Week 3 Section 2 Done!

Moving on… I couldn’t stand to leave home this morning without completing this second part of the quilt associated with the Nyan Cat Quilt-Along Week 3 post. Seriously, it would have bugged me all day at work and I wouldn’t have been able to concentrate. I’d be thinking about the fabric, just waiting for me to come and cut it.

So I got up this morning and decided, the heck with it, and here it is:

This part worried me a bit because it doesn’t line up perfectly. I think that may be due to the fact that my 1/4 seam allowance is not perfect.  Eh.

I’m going to keep going and not look back. I may have to revisit it to tweak something but for now, moving on.

I’m participating in the most awesome Quilt-along!! (Week 2 Section 1)

One thing that you may not know about me is that I’m an almost-38 year old who loves a mixture of the strangest things. Things that most people my age wouldn’t be interested in. But I am. And I refuse to change.

I love video games. I love crafting. And not just quilting and knitting. I love painting and I love creating things made of polymer clay. I make duct tape wallets. I sprinkle glitter randomly. I doodle in meetings.  I fold origami cranes. I crochet the most kawaii cups of hot cocoa. I love horror movies and all things geek chic.

And that is why when I saw this Nyan Cat Quilt-along I couldn’t resist the opportunity to jump in! I love the way the fantastic designer puts this together in different sections! Her directions are concise and she includes lots of diagrams and pictures. I’m so excited to follow her quilt-along! As of today I am behind in the group but since she posts the steps weekly, I’m sure I’ll catch up. I just started cutting and sewing tonight and I’ve completed the first section. This quilt will be given to my oldest daughter who loves Nyan Cat also!

Here it is in all of its starry splendor:

Let me share with you information about this fabric. First of all, too many people have advised me against buying fabric from Wal-Mart. As a matter of fact, the lady in front of me in line at the cash register went on and on about the cheap quality of the fabric…blah…blah…blah. Guess what, my pocket was in Wal-Mart mode and Wal-Mart is where it lead me so there it is. And if I hadn’t gone there I wouldn’t have found this awesome galaxy print that I’m using as the background. It looks like a batik with sparkles. The white is actually a patterned fat quarter.

Hey quilters, do you ever get that overwhelming feeling of satisfaction when you piece something together and your seams line up perfectly? That was me tonight and I’m saying this because it doesn’t happen all the time. When I sewed my pieces together and then peeled it back I practically did a victory dance in my sewing room!

Change of heart

So in my last post I listed two of my WIPs. One is a lap quilt for my mother-in-law and the other is a baby quilt for my niece’s newborn son. I had a change of heart at the last second with the baby quilt. I decided to go in a different direction to make it more youthful so I will keep the other one for something else.

One thing I’ve learned that was of great importance was to square up your quilt. I was in such a rush with the baby quilt I did not square it up correctly on all sides. Another thing that I did was I should have alternated my sewing directions. The quilt is a bit bowed, it’s a lot bowed in the middle!! It’s a lot more obvious as you look across the quilt.
Somewhere along the way I messed up my seam allowances. This would’ve been okay had I made the quilt taller. So in the end I ended up with a very small baby quilt. Basically just big enough to lay your newborn on or big enough for him to drag around and cuddle with when he gets older.
I found the tutorial for this blanket on Elizabeth Hartman’s “Oh, Fransson! site here. It is a super easy (unless you are me) pattern for a beginner and you can download a PDF of the pattern right from her page. She has a bunch of different patterns that she offers for free and she has some super-neat patterns in her Pattern Shop and in the book she published.

I do intend to make a bigger lap version of it in the near future. Enjoy!

I purchased individual fat quarters from Walmart to make this quilt top and I purchased one pre-cut packaged yard from Walmart for the back. I paid less than $10 for the entire thing. Score! I quilted this on my Singer Simple 3116 using a Walking foot. I used white thread for the top and brown thread for the bobbin. I sure wish I had a new machine. THAT is another post for another day. Anyway, here are a few pics of the quilt:

“Initial layout”

Had it folded and ready to go so I had my daughter unfold it

Wavy-like quilting

WIPs

I wanted to put two of my more current WIPs (works in progress) out there for you to see. The pink and white quilt top I am making for my mother-in-law and the  purple/blue/yellow/white quilt is for my niece who is having her first baby, a baby boy.

This quilt top was started back in February for my mother-in-law but never finished. I don’t remember off the top of my head the name of the fabric line but I will find it and update this post. I believe it was a charm pack.
**EDITED: The name of the charm pack is Coquette by Chez Moi for Moda Fabrics**

I believe I used plain, white yardage for the sashing and I also used a bit for the disappearing nine-patch.

The disappearing-nine-patch blocks are not done the same throughout the quilt. I turned them different ways. When I was  done with the block and sashing I realized I wanted the quilt to be larger.

Luckily, I had some extra yardage of the pink fabric in my small stash and I had been holding on forever to it. I used it as a border to increase the size of the quilt. I still have to buy batting, and choose fabric for the backing and for the binding.

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 The second quilt top is for my niece whose baby is now overdue. I didn’t want to make a traditional baby blanket so I opted for a more modern look with the fence rail variation. I still have to buy batting for the middle and I think I’ll make the back a solid blue. I was thinking of working with minkie fabric but I’ve never used it before and I don’t have time for trial and error. With my time constraint I may just opt to stitch in the ditch or do an overall s or wavy stitch. I don’t think it will be large enough for a crib blanket but it will be to lay the newborn on and later for him to drag about. Excuse my daughter’s goofy pose. She always likes to ham it up in front of camera.

snEEK pEEK!!!!!

I am working on a small Halloween-themed wall hanging. I’ve drawn up a few layouts and ideas of what I want to include in it. Here is a snEEK pEEK of one of the blocks…

Stay tuned for more pictures!!

Rag quilts are fun and easy!

Rag Quilt Front

My  teen daughter (13) just loves Elmo. Don’t ask me why, I’m still trying to figure it out. Not that he isn’t just so darn adorable and cuddly and giggly, I just thought it seemed weird that a teen would still love Elmo. After all, her older sister who is 18 had her entire nursery decorated in Elmo!  Anyway, my daughter and her friends love Sesame Street characters!

For Christmas 2012 she wanted an Elmo lap quilt so I scoured the Internet looking for some good rag quilt tutorials and with a combination of tips from blogs and videos from YouTube I found enough information to finally begin my project.

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SHOPPING FOR THE ELUSIVE FLANNEL

I went to work looking for flannels that would fit the bill. I did end up finding some Elmo and Sesame Street themed flannels from Joann Fabrics so I went ahead and made my purchase. I also bought several bright primary color flannels in blue, red, yellow, and green.

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CUTTING OF THE SQUARES
I have NEVER cut that many squares in my entire life. And that includes all the paper I ever cut in Kindergarten and up. And then I cut the batting also into squares. I really don’t remember how much fabric I originally asked for but I cut up the entire amount into squares.
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PROJECT BLUEPRINT ACTIVATED

After the cutting, things started getting a little obsessive for me. I get a little crazy when it comes to patterns and numbers so I brought out my graph paper and my red, blue, yellow, and green markers. I counted all my squares of cut material and made a notation of how many I had of each color. With that number I figured out just how large my quilt would be (how many squares across and down). I created the quilt pattern by coloring in squares on my graph paper until it all came together the way I wanted it to. That took an entire day and then night. I drew tons of grids and then slept on it. When I found a grid that worked I used that as my blueprint. I referred to it while I sewed my squares together, and then my rows.

My plan of action
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FRINGE FANATIC

Fringes cut and ragged

And oh, the cutting (and cursing) that ensued. After my first night of snipping and created the raggy fringes, I went out and bought a pair of spring-loaded scissors. Best purchase ever. It took me about two weeks to finish cutting. I cut every night before I went to bed. I find it disturbing that even after showering and getting into bed I was still finding fabric lint and thread in places that it didn’t belong.

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RAG IT UP!

When all of the fringe snipping was finally complete I took the quilt to a laundromat next to my job and washed and dried it in one of the huge commercial machines. There was no way I was going to put that thing into my washer or dryer at home, it would have surely ruined it. Anyway, the pictures show the end result of a one-time rag quilt washing. According to the information I read on the Internet the quilt has a lot more washings to go through before it truly rags up but I am very satisfied with the end result.

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END NOTE:

The only thing I am really disappointed with is the pilling of the fabric. I have no idea how to get those balls off. I tried lint rollers but then haven’t worked. A fellow quilter recommended a lint shaver. I’ve yet to buy one but I think I may pick one up. Anyway, my daughter loves the quilt and THAT is all that matters to me.

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Quilt Back
Closeup Quilt Back

What is it about tumbling elephants that is just sew darn adorable???

I made this adorable baby quilt for a friend and I am very proud of how it turned out. I used this pattern here from Happy Dance Quilting blog as my inspiration. I changed it up a little bit but I am extremely pleased at the end results. I purchased a layer cake from my LQS, Buttonwood Quilts, as well as some matching yardage for the backing. The fabric line is called Good Morning! and it was made by Me and My Sister Designs for Moda. I cut the layer cake into four charm packs and used one of those charm packs plus part of a white charm pack for the top. The pink polka dot was a fabric from Joann Fabrics that has been in my stash for years and I think it was a great choice for a border and for the applique. The purple fabric was also a purchase from Joann Fabrics from years ago. It is great to finally break out some of those pieces and finally use them! I used a 5″ tumbler template that I purchased from my favorite shop: Missouri Star Quilt Company.

Tumblers pieced with border
Finished product

Closeup of quilting and applique

applique

coordinating yardage for back

folded, tied, and ready to be delivered!

Completed Table Topper

I finished this table topper a few weeks ago. This was my first fully finished quilted project and I am so proud of it! It started out as a lap quilt but of course I didn’t take into account the seam allowances and it ended up as a table topper. I learned a lot of things on the way to completing this project.
I learned the importance of measurements (as I ran out of binding), the importance of seam allowances (which will obviously reduce the size of your finished product if you don’t take that into account), the importance of ironing (which will make nesting and matching seams much easier), the importance of extra rotary blades (I messed up good fabric with dull blades), the importance of preparation (how many times I stopped to wind a bobbin and then ran out of thread), and so many more lessons.
This piece lives on a part of my desk in my cubicle at work where I keep my family pictures.
I bought the fabric from WalMart. I think I used one print charm pack and pieces out of a white charm pack that I had. I referenced several hourglass quilt tutorials to get the basic idea and then went to it. I used a solid matching backing piece.

The little contrast piece of my binding serves two purposes. It hides the fact that I ran out of binding and it is a  “signature”but I have to decide if I am going to hand embroider my name on it or fuse it to the piece.

Horse themed tote bag

A colleague of mine is not feeling so good and I wanted to make her something that would cheer her up. She is a horse lover so I decided to visit my local quilting shoppe, Buttonwood Quilts, and see if I could find some fabric with a horse theme. JACKPOT!! I found a couple of fat quarters that would do the trick! A horse theme, horseshoe, and two coordinating prints. I spent approximately $15 and I was able to make the tote bag plus I have leftover scraps that I can use later. Hmmm, a wristlet you say??? I shall have to ponder that…

In the meantime, check out the tote bag and tell me what you think. I didn’t use a pattern and I made it up as I went along so the back and front aren’t identical but I still use the same fat quarters.

Hopefully, tomorrow I can give the bag to her. For now, sleep! (Yes, it is 1:10 a.m. here!)

I also added a few metal studs to the bag.

Finally set up my Sewing Space!

Cork board/ white board

Storage unit and boxes from Target; printer on top; rotating spool holder will replace the bag of spools; puzzle magazines and quilt magazines in magazine holder

Lamp will be painted navy blue

Sewing table fully open; cross-stitch picture found at Goodwill; may or may not go on wall at some point

Annette’s Sewing Space

I’ve never had my own sewing space. My sewing table sat and served as a BAR for years in my dining room, with my sewing machine stored safely under it. Yes, it had an ice bucket, cups, wine, soda, dessert plates, and other stuff. It WAS in the dining room after all. When I started sewing again, my entire dining table served as a space. It wasn’t a good experience. BUT NO MORE! I moved my leather futon out of my extra bedroom/office and it is going to my mom’s house along with a desk and a computer! I rolled my sewing table in, bought the cutest storage unit from Target and picked blue, red, and tan fabric boxes for it. Screwed a hook into the side of the table to hang my cutting mats and rulers when not in use! Set my printer on top of my cubbies and once my DH has built my rotating thread holder, it will go right next to it! Hung a corkboard/whiteboard up, organized all my craft books and stored them in the storage under the table. Using my piano seat to sit on. The lamp you see was being tossed away at work so I grabbed it and will paint it blue to match my colors. I originally painted it purple b/c it was going into the kids’ room but they didn’t want it so I took it back! When the table is fully opened I will use the left side to iron on and the right side to cut on. That is the plan but I haven’t done a test run yet and I still need a power strip. The other half of the room you don’t see is my DH’s “side” because it has a tv and his computer. I’m thinking of bringing in my laptop stand in too so I can set up. It is a very tiny room but I love the space so much. My home theme is nautical so I think a lovely nautical wall hanging would make a nice touch! I am SEW excited!

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