Tuesday, December 17, 2013

WiP Wednesday: Pre-Op

I'm going in for surgery tomorrow to repair a tear in my c-section scar and will be out of commission for a while, I hope not too long. In preparation I've been sewing like crazy trying to get as many things done as possible. I am so excited about what I finished and what I couldn't help but start! I am linking up with Freshly Pieced.

First the finishes...
The Harry Potter quilt is done!! This is #59 for the quilts I've ever made and #16 for this year. To see the rest go here. I am literally dying to share more of this quilt, especially the fun on the back side but alas it is my project for the Kona Solids blog hop in January. So for more come back on the 8th! I wouldn't be sharing at all except it is doing double duty as a Q4 FAL project and I need to post the finish before the 31st. If only they lined up better.

Upgrade anyone?! If you've been here before you may have noticed that I do a lot of crochet projects. They are mostly hats for my shop. Well, whenever I have a work-in-progress all the yarn I'm using plus the pattern and my bag of tools are all kept in one spot. That spot used to be the cheap-o green bag on the left. The picture on front is cute enough but it really didn't get the job done. Thus when I saw this adorable yarn fabric (closeup later in the post) I knew I was in for an upgrade!

Isn't it fun?! I used the Madras Tote Pattern from Noodlehead. I love her stuff and free and clear instructions to boot!

Here's a closeup of the fun fabric and the fun pockets in front. They're just the right size too - don't be fooled by my giant knitting needles.

There are no pockets on the inside but when you're dealing with yarn that's a good thing. Less to get tangled up in. I lined it with a linen-looking cotton.

This is the project I couldn't help but start. My little man has been so patient as he's been bumped time and time again with his firetruck quilt so I decided to work on his a little yesterday. It worked up so quickly! There are 11 rows in this quilt with 15 triangles in each row. I'm going for a bit of a random look which is always hard for me. I didn't tell my little guy I was working on it and he came in my craft room to ask me a question and stopped mid-sentence with a gasp. "Is that my FIRETRUCKS! HOORAY!!" It was a fun surprise.
I have to stop and take a minute to give a shout-out to my favorite fabric shop The Intrepid Thread. I consistently receive amazing customer service from them but I had a great experience yesterday that I had to share. I had placed an order in the morning and happened upon that page on my computer much later in the day. I was looking a little more closely at the shop page and thought - I don't think that fabric matches. PANIC! So I called them up and Julie (the owner) talked me through it over the phone and we decided that it didn't match at all. Even though my fabric was already cut she talked me through some better choices and replaced the one I'd previously ordered. She was so sweet about it too! Not only that but the packages are always amazingly fast coming out to me and they always come wrapped up in tissue paper with a bow, two extra charm squares, and a handwritten thank you note. Who could ask for anything more?

So I'll be laid up for the next week or more and hope to work on learning how to knit and a bit of hand-sewing. It should be nice and relaxing after the rush to finish things before the surgery. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

WiP Wednesday: Up To No Good

In spite of not feeling well and getting ready for yet another surgery next week I accomplished quite a bit this week. I finished up a quilt, completed an order from my shop, and made good progress on my next project. I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced.

First Work-in-Progress...
My SIL teaches 3rd grade in Texas and wanted a quilt for her class room that she could hang on the wall. She saw a book quilt and thought that would be fun. I decided to take it to the next level. I found Melissa's Read With Me quilt tutorial and changed the appliqued words. For those of you who don't recognize the quote it's from Harry Potter and just PERFECT for my sister-in-law's personality. The rows of books are all finished and once I finish sewing around all these letters then there will be a row of books between each row of words. The top should be done pretty quickly.

I also got an order for a Sleepy Fox Hat from my Etsy shop. I love this hat!! It's fun to make and so cute on!

See! My hubby is totally rocking it! The order was for a large adult size and he was so sweet to let me use his head as a guide and take his picture. If I thought he'd wear it I would actually make him one. He's more conservative than this though. ;)
I also have a quilt finish...
I finished up my T-shirt quilt. It was crazy fast and all told about 13.5 hours of work all completed in under a week. Check out the full finish post here.
 That's me for the week! Thanks for stopping by! I hope to make a bunch more progress on my book quilt but I'm pretty sore so we'll see what happens.

Friday, December 6, 2013

T-Shirt Quilt Finish

Well, that was quick! I more or less started this quilt on Tuesday and here it is Friday and it is finished!! I cut the shirts into 12.5" squares. I happen to have a square ruler that size and it was really easy and so fast!! Some of the shirts, the middle row, were too long to do that way and they are 12.5" by 15.5." I ironed on interfacing to the back and then re-cut them all. Then I sewed them together, basted, quilted, and bound it all up. I kept a time log with this one because I was curious. Start to finish for this twin-size quilt was 13.5 hours of work.

This was my goal for ALYOF for December. (post here)  I am amazed I finished it so quickly! I was just hoping to get it done my Christmas but my awesome hubby gave me a lot of sewing time to get it done in a hurry. This quilt was doing double duty as it was also on my Q4 FAL list found here or on my side bar.

Update: It is now the end of the month and I'm linking this post up with the finishes here.

Here's the finished product! It's so fun! I worked for a while to get the color distribution just how I wanted it and I love how it looks.

My friend picked out this fun polk-a-dot binding and it looks great with the shirts. I was surprised at how well it matched and coordinated with so many of them. I quilted it using a zigzag stitch on all the horizontal and vertical seams. I think it makes it more sturdy and adds to the collage feel. As a side note I didn't notice how horribly crooked that seam looks in the picture. It's just the uneven grass, I promise.

Since this quilt is obviously all about the front side we went with a gray solid for the back side. It matches the binding really well.

So as payment for this quilt my friend and I exchanged services. I love jewelry but am not really set up to make my own. So, I made her a quilt and she gave me this giant collection. There were actually six more pieces but I gave them away as presents before I took the picture. We both walked away happy with this deal. See something you like? You can buy here stuff at her Etsy shop here. She's even running a sale right now!!
Phew for another finish! I'm linking up with Finish It Up Friday and TGIFF!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

WiP Wednesday and ALYOF Goal

I've had quite the week! I was super-productive which makes me glad because the last few days have not been fabulous. We found a water leek in our bathroom that flooded the floor, I found out I need surgery to fix my c-section site from the birth of Ruby 4.5 months ago, and then on the way home from that the alternator went out on our car. GRRR! As consolation prize my t-shirt quilt is going splendidly and I decided to link it up as a goal for ALYOF. The recovery time from surgery will give me the down time I need to work on the baby's unfinished stocking! I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday.

I got all my shirts cut out for my t-shirt quilt. It was pretty speedy. Since I was already working on it and on a roll I attached them all to the interfacing and then re-cut them. That took me about two hours yesterday, pretty speedy!

I'm not a fan of the cutting stage of anything. I feel like I'm working backwards. Then I had to do it twice with this one once before I ironed them onto the interfacing and once after. This I was thinking I hated t-shirt quilts. Now being out of that stage I've changed my mind. They are pretty quick and easy to sew together and it combines two of my loves. Scrapbooking and quilting. What could be better than that?! This is a Christmas present for my friend's sister (yeah, I'm a pretty good friend) so it needs to be done by Christmas. As a reward I'm liking up to ALYOF and maybe I'll win something and get it done in time too!

Sorry for the yucky picture. It has been hazy and foggy for days here. I always hand-sew from a kit stockings for my kids (I made one for my hubby too) and I got somewhat behind on #5. I really would like this done in time but we'll see what happens. All of our stockings have the name top center so I added a patch on this one with her name on it instead of using the star as pictured. I think it turned out okay and will match a lot better.
I also finished my entry for the DWR challenge. I'm in love!! You can find a more detailed post here.
That's all for this week. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 29, 2013

Wedding Flower Quilt FInish

 I finished my Wedding Flower quilt and I'm totally in love with it!! It was crazy fast too. I started cutting it out on Nov. 11th and finished the binding on Nov. 26th. I'm entering this quilt in the modern category of the DWR Challenge arranged by the NYC Metro Mod Quilters.

Here's the finished quilt. I'm in love! It is almost exactly how I pictured it. Originally I wanted five petals per flower but it wasn't working out the way I imagined so I switched to four petals. The inspiration for this one came out of no where. I had just put the kids down to bed and was thinking about trying something with the EZ double wedding ring templates that I've never seen before and I thought... flowers! It took a while longer to figure out the logistics of how I would make it happen and it sure was a fun journey.

Here you can see a closeup of the quilting and the piecing. The quilting was done with Sulky variegated thread with a meander in the center of the flowers and echo quilting on the outside. It took me nearly 16 bobbins and about 1,000 meters of thread. The piecing was so easy! I used the EZ Double Wedding Ring templates and I just adore them!! They made the whole process so fun, quick, and easy!! I have previously made a traditional double wedding ring quilt and I had to hand trace and hand cut each of the over 1,400 pieces. The templates were a dream and I can't wait to use them again!!

I love how the binding is a pop of contrasting color. The teal here perfectly blends with those I used in the quilt. It's so fun and cheery!

The quilt finished up at twin size... roughly 68" x 82"
I had so much fun with this one! Each of my girls has laid a claim on it and it will be hard to decide who gets to use it first! I'm linking up with TGIFF! Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

WiP Wednesday: Nearly There

I had a very productive and quite busy week but I don't have a lot to show for it. Some things just don't lend well to pictures. I finished quilting on my DWR variation quilt. It's currently nine degrees outside so you'll just get a preview. I also attempted a penguin hat... more about that later. I'm linking up with Freshly Pieced.

Here's a preview of my quilting. Holy cow!! I used 16 bobbins just for the quilting and it took me all of my free-time, and a lot of borrowed time, to finish it. In the inside of the flowers I did a meander but on the outside I did echo quilting every 1/4" or so. It was SO worth it! I just have to clip threads and bind then I'll do a big reveal post. It is due on Saturday night so expect a post no later than then.

I hate trying new crochet hat patterns. The uncertainty of whether or not it is tested and if it is going to be true to size is quite frustrating. I usually work with one or two bases that I love then build the hat, if it is a character, off of those. Well, I didn't this time and the hat is HUGE! It's too big for my head and meant for my sweet seven year-old girl. I'm also not a fan of the double crochet with how loose it is. Now I must unravel the whole thing and start over with a base I typically use. Grrr. Good thing it's just a hat and they are quick!
 Well, that's it for this week. The quilt was a beast and took up all my time. I can't wait to get it finished and have a big reveal. As an added bonus it's going to warm up (relative here) and my hubby might actually hold it up for me if it is at least in the double digits outside. Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

WiP Wednesday: Success and Not Quite

I was having a bit of a panic moment last week when I realized all I still needed to do before the holidays and how quickly they are approaching. However, after a few days of hard work I THINK I may be able to get it all done, maybe. Several of the things that I'm working on fall into the success category and one is firmly in the not quite a success. I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday.

This is definitely a success!! I am so so happy with how it turned out and it came out almost exactly how I pictured! The New York Modern Quilt Guild is doing a double wedding ring challenge. There is a modern category where you can enter any variation that suits your fancy. I had the idea where I could take the little wedge pieces and use them to make flower petals. I just adore it!! 

Here's a closeup of my quilting in progress. I used variegated thread in the same-ish colors as the flowers. All I need to do on this is finish the quilting and then get it bound. It is due by Dec. 1st. I bet I can get it done!

This one falls into the not quite a success. I was thinking about working up some football hats and I found this team colors yarn. I thought it would be perfect. Well, I've become a yarn snob I guess because it feels kind of yucky and it's really hard to work with. I had to make this one twice because it worked up much bigger than it was supposed to.

Attempt number two was more of a success and my little man adores it! However, I won't be able to put it in my shop because of the size variation problems and because it just doesn't feel up to my standard.

I am in love with this hat. Especially the colorway that my customer chose. I think they are just perfect!! You can buy one of your own here.

I also got an order for my most loved hat! This foxy is sure getting a lot of attention. It comes in all sizes from baby to adult. The customer asked me to add ear flaps this time and I really like it!
 Also today is the last day for my coupon code in my shop! At checkout enter the code 111313 for 13% off your order! To be in the know of any future sales or new releases as they come along hop on over and like my facebook page. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, November 15, 2013

I-Spy Bag and Other News

I love having at least one finish to share each week. That's a bit of pressure I'm putting on myself but it sure is fun to see what I can do! I am also having a sale this week at my Etsy shop where I sell custom crochet hats and quilts!!! To celebrate my birthday that was on the 13th I'm offering 13% off with the coupon code 111313.

Here's a sample of what I make in my shop. The sizes of each hat range from Preemie or Newborn all the way up to adult!
Now on to my finish...
I made this fun I-Spy bag for the baby for Christmas.  I have seen these around for years and have wanted one for a while and finally made it happen. The Nancy Drew fabric magnifying glasses totally sealed the deal for me on how cute it is. I filled it with plastic pellets and various buttons found at my local craft stores. There are also alphabet letter beads, enough to spell each of my kids' names, thrown in the mix. I had them each take a peek and they love it!

My hubby excels in spoiling me. He always says he is a crafty stuff collector and I am the crafter. It works out nicely! This is what I ended up with after my birthday shopping spree. So many fun things!! The fabric in the back corner is the background and binding for my wedding ring project. There are a bunch of fat quarters and a bit of yardage for my I-spy quilt I have begun collecting for. I got a crochet book I've been wanting for years and the rest of the bamboo hooks to complete my set. I also tried knitting this week and I think I might give that a serious go. I got super chunky yarn and large needles to try to make a cowl. The last thing is a set of stuff and instructions on how to Knook (knitting with a crochet hook). It could be easier and it doesn't hurt to try right?
 Well, that's it. It's been a great week. I hope to have something larger to show next week. Like a quilt. Remember to hop on over to my shop for the sale. I'll be linking up with Finish it up Friday and Thank Goodness it's Finished Friday!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

WiP Wednesday: Birthday Edition

It's my birthday! I just adore birthdays, they don't even have to be mine. To celebrate I'm giving a 13% off discount to my shop. Why 13% you ask? Well, my birthday is the 13th, it's 2013, and I'm now 31 which is 13 backwards. It seemed fitting. So hop on over, pick out anything you want and enter the code 111313 in the coupon box and 13% will be taken off your order. It's that simple. The coupon is good until the 20th.

Anyway, I have been having a lot of fun but not a lot of focus this week so I'm sort of all over the place with this work-in-progress post. I'm linking up over at Freshly Pieced.

 I'll start off with my little man...

I bought my little guy this fireman fabric back in June although it feels like much longer ago than that. Anyway, he just adored it. You have no idea. He would carry it around the house, put it in a bag and take it with us everywhere, he even slept with it, all folded up on his bed. I kept asking him if I could cut it and make him a quilt and he would freak out. With tears he would always reject the idea with force, "NO! No cut my favric!"

He is now 3 1/2 years-old. He's just getting too big to sleep with his baby quilt any more. I'm amazed he's lasted this long. I was tucking him in and his tiny feet were hanging out the bottom. So I said, you know, if you let me have that fabric I can make you a big quilt like your brothers and it will actually cover your feet. "OKAY!!" he said, "here you go!" At which point he gathered up all eight from on his bed and handed them to me one by one. He then said, "you go make my quilt. I sleep now." If only it was that fast and I didn't need sleep myself. I'm pretty proud of myself for getting it all cut out though. It's going to be randomly assembled 8" equilateral triangles.

Also in the works this week is a variation on the double wedding ring. I am so super excited about this one! I hope to get it done in time for the challenge that is due on the 1st of December. I know it's a tight deadline but like I said, it's a variation.
This is more or less what I have thus far. The blues are done. The reds I actually have pieced a bunch more than this but the lighting was horrible at night. They are all cut and ready to go. I'm going to applique them on so that'll be faster. Then all I have to do is quilt and bind.
I have this crazy goal of having a finish done every week. Well, nothing I was currently working on was going to be done by Friday so I started something new. It kind of defeats the purpose but this was on my list anyway. It's going to be an I-spy bag. What you do is make a bean bag with a vinyl window in it. Fill the bean bag with whatever (I'll be using little plastic pellets) but also throw in things to find. I found all these fun buttons I'll be throwing in. I have enough stuff to make two. It'll be so fun!!

Now on to crochet...
I made this awesome Gingerbread Man hat this week. Isn't it adorable?! I found the pattern here. It is now listed in my shop. Notice also the fabulous studio-esque photo! I was pretty impressed with myself. I switched where I took them and added a solid white background with these crazy good results!

I also made this adorable Gingerbread girl hat. It is listed in my shop as well. I love the bow!! I may just have to make a bunch of these just to poke in my little girls hair.

Here's my cute muchkin sporting her hat with style!!

I also added gold to the mix of crowns. It's such a fun bright color! It's great for a crown but would be crazy in the shawl that they have the pattern for on the yarn.

 So that's my progress this week. Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to hop over to my Etsy shop and celebrate my birthday with me by getting 13% off anything with the code 111313!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Finish: Pillows

Some months ago I found this pillow on Pinterest and knew I had to recreate it. So I added it to my board already several hundred strong. Enter my first guild exchange project. I wanted a pillow, something fun and different. I rediscovered this pin and hopped on down to my LQS.

When you last saw this on Wednesday I had just begun trimming. I finished that up yesterday morning. It created 216 HST units and quite a lot of trimmings.

I finished up the blocks this morning. I love how they look!
They look even more interesting all sewn together. There are nine blocks per pillow.

Putting them together was a breeze after that. I even quilted them in variegated thread and added a zipper.

I hope they go over well in the exchange and I can't wait to see what everyone else has come up with. I'm linking up with Finish It Up Friday.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

WiP Wednesday: Distracted

So I have my huge Q4 FAL list (29 items) and this week I'm not working on any of them. Instead I had three other projects. Heaven knows I already had enough going but I snuck these in anyway and I'm glad I did. I'm linking up with WiP Wednesday.

I started off with an adult-sized sheep hat. This was an order from my shop for someone's sheep-loving college student. I think it's so cute!

Next I got to trimming on a huge batch of HST for two pillows. One is for my local guild's exchange later this month and the other identical one is for me. My giant mat is going to be covered with these 2" HST four times in order to trim them all up. Next time I might have to really consider whether or not this pattern is really worth it.

So my kids have been sporting a gallon ziplock bag to hold their crayons. I thought it was a little ghetto and difficult for four kids to share one bag as they all sat in a row at church. So I grabbed this fat quarter of adorable crayon fabric, some zippers, and followed the Open Wide Zipper pouch to make them some crayon bags.

I love how they turned out!!! I had a little problem sewing on the tabs at the end of the zipper but I couldn't begin to tell you why because I've made these pouches two other times and I did fine then. Oh well. You can see how easy it is to see the crayons inside and get them out and they look so cute on the outside! It's going to be great!

I also had my first ever craft fair on Saturday. I did better than I expected but didn't make any sales. How is that better you ask? Well, I've never even been to one of these before so I didn't know what to expect. Also I didn't have any hats to sell on the spot I could only take orders and pass out my business cards. I had fun talking and checking out what other people had at the fair. A few booths down someone had hats for sell on the spot and they did much better than I did so now I know for next year to make a stash over the Spring/Summer to sell.

I made up a catalog that you can see on the little desk. People really loved looking through that. I also brought my quilts that were for sale in my Etsy shop. They got a lot of looks from fellow quilters but only one or two from anyone else. Some woman said, "I wish I had a grandma that quilted." At nearly 31 I think that's funny because I'm not even close to grandma age and I made these. Also, you don't need a grandma, buy one from me!! I'm excited about the prospects and learned so much for next year.
I hope to get back on task with my list this week but we'll see what comes up. I'm not too worried about it and I'm having so much fun crafting lately! Here's to another great week!