Sunday, December 14, 2008

My Great Grandma's Quilt

Wow, how cool is this?! My Grandpa dug this out of his crawlspace the other night for me. His mom made it, but we're not sure when. He said it doesn't look like her usual ones, because they were usually more scrappy. She used to first make her dresses from the feedsacks, and then with what was left, or maybe after the dresses were worn out, she would make quilts.

After a very rough and quick count, I found more than 80 different fabrics in this quilt. There is no border, but the top wraps around to form a border on the back, which is made from a large piece of green flowered fabric. It fits jsut right on our double bed.

The quilt is both hand pieced and hand quilted, though my grandpa remembers his mom sewing on a foot treadled Singer as well. A couple of the patches are worn through, but other than those, this quilt is in remarkable shape. If anyone has any suggestions on how to replace a patch on an old quilt, and also, on how to wash one, I'd love to hear them!! For now I think the quilt will rest gently on our guest bed... at least until anyone visits!

The pillow on the bed was cross-stitched by my Grandma from the other side! I love having all this family history right in my own home! And I do apologize for the striped baby outfit in these pictures... I know it's a bit overwhelming!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Ribbon Snuggly

This was not my idea, but I love making these!!

My baby just loves them, so I'm planning on giving them to some of the other babies I know for Christmas... I used this tutorial from oh Fransson to help with the appliqued initial on the other side, (not shown since this one is a gift!) But it was my first machine applique, and I think it went really well!! I never really knew what to use that buttonhole function on my sewing machine for, (besides the obvious, but I'd never tried that either!!)

By the way, thanks to Tonya at Lazy Gal Quilting for the gift certificate to the Fabric Square Shop! Woo hoo! I love winning stuff!! Now I just have to commit to some fabric!! They have such a great selection, I don't know how I'll choose!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Knitting Needle Keeper

So I finally got around to making myself a holder for all my knitting needles so I don't have to dig through a messy box to try to find matching pairs in the right size!

I'd seen one of these in a knitting shop and I drew myself a picture, but when I went to design mine I didn't look at the drawing... now that I look at it, mine is probably at least twice the size of the other one, but it seems to accomodate my whole collection, (including crochet hooks!) with some room to grow. I might need to make myself a small version for current projects though.

I just finished it up last night... didn't even take too long once I put my mind to it! And I think the next one will be much faster now that I know what I'm doing.
Here it is loaded.... (for scale, the longest needles are 17".)

The center pockets are for my circular needles. The two zippered pockets on the left are for my stitch markers and yarn needdles and cable hooks etc.

Here it is with the flap closed so the needles don't fall out the top....

Here it is all wrapped up.

Friday, November 7, 2008


I have to shout out a great big THANKS to the Emily Griffith Opportunity School Sewing Department for cleaning house and sharing the wealth!!

I got all this for $10!!

And I was just grabbing whatever seemed interesting! My little sweetpea wouldn't let me get away with any sorting, and her stroller wouldn't negotiate many of the isles. And after a very fast 40 minutes or so, she got hungry and cranky! I'd only just discovered the large free piles where I picked up some of the samples.

It's probably for the best though... the large garbage bag full of stuff that I bought bare balanced in the back of the stroller for the 4 blocks I had to walk back to where I'd parked.

The sale is tomorrow too, so if you're anywhere near Denver, check it out!!!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Amy's Baby Quilt

Well, here it is! I love this quilt and will probably have to make another one similar. I think it's just the right size for a playmat, or stroller blanket! I added the flower patterns after Amy's third ultrasound, (or was it second?) said it was almost definitely a girl!!

The border is the small green dots, (forgot to get a closeup!) And I labeled it after these pictures.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Pumpkin Hat

Well, it's not the best pictures of the baby, but I think it's one of the better ones of the hat!! I made this from a pattern in Itty Bitty Hats, and it was very easy, and I think came out pretty well! I probably would make it a bit shorter if I were to do it again! That way her head would really fill out the top. There are a couple other patterns from this book that I might try out.

Sneak Preview

I'm giving this blanket as a gift tomorrow, so after that I'll post the pictures of it!! I'm really pleased with it... my best so far no doubt!! And my baby girl loves it, so I'll have to make her one that's similar.

Anyway, here are the fabrics... sorry they're so washed out in the picture!!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Busy Weekend

This past weekend was a great one craft-wise... I did some knitting with a couple girlfriends while the boys watched the kids!! What a nice way to get away for a couple hours... and I finished this pink baby shrug (made from soy yarn) that's been sitting in my living room for ages!! I got to my last ball of the yarn, and then couldn't find any more in the store, so I was sure I would run out and have to do the borders in a different color, which of course made me not want to even bother with it. Anyway, it turned out I had enough and was able to finish it in one sitting!! It's funny the reasons we put stuff off. This pattern was really easy and fits great... it came from the Debbie Bliss book Simply Baby.

I also finished this quilt for a friend's baby boy due next month. The border of this quilt has taken me ages to complete... again mainly because I didn't want to do it. But now it's boxed and I just need to get it to the post office tomorrow with the rest of her gift!!

And this little blanket for Sweetpea is finally done too. I might add a bit of applique to the back corners to finish it off. It's made from recycled cashmere sweaters that shrank after too much tough love, (I don't dry clean anything.) I ended up backing it in a cute dotted grey cotton fabric. It's very lightweight and soft.

Now I need to start cutting fabric for another friend's baby blanket... I'm excited about this one... based on a doll quilt I saw on Amanda Jean's site!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Is this bad....

Is it bad that the list of upcoming projects is growing faster than the list of in work ones? I was able to cross three off my list this weekend!! Of course I don't have pictures yet.... I finished Beth's baby blanket, Sweatpea's pink shrug, and a small sweater blanket in pink and grey. I'll post them coming up soon. And hopefully I'll get to some of the other projects on my list!! :)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Sneak Peaks, and in the Mean Time...

So I've been busy working on a quilt for my friend Beth's baby.... it's been done except for the binding which is taking me forever!! Well... not literally... it's almost done. Then it just needs a label. I don't think I'm going to do prairie points on something so big again for a while. Here's a sneak peak!

I'm also working on a small recycled sweater blanket for Sweetpea... I'm most of the way through the piecing of that now too, and just trying to decide if I should back it with something to make it more durable... I have some poly satin that matches perfectly, but would that just cheese it up? It's mostly cashmere... Maybe I should look for some coordinating cotton for a light backing.... I just don't know... here's a teaser for that project as well.

And here's a picture of my sweety this morning in a sweater I knitted when I was pregnant!! Isn't she cute! The sleeves are rolled up, so I think it should last her through the winter!! :) The hat she's wearing was knitted for her by my aunt Sue's mom. :)

I'm meeting some friends for knitting tomorrow!! I can't wait!! I have this pattern for a pumpkin hat that I think my little pumpkin HAS TO HAVE since it is October already!

Friday, September 19, 2008

My First Quilt, Part II - Uh Oh

So with the quilt mostly done, the last things I wanted to acomplish were the aplique and embroidery, and the label on the back. And I also needed to wash it for the first time! I've been a bit afraid of this step, because I didn't have the forsite to prewash all the different fabrics first! This is not a mistake I will ever make again... the worry has been haunting me!

It turned out I had a reason to worry... I didn't notice any shrinkage, but a couple of the seams didn't hold up to the wash... It was on the thin green flanel strips. I will try to tack them in place, and then add extra quilting to those areas to hold everything together. I guess the lesson learned here is to give the flanel fabrics some extra seam allowences! I think this quilt will now become my quilting techniques test piece... I might try stipling in that area now, and when I get the guts to try other methods I might use other squares to test them... it will become my sampler quilt! In the meantime I'll just have to be more conservative with my future quilts!!

I did do the aplique, but I think I'll skip the embroidery... unless I want to practice... Oh well. I guess I'll just have to allow a bit of error due to the learning curve... hopefully my next will be much better.

Stipled Bib!

So I just made this bib from this post... Okay, so mine is a bit different, but the basic concept is the same... I ended up tracing one of my bibs because I liked the shape of it a bit better. I still need to add a bit of velcro on it, but I've tried it on the baby, and it seems to do the job! I made it from the same cute flanels that I made the dress from the last post in. But I did the border in a print I found in my scrap bag. It was just barely long enough after I trimmed the bib a bit to make it work. Phew. It was close. Thank goodness I pinned beforeI started sewing it on!!

One reason I chose this project was because I needed something to practice stipling on.... I love the look of it, and I really would like to try it out on a bigger project, but am afraid of ruining something!! Anyway, after checking out CrazyMomQuilts blog about free motion quilting (Amanda Jean, you rock!!) I figured I'd give it a try... here's a close up of my work. I think the tension was a bit too loose, and there was one blank area that I missed and had to go back to, but I'm satisfied with the restults!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Baby Dress

Yey free sewing patterns! As a pretty new sewer I really appreciate the low commitment level of free patterns. I found the pattern for this dress in this post. Thanks Rae! I enlarged the pattern 125%, and still I think it could go a bit bigger... N is a pretty sturdy little girl so she won't be wearing it too long... it'll get a bit too cold for it soon anyway! I'm not too crazy about the fit, but I think I may try it again with some different fabric... I like the idea of the flannel, and I loved this owl print on the bolt, but Todd thinks it looks like N is wearing curtains!

This weekend I'm going to make a bib to match from this post! I'm excited to try out stipling on a small piece. I love quilts with that look and feel, but am afraid to try it for fear of ruining a pieced project... so if I start small... we'll see.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

My First Quilt!

So I finally have gotten around to making a quilt! I've always wanted to. Like most of the crafts I do, I've read books about them, and designed many on paper. I've fantasized about fabrics and edges. I've even attempted practice squares with junky old fabric. But I've never actually sat down and sewn a quilt! Until now. Maybe I just had to have a baby who I'd want to make things for! She also spurred my knitting on to new levels. So why not my sewing?

Anyway, I just finished attaching the border moments ago. The piecing didn't go perfectly, but I'm satisfied with the results for my first time. If all the fabrics were similar textures I think I might have had better luck getting the edges to line up. But I have flanels, and fluffy furrs, and light cottons all in one. The quilting itself went surprisingly well. And it was much faster than I'd expected as well. On my next quilt I think I will be more ambitious with the quilting pattern. Maybe throw in some curves, and a few more lines. But the simplicity of the diagonal lines that I used on this quilt work with the simple baby pattern.

I got a bit fancy with the edges, and put cute little triangle tabs on. The corners were a bit of trouble for me, and I think that if I plan out the edges a bit better next time I could do a better job on the corners.

Before I can say it's totally done, I'm going to applique a few flowers onto one of the back side corners. Maybe add a bit of embroidery to it as well. I'm really looking forward to that part! I would also like to add a tag with the date and occasion.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Knit Baby Sweater

This little sweater was one of my very first knitting projects! I've decided that knitting for babies is really the only way to go: the projects are smaller, so you can make mistakes, and you don't mind going back as much... and since they're so small, you can afford to use the really nice quality yarn without breaking the bank! This sweater is knit in a cashmere, silk, merino wool blend by Debbie Bliss. What a lucky little girl! I was so happy when it finally fit her! Right now she's wearing it with the sleeves rolled up a bit... hopefully it will last her through the fall!