Sunday, November 29, 2009

Weekend Sewing

I have been a busy little bee around here this weekend. I didn't have to make Thanksgiving dinner (thanks mom) and so I got to do a little sewing with my mom. We worked hard on Friday and almost finished up our Figgy Pudding quilts. Who knew two quilts made from the same fabric could look so different. This picture isn't the greatest but can you see why I named my moms "Red Square Envy?"

The tops are done the quilts are basted and now if only I could get over my fear and try my hand at quilting. One problem with that, I can't seem to find the feet to my sewing machine. I know they have to be around here somewhere. Even so I don't have a walking foot and I am really thinking about doing straight lines on this quilt so maybe it doesn't really matter. But I really need to find those things.

Second up I finished Hexagon Love, twice. No photos of that yet because I'm still not happy with the binding. The tutorial called for sewing to the back first and then turning and sewing to the front. I've done this twice now and both times it looks sloppy to me. So the third time I hope will be the charm. This time though I am taking it off completely and I am going to sew it to the front and then turn and top stitch it down in the back. I think overall this will give it a much cleaner look. I made a little progress on the hand stitching on Peppermint Pines but I'm still not quite done with that.And last up I turned this little piece of fabric along with another into a Christmas gift. Sorry that's all you get on that until after the holidays since it is a gift for someone I am pretty sure will be reading this blog by now.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hexagon Love

I have crafting ADD. This is a trait that I am pretty sure my mom knows about since she raised me after all. But what does she do but email me a whole bunch of pretty links to look at. Now most of them I had seen before because they were on blogs I follow on a daily basis. I'm a little bit crazy about my blog reading but it keeps me inspired. Maybe a little to inspired sometimes. Sunday's are usually extra busy days for me since I am always finishing up homework from the week (I'm working on my MBA) but today I finished up amazingly early so when I should have been finishing piecing my Peppermint Pines wall hanging I took a quick time out to piece the front of a table topper. The tutorial was found here. Thanks mom!

The fabric is mostly Riley Blake with one Michael Miller tucked in there. The tutorial suggest backing it with flannel but since I don't have any on hand I think I will just use one of the fabrics from the front and a small piece of batting. I plan to just quilt it by stitching in the ditch along the lines. I have to say this was a really easy process and the top only took me about an hour to put together. If you need any last minute Holiday gifts this is a great idea. The only problem I encountered was the middle seems a little bunchy to me but there are a lot of seams right there and it is hard to iron it flat. I think once I quilt along the lines it will be fine, but if any of you have ideas I am open to suggestions. Now that I am done being distracted I better get back to finishing up those Christmas gifts that are in my work in progress pile. The tree goes up on Friday after all and I always like to have a few things wrapped and under the tree right away.

The snow man print is a bright pink. To me it looks like it photographed a little more on the red side. Maybe I will get a good outdoor shot once it is quilted and bound where the colors are a little more true.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pillow Talk

So what do you do when you only have one of these and three windows. If you are lucky enough to have a friend that sews you have them turn them into pillows. I spent my afternoon doing just that. A good friend of mine is having a baby and the bedding set she bought came with a valance. Just one small problem. She has three windows in the room and no room for hardware. Not to mention the staggering $60 a piece for the valances, odd shaped second story windows, and no where to put a rod at the top of the window. So she asked me if I could make it into a pillow for the single bed that is also in the nursery. She isn't picky so the only directions she gave me where to do something. At first she asked if we could just sew the ends shut and stuff it full of polly-fil. I thought we might be able to so something a little better than that.

I didn't anticipate having nearly as many problems with this simple request as I encountered. I thought two throw pillows would whip up in no time. I was right once I finally got my plan down. But there were a few issues. First once I took the valance apart I realized there wasn't as much workable fabric as I thought. So I dug threw my teeny tiny stash (I'm a newbie to this remember) but I had ordered some fabric from a great little shop a while back and because I LOVE polka dots I decided that I would order a few as stash enhancers. So enter the brown with white polka dots. It might be important to tell you that in case you can't see so well in the pictures the middle of the flowers are brown with green polka dots and oh by the way her nursery walls are painted glow in the dark pink.

The white quilted fabric from the original valance is very stretchy and it gave me a bit of a hard time in keeping everything square but I think it turned out okay in the end. I was planning on getting some white Kona Cotton out of a bag that I had for another project when I came across the pink and green plaid. I thought it would be great for the back so I used it on the back of the first one.

It is a simple envelope flap back so that she will be able to remove them and wash them if she ever has to but I doubt there will be a need since they are throw pillows but with a baby, two dogs, and a husband I guess you never know. Although I guess I better advise her to use a color catcher if she ever does cause who knows what will happen to that bright pink from the manufacturer. All in all I thought they turned out pretty good but my husband was running out the door to have dinner with her husband as I was putting the last stitch in the second one so I really didn't get to look them over all that well at the end and I was lucky to get photos. She did call though and she is thrilled so they must have made it safely to her and they must not look to bad.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Posh Enigma

When attending the quilt show with my mom back in February I purchased a kit from a charming little booth. I was so scared that I was going to mess it up that I held onto it until after I had pieced a few tops. The pattern was called Enigma and it was pretty well written with a little bit of humor that I didn't always get. All in all the most time consuming part of this quilt to date was the time I spent cutting the fabric. Once I started piecing I decided to try chain piecing for the first time and it all went together very quickly. About and hour and a 1/2 to make all of the blocks. Then it took maybe another hour to sew the blocks into a finished top and add the boarders. The original pattern called for a "sweet treat" which is the signature of this particular shop. But I realized that because I only needed five in squares and strips I could easily recreate the pattern using a charm pack and 1/2 of a jelly roll. I didn't really know much about precuts at that time. I guess a honey bun would be just about right. Well I tried out this theory along with my mom and we each made a quilt top out of Figgy pudding. More on those later, they are almost finished.
I am still working out the piecing for the back of this quilt. Since it came as a kit I don't have very much fabric left and since there isn't much available from the "posh" fabric line in any of my online shops I am trying to "Make it work" as Tim Gunn would say. I purchased pink fabric that is the same as the light pink on the front but I need to do some piecing to make it large enough. I have a few ideas in my head I will just have to see if I can make them work. On my to do list for this weekend. That and some pillows a friend asked me to make for her nursery that I have been putting off. The baby is due in two weeks so I guess I better get cracking.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Peppermint Pines

I had dabbled a little with quilting and sewing before but this past February my mom and I went to a quilt show and I got bit by the quilting bug. I purchased a kit at the show (more on that later) and then I started looking around online and found an entire world of women my age who were quilting and making amazing things with all of these great designers (some of who I knew from my love of scrapbooking). It was amazing to see and I immediately got sucked in and started ordering fabric and piecing tops. My mom gave me some of her back issues of Easy Quilts and I pieced a quilt top for one of my coworkers who was expecting (it still needs to be quilted, oops. All of that to say when I saw Peppermint Pines by Barbara Campbell I immediately thought of my sister in law and her love of all things pink and knew it would be a great Christmas gift.

So began my search for the fabric. Seeing as how this was a December 2008 magazine and it was not March 2009 the wonderful Poodles Noel Collection by Jersey Girls was hard to come by. I managed to track down all but one of the fabrics and I found an alternate to replace that one. But in the original she used the plaid fabric for the outside boarder and the middle tree. I had found a strip which was fine for the boarder but there was just something about that tree. I googled day after day trying to find this fabric. Finally I saw that SFO had made a quilt out of this fabric. So I wrote her and asked if she had any scraps I could purchase. As luck would have it she had a few 5 inch squares of the plaid left. Not perfect but better than what I had which was nothing. And because she is so sweet she sent them to me. How amazing is that. This was my first introduction to how wonderful online quilters are and their willingness to bend over backward to help out a fellow quilter.

It's still a work in progress as I need to machine stitch around everything and still sew the boarders but well since I have a blog I figured I might as well post something. But here it is the start of my own Peppermint Pines. Now I just have to hope my SIL doesn't read this between now and Christmas Eve.