Friday, June 29, 2012

Ohio Star - Block #4


I'm happy with how this block of the Road Trip Quilt Along turned out, though I was a little unsure whether I was going to include any orange/pink in it or not.  I think having more in this block will be balanced with other blocks that have less (like the last one that had none).

Here they are all together, though I had a difficult time taking a picture of them, for some reason, so ignore the crooked picture and the toe in the picture:


Monday, June 25, 2012

Pennsylvania Parade - RTQA Block #3

Since I somehow neglected to take a solo picture of the Pennsylvania Parade block, this group photo will have to do. Penn is in the lower right corner:

I liked the way it turned out, and it definitely was easier than the last block! I don't know how many ways I messed up the last one, but for this one my 5-year-old was not around me much, so that really helped keep my mind in the game! :)

Part of the reason I was late to make this block, I think, was that I wasn't super-excited about it.  I like the cleaner look of more white space around the blocks, so I wasn't so sure how this would look because it didn't have that.  But I think it turned out really neat! I wasn't expecting the white star in the center:
(detail shot)

I like how it echos some of the other star blocks.  I made it all blue and white, since I'm mostly using the orange/pink for accents.

Since this one went together pretty quickly and the next block is even easier, I already have that one done, too - but it may take a day or two to blog it.

Drafting and Sewing

Instead of doing quilting last week, I got sidetracked by a book I had gotten from the library.  Normally I've avoided all thoughts of drafting my own sewing patterns.  Actually, I long ago (after many tears and frustrations and even disliking most finished 4-H sewing projects) that I was better off just buying clothes for myself.  What changed my mind?  I'm not sure, but for whatever reason, this book caught by eye and actually looked approachable, unlike any other pattern drafting book I had picked up.

I recently read somewhere on the web that you should spend a large percentage of your garment sewing time 'fitting' a pattern to you, which I had never done all those years ago... was that why I almost never liked what I made? Or do I just have an inability to imagine what a picture of the article of clothing and the fabric into will look like and feel like on me?  In any case, though I hadn't made an article of clothing for me in at least 12 years, I decided to draft some patterns.

The book recommends going in order, so I drafted a skirt pattern, and then made a muslin of it out of some really 'nice' strawberry fabric inherited when my grandma died years ago.  No pictures of this. And I haven't gotten around to making one out of fabric I like, but I think this one might work (if I can figure out the invisible zipper...)

Next up was a basic T-shirt.  Here is my first attempt:


(well, my first attempt later modified to have a slightly larger neck opening). You're not seeing it on me because, well, I bought some knit fabrics to use for the T-shirt from the sale rack, and this one was thin and stretchy, with a really nice feel to it. It's white, with a really faint light green design. What I didn't notice in the store: thin and white = see through. Completely. Oh well, I'll just wear it as an undershirt when my building is freezing next fall.

There was also a weird thing with the shoulders - they felt a little too 'pointy,' but I thought I could fix that, so I modified the pattern and tried again:

I had bought this thinking I would try a tank-top version of a T-shirt, but after my sleeves were a little weird in the first shirt, I wanted to try again.  This time the pointy thing was fixed a bit more... but overall the top part of the sleeves are a little too tight.  It does fit okay, I'll wear it around the house, so mostly you're not seeing a picture of me in it because I'm lazy and a little bit shy to show it when it's not that great.  I think I know how to fix it, though I'm not sure.

So, that's my drafting story.  The skirt was good, the shirt... a little tougher.  Will I go on and make a dress or a button-down shirt that is next??? I don't know... I think I need to fix my T-shirt sleeve first.  I'm not completely hooked on drafting, but for some reason I like the idea of drafting my own pattern instead of buying one.  We'll see... but for the moment, this current sewing room obsession has been set aside to go on to other things (back to the quilt a long - I'm behind!)

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Maryland - Block #2


This block caused be lots of problems, for some reason.  The paper-piecing didn't work with 3 inch long rectangles, so I cut 3.5 inch instead...  strange! Am I the only one who couldn't make that work? The quarter triangles ended up slightly different sizes, but for this I'm sure it was because of poor sewing or cutting or something (incessant talking by a 5-yr-old while cutting and sewing??)- but I was able to make them work with only using my seam ripper a couple times.

Anyway, I'm looking forward to moving WEST (not east as I first wrote... oops) to Pennsylvania... hopefully I'll be focused enough to make that block go together a bit easier!  I did two of the first block, but didn't feel like revisiting this one twice.

So here are my blocks so far:

My prize...


I won a give-a-way last month through Sew Mama Sew's giveaway week.  From Amy Plew I won that she would make a personalized felted creature based on a kid's drawing for me!

I was really unsure what drawing I would send her a picture of.  It had to be one of my oldest's because the middle one isn't really drawing anything recognizable yet, and the baby can't even hold a crayon except to put in her mouth, of course.

I was so happy when I found this drawing because I thought it would make a really cute little bug and did it ever!  I'm so happy with this and Amy was extremely quick to get this done and sent to me after I emailed her the picture!  I'd highly recommend her work if you're looking for a cute gift idea for parents!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Over a year ago I won a give-a-way from JCasa *Handmade's neat blog. It was a grommet press and some grommets.  A move and a new kid later, I finally used them for the first time:


Pretty spiffy!  But what is it?  Maybe this will help:


Still no idea?  How about this:

Got it now? If not, I got the idea here, even though I didn't follow their directions at all.

I pretty much want to put grommets in everything now. Thanks again, Jennifer!

Friday, June 1, 2012

RTQA: Block 1 - Virginia

My friend over at Sewing by Moonlight convinced me to start this blog, and also to do a quilt-along with her.  I've never done one of these before, but had some fabric I was itching to use, so anyway, I'm in.

You can read about the plan here.

The first block is Virginia.  I couldn't decide on fabrics to use, and after messing up a couple times, I decided to make another one with different fabrics to try to improve.


It may not be obvious after only one state block done, but my color scheme is blue and white, with a little bit of orange/pink (probably won't be as much in most of the blocks as this one... but we'll see.)

Well, so much for my wordless blog, right Em?

Baby blankets

One of my go to gifts for a new baby - an extra-large flannel swaddling blanket with two pieces of flannel, so it's double-sided. Not so cool in the summertime, but they are good for lots of other things, too.
  IMG_7436 IMG_7431

Also another favorite, this time for a new big brother or sister: IMG_7441

Based on this tutorial.