Wednesday, April 24, 2013

WiP Wednesday: Something Different

I have a lot of quilting projects that I'm in the middle of or want to be in the middle of but I took a break from all that this week and focused on something a little different. It all started with a BUNCH of scrapbooking.  During breaks I crocheted a few rows on my white blanket. Then I made a quick pillow case for my littlest man and ended the week with my ninth anniversary.  I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

I got really motivated with my scrapbooking first...

This is about 2" thick and was empty as of last Wednesday's post.  For more details and pictures of what is inside see this post.

I finished 30 rows in my crocheted blanket.  That means I'm over halfway throughIt is currently 30 of 54 which reduces to 5/9.  I'm a math geek and while I was making the last few stitches I figured that out.

I was at my LQS looking for some cute flannel to make a little blanket for my baby girl (hopefully will be done by next week for pics) when my littlest man spotted this firetruck fabric.  He is OBSESSED with firetrucks.  It's actually pretty darn cute.  Since it was only $6.50 a yard I picked up a yard and in less than 10 minutes made him the fabulous pillow case.

He is in love! He'll be three on Monday and keeps asking for firetruck things for his birthday.  He got one early.

He also got a fancy full-size pillow to put in it.  When we switch our babies from cribs to big beds we have this really flat tiny pillow that we have them use to get used to it.  He loves his new fluffy pillow!

Finally it was my anniversary yesterday!!  Nine years!  I adore my hubby.  He's so sweet and just so darn cute.  He is also quite the enabler for all my craftiness and always asks if there is anything I want or need in my crafty life lately.  He even took me to Hobby Lobby yesterday to pick up a few more things.
I had a great week and am looking forward to what I can accomplish this week!  Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 22, 2013

In the Scrapbooking Groove!

I have just been a scrapbooking rock star this week! It all started after my last post on Wednesday.  I am currently scrapbooking pictures from 2010, so I am a bit behind but not that bad.  Well, I want to get at least 2010 finished for all four kids and the family before the baby is born the end of July.  I am nearly in my third trimester and that has lit my fire.  The scrapbook below was empty on Wednesday and now it has January through November (I haven't printed December yet) all finished up!

I love the scrapbooks at Hobby Lobby and this is one of them.  So after five days of work it's now about 2" thick.  Not too shabby!  I tie a ribbon color-coded for each child on the binding and put a little tag with their first initial and the year stamped on it.  It makes it easier for everyone to find what they are looking for.

Here's the first batch.  I finished these Thursday morning.  I always type out my captions because they can get pretty long but between putting together the layouts and the caption stage they sit in a giant ziplock to protect them from tiny hands.  I can only fit about 10 layouts in my ziplock so it forces me to stop and caption.

This is the second batch finished Saturday morning.

I glued the captions on the third batch Sunday night.  With eight in the first batch, ten in the second batch, and eleven in the third batch that's twenty-nine layouts in five days.

Here are a few close-ups of my favorite layouts...

I love how this one turned out!!  The paper is fun and the cricut cut cupcakes stamped with CTMH stamps are so cute.  My favorite part is the little candle which was the actual candle she blew out on her first birthday three years ago.  I'm so glad I put it in a safe place where I could find it when I finally got around to scraping that page.

I like how this one is all jaunty and the tiny filmstrip-esque pictures on the side.

I love the bows made out of skinny strips of paper on this one and the fun coloring of the paper.  It's still Halloween but a bit unexpected.

The letters and the stamped flower are fun in this one and I just love her cute little face!
I hope to start my oldest daughters scrapbook today and if I'm half as fast as I was with this one I should be done with 2010 in no time!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

WiP Wednesday: Super Woman!

I totally feel like Super Woman lately with all that I've accomplished this week! I finished up two quilts and got 1/3 of the way through quilting another.  As an added bonus my house is also clean and the laundry for all six of us is caught up and put away!  To celebrate I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

First I'll start off with the finishes...

I've dubbed this one the Russian quilt.  The fabric is Little Kukla and it's the cutest little Russian dolls with fun buildings on the back.  I basted, quilted, and bound it since last Wednesday. The quilting was straight line in the ditch following the zigzag pattern and I topped it off with some lime binding.  See the full finish post here.

This is my Starburst quilt.  I used Bella by Lotta Jansdotter and I just adore how it turned out!  I bound the quilt this week and cleaned up my room to take its picture. My hubby was pretty funny he forgot that we had it on our bed and woke up the next morning worried that we'd slept with some of my fancy fabric on the bed all night long.  We're just not used to having fancy stuff for us.  See the full finish post here.
Now onto what I'm slaving away on...

I finished this Nancy Drew quilt as part of a blog hop I was in last month.  I didn't quilt it because I was horribly ill at the time and didn't know what I wanted to do with it.  Since then I've decided I will use it to practice my Free-Motion Quilting.  The quilt uses a few color variations of six different fabrics and with 36 blocks there are six of each to work with.  I picked six different FMQing designs that I wanted to work on and I'm putting one in each style of fabric.  In the magnifying glasses I'm doing a double loop.  It's kind of hard to see but looks great and was so fun to try!

In this one I've been doing a basic stippling.  It's so stress free and easy.
For the rest of the quilt I've taken ideas out of my new quilting book The Beginner's Guide to Free-Motion Quilting by Natalie Bonner.  I'm loving this book and how easy it is to follow with a lot of pictures and instructions.  I am planning on trying some swirls, cobblestone, woodgrain, and pebbling.  I can't wait!

Thanks for stopping by and have a great week!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Craftiness is Contagious

It appears that craftiness is spreading through my house!  It started with my daughter wanting to do "a needle pulling thread."  She's making these two adorable stuffed bears from a kit we found at Target.  She's doing so well and going to enter them into a talent show at the end of the month.

My oldest daughter sewing like a pro!

Then my hubby joined in.  He cracks me up.  He said, "You know how there are those enabler husbands who join in the craftiness by sewing or even making quilts?  Well, I don't care that much but I would like to support you by learning how to wind a bobbin."  It took a while to stop laughing before I arranged it.  As it so happened I needed a bobbin wound right then so he started right away...

I was switching to a new color of thread and needed a bobbin wound so he had to start by threading the machine first.  He said, "this is harder than it looks!"  Then he got the bobbin ready.

My bobbin winds on the top of my machine so here he is starting out.

He LOVES to watch when I wind my bobbin and is sad when he finds out he missed it.  It's a fun quirk.  This time he was so close to the action I think it probably made it better.
So... you better be careful if you don't want to share your crafty supplies because if it is as contagious as it is at my house we're all in trouble.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Russian Little Kukla Quilt FInish

This one went from just a top to bound and tagged yesterday afternoon and I'm loving how it turned out! I totally changed my quilting plan over the last few days.  I was planning on doing 1/4" in from each seam but then I thought it would make the quilt too stiff and difficult to snuggle.  I've had that problem with major quilting before and these diamonds are so small.  Thus, I decided to follow the zigzag across in the ditch and I think it's not the perfect combination of stable and snuggly.

Here's the top all finished up and quilted.  I added a lime green binding that really makes the colors pop!

I adore the little Russian buildings on the backing fabric.  They are just so fun and interesting to look at!

Here's a closeup of the back at the right angle.  You can see the zigzag stitching.  I used my walking foot and it turned out so nicely.  I love how easy it is to go straight with a walking foot!  You can also see the fun binding color and my perfectly matching tag in the corner.

One last picture just for fun.  I can't wait to give this to my brother-in-law and his cute wife who are expecting their first child, a girl, mid-May!  He lived in Russia for a two years and I think it's just perfect for them.

I'm linking up with Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Starburst Finish

I'm so excited to have finally finished a quilt for my bed!  I haven't made one for my bed since just before I went off to college twelve years ago.  I got the fabric - Bella by Lotta Jansdotter - for my birthday in November and joined up with the Starburst quilt-a-long over at Happy Quilting.  Sadly my VERY difficult pregnancy prevented me from finishing up with everyone else but it's done now and happily on my bed!!

I finished the binding on this one late Wednesday night (4/10).  It's been a rainy yucky mess here and to avoid mud on my newly finished quilt I took the pictures inside.  The lighting isn't fabulous but it's better than mud!  It finished up at about 96" square and is perfect for my queen-size bed even with my cover hog hubby. ;)

Here's a closeup of the quilting.  I took it to my local quilter and she did an allover swirl and leaves pattern that I think perfectly fits the fabric and the quilt!  It gives it more of the fall vibe that I was feeling when I made this one.

It looks fabulous on my bed!  I'm just in love!  I think it's a great size and brightens up the room.  Although the room brightening may have something to do with the fact that this is the cleanest my room has been in months.

Here's a shot from the bottom of the bed. It just makes me want to climb in!  I got the orange sheets on major clearance at Target and they perfectly match my orange star and the backing that is also orange. I'm typically not a huge fan of orange but I'm loving this slight burnt color and it's perfect for the fall feel I wanted for the quilt.
I'm linking up with Finish it up Friday over at Crazy Mom Quilts.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

WiP Wednesday: Springing into Action

I'm loving spring this year, probably more so than in years past, because with the warmer weather my craft room is no longer the frozen tundra.  You see it doesn't have a heating vent leading to it and while it is nicely insulated it doesn't stay warm without the influx of heat.  My sweet hubby recently bought me a space heater and that combined with the warmer weather has made my craft room a happy place to be.  As a result I've done a bunch this week and I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.

I'll start with paper crafting...

I've been feeling the scrapbooking bug for quite some time but all my stuff was in the frozen room so I couldn't really go in there.  I think I made up for it with these fourteen two-page layouts.

This is one of my two favorite layouts.  It's my littlest back when his was six months old.

Here's my other favorite layout.  I love the circles behind the picture on the left.

I added a few more rows to my crocheted blanket for the baby.  I'm nearly halfway now!  It goes fast when I sit and work on it which I like to do while watching TV.

The Russian quilt top is done!!  I'm so excited about this one and I just love how it turned out!  I already have a plan on quilting too.  I'll be using my walking foot and doing 1/4" on either side of each seam.  I can do it in rows so it won't be as crazy as it seems.

Here's a closeup of the Russian quilt.  I'm seriously loving this one - especially the fabric.  This is Little Kukla by Suzy Ultman for Robert Kaufman fabrics.

Yesterday I wrote up a tutorial for how I wind up my binding.  It involves the binding and a pen and is so easy.  Take a look here.  These three bindings go to quilts I hope to have finished by the end of the month.  The green on top is for the Russian quilt.  The black is for my Nancy Drew quilt that needs to be quilted still.  Finally, the gray is for my Starburst quilt that just needs the binding.
I hope you all have a great and productive week and enjoy Spring!

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Binding WInding Tutorial

Through my many years of quilting I have discovered some tips and tricks along the way that help make things a little easier.  I love to share those with others and this is one of my favorites because of the simplicity.  It involves some binding and a pen - that's it.

I've found that when wound like this the binding is much easier to feed onto the quilt and takes up less room on my sewing table.  Keep reading for an easy way to wind it up.

Start with a pen and your length of pressed binding.

Slip the edge that you will end while sewing into the cap of the pen.

Now twist the pen to wind up the binding.  The pen gives you something nice and big to hold onto while winding.

Here's another angle of what it looks like just starting to be wound.

Keep twisting and make sure to keep it tight.

Keep winding until it is all wrapped around the pen.  This one is large because it is the binding for a queen sized quilt.  Put a pin in the end to hold it all together.

Grab the pen cap with one hand and the binding roll with the other and simply pull out the pen.

Voila!  A very easy and stress-free way to wind your binding.

Repeat as desired. - Yeah, I'm a bit behind on binding my quilts.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

WiP Wednesday: Quilt Progress

I'm so excited about my the progress with my quilts this week.  I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced for WiP Wednesday.  First I nearly finished my Russian quilt and then I finally got my Starburst quilt back from the quilter all it needs is binding!

Here's the Russian quilt.  It's kind of got a herringbone pattern going on.  I am loving how the rows turned out.  Now I just have to sew the 14 rows together cut off the points and it's ready for quilting.

Speaking of quilting I finally got my Starburst quilt back from the quilter.  I say finally because she had it for four weeks!  She said 2-3 and it took four.  It was a long wait.  Now I just have to bind it and take a million pictures before it goes on my bed.

Here's a picture of more or less the whole quilt.  It is queen size so really hard to get it all in the camera frame at the same time.  I love the quilting but what I notice from this picture is that some of the gray fabric that I know is all the same looks different.  Is there a right and a wrong side and I just didn't know?!  I looked and studied it when I first got it and couldn't tell but now it's glaring.  The fabric is Art Gallery Pure Elements in Ash.  Oh well, it's still wonderful.
I made no progress on my other projects either quilty or crochet but I hope to this week since these two are so close to being done!  Thanks for stopping by!