Friday, February 27, 2009

Oh Baby!

Much to my husbands dismay, I love babies, and I take every opportunity I can to snuggle, hold, babysit, or just admire them. As luck has it, my good friend, Nadene, had a baby just 6 weeks ago! This is little Mandalyn Faith, and she frequently gets hiccups.

How do I know this random fact about Mandalyn? I had the pleasure of holding her for a little while... and she sounded like a squeaky toy! Isn't she a doll?

She snoozed almost the entire time, but when it was time to get ready to leave, she let her mom know she didn't feel like going home. This girl has a set of healthy lungs!
Nadene - I've always got your back! ;-)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

For my sister

Here's a fun little project I'm working on for my sister, who owns Carrie Wildes Photography. She wanted something to safely hold each CD she'd give to her clients of their wedding, or engagement photos. I came up with this simple design for a fabric CD Sleeve... although they're not yet done. I'll finish top stitching all thirteen of them tonight, then add a button hole to each flap... and finish them off with a white shank button. Can Justin learn to hand-sew buttons? Only when I agree to play Command and Conquer, or which ever obnoxious computer game he's into lately... which will never happen.

I do love this fabric by Michael Miller! And it looks great with Teal...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Impromptu Quilt - DONE

Ta-DA! Finished, and auctioned off to a cute newly wed couple in my church! The winning bid was $180... and the auction, overall, raised $6000+ for the upcoming Missions Trip to Nicaragua. Not too shabby, I'd say.

Here are a few photos... hurriedly taken as we were walking out the door on Sunday night. As you may or may not be able to tell, I washed and dried it upon completion. I had to a) get the pencil lines off the top and b) gives it that old-world quilty look ... the puckers make it more cozy, in my opinion.

On to bigger and better things! I have two more quilts to finish, and it could take months - in my world! My to-do list consists of a new bag for my sister Carrie, of Carrie Wildes Photography along with a batch of fabric CD sleeves in black, white, and teal. I'd like to make more tote bags, and fun little fold-over clutch bags... and maybe even one for me to keep! Of course interspersed in there will be baby blankets, crochet, and maybe a pair of Bermuda shorts - but I doubt it. I really don't do clothing!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Impromptu Quilt - phase 6

I'm in the home stretch! Last night, like I PROMISED to do, I attached the binding to the quilt and started hand-sewing it to the back.
Here's how it looks after cutting off the extra batting around the edges...
I'm completely confident I'll be finished by Sunday! Look for photos of the finished product, well, by Sunday sometime before 5pm! Hopefully I won't have broken down and kept it for my own selfish snuggling.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Impromptu Quilt - phase 5

Four working days left until I need this quilt to be finished! To recap, I'm going on a missions trip to Nicaragua with my Church and we're having a cake and pie auction THIS SUNDAY to help raise money for supplies. Yes, I realize a quilt is kind of different than a cake or pie, but it last longer, and won't cost you any calories... I'll take a cozy quilt over cheesecake any day!

Tuesday night, after watching House (dvr'd) with Justin... I schlepped upstairs to do what I said I would... sew the binding! I rotary cut 7 strips of Amy Butler "Peony in Lime" fabric (it doesn't match - it GOES) to be 2.5" tall, selvage to selvage.

I sewed the strips together, mitered the ends together and all.... one LONG 294" strip.

Then the easy part - ironing it length wise! I'm now ready to sew it onto the quilt.... thats my task for tonight.... isn't it beautiful? Maybe I should keep the finished product for myself - it would look gorgeous in the living room strewn across my new leather couch! ;-)

By tomorrow morning you should see photos of an *almost* finished quilt! And a shout-out to my mom for cheering me on - thanks Mom!

Fun Little Blanket

How is it already half past midnight? At any rate - I just finished a new baby blanket for my Etsy shop Hazelnut Designs and I am thrilled with the outcome....

I'm addicted to fabric and I can't stop! I should look for a support group.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Impromptu Quilt - phase 4

This past weekend I had ample time to work on quilting so that's what I did! Friday night I sprawled out on the kitchen floor once again and drew a block grid on the quilt with a blue water-soluble pencil. My trusty yard stick was my guide, although I'll be keeping an eye out for a more accurate stencil to follow next time. Saturday and Sunday I camped out in my sewing room (aka the spare bedroom) and quilted the top, which went fairly quick, I think. No major snafu's - and tonight I start the binding! My goal is to have the binding cut, sewn together, and attached to the quilt by the end of tonight. All after a full day at work, and a trip to the grocery store. Can I make it to the gym too? I doubt it.

Here's my sewing table (used to be our kitchen table! haha)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Crochet work-in-progress

So here's what I do while watching TV - crochet! This is my current work-in-progress. I love the look of two colors of yarn, one worked at a time. Its a fun little blanket and will probably give it away as a baby shower gift - to whomever is having a boy next.
Also - our long weekend visiting friends in Cali was put on hold due to various reasons including our flight being canceled. We'll be setting up another weekend in the spring. Bummer, but it worked out for the best. So now I get to work on quilts, go grocery shopping, and watch the Bourne Ultimatum ~ Happy V-day!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Impromptu Quilt: phase 3 + Stippling: For Beginners

Tonight I finished basting my "Impromptu Quilt" and I'm pretty happy with the progress. Hazel was not happy I kept telling her "OUT" of the kitchen, so I gave in at the end and had her pose for a few shots. Focus - the quilt is the focal point! haha
For now I need to set it aside and get ready for our trip to Cali! We fly out bright and early 6:30am on Friday! This quilt will be finished by... next Sunday, Feb 22nd, to be auctioned off to the highest bidder! This is my church where the auction will be held... all $$ will go towards a missions trip in March.

Last night I practiced using my new darning foot for free-motion quilting. Its not easy, at least at first. I tried it with the feed dogs down as is usual in quilting... it did not look pretty. Then I remembered reading something about trying it WITH the feed dogs, and it instantly improved the consistency of my stitches. It helps me time how fast to move the fabric around, and gives a bit of a rhythm. Now, tonight I tried it on a 70x60" quilt I've been working on since, mmm, September... and it was completely different than on a small 24x20" sandwich. I'll need to practice stopping and starting (to adjust my hands) BUT I took a photo of my practicing... yes, I only use ugly fabric to practice with! I was even enthusiastic enough to try cursive... my initials, CW.

Impromptu Quilt - phase 2

I'm starting to think "hmm... maybe I CAN do this!" Six more days to finish this by Sunday, Feb 22nd. See 2 prior posts for more details. I'm not counting this Fri through Mon because we'll be out in California visiting friends.

After wracking my brain with different ways to cut and/or arrange these blocks, I figured going square was the easiest way. So I rotary cut all 4 strips to be 11.5" square, using my new favorite thing - a fold-away cutting table! Yes, our spare bedroom is getting pretty crowded, but that's a whole other story. Anyhow, I decided to just do two rows of blocks and 20" creme strips on either side... here's the outcome:

We just had our kitchen floor redone and the new tile is GREAT for squaring up quilts! I'm now trying to decide what to do about the binding... I think either solid blue OR the wallflower design, I'll have to go shopping tonight to see what I can find locally. I usually buy my fabric on but no time for that! Tonight (after shopping!) I plan to baste this quilt but first I need to finish quilting on another one... because I have a limited amount of pins. Time to buy more pins? I think so.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Impromptu Quilt - phase 1

(Reason for this quilt: see yesterday's post)

I've decided to use stash fabric left over from some cushion covers I made for my mom. Amy Butler is my favorite fabric designer... and its pretty neutral, so who wouldn't love it?

I had about 1/2 yard of each print, so I cut them into 6" strips and ended up with 4 strips of each.
I then stitched one of each together, length wise, and voila, something to work with! Tonight, shopping for creme broadcloth and batting... then home to figure out the design. More to come!
*Will I make my Feb 22nd deadline? I still doubt it*

Monday, February 9, 2009

Am I nuts?

My church is having an auction on Feb 22nd to raise money for a missions trip to Nicaragua... which I will be going on. People usually donate cakes, pies, services like haircuts or a house cleaning... well I want to go out on a limb and donate a quilt! A quilt I haven't started yet.. and I can't guarantee if it will be done by the 22nd! I think I'll go for it! I'll just piece some blue and grey Amy Butler fabrics together in 2 long strips... and surround that with creme broadcloth... same for the back but with Joel Dewberry... can it be done, or am I nuts? We'll know in 13 days! And I'll try to post some pics of my progress...

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Oh to start stippling...

Yesterday I bought a darning foot for my sewing machine... after some practice, I hope to be able to try stippling (see example here) on a quilt I'm working on . Its basted, but I want to do some NICE stippling... home to try it out tonight after work, trip to Home Depot, dinner, and lifegroup? Ok, maybe this weekend....

I found the video showing how its done... thanks Crazy Mom Quilts!