Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Quiltus Interruptus

And just like that, my major WIP for the last 9 months is finished!

Born on July 16, little I entered the world at 9 lbs 1 oz and 20.5 inches. He and I are both doing well, and Mr. RLQ couldn't be prouder. I is also enthusiastically greeted by A, who is 2.5 years old now and excited to be a big sister.

Of course, this little man (born at 39 weeks 4 days) is probably going to take a bite out of my quilting time. And, like most second kids, I am a *little* behind on the featured quilt for his nursery. I'm tracking the progress here and here, but here's what it looks like right now.

Needless to say, I might be a little behind. but while he is waiting to snuggle under this one, he can snuggle with me instead!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Dinosaur Fun

39 weeks pregnant is... perhaps not the optimal time to start a quilt. With my daughter, I put the final stitches on her Winnie the Pooh quilt while contractions were 12 minutes apart (and Trick or Treat was done several months beforehand). But as is often the story with second children, I was too busy chasing the first (and having a rough second pregnancy) to get ahead of the crafting game. So although I've had the feature panel picked out for a while, I am just now getting to the nuts and bolts of fabric selection and composition.

I started with the Have You Seen My Dinosaur panel, by Wilmington prints. I love the colors in this, and it's hard to find a dinosaur panel that says "boy" without screaming it. Serendipitiously enough, I actually bought this panel in September of last year, exactly one month before our son went from "gleam in our eye" to "baby in my belly."

I love panels, but working with them is often a challenge. I wasn't terribly huge on either of the "suggested" designs that got released with the line (Designer PDF), so my mom (who also quilts) suggested a book called Panel Play.

I've done improv quilting with panels before (most notably on Spookyville), but the Panel Play book ups the game a bit - it has some neat ideas for putting panels in a "frame" of diagonal stripes, or making certain design elements appear to "spill out" of the panels, and it encourages a lot of creativity and use of a design board to "design as you go." Given that I have no plan yet, but want the quilt oh, next week or so, such an approach is not without its appeal. 

Next up, the creative process.

Monday, July 13, 2015

More Easy Peasy Peasant Fun

Why mess with success? As a reminder, I am 37 38 39 weeks pregnant and way way WAY behind on ALL of my sewing projects. Most notably, stuff for my own son (due July 19th), but also on a number of birthday gifts that were planned to be handmade.

My niece V turned 1 in April, and she was next on the list for some handmade finery. I was happy enough with how the Octopus Peasant Dress turned out that I decided to use the same pattern again; it's simple, the lines are toddler-friendly, and early reports from the first recipient were positive.

This time, I cut the drama and went to my local quilt shop, who stocked an irresistible print from Michael Miller's Oragami Oasis.

I'm not as nimble in this stage of the pregnancy, so the dress took a little longer this time around. But I got it done in a couple of sessions and was very pleased with the results:

I love the way the border print gives the dress a deliberate "direction," and skipping the ruffle this time around led to some nice, clean lines that I think I'll probably copy again. I just got word that my niece received the dress this past weekend, so now all that's left to do is wait for her to be big enough to wear it!

Friday, April 24, 2015

A Dash of Rainbows!

This was another fun weekend project - and it took almost no time at all! Little A is a My Little Pony fanatic, so when some pre-shirred MLP fabric showed up in my local Hancock's, I just *had* to figure out how to use it.

It turns out there are a ton of tutorials for making sundresses out of pre-shirred fabric on line, and after reading a few I was ready to strike out on my own. The straps are 8" x 2" strips from my stash folded over twice and sewn, and I went for the two-side-seam model on the body itself.

The whole thing took *maybe* 45 minute to whip up, and little A *loves* it. In fact, the hardest part of sewing it was getting the dress back from her once she tried it on for "strap placement" purposes. Here's hoping for a summer where it gets a lot of use!

And thanks to A for being my lovely little model.

Monday, April 20, 2015

How (not) to sew a dress expediently

Step 1)
Receive a lovely handmade gift for your daughter on her second birthday (which she is crazy about and wears all winter), and decide you'd like to repay the giver with an equally thoughtful gift for *her* daughter.

Step 2)
Identify adorable Octopus Panel online (for friend, who is octopus-crazy), and pore over pattern books at local fabric shops. Select the perfect one to show off the octopus. Round out the supplies for this dress with a some lively coordinating prints from your LQS.

Step 3)
Conceive Child. Get kind of morning sick. Ugh.

Step 4)
Push through to make dress anyway. Pull pattern out of envelope and discover that - surprise! there's a big pleat in the center of the apron that gives it its shape. Ooops; that's not going to work with the octopus! His head will get chopped off.

Step 5)
Panic. Search through PDF patterns on Etsy, downloading 2 or 3 potential candidates, and ultimately and decide on the Baby Peasant Dress by TieDyeDiva.

Step 6)
Realize that fabric selection is a little... less appropriate for new pattern/style, and order more fabric online from Gee Gees Quilting.

Step 7)
Wait for fabric to come. Get EVEN MORE Morning sick. 

Step 8)
Fabric comes, yay! Decide at this point that you are better served making the dress in size 18m than size 12, since steps 1-7 have taken you until well after the child's 14-month natal anniversary.  Cut into fabric.

Step 9)
Realize you made a mistake. Blame morning sickness. Order more fabric anyway.

Step 11)
Third Purchase arrives! Tie Dye Diva pattern is simple and straightforward; make it in a day.

Step 10) Make a complimentary diaper cover the next day (from another TDD Pattern).

Step 11) Mail the goods to friend a mere 4.5 months after child's birthday, and 6 months after your initial fabric buy.

And... That's how I spent my hiatus from sewing. Honestly, once I got on a roll the dress was short work, but getting all my fabrics and patterns lined up took most of the time. I am pretty excited about this dress though - It was easy to put together and turned out really nicely. Incorporating the panel took a little bit of doing, but now that I've done it once, I wouldn't blink at doing it again.

I will admit I was a little sad that my first project in over 6 months (and actually the project before it, now that I think about it) won't be sticking around the house. But it's always exciting to send a handmade gift to its recipient, and I'm glad to have this "late" first birthday gift off my conscience!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Works in Progress: Accidental Hiatus

I have been away from the sewing machine for far too long. But, it's been for a pretty exciting reason; my biggest work in progress these months past is a person! 

In November, Mr. RLQ and I learned we were expecting our second child, and in February the ultrasound technician told us we are having a boy! Cue visions of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, of dinosaur quilts and little homemade vests. 

Of course, those things have had to remain mere visions for quite a while - starting in Mid-December, I got a case of all-day "morning" sickness that knocked me down until well after the first trimester was over. In fact, I'm in week 26 now, and still on anti-nausea meds (admittedly, a smaller dose than I was on at week 14). But just as exhaustion followed me around with baby A, "occasional morning sickness" seems to be my nagging companion with our as-yet-unnamed baby boy. 

But, despite the setbacks, I was able to get unbury my sewing machine this weekend, long enough to make a (much belated) birthday present for a friend. Below is a preview: the gift itself is still in the mail.

The collection is Under The Sea for Northcott fabrics, and I can't wait to reveal the finished product. It sure was refreshing to sit in front of my sewing machine again.

Friday, January 2, 2015

2014 Completions

You know you're tuned in to your hobbies when you have to read your own quilt blog to remember what the heck you did this year, right? Turns out, 2014 the Year of the Overdue Baby Quilt, as I caught up on all my Quiltworthy friends who'd had babies last year while I was still settling into motherhood and moving into our new house. All 3 of my quilt creations were gifts this year.

It was also the year I discovered the joy of smaller projects. Things like a garments for my daughter or a stuffed doll for my friend's nursery could be done in a weekend, and so were much easier to sneak in when I had only a few hours to enjoy my sewing machine's company. Going forward, I think I'll be concentrating on these sorts of things more, because they give me the thrill of a completed item without so much staring longingly at my WIP shelves between sewing sessions.


Star Trek (link)

Completed: May 2014
Star Trek line by Camelot Fabrics
Pattern by Carlene Westberg
Pieced and Quilted by RLQ
First completed quilt since A's birth in 2012, Gifted to Daughter of Close HS friend

ConVivial Company (link)

Completed: September 2014
Wren and Friends line by Gina Martin + others from LQS & Stash
Pattern adapted from Fresh Quilts Magazine
Pieced and (hand and machine) Quilted by RLQ
First-ever (partially) hand-quilted quilt. Gifted to Niece in Oct 2014

Joy to the World (link)

Completed: Dec 2014
Holiday Flourish by Robert Kaufman
Adapted from a pattern by Stitched in Color
Pieced and Quilted by RLQ
An exercise in just how fast I can complete a quilt on a deadline! Gifted to SIL's family Dec 2014


Star Wars Game Mat (link)

Completed: September 2014
Star Wars by Camelot Fabrics + Smithsonian Print
created and Quilted by RLQ
First-ever request from Mr. RLQ

Manipulable Color Card (link)

Completed: September 2014
Class Project for Color Intensive by Stitched In Color
Painstakingly cut out and velcroed by RLQ
Using a 2013 Kona Color Card

Modern Buntings (link)

Completed: September 2014
Created for display at the 2014 OKCMQG quilt show
Paper Pieced by RLQ using colors prescribed by the guild and this tutorial

Lil' Pumpkin Birthday Shirt (link)

Completed: October 2014
Kyoko Pattern by Modkid, Joyful Harvest Fabric by Sandy Clough + others
Made entirely without help from "Grandma"!

Zombie Doll And Crib Sheet (no link)

Completed: Novermber 2014
Zombie Apocalypse by Emily Taylor, Crib Sheet Tutorial from Stitched in Color
Finished in the wee hours before a Zombie-loving friend's baby shower; so late I forgot to take any good photos and so did not post!

Quilts: 3
Other: 6

WiPs that made it from 2012 2013 2014 to 2015 with progress but no completion: Christmas Traditions
WiPs without any progress in 2014Star Wars II