Wednesday, January 23, 2013

WiP Wednesday #2 - BOMS Away

So I started two Blocks of the Month this month, one online, The Sister's Ten Modern BOM over at Gen X quilters, and one at my local quilt shop.

This week, I finished my blocks for the Sisters Ten BOM.  It's called Grandmother's Frame.

Sister's 10 Modern BOM - #1 Grandmother's Frame Block

For the quilt I am using mainly Cuzco by Kate Spain, as well as a little Vintage Modern, a few other various Kate Spain prints and a few random fabrics I dug around in my stash for.

Honestly, I'm totally loving my little peacock :)

This quilt seems especially appropriate to be making right now...I am thinking about giving it to my mother, and as I was making this "Grandmother's Frame" block, my own grandmother passed away.  I know I will think of her now every time I look at this quilt.

I picked up the other block for this month on Saturday at my LQS.  It is an applique BOM, and I am waiting to start it until we get back from our trip west for my grandmother's funeral.  My husband is going to build me a light box to use in order to see the applique placement, and obviously won't be able to work on it until we get back.

The progress on my other WiPs were minimal - I did finish unpicking my quilt, and had plans to quilt it this week, but with my grandmother's passing, a lot of things have gotten pushed off until I get back from her funeral.

I also haven't finished my other twins hat, but have it cut out and the eyes appliqued on.  I am taking it with me and will finish it at my mom's house.  They are expecting snow while we are there and I know my boys are going to be thrilled - both to wear their new hats and (more importantly) to play in the snow!  (We don't get a lot of snow out here in No. Virginia, so it's a treat for them.)

So, a short WiP list today.  I have every intention of re-evaluating my WiP's and deciding what I want to make a priority this year.  But that is gonna have to be a February resolution.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

#1 WiP 2013 - The One With A Lot of UN-Sewing

It's been awhile since I've Work-in-Progress Wednesday.
Here are the things I've been working on:

Monster Hats
for my twins.

Here in Virginia, it is rarely cold enough to wear a heavy coat, so my boys usually just wear the fleece liners, which don't have a hood. So I'm making them these hats to match their jackets for when they go out to play at school. I've got one done, one to go.
monster hat

Block of the Month
I decided to do a Block of the Month this year and chose the Sisters Ten Modern BOM over at Gen X Quilters.  I've chosen my fabric and cut it out.  Hopefully I will be able to make them up tonight while my boys are in bed and my husband is at Scouts.

BOM Jan Fabrics

Unpicking a Quilt
I finished this quilt top back in October and thought it would be a quick easy finish and I would have it done in plenty of time to ship to my cousin before her baby was born in early December.  Wow, was I wrong!

I decided to do regular stipple quilting because I was going to use my stitch regulator foot, which I'm really still not totally familiar with.  I thought I would stick to quilting that I can do well without having to focus too much on, so that I could focus more on getting the feel for the stitch regulator.
I should have had this little quilt quilted and done within just a few hours, but I ended up fighting with my machine for 3 days before giving up!
My thread kept breaking inexplicably every 3-6 inches.  The back of this poor quilt was just a mess of starting knots.  It was awful. 
I had tried everything I knew.  Changed the tension, changed the needle, went slower, went faster, changed threads, changed bobbins, you name it, I did it.  Nothing worked!
So, after 3 days I gave up, folded the quilt, and shoved it in my closet. 
I took my machine in the week before Thanksgiving, but was told it would take up to a month of more to repair.  NO WAY.  So I took it home and just decided I would only be able to sew things with a straight stitch (because for some reason, the thread only broke when I tried anything free-motion), but that was better than nothing.
So I was able to make all my Christmas gifts, since none of them required quilting.  But then I pulled out my embroidery module, because we decided to embroider pillowcases for our Primary children this year and I needed to get some done for the January birthdays.  First thing that happened when I tried embroidering - my thread broke!  Arg!
That is when I realized that as long as I didn't put the thread through the last hook on the thread guide, it was fine. 
So that meant I could finish my quilt!  However, it was at least a third of the way quilted with a meandering stitch.  That is A LOT of unpicking.  But, I just couldn't give it as a gift with all those knots and obvious starts and stops in the back.  So, a few days ago, I finally sat down and began unpicking.  
Two nights of unpicking so far, and probably one more night and it will be done.  Then it will be a race to get it quilted and bound so I can get it to it's new owner as quickly as possible...a darling little girl who is already over a month old!
And I also signed up to do a BOM at my LQS - an Applique quilt by Edyta Sitar called Spring Bouquet.
I am really excited about this.  I think it is beautiful, AND it will give me experience and practice doing applique, as well as working with batiks, which I have never done before. 
I've never thought batiks were my style, but I have to admit, I think they are just lovely in this quilt.
I was supposed to go pick up my first kit this morning and attend the instructions class, but my son woke up vomiting this morning, so we are all sequestered to the house.  I'm pretty sure I know what I am doing, however, so it shouldn't be too hard to figure out on my own. 
Oh!  And another fun thing...I finally got my Christmas present from my parents this past week...a serger!!  I am so excited to get it out and try it out.  I'm sure I will be posting about it when I do. 
Linking up to:
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Slow Start and some Dolly Things

I'm a little slow getting things started this New Year.

My sister and her family visited after Christmas through New Year's, and the day they left (New Year's Day) Mr. Pie and I were both slammed by the New Year's Flu that has attacked the East Coast.

Because of that, I am sitting in a chaotic mass of neglected laundry, half-put away Christmas decorations, new year obligations and half finished sewing projects.
Really, it's a whole lot of mess around here.
Today was the first day I have felt like I have enough energy and gumption to really tackle any of it.  I'm hoping to claw my way out of the chaos by the weekend.  Fingers crossed.
In the meantime, however, I thought I would share a few of my Christmas projects.

Bib line up  
For 3 of my 4 nieces I made some baby bib and diaper sets. 
Bib Set
Bib stack
Bdiaper stack
(The diaper pattern that I used is found here at one of my favorite blogs, Bee in my Bonnet)
I ended up making two different sizes of bibs.  I was originally planning on making all the large ones (using this pattern), but once I started putting them together, it seemed the neck hole might be a little small for all dolls.
Bib sizes
So I talked to my sister-in-law (the one who had originally requested the bibs for her daughter) about the sizes of my niece's dolls.  She mentioned that L (my niece) had a cabbage patch baby, and that the neck on the cabbage patch babies did seem to be a little larger.
So I searched and searched for some patterns for a cabbage patch baby which, it turns out, are surprisingly hard to find!
I did end up finding one here that worked.  I only used the bib pattern, but I pinned the tutorial, which included some basic clothing patterns as well, in case I ever get a request for clothes for this kind of doll again.

I actually ended up liking the small bibs better and wish I had done them all with that pattern!  They turned out so cute and dainty, and looked darling on the dolls.  The bigger pattern ended up looking a little too big to me.
I made all but one the sets out of flannel and lined the diapers with white fleece.
The only thing I wish I had done differently is narrower top-stitching.  I did about a quarter-inch top-stitch, and while it did catch the hole left for turning, the stitching wasn't close enough to the edge to make the space unnoticeable.  You can see at the bottom of each bib where the turn hole was.
Fortunately, these are all for little girls who won't notice or care, but I will do that bit differently if/when I make these again.

Linking here:

Fresh Poppy Design
Better Off Thread