Monday, October 1, 2012

Nursery Quilt & Pumpkins

I am so excited that this quilt is finished - I was so worried that it wouldn't get done before Baby Girl's arrival, and then who knows how long it would have sat waiting in the UFO pile.

This is made from Nicey Jane fabric by Heather Bailey, some coordinating solids, and a pretty flannel for the back.  The pattern is from the book Fat Quarterly Shape Workshop for Quilters, which I won from John Adams (Quilt Dad) himself when he came to speak to our guild this spring!

I did allover loops for the quilting, which I think turned out cute and feminine.  This was the first quilt I've quilted on my Horizon, and I have to say, it was love.  Having all that space under the machine and not needing to struggle with shifting the quilt so much was amazing.  Maybe now I can quilt some of the larger UFOs I have sitting around!

On a non-quilty note, we are in the final stretches and entering Baby Watch.  My due date is in 3 weeks, so baby is full term.  My husband and I are the only ones who don't think I'll make it much longer - probably because I'm so huge (I'm short, people: she has nowhere to go but straight out!).  I am not quite mentally ready so I'm hoping she holds out for at least a couple more weeks.  Although, there are definitely some days where my back says otherwise...

We also took my 3 year old to the local pumpkin patch this weekend, while I could still walk around a bit.  I took a ton of pictures, but could never get him to slow down enough to get many good ones.

Big E explaining the finer points of pumpkin-choosing:

Taking the haul to the parking lot with Daddy:

Yay for Fall!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Lots of Birdies

Just a quick post about a few bags I have made recently.  Amy Butler's Birdie Sling is one of my favorite bag patterns, I've made it several times for myself and as gifts.  I've also printed a copy of the pattern at 75% of its normal size since the pattern size is really more of a giant tote.

Note: Excuse the horrible pictures.  Staging things when it's hard to get on and off the floor at 9 months pregnant isn't the easiest thing!  Also, I might have snapped the gift ones at the last minute :)

For the last few months, I've been carrying around this version that I made for myself out of Ruby fabrics.  This bag has been a great catch-all for random things I've needed for work and when trekking around with the family.  In fact, it's stuffed with junk right now, which is why it's hanging funny.

Well, I've gotten a lot of compliments on it, which has been lovely.  My son's teachers for his 2-3 year old room, who have been a Godsend during this whole restricted-pregnancy mess, both told me how much they liked it.  Then when they found out I made it (LOVE people's reaction when you get to tell them that), they asked for some as well.  Since the school year was ending, and I had been trying to figure out what to get them as thank-you gifts, this was perfect.

First up is the one for his main teacher, who said she liked black and white and just a touch of yellow.  Luckily I found these matching fabrics at JoAnn's - one of which was a home dec weight which meant I got to skip the interfacing on the outside - yippee!

The lining is a butterfly print, which looks really cute with the other fabrics.

Her reaction was great and made the whole thing worth it.  She kept hugging it and showing it to everyone!

Next up was his assistant teacher, who basically wanted a clone of mine.  Well, I couldn't find all of the fabrics I used at the local quilt shops, but I did find a pretty print from Vintage Modern for the outside.  It's paired with a Moda Bella solid for the handles (no other red would match!) and another Bonnie & Camille print for the inside.  She was also very excited.

I was really happy to give the teachers such personalized gifts to say Thank You after how great they have been with my son.  Now I just hope we'll love his new teachers just as much!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Squeeeee!!! (or, lots of new things)

Oooh I am feeling very spoiled.  Very spoiled indeed.  Lots of goodies for me recently, some gifts, some purchases, and a win.

First up, I won this cute fat quarter bundle of Erin McMorris fabric during the Quilting Gallery blog hop from Cat Patches.  I have no idea what I'll do with it, but it's very sweet fabric.  Maybe a quilt for SCAN (our guild's charity) once I get back into the swing of sewing & quilting.

Next up, for my birthday I got an Amazon gift card from my mom, which I used to get a couple of quilting books that I've had my eye on for quite a while.  Both books are great inspiration for using scraps, something I'll probably be doing a lot of once were paying for 2 kids in day care and my fabric budget gets slashed :)

I also splurged a bit and got the full fat quarter bundle of Madrona Road from The Intrepid Thread, which I got for a great deal with a coupon.  I have to tell you, Julie at that shop provides amazing service.  I ordered the bundle on Friday afternoon and it was waiting in my mailbox on Monday when I got home from work, and I only paid the standard shipping.  I've got a few ideas of what I want to do with this, but since I probably won't get to it before the baby's born, I will probably just admire the pretty bundle for a few months!

Finally, the jackpot of presents, or "my husband wins some major brownie points."  First, for my birthday last month he got me an iPad.  Yes we share a bank account, but I've been wanting one for a while and never would have taken the plunge if it wasn't a gift.  But even my beloved iPad pales in comparison to....

My new sewing machine, a Janome Horizon 7700!!  I am SO excited about this one, even though I probably won't get to use it to its full potential for a few months.  This was definitely an impulse buy.  We took my machine, a perfectly good Brother NX-450Q in for services, and somehow left with this.  We did get a really good deal with the trade and also because this was the floor model.  I paid about $1200 LESS than MSRP, which is pretty good!

I will plan on doing a full review once I have a little more experience with it, but I will say once I got home with it, it was not love at first sew.  My Brother was much more user-friendly, and it felt like going from a Honda Civic to an army tank.  But after sewing on it for over a week now (still no FMQ yet, can't WAIT to try that), I am getting used to it and am really starting to love it.

Well that's enough of my bragging.  I have to say though, after a rough summer it's nice to be spoiled!  Although now that I think about it, maybe hubby is just building up to refusing to do diapers or something...nah! ;)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday - The Nursery Edition

Well, it's been an eventful and stressful 3 months since I last posted.  If you're just here for the pics, please feel free to scroll down :)

After my last post, I was told by my doctor that I would need to be on bed rest for nearly the remainder of my pregnancy.  So after 2 weeks of only being allowed up for bathroom trips, a short shower every day, and to grab a quick snack, I went back and was told by a different doc at the practice that I was fine and should never have been placed on any restrictions.  Then, I ended up getting a phone call to yes, be on part time bed rest.  This saga of being on and off bed rest, with conflicting opinions of the doctors, went on for a couple of months.  I finally followed everyone's advice and switched practices.  Best decision ever.  I was monitored closely under increasing levels of activity, and it was eventually decided that I should be on limited restrictions for the next several weeks.  Even the limited restrictions have been difficult (although at this point I'm as big as a house and can't do much anyway!), but SO much better than bed rest.  Overall, the last few months have been physically, emotionally, and financially draining.  I'm very happy that the end of my pregnancy is less filled with worry and stress, but I'm ginormously a little bitter at my old physician group for the strain they placed on my family, including the precious FMLA/maternity leave that unnecessary bed rest took up, and the huge amount of $$$ we still owe them.  However, the end goal of everyone is a happy, healthy baby and it looks like we are well on our way to getting that!

Now, back to the bloggy stuff.  Our biggest to-do is getting the nursery (formerly our office/craft room) completed.  Right now it's a dumping ground that would send most neat freaks - my husband included - into a tizzy.  As much as we have left to do, I have been able to start sewing again, and have been able to make several things for the nursery, which has saved us some money!

First up is a crib sheet, made from Alexander Henry's 2D Zoo print.  I've actually had this for a couple of years, I bought it when my son was little since I thought it was so cute (I had tried and failed to convince myself it's gender neutral, pink animals and all!).

Eek - ignore the washed out look!

I used the fabulous tutorial found here.  I used my serger, never had to press, and it took me all of 30 minutes to put together.  Plus I already had the elastically on hand, so technically the sheet is free!

Continuing with the serger madness, I made a couple of receiving blankets.  The first is an Ann Kelle flannel that is soooo soft.  It was meant to be a crib sheet, but it when I got it home I learned it's only 41-42" wide, which with the way flannel shrinks would never work for the crib sheet.  It does make a cute blanket though!  The other is a random yellow flannel from my stash.  These are just 36" squares with the edges serged.

Again in the practical-but-not-exciting department, I used this easy tutorial to make a changing pad cover from leftover minky.  Easy peasy!

...and a fleece baby bunting from a Simplicity pattern.

Finally, I used the Sophie Car Seat Quilt tutorial at Moda Bake Shop to make a quick quilt to cover baby in the car seat.  As part of a guild challenge, it's all leftovers, even the batting.  The fabric is Tula Pink Prince Charming and Kona Bone.

There are still a ton more projects to do for the nursery, not the least of which involves figuring out what to do with all my craft stuff (babies don't really need a closet, right?).  I am so excited to be able to make things for my baby girl, especially since hardly anything she is getting handed down from her big brother is gender neutral.  Although my aching back says otherwise, here's hoping she waits long enough for us to get everything done!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Girly Rag Quilt

This has actually been a pretty productive couple of weeks for me.  Not necessarily at work (well not at all at work - maybe pregnancy brain?), but in my sewing world.  I have quite a few finishes to show over the next few days, the first being a quick and easy rag quilt I made for baby girl.

I used the fabulously easy tutorial and instructions found here, which uses 3 flannels.  I used all batting scraps and $2.79/yard flannel from Joann's (yay Memorial Day sale!), so all in all this was a quick and cheap little quilt.  It's nice and thick and should make a great playmat/quilt for our daughter.  But the best part of this, aside from the easiness and the low cost, was not having to baste!

These first 2 pics are before washing, after the seams are all clipped.

I like the smoothness of the back.  
While the baby is really little, we can use this side for tummy time and not have to worry about "fuzzies".

After washing - all crinkly and raggy!

I used flannel because it ravels so well, but you could probably use cotton on one side, and even skip the batting to make a lighter quilt as it is pretty heavy.  This is a great project for using up batting scraps, and I love the bright and fun colors!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Baby Girl Goodies

We had the big ultrasound today, and although baby was super uncooperative, she is in fact a girl and everything looks great - whew!  And I'm extremely excited that it doesn't look like I'll have to be on bedrest either.  Praying that doesn't change!  So with happy news, I did some retail celebrating and finished a quilt top I had started.  It's the "Cub Crawl Baby Quilt" pattern from Shape Workshops for Quilters.  I won this book from the awesome John Adams (Quilt Dad) himself when he came to speak to the Triad Modern Quilt Guild earlier this month.  It's made from a 1/2 yard bundle of Nicey Jane I've been saving that I had no idea what to do with.  I saw the pattern in the book, and loved the colors for the nursery, so this quilt top was born.

This was a great quick pattern and it makes a fairly large quilt (48 X 60).  I'm going to use the rest of the prints, that are all in the green and yellow colorway, for the back.

I had to splurge a little today and pick up some cute prints for the nursery at the LQS.  I spent way more on flannel than usual and got this cute and amazingly soft Ann Kelle print that will probably be a crib sheet.  I also got these adorable Riley Blake prints that I think will make some cute throw pillows.

I also have a bunch of fun stuff in my stash, stuff that I bought for "some day".  I am hoping they will have a place - maybe storage items?  They are home dec weight from JoAnn's, and the 2 on the right are actually from Dwell Studio!

I've had this Alexander Henry 2D Zoo fabric for ages, but since Evan is not a fan of pink I've never really had a use for it.  I'm thinking this will be another crib sheet.

Finally, I have this random home dec remnant from Hancock Fabrics.  I got it for a steal, it's wonderful quality and so pretty.  I was originally going to make a purse, but the print was a little too big.  Curtains maybe?

We are very excited and feeling blessed that all is well with our little one so far, especially since I was told early in the pregnancy that I was miscarrying.  So yes, I am overjoyed to be planning a nursery, even if it means losing a ton of space and being a little cramped :)

Can't wait to sew some cute baby stuff!  And of course big brother won't be left out, plenty of goodies in the works for him too, namely something to go with his recent superhero obsession.  What is it with boys and "getting" bad guys?

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival - Spring 2012

I am so excited to be participating in the Blogger's Quilt Festival this year!  I've been following it for the last few rounds and was not a blogger, so I am thrilled to be able to enter one of my quilts!

The quilt I am showing has been seen on my blog a few times, but not completely finished.  I call it my "Crazy HST Scrap Quilt."  The pattern/block is called Spring Blossom from The Big Book of Scrap Quilts.  This was a very difficult and time-consuming quilt to put together, no fabrics are repeated.  This quilt is special to me because it uses a lot of the fabrics that I've used over the last few years as I've taught myself to sew and quilt.  Pairing up the fabrics and making each block was a great opportunity to look back on all that I've done on my quilting journey.  Also, I like that the style of the quilt is very traditional, while the fabrics are fun and bright.  The mix of old and new is to me what makes quilting fun.

Piecing and work aside, the quilt makes a great fort for almost 3-year-old boys who've been playing in the sun and dirt all afternoon!!

Thanks for looking, enjoy the rest of the festival!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Baby's First Quilt

For once I am feeling ahead of the game, I've finished a quilt for our October arrival.  My son didn't get a quilt until after his 1st birthday, so this is a big deal for me :)  I made this gender neutral, but we have since found out we are having a girl!  Of course, they told me this a little early (16 weeks), so we aren't painting the room yet, even though the tech was confident.  I have the big ultrasound this week, so we'll see if she into a he.  I don't think so, but you never know!    Anyway, on to the quilt!

The pattern is from Elizabeth Hartman, free at Sew Mama Sew.  It's a really quick pattern that shows off prints nicely.  I used Little Apples and a really cute bird print, as well as some of Tula Pink's Prince Charming for the binding and backing.  The Little Apples prints are perfect for fussy cutting and turned out very cute.

For the quilting, I did simple straight-line quilting.  In the prints I echoed the horizontal seams, while in the white sashing I did very dense lines.  I like how it adds a little interest to the plain sashing sections and mimics the pattern on the front and back.

The backing is leftover strips from the front as well as a chunk of Prince Charming, which I think matches perfectly in both color and style.  I think Baby will enjoy using both sides as a play mat.

Since we are mostly sure we are having a girl, I've already started on a girly quilt for the nursery.  Having pinks and feminine colors will be quite the change from my son's room, which is decked out in blues, browns, cars, and dinosaurs.  We can't wait!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

WIP Wednesday - aka I'm Back!

Well, mostly back.  Sewing time is still much slower than I’d like.  But I have been busy over the last couple of months working on my latest WIP, which is….

Baby #2!

Yep – my little blond goober is going to be a big brother in October.  He tells me that it’s a girl and he wants to name it “Buck.”  Ah the thought process of a 2 ½ year old.

My first trimester left me completely exhausted. All.the.time.  I considered it pretty exciting to be able to stay up past 8:00pm.  Unfortunately, that’s when my son goes to bed, so I had no sewing time.  Now that I’m further along, I have loads more energy but am on physical restrictions from the doc that keep me from doing too much.  Not much of a problem for sewing except that I can’t crawl around on the floor to baste quilts, and my biggest sewing to-do list is completing a bunch of tops!  Looks like I’m going to have to figure out that table method of basting.

I did break the rules once to baste this quilt.  Luckily my hubby was willing to do a lot of the work.  This is my crazy HST scrap quilt.

I love it; just don’t look too closely at some of the mismatchy points!  The are no repeated fabrics and it’s all from stash, except for the backing fabric which I got for less than $4/yard.  The backing is from Hancock’s M'Liss collection, and actually has a nice heavy weight to it which made it really easy to quilt.

It doesn’t have binding yet, as I can’t figure out the best one from my stash.  I don’t want anything too crazy so I’ll probably be boring and go with a solid.

Also, I finished this easy peasy quilt top for the new baby.  Since this will be a fall baby and we don’t know the gender yet I thought Little Apples was appropriate.  There is also a cute teal bird print, but I’m not sure who the designer is.  The pattern is the Charm Squares Baby Quilt from Elizabeth Hartman, which is a great free pattern.  I actually made this pattern for a friend’s baby last year and didn’t want to give it away, now I have my own :)  At least this one I can baste it on the kitchen table!

We are also in the process of rearranging our house (slowly) to get ready for the baby, so beware of future house project posts.  Our 3rd bedroom is currently our den/sewing/office, and all of that is going to have to go to make a nursery.  We’ve already moved a desk into the living room, and now I’m looking for some type of sewing table/cart that can also go in there.  Losing my huge sewing space is going to be tough.  I feel like October is both really far away and really soon considering the huge list of projects to get us more baby-ready!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday!