Friday, November 29, 2013

Quilty Fun Sew Along Weeks Three and Four

I am still sewing along with Lori Holt and her Quilty Fun Sew Along.  I must say it really is fun.  You can find out all about it here.

Last week we did the courthouse steps block which were super easy.  I had never made this type of block before, but I really liked it.  The hardest part for me was choosing my fabrics.  I thought I had it all figured out and then decided I didn't like my first choices of fabric.

So I went back to my scraps and chose these fabrics instead.

This week we are making sewing baskets.  I love these little baskets.  They are adorable!

I have also been making my scrappy quilt binding as I go.  I want to use fabrics used in the quilt and I don't want to go back and have to find them when I only have the binding left.  (If I did I might not ever finish the quilt!)  I am using strips 2 1/2 inches wide by 5 inches long.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WIP Wednesday

There is not much work in progress today.  It is pie baking day after all!  I only have to make three pies: a pumpkin, an apple, and an Oreo.  The Oreo is already finished (I always do the easiest one first).

This afternoon when The Musician gets off work (she works at a grocery store when she is home from school) we are going to pick out our Christmas tree.  It used to be a family tradition every year, but last year no one wanted to go with my husband and I.  I was sad.  However, with Nina being here from China this year, I am making everyone go because she has never celebrated Christmas or been to a Christmas Tree Farm.

After that I am hoping to finish up my Sewing Baskets block for the Quilty Fun Sew Along.  Here's what I have so far:

I have also been working on Goldie's quilt this week, but I am a teeny bit frustrated with matching my seams.  This section is being especially troublesome.

I hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving!!!!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Monday, November 25, 2013

A Finished Quilt - Snug as Bug Super-Sized Nine Patch

I spent this past Saturday sewing.  I accomplished a lot.  I finished The Princess's costume for her upcoming performance in the school Christmas musical.  She is going to be the innkeeper.  It's not a fancy costume, but it's not supposed to be.  It was very easy to make using a Simplicity pattern.

I also spent time sewing together the 2 1/2-inch squares for Goldie's quilt.  I think I have become addicted to sewing these little squares together.

Finally, I finished the Snug as a Bug Super Sized Nine Patch for baby Leah who was born on November 9.  I was planning on having it done before she came, but she decided to come ten days before her mom's scheduled C-section on November 19. 

This is a super easy pattern from Quiltmaker.  You can find it here.  You only need three yards of fabric to make three different quilt tops.  If I were to sit down and make this quilt in one sitting it would have probably taken less than four hours (not counting hand sewing the binding). Mine measures 34 x 37.  I used the Snug as a Bug fabric collection from Riley Blake designs.  I love the way Leah's quilt turned out.  I have to admit I wasn't that crazy about it until after I quilted it.  I hope the other two turn out as nice when I finish them.

I am planning on visiting Leah tomorrow and can't wait to see if her mom likes the quilt.  I sure hope so ...

Linking up to: 

Sew Cute Tuesday
Fresh Poppy Design
Sugar Bee Crafts


I Quilt @ Pretty Bobbins


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

When Can You Call Yourself a Quilter?

When are you officially considered a quilter?  When you finish your first quilt, your second quilt, or when you have more than three quilting projects going and a dozen more running around in your head?  When I said I was going to start quilting, Goldie asked me, "Mom, what makes you think you can quilt?"  I answered, "Because I want to."

So here are the projects I have going on right now (all of them works in progress, not one near being finished).  These are not listed in any particular order.

1.  Goldie's quilt

2. The Princess's Jelly Roll Jam quilt

3. Star Surround Quilt-a-Long for my bed

4. Quilty Fun Sew-a-Long (I am current on this, just need to complete this week's courthouse steps blocks.)

5. Super-Sized Nine Patch baby quilts

6. The Princess's Innkeeper's costume for her part in The Mystery of Simon Shepherd

The only project that has a distinct deadline is the Innkeeper's costume.  The musical is December 4, but they are performing it for the local nursing home next Tuesday.  It's a really simple pattern, but since it has a deadline, it is the last thing I want to work on.  It's a real problem.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

WIP Wednesday - Goldie's Quilt

I have been sewing for years.  My mom taught me when I was in 4-H.  I have sewn many dresses, Halloween costumes, etc. for my three daughters.  I saved all their fabric with plans to make them each a quilt for their 18th birthday.

Well, the musician is 20 and her quilt isn't even started.  She does love the  t-shirt quilt I recently made her though.  I went to visit her at school on Saturday.  She texted me Saturday night saying it is the warmest blanket she has ever used.  See the post about that here.

My youngest, the Princess, is only eleven.  I have time (at least I think I do).

That leaves my middle daughter, Goldie (she has a heart of gold).  She is 17 and a senior in high school.  I started cutting fabric for her quilt in July or August (I can't remember back that far!).  I need to cut 860 or so 2 1/2-inch squares.  As of last night when I went to bed, I had over 340 squares cut.  I have also been cutting 2 1/2-inch strips for the binding at the same time.

That's what I'm doing for a little while today anyway.  We are leaving in a few minutes for Cedar Rapids.  Our school is in the state volleyball tournament!  Go Crusaders!

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Quilty Fun Sew Along Week 2

Week Two of Lori Holt's Quilty Fun Sew Along and Blog Tour is underway.  This week we make our twinkly winter stars.  I think they are just adorable.

Here's my finished twinkly winter stars.  Even the name is adorable!

I love the way they turned out.  Already looking forward to Week 3: Courthouse Steps.

Thanks Lori!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Quilty Fun Sew Along

This past Monday the Quilty Fun Sew Along by Lori Holt at Bee in My Bonnet started. (Click below for more information).

Quilty Fun Sew Along is also a blog tour with several great bloggers participating.  You need a copy of Lori's book, Quilty Fun, about 3 1/2 yards of background fabric, and your scrap pile to get started.

I was a little worried since I have just started quilting that I wouldn't have any scraps to choose from.

Then I remembered that I have tubs of fabric in my crawl space.  I kept all the fabric used in sewing clothes for my daughters' over the last twenty years.  (That makes me feel so old.)  I am sure I will be able to find enough fabric to use for my sampler.

This week we worked on the apple blocks.  They are so darling.  They were pretty simple and quick to make as well.  Go here for more information on making the apples.  Check mine out below.  I can't wait to get home from work tomorrow and start on Week 2.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Handprint Auction Quilt

Since beginning my quilting adventure this summer, I have actually completed two quilts.  The first quilt I finished was made for the church auction that supports the preschool where I teach.  Every year we create a project for this auction.  One year we made a picnic table with the students handprints, last year we made a chalkboard with their handprints.  Naturally this year I made a quilt with their handprints.

I designed the quilt myself (if you want to call it that) with 8" blocks, alternating handprints with prints from the Old McDonald collection by Deborah Edwards for Northcott Fabrics.  I chose the Old McDonald collection for two reasons.  1. It's adorable and I love the color scheme.  2.  I teach in a rural area, if my students don't live on a farm, their grandparents do.

We made the students' handprints with fabric paint and I crudely embroidered their names on their squares.  There was also a square with the class name and year.  Piecing was a breeze and so was creating the sandwich.

Now comes the best part.  I needed to quilt it.  I had studied tutorial after tutorial about free motion quilting and I was confident I could do it.  The only question was could my cheap, old, beat up machine handle it.  The answer was no.  It was the weekend before the auction and I needed to get the quilt done.  I didn't know what I was going to do.  I honestly felt like crying.

Right now you're wondering, how is this the best part?  Here it comes!  My husband tells me to go buy a new machine.  Not a cheap one from Wal-Mart, but a really nice machine.  Of course, living in rural Iowa quilt shops are few and far between, but I knew there was a good one that sold Bernina's about 30 minutes from home.

I researched Bernina's that Sunday and Monday afternoon when I was done with preschool, I went and bought a machine.  I started quilting that night.  I never wanted it to end.  Anyway, the quilt turned out great and even better it made $500 at the auction.  I would like to say it was my great quilting ability but I know the truth, those handprints are priceless.

Head First

I must admit that I have jumped head first into quilting.  I have always sewn.  I was lucky enough to have a mom that taught me how to sew.  However, I had never made a real quilt.  But, I have always wanted to become a quilter.

So how did I jump into the quilting?  It was a day in June and my 20-year-old daughter (The Musician) was home for the summer. The conversation went like this:

The Musician: Mom, I have all these t-shirts (holding up garbage bag) will you "help" me make a t-shirt quilt out of them.  ("Help" is code for will you make me a t-shirt quilt because she does not have a domestic bone in her body.)

Me: Sure.

So I started researching t-shirt quilts (on Pinterest of course) and decided it was time to become a quilter.  That's how I found Melissa Corry's Star Surround Quilt-A-Long, which again I dove into head first.  (I still have finished that quilt top, which is a story for another day).

The t-shirt quilt pieced together pretty easily.  The hardest part was planning the placement of the shirts.  She didn't want regular material for the backing, she wanted fleece.  I opted not to use batting for fear it wouldn't quilt well.  I basted the backing on to the quilt top and there it sat.  I was scared to do anything else.  Then I found the Star Surround Quilt-A-Long to distract me.

The plan was to finish the quilt before she went back to school in August, but my fear kept it from happening.  I finished it this week.  It's not the best or prettiest quilt ever, but it's finished and we all have to start somewhere.

I do have to say that this is actually my second finish.  I made another quilt for an auction.  I will tell you all about that in another post.

I chose a very simple design of stitching around each t-shirt.  I didn't want to mess it up too badly.  What do you think?