Saturday, February 20, 2016

Baby Heart Quilt and Super Cheap DIY Quilt Frames

I love these simple heart blocks and they were just perfect for a baby girl due around Valentines day
Here is the finished quilt top:
I was in a hurry to get the quilt done so while I would have rather done something other than tie it, tying was the fastest option so that's what I did.
Here are my DIY quilt frames that I put together from things around my house. I actually got the idea from the friend I made this blanket for.
I have one of those old kitchen tables that pulls apart for putting leaves into so I just pulled it apart until my quilt fit inside. Then all you need is:
-Scrap wood (1x2's or 1/3's)
-squeeze clamps (97 cents at Walmart and I will use them for woodworking)
-pushpins
I laid the wood out on my floor first and clamped it to about the size of the quilt. Then I stretched the quilt onto it, securing it with push pins. I didn't think to take pictures, but here it is from the back after I finished tying the quilt:
Then I lifted the whole thing onto my table and adjusted the opening in the table to the right size and secured the clamps one at a time to my wooden frame and the table:
Make sense? Not bad for pretty much free! I usually borrow frames from someone, but couldn't get ahold of anyone and like I said I was in a hurry!
So here is the finished quilt:
Do you ever feel slightly ill, or develop a strange looking rash so you immediately turn to google and discover that you are on the brink of death with a rare form of cancer that no one has ever heard of? No? I mean, do you ever psych yourself out with internet searches, or is that just me? Apparently the psych yourself out technique works for crafting too. I wanted to do a quick method to bind the quilt that didn't involve cutting on the bias or running to the store for some binding. I had done a self-binding quilt before using the back, but that was just a scrap quilt for my daughter, not something special for my friend. So I took to google and there were all kinds of warnings about self binding and how you needed a walking foot to do it it's not really the best option for anything big. So I agonized about it and almost ran to the store to just buy some binding but then I talked to my mom who told me to just go for it. That's how grandma always bound quilts. Lucky grandma with no internet and know-it-all bloggers! I actually still have a quilt from grandma that is bound that way, still going strong after over 15 years. Anyway, back to the point. I just went for it (binding the quilt using the fabric from the back) and it was simple and turned out fine. No walking foot or anything. It didn't come out perfectly but it will hold up well and I don't think the baby will mind.

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Scrappy crumb quilt

A couple months ago I saw this fun idea on pinterest for using up scraps. They call it a crumb quilt and it was fun! Here is the tutorial I saw, but I know there are many more out there. I loved how fun and easy it was to make:
 I have this habit of saving the most awkward of scraps in the hopes that I will use them someday and I finally found out how.
 Each block is unique and fun in it's own way. My favorites are the ones with triangles. It looks so complicated but it wasn't.
One of the things I am learning is that using white fabric to frame the blocks helps a scrappy quilt look more polished. The only fabric I bought for this quilt top was the white. I'm not sure what I'll do with this one yet but I like it!

Finishing Quilts

I just realized that I post about quilts that I start but I don't post the finished picture. Here is the finished quilt from my last post (2 years ago):
  The funny thing about this one was that when I told my old friend from another state that I was working on a scrap quilt to use up some of my scrap stash, she up and mailed me a whole new box of scraps! So I was able to make it into a twin size quilt and I ended up with more scraps then I started with! I don't really love the busy scrapiness of the whole thing, but I do like it. My daughter loves it though and it keeps her warm at night, so it's a win.
And here is the finished heart and butterfly quilt. This is my favorite quilt I've ever made! It will always be full of memories for me.
 I actually finished this for my daughters birthday 4 years ago. My how the time flies! I had gotten burned out on making the hearts and the butterflies and then my daughter said she wanted some green in it so we got the idea to fill in some space using the nine block pattern you see there. From there I just added on borders to make it fairly large. This is a bit bigger than a twin size. It would probably fit a full bed nicely. Right now it's on my daughters twin bed and she loves it still!
Here is a close up of the heart to show why I got burned out on making so many of them!
 And here is a butterfly close up. I made up the butterfly pattern myself to fit in with these hearts. My friend drew a pattern for the butterflies bodies and then I ironed them on with iron on adhesive stuff. Then to make sure they didn't fall off I sewed the body on too. The antennae were embroidered on by my friend.
 Then to top it all off we hand quilted the whole thing! That was time consuming but very fun. We just stitched around each butterfly and heart and then stitched a heart:
 Or butterfly on the empty squares:
 On the edge my friend had a pattern that we chalked on and I love the way it turned out:
 We criss-crossed through the borders here:
Basically we just kind of made it up as we went along. I love all the help I got on this quilt and how much I learned while making it. I have yet to make a quilt that I like better or feel more proud of than my scrappy heart and butterfly quilt!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Look Mom! It can be done.

I decided that it's time I make a quilt again, but before I buy fabric I need to use up what I have on hand. So these are all my flannel scraps. They are mostly pinks, but my daughter helped me dig out some bolder scraps to add some punch to it. We both agree that it still has too much pink in it, but what can you do? I am using up what I have and this is what I have.
So I have been wanting to try this block for a couple years, ever since I learned that it's possible. I can't remember what it's called, so if you know, please tell me! If you look at each block you wonder how to match up the corners. I'll show you how it's done. It's pretty simple and quite brilliant!
So you take your first strip and start to sew it onto your middle block. Don't go all the way though! Match up one side of the block with one side of the strip and then stop a couple inches or so before you get to the end of the block on the side where the strip is hanging off, like so:
Then sew the next strip across the top. See how the side strip isn't sewed all the way on?
Then you can do your next strip down the edge. Notice how I messed up on the measurements. I forgot to take into account seam allowance, so all my blocks should have been half an inch bigger, or my strips half an inch shorter. Oh well, I just trimmed the excess on the strips:
Then sew the last strip across the bottom and you should have this much done:
Then you can finish up that first one and just finish sewing it on!
And Wala! YOu have a finished block that will make people think you must have had to do something complicated and super talented with the corners...
When this is finished I think it will be about a lap sized quilt. Pretty impressive for not spending any money and using up my scraps. It's so liberating to use up scraps. You feel all frugal and I love the challenge of coming up with something from nothing.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Pocket Chore Chart of Choices

I have a hard time throwing things away. Like old pairs of pants that are torn up and can't be worn. It's still fabric you know and I just can't bring myself to throw them away. So I've been collecting pockets from our old worn out pants for the past while and have been pondering what to do with them.
Add to that, the fact that I've been trying to teach my kids to do chores. To not much avail! They fight me on it and I'm terribly inconsistent. So this is what I came up with.

The Chore Chart of Choices

I was experiencing the big dilemma of rewards vs. punishment. It seems like most people claim rewards work better and are better, but I have a certain child who doesn't really care if there is a reward, she just refuses to do chores if she doesn't want to. This leads me to be inconsistent with the consequences of her disobedience and depending on my mood I do anything from ignoring her and just doing the chore myself, to getting angry and doling out random punishments. But then I realized that it's not really fair to her that I randomly just ask her to do a chore every few days and expect her to do it on my own time, or suffer an unknown consequence, or none at all.
So all this pondering led me to the choices chart. I thought, why not combine rewards and punishments and teach the kids about choice and consequences. In other words, accountability. It might sound complicated, but it makes sense to me.
So they will be required to choose some chores from the chore pockets each day. They may choose to do the chore if they wish and when it's done they can pick a reward. If they choose not to do the chore they can pick a punishment. I really think this will save me from getting frustrated and angry because I don't really care what they choose (don't tell them that though) as long as they are learning a lesson here not only about helping out with chores around the house, but also how every choice brings consequences.
The chores are age appropriate things they can accomplish mostly on their own. The rewards range from getting a piggy back ride to having some screen time. The punishments are also age appropriate and range from sitting in timeout to losing toys.
I think in life we can make choices and sometimes we have a good idea of what the consequence will be (If I don't pay this bill, I'll probably be fined) but sometimes we don't comprehend the consequence until it happens. So, the punishments vary but I try to match them to the chore.
We'll see how this little experiment works. I already know that one certain child of mine will be excited to do the chores and pick the rewards every time. I am curious to see how the other one reacts to it, and how often she will choose to just take the punishment.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Floppy eared puppy quilt

While I was Black Friday shopping with my mom last week we were checking out a used bookstore. We found this book:The only quilt I liked in it was the one pictured on the cover and I think I can figure it out on my own (without spending $10 for a used book!). It looks super simple. Anyway, while I was trying to sketch out the dimensions I also came up with my own pattern. What do you think?
So be totally honest with me, which type of dog do you like better? My husband doesn't like mine, but my daughter does. The quilt will be for my 2 year old son and he couldn't care less which one I use.
Or, if you know of any better patterns, that would be great too. I did a little search on the web and wasn't too impressed with anything I've found. I want something simple yet cute. I already have some fabric and I'm excited to start another quilt!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Hearts and Butterflies Revisited:

I guess I kind of gave up on this blog. It seems like right after I started it I started to hate sewing! Well, I'm back to quilting again so we'll see how long I last this time.

A long time ago I started working on a scrappy heart and butterfly quilt to make for someone's baby. I can't even remember who. Anyhow, I got so sick of it I packed it up in a box and put it away never wanting to see it again. I had a little change of heart recently when my friend was complaining about how some people don't finish what they start and I decided to pull it back out and finish it. I also decided to stretch it out and make it into a twin size quilt for my three year old girl who desperately needs a big enough blanket for her bed.

So, I'm still not quite done yet but I will finish putting the borders on this week and then I will be setting it up at my friends house to hand quilt it. So, anyone who wants to claim a couple hand stitches in this quilt, come on over and have a little quilting party with us! It will be fun. You can meet my old lady friends!
Alright, enough talking , here's what we've got so far:
The lighting isn't the best in this picture but I'll take a better one after I get the borders on. I have gone through ups and downs with my feelings on this blanket, but as of right now I like it. I don't really love it, but I like it. I know it will change even more with the borders and and being all done though so I'll tell you what I think when we get there!