Saturday, August 27, 2011

Goodwill Fabric

I bought 5.5 meters of this fabric for $4.99 the other day from my local Goodwill store.
It's loud. It's bright. It's crazy.
I couldn't say no to it, but I have no idea what to do with it. Any suggestions?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Fabric Postcard Swap

I joined a Fabric Postcard swap on Flickr.  I thought it would be a fun challenge to make something so small and detailed.  The theme for this one was the end of summer.  I wasn't feeling super inspired when I sat down to make it.  I decided on making a few small trees.  I didn't have any brown for the trunks, so I started working on a skirt that I had the fabric and pattern for, but was just sitting in my sewing room.  I cut the pattern out and then had enough brown scraps for the trunks!  Here's what I came up with:

Friday, August 19, 2011

Little Helper

Cleo likes to help me in the sewing room.  Whether it's holding down the ruler when I'm cutting, keeping the quilt steady when I'm basting it, or guarding my fabrics.  It's nice having her around.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Birthday Gift

It was my sister in law's birthday yesterday.  I decided I should make her something small.  I still have tons of red fabric left over from the Wonky Kaleidoscope quilt, so I thought I'd use some for this project.  I thought a table runner would be something fun, but since she has a square table, I wanted to make the runner square.  I used a quilt block I did for the Skill Builder Sampler, and then just quilted lines 1/4" from the seams.  It worked up nice and quick!

Friday, August 12, 2011

Kaleidoscope Quilt Top

Long ago I decided to join the Kaleidoscope Quilt Along  with Don't Call Me Betsy.  I was quite excited about this project and decided to do a black, white and red quilt.  I quickly began cutting the patterned pieces, which seemed to take FOREVER.  I had 6 patterned black/white fabrics, and 6 patterned red pieces.  I needed 120 of each triangle, so I began cutting 20 of each fabric.  Once I finished those, I realized that I had accidentally cut double the amount I needed.  Apparently 6 x 2 x 20 does not equal 120. Nope nope nope.

I figured that I'd just make 2 quilts; one with black and white triangles with red corners, and one with red triangles and black and white corners.  I had a solid red fabric that I was going to use that matched ok.  It was a little darker and a little more cranberry-er than I wanted, but it was what I had on hand, and I've made a vow to buy as little brand new fabric as possible. (I prefer the thrill of finding fabrics at thrift shops)  Because I have crafting ADD (in addition to mild OCD and ADOS [do you know of that one?  Attention Deficit... Oh Shiny!!]) I decided to sew the triangles as I cut them.  Big mistake.  I got about half way through sewing the blocks together when I realized that I had run out of solid red.  I took a swatch to Fabricland (*shudder*) and couldn't find anything that matched.  What to do, what to do!  I thought I could use black and then alternate the blocks, but was worried that would take away from the pattern.  My mom then told me she had a whole ton of red fabric and gave that to me.  I wish I had thought of that sooner; it was the perfect shade of red, and there was more than enough of it!!  Oh well.

I decided then to just make a small, square quilt and add some other fabric to the top and bottom to make it into a lap size quilt.  Here it is in all its glory:

The photo is a little awkward; my kitchen light is directly above the top right corner of the quilt so the red looks a little different there.  But it's all the same red.  

It doesn't look too bad, eh?  Well, from far away it looks fine.  Close up you can see how uneven it is and how very few of the points and seams line up:

So, since nothing has gone right with this quilt, I've decided to call it a Wonky Kaleidoscope Quilt.  That'll work, won't it?  Let's just say I meant to make it a funny, small size where the reds don't match and the seams are waaaaay off.  Putting 'wonky' in front of something will fix any mistake!

Cleo agrees.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Monkeyin' Around

Monday night I busted my butt and made a blanket for a special little fellow.  Josh is my good friend Lauren's son, and he loves monkeys.  And is a little monkey, too  ;).  I found a really sweet monkey flannelette set at Walmart and just had to get it for him.  The green plaid is left over from my Tinkerbell pants.
I quickly threw together this quilt top and love how it came together.
I backed it with a white fleece I got at the Mennonite thrift store.  The whole shebang cost $15.
 I then tried my hand at embroidering a little tag for it.  I started out trying to make it line up and be straight, but since I've had no practice that didn't work out.  So I decided to make it crooked on purpose. I wanted to also include 'To Josh' but didn't have enough room.  So I just put the name of the blanket and who it was from.

 Then I rolled it up and put a ribbon on it.  No wrapping required!
 It was his bed time when I got there, and had also brought Cleo along for a visit, so he was a little distracted.  But he did seem to enjoy how soft it is!
 Then he saw my camera and wanted to play with it.

WIP Wednesday #6

Well, it's been a few weeks since my last WIP Wednesday post.  Between hosting my German friends and summer holidays, I've been a busy gal!

Here's a recap of my last few weeks:

Completed Projects

1)  New Bee on the Block - July Block

5) Monkeyin' Around Blanket
More on this later!

Ongoing Projects

1)  Skill Builder Sampler QAL
I am one block behind on this one.  I'm missing block #6, but here are #4 and #5:

We were supposed to design our own block for #4 and I came up with that one and was so impressed with myself.  Then we went to the inlaws' cabin for family vacation, and I saw a quilt my mother in law's mom had made using that block.  Oh well, so it's not original.  It's still pretty.

2) Summer Sampler 

I'm so far behind!  I don't think I've even blogged about it yet.  Maybe I'll get around to it next week.

3) Kaleidoscope Quilt
More on this in a few days or so...

4)  Wedding Place Mats
I finished piecing and quilting the first one and just have to finish the binding.  I've almost finished piecing the second one.  Apparently I need to speed up my binding sewing!

5)  Stroll Down the Garden Path Quilt
I saw this quilt a while back and thought I'd try my hand at reproducing it.  I'm using the sheets I've been finding at thrift stores, as well as a few old old fabrics from my mom.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Bee on the Block - July Block

I'm finally starting to catch up on my sewing and blogging since entertaining friends from Germany for 10 days and then being on vacation for 10 days.  

I joined a virtual quilting bee a while back called New Bee on the Block.  So far I'm 2 months in and really enjoying it!  Although my month isn't until April 2012, I've already got a plan for my quilt and have started preparing the fabrics.  I tend to start things early when I'm excited about something.  I've also started my Christmas shopping.  But that's beside the point.

It's an international bee, and being in Canada it takes soooooo loooooong to receive all the fabrics.  I think I waited 20 days to get the fabric for the July block!  I guess it builds anticipation and makes receiving it so much sweeter.  

The block we were asked to do was a darling pinwheel block.  I did a test block with my own fabric first to make sure I understood all the instructions.  I didn't want to mess up using the actual fabric!!  Here's how it turned out: 
The only thing I'm disappointed with was I didn't check Flickr to see what other color combos everyone else did.  Some others received red and orange and lighter blue fabric, so there was a lot of variety.  But the other 2 gals that got the green and darker blue fabric used the blue as the background.  I even had a nagging feeling as I was starting this block that I should check, but I didn't.  You should always listen to those nagging feelings!!  Anyway, it would have been nice to have switched it up a little, but I'm still happy with how it turned out.  Look at how well those inside points line up!  :)

Now I just have to find time to do the August block...

Friday, August 5, 2011

Craft It Forward

I've mentioned before that I participated in Craft it Forward 2011 on Facebook.  I really enjoyed making specific things for people and sharing little gifts with them for no reason.  Last weekend I was thrilled to receive another gift!
It was a super cute crocheted toque with a detachable flower in my favorite color - green!  I can't believe I'm about to say this, but I'm looking forward to the frosty weather so I can put it to use!  :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Ironing Board Makeover

The other day I was ironing.  I hate ironing.  The fabric I was ironing was super wrinkly and in my frustration I was pushing pretty hard on it to get the wrinkles out.  That's when I noticed that the little crisscross design of the ironing board frame had imprinted on the fabric.  I decided that I would add a new ironing board cover to my Christmas list.  (Yes, I do realize this is July and I'm talking about Christmas.  But it's never too early to start planning...)

I was over at my mom's the other day finishing up the Olive Circles Dress and was doing some ironing.  I noticed that her ironing board was nice and padded and was much nicer to use.  I mentioned to her that I was going to add a new ironing board cover to my Christmas list because I was fed up with how un-puffy and flat mine is.

She showed me her secret - she had an extra layer of padding in there!  Once long ago she bought a foamy pad from Liquidation World that fit under the cover.  Genius!  She went to her sewing room closet and rooted around for a bit and came out with this:
And extra one!  She had bought two at the time.  I guess it's an early Christmas for me!  :)  Deck the Halls!

The next night I decided it was time to give my ironing board a make over. Here's my board pre-make over:
I pulled off the cover...
...added a layer of aluminum foil (Another secret I got from mom.  Apparently it reflects the heat from the iron and it cuts down your ironing time)...
...put on the extra foam pad...
And voila!  An ironing board so padded and cozy that Cleo couldn't wait to try it out!!
She hopped up and got comfortable even before I finished getting everything in place.  It must pass the test!