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!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Really almost done now!

My Mom just sent me some pictures of the quilt being quilted. I got to go with her to take it to her friend who has a quilting machine while I was visiting and I got to pick out the designs to be quilted onto it. Basically just hearts and loop-di-loops. Here's how it's coming along:
I love it! And btw Wendy, I have done some handquilting before. Not much, but sometimes I get together with my old lady friends and help them handquilt baby blankets for grandkids. I still have yet to do one of my own though. I think I will try it next with my hearts and butterfly's, and you'll have to come help me! Otherwise it may never get done...

Monday, March 21, 2011


I accidentaly just posted about the quilt on my family blog and it's supposed to be a surprise for my sister and she gets the emails from my family blog. Argh. Oh well. So here's what I posted and deleted over there:
I probably shouldn't be posting about this quite yet as I still need to add the final border. I'm just so excited about how far I've come though so here you go. You get two pictures because I could not decide which to post:
After I finish sewing the final border on tonight, it's off to my Mom's to finish the rest. She and I will pick out some backing fabric, get it machine quilted, bind it, then ship it off to the happy couple. It has been a fun and bumpy ride getting this thing sewn. I have enjoyed it for the most part and it has been especially nice to have my friend working with me and helping me all along the way. It helps it go faster and be funner when you have someone to work with. This quilt wouldn't win any ribbons at a fair, but I'm proud of it and I think my sister will like it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Square'n em up!

Can you believe it?! I have finished all of the blocks. Last night I was so frustrated because everything seemed to be going wrong and nothing was matching up. Of course this was after I had been up with sick kids all night, sewing all day, and it was 10 pm. I was so mad I went to bed thinking how I was going to pack up this quilt, and put my sewing machine in the closet out of sight for a few months and not even think about sewing for awhile!
Ok, that was the exhausted me last night. Today I started squaring out (is that even how you refer to it) the blocks I already had done. That was going so well and was even kind of fun. After I did that for a bit I went to unpicking and resewing my squares that needed resewing. I actually finished them all! Now I just need to finish squaring them and then sew the borders on. Then I can sew them together and send it to my mom to finish and I'm done!
Anyway, it pays to live next to a quilter. My friend loans me her nifty tools that I can't afford to buy yet. This is a square that you can line up on top of your blocks and cut them all down to the exact right size. See the diagonal line from corner to corner? That helps you get it exactly strait. I find that when I put it on and think I have it right, then check the diagonal line I might be way off, so it's nice to have something exact. Our eyes can be decieving.
This is my lovely stack of perfectly sized blocks that I can now begin sewing borders onto!Don't they look perfect?

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Quilt Sprint

For the past three days I have been neglecting every thing. House, health, husband, and maybe the kids to a degree, but at least I remember to feed them. Did I mention I just want to get this quilt done?! I am ready to move onto something else and I keep thinking I might work on the quilt in my spare time, but that isn't happening so I've dropped everything non-essential to just concentrate on the quilt. I've been sewing instead of exercising, and eating ice cream instead of drinking my green smoothies. Did I mention I need to get this quilt done?
Ok, so I am getting there. I finished all the blocks for it, but there are six blocks that I have to unpick completely and re size. That's what you get when you use the scraps from someone elses quilt instead of just starting fresh. It shouldn't be too hard though and I hope to have all the unpicking and resewing done by tomorrow. Then I just need to trim all the blocks and sew a border on each one. Sewing the individual borders on should go really fast because we already have the strips cut out and ready to go. Then I just need to sew all the blocks together and see about adding a big border around the edge to make it queen size. It sounds like a lot, but I think I can finish it within the next week. I'm excited that I'm working on it again and that it's almost done.
Thank you for all the input about the design of it. As it turns out I don't have enough light squares to do option A anyway, so I guess that decides for me. Option B it will be. Hopefully you will get a picture of the finished top within the next couple days!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Please advise me!!!

Really, I want anyone and everyone's opinion on this. I would really like to get all the blocks for this quilt finished this week but how I pattern it will determine how many and what kind of blocks I need to finish.
So here is option A: You may remember it from a previous post (and remember that the dark sqare on the bottom left is in the wrong place). We don't have enough fabric to alternate all the darks and lights so the picture above is a pattern we came up with but I'm not sure if it looks too split-down-the-middleish if you know what I mean.
And here is option B:
Sorry the lighting is so bad on this one and my camera is literally dying. This way it would alternate and there would be a distinct border top or bottom as you can see. Then if you look very closely you will see that there are three different kinds of blocks. There is a light light, a dark light, and a dark dark. So on option B the light squares alternate by rows. Then on the top row I can either alternate or have them all be light lights since that's what I have the most of.
If that all makes any sense. Anyway, please tell me which you like better and if you have any ideas for me. I am so close and I'm ready to be done with this quilt! We decided that we will just do 6 blocks by 7 blocks and then do a couple of borders to make up the rest around the edges and make it a queen size quilt.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine Bean Bag Toss

My daughter shares her birthday with Valentine's day so today we came up with this fun game that involved a bit of sewing so I thought I might as well post it on my sewing blog.
It all started with a Valetine sensory tub full of white and red beans, and Valentine colored pom poms and feathers. That kept the kids busy for awhile, sorting with salad tongs and making a birthday pie cake.
While they sorted and played I drew up three different sized hearts to use as patterns to cut out fabric and make heart shaped bean bags. I set the patterns aside for the kids to decorate later as Valentines, like this:Once I got the bags sewn, the kids helped me fill them with beans.Then they helped me color this box and decide what paterns to draw and cut out. As you can see we have a castle, a birthday cake, a heart, and one you can't see, Cinderella's carriage:

Then I taped lines on the floor and had the kids throw the bean bags in. Honestly, they enjoyed all the work that went into this, but by the time we got to the bean bag toss they were too excited to go eat cake to really enjoy it. That's ok though, there is always tomorrow. They absolutely loved their bean bags though. In fact my son took his to bed with him tonight! I forget how excited kids get about such simple things.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

I'm still here!

I have been working on the wedding quilt, taking it at a slow and steady pace. Today I went to my friends house and we pinned it up on her board so we could admire it and decide what order to put the blocks in. Here is one of our ideas, although nothing is set in stone (and even with this you can see there is one dark one out of place there on the bottom):
I still have some squares to sew. It was really nice to pin it up though and see how it all was coming along. I didn't know how many more I needed to do and it felt like I was sewing square after square with no end in sight. There is an end now though and I'm excited!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

A little quilting trick

This is probably going to make some of you go, "well, duh!" But it's a new trick I learned recently that has saved me so much time, I just had to share. I know there are probably a million quilting tricks to save time and this is the first real trick I learned. I'm not really sure what it's called, we just call it chain stitching.
So here it goes. When you are sewing blocks together and you have a whole bunch to sew together, you can stack them up and then sew them one after the other without having to clip the threads in between each one like it shows here in the picture:So you just keep sewing straight through without lifting the presser foot or needle or anything. It will make a chain of thread between each square that you simply clip and tada! you have a whole bunch sewed together.

I am not sure if I explained that very clearly. It's pretty easy to catch on when you see it done. The first time my friend showed me this I was amazed at the brilliance of the idea. Why didn't I ever think of anything like that? I should be embarrassed to tell you how slowly I was moving along before I learned this trick.

Monday, January 24, 2011

My pattern stash is growing

So please tell me what I should do! Many of you already know that I made 2 dresses using Simplicity 3775.
They both turned out great and I have fabric enough to make one more dress. I saved my favorite fabric for last and I was planning to do a short sleeved, v-neck, tie waist version of 3775 using this:
However, last week JoAnn's was having a Simplicity pattern sale and I found these patterns:I love the wrap dress and I have always wanted to make one. It uses the same knit type of fabric as the other pattern, so the fabric I have would work really well for it. But I was looking forward to making another version of the 3775 because it really turns out well and I am quite familiar with the pattern. So do I use the fabric as intended and hope that maybe there will be enough left over to make a wrap shirt from 2369? Or do I just use the fabric and make a dress from 2369 and forget about 3775? I mean I can always buy more fabric (although I don't intend to until I use what I already have) but which dress do I sew with what I have? I am really in a dilema here. Plus I found this pattern to make me some shorts for the summer:

Ok, please advise me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A small, much needed, overdue alteration

Do you ever buy a tank top to use as an undershirt that seems perfect when you try it on, only to find that when you get it home and try to use it as an undershirt, it begins to sag uncomfortably low and you are constantly pulling, tugging, and self conscious every time you try to wear it? Now, this top doesn't really look low cut at all, I know, but it sure shows a lot when I bend over and the shirts I wear over it tend to pull it down. Well, did, until I just fixed it! Here is one good reason to sew. You can do simple alterations on the clothes you buy. So in this case all I had to do was turn it inside out, then pinch the shoulder seems and sew a new seam for them taking off about an inch. Now I can wear this without feeling self conscious and you can't really even tell I changed anything. (sorry I have no after picture. My camera died. The after really doesn't look much different anyway though.)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Sometimes I wonder why I sew

Especially when I happen to be in the mall and they happen to be having a January clearance sale and I happen to find a cute pair of pants and cute top all for $10:These pictures don't do justice to the color of the top. It's pink and very pretty.
I didn't even get a chance to try on the sweater before buying it because I had three crazy kids in tow and when I got home and tried it on I really wasn't sure if I liked it. However, after trying it on again, this time unbuttoned, it actually looked really great on me! I'm so excited I have a new outfit to wear for my date this weekend!

Monday, January 17, 2011

One small thing leads to another

Today I was fully intending to get some quilt blocks done. So far I have not done any of the sewing on my own machine, but at my friends house, so when I went to sew them I had to find the right color thread. I couldn't find the blue I was looking for with the rest of my thread so I had to do the dreaded search in my messy sewing closet. Well, that lead to pulling everything out and that lead to reorganizing my closet and that lead to finding a cut out pants pattern that needed to be completed. Maybe some of you remember awhile back when I sewed a couple pairs of pants from Simplicity 2627. Well, I had another pair completely cut out and still pinned to the pattern that I had burned out on before completing. I finished them today! I didn't get any work done on the quilt, but I got rid of some clutter and my daughter has one more pair of pants and that's good enough for me.
I did make one mistake. I accidentally sewed one of the bottom legs on upside down. I wondered why there weren't any notches to match up when I attached the bottom to the top. So if you look really closely you can see that the two knees don't quite match up but it's not noticeable enough for me to even come close to unpicking and starting over! They are still functional and my daughter loves them.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

More Homemade Barbie Clothes

So here is what I finished yesterday and today. This is outfit 4 from Simplicity 6208:
The blouse is the same in both pictures. It is such a versatile basic wardrobe piece, I am going to have to sew a bunch of them in different colors. Same with the skirts. The skirts were so incredibly easy, they each took me less than ten minutes. The jacket took a little longer (obviously) but still wasn't too hard. It turned out a little bulky though because of the fabric. I forgot to take into consideration that I was sewing for Barbie dolls because that fabric would make a very nice jacket for me!

This skirt on the bottom I just cut out and sewed myself without a pattern. My daughter wanted a "long long skirt that touches to the floor." When it came down to Barbie's ankles, that wasn't good enough for her so in talking to my sister she suggested I add some lace. I did that, and now it touches to the floor.

Jessica asked if I did it by hand and if it was tedious. None of it was done by hand and it is a lot simpler than you might think. When I first pictured sewing Barbie clothes I couldn't fathom how on earth you would sew on those tiny shirt sleeves, or finish the necklines, etc. But they make it super simple. You'll have to come over sometime Jessica and make some with me! And Talena asked if Audrey is impressed. Yes, she is now that I sewed the lace onto the long skirt. Thank you so much for saving me a lifetime of complaints! The kids are loving each new piece of clothing as it comes available. The only problem is, I'm done! You know when you start dreaming about Barbie clothes, it's time to take a little break. I'm sure I will come back to it eventually though. Oh, and I think the main reason I had fun is because like my mom said, "Wow, a shirt, a pair of pants, and a dress, all in one day. Don't you wish our own wardrobes went that quickly?" And I say, "yes Mom, yes I do." This is a little bit of wish fulfillment here for me. I'm fulfilling my own dreams through Barbie;)

Friday, January 14, 2011

A special wedding quilt

I am so excited to have the opportunity to make a quilt! I really like making quilts, probably a little more than making clothes. You can make one pretty fast and it is always exciting to see how it will look when it is done because you never really know what it will look like until it is done. A lot of things I try to do don't turn out as well or as pretty as I envisioned or hoped they would, but quilts always turn out beautifully.
So, of course I went to my friends house to look through her quilt books and to make a long story short, of course she pulled out piles and piles of fabric and we found enough scraps to make a beautiful queen size quilt. Here are two of the finished blocks:

I scanned them in so you can not quite see the full block but you get the idea. We need to make 72 blocks for a queen size so we have our work cut out for us! (well, not quite cut out. That's my homework for tomorrow, no pun intended;)

Of course it's always good to have more than one project going at once lest you get bored. I sewed a couple more Barbie clothes today and I will post about them tomorrow.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Feeling a sense of urgency

Lets face it. Barbies are hard on their clothes. Poor Snow White is practically in rags her clothes are so beat up. With their pointy fingers and lack of flexible joints they seem to enjoy ripping their clothes to shreds! We have Barbies around here that need new clothes and need them NOW!
So here are the two outfits I've made so far. The red shirt is actually supposed to show her midriff but I altered the pattern a bit to cover her belly. Hey, I'm making the clothes, I can make 'em how I want to! Besides, without having to see her belly, you can focus on her beautiful facial features... ;) The only thing about my alteration though is that I forgot to take into consideration her large booty in the back. So the shirt flaps open in the back, but who cares. The kids don't seem to mind. The kids have already decided they are p.j.'s.The dress was pretty easy to make, it just got a little tedious doing all the darts. I don't really like how the neckline turned out and I'm not too crazy about the fabric I used, but I'm not going to do anything about it. I will probably add a ribbon though like it shows on the pattern just to dress it up a bit. Well, if I ever get around to it. The pants were a breeze! They only took me about 10 minutes.

So I was pleasantly surprised with how simple and almost fun it was to make these. When I read reviews of other people who made these I practically rolled my eyes at them when they said they had fun making them. And now I'm rolling my eyes at myself because, well, you can just ask my husband if he thinks I enjoyed it. I'm going to try a jacket next and then maybe a fancy dress. We'll see. What do you think?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

My Next Endeavor

As a favorite author around here (Dr. Seuss) makes clear in his book Green Eggs and Ham, if you can't fight something long enough you might as well embrace it. So without further ado my next project will be...Barbie clothes. Yikes! I have never liked Barbies for numerous reasons I don't care to expound on here. This is a sewing blog not a bash on Barbie blog. Anyway, I have a 4 1/2 year old who LOVES Barbies. Of course she has a mommy who didn't feel the need to buy her any, but her life was made complete when a neighbor gifted her a shoe box full of hand me down Barbie dolls. Well, almost complete. Of course now they must be accessorized. She wants me to sew them some clothes because of course Mom can do anything. I was very hesitant because I knew that my idea of a dress was not going to please her. So I mentioned to my neighbor that I didn't dare try to sew a dress for these dolls and of course she pulls out 5 out of print Barbie doll patterns and so here is the beginning of my Barbie doll dress making career. We'll see how long it lasts.
Here are the five patterns:Ok, so be totally honest with me. Would you dare even attempt this Vogue pattern? Just looking at it terrifies me, but I'm just a beginner. I want to know if there is anyone reading this who would make these gorgeous clothes for their child's Barbie.
So of course my daughter wants the beautiful white wedding dress, and not something simple like the knit shorts and handbag. But I will be starting with the knit shorts and handbag for the simple reason that my friend who gave me these patterns already has those cut out and ready to sew. They have probably been sitting in the bag for 50 years, since her daughter was a little girl. I'll take it!
So, I post about this because I need your good wishes and motivational support. I need people to report to and show and tell too. So please leave an uplifting comment...