Monday, August 31, 2015

Sewing Machine Mini Quilt

I'm definitely not accustomed to little itty bitty pieces, and the mini mania challenge group on Flickr has definitely been good practice for me. When I've made mini quilts in the past, I've made small-ish blocks, but typically just made fewer of them. Of course, that makes it sound as if I've made more than a couple...

The challenge for August was definitely a stretch for me with the little pieces! We all sewed this sewing machine block by Charise Creates. It's paper pieced, and she provides instructions and templates for both traditional paper piecing and freezer paper piecing. I'm a fan of paper piecing, and though I'm not super experienced with it, it's one of my favorite piecing methods.

But. When I saw the pattern, I was thrown off--the templates weren't designed in the same way I was used to seeing, and I wasn't quite sure how to piece them together with the traditional method. So I opted to challenge myself and give freezer paper piecing a go! I was so glad I did--it worked out really well, and now I'm familiar with the basic technique. The tiny pieces were tricky, though, and I had trouble getting the tiny pieces of freezer paper to stay put! I didn't need to unpick anything, save one seam at the very end, so I'd say it was successful! My piecing wasn't super precise, and definitely could have used unpicking, but it was close enough, and my finished block components fit together without a hitch. Yay!

I'm really happy with this little mini and need to get to work hanging my quickly growing collection of minis.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fabric Friday: August 28

My oldest started kindergarten yesterday and just loved it. Luckily for me, she was willing to tell me all about it. Sometimes, she clams up and prefers to ponder her experiences. I get that; she's a very thoughtful kid. But I really wanted to know about her day, and I'm just so glad she shared. I'm proud of her, and so happy for her. And I didn't even cry, not one little bit. I'm still a bit in denial that I have a school-aged kid already, though!

Today's fabric pull is inspired by back to school. Very predictable, I know...and I picked very predictable colors...but I think they're really nice together anyway. :-)

Top to bottom: Herringbone by Joel Dewberry, (my pear print doesn't have any designer info on it, but it's made by Makower), Quattro by Studio M, April Showers by Bonnie and Camille, (I cut off my selvage years ago, but it's by Zen Chic), Wallflowers by Cluck Cluck Sew, (no line on my selvage, but it's by Sweetwater), Dottie by Cotton and Steel, and Color Theory by V and Co. Man, this was a bad week for selvages!

Have a good weekend!

Monday, August 24, 2015

Monster's Inc Mini

I really love all the swaps that happen on Instagram. I've only signed up for one, but I really love seeing all the minis that people make and post! I really loved watching the Disney Mini Quilt Swap, and when I saw the Monster's Inc. quilt by @modernstitchinmama, I knew I had to make one for myself. I really love how she used the Cotton and Steel basics, and I just think the whole idea is very clever.

I switched things up a bit, and I think mine is probably bigger than hers, but I really love how it turned out. I used "Sully blue" for the binding, which I think ties it all in together.

And, my girls love it and have claimed it for their room. I don't blame them; I really think it's fun.

I think my favorite part, though, is the fabric I had in my stash that was perfect for Boo's door. It's not a perfect match obviously, but it's pretty darn close and I love that little tribute I was able to add. My oldest wanted me to add Randall (the scary monster) but I declined...

I did a lot of quilting on this little mini. This is the first real product I've used the Bernina Stitch Regulator on, and I was anxious to practice. I did a couple of quilt sandwiches before diving in on this one, and I'm glad I did. It made the quilting a lot more uniform. I tried out a couple of things, and I love the borders between the doors. I think they turned out really cool. Pebbling is one of my favorite quilting motifs, and so I opted to do that for the outside border. It look a long time, but I really like pebbling. I also feel like it's a pretty forgiving beginner pattern because if you don't end the pebble in the right spot to continue on, you can just keep going around the same pebble until you do.

I decided to leave the doors without quilting so they'd stand out...I'm not sure it was the best choice, but I'm really pleased overall with it, and a little jealous my girls claimed it. :-)

Friday, August 21, 2015

Fabric Friday: August 21

Weeks are flying by. It's Friday already again, and I can hardly believe it. We've been doing back to school prep this week, including back to school night and my oldest's kindergarten assessment. Which she passed with flying colors, of course! I just have to brag for a minute...she has been to preschool and was taught basic phonetics, but took that and taught herself to read! She is currently reading a Magic Tree House book. She's a smarty pants, but mostly I'm pleased that she loves to read.  She starts kindergarten on Thursday and is so excited! I'm happy for her.

I have been sewing, just not taking photos of my progress. I need to be better about that, but I've been so tired. Maybe I'll run in and take a bunch of progress shots in my sewing room this afternoon. Maybe.

I also got a fun order from Fat Quarter Shop. I had been stewing about a few prints I just HAD to have...and then their Robert Kaufman sale came up. Did you see that? Did you take advantage of it? I ordered a bolt of Kona white, and ended up paying somewhere around $4.75/yard...pretty darn good! I saw yesterday that someone used a Joann's 60% coupon to score a bolt, and she probably paid less, but I didn't know you could buy a whole bolt of Kona from Joann's without mail ordering...Can you? I don't know. In any case, I love shopping at Fat Quarter Shop, and I think $4.75 is a great price. Joann's charges around $9/yard for Kona, so it wouldn't have been much cheaper anyway.

In addition to the bolt (my first one!), I also got some Meadowbloom fabrics to make some skirts for my daughters, some Cotton and Steel, and a few others. And they are making an appearance here today!

From top to bottom: Mini Quatrefoil by Riley Blake, Dottie by Cotton and Steel, Honor Roll by Anna Maria Horner, Mormor by Lotta Jansdotter, Honeymoon by Cotton and Steel, Circle Dots by Riley Blake, Wonderland by MoMo, and Meadowbloom by April Rosenthal.

This bundle was inspired by the Honeymoon print by Cotton and Steel. I love it, and I wasn't sure what I would do with it, but had to buy it because it's just lovely.

Have a great weekend!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Fabric Friday: August 14

Sorry if I worried you last week! Life just got very busy for me, and the initial stress of it was overwhelming, but not in a terrible way. I was called to serve with the young women in our congregation, which means a lot more hours than I used give at church. But now that I have a bit of handle on the girls I'll be working with and what I'm actually supposed to do, I feel more empowered, and ready for the challenge. Still a bit overwhelmed, but ready.

I actually do have several projects to share; I just haven't had a chance to adequately photograph them! Hopefully soon.

In the meantime, here's a bundle of fabric!

This bundle was inspired by a block from American Quilting's Saturday Sampler from a few years ago. I was sitting with my girls, consoling one who was injured, and we snuggled under the quilt. I started looking at each block, at the colors specifically, and remembered how much I had liked one in particular, that really was quite different than the rest. The colors I've pulled aren't identical, but inspire the same feeling to me.

Top to bottom: Sunprint by Alison Glass, Mini Pear Bracelets by Lizzie House, Emmy Grace by Bari J, Ink by Alison Glass, Mesa by Cotton and Steel, Trassel by Lotta Jansdotter, London Fog by Camelot Design Studio, and Simply Style by V and Co.

Have a great weekend!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Fabric Friday: August 7...on a Saturday...

Hey everyone,

I like to think to think that someone noticed I missed posting my Fabric Friday post, but I don't really kid myself...but I hope you like reading them even if you don't miss them ;-)

The truth is, this week has been wholly unproductive and stressful. Lots has happened, though not really very much for many people, but a lot for me, and I felt my anxiety building. And when my anxiety builds...well, my productivity goes down. :-( So, not so much sewing this week. Or cleaning.

My girls have had rough weeks, and I'm not really sure why. Everyone has been a little grumpy (including me...) and I think it's time for school to start again. I was also called to do a new assignment in our congregation, and it's VERY humbling and overwhelming for me, so that has been stressing me out all week. Maybe I'll share more about that next week. And we've had appointments and plans and all sorts of things to make the week pass very quickly. I'm rambling. And I'm rambling not to excuse my late post, but just to share what's happening. Stress is really tough for me to deal with.

Anyway...yesterday, I stopped by a quilt shop I haven't visited before, Pine Needles, because it wasn't terribly out of my way to a lunch appointment, and I had some time. And I needed some retail therapy (see previous paragraph). It was such a fun shop to visit, and I must visit again soon! They had so many patterns, and they carried some designers and lines that aren't carried in my local shop (Alison Glass, hello!). They also had a very small selection of Cotton and Steel double gauze, which was really fun for me to feel; I've never seen it before, and I would love to work with it. I would have purchased some on the spot, but was feeling the pinch on my wallet and I didn't know how much I would need for a pattern since I didn't have one picked out...and, I'm ashamed to say that I also used it to scout some fabrics that I would like to buy, but online. The shop wasn't cheap (most fabrics were $12/yd), so I bought some (support local!) but bought the fabrics I knew were hard to find online in half-yard increments (like Alison Glass, and Art Gallery). I am planning to make a purchase from Fat Quarter Shop with some fabrics that I know I want now. about we get to the pretty fabric? I threw this bundle together this morning, knowing I needed something to post, so while I think it works, it's not the best I've done. Sometimes, I'm really proud of my bundles. This one...I like. And I think it could be really cool. I think it has a good blend of warm and cool fabrics. But I don't know what I'd do with it.

Top to bottom: Moonlight by Cotton and Steel, Block Party by Sandy Gervais, Priory Square by Katy Jones (a score from Pine Needles yesterday!), Speedster by The RBD Designers, Avant Garden by Momo, Hoodies Collection for Blank Quilting, and Dottie by Cotton and Steel.

Something I think that has been a happy byproduct of this Fabric Friday thing I do is that I have a better idea of the designers I gravitate to, and the style of fabric I really love. Going through the selvages each week has shown me that some designers consistently show up, and some basics I continually draw one (like Cotton and Steel's Dottie prints). What's nice about it is that I'm less likely to go crazy at the fabric shops now; I'm getting a feel for my stash and what I end up using. It saves money, sort of. Because I'm also inclined to let myself buy something I know I'll use. Hehe.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Fixing Footed Pajama Feet: The Quick and Dirty Way {tutorial}

My girls love their footed pajamas, to the point that they wear them year-round. It's a good thing we have air-conditioning; if we didn't, I'd worry about them overheating during the summer! But, that means they often wear out the feet before they outgrow them. I'm loathe to replace them in the same size, so I have just made them keep wearing them, but my oldest daughter finally really wore out a pair pretty badly. I knew their had to be a way to fix them!

I googled it, and found a tutorial to unpick the bottom and replace it with a piece of fleece, and then use puffy paint to add some anti-slip designs to the bottom. I thought that seemed like overkill for something they'd outgrow, and I really wasn't interested in the attention to detail...especially if the repair wasn't going to I tried just adding a piece of fleece to the inside, and it worked really well! I fixed the first pair probably 2 months ago, and my oldest daughter has been loving them. And they've held well. So, today I went through and repaired three more pairs, one for my youngest and two for my oldest. It took me maybe 40 minutes to do all three.

I'm sure I'm not the only mom out there who would like a quick and easy way to fix them feet, so I thought I'd write up what I did here. Hope it helps!

First, rough cut a piece of fleece to a little larger than the foot. Turn the pajamas inside out. Pin the fleece to the bottom of the feet, making sure to keep the top of the foot away from the edge.

Second, stitch around the edge of the foot on top of the original serged stitches. I think I used a straight stitch with the first pair, but I zig-zagged the ones I did today. The straight stitch might make it less bulky, but I'm not sure, and it doesn't bother my girls.

Third, trim the excess fleece. Be careful to not trim any of your stitches if you zig-zagged on the edge.

Turn it right side out and you're done!

Hooray for a quick fix!