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.

Wow I’ve really let time slip by!

I’ve been super busy lately with school, Red’s softball, and Hurricane just being a busy toddler.  My sister’s baby shower is 2 weeks away and I never started on her baby quilt! Eeek!  I kept thinking “I’ve got time.”  Well, now I don’t have time!  These are the designs I drew up and played around with a while back.

Baby quilt sketches

Baby quilt sketches

I finally decided on this one, then started doing some math (these are the unfinished notes btw)

Final sketch and notes

I chose the background fabric, made my template, then chose the pink and brown fabrics (not shown.)

Template and background fabric

I’ve enlisted the help of Red to cut out all the pieces.  Now I’m trying to decide if I want to really push myself and try to get all this applique done by hand and still have time to hand quilt it (in TWO weeks!) or just go ahead and machine stitch and quilt it.

I’m thinking since I start a new job on Monday, plus finals, plus whatever comes up, I may need to go ahead and do it by machine so that I can get it done in time.  I’ll update with pics as I make progress.

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)

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.

Eeeeek! BUGS!!!

I actually got this quilt done in less than two weeks.  I worked on it almost every day.  All of the ladybugs are hand appliquéd with hand embroidered antennae.  It is also all hand quilted.  Lots of love and finger pokes went into the making of this quilt.  Hurricane Leila’s reaction?

“EEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!! BUGSSSSS!!!!!!!!!”

It is definitely NOT her favorite quilt lol.  But I love it, and so does Red.  It won’t be stuffed in a closet.  Red is snuggled up in it right now, as a matter of fact.

Red helped Hurricane open her gifts at her Bday party.  You can see her reaction to the quilt in this photo.  *sigh*  Oh well… I tried!  She just won’t participate with my love of LadyBugs.

Taggies!

A friend of mine is pregnant with a little boy and she has fixed up the nursery in a safari theme.  I was going to make a quilt, but I’ve been lazy lately.  So I whipped this little guy up in about 30 minutes.  And you can tell I threw it together. lol  This is a “Taggies” inspired stuffed toy.  It’s supposed to be a giraffe.  But I guess it could be a dinosaur…?

Taggies inspired giraffe/dino

I used some fabric I had laying around.  Yellow on front, blue on back.  The “tail” is a scrap piece of rickrack I had stuffed in a drawer.  The “tag” pieces on the neck are just little folded pieces of satin ribbon.  I hope her little bundle of joy gets lots of enjoyment slobbering all over this thing. 🙂  I wish I had thought of this when Hurricane was a wee little baby.  She would have LOVED it!  She spent all her time sucking on the tags of her stuffed animals.

“Blues” is finished

Finished!

One good thing about me having a pretty ugly case of the “blues” is that I get things done.  My house got cleaned, laundry done (until the washer broke), and a quilt finished.  Feels good to get another big quilt done.  Great sense of accomplishment.

Front

I did a  simple “off kilter” grid quilting on this one.  My machine really isn’t made to do anything but straight lines anyway.  I figured since everything on the quilt top is perfectly squared and in proportion, I would do the quilting a little wonky.  I really like the way it came out.  I made the lines a little squiggly in places, definitely not in any pattern, and none of them are perfectly spaced.  Except on the borders, I couldn’t help myself there lol.

Back

I didn’t have enough fabric for the back (no boring white here!) so I added a strip of fabric to lengthen it. I’ve had this tie-died batik laying around for a few years and decided to use it.

Label

I blurred out the last name on the label to protect my friend’s identity.  I like to hand write my labels using a Pigma pen.  It’s forever permanent and, in my opinion, more personal.  I made the label as a reflection of the blocks on the front, using two of the main fabrics.  I’m pleased with the way it turned out.  I promise it’s actually square, the wonky quilting pulls the eye and makes the label look “off.”

So there it is, DONE.  I hope they get many years of enjoyment from this quilt.

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