Monday, August 8, 2011

back in business

my plan is moving forward. our weekend turned out too busy for sewing, but when my 3yr old needed a bath this morning, i thought, "it's splish splash stash time!" i figure if i squeeze in bits when i can, i will eventually get something done. my goal was to simply square off the four fabrics for a new 4sq blanket while she bathed. my starter project dilemma got decided for me when i got invited to a baby shower this weekend, so 4sq blanket it was. then the 9yr old walked in on me cutting and asked when she could work on the blanket for her teacher's baby. the little splasher was still happily swimming/getting clean, so we squared off teacher's fabrics, too. little splasher still didn't want to get out, so i put the 9 yr old to work sewing her top.
she's learned a lot about sewing in her 3 classes she took from kelly, but she had some trouble keeping her seam straight today. her other projects haven't required as much precision as i was expecting/needing for this blanket. we couldn't figure out why her seam kept wandering to the left and she had difficulty self-correcting. this is a gift, so i was totally hovering over her, lending a hand.  i was pretty patient with her, but i could have been a tad less exasperated. i don't want to put off her confidence. together we survived and got her top sewn. i'll take the blanket from here, doing the back and the blanket stitch myself. before she makes a gift for someone else all by herself, i want her to have more practice. i plan on her making her own larger version of the 4sq for herself, using 8 to 12 squares. that should give her some good experience with the seams and the blanket stitching.

once she was done with her top, i realized it would be only a matter of minutes for me to do the 3 seams required to get my top together and just did it.
the colors don't show well in this photo - the red is actually deeper, less tomato - but here's the top. should be simple enough to add the back tomorrow and get stitching on the edges. i love easy, quick-satisfaction projects! very gratifying.

by the time i was done sewing, i insisted the little fish in my bawthroom remove herself to dry land. she was pruned beyond belief and turning purple. when she started crying about being so cold, i sat her in a chair and wrapped her quilt around her.
that warmed up her chilly body and put a huge grin on her face. the last few weeks she's been playing with her quilt a lot. even though i never completely finished off that last bit of embellishment on the top, she's enjoying the quilt so i just let her use it. maybe i never will finish it, but i don't think baby cares at this point. maybe i don't either. maybe for now it's good enough. being loved and used was it's purpose anyway, even if it's not 100% done.

Friday, August 5, 2011

phase one

phase one of my most excellent plan to get back into sewing is complete: i cleaned up my sewing area this morning! really, i did. you couldn't even see the table top before. or walk around it or sit in the chair.
phase two: pick a project and get cutting. slated for tonight or tomorrow. wish me luck.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

recovery, maybe?

i bought some fabric! does that count as sewing or quilting? about as much as stocking up on more scrapbook supplies counts as actually scrapbooking. (i only bought 4 sheets of decorative paper - honest.) the point is I FEEL LIKE SEWING for the first time in months. and i'm going to.

so it went down like this: i took my 9 year old daughter to the scrapbook/fabric store as a very belated birthday treat. she's been asking and asking to get her own album and supplies to use for herself (the one's i've made for her don't count). my birthday present to her was to let her pick out some stuff and get her started.

while we were there, we also selected some fat quarters to make a baby blanket for her Primary teacher's new little boy. this daughter has been taking sewing classes and i might even let her do most of the sewing on the blanket because i think she can hack it.

as we were looking for baby boy fabric, i noticed some new fat quarters i found very appealing (opening photo). i thought, "those would be perfect for a 4 sq blanket for someone's little girl. four fat quarters can't hurt." and i put them in my basket. i was very proud of myself for not feeling tempted by anything else in the store even though so much of it was new. see, i just don't feel right about buying fabric when i have shelves and shelves of it and haven't sewn a stitch in months. but those four little squares seemed harmless. and, okay, i have to admit to getting four bits of meadowsweet 2, which was on clearance, because i want to make the same 4 sq blanket for my baby that i made for anne's. that's my favorite one. so eight fat quarters for two simple, easy-peasy blankets. that was it.

when i got home i was actually excited. i looked over my sewing table and decided i needed some clean-up and organization right away. i did not feel like throwing up at the thought of doing either this or turning on my machine. that's progress! then i thought about the other three baby blankets i got fabric for months ago and the three babies who had been born recently but not received blankets. i need to get busy! a large portion of my family will shortly be involved in an extended outside activity and i think i am actually going to SEW during that time. it's a few weeks away still, but i'm setting that time aside for my projects.

as i thought over this dive back into sewing and those four new fat quarters, i got to thinking how much i enjoyed making "star cookie" and how easy it was. so today while i was out on that side of town, i picked out two more fat quarters, a backing material, and binding fabric so i can make another little baby quilt in the same pattern, handquilting and all. here's how out of it i am, though: i only bought one yard of fabric for the backing. i must have been thinking along the lines of the 4 sq blankets, which require one yard, rather than that six fat quarters equal a yard and a half. dang.

um, i also got a jelly roll because that oops-a-daisy line by keiki for moda really is absolutely adorable and i had a coupon. i think it'll be perfect done up in the same pattern i designed for "out on a limb." i spent some time today figuring out what else i'll need for the quilt. maybe i'll even do a tutorial on the baby quilt and write a pattern for the strip quilt pattern, which i'm calling "sweetspot" because of that accent square. if i photograph as i go along, i could do that.

now here's my question before i get too carried away: do i force myself to complete the two unfinished quilts before i knock out something new OR do i just go for what i'm excited about right now? i'm reluctant to drag myself down with the guilt of unfinished work but i think i am more motivated to tackle the new stuff immediately, then get back to those other projects. i'm leaning toward quick, instant satisfaction rather than a long haul to finish those two quilts. tough call.

either way, i hope to have something completed in the near future. something to post other than a picture of new fabric or what my girls have sewn. wish me luck.