Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Hand Stitching

The tough part about making a "secret" project is keeping it a surprise when you know the people in question occasionally read your blog... That said, I am almost done with the first major quilt I have tackled since my daughter was born.

I'm also excited to be adding a new skill to my repertoire. I've always wanted to hand-sew a dedication on the quilts I gift, but never quite gotten around to it. This time, I'm actually doing it.

....and linking to Work In Progress Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

WIP Wednesday (the first in a While)

It's been a long hiatus from sewing, but I'm finally at it again! My new sewing room is probably going to be a work in progress for a long, long time, but at least I can now find my things again. And to celebrate, here's a (fairly comprehensive) list of projects I have dug out for the near future.

Binding - Boo Charity Quilt
This was originally supposed to be a charity quilt for the Moore Love project in May, but then I got sidetracked by helping with distribution and getting the quilts to the victims. Just in the past month I have gotten it out, finished quilting it, and attached the binding to the front; needless to say, finding time to hand-stitch the back is a little more challenging than it used to be, but I plan to perservere.

FMQ & Label - Mystery Quilt
This quilt is a gift for a baby who MAY already have made a grand entrance into the world. I pieced it last fall, but had trouble getting the block of time I needed to quilt it until recently. It still needs a dedication and some binding, but it is actually further along than the sneak preview picture might suggest.

Pieced - Other Mystery Quilt
Two babies in three months.  I have a lot of quilting to do! This one is pieced, but not assembled, but I still have time before its recipient arrives.

In Progress - Christmas Traditions
I did finish blanket stitching the appliques on this guy, and stitch together the sashing, but now I'll admit I am having a bit of performance anxiety about putting together the center panel/tree section. The pattern calls for 12" tree blocks, blocks, and it turns out that the blocks as printed about about 11.5". So, I have to find some tasteful way to make up a 0.5" difference without making a mess of seams, cutting anything accidentally crooked, or using fabric that doesn't work in the spot. Sigh. And using a pre-assigned pattern with pre-assigned fabric was supposed to make things easier...

In Progress - Star Wars
Ok, so I haven't actually done anything with this since the LAST time I blogged about it. But, when I went through and organized all my project bins just prior to starting this post, I was reminded that this is actually an awesome bit of handiwork that I am fairly close to finishing. Laziness has caused me to procrastinate on making 2 more wonky stars (well, and mild indecisiveness about whether they should be wonky stars...), but after that it's assemble, FMQ, and thrill the heck out of the husband by keeping for us.

Merely a Twinkle - Unnamed Dinosaur Project
I couldn't resist the Dino Train Fabric when I saw it in stores, and though I am not sure quite *what* I want to make with it, I have to admit that this is currently one of my main motivators for getting other projects out of the queue - it's super cute fabric, and though I don't know of any little boys on their way, nothing says I can't make it for A. 

Merely a Twinkle - Unnamed Strawberry Shortcake Project
Some things, you just have to stash when you see. This is one of them. And now I have the perfect recipient, so all that's left is to find a pattern...I kind of like this one over at Blue Elephant Stitches.

And, for proper linkage:

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

2013 Completions

2013 was an awesome year in a number of ways - my husband got a new job that keeps him home more, my daughter made the transition from a vivacious but stationary infant to a vivacious and very very active walking, talking one-year old, we moved into a new (to us) and much more spacious house, made trips to California and Colorado to meet the in-laws, and spent a lot of time with visiting family.

Unfortunately, between all the packing and unpacking of boxes, suitcases, and schedules... that meant this was less than a banner year for sewing. I did manage to get two projects done - both "baby" related - but had no completed quilts.


Terry Cloth Pump Part Bags

Completed: Jan 2013
Original design and assembly RLQ
First Postpartum Project

Monster Mash Party Dress

Completed: October 2013
Design from Simplicity 9873
Assembled by RLQ with a little help from DL2Q
Using Robert Kaufman Movie Monster Fabric
Gifted to and worn by Baby A on her first Birthday

Quilts: 0
Other: 2

WiPs that made it from 2012 to 2014 with progress but no completion: Christmas Traditions

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Sooper Sekrit Quilt Revealed!

I haven't gotten a lot done quilt-wise this year, thanks to the little one, but I did have one particularly exciting quilting-related event occur - namely, I had been squirreling a quilt away to give as a gift for the right occasion, and this Christmas the right occasion came up!

My Mother in Law is a crazy Wizard of Oz fan, and you may Remember Some Pillows I've made for her in the past. But although the pillows started out as the main feature, eventually I ended up with some, shall we say, "extra blocks" that came with the panels. Like so:

My husband was very sporting about helping me collect all 7 panels, at which point I had pretty much the whole story, in "movie reel" blocks, so the only logical thing to do was make a lap quilt. Which... may have grown a little bit as I designed it.

Here I am with it at my first-ever quilt show, where I entered it "for display only" last summer.

Yup, the finished quilt is over 6 feet tall. it's not quite wide enough to be a queen sized quilt, but it is definitely more than tall enough - I need to stand on a chair to hold it up and I'm 5'7" (and at least 6 inches taller than my poor MIL, who will probably need a second person to fold the thing). And on the front, it tells the whole story from start to finish, with some fun scenics in between, since just putting all those movie reels together got WAY busy-looking, way fast. The sides are Dorothy's iconic red shoes, and a poppy print from the collection.

I also decided to "save money" by quilting the back entirely from scraps, and ended up VERY pleased with the result.  It was a great way to show off some of the more oddly sized scenics, and the stained glass effect is fun from a distance. I think the back actually took longer to piece than the front, since there were more spacing issues to work out. Unfortunately this photo was taken before I put the dedication on, but I also quilted a handmade label telling my MIL who the quilt was for and when it was made.

Although I worked on it from Jan-May of 2011, I presented the quilt to my MIL this past Christmas because we were going to be there in person. And as often happens when we get swept up in the moment, I totally forgot to take ANY pictures of her with it - ah well, maybe that's for the next trip, when she has it hanging up in her house.

In the meantime, here's another family member enjoying the bright colors at the quilt show, and a detail of the quilt. With her mom's taste in clothes, she blends right in!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Party Dress!

Little A turned One this year, and since she's an October birthday, we thought, what theme would be better than a Monster Mash? I have very little experience with garment sewing, but couldn't pass up the opportunity to at least TRY to make an outfit for my daughter's first birthday. I decided on Simplicity 9874 dress B because of the full skirt and simple top, and fell in love with Robert Kaufman's Movie Monsters Print.

I got the bodice put together in an evening, but the skirt instructions were... not exactly clear to this novice. Fortunately, my mom arrived 2 days later for the party, and it was Grandma to the rescue. This is definitely a joint project since Mom helped me with the dress and even put in some of the final stitches while I was making a last-minute run for party supplies, but with a one-year old in the house, I will take my victories where I can get them. Here A is in her one-year party dress.

 ... Having a Blast...

...And letting the whole world know how old she is!

Thank heaven for little girls, and thank goodness for Grandmas!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Throwing Open the Doors (Moore Love)

It's been a long hiatus from sewing, mostly because my daughter is so little she needs me a lot. But right now, I am compelled to sew like a maniac. I live in Oklahoma, you see, and last week's tornado? Passed right by our door. We're all right, our house is all right, both of which I am grateful for, but the swath of destruction two miles from my daughter's daycare reminds me that not everyone slipped by as unscathed.

Fortunately, I am also part of the Oklahoma City Modern Quilt Guild, who have already mobilized. Below is a link to their project, Moore Love

Moore Love
is both collecting completed quilts for distribution to tornado survivors, and creating two guild quilts that will be raffled off with proceeds going to tornado relief.

Consequently, this is what my sewing room looks like right now as I dig through my stash searching for quick quilts I think I can complete by June 30.

Stay Tuned for more quilting...

And, linking up to WIP Wednesday, just because.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Christmas Traditions (Brushing off the Cobwebs)

Hats off to Mr RLQ, who watched baby A for an entire weekend day so I could sew! After much deliberation (but that's its own post) I decided to go with my one (yes one) remaining WIP from last year; Christmas Traditions.

To jog your memory, Christmas Traditions is a quilt from Best Quilts For Christmas 2011 magazine, based on J Wecker Frisk's Christmas Traditions fabric.  It was my first paper piecing project, and  when last we left it, this is what it looked like:

It's definitely the most technically challenging quilt I have ever tried. It requires paper piecing and applique, both of which I had never done when I started. But I love the look of it, and the fabrics are rich and beautiful. It captures the history of the Christmas tree, and last year I caved on the matching tree skirt as well.

Anyways, next up was applique.  Fortunately, it had been over 6 months since I finished Star Wars (and really, 2.5 months since I did any quilting at all), so I was nicely recharged on that front.

Unfortunately, even after a full day's sewing, I am still working on all the side blocks; but the center blocks are completed, and I am getting really excited to assemble!

Linking up to WIP Wednesday, Which I have also missed since taking my "maternity leave" from quilting.

WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced