Thursday, August 27, 2009

Baby quilt from before

I feel like I haven't been posting as regularly as I should. Partly this is because it's summer and I just don't have that much time to sew. This will end next week, but for now, I thought I'd do a little show and tell from my pre-blog days.

Today I'm showing you my favorite baby quilt. This was for my friend Sandy's baby, Cassidy. She was born in January of 2008. The quilt uses something like 58 fabrics and came entirely from my stash (except the borders and backing). I had shown Sandy some quilt magazines and she kept saying things like, "I like this one, but with a little more red and yellow." It's a pretty big quilt for a baby quilt. Those are my husband's feet and he's slightly over 6 feet tall.It was really quite a challenge to lay out. I separated blocks into ones with red, yellow, both and neither. I don't have a big design wall so this was done on the family room floor.

When I decided to just do straight lines for the interior quilting, I thought it would be a piece of cake. It ends up that I was able to quilt just two lines for the entire inside (they bounce off the borders). The difficultly was in that at some corners, I ended up having to shove the entire quilt through the space in the sewing machine. If I had meandered or done some other kind of free-motion quilting, the most I'd have to deal with would be half the quilt under the machine at once. But I am happy with the way the quilting came out.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Round robin

Have you ever been in a round robin? I highly recommend doing one if you haven't. They're a great way to flex your creative muscle. Since you never know what you're going to get, you end up have to come up with a way to make it work, even if the piece you have has unusual colors or measurements that seem to be from another planet.

The round robin I'm in now is the fifth one I've been in. Two others were with my Monday night quilt group (as is this one), one was with a group at the shop and the other was with the guild. That last one didn't go very well, but that's another story.

Anyway, my Monday night group is doing another one. There are twelve of us participating, and my sister who lives in Oklahoma is one of them. There are enough that we have split into two groups. In this case, we're doing row quilts. So, you make your row, then pass it on and receive a row from someone else. In the end, you get your row back, with other rows, made by other people, as part of the quilt. Amy is in this round robin, too, but she's in the other group.

So, here's my sister's row before I added anything to it. It's huge!
I can't show you all of my row, partly because it's supposed to be a secret (though my sister doesn't actually read my blog anyway, so it's not like it matters that much), and partly because I don't have it all done yet. It's not due until Monday night, so I have tons of time! This is a very small part of it, maybe 3 inches wide.
If you haven't tried paper piecing before, you should. It greatly expands the choices you have in blocks. You can do some amazing things with paper piecing.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Nervousness and underwear

I can't sleep. I'm on medication that seems to make me very sensitive to caffeine. That, and I'm nervous about the Minnesota Road Show. Are you sick of hearing about it yet? I think I'm nervous because these classes, short as they are, come with outlines which are close to scripts. So I'm anxious because I feel like I may miss something. I'm much better when I get to talk off the top of my head (I try my best not to talk in the other direction, if you know what I mean). Anyway, I have quilted the step-out piece for the tote bag section I'm doing.
Complete with little flowers. I used a shop machine and took my chances with the needle. I figured, it wasn't a big piece and I wasn't using especially thick thread. However, the thread broke a couple of times and I ended up borrowing a topstitch needle from someone else who was there. It turns out I was using a jeans needle. So, if you ever feel like trying to quilt with a jeans needle, don't bother. It's not worth the hassle.
Also, I had to go to the dreaded WalMart (I hate shopping there but we had a gift card) and bought some underwear for Amy. Can you blame me? I think they'll be way too big for her, though.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Demo sample making and yummy food

I haven't been sewing much lately. My back has been sore and I was worried about hurting it again. But, deadlines loom, so here we go again! Tonight I worked on a demo piece for the Minnesota Road Show. It's the body of the Farmer's Market Tote. I will essentially stop this one about halfway through, just before assembling the bag, so people can see what the piecing looks like. The fabrics for this one are very different from the last one I made. This one has big, bold prints.
Also, RT made some fantastic shish kabobs last week on the grill. They were marinated sirloin and they looked so yummy I had to take a photo (sorry to any vegetarians out there):

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Mending day and a little applique

So, remember the twirly skirt I made Molly a while back? I had bought a white t-shirt so that I could applique one of the motifs onto it and I finally did it! I also applied some crystals, because a little sparkle never hurts. It's a little puckery, but I am too lazy to have used stabilizer, aside from the Wonder-Under that's fusing them together.
She loves it! I also fixed an old Gap dress (from a yard sale) of hers. I swear it was made with the cheapest thread imaginable. I've had to fix nearly every seam on the thing. And I fixed a stuffed animal and a little beanbag. She's happy. You can see part of my stash behind her here. Yes, I have two drawers dedicated to purple. Want to make something of it? And the plastic bin is full of my scraps. It's bursting.
RT even got into the mending spirit. Here he is reapplying a button, all by himself!