Wednesday, September 9, 2015

WIP Wednesday: Commissioned

A few months back, one of Hubby's really close gal-pals kinda cornered me and begged me to make a baby quilt for her soon-to-be niece.  The criteria.... "Non-baby, non-girly, non-pink, with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on it."  Seriously?!?!?!  Talk about a quilter's challenge!!

I racked my brain, scoured the internet, and read every quilting magazine I own cover-to-cover trying to find a pattern that would be easy, yet able to incorporate a large variety of fabrics.  I had settled on using "Happy Dots" by Michael Miller as my patterned prints, plus I had some TMNT novelty prints that I needed to incorporate.  Finally found a pattern that would show all of it off nicely...
Bow Tie Baby Play Mat by Chris Malone for Quilter's World Magazine
Pattern is a very basic (easy!) one that shouldn't take too long, and it's a prefect one for the prints I picked :-)  Started the cutting back on August 1st and had all the solid and print squares done, as well as fussy cutting enough TMNT fabric for 8 blocks.  One layer cake was plenty to do this one quilt, plus quite a bit leftover so possibly a smaller one down the road :-)

Lotsa squares!!
Once all the squares were cut, I got to assembling the first part of the block... snowballing one corner of each of the 165 white squares :-D  Keeping the color sets organized proved to be a bigger task than I thought.  (Don't mind the mess on the floor behind my ironing board... I've been "organizing" for weeks and still have a ways to go... Lol).

Getting all the blocks fully assembled took no time at all thanks to some mega chain-piecing!  Got them all sewn together and then re-organized into colors.  Each color technically had multiple prints (just different sized dots), so I just piled them all up by color and was ready to go!

Now, I must diverge for a moment and just talk about what little shortcut I did that made my life SO much easier!!!  Used my Martelli Roundabout with the ironing pad on it on a TV tray right next to my machine.  WHY DID I NOT DO THIS SOONER?!?!?!?!  I LOVED how convenient it made pressing these blocks as I went without having to get up a million times to go over to the ironing board.  Lol.  I know this is far from a new trick.. but it's new to me and quilting won't be the same for me ever again!  Lol

One all the blocks were organized by color, it was time to play with the layout.  This proved to be harder than I thought it would be!  I was going for kinda a "scrappy" look, so I was just putting the blocks up randomly... but my OCD kicked in and I couldn't have two of the same-sized dots next to each other, or the same color more than once in a row or column.... I was starting to pull my hair out when I finally gave in and just let things lie where they were and that was it.  Lol.  If I kept going.. I'd end up bald!

All laid out and ready to go!    
Since this one is only 45" x 45" square when finished, assembling the top took no time!  Literally about an hour or two one evening and I was done :-)  Cleaned off the kitchen table and had it basted and ready to quilt in less than about 45 minutes!  I love doing baby quilts for just this reason!

Now came the fun part... trying to figure out how to quilt it!  After way too much thinking on this, I decided to go with just plain echo stitching around the bow ties.  Short and sweet.  But those white blocks that were created from the placement totally needed something... I just didn't know what.  My FMQ other than meandering still needs some work and I didn't want to practice on a quilt I was getting paid for.  So... at the suggestion of my mom, I pulled out the embroidery machine and that fancy hoop Hubby bought me for Christmas last year and decided to give embroidering the blocks a try :-)

Hooped up and ready to go!
I decided to use the Dr. Seuss font to add outline alphabet letters to all the white spaces.  I digitized the font using my Embrid software and then stitched it out.  This Viking Quilt-It-All hoop is specifically made for quilting and has s special inner hoop that is smaller to accommodate the thickness of all the layers in a quilt.  Added bonus.... when embroidering on a quilt, you don't even need stabilizer as the three layers of the quilt are plenty to keep it stable :-)

My current status on this project is "nearly done."  I got the quilting all done on Monday with it being a holiday, and have been working on the hand-binding portion as much as I can when I get home from work.  Thinking this actually should be wrapped up tonight when I get home :-)  Just will need a quilt label and it'll be ready to send off, and then I can "officially" check this commissioned quilt off my To Do list :D

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

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

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Wow! Dropped Of The Face of the Planet (Again!)

Holy cow!  I can't believe it's been 4 months since I've posted!!  Not an excuse, but this has been a CRAZY summer!  It seems like this summer has completely flown by!

In case you've been wondering what I've been up to since May... here's a quick recap.

1. Broken Foot

Back at the end of June, I managed to land myself in this oh-so-fashionable walking boot for pretty much the entire summer!  Stepped out of my car wrong and rolled my ankle which resulted in a stress fracture in the fifth meta-something (can't remember the official term).  Almost 8 weeks in this bad boy made everyday things more difficult, and things I enjoy practically impossible.  Getting around the house, to and from work, and just day-to-day things weren't completely impossible, just took a little more time.  Stairs were not my friend and driving was interesting (it's my petal foot).  Sewing on the other hand, pretty much impossible.  Couldn't manage the foot petal on any of my machines and attempting to use the left foot was disastrous!  Thus.... the only crafting I could really do was knitting and using my embroidery machine (no petal necessary!).

2. Etsy Store Launch

Even with being down with a broken foot, I couldn't just stop crafting.  Lol.  Since my embroidery machine was really the only machine I could use since it didn't require a foot petal, I jumped in head first with getting my Etsy store launched.  It's been something I've been toying around with for the past year or so, but this gave me a good opportunity to actually get it up and running.  So far, it's mainly vinyl keychains (practically any theme you can think of!) and a few other small items like Tic Tac Toe games and finger puppets.  I've got a LOT more planned... just a matter of getting samples made in order to list in the store.  Also planning on doing a local craft show in November that I plan on peddling my wears at, so lots of prep work to do on that as well.

3. New Nephew!

Well, this was the surprise of the year!  We knew my sister was having a baby (lol), but according to the big "gender reveal" party she had back in February, she was expecting another girl.  So.... we all prepared for a girl.  We even threw my sister a baby girl, all pink "sprinkle" in July.  Well, two weeks (almost to the day) before her due date, she went into labor.  Everyone was waiting on baby girl P's arrival.. and low and behold... baby girl P was really baby BOY P!!!  Talk about a shocker!!!  Weighing in at 8 lbs. 3 oz, 21.25 in long... Little Mr. C had arrived!  He's the first boy in my family (just me and my sister)... so needless to say my dad is a bit excited!

4. LOTS of Projects!

Even though I've had a bit of a crazy summer, I have managed to actually get quite a few projects done (or almost done!).  Most of them have been for my Etsy store, but I've managed to do some non-store projects too!  Finished a quilt top for myself and sent it off to Missouri Star for quilting, made a few button-down shirts for Hubby, made a "Star Wars Emperor Robe" for Hubby to wear in a local parade, a really cute pillow for my dad for father's day, and a bunch of other little things here and there.  I'll be doing a few posts over the next week or so showing off all the things I've been keeping myself busy with ;-)

I will be back tomorrow with a WIP Wednesday for you!!!  Stay tuned :-)

Linking up to Linky Tuesday at Freemotion by the River, and Sew Cute Tuesday at Blossom Heart Quilts

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