Thursday, December 19, 2013

A baby quilt

I bought a stack of six fat quarters at the quilt show this year because just looking at them reminded me of my cousin who, lucky for me, is having a baby girl soon. Of course I had to make a crazy quilt! In case you are wondering I was worried it was a little bit loud for a baby, but rest assured my cousin loved it!

The two fabrics that really drew me in were the glasses and purses you can see above. The sashing is a hot pink cross hatch print that I picked up in another booth, but it matched perfectly.

Check out the back fabric!!!How cute is that? I love the back as much as the front.

You can kind of see here I made a 5 inch diagonal grid to follow to quilt it. It looked pretty good I think. The binding I machine sewed since I figured it may get quite a lot of washings. The binding was a trip to Joann, but I was amazed with the softness of the fabric. It was unexpected coming from there.

I had some scraps left and couldn't resist making a few burp cloths.

This one is my favorite. I used some vintage lace from an estate sale on all of these.They turned out so cute.

The grey and pink was pieced together in stripes with ruffles made of lace and the bird one next to it just has lace down each side of the featured fabric. I had to fussy cut the good birds. Some days you just have to fussy cut the birds, you know?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Flowering roses quilt: Part 3

It's another English Roses quilt. I don't know what to say. I made it for my sister in law after she found out the original was for her and she had been sabotaged by her own brother. We went to the quilt shop and she picked out the fabrics. While they are very pretty, they just aren't to my taste. That's a good thing. It may be the only way to ensure I don't gift another quilt to myself!

There's not much to say about this one. It went together well.

I love the type on this print.

I washed and dried it twice already to give it a head start to getting fuzzy flower edges.

I used voile on the back and it didn't seem to baste well even though I was pretty thorough. This was before my glue discovery. You should see the one I am working on now. It is flawless because of the glue!

Again, I machine stitched the binding. I am liking this technique more. I know she has three dogs, so I imagine it will get washed quite a bit. With the voile back I wanted to make it a bit stronger. That's all folks!

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Table runner experiments

I made a Christmas table runner with some left over charm squares and scraps I had and it is pretty darn cute. There was no pattern, but if anyone wants what I did, let me know.

So there were two things I experimented with on this.

1. Elmer's Glue Basting - seriously, this has blown my mind. You can follow the link to the full tutorial, but basically you use glue instead of safety pins to baste you quilt front, batting and quilt back, then let it dry over night. The next morning you can quilt it all together right through the glue. The reason I made the table runner is my next quilt project is a baby quilt, and I was worried the quilt would be crunchy because of glue. When it was complete I washed it on warm and all the glue was gone. It is as soft as any of my other quilts, but didn't involve taping it to my floor and a million safety pins. I want to glue all my fabrics together now. Oh! And I was able to sew through the glue, even when it was thick, just fine. Mind. Blown.

2. I sewed the binding using my machine. I followed this tutorial. I love how a hand sewn binding looks, but I was worried with a baby quilt I needed to do something a bit sturdier. I am glad I did this project first because now my next project will look nicer. Overall it was easy and way faster. I still prefer the look of hand binding, but for something that may get a lot of use I may start doing machine binding more.

So I tried a couple new techniques, used some scraps, invented a pattern and have a great thick table runner I feel comfortable placing hot dishes on. What a winner of a project! I needed that.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A come back story

This has nothing to do with sewing. But check out this cool picture my husband captured of me finishing the Shiner Beer Run Half Marathon yesterday. It was my first half marathon since having the titanium in my foot. 

And I took 10 and a half minutes off my best half marathon time! To think how upset I was about the surgery, six weeks no walking and months of physical therapy when now I have a new and improved much awesomer bionic foot with real titanium bits!

My goal was to beat 2:15, but I had a few problems yesterday:

1. I learned what a headwind is. I thought I knew, but I had no idea.
2. Shiner has hills. Who knew? The best thing about a hill? When you are going up it, it blocks the wind!
3. Cows think runners are hilarious. I can't tell you how many cows would walk up to the side of the road and stare at us. Every once in awhile we would even get a heckling moo.

Overall it was a great race. We were met at the end with brats, live music and, of course, Shiner beer. I think the total number of runners was around 2,000, so for a small race it was a heck of a party! We didn't stay long though because of the weather. It was about 40 degrees (F), but that wind was just cutting through us. The feels like temperature was 29.

We did take a tour of the brewery, which was pretty awesome. And this is the only picture we got with me wearing my medal.

A great design if you ask me!

Oh good, a useful photo bomb of my sewing assistant pointing out the back of the medal has a bottle opener. Mr. Thinks He Can has not come around yet to me hanging this in the kitchen so everyone can bask in my glory while they open their bottles, but I think he will.

And a before picture at the start line. I never run in sleeves or pants, freezing weather, rain, nothing changes that. Yesterday was so cold the arm warmers and gloves never came off! It could have been worse though. There was a 60% chance of rain that never came. Thank goodness. 

In other news I am finishing my third English Roses quilt. Bor-ing!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

More tree pants

As soon as I made my last pair of tree pants I was automatically jealous and making one for myself. I know you are wondering how you can be such a good giver, what can I say I'm a natural!

It is so cute! I kind of used the same pattern, but changed up the blocks which made them slightly smaller than the original pattern. It worked out though.

I used some Valentine's Day ribbon I had already for my ties. Plus, if my tree is still up come February I can turn the skirt around and make it work!

I also love this binding. The music notes are so subtle, but such a great touch.

I bought extra of this red floral fabric to make stockings for the three of us. 

And of course when people say I didn't make it, bam! Hot pink on the back. You don't get that at the store! Use what you've got, right? The fabric is Moda's Aspen Frost by Basic Grey. I still have some charm pack left. Any ideas for more Christmas stuff? 

Also, I'll be at the International Quilt Festival this weekend with Holly. Let me know if you'll be around.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Help! I need your expertise

I had some warm knit, so I decided to work on Vogue 8742. I have seen some awesome versions of it, but EPIC FAIL!

There are a few thing going on here. I got weird baggy bits in my ruching. I've lost some weight and don't know how things are supposed to fit anymore. My boobs shrank and inch during the course of sewing this. Now, here is where I need your help. I love the potential this dress has. Can you tell me how to fix it?

I took in the sides about an inch already, but it didn't help everything going on. Also, are my princess seams too wide set for my bust?

Holy baggy backs Batman! I have never seen anything quite this bad - my back was always the easy fit. Ignore the undie lines (if you can), and how do I adjust the bit above the area where my butt used to be? Also, how is it baggy on my hips and front but tight in the back?

Just what. I don't even know what to say. It doesn't have a collar and isn't hemmed yet, but I don't plan on bothering with that until I see if it can be salvaged. Your assistance in this matter would be much appreciated.

How six foot tall,super-chic folks should look according to the front of the envelope, for your reference.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

I'm so over fat models

Hehe, you didn't click on to chew me out, right? Of course not! Here is the thing, who would want to put a slick, new, and FINALLY finished tree pant on a Christmas tree with their giant muffin top hanging over my hard work when this sleek and slender crepe myrtle will do such a nicer job?


That's right. These are the same tree pants I was working on before my very bad year. I am so thrilled with how it turned out.

I made the stockings for my cousin as a house warming present, but as soon as I made them I knew the tree pants were meant to be part of the package. I just backed and bound it with plain black which turned out quite striking. She received the set last night and seemed very pleased with it. And of course I fell in love with the tree pants all over again and now have to make my own. You had a peek at it with the half square triangles.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Easy half square triangles

I am still stuck on Christmas. I have something cute to show you, but it was a gift, so maybe by Tuesday I can show it! Now I am working on some self designed blocks to make myself a tree skirt.

Here are a couple of finished blocks. I am planning to sash it like the tree skirt pattern I have used in the past. I love half square triangles, so I thought I would put together a little tutorial.

I used 5" squares, or charm pack sized pieces of Aspen Frost by Basic Grey and the same size of some white cotton I had. I lay them out just like I did above.

Then I place each of the three rows right sides together and pin in the middle to hold them together.

Then sew all the way around the square using a 1/4" seam.

This step was weird to photograph, so I drew cutting lines. You will cut as marked above from corner to corner. I usually starch and iron before this step, because you are cutting the squares on the bias. This helps stabilize the sides of you squares. 

Press your triangles open, and now you have twelve little half square triangles! So easy! Cut off the excess pieces that overlap the edges of the two corners. Next is the great part of half squares triangles. Lay them out however you like and make great designs. You can make a star like I did by adding a few white squares that are the same size as you pressed pieces.

You can make arrows!

You can make ever popular chevrons.

Or you can make cool designs with no rhyme or reason. The possibilities are endless.

When I decide on my design I mark the pieces that go together with matching numbers which helps me keep what pieces go together straight. It is worth the extra minute!

It is that easy! I have been making a block in about 30 minutes. I am using two charm packs and white cotton. I hope to have a finished product done very soon. 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Early Christmas sewing

I have been itching to sew for Christmas. I was hoping in July there would be some fun Christmas tutorials posted, but it was kind of a quiet month so far as Christmas sewing goes. Well, to heck with it. I used my standby Christmas stocking (tutorial posted here). I love giving stockings for baby showers this time of year, and usually the parents are over the moon about it. I also embroider the names on the cuffs which is why they are turned up. I'm a sewing ninja like that.

I used leftover Countdown to Christmas Material by Sweetwater that came out from Moda a couple of years ago. That was also bought in July as part of a Christmas frenzy. I think it is the over 100 degree (Fahrenheit, 37C) heat we have here that brings that on. Christmas means cool weather and running outside without getting symptoms of heat stroke later in the day even if you run before the sun comes up. True story, every time. 

I love the inside of these too. It is just lined, but I think it looks so much more polished. 

Would anyone be interested in sharing some of their Christmas go-to sewing? I am ready to go!

Oh, and Happy Birthday Brindy! My best and most knowledgeable and patient sewing assistant is turning seven today.