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August 7, 2014 / carriebee

Paper piecing and a big fail

I recently tackled a complicated paper piecing project. It’s from a cute pattern by Sew Ichigo called “Kitchen Classics“. It was fussy, but not nearly as difficult as I expected. I finished the piecing in a few hours. Here’s a picture of how it looked after I quilted it:

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Pretty nice, right? I was really happy with it, minus a couple small stains from the Elmer’s school glue I used while piecing. I decided to wash the quilt to remove the marks. Here’s where things went awry.

know that I prewashed all of this fabric before I started the project. When I handwashed the finished quilt in the bathroom sink the blue Kona fabric bled. A lot. I tried soaking the quilt in an attempt to remove the backstaining, or at least get the blue to backstain everything evenly, but no luck. I tried a weak bleach solution to remove the backstaining and just succeeded in bleaching the blue fabric. Then I soaked everything in a weak bleach solution in a last-ditch effort to even out the staining and fading. It was a total fail. Ugh!

I should’ve taken a picture of the fail, but it just made me too mad. I threw it in the trash right away. Today is garbage day and I just heard the garbage truck swing by and pick it up. Sigh.

I intend to make this pattern again, but probably not with a white background. And definitely not with the blue fabric. The blue fabric went to the dump today as well. Good riddance!

July 3, 2014 / carriebee

WIP Wednesday: Embroidery project

I’m a day late with the WIP Wednesday post, and a year late with the Wild Olive Summer Stitching Club… but better late than never, right?

I joined the Summer Stitching Club last year and then promptly forgot about it. Sigh. I’m happy to be working on the project this week though! My beloved sewing machine is (unexpectedly) in need of a tune-up. While I wait for its return I dug out the Summer Stitching Club pattern and floss, and bought some lovely pin dot and American Made Brand fabrics at PixieSpit‘s local shopping day.

 

June 25, 2014 / carriebee

WIP Wednesday: I-spy baby quilt

Lisa at FreshStash always has the most adorable bundles of fabrics and a great selection of novelty prints. She recently started selling packs of 150 3″ squares – perfect for I-spy quilts! They were too adorable for me to pass up. I bought a pack and added to it from my own stash of novelty and solid fabrics. I got a little carried away and ended up with 260 squares!

I have enough squares to make 2 baby quilts. Each one will have a 10 square x 13 square (25″ x 32.5″) I-spy center section. For this first quilt I added a 1″ semi-solid border and a 5″ neutral print border. I have plans for an orange and aqua binding.

I used a new (to me) basting technique to make the quilt sandwich. I used #8 pearl cotton to baste the quilt using this method. Here’s the whole quilt top:

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A close-up of the front:

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And the back:

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This method takes just slightly longer than pin-basting (for me) but I like this so much better – I just clip the threads as I quilt a section, which is a lot faster than unclipping safety pins. Plus, every time I pin-baste I think I lose about 10% of my safety pins and that gets expensive. I now only have enough safety pins left to baste one baby quilt at a time. I’ve used spray-baste for a couple quilts recently and I liked it, but this method is way cheaper than spray baste, too. I think this will be my new default basting method from now on!

June 16, 2014 / carriebee

Drawstring shoe bag

One of the very first things I remember sewing, with the help of my grandma, is a drawstring shoe bag for my dad for Father’s Day. I remember being so happy to sew with my grandma, and I was so incredibly proud of it when it was done. I remember my dad using it a lot when he traveled.

The bag wasn’t fancy, I think it was a vellux-like material that wouldn’t fray with a shoestring for a drawstring. I’ve been meaning to make a couple drawstring shoe bags for myself and my husband for a long time – they are much classier than packing your shoes in a plastic grocery bag!

I was motivated to finally make another bag when I saw this fantastic drawstring shoe bag tutorial by The Purl Bee. The construction is really clever – there are no exposed raw edges!

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Isaac picked out the fabric and drawstring, and he even helped sew a few of the seams. He’s probably too young to remember doing this later, but he was happy to help and very happy to have made something for Dad. He was so anxious to show Dad his present that he gave it to him Saturday night!

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We used a plain chambray rather than a fancy double-sided plaid because I wanted to embroider the bag with a design from the Sublime Stitching Camp Out embroidery pattern.

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I used the “away knot” instructions from Penguin and Fish to keep the ends of the embroidery floss in place. So far, so good! The back looks very neat and it doesn’t look like the ends are going anywhere.

June 4, 2014 / carriebee

Mini cat quilt

I knew back in December, as soon as it was posted over at Oh Fransson, that I wanted to make a Cat Quilt. It is so darn cute! I don’t have enough scraps to make 25 uniquely colored cats, but I do have more than enough cats to make a wall hanging / doll quilt. So I did just that.

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The finished size is 12″ x 12″. The vertical sashing between cats is 1.5″ (cut size) and the horizontal sashing is 1″ (cut size). The vertical borders are 1.75″ (cut) and horizontal borders are 1″ (cut). I used 2″ strips for the binding, the skinniest binding I’ve ever done. The background is scraps of Quilters Linen, which I wish I had bought a lot more of – it’s such a nice background fabric!

May 23, 2014 / carriebee

Dopp kit

Last weekend we took our (very early) summer vacation. The week before we left I made Isaac a little dopp kit to hold his toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. He choose the fabric and zipper: a Japanese linen blend for the outside and a large parka zipper. I chose coordinating fabrics and the pattern – the Zipper Pencil Case from Craft Passion.
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I made a couple modifications, eliminating the tapering at the top of the bag and making only one gusset. Although the pattern is originally intended to be a pencil case, with the wider top it’s the perfect size for toddler toiletries. Having one gusset keeps one side secure while giving you room to rummage around on the other side. With two gussets the bag wouldn’t open nearly as wide.

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Although I’m getting better at adding piping, I’m still not great and the seams each took a few attempts. It’s worth it though – the bag wouldn’t look nearly as nice without piping. Despite some fussing with the piping this bag only took an afternoon to make. I highly recommend it!

I used one layer of batting and two layers of medium-weight interfacing for everything except the gusset. If I make this again, I would use heavy weight interfacing so the bag holds its shape better. The parka zipper worked out great – easy for little hands to open and close.

 

May 12, 2014 / carriebee

Giveaway Day! Win a quilt pattern!

Giveaway Day

Today is Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! I’m participating by giving away a copy of my updated Macro Plaid Quilt Pattern.

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To enter, leave a comment below by May 16th. I’ll choose a random winner by May 18th and send them the PDF pattern via email by May 18th.

Need a comment prompt? Let me know what your favorite fabric pattern/design is. For me, it’s a toss up between plaid and paisley. Good luck!

 

Update: the winner is Cathy, who likes geometric prints. Check your inbox for the PDF pattern, Cathy!

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