Sunday, December 29, 2013

Handmade holiday, part 1

I really enjoy making gifts for people. I may fret and stress a little bit about what to do and how it's going to look, but the feeling I get when I give something handmade that I've spent time, blood and tears over, is what keeps my booty in the chair by the sewing machine.

Although, I have a dirty little secret this year: I haven't finished making my handmade gifts for Christmas yet! And I might not have started on a couple of them, yet, either. I know, right?! Please don't spread that around; it might ruin my reputation :)

Since a couple of them are in progress, I'll just share what I've gotten finished so far! This is the year to finish up some projects, and these placemats were just begging to be finished. The pattern is from a magazine, and the fabrics are all from Joann's. I love how cheerful and summery they look together, and hope the person I'm giving these to will use them to eat outside in the summer.

I did straight-line quilting on both styles of placemats, and I think the one that is more densely quilted is my favorite. I just want to keep running my hand over the texture of it!

I machine-sewed the binding on. I think I still prefer to hand-sew the binding on to the back, but machine-sewing it just goes so much faster! I made a set of four and hope that she actually gets some use out of them!


The backing print is my favorite!

 In other news, here's my progress on my Holiday Frost quilt:

It's all cut out, but that's about it!  Maybe next year, it will be done by the time the holidays come around again!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Round and round update

Hi all! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season! I sure did and I even got some time to make some progress on a couple of projects that are in the works - yay me!

The first one is based off of this tutorial from Cluck Cluck Sew. I wanted to make boy #1 a quilt and went crazy getting fabric from the Meadow Friends line from Moda. Then I sat and stared at the fabric, trying to decide what pattern would be just the right pattern for my dear boy. In the end, I thought this pattern looked as busy and energetic as he is, so I hacked and whacked my way through my stack of fabric. And let it sit. For months. I think I still wasn't in love with the fabric and the pattern combo yet.


Then one day, I was inspired and sewed everything all together. And then I sat back, and thought, what is missing? The quilt wasn't as big as I was thinking it would be, but I didn't want to add any more circle-in-a-square blocks (mostly because I didn't want to make anymore), so I talked with a friend about adding a border and still couldn't decide what to do with it!

In the end, I decided, what the heck, and added a border. And so, here it is, in all its pieced and bordered glory :)

The fabric is mostly Meadow Friends, with a few other prints thrown in to add visual interest. The backing will be a lime-green minkee fabric from Joann's and I plan on basting the heck out of it this weekend to get it ready for quilting. I only started it a year and a half ago, so what's the hurry, right? :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

What to do, what to do?

Ho, ho, ho! Hee, hee, hee! Ha, ha ha! I think that's my laugh quota for the whole week, right there!
So, all kidding aside, I have a bit of a quandary. There have been lots of pregnant gals in my office this year (seven total) and I've made a little something for each of them, like burp cloths or receiving blankets; the most recent pregnancy and the one person out of those folks that I actually consider a friend, I made a quilt for her (Brooklyn's Quilt).

Well, here is the quandary: another person that is in the same group of friends, but not someone who I personally consider a friend, is expecting and due in February and I am totally on the fence about making a quilt for her baby. Making a quilt is time-consuming, and with my life right now, time is a luxury that I run short of. I'm not sure I like this person enough to make a baby quilt for her, but because we all have lunch together about once a week, I would feel weird if I didn't do it. But I have no drive whatsoever to start anything for her. I haven't even made a baby quilt for my most recent addition to the family (I know, bad quilter!); I've just been making things for other people.

Now is the time to start on it, because I only am able to quilt late at night or during part of the weekend.

Maybe the answer is that I make one for her, but use a really easy pattern and scraps, so at least I'm not investing as much time and money into it. Maybe the answer is that I make my own baby a quilt first, then whirl one up for her, so that my family is taken care of before hers.

This is her third child, and I didn't know her until after she had had her other two, so I haven't made anything for her before.

 Any pearls of wisdom out there?

Monday, December 9, 2013

Blue Hawai'i

Yay! She's alive! And, yay! She has a completed quilt to show! Double yay! Mayhap I've been starting on the spiked eggnog a little too early today! Things have been a smidge busy around here lately, and rather than post pictures of something that is in progress, which would take up more time, I thought, why not wait until I have something done? Then it will be like a mini-present for anyone that actually reads this!

And so, I have for your viewing pleasure, the Hawai'i quilt! Long story short, a family member of mine grew up in Hawai'i and has since moved to a very cold place and has been having some mobility problems due to arthritis. And, I just happened to come across a layer cake of rainbow print batiks, and wham! A quilt was born!

I used this pattern from Moda Bakeshop (love this site!). I got all of my cutting done at once, then sewed in my spare time on it for about a week; the top came together really quickly. I then spent a night basting it and quilted it over a weekend. Then I machine-bound both sides of the binding, just to have it done quicker. I used Red Pepper Quilt's tutorial on binding (found here) and I love the method she uses to join the beginning and ending strips of binding together.


I think my favorite part of this quilt is the back. The front is lovely, but the back is what seems the most colorful and tropical. If I got it in the mail, I would make sure the back is what would be draped over the couch for everyone to see. :)

 I'm so glad to have this done before the holidays start. Last year at this time, I think I was still piecing a quilt I was going to give my mom and I definitely remember quilting the darn thing on my machine for three days before Christmas! I feel so accomplished, I think I need to take a break to bask in my victory :)


I quilted it with an allover swirly flower pattern. It was my first time quilting flowers and I definitely improved by the time I got all done! I am totally going to do this pattern for more quilts in the future!


Hope you have a great week!