Friday, February 17, 2017

Baby Shower - Everything Else

Last week I shared the shower gifts for my future first grandchild.  This week is about all the other sewing projects that I finished for that day.

The future parents are going to be surprised at birth to learn the baby's gender.  They are working on a gender neutral gray nursery with pops of color.  A few weeks before the shower, I just happened to drag them down to my sewing room and got into a casual discussion about my Kona solid color chart.    "So what colors are you thinking about for accent colors for the nursery?" Using the colors they selected, I made some decorations for the shower.

First, a couple of buntings.  I cut 6.5" WOF and then to add a little sturdiness to the bunting, I ironed on a light interface to the back of one side of the 6.5" WOF and used a triangle ruler to cut out the flags.  After I quickly sewed up each side, my husband (who often gets dragged into my schemes) pinked the edges.  A quick sew into the fold of double bias tape and voila...buntings! One is plain, without lettering, and one welcomes the baby.  For the lettering I typed the words in a large font on word processing software and printed using a bold font.  With the light box I traced the letters in reverse onto Heat n Bond, cut and iron onto the flags and finished!

Then I made this little table runner.

I tried a new method for machine sewing down the binding.  I still prefer to hand sew binding, but for fast projects like this one and quilts where I know there'll be a lot of use and washing, machine binding makes sense to me.  For this I sewed the binding strip (2.5") on the front, wrapped it around the back and sewed right up to the edge on the front.

This caught the binding on the back most of the time and leaves a barely noticeable line of stitching on the front.  I think with a little practice this might be my go-to machine quilting method.

 Isn't that diaper cake made by the future mom's sister adorable?

Speaking of her sister, she is also expecting!  Her second child is due one month after my daughter-in-law!  I made her this little diaper bag that will hold a few diapers, wipes, ointment, etc. using this tutorial by Anna of Noodlehead fame.

For Christmas I made the girls zipper pouches with Gilmore Girls fabric.  Knowing that some of my daughter-in-laws friends would be at the shower, I used up a little bit more of that special fabric and made some Lil Cutie Pouches, also thanks to Anna's tutorial.
Time to start packing for QuiltCon!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A Second Finish for Jean!

Do you remember this quilt I finished for my very talented mother-in-law?  Here's another quilt top that I helped her finish by quilting and binding.
I kept the quilting simple just be stitching in the ditch around the borders and on both sides of the pink rail fences.

Quilting this was a great chance to practice sewing straight without using rulers.  I know I need to practice quilting with rulers, but FMQ'ing a straight line seems like something I should be able to do. Let me tell you, this gal does not make small quilts!!  This one is a large full size quilt!

Isn't it a lovely?!  She's amazing!!

I also have a quick finish to share.  A friend of mine is a landscape designer and needed a pouch to hold some of her key design tools.  I used a very special home dec weight fabric that I purchased some years ago during one of my first fabric shopping trips with my son in Chicago.

I sort of designed this bag as my friend had a pretty good idea what size (height, width and depth) bag she needed and I couldn't readily find a pattern to fit.  I followed this tutorial to draft a pattern for the perfect size pouch.

She reports that it is working great...stands on it's on, fits all her tools and looks great on her workbench!  Hooray!


Monday, February 13, 2017

The Final Splendid Sampler Blocks!

I can't believe I finished all 100 blocks! Certainly the recent snow and a stretched out recovery period helped improve the odds of finishing!

Just to catch you up, here are my final blocks:

# 95 - Sunshine
 #96 - In the Sunshine
#97 - First Purse
#98 - Fleur de Lis
#99 - Four Corner Pinwheel
#100 - Centered
This is the first time I have attempted to participate in such an intense quilt along; two blocks every week is a commitment!  I worked at this at my own pace with periods of being current and periods of having multiple blocks in the queue.

I can't guarantee this will be the final arrangement of the blocks as the color distribution is not perfectly even and a recent black and white photo indicated that I have clusters of blocks with more saturated colors that probably should be distributed through the quilt.

My goodness this has been so much fun to work on a wide variety of techniques from a diverse group of talented people. I've enjoyed reading the personal stories of each block by its designer. I plan to finish this quilt top (some day...) and keep it as a fun eye spy type of quilt.  I look forward to seeing what others do to finish this quilt!

Thank you to all the designers and Pat Sloan and Jane Davidson for these more than splendid blocks!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Baby Shower - The Gifts

You may have heard that I am about to become a grandmother!!  (I promise not to repeat this in every post but I'm just a little excited!)  The baby shower was Sunday so now I can share some of the projects I've been working on.  This post will be about the gifts and in a future post I'll share other stuff I made for the event!
My son's favorite book was Goodnight Moon.  I read this to him every night before bed.  A few years ago, I had just started quilting when I purchased a lovely fat quarter bundle of Cloud 9's organic Goodnight Moon thinking that maybe someday I could use it.  
The fabric is so lovely and the prints are so interesting, I decided not to cut it up very much.  Simple squares surround the Great Green Room cheater block.  

I love the soft crinkles after being washed.  The fleece backing just adds to the softness. Of course this was gifted with a copy of the book.

The wonderful and sweet Val over at Val's Quilting Studio provided the inspiration for these receiving blankets.  My goodness is this washed fleece so soft!
Rounded corners and playing with stitches on my sewing machine made these even more fun! 

Lastly, remember my very talented mother-in-law, she made this super adorable, squishy quilt for her future great grand-child.

Aren't these prints cute?

I know the little one is going to love how soft this quilt is!

Stay tuned...more baby shower sewing coming up soon!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

A Shimmering Quilt Top Finish

Between secret sewing projects, the Shimmer quilt top has come together!
 I really love this pattern!  It comes together easily, particularly if you follow Allison's suggestion about placing a piece of tape on the sewing machine in front of the needle that saves a ton of time drawing lines on squares!

Any suggestions on how I should quilt this one?

Like most of you, I also need a hand sewing project at all times (particularly right now as I am spending more time than normal sitting in my comfy recliner in front of the fireplace at night!).  This counted cross stitch pattern is one I purchased some time ago and finally finished.  The pattern is called How Does My Garden Grow and is by Barbara Campagna from her Modern Flowers book.

This was a perfect, easy stitched piece.

Now, I am cautiously trying to learn how to knit.  I have had many brave people (including my very talented mother in law) try to teach me and I purchased a learn to knit Craftsy class.  Like so many things, I know I just need to have patience and practice.  This is my practice work.

After I posted this picture on IG, I received a very helpful comment about holding the yarn in my left hand (Continental method?).  This has made a HUGE difference both in terms of stitch consistency (but still very far from perfect!) and comfort.  In the past, when practicing my right hand and wrist would easily become quite sore after an hour or two.  With so many beautiful patterns and yarns out there, I am determined to give this an honest effort!  I've even started a real project...stay tuned!

Have a great day!

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