What? Me? Procrastinate? Never! Ok maybe a little…

So I started this quilt for my neice, like, a year ago.  Before she was born.  Her first birthday party is Saturday so I figured I better (finally) get it done.  It’s been sitting on my sewing table, neatly folded, waiting for binding this whole time.  Seriously.  I’m ashamed of my procrastination sometimes.  So here it is.  Pink, brown, and cream, and oh so cute!  I really like how this turned out and it was pretty quick to do.  You know, if I had done it all at one time like a normal person would.  The colors aren’t showing well in this pic.  The pink doesn’t blend that well with the cream background.  Well, to me it doesn’t.  Anyhoo… here it is.  Late is better than never, right?

A few months ago I started cutting fabric to make my own quilt but I got sidetracked with school, work, kids, etc., and haven’t been back to it.  I had to move the pile of fabrics to get to my sewing space today and it made me think that I really need to pick it back up.  I have more time this quarter, kinda, so maybe I can get in the mood to do it.  I’m really sick of my old comforter.  And frankly, I’m embarrassed that I don’t have a quilt on my bed.  I even looked at coverlets and quilts in stores to find something to do until I finished mine.  How shameful!  I couldn’t find anything I liked, at all.  That just further enforced my will to finish my quilt.  I just gotta start on it first.  Maybe tomorrow… lol.

Making progress

I have started sewing down the applique pieces.  I decided to use the “blanket stitch” on my machine because it looks similar to a style of hand stitching.  However, when I applique by hand, you never see my stitches. I think this will look fine when I get it all put together though.  I have 16 done, and 20 more to go.

Blanket stitching

Don’t look too closely at that stitching, it’s not my best work lol.  I’m still learning to use this function on my machine.  Once I get it all put together, those little flaws won’t stand out. I hope.  Back to sewing… I’ve got ONE week to get it done!!!!

More Taggies

My step-sister is pregnant with her first child. She’s having a girl.  I will be making her some quilts, I just haven’t felt motivated to get them done.  I finally got all of my Spring Cleaning done yesterday.  I even cleared off my sewing table.  This morning, with nothing left to clean, I decided to do a little sewing.  I was in need of some instant gratification, so I thought I would whip up some Taggies inspired toys.  The first one I made came out so nicely, I thought I would make some more.

This first one was made from two round scraps of fabric and a bunch of ribbon pieces.  It’s stuffed with polyester batting and all the stitching is reinforced.  I also put a small piece of cellophane inside with the batting to make it crinkly.

I really liked the way it came out, but the fabric is boring.  So I dug out something bright and cheery.  I made this one in a heart shape.  Instead of stuffing it with batting to make it a “softie”, I left it flat.  I sewed a piece of cellophane in to make it crinkly.  I also reinforced all the stitching in this one.  Hurricane would have LOVED this one when she was a baby.  I wish I had thought of it then!

A little catching up

Since Christmas is over, I can finally post pics of some of the gifts I made.

 

First up, I made a couple bookmarks.  I didn’t take pics of everything I made, but this is one of them.  It’s really simple. Two strips of fabric, some stiff interfacing, and a decorative stitch for the edges.

Fabric bookmark, front

Fabric Bookmark, back

Second, a “foot warmer” for my dad and step-mom’s bed.  Some people are calling these “bed runners” but I made it specifically to be left on the bed to warm your feetsies.  I used two long strips of fabric, two layers of 100% cotton batting, and lightly quilted it.  It turned out OH so soft! (I did not make the quilt, btw.  My step-mom bought it years ago from a catalog.)

Foot Warmer, front

Foot Warmer, back

Third, an Eagle wall-hanging for my mom.  Wish I could take all the credit for this one, but the base is a Styrofoam template type thingy and I just had to cut out all the fabric pieces and push them down in the grooves.  It came out so great!

Eagle Wall-hanging

I also made some fabric covered journals, with ribbon book marks attached, but I didn’t take any pics.  I thought I did, but apparently not because I can’t find them.

And a checkbook cover for my sister that I also did not photograph.  /sigh

I have lots of things on my quilty “to do” list for the year.  I’ll keep yall updated!

School starts back on the 10th for me.  I’m taking on a full load this quarter. 16 credit hours.  I’m going to be very busy.

Fabric, Elastic, and Seeds, Oh My!

Once upon a time, I had an eye pillow that was full of something squishy and smelled very nice.  It helped ease me through many a migraine and stress headache.  However, after moving quite a few times of the past few years, I chalked it up to being lost.  I couldn’t find it anywhere.  I decided to make my own.  I had no idea what was inside it, other than lavender.  I was talking to my mom about it, and at the time I had purchased the eye pillow, I had also gotten a neck wrap for her, made of the same stuff.  She looked on the tag and it simply said “flax seeds and lavender.”  Seems easy enough.  I set out to buy some flax, lavender, and elastic.  Lord knows I have enough fabric on hand.  I found the things I needed, came home, and set right to work.  I couldn’t find a template online, and I didn’t have my old one to go by, so I tinkered with a design until I came up with one I like.  And here it is.

Stress Relieving Eye Pillow

It was so quick and easy, that I couldn’t just stop at one!

Stack of eye pillows

One package of the flax seeds gave me enough for 3 pillows.  Luckily, I had bought two.  I also have plenty of lavender left over.  I will be making a few more of these as gifts. I am really happy with the way they came out.  I was able to get 5 pillows from one Fat Quarter (18×22 in), one scrap piece of fabric, and with one package of 3/8 in elastic.  I’m really excited about these.

Later, I was digging through an old box that’s been in the top of my shelf since I moved here over a year ago, and guess what I found?  Yep, the old eye pillow.  It doesn’t smell nice anymore, and I like the shape of MINE better.  So I’m going to just stick it in a drawer and make myself a new one.

Mmmmm this smells nice!! (flax and lavender)

Fall Table Runner

I made this back on Nov 2nd but I just now got around to taking some decent pics of it.

Fall table runner

I left the center blank because I sit things on top of it.  A fall floral arrangement sometimes and I also have a decorative footed box that I sits in that center space perfectly.  It’s simple and I really like the way it came out.

Fall table runner

Fall table runner on the coffee table with the footed box on it

Fall table runner with floral arrangement (and Hurricane's feet!)

 

I have some snowman blocks that I’ll probably use to make some winter table runners as well.  When I can get around to it!

Checkbook Cover

I sat down last night to make a checkbook cover using this tutorial.  It’s simple and quick.  BUT it needs tweaking.  The checkbook cover came out a little too big.  I like mine to be tight around my checks and hold them together.  This one left some “wiggle room”.  It’s a little too long (length wise, where it folds over onto itself) but the width is perfect. So I’m going to play with it some more and when I get it perfected, I’ll post a tutorial of my own.  I am pleased with it for the most part and I think these will make GREAT gifts.  Since I was trying this out for the first time, I just used some scrap pieces to make it.  In the future, I’ll use a cute contrasting fabric for the inside.

checkbook cover

Checkbook cover, inside

checkbook cover, side view

My first Mug Rug

I’ve been drooling over “Mug Rugs” over on Flikr for a while now.  These are basically over-sized, quilted, glorified coasters. Or miniature place mats.  And I love them.  I couldn’t stand it, I had to make one.  Since today is my and Mr. Wonderful’s first (dating) anniversary, I thought this would make a nice homemade, heartfelt gift for him.  I realllllly wanted to free-motion quilt this, but I was worried I would mess it up.  Maybe on the next one…

The front is a simple string block using scraps from my stash.

Mug Rug Front

Front

And the back is just a blue scrap and a white scrap done in reverse appliqué (another first for me.)

Back

I quilted it using my quilting foot and using the width of the foot itself for spacing.  Nothing special.  In hindsight, I should have used a darker color thread for the quilting.  It stands out a bit too much and takes away from the top, I think.  I fought with closing the binding quite a bit.  These small projects are a PIA.   It finished out at almost 9×7.  I say almost, because NOTHING I make ever comes out the right size.  It’s more like 8.75×7.25 inches.  So wierd.  But hey, not bad for a first attempt, huh?  I’m learning as I go.  I’ll do a better job on the next one, I’m sure.

Fall is in the air!

Cooler weather means the quilting bug comes out to bite me!  I always seem to do more sewing when the weather cools off.  I have to finish up all those pink blocks.  I never did pull out the Halloween Quilt to finish.  Maybe next year lol.  I have a Fall quilt top that needs finishing too.

It's FALL Yall!

It’s a smaller, wall-hanging size and I may just be able to get it finished in time to pack it away before pulling out the Christmas stuff.  Speaking of Christmas, I have a Christmas Tree wall-hanging top that I made a few years ago and never quilted.

Christmas Tree

Are you seeing the pattern here?  I Love Love Love making the tops, hate the quilting part.  I can’t afford to pay someone else to quilt them, so they sit folded in a box until I get around to them or come up with some extra cash.

Maybe I can get motivated to work on these soon.  Pinks first though!  Oh and I’m DYING to do a couple of other things, but I need to prioritize.

Batting and Quilting Questions

Hello out there Blogland.  I hope some other quilters stop by because I have some questions…

I’ve always used 100% cotton batting.  The only time I used a poly batting was in a bed quilt for a friend.  I love the heavy feel of cotton batting but the poly sure was easier to quilt!  I have a couple questions regarding batting.

Are the poly, cotton, blends, and wool all about the same warmth? Does the loft play a part in the warmth?

As for the quilting, this may be a super silly question but I’ve been wondering for a while.  Does it affect the warmth of a quilt the more flatly you quilt it?  I’ve been following quite a few blogs and admiring different styles of quilting.  It seems that most of the “modern” quilters I see stipple or quilt some other design on the quilt that really flattens the whole thing out.  And I do mean FLAT.  It seems to me that when you flatten it out like that, you leave very little space for the batting to trap air, therefore, taking away it’s ability to trap warmth.  Am I wrong in that line of thinking? Or does it make it more warm because it’s more dense?  I personally don’t like a heavily quilted quilt.  It makes it stiff feeling to me.  I like my quilts lightly quilted and soft. Plus, the actual quilting is my least favorite part and I would like to do as little work as necessary lol.

It’s getting cold here and I’m thinking about the warmth of quilts more so than the prettiness of them.  Can you tell?

Red’s Kitty Quilt is on her bed, but she’s been tossing it in the floor (can you see me scowling?) and sleeping under a fleece blanket.  It made me wonder if the fleece is warmer than the quilt??  And BTW, the Kitty quilt has THIS batting in it.  My bed has a comforter on it and it’s very warm.  I want a quilt on my bed, but I have yet to actually make myself one.  And I wonder if my hand-made quilt will be as snuggly warm as the comforter?

Any opinions from my fellow quilters?

And since I believe posts are boring without photos…

What? I'm helping...

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