Sunday, April 18, 2010

Quilted Diaper Bag

As anyone who has a baby knows, a diaper bag is a necessity.  I've been using the black freeby from the hospital- it wasn't anything exciting, but it was very functional!  Unfortunately, from much use; the plasticky lining started to come apart, and there were pieces of foam coming out.  I hated to throw it away, so instead decided to tear it apart and use it as a basic pattern!  This is terrific, by the way, as I was able to add more pockets, and change a few things i didn't like so well!  =)

I started by quilting two batik fabrics together with a layer of Warm & Natural batting.
I quilted it fairly densely, to make it more durable.  I didn't like the inside fabric as well, but they were coordinating batiks- which should be nice for wiping off the minor spots as it gets "loved". The actual color shows better in photos further down. It also had terrible creases that didn't want to iron out, I can't wait to wash it.
Then I took each of the seams apart so that I'd have a basic pattern idea.
The zipper and strap with "hardware" were in great condition, so I re-used them since this is for me.
Instead of just one pocket on the front, I made two pockets (only one ended up on the front).  One is quilted and has a strip of binding on the top, while the one for the inside is just two pieces of non-quilted fabric; to avoid excess bulk inside.
I think the stripe created from the binding gave it a nice touch, Tyler suggested that!
What it looks like now on the inside..... I used the zig-zag stitch for finishing seams instead of the serger, there were some really thick seams because of all the batting and pockets!
And the outside (front).... This looks like a very "true to color" photo on my computer.
And back.....
End pockets (there are two now, the old one had one pocket and mesh on the other end).
And I still have this 15 x 20 inch piece of quilted fabric left, not sure what that's going to end up like.  I'm thinking a small purse or wallet to match?  The zipper on my wallet is broken, so I'm going to experiement with ideas.
My inspiration, Breanna took this photo of us!
And some more.  Some of you may not completely understand the magnitude of this photo.... three small children all smiling at the camera and once..... and it took less than 10 photos to catch!
Family.... there's nothing quite like it.

1930's Reproduction Prints

I bought these sweet little 1930's reproduction prints last spring when I was visiting my friend Jeanie in California.  I love them, this is probably what I would consider my favorites.  Jeanie has 3 kids too, and she took me to a quilt shop for fun; while she entertained all the kids!  I pulled out a few small scraps from other projects too, and made up my own variaton of what I found here.
The pattern I mentioned before used 10 inch squares, but I decided to use 4 inch squares and make a small doll quilt.  One thing I found helpful, was that you cut all the squares in half to make up the pattern, so I could use up 2 inch scraps with the same result!
One problem I encountered when changing the pattern, was that you cut the large strips by going over 2 inches and up 5, there was no angle measurement.  I thought about how to improvise, then realized that even if I did figure out what degree of angle it was, the angle wasn't on my ruler so it wouldn't do any good to know!  =)  Then I realized that angling my ruler "over 2 and up 5" would give the same angle, only I wouldn't have such a long cut.  Does that make sense?
I cut a couple to see if it would work, and they seemed to line up fine.
I cut them all, without much planning as far as how many I needed (in case you haven't figured out by now, this is quite often how I quilt.... not too much planning, and lots of improvising!)  =)
So far, it looks like the blocks will end up 3 1/2 inches on the longest sides.
I laid out the pieces to see what looked best, and see how many more I needed.
Then I sewed the pieces into strips....
And then the strips together.
Added some borders, and once again found a piece of leftover batting just the right size.  =)
After the quilting, all done except for the binding.  There are actually quite a few projects hanging around here that just need binding.....
But I did get Grandma's quilt for Andy finished, binding on and hand-sewed to the back. (She had to leave before we got the binding finished).
And washed it so it's nice and crinkly, he loves it!
The day we signed Breanna up for Kindergarten in snowed again.... lots of great big flakes!  The kids loved sitting in the window seat watching the flakes come down.
These little ones are really growing up!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Levi's Quilt, New Books, etc.

I've been making progress on Levi's quilt, all I have left now is the binding.  I did learn something on this that I'd like to share for the benefit of others...... DON'T try the Polyester version of Warm & Natural!!  I tried it for the first time, because I thought it would be warmer.  That might be, but it was a nightmare to quilt!  I didn't like the end result as well as I could, but Levi doesn't notice the difference, so I'll be quiet now.

Here's the back:
Some stitching designs on the back.
and some more...
Front view, as you can see it's a bit distorted because of the batting.  It's kindof stretchy or something, it was seriously testing my attitude!
and more...
Dad was here when I was working on the front, and asked it if came with batteries!
Andy had to crawl accross it and taste it to test it out. 
I love these kids!!  Breanna & Levi used to wear these matching PJ's.
Big sister.
(Yes, her pants say "coffee addict", she made them- and was sure they had to be out of that piece of flannel.)
Some maple leaves on the back of a quilt I quilted for Lucy.
I do all my work by free-hand, so it's hard to get it to look perfect.  I'm allways my own worst critic, tho. 
Last week I sent the pink quilt and bag off to the "Mommy-to-be", but first I took some more pictures of the quilting while the sun was bright.  I love how it turned out!
It's been folded up for awhile so had some creases, but the quilting is so pretty to me.
Last week I also got 8 quilting books on craigslist, for FREE!!  I had to drive to Anchorage to get them, but that was ok with me!
I've had fun looking them over quickly, and now have more projects in mind!  When I got there she said they were all brand-new, she'd wanted to learn to quilt but never had.  Now since she's moving, she's also moving on.  She was apologizing for the one having a messed up back cover.... I assured her that was just fine with me! 
What was really funny, was that while Mom was here she'd showed me this cute little bag someone made for her- she thought I should try one.  And as I was reading thru my new books..... I found the pattern!!! 
Mom's was just 2 pieces of fabric, mine is like a mini-quilt.  And all out of tiny scraps. 

You use two layers and batting in between, it's a nifty little bag!
In the book, it was called a "totable", and can be made in all different sizes for different uses!
What have you been up to in the craft room?

Visiting Family

Uncle Jared, Grandpa Jon, & Grandma Maryn visited us; and we sure enjoyed them!  And now that they're gone, the kids are really missing them.
Uncle Jared taught Breanna how to text, mommy & daddy are kindof behind the times- we don't pay the extra for the data plan.  She picked it right up, tho, and had fun texting messages to other family!
Unlce Jared also got lots of practice reading outloud.
Lap full of snuggles!
Grandma too got to practice her reading skills.  These kids would love to be read to all day!
Grandpa Jon
He was great at puting Andy to sleep, and enjoyed a chance to relax and do Sudoku puzzles.  At home they are both very busy, and seemed to really enjoy the break.
We had dinner at the Evans' on Sunday.  Once in awhile I ask to have my picture taken, otherwise I wouldn't have any!  =)
Daddy snuggling Levi.
On April Fools Day, Daddy brought home 3 goldfish (leftovers from a prank someone played at his work), one for each of the kids!
Puzzles with Grandpa.
And Grandma helped Breanna do some paper-pieced blocks for a pillow!  (We have now decided it will be finished as a purse, which will get used more).
Breanna at the quilting machine, she used it like a pro!  I was so proud of her when I was watching, she's obviously been watching me- she acted like she knew exactly how to do it.  =)
Grandma also got a try at the machine, and she did a great job- especially for the first try!
She was quilting what we worked on while she was here, it's a quilt for Andy.  She'd made all these cross-stitched blocks before, and we found coordinating fabrics to complete the quilt.
It turned out nice, and the kids all love the bright colors!
Andy checking it out.
He approves!  =)
Thanks again for coming to visit us!!