Archive for February, 2014

February Finish

At the beginning of February I made a goal for the Lovely Year of Finishes challenge to fix up our change pads in preparation for baby #3. Success!

Monster change pads

I found some very cute monster flannel along with a couple others that matched nicely. I used the same fabrics for both change pads partly because I picked up enough for both (and then some) and didn’t feel like making a second trip out, and partly because the boys liked them so much. I kept it simple. I used the original change pad fabric for the backside, and put a new vinyl layer (which came sandwiched between light batting layers and thus made the pads softer) on the inside.

Change pads with original fabric

Thus far the new pads seem far more durable, are a slightly better size, are snugglier, and elicit much more cooperation during diaper changes than the old ones.

Across the Universe

Project Quilting: Season Five, Challenge Four

This week’s challenge for Project Quilting was to make a quilt using the inspiration “Across the Universe.” I had planned to make a sewing basket, because my sewing things (threads, bobbins, scissors, rotary cutter, scraps of fabric, etc.) have taken over the high (out of reach of little hands) surfaces of the living room and these piles were getting a little out of control.

But no. I was inspired. This is how we travel across the universe in our house:

Venture

I’m calling it “Venture.” (Of course the flash caught the metallics more than anything else. It’s not this bright in real life.) The quilt is about 15.5 x 26 inches, and I made it in Ontario, Canada. My three year old adores this wall hanging. He keeps asking about the story coming out of the book, and he insisted that I include a train as one of the appliquéd shapes.

Besides the design being a challenge, a lot of the technical aspects were also a challenge as I tried lots of new (to me) things with this quilt. Hexagons–I  figured out the Y-seams by the end. Fabric painting–so much fun! Free motion quilting without following a pattern–nice to get the hang of, wasn’t nearly as hard as I expected, and it turned out much better than I had hoped. The appliqué with metallic thread–so frustrating, as the fusible web I used continuously gummed up my needle and broke my metallic thread (this was only a problem with the metallic thread). It also turns out that the fine details on the appliqué take A LOT of time, both for cutting out and sewing on. Quilting on top of fabric paint–not quite what I was expecting, but the holes ended up looking like stars/constellations, which was a nice touch to the overall design. And the time–THE TIME!!!–a definite challenge to get it done within the week!

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I’m VERY happy with how this quilt turned out. I have a feeling that this is the quilt I’ll look back on in ten years and be amazed at how much my skill has grown. Lots of my ideas for this project changed along the way. I really enjoyed  the process of having a vision in my head, and having to be flexible and come up with new ways to make the various ideas come together when I couldn’t always do things the way I originally planned.

For the next challenge I’m definitely making something smaller/simpler (maybe a sewing basket?).

Sweet Treats

Project Quilting: Season Five, Challenge Three

This week’s challenge for Project Quilting was to choose one or more candies as inspiration and make a “quilt” project from it/them. (Where “quilt” includes a project with patchwork, appliqué, or three layers stitched together.) My candy inspirations were Jolly Ranchers for the colours, and Sweethearts for the appliqué shape. My “quilt” was actually a toddler dress. I’ve been itching to make one for a friend for a while, but have never gotten around to it. I LOVE that I can use these challenges to be creative AND cross things off of my list of things I want to try out, even if these aren’t really quilts in the traditional sense of the word.

Front:

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Appliqué on the side:

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Back (with appliqué under the straps–I love how they kind of look like buttons):

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This was my first time sewing an article of clothing, which meant that it was my first time using a gathering stitch, making button holes, and paying really close attention to the pattern and directions. The sewing was much easier than I anticipated. (Which was good, considering that life had other plans than letting me sew this week.) I struggled a bit with trying to figure out how to make it a “quilt” without losing the simplicity of the dress, and still keeping the candy theme. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

February Goal

My February goal for A Lovely Year of Finishes is to fix up our change pads in preparation for baby #3.

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I originally made these two years ago before baby #2 was born. They have seen LOTS of wear and tear over the past two years. I’m not sure they would be up to the challenge of preventing newborn pee from soaking through to our carpet/bed/sofa/whereever we are changing him/her.

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So I’m going to make two new change pads this month by re-using the backing fabric that I used for these ones, using a quilted nylon liner with batting on the inside (to catch that newborn pee and make it a bit softer on the hard floors) and maybe putting a softer fabric (flannel?) on the other side.