30 December 2016

MY FIRST QUILT!!!

It has taken me a looooong time to do this, mostly because I kept setting it aside to work on other projects ... but IT'S DONE! This is my first quilt that I've done EVERYTHING on! All the piecing, the borders, the quilting, and the binding.

I've heard the pattern called hobo rails or rail fence. It's sets of 3 strips alternating directions. I quilted it diagonally across the squares and it completely changed the look of the whole thing. I'm totally excited about it - I actually made a whole twin-sized quilt!

When I first finished the top ... a year ago ... I've worked on a lot of other things since then before getting back to it.

DONE! With giggly helpers not quite holding it up the way I'd like ... but oh well.

JE wrapped up in her new quilt - warm and cozy for winter!


QUILT STATS
Pattern: rail fence
Blocks: strips of 6.5 x 2.5 inches sewn into sets of 3. 
Fabric: every random pink I had in my sewing room, some given to me from my quilt group. Scraps from making clothing were included. The border was bought at Hobby Lobby.

TITLE: The Pink Babies
The story is that when we had just had our first baby and she was about a month old, we went to a church function. Another couple also had a baby there. Someone was asking about us, and to distinguish us from the everyone else, we were referred to as "the ones with the pink baby." Adam had gone a little crazy with acquiring pink clothes for SM, so as we added more girls to our family, they were always dressed entirely in pink as newborns. So it stuck. We had the pink babies.

It just seemed appropriate that my first quilt would be all pink, and I'd name it The Pink Babies. The girls aren't so happy about that because *huffy sigh* they are not. babies. anymore. But it is what it is. And I love it.

29 December 2016

M is for Mommy Made It

For Christmas a couple of years ago, Adam had Mindy design me a little logo label for the clothes I make for the girls, which says "Mommy Made It." Apparently, he was asking one of the girls about her outfit one day, and the response was, "Mommy made it."


This fall/winter, SM needed a new church dress anyway and she wanted one with long sleeves. I told her to go through my patterns and she chose the Book Report Dress from Oliver + S. She wanted it to be red and gold for Christmas but something that she could wear all winter and we landed on this at Hobby Lobby.

There are a number of smaller details like pleats, cuffs, and pockets along the waist that blend in to the whole look because I made it in one fabric, rather than using different fabrics for the various pieces. This is a size 10, lengthened by about 5 inches. Probably should have made a 12 - I think she's only going to get one season to wear this.

28 December 2016

2016 Sewing Review / 2017 Plans

2016 Completed Sewing Projects
  • reusable Christmas drawstring bag
  • hemming or repairing x22
2017 Goals
I didn't have a goal list for 2016 and still got a lot done, but it is nice to have a checklist to look at at the end of the year.  As a disclaimer: I'm not sure how creatively productive my 2017 will be - I've got my second baby due in February, but then Cupcake will be starting Kindergarten in the fall.  And after years and years of drawing, sewing has become my creative-outlet of choice, but I would like to make more of an effort to draw along with my sewing.
  • Complete the Sew All 26 Challenge.  I know we never set a deadline, but I only have 6 letters left!  And I already have a plan for the letter Z - a zipper pouch made entirely of zippers!
  • ironing board cover - in our small apartment (and about to feel a lot smaller) I've been using a wooden TV tray with a towel on top as my makeshift ironing board.  Time to upgrade a bit and make a decent cover for the tray for future use.
  • camera case - nothing fancy or big, but it would be nice to keep my camera more protected when I carry it in my purse.
  • Flannel Rag quilt - I spent a day getting all the squares cut out, it's just waiting to get put together.  A February deadline would be smart!
  • baby girl dresses - not only do I have a new baby girl on the way, but I have two friends due with girls as well.  It is smart sewing to make things in batches, so if I'm making one dress, why not make three?  And handmade gifts are always appreciated.
  • Maggie Mae and Glass Onion tops - I bought these patterns last year and haven't had the chance to make them yet.  And I have purple sheep fabric that Cupcake is begging me to use.
  • denim purse - a friend gave me a LOT of squares for my I-Spy quilt (after I inspired her to make her own) and requested that I make her a bag (like one I had made myself) in return.  
  • more quilting - there's a stack of white squares ready for a baby I-Spy quilt; I want to do more string quilting; maybe learn paper piecing; and I've got a jelly roll waiting to be used as well.

Quilts

Instead of trying to go back and catch up with all the posts I haven't done, I'm moving on.  Time to post my two biggest project of the year: my first two quilts!

I was given a single strip of the animal print a few years ago, and knew I wanted to make a baby strip quilt from it.  After finding out my next baby will be a girl, I was inspired.  It was very simple to put together, which was perfect for my very first quilt.  I learned quickly that I needed a walking foot, and only had to visit three different stores to find someone that could help me (since my machine is rather old, but simple).  I used basting spray for the sandwich - a bit expensive but a huge time saver (and I don't have basting pins), and I had enough left for my second quilt (possibly a third if it is small).  It isn't perfect, but I learned a lot, and look forward to doing more complicated projects in the future.


I had been planning on this I-Spy quilt for almost a year - it can take a long time to gather so many different fabrics!!  The first squares were purchased back in February (a charm pack of 40 5-inch squares) but I was given so many more from generous quilting friends.  I still have a small stash left, including a stack of white squares for a future baby version.   
The assembly was pretty straight forward - sew the squares into rows and then sew the rows together.  Big lesson learned: I should have taken more time to work on the placement - there are a few square that irk me, but there's nothing I can do about it now!  I used a grey sheet for the backing (grey is one of Cupcake's favorite colors because of her Grey Sheepy and it was a good neutral color), and kept it easy on myself and folded it over for the binding as well - machine stitching the binding was so much faster than hand stitching!   
I'm pretty happy with my first two quilts!  The first was an oversized baby quilt, and the second was a bit undersized for a traditional twin - and still hard to heft on the sewing machine, so I doubt I'll make anything bigger than a twin size for a long while.  There is lots to learn and many different techniques that I want to try - here's to more quilting fun in the future!

27 December 2016

M is for mending box

I don't have a picture of it ... but I finally emptied my mending box. It's been piling up for literally a couple of years and I finally got tired enough of it to deal with it. Here are my stats:

Mended, back into circulation - 33

Need to be mended since then, and now sitting on the table - 4. Since I don't have a mending box anymore, I'm doing much better at just dealing with things as they come up.

Removed from the mending box and just put into donations - about 12. Most of these were shirts I was going to make into t-shirt dresses but are now outgrown by everyone, including Josie. Oops.

Items still waiting for alterations into other items - 7. These are pants into shorts, and dresses into skirts. Lower priority, since the new clothes are for warmer weather.