Wednesday, February 26, 2014

A busy week!

I have been busy this last week!

I finally dove head first right into sewing up the first of two baby quilts for my mom. And it almost feels like I literally dove right in! Fabric covered every inch of flat surface area in my apartment and by the end of the night my pants and t-shirt were covered in little bits of fabric and thread.  Wednesday night was a mad woman's night of sewing and cutting and sorting all to the background sounds of Say Anything and Pretty in Pink.  Thursday was just as busy only this time I had Breakfast Club and 16 Candles playing in the background.  I have no idea why I decided the theme to my week was 80's hits but I enjoyed it thoroughly!

I enjoyed all of this work immensely! Being able to just go peddle to the metal with a project is exhilarating and the product of my efforts has been a wonder to watch come together.  I am in love with how this quilt is coming together!

However, all of this love came to grinding halt Saturday night when I realized I needed to iron my seems open if I wanted everything go through the sewing machine neatly.  The thickness of the meeting seems made it almost impossible for the blocks to go under my foot without being pushed to the side.  This ended up throwing off my seams and made for an uneven row.

I threw the row back up onto the design wall and instead focused on making the last drawstring bag for my mom.  Sometimes it's nice having more than one project going on at once.  It enables you to step away and forget about the problem for a little bit.  Then, as you work on your other project, you can create a game plan to tackle the problem and approach it from a new direction.

So Monday night I ordered my favorite food, turned on Season 4 of Castle, and slowly worked through ironing open each seam.  That's 6 seams a block, 5 blocks to a row, and 5 rows to the quilt.  Yay 150 seems!  >_<  On the plus side, I amazingly got through all that ironing without burning myself! That is the true accomplishment here.

On tap for this week: sewing the blocks together and continue working on the border of the quilt.  Wonder what theme my Netflix viewing will have this week?

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Light Sewing Week

This week has been pretty light on sewing but heavy on planning.

I was able to finish two of the four drawstring bags for my mom that have been sitting on my to-do list. I used the easy Lined Draw String Pouch pattern by In Color Order and made two DVD size bags. This size is available on the pdf pattern she has for sale.


I chose colors my mother would like, and focused on a polka dot look since that is her absolute favorite pattern.  These two turned out really cute and I like the brightness of the colors.  However I think I'll go with some darker colors the next two bags.  This will add some contrast to the bunch and help Mom remember which bag holds what.


For the planning part I've already decided the sort of layout I want to accomplish with each of the upcoming baby quilts.  The will be a strip diamond quilt with the help of the Missouri Star Quilt Co. Tutorial. It's an older video of theirs, but it still has their quick and easy charm.


The diamond string quilt will have strips from a Mixed Bag by Studio M Jelly Roll. I loved all the patterns in the line and the alternating white and color backgrounds.  The colored backgrounds are going to be the ones I want for this quilt, setting them against alternating white strips.


I'm most likely not going to need the entire Jelly Roll for just a baby quilt top, so I think I might play around with the left over strips to make a fun back. And to ensure that I don't create any waste blocks, I'm planning to make a few blocks at a time until I have the exact dimensions I need. It's half tempting with such an easy block to just piece everything together but I'd hate to waste any of this fun fabric!


The second will be a fun pattern I found on Pinterest that I'm super excited to try out! It'll be my first Pinterest inspired quilt since most of my quilts up to now have been inspired by the Missouri Star Quilt co. tutorials.  I'm excited to lay this one out on the design wall, and I'm hopping to make it very colorful!


To accomplish this quilt, I ordered a charm pack of Cotton Couture from Michael Miller and will be selecting the brightest colors of the bunch to go into this quilt! I'm so excited to see this one come together since this pattern has been sitting on my Pinterest board for some time.


As an update on my last post, my giftee received their gift and loved it! I'm so glad she likes it and glad it has gone to a good home!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Swap Complete!

Thursday night I completed my partner's bag! As you can tell from last post I was so excited I couldn't wait for a legitimate post to show it off!

Finishedbag

It's gorgeous is it not? I am in love with how it turned out! (I am also getting better at this whole taking pictures with your phone thing.)

finishedbag-topview


Putting this bag together was a lot of fun and I'm super glad I did a test round.  It made me more confident about what I was doing and I got to tweak a little here and there. The second attempt at the vinyl went way better than the first attempt.


This fabric is gorgeous and I hope my partner loves it as much as I do! I'm always afraid when I cut into fabric that I love, especially when I only have enough for the project at hand.  Luckily everything turned out perfectly and came together quite nicely.

exterior


I love when I get a chance to work with a line of fabric because everything goes together so nicely. It is fun to pull from your fabric stash and see what can come together in front of you, but working with pre-paired fabric is such a treat. To me everything about putting this bag together felt like putting perfectly sized puzzle pieces together. The fabrics were made for each other (literally)! Even the thread I picked out to stitch the visible seems and details ended up being a perfect accent.

finishingseam

I forgot to take a send off photo of the lunch bag, but I think I was too busy giving the woman packing my box the stink eye. She kept packing the brown paper in with what I believed was excessive force and I had several "My baby!!" moments.  I said something about it being hand made and already filled with air spacers I saved from Think Geek and she stopped. So my partner, if you read this, I hope it got there alright!

On top of finishing these wonderful bags, I ordered fabric from my next two baby quilts and decided on the two patterns I'm going to use. While I'm waiting for the fabric to come in, I am going to make some more of those boxes that are also sitting on my to-do list.  I may take advantage of the left over vinyl and make myself a nice box for all my make up.  The vinyl will help any inevitable spillage from staining the fabric.

As a parting thought, I share with you a realization that I had over the last week: creating a pin cushion out of polka dot fabric will result in way too much time and effort being spent on pin-replacement.

pincushionproblems


Thursday, February 6, 2014

Finished!

With tomorrow being the send off date I finished just in time! It turned out so pretty I couldn't wait to share it! More pictures to come soon!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Finished Lunch Bag and New Fabric!

I finished my first Lunch Bag!!  It's so cute! I may or may not have done a little happy-dance upon it's completion!
The last few steps were extremely easy and for the first time ever all of my layers came out even.  Usually when sewing inside and outside pieces together, one of them is slightly longer than the other so I get a little fold over in my fabric.



But this time everything came out nice and neat.  I even managed to get all my centers lined up and pretty much on point!  Needless to say I showed that part off to some of my crafty friends.



This bag is so cute and so fun! It's the perfect size for my day-to-day lunch and I even foresee it holding a few crafting supplies for future craft dates.  I know a knitting friend of mine looked at the drawstring top and vinyl interior and thought it to be perfect for holding some yarn.

Action shot of my wonderful lunch bag at work!

Like all good projects, I learned some lessons for what to do next time.
  • When using iron on vinyl (or anything that is adhesive) cut the fabric you want at least half an inch bigger then you intend. Apply the vinyl, then cut to size. This will ensure you get the vinyl on where it counts and don't accidentally iron it to your cutting mat. (Don't worry, that didn't actually happen :) )
  • Never use leather as a draw string. It sheds and is hard to pull.  
  • You can use the spray feature on your iron to get out stubborn creases! Never knew this one before (apparently it's a known thing) and it was like discovering a new toy!


On top of finishing my bag, the fabric for my swap buddy came in is as beautiful as I thought it was going to be!  I ordered Midnight Gems by Michael Miller and am totally in love! The tones of the fabric are so rich and deep with the light sprinkling of white.


And I appreciate any fabric line that mixes in appropriately matching solids.


Thursday night I was able to finally pick out the fabrics I would use but unfortunately I couldn't touch the fabric again until this past Sunday. And even then I only had time to cut up the pieces I need and apply the vinyl on the inside layer.



The inside layer is a surprise for my swap mate!  I was able to order some of the fabric from her Pinterest wall that she liked but was from an out of print line.  Etsy came to the rescue on this one and it looks wonderful! It doesn't go with the rest of the fabric line so I figured the inside would be a nice place for the piece.