I think we can all agree that we will miss Google Reader. I haven’t decided what I want to switch to – Feedly or Bloglovin’ are the top contenders. I’m not super happy with either app on my iPhone. I guess the big thing is that it’s hard to make change!
Anywho, just in case:
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I finally have my first finish of 2013! I signed up in December for round #13 of the Doll Quilt Swap, thinking I would have a ton of time over Christmas break (I took off 2 weeks) to crank something out. I had a plan in place by then…but no one told this naive first-time mother that her energetic little 6-month old would want to be entertained EVERY. SINGLE. MOMENT. she was awake (which is often, she doesn’t do naps well). So “vacation” wasn’t exactly restful and relaxed.
And then it was back to the grind with work, where the weekends are often spent catching up on household neglect during the week. On top of that, my grandfather had a heart attack, with his future prognosis not that great (he’s too unstable to have his pacemaker battery replaced before it gives out in a couple of months, so…). We decided we needed to make a trip to have Kit meet her great-grandfather, in case he doesn’t make til we go for a family trip in late April.
So that knocked out a weekend, and left some cut fabric sitting all by its lonesome on a table in my sewing room. And as if that weren’t enough, apparently the flu shots Kit and I received weren’t the kind that covered whatever nasty bug is swirling around Lala-land in early February, so we both got sick!
So I finally kicked myself into gear last weekend and in the evenings of this week so I could mail this lil quilt out today, right on time:
Any regular reader will know I often have a problem with people selling quilt patterns, when the basics are either easy to determine on your own…or are already available on the web via a free resource. So I rarely buy patterns now that I’m confident with my quilt math skills. But I had to make an exception for this one – the Stairway to Heaven pattern. I’ve had it for a while, and have been waiting to test it out. DQS seemed like a good opportunity. So I reduced the pattern by 50%, redrew the seam allowances, grabbed my can of spray starch and went to work.
I was pleasantly surprised by how flat the dodecagon laid after I got it sewn together – it was rather easy, only 1 partial seam to deal with. Then I miscut a lot of the gray background and ended up not quite square on a couple of the corners. I grabbed some orange scraps to help me bridge the gap there, which turned out to be an Oops with a happy ending – I think the corners add a nice bit of pop!
I’m not much of a quilter (and rather chicken to try something new, especially working on a tight deadline), so I just outline quilted in the dodecagon, and added in more parallel lines in the gray corners. Again, due to time constraints, I did a machine binding – I’m getting better at it, but still haven’t quite perfected it yet.
I’m super happy with this pattern! I was simultaneously piecing another version for myself with this one (so I didn’t have to waste thread), and am going to add one more border to make it big enough to hang on the wall above our bed.
And because I can’t resist adding in another picture of the munchkin… we did do some Valentine’s Day crafting over the weekend. She clearly wasn’t so sure about what I was doing to her.
I’ve now achieved an important crafty mom milestone: my first round of teacher gifts.
What does one make when slightly pressed for time (aka, the night before rhe holiday party at daycare) but yet wants to slightly personalize the gift?
Answer: mug rugs (or snack mat, if you prefer).
I tried attempted to take into account the personalities of the munchkin’s three teachers, so they’re fairly scrappy.
After those 3, I nearly petered out with making mats for the 4 “breakers” who frequent the kiddos room. However, I made the decision to use some matchy fabrics and tried to sew as fast as possible.
I think they went over well, and if not, it wasn’t a huge time commitment on my part. And so begins handmade teacher gifts…guess I’ll be doing this for years to come!
I’ve started a new project, one with a looming deadline. Needless to say, my rotary cutter got quite the workout today (baby has a cold, which means lots of naps).
If anyone has 2.5″ purple squares, I’d be interested in trading some other squares in exchange… I’m also trolling for 1.5″ pink and red squares. Remarkably enough, that current stack contains over 120 unique red and pink prints, and I haven’t even dug into yardage yet.
The “pretty as a picture” dress from Handmade Beginnings by Anna Maria Horner has been on my list for a bit.
I bought some Lizzy House Guising (and am proud of myself for going with brown, it’s not typically my favorite) and dug into the pattern, which didn’t really end up being as difficult as I was expecting. Clothes for tiny humans seem to be complicated mostly because of the small size. The patterns themselves aren’t too bad. I do kinda wish I had a serger, the inside seams would look nicer than the zigzag seams.
I didn’t quite get the elastic on the bodice taut enough, so it does gape a bit off the little miss. However, I’m going to make a winter version, so I’m hoping to redeem myself. Between this dress and the Quick Change Trousers, the book seems to have been a worthy purchase. I have the new AMH patterns on my wish list, so that I can make bigger kid versions of these items (hint, hint).
seriously, how cute is that little pumpkin bum??
I now know where the glitter is at Joann. *big grin*
Sewing stretchy fabric isn’t so bad when one uses the proper needle (ball point). I made my first pair of DIY baby legs from a funky pair of knee socks from Target. We are taking our first plane ride with the baby on Friday, and I thought the leggings would facilitate diaper changes while keeping her legs warm.
These were fun to make! Hopefully they work out; there are lots of cute socks at Target to choose from to make more!
Thank goodness for the Fat Quarter Shop’s Coming Soon Page – I troll it every once in a while so I know what I don’t want to miss! And Riley Blake isn’t a manufacturer I normally gravitate toward…but I think I will for this collection!
How often does your kiddo have a fabric collection named after her?? It’s still not entirely my style, but I figure I’ll pick up a couple of the more basic prints, just so I can get a selvage that says her name on it!
I feel like I’ve been on a bit of a Tula Pink bender lately – fabric and pattern. So I think these are my last Tula projects for a bit – but she is a tempting mistress, so I know I’ll be back (besides, I still have a Neptune quilt top to finish up, some Prince Charming to continue to play with, and Birds & Bees that will probably turn into a Space Dust quilt).
But at long last, I finished binding the Flutterby quilt for our bed, and am loving it! I used Hobbs Tuscany wool batting, and I think it shows off Margaret’s quilting so nicely! Also, it breathes really well, and should work for both summer AND winter in SoCal. The quilt, combined with the viewfinder-covered cedar chest, really pop off our dark gray walls in the bedroom. I’m using the Sherbet quilt as an attempt to keep the fur children off the Flutterby quilt, and it seems to be working. I also made pillowcases with some Flutterby yardage I’ve managed to procure from Etsy. I actually have another set that’s been in use for a few months now, also using some Flutterby yardage.
I also made a banner for Kit’s room using Tula’s Modern Alphabet pattern. The original pattern blocks finish at 8”, so I reduced the measurements to get 4” blocks, with 1” sashing between each letter. I outline quilted inside & outside each letter.
The E is a little funky on the end, so I did quilt the inside in an E shape. I machine bound the banner with my favorite print from Daisy Jane’s Shades of Gray line.
Eventually, I may actually make the Modern Alphabet quilt as intended, but for now, I might be a little obsessed with half-size name banners. They are such a fun way to use up scraps!
Anyway, onwards & upwards! My next sewing forays are probably going to involve Anna Maria Horner, specifically the Pretty-as-a-Picture Dress from her Handmade Beginnings book. I have some Lizzy House Guising fabrics purchased for a Halloween dress, and some Laurie Wisbrun Brrr fabrics for a Christmas dress.
I’ve been playing with fabric, but didn’t sew it. I decided the nursery needed a little pizazz, so I cut some fabric circles (using plates and my circle cutter for the various sizes), dipped the pieces in undiluted starch and slapped them on the wall. Viola! Instant, easy wall decor! Based on what I’ve read, it should peel right off without any mess. As an added bonus, the Daisy Jane Shades of Gray fabrics have nice contrast, which is good for young eyes.