Friday, July 29, 2011

A nine patch made for a friend

I made this nine patch quilt for a friend a few years ago when she announced she was pregnant with her first child. I love making these baby-sized quilts because they are so much easier to quilt on my small-ish machine than larger sizes are. Plus, they are adorable and I love to imagine a kid dragging them around someday, hopefully wearing it out to the seams with love.

The nine patch blocks themselves are made from vintage fabric, and I received these and all the fabric used to make this quilt (and many more!) from my friend and former boss. She gifted me all this fabric that she had not used in her stash, and I am still using it. Don't worry, I made her a tote bag and gifted her my most recent quilt finish too.

This is the backing on the quilt, a simple yellow tone square in a field of cream fabric printed with small flowers. To make up for the potential girliness of the flowers I bound the quilt in blue. The quilt is approximately crib-sized, 36"x 46" and is quilted with the stitch in the ditch method around the nine patch blocks. This was my second quilt, and I have not branched out much for quilting methods. Maybe this next more modern, artsy project will inspire me.
Link to the Gen X Quilts Summer Fair:

(Not sure why the logo is not showing up for the Summer Fair. I am new to this button thing.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday- what have I been doing with my new stash?

I am officially on the blog bandwagon, so why not get on the format wagon too? WIP= work in progress, so I am here to report and be held accountable for my progress this week. Okay, maybe it is mostly just a blatant desire to show someone else what I have done. Without further ado, here is my cutting table with the Kona Poseidon fabric chopped up. It really pays to have a glass table to shine a light below my mat to cut more accurately. Good
architect-y trick.

 Here is the green side all color-arranged and sewed up. I have been thinking the grey is too dark, but it had become pretty clear this is an experimental quilt in many ways, so I am going to run with it.

Here is the corresponding blue side all arranged and sewed up, ditto. I think I like this side better. I am so colorist.

And this is what they look like lined up together. I am not sure about this, but it was my original concept going into the project. Now I am wondering if I like it, or if I should sew the two color sides as separate small quilts and just hang them side by side as display quilts.

Any thoughts on the aesthetics?

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Finished purple quilt, new fabric

I have been not so excellent at posting my progress on this quilt, mostly because I was wanting so much to finish it that I could not bear to take extra time away from the sewing room. But now this quilt is finished, and I am officially on purple overload. The finished quilt is approximately 42"x 42" +/- 1/2" here and there. You know, standard deviation has its place in the sewing world.

detail of block, sashing and binding

almost full-length of quilt

quilt back, pieced with scraps from the front

And the reason I was in such a hurry to finish this quilt, you ask? I had an excellent new stack of fabric coming from Fat Quarter Shop courtesy of Bec from Chasing Cottons, and her blogiversary giveaway. It was difficult to choose what to get, but exciting to pick new stuff without spending guilt. I picked some FQ packs and some kona yardage for quilts I had in mind I wanted to make. Then I had a huge amount of fabric in my cart and had to whittle it down. 

I have been busy washing my haul today, because I am apparently of the "wash before you use" camp, though not everyone is. For the record, the solids pack is Kona Poseidon FQs, the prints are Tula Pink Parisville, which I could not resist and are even better than I had hoped, and the yardage is Kona medium grey. I can't wait to get started on a new project with these! I'll be better about posting during my progress this time around. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A few thoughts on sewing or crafting with kids

In reality, this could as easily be a post about sewing while working a job, having a husband or partner, or being all-around busy with your gourmet cooking (and eating) habit. Finding time to sew when you have other responsibilities is really about being a little....selfish. Remove the negative connotations from that word, and bask in the glory of an hour of selfishness a day. It's good for your mental state, which makes you a better mom, wife or partner, co-worker and gourmand.

Justified thusly, what about the logistics? For me, I sew when my son naps, or in larger quantities when he goes to bed at night. A few things have helped immensely with this: a supportive husband who encourages my selfish time, a monitor to hear or see my son, and a separate space to work in. Our house is small, and my son's room is right next to the living room and very near the only other working space in the dining room, but we have a space in "the studio," what would be a garage otherwise. It removes noise from our house while he sleeps, but also lets me have things spread out without having to worry about little hands on scissors or needles. Or pulling down a quilt I am in the process of piecing.

However you get the process to work for you, if you need that little time for yourself, to make something beautiful or try a new hobby, please find a way to make it work. I know it helps me a lot to have some time and space to do something wholly my own, and I hope it will help everyone else. It is not perfect, because it does take time in the evening from my husband and our time, but it also means I get to neglect a pile of dishes from the afore-mentioned gourmet cooking and eating, and to avoid diaper laundry. These last are definitely worth putting off for 30 minutes to an hour!

I have been quilting for the past two days in the evening, and here are some progress shots:
the front

the back

And are the loaves of honey whole wheat bread I made yesterday, minus the one that got devoured with dinner. Homemade bread is also worth the diversion, and actually not difficult to do while my son is awake, except the opening the oven bit.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

The story of the first quilt I made

Until I get more photos published (and figure out how to do those spiffy photo sidebars that quilters have showing the quilts they have completed) here are some photos of quilts I have made, and a description of the first.

The first quilt I made, I only have a picture of the quilt top, and it is off-centered and wonky. I would like to think my photo skills have gotten better as time goes on, but no promises there. I have a ridiculously hard time remembering to take photos of my quilts before I give them away. I have yet to ask my sister to take a photo for me, and I made this quilt in November of 2008.

This was my start to quilting, because I wanted to make one for my new nephew, so I bought fabric, though about taking a class, decided to bag it and just made it up as I went along. I appliqued the colored animals onto a strip quilted background of black and white. The backing is a candy striped orange and I folded it up on the front to use as a binding. I did that because the only handmade quilt I possessed used that method of binding, but I have not done that since. It is a crib sized quilt, 36" x 44" if I had to wildly guess.

These are a few other quilts I have made, and hopefully will write more posts about later. Blogging about past quilts is a little strange, I have only seen others blog about WIPs or finished projects in the present. Bear with me. These should be in loose chrono order.

There we are! I have finished many more quilts than this (well, at least half as many) but photos are outstanding- not in the sense that they are breathtakingly beautiful, but that they are missing. More to come!

First blog post

I wanted to start a blog to chronicle my adventures in sewing, which I primarily do during my toddler's nap time- hence the name of my blog. My husband also pointed out that I derive a lot of inspiration and help from blogs, especially those on sewing and quilting, so I should put my own images and info out there. So here we are! Pictures and added flair to come as time permits- and sewing comes first!