Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Superheroes and a Princess

I've just returned from StashBash and my daughter and her husband arrived from the Caribbean while I was gone, so life is just slightly crazy right now as I try to catch up on my sleep and entertain the troops and (hopefully) carve out just a teeny bit of sewing/photography time (I have a bee block due tomorrow - yikes!), but I wanted to share these adorable photos my daughter sent of her littles with their presents from grandma!

I love this photo.  Even though I made both capes for Britton, I love that he is sharing and that Abby is wearing one too.  I love that they are holding hands.  I love the picture on the wall above their sweet little heads.  I love how it looks like she is taking such good care of her little brother.  And I love that he has one pants leg up and the other down.  I really just love this photo.

Here's the little guy in his cape working on the puzzle grandma sent with the dress up stuff.  (Doesn't he have the cutest little toes?)  I forgot to take their presents from my visit to St. Maarten when I went last time.

And it seems that Abby's Cinderella dress is a bit big for her (which is odd considering that it's the same pattern as the Elsa dress) and a bit long (not so odd considering that I was going by memory) but the good news is that I'm sure she will grow - and fast!  She seems a bit more reconciled to the photography session this time too, which is nice.

No pictures of Rapunzel yet.  I hope she likes that one too.

And her momma has already ordered fabric for a few more princess dresses. 

Maybe there will be enough fabric for a few more superheroes too.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Welcome Wee Ones

I have several friends who are expecting little ones - in fact, one of these sweet little ones was just born yesterday - the first boy after 6 girls!  Woo hoo!  I'm sure his parents are excited.

I missed my friend's baby shower because unfortunately it was the same day as the ECMQG A&E Field Trip (you can read all about it here and here.)  And, of course, I hadn't made the gift yet.  (Don't tell, but I bought the fabric for this one at the A&E field trip.)

It's finished now though, and I delivered it this morning.  I hope little Kai likes it, and that it keeps him warm and snuggly.

The fabric is mostly Tula Pink Salt Water with a few random pieces added.  The pattern is the Charm Baby Quilt by Elizabeth Hartman.  I quilted it with just loops because that was the kind of mood I was in.  Loops are so fast and easy, and you don't really have to think...  and before you know it, it's done.  Especially baby quilts.  I really like making baby quilts.

I also had need to make a girl quilt, and I chose this Swanky jelly roll by Chez Moi that was just sitting on the shelf.  Bright and cheerful and girly without being too pink, don't you think?  The pattern is a new design called Ribbon Candy by Diane of From Blank Pages, and I believe it'll be out very soon.   Diane asked that I not share photos of the full quilt yet, so here's just a snippet of what it looks like.  I really love these fabrics for a baby girl quilt. I quilted it with all-over loops also.  As I said, I was just in that kind of mood.

Sometimes, I really love a quick finish project.  Makes me feel so productive, you know?

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Equal Time

Now that I've made three princess dresses for the big sister, I decided it was important to give equal time to the young boy in my life.  He is such a joy in my life, even though I don't get to see him often.  I had some left over fabric from two of the princess dresses, so I decided to make him a couple of superhero capes.  This one is Super Britton.  The piece of fabric I had left over was a triangular shape, mostly so I could get as much use out of the small piece as possible.  Keeping it simple, I drew a circle and a "B" to fit inside it.

Very basic, but I don't think elaborate would necessarily have made him happier.

Oh, and I found out something interesting - Wonder Under doesn't work on felt.  Luckily, even though the cape is slippery, felt just naturally kind of stays put, so the fact that the Wonder Under didn't stick wasn't a huge deal.

I had a long, narrow piece of the purple left, so I cut it in half and put a seam down the middle.  I didn't want to use a character logo - I don't think he would recognize them yet anyway, and I wanted this to be something he could use his imagination for.  I started with a double triangle and then added the shaft-like thing.  I was kind of going for a lightning bolt, but when I got it on there, it looked like a fox running to me.  A stretch, I know, but maybe that's ok.  His momma is "A Crafty Fox" after all.

So, equal time for the little boy.  (He really is durned adorable, if you ask me!)

Just to prove Grandma doesn't play favorites.

I can't wait to see him play in them!

Monday, April 21, 2014

A Princess Do-Over

I posted here and here about the princess dresses I was making for my granddaughter, Abby.  The Elsa dress appears to be a big hit - enough so that taking it off to be washed has become something of an issue.

So I bought some more fabric and some lace and some ribbon and made a Rapunzel dress.

And I just wasn't happy with it.  The ribbon puckered all down the front and when I pressed the ribbon, the design came off. 

It took me awhile to make myself take the dress apart, but I took off the first ribbon and replaced it with some wider grosgrain ribbon.  I think this will hold up better than the embossed satin ribbon I bought at first.

And the skirt is no longer puckered where the ribbon is attached.

Yes, that's much better.

While I was at it, I made a Cinderella dress, just for good measure.  Again I went with a dancewear knit for the main body of the dress so that she can put it on and take it off by herself.  I jazzed it up with some glitter chiffon (after my experience with the glitter tulle, this seemed like a better choice.)  It isn't as glitzy as the tulle, but I don't think it will wash out either.

Here's hoping she likes her new princess dresses.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

14 in 2014 Finishes Update

I've been doing pretty well so far this month in the sewing room and I have a couple of finishes to report.  Not bad for the 12th of the month, I think.

First is my Modern Maples quilt.  The quilt top and backing has been finished since at least September or October, and it has been sandwiched since Halloween, but I've only just now gotten it quilted.  But I love the texture the quilting gave it.

I outlined the leaves, which was a total pain in the neck, but I really like the look it gave them.

Then I quilted the background in random leaves and loops.  Leaves and loops go a lot faster than all that outlining!

I created a real back for the MM quilt with some of the leftovers from making it.  Since I started out with a FQ bundle and a layer cake, there was a lot left over, even after making two quilts!

I decided on a super scrappy binding for the MM quilt, and I really love it!

I also managed to get the Faux String quilt done.  If you remember this post, from way back in June of 2013, I created the blocks from the Stripes That Bind bundle from Westwood Acres.  (Let me just say that Amanda puts together such awesome collections!)  And yes, it's been sitting there a really long time.  I actually think it has been sandwiched since about last August.

And it just sat there.  And sat there.  And every time I looked at it I thought, "You know, I really should get that down off the shelf and quilt it.  It wouldn't take that long..."  And still it sat there.

Until now.

I got it down off the shelf on Saturday evening, and quilted a couple of the hexagons.  And then on Monday I quilted a couple more.  On Tuesday, I finally decided to just sit-down-and-finish-it-already!

Again, I outlined the hexagons, and swirls in the background.

I bound it in this cool multi-color stripe that was one of the stripes in the hexagons.  The more I stitched the binding, the more I decided I liked the stripes. 

The backing is some random leftover pieces from other quilt backs I did last summer.

So, that's two finishes already in April!  I'm so excited!

And since we were in the middle of an ice storm when I finished the Spot On quilt, I finally got pictures of it as well. 

This one is also one more toward my making every quilt in Camille Roskelly's Simplify book.  Only a few more to go!

I quilted the spots in spirals, and then quilted the boundaries of the blocks in swirls.  I did a herringbone in the sashing...

 And hearts (of a sort) in the inner border.  I never did manage to get the hearts as consistent as I would have liked.

I tried my hand at feathers (my first feathers ever!) in the outer border.

They are far from perfect, but respectable, I think for a first try.  I obviously need more practice.

Like the MM quilt above, I used a bunch of random leftover pieces to make the quilt back.  I'm really glad that it ended up {mostly} straight.

And I used the same scrappy binding for this quilt as I did for the MM quilt.  (And I still have some left over after binding two quilts.  Wonder what I'll find to do with it?)

So, I think that's six...


  Spot On

Bookshelf Quilt

Breath of Avignon

Modern Maples

 Faux String Quilt

 finishes this year from the 14 in 2014 list.  Only 8 more to go in 8 months!!  Woohoo!

I might just be able to do this!

Friday, April 11, 2014

All Tangled Up

I guess I haven't been getting too much quilting done (although I do have a new finish that needs pictures) but I have been having fun playing dress up...  or more specifically making dresses for Abby to play dress up in.

Once again I started with a picture and went from there.

I used the same pattern as I did for the Elsa dress and it didn't need as many adjustments.  I took a lot of the fullness out of the skirt, but the bodice and sleeves were perfect.  The photo (above) looks like there is an under-sleeve, but I decided that on a 4 year old it would only be in the way, so I left it off.

I used dance/swim fabric for the skirt and bodice back of the dress, but while Joann's had a lovely dark purple, they didn't have any lavender and the only pink was way too orange and looked horrible with the purple.  Consequently, I settled on a satin for the bodice front.  I made faux corset ties with ribbon across the front, and added a bit of lace at the neckline.  I was about three inches short of having enough lace to add to the hem, and then decided that with a 5-inch hem, the idea is to let out the hem as she grows, and the lace would cause trouble.

Instead of a lot of detail (which looks like embroidery in some of the images) I found a sparkly ribbon and added it to the front of the skirt before I joined the skirt and bodice together.  I didn't use a zipper - hopefully the dance/swim fabric is stretchy enough that she can get it on and off by herself.  It works great on the Elsa dress.

And lest you think that the girl is not into dress up, apparently she seldom wears anything else!!  (Sorry for the blurry pic, but it's from a video of her opening a present from a very special friend, but I couldn't help noticing her attire.)

So now the dress is finished, but before I pop it in the mail, I'm thinking I should go figure out how to make super hero capes for her brother...

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Strollin' Along

Does your little one have one of these Wal-Mart $10 dolly strollers?  If so, you know that they are a huge hit with the preschool crowd.  Abby got hers for her second birthday.  The metal frame of the stroller is still going strong.

The fabric seat?  Not so much.

When I went to visit when Britton was born, Amanda asked me to make a new stroller seat to fit the frame.

That seat is still going strong - despite the abuse that has been inflicted on it over the past two years.  In fact, you will probably find the stroller the toy of choice at any given moment.  It is just so much fun to push around - whether or not there is anything on the seat.

So, I've made a few additional seat covers and they are listed for sale in my Etsy Shop.  If you have a need for a replacement cover, drop on by.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Mini Quilts

So, have you caught the "make everything tiny" bug???  No it's nothing like the bronchitis I had last month (thank goodness!)

Everyone seems to want to make everything smaller.  Including quilt blocks.

Have you seen the crazy small quilt blocks my lovely daughter has been making??  Oh my gosh, they're adorable!  (But maybe just a mite too small for me, really.)

But I did need a mini quilt for a swap recently and decided to try my hand at one of Camille's adorable little patterns.  This one is the mini Rain Check, and it's free on her blog right now.  And remarkably, I even had an April Showers charm pack sitting around. 

And being as I'm from Seattle originally, I've always been just a little crazy about umbrellas.  And teeny tiny umbrellas are even better.

You know what they say about those of us from Seattle, right?  We don't tan in the summer - we rust!  Bwahahah!  (Sorry.)

These little umbrellas are just adorable, and totally fun to make.  I did have a bit of an issue with the handles, however.  I've always said I have a love/hate relationship with fusible web, and this time was no different.  It just didn't want to bond as well as I thought it should, particularly on these super-tiny pieces.  Next time I may try embroidering the handles, instead of the fusible web.

These little umbrellas are super fun!

Which cute little mini quilt shall I do next?