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!