Saturday, January 29, 2011

my next project

Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.6

Friday, January 28, 2011

Hat #2

I have 2 sick kiddos... we were up most of last night. One was croupy and not breathing very easily, the other has strep throat. They are feeling a bit better today and I'm hoping we all sleep better tonight!

I didn't sew today but I finished up hat #2. I changed the pattern a bit this time--knitted the earflaps and first few rows in garter stitch instead of stockinette and omitted the crochet around the edge. I had been feeling weighed down by a couple of UFOs I've been procrastinating, and I told myself I'd just work on one for 15 minutes. It turned out that it didn't take too much more time than that! :)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.6

Thursday, January 27, 2011

9-patches week 11

9-patches week 11
Only 7 more to go!

I've been working on some other projects this week, too.
doll with diaper
This doll really needed to not be naked, and my husband said something like "well, do we have any fabric in this house, and  a sewing machine?" So I made a couple of diapers for her. This is baby Arabella, by the way. The diaper has velcro closures in the front and I put some elastic in the back waist to make it fit better.

And a baby gift:
baby gift
A flannel blanket, 2 burp cloths (with little ribbon loops), and a hat (pattern from Ottobre design 4/2004).

We have been busy this week with a meeting about middle school enrollment, 5th grade vocal music program (sooo cute!, um I mean really cool), pinewood derby, and my husband's birthday. I made my mother-in-law's peach cheesecake for birthday cake; I love it. I bought extra ingredients so I can make the cake again soon. I'll try to remember to take a picture and then share the recipe here--it's so yummy!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Monkey Quilt Blocks

12 goodnight monkey blocks
I sewed four of these blocks today and now I have 12 done, plus one that will either go on the back or get fixed--I accidentally made the outer strips too narrow. I cut them the other day and it was nice to have them all ready to put together. I planned out the next 4 as well, maybe I'll cut them tonight.

So I'm pretty much 1/3 done--I'm going to make 35 for a twin-size quilt for my 6-year-old. If you want to make blocks like these, here are the diagrams for the 5 blocks with cutting measurements included.

I like how they look, especially the dark brown. Those outer strips really eat up fabric though and I may need to reorder more solid fabrics before I'm done.

Friday, January 21, 2011

9-patches week 10

9-patches week 10
Only 14 more to make!--I'm making a throw-size quilt with 48 blocks this time.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Here's what I've been working on the last couple days:

heart table runner
It's going to be a table runner for a little table in my living room. After trimming it I think the top border is a little too narrow and I'm not sure if I should add on more, or cut some off of the bottom. I'm going to put it away for a while to think about that and try to figure out how to quilt it. I'm thinking maybe some hand quilting... I seem to always think that when I make these smaller quilts.

We have another snow day today (we got  8 or 10 inches starting at 12:30 p.m. yesterday) and I think I'm going to knock out this week's 9-patches and finish another couple of small UFOs. What are you working on? Have you made any Valentine quilts or other projects?

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative

Back in July, I made a couple quilting bee blocks for Natalie of beyond the reef patterns. She requested that we use the scraps to make a quilt for the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. I made the quilt top but didn't finish it right away.

Fast forward to 2011--a few days ago I got an email from Rene' at Rene' Creates, asking for help in getting the word out about the Alzheimer's Art Quilt Initiative. Rene' has come up with a challenge and will be hosting monthly drawings for those who make and submit quilts to AAQI.

So the other day I was feeling the need to finish one of my many UFOs... and here it is!
Hope Valley Alzheimer's Quilt

I just got it registered on the AAQI blog and am awaiting shipping instructions. It didn't take too long to finish and the binding fabric is kind of special. It's from one of my husband's grandpa's shirts, that I used to make the shirt quilt for his grandma. I couldn't find any other fabric that matched, and I'm glad I remembered one of the shirts was a dark blueish green fabric.

If you're interested in making (or buying) a quilt to benefit Alzheimer's research, visit the AAQI website. The quilts must be 9x12 inches or smaller, so it can be a quick project if you want (and if you're not a procrastinator). I tried out a new free motion quilting design on this quilt, and I think these quilts would be a great use for scraps, too. The most difficult thing for me is that you must give the quilt a name--I'm not good at naming my quilts.

I'm going to make another one--this time I'll plan on having it done by the end of February. What do you think? Will you make one too?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

patchwork days

The knee on my son's corduroys ripped. (Pre-distressed cords are a bad idea, really, but they were the only brown pants we could find when we were shopping for Indiana Jones costume components a few months ago.) He requested a red patch. This is my first time doing this kind of patch. I unpicked/seam-ripped the non-topstitched leg seam in order to be able to do this.

I like it! (I hope it doesn't rip again near the edge of the patch!)

I also mended a backpack and hemmed jeans for my talented bow-making neighbor today, too. I think I'm going to make a few quilt blocks next. :)
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Friday, January 14, 2011

Happy Friday!

I'm so glad it's Friday!  It's been kind of a crazy week--the boys had 2 snow days at the beginning of the week and it's been super cold here. We are finally warming up a little too--it's supposed to be 34 degrees today, so much better than single digit temperatures.

I did some sewing this week--here are my week 9 nine-patches:
9-patches week 9
I made nine this time, so I'm a little bit ahead. I have the fabrics picked out for the next batch, too.

Yesterday I worked on my son's Sir Francis Drake costume for the 5th grade wax museum that's happening today! Nothing like the last minute, right? (I would have worked on it earlier in the week but the insane weather kept me indoors.) Hopefully I'll have pictures (and his permission) to share after the event this afternoon.

I also wanted to share some good finds from my local thrift store:
vintage patterns from the thrift store
Patterns! This store used to have their patterns bundled up in bags with maybe 4 patterns in each bag. You couldn't see what they all were, so I never bought any. Now they are selling them individually so I picked these ones. I have to say that the main picture on that top right pattern is downright ugly, but I've been wanting to make one of the cross-back sundresses for my girl, and I'm pretty sure view D (the bottom middle image) of this pattern is the one I'm going to make. Maybe without the ruffle, though. Also. I have no reason for buying the baby layette pattern, except that it was too pretty to resist.

I do love all the little dress patterns; the three from the 60s/70s all look like they should be made from double knit polyester though. I'm going to have to come up with a better fabric choice than that. Any suggestions?

I also found a pretty Pyrex bowl:
pink pyrex from the thrift store.

Finally, I'm excited to be featured on Gen X Quilters today! Head on over to read a little more about me, if you want. :) Thank you, AnneMarie!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baby Maggie

Baby Maggie!
Here is Baby Maggie, short for Magpie. My husband has named several of the dolls in our house, including this one. The other dolls, because I know you wanted to know, are Baby Lucy, Baby Ruby, Baby Abby (named by the boys), and Baby Arabella (I picked that name). The old baby that used to be J's doesn't have a name.

I enjoyed making Maggie, even though it was kind of stressful because I was trying to do it in secret before Christmas and my daughter was having a difficult time sleeping the nights I wanted to work on her.

Here's some of the information about making this kind of doll, if you're interested:
I got the kit to make her from Weir Dolls and Crafts. It included "skin" fabric with the pattern printed on it, yarn for the hair, thread for sewing the body and hair, wool stuffing, embroidery floss for the eyes and mouth, and the stockinette and string for making the head. I purchased doll needles at a local craft store--you need a long needle because sometimes you are sewing through the head.

I worried a lot about doing the stuffing just right, and I think I did ok, but it's the kind of thing where you probably get a lot better at it each time you do it. I think I ended up stuffing the arms a bit too firm.

I did the hair using the 3-layer hair tutorial at Ashtabeulah. I wasn't sure if I should do it this way or with the more traditional crocheted cap/stranded method I read about elsewhere, but I liked how the hair looks on the dolls from Tumbleberry Toys and Bamboletta so I decided to go with the sewn hair. If I make another doll like this, I will probably try a smaller one (I made the 16" doll this time) and try some fun hair colors.

The kit I bought came with a clothing pattern--I modified the shirt/dress pattern to have short sleeves and made the pants out of lightweight denim. I think it would be fun to make her a sweater, some underwear, and cute shoes someday too. :)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Snow Day!

My husband woke me up around 6 a.m. to let me know school was canceled. (He left early for work, that's why I got to get the news so early.) I had a good day with the kids--I spent some time being a star bit helper on Super Mario Galaxy 2, did some laundry and dishes, took the 2-year-old out in the snow, and shoveled some snow until a wonderful (teenage!) neighbor came over with a snowblower and finished the job. I love my neighborhood; I love my neighbors. We have a great crew on our street but usually don't see a lot of each other over the winter months. It was fun to see over a dozen kids and several moms out in the cul de sac today.

I got some good sewing time in too, while the kids had a movie event in the basement. We had 3 extras here and Lauren fell asleep leaning over on Ashley... so cute. I made 4 secret quilt blocks and finally finished my daughter's doll... why do I procrastinate things that only actually take a few minutes? Tomorrow I might tackle another procrastination project. It's going to be another snow day, but probably too cold to be out in it much.

Friday, January 07, 2011

13" quilt block diagrams & measurements--new and improved!

Here are the new diagrams for my 13" square-in-a-square quilt blocks.
13" quilt block diagrams
1/4" seam allowances are included in the measurements given here. A few of the blocks I've made so far can be seen here. The .pdf file is here. Feel free to use these diagrams to make all the quilt blocks you want!

Thanks so much to Dielle for making the .pdf! You rock!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

13" quilt block diagrams and cutting measurements

diagrams and cutting measurements for 13" quilt blocks
I drew up these diagrams for my 13" (finished, they are 13.5" square until they are sewn to each other) quilt blocks with the measurements for cutting each square and strip. I thought I'd share them in case anyone else wants to make these same blocks. I'm planning on making 35 for a 65" x 91" twin size bed quilt. You could make 12 for a large-ish baby quilt, or 24 of them for a throw-size quilt. Um, these diagrams are probably not to scale. I might draw them up all fancy on the computer and make into a pdf if anyone's interested. Let me know what you think.

Edited to add--the bottom strip on the bottom left block should measure 2.5" x 13.5". Thanks for pointing that out, DL!

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

9-patches week 8 + some other blocks

9-patches week 8
These are last week's blocks. I guess I'm a little bit behind but right now I'm focusing on sewing for fun and not a schedule. It's a nice change after the busy holiday season!

I've been busy making some other things too. Mostly quilt blocks. Sometimes I think I like making individual blocks more than making whole quilts. Maybe it's just the (nearly) instant gratification that I like. 
Here are some monkey blocks:
first four monkey blocks

When the Goodnight Monkey fabric came out I decided I wanted to use it to make a twin-size quilt for Jacob. I really enjoyed making quilts with 12" blocks last year and decided to make his quilt with large blocks. I did some math and figured that with 13" (finished measurement, they sew up at 13.5") blocks, I can make a twin size quilt with 35 blocks. I decided to make the quilt blocks in a square-in-a-square style, no wonkiness or crookedness because he likes things straight and neat. I drew out a few different blocks with varying measurements but my diagrams had the finished measurements written on them. On that lower left block there I forgot to add the 1/2" I needed for seam allowance to the outer square. Oops! I think I'll redraw my diagrams with the cutting numbers instead of the finished numbers.

And... here are my last two bee blocks for 2010.
final 2010 bee blocks
I was in two virtual quilting bees last year and these are my last 2 blocks, for Stephanie of Bee Beautiful. Here is the link to photos of all my bee blocks last year. (I was going to make another mosaic, but now I'm not.)

Finally, here's a sneak peek of my no prints allowed Kona solids quilt.
kona solids challenge sneak peek
I think I'm keeping it a secret until March. So far it has been fun and I like what I've done!

I'd love to hear about what you're making. Are you having fun sewing without a time crunch?