Wednesday, April 18, 2012

wip wednesday

a look at what's going on on my dining table. it's become my (temporary) second sewing spot. i love having a dedicated spot upstairs in my bawthroom, but ever since i did all that work while listening to general conference with the family earlier in the month, i've had my cutting tools and a few handwork projects parked on the dining table. with them close by in reach i find i can grab them every now and then to work on. and, when i'm working on pressing and sewing, i get some exercise running up and down the stairs from the iron, to the cutting mat, to the machine.

so here's what i did this week:

-began handquilting the baby quilt
-sewed together top and back for baby's 4sq blanket
-printed off pattern for ladybug softie
-pressed fabrics for new shabby squares quilt

i find i like having several projects going at once and hopping around among them as i have time. keeps it exciting.

i love this vignette of the bits and pieces of this week's work, especially the great new fabrics in heather bailey's freshcut line and hello, luscious by basic grey for moda. they mix really well together. the soft colors in the meadowsweet fabrics for baby's 4 sq meld nicely, too. even the yellow pins and my tools fit the color scheme. then there's that bright and bold oopsy daisy quilt in there, begging to be quilted some more. inspiring.

Monday, April 16, 2012

girls out and about

i took daughters #4 and #5 to the scrapbook/fabric store on friday evening before daughter #1's last soccer game of the season (yay!) to have a look at some fabrics i was eyeing online. #4 was not too awfully well behaved. even with the promise/threat of one of the store's suckers if she was good, she barely held it together. no tantrums, just all over the place, grabbing fat quarters left and right, running around, squealing with delight, etc. i was also there to select fabric for an edith twirl skirt for her because a friend told me they were super simple to make. but my little monkey made that nigh on impossible to do. so i went back the next morning with #3 and #4 was not invited. we had some quality mommy/daughter time at a much better pace.

this little lady stayed close by me, didn't grab like crazy, and even brought her own money to buy fabric with. two of her selections weren't available as fat quarters on the shelf so i made her carry the bolt to the counter and ask for a cut herself. at first she didn't want to do it, but i made it clear that was the only way she would get what she wanted and she did it. the second time around, she carried the bolt with a smile on her face and belted out "fat quarter, please!" nice and loud. i had a pleasant trip with her and was even able to get some fabrics for those twirl skirts.

while at a different store, mulqueen's sew and vac shop, i saw the craziest quilt i think i've ever laid eyes on:

who knew lingerie and quilting went together? not me! and i'm still not convinced. where would one put such a quilt? the guest bedroom?

the sales lady assisting me in finding parts for my machine told me the quilt was created as part of a challenge: that bright paisley fabric was given to participants, who were told to "make something wild" with it. i think the quilter most definitely succeeded in the wild department. wowsers. obviously this quilt involved a lot of time, attention to detail, and skill. beyond that i'm baffled by what to say about it.

however, undie quilts aside, i finally got the walking foot made for my machine! (that's her, actually, under the quilt - the pink-panelled project runway {innovis 40} by brother.) and while i was there, i sprung for a quilting table attachment, too. these purchases mean i'm ready to get to work on machine quilting limb and taite. if i'd had the walking foot before instead of trying to use my old singer foot i probably wouldn't be picking out all that stitching on limb still. those two projects are right around the corner.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

wip wednesday & #13

hello, blogland! baby and i were working on posts and thought we'd share a picture of ourselves while we're at it. she's making a funny face, but there you have us - a view of what's on the other side of the screen.

not a whole lot of sewing going down this week, but i did finish something: another 4sq. yawn. i know. who wants to read a blog about the infinite ways to combine 4 pieces of fabric, some flannel, and embroidery floss? not exactly riveting reading but i do want to keep track of what i produce. it's sorta the purpose of this blog for me. so here you have it - 4sq #13 for my niece laynee.

i must say this is my current favorite because of the hot fabrics. i showed my seester and her husband a few options and she let him pick because, as she said, "believe it or not, he actually cares." drew has pretty good taste in my book. he flattered me by saying, "i thought {so-and-so's} blanket was impressive until i saw hydee's." very gratifying.

i don't know which i like best: the asian-looking chrysanthemum panel or the orange daisies.
i loved the robert kaufman grey with white polka dot flannel but was rather unsure about how feminine it didn't look with the orange floss for the edging. i like the way it turned out, but it just wasn't saying "baby girl" to me. katee loved it, however, so we're okay.

katee came to our family egg hunt on saturday, so i was able to hand off the completed blanket before laynee was even a week old. i think that's a record. later in the afternoon i spied it rolled up next to their diaper bag and thought it looked fetching that way, hence the photo. i might have to use that styling for future shots.

that's my one completed project.

in progress:
taite quilt
oopsy daisy dozen quilt
ladybug softie

trips to the store: none!

internet purchases:
-some end of bolt items from the quilted castle 
-my first ever bit of flea market fancy by denise schmidt, the height of trendy, hyped-up fabric. too bad the ones i wanted were all out. i got a little of the dots and one yard of the large floral with the yellow background.
- at long last, a few pieces of sandi henderson's secret garden from sandi is probably my favortie designer and i've had my eye on this collection she gave her first sneak peeks at it.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

wip wednesday

thanks to general conference, i got so much done this weekend! i worked on whatever was available as i could through out the 8 hours of inspirational listening and sewed at the machine in between sessions. it was like crafting ADD: blanket stitch this one, clean out my sewing caddy, help kids with stitching projects, press some fabric, more blanket stitching, cut a new blanket, sew here and there, figure out this border, etc. fun! i definitely didn't get bored of any one project. in fact, i didn't even get to all the things i wanted to work on.

i can't decide if i am more proud of finishing nearly 3 of the 4sq blankets or for pulling taite back out and making some progress. my daughter was definitely happy to see work on her quilt underway once again. maybe by this next birthday i'll have it done?

this border took some time to fix. i'd previously pulled off the border because i didn't like the way the angled seams looked, so i had a pile of stringy-edged, angle-ended strips of various sizes. i didn't want to spend time doing the math to make everything even, so i just pressed and straight-cut the ends, then lined them up around the outside. since i wanted to add more blue to the border, i had purchased and cut the blue background pop daisy print (bottom two strips) to add to the border, but i couldn't make it work out evenly and just pulled it all together. i pieced the other three fabrics and sewed on. none of the strips are evenly-sized, unlike everything else in the quilt, but it bothers me a lot less than the diagonal seams did. it's good enough. in fact, when i look at the top, i don't even notice this because they all blend so well together. time to move on and get this baby finished! just need to decide how wide to make the outer neutral border. i have precut jelly roll strips in snow, which i used in all the blocks, but i think i might want to make the border wider/quilt a bit bigger by using a wider border. then again, i really don't want to cut anymore. hmm. probably should have done a snow inner border, the blue/green border, and then another snow border. too late now - i am not pulling this off again.

ollie's 4sq (#11)
hailey's 4sq (#12)

lanee's 4sq (#13) - top and back completed, edging started

in progress:
taite - added blue inner border
oopsy daisy baby six and one half dozen quilt
ladybug softie - pressed fabrics, located pattern

in the wings:
out on a limb
baby's 4sq

trips to the store: none!

internet purchases: fabricworm package arrived

Monday, April 2, 2012

inspired sewing

i had a fabulous opportunity to get lots of project time this weekend: general conference. twice a year instead of regular sunday worship sessions, our church's worldwide leadership broadcasts four two-hour sessions of inspirational talks over the course of the weekend. our family watches from home via the internet.

to keep little hands busy and mouths quiet while we watch, i allow the children to pull out their sewing boxes and create. even the four-year old got to stitch this time. i gave her a small hoop with some muslin in it, some inexpensive embroidery thread, and a tapestry needle. (normally i use burlap because the large, loose weave is easy for little hands to navigate - but i couldn't find my surplus.) she was happily occupied for most of the conference with selecting colors and simply putting the needle in and out where ever she pleased. a few times she flipped the hoop and the thread got wrapped around from front to back, but it was easily fixed. after the first time or two she quickly recognized what she had done, making it easier for me to unpick. love to see them progress in understanding like that. just look at that big smile on her face (which looked a lot bigger as it scrunched into her eyes before i had to crop half her face for privacy reasons.)

the two oldest girls dove into churning out felt pastries for the play kitchen's food collection.

then the oldest daughter picked up some of the cutting scraps and turned them into this cute little scrap bug, purely from her imagination.

i felt like i had project ADD as i jumped from one project to the next, doing a bit of this one and some more of that one as i had the chance over the two days. lots to report for my wip this week!

my favorite talks heard while doing all this crafty goodness?

importance of family to the fabric of society, m. russel ballard (here)
how trials help us grow, henry b. eyring (here)
the race of life, thomas s. monson (here)

4sq #11 and #12

i've completed a round dozen of these babies now, with my baker's dozen almost done, too.
for my nephew, ollie, whose nursery is surf themed. i probably could have found much cooler beach/surf fabrics on the internet, but i decided the week of his baby shower to do this thing and just ran to the store. hey, it was january and i had a two month old baby of my own. i was happy to find some moderately cool surf stuff and to get the top completed before the shower. his parents insist they like it, so i should just get over my paranoia about making geeky stuff and be happy with it myself. i finally completed it this weekend and ollie got to snuggle in it when we all went to the movies together friday night.

there is a surfboard panel, blue seaweed, grey starfish, and a stripe from the collection on the top. the back is a speckled baby blue flannel. all edged in a deep sea blue to match the seaweed and stripe squares.

#12 goes to my niece, hailey, born last month. she's my husband's sister's daughter - their girl #5 to match our girl #5. only we also have two boys and they've none. love it! my husband's family gave a shower for my s-i-l and myself in january, hitting right in between the births. i wasn't into sewing again just yet, so my s-i-l got a bag of fabric for her present. "what's this - burp cloths?" she asked. nope, it's going to be a blanket. two months later it finally is.

the chandelier panel is a bit out there, but it was the only pink from the collection. i think it looks a bit odd with the less formal/mod flowers. my 13 year old kept drooling over the fabrics, though. hope my s-i-l likes them as much. the back is a soft pink flannel. the edging was done in a bright pink to match the dots. wish there had been a nice grey for the edging instead, but there is a surprising lack of greys in embroidery floss.