Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Jolena's baby quilt

Quilt is done!
I really had fun with this quilt. Don't laugh, but I had a dream a few months ago with a similar design to this in it, except impossibly more complicated, and so I made up little mock up in Publisher. I fine-tuned it several times, got wishy-washy about using it, but ultimately went ahead with it. The hardest part was figuring out what kind of fabric I wanted. Then I found this shop on Etsy that does hand-dyed fabrics, and I decided I loved the gradient look.
I used the same navy blue fabric for the borders and backing as I used on my brother's quilt.

The quilting was actually a huge issue, because I decided that in lieu of trying to decide which color of thread would complement all of these colors, I chose a transparent thread I've never used. The thread was so fine that it cause tension issues while winding the bobbin, and then it proceeded to break both of my bobbins. Yes, they actually broke. I was pretty upset. They aren't easy to come by in stores, so I ordered some new ones online for cheap (metal this time!). However, I didn't want to wait several days to finish, so I got out my old machine. Wouldn't you know, that little sucker had no problem with the transparent thread, and I stippled this in about an hour and a half. The final dimensions are about 34" x 44", I think.

I'll be sending it to my sister this week, and hopefully she and her husband and their brand-new little baby boy will enjoy it!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

First hair cut and quilt top

Jolena's quilt top, which I hope will get finished tonight.
Tonight, Adam wanted to cut off the really long ends on the back of Daniel's hair. I was frazzled watching it, so I took over and did the whole thing. Daniel did pretty well (he was in the tub), until the end.
There are a few long spots, but oh well, he's a baby. He also has really straight hair, so it sticks up, but it's cute!

A few pics of Katrina:

And I took pics when his hair had dried a little so you can see better how it will be. The back looks infinitely better than it did before. Before he had two little tails on each side that were really long and getting kind of girly.

Best picture yet.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Picture Catch-up

I have enough pictures in this post for about five blog posts, because I've been intending on writing several posts that just never got done. So instead, I have a mammoth January post.

Here is Katrina in a Christmas present dress from her grandparents. She thinks it's a princess dress and whenever she's in a princess mood she likes to put it on.
One evening Katrina took all of the fruit out of the fruit bowl and was playing with it. I was fine with that, as long as she didn't try eating all of it. I turned around later, and found all the fruit sitting there on the couch and floor with bites out of it. "Katrina!" I bellowed. Then I realized who the real culprit was.
Since then Daniel has had a real thing for eating whole pieces of fruit.
It makes him happy.
His hair has gotten out of control, we're just afraid to cut it ourselves but don't want to pay the big bucks to take him to a kids hair place or take him to the cheapo place that Adam gets his haircuts, because most of the employees aren't that great.
Daniel has remarkable talent with drawing. Yes, I know he's only 13 months, but he is obsessesed with writing utensils. From the magnadoodle to markers, he loves scribbling. I don't remember Katrina being like that at that age.

Katrina loves dressing up like a princess, which includes her princess headband, princess shoes, sometimes a wand (in this case a feather duster), and a tutu. Or sometimes a princess dress.
One day Katrina decided she wanted a photo shoot. She gave me the camera and posed with Daddy.
Then ran across the room to pose with Mommy.
In between each photo she ran back to look at it on the view screen, then ran back to have another one taken. I started getting silly.
Then she noticed my silliness.
And decided to imitate it!
She thought that pose was a pretty cool one and kept doing it.
She had Woody join in with her photo shoot.

I got a couple action shots.
This one just kills me:

I thought it was hilarious that we have tons of pictures like this, where her pose of choice was a complete non-expression.
We got a few dancing pictures. Oh, and she has wings too that she likes to wear.

She may or may not have gone to the doctor's office and several other places this week in both her tutu and wings.
Katrina likes to draw smiley faces, and I'd say she's getting pretty good, even if all her "happy" faces look pretty straight-faced.
One thing Katrina is good at is smuggling writing utensils into her room. That Sunday bag that I let her take into her room? Yeah, it still had some crayons in it. That marker that I thought was dried out? Nope. I realized this week that the spot above her bed, which has the most art, had more of a theme than I realized.
How many smiley faces did you count?
And finally, I snapped a few pictures of Daniel this morning before writing the post. He's been fairly sad this week, with his molars coming in, and the 24-hour stomach virus we think he got at the doctor's office (ear infection re-check), and then passed to the whole family. But I got a few bright and smiling faces (and excuse the mess, Katrina thought destroying the living room was a fun pursuit while we were all flat on our backs feeling sick).

Saturday, January 15, 2011

T-shirt quilt

Several months ago, my brother sent me a bunch of old clothes I can use for diapers, crafts, or whatever. He also sent me some pants to mend and t-shirts to make into a quilt. Our family has a Christmas gift exchange and I switched with someone so I could have this brother and make the quilt a Christmas present. It's a little late!

I looked at t-shirt quilts all over the internet to get ideas, and this is the design I went with.
It was kind of hard to find manly fabrics, but since he's a scientist, I thought leafy green fabrics weren't inappropriate. :]
I backed each shirt with fusible interfacing to stabilize it.
The borders, binding, and back are a blue sheet. In fact, since my sister's baby quilt was also in need on fabric for the borders, binding, and back, I purposely picked a color that would coordinate with both quilts. This one was tricky to quilt. I just stitched-in-the-ditch, but since it was so huge and also since I don't have a walking quilt with my new machine, the fabric tended to bunch of funny. I think most of it isn't too noticeable, especially since I was using a really fluffy batting. I definitely will invest in some spray adhesive for batting for the future. I almost bought some this time, but it was like $15.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Amy Butler Blossom Bag

My cousin and I both read the blog Sew, Mama, Sew. A few months ago they had a free pattern for an Amy Butler bag, the Blossom bag. So when my cousin asked me to make this bag for her, I was happy to agree, because this bag is seriously cute!
This purse took 5.5 hours to make. I didn't think it was super difficult, necessarily, just time-intensive. Two hours simply to cut everything out, another hour or hour and a half fusing interfacing to fabric, then the sewing itself.
I thought very hard about pattern placement so that the purse would look as cute as possible and not have too much of the white part of the fabric showing. I made sure the brackets (shown above) matched the fabric of the main panel, 'cause I thought it'd be cool. And it is!

My cousin chose the fabric. The outside is from Amy Butler's Love collection, the inside is from Moda's It's a Hoot collection. The teal is from Joanns. One change was to only have one divider rather than two.

She also asked for a front pocket for her cell phone and other things, so I added that. Unfortunately, (here's the part that really kills me), the zipper won't open any more than halfway, as you can see. Sewing the zipper in was really tricky, and once I turned everything right-side out, and discovered this, I couldn't go back to fix it. I must have just sewn too close to the coils or something.
The back is triple-sewn on.
One of my favorite parts is the handles. I've used peltex before on handles, but this one called for interfacing and peltex, and it ended up being nice a sturdy while still a little squishy. Oh, and the interfacing is new to me. It's Shape-Flex 101, which is woven. On one side it looks just like cotton, but it's actually fusible interfacing. I'll definitely be using it again in the future. The peltex is really stiff interfacing. It still squishes though. This bag isn't nearly as stiff as it looks.
I read a review saying this bag was super hard and they almost gave up. I don't agree! It definitely has its tricky parts, like sewing the ends on because curves and peltex are hard to sew. But it definitely do-able. If you haven't ever made a purse, it will probably take you awhile longer than me though. So just be prepared for several sewing sessions. And here's a tip for the very last step, which is sewing the dividers in. The instructions call for sewing a bar tack (just a few stitches to hold it in place) to secure each end of the divider(s). This means sewing through four layers of peltex, four layers of home dec fabric, four layers of quilting cotton, and four layers of fusible interfacing. After trying and failing to stuff all those layer under my foot, I had a novel idea. I removed the foot! My Pfaff can sew just fine without the foot, so I set it on a zigzag stitch on the lowest length of stitch, and stitched back and forth several times. The machine slid through all of those layers with ease. Oh, I was using a jeans needle though. That probably helped. :]
So that is the blossom bag! It's a very attractive bag. I considered making one for myself. "What?" you say. "Didn't you just make yourself a bag recently?" Well, here's the really sad part. One of the straps on my awesome leather diaper bag recently ripped. It hasn't completely broken, but is barely holding on. It ripped in the absolute most inconvenient spot too, so I really don't know if it's fixable. So, I'm in the market for a new bag. With a (gulp) toddler and (more gulps) preschooler, I need more room than the blossom bag can give me. Especially because Daniel wears cloth diapers, so they are bulky in the diaper bag. And even though Katrina is potty-trained, I like to have extra clothes for her in case she has an accident in the car. So for now, I'm ignoring the ripped strap, but once it goes completely, I'll have to figure out something. I might use one of my previous bags.
Shared at Blue Cricket Design's Show and Tell.