Thursday, February 1, 2018

One Monthly Goal: February

So, how is it February? Because, I'm pretty sure, Thanksgiving was like two weeks ago. Even still...February...

I'm checking in for the One Monthly Goal link up for February today.

Last month, I did okay with my goals. But, I didn't get everything done I'd hoped, although I pretty much hit my written-out (modest) sewing goals. So, this month, I'm trying to refine my personal goals better based on how thing went last month. That's what we're supposed to do with goals, right? :-)

So, here are my goals for February.
  • Bernina Block Party block (I'm SO close to finishing! One last block big block coming this month, and then some spacers and setting, which I'm expecting they'll post in March!)
  • Prep my cappuccino dress out of quilting cotton.
  • Sew a couple of a reversible bucket hats for my babies.
  • Pick a pattern for my Grand Canal fabric (finally! I've had a pile of fabric pulled in my sewing room for MONTHS. It's time to get things decided and cut).
  • Continue to spend less time on my phone. I've been better, but not as good as I'd hoped, so it's staying on the list until it's a habit I'm happy with. :-)
  • Do one organized activity with the girls every week. Sounds pathetic, but scheduling, and twins, make it overwhelming to plan outings or fun things with the girls. Do note that I don't mean fancy. I mean, a trip to the library or art museum. Or painting together after school one day. My bar is pretty low, ha ha. 

My ONE monthly goal is the block party block (see a number of the blocks together in the picture). To be honest, February is a short month and it's super busy for me (more on that later, I'm sure!). I want to lump the backing in because that's just a to do list item that just needs to get done. But then that's two goals, isn't it? So the block party block. That's the thing I'll be most disappointed in myself if I don't finish, and it's also doable (obviously, since I've kept up with the sew along thus far).

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

One Monthly Goal: January Recap

Checking in for One Monthly Goal link up. My ONE monthly goal was to finish my taupe shirt. I also hoped to get a set of clothes sewn up for my girls, and I wanted to sew up the Bernina Block of the Month.

Unfortunately, my one month goal was a fail. I did try: I took my shirt to our neighborhood sewing night, and I showed it to my friend who is much better at garment sewing than I am, and unfortunately, it wasn't salvageable. When I attached the facing, it stretched a bit, and that's what was causing it to flip up. I did mess up on one part, but unfortunately, that wasn't what caused the problem. So, it's hitting the bin. The fabric was old, it had been in my stash for a while, and it was good practice for me. I'm disappointed, of course, but I also recognize that I need practice.

I did finish the Bernina Block for January, and I love it. I struggle with the math on square in a squares or I would have refigured the center block so the main print wouldn't have seams, but otherwise, I love how it turned out. I'm excited to see this project finished. Not going to lie, I'm partially anticipating the end because the instructions are so frustrating.

While my taupe shirt didn't happen, I did get a shirt for me sewn sewn, twice. I did a trial run with some leftover black rayon that I bought for Halloween costumes, and it was perfect to practice with for my dress out of Cotton and Steel rayon. The first one didn't go so well, so I did it again. It turned out better. No pictures because I've been too lazy to take them.

And, I sewed my girls their mermaid dresses. They're not really mermaid dresses, but the sparkly mint fabric made me think the girls would feel like mermaids, so that's how I've thought about these dresses ever since! I sewed them using the Pippa Peplum pattern from See Kate Sew. No pictures, because, see above. :-)

So, this month was pretty okay! Not unproductive, even though I didn't accomplish my one monthly goal. I'll be back in a few days to check in with my February goals. :-) Happy sewing!

Friday, January 5, 2018

Scripture Tote

My oldest daughter turned eight the first week in January. First of all, I can't believe that I have an eight-year-old! Second, eight is a really big birthday for Mormons. Eight-year-olds are eligible to be baptized, which is pretty exciting! Like many other families do for their eight-year-olds upon their baptisms, we gave her her first set of real scriptures (as opposed to cheap paperbacks) and I really wanted to make her a scripture tote for them.

A few years back when our oldest niece was baptized, I made her a simple tote bag, but I wanted something a little more structured this time. I have more experience with bags now, and I just wanted something a little more finished.

I turned, naturally, to my favorite bag designer, Dog Under My Desk. She has a quick zip lunch tote that looked perfect! She recently released an updated version of the pattern including two sizes. I let my daughter pick the fabric, though I pointed out an Alison Glass Ex-Libris panel that I thought she'd love.

(Don't worry; she vetoed several of my suggestions...I may have shown her this panel but I didn't force anything on her) She picked out a black fabric to go with it. and luckily I had a green zipper that is a pretty great match for the panel.

This pattern was great, and so quick. I made a couple of changes; I used fusible fleece instead of insulated batting (obviously, there was no need for insulated batting, and it's so loud) and I also added a piece of Peltex in the bottom to add structure to support the scriptures (which are not light...). I added it after the fact, because I felt the bag sagged under the weight. But with the way the bag was sewn together, it was easily added after--I just had to rip out the last seam and slip it in, and stitch it back up.

Anyway, the bag is a perfect fit for the scriptures, and the panel turned out to be the perfect size for the front. I really think she'll love it.

Monday, January 1, 2018

One Monthly Goal: January

Have you heard of One Monthly Goal? I hadn't before the last week in December when I saw an Instagram post by Yvonne of Quilting Jet Girl. I had been thinking about goals and the new year anyway (because, who hasn't been?), and I had been debating about setting monthly goals instead of annual goals. So when I saw her post, I thought it was a great idea! My life is pretty crazy right now with four little girls at home including twin toddlers (!), so setting smaller monthly goals based on what's happening in the moment seems like a much better idea. Ideally, I want to set one hard goal, one or two very achievable goals (to do list items) and one or two personal goals, even though this doesn't follow the exact guidelines of the One Monthly Goal link up (I do select a single goal for the link up, see below).

So, I haven't been very good about blogging this year (see above: twins), and I hope to use this as motivation to be better about blogging. We'll see!

To kick off the year (and help myself keep track of what I have going on) I thought I'd list out my current projects and their status.

  • Argyle Medallion quilt from Scraps Inc. Vol 2 (currently at a longarmer's)
  • triangle quilt (currently at a longarmer's)
  • Swoon 16 (top finished, HSTs need trimming for back)
  • Summer Sampler 2017 (top finished, needs backing prepared and to be taken to longarmer)
  • Six-inch sampler (top finished, needs to be basted and free motion quilted, photo above)
  • Sunset Tile quilt from Scraps Inc. Vol 1 (cutting started, see photo below)
  • taupe shirt (sewing started, need assistance with neckline, photo above)
  • Bernina Block Party Sampler (I'm current with the blocks, so I'm just waiting for the next block patterns)

And, here's my list of projects I have fabric for but haven't started.
  • Memorial Quilt for my Dad. I have blocks planned to make a sampler with blocks that represent him, but it's a pretty big project and I've been hesitant to start a project like this that is unlike anything I've done before. I have a fat quarter bundle of Adventure fabric by Amy Ellis and a bunch more of my fabric stash pulled out to supplement it.
  • Venice Quilt. I have a cut of Grand Canal fabric from Kate Spain and I haven't settled on a quilt pattern that has big enough pieces to show off the fabric that also interests me.
  • Rayon dress. I bought some Cotton and Steel rayon and the Cappuccino Dress pattern from Liesl and S. But I'm way intimidated and don't want to mess it up! Fabric is washed and everything. I think I'll sew up a practice dress out of black rayon I used for my girls' Halloween costumes first.
  • Loads of clothes for my girls. I sorta binge bought a ton of knit fabric during year end sales events and I have great ambitions to sew them cute clothes that fit them properly! I have 4 girls, and bought enough of each cut of fabric to make a shirt/skirt for each girl, and I bought...wait for it...4 knits, 1 corduroy, and 1 woven (for a dress). Why yes, that adds up to 24 items of clothing! We'll see. 
It's actually really helpful to see it all listed out! As opposed to walking into my sewing room and seeing the scattered projects everywhere...

So, here are my January goals. I'm also going to list out personal goals just because it'll be helpful for me to see it all listed together. 
  • Complete the Block Party January block
  • Finish my taupe shirt
  • Sew one set of girls' clothes
  • wake up earlier to dedicate 30 minutes to studying scriptures and praying
  • spend less time on my phone. To quantify it: allow for 20 minutes after breakfast, 20 minutes during nap time, and 30 minutes after dinner. I'm honestly really unsure about whether those time limits are a good target or not. But we'll see. And then I'll revise it as necessary.
My ONE MONTHLY GOAL is to finish my shirt. That one is a stretch, and it's something I really hope to accomplish, and to accomplish well. Because if it's not done well, I won't wear it. ;-) I really want to get some girls' clothes sewn up, too, but I'll be more disappointed in myself if I don't finish my shirt, so that's top priority.'s to 2018! And January, specifically ;-)

Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas Sewing

I haven't posted a lot on Instagram of what I've been sewing lately because I was mostly sewing Christmas gifts. And, while my kids don't check Instagram (my oldest, after all, is only 7!), I still felt weird about posting pictures of gifts. But, I did a lot of sewing for Christmas. I give my girls a sewn gift every year for Christmas; it's a tradition I really love.

So, for my older girls, I made matching aprons. A while ago, they were fighting over the one too-small apron that matched one I have, so I decided to make new aprons for them and one for me that matched. I picked up some fabric at a local quilt shop's sidewalk sale. I totally scored: I got some Art Gallery Fabric yardage for $5 or $6 a yard. I bought enough for a quilt back, too. Anytime I can get a beautiful print for around the same price as Kona solids or less, I like to buy a backing. The girls' aprons were quick to whip up (although I still need to adjust the neck strap to be a little smaller for them). Mine took a bit longer, because I wanted to do a different style than I what I used to sew. I looked around for a pattern, but aprons are kinda out of style right now. Their popularity really peaked a few years back. And I really didn't want a pattern that sewed the skirt separately from the bib (bodice piece?). I think they look weird. So, in the end, I decided to trace an apron that fits well that looked like I could easily sew it. It was bound with bias tape, it really couldn't be that hard. It wasn't, and even though I wish the fabric were a little heavier (the apron I love is made of canvas not quilting cotton...), it's comfortable and the pockets are great. And it matches my daughters' and they're thrilled about that. :-)

I really considered making teeny tiny aprons for my twins (because everything small is adorable!), but I really felt that was a waste of time. And fabric. I mean, really. So instead, I made them shirts. I bought the Pippa pattern from Sew Kate Sew.

It's a quick sew and I'm pretty pleased with them! The neck line is a little gapey, so I tried to make it smaller on the second, but I think I made them one size too big. I went by the measurements, but the measurements put it at the top end of the 18 month size (my girls are currently 15 months...) and I'm not about to spend a bunch of time sewing them something that won't fit for more than a few weeks. So I made the 2T least, since it's too big, they'll grow into them...and they're still wearable. Just a bit big. Bonus: I sewed these shirts from leftover knit from other projects, and I still have enough to make another shirt out of the tulip print. Yay!

The last gift I made was a last minute addition to the line up. I decided to make a wallet for my husband. After I made my own wallet (from the Dog Under My Desk Get Carded wallet pattern), my husband mentioned that he wanted one of his own. That was a while ago, and I didn't think he was serious, but when I found that I had time, I went for it. This pattern isn't too time-consuming, and since I've already sewn it, I knew I could do it fairly quickly. I picked out a black print and a turquoise print for the lining, and I had a turquoise zipper that just so happened to be a perfect match for the lining. I finished it up in an afternoon, and he was definitely surprised.

We'll see if he uses it. :-)

Christmas sewing can be stressful, but this year, it really wasn't. I picked doable projects, which had a lot to do with it, of course. I love this tradition. It's a way I can really give to my girls.

Friday, December 29, 2017

2017: The Year of the Samplers

What a year! This has been a wild year. My twins turned one in September, and having twin babies has been amazing. Amazingly difficult, amazingly wonderful, and truly an amazing blessing. I never could have imagined how wonderful twins would be. And how exhausting.

Of course, twin babies means that my sewing time was limited.

There is a time and season for everything, right?

Still, I've managed to sew quite a bit. I finished only two quilts and two mini quilts, so it doesn't show, but I did.

I bound the two quilts at a neighborhood sewing retreat. The first is my Shimmer quilt, and it lived on my couch this past autumn.

The second is my Vintage Holiday Christmas quilt.

The first mini quilt I finished is my Beauty and the Beast mini quilt meant for a Disney Mini Quilt Swap I had to drop out of, due to my killer twin pregnancy. I started it in 2016, but it got put on the back burner.

The second mini quilt I finished is a gift for my brother who moved across the country. I thought it would be nice to send them a Christmas table runner, and I hope they love it!

I completed three bags and a wallet. You can read about my diaper bag here,

and I made two mini shoulder bags you can read about here (they match; one went to a dear friend who lives in France and I kept the second).

And I made a wallet to go with it.

I made myself a shirt. I want to start garment sewing more (I find clothing shopping aggravating: I'm tall, and struggle more than I would like to find clothing that fits well). It was good practice: I used a pattern I've sewed before, and fabric I had in my closet for years, so it was a good project, and I'm mostly happy with it. The fabric wasn't an ideal choice for the pattern, but it's okay.

I finished a quilt top, a Swoon 16, but haven't finished a very ambitious back using hundreds of tiny HST cut offs from the top. So it's waiting...

I finished a leaders and enders top as well, the Argyle Medallion pattern from Scraps Inc. Vol 2, and it's currently at a quilter's. I can't wait, I'm having it custom quilted and I just know it's going to be amazing. I used all scraps, except for a few strips of low volume prints for the flying geese since I didn't have enough scraps the right size.

But, I've declared this the year of the sampler because I've got a number of samplers underway.

I finished my Summer Sampler quilt top and am trying to decide whether to get it custom quilted or use an all-over pattern.

I'm preparing to start free motion quilting on my six-inch sampler (my first time doing a larger-than-mini quilt!) and I've kept up with the Bernina Block Party. I also have a number of blocks sewn for my Patchwork City Sampler. And, I made a bunch of six-inch blocks out of Sweetwater fabric for a contest on Instagram (which I totally won!) and I plan (eventually...) to turn that into a quilt. So, that's a total of FIVE sampler projects this year.

It's been a big year! I sewed more than I expected to. And I look forward to 2018! I have a lot of garment sewing planned, and that'll definitely be a stretch for me!

Friday, November 24, 2017

Get Carded Wallet

For a while, I've wanted to make myself a new wallet. I had previously made a wallet from my friend's tutorial, and I really liked it. But, I didn't do a great job: the card slots were a little loose and the zipper stuck a little. And, while I like the design, I wish that the credit card slots faced the opposite direction because I tended to drop them out if I needed to access the zippered pouch. Not ideal.

So, I started looking for a tutorial or a pattern, and started with Dog Under My Desk, my favorite bag pattern writer. Her patterns are thorough, well-tested, and just all around amazing. I ordered the Get Carded pattern, and set about making myself a new wallet.

I had made a second Dollie cross body bag I made this summer for a friend, and had enough leftover fabric to make a matching wallet.

This pattern, like Erin's other patterns, is well written and well-thought-out. She even has figured out a way to make it without any hand-sewing and no binding. Such a win, and she does it in such a cool way. She also provides several variations for the two outside pockets. I opted for the gathered pocket (it's so feminine!) but I'll probably make one with a flat pocket for my husband, and you can make a vinyl ID pocket, or a plain one. It's so nice to have options, but I found that it made the pattern hard to follow.

Even with that minor thing, the pattern is awesome. Really, if you want to try bag making, try Erin's patterns. They're amazing!