Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Sewconnected: My month!

I have been wanting to make an i-spy ABC quilt for my daughter, but I also wanted to make an ABC wonky word quilt, too.  Since December is my month for the sewconnected swap group I decided to combine those two ideas into one quilt for my month.  I have been collecting different fabrics for each letter for a while now so each letter will have fabric that corresponds with that letter.  For example, for A I have airplanes, apples, and Auburn University.

Here are the requests I am making for my month:

-Please make 15.5 inch square blocks
-The letter should take up most of the block using the white fabric I sent.  Try to make the letter strips between 2-3" wide.  If the are 1.5-3.5" that is okay, too.   This way the letters will all be cohesive throughout the quilt.
-Use only capital letters.
-Some letters have three fabrics and some have upwards of six.  Try to use at least some of every fabric that I sent.
-Some of the letters have applique animals that my mother made.  I would love it if you would incorporate those into the block as well.
-If you have novelty fabric that matches the letter you have and you would like to add it, that would be awesome.  Please only add novelty fabric that would match the letter.  If you would like to add a scrap of yellow (or any other color) fabric to a block to balance the colors, feel free to add from your stash.
-Feel free to add paper piecing of objects that would match the letter or add embroidery if you would like.  I think embroidery could look really cute in the letter or somewhere else on the block.

I was inspired by this quilt and this one.  This is a great tutorial for wonky letters.

I made a B to see how hard it would be and to get started on the letters.

This is the idea that I am going for with this project.  See, "B" is for books, butterflies, basketballs, baths, boots, bees, balloons, and bears.  The appliques are from my mom.  She sent me several appliques to use in this quilt.  Here are all the fabrics I sent out for M, U, E O, H, F, R, W, L, T, G, and S.

"G" fabric- golf, giraffe, guitar, grapes, grass

"E"-elephants, eggs, easter eggs

"F"-football, fire hydrant, firetruck, frogs, flamingo, and fish

"H"- horse, harp, hippo, harmonica and hockey

"L"-lions, lizards, lobster, leopard, and leaves

"M"-monkey, money, motorcycle, music and moose

"P"-pigs, popsicle, penguin, planets, piano,pirates and pumpkins

"R"-rhinocerous, rooster, rabbits, runner, robot, rainbow, and ruler

"S"- skier, sea lion, strawberries, sheep, sailboat, shells, snowman, stars and shoes

"W"-watermelon, whales, wedding ring, witches, and web

"U"-umbrella  and unicorns
(U is hard to find.)

"T"- tiger, turtle, tennis, train, truck, tractor, and triangle

I am really excited about how this quilt is going to turn out! 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Sewconnected 2: August and October

I have been trying to fit some sewing time in between feedings with Zerah.  Early in the morning seems to be the best time to sew. Between 5 and 7 in the morning, right after she eats, she will lay down for a little while and nap.  I am trying to catch up on my blocks for my quilting bees that I got behind on, and I am almost caught up.

 This block is for Alissa who is making an orange and pink quilt.  I received the orange packet of fabric.  I love this tadpole print that runs vertically and horizontally through the block.  I was trying to bring it to the focus of the block.  I like how it has levels- the white appears behind the yellow horizontal stripe but floats above the orange solid. We could add coordinating fabric from our stash and I needed more fabric to make the outermost vertical bars, so I added the gold wavy fabric;  it coordinates better in person than in the picture, I believe.   It is 12.5" square.

The next block is for Sonja.  She is making a beach quilt and asked for blocks inspired by a beach house.  She set up a wonderful inspiration gallery on flickr for all of us to be inspired by which was a great idea.  I found many quilts that I want to make in the future as a result!

The block above is a glass of lemonade or some other frothy beachy beverage. I did some searching online and found this site which has free paper piecing patterns.  I changed the lemonade a little and added the borders.

I couldn't resist making a bikini!  The floral hawaiian print she sent just screamed bathing suit to me.  I then added a couple borders to make it bigger and add some wonkiness to the mix.

I hope everyone is doing well out there!  I am going to try to be on here more in the next couple of weeks, but we will see...  it only took me 3 1/2 hours to write this one post.  Zerah needed to eat, which took two hours today (I think she is going through a growth spurt:)), diaper change x3, and some smiling time.  Have a good weekend!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Sewconnected and Sewconnected 2: September

I finished up my blocks for the two swap groups I am in this past week. Both John and Amandajean requested houses inspired by this quilt. Isn't it beautiful? It makes me want a house quilt of my own!

The first block is for quiltdad. He sent a lovely gray Kona cotton and we added scraps from our collection for the houses. I couldn't resist making a dog house.:)

I used the leftover gray to make two additional bonus houses for him. I ran out of the gray, so he will have to add it to make it 12.5 inches square. I just couldn't resist! Once I finished, I realized that the light purple is really too close in tonal value to the gray;it doesn't show up as much as I had hoped, but it is bonus or lagniappe so he could not use it if it doesn't work!

My last house is for amandajean. Her block is 15.5" square. I learned from my experience with the lavendar to use really bright colors and I played with the roof detail. It reminds me of the eaves on 1920's mission style houses or victorian houses that I see when I take my dog out for walks around the neighborhood.

It feels good to finally have something quilty to share! I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Our new little girl...

I haven't been around much in this space recently, but there is a a very good reason! Please let me introduce our new little girl, Zerah Blythe. She was born on September 19th at 2:30 a.m. I have been spending all my time, it seems, just admiring this little one.

I worked up until the day she was born. I think I willed her to wait to come until I had finished up everything at work! My last scheduled day was Friday and I left work right before lunch because I was having contractions that were twenty minutes apart-they were 3 minutes apart by noon! She was due on Sunday, the 20th.

We went into the hospital at 1:30 that afternoon, but were sent home because the contractions were not intense enough, and I wasn't dilated at all. That was extremely frustrating. I was determined not to be sent home from the hospital again so I waited until I couldn't stand it anymore-so we left for the hospital at midnight. I still wasn't sure if we should leave or wait a little longer and told my husband and mom that I was sorry if we were sent home again.

When we arrived, the hospital was super busy with four people that came in at the same time as me with one girl's water breaking upon arrival. When they finally checked sometime after 1 am, I was dilated to 7 cm, and Zerah was born an hour an a half later. I had not fully decided if I wanted drugs or not, so when they asked me if I wanted an epidural at around 1:30 I decided I had come this far without it and could persevere without one. I was very freaked out about a shot in my spine and some of the side effects; I am glad I did not have one because it would have kicked in almost too late and lasted longer than I needed it. Since I did not have one, I was alert and Zerah was fully alert when she was born. It really happened just like I wanted it to; I was very blessed to have a really good experience. Most of the delivery doctors were out of town on a retreat that night so a midwife who works for the hospital was the one who delivered Zerah; I think this worked out for the best, too.

My mom lives out of town and was originally scheduled to arrive Saturday night. When I talked to my parents Thursday night, my dad decided Zerah was going to come early so he convinced her to fly out a day early. I don't know how he knew because I sure didn't! She arrived at our house at ten, just in time to go to the hospital with us at midnight and be there for her grand-daughter's birth.

She is named after my great-grandmother and my husband's grandmother. We wanted something unique that was also from our family.

We are all doing well and starting to catch up on everything. I actually have had a little bit of time to sew this past week.:)

Fall Quilt Festival 2009

I am so excited that it is time for Amy's Quilt Festival again! This is one of my favorite quilts that I finished this summer for my new little girl, Zerah.

I really like the modern simplicity of the boxes within boxes and the pieced border. It is made from a jellyroll of Hello Betty by chloe's closet for moda. I also like the quilting mimicing the same boxes. The quilting took forever! Silly me, I thought this type of quilting would go faster than all over stippling, but I am glad I went in this direction.

I also made a matching cushion for her rocking chair with a few other prints thrown in for good measure. More details about this quilt can be found on the original post here.

Check out the rest of the entries at Parkcitygirl!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Nine Patch One A Day Quilt A Long: WIP

My nine patch quilt has been in progress for the last couple of weeks and I can't wait to have time to work on it. It is from crazymomquilt's quilt along from this summer. Sewing had to take a time out as I went back to school a couple of weeks ago, and I am working on grading 150 essays and getting lesson plans ready for my leave. I really want to work on this soon! I feel as if I am so close to having the top done, but it is just languishing on my ironing board until I am caught up at work. For now I will just look at the picture and think of it being finished.

I have another one in progress too that I am using all of my nine patches from the 3x3 swap twiddletails hosted this summer-I have about 55 of the 70 blocks done for that one.:) I am loving nine patches currently. Hope everyone has a wonderful 3 day weekend! I am going to be a grading machine.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Pay it forward from imagingermonkey!

This has really been my month for pay it forwards! I signed up for a pay it forward on Katy's blog imagingermonkey a while back and then completely forgot about it! She is also one of my partners on the scrappy Christmas block swap on flickr, and she told me last week that my package was on its way, which is when I remembered having signed up. So imagine my surprise and delight when I opened the package to reveal this beautiful animal quilt! Excuse the wrinkles in the picture above-my excitement about photographing outweighed getting the wrinkles out from shipping.:)

A couple of days ago she posted about an interview she did for mixtape, and in the second picture down, you can see a picture of another quilt she did that is just like this one! I find that very exciting. It is a famous quilt, you see! Plus, she is now famous, too!

I love it so much! It works perfectly in our baby's room as you can see. It has all the perfect colors, and it appears as if it was made for this room specifically.

Check out how well it goes with our white rocking chair and the little chair pad I made a few weeks back.

One of my favorite parts is the label she included on the back of the quilt. I really need to start making labels for all of my quilts. So our little one will have a fabulous quilt made for her from all the way across the big pond in England. I think that is pretty fantastic. Thanks Katy! I absolutely adore it and it will be well loved and treasured for many years to come.

This leads me to my part of the pay it forward obligation. The first 3 names who want to play along will get a little handmade something from me in the next 365 days. The only condition is to do one of your own. If you have a blog have your own Pay It Forward, and spread a little handmade loveliness to 3 other people to keep the chain of handmade goodness going on and on. :) Isn't that a lovely thought? Get ready, set, go sign up if you want to play!

Go check out Katy's blog as well!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Pay it forward!

I was the lucky recipient of a wonderful Pay It Forward package from my new friend, Karen, at ShortStoryLong. I signed up for a pay it forward for her a while back, and I had no idea of all the loveliness that I would receive. We live in the same area so we got to meet for lunch on Saturday. I had a great time talking and it was so much fun to get to hang out with a fellow blogger and crafter.

Here is the cute sock monkey bag that she made! Isn't it adorable? I love the flap closure and the blue button. It is the perfect size for library books or to tote back and forth to school. I may have to use it for a diaper bag this fall too!

She used knitting slogan fabric for the interior which I love. Although I am a beginner at knitting, I do hope to get better-maybe I can use this to tote my yarn projects around! I am so happy with the little pockets and I like that they are off center from each other-adds visual interest don't you think?

Inside the bag, there was this cute tin with little knitted booties! How cute are these!

The second picture is true to the color of the booties. These are my favorite part of the gift! I can't wait to get to use them. I love these! I don't know if I can say it enough.:)

Also included in the package is/was a loaf of homemade zucchini bread. It was so fresh from the oven that it was still warm when I received it! I have already had some for dessert Sat. night and for breakfast Sunday morning and this morning. It is yummy!

Thanks Karen for a delightful Saturday afternoon and the thoughtful, wonderful package you put together!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sewconnected August and Sewconnected2 July

I finished some blocks for two of my swaps over the last week or so. I have been slow at posting the pictures though, so here they are. Amy, at acommonplacelife, is working on a quilt based on a quilt by Kafe Fassett with many blocks within blocks so she requested the same from us for her month of sewconnected.

I made an assortment of sizes ranging from 3.5" square to 9.5"square. In the picture above, there are 5-3.5" and 1-6.5". The little teeny tiny squares that you see in some of the blocks above are 1/4" square! She sent foundation papers to make the smallest ones. They were fun to make. The picture above is a little washed out; the true colors are closer to the pictures that follow.

The three blocks above are 9.5" square. I love the fabrics she sent for us to use. I did add the horse in the last block because it seemed to fit the rest of the fabrics to me.

I also finished this last block for Jacquie of Tallgrass Prairie Studio. She wanted us to make blocks based off a drawing one of her sons completed with the beautiful color palette she selected. I felt like I was back in college in one of my two dimensional design classes playing with the layout and composition of this block. I love how it turned out, but I did mess up on the block. She requested that the black lines be 1/2" wide but somehow I read 1" wide so I am hoping that she will be able to use it. I apologized and she gracefully stated that she was sure she would be able to use it, but I still feel horrible. When I realized my mistake, it was too late to go back and fix it because it was already in the mail. It also makes me mad at myself because I was so happy with the way it came out.

I started back to work last week, so I am having to adjust to not having as much time to sew, play, write on this blog, or keep up with other blogs. It is hectic getting everything ready since I will be taking a leave of absence once the baby comes-only 5 weeks give or take! I have a couple more pictures to share of things that I managed to get done last week and this past weekend to share but not much actual sewing has occurred in the last couple of days or probably will occur in the next week or so.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Rocking Chair Cushion: Oh, so comfy!

As I continue to work on the baby's room, I made a cushion for the rocking chair. This was fairly easy to do, but it did take a lot of steps! In case you want to try something like this and so I remember how I did it, here are the basic steps on how I made this cushion.
  1. I used leftover jellyroll strips from this quilt and sewed them together to create a bigger piece of newly constructed fabric. I had to add some of the horse fabric because I love it.
  2. Using a piece of freezer paper, I laid the paper on the chair and traced around the top of the chair to make a pattern piece.
  3. I used that pattern to cut the top piece of fabric into the chair shape.
  4. Using the same pattern piece, I cut out two pieces of batting utilizing leftover scraps from other projects.
  5. Cut out backing fabric for the interior of the cushion.
  6. I then freemotion quilted this sandwich together-top piece of fabric, two layers of batting and backing fabric.
  7. Make and add cording to the quilted sandwich piece. There are many tutorials on the web for how to do this. I just googled "add cording to pillow" and used bits and pieces of information to best suit my needs.
  8. Make ties to attach cushion to chair.
  9. Cut two more pieces of backing fabric to create an envelope style closure on the back.
  10. Sew everything together! Flip inside out so the right side of the fabric is now on the right side.
  11. Using leftover egg carton foam (for placing on top of your mattress for more cushion), cut out the same shape of the pillow and insert in the back of your cushion.

I am very happy with the way it came out. Now we just need to paint that chair white!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sewconnected 2: July

I finished my July blocks for Emily of Carolina Patchworks today. I love these fabrics. This is the same line that I used to make my buttercup purse, but I used the green and gold colorway. She requested non-traditional blocks in increments of 5", so these are both 10.5 inches.

I wanted to showcase the lovely deer fabric with this one. I hope everyone had a lovely weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Hello Betty Quilt

This is the first quilt made specifically for our little girl on the way. When my mom was visiting about a month ago, we picked out a jelly roll of "hello betty" by chloe's closet by moda. The colors worked perfectly in the scheme of the colors in her room. I love the 1930's style prints in this line. It is big enough that she can use it when her crib is upgraded to a toddler bed.

I love how quilts look when they are folded up! For the backing and the binding, I went with a solid pink. I decided the front was busy enough and something solid was needed for the back. This is the first time in a while that I have used a solid binding and the first time I have used a solid one colored backing. I like it on this quilt, but I do love a pieced backing!

I quilted 1" on either side of the seam lines to mimic the squares and 1/2 inch apart in the border. I really like how the quilting came out after it was washed and dried.

(click on the pictures for a better view)

Fabric: Hello Betty by Chloe's Closet for Moda-used one jelly roll
Pattern: Simply Squared from Strip Happy by Donna Kinsey
Size: 46" x 58"

Happy Thursday!

Friday, July 31, 2009

3x3 Swap July blocks

This is the final month for the 3x3 Swap I have been participating in over the last three months. Here is what I sent out for July using the Heather Bailey Pop Garden and Amy Butler fabric.

May and June are here and here!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Changing Pad and Nursing Cover

I can't stop making baby items! I had to make the changing pads from the pattern included in the Nappy Sack pattern so these came into fruition yesterday. I still had plenty of the Pop Garden fabric leftover, and with 2/3 of a yard of terrycloth there is plenty of fabric for two pads. Actually, I still have a little over a yard of the Pop Garden fabric left, so you will keep seeing it pop up in projects to come.

These are really easy to make, and I think they will get a lot of use. They have two layers of batting on the inside, so they are really soft. I used batting leftover from previous quilts so it was great to use up scrap material for something useful!

I also made a nursing cover because I am planning on breastfeeding. It was pretty simple to make. It has boning along the top edge so it will stay out from your body, and you can see your baby. They are pretty expensive from the store, but easy to make for under $10. I found this pattern that I used as a guideline. I found the boning for 2.49 a yard at Joanne's.

I included little terrycloth pockets on the backside for cleanup and storage of pacifiers, etc. I may add a little velcro to keep the pocket closed, but I want to try it out first-8 weeks to go before that happens! The terrycloth was 6.99 a yard, but I used scraps leftover from my changing pad. Plus, I used a 40% off coupon on the terrycloth.:)

I think these would both make great shower gifts, and they are pretty easy to make.