Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Pillow Talk Swap 7 - Mosaic and Brainstorming

The beginning of 2011 was full of swaps for me. I got burned out, to tell you the truth. I'm sure a big part of it was because I was in my first trimester of my last pregnancy and feeling all-around miserable. I swore off swaps for the rest of the year - forever? BUT, round seven of the Pillow Talk Swap was starting up and I thought it would be fun to do it again since I had such a great experience last time with this swap. So, I set to work browsing through my favorites and this is what I put together.

PTS7 Ideas - Totally diggin strings and stars and rainbows right now

After getting my partner assignment, I started brainstorming ideas and here's some of what I came up with (ignore my poor art skills).

Idea 1: A mix of Single Girl and Retro Flowers

PTS7 Idea 1

Ideas 2 and 3:

PTS7 Ideas 2 & 3

So far, the consensus is for idea number 1, which is great because it's my favorite idea, but also scary because it'll really stretch me. Hopefully, I can pull it off.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday: My First of 2012

I have a slew of items on my to-do list that are in various stages of completion. I really really really want to get them done so I can work on one of my 2012 goals: working on one project, start to finish, before beginning anything new. So, here are a few WIPs and a couple finishes for this week to get the ball rolling.

In Progress

1001 Peeps Supernova

My local bee mates helped me put the blocks together for this one back in August before I had my baby. I made two more blocks earlier this month and then pieced the top together. I love that mitered border! Read more about this quilt top here.

My Supernova Quilt Top

Quilt for my mom

I've cut most of the printed fabric for my mom's quilt, but need to finish cutting about three more fat quarters and then I'll get started on the solid. Her quilt will be really similar in design to my dad's quilt.

Quilt for my oldest daughter's bed

I started this quilt back in the summer in preparation for moving my middle child out of the crib and into a bunkbed. I have the top half-way pieced and just lost motivation in getting it done. I WILL finish it up.

Quilt for another sister

I started a quilt for my sister, who's right above me in the family line, forever ago. At least a year ago. Maybe more. Despite it being red, black, gray, and white (I'm not a huge fan of the red and black color combo), I really love the blocks. I'm determined to get this one done at least before the year is half over.


Drawstring bag

I made this bag on Sunday to hold my daughter's first set of Legos.

Drawstring bag for my daughter's Legos!

Appliqued Name Pillows

I spent Saturday appliqueing letters onto fabric for pillow fronts. My sister-in-law asked my sister to make 16 pillows for girls in her church who are advancing to the Young Women program. Since my sister has been watching my kids for me, I told her I would help out with the pillows. I appliqued eight of the names on Saturday. And I am sure glad to be done!

Appliqued name

Bee Block for Colleen

Colleen asked for circles way back in September for our local bee, but she let me have an extension since I had my baby and didn't make it to a couple meetings afterward. This circle piecing was difficult for me. I need to give the block to Colleen on Saturday, so if I have any time before now and then, I'll try adding another circle or two. I think her quilt is going to turn out awesome, especially because she is hand-quilting around each circle with different color thread.

Circle for Colleen

I'm hoping to be more productive starting next week. I've rearranged my work schedule, which starts soon, and I think it'll give me a little more time for sewing!

Linking up to:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Drawstring bag, an oops, and a bit of a rant

The mister and I are always trying to find ways to help our middle, impressionable daughter know that there's more to life than pretty princesses. She's three so that's pretty much all she cares about most of the time. In fact, we had a really hard time coming up with Christmas gifts for her that were appropriate for a three-year-old girl, but not just "pretty" and pointless. We've made the decision not to buy Barbies for her and we're trying to limit the influence of dolls and being pretty and dresses (not so successful there) and...and...and...

The mister is also an avid magazine reader. Bloomberg Business had an article in a recent issue about Legos for girls. We were pretty excited and it was interesting to hear what changes were made to the legendary building blocks.
"...There's a Lego phase for boys that's as consuming as the princess phase. But unlike tiaras and pink chiffon, Lego play develops spatial, mathematical, and fine motor skills, and lets kids build almost anything they can imagine, often leading to hours of quiet, independent play." -Bloomberg

While at WalMart last night, the mister spotted a few sets of these Legos for girls and brought some home for her. Thankfully, the one he chose for her was the dog show set rather than the salon (another influence of physical appearance and feminine stereotypes - ugh - but I'll save those rantings for another day).

So now I'll get to the point of this post. After taking the Legos out of the box last night, I quickly realized that we needed a bag to store them in. I've been wanting to try Jeni's drawstring bag tutorial for a while now and this was the perfect time for it.

Drawstring bag for my daughter's Legos!

I made the mistake of not reading through the instructions all the way before cutting the fabric. Otherwise I would've seen how to cut my directional fabric (the ducks) the right way. Oh well. I think having the ducks sideways gives the bag a nice horizontal stripe look.

I also need to stop being lazy and actually change out my thread to a matching color when it'll be visible from the outside. Seriously. That white thread really sticks out against those dots.

Drawstring bag for my daughter's Legos!

The bag came together so easily. I took Kati's advice and used ribbon instead of making the drawstrings to save time. Although, the only ribbon I had on hand was this sheer stuff that I would rather not have used. Now I want to cut out fabric for a few more bags to organize my son's toys too.

So despite my mistakes in constructing the bag, I think it was a hit.

Drawstring bag for my daughter's Legos!

And if any of you have strong feelings about the constant influx of negative media bombarding girls of all ages, feel free to tell me how you feel.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Supernova Quilt Top

A few of us in the Salt Lake Modern Quilt Guild came together to form a local quilt bee, La Beeda Loca. August was my month and I asked the girls to make Supernova blocks for me using 1001 Peeps and Lee's awesome quilt-along tutorial.

I opted to make the quilt top out of 12 blocks instead of 9, so I made two more blocks. One of the girls pieced the outer units the wrong way, and while she offered to redo them for me, I loved how the block looked so I made another block that way (see the middle blocks on the second and third rows).

My Supernova Quilt Top

I got some of the tower fabric and wanted to try mitered corners on the border. It was my first time, so there is definitely room for improvement, but I was pleased with how the border turned out.

My Supernova - Border with mitered corners

Hawthorne Threads had several prints from the 1001 Peeps line on sale last month so I ordered a bunch to use for the backing. I'll be binding it with Peeps Illuminate in Light Blue. Can't wait to finish it off, but I think my mom would really like me to work on her bed quilt first.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Zippered Clutch

My niece, L, has the misfortune (fortune?) of having a birthday the day after Christmas. At our Christmas Eve party, I brought some pillow covers that I wanted to get rid of so I drew names for the winners. L didn't win one, but her sister, A, did (who also has a December birthday). As I became an aunt when I was 5, I have a ton of nieces and nephews. Because of that, I rarely give gifts to each of them every year, but I wanted L to have something for her birthday since I had given something to A.

Enter the Perfect Zip Bags pattern...

Zippered Clutch - Front

L's favorite colors are red and black. Unfortunately, I don't often sew with red or black so I didn't have much fabric to choose from. Fortunately, my mom chose this Riley Blake Lost and Found fabric for her bed quilt, and I was able to use some of the scraps to make a simple clutch for L.

Zippered Clutch - Back

I pieced a bit of patchwork for one side and used batting for my interlining. Elizabeth mentions that the material used for the interlining will have a big impact on the bag's outcome. Since I used batting, the clutch has a softer, pliable feel to it. However, if I had used denim or some other stiff fabric, the clutch would have had a crisper feel to it.

Zippered Clutch - Front

L just started her second semester of college, so hopefully she can make good use out of this little clutch.

Zippered Clutch - Back

I'm looking forward to making some of the large bags in the pattern for organizing some of my kiddo's smaller toys. After seeing Heather's awesome first-aid bags, I had to add something like that to my list too.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

January Bee Block

I tried to take advantage of the New Year's holiday by sewing a bit. This month is Cheri's turn in the Sew Beautiful Bee. She came up with this awesome tutorial for putting together a carpenter's star quilt block. It took me a while to trim the 44 half square triangles, but I was able to finish this block yesterday.

Carpenter's Star for Cherie

The block is 18.5 inches unfinished, and although it took a bit of time to piece it, I think it looks so good! The prints Cherie sent are my favorite color scheme (green and blue) so of course that makes me love the block even more.

Carpenter's Star for Cherie

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Voile Infinity Scarf

My best friend is a big scarf wearer. I wanted to try this infinity scarf pattern to make her a scarf for Christmas. I got a half yard each of Oval in Fuchsia and Tile Flourish in Garnet voile from the Heirloom line by Joel Dewberry and made two scarves, one for me and one to send to my friend. They were so easy to put together. In fact, I got one of them sewn on Monday morning before my girls woke up!

Voile Infinity/Mobius Scarf


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