My eldest daughter is in 2nd grade. I decided to make her teacher a Christmas gift this year after polling some of my teacher friends. They all said it would be nice to receive a home made gift, so I made a Christmas table runner for her.
This pattern was one that I won on Rachel of p.s. i quilt's blog a couple years ago. I finally got around to making one.
I am so glad I got these done! When I agreed I'd do these for a friend I really had no idea how much work is involved.
First there is the cutting up of the clothes. Then, if there are outfits made of jersey knit, they need to be interfaced for some stability. Then you end up with squares of all different sizes. So what do you do? It's hard to have a plan for a quilt when you have various sizes of fabric pieces. So I completely improved the whole thing. I realized working with the knits was such a pain that I selected to not use any more than I had to. That being said, there weren't very many cotton prints. So I added lots of my own fabric which was fine with my friend, thankfully! I showcased specific outfits that were set aside for each girl and then the rest of the clothes were worn by all three and incorporated in each. When you are dealing with several different outfits, nothing really all matches each other. So there are lots of colors going on, but I think as a whole it works.
I can say I will never make any more of these again except for the two I plan on making my girls some point in their lives. They will probably be high school or college graduation, or wedding gifts, so I have some time! And I only saved cotton clothes for theirs. Knits are just really hard to quilt!
Each one measures approximately 54"x62"
Here's my mini quilt for December. I wasn't going to do it "Christmasy", (is that a word!) but then this idea came into my head one day. I think it looked better on paper, but it turned out ok, I guess. I really liked the background fabric. When I saw it, I thought it totally looked like wallpaper which is what I was going for. Then for the quilting, I decided to quilt in all the white lines of the pattern. It's my favorite part of the quilt. Sorry for the crappy picture, it was raining so I had to take it indoors.
One of my friend's asked me if I'd be willing to make her three quilts made of her three daughter's baby clothes. I told her I'd look into it and get back to her. After lots of research online I found that to have these made in a lap-sized quilt they can run anywhere from $300-$500!
Her girls are 10, 13, and 15 and she'd been hanging onto these clothes for all these years to have them made into quilts. I thought, "How hard can these be. I'll do it!" So she brings me the clothes and a couple days later, I go through the huge Rubbermaid bin. Oh NO! 85% of it is all jersey knit stuff, 5% is sweaters, and the rest is cotton fabric. Then in the bin are 3 bags with specific outfits for each girl in each bag. Each bag contained their "coming home" outfits (all jersey knit stuff in newborn size) and then some t-shirts and sweaters. oh....what a challenging project I have ahead of me! These things have been hanging over my head for so long. I've had this bin of clothes for almost a year!
I'm determined to get them done this month. I've got the first one just about done. I took a sneak peek picture last night to send to my friend and she loves what she sees so far.
Honestly, I'm not super crazy about them because the clothes I had to work with was so limited and not my choice of fabrics, patterns or colors. But I've added some of my own fabric and did the best I could working with some of those knits (and no sweaters! you just can't cut up a sweater and incorporate that into a quilt!)
Hopefully I'll have all three of these done soon to show you.
I've learned one thing...I'll never make another one of these again.
(Except for the ones for my girls but I was smart and ONLY saved cotton clothes!)
Who knew?!? He actually had some good suggestions!
Let me first give you a little background on my husband.
He's a "man's man".
He flies in an airplane for a living. He hunts. He fishes. He rides motorcycles. He shoots guns. He watches and plays most all sports. He breaks bones in his body. He's just your typical guy...the kind of guy with absolutely no feminine side to him. (poor guy, and he lives with 3 girls and a female dog!)
Anyway, he tolerates my fabric and quilting obsession. I was a little worried with this last move we made. See, he was in Afghanistan for about 8 months and I think I used fabric as my therapy. Once we moved, he actually SAW all the fabric. He asked me, "So, what do you think you spend a month on fabric? $1,000 per month?" I replied, "NO WAY!" (really I don't! I don't know what I spend but I do know it's not that much!) Anyway, he's great about it and makes it a joke. Which I love because sometimes I feel a little guilty about how much fabric I have and the fact that I don't have any income coming in. But he knows my job being a stay at home mom is rough when he is gone so much, and this is really my only hobby.
Ok, let me get back on track here....
I love CathedralWindows Quilts. I've always wanted to make one and was always intimidated and thought I couldn't do it. I received a coupon via email from Joann's for 60% off a single cut of fabric. I thought it'd be a good time to get some muslin for one and attempt it. I bought 6 yards. (come to find out later, for the size I want to make I need 20.5 yards!! OOPS!) oh well, it'll get me started anyway!
So I cut some white, cut some charms, and start ironing away. Boy is it a lot of work.
My whole reason for wanting to make a Cathedral Windows quilt is because at night after the kids go to bed, I don't sew. That's when hubby and I watch TV together. We DVR a ton of shows and it's the only time for us to watch them. I usually sit on one couch and play on the computer checking blogs, flickr, pinterest, facebook, etc, etc. Well it's ridiculous. I think about the hours I sit on this damn computer and I could be sewing something instead. For whatever reason, I don't like to quilt, sew on my machine, cut fabric etc. at night. That's what I like to do during the day. So hence me coming up with starting a Cathedral Windows quilt. I can sit here and watch TV and hand stitch my little windows into the quilt.
I sit down to start and say to him, "you know what, if I just machine stitched all these, it would be so much faster." He replies, "Isn't that defeating the purpose though? You aren't in a rush. Take your time and enjoy it."
Wow....he was so right! I know most of the time, all my jabbering about fabrics and quilts goes in one ear and out the other with him. He could care less. I know when I start talking about quilts, fabrics and blogs, he probably says to himself, "oh gosh, how long is she going to go on about this crap."
So I start hand stitching with regular thread. I don't like it. Then I try stitching with some perle cotton thread and I'm just not sure. I can't figure out how the stitching "is suppose to be." So again, I ask his opinion. "Which one do you like better? The one with the thread you can barely see? or the one with the thicker thread that is pretty visible?" He says, "The thicker thread, obviously! You aren't going to do all that hand sewing and then not even be able to see the quilting! I mean, if you're going to hand quilt this whole thing, don't you want the stitches to show?"
YES!!! He was so right! I couldn't believe I didn't come up with any of his conclusions on this quilt!
So with every tedious step on constructing this quilt, I am learning to really appreciate every moment of it!
Regardless, for some reason, this Birthday is kinda freaking me out!
The sound of being 40 just sounds old to me.
I still feel 24.
So I guess that's all that matters, right?
I went away this past weekend with my husband to Foxwoods Resort & Casino in CT to celebrate. We had a blast and it was so nice to get a kid-free weekend!
When I returned home, I had received some goodies in the mail from Crystal.
First up...a lovely mug rug
How awesome does my mug look on that mug rug?
Then....a mini quilt
Then block #1 of the Dresden king sized quilt we are making for my bed. She completed the first block and I'm so in love with it! It's pure perfection! Nothing like looking at this to motivate me to get my butt in gear and start making mine! We're making a total of 25 Dresden Plates with Crystal picking up most of the slack and making more than half! She's such an awesome girl! I can't believe this will be on my bed someday! Super excited!
The mug rug and mini quilt were all made with scraps from the Dresdens.
Here's the *November Edition* of the "12 months of mini quilts" for Crystal.
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I'm making Crystal a mini quilt a month, for a year. The reason I'm doing this is because I'm making a King sized quilt of Dresden Plates made of my coveted "Flower Sugar". I knew that was the fabric I'd use but couldn't decide on a pattern. Crystal helped me design the quilt top, cut the fabrics, and she's even making more than 1/2 of them for me! So anyway, my way to thank her was to make mini quilts for her. She's using them to hang in her studio where she sews.
So that brings us to this mini quilt. It's made with "Tailor Made" by Cosmo Cricket. The fabrics are so cute and all "sewing" themed. They are just real hard to see in my pictures! I forgot to measure it but it's approximately 19"x25" (that would be my guess!).
This was super fun to make. BUT...I was in too much of a rush or just plain ol' not paying attention when I assembled the top! I was 3/4 of the way done machine quilting in all the patchwork areas when I found my mistake!
The 2 patchwork blocks were suppose to be center top and center middle!
So I improvised and hand appliqued a star on top of the bottom right corner patchwork square.
Then, I had NO CLUE how to do a binding around a circle, so I made mine kinda gathered. It's not perfect, but it will work, and who will really see it since it will be around the trunk of a tree, covered with presents!
I'm happy the way it turned out and I think it will look nice under a tree.
(sorry about the pics...had to take them inside since it's been raining all day!)
I decided to make a Christmas Tree Skirt Pants for my tree this year. Here are my first 4 blocks. You can find the tutorial for the sew-along here.
The fabric I'm using is the leftovers from my Advent Calendar: "Be Merry" by Mind's Eye for Riley Blake Designs. I'm so glad when I bought this that I bought way more than I originally needed!
The only problem that I have is that I'm a little disappointed how the white stars don't stand out against the white printed fabric, but it's what I had and I love the fabric and it will match my advent calendar, so it will have to do and I know when it's done I'll like it!
My husband's cousin is expecting her first baby and it's a girl. I had a Parisville fat quarter bundle that I've been dying to cut into. I also wanted to make a Loulouthi Tiles baby quilt and knew this fabric would be perfect!
quilted by machine in a random meandering stipple stitch with Connecting Threads "Sunshine".
Then I made this mini quilt for Crystal, who is a WAY BETTER photographer so you'll see better pictures over there!
She is helping me make a king sized quilt for my bed. I finally decided what I wanted to do and it's going to be a huge project and she kindly offered to help make half the blocks and make a couple pillow covers too! So my way to repay her is to make her a mini quilt each month for a year.
I'm so excited that I'm laying in bed at night with ideas swarming in my head endlessly!
And oh-my-gosh! I LOVE it here! This is by far the best place we've ever lived! We are living on Fort Adams which is a State Park. It's kinda a peninsula so we have water on three sides. From some of the upstairs windows we have views of all the sailboats that are surrounded by us. It's gorgeous! The mansions that are around us are amazing too! I can't wait to be done with the unpacking so we can explore this area!!
Ok, so normally I'd NEVER post pics of my house looking like this, but I just moved in so I have an excuse for my place to look this bad!
I enjoy all the military moves we do....
....but the unpacking SUCKS! I'm so overwhelmed I don't see an end in sight!
Bad part is that I won't let my husband unpack anything because then #1, I won't know where he puts stuff and #2, I'm kinda a control freak and it has to be perfect. If it's not, I have to redo it. So in the end, it's more work for me. So I do all the unpacking, organizing and decorating and he watches football. I think he gets the great end of the deal! but he is running all my errands and doing the big grocery shopping today. I should send him with the kids so he gets a taste of what I go through when he's deployed! ;) Nah, I'm not that mean!
Here's some of the house now:
view from dining room towards family room
here's my "craft closet". I don't think all my fabric is going to fit in this one little dresser!
This is my youngest room. Her dresser is under and behind all those boxes!
Here's a view from the doorway to my eldest daughter's room.
and then in her room facing the door. Poor girl..this is my project today!
this is just inside our room looking towards the small master bath.
master bedroom. boxes on the left are 3-4 high and 2 rows deep...oh and about 5 are clothes along with 2 wardrobes that aren't unpacked yet and our closet is full! Nice! Fortunately our dressers are empty, I just hope it all fits!
I have a friend (another Navy spouse) that really likes the quilt I made for Sean (my husband). She liked it so much she asked what the fabric was and where to order it. She then asked if she bought all the fabric, if I'd be willing to make her one. I said sure. Well because this pattern uses fat quarters she had to order 1/2 yard increments. So I told her she'd have enough for 2 quilts if she wanted. So she said that would be great.
Pattern: Avalon found in Material Obsession
Fabric: Amy Butler Daisy Chain
machine bound front and back using Jennifer from That Girl..That Quilt's tutorial found here.
(yes, I typically do not like machine binding the whole quilt and I've said in the past I won't do it again, but I needed to get these done fast and this time I did A LOT better! Using the binding clips, like Jennifer suggests, helped a great deal and this time it turned out pretty darn good!)
I got all my quilts done that I set out to do with exception to the one vintage sheet quilt for our bed in the trailer. The top is almost done, I'm just not sure if I can get it done by Tuesday. The packers arrive Tuesday to pack us up and we will be on the road next Friday!
ok, so do you want to hear our trip itinerary for relocating from California to Rhode Island? Well I'll share it anyway! This, of course, is tentative, but we hope to stick pretty close to this plan:
Friday Aug. 26th: Barstow, CA
Saturday Aug. 27th: Cedar City, UT
Sunday Aug. 28th: Grand Junction, CO
Monday Aug. 29th: Denver, CO
Tuesday Aug. 30th: Grand Island, NE
Wednesday Aug. 31st: Rock Island, IL
Thursday Sept. 1st-3rd: Rockford, IL (this is where my mom lives)
Sunday Sept. 4th: Sandusky, OH
Monday Sept. 5th: East Stroudsburg. PA
Tuesday Sept. 6th: NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND!!
Yes, it's taking us this long because we are pulling a travel trailer and have 2 kids and a dog. So we are figuring about 300 miles a day. Enough time to set up camp, take a swim, and make some dinner...then bed after each stop.
I'm super excited to hit the road! I love road trips!