Friday, May 28, 2010

This Moment

It's Friday, time for This Moment. Head over to SouleMama, the originator of This Moment posts, for some backyard camping fun!

For us, it's dance recital time. I admit, I've totally underestimated her courage to dance.
On a stage.
In front of people.

She's gonna shine!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mine all mine

My first sewing project for me. Well, it's for all of us, but it's still a first. I bought these Sandi Henderson fabrics from her Meadowsweet line long ago thinking it would make the perfect picnic blanket. I added a few of my own fat quarters from the stash and it came together nicely.

I forgot to take pictures of the back which is a "vintage linen" (aka old bed sheet) from my mother-in-law. They are perfect for this project. It was unbelievably simple (and free).
To estimate, this project took a little over $20 (I only buy fabric on sale!) and about 6 hours to complete. I started using Sew Mama Sew's tutorial but did not even attempt to cut my batting to size (61" square?! Not even possible for me) . I'm more of a "make it bigger and then trim the excess" gal. Here's how I did it:
*Make blanket top by sewing 16 fat quarters together
*Spread out on top of batting
*Cut batting about 3" larger than the blanket top on all sides
*Now tape batting on ground with blue painter's tape, stretching it taut
*Put blanket top on top of batting (right side up), smoothing out wrinkles and ensure fit
*Baste with safety pins, about 8" apart
*Stitch in the ditch with sewing machine (or lovely hand stitching if you are crazy - I mean, accomplished), sewing top and batting together. Now trim the batting to size, and be sure to save all your batting scraps!
*Spread "vintage linen" (backing) on floor, right side up, pull taut and tape.
*Baste top/batting combo on top of backing, batting side up (so that backing and top are right sides together)
*Sew around perimeter, leaving about a foot unsewn. Clip corners. Turn right side out, and top stitch all the way around, being sure to close the hole in the topstitch.

It's worth every minute of effort when those kids jump and run and play on it. My only regret is not making it big enough to cover the entire lawn.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Blogger's Quilt Festival

Wow, thank you everyone for such a great giveaway week. Amanda wins the bag o' scraps and Shelly brings home the CSN gift certificate. Congrats!!

Once again, Amy is hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival which could rank right up there with my birthday. It is always so nice to see what other bloggy quilters (or is it quilty bloggers) are doing. I love to see others' works of art! So without further ado, here is my most recent finish and my favorite quilt ever...

... the Love quilt.

Finished size is a standard double (78" x 87"). I used a lovely mint green thread on most of the quilt and it worked great for this collection. Although my OCD kicked in while quilting and I did try to use coordinating thread colors (which greatly increases the time factor) when possible.

Verdict about Quilt as You Go method - it rocks. I love how it comes together so fast. I love how the quilt feels as a finished product. All that thread makes it heavy and more comforting to me. Free motion quilting a double (even on my super swell Janome) would have been a nightmare. QAYG allows anyone with any machine to accomplish great things! Except sewing the back and front together (stitch in the ditch between all 12 1/2" squares) was doable because of the excellent harp area on the Janome.

*Edited to add: I thought I should clarify that I did not use sashing inbetween each of the blocks. Once I "stitched in the ditch" the seam allowances were not the least bit bulky. I had some emails about how it came together, so please feel free to ask about anything I have failed to include here. Really! *

The scrappy binding was a no-brainer on this one... too bad it took my no-brain an entire day to realize that!

It's really forgiving in that stitches needn't be perfect, and if you decide half-way through piecing your quilt front that you want to do it - you can! Just grab some batting and start sewing it down. Straight-line quilting, free-motion quilitng, whatever you fancy.

The very creative client dreamed up the design on the back. I think it rocks my socks.

Love will soon be going overseas to her mama. A wonderful quilt to a wonderfuler friend. :)

Infact, I loved doing it so much that I started another one!

Some sweet little nephew of mine is turning 2!

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Thanks for stopping by for Giveaway Day -- We have a winner!! 296 comments... awesome! Thanks, everyone! generated...

#53 - Amanda from little cumulus


**BUT there is still time to enter the CSN Giveaway. Winner drawn Friday! GO GO GO!!!

I have been crankin' out the quilts this year and have lots of scraps to prove it! From Amy Butler, Tina Givens, Heather Bailey, Joel Dewberry, and more.

Smile if you love Giveaway Day!

Want great designer fabric for free? Do ya, do ya?

Just a small smattering of those included

Well, just leave a comment here and Iz will pull a winner out of the hat on Thursday, May 20th. Sorry, only US addresses are up for this one. Postage stinks. Sorry. Really!

Back of LOVE quilt

Be sure to check back later this week ... a very differnt giveaway will be happening. All I'm gonna say is it rhymes with schmentertainment schmenter.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Giveaway + Giveaway = Lucky YOU!

Hello dearest bloggy friends!

This post will have very little to do with sewing. Partly because I'm fighting with some very unsticky tape whilst basting. Grrrr. So really, I'm not in the mood to blog about wasting time taping and watching the tape untape itself then running around the house looking for more unsticky tape only for the cycle to repeated over and over again....

White masking tape=bad. Blue painter's tape = good.

Remember I did this Quilt As You Go method to SAVE TIME.

Anyhoo, since I'm a little sour over tape hopefully this will cheer us all up... ANOTHER GIVEAWAY!

Because I'm in a non-sewing mood, let's talk about... oh I don't know... entertainment centers! Racks and has oodles of options for old school TVs and those of you with new-fangled skinny TVs. Personally, my (very) old school TV is shoved in a corner of the room behind the couch, blocking the lower left quarter of the screen. Which makes it quite humerous to me that this giveaway features something that I want but can't have.... oh so close!

So if any of you have a similar problem or would just like a sweet update, leave a comment here and I'll have Iz pull a winner out of the hat Friday morning. The winner will receive a $40 gift certificate to use in any CSN stores (US and Canadian addresses only, please).

GIVEAWAY #2... May 17th is Sew Mama Sew's MAY GIVEAWAY DAY! I'm giving away some fabric. CLICK ON THIS to enter that one.

Both contests open to US and Canadian residents only.

And I saved the best for last... Happy Birthday, friend! (It would be totally rad of you to send her some birthday love!)

Isn't that picnic blanket of hers adorable?!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Quilt as you go

Oh, this is a fun one! Both the quilt top and back are finished.

Finished top looking super sweet in the shade

You may remember I had pieced a bunch of oddball shaped rectangles - some 2' x 3' , some bigger and smaller. Then I realized things would be a lot easier if I would stick with a consistent size. So I straight-line quilted these funky things directly onto some batting and when all were completed, I chopped them into 12.5" squares.
Just to recap - usually QAYG means piecing directly onto the batting which is obviously the best way to go about things. But since I didn't know I would be doing this method when I began this quilt, I've been improvising.
So the good news is that you can choose to do this at any stage in the game! Especially if your quilt just seems to grow and grow and you worry how you're ever going to put it all together.
Since I'm making a double size quilt (78" x 87"), I made 42 of these squares and then sewed all of them together for the quilt top (and batting). I used my regular presser foot for everything up to this stage just to see how my totally rad machine could handle it. No problemo!

Quilt back waiting to join the lovely front

Next is putting them together. Not as hard core basting as usual, but a night crawling around on my hands and knees nonetheless. Hopefully it goes faster this way. I'll keep you posted!

**Be sure to stay tuned, more giveaways are coming soon!!**

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A winner + Happy Mother's Day!

My big girl picked #2, badlandsquilts as our pattern giveaway winner. Congratulations and happy sewing! Thanks for entering the giveaway, hopefully more to come.

Happy Mother's Monday to all. Even if you're not a mother, we all have a mom and that is reason to celebrate!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Sewing for boys {GIVEAWAY!}

Recently something very strange happened. One of my friends had a baby and it wasn't a girl. It was a .... what do you call it?... B -b-boy. Yes, that's it. She had a boy. Don't see many of them around here, so I tend to forget they have sewing needs too. A little more difficult to find boyish fabric and think of something to make that is not a skirt or dress, but I think I found my go-to handmade boy gift.

Seriously, look at him!! Anybody seen my briefcase?

I found the pattern on Etsy. I found it to be... well, a pattern. I can't follow one to save my life. Honestly, I have no clue what's wrong with me. I never buy patterns, but I thought this was so cute, I would take the time to figure it out.
So I purchased it and finally got up the nerve to try it out during a late-night sew-in with a friend. I knew I would need the support, so I waited until someone was with me. There's just something about reading it aloud to someone, saying "Listen, this does not make any sense..... Oh wait, nevermind."

After about three hours of White Russians (the drink, not people), a brownie-peanut butter crockpot goo (oh baby), and lots of sewing merriment... the tie was made. I'm thinking it would take a normal person (clearly I am not) about an hour or two. The pattern was well-illustrated, of which I was very appreciative. Nothing helps a non-pattern follower more than a bunch of pictures. There were seriously pictures of every step.

Ok, so I made it a little long. I was kind of winging the size, but he can grow into it. There is elastic that goes around the neck so it can stretch over his sweet little head. The length can be adjusted somewhat, but the back of the tie is pretty much as low as it can go. I'm sure the process will go faster as I learn how to do it better. It's worth the effort because it is so very cute! I'm really pleased with the pattern overall and do recommend sewing one up for the little men in your life.

And now for the good stuff! DeLynne over at diy by dainty couture (where I purchased the pattern) is offering one of my readers a FREE PATTERN of your choice. No worries if you don't have boys around either, she has plenty of skirts, dresses, and other great patterns. Mr Random Number Generator will pick our winner on Sunday - Mother's Day! All you have to do is leave a comment about mothers. Being a mom, having a mom, wishing you had someone else's mom, etc. ;) It's a PDF file, so the winner will receive their free pattern soon after the giveaway closes at midnight Saturday night. Instant and free.... sweet!

In other sewing news... Pastel Quilt #2 is done! Good-bye you bland, lifeless colors.

Quilt-as-you-go updates on the way. Almost done with the "quilting" part, about to start on the "as you go" process.