Handmade birthday club

April (5 of 5)Those of you who are on Instagram may have seen references to the handmade birthday club. I missed out on it for the first signup round but when my friend Lisa (@modern_balabusta) posted another signup list for a late to the handmade birthday party, I jumped on the train. Basically you have a group of makers who agree to send a handmade item to each other in their birthday month. The group is arranged with only (mostly) one person per month so the participants don’t get overwhelmed.
Lisa’s birthday was April 27th and I got my gift mailed off a few days late but it was the first gift so she cut us all some slack. It was so fun to get to make something for a fellow sew-er who I know will enjoy the value of a handmade gift! Based on Lisa’s list of preferred fabrics and after perusing her Pinterest boards, I made her this mini quilt as her main gift item. Isn’t it so cute?

April (1 of 5)

April (3 of 5)

I’ve always wanted to make a plus quilt and it was quite easy once I sat down to do it. I didn’t follow any pattern; just cut out 3.5″ squares and arranged them on my design wall until I liked the arrangement. Then I sewed them together- making long rows, then sewing the rows together. I decided on a straight line quilting pattern down either side of the seam allowances using the side of my walking foot as a guide (about .5″ from seam). The finished quilt measures at about 18″x24″.
I picked up a few fun office supplies at target to coordinate with my gift and threw in one of my hoops that I had made up already. I think it’s a fun gift and I hope Lisa enjoys it!

April (2 of 5)April (4 of 5)

 

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WIP Wednesday: A dress, a quilt, and some fabric piles for inspiration

So the sickies hit our house this week and the kids and I have been down for the count. I’m going to apologize in advance that all my pictures are IG pics. Just the way life is sometimes. So many projects brewing in my mind, and so little time to get them done! I am *almost* finished with my second Bianca– this one is going to be my Easter dress! I just have a teensy bit left on it and hope to finish that and get some pics for you by this weekend. Here’s a sneak peek from my IG feed (@oliversfancy). I took the plunge and cut into my Nano Iro double gauze! And its gonna be awesome!

I am also hoping to finish the binding on Oliver’s quilt this week so I can finally cross that project off my list! Can’t wait to show you the finished product. Btw did you know that quilt and myself made it into our local paper? Yep, I am now famous. 🙂 A reporter came to check out our quilt guild at the March meeting and ended up using my picture for the front of the article. Pretty cool. I ran out and got the last copy of the paper at a gas station and think I shall frame it in my craft room. Hey, my first time in print has to be special, right? Here’s a link to the article if you want to read it.

my attempt at a picture of the actual newspaper article.

Don’t forget, next week is Kid’s Clothes Week! I’ve been making all kinds of plans in my head and am getting antsy to begin. My goal is to have all my patterns prepped and fabric cut out by Monday morning so I can spent next week sewing. Here’s my IG capture of my new knits purchase…got some pretties from Girl Charlee in preparation for KCW. I also took the plunge and bought Dana’s shorts pattern since it came highly recommended from my sources. And last, but not least, I bought some stretch thread after Rae recommended it so highly. I’ll be sure to let you know how these all work out for me.

As I was writing this post, it unintentionally morphed into a WIP post…funny how blog posts take on a life of their own, huh? So I’m linking up over with WIP Wednesday at freshly pieced for the first time today.

Modern Instabee, Hive 10

modern bee book

I am so very excited about what I have to share with you today. I got lucky enough to get the opportunity to participate in the phenomenon known at the Modern Instabee. A quilter (Lisa- @brazenlisa) had bought a copy of the new book Modern Bee and had the idea to create an Instagram version of a modern quilting bee using this book as a template. When she asked for participants, 120 people signed up to be part of this bee. Groups of 12 people were matched up, and I got into the last group-Hive 10 (just barely squeaked in before the pool closed!). Each member is assigned a different month to be the “queen bee” and during that month she picks a block from the book and everyone has to follow her fabric/color specifications, make the block, and then mail it to her by the end of the month. February was the first month and my queen bee assigned our group the String Circles block- which was a fun challenge to complete!

modern bee book

I assume I am probably going to need to make a sample block for each month just to make sure that the one I send to the queen bee is perfect. My husband gave me the idea to save all those blocks and make another quilt at the end of the year as a fun remembrance of all my quilting bee friends I’ve made. I loved that idea! You can see my sample block below on the left.

modern instabee

I love the group of ladies that I am joined with and am so excited to see what happens over the course of the year. I also love that this bee is an IG users-only bee. IG is my favorite social media (I’m a bit addicted) and I just really love everything about it. It has opened up my realm of sewing friends so much and given me a real sense of friendship with people I (for the most part) only know online.

modern instabee

One of the members of our hive (Renae- @rlchandmade) designed this super-cool logo for us using the Rhonna Design app and another very nice member (Lisa) is machine embroidering it onto fabric for us all to include in our quilts. Seriously, y’all, I’ve got the best group 🙂 .

modern instabee

Star Wars Quilt

My younger brother is a huge Star Wars fan, and for his 18th birthday I thought a special Star Wars quilt was in order. I searched Pinterest for quilt ideas (you can see my quilt board here) and never really found exactly what I was looking for; so I decided to head to my local Joann Fabric, check out their selection of prints, and go from there. Based on what I found at the store, I decided to do a strip quilt with coordinating solids interspersed between the Star Wars panels. Once I finished the strip quilt section, I realized the quilt was going to be too narrow (no surprise I erred in my math calculations…math and me, we’re not good friends) and that’s when my husband gave me the idea to add the side sections to make a border around the quilt. The quilt finished up around 60″x80″ -a nice throw size blanket.

star wars quilt

Of course, I can’t just complete a project and give it to the person on time. No that would be too simple and planning way too far in advance. I was actually proud of myself that I was doing such a great job on finishing a project on time, when a little over halfway through the quilting, I ran out of thread- the afternoon of the party. Oops. My bad. I ended up finishing the quilt right before Christmas. Two months late but better late than never, right? 😉 Considering my last quilt gift was finished on the one year anniversary of the occasion, I’d say I’m doing much better these days. LOL.

star wars quilt

I used Kona Navy for the backing with the addition of one of the leftover border stripes and bound the quilt in a navy blue store-bought binding (I know, I know, for shame). The quilting is my current go-to method- stippling. I promise I’ll try another method soon! All in all I am really happy with how this turned out and hope my brother is happy with his personalized quilt.

star wars quilt

How to Make a Guest Book Wedding Quilt: Part 3 and Finished!

First of all, the giveway continues on through tomorrow night so head over and leave a comment if you haven’t yet to get your name in the hat. I’ve really enjoyed all the comments and new followers I have met this week!

Part 1 of the tutorial: here

Part 2 of the tutorial: here

Final Part: Backing and Quilting

  • I just did a basic strip piecing for the backing- cutting varying widths of fabrics and sewing them together until it was long enough for a backing
  • Because this turned out so big (King Size!) I spray basted the quilt and then just did an all-over stipple on my sewing machine.
  • I traced out the initials and the date with my fabric marker and then hand-embroidered through all layers with perle cotton using a basic embroidery stitch
  • Binding is machine sewn
  • And done! Yay! 🙂

Oh I wish you could see the happy dance that I am doing right now! I am so very, very happy to have this quilt finished. Part of me thought I could never get it done, but I was wrong- due in main part to the amazingness of my new Bernina. I never could have quilted this thing on my old Singer.

I have had the backing and top finished for a while and have been putting off quilting it because I was not sure how I was going to get the king-size quilt through a regular sewing machine. I am not going to say it was the easiest thing in the world but it was possible. I have a list of projects that need to be completed before baby comes and this was number one on the list so I just determined that this week would be the week that I finished it.

guestbook quilt

Monday, I spray basted the quilt (quite a job with a quilt this big!) and then added a few pins to give a little additional support. I spent Tuesday and Wednesday quilting both during nap time and at night. I think it took me a total of about 5 hours to machine quilt. I decided to stipple the quilt because I liked how it turned out on the last quilt I did, and, for me, it’s a lot faster than any other method. I’m not gonna lie- those middle sections of the quilt were tough! All that extra material bunched up in the harp space was a bit of a pain. However, all things considered, it was easier than I had anticipated it being. Then I did some hand quilting in the very middle of the quilt with the initials of the married couple and their wedding date. (Yeah notice how it’s almost exactly a year ago…lol).

guestbook quilt

Today it was binding time. I was way too tired at this point to even think about making 12 yards of bias tape myself. Thankfully, my local Hobby Lobby had exactly the amount I needed in a gray color almost perfectly matching the Kona gray in the quilt. I also decided to machine stitch the binding on for time and energy reasons. I used my walking foot for the first time and really like how it keeps the bias tape nice and even!

guestbook quilt

And now the grand ta-da…all finished at last! I really like how the finished project turned out. The stipple quilting is the perfect accent without taking away from the signatures. I would totally recommend doing this for a great wedding keepsake- just do better math that I did and don’t make it quite so large (It is almost exactly the size of my 8×10 rug!)! Sorry for the lack of amazing pictures. If someone has any great ideas of how to photograph a king size quilt feel free to pass that info on to me! Plus I am just too exhausted at this point to attempt a cool photoshoot. If you need me this weekend, I will most likely have my 36 week preggers body on the couch recovering from my quilting marathon!

guestbook quilt

 

Patchwork Quilt

I am so happy to report that I have finished the patchwork quilt that I was commissioned to make back in January. You may remember me talking about it here. Thankfully, when I agreed to make this, I made sure my clients knew that it would take me a while to complete the quilt, and they were happy with that arrangement. BUT crunch time came, and I needed to knock this project off my to-do list so I can move on to other things. (The list is never empty is it?)

Ray's Patchwork quilt

I was able to use up most of my leftover fabric to piece the back- just had to get some more Kona green to make up the difference. This was my first attempt at spray basting and I’m pretty happy with it. The only thing I would not recommend is that we tried basting outside and that was a bit of a mess- with the wind blowing the dirt onto the quilt and such. The smell wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating, so I think that next time I will be fine to spray baste inside.

Ray's Patchwork quilt

Ray's Patchwork quilt

I decided to try out the free motion quilting on my machine mainly because I don’t know how to use my walking foot yet and didn’t want to do straight line quilting without that. I loved the free motion! It was so much faster than straight line and really quite a bit of fun. I just did a random stippling and while it is not perfect by any means, I am pretty happy with it. I promise the blocks aren’t as wonky as they appear in this picture…the wind was giving us a time this afternoon!

Ray's Patchwork quilt

The binding is the same Kona green I bought to finish off the backing. I ended up machine stitching the binding on instead of hand stitching. I did this both for durability (It’s going on a little girl’s bed) and for time’s sake. It was quite hard to photograph this quilt because of the huge contrast between the lights and darks, but I tried.

Ray's Patchwork quilt

Finished quilt size is around 68×88 inches- twin sized. This is my largest quilt to finish yet. I’m going to take a little break from quilting to get some other projects done this week and hoping to work on the king-size quilt next week.

Couldn’t resist throwing this picture in there…Oliver was trying to figure out why Daddy was playing “man behind the curtain.”

Ray's Patchwork quilt

Spring Top Sewalong and Project Updates

First off, there’s not been much to show for this week. I got into two more local shops, (yay!) and have been super busy stocking them with goodies. While it’s been lots of fun creating new things and dropping them off at the stores, I am happy to have that done so I can take a break from shop sewing and get busy on my own projects. I am excited to see how these two stores work out for me. I am selling on a consignment basis so it’s a nice relief from pressure since I don’t have to pay any rent or whatnot upfront. For those interested parties, the two stores are UrbanDigs and The Natural Baby Store. I love both of these stores and am so happy they have agreed to partner with me! Now to sit back and let the sales roll in… (too optimistic? :)) Here’s some photos from the UrbanDigs Instagram account- love the displays she has created for me!

The next projects on my list are the two quilts to be quilted. Did I say I would finish those this week? Oops. Well I did get the back finished on the one, so now they are both completely ready to go except for basting. Unfortunately the hubs has been working late (tax season) and hasn’t had a chance to baste for me yet, but that is on the to-do list for this weekend. I’m thankful it’s going to be a nice one because we need to do the spray basting outside on our back patio. Those two projects are first on my list for next week! Now I have to finish them because I will be embarrassed to report back to you that I have procrastinated on them yet again. 🙂

And now we come to the fun part- Spring Top Sewalong 2013. I am so excited about this year’s event because I have been wanting to sew myself some maternity tops and now I have a push to do so. I know I only have a few weeks left (9 to be exact), but I’ve grown out of a lot of my current tees and could use a few more to get me through the last stretch. The challenge runs from April 1-19, giving me some time to work out my ideas. I’m thinking of using a few of my favorite maternity tops as patterns for my own tops. We shall see…hopefully this isn’t a complete bust. 🙂 I hope some of you will participate along with me. It is so fun to be working along with fellow sewists on similar projects. I just love perusing the flickr group for inspiration! Check out Rae’s post for more nitty, gritty details.