Monday, July 28, 2014

Sewing Lesson

So this happened last week. My child had been *begging* me for a sewing lesson, on a real sewing machine (we had a brief terrible experience with a toy machine, so she really knows the difference) and I finally felt like she was ready. So we set up her little table with the Janome Hello Kitty sewing machine and got to work.

We practiced on some scraps so she could get a feel for the foot pedal and I sat next to her and helped her guide the fabric (when she let me). She seemed like a natural but she does come from a family with many generations of sewing women. The most important thing to me was that she had fun and felt like it was her project, along with learning to sew safely and we met all those goals!

She picked out all the fabrics herself and I cut them into strips that were 6", 9" and 12" x WOF and then she laid them out and rearranged them to her heart's content. She sewed all the strips together with a 1/2" seam allowance. Then she went for an Anna Maria Horner flannel for the back and because she's my only child and I love her dearly I let her have it. I sandwiched it, she helped sew around the edges and then we turned it inside out. I topstitched around the edge and added quilting along the ditches so the batting doesn't shift and voila, her first quilt! It finished at 39"x46" - perfect size for her to snuggle under on the couch.

She was genuinely thrilled with herself and the quilt - which of course made my mama heart happy. She feels like she "made" it an she did and I love helping start her on her own maker's journey. It's going to be awesome to watch.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A catch up!

Well hello friends! July has been a *busy* month and I can't believe how quickly it flown by. I thought I'd take a quiet minute this morning and catch you up on what I've been doing. After I finished my mini quilt for the S&B swap (last post) I actually finished a ton of sewing! First up was this Massive Maples in different Denyse Schmidt prints. The top was done and sitting in that sad WIP pile so it just needed a back and quilting. Still one of my all-time favorites.

I'm still amazed at how much faster quilting is going on my Juki. It's actually making me dread the quilting part a lot less, which will hopefully cut down on my "finish procrastination"...that thing I do where I get a quilt top done (and sometimes even sandwiched) and then let it sit. And sit. And then sit some more. I'm not the only one with this shame am I?!

I made and finished this Scrappy Star quilt for a wedding gift. The wedding was July 5th and I'm hoping this will work for the happy couple as a summery picnic quilt. This was from Jeni's free tutorial and it sewed up super fast - I'm sure I'll be making more of these, especially when I need a good gift.

I used a lightweight denim for the back that I though went well with the color scheme. Truth is I'll probably be making another one of these for our family to use as a summer quilt too. The sign of a good gift is when you really want to keep it, right? ;-)

My last project was testing a new pattern for Caroline over at Nightingale Quilts and I'm keeping it under wraps until she's ready to release it - but I think it will be soon. And it is a STUNNER. Not bragging, just in love and so excited to show you the finished quilt! I even took it on vacation with us to get some good pictures and even though I felt a bit silly dragging a quilt around Yellowstone it was completely worth it. Stay tuned.

Up next I have another mini and a large gift quilt I'd like to get done in the next couple of weeks (wish me luck). We've also started sewing lessons for the junior quilter in the house which has been ridiculously fun. So how's your summer going?  Time for a little relaxing and play I hope!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Schnitzel and Boo Mini Quilt Swap

July already?! It happens every summer and it still surprises me, how fast the time goes. If you're on IG there's no way to have missed this round of the S&B mini quilt swap - there have been so many amazing mini quilts being made that it's been an avalanche of inspiration. I tried out a few combinations for my partner and none felt quite right, then I decided and cut my fabric only to see that she'd posted the exact same mini that she'd made for herself. That day. Blerg! But I figured it showed I was on the right track as far as figuring out what she liked. 

Then I realized in looking through her IG feed again, that she is an amazing crocheter and I decided to use that as my inspiration. Using Katy's granny square tutorial and some Flea Market Fancy seemed like a natural fit after that. I even got out my precious original FMF. Then I decided that I liked these little blocks so much that I went ahead and cut almost all (gasp) my FMF to make myself a large version of this! Yup, this year is "use it or send it" year around here. Katy's method of strip piecing went so quickly that I was able to cut all my strips for about 96 (!) blocks in a couple hours. I've put them aside for now because there are a few more pressing projects on my list but how summery and fun is this? I'm so excited to come back to it.

I always feel like my criteria for a good swap item is whether I want to keep it and I SO want to keep this one! I hope my partner loves it as much as I do :-)

I did straight line quilting in the ditch and on each side of the ditch, you can really see it on the back. I had a hard time not washing this and getting it all crinkly but hopefully it's new owner will so I can see it in it's crinkly glory! It finished up at about 22" square and it's headed on a looong trip today.

I've been on a tear getting stuff done - due to a sick kid who laid on the couch and watch tv for a couple days and a quilt that I'm completely avoiding as it was about to eat my brain. Funny how avoidance can be such a great motivator, right? Anyway, I'm off to bind a quilt then cut out another one that I'm determined to finish so we can take on vacation and photograph. What, you don't plan your quilt photo ops to coincide with your vacation? ;-)

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