Saturday, May 28, 2011

New Storage!

This is my accomplishment for the day. I built this storage unit (well, maybe not built...but I had to use a screwdriver and a hammer!) and I organized my fabric and filled it up! I need to find things to fill the small cubbies though. This was the last of my patterned canvas to be put away. Red, orange, yellow and green all have space on my Ikea shelving but blue, brown, grey and black were just chillin on the floor for awhile.

Can you believe I got this unit for Christmas and I'm just now getting around to putting it together? Ok if you know me personally that might not be too difficult to understand. I just didn't have a place to put it. Even now it's just hanging out in front of the closet. My sewing room is in desperate need of a rearrange!

As far as works in progress...I've been sorting fabric for future quilts! You can see some finished purple/white/brown squares for a Mod Sampler Quilt are taped to the closet doors (no room for a cool design wall, like I said, desperately need a rearrange!) and I've pulled fabrics for five more quilts! Coming up are:

The pluses quilt from i heart patchwork in aqua and yellow like the photo
A pink and brown baby quilt, pattern undecided 
A blue and brown baby quilt, pattern undecided
A bright yellow, orange and pink New Wave Quilt
A quilt using fall colors, pattern undecided

Also, a quilt top that I just finished up is this super cute, super simple striped quilt below! I think it's perfect for a young girl who's growing out of the baby pinks, or new parents who don't want the traditional pastels for their little girl.

I did attempt the quilting. The only appropriate sized batting I had on hand was Fusi-Boo, which apparently you can press onto the fabrics to eliminate the need for basting. Let's take this opportunity to do a little product review. I can see where it wouldn't be bad for small projects, like ones that fit nicely on your ironing board. The weight of the quilt hanging off made it hard to press perfectly. Before I got the hang of it there were some smushed parts on the backing but I was able to pull them off and re-iron neatly. I wanted to quilt vertical lines because I thought the perpendicularity (a word? judges?) would look neat. It was immediately apparent that while the pressing appeared straight, some stripes must have been off because they pulled and puckered and now all of my quilting needs to be unpicked. We'll try horizontal lines next.

So that's what I've been up to! Any tips or better experiences with Fusi-Boo? Pattern suggestions for the baby quilts?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

my first completed quilt on my own!

I had to throw that last bit in because when I was in high school, my grandma helped me to make a quilt for my full size bed. At the age of 16, when all I wanted to do was hang out with my first boyfriend and drive around in my very own car, I was forced to spend many hours hand quilting with my grandma. Of course I had no patience for it and gave up, but it was a nice quilt anyways.

So onto my very first quilt made all by myself! I used Amy Butler's Mid Mod Pattern (available for free here!) but I reduced the size of the bordering fabric to make it lap size. Figured I'd start small.

Here it is! I used a blue/brown/white color combination. All the fabrics are from my stash! That is what I'm truly proud of I think. Even the surrounding teal was on hand, I just had to purchase the backing (white Kona solid) and the brown binding. Because I didn't purchase any new fabrics to match specifically for this project, I don't think they all jive perfectly, but that's part of the beauty of it. It reminds me of the colorful quilts my great-grandma used to make using scraps of old clothing and feedsacks.

A close up of the quilting. I decided to go simple to avoid getting discouraged, and it still took me forever to quilt. I stitched in the ditch on each strip in kind of a blocky zigzag way. It was actually pretty efficient. On the teal, I just went in squares around the nine patch about an inch away from each other. I decided not to mark it and just eyeball the distance. It's actually pretty consistent and it looks handmade in a good way.

And a side note about this kitty bed I made for our two cats - they can't stand it! I'm trying to draw them away from my furniture, it's tiresome vacuuming the dining room chairs every week. The pattern used is the Moroccan Pillow from an older issue of Stitch magazine. If anyone is interested I can look up the exact details. I think I stuffed it too much. I've never seen either of them use it, but I looked and there was some fur on the top, so one of them must have tested it out when we weren't home. So far, I've only seen them lay next to it though. I used fabrics from Jessica Jones' first collection.

Maybe one day I'll be able to snap a picture of a kitty enjoying the pillow! Eh, probably not.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

quilts galore!

Ok I have to admit I have been a little bit obsessed with quilts lately. I browse quilt blogs at work (during lunch only of course!!!), spend half my evening pairing up my stash fabrics for possible future quilts, and I have been slowly finishing a couple works in progress. Here is one quilt that made it to the end this weekend!

This was a baby shower gift for someone at work. Can you tell it's going to be a boy? I never much liked sewing for boys but these fabrics are just adorable! I really loved picking out the blues and greens, which is their color scheme. Also, this is a super speedy quilt to throw together. I first saw the technique at craftlog and have made several over the years. Instead of embroidering x's at the junctions, I used a fancy asterisk stitch on my electronic sewing machine.

The backing is an ultra soft cuddly polka dot fabric. I think I need to make a quilt for myself with this backing! You can't see the batting (obviously) but I decided to splurge for a natural bamboo that was much more expensive than my usual natural cotton. I think I'm hooked now though! It added a very nice weight, which could partially be attributed to the backing I suppose. The real hook for me was that the quilt top stuck to it well but the batting didn't stick to itself like the cotton does.

And here's the set, I also made a Peanut from the book "Last Minute Patchwork + Quilted Gifts"! He is too cute, it's a great pattern. The only thing that threw me was the placement of the eyes. Going by the pattern it really looks funny, and it's completely different than the photo. Next time I'll just "eyeball" it! (I <3 puns, sorry!) Also, I left off the yarn tail since this is a gift for a newborn.

So back to quilts, I also finished a lap quilt that has been a WIP for at least a year. It was half quilted too! Not sure what the holdup was on that. Once we get away from this dreary weather I'll take some photos. The results of attempting to take photos on a super rainy day are above. Can't wait to start my next quilt!