Saturday, June 13, 2015

Busy As a Beaver

I haven't been blogging recently because I have been working on finishing up a quilt for a friend's son. It is a double-sized quilt and is by far the largest quilt I have ever made. Plus, I had to learn how to machine quilt to make it. Pictures will be posted once I take them.

Now that it is done, my plan is to make a quilt for my friend with the leftovers. It is only going to be a lap quilt, and I had already done all the cutting of the pieces when I cut out the other quilt; however,  I just found out this week that I have 20 days to complete the quilt - piecing, quilting, and binding - because that is when I am going to be seeing my friend (she will be visiting from the US). This number terrifies me. And on top of that, I am away from home this week, and couldn't bring any of the project with me. I know I will be machine quilting it, but I am a hand quilter at heart, so it's harder to comprehend the timeline. I anticipate that my housework and my sleep will be getting neglected at some point. I also probably won't have time to do any posting between now and then. But I will make sure to take a few pictures so that I can post once I'm done.

Monday, June 1, 2015

A Royal Visit

On Thursday, King Willem-Alexander and Queen Maxima (of the Netherlands) came to Waterloo. A few coworkers and I went to see them when they came.
Waiting for royalty
They had even rolled out an orange carpet for them. Unfortunately, they were running late, so we only got a quick wave and a good morning, but it was still a fun experience.

King Willem-Alexander

Queen Maxima
I even went and got a new outfit for the experience - I wanted something orange :)

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Machine Applique Shirts

A while ago I decided to make some shirts for a friends little girl by buying a plain long sleeve t-shirt and machine appliqueing a design onto them. At first I wasn't sure what to put on them. I needed to think of a design that wasn't too complicated and would look good as mostly a silhouette. She really likes rubber ducks, so I decided to do a rubber duck on one.

She also has a Minnie stuffed animal that she loves so I decided to do Minnie mouse as the other one.

It was a bit trickier than I thought it would be. I have machine appliqued on quilting cotton before but I have never really worked with stretchy fabric, and it didn't always do what I wanted. I put it on a very short stitch length and went around. Overall though I was happy with how they turned out.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Back in the Saddle

I have had so many things going on lately, I haven't had much time to work on projects. but I'm starting to have time again. It was nice to dust off my sewing machine and get it going again. I have a couple of quilts I am trying to get done for the beginning of July. One is fully pieced, and this weekend I started to learn how to machine quilt in order to keep working on it. I went to a friend's house and we basted it, practiced, and got working on it. I'm now half done :). The other one still needs to be pieced. That's next on my list.

Meanwhile, I will try to get caught up on posting things I've already finished. Here is another blanket I put together for a new baby at church. I found this fabric at JoAnns and loved it. I bought it without a purpose, but I'm glad I did.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Christmas Present

There was only one thing I asked for for Christmas this year and that was a pair of gaiters.

I really enjoy getting out for a quick cross country ski last winter, but I usually end up blazing my own trail which means I am sometimes in up to knee-deep snow. Last year that made for some very wet pant bottoms.

This year my problems are solved. I went out for my first ski of the year and my pants stayed nice and dry! (My face did get nice and cold though.)

I did have to look up how to wear them, because I didn't know. I realized halfway through my ski that the hook on the bottom was probably to hook over my laces (so I had them on backwards). So, next time they will be even better!

Friday, January 9, 2015

Christmas Sewing

I wasn’t planning on doing any Christmas sewing this year, but then I saw the Have Yourself a Quilty Little Christmas Instagram Sew Along that Lori Holt at Bee in My Bonnet was hosting. In particular I saw the gingerbread man from the Instagram Sew Along that Lori Hold at Bee in My Bonnet was hosting. Some of the patterns that she was using were from her book (that neither I nor my local library have) and some she was posting on Instagram. Luckily for me, the gingerbread man was one she posted on Instagram. I dug into my stash, pulled out some brown and some white and started quilting. I started with one to see if it was even feasible/going to work well - and, much to my delight, it did. So I sewed another two, and then sewed them in a row.


Next I was faced with the problem of finding little buttons for my lovely little men. It took me 4 different stores (and lots of patience amongst all the Christmas shoppers), but eventually I found some - not until after considering ripping them off a piece of clothing of mine (or someone I passed on the street). I picked out ones that I thought would work nicely and got to work sewing them on (we are now on Dec. 23 and I was going to be on my way home the next day - so needed to be done).

I found a Christmasy fabric for the backing, and a nice tan and red plaid for the binding, and went to town quilting it. I machine quilted it - and that was a big huge step for me.

(Side note: I recently participated in a large number of the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day contests, and some of them asked a quilting/sewing goal for next (now this) year. I had written that I wanted to learn how to machine quilt. I am a born and raised hand quilter. My gramma has done some machine quilting, but my mom and I have always stuck to hand quilting. I had fiddled around on a scrap sandwich before and had done one tiny mug-rug type thing, but that was only after reading a couple of things online, and only doing stitch in the ditch.)

 I did some loop-de-loops in the border, and some pebbles in between the gingerbread men. I didn’t take note of the tension at first, so the border is not so great on the back, but I fixed it for the pebbles and it seemed to be better. I couldn’t really see where I was going with the pebbles between the foot and the white thread on a white background, but it turned out pretty well.

Not so great stitching on the back

 I whipped up a binding and got it stitched on and mostly bound that night. I only had to finish up a little bit in the morning (I thought I was going to have to hide in a room at my parents house and work on it since it was a present for my mom - but I managed to get it done in time).

Overall I am very happy with how it turned out and how quickly it came together. I would enjoy trying more of Lori Holt’s patterns.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Behind on Blogging

I’ve gotten behind on my blogging again (surprise). I finished a couple things recently that I just forgot to photograph. I also have some really old photos of things I’ve made that I’ve just never posted. I’m going to look back at the blog and compare it to my pictures and see what I could post that I haven’t yet. Hopefully I’ll get caught up on that in the next little while.

One thing that I did finish recently and managed to take pictures of was another self-binding receiving blanket. I used this tutorial again from Shannon Fabrics. I couldn’t remember the measurements that I had used for my first one that I was so happy with, so I picked new ones - I wasn’t as happy with the final dimensions/proportions, but it turned out fine. Looking back I see I wrote down the first dimension - apparently I didn’t remember that I did that either.

This time around I used minky for the middle section. I had never used minky before, but I had heard that it can be hard to work with so I did some googling. Some of the things I read that I took into consideration included the fact that minky does not need to be washed first because it won’t shrink, minky gets fluffs all over your workspace (and floor, and pants, etc.), and minky doesn’t always feed nicely through your machine so use a walking foot, or make sure it is on the bottom with your feed dogs (what I did).

I made this blanket for a coworker to give her godson. The parameters/directions I was given were monsters and blue. I think I did a good job meeting the criteria.

Again, I was really happy with how it turned out and have already bought more flannel to make another one.