Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Life Is What You Make It

I've decided to change the name of the Make Life quilt to Life Is What You Make It. I've squared the blocks and sewn them into rows. I just need to piece the columns and then the top will be done. Because of the size, I'm not adding a border. Next up? Piecing the back, then basting, quilting, and binding.

The mister is the photographer in the family, but he wasn't home, leaving it up to me to document my progress.

Saturday, March 27, 2010


I was busy last night. I've had a sick little boy at home and been needing some respite from wiping his nose. So this is what I worked on:

This is the block that I made three years ago as my first attempt at quilting. Unfortunately, this single block was the first and last quilting I did until the end of 2009. It's funny to think of how hard this block was for me to cut and piece as a beginner. I still am a beginner, but the other three blocks came together so much quicker now that I sort of know what I'm doing.

These are the variations that I came up with.

This one's my favorite.

I'm not sure how big I'll end up making the quilt at this point. It will for sure have 12 stars with sashing in between. I think that will probably be big enough, but I think I want to make it for my daughter's twin bed (when she gets one...she's still in a crib).


I also worked on the blocks for my Make Life quilt. Forty down, forty to go.

Here's what some of the pieced blocks look like, minus the inch I have to trim to make them nine inches square. (I hate wasting fabric, so maybe I can incorporate that one-inch strip somehow. And, I don't know why this image is sideways; I didn't take it in portrait mode.)

I'm debating how big to make this one too. I have enough to make it 72x90 with a five-inch border all the way around, but I'm not sure I want it that big. I'm thinking maybe closer to 63x72 or something around there. Once I get most of the blocks sewn together, I'll lay it out and see if the smaller size looks right. No need to sew all 80 blocks if I don't end up using them all.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Fat Quarter Pack from Sew, Mama, Sew!

Look what came in the mail for me today. I won this variety fat quarter pack handpicked for Sew, Mama, Sew! by Rashida Coleman-Hale from I Heart Linen. Out of 400+ entries in the giveaway, I was the lucky lass to be picked. I'm really excited. There are 12 fat quarters so I'm thinking of making this quilt by Oh, Fransson...once I finish all my works in progress, that is. Plus, it's a little more advanced than I am so by the time I finish my other stuff, I should be experienced enough to give it a try.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Setting Goals

As I work full-time from home and have two little ones constantly underfoot, my time for sewing is limited to after the kiddos are in bed and the weekends when I don't have other, more pressing things to get done. Needless to say, I don't always have the time to dedicate to sewing that I'd like to. So, I've set a few goals.

Now that I've finished my spring quilt, I've decided what quilt to work on next. But I also have several other projects in the works. So, here's my game plan.
  1. The majority of my sewing time will be spent working on the Make Life quilt.
  2. Every two weeks I will make the block for the jelly roll quilt along I'm participating in.
  3. Additionally, I will make one block a week for the quilt that started it all three years ago when my SIL organized a family quilt group (even though we only had one session).
  4. Then, if other things come up here and there, I can work on smaller projects like this or this.

I have a lot more fabric that I'd like to work on turning into something, but I'm going to try really hard not to start any more projects and instead work on those that I've already begun. I did manage to take some time yesterday to decide what to do with all my Blush fabric (a charm pack, layer cake, six fat quarters, and some yardage). After deciding what to do, I came upon this post that closely matches what I had in mind. (As a side note, you know that you're thinking about it too much if you lay awake at night or dream about how to make it work.)

So there you have it, my game plan. I think it's totally doable, and outlining the steps will help me achieve my goals.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Buttercup Bag Redo

More of Jessica Jones' fabric was on sale at JCarolineCreative so I snatched some up (like this and this).

It came in the mail on Saturday so I decided to make another buttercup bag last night after the kids were in bed.

I enlarged the pattern two inches on all sides. I also re-purposed a cotton canvas curtain for the lining. (The curtains were a nasty puce green that I tried dyeing blue for my new bedroom color scheme. That didn't work and they turned out gray. But, they were the perfect weight for the lining and I was happy to put some of that fabric to good use.) Like the previous bag, I made two pockets for the inside because one just isn't enough.

I also doubled the width of the strap to make it more substantial, but afterwards realized that a tad thinner would have been better for sitting on my shoulder. This time I sewed the strap between the inner and outer layers halfway through the process rather than just attaching it to the inside as the last step. I inserted the ends upside down the first time and had to unpick and resew them. Kind of a pain because I hate unpicking. But it worked out just fine.

On the last bag I made, I didn't top stitch around the top edge of the purse and I wish I had. So this time, instead of just doing a plain stitch, I used my machine's asterisk-looking stitch (one of my favorites) to give it a little more personality.

I'm really pleased with how this one turned out. I thought I did a pretty good job on the first one, but now that I've made another, I can see more of the flaws in the first one. But, they say practice makes perfect...and I have lots more canvas to put to use.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Jelly Roll Block #2

I wasn't in the mood to sew last night because I wasn't feeling well (third night in a row of evening-onset tummy grumbles). I decided to just get the pieces cut, but I could only cut five pieces ahead of time as the smaller square blocks were made by sewing two jelly roll strips together and then cutting them in two and a half inch strips. I decided to pull out the sewing machine and see how long it would take. Thankfully, block number two came together really quickly (and I was able to match most of the corners).

The block is symmetrical, so although you only see the bottom half, you can envision how the top looks.

Jelly Roll Quilt Along Block #2 Using Odyssea by Momo

Monday, March 15, 2010

Jelly Roll Block #1

I spent some time yesterday afternoon cutting and piecing this block together. I'm definitely a rookie and I did a lot of unpicking and re-sewing trying to get the corners to match. It's not perfect, but participating in Moose on the Porch Quilt's Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along will definitely give me some good practice.

The fabric I used is Odyssea by Momo for Moda.

Jelly Roll Quilt Along Block #1

The quilt along reveals the new block every two weeks. I waited a while to start this one and actually finished it on the last day (not that there's a deadline or anything). Block number two was posted today so now I can get started on my second one.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Finished Spring Quilt

I finally finished my spring quilt and accompanying accessories (I started it January 20). I learned a lot of things that I plan to do differently the next go around, but I'm pleased with the end results.

Here is the bed all put together. I made the quilt, pillowcases, and smaller pillow covers for the orange pillows. The mister painted the wall.

I wanted to do something a little less common for the curtains, but couldn't find a tutorial online that I liked or that would work. I like to sleep in the dark (like pitch black dark) so I needed curtains to cover the entire window. Unfortunately, I didn't take the time to line this fabric so it's not pitch black, but still dark enough for me to sleep comfortably.

I made the binding out of the blue and teal matching fabrics and alternated it around the quilt. I thought binding a quilt would be the worst part, but it wasn't bad at all.

I'm excited to get started on my next project, but I think I need a few days off first. Also, I need to do the first block in the Jelly Roll Sampler Quilt Along, but that can wait a few days too.

After watching me do all this quilting, the mister told me that he wants to try making one too. Woohoo!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Getting close

I spent the day yesterday quilting our spring quilt and sewing the binding strips together. I was having problems getting my walking foot to work a few weeks ago so I started quilting the quilt by hand. It was taking forever. I talked to one of the ladies at the sewing shop and she showed me what I was doing wrong. I should have talked to her before spending three days hand quilting. Oh well. The goal today is to attach the binding and finish the quilt! Once that's done, I just have to finish the throw pillows and decide whether to sew the curtains or just buy some new ones that will match the color scheme. I can see the end in sight. It's only been a couple months in the making. Sheesh!

On Saturday night, I cut the layer cake and jelly roll for the Make Life quilt I'll make once my bedroom is finally put together.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Coming up next

I've decided what my next quilt project is going to be. Isn't this cute? (Scroll down a little to view the pictures.) I'm going to make a few alterations because I bought two charm packs instead of a layer cake, but I think it will turn out pretty close to the design. Although I told the mister that I wouldn't buy any more fabric, I realized that I just couldn't picture this design with anything but Make Life by Sweetwater.

Love, love, love it!


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