Sunday, July 29, 2012

Oh, Right! Bad Idea Quilts!

Back in March, I learned that one friend was having twin girls, and that another friend was having a girl.  All three babies were due around the same time so I thought, I'll make 3 of the same quilts (with color variations for the twins) all of the same pattern.  It'll be a breeze!  I thought.  So went the next three months of my life, these quilts turned out to be so much more work than I was anticipating.  Not because they were difficult, but because I have precious little time in a week to sew and these took up ALL of it.  But they're done now and off to their new homes.  Like with every project, an important lesson was learned.  Something about biting off... chewing... surely I'll never make this mistake again!

Below is a pic of each quilt.  I went a little overboard with the color editing.  The white balance is weird in my house.

And best of all, the three little lady recipients of these quilts have all arrived into the world.  Safe and healthy and with parents who are out of this world excited about them.

Family Fun and Some Blocks

First up: the family fun.  We went up to Baltimore yesterday to watch John's beloved Liverpool play a soccer match against Tottenum Hotspur.  Which would have been the most fun, had it been 30 degrees cooler.  95 degrees and blazing sun do not make for a happy baby.  So the Rupper and I watched the majority of the game from the concourse.  We were not alone, however.  There were plenty of other mothers with infants and other infirm types hanging out there.  John enjoyed himself even though he had to watch by himself.  I guess it reminded him of watching at home, an activity he also does mostly by himself. 

This morning I completed the first two blocks ("Susannah") for the How Far Will You Go QAL.  So far so good.  I'm going to use a bunch of blue fabrics culled from the Mumma stash, with white as the background.  I think they are going to look very handsome together. 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Couple of things

First: the t-shirt quilt is coming along at lightning speed!  Next up is this much beloved t-shirt.  It started it's life in 1988 or so, as my brother's little league basketball uniform.  They were the Spartans, named after the Michigan State team.  I'm not sure why.  Were they a big basketball school in 1988?  Someone look that up and let me know.  I wish wish wish that I had a photo of Andy wearing this back in the day, as he was completely adorable.  And also, he hated playing basketball and spent most of the games wandering around the court looking lost.  I took ownership of this shirt after a trip to the Ray Vintage Clothing Shoppe aka the attic.  It was a constant companion of mine through college and I just about wore it out.  I was sad to have to retire it but am glad it will live on in this quilt.  Which I am on pace to finish around the time the Rupper will be heading off to college himself.

Here are my blocks in progress for the Mini Scrap Bucket String Blocks.  I've never paper pieced before.  At first it was pretty awkward but I've gotten the hang of it.  I think these are going to turn out pretty cute.

 Hopefully I'll have more to report soon!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Looking Real Smart, Kid

Love this pic of the Rupper.  Even when he mouth breathes, he is the cutest damn thing.  The end.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Polaroid Block Roundup

Here are my blocks for the Polaroid Block Swap.  There are 25 in all.  They are pretty random (subject wise), but I do like the way they look.  I think the penguins are my favorite.  The turtle, pink flower, ice cream and fish blocks are courtesy of the Mumma Stash.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Napkins and a Polaroid Block

To start: a finish!  12 napkins, all done.  Wow, that felt good.  And took a lot longer than I thought they would.  Doesn't everything, though.  My finishing was dodgy at best to begin with - I had never used that technique before.  By the last few I had the ends matched up and sewn together like a pro.  I'm hoping I'll remember how to do that the next time I have binding to do.

I was not around when my father-in-law received these beauties (I was at the aforementioned bachelorette party), but by all accounts he was very pleased with the gift.  Score for me!

To finish: a start!  My very first swap.  Can you say intimidated?  I'm easing into it with the Polaroid Block Swap hosted by Debbie from A Quilter's Table.  So far it's quite painless.  The idea, obviously, is to create a bunch of little blocks that resemble Polaroid photos.  I've got 25 blocks in different states of completion.  This is the only little guy that I've finished off.  I love the unimpressed look of this owl, keeping me in my place.  Stop judging me, owl.

Friday, July 13, 2012

My Evening

A quick word on what I did tonight.  First is I fully finished 3 out of the 12 napkins that will be a birthday gift for my father-in-law.  I love the way they are turning out.  I'm using a pattern posted by Molly on the Purl Bee and made them with Shades of Grey by Daisy Janie fabric I picked up on Stitch Steals.  This is my first time using a bias tape maker - so intimidating at first but so so easy.  Thank goodness for internet videos.

The napkins went up pretty quick, but there was a fair amount of pinning involved.  I'm not a huge fan of pinning, most to my detriment.  But I was a good girl and pinned the binding to the main fabric within an inch of its like and I'm pleased to say that I think it really made a difference.

The last 9 are so close to being finished.  I would have had them done tonight, but a certain little man decided to wake up and have a melt down in his crib that took some tending to. 

Next up my first t-shirt quilt block!  It's all happening. I enjoyed the memories provided by my old t-shirts while I was cutting them up.  This was from John's fraternity's philanthropy event from our senior year in college.  Each frat boy was in charge of coaching a team of sorority girls for a flag football tournament.  I wasn't in a sorority, but my Roommate For Life was and so I joined her team.  When we got together for the first practice, it was obvious I was the only one who had ever touched a football before and I was made star running back.  Which was thrilling as I have never exactly been celebrated for my athletic prowess.  Long, long, long story short - there *may* have been some partaking of some delicious adult beverages (Sprite and Bicardi Limon) in preparation for our first game and within 15 minutes I had broken my arm.  Ah, college.

I have no real plan for how this quilt is going to take shape, which is a big deal for me.  I've never been one to just make stuff up.  I'm perfectly creative, but I like guidelines.  But block #1 is done, it is 15 inches square and is ready for more to join it!

Sadly this weekend won't see me doing a lot of sewing but it will find me flying to Boston for my friend Soda's bachelorette party!  First night away from the Rupper... I know I'm going to have fun but will miss waking up in the morning and walking down the hall to see his sweet face.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Other Work in Action

The last photo got me thinking about the other pics of my work in action.

From the top (left->right): quilt for my nephew William (born 02/09/11), quilt for MJ (born 07/15/09), a dress for MJ, quilt for friend Luke (born 08/24/11), and quilt for my cousin's baby Julia (born 11/09/12). 

Quilt in Action

There aren't many more satisfying things as a quilter than seeing a Facebook photo featuring one of your creations being enjoyed by the tiny recipient!!  I have not met this little guy yet... mostly because I'm afraid I will steal him.  His cuteness is out of control.  And I have my own baby. 

Sunday, July 08, 2012

Couple of WIPs (or WsIP)

I finally manned up and started cutting up my t-shirts.  It took a while, but at last I have realized that they will be much better off being cut up and sewn into a quilt rather than languishing in a tub in my already overcrowded closet.  I have a feeling this is going to take a while to get together.  But it's a start.

I am too lazy to crop this properly.  Apologies.  But a cute start to a group of 6 Christmas ornaments.  The come from Mumma's tub of goodies.  Side note:  Christmas ornaments were a HUGE part of my mother's legend.  Every year she made ornaments for our family (including extended family - cousins, aunts, uncles, etc), neighbors, her co-workers at both the cleaners and Acorn School, and various others.  All told, we tallied that she must have made over a thousand ornaments in her time.  At her memorial service, person after person mentioned her ornaments and some even said they would have an entire extra tree just for her ornaments.  It such an incredible thing to think about, all those little works out in the world, making people think extra special thoughts of my mom during the holiday season.

I've always wanted to get into the ornament game, but could never settle my scattered mind onto one certain design.  So when I came upon this little felt snowman family it seemed like a perfect place to start.  I just hope all of their little noses stay stuck.

Here are a few to tide us all over until December.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

MJ's Quilt

This is another old project, because I don't have anything new to report.  This quilt was finished in June of 2009 for the baby shower of a friend of mine.  This was my first foray into applique and it turned out to be quite easy.  The sashing, however, was maddening.  I kept thinking I had the rows lined up perfectly, only to realize after sewing and pressing that they would sometimes be as much as a half inch off.  I never have quite figured out what my problem was there, inexperience I guess?

I learned the valuable lesson of walking away from this quilt.  When you think you've ruined something, you think it's never going to come out right, just walk away.  Even for just 10 minutes.  Your mind needs to get a little space from the project and guaranteed (unless you've really f*ed something up) when you come back, you'll have forgotten what had you so stressed out in the first place. 

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Guitar pants

Well they are just as amazing on him as I imagined they would be.  I should have made them 2 weeks ago, because now that he's crawling it was near impossible to get a decent shot.  Going have to have another go when John comes home.

Update:  much better.

Monday, July 02, 2012

It would be wrong

to wake up The Rupper to put him in the pants I just finished sewing.  But it's taking nearly all of my self control not to do so.

Off They Go

I packaged these little guys up last week and sent them off to Ohio.  They'd been sitting around my house, not really doing a lot of good for anyone.  So I found a blog called Bridge and Beyond, an organization that collects hand made items for men, women and children in need.  And while I'm sure July is not a time when people need to stay snuggly and warm, fall and winter will be here soon enough and these scarves can start earning their keep.