Wednesday, October 31, 2012

A zippy finish.

All of the Kindergartners at Miss C.'s Catholic school are paired up with 6th graders at the beginning of the year. The big kid buddies sit with their Kindergarten buddies at mass on Friday mornings and help them out at assemblies and other programs at school.

Miss C. is blessed to have a wonderful buddy this year: Miss M. When the school year first started and Miss C. was having a tough time adjusting, Miss M. would come by the classroom every Friday morning before mass with a tiny gift or treat for her. She says "hi" to her whenever they pass in the hallway. And I've even spotted them holding hands on the way to mass on Friday mornings.

I know that my little girl has a great love for her buddy, so I thought it might be nice for her to give Miss M. a special gift before school lets out for Christmas break. A zippy pouch seemed like an age-appropriate gift. I don't know too many sixth grade girls, but I figured most girls and women love zippy pouches so I can't really go wrong, right?

With that in mind, I raided my stash and came up with a large scrap of Heather Ross Kelp Garden print in a light pink, some tiny scraps of a coordinating striped print, and a pretty yellow for the lining. A quick search of my Pin boards yielded the perfect zip pouch tutorial from Make It Perfect. I hopped on over to JoAnn's the next morning to pick up a bright red zipper and I was ready to go.

The zip pouch came together in a snap. I spent most of a nap time and part of an evening cutting, quilting and sewing it up (I also added a little strap on one side). And I just love how it turned out – especially those zipper tabs.  I've never tried them before and I'm hooked! I don't know that I'd ever make a zip pouch again without them, they really give it a finished look.

And of course, this is just one more thing I can cross off of my adjusted 100 Day Hustle list. Woot!

You can find this post linked up at:

Monday, October 29, 2012

A pretty little prize.

This past week Miss C. and I received this pretty little fall skirt in the mail from the wonderful (and talented!!) Kelli at Small Town Stitcher. Kelli was giving away a made-for-your-little-girl fall skirt and I was the lucky winner!
I snapped this photo of my sweetie as she gazed out the window while we waited for grandparents and great-grandparents to arrive on Sunday afternoon for Master W.'s birthday celebration. Goodness, she looks so grown up, yet still so tiny all at the same time.

Thanks, Kelli!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival

It's Blogger's Quilt Festival time again over at Amy's Creative Side. I knew immediately when I designed my brother's wedding quilt that I would enter it into the Fall 2012 festival. Creating this quilt really stretched my skills, and I'm incredibly proud of how it turned out.

So, on to the details for my entry...

The story: This quilt was truly a labor of love for my brother and sister-in-law. They've been together as long as my husband and I (almost 12 years), but only got engaged last year. I love them both so much and knew immediately that I wanted to make a wedding quilt for them.

Now, they both have very specific, modern taste (with a hint of retro style for fun!) so I knew I couldn't simply whip up a quilt without consulting them first. I wanted to make something that they'd use and really love. After a few back and forth emails, with me sending ideas and links to fabric shops, my sister-in-law decided on a beautiful quilt concept and even selected specific fabrics. At the time I knew nothing about whole cloth quilts, so I thought of it as a kind of un-quilt quilt. After a little research, I discovered the simple beauty of whole cloth quilting and was hooked.
Ultimately, I think her dream quilt is brilliant – and perfectly suited to the two of them. I used my Janome's walking foot to quilt the top and hand-finished the binding. If you look closely, you'll see that the lines intersect and twist and turn throughout the quilt. My own personal style is far from modern, but I'm in love with the geometric design of the quilting. 
I finished the quilt about a week before their wedding, and was so happy to see the delight on their faces when they finally laid eyes on it. And I love it even more because they love it.
Size: 60 x 70"
Special quilt techniques: The quilting started with a basic grid in a contrasting color (later removed), then all of the geometric lines were filled in using my walking foot.
Quilted by: Me.
Best Category: Two-color Quilt, Lap Quilt or even Home Machine Quilted Quilt

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Ka-chow! Finding my motivation.

There's nothing like entering the last few weeks of pregnancy... and finding out that I'm already dilating... to discover a sudden urge to check a few things off my project list.

This week I've been spending most evenings on Master W.'s Halloween costume. He wants to be Lightning McQueen and being the crazy pregnant mommy that I am, I said to myself, "I can make that!" Fortunately, this project has been a relatively easy one thus far.

Here's how it's been coming together:

  • Find the perfect car-sized cardboard box. This wasn't too difficult considering we moved this summer... and, well... still haven't unpacked all of our framed photos. Emptying it did give me an excuse to hang a few more pictures on the wall - bonus!
  • Cut holes out of said box to fit around the Master's waist. I eyeballed the placement, but did some simple measurements to ensure that the bottom and top holes lined up.
  • Cover with batting and red fabric. I didn't originally plan to cover it with the batting but you could see the writing on the box through the fabric and my crazy mind wouldn't let me take the shortcut. I wrapped it up like a present, cut the fabric out of the top hole and tacked it all down with staples and Tacky Glue.
  • Glue on felt details. This was the fun part, and because I'm tired (and too lazy to research, print out and trace everything) I did it all free-hand. I've come to the conclusion that it's okay to do a stylized version of a character when making costumes. Master W. doesn't care about all the details, he just wants it to look like "Whitening Na-Queen". 
  • Add shoulder straps. This is the last detail, and one that my mom is going to help me with tomorrow when she comes over. 
A few friends have asked if I'm going to match his clothes to the costume, but I think jeans and a long-sleeved shirt will be okay (he may be getting some Cars clothes and boots for his birthday this weekend, so I will incorporate those items if they work out). I spent my tiny costume budget on the fabric and felt, so this is it! Most people will just be looking at his car anyway, right?

I'll be sure to get more photos on the big day, but I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek!

And in case you're curious, here's now my project list from The 100 Day Hustle is shaping up:
  1. Finish my brother's wedding quilt Done!
  2. Halloween costumes for the kids (Peter Pan for Miss C. and maybe Lightning McQueen for Master W.) Almost finished! More on Miss C.'s costume later.
  3. Christmas stocking for the baby - in progress
  4. Christmas gift for Miss C.'s teacher Done!
  5. Finish the remaining green blocks for my postage stamp quilt Done!
  6. Angel costume for Miss C.'s school Christmas pageant - in progress
  7. Gift for Miss C.'s sixth grade buddy - still brainstorming (maybe a zip pouch?)
And yes, I'm completely nuts because the last two items on my list weren't there originally. I just can't stop myself!

You can find this post linked up at:

Friday, October 12, 2012

Check another one off the list!

Today I was able to check another project off of my 100 Day Hustle list: a Christmas gift for Miss C.'s teacher. Woo hoo!
After some consideration (and a consultation with my mom, who is a retired teacher) and waffling over several ideas, I decided to go with a covered journal using the fab tutorial created by Rachel of Stitched in Color. If you haven't tried it yet, you really must! Not only is it easy to make, but it's very cost effective if you raid your stash. Don't tell, but I only spent about $3 on supplies (a composition notebook and a bit of bleached muslin for the lining)!
The fabrics used are as follows:
  • Chevron blocks – I cut into a charm pack of Vintage Modern by Bonnie & Camille that I had won over at the awesome blog, Fish Creek Studio.
  • Gray strips above and below the blocks – Another giveaway win, this time part of a custom jelly roll by the super sweet ladies over at Clover & Violet.
  • Dots along the top and bottom – Scraps of Denyse Schmidt fabric for JoAnn's left over from another project. I love, love, love this print and will be sad when the last few scraps are gone!
  • Lining – bleached muslin from JoAnn's.
I hope she loves it as much as I do. The whole thing came together in a few nights and nap times, and much of the time spent was me trying to figure out how to arrange all of those half square triangles I had created (my first try with HSTs!) from the Vintage Modern charms. The only thing I did to stray from the pattern was serge all of the raw edges, otherwise I followed it exactly. Rachel did a brilliant job!
You can find this project linked up at:

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Postage stamp blocks finished!

I must be in nesting mode because I've had a sudden burst of third trimester energy and have managed to check a few things off of my 100 Day Hustle list. Woot!

Last week's big finish was my brother's wedding quilt and I'm so happy to report that I've finally finished the last of my green postage stamp blocks (there were 49 in total!). I had about 30 left to sew, and was able to crank them out in small batches during nap time and after bedtime this past week.

Now that they're finished I'm trying to decide on whether to make one huge bed quilt or two lap quilts. At this moment I'm leaning toward two lap quilts, mainly because I can quilt them on my own machine and won't have to pay for long arm services.

As to the design, I really want to showcase the scrappy blocks so the plan is to alternate each block with blocks of white, and somehow create some order with all the different colors (red, orange, green, blue, aqua, yellow, pink and coral).