Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Orientation Station!

Well folks!  That's it for Project Quilting, Season 5!  Except for off season and bonus challenges -- hooray!  This experience has been amazing, and I am so thankful for it!  I've grown a lot, learned a lot, have made 6 great projects, and have won some prizes!!!  Woohoo!  Now on to this week's quilt!

This week's challenge was to incorporate triangles.  I started by browsing the half-square triangle quilts on pinterest.  I loved this pin, and wanted to make something similar as a sort of table runner/decoration for the area where we prepare our tea and coffee in the morning (no, all day).  I am so thrilled with how it came out (other than the binding -- I wish I had chosen a different color.  Oh well, not redoing it!).  I love the two-tone background creating secondary arrows.  I love that these are not all colors I would have typically chosen, but they work fantastically with the space where it will live.  It's thanks to Pink Castle Fabric's color inspiration club that I even had these to begin with.  I think it will add a little brightness to those early morning routines.  Because of the triangles and its location in our home, I have named it "Orientation Station".  The finished size is 64"x 13".  I create in Broomfield, CO.

Because no photo shoot is complete without some posing.  Who wouldn't have tea with these cuties!

Aren't these teas so pretty?!  I found them on sale at Whole Foods, so I snatched up a bunch.  As well as being pretty, they are also quite tasty.

The voting post will be here after noon Sunday if you're interested!  Thanks for reading!  :)

Perfect Pattern Parcel #1: Summer Concert Tee & Lady Skater Dress

Perfect Pattern Parcel is a really awesome concept.  It is a bundle of great patterns by independent designers for which you can name your price AND a portion goes to charity!  How cool!  So I snatched that right up.  Here is the summer concert tee pattern by Dixie DIY.

This is the second one I made, so it came together much better and quicker.  Let's just call that first one a muslin.  ;)

It is so incredibly comfortable in a jersey knit.  It will be a perfect summer staple.  I also love the lowered hemline in the back -- perfect for leggings.  I lengthened the pattern just a touch as I am too old for showing my midriff.    I also decided to make the XS even though I'm usually a medium.  It is so roomy, and I just prefer a closer fit on tops like this.  I also didn't use the collar dimensions after ripping it out twice on the first version.  It just wasn't long enough for me to work with.  I found this youtube video, and followed her instructions. 

And here is the Lady Skater Dress by KitschyCoo.  It sewed up like a dream.  I would not have thought myself capable of this at all, much less during naptime (mostly).  This cotton jersey fabric from Girl Charlee feels like butter.  So comfy.  I think I'll wear it tomorrow.  Pardon the winter white legs and strange facial expression.  I was laughing at Everett.  No modifications on this one.  It was perfect as is. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Quiet Book Pages

This week's project quilting challenge was to be inspired by 3 things at the grocery store.  I found this a good time to get started on another one of those meaning to do for a long time projects.  My mom recently bought this book for me...


So with the book and a challenge to inspire me, it was time to get busy!  I also needed a bit of a smaller project this week as I was finishing up a baby quilt for friends and was anxious to mail it off!  I used the book for basic instructions on getting going and for the cookie page.  I used pinterest for the strawberry puzzle.  The book's instructions are really for minimal, if any, sewing, but let's face it...it's much cuter when you do!  So I appliqu├ęd like crazy. 

My threefold inspiration:
1. I used to love going to the grocery store with my mom.  I don't know if she realizes it, but she taught me a lot of math there. 
2.  My boys loooove strawberries.  I generally have to avoid pushing the cart near them unless I'm willing to shell out the organic price. 
3.  Baking with our grocery store ingredients is one of our favorite things to do together. 

The first book page is 7"x10", and is a baking pan with cookies.  The task is to match the number of sprinkles to the number on the pan.

Everett really likes to be in my pictures, even if it's just his hand. 
The numbers are one side of the velcro!
 The second page is a strawberry puzzle. 

I was pleasantly surprised to see that it wasn't too easy.  At least on the first time.

So there it is.  I've got two pages done!  Hah!  This will be a time consuming project, but worth it in the end.  I hope to have two decent size books before our road trip to Wisconsin this summer!  I think I'll go back through the project quilting challenge topics for more inspiration...zipper page for the string along with me challenge, something with stars, maybe constellations for the universe challenge...etc...etc...

If you'd like to vote on this week's challenge, it will be at this link after Sunday at noon. 

P.S: I can't believe it, but my one block wonder "Infinite Possibilities" won the last challenge!  I'm flabbergasted and really appreciate all the kind words, love, and support!

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Project Quilting #4: Across The Universe

I can't believe I've participated in all the project quilting challenges this year!  When I first heard about it, I thought, "that sounds cool...I'll watch from the sidelines."  Then the ideas kept coming...along with motivation!  And I'm so glad.  I keep getting to try new things and do those projects that tend to just brew at the back of my mind perhaps never getting a chance to be created.  This was just one of those projects!  When I first heard about the "one block wonder" awhile back I was intrigued!  They have always appeared very celestial to me, especially when there is a lot of black in the original fabric.  This week's challenge was to be inspired by the theme "Across The Universe."  I ruminated on a few ideas, but was very excited to remember the one block wonder!  (There is a fantastic set of tutorials on YouTube by Jacqueline OBrien based on Maxine Rosenthal's book.)

This quilt I have named "Infinite Possibilities", and the reasons are threefold:
1. The number of ways this quilt could be created is truly infinite.  From the way the repeats are cut to the cut of the triangles, to the arrangement of the hexagons, and then to the placement of the hexagons in the whole quilt.  I don't think you could make the same quilt twice or reproduce one seen.  I have seen a few done with the same fabric, and they don't look at all the same.
2.  If you had told me that I could have created a quilt of 100 hexagons made up of 600 triangles, pieced, quilted, and bound in THREE days, I would have told you it was impossible!  You're crazy!  Nuts!  I have two toddlers, you know, right?  As I saw this creation actually coming together, and all the work I was capable of doing in a few short days, I realized one thing...infinite possibilities!!!
3.  And finally...The universe IS infinite!

Here is the fabric I started with.  This fabric is crrrrazy!  I am drawn to modern quilting, and this fabric would NEVER have entered my mind to put into a quilt.  Ever.  But when creating a one block wonder, the idea is to get a fabric with a big design in colors you love.  This fit the bill as I wanted something very celestial with the stars and swirls of the universe.  I also wanted the fabric to have a good bit of black.  As cool as it would have been to show that a celestial quilt could be made from non-celestial fabric, this was just too perfect to pass up. 

To start, the fabric is cut on a chosen repeat 6 times, and stacked on top of each other in a very precise fashion.  Strips are cut, and then triangles so that there are 6 identical triangles for each hexagon.

I cut 107 triangle stacks!!!  I kept wondering why I was so crazy!  What was I thinking?!  I ended up using 100 of them to create the quilt.  In the end, I'm glad I made so many. 

Designing each block was so much fun.  Each set could create one of three different designs.  Below I've shown the three different options for one set.  

Once the hexies were formed, it was time to design.  I tried to make a ROY G BIV-ish arrangement from the top left corner to the bottom right.  I quilted it to have 3 points that radiate straight lines - "stars". 

To border or not to border.  Tough call.  I went with no border to make it more of a "throw" size rather than a twin size.  It ended up 46"x64".  Turns out my 4 year old really took a liking to it while I was quilting it, and decided he'd like to sleep with it.  Oh well.  He's not too big, so it still works.  He also said it would help him stay cozy and sleep longer.  Hah!  Sold!  

 The back has a strip of the original fabric down the side to show where it all came from!  Ooh, and the rest of the backing is flannel, which is why Ev wants to steal it. 

Bound and quilted.  Three days.  Wow!  I'll have to try to get a better full shot when it's not being slept with.  :)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Project Quilting Challenge 3: Sweet Treats

In light of Valentine's Day, this week's challenge was to create something inspired by candy.  Everett and I had already discussed sewing treat bags as Valentines for his classmates.  I figure I can go all out this year--the one year I have before there are two classes to create/buy for!  To make this a project quilting challenge, we sweetened up the bag design by adding some candy motifs. 

First, we have each friend's name sewn into the scalloped red ribbon along with what Everett likes to call "fancy stitches" (hearts in this case).  He often comes up to me while I'm sewing, asking, "Mom, are you doing a faaaancy stitch now?"  In the picture above, the names are covered to protect privacy, but you can see Everett's on the top bag.  To me, these ribbons are reminiscent of red licorice. 

Then we created and appliqued conversation hearts onto each bag.  I found some stiff felt that worked great for this.  The conversation heart words are all preschool appropriate not to mention modern.  My favorite: "TEXT ME." "EMAIL ME" is a close second.  :)

The bags all have a red lining.  I couldn't remember how you're supposed to add a lining.  I should have looked it up on YouTube, but I just winged it.  They mostly turned out right.  Hah!  The ribbons are sewn in between the two layers.

Initially, the plan was to make the bags to hold a few pieces of candy.  But when they were finished, I realized they are the PERFECT size to hold a little box of crayons.  So we had to add that to them as well. 
And look!  We really did sew these together.  As much as a 4 year old can.  :)  I think it made a wonderful memory for us both. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Longhorn Luncheon

Project Quilting is a fantastically fun every other week challenge I am participating in.  It allows me to grow in my quilting skills as well as creative and artistic skills as I crank out a quilting project in one week's time.  This week's challenge is called "Upcycled".  The product must be made entirely of things that have had a previous life as something else, and two of these items must be things never intended for a quilt or clothing.  While it does not have to be a traditional quilt, it must include at least one of the following: patchwork, applique, or 3 layers stitched together by hand or machine.  (I didn't read the directions closely enough with the first challenge, and actually made sure I met ALL those requirements.  Hah!) 

Since we have moved twice in the last two years, we don't have a lot of extra things laying around waiting for the donation truck.  We did, however, inherit lots of curtains with this house.  Most of them we love, but a few we took down.  Some of those just happened to be burnt orange!  Now what is a University of Texas grad to do with burnt orange curtains!  This was very exciting.  There were also some white curtains.  Perfect!

I decided a tablecloth for our outdoor table would be both practical and fun.  I used a curtain on top as well as on the bottom because I wanted some extra weight.  The white cotton curtains were used to make four Longhorns to applique.  This project let me really get comfortable with applique, which was way more fun than I thought it would be.  I expected the polyester curtains (with lining, again wanted to maintain some weight) to be a challenge to applique onto, so I pinned the lining in place before hand. 

Perhaps my favorite thing about quilting is seeing the secondary design come to light as the blocks are put together.  So when my mom suggested putting four longhorns together, I knew that is what I HAD to do!

Now the only thing worse than bees joining you for lunch has got to be when your tablecloth blows away.  Enter my two items never meant for clothing or quilts (the curtains really weren't either, but these fall into the non-fabric category nicely).  By taking some ribbon that previously wrapped some fat quarters and four washers, I created a system to anchor the tablecloth to the table. 

Isn't that nifty?!  I've wanted to make a tablecloth that anchors down, but I don't know if I would have ever actually done it without this project! 

Ta-Da!  Now who wants some BBQ?

The Messy Cook Gets All Quilty

Well, it's been almost a year since I've blogged last.  I have missed it greatly, but life was calling louder.  I am starting to get more time for my own hobbies, and I hope to blog about them more regularly.  I really enjoy writing, so my apologies for the change in topic, but this may be a shift from "the adventures of Everett and Paxton" to "the adventures of Mommy 'me time'".  So what have I been up to?  Lots and lots of quilting and sewing.  I have made purses, scarves, quilts, wall hangings, card pouches, etc, etc, etc....  I am excited to share with you my latest project in the next post.  So while many posts will be quilting/sewing related, I will also share some funny stuff about the kids again.  :)