Archive for January, 2014

January Finish

At the beginning of the month, I made a goal to complete the quilt top for a lap/baby quilt I had been planning on making for the Lovely Year of Finishes January challenge. I blew that goal out of the water, and completed the whole quilt. (Ignore the cat shadow in the photo and the wrinkles in the quilt–it has already been well loved by the boys, and makes a surprisingly good rope for tug-of-war).

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I bought a new free motion quilting sewing foot and got to try it out. I’m not particularly good with it yet, but I just need more practice; it was definitely easier making the circles with the free motion foot than with the regular presser foot and feed dogs. I backed the quilt with a super soft minky fabric, and the quilted circles look pretty neat on the backside.

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I didn’t get to use the butterfly fabric that I had always planned to use on a baby quilt if I ever have a little girl (the minky fabric fit so much better with this quilt!), so IF this baby is a girl there will likely be another quilt for her in the future. I’m happy with how it turned out in the end (there were times during the process that I was less happy with how it was going), and I really enjoyed the time to unstress while I worked on it this month. I’m looking forward to doing a simpler goal in February.

Upcycled

Project Quilting: Season Five, Challenge Two

This week’s challenge for Project Quilting was to make a quilted project entirely out of things that had a previous life as something else, and it needed to include at least two things that were not meant to be used on a quilt or clothing. Here were my materials: Image

I used the fabrics from the crib skirt that I made for my oldest kiddo (and we stopped using when it started collecting dust under the crib). My wedding bouquet is getting old and had started falling apart–I wanted to save the pieces and make something special out of them. And then I also used the rock and stick collection that we gradually accumulate as the boys bring them in after playing outside.

This is the finished project: Image

Since I have to give it a name, I’m calling it “Happily Ever After”. You can’t see it in the picture, but there’s a little hand quilted heart in the bottom corner. It’s going to go up in our master bedroom.

String Along with Me

Project Quilting: Season Five, Challenge One

The second challenge series that I am working on is Project Quilting. For these biweekly challenges I have a week to create a quilted project (not necessarily a quilt) from start to finish, followed by a week off. I can create whatever I want as long I stick to the guidelines of that particular challenge, which are posted at the start of the challenge week. The idea is to think outside the square. This week’s challenge was String Along with Me; projects had to be created entirely out of strings (where a string is defined as a strip of fabric no more than 2.5 inches wide).

Since this was the first Project Quilting challenge I have attempted, I worked towards a less ambitious goal than I otherwise might have attempted without a time limit. My primary goal was to finish the project within the week. I had initially thought I might make a coaster with a quilted background and appliqué something of myself onto it. However, it turns out that my stash of fabrics did not have the colours and textures that I had planned in my head, and I didn’t have the time to go shopping for just the right fabrics. (I just wanted to jump right into the challenge). While searching for inspiration I came across a lovely pattern that I knew would make a fabulous Christmas present for a specific special person. I even had the fabrics in the colours I wanted.

In the end I made four coasters (about 3.5″ x 4″) and a hot pad/trivet (about 9.5″ x 10.75″). Since I have to give my project a title, I chose “Off to Grandma’s House” because the colours have a bit of a Little Red Riding Hood feel to it, and grandmas are notorious for hosting tea parties (or something like that). The colours in the picture are brighter than in real life.

This whole project took me about four hours, and I had it finished on Tuesday night (the challenge deadline isn’t until Sunday at noon). I’m  happy with how it turned out, and I’m pleased to already have a Christmas present crossed off my list. For the next challenge I might be a little more ambitious.

January Goal

As part of making more room for quality time with myself, I decided to work on a few sewing/quilting challenges. The first of these, A Lovely Year of Finishes, gives me the chance to work on my own goals each month and complete the projects that I want to get done throughout the year.
My Button
A Year of Lovely Finishes: January Goal
CirclesThese fabrics were originally meant to be a baby quilt for a friend. But it turned out that while I absolutely adored these fabrics, they were not a good fit for the intended recipient. So I revised my baby gift plans and set these fabrics aside.  Now I am going to make this as a lap quilt for myself (though if baby#3 turns out to be a girl–we’ll find out when he/she arrives in late June–then it would become her baby quilt), and it’s time I get started again. Since I have so little free time right now, I’m keeping my goal smallish (though still challenging). My goal is to get the quilt top completed in January.

Getting Started

With two young boys and a third baby on the way, life often seems overwhelming and I rarely make it a priority to take care of myself. This year I’m hoping to add a little more quality time with myself into the mix, with the hope that it will help me to relax and take better care of my family. This blog is my attempt to document this effort, for better and worse.