Thursday, February 19, 2015

Planning a new quilt

So, how do you decide what quilt to make? Do you see one in a store and buy a pattern? Do you buy a book? See something on TV? Make up your own?

I am a very do it myself kind of person. I like to google image search the concept I am going for and try to be inspired. The tricky part with the quilts I like are made with half square triangles, or other basic blocks that have been around forever.

So, the good news is there are unlimited amounts of quilts you can make with those basic quilts, but it's hard to decide what to do with unlimited options.

I am trying to come up with an idea for my brother's graduation from college this June. I want to make something that is masculine without loosing fun. Sometimes I feel masculine is bla. I want to try adrinkards path quilt, but given this will be my fifth quilt I am it so sure it's a good idea.

I just saw this really cool YouTube tutorial today and think maybe I can do it. The Fons and Porter String of Pearls quilt. (Link to come when I can get it to work).

So with a 10" square maybe I can. I am looking for fabric right now to be inspired.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Paper Challenge Quilting

My Friend April has started a lovely new blog. And she has a paper challenge every Saturday. Since my first craft obsession was scrapbooking I think I will put quite a bit of that on this page.

So her first challenge can be found here. It is a beautiful wonky log cabin bright colors quilt block for inspiration.

Lately I have been into stash busting and using little scraps. So I thought it would be neat to use the trimmings from the projects I had been working on to create a little block/title page for November in my Project Life Album. And really all those crops from cool photos should be used. This is a very quilting thing, waste nothing. 

Well, as you can see below its not pretty.

I think the concept is cool. I had this vision of a choppy/spunky layout that was haphazard but cool. And I really like the I pic of the Pinterest tangerine pumpkins at the top.

 Here is what went wrong. There just isn't enough contrast--like, way not enough. I noticed right away and thought I could fix this by putting orange marker in the spaces to try to get them to pop. This did not work. So I thought maybe I could put lines on each of the pieces. This is when it turned horrid. Because I am completely insane, I thought orange around the outside, that will fix it. Nope!

My title lettering is just sad too. But here it is in my layout. There is no saving this. I am going to scrap it and do a different title pocket for November. But, because I believe that sometimes you do fail and that's okay, I am putting it out here in internet land. So comment below your worst failures. You don't have to post a picture for proof--surely fessing up to it is shame enough (unless you want to).

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Stocking fun

I was inspired when I watched this video from the Missouri Star Quilting Company. 

I had bought this mini charm pack from the Missouri Star Quilting Company back in February/March of last year in thoughts that I would make a stocking for my new baby that was born December 15th, 2014. Welcome baby Blake!

Well, because it was Thanksgiving and I had time off after I finished his quilt I decided to go for it. Sadly, I searched all over my house for the mini charm pack. I couldn't find it anywhere. 

So, I went to Jo Anne's hoping to find a Christmas themed precut--I was very disappointed. They has tons of beautiful fabric, but the clock was ticking and I didn't have time to go through and pick out coordinating fabrics. So, on my way home I stopped in at Hobby Lobby and found a cute far quarter bundle. I had some red felt in my stash from a remnant I gobbled up at Jo Anne's years ago when I lived in Cleveland, OH. 

The hardest part of this whole project was cutting 2.5" squares. I took a bunch of pictures of the construction and the promptly deleted them--because you know that what you do with the perfect photos (trying to remain calm while remembering the tragedy). So to make the squares I cut 2.5" strips the length of my fabric. I folded the fat quarter in half and half again so I didn't have to cut too long. Then, I lined up two or three strips (folded in half) and cut 2.5" squares after trimming the selvage. I repeated until I had enough squares for the stocking (42 as Jenny did it, 46 the way I did it). 

I did everything just like Jenny did in the video except I added another row because I wanted my stocking to be a little bitter. So I had 9 rows or four across for the body of the stocking and 3 rows of 2 for the toe. Also, I made my stocking a backwards "L" shape, I think she made it the other way. And I added a hook. To make the hook I cut a piece of felt 2.5 inches by 8 inches and folded it in half and pressed and then opened it up and folded the sides in to the middle and pressed. Then I folded that back in half again with the short edges inside the fold and sewed down both sides in a contrasting thread  with a slightly longer stitch length. Then when I was attaching the cuff at the top I inserted the hook. I recommend pinning the hook in between your cuff and stocking and mock folding it all back the way it's going to go to make sure you have the hook in the right place before you sew. I didn't make that mistake this time, but I have learned that lesson the hard way several times. Now I always pin it and make sure it's in the right spot.

After I hung this stocking up with my other stockings I never realized there isn't a "standard" way for stockings. I have a bunch that were made for me and some that I purchased they don't all go to one direction. I could have sworn stocking were always backward's "L's."

The funnest part was doing the straight line stitching. I recommend pulling out your walking foot even though the project is small. Also, I would recommend going back and forth on the fabric as Jenny does in her video to keep your squares as square as can be. I didn't use my walking foot on the second one I did, and the squares got a little warped. 

Really, you should watch Jenny's video tutorial it's fantastic. I was able to whip this bad boy out in a few hours. Had I not spent so much time repressing my seams I am sure I could have gotten it done even faster.

Because I truly believe you have replace the thing you lost to find the thing you lost. The day after I finished this stocking I found the charm pack I had lost. I have completed part of it and will post more pictures as I complete that when I have time again. The early weeks with a newborn is constant nursing. Not really easy to sit a sewing machine when you have a baby eating from you.