27 December 2011
So it was announced this morning that Quokka Quilts teamed up with Fat Quarter Shop to have people design their own "Blogger's Choice Bundles" of 12 prints and 3 solids. What an awesome idea!! And the best part - one person will be picked to win whole half yards of all 15 fabrics! WOWZERS!
It was so much fun pouring through Fat Quarter's fabrics and try to narrow it down. Super tough stuff! I worked on a couple of different sets. Here's one that I came up with:
I love greens. I love aquas. And I love polka dots. Can you tell??
05 December 2011
I have successfully finished my first t-shirt quilt! Well, almost done. Just the binding that's left, but I was too excited/exhausted to quite finish it tonight.
Not only is this my first t-shirt quilt, it's also the first time I've been commissioned to make a quilt. A friend wanted to put her husband's shirts into a quilt and give it to him for Christmas. He officiates at bike races and this is an assortment of shirts from the races.
I wasn't too sure about the Michael Miller Citron Gray Bicycles. The color is, um, interesting. It's kind of bright in a dull way. Does that make any sense?! When she gave me the shirts I immediately thought of this fabric, but in a different color way. However my LQS was out of the other color and this is what they had left. So I bought it. And then let the whole project sit for a L-O-N-G time because I was so unsure of the fabric, but wasn't sure what else to use.
But with Christmas right around the corner and a ton of my own projects to do, I had to dive in today and get the thing done so I wouldn't have it hanging over my head any more!
Those citron bikes grew on me. I think it works with the t-shirts. And it was my husband's idea to put the outside grey border on the whole thing. Great idea, honey! Ties it all together (and I had the perfect amount left of that fabric to do the border... I found the piece and it was like it was meant to be. There's only a tiny little piece left!)
Now to do the binding in the morning so I can get it to my friend. Then time to move on to The List. The List being all the Christmas projects to get done.
The List at this point includes:
Something for our son (things he needs are a case for his Bible and a case for his iTouch. I've also got a hunk of Green Packer fleece for a blanket. I thought it would be the backing for a t-shirt quilt, but I don't know if there's time to make another quilt. )
A gift for my mom - she mentioned tonight she'd like a cover for her new toaster oven. Sounds like something I should make!
A couple of zippered pouches for family and friends
That's what I can think of now. There's probably more but I may freak out if I list it all out!
Oh, and there's that whole housework/laundry/day-to-day life stuff that I'm so behind on.
And decorate the house for Christmas.
28 November 2011
On the long ride home all by my lonesome, I got to thinking about ladders. But not leaning up against the wall as we didn't have space in our house for something like that. How about hung sideways, up on the wall??? Hmmmm!
Before I started looking around at antique stores, estate sales, Craigslist, rummage sales, ect, I called my dad the next day to see if there happened to be an old ladder laying around down at what used to be my grandparents farm. He said "I don't think there's one down there, but actually I just walked outside my workshop and I happen to be holding one in my hands right now."
Wow, Dad. You're good.
Ends up it was the ladder from the loft bed in my dorm room, freshman year. It was a homemade set-up that I inherited from my cousin. And since 1997 it's been sitting outside, getting all weathered up. Just waiting! ;) And bonus, FREE and IN MY HANDS!
It took a little bit of elbow grease to get it cleaned up. For some reason, laying in a yard for 10 years things get dirty. Go figure.
Then became the dilemma on how to hang it. Something to support it, but something that can hold it off the wall so that the quilts could be looped over. Menards to the rescue! In their shelf stuff there were the perfect brackets - they angle off the wall.
Armed with them, some special screws so we didn't have to try to find studs underneath the plaster and lathe, and my willing husband, we got that sucker hung up! Thank you, honey!
YAY! My quilts have a home!
(And my dad said he was keeping close tabs on his 15 foot extension ladder. He knows the rate I've been quilting these days, that I'm going to run out of room awfully quick on the one we've got up there now!)
22 November 2011
17 November 2011
A week before leaving I stopped at my most favorite local quilt shop, Hannah Johnson Fabrics. Can I just say I LOVE this place?! Amazing fabric. And Janet, the owner, is so sweet. It had been quite awhile since I had been in (needed to cut down on fabric consumption!) and she immediately mentioned how long it had been since she had seen me. Awwww, thank you for noticing! While there I saw the new Amy Butler line of fabric, Lark.
Love it! And she had charm packs. Grabbed one of them, knowing this is what I wanted to use in my quilt retreat project. No idea how, but it would be used.
Then I remembered this quilt I had pinned on Pinterest:
I love circles. Polk dots. Classic Mickey Mouse silhouette shape. Perfect! And that Lark fabric would look awfully nice.
Made a mock up of the circle to make sure everything would work out. Good thing I did as my circle and applique pieces didn't print out to quite the right size so I had to look for another circle item in the house to use to trace. Dug through the tupperware drawer, pulled out plates, nothing. Until I found a leftover paper plate from our son's birthday. Ding, Ding, Ding! We have a winner!
The trial run block I turned into a case for my Nook:
Added some handstitching. Made my first button too. Fun!
It was a winner of a pattern. Time to trace and cut out a bunch of the applique shape. A couple of evenings in front of the TV, a church council meeting (I'm on staff at the church and sit in the back during the meetings... got to use each minute I've got! I usually doodle but at least this time I was productive), I got all 210 shapes traced and cut out! Then at another super informal meeting I pulled all the paper off of from the Heat n Bond. My friends thought I was peeling off band aids and were curious if I had some weird fetish. :)
I also decided I wanted to make my quilt bigger than the pattern. And that I would want to quilt it in circles. But a big quilt and circles being quilted on my machine might be tricky. And then I remembered a friend doing blocks in a quilt as you go style. Google is my friend and I found a tutorial. That I cannot find again. I'll keep looking for it and post it once I find it.
Got all my background blocks and backing blocks cut out and ready to go. It's quilt retreat time!!
14 June 2011
And tonight what pops up? "Naked Bed Winners"
Seeing my quilt!
YAY! So excited!
Am I already trying to figure out how to spend my winnings over at 1 Choice 4 Quilting? (Thank you for sponsoring the challenge!) YOU BET I AM! And to find out on the eve of my birthday - what a great present!
Some thank yous are in order: First off, thank you to Grandma for your love of quilting and sharing your fabric with me. And a big thank you to my sweet husband who told me to go quilt on the final day of the challenge so I could finish (while he slaved over putting our new kitchen cabinets together). I felt a tad guilty, but not enough that I'd stop sewing!
Thank you to Sarah Fielke over at The Last Piece for coming up with the challenge to get quilter's beds properly clothed (no more store purchased quilt for our bed!) All the entries were beautiful and inspiring! Check out the Flickr group to see all the gorgeous entries.
Just think of all the happy beds that aren't naked anymore...
06 June 2011
It required pushing things to the edges of the dining room table and to not think about what mess I was in the midst of. Sewing tunnel vision. I can do that. I had some fabric burning a hole in my pocket, longing to be made into something.
While traveling to Minneapolis' IKEA for kitcheny things, I hijacked the car to Jo-Ann's. We don't have one up where we live and I was intrigued by Denyse Schmidt's Picnic and Fairgrounds line. My dear husband helped me collect the fabrics they had and then acted as an enabler by telling me to get half yard cuts (I was only going to get quarter yards). Makes me think he was trying to make up for something.... hmmmmm.... But who am I to argue with him?!
Then last weekend we were in a different town and lo and behold there's another Jo-Ann's. Time to find some of the missing fabrics the other one didn't have. Ended up with all but five or six as I figure.
The plan for the fabric was to pair it with some fabric of my grandma's (who was an amazing quilter and seamstress). When she had to sell the farm, she had me go through her fabric and take some things with me. They've sat in my fabrics for probably 10 years, waiting for that perfect project.
Since I had signed up for the Naked Bed Challenge, it seemed like the perfect way to combine the two.
Yes, I love to sew quilts.
No, I didn't have one of my quilts on our bed.
We have a store bought quilt.
Shhhh. Please don't tell anyone.
Time for that to change. After designing a pattern, here's what I came up with:
I'm calling it Blackhoof Valley, named after the township that my grandparents lived in.
Fabrics included: DS Picnic and Fairgrounds, Robert Kaufman, Kona Snow, Vintage from Grandma, and other assorted scraps.
That's going to look great on our bed!
It's been a long month.
Finally found the subfloor under :
2 layers of vinyl composition tile
And in the above picture, a WINDOW! Whoever had last remodeled the kitchen paneled right over the top of this window on the inside and put the siding over it on the outside. It was a surprise to find! We ended up adding a new window right here.
With all home renovation projects, there's always lots of surprises. The window was just one of many. A couple of bird nests encased in spray in foam from umpteen years ago. A floor that was tilting away from the house which had to be jacked up (kitchen doesn't have a basement under it like the rest of our house does.) Rotten boards. A kitchen drain that wasn't actually hooked up (all our sink's water was running out into the insulation under the kitchen.)
That's a whole lot of yuck.
After all of this our house is a mess. We're tired. If it can't be microwaved or made on the grill, we can't eat it. I'm tired of eating out. Dishes have to be done in the bath tub, at work, or at my parents (Yup, done all three!) Dust is covering everything. AND I CAN'T QUILT.
My quilting table has the microwave and other junk on it.
THE HORROR! Going through withdrawal in a bad, bad way.
But I found a way around it.
Here's our new floor....
Yup, I "quilted" with tile. Vinyl Composition Tile (those 12 inch square tiles that you see in stores, schools, etc)
We picked out five colors, cut each square in half, and then I went crazy laying them out in a random-like pattern.
Man, I love our new floor. Makes all the dust, ickiness, and sweat of the last month worth it.
Hmmmm... maybe I need to quilt a quilt to match our quilted floor...
07 April 2011
Bring on the challenge!
I remembered seeing this messenger bag from cargo pants on Noodlehead's blog. The idea became my inspiration. And I knew exactly which cargo pants to use! My husband had a pair that were, uh, slightly high water. Drove me crazy when he wore them. I'll take care of that! <insert evil laugh>
I grabbed them out of the drawer and started cutting. There was no pattern with this, just a rough idea of the size I wanted (folder/lunchbox/extrastuff size). I cut some more. I sewed some more. At one point I walked away. Wasn't sure where I was going. After an hour break, I came back to it and it made sense what I wanted to do.
Before bed Noah asked if it would be done for him to take to school. At that point I made no promises because I didn't know what to use for a strap. Can't let the little guy down so I stayed with it, scoured the closet and came up with a cloth belt that came with a pair of pants my husband bought. He's going to need to guard his clothes from me... I'm making other re-purposing plans!
In the end the cargo pants were reduced to a pile of scraps. (My husband announced that it looked like they had gone through a wood chipper!) And we we ended up with this:
I really need to take a better picture with the real camera. I haven't had a chance because once Noah got his hands on it, it's been in use!
There's a cargo pocket on the front flap. On the one side is part of the back pocket. On the other side is another pocket made out of the zipper ( sewed a little bag behind it). Felt all clever when I came up with that one!
On the inside I sewed a lining. On the back of the lining is the other cargo pocket. There's also two other pockets made from the back pockets (one is small because it was the leftovers from the pocket made on the outside side - perfect for pencils!).
Noah was quite excited when he came downstairs in the morning to find his messenger bag all done. He loaded it up with his lunch box, folders, and stuff and off he went! (And his friend that he walks to school with declared that she thought it was super cool!)
The only drawback to all the pockets? Takes longer to do the "pat-down" to confiscate items he tries to sneak to school (rocks, pokemon cards, toys, etc.!)
21 March 2011
Last night I finished up a wall hanging for our dining room, based on this quilt done by Crazy Mom Quilts. I loved the zig zags and the thought of not having to do triangles! My version ended up using 6 different materials for zig zags (four from brand new fat quarters and 2 from my stash... love using the stash!) There was 8 blocks of each color. Why eight? I only had enough of the red polka dot material to do eight, so eight it was.
I also cut the pieces to be 2.25 inches instead of 3 inches. It was because of that red polka dot! Didn't have enough to do 3 inch wide strips.
It went together very smoothly and I didn't even goof up sewing the rows together on the diagonal! I thought about labeling all the blocks, but got lazy. Usually when I get lazy I get to spend lots of time with my seam ripper. Not this time though!
Here they are all laid out. (Excuse the less than desirable photo... I always take pictures of the layouts with my phone so I can reference it if I mix something up.)
You'll notice I added in some solid white blocks along the top. I did this on the sides and bottom as well so I didn't have to cut off as much of my zig zags. When it came time to trim it, I cut the top and bottom 1/4" away from the tops of the zig zag so that I kept the top of those points.
After I got it all sewed together and cut off the points I realized that my zig zag on the left side went down longer than the right side so I had to trip another inch or so off to make them go down the same amount. I was measuring and trying to figure out exactly where to cut it. Finally I just folded the quilt in half lengthwise, using the center zig zag as the fold line, and trimmed to the too long side even with the shorter side. Much less frustrating than measuring!
When it came time to quilt it, I followed the zig zags in both the color and the white, a quarter inch from the seams. I thought it needed something more and I thought of some of the quilts I've seen recently with handwork using perle cotton thread. I really like that look and happened to have some in the right color. How handy!
Then it was time for the binding. This is where the new trick came in... The binding always frustrates me because I can never ever get it right. I learned one way (that always had me ripping it out and cursing under my breath), read numerous posts on the internet, watching a friend do it her way... all the time trying to find the best way for me. Well, I think I found it!
This amazing tutorial combined a couple of ways I'd tried doing it and it worked so slick for me! Having the pencil line and the 45 degree fold line match up and stitch that? DUH! Why didn't I think of that?! Brilliant! I didn't have to rip the joining-together-stitch out a hundred times, I got a nice 45 degree like all the other binding pieces where they'd been pieced together and the best? I couldn't even tell where I'd joined them together! No lumps or awkwardness!
Since I was on a roll learning new things, I thought about how I stitched the binding on the back. My stitches always show and I'm not the neatest. So Google was my friend and a lovely blogger introduced me to the ladder stitch. (Follow this link and scroll down a bit where she has pictures explaining how it works. There's also videos out there too if that helps you understand it better) Once again, BRILLIANT! You can't see any of my stitches and it went together just as fast as my old way of doing things.
Here it is finished (just needs to be washed to achieve crinkly goodness!)
20 March 2011
I dabbled a bit in sewing through 4-H too, my first project being a ski-bag for my cross country skis. Tried some garmet making (that didn't go so well) and I stuck with "Clothes You Buy" for 4-H instead. (Always wondered about that category, buying an outfit and modeling it! But it meant I got to go shopping so I kept my thoughts to myself!)
Then I got into quilting about 14 years ago. Had some good friends that helped fuel that interest and we'd get together weekly to sew. They moved away but I kept right on sewing. (I'll do another post on my first quilt as it's a bit of a funny story.) However, as of lately I was getting increasingly frustrated when I'd go to buy fabric. I never could find what I really wanted.
Earlier this winter I discovered a quilt shop in my home town, Hannah Johnson Fabrics. Full of modern quilting type fabric. I called my husband as I left the store, "Honey, I think I've died and gone to fabric heaven." THIS is the fabric I've been searching for in quilting shops for years. I'll take a yard (or two or three!) of everything, please! Thank goodness it's on the other side of town otherwise I'd be there all the time. Wait. It being on the other side of town hasn't stopped me from being there all the time.
At about the same time (within the same week of finding Hannah Johnson) I discovered quilting blogs.
Oh. My. Goodness.
All these amazing women have inspired me to a whole new level with their creativity. My Favorite list is a mile long of ideas.
And then I discovered Google Reader. And a Google Reader app for my phone. I can't get enough of seeing beautiful fabrics sewn together in new ways. Now I can see anytime, any place when someone adds something new to their blog!
Amazing fabric + cool ideas + and the ability to have said-ideas at my finger tips 24/7 = ADDICTED! I've been a sewing-machine, cranking out projects left and right!
The next logical step seems to be for me to jump on the quilting blog bandwagon. So here I am! Welcome to Life on the Selvage Edge! I look forward to sharing ideas, projects, and getting some feedback if anyone ever reads this!