Monday, July 30, 2012

Almost There...

Tonight, inspiration on how to quilt the baby quilt struck while Tim was out catching some Taco Bell for dinner. (Don't judge. I'm pregnant and had a craving for Mexican food. In Nowhere, Japan. I'll take what I can get.)
Anyway, I'd been fretting for over a week on how to quilt this thing. Did I want to use a free-motion quilting design, or just make neat, parallel lines all over it, or make a nice diamond pattern? At one point, I had a tab open for each of Leah Day's heart designs...but decided to hold off on that until after last week's sonogram. And I'm glad we did, because I know I would've regretted putting hearts all over a quilt destined for a baby boy's nursery.
---Which is where I take a moment to say, "HooRah, we're having a boy!" On my mother's side, this is the first baby boy in 3 generations. On my husband's side, this is the first time the firstborn was a boy...as far back as anyone can remember.

Ok, back to the quilt. I realized that because the number of squares going down the long side was prime (11), there was no way I could get any kind of diamond pattern to look right. No matter what angle I used, they would all look just a little bit awkward. And I didn't really want to just stitch-in-the-ditch, but I also couldn't imagine an appropriate FMQ design.
So I compromised, and used steps...
It's sort of stitch-in-the-ditch. I just outlined those nifty stair patterns the fabrics made. The back (which I will totally photograph once the binding is done!) has zig-zags all over.
I had the binding all pinned, and was getting ready to sew it...when I realized that 1) I didn't have any bobbins filled with red thread, 2) the only red thread I have is Aurifil, which is great except that 3) my primary Brother sewing machine, a CP-7500, does not like winding bobbins with Aurifil and 4) my backup Brother was tucked away in a closet in the tatami room, with an upended loveseat blocking the door. ( Also- 5) It's after 10 pm here.)
So tomorrow, I will finish this quilt.
(At least, I hope I will.)


Linking to Fabric Tuesday...click that cute button with the sewing machine on my sidebar to check it out!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Weekend Wind-Up

Wait a minute...it's Sunday evening and I'm actually writing a blog post?
It seems I may be getting back on track.

After I accidentally stayed up until 3am the other day, I decided it was time to get back to work.
"Work" did not entail cleaning, cooking, organizing, going to the office, calling the office, ironing clothes, folding clothes, putting clothes away, making the bed, or any of the myriad other tasks that often comprise my weekend. Thank goodness.

I finished the apron I started back in...well, I don't remember. It was a while back. January, maybe?
I'm pretty happy with it.
Here's a pic of me actually wearing it:
(I assure you, my hair is not that high. It's a shadow.)(My skin, on the other hand, is that red. Stupid pregnancy hormones.)(I never had a problem with acne before.)

...notice the cool part? It's reversible! The pattern came from "Sewing Vintage Aprons" by Denise Clason. I have no idea what the fabric is; I found it in the clearance tab of Fabric.com months ago.
 
I did have leftover fabric, and used it to make a grocery bag for my sister. (She already knows she's getting it, so sharing photos won't ruin the surprise.)(Although, Babs, if you're reading and you want to be surprised, stop reading now.)

This pattern came from "Sew Serendipity Bags" by Kay Whitt:
The cool part is how it folds up and tucks into that little pink pocket on the side:
And then can hang on a hook with other reusable fabric grocery bags:

These will get dropped in the mail eventually. Really, they will. The nice thing about them, of course, is there is no seasonal rush to send them. Completely unlike with the beret and scarf I made her, then didn't get a chance to mail until March. (To be fair, though, Chicago is pretty darn cold in March, so they weren't entirely wasted.)


So now the only thing I have left to worry about is How the heck do I quilt this?

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Friday Night turned Saturday Morning

The best part of the week came Friday morning, in the form of a telephone call informing me that I no longer have to work overtime. Which is really, really great, because it was honestly getting quite difficult to take care of everything. (Bending over and reaching into a knee-high metal box with a pair of pliers and a screwdriver? With 20 weeks of baby belly? Not fun.)

So this evening, I intended to work on the baby quilt. The backing fabric I ordered arrived in the mail, I had everything pressed and laid out and...well...
 ...it's pin-basted! (That's something, right?)

But I have no idea how I should quilt this thing.
Should I go for just a stitch-in-the-ditch, and let the fabrics show? Should I make parallel diagonals? Should I stipple? Or bubble-quilt it? Or something else entirely?
Unfortunately, Tim is zero help on this. He usually gives color approvals or vetoes designs he doesn't like. But that's it.

So, any ideas? (Seriously, I need suggestions.)

In the meanwhile, I've got a crochet afghan I can work on...

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

More stuff I accomplished while away from blogspot

On Sunday, I mentioned I had more projects to share.
Here they are.


My mom sent me the BHG All Small magazine with a sticky note that she liked this pattern. The sample in the magazine was very cute, but it was done with all pink fabrics. I couldn't do that, even if I did know we were expecting a girl. (We won't find that out for a couple more weeks.)
So, I used a Fat Quarter bundle that had a pretty good mix of green, yellow, red, pink, and blue. The fabrics came from the Apple of My Eye and Millie's Closet collections from Riley Blake. (Note to self: when you get a fat quarter bundle that is only available for a month, write the collection names down! You don't want to spend hours clicking through thumbnails online, trying to find the pattern just to order backing fabric.)
The backing & binding fabric is on order, along with more batting. I'm really excited about this quilt, because it's intended for the nursery!

Ok, like many, many other women, I have a thing for bags. So I found this pattern and had to make some:
The funny thing about these fabrics, when I first received the bundle I just set it aside, thinking that I didn't care for them. Silly me. That purple? It's got moons, stars and storm clouds!

And that green floral-looking one? There are tiny skulls hiding in it!
How did I not see those earlier? I noticed them when I was cutting the fabrics. Anyway, these things are darn cute and take about 20 minutes to make. If I were back home, they would totally be favor bags for my baby shower. But I'm not home, so I don't get one of those. (Neither did my mom. There seems to be a pattern of moving very, very far away before the first child is born in our family.)
My point is, I am going to wind up with a ton of these little things, because they are pretty addictive once you start.

There's also my jump-start on decorating for the holidays...since we had just moved here last fall, we weren't able to really do much for Halloween or Thanksgiving. So right now I'm working on a Halloween themed quilt to toss over the couch come October:
The plan is to finish this one before August, so I can maybe finish another afghan before September, and perhaps get the Christmas stockings and quilts done before the baby arrives (which will hopefully happen before my parents arrive, since it would really suck for them to fly across the ocean only to spend half their visit waiting for us to come home from the hospital.)

Seems like a lot, right? Except I've been ignoring my blog for the past few months, so it really isn't as hectic as it seems.

Linked to WIP Wednesdays...Check out the button on the right-hand side of the screen! You know you can't resist it...

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Definitely Summertime...and lots of photos!

I've been seriously remiss at writing anything in recent months. It's a bad habit to get into, since the less I blog the less I think about blogging, and the less I feel like blogging...
So I'm back. Sort of.
And I have a lot of catching up to do...

Let's start with the quilts. Remember that quilt top I pieced back in March? Well, I finally finished it:




I machine-stitched the binding on this one. It's something I tried when I finished the quilt for my nephew Lincoln, and it really works for me. It may not be quite as pretty as hand-sewn binding, but it is so much faster (and requires far fewer curse words!)
Here's a bit of detail on that:



Those mitered corners turn out great, too.
This quilt is currently adorning the back of our new sofa, along with my City Lights quilt:
And the Painterly Stripe Afghan:
Yes! I finished afghan #2! Which means I still have 4 more to go if I'm to make my goal of six for the year. I think I'm behind schedule.

There are a bunch more projects that I've finished, but I think I'm going to save those for a bit later this week. I need a reason to keep blogging, after all.