do another blue, or grays and neutrals.

I love the dense straight lines you get to do with these blocks.

BTW, there's a really good tutorial for this from Rachel at Stitched in Color.  She's way more precise than I am, I kind of like the crazy wonky thing that these blocks have going on, but it explains the basics really well.

Linking up to My Quilt Infatuation for Needle and Thread Thursday!
My Quilt Infatuation   

Saturday, August 17, 2013


We have a ton of beans, so I've become a tempura fiend!  So yummy!!

Went looking for a pair of needles in my big box of yarn and knitting stuff, and found this measure that my Great Grandmother gave me.  That woman had the patience of a saint to let eight-year-old me eat a bunch of brownies and then try to teach me to knit.  

Started sorting through all my scraps for a new project.  It's all scraps, all the time!  I'm going to make a dent in that scrap bucket!

Found these while school shopping for my son.  Had a tough time explaining why Mommy needs pencils when I don't go to school.

Friday, August 16, 2013

An Arkansas Traveler Top Finish!

So I think I'm ready to declare that this quilt top is finished and ready to be quilted.  It was in the short stack that I shared for WIP Wednesday, and even as I posted that I still wasn't sure.

Sorry for the weird lighting, my only option was inside at night.  Still looks pretty good.

I really started making this top after seeing Faith's progress pictures on Instagram.  And her Arkansas Traveler quilt turned out awesome!  (Check out these pictures on her blog, Fresh Lemons!)  I just had a stack of fabric leftover from another quilt, and an urge to make something.

My son loved playing with the diamonds.  He needs some tangrams.

So I started piecing the diamonds, totally skipping the paper-piecing part and just going for it.  And it didn't turn out too bad, I just made sure that when I trimmed the squares, that my points were a 1/4" in from the seam.

Go little matching points!

After I put the all the blocks together, I hit my roadblock.  I couldn't decide if it needed borders.  And to really make that decision, I kind of needed to see it, but I didn't have any sizable scraps left to mock it up.

I don't think any of these are really working as a border.  They just take away from the awesome geometric shapes.

The only solution was to order yardage of a few of the colors I really liked, that I wouldn't be too heartbroken if they just ended up joining my stash.  So the top got shuffled to the bottom of a pile o' projects waiting for fabric.  And then when I got the fabric in, I'd totally lost interest in the whole project!  Ugh!

Really thought one of these two would be the winner.

But now I've seen it with borders, and decided that I didn't like how it looked at all.  So I just sewed on a thin strip of the background fabric so that the diamonds don't get lost in any squaring up that I might have to do after I quilt it. 

Not exactly finished, but out of the project stack and into the to-be-quilted stack!  (Now to get inspiration for the quilting design...)

Linking up with Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish It Up Friday!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Hexie Quilt, and How to Void a Warranty

So, a friend and I have been discussing going in on some larger quilting equipment together (Hi Jess!).  We're really good at sharing, and often sew together anyway.  And one night she returns from Joann's with a Sizzix BigKick!  And an Accuquilt die!  Because those things seem to be interchangeable from what we've heard around the internet.  (Also, no one carries the Sizzix quilting dies, just the paper-crafting dies.  Why?!?)

This is clearly NOT supposed to be happening!

Turns out, not so much.  Maybe if we had the largest Sizzix machine we'd be able to use the Accuquilt dies, but ours is just a hair too narrow to fit the hexie die.  But since we already had hopes and plans and schemes, we decided that $30 (approximate cost of the die) was cheap enough to experiment with, and proceeded to make sure we'd never be able to return it.

We shaved off several millimeters of plastic using everything in my husband's tool boxes; sand paper, planers, electric sanders.  There was an impressive amount of olive green dust all over the deck table, and the sandpaper, sure to get us some funny looks from my hubby when he got home.

But it worked! Kind of.  We ended up having to shim the die with several extra pieces of cardboard, and it was really helpful to have two people working it: one to crank and one to push/pull.  And we each got enough hexies to practice our machine piecing and make a small quilt top.

This is mine.  I think that it would make a nice hanging for the dining room, since it would pull together all the wall colors on the first floor (teal, lime, and butter yellow), but it's got so much pink that husband would probably get sick of it quickly.  Good thing I have a daughter who's proving to be very girly and has lots of wall space for when it does get booted from the dining room.

I want to trim down the long sides, cutting off all the half hexies, but leave the short ends pointy.  I think if I do a binding without a binding (a la Red Pepper Quilts) and then hand quilt with some chunky Perle cotton, it would look more wall hanging and less of an odd skinny quilt on the wall.

 Moral of the story:  Totally worth the $30 to learn something, and have a good laugh with power tools and a friend!

Linking up with Live a Colorful Life for Really Random Thursday!