Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Works in Progress (W.i.P.) #1

Over at Freshly Pieced, Lee does a fun link-up on Wednesdays, Works in Progress. She shares what's she's been working on, finished, or what's still laying around waiting for that loving care. I really like this idea because I am definitely a list person, and I think it might help me stay focused and finish up those forgotten projects if I have a nice list separated like this. Plus it's a good excuse to share where I am with my "In Progress" items.

New Projects:
These are all listed on my side bar.  <-----.  :) I have almost started on the purse like a million times, but I hesitate. Then I was looking through my book: 
Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist
Sew Liberated: 20 Stylish Projects for the Modern Sewist
which I really love, and it has the CUTEST purse in there, so now I think I want to do that one, and not the one that I had planned. But I'm just worried it's not going to be the right size, so I have a little playing around to do before I start. I did get some SUPER cute fabric for my birthday last week that I would LOVE to use too! :) (I little extra motivation never hurts!)

I'm sure the purse pouch will wait until after I do the purse so they can match somehow. :)

I'm still waiting for my Kona's to get started on the Bottled Rainbows quilt along. Most of them should be here soon. :) It's so much fun looking at how everyone else's are coming along!

For the pincushion I'm waiting for the Kona's to get here so I can wash all my fabric together.

The American Jane quilt is a way to use my jelly roll, and the other quilt I'm really excited for. I'm going to use Just Wing It by Moda, but I'll probably wait until after the Bottled Rainbows quilt to do it so I don't have TOO many projects going on at once. ;)

Ongoing projects:
Can I say that Project #1 is organizing! I have been going through our room organizing and cleaning everything. Next is downstairs. Not that our house is full of clutter, but when you have tables and desks and closed cabinets and shelves, sometimes it's too convenient to just through papers or whatever else in there to leave for another day. Well, it's definitely that other day... what a mess. ;)

Next up:
Picnic Blanket:
This thing has come together really fast. It's almost surprising! I've layered it and now it's just waiting to be quilted and bound. I'm not sure how I want to do it though. Originally I was going to use my walking foot to sew squares inside the squares and leave the sashing alone, but now that I have a new machine I'm tempted to free motion quilt it. I've been thinking about still staying inside the squares and just use each square for a different pattern. I'm sure it won't turn out good, but since it's going to be an outside blanket, and probably get pretty used and dirty, I'm not so concerned about it's appearance. Is that bad?! Plus, it would give me a TON of practice with free motion quilting so I can quilt Mabel's quilt myself. (Yikes! That makes me nervous). :)
The binding will also be super fast on easy on this. I left the backing fabric bigger so I can just fold over the edges and machine quilt it on. I've done this a couple of times and it usually turns out fine. Again, am I being to lazy? I don't know. I guess I just know that on a huge quilt like this I would never get it done if I did it any other way. ;)

Mabel's Quilt:
I finally got back to the iron on this one. I burned myself pretty good ironing the seams open a while ago and although it's coming together pretty quickly too, it turned me off from it for a while. I really dislike ironing, especially ALL those open seams. :) But it's ironed and I pieced the rows together!

I still need to figure out what fabrics I'm going to use for the sashing (still some different Nicey Jane fabrics). I also need to add one strip on each end of the rows, but I can't decide if I want to do that before I do the sashing in between the rows, or just have a boarder around the inside to separate it from the outside boarder (which is a whole bunch of 2.5" x 5" strips sewn together. I still can't decide if I'm liking it as much as I had hoped, but I think I am. I think the next few steps will make a huge difference! I'm excited!

My last In Progress project right now is a Car Mat:
I started this FOREVER ago and it really has been just sitting and sitting. It's pretty big! Maybe 60"x60" (I don't remember). But it's fun. The red is the roads. I want to use some yellow and sew the center lines down the middle of them. I also have a lake to put in next to the big curve on the right edge of it. I have three houses already cut out to go on the top side, trees to go along the bottom. I'm not sure what else to do, maybe some street signs at the corners and at the round about. The boys already play with it sometimes, though they don't really stay on the roads. ;) On the back of it I am going to put the alphabet and numbers 0-9 around the edges so we can sit in the middle and 'learn' number and letters. :) I already have most of those cut out, I just need to finish getting all of them and then place them so I can start sewing them on. I am really excited about this project, but sometimes it seems like too much... and thus why it's not finished yet. Oops. :)

Completed tops awaiting quilting:
Picnic Blanket

On hold:
see my sidebar.

This week's stats:
New projects - 6 
Completed projects - 2 (Gathered clutch, placemats)
Currently in progress - 3


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Made It: Boys Place Mats and Testing a new Machine

A while ago I decided to make some place mats for Hunter to use. (Especially when he eats breakfast, or anything wet, he often spills liquids everywhere!) So, a while ago I cut out some fabric and using my cricut traced a helicopter and a police car to put on them. I used a canvas fabric hoping they'll stay clean longer and easy to wipe off if messes aren't too bad. I also did a layer of batting in the middle.

It wasn't until this last weekend that I actually did any sewing on them. Well, I sewed the car on a few weeks ago, but it didn't turn out very well. My machine is so temperamental sometimes and the tension is really hit and miss. For example, sometimes the boys play with it and it doesn't matter how much I try to adjust it back, it won't work for the next three days, then all of a sudden Hey! The tension is on again. Anyway, so the car is kind of ok.

besides being wrinkly, it turned out all bunchy. :P

Well, last weekend I found a sewing machine on sale that also had great reviews from what I could find. It's not top of the line, and I'd still love to one day have the Bernina 440 QE, but until that day, this NEW machine seems to be a great upgrade. :) It's a Janome 8050.

So far it's GREAT! There are a few features that I'm still getting used to (like how the reverse button does an extra stitch forward before going backwards, or well, I think that's the biggest one). But the tension is GREAT! and so easy to adjust. It has a lot of stitches, a couple extra feet, AND I can do free motion quilting on it. :) Yippy! Appliqueing is also so much easier and it doesn't eat my fabric. It's smooth and the stitches are even. I'm still trying to be weary of it in case it turns out not to be the best fit (I still have 50ish(?) days to return it). But for now, I love it. :)

Anyway, so I picked that up on Saturday and decided to try it out on my other place mat. The stitching on the helicopter is SO much nicer! And it doesn't pucker!

compare it with the stitching on the car:

I tried my first free motion quilting on the car - since it already doesn't look great, I figured I couldn't mess it up too much more. It's ok. My stitches are NOT even. I really have a lot of practicing to do.

On the helicopter I tried out my walking foot. I don't think it fits quite right (It's just a little bit to the side), but it still works.
I used this method I saw somewhere recently of using painters tape to establish your straight lines, and then just move the tape as you go. It worked out great! I really like how the lines turned out. There is a little puffiness on one side, but I think that's my fault in that I didn't pull the fabric tight enough right there. Otherwise I love it!

I skipped over the helicopter so it wouldn't have lines running through it. I like how it kind of makes it pop.

To finish up I folded over the edges of the backing fabric (which I had cut about 1/2" bigger on all sides than the front piece of the place mats. I pinned it in place and machine sewed it down for the binding. Super quick and easy.

Hunter has already used the helicopter place mat for breakfast and then requested it for lunch. And you know what I love best? That I don't have big messes to clean up on the table afterward!

I'll keep you updated on the machine as I try it out some more. :) 


Fresh Poppy Design 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Fab Finds: Quilting stuff

I am really getting into quilting lately. Or at least I have found a new love of watching everyone else do it! I've been finding a lot of great designs and patterns, and don't even get me started on the colors and fabric choices... Anyway, I have too many projects I'd love to do, and there are so many great inspirations out there that I can't not let them get lost in my bookmarks. :)

I'll start with this one over at MamaCJT.

and can I just say that Carol has some crazy amazing quilts! WOW! That's about all that I can say. I love it! It's like walking through a candy store. Everything looks so delicious!

The 'original' idea is over at Love Laugh Quilt, which her's looks a bit different, but is also a fun variation.

Then there is this one from That Girl That Quilt. LOVE it!

 I am really am intrigued by this pattern, and I really love her choice of colors and patterns! I think I would feel so beautiful lying under this quilt. :) lol.

Oh, and can I say that I love her "No Obligation Quilting!!" I read her reason why today and I agree completely! She shared that though she loves to quilt, there are other things in life that are more important, like family, and that those things come first. So although she loves it, and does it, she's not getting into the competition or upkeep of coming up with something new every week, or making something better than so-and-so. I love it! And frankly, that is what happens with my blog too... I kind of come and go,  but that's because life happens. The end. But I still love being able to share the things I do have time for, and anyway, you should hop over and read her story. :)

Next there are these two blocks that I LOVE LOVE! Rachel made them over at Stitched in Color. Did I mention that I am really enjoying her blog?!

This grey one is from another new blog I just found you know what I love? She just redid her sewing room, and I could easily spend all day in there. :) Doesn't this look inviting?!

I guess that's about it for now. Thanks for blog hopping with me! :)



Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fab Finds: Boys Clothes

I went to trade out Jackson's clothes the other day and was surprised to find that we don't have any 18 month to 2 year clothes. Luckily he's small so he's doing ok in his 12 months clothes, but some of them are definitely getting small/short (mostly his pants).

Well I LOVE all the tutorials over at Made! Dana does such a wonderful job at making up patters for really cute clothes... and all you need are older clothes. ;)

Here are my three top favs that I want to make for Jackson (maybe I'll get them done before he's too big. :)

Front flat pocket tutorial. I LOVE these pockets!

These are seriously some awesome pants! I want some for me!!! :)
Maybe after I have this baby and lose a couple pounds. ;)

Super easy, super cute shirts!


Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Made It: Picnic Blanket, in progress

The weather has been so nice, well, it was so nice for a while. One day my neighbor and I ate lunch outside with our kiddos and she mentioned needing a larger picnic blanket, to which I agreed. On another note I've been having an itch to de-clutter and use up my fabric and organize. I've had this Cake Layer of Moda's Wee Woodland  line that I haven't been able to figure out what to do with. After the conversation with my neighbor friend I knew exactly what I could do. I started on a picnic blanket!

This is probably the quickest, and biggest, quilt I've done. The fabric squares were already cut to 10"x10". I cut 2.5" strips to go between them all (Also fabric I had in my stash). Since this picture I've added white strips to the top and sides (already had the strip on the bottom). All in all it's HUGE! Perfect for a picnic blanket!
It's a little Autumn-y, but that's ok. I think it will be fun to have outside.

Hunter really wanted me to take a picture of his ball. :)

 Then he started throwing it up in the air while I was trying to take the picture... it turned into some craziness. 

Then he rolled himself up in it like a burrito. I guess that's a good sign that it's already a hit with him! :)

For the back I needed 4 yrds of fabric, I debated using different solids that match the front and making a hodge podge of a back, but instead decided to just go the quick way and found some Amy Butler orange in my closet, of which I have the PERFECT amount. It's previous project ended up not happening, and since I had no other use for it, even though it doesn't match perfectly, it will do fine on the grass. :)

Now all I have left is to layer it and quilt it! Wish me luck! This thing is so big, and it will be interesting to see how it works to quilt it on my little machine.

p.s. I Really LOVE being able to make things that I don't need to buy more supplies for! (ok, except the batting), but otherwise it feels so good to use up what I already have on hand! 
And trust me, I have plenty of that! ;)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Bottled Rainbows Quilt Along

I've decided to join my first ever quilt along! :) I'm kind of really excited. It's a ticker tape design, which I haven't ever done before, but want to make my sewing machine cover using this technique, so we'll see how they turn out.

It's going on over at Stitched in Color, and you can go here to see what it's all about and the progression of posts that she has put together about it. I like that it's pretty lazy, only doing one block per week. I'm already behind, as I just found out about it and need my fabric to come, but I want to try to keep up with them, and I think I'll be able to finish it! :) I really love the colors of the quilt that she has put together and am excited to have a project where I can use all my scraps (I have SO many!!)

Here's a picture of her first block that she's put together, to get an idea of how super cute this is going to be!
There are so many awesome blocks that people have done in her Flickr group as well.

Look at the rest of her blog, I really love everything she has on there! A new must visit if you haven't stopped over there before!


Monday, March 14, 2011

Made It: Gathered Clutch

Last week I made up this gathered clutch from this tutorial over at noodle-head. I love it! The tutorial was pretty easy, though the pictures don't necessarily match up with what things should look like, so don't let that throw you off if you try it. Also, don't forget to fuse your interfacing to the back of the outside back piece. I also wish that my zipper was a little longer. I put all my cards (including all my punch cards, rewards cards, etc) in it, along with my check book, and getting things in and out is a little snug. Now that I've been using it for a little while, I actually REALLY love it! :) But otherwise I love it! It works perfectly for what I wanted, and I love the style. :)

Take a look!

the divider pocket

I also put an extra row of card holders in it. The front one I cut an inch off the bottom and lined it up with the bottom of the lining like she does in the picture, and placed the second one in behind that. (Though I sewed in the one that is behind first!)

Thanks for stopping by! :)

  Fresh Poppy Design {Sew} Modern Monday at Canoe Ridge Creations

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fab Finds: Bags

I am in need of a new bag, and have been for a while. I really like the Amy Butler Birdie Sling, but there is something about it that's kind of weird and maybe too big for a purse? I don't know. Some pictures are super cute, and some look weird. Anyway...

Amy Butler Birdie Sling Tote Bag Midwest Modern Sewing Pattern

I've also found a few others that I like, but aren't big enough (tall enough) so if I decide to make one of these, I'll have to adjust it just a little bit. :)

There's the Buttercup pattern by Made By Rae. I've seen this bag all over blogland, and for a good reason. It's really cute!

There is also this bag that I really like that Melissa Esplin did.

Here's a super cute wallet too. Now that I have my new phone that I keep all of my calendar stuff on, I can't decide if I still want to lug my day planner around. I love it, but the only thing I think I would use if for now is for notes. I might need more pockets than what's in this clutch, but I'm sure that'd be easy to add too.

I also really need a little pouch to carry all of the stuff that I always want in my purse. Like gum, hand sanitizer, my tissues, lotion, etc. I have a different bag that I take to church, and sometimes I only need a smaller bag to take with me, and I hate sorting through my purse trying to make sure I have everything. I really like this style that I found at i have to say... but she hasn't done a pattern for it.

This one is really cute, but not quite what I'm looking for, though it might work for something else. :) Of course it's by noodle-head, except at A Lemon Squeezy Home. I guess these two sites are becoming two of my favorites. ;)

I did find this pattern though, and this is the style that I want, so yippy! :) It always makes me happy when I find just what I'm looking for. :)

And on my search, I also found this really cute tea wallet. :) I just like it. :)