Wednesday, October 30

Chicks & Umbrellas for the Blogger's Quilt Festival

I stumbled across the Blogger's Quilt Festival today and decided that Chicks and Umbrellas will enter the Baby Quilt category.  There are some amazing quilts linked up to this festival, so definitely go and check them out!  I've been drooling over them since I hopped onto this page!

Here is Chicks and Umbrellas, a baby quilt that I finished last month.

Quilt recap: I started this as a way to practice sewing curves, and used scraps and leftover squares from a charm pack.  I created a template on some cardboard by cutting out a square and using a drawing compass to cut out the rounded corner.

The quilt top came together pretty quickly after that.  I sewed the pieces together on my Baby Lock, sandwiched it with batting and a turquoise backing, then hand quilted swirls onto each of the circles.

I alternated with teal and red thread, which isn't really that noticeable unless you look closely at the back.  The picture above is teal thread, the bottom is red.

Every time that I got sick of looking at my other WIPs, of doing graduate homework (paper writing is sooo much fun, right?), or sat down to watch tv at night, I would pull this out and work on the hand stitching.

You know those fabrics that sit in your stash and no matter what you do they just never disappear?  The ones that you have already used for a project, or two or three, and are just sick of looking at them?? Even after I completed Chicks and Umbrellas, I still had some of them hiding in my stash taunting me!  I gave one leftover away and the rest are at the bottom of my scrap bin so I don't have to look at them...

I just love these little chicks. Can you see the faces in the binding?

Even the puppy approves.

Monday, October 28

Draft Busters

It's getting colder outside, and unfortunately the trend is creeping inside as well! My windows let in some of the cold air, so I finally decided to pretty-up the situation. This is the old, boring, aesthetically unappealing version:

Even Princess is unimpressed.

Better solution? Draft Busters!
First, I measured my windows for the length of my fabric (about 40-41 inches). I cut the width at 10 inches, but it just depends on how wide you want them or how big your window sills are. Whatever width you cut them, plan for it to be smaller on the sill as 1/2 inch will be in the seams, and the filling will puff it out a bit.

Iron those babies out, fold them in half length-wise (see below) with the wrong sides facing out, and stitch around two sides (one of the ends, and the long edge). Leave the other end open for now.

Turn your tube of fabric inside out, or.. right side out I guess.. Then stuff with fiber fill. 
Hint: If you only pull half of the tube through like the picture below, it is much easier to stuff that fiber fill down into the end.

And voila! Much cuter. I picked neutral striped fabric so it would match the rug and pillow in my sewing area/Princess' lounge. 

The nice lady helping me at the fabric store suggested filling my draft busters with cat litter instead. Now, I've never worked with, or owned, cat litter so I have no idea how that would go. All I could imagine, though, was curious, destructive puppies tearing it apart and spreading it all over my apartment.... If you decide to try it, let me know how it works for you.

Princess can sleep peacefully now.

Thursday, October 17

Puppy Kisses

honestly meant to quilt, I really did. I also meant to post pictures about said quilting, but life decided to get a little more awesome instead.

First, we celebrated the marriage of my best friend and her husband. Yayy!! It was a great wedding. The ceremony was relatively short but sweet, which was perfect. It made me laugh, it almost made me cry, and my broken shoe held together until the reception. Success! Also, the bridesmaids carried lanterns with the lake and setting sun in the background. I can't wait to see how pretty the pictures are! Next, we celebrated a family wedding and got to see several wonderful relatives that we hadn't seen since our own wedding.

Last, but definitely not least, we adopted a new sister for Princess! This little baby was so sweet and playful that we just had to take her home from the shelter. Who could have abandoned this sweet little thing? I keep smiling at that little puppy tummy.

She's going to grow up to be one big girl! As far as quilting is concerned, I can share two things...

1) I found this fabric panel on clearance. Remember Princess' quiltThis panel is also by M'Liss and will be the back of Aly's quilt that I will make once she stops chewing on her blankets. That might take awhile. It will look better after some ironing. ;)

2) Here are a few unfinished hexagons for my Supersized Hexie baby quilt. They aren't sewn together yet, I'm trying to get the borders on all of them first. I love those green birds and the Tula Pink swirls though! I think it will be great after some quilting to tone down the green.

Now please excuse me while I go steal some puppy kisses. :)

Sunday, October 6

Trial & Error

I'm still working on my zigzag quilt and I'll be sharing soon, I promise! I took some time off from the quilt to attempt a sailboat. Ignore the puckering and uneven seams... I was trying to modify the original pattern to add my own touch, but I got a little sidetracked with lining up poorly planned squares and forgot what I was doing. Next time I will be planning out my measurements a little better... 

So, clearly its not perfect, but I love the colors and the idea. I couldn't resist adding the pirate flag from some Halloween fabric I found. I think the next ship I make will be bigger, though. Once I figure out my modified design, I'll be making a crib sized quilt with waves and pirate ships! My wish list keeps growing. Here is my current quilting situation...

1. Aqua/Blue ZigZags
2. DWR

Forgotten Quilt Tops That Need Some Lovin':
1. The Butterflies
2. The 2nd Auburn Quilt

Quilty Wish List:
1. Big Hexies
2. Valentine Quilt
3. Pirate Baby Quilt
4. Red, White & Blue

...Looks like I have a lot of sewing to do... 

Tuesday, October 1

A Quilt for a Princess

The Princess Quilt is done! Princess is already enjoying it on her bed.

This was my first attempt at free-motion quilting, and it went ok... I kind of like how free it is, but I kind of dislike how easily the fabric slips away from me. I think I just needs some more practice. I ended up buying my free-motion foot on sale and used this video to make it fit better on my machine.

Here is a close up of the design.

After some test runs, I ran into several problems. I quilted a row, then realized the back was a hot mess. After ripping it all out, lamenting about wasting so much thread, buying some bigger needles, and adjusting the bobbin tension, I was finally able to finish this baby. 

And the back... Isn't that M'Liss fabric panel cute?! The puppy princess was perfect, and I don't even think that Princess will mind the cats in the castle windows. 

It's still nowhere near perfect, but its good enough for a first attempt! Besides, like I have said before, puppies are pretty forgiving. They just like to cuddle with their quilts!

I already hear some muffled barks from her puppy dreams. :)