Sunday, July 31, 2011

Quilting Hand-Me-Downs

I know I have talking a lot about quilting lately. Perhaps I should mix it up a bit more. But in the meantime, I just have to share the array of quilting stuff I just had passed on to me from my aunt. I am so excited! Thanks Kay!!

Here is some of the fabric I inherited....

...And books...

...And buttons (more for sewing projects, but still a sweet score)...

...And a nearly finished small quilt...

I love the stitching on the back!

...And some Christmas blocks...

...And this lovely quilt top ready to go...

Funny thing is that I never even knew my aunt was a quilter until very recently. Apparently, she hasn't done it for a while, though. I am so grateful to be the recipient of her unfinished quilts and her many quilting supplies, pattern, and fabrics. Yet a few more to dos to add to my list.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

More Patchiness

Tomorrow, I visit the Bay for my cousin's baby shower. I hadn't bought her anything and I hadn't made her anything... So, I decided last minute that I would make her a baby blanket that she could help design...she's picky :) . For now, I made a little note for her, created with various scrap booking supplies I had and Jared's paste. The front is a patchwork quilt, and the back is a little poem describing the nature of the gift. I also made a quick matching envelope. Tee Hee!

In addition, I finished all the nearly completed blocks. Each just needs to be pinned, sewn up 5 seams, and pressed. This was way faster than I originally anticipated. Yay! I have so many ideas for new quilts....The faster I get this one done, the faster I can start other fantastic quilt tops... I am very happy to be progressing so smoothly.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Easy Patchwork Checkbook Cover

I decided to play around with patchwork on a teeny level. So I made a check book cover that matches my blue corduroy purse. It was so quick and easy! I got a few yards of different corduroy from my friend, but it sits on the top shelf of my fabric stash because I am not likely to use this type of fabric in my quilting. I am so glad I found a use for it, besides for boy's pants in the back of my mind.

So, I simply cut out a 4"x7" piece of blue corduroy, in addition to a 9"x7" piece. These 2 pieces will have a patchwork strip between them, which is what the rectangular scrap pieces are for. 

Here, the scrap pieces are sewn together.......

I have now trimmed the patchwork strip to about 1.75" wide. 

I sewed the corduroy pieces to the strip....

You just place the resulting 7"x13" piece with another piece of fabric in the same size (this strip of fabric will be the inside of the checkbook cover). Place them right face toward each other. 

 I sewed 1/4" around the edges, leaving a 4" spaces to flip it right side out. I cut the internal corners before I flipped it, so they would have more room to become proper external corners. Then, I sewed along the patchwork seams, which I should have done before I sewed the backing on to the front layer.

I then folded the finished piece over itself 2.75" on each end. I scantly sewed up the edge of the pockets being made on all 4 sides.

And there you have it! A check book cover with style! Here is an inside peek of mine. 

And, basically, this is the final checkbook cover! I love it!!!!

I am not a pro at creating tutorials, so if you have any questions about anything I may have left out or made unclear, please feel free to email me or post a comment below. This was easy and enjoyable! If you are a beginning seamstress or quilter, I recommend this cute little project, especially because it is so functional and basic. The main focus is to enjoy and not worry about perfection. It is about the process, not the absolute precision of the final result. :o)


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Works in Progress and New Ideas

I finished cutting out all the needed strips for the front of my 36 Patch Quilt and have 8 nearly finished blocks, in addition to the 8 blocks I already made. I used only what I had in my stash.

I decided to design some of my own star quilt blocks and create a quilt like this one

I love graph paper! This is an idea of what it will look like on the quilt. 

Here is a little glimpse of the "In the Garden Quilt", which was more of an experimental quilt for the purpose of trying out the disappearing 9 patch method.

 Here's "Lucy's Baby Quilt." I have never free motion quilted, so I need to practice on the garden quilt before I try it out on this one.

I still need to order the presser foot, though. I guess I will have plenty of free motion quilting practice ahead of me with all of these quilt tops done. :)


Sunday, July 24, 2011

36 Patch Quilt Along ~ Week 3

Previously, I stated that I would make one block per week, but after seeing the tutorial on Crazy Mom Quilts, I decided to try a few blocks. It is so much faster and efficient to cut out strips, sew them together, cross cut them, arrange them in an offset fashion, and sew the staggered crosswise strips together. Voila! So much easier than cutting 36 individual patches and assembling them together, one by one. It was so easy and fun, I ended up making 6 blocks today. They are pretty busy and wild, but I suppose that is the look I am going for.

As I mentioned before, I have about 7 quilts in progress:

1. This one
2. "The Hexie Quilt" (this one is going to be pretty drawn out... tons of handwork)
3. "Lucy's Baby Quilt" (My best friend is having her first child... I just need to get a different presser foot so that I can attempt free motion quilting)
4. "The Wacky Rainbow Quilt" (I had the red block completed and the orange one nearly completed, but I almost feel as though I should make this quilt differently...hmmm)
5. "Jared's Quilt" (Again, waiting on the presser foot)
6. "In the Garden Quilt" (I created all the blocks on this large quilt as a way to practice making disappearing 9-Patch blocks.... After making these, I proceeded to make the same style blocks for Lucy's Quilt.... Currently I have 95% of this quilt top done...I will show it soon)
7. "The Autumn Quilt" (I made this last year and it has sat in a drawer waiting to get the binding sewn on it....I will do this a little closer to fall)

There are just too many consecutive quilts.... I need to pick up the pace and get these done if I ever want to move on to my plethora of ideas for new quilts. I now have 8 completed blocks of 36 total, just one block short of a quarter of the way finished. I wonder what fabric combos I should use next...


To the Market and the Pool

You know, I am really not gushy about receiving flowers on Valentine's Day or any other holiday or anniversary. However, I have longed to be able to expend a little money on a bouquet here and there just to enliven our dining area with color and beauty. It really does transform a room. We are now able to afford this slight frivolity. We ventured to our local farmer's market, as usual, and near the end of our support of local growers, I had $5 left. So, at the last chosen booth, where my favorite hippie quilter and her father sell wonderful bee pollen and assorted vegetables, I decided upon a bunch of red Russian kale for $1.50, and this beautiful bouquet of flowers, some of which I have never seen, for $3. Look at those blue ones with web-like greenery surrounding them... and do you see the teeny flowers growing inside the big yellow flower. Amazingly beautiful and transformational to our dining space.

Then, I later took the little ones to the local pool. Their big brother and their dad stayed home and worked on the truck, so I didn't feel comfortable bringing the boys to the baby pool by myself, even though Jared is already learning to swim. All it takes is one moment of focus on one boy, and the other could have a serious problem. So, we just stayed in the tiny tot area, which was loads of fun for them. Wading, waterfalls, water sliding...... what more could they ask for? It was a lovely day. 

Have a great week and enjoy the fruits of summer.


Thursday, July 21, 2011

Things I Love Today

It seems there were a string of moments and things that I just loved today! So, I had to share with you a glimpse of this. Nothing spectacular in its grandeur; just the little things that add up to so much.

Though these mini books are generally filled with wisdom and poetry geared toward adult comprehension solely, Jared loves these little books in their child-sized and often colorful appeal.

It has been a while since we last went hiking, which is unlike our family, especially during these Summer months. The boys were elated!

We gathered rocks for making magical earth necklaces. Here is Jared's. 

Looking proudly at the stones of Earthly protection and magical power. ;o)

Here's Dylan's chosen stone combination.

Washing the boys' bedding. Lovely sight.

Jared's lavender pillow. Lovely scent.

My 5-minute creation of lacing cards for Dylan (the 3-year-old version of sewing) made from a file folder, a hole punch, and a shoe lace.

Jared's focus on geography and his interest in associating other cultures with actual locations on Earth. He dug for this floor puzzle to go even further into his carto-curiosity.

As I was preparing dinner, Jared showed up with a bouquet of sweet peas from our front yard. What a chivalrous young man. I bet he will be such a romantic, which is more than I can say for his Daddy... just kidding. Hahahaha.....

Dinner was a cold wheat berry chick pea salad. Light, but satisfying for a hot Summer's eve. I added a diced tomato, shredded carrots, carrot tops, and garlic, all from the local market. I spiced it up with some olive oil, salt and pepper, and Italian seasoning. The kids loved it, Daniel loved it, and I loved it. Can't lose with that kind of universal satisfaction.

We decided to bake some cupcakes just for the heck of it. The youngest boys both helped with their preparation. Once they were in the oven, I realized we had no frosting, so I whipped together some butter, cream cheese, agave nectar, and lemon extract. It did the trick, deliciously! Jared facilitated the decoration process to top these moist delights. Then within a matter of minutes, there was but one left on the platter. Dylan kept insisting it was a birthday party. Lovely taste. 

Some days are just so fabulous in their simplicity. Today was one of those days for me.