Thursday, March 31, 2011

More pink and green

I've always been a big fan of pink, but it's ironic that lately many of my projects seem to be pink and green.  It's not intentional, just kindof turns out that way.  So my subconscience knows I like the colors together, but my consience is was unaware?  Who knows, but here's the latest.

It all started with the package from Marlene a month or so ago.  She's an expert knitter, and says she's just not quilting much anymore.  So she passes things along to me, I can take that!  =)  Anyway, she stuck in 5 FQ's that I absolutley love!  I'm not sure what the line is called, but they are very nice Michael Miller fabrics.
I went through my stash, and found these that go quite nicely.  The darker greens are FQ's also, so don't add much yardage...
But add some white, and we're getting quite a collection!
I made a bunch of blocks like I used in this quilt, but the center squares are 5inches and the outer strips are 3inches.  Same effect; but much less work, thread, and time!  Plus it will be easier once I start sewing blocks together, not so many of them.  I'm thinking this will be a twin-size for the sewing room fold-up guest bed, but not sure yet.
Added some of the white-border blocks, but I ran out of white.  It's quite frustrating to live so far from the fabric stores, you really have to plan your projects!  I'm more of the random type of quilter, just start cutting and see what happens.  Planning would be good for me, guess I need to work on that.
I also found these pieces in my scrap bins, most of them came from Moda's "Strawberry Lemonade" line, and some from their "All you need is love".  It's kindof an orangish-pink, but they all seem to be working together.  Funny how that works, when you have quite a bit of stash you like- it all seems to somewhat go together.
My favorite piece from the Strawberry Lemonade was the pink with berries- and I found a small strip of that to add to the scrap pile.  I'm planning a doll or baby quilt with them, and I'm almost more excited about that than I am about the bed quilt!  =)
This is the well-loved doll size quilt I made for Breanna a few years ago.  I wish I could "grow" this to bed-size!  =)
It was actually made from the scraps of this crib/toddler-bed size quilt I made with my first Jelly Roll.  I love how it turned out, but it was finished about the time I found out Levi was going to be a boy.  And then we had another boy.  I was excited to think maybe we could use it for the new baby if it was a girl, but it looks like it will be used for something else.  Maybe the sewing room wall?
Back to the pink and green, I got some coordinating prints to use for binding, borders, and to make some more blocks.
Now I've got quite a few blocks, but need quite a few more.  I also ran out of white thread, guess I have been sewing a lot lately!
What are you working on?  Do you get stuck on certain colors?

My sewing room

Since we had so much company a couple weeks ago, I cleaned up the sewing room a bit.  When they left and the air-mattress was put away, I really wanted to sew!
There is always more organizing to do, but if that's all I did there would never be any progress.  I love how the serger-thread looks on the racks Marlene's husband made and I got when she sold me her serger!
I finally got the quilt on the wall from the contest, kindof brightens things up a bit.  Tyler made me a great hanging rod awhile back, but I couldn't find the hooks till I organized the notions and such.
This picture makes me think I really need to paint the room.  I have the gallon of paint all ready to go, but with the pregnancy I put it off till next year.  Quite a bit more company planned in the near future, so it'll have to wait.  But don't you think it needs some color?
Kindof embarrassing to show you this since it's so boring & kindof messy, but this is where I work.  And my husband is pretty awesome in another way, he let me use the biggest room in the house for the sewing room!  It's the quilting machine's fault, it's so big that it's the only room it fit in.  After all, what more do you need in a bedroom than a bed and dresser?  =)

Misc. projects

I only did the quilting on this beautiful quilt, but I love how it turned out!  And of coures, the little and big boys in this house when the family was together, all thought it was quite nice.  Great job, Cindy!
She just wanted all-over stippling, so I used black on the border, and white in the center.  The white thread looks fun on the back.
Added a binding to the wall-hanging, now just need to add a hanging-sleeve to be done.  I wasn't sure on the green binding, but it was all kindof busy and too "pink".
It can be used for a centerpiece, also.  Even found a scrap of coordinating flannel for the back.
I bought these quilt-shop fabrics awhile back, and am still deciding what to do.  They are all half-yard cuts, thinking of tiered skirts for Breanna & I to match?  They didn't come as pretty as they appeared online, but I think they'll be perfect for spring.
This little quilt is what I worked on when I was sitting so much.  The top was already completed, I just worked on hand-quilting it.  Not quite finished, so will be great for in the car; but I love these colors and can't wait to get it done!
My hand-quilting stitches are probably bigger than they should be, but I was working on making them uniform.  And I'm not entering a contest or anything.
And this little guy has learned to use the chair in the kitchen to reatch what he needs in the cupboard.  While I was sewing one day, he came to me with a bag of miniature marshmallows..... popping them in one-at-a-time like a pro.


When I was growing up I loved to read books.  Now with a limited amount of spare time, that's changed.  If I have a moment, I want to do or make something, not just get more head knowledge.  Unless.... it's a quilt book.  =)

My mother-in-law sent this last month, and it's quite fascinating. 
Marlene gave this to me when we lived in Alaska.
I saw this pattern in it and decided it would be good for my sister.
She agreed; and with a few modifications, this is what she got. She'd made a dress from the fabric so I knew she liked it, and I made a pattern for the flounce instead of a ruffle.
Beth had a give-away here, in which I won this fun book!  It's very interesting; explains ideas of creative women about a century ago, and how their ideas related to modern creative women.  Not what I would have normally bought (I thought it was more of a pattern book), but I was impressed!
Not really a book, but this pattern is one Marlene also sent me recently.
And all the fabric to make it queen-size!  She got it awhile back and decided she'd never finish it- so passed it along to me.  It looks like a very pretty & quick pattern, would even be fun to scale it down to doll size.
Speaking of things one likes to do, Levi is obsessed with puzzles.  We're getting quite the collection of them in the game closet, it's wonderful for cold rainy days.
And of course, colloring.
One thing I gave up long ago when I decided quilting was all I had time for, was knitting.  With kids you can't do it all, and I decided quilting was what I enjoyed most.  However, when one dear friend heard about the miscarriage, she knitted me a pair of wool slippers!  They still need to be felted down, but I don't have a top-loading washer so will have to do them somewhere else.  My last pair that Marlene made now have holes in the soles, from being loved so much.  These bright new ones will be so fun next fall and winter!
And that's all for now folks!

Friday, March 25, 2011

My new friend, and a binding tutorial

I realized I still haven't finished up Katie's wall-hanging or any of your pot-holders, so I'd better get sewing!  This is what I did for the wall-hanging, just need to do the binding.
And on her purple pot-holder, I wanted to do some straight lines for the quilting.  The quilting machine is a wonderful invention, and I use it often; but it's fluidity makes it almost impossible to do straight lines.  There are 8 little wheels working together to make it do pretty swirls and loops easily, so when you want lines it becomes a pain.
So I used just a few pins for stability, and tried a walking foot that I've had for a long time but can't remember what in the world I used it for.  It's been sitting with all the other feet for at least 3 years, and now I am looking forward to using it more!
With lots of layers they all tend to shift, but somehow this magic little thing makes the layers not move.  And seriously, those 8 pins at the edges were all I used.  Now you can see the pattern on the back!
And the flying geese are outlined on the front.  I can see lots of different color variations with this in the near future.
Each of my pot-holders consists of 4 layers: 1. quilt square, 2. Insul-Bright insulating material, 3. Warm & White batting, and 4. backing fabric.  It's pretty bulky when quilting, but they are heat-resistant and you won't get burnt through them.
I cut a 2 1/2 inch strip for the binding, and iron it in half.  Sew it to the quilt at just over a 1/4 inch seam.
When you come to a corner, stop just over 1/4 inch from the end and angle your seam over to the corner.
Fold the binding up to cover the seam you just made.
Fold it back down and begin sewing at the edge.  When you open it up, the corners will look very nice.  By the way, this is not "the" way to do binding, just how I do it. 
Normally you would do a seam to make the binding ends meet  on one side of the quilt, but for hot-pads I often just start & stop at the corner.  When you get close to the end, use a pin to hold the start of your binding in place while you finish the other end.
Stitch right up to the end of the thickness, and backstitch a few stitches.
Clip the binding end to about 1/2 inch longer than the hot-pad.
The back side can be hand-sewn or machine-sewn, it all depends which project I'm working on.  Hand stitching is a nice thing to have in the car to work on, or while visiting.  Don't know how to explain it, maybe the following photo helps?
Hope I haven't completely confused you, but I did like the end result!  Oh yes, you can also make a loop at the end of the binding if you want to be able to hang it.
And the back.  I really like the way this one puffs.
Decided to post that since the kids were all sleeping, but I really do need sleep myself.  By the way, I had so much fun with the walking foot that I used it for the borders of Katie's wall-hanging too.  If you're having trouble with layers shifting, you should give it a try!

While Breanna was watching me sew, I told her "that" was called a walking foot.  After a few seconds she said "if you go really fast, you could call it a running foot!" 

And for those of you who left a comment to this post, I sure haven't seen any addresses coming in.  I'm also unsure on a few favorite colors, so email me if you are still interested.  I know there's a way to change your settings so your comments come to my email without saying "no-reply blogger", but I can't remember how I did it.  My email address is under the profile if you need it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Family visit

Thanks for all your kind comments, we are doin just fine.  We had a big family get-together, and it came at just the right time!  All my side of the family was together, and it was so much fun.  My sister and her husband were here from Minnesota, so exciting to see them after almost a year!  A few photos of the crew, for those of you who might be interested. (Sorry, they are out of order.)

Breanna reading to Kiera
Big boy Andy
Hard to believe he's already 19 months!
Matching skirts from Grandma, and matching jackets from Anna.
Aunty Anna and Uncle Chad

A very serious game of Blokus.
Anna bought all these jackets and hand-apliqued them to match.
Of course, Andy really liked the tractor.  He squeals when he see's it. 
Bedtime stories
Uncle Chad
The whole group
Afterwards Levi went back to where we took photos before.
Towards the end of the week we headed out on a trip and stopped to visit my dad's parents.

Hope you're all having a wonderful week!  I plan to post more when I get time- but it's one of those times where I waited too long and now there's a lot to catch up on.