Wednesday, September 10, 2014

WIP Wednesday: For Grandma

My poor grandma!!!  She came to visit us from PA back at the beginning of August.  The plan was to stay a few weeks with my parents and then a week or two with her sister up in NW Ohio.  Well... that was the plan.  About a week into her stay, she landed herself in the hospital in congestive heart failure :-(  A week in the hospital and she was good to go.  Left to go to visit her sister and within 3 days of her arrival up there, she had to be brought back down to be admitted again.  Another two weeks in the hospital and they finally released her to a nursing home near my house.  It's been nice having her so close, but it's under terrible circumstances :-(

That being said, I decided to bump up grandma's quilt from a Christmas gift to a "sorry you're not feeling well" gift.  I actually managed to get this entire top pieced and ready to go in one evening two weekends ago!
The pattern is Yellow Brick Road and the fabrics are from the Downton Abbey Fat Quarter bundle I got a while ago.  I honestly should have paid more attention when gals were saying to be sure to read the directions completely before starting...  I didn't and ended up with a mega goof!  Instead of three different block layouts, I ended up with only two.  Whoops!  I just did a little adjustment to the layout and all seems to be OK.  Shhhh... no one will ever know :-D

Fast forward to this past weekend and after all the marathon sewing I did to crank out two more of the Comic Book Button-Down shirts for two of Hubby's friends, I buckled down and wanted to get this one basted.  Only one problem.... I was a bit tired when I decided to start basting this.  "Cheated" by not spray basting and relying on just safety pins.  Ended up with a boat-ton of puckering on the back :-(  Being the perfectionist I am, I had to re-do it.  Problem was I was a little too tired to tackle it Saturday.  Put it to bed for the night.

Monday night I decided to take care of pulling out the 150+ pins I put in, re-aligining everything, and then basting again.  I even managed to tear Hubby away from the football game on TV long enough to help :-)  Fortunately, once it was spray basted this time (Yea!), the pinning went by rather quickly.

So excited to be wrapping this one up!  I really want to give it to grandma before she heads back to PA next weekend (that's the plan).  Now it's on to the fun part.... quilting!  My mom convinced me I need to overcome my fear of FMQ.  Just bite the bullet and jump right in, according to her.  Well.. I'm a bit of a chicken.  There was no way I was comfortable enough doing FMQ to even attempt it on a quilt yet!  Then the light bulb went off!  I ran to JoAnn's after work last night, picked up some simple quilt stencils, and came home and started to practice.

First Attempt - Two pieces of muslin with batting inbetween
Tracing the stencil on the fabric was the easy part!  Man, is this a lot more difficult than I imagined it to be!  The butterfly in the top, right-hand corner was the last one I did on this sample.  I can definitely see the improvement, but I still need much more practice!
Attempt #2 - Extra border fabric, muslin backing, and actual thread I'm using in my project
Attempt #2 went MUCH better than the first!  I think I am finally getting the hang of this!  It's going to take a lot of guts, but I think I'm actually going to attempt this design in the 5.5" squares on my quilt :-)  I even got a butterfly border stencil that I want to use in the border.  Hopefully it won't be too hard.  We shall see!

Let's hope this one is finished up by this weekend and I'll have a finish to share!

Sew Fresh Quilts

Linking back to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday and Sew Fresh Quilts' Let's Bee Social

Saturday, August 30, 2014

SEWjo Saturday: Paid In Full

Being a little out of practice with garment sewing, this one took a little longer than I had thought, but I got it done and now Hubby is "Paid In Full" for our little road trip a few weeks ago.

It's a little "loud" for my taste, but Hubby LOVES it!  He wasn't home last night when I finished it, so I made him try it on first thing this morning to see if it fit. Like a glove! 

It is a small thing to check off my list of stuff to do, but it's a finish nonetheless. One down... Three to go. Lol. Once I told him I could make button-down shirts, he started putting in requests. I've got fabric for three more shirts waiting in the wings. They're great in-between projects, so I'm sure he won't have to wait too long for the next one :-)

Hope everyone is having a super Saturday!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

WIP Wednesday: For The Hubs

Back when Hubby and I went to pick up Rosie, we stopped at our local JoAnns so I could pick up a few things from their Viking store. While we were walking around, Hubby found some fabric he just "had to have something made out of it."  Naturally, since I dragged him all over the state that day, I just couldn't say "No."  I grabbed a few yards of it, already having a pattern at home I could use, and the promise of a button-down shirt was born.

My Lattice Quilt kinda took priority, but now that it's all done, I couldn't wait to get started on his shirt. I serged the edges and washed the fabric weeks ago, but just now got around to starting it. 

All the pieces are now cut and the raw edges are serged. Doesn't look like much right now, but hopefully it'll look awesome once it's all done.  Goal is to finish it up over the next few nights so he has a fun shirt to wear to our Labor Day cookout this weekend :-)

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!

Linking back to Freshly Pieced's WIP Wednesday

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Another One Off The List...

It's been a long process, but I finally can check Christmas gift #2 off the list!

This one was quite a challenge considering I'm still a "newbie," but overall it was a lot of fun and turned out better than I had hoped!
Being twice the size of the other two quilts I've done, I was honestly worried that it would turn out OK.  Not only did the top come together extremely quickly once I got into a rhythm with it, but the new large throat space on my new machine made quilting a breeze!
I chose to do echo stitching in the lattice and first border, and then Stitch-In-The-Ditch thru the triangles.  I also just did some straight stitching in the border to give it some more texture.

Here are the project details:

I actually had so much fun making this one that I've already got the stuff to make a Christmas-themed one (eventually).  So glad to be able to check another one of the list :)  Such a great feeling!

Hope everyone is having a terrific Tuesday!

Linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River and Fabric Tuesday at A Quilt Story.

Fresh Poppy Design

Sew Fresh Quilts

Also Linking back to Finish It Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts , TGIFF, Can I Get a Whoop Whoop? over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict, and Link-A-Finish Friday at Richard & Tanya Quilts

Monday, August 25, 2014

Make-A-List Monday: 08/25/14

Wow, I can't believe how much this month has gotten away from me!!  I've been a busy little bee, but unfortunately keep forgetting to post about it!  It's been a while since I've done a "Make-A-List Monday," so here we go with this week's list...

  • Finish Hubby's "Comic Book" button-down shirt - Pieces are cut.  Need to serge all the raw edges on the pieces and get it all sewn together.  Target completion date is 08/28/14.
  • Trip to JoAnn's - I have a dr. appt on Wednesday right across the street from JoAnns.  I need to return some fabric I bought, intended on shirts for DH and his dj-ing partner but the fabric is way too thin, as well as a quilting calculator that I picked up and realized I don't really need.  I also need to pick up some solid yardage for the Yellow Brick Road quilt I'm making for my grandma.
  • Start Cutting YBR Fabrics - Starting a Yellow Brick Road quilt for my grandma.  It was originally intended as a Christmas gift, however she just entered a nursing home and I thought it might cheer her up, so I'm going to get it to her ASAP.
  • Clean-Up Craft Room/Put Away New Stash - My poor craft room looks like a tornado hit it!  I worked diligently all weekend on my Lattice Quilt and didn't stop to pickup after myself.  Guess I was just too excited!  I also have a whole basket of newly acquired stash that needs to be organized and put away.  Seeing all the new goodies in that basket reinforces to me that I need to be on a "diet" for a while and get some more projects done first.  
That looks like it for this week's list.  Really hoping I can get at least half done by the end of the week, and may actually be able to complete it all considering we have a three-day weekend this weekend!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful Monday!

Thursday, August 14, 2014


Monday night I finished the borders on my Lattice Quilt, made the binding, pieced the backing, and pressed the batting (W&N). Came home Tuesday night all excited to get it basted. That's where things went south....

1. 3 of the 6 clamps I bought to clamp the backing to my table snapped before I could even get them on! Just got them last week and this is the first time I went to use them.

2. I ran out of curved safety pins while basting. Went thru two whole boxes and it still wasn't enough. I'll have to re-pin before quilting the borders.

3. Got it all basted and went to cut the excess batting off and low and behold.... My backing wasn't long enough!! I'm gonna try and just add a piece to the end (about 3" or so). It's on the back so hopefully it won't be too noticeable.

4. Now I have no clue how to quilt it!! I've not done enough FMQ to attempt it on such a large quilt. Thinking I may just do echo stitching in the lattice.
All basted

After sewing about a 3" strip onto the backing where I was short, I got my brand spankin new Machiner's gloves on and started quilting on Rosie.  After spending WAY too long contemplating how I was going to quilt it, I just decided to wing it.  I already had the walking foot on my machine, so I just changed out the feet to the open-toe one and got to stitchin.

Got the first pass done on Tuesday night and am hoping I can get the rest of this quilting between now and the end of the weekend!  I can't wait to see how it turns out, and it's going to feel awesome to have another Christmas present checked off the list!

I Quilt @ Pretty BobbinsMy Quilt Infatuation

Linking back to Needle & Thread Thursday at My Quilt Infatuation and I Quilt Thursdays at Pretty Bobbins.

Sew Fresh Quilts

Also linking back to Sew Fresh Quilts' Let's Bee Social

Friday, August 8, 2014

Flash Sewing Weekend - August 8th

Phew!  Finally Friday!!!  This has been a long week.  Work has been nuts, lots of stuff to do, and still not feeling 100% so I've been crashing pretty much as soon as I get home from work.  I have managed to get some sewing in this week :-)  I finished up the "inner quilt" of my Lattice Quilt last night and it's ready for borders. 

I kinda had an "oh crap!" moment last weekend while finishing up the last couple of rows.  I pulled out the pattern and was reviewing the steps.... apparently I should have read thru the entire thing before starting.  I didn't realize there was an inner border using the same fabric as the lattice pieces.  Whoops!  If I had read that before I started cutting, I would have been a little more cautious with my cutting and made sure to leave extra honey bun strips for the border.  I didn't :-(  I did have pieces leftover.. but they were just that... pieces!  All were about 11" long.  Now, after calming myself down, I came to the conclusion that I could do one of three things...

  1. Skip that inner border and go straight to the outer border - decided against it because I didn't think it would look "finished" if I would have done that.
  2. Order more fabric - didn't want to have to do that if I could avoid it.  This isn't fabric I could get from JoAnn's or Hobby Lobby and it would definitely have to be ordered.  I could get it at Missouri Star, but unfortunately they are a little backed up in shipping due to their warehouse move a few weeks ago and I didn't want to have to wait two weeks to get it.
  3. Piece all the leftovers together to create the border
When all was said and done, I ultimately chose option #3.  I started sewing those 11" strips together for each side and figured as long as it was consistent thru the entire border it might look OK.   I managed to get the top and bottom done last night, but still need to do the sides.  That's what's on my agenda for tonight.  If things go as planned, I should be able to get it basted and started quilting by the end of the weekend.  I originally had this one "scheduled" for completion August 31st, so if I can get it all done over the next week or so... I'll be a bit ahead of schedule.

Also on my agenda for this weekend is to start working on a shirt that was requested by Hubby.  A couple of weekends ago, the one where I got "Rosie," Hubby and I made a pit-stop at JoAnn's so I could pick up a few accessories for my new machine.  While walking around the store, he picked up a bolt of some fabric out of the licensed section and brought it over.  All he did was hold it up and ask "What can you make me with this?"

Naturally, I was quick to rack my brain for ideas.  It's not quite the greatest print for a quilt, but I immediately thought it would work for a button down shirt. 

McCall's Pattern - M2149

I had made one of these shirts for my dad for Christmas a few years ago and had bought the pattern and some other fabric to make Hubby one as well, just never got around to it.  I already had the pattern so all I had to do was grab some interfacing and some buttons and I would be ready to go.  Hubby has never asked me specifically to make him anything, and after a day of torturing him with craft stores and driving all over Ohio... I was happy to oblige. 

I have the original fabric I bought him years ago to make a shirt with, plus this fabric and some music note fabric I found all to make him shirts out of.  I just need to get to cracking on it!  It'll all need pre-washed so I'm going to zip the edges thru my serger tonight and get it washed.  Thinking I'll have the pieces cut out for the first one sometime tomorrow (we have a short wedding reception to go to in the afternoon) and then have it ready for him to wear by Monday!

It's going to be a busy, busy sewing weekend!  I'm armed with plenty of snacks and beverages, a loaded iPod full of audiobooks, and a nice new machine to play with!  Can't wait to get started tonight!!

Hope everyone is having a Fabulous Friday!