Friday, July 31, 2009

I've now actually started!

Just a quick shot of my 9 patches that I've started on for the quilt along!

I like it so far but can't decide if some of my patches will have the constant pink swirl fabric in the position of 5 squares or always just 4 squares... hmm... something to consider.

Also, I have worked on quilting my coin quilt... it's just a long slow process. I have about 13 inches out of 55 done.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I've "started" on my quilt along

I used quotes in this title because all I've really done is started cutting out the fabrics since I'm still waiting on my fabric to come via mail. But I'm glad to say I've gotten started! So far a lot of the pieces I've cut are also from my quilt that I'm working on. I'll just be sure to spread those out so they're not near each other.

Here's how the quilting is going on my quilt as of tonight... ugh! This is going to take a while! It's about 55 or 60 inches long.

Monday, July 27, 2009

What have I gotten myself into???

I couldn't bring myself to free hand a whole quilt just yet... I don't feel great about it yet and need to maybe do a small wall hanging or something and practice some more. I've seen the type of quilting I've chosen to do before on a couple other people's blogs and thought it would be great for this quilt.
I used a piece of painters tape as a guide since my coins don't line up exactly and since I'm going across the rows and not with the rows.

Holy cow! This is going to take a LONG time!
Here's the back. I've done a total of 10 or so rows and it's very time consuming. I'm going to have to do a few rows at a time.

As far as the quilt along goes, I'm still waiting for my fabric...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

I'm nervous!

I picked out the back of my quilt and I got my quilt sandwich made which means I should be ready to quilt. Only problem is that I can't decide how to do it! I love the stippled look but it's free motion quilting and I have only practiced a little bit and while I'm getting better, it's still not great. If I don't do stipple, I don't know what else to do... Here's how much I pinned it together. I now know why people have bent safety pins.

Here's a shot that shows the back I picked out.

Friday, July 24, 2009

It's week 1 and I'm already behind

On my 9 patch quilt a long that is. At least last night I finally picked some fabric that will be in each 9 patch and around the edges. I wanted something to be the same for some consistency... we'll see how that turns out. Here's what I bought on etsy yesterday.

I think today I'll start cutting my 2 1/2" squares of my stash fabric for my 9 patches that I'll work on first when this fabric arrives at my doorstep! Today's the end of week 1 so I'm not too far behind but still! I'm sure it's easy to fall behind and I don't like starting behind already!

I had a friend over the other day that wanted to be inspired to use her sewing machine. She has a daughter just 4 weeks older than my youngest and so we made her a tag blanket. She loved it and it turned out nice.

I started on a 3rd quilt while on vacation at my brothers and I'll post some pics of that when I get a chance to work on it again... hopefully soon but I need to finish my 2nd quilt first! I finally found just the right background for this quilt top.
It's orange with a speckled pink dot on it. I looked for an image on line that I could share but couldn't find one. I'll post pics when I'm done. I think it's going to turn out nice!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Joining a quilt along

Amanda Jean at Crazymomquilts is hosting a second quilt along for a 9 patch quilt that will turn out to be about a twin size. I think this is a great opportunity to work on Sarah's quilt that I've been wanting to make. She has details on her site but the gist of it is that you make one 9 patch every day for 70 days (5 days a week) and you'll be done! Except for sashing, sandwiching and binding of course :) But she gives you all the directions and everything which is so nice! Check it out if you get a chance! It starts today and I don't think I'll start on it just yet as I'm still on vacation. My sister-in-law doesn't have a rotary cutter and mat and with quilting it's very critical to get it all the right size so I'll start when I get home.

Each 9 patch uses (at least in all her examples) just 2 different fabrics and I thought about picking one fabric to use on each of the 9 patch squares and then I'd use some from my stash for the other fabric. Make sense? I thought it would provide some continuity to the quilt. Of course since it's for Sarah, I'll use some variety of pink I'm sure. Maybe another trip to JoAnn is in order... :)

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Am I in heaven??? No... it's Indiana

I'm at a family reunion at my brother's house this weekend and so I've been a little light on sewing and posting. I'm in heaven though because my sister-in-laws sewing/craft room. It's part of their basement and it's wonderful! A great island to spread your fabric out and so much room, I LOVE IT!
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My SIL likes to make clothes for my niece so she has a nice stash. I showed her a pillowcase I made for my daughter and she loved it so I made two matching ones for my niece for her room.

They turned out cute! They're flannel. We've got coupons for JoAnn and the girls and I are staying until Tuesday or Wednesday so I'm sure we'll be making a few trips this week and more sewing will be taking place before I come home... I'll keep you posted.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Let me introduce you to my new friend

Have you met my new friend??? I don't know her name just yet but we met a few days ago and already I like her a lot! She's so versatile, easy to work with, nice to talk too! Here's a picture of her.

I was borrowing my mother-in-law's sewing machine and although it was working just fine for me it was a very basic machine with really no extras. My new machine is completely computerized and so much quieter! Before, my husband couldn't hardly hear the TV or music that was on if I was sewing and now it's no problem! Have I mentioned that I LOVE my husband? On my way out the door to pick out a machine he says to me, "Don't go cheap. Get whatever you want and spend some money." What a guy :) I could have gone well over $1,000 but I didn't even go close to that. I think I got a good price for a good machine and I'm happy. I got it from Winston Sewing Center and it comes with free classes that are really just 1:1 tutorials about the machine.

We're all sick at my house but I did manage to make a pillowcase tonight. It's the one in the picture above. It's my first flannel one as we've got some birthdays this fall to give gifts for! Again... I really need to work on the pants... maybe I'll do that next.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I still haven't found the perfect backing...

I can't decide what to back my coin quilt with... I need to go back to where I found the original fabric and see if I can find something I like. I also haven't decided if I'm going to try to make it bigger somehow.... ugh! Decisions, decisions!

I did find the batting that I'd like to use. From what I've read from other bloggers, this is a good one so I figured I'd give it a try.

While at the fabric store, I also picked up fabric to make a pillowcase and pajama combo for a boy who has a birthday this fall. I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out!

I've also been looking for a quilt-along to join. It's where someone puts together the directions for a quilt and has you do so much per day or week and gets you motivated to make progress. Crazymomquilts just finished one and made mention of doing another one soon... I'm hoping so!

A new type of pillowcase

A week or two ago I made an orange pillowcase for Sarah and I wanted to make her matching pajama pants... here's where I'm at so far.
I used this Instructable to make them. I think I need a pattern to make them well enough to be gifts but these will be fine for a first time try. While the directions are written well, I think I'm novice enough that I need more help than they give :)

My sister, her husband and her 3 boys (9, 9 & almost 12) are in town from the West Coast and they drove. They're spending the month of July here in the Mid-West. They brought travel pillows and my sister asked me to make some pillowcases for them. I've been making bed pillows so these slip covers were new for me but they turned out well. My sister, her husband and boys spent all day today at Fan Fest for the All-Star game today in downtown St. Louis. They were there for over 10 hours so to say the least... they're fans of baseball so these pillow cases seemed appropriate.

I just used a plain white pillow case that my sister had for one of the pillows as a template. To show how much of a novice sewer (is that the right word?) I am, I first cut the cream fabric wrong. My dad always says "measure twice, cut once." Where I went wrong is that I measured wrong... twice! So I had to piece it together to get it to work. I made sure it was pieced on the back and not the front. The first one I actually started sewing was the blue one and you're supposed to sew right sides together... yeah, I forgot about that so I spent some time with my seam ripper. Yep! This is all new to me! I'll get the hang of it eventually!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What I'm working on and what I'd like to do

I added a section on the right of future things that I have in mind to work on. One of the things listed is a dress for Sarah. She currently owns this dress
and it's one of my favorites! I love it and as I was looking at it the other day on her it's getting a little short and as I looked closer, I think I may be able to duplicate it. We'll see. Again, it's on my "to do" list so we'll see when I get to it.

The other thing on my list is a quilt for Sarah. I do have 2 daughters so you may be thinking, what about Leah? Well, that's where I'm way ahead of you! (don't you love how I talk about you like you're really there even though I've shared this blog address with NO ONE so far!! haha! At least I'm amusing myself!). My current project is a quilt for Leah. Below I showed a sneak preview of it but here is the quilt top finished... I think. I say I think because now I'm wondering if I shouldn't have made it bigger to fit a twin size bed. She's not ready for a twin but I'm wondering if that would have been more practical... not sure yet but here it is.

The style is called "Stacked Coin". These are the 9 fabrics I've chosen and it's coming together nicely. I'll post another pic when there's a bit more to show. I didn't follow a pattern or anything. I knew that I liked the stacked coin look so I went to flickr and just typed in "coin quilt" just to see what all was out there and how folks made them. I just picked a style I liked. I will say I learned a lesson about seam allowances so far with it. I am doing 5 rows of "coins" each with 28 rectangles. I noticed that 2 of my rows, once they were done, hung slightly to the left. Meaning half way down the row they started vearing left instead of being a straight line. I realized that some of my seams weren't 1/4" from top to bottom. Some of my seams got bigger toward the end. Meaning when sewing 2 rectangles together, I started with 1/4" seam but then ended with a slightly bigger than 1/4" seam. This caused my row to not be straight. I fixed about 4 - 5 seams in each of the 2 rows and that fixed it just fine. I was also then more careful with the next 3 rows.

If I do chose to make it bigger, I'm thinking about adding some squares around the outside and then sashing again in white... not sure yet. Oh and it's about 40" x 60" right now so I think it needs to be 60" x 90" to be a twin.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My first projects

I did take a quick sewing class. I only had 3 classes and it was much more social than a learning experience but I did make a top for Sarah. It looks impressive but the instructor told me step by step what to do so it was pretty easy.
I even did a zipper!!!
I made a dress all on my own for Sarah but it was so easy! It's just a piece of fabric from Joann's with the smocking already done. I just measured it around her, sewed a seam up the back and hemmed around the bottom. I added straps so it wouldn't fall down and that was it!

Well, as easy as it was, I still managed to mess up the bottom... I learned how to do a hem at sewing class yet I failed to do it that way on this dress... I'm going to have to redo the hem...

Two other projects I've done are from patterns and tutorials I've found online. One was a little cubby box. I don't think I cut the inside cardboard big enough and I wasn't as precise with my seam allowances as I've learned to be so it's kind of flimsy but it's still cute.

The tutorial came from crazymomquilts.

Then I did this cute bag from a tutorial at Filminthefridge.

It's pretty easy as long as you don't screw up the handles like I did. Eventually I got it worked out and it's a nice bag.

The last thing I've been into making lately are pillowcases. I don't know why but they're so darn CUTE! Here's just one that I've done. It's for one of Sarah's friends for her birthday. My plan is to make her a pair of matching pajama bottoms to go with it.
The tutorial for the pillow cases is over here.

Finally... here's my new quilt that I've started on.
It's called a stacked coin quilt. I found some full and queen sized white sheets at the Salvation Army store by my house the other day for only $2 each and I'll use one of them for the sashing and backing of this quilt.

How it all began...

I started sewing back in May of this year. My ultimate goal is to make a quilt out of my two girls' baby clothes. Since this would be something that I'd want done well, I decided to practice and do a few other quilts first. I made this quilt for my friends Dave & Larenda who are having a baby the end of this month.

I liked my fabric choices and it came together well other than the fact that the bottom stripes didn't end up even. I'm NOT a perfectionist at all but some things still bothered me about this one, specifically the binding. I tried a zig zag stitch which I thought looked okay until I looked at the back and it didn't line up AT ALL.

Ugh! I was discouraged but really didn't want to do it all over again. I ended up giving them the quilt but gave them a "real" gift as well since I felt bad that the quilt didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped but honestly for my first, it's not too bad. My favorite part was the back. I liked how it looked.

Another item I wanted to learn to sew was tag blankets. They're super soft and cute and so incredibly easy! They can be expensive if purchased in a boutique or online. I was happy with how they turned out!

I made several in different colors and some without tags at all. I'll post more later today or tomorrow about my other projects that I've done so far and then a list of projects that I have in my head.

Friday, July 3, 2009

New Blog

I've just recently taught myself how to sew and I have loved reading all the quilting and sewing blogs so I thought I'd start my own. Through this blog I hope to show how easy it is (hopefully) to teach myself how to sew and quilt. I'm not even sure who I'll share this blog with at this point. Thanks for stopping by... whoever you are!