31 March 2016

scrap usage

I have a pretty large scrap bin of fabric pieces too small to use for clothes, and an entire box of felt pieces. I've been trying to cut down on the accumulation by going through the scrap box and setting aside pieces to use in quilts in the future - it hasn't gotten very far yet, but at least it's started! I came up with another idea for a new quilt of 2.5-inch "postage stamp" squares, and have three 12-inch squares already done for it. Well ... one of them needs to be tossed and done again, because it was my first one - the learning curve is steep on precision piecing ... But still! I did it! And the third one was much better!

I have some small fleece pieces too, leftover from baby blankets made for nieces and nephews. So kind of at random, I started sewing them into little pillows just big enough for a kid's head to use while traveling. Taking little pillows camping and to Grandma's will save a lot of room in the van. Even better - the girls sewed the pillows themselves.

And it's Easter, and I don't like the big straw Easter baskets that just take up tons of space if they don't get crushed and ruined within a couple of days (total waste of money) ... I made these Halloween trick-or-treat bags a loooong time ago, and decided to do the same thing for Easter this year. Ten bags later ... our five girls, the two cousins who recently moved to Hartford, and three friends who were visiting from DC for the weekend. These are the bags that stayed here. I used whole 9x12 pieces of felt for the body of the bags, and scraps for the handles and decorations. We also got into the box full of ribbon scraps, and even used some buttons (the yellow flowers on the purple bag). It was a combination of sewing and heavy use of the hot glue gun.

And the bags in use!

22 March 2016

ahem ... quarterly report

Yes, actually, I have been sewing pretty steady since the beginning of the year ... and yikes, we're already a quarter of the way done with 2016! I have only one thing to show for it so far:

1. JK, my baby, turned 3 at the beginning of this month, and this was her birthday present. It's the Baby Doll Basket from Made Everyday (formerly MADE). The secret to getting it to stand up nice and tall is to use the super-stiff crafting interfacing. But, um, don't look too closely at the binding. I should have used a much wider bias tape - this barely caught both sides of the lining and outer layer. For the most part, it was really easy to do - Dana's directions are all good. The wrestling match to get it through the machine on the last binding step though ... I'm happy with how it turned out but I don't know that I'll ever make another one. I had originally planned to make one for each of my girls, but the older girls are indifferent - this is all well and good but they're not asking for their own.

2. I finished Adam's pajama pants that I messed up at Christmas - those turned out to be an easier fix than I'd anticipated.

3. In January, I sewed more rope baskets until I ran out of rope. I want to get more, and make more little baskets but there are other priorities first.

4. In January, JK rather abruptly decided to move from her toddler bed to the bottom bunk of SM's bunkbed, which was intended for her anyway, but it was a sudden switch. In moving the bedding, I realized that she has all small blankets so I need to work on getting her twin-sized blankets by next winter (she's still small enough for the small blankets). We have fleece layering blankets for all the other girls, and I thought about buying her one as well until I remembered that I had a large cut of fleece in the fabric piles ... it even has Disney princesses on it and is purple, her favorite ... It has now been trimmed, curved corners cut, and a machine-embroidery stitch all the way around the edge to pretty it up, and it's on JK's bed.

5. I have multiple quilts in progress at all stages - planning by drawing it out on graph paper, cutting and piecing, and quilting. I'm really liking making the quilts, all the stages so far (ask me again when I bind my first one) ... they're just taking a long time and other small projects take priority a lot.

And I can't even shoe-horn any of this into the Alphabet Challenge! Dang! I'm still on H.

- I've started machine quilting, so I used the walking foot. I have the quilt about 2/3 of the way done, but had to take it off the machine to do JK's doll basket. It hasn't made it back to the front of the line yet.

- I'm still working on finishing a dress (the lining is very weird), but I have now put in A ZIPPER!!! My first! An invisible zipper even, which is supposed to be harder (???). So I used the zipper foot.