Sunday, January 6, 2019

2018 Final Countdown Challenge

As I mentioned in my previous post, I've been working on Shelly's Final Countdown challenges for a few days.  It's a great way to start the year off with a tidy sewing space. The three tasks are to:

- clean off your main work surface.
- deal with a pile.
- preform a project assessment.

So after cleaning off several work surfaces and moving numerous piles, my room finally looks like this:
After assessing my project list, I realized that the reason why many of my projects are not finished, is because I had no room to do the quilting part of it, without moving a lot of things. (The machine I mostly quilt with, is inside the desk that is in the foreground. I could not open it up, where it was previously). My desks and sewing machine were against the back wall.  This lead me to start moving things around, and now I have the tables in the center. After having it this way for a few days now, I wonder why I hadn't done this sooner?! I really like it this way!

As for the piles of things I had around, they were mostly bins, which I made space for on the shelving unit I have behind my design board (the design board just slides back and forth easily.) And one shelf now holds most of my works-in-progress. I'm going to try to keep to just having these for my projects on the go.


Another change I made was to fit in another storage unit.  I just love these units (I buy them from Home Depot) and have various sizes throughout the house.  I find the collapsible canvas storage boxes are so handy to use. I love that I can label them, too.

Thank you, Shelly for doing this challenge again!  It's been fun and very helpful for me to do, and gets 2019 off to a great start!  

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Final Finishes of 2018

My 10 year old daughter made the following gifts for Christmas:

Two mug rugs:

She made them completely herself, choosing the fabrics, pressing and sewing them entirely on her own.  For the larger one, she used a paper foundation, which she tore off after sewing the strips together.  Then did the machine embroidery to quilt it to the batting. After that, she added the backing, turned it right-side-out and topstitched it all around the edge. Makes it so much faster, than having to add a binding. 

A bookmark:

She made this for an elderly neighbor who enjoys reading.  For this one, she didn't use any batting on the inside.

For my gifts, I made:

An apron for my Mom:
I just used one of her old aprons as a pattern.  It's the same fabric on the back, so it's reversible. And it makes it easier to add the straps this way, as I just tacked them in place, before turning it right-side-out and topstitching all around.

Knitted hat for my husband:

This tote, that I'd made earlier in the year for my daughter, worked out well to hold the project. I'll definitely have to make another one for myself now.

I used some handspun wool yarn that I'd bought a few years ago, for this. The pattern is a free pattern found on Ravelry, called Handspun Ribbed Hat. I think I tend to knit tightly, so next time, I'll add a few more stitches when I cast on. But hubby loves it and finds this type of hat nice and warm.

Now I'm busy tidying up my sewing space, as Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts is challenging us to do in the 10th Annual Final Countdown Challenge.  You have until the 7th to get the tasks done and be eligible for prizes.  I've done it many times and it's such a great way to kick off the New Year, with a better organized sewing space.  So there's still time...join in the fun!

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching!

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

An easy baby quilt

I wanted to make a baby quilt for my niece recently, and didn't have a whole lot of time to get it done in. I'm really glad that I found this pattern in my files, called Speedy Baby 2 by Deslynn Mecham.  I wanted to provide the link for other's and give credit where credit is due, so I found it still available for free HERE  on her blog called taffy talk.
I think it's a great pattern for a quick quilt or for a beginner quilter. It would also make a great I Spy quilt for a child. With a charm pack and some yardage, it comes together easily.  I chose to use my most favorite line, called Aviary by 3 Sisters for Moda.
I have limited pictures of the process and final quilt, as I was rushing to finish it on time.  But here are a few:
The finished quilt:

Since it was only 45" square, then I was able to baste it by pinning, on the floor. I use curved basting pins to do this.

I only had time for some basic quilting, so I just stitched in the ditch around each border. I used my ironing board on the left side, to help support it as I stitched.  This worked out well. 

 The only change in the pattern I had to make because of the amounts of fabric I had, was to make the first border, into two borders. 


Hopefully my niece will enjoy using it, for her baby girl!

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching!

Friday, July 20, 2018

Yes, I do like making pincushions!

I enjoy taking a handful of scraps, and seeing what I can make out of them.  So recently, I took some scraps that I had left over from another project...

And using THIS great tutorial found on Crazy Mom Quilts blog, I made this block:

And it just had to become a little pincushion.

For the backing, I decided to keep on with the scrap piecing, and ended up with this for the back:

So scrappy, so fun, to use and make something functional from bits that I could have just tossed.  I'm glad I didn't. 

Thanks for stopping by!


Thursday, July 19, 2018

A Jean quilt

I had seen THIS tutorial a few years ago on the blog Piece N Quilt, and had thought what a great idea!  Since I do enjoy re-purposing clothes, especially jeans, I had lots of old jeans from my family, to choose from. And the recommendation to just tear your strips by hand, was an excellent one!  It really does make it very easy to make your strips of denim. After I had pieced it, I had shelved the project various times for different reasons, but now, I can happily say it is done!


For the backing, I used a cotton camo print that I had on-hand.
It is a heavy thing, even though I did not use thick batting in the middle. I chose a thick flannel for the middle instead, just for added warmth.  But in hind sight, that may not even have been necessary.

I did include two pockets, one from my son's pants and another from my husbands'.  I especially liked this one, because it has my husband's name, Edwin, on it!  He wore those jeans a ton!


 I had intended on using the camo print for the binding, but only had a small amount leftover. So I used strips of denim combined with the camo fabric, for the binding. I had planned on doing the binding all by machine, so I attached it first to the back, then I pressed the seam allowance towards the center and I was able to complete the sewing of the binding on the front by machine.

I rather like the outcome, as to me, it just looks like top-stitching on both the front and back.  I will definitely be doing this again with other quilts.  It sure beats sewing it on the back all by hand, like I usually do!
So in summary, for myself to remember for the next time, as I would like to make more:
-tear jean strips
- chose wide range of denims for contrast
- use a walking foot and jean needle
- use long straight stitch
- sew binding on back first

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching!

Saturday, June 30, 2018

Another pincushion

This is the second one I have made from this pattern by Elizabeth of Oh, Fransson! You can find a link to the pdf here on Sew Mama Sew. The first one, I made for myself years ago, and it's still my favorite pincushion. You can read about it here.

I made this one for a gift to my daughter's teacher, who is leaving the school. She enjoys sewing and even did some class lessons on it, which I think few teachers do these days around here.

This time, I used wool roving and a flannel pillow filled with rice, for the stuffing. I was hesitant to use the crushed walnuts due to the no-nut policy of the school. But next time, I'd like to try using all crushed walnuts to give it added weight. By the time I put a few tools in mine, it can fall from the table, so I'd recommend making it as heavy as you can.

Also, I added interfacing to the scrap bag exterior, as well as the facing. It really helped to give it more stability than the one I made for myself.

Overall, I love this pattern and think it's a great accessory to have in one's sewing space, or to use over an armchair, while doing hand work. 

Thanks for dropping by! 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Scrap Vortex Boxy Pouch

In an effort to use up some very old scraps of my favorite fabrics, I decided to try Amanda Jean's tutorials on making a scrap vortex quilt. You can find the info HERE on her wonderful blog, crazy mom quilts, if you scroll to the bottom and look under scrap vortex quilt along. 
I wanted to keep to pink fabrics and this is what I came up with: 


It measured 20" x 19" and was going to be a doll quilt for my daughter, but she seemed to quickly move from playing with dolls to Minecraft and so it sat, unfinished, for quite awhile.
Then I saw Amanda Jean's recent post on making a boxy pouch, and figured what better way to use it up.  The tutorial to make it can be found HERE on Pink Stitches blog.  I did find it a bit tricky when boxing the inside corners, but all turned out fine.  And I made mine larger than the tutorial, to hold lots of yarn!


My daughter loved it, as pink is her favorite color, and plans to keep her yarn and knitting supplies inside it.


Now I just need to make one for myself out of another wee quilt, that I never finished.

Thanks for dropping by and have a great day!