Saturday, December 29, 2012

100 Day Hustle Breakdown

I joined the 100 Day Hustle at the halfway point.

I didn't have much on my list at that time:

The Travelling PicStitch DONE! 

The Long Weekend:  Almost done, in fact I could probably knock it out tonight if I tried.

Pervalong:  Top complete.  Still not sure what to do with it.

Cathedral Window:  I decided to do the Curve It Up QAL instead.

Value Added:  Still haven't started this one yet.

Scrappy Stash Quilt Along: DONE!  And I love my quilt.

Not too bad considering I had a lot of small projects in the works as well.

I found the 2013 Woodland Sampler and already have my linen and floss ready to go.  I'm putting the pouch I made with Kristy's Songbird pattern to good use :)

So many projects to start and finish this year!  I cannot wait to get to work!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My First Pattern!

I finally did it! I finished my first pattern and did a test block and love the outcome! You can check it out on Craftsy.

This is the first block of a 9 block travel themed quilt that I have planned.

The last minute mug rug I made for my mother to go with her tea themed gift.

The very last minute wall hanging I made for my dad.  I messed up on the top penguin but decided he was just a well fed version of the second one :)

My first time using a zig zag stitch to attach the binding.  I definitely need to work on this a little.  Sorry I cannot remember where I found the tutorial for this.

My amazing present from The Husband's aunt.  She knows I love owls and I've obviously already found the perfect spot for it.  This prompted a rearranging of everything in the kitchen but photos will have to wait until after we put up the tree.

I'm not at all happy with this block from the fourth set of blocks for the Super Penguin QAL.  My chocolate does not look like milk chocolate.  It looks like dark chocolate with mold or something growing on it (ewwww!) and it blends into the background too much.  Bad fabric choices on my part.

This one is a little better, but again the whisk blends into the bowl a little more than I would like.  I was thinking the gray was darker and would stand out more.  I also made 3/4 of the third block only to realize that I had mixed up my fabrics and there was no other option to than to start over.

We did our Christmas with The Brother last night after he got off of work.  This was the wine tote I made him.  I was sewing the binding on as he was driving over :/  He got a couple of great things for Squeak and some wonder clips for me (yay!)

And, most exciting of all...I finished all of the blocks for my How Far Will You Go Quilt!  I ended up short one 10" block so I must have only made one version of a block that needed two.  I just whipped up another one of the last block and called it done.  I have now sewn together all of the blocks in the upper right corner and hope to have the rest done tonight, then on to the borders!
Linking up to BOMs Away Monday.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Happy Holidays!

A couple of quick pics today.  Our Christmas plans were cancelled due to weather so I will be working around the house today to get caught up a bit. 

I didn't manage to get a single thing made for our house for Christmas but that will change next year!

Squeak made out like a bandit at our family celebration last night. 

Shouldn't he look happier?  Maybe its the hat...

All of my babies checking out the snow that's coming down.

Happy Holidays!!!  Hope everyone stays safe with the bad weather!

Friday, December 21, 2012

2013 FO Challenge (Reader Beware-This is a Long Post!)

I don't think this challenge will be a problem.  Start a new project every month and not even have to finish it...ever?!  Right up my alley :)
This is a very rough list of what I hope to start every month (subject to change due to new quilt alongs, whims, and everything else):
Sugar Block Club Starts! - Since I haven't seen the fabric requirements yet I do not know what I will be using for this QAL.  I'm fairly certain I signed up for another paper pieced QAL through Don't Call Me Betsy, but I honestly cannot remember.  Found it!  Lucky Stars BOM Club.
And Sew On - I'm really excited about this BOM being hosted by Kristy.  I have the pleasure of testing one of the blocks (which I haven't gotten done yet, sorry Kristy!) and cannot wait to see what the others look like!  I'm planning on making this quilt out of my scrap bin so there's no telling what it will look like :)


Mario Quilt - My brother's birthday is in March and his new house should be built shortly thereafter so this seems like an appropriate time to start on his quilt.  I have all of the fabrics and have been looking at the blocks and designs on Flickr to see which blocks I want to use and how to lay them out.  I'm thinking this is going to be a big quilt.  I will probably be using 4 blocks across x 5 blocks long plus sashing and borders.  Since my machine is not set up to handle that kind of quilting (and I'm not sure when my vintage Singer will be here) I'm thinking this will be a quilt as you go type of quilt.


Curve It Up Quilt - Way too late for the QAL but I still want to give it a shot.  I've got my ruler and fabrics all set to go.


Value Added Quilt - WAY too late for this one too!  I've had the fabrics and pattern for this one for quite a while but haven't had time to dive in yet.


Easy Street QAL - Technically I have already started this one but after looking at the fabrics I picked for it I am not happy.  Don't get me wrong, the fabrics are beautiful but they aren't what I'm looking for on this quilt.  I'm thinking that my new fabric choices will be navy, cream, yellow and gray.  These are a few of the fabrics I have in mind.


Sea of Stars Quilt - Probably too late for this QAL too (anyone else sensing a pattern?)  This is destined to be a wedding gift and may have to be moved up the list a little so it will be ready in time.


Isosceles Triangle Quilt - There is a quilt along going for this one right now too but it will have to wait.  I'm doing it in Christmas fabrics.  Not sure which ones yet but I have a HUGE variety to choose from.
Reindeer Pillow - made out of scraps from the Isosceles Triangle Quilt. 
Trick or Treat Wall Hanging - paper pieced pattern from Quilt Maker's Magazine
Stockings - I am going to try to whip one up for Squeak this year so we can take it to his PawPaw's for Christmas but I would like to do one for each of the six of us next year (yes, I make stockings for my fur babies).
Tree Skirt and Christmas Presents - We have a pretty store bought tree skirt, but my cousin has a mini tree with possibly the worst tree skirt I have ever seen.  She's been wonderful about watching Squeak when we need her too so I'm planning to make her a beautiful, scrappy skirt.
I'm sure there will be lots of smaller projects being started (and hopefully finished) every month as well but these are the ones I would like to focus on.  I also still have the QALs from this year:  How Far Will You Go QAL and Super Penguin QAL that I need to finish up.  Cannot wait to get started on these new projects.  Just to give you an idea of the fabrics that I will be using for the small projects throughout the next year - - -

The top shelf is all of my collections that I cannot bear to break up. The three middle shelves are blenders and the bottom shelf has holiday, novelty and non cotton fabrics. The little shelf to the left has a sewing notion box on the top shelf that is currently hidden by my Weekender Bag (hey, I finally took a picture of it! -kind of), the second shelf is yardage of various fabrics two stacks deep, the third holds all of my books and the fourth got cut off but has all of the books I use for my clutches and e-readers. It looks messy but this is actually pretty good for me. There are also various fabrics scattered throughout the house as well as one of those clear three drawer containers full of scraps. I'm hoping that the above projects will help put a dent in this madness!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Or so I hope anyway.  Sorry I've been a bit absent this week.  All of my orders are made and in the mail and I do have some things to share.
First off, I constructed the exterior of the Weekender Bag (finally!).  BUT, I forgot to take pictures of it.  I started working on it again so that I could give it as a present for Christmas.  The Husband's Aunt would have loved the scrappy exterior--for her the more chaotic the better :).  Another BUT, even with the exterior done it was still going to take me way too long to finish and it was going to be bigger than I had in mind for her.
So I raided my scrap pile. And this is what I came up with.

And the finished purse.  She is a big OSU fan so I'm hoping she'll like it.  And it only took me about an hour to make.

And my second Christmas present to cross off of my list (well almost).  The Rooster Project.  All of the quilting is done and the binding has been sewed on the front and is halfway done being handstitched onto the back.  I should have it finished up tomorrow.  It's not my style at all but for some reason this is going to be hard to let go of.

I have a couple of other Christmas presents in the works but they are for people who might actually read by blog so I think I'll keep them under wraps for now ;)
I have also been trying my hand at designing paper pieced patterns.  I have quite a few ready to test so if all goes well I will have them ready to reveal this weekend!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Some Finishes...Finally!

I didn't have a lot of time to sew this weekend, but I did manage to finish the custom order diaper bag.

It took me forever, but I love the way that it came out.  And if the original customer doesn't want it, I think I already have someone else lined up :)
I was going to make both the front and the back panels pieced but in an effort to save time decided to make the back out of the gray used on the sides.  I'm glad that I did.  I think it would have been too much to have both the front and the back pieced and quilted. 

A side view.  I used a different quilting pattern in for each color (they were all straight line quilting though).

An essential for any good diaper bag...multiple pockets.  This pocket runs the length of the bag but is divided into three sections of varying size.

And this side is more for the mom.  It has a cell phone pocket and another pocket that has been divided into three sections that are the perfect place for a pen, lip gloss, and other knick knacks.
This diaper bag was pretty basic but maybe it would be a good first tutorial?  The feedback that I got during the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway showed a demand for them but I've been hesitant.  I know that this diaper bag is 100% my own so maybe its a good place to start.  Or maybe start smaller with a tutorial for these chapstick cozies...

Someone bought all of the keyring chapstick cozies that I had at Crafted.  Here is the next shipment.  The blue and green one on the right is a custom order.  The original shipment was put together with glue but I started to worry about how well they would hold up so I sewed these together and am pleased with how they came out.

And I finally got my Elves finished!  I'm pretty pleased with how cute they turned out :)

New storage thanks to Dad.  He picked up a few of these at a local store and brought me one to try out.  I'm not sure yet what I will put on it but it might be a good size for some fat quarters...hmmm

And this is what gets me though the work day.  Being able to look up and see my adorable little boy and a cute winter bird (that and the portable space heater).
Linking up to Plum & June.

Friday, December 14, 2012

First Times

I have a bunch of use it or lose it vacation days that I'm trying to take before the end of the year.  Yesterday was one of them.  Do you ever feel like you sew all day and don't have anything to show for it at the end?  That's how I feel about yesterday. 
I already had the pieces cut for my next How Far Will You Go Quilt so I just had to put them together. 

My first attempt at y-seams.  Not too bad!  I definitely thought they would be worse.
And my first attempt at curves.  Again, not too terrible.  the point where the two pieces meet up on the bottom left is a little off but I'm leaving it.
I did spend quite a bit of time working on the custom diaper bag I'm making.  I finished quilting the front, got all of the pieces cut (except for the handles) and started attaching the pockets to the lining.  Now I'm to the easy part--construction.  I'm hoping that the quilting will make it sturdy enough that I do not have to use pellon as a stabilizer, making it so much easier to sew.  In fact, I may add a bit of quilting to the back, sides, and bottom now that I think about it.  Right now I have just quilted the front panel and side pockets.  I originally pieced together the front and back panels but decided to leave the back a solid so that the work on the front really stands out. 
The one thing I do have to show from yesterday is a pretty, shiny burn on my middle finger (appropriate in a way).  It doesn't look like much, but it hurt like %*&#!
Remember those booties I made for Baby T?  The ones that I hated (not the booties themselves, but the making of them)?  Well turns out Baby T's mother AND father loved them.  And they want a few more pair.  And I have trouble saying no when people ask me for things always feel so guilty for saying no that I end up doing what they ask in the end.  Sooo, I'm going to wait a couple of weeks to build up my resolve then try another pair and see how it goes. 

This little boy usually puts up one heck of a fight when its time to sleep.  It doesn't matter if it is a nap or bedtime.  He literally fights--pulls hair, hits, kicks, screams.  BUT last night, despite the fact that he was exhausted, he was in a great mood and we had a wonderful time!
My cousin has agreed to watch him on Saturday so that I can get some work done (thank you, thank you, thank you) so hopefully I'll have more to show on Sunday :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

WIP Wednesday

Not a whole lot to report around here.  All of my WIPs from last week are still WIPs this week :(

I did finish another block for my How Far Will You Go Quilt.  Only 3 more to go!!!  I'm going to be cutting it really close on fabric (no pun intended).

I finally managed to buy the floss that I was missing for my 25 Days of Christmas Cross Stitch.  Its a lot easier to tell what things are now that I have white and gold on there.  I hate cross stitching but I'm so excited to see what this looks like when I get it done.

I haven't had much luck on my Christmas presents either.  This is the start of my brother's wine tote.  I'm fairly certain he hates mustaches as much as I do so it may have to find another home.
I started on my little pinecone guys.  Now they just need twine/ribbon to hang them from -which I forgot to attach before I put on the scarves- and little hats.
And a cute little paper pieced block that I'm thinking of making into a covered journal.
That's all for this week.  Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Open During Construction

The Husband got back from his trip last night so I was able to get back to work.

I had someone request that I make a covered journal with a cupcake on it using pink, blue, and green.  This is what I came up with:

Hopefully the little girl that it is destined for will love it and get some good use from it! 
The rest of the evening was spent catching up on my Etsy orders- lots of earbud pouches!!!  therefore a trip to the post office is in order (sigh)- and on the remaining blocks of my How Far Will You Go Quilt (nothing photo worthy, I assure you).
I am still working to improve the design and layout of my blog so please bear with me during "construction" :)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Manly Fabrics?

I have been hounding my brother lately about helping me to find some masculine fabrics. I have been toying with the idea of making a quilt for him and I also would like to make some quilts in the future that are geared a little more toward men. Every line that I have showed him that I thought might work has gotten a laugh. I finally thought to show him the Mario Quilts that I keep seeing pop up in blogland. As a self processed computer geek, he LOVED them! Soooo, now I have another quilt to add to my current list of works in progress. I simply have to figure out which characters I want to include and get to work. His birthday is at the end of March and his house should be almost done being built at that time so it may be a combination birthday and housewarming gift.
I didn't get much time to sew this weekend as The Husband was out of town, but I did get to spend some quality time with Squeak. We went to a birthday party that was held at a local cheer gym and Squeak even made a little friend, J, who we will be setting up a play date with in the near future.

Then we headed to the local Deluxe Indie Craft Fair.  It was even better than I had hoped.  It was supposed to be a scouting mission but I did break down and buy a couple of things.  All of the items are handmade and it is a juried show so I'm thinking it might be a little more my style than some of the shows I've gone to in the past.  Now I just have to make some items to submit cross my fingers.  I've already started compiling a list of the items I would like to take.  The booths were very small and cramped so I will have to take limited inventory.  I did also find some great vendors that I look forward to buying from in the future.
The Husband is due back tonight and I will be able to get back to work again.  I've fallen behind on all of my orders (and everything else, eek!) so I need to get caught up and I really want to finish my How Far Will You Go Quilt this week.

I did rearrange a little from the original layout (I didn't want any of the same blocks near each other if at all possible) and I still have 2 20" blocks and 2 10" blocks.  After a trip to JoAnn's to get more pink fabric, as well as some of the dark brown for the backing, and batting and I'm all set to finish it up.  I am ashamed to say I have been using the polyester batting in my previous projects but I have upgraded to a soft, dense cotton for this quilt. 

I've made a little progress on some other small projects, but more on those later this week :)

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Giveaway Winners

The winners have been contacted. #104 Sallie won the drawing for the three piece pouch set and #58 Camelama won the supplies package. Winning numbers were randomly picked by The Husband. Thank you so much to everyone that stopped by and for all of the wonderful comments. I was not able to respond to everyone but I did read every single comment and appreciated the answers to both questions. I look forward to getting to know those of you that are now following my blog!

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's Time to Vote

The time has arrived (I can't say I've been anxiously awaiting it because I actually though it was a random winner, oops!) vote on the Travellin PicStitch Projects. You can cast your vote here. I know I won't win but I had a wonderful time participating so please head over and check out all of the projects and vote for your favorite.

It's time to meet Francine.  She is currently on her way to Ohio to compete in the Fox Softie Pageant.  I have made up a whole story about Francine but I won't bore you with the details. 

Since lots of the comments left in the last few days have said they enjoy seeing failures as well as finishes, I though I would give you a peek at Frankie.  Frankie was my original fox softie.  I was going for a bit of a distressed, rustic look with him (raw, fraying edges and all) but I think I took it too far and now he just looks sloppy.  For some reason I can't bear to throw him away...

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Sewing Without Squeak

Thanks to my mother in law I had several uninterrupted hours of sewing time yesterday. And I have almost nothing to show for it. I did manage to get all but one of my Etsy orders finished up. And I made the custom order wallet that was placed at my craft show a couple of weeks ago.

I already had a basic pattern that I had used in the past by changing around the layout and adding card pockets but when I saw this pattern at the store while picking out my fabric (pink & green were the colors requested) I decided to see how they had done theirs.  I did like their method of making the card pocket better than the way I had done it in the past.  My way created a lot of extra bulk at the seams.  I did omit the zippered pocket and accordion pocket in favor of a flat pocket.  The customer had looked at my personal wallet as an example (poor, battered thing that it is) and I wanted to keep it as close to that as possible.  It is a present for her sister and she requested it to be done by the 10th so I'm pretty excited to not be down to the wire for once :).  I found what I hope are the perfect fabrics.  I also picked up a yard of Christmas fabric on sale for $5.  I'm thinking it may be perfect for the backing of my 25 Days of Christmas Cross Stitch Wall Hanging...

I cut my pieces, making the changes to the bottom pocket, and attached the first piece.  Then I forgot to take any more pictures until I was done (sorry!).

I also changed around all of the interfacing suggestions.  Instead of doing a fusible interfacing and a sew-in interfacing as required I cut little rectangular pellon inserts and attached them with fusible fleece to give it the sturdiness that I felt it needed.  Overall it was a great pattern and someday I'm going to make it the way it was meant to be by actually following the directions ;P

The finished inside complete with props.
Then on to my next custom order.  This customer had a very hard time deciding between two different diaper bags that I had at the show.  She loved the fabric on one and the design of the other.  She eventually asked that I try to find more of the fabric to make the different style.  I knew I had a little bit left in my stash, but not nearly enough, so I went back to the store and they were out (no big surprise; I bought the fabric I long time ago and just recently got around to using it).  The fabric she liked was a printed patchwork pattern in soft pinks and browns.  After Squeak and I scoured the fabric store for what seemed like (and most likely actually was) hours I could not find a pink/brown that I was happy with.  I settled for pinks and grays.

I went home and cut my pieces.

And started piecing them.

After adding some borders out of a fabric that I found in my stash, they were the perfect size for the exterior panels.

So I added the batting and started quilting.  I decided to do an angular spiral in the gray blocks, diagonal lines in the whites, and a grid in the pinks (all in coordinating colors of course).  It is taking me forever but I'm falling in love with the bag.  Let's hope the client feels the same way when she sees it.  If not, it will find a, hopefully temporary, home in my Etsy shop.
Linking up to Really Random Thursday.