Monday, 18 November 2013

I Haz Blog?

If nothing else, I am fantastically great at forgetting things. Probably I would forget my head if it wasn't attached to my neck. Thankfully, my neck is also attached to my body which is pretty hard to forget.
My blog on the other hand is really easy for me to forget. I would need a reminder on my reminder to remember it. Every time I see a friend post a link to their blog I think "Oh man I should write about blablabla." followed quickly by "Oh hey there's something pretty!" and this blog is once again forgotten. Doomed to spend its life in the backwaters of Blogdom with all the other neglected blogs.
It has become clear to me that no matter how many times I vow "I will not forget!" I'm going to forget. Like when I declare I'm going to keep my kitchen spotless, or my thread organized. Simple to say, not so simple for me to accomplish. Organization is just not part of my brain makeup. And that is ok, because like Miranda Lambert says (or the guys who write her songs), it takes all kinds of kinds. I happen to be the scatterbrained kind.
There have been a few finishes since my last post. The baby has gotten older and the Toddler has gotten more preschoolish. We made a trip to California to visit family. Until I can get my thoughts together enough to write a post about them all, please enjoy the follow photo of The Baby and The Hellhund.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Footsie Block - a Mini-Tutorial

I love baby clothes, and doubly love a memory quilt made with them. 

Baby clothes quilts are my favourite to make, and my favourite blocks are the ones made from footsie pajamas. 

Cute little things, aren't they? And so easy to sew!  

This is how I make my footsie blocks (please be kind and try not to cringe over my crispy-crittered ironing board cover):

Cut off the footsies.
      Leave atleast 1-1/2" of leg/ankle on. 

Prep your block.

Get the base block ready. Square it up now because its impossible to do once the footsies are on.

Press the Footsie

Use steam and the cotton/linen setting. You're going for a really nice crease around the foot part. 

Cut Out the Bottom
Flip the footsie over. Cut away the bottom, leaving approximately 1/2 inch from the edge.

Shape it up
Give the footsie a nice shape by pulling the top corners of the bottom into the centre as shown. PRESS again on both sides.

Fold the Top

Fold down that big piece of ankle/leg that you left on. Where you fold is up to you, choose a length that looks best. 

PRESS again on both sides (do you see the pattern here?)

Trim the Top

Trim off the excess, again leaving around 1/2" from the edge. 

PRESS again. Make sure all raw edges are hidden.

Pin to Block

Pin the applique footsie to your base block. Take care not to distort either whilst pinning.

Sew it On

Sew the footsie using your choice of stitch. Aim for 1/4" from the edge of the applique piece. 

Back-stitch at the sharp corners. 

I prefer to use my zipper foot for this step.

Oogle Your Creation

Isn't it just adorable?

I sure would love to see YOUR footsie block!

Thursday, 1 August 2013


Its official - I do not have a fabric stash anymore.

Does that make me a bad quilter?

I have tubs on tubs of scraps, but only two pieces that measure more than 1/2 a yard. And let's face it, what am I going to make out of aqua and putty solids?

No stash isn't much of a problem for me. It's not like I have a ton of free sewing time right now, and what little I have is split between commissions and sewing a diaper stash for The Little. Who's birth story I have yet to finish writing.

No stash means no Special Little Quilts. Can't sew what you don't have.

I feel selfish sewing just for me. By this point in the year I've usually sewn three Special Little Quilts. I've done none. That's both a good thing (thank God no one I know needed one) and bad thing. Bad because I've been sitting on one of my only gifts - sewing for people in need.

My other gift is sitting in my closet collecting dust. Poor little viola. As soon as The Little can make it through a church service without needing Mama though, he's coming out of the closet again.

But back to Special Little Quilts. I want to step up my game. I don't just want to sew for friends. I want to support local families and let them know they are loved - that they and their child are not forgotten. 

So, I presented a request to the Family Ministry at church to start a quilt ministry. Tomorrow, they'll review it and let me know whether or not it'll move forward. I'm nervous. Not that I won't get the approval for the funds, but that there will only be lukewarm interest at church.

The sewing crowd are, shall we say, mature. Of an age where many of them think they've paid their dues and it's time for them to retire. There are a few whippersnappers like me who sew and could quilt but I want to have the mature AND young women involved. Something like this should span generations.

I've been praying my brains out; not that the ministry gets approved per say, but that God's will is done and we send so much glory to him that Heaven just shines. This church could and should be a beacon of light to the local community. Whether we're sewing quilts for the babyloss families or something else comes up, there's no one who should retire, no matter what age. 

Its ok, even required, to take a break and rest from time to time. To slow down and focus on you, but we should never stop doing for others. 

I suppose this turned into more of a complaint than a post, so to end on a positive note, have a gander at my fluffy-butted Little. 

Ain't she cute?

Monday, 15 July 2013

T-shirt Quilt Tips

Here are a few things I've found helpful while constructing t-shirt quilts. As I think of them, I'll update this!

Get it Stabilized

Most clothes used in t-shirt quilts are made from jersey and jersey stretches. In order to neatly sew the shirt pieces to the sashing pieces, you'll need to stabilize the clothes first. 

Any non-woven, fusible interfacing will do; however to keep the clothes and seams soft, my stabilizer of choice is Pellon Fusible 80% polyester / 20% nylon non-woven. 

Cut the interfacing slightly larger than needed and fuse to the fabric according to manufacturer directions. Cut fused piece as needed and iron again on both sides.

Pick a Sharp

Needle choice is a personal preference. Normally when sewing with knits a ball-point or knit needle is used to avoid holes developing when the seam is stretched. My experience with the stabilized knits is that a quilting or universal needle works the best. Ball-point needles can cause puckers while sewing in woven fabric. Because the knit is sewn to a non-stretch woven fabric (and even when just sewn to another piece of stabilized knit) the seams simply don't stretch enough to cause the holes created by the needle to grow larger than the thread.

Keep it in Order

Even stabilized knits will stretch slightly; to combat this, make sure the woven fabric is on the bottom of the stack while sewing. Most of the stretching is done by the sewing machine's feed dogs. Keeping the woven fabric against the feed dogs and the knit against the presser foot will help the seams retain their shape.

Press it Away

Whenever possible, press the knit fabric toward the woven. This is more of a personal preference, I suppose. Chances are, however, that the knits will have varying weights, so the blocks will look neater if the woven fabric frames the knit.

Friday, 17 May 2013

Blogger's Quilt Festival again? YAA!

It's that time again - time to look at the online quilting bloggers' favorite quilts!
Amy's Creative Side is looking even prettier than usual with all of these quilts.

My entry?  Going into the Favorite Bed Quilt is my Mermaid Lovey Quilt.

My sweet little girl needed to move up to a Big Girl bed, and to make it extra special (and less like getting kicked out of her crib) I wanted to make her a quilt. I was at a total loss of what to make though, until one day she pulled some mermaid fabric out of my stash and oooo'd and aaaaaaa'd over it. So I ordered more coordinating fabric and worked on a layout for a twin-sized quilt of approx 60" x 100".

Her quilt started out as a lot of triangles. Stacks and stacks of triangles:

That were arranged with fussy-cut centre blocks to form an ocean waves pattern:

That were eventually all pieced together (with a LOT of y-seams) and sashed with ruffled blue satin:

And bordered with mermaids frolicking with dolphins:

All to be quilted by her loving Mama in a wave/swirl pattern in the negative space:

I adore it. But more importantly, she does.

Thanks for stopping in to look :)

Thursday, 1 November 2012

Vintage Postage (and First Time Just Three!)

A few years ago, quite possibly six, I was handed a box full of scrap fabric and quilt patterns. 

Much to my shame, I tucked it into a closet.

Today while cleaning out said closet, I came across the box again. It looks like the intent was to make a Dresden Plate, or similar type pattern applique quilt. There are a few larger pieces of fabric and even more that area already cut in petals.

I don't think I've mentioned it, but I really dislike Dresden Plate. Also, I'm not a huge fan of applique.

So what to do with the pieces?

A little voice in my brain whispered postage stamp.

Postage stamp? Like, sewing together a ton of 1-1/2" squares? Oh that doesn't sound like fun, and definitely not something that would be up my alley.

I heard it again.


Very rarely do I hear that small, still voice, but when I do I know HE has something in mind that I had better get done.

OK, so I'm making a postage stamp quilt with a bunch of vintage fabric. Most of the fabric is polycotton.

What I'm going to do with the quilt I have no idea. Sometime, I'll hear some instructions again.  I don't know what size it will be, either.

I foresee cans on cans on cans of spray starch in my future.

On another note, Tracey at Traceyjay Quilts has a fun way of making monthly goals seem reasonable.
traceyjay quilts

Just Three challenges us to set three goals for the month.  Totally do-able! I'm limiting them to personal sewing.

So for this month, I am choosing these THREE:

1.  Cut out the postage stamps.

2.  Sew at least one, hopefully more, maternity tops for myself.

3. Piece together the top for Sister-in-Law's baby quilt.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

I thought about adding potty train The Toddler to the list, but I imagine this is going to take a little longer than a month...

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

WIP it Good!

This is slightly frightening - I haven't taken stock of my WIPs (works in progress) since April. 

Oh boy. 

 The list is long. Really, really long. Be prepared, this'll be painful. 

Stuff finished since April, limited ONLY to quilts: 

Two small baby clothes quilts 

Three medium tshirt quilts 

One large baby clothes quilt (Oorah Love)

One small, double-sided baby clothes quilt 

A quilt for my cousin's baby boy (thankfully I didn't pick out the fabric on this one...

A quilt/nursery setup

Bavarian Rose twin-sized ( finished photo coming once I have some sunshine here!)

Mother-in-Law's quilted curtains. They're finished, but she's doing something more to them so they have never been hung up. I don't expect to see them up. Ever.

Some of those are going to get their own posts eventually, a few are not. 


My baby clothes quilt with clothes from The Toddler
The Toddler's big girl bed quilt
Sister-in-Law's baby clothes quilt. STILL waiting for photos from her.
Maternity shirts for me! Wahoo!! 

My wholecloth quilt. So sad. 

Whew. The list goes on, but that's all I can do for now. Yikes.

Linking up!!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced