31 May 2018

May journal

Quilts, crafts, and clothes. Covered it all this month.

1. X is for X block in the Squared Away Block of the Month. The X was March's block, and I also did April's block. Green done, yellow done. Still working on pink for May.

2. Four more blocks for the Night Sky quilt. I'm trying to get section 2 done of the quilt, but it's not quite coming together yet. I wanted to do more on this project, but at least I hit the minimum.

3. Two pairs of shorts, one of TA and the other for JK. More coming.

The purple speckles was from the remnant bin at Hobby Lobby. The ice cream cones are from Made EveryDay, the Boardwalk Delight line.

I think I resolved my Shorts conundrum. I have the Kid Shorts pattern from Made Everyday but it only goes to a size 10. SM is way out of that now. I was trying to figure out how to size it up, and I probably still could. But I discovered that Oliver+S has a FREE!!! Sunny Day Shorts pattern online, so I printed it off. They're made differently - Kid Shorts does not have a separate waistband, Sunny Days Shorts does. They're put together differently, even though they look pretty much the same when they're done. And hey, I don't know that SM will even fit into a 12 anymore - I've been buying her 14/16 at the store, and even went to the Juniors section when we were shopping for a dress for her last week. So we'll see. But at least I have one more size up after the Kid Shorts 10.

4. On Sunday night this week, I got a sewing bug, and in just a little while, I made a swim cover for JK. Adam asked how this dress is different from any other dress ... it's not. It's regular fabric. But the top is too loose to be modest so we'll call it a swim cover. JK found the bow in my basket of random items and asked me to add it.

She's ready for the pool! Bring on the summer!

5. I started ... another ... WIP ... a fabric pennant garland for summer camp. I'm going to our church's youth camp with SM as one of the adult chaperones, and this is girly in that campsites are "decorated" somehow. So enter a pennant garland. This is just getting started so no photos yet.

It has the typical triangles but also flowers scattered randomly in between. I made a bunch of flowers as a hand-sewing project (and one was even swiped by JK - she had me stitch it to a hair tie). The gathering stitch would be MUCH faster on the machine, but I wanted a hand project to carry around and knocked out over 20 of them just while sitting in a women's church conference. This particular version of a pennant/flower garland is from the book Sewing Bits and Pieces by Sandi Henderson - I got it from the library for a different project, but this looked cute too.

This has been a great way to clear out blues that quite frankly, I'm not going to ever use in a quilt because the fabric is too rough, doesn't go with anything else, or I just don't like it. Putting those fabrics in a garland that's going to get the crap beat out of it by being outside!

We have a baaaaaaaack-splaaaaaaaaash!

This was the last major piece of our kitchen puzzle, and kind of on a whim, we just got it done. I wanted glass tiles in some shade of blue. When I was running errands at Home Depot once, I went through their entire in-store selection and really wasn't happy with it. It's mostly brown-toned, which doesn't not work with our gray/black counter at all. I found a couple of things and took samples home but nope. So we tried Lowe's and hooray! They had a lot of blues! We brought home a bunch, and the all-white that Adam liked and grabbed at the last second was the winner. The blues didn't look right with the counter - that was a hard match. The white/gray was also the cheapest - score!

I went to a Saturday night book club and when I got home, Adam had most of it up. (I need to leave him unsupervised more often.) I just had to come through behind him for the wipe-down of the extra mortar. (Typical. He makes a mess, I clean it up.) It still needs the grout and to be polished off, but the tiles are up! Hooray!

28 May 2018

X is for X-block

I got behind on the Squared Away quilt block of the month challenge after just January and February. Now that it's May, I did March and April, and this is where X has arrived for the Alphabet Challenge - a quilt block!

March's color was green to celebrate the start of spring ... which did not arrive in my state until April, so this was wishful thinking.

April was yellow:

I like the sunshine! I needed some of that in April, because spring didn't come until the END of the month!

May's Squared Away block is still under construction. I made a whole bunch of HSTs, but then didn't like them. The white scrap fabric that I used is really flimsy. Now that Mindy and I have decided to give the twin quilts to our daughters who are "twinsies" (Cupcake and JK are very close in age, and were best friends last summer), I don't know that this fabric will hold up very well. Also, the pink in the HSTs didn't go with any of the other pinks I have - I didn't coordinate that well at all. So I need to start over on the May block, but had to put the quilts on pause to make summer shorts for the girls.

18 May 2018

Maggie Experiment

What I really wanted was another Mckenzie, since it is my favorite.  My little girl is NOT little, and she has grown out of that pattern. *sad face*  I was going to grade it up but to make it easier, since she still fits in the Maggie Mae just fine, I used this idea to make the Maggie look at bit more like the Mckenzie.  I even squared off the neckline a bit (sorry you can't see it very well!).

See that fuzzy lump in the upper left corner?
No, behind the bush. 
That's what we've seen of our new pandas so far!

I gave Cupcake a variety of fabric to choose from, and she chose the light pink/orange to go with the fabulous My Little Pony fabric that we got from Trina (picked out by JK and TA).  The pattern came together easily, but even though I used a size 10 it came out a little more snug than I expected.  She likes it though, and I've still got a 1/2 yard of MLP fabric to play with!  Woohoo!

New statues AND a new bridge at the zoo too!
My kid has a fabulous sense of style, yes?

This finishes #5 on this quarter's Finish-A-Long, not quite as planned, again.

12 May 2018

Maggie Remix

Last spring I made Cupcake an Easter dress with the special lavender lamb fabric - because my kid loves sheep.  I chose my coordinating fabric poorly, and a few months later it ripped right across the bodice.  The precious sheep were untouched though so I set it aside to remake later.

It only took me nine months to get around to it so I'm glad that it still fits!  I was going to make it a shirt, but overestimated the length of the third fabric so when she tried it on she insisted it be a dress.  I scrambled to find a fourth coordinating fabric, but Cupcake couldn't be happier. And I think it is pretty stinkin' adorable too.

I think the reason I held off remaking this dress was finding the right fabric to pair with the lambs.  I wasn't going to go out of my way to find coordinating fabric because I generally avoid going to the fabric store and try not to buy fabric at all.  But I did recently bring home a fat quarter bundle of cute sheepy fabric (because sheep) that had just what I was looking for.  That grey fabric?  It says "baaaa" on it over and over!  And the bottom band used exactly one fat quarter of pink daisies.  And the main skirt (with tiny blue and purple flowers) came with lots of other yardage from a sweet old lady at church who doesn't sew anymore.  I love the gift of fabric!

I've loved Shwin Designs for a long time, and have made the Mckenzie pattern many many times.  But Cupcake has grown out of it (since at 5 she wears at least a 10, and it only goes to an 8) so I was happy to rediscover this pattern, the Maggie Mae,  Not only does this size 8 still fit (shocking since I made it last summer) it also goes up to a size 10! Yay!

And for the Finish-A-Long, turns out I didn't have enough of the pictured fabric to make into the skirt piece (even at a shirt length).  Those flowers became the pockets instead!

01 May 2018

W is for WIP

WIP is "work in progress" and I am working really hard that this quilt does not stall out and become a UFO!

Here's the story so far of the Night Sky quilt, which has now been in process for 16 months. It's going slooooooow.

When I was making The Pink Babies quilt and said that JE would get it, SM told me what she wanted for her own quilt - blues and purples with stars, like the night sky, because she would be sleeping under it. Makes sense. My brainchild was to do star blocks in white with blue backgrounds, rather than colored stars on lighter backgrounds as is common. We named it Night Sky before I even started.

Then I went a little crazy. I did online searches for star blocks because I wanted a variety - this is totally a sampler quilt. I've made maybe a couple of duplicates, but in different sizes. Mostly everything is different, but mostly also half-square triangles. I guess that's the easier part.

This was block 1. I found it in a Google image search (no source), and mapped it out on graph paper. It's huge - 20 inches across. I call it a Woven Starburst.

I made the next 4 large blocks veeeerrrry slowly over time last spring. We were busy at the time with house projects - remodeling the kitchen and a lot of painting. Adam had his Summer of the Mental Health Crisis. But by September 2017, this is what I had:

P.S. This is NOT a "design wall." It's just some random space between the doorway and coat rack on the left, and the water heater on the right. I pinned up my blocks because I didn't want them getting lost or messed up. Plus, they're pretty! I like to look at them!

The three 8-inch stars on the left were Mindy's contribution, that she wanted to add when she saw the big blocks during our family reunion. The little teeny bear claw was randomly pieced together of trimmings from the big blocks. At this point, I diagrammed the whole thing out on graph paper to figure out how to set in the large blocks and where I needed to add filler of smaller blocks.

January 2018, a year after I started cutting fabric: the first of five sections was done! Working on my Christmas log cabin quilt was going pretty fast, because that's the same block over and over. But I purposefully set that aside to focus on Night Sky. This is still going slow because I keep finding more star blocks online! But section one (top left on the graph paper) is finally done!

I set a baseline target this year to sew at least 2 1/2 hours every week. I did pretty well in January and February, but this quilt has to share my time with a lot of other things, as you can see from my monthly journal reports. During those 2 months, I made four 4-inch blocks and three 10-inch blocks. Then in March, as soon as I finished SM's costume for the school play - seriously, 15 minutes later - I gashed my finger with my rotary cutter. There went over a week of no sewing time at all. Dang it! Night Sky was entirely neglected in March.

In April, I got myself sewing again with little projects of zip bags and the pillow, and I had to make JE's baptism dress. Now we're starting May, so I'm regrouping on the quilts. I'm shooting for at least one block per week/four per month on THIS quilt - any other quilt blocks (like the Squared Away block of the month, which I'm now behind on) are extra.