Saturday, November 27, 2010

My first quilt

I finally finished it up a couple weeks ago. Oh, I love it so much! I've been holding off posting about it until I got some decent pictures, but I still haven't brought it outside for proper photos, so these will have to do.
I pieced a log cabin/pinwheel strip in the backing so it would be reversible and I love that side too! No pictures of that yet.

I swear I didn't pose her like that, she likes to sleep with her hands tucked under her cheek like a little angel. It's the only time she tries to impersonate one, so I have to document it for proof.

Overall, quilting was a whole lot easier than I anticipated. Honestly, the hardest part was just sitting down with a calculator, ruler and graph paper to figure out the dimensions and factor in seam allowances, etc. And the cutting process was tedious. After that, it came together very quickly. I spray basted, which left and interesting film on my kitchen floor, but was quick and easy. Free motion quilting the stippling (is that want it's called? I feel like a fraud using quilting terminology, I'm such a newbie!) was challenging, but I felt like I hit a groove about halfway through. Handling a generously sized twin quilt on my small machine wasn't nearly as hard as I thought it would be.


The fabric is "hunky dory" by Chez Moi and the sashing and cornerstones are Kona cotton. I purchased them all from, but the Hunky Dory is not available anymore - I believe you can still get select prints here and there if you are a savvy internet searcher.

I shamelessly stole the pattern from this gorgeous baby quilt. Like I mentioned before, I just sat down with a ruler and graph paper and figured out how large I wanted it to be and went for it.

The squares are 7" finished and the sashing and cornerstones are 2". I used a 1/4" seam allowance on everything. I started with a 2 layer cakes and just picked my favorite prints and trimmed them down to 7 1/2" squares. The scraps were used for the pieced backing strip.

I used cheapo machine quilting thread and it worked fine. I used "Warm & Natural" 100% cotton batting. It's pretty thin, but the quilt has a beautiful drape and it was much more manageable on my machine than I imagine a thicker poly batting would have been.

Here are some links that I found particularly helpful when working through the nuts and bolts of quilting:

Basting: Distant Pickles

Free-motion Quilting: Oh Fransson!

Binding: Jaybird Quilts

Thanks for letting me show off my very first quilt! It's the biggest project I've ever started (and completed!) and so I'm just a *little* proud of it. ;) My next quilting project(s) will be my "if it's a boy" quilt and my "if it's a girl" quilt. 11 weeks and counting until baby #2 makes his or her debut!


Someday Crafts

Show & Tell @ Blue Cricket Design

Friday, November 12, 2010

Homemade Christmas Ideas - Bags!

When I first started sewing, there were so many projects that seemed "hard" to me. Bags were one of them. Just like anything else, there are beginner bags and more advanced bags, but for the most part, it's just sewing a series of straight lines - and anybody can do that! If you've never tried a bag (or one with - gasp! - a zipper) you should just bite the bullet. They're easy, they're fun and they make GREAT gifts.

So, as you know, I have seven sisters. Handbags, clutches and little pouches are always a safe bet for gifts - and there are so many amazing tutorials to chose from! Here are a few of my favorites:

Row 1:
Ruffled Messenger Bag
Reversible Tie-Top Bag
The Everything Pocket Bag
Kids Messenger Bag

Row 2:
Gathered Clutch
Simple Zippered Pouch
Hobo Bag
Foldover Bag

Row 3:
Pleated Pouch
Striped Teacher Bag
Pleated Big Bag
On the Go Diaper Bag

I've made a few of Noodlehead's gathered clutches for birthdays recently (and if I can ever get around to uploading photos, I'll share them!) and they work up so quickly and are a big hit! For Christmas, I've got my eye on the Pleated Bag in Row 3 and the Foldover bag (Noodlehead again! Man, she's talented) in Row 2. And how amazing is that diaper bag? Once we get through December, I'm actually going to make that for me.

Signing off for now - Guess what I finished last night? The quilt is done! As in, pieced, basted, quilted AND bound. Just needs to be washed and dried. Me and Madeline are headed out to get some sheets (uh, we need a plastic one!) and pillows for the big bed switcheroo that's happening this weekend. I'll be sharing pictures soon, I'm SO pleased with the way it turned out!

I'll be back with more homemade Christmas ideas - next up, stocking stuffers! Here's the link to the other posts in this series:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Homemade Christmas Ideas - Kids

I'm working on several of my Christmas gifts now (I'm not sure why I always feel the need to work on multiple projects at the same time) and I'm starting to feel like maybe, just maybe I can actually get all my projects done in time for Christmas. Did I mention there are exactly 24 people on my Christmas list? Eeek!

I have a couple original ideas for gifts, but most of the items on my list are from tutorials and free patterns on the web. There are some seriously crafty people out there, ya'll! Here are some of my favorite ideas for gifts for the little ones on your list.

Personally, I'm madly in love with the little softie doll in the 3rd row. That, along with the fabric dollhouse and the floor cushion (one of my works in progress!) are on Madeline's Christmas list.

Next up: Bags, bags, bags!