Friday, March 19, 2010

Pretty in Pink

Just finished another fun project, and it turned out much different than I originally intended... but I like it!  I had so much fun using the pink scraps for the baby quilt, that I thought it might be fun to try something similar.  While looking for white scraps, I found a bunch of 1 1/4 inch strips leftover from something, and I also had quite a few of the pink 1 1/2 inch strips left from the quilt. I thought it might be fun to use narrower white strips, maybe make the pink stand out more.  Only problem was, they didn't turn out square....
I lined them up at the center anyway, and cut the block to square and added some more white.
At this point Tyler said, too bad you already covered that pillow! Originally I planned to do 4 blocks into one, each of a different color, for a bed quilt. (One block of 4 in red, one in oranges, one in yellows, one of greens, one of blues, etc...) But when I came to the "un-square" issue I began thinking what else I could do with it instead!  Added some borders:
I decided to make it into a bag to match the baby quilt. I added some fabric and batting, and quilted it for thickness.
I decided maybe I could use this for myself, I love it!!
I also quilted the quilt, and finished the binding.  Instead of batting I used an extra layer of flannel, it's a lighter but very soft weight (the recipient doesn't live in Alaska!).
And the back is flannel too.
The quilting on this one turned out really well, and it was fun!
There are flowers, leaves, hearts, and lots of echo stitching.
Tied up with a leftover strip.
And they match.
These were so much fun to make, and I love the results!
And yes, I do sew really fast.  Since we're on a tight budget right now and it's safer to stay home, the kids and I have lots of free time.  Now if I could just stay off the computer.....

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Some finishes, and Strawberry Jam!

I decided to catch up on some WIP's, and clear some space on my sewing table!  I quilted and did the binding on the chocolate quilt. Since it's going to a very young girl, I used some fun flannel for the backing.
I wasn't sure about the purple in there, but the pinks were right and the kids loved it; so I figured she may too! This is very bright and cheerful.
And since dollies are important too, I finished the one to match.  I added to what I had before, it's all the tiny and odd-shaped scraps.
It measures 24 x 28 inches, so is a nice size for even larger dolls.
I didn't have enough of the monkey flannel left, so added to it with some more flannel scraps.
I used up lots of scraps on these 2 quilts.... there's hardly anything left because of that doll quilt!  And there's hardly any of the flannel pieces left, I even used up some scrap batting!  The batting for the bigger quilt was a leftover piece that fit almost perfectly, and the batting from the small quilt was two pieces zig-zagged together.
We ran out of home-made strawberry freezer jam this week..... which is an aweful thing at this house!  Mom always made it growing up, and once you're used to it the store stuff is aweful.
I use the lower-sugar pectin, and it tastes delicious. These recipes actually have you put in more cups of fruit than sugar, and once you use it for awhile the other tastes way too sugary.  I also use frozen strawberries since they're always in season, and cheaper.  =)
And while I sewed, the kids played kitchen.
They rigged up this little chair for Andy to join them.... he was very happy to play along with them!
These quilts are actually for a birthday that isn't for awhile... wow.... I finally managed to finish something non-last minute!  =)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pillow Cover

Yesterday I started out intending to make some pot-holders, but ended up with a pillowcover!  I dug into my scraps for some that are my favorites, intending for them to match my kitchen.  And since they would match my kitchen, they also happen to match the living room.  The kids loved the transformation of the pillow, even Andy!  In case you're wondering, the original pillow was all white, so you can imagine what it looked like after years of use (including some doodlings of children!)  It was ready for the trash.
For the batting, I actually pieced together 4 strips instead of cutting into a bigger piece, using a zig-zag stitch.
This might explain why I wanted to use up some scrap batting!  This bag is stuffed full of at least 4 gallons of "Warm & Natural" scraps.
The batting was a little larger than the pillow top.  I'm going to make it like a quilt, so when I take it off for the inevitable washings it won't fall apart.
Quilting the front block.
I took the zipper out of the old cover, Breanna was a bit concerned about this, but assured me it was probably ok since we didn't plan to use that pillow cover again.  =)
Added the zipper to the backing fabric.  This is a fun piece sent to us by Shay!
Then I sewed it to the front and serged the edges. One little tip if you're trying this at home: unzip the zipper a little bit before you sew it closed, Breanna recognized that this was necessary so we could flip it right-side out. 
The finished product.
And the back.
And I still have one square for a potholder.
On a side-note, some have mentioned about getting my patterns, but I am not really that kind of quilter.  I see something and try it, just usually start cutting.... and it works. That might also explain why I have so many scraps (besides the fact that I can't throw anything away!), I just buy "a yard of this, and a half yard of that, and a quarter yard of this....."  I can give you a rough idea, but don't really have a "pattern" to share.  Does anyone else quilt like this?

Friday, March 12, 2010

Log Cabin Variation

Here it is!  It's a variation of the log cabin block, only looks more interesting. It's going to be a baby gift.
I first saw the pattern in a log cabin block magazine I got a few years ago, but when I saw the one made here, it inspired me to give it a try!
I used scraps, 1 1/2 inches wide; so it looks nice but didn't turn out very big.  So far without borders it's about 28 x 35inches.
I "fussy cut" the center squares to each have a cupcake, but I'm not sure in the end it was worth the extra time.  My iron also quit working, so I'm using this tiny one I take to quilting classes.... for now it works.
I used 1 1/2 inch strips, which made it easier; because your pieces go up in increments of 1 inch (you loose 1/2 inch for each seam), so everything could be pre-cut quickly.
When the blocks were done, I had 10 of each type, and they measured 7 1/2 inches square.
Breanna was given some fun quilting pins with "buttons" on the ends, by a sweet lady at sewing circle. Breanna was very intrigued when she saw them, so Biruta bought her her own.  Tonight while I was sewing, Daddy took her to Jo-Ann's to get a magnet to keep them together.  I still have the same magnet my mom got me when I was about 10, so I think it was a safe and useful investment.  =)
I also got some laundry done while sewing today, and Andy was impressed to watch the washer!  It was hilarious, he stared for about 10 minutes, I remember Breanna doing the same a few years ago.

I really need to get to bed now, guess this didn't quite get finished "last night", since it's almost 1am on Friday.  But it sure was fun, and I can't wait to use some other colors!  And believe it or not, my scrap bins are starting to slim down a bit from the last few projects- that is success!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Pink Scraps....

Any guesses on my plans today?  I'm heading to the ironing board with these scraps:
Taking a break from the bigger projects, to work on something small and fun today.  We're actually meeting Marlene for lunch in an hour, but I'm planning to get the ironing done before leaving.  Hope to have fun photos this evening!  =)

Speaking of ironing boards, I need a new cover or to soak mine in bleach!  How do they get so dirty, I don't get it??

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Scalloped Binding

Today I finished up the WIP/UFO I've been working on for the past couple months or so, and I love the results!!
I didn't have anything that looked right for the binding, so I broke down and went to buy some.  But I did find it on sale, and it cost less then $4, so I'm not too disappointed in myself.  I decided it was worth the few dollars to get it finished before I lost motivation for another year or so.  =)

I had planned to add some applique around the edges, but as much as I like the result; I don't like the process.  And I decided it looks nice the way it is.  But if I change my mind, it can always be added.... right?  For now I want to get a hanging sleeve on the back, and get it up on the wall!
The quilting isn't perfect, I actually used this as practice at free-motion with the stitch regulator turned off.  This was a first, and I am definately going to try it again!  I found it worked much better for some things, the stitch regulator seems to act funny when you do smaller intricate designs- but if I don't slow down for them I will make a mess!
And, of course, one of the kids.  I actually got them all somewhat posed at once, which is often a challenge!

Ok, once again, I REALLY like this quilt! 
It's going above the couch in the living room.  Today when I told Breanna that she said "So you're going to replace the ring?" She was referring to a berry wreath I made a few years ago, which does look pretty sad and has many of the berries removed via the kids.

One more.....  =)
P.S.  The binding is hand-stitched on the back, which looks better but I often don't take the time.  For the curves it actually seemed easier than using the machine.

Friday, March 5, 2010

The finer things in life....

We've introduced Andy to some of the finer things in life......
this photo reminds me of uncle Doug (the face, not the messiness) 
Do you think he liked them?
Can I have another one? That was nummy!
Last night I went to the Quilting Guild meeting, this is what I came home to...
The kids all have the yucky bug they say is lasting 2 weeks.... Daddy was so sweet to take care of them and give me a break! They are being sweet, but up with them all day and night is wearing.

This is what I've got so far on Levi's quilt, disappearing nine patch.
He decided he wants it big enough for his bed, so I'm trying to come up with some major "enlargening" ideas with borders, etc.  Marlene gave me some more bright orange/yellow fat quarters, and I am using up some more I found in my stash...
Today was definately not a day for any sewing (except for reading some quilting lit. from the guild meeting), these kids all needed lots of snuggling.  I remember somewhat enjoying when Breanna was little and sick, hope that doesn't sound bad, but she'd finally want to snuggle!  Today, I got my fill.  =)