Saturday, July 31, 2010

Running Out of Time!!

So I finished up my two-week class yesterday and it was awesome! I'm so glad I took it, but now I have to go back to school in a week and a half - wait, WHAT?!!? Not only that, but I am 34 weeks along now and I have SO. MUCH. I still need/want to make for the baby! Where has the summer gone?!? So I need this week to be calm and relaxed. Too bad that's not gonna happen. We have appointments with 4 daycares, we need to make some with pediatricians, not to mention the OB, chiropractor and allergist. This week I am also helping interview for the interim music teacher who will be in charge of my kiddos when I'm out on maternity leave. Holy freaking crap I feel overwhelmed. I did manage to get a little progress made on my project list last week. I got my quilt sandwiched and pinned. I'm still trying to decide if I'm brave enough to try quilting it free-hand or if I'm going to go with straight lines. I also got a good start on my mei-tai carrier. Really, I think (hope) I'll finish it today. Next up is the diaper bag. Then the next quilt. Or maybe the stuff my husband wants me to make for him. We'll see who wins that one. :)

I also finally can post pics of the wedding presents that I made. Actually I could've done it several weeks ago, but I forgot... so here are the shopping bags I made for the newlyweds!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Checking off my list

Craft Hope items: DONE! I ended up with 14 hand towel-sized and 30 wash cloth-sized pieces to send. They are all made from old t-shirts and towels. I will get those mailed this week - yay!

Practice machine quilting: WHOA! I thought I'd be productive on two fronts to do this and make pot holders (because who cares if the quilting is wonky on those?). The trouble I ran into is that to feel heat-proof enough, I had to put so many layers of batting that I couldn't get it under the machine! I could go out and get some of that heat-resistant batting, but I won't today. Maybe later. I guess I'll hand quilt it someday (ha!). Too bad because this would be a cute pot holder.

See how thick it is? :(

So I pieced together some 1-layer squares to practice with. I've been using my walking foot and darning foot both and I can definitely handle the straight line quilting with the walking foot. The free-motion quilting is another story. Its pretty awful right now. I'm still playing with speed and pedal pressure to try to get better looking stitches. Here is what I have so far:

With walking foot (and some darning foot on top...)

Free motion with darning foot...

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Making space

As I mentioned in a previous post, we have been making space in our house for our new addition (which is a baby, for those of you who aren't keeping up). In making space for him, it made some new space for me - hooray! It also made space for us to eat NOT in front of the television - double hooray! I can't really complain about all of the TV eating because it was completely my fault that we did not have a table on which to eat. Instead, we I had a table on which to sew.
I went back through my pictures and I can't find a "before" picture of the new crafting room. Probably because it was so messy that I would never have taken a picture of it. Well, here it is the last time you saw it. Imagine there is no desk, add a double bed, a large bookcase, lots of laundry and stacks of fabric. That is why there is no picture. We moved the bed and bookcase out and this week I got to work organizing and arranging my new space! I am really happy with how it turned out. Here is the progression:

First of all, we had to get all of my stuff out (yikes!)

Then we got the big stuff arranged. I love*love*love the shelves!! And how about that funky zebra chair? Its not what I would have picked if I had a choice, but I think I kind of like it... :)

Next, I had to do a little organization. Mostly of my insane yarn stash. Here is part of it...

Then I could start moving some other things into place. If you remember the first picture of this room, maybe you will notice that I was able to store the Christmas tree and wreath somewhere else and replace it with paper towels and t.p. :)

Making progress! So that's what color the table is....

And finally - hooray - we can eat!

Three-step panorama of my new space!!

Whew! A lot of work, but it is so worth it! Next on the list: finish Craft Hope items (started last night), pin quilt together (bought the correct kind of pins yesterday) and practice some machine quilting on some scrap fabric (maybe turn out some potholders?). I am taking a class (Kodaly I certification, if you were interested...) starting on Monday and it lasts for 2 weeks, so I don't know how much crafting time I will have. I am going to try to fit some in because once my class is over, it will be nearly time for school to start back! Yikes!! How does summer go by so quickly? I hope yours is going well and not too fast!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Quilt Top and Crafters Block

I finished sewing my quilt top together. I haven't ironed it yet (obviously...) but I am really pleased with how it turned out. I'm currently visiting my family out of town (yay for laptops and wifi) so I can't work on week 4 (quilt sandwich) until I get back. Christine is also done with her top, but I didn't get a picture, so I'll get one of her sandwich when she's done with week four. You can also check out Carmen and Mia's progress on their quilts too! Carmen has done a gorgeous stacked coins quilt that just might make me change my mind about the pattern I picked for my next quilt... Check her quilt out here. Here is my quilt top in all of its glory!

Close up....

Instead of jumping right into week 4, I needed a break so I picked a quick (or so I thought) project to work on during one of my group sewing parties with Jaime and Christine. I've had this Starling Handbag (awesome, AWESOME pattern and tutorials at futuregirl's website!) finished for at least a year just waiting for some embellishments and a liner. (sorry for the crappy picture, and please ignore the ugliness of my sofa - its hideous, but terribly comfortable...)

I got the liner sewn rather quickly...

... but I've gotten a case of crafter's block with the embellishments. My other Starling bag just told me what it wanted, but this one is not giving me any hints yet. I don't want to leave it just plain, but I've already had a few disasters.

First I tried some felt... hated it.

Then I tried crocheting some flowers.... hated them. (I didn't even finish two of them.)

But for now its just plain and I have NO inspiration. The poor liner is just waiting to be sewn in, but it will have to wait until I have a brilliant idea.

Unless you have one... :)

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Project List Updated!

F-I-N-A-L-L-Y finished the super (duper) late wedding presents. That is a load off! I have some pics for you as soon as I get them to their recipients. Here is a picture of them all wrapped up to tide you over.

I also got my quilt strips ironed and I may (or may not) feel like sewing them together today. Or at least starting them. I may start on the top of the new quilt idea instead. I decided on the Five Strip Rail Fence pattern since I happen to have 5 fabrics that match the requirements. I still really like the Basket Weave pattern and intend to make one of those at some point later on. I read through and through that book and can't figure out exactly how much of each fabric I need, so I'm going to start making strips and see if I have enough. Maybe not a 100% solid plan, but I need to start somewhere...

Here are the 5 fabrics for the Five Strip Rail Fence...

Thursday, July 1, 2010

New Space

We are making room for baby in our tiny house and that has opened up some space for me too! In our "2nd bedroom" (also known as the closet-sized room behind the fridge in the kitchen) we moved out the bed and bookcase this week. It still looks pretty chaotic right now, but we really had only used it for storage (no, we don't leave out the Christmas decorations all year) and the occasional house guest.

Now I have some space for my new sewing table and we'll be able to eat at the dining room table again! I am working on organizing my supplies and how we want to arrange the room. We will still need to use it for some storage (oh, to have an attic!) so the wardrobe will have to stay, but basically this will be my crafting/sewing room. YAY! I'm a little worried about being lonely if I'm stuck behind the kitchen (my husband is usually on his computer in the office/dining room/sewing room while I'm working) but at least I have my own space now. I have our extra laptop to keep in there so I can put in a DVD or check out something on Netflix (instant watch is awe. some.) to keep me company.

If you notice under the new table is a door in the floor. Yes. Door in the floor. It leads to the (unusable) basement. Unfortunately it is not level, so I'm not sure how we'll move the furniture around yet. I will update again when we get it all sorted out.

Speaking of updates, its time for a quilt-a-long update! I finished sewing together the strips for my quilt top. I got the strips all in order (not this order) and next is ironing the seams down (ugh) and sewing the strips together. I'm really pleased with the colors I chose - this will be such a happy quilt!

Lastly, my project list has been so helpful. I'm really glad I put it down on paper (screen...?) to help keep me in check. I have updated that as well. The wedding presents are this close to being done. I finished the mending on my maternity dress today. I had some serious issues with the stretchy knit fabric, but finally overcame them. I also finally crocheted something small (a tiny baby hat!!) and I'm starting tonight on a blanket. Jaime and I are having a movie/crochet night.

Ahhhhh... summer is awesome. :D