May 13, 2013
We took our summer vacation very early this year, last week in fact. When we left Minnesota for Florida it was too chilly for shorts, I had to make Isaac try on his summer clothes to make sure we packed things that fit. Turns out he had plenty of shorts and shirts but had outgrown all his hats.
I used the Betz White bucket hat pattern for probably the seventh time, this time in a medium. I can’t say enough good things about the pattern – it is easy, comes in a wide range of sizes, and fits well. It’s a little big on him but he likes to pull it down over his eyes so it works out ok. Here’s the little dude playing his first game of mini golf in his new hat.
I used Kokka Trefle vehicles, linen, and 2 layers of medium-weight fusible interfacing. I like the amount of interfacing, it keeps the brim from flopping in his eyes.
May 3, 2013
There has been a lot of cute map-themed decor on the interwebs lately. I’ve been motivated to make some wall hangings lately. Hence this “where-we’ve-been” map.
I downloaded and printed a US map, then enlarged it. To transfer the map to the fabric I taped the map to a window, taped the fabric over it and traced the state outlines using a water-soluble pencil.
I used fusible web to iron states to the map, then I machine-appliqued them to the map. I quilted the outline of the US with a walking foot, and free-motion-quilted the background. This is my first free-motion project in years, and this is definitely the best looking one yet.
I washed the fabric to get the nice wrinkly look and hide a few flaws in the machine quilting. This also washed out all the state outlines I had drawn, and now the middle looks empty. I’m debating whether to quilt some of the outlines, all of the outlines, or just wait until we visit more states and applique them on. What would you do?
April 24, 2013
Me in my Uptown Coat, Isaac in his “papa hat”. This was back in November when we were waiting for snow. Now we can’t wait for the snow to leave.
Isaac loves his papas. He calls this his papa hat. It is in fact a Huck Finn cap that I made using the Sew Liberated pattern. It was not easy – I had a lot of difficulty with the brim, but it was worth it. He wears it often, he loves it, and he gets a lot of compliments on it. I’m already planning a papa hat in the next size up.
I made my jacket years ago in a class at Crafty Planet. It is probably the sewing project I am most proud of, definitely the garment I am most proud of. I am planning another jacket for next fall that will hopefully top this one.
April 21, 2013
I designated 2013 as the year I finished things. Hmm. Well, I’ve finished one thing. I made a baby quilt for my high school BFF, who just had her baby last week.
I wanted to make a hexagon quilt, similar to this one that I made for my niece. I wanted to make it with a rainbow of fabrics and have it be kind of an I-Spy quilt. I dug through all the bits of fabric I’ve saved from past projects, which was super fun. I had previously made my friend a quilt for her college graduation and her wedding, and I was able to work in fabric from both those quilts. I also used fabric from two quilts I made for Isaac, the quilt for my niece, from the big pink quilt, and more. I love that I can remember where I used each fabric.
As I sorted through my stash I found a plethora of greens, blues and purples. The three red pieces you see are all of the red fabric that I own. That is all of it. Three pieces of red. Tied for second-to-last in my stash are yellow and orange with four pieces each.
On the back I put three prairie points on the bottom right side. I think they are pretty cute, I will probably be adding prairie points to more quilts soon. I love that these prairie points are the same fabric as the binding for my friend’s wedding quilt.
This quilt was so fun to put together that I am already planning a duvet cover for myself.
January 11, 2013
I stocked up on Marty goes to Mars fabric this summer during a couple trips to the S.R. Harris outlet. I got enough for 2 toddler-size pillow cases, a quilt, and some leftovers. The quilt is made of mostly 4″ squares, with a couple 4×8 and 8×8 pieces thrown in. It’s 52×36 inches, the perfect size for Isaac’s toddler bed. Which he used for a month before he switched to a twin bed. Sigh.
I wanted this to be perfectly square since (I thought) it was going on a toddler bed (for at least a year) it would be painfully obvious (to me, anyway) if it wasn’t square. I also had pieced the back and I wanted the quilting lines to be parallel to the seams on both the front and the back of the quilt. I have been making quilt sandwiches by taping baby quilts to the floor with painters tape, but I’ve noticed that method doesn’t always guarantee that the front and back seams line up perfectly. Painters tape is only so sticky, and it can only hold fabric for about an hour before it starts to give up. To make sure everything lined up I used a quilt frame.
My husband helped me make the frame. It’s canvas tacked on to strips of hard wood. I think the strips are 2.5 inches x 6 feet. There are 4 strips. The first two are set up on parallel sawhorses. I use a tape measure and carpenter square to make sure the frame is set up squarely.
I start by laying the back of the quilt wrong-side down and pinning it to the frame, starting with the center of each side and working out. I pull it pretty tight. Then I smooth the batting over the back but I don’t pin it. Last I pin the quilt top down, again starting with the center of each side and working towards the corners.
Once everything is pinned in place I baste the quilt using really long – about 3 inch – running stitches. Then I take it off the frame and it’s ready to be machine-quilted.
My grandma taught me how to stretch quilts like this. It does take more time and I don’t do it for every quilt, but this is my favorite way to stretch quilts.
January 7, 2013
I did finish a lot of things in 2012, I just didn’t have time to post about them. So I’ll be doing some wrap-up / catch up posts this week.
I finished this just in time for Isaac to wear for Thanksgiving and birthday celebrations. The first few times I made him wear it he would yell “Ow! Owwie!” One time I gave in and took it off him because he would not settle down. No, he is not allergic to wool. It think it just hurts him to look nice – he cries when I put on his cotton toddler vest that I made him, an acrylic vest his grandma made him, the sailor shirt I made him, and store-bought button down shirts. Tshirts do not cause “owwies” though. Sigh. I’ve made him wear this sweater many times now and he has finally stopped crying about it.
Above, all dressed up to go to the Walker Art Museum. Below, dressed up to see Santa at his day care holiday program. Santa (mom) gave him lacing cards, woohoo!
Pattern: Rune sweater (ravelry), size 2T
Yarn: Vermont Organic Fiber Company O-Wool Balance
January 5, 2013
This year will be different. See – I’ve already finished something!
Needles: US4 addi clicks
Pattern: Hitchhiker (ravelry)
The pattern is easy and makes a nice long scarf. The yarn is beautiful and there was a lot of it – over 500 yards I think – so it took a while to finish. Almost two years, actually, which is too long even for a gigantic ball of yarn. I’ve organized my yarn and fabric closet and noticed a lot of other projects that have been languishing for far too long. 2013 will be the year they are finished. I have plans.
October 15, 2012
I finished a small baby quilt last year, as part of the Minneapolis Modern Quilt Guild’s half-square triangle challenge using Kona Cotton charm packs. I used all except the grey and white squares in the charm pack. There were a ton of greens!
I made flying geese blocks out of my HSTs, using a grey Kona cotton for the background.
Isaac has been using this quilt for a while, but he is starting to outgrow it already. Plans are in the works for a toddler bed quilt.
October 11, 2012
I finished a sailboat top (pattern by Oliver and S) for Isaac using Liesl sailboat fabric from Joann’s. I think I made the 2T size, although it could’ve been 18-24 months. It’s been sitting in his drawer finished for months. It’s a little big through the shoulders and the sleeves are long, but he’ll grow into it.
The next one will be solid fabric, with contrast stitching and shorter sleeves. Extra long sleeves on this kiddo requires extra stain-sticking later.
He had a busy afternoon of digging in the yard and distributing dandelion seeds at the neighborhood park.
October 1, 2012
Last month I mailed the fifth (and I think final) crib quilt for this year to its owner, my new niece. I fussy cut pieces of Peacock Lane Menagerie in brown and added borders of Kona Cotton solids and coordinating leftovers from the big pink quilt I made a few years back.
This is the first pieced quilt I’ve made with so much negative space. It was a challenge to piece the negative space efficiently – I hate wasting fabric. At first I tried to do the math to plan the exact dimensions of each piece of brown fabric… but I realized it would take f-o-r-e-v-e-r to accurately cut pieces. Instead I cut strips of brown fabric in varying widths and used those to fill in the space around the blocks. The end result is not *exactly* the layout I had planned, but it’s pretty close. I’m happy with the end result, and not much fabric was wasted. Win, win!
The only part I’m not happy with is how some of the quilting lines pulled the fabric. I can tell that some lines really pulled the fabric in the direction of stitching, so the pink stripes on the back are not as straight as I’d like. I hope that I’m the only one that notices. Sigh. I think I tried to get by with too few basting pins this time, and didn’t pull the fabric as taught as usual when I taped it to the floor.
I really love the pink + brown combo, and I’m pleased with the way the fussy-cut blocks turned out. I know it will be appreciated in its new home.