Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Hope Valley Quilt

I quilted my Hope Valley quilt this weekend. I am so happy to have this one done. I love it. I definitely learned some things on this one-- I don't have a perfect 1/4 inch seam allowance, and I need a brush up on my math skills. Both of these led to some frustration and material stretching and even a bit of cutting. Quilting covers lots of mistakes though.

I got my inspiration here: Red Pepper Quilts

Here is the back. I originally planned for the border to be the outer border on the front, but decided that would be too much.

My current project...This star has been the source of great frustration around here. It started out as an experiment with no final plan. It's my first attempt at diamonds and is certainly not perfect. I have changed my mind on what to do with this crazy thing many times and almost gave up when I sewed the whole thing together I realized I had some serious issues as it wasn't exactly flat. The center of the star bulged out a lot, but after 1/2 bottle of spray starch and a lot of ironing, I think we're good to go. I have a plan.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Messenger Bag

I took a small break from quilting yesterday and made this new messenger bag. I have been working on a quilt that was a great idea in my head, but it's not working out exactly as I planned. I needed a break from it--a break that may be indefinite.

For a while now I have wanted a smaller bag that would be hands free so I wasn't trying to hold onto a purse and a couple kids at the same time. A messenger bag is perfect because you wear it across your body rather than just over a shoulder.

I found this great tutorial at mmmcrafts. Check out some of her other links on the messenger bags she has made. I copied the key holder idea from another bag. It wasn't included in the tutorial.

I cut out the fabric while the kids played in the kitchen. Then I sewed almost the whole bag during naptime. It is super simple and comes together really easily. I love it. Ryan was really impressed too. He even asked me to make him a matching one (although, I'm pretty sure he wasn't serious).

There are only two things I would do differently. I should have used stiffer interfacing--I would have preferred really stiff. The other thing is that I would have cut the lining about 3/4 inch shorter than the body. In her tutorial she tells you to cut them the same length, but the lining doesn't lay completely smooth inside because it's just a bit too long. Other than that I'm really excited to try this out.

My younger sister helped me pick out the fabric. She doesn't particularly like sewing and doesn't get excited about fabric stores like I do, but she does have great taste in fabric. I'll even make her a bag like this if she buys the fabric and lets me keep the scraps as payment.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Whimsy Pink & California Dreamin Quilts

This week I finished these two quilts; plus I finished piecing the front and back of my Hope Valley quilt. Here's my secret for getting so much done this week--Ryan has been out of town since Sunday. That means I stay up way too late quilting. I don't think I got to bed before midnight any day that he has been gone. The kids are all in bed by 7:30, and I so enjoy my evenings when everyone is asleep. It's hard to make myself go to bed. We have missed him tons, and I am so excited that he will be home today. Although my quilting productivity will definitely decrease, I am willing to sacrifice that to have a husband home again.

Last month while out to dinner with a couple of friends I grew up with, Sarah was telling me a story about her mom. Like my mom, her mother frequently sewed clothes and other things for the kids growing up. After she finished something, she would hang it up at the end of the hall for a few days before it was used. She just liked to enjoy the fact that she created something nice and liked to see it there for a few days. I have decided that is exactly why I post pictures of my creations on this blog. I just like to see them up for a few days and enjoy and share the fact that I was able to create something fun. I also love looking at what others create and getting ideas from them. It's so fun that we get to look down each others hallways to see what others create.

Here is my Pink Whimsy Quilt. I love this fabric and how the quilt turned out. Sorry about the not so great pictures. The perspective is a bit off as my bed is the only place around here I can actually take pictures of it with no one to hold it for me.

I used the Crazy Mom Quilts tutorial for her filmstrip quilt.

I did a large stipple design for the quilting here. Basically, it's a big quilt and I didn't want to be quilting it forever so I did a large pattern. I got the whole thing quilted in about three hours which is fast for me, especially a quilt this size.

I really think I like the back more than the front. It just makes me happy. I told my younger sister this, and she just laughed. She doesn't quite understand my obsession.

Onto my California Dreamin quilt. I pretty much copied this quilt from Film in the Fridge completely. I adore her quilts and loved this one so much I figured there was no need to reinvent things. I really wanted one for my own.  I guessed on her measurements since she didn't list them on her blog post, but I think it came out pretty close. The colors are so fun and bright. Don't they just make you happy, especially in January. It has been so dreary and smoggy around here that I need something bright and cheery.

I now wished I would have copied her back as well. This design I did certainly isn't my favorite.
I did fun, loopy quilting on this quilt. This my current favorite quilting pattern.

My older sister recently asked me what I am going to do with all these quilts. I'm unsure at the moment, but I will probably start giving them away as gifts eventually. She told me that she would arrange it so I had her name for Christmas next year, just in case. That made me happy. It also makes me happy that she informed me she is buying a sewing machine. My non-sewing sister is buying a sewing machine and wants to learn how to use it well. I'm so excited for her. I think I have just shown her way too many quilt blogs and fabric sites. She is getting addicted too.