Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Quilt That Almost Wasn't

Remember many months ago I shared a quilt that I was trying to make for our bed (the love-hate relationship quilt)? Well the quilt ended up getting scrapped. I will use the blocks in another quilt at some point. But I took the remaining fabric and began to work on another attempt with it. I should mention, I began this attempt back in May as I awaited the arrival of our little one. 

The quilt top came together beautifully and I loved it, until I began quilting a king-size quilt on my small throated sewing machine. Nothing like stuffing an entire king-sized quilt through a 6 inch space. Needless to say, this caused much frustration with the backing of the quilt getting bunched in spaces. Being a perfectionist this really was bothering me but there was only so much seam picking I could do before I finally had to give up and just let some bunching remain on the back. After all, I wanted to finish the quilt sometime this year. 

But I really do finally love this quilt. I had some fun with this one as I tried to expand on free-motion quilting. This time I added lyrics from some of our favorite songs. 

I also labelled my quilt directly in the quilting. 

The greatest feeling of accomplishment was washing the quilt and getting it laid out on my bed! My room has been waiting for this quilt for a year and a half. 

I am so happy to have this quilt finally off of my to-do list. 

Until next time . . . happy sewing! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Fast as Lightning McQueen: My First Serger Quilt

Life with little ones leaves little time for in-depth projects. Which means I am always looking for ways to make things quicker so I can actually accomplish what I need to. So when I saw an episode of Sew It All that showed viewers how to make a baby quilt using your serger I was beyond intrigued. Rather than cutting time with the kiddos short I was going to be able to cut the sewing time in half! And so I decided to test it out on a quilt I was designing for my son's bed. 

It all began with this panel that I found on eBay (which I backed, basted and quilted before doing anything else). And let me just say, after much frustration with shoving another quilt in progress through my small home machine . . . quilting in stages was pure heaven. No bunching up in the back and no killing my arms as I shove an entire bed quilt under the throat of the machine. 

My son has recently become obsessed with Disney's Cars and Cars 2 so I knew that this panel would kick off the perfect bed quilt. 

Invisible thread was perfect for outlining the cars and their features. Once I finished quilting it I trimmed all the sides to be straight. Then I laid a piece of the backing on the back with right sides of the backing facing each other. Another great feature of quilting this way, I did not need to purchase a large backing piece. I was able to use up remaining chunks of fabric since the back is pieced along with the front.

Then I laid a piece of the quilt top on top of my panel with right sides facing each other. 

Then a piece of batting is placed on top of that piece and I am ready to feed it all through the serger. 

Of course, the serging is unbelievably quick and also wonderfully sturdy. It also smashes down the multiple layers of batting so that everything lays together nicely in the end.

Once I was done serging, I simply flipped the back panel up.

And then I flipped the batting and the front panel up. 

Of course, at this point you should press your pieces/seams into place but, being the hurried momma that I am lately, I skipped right to the quilting part. Quilting in stages like this is unbelievably quick since you do not need to fight as much bulk through the machine each time. 

I continued on like this all the way up the length of the quilt. 

I also added on to the sides once the length was there. Before I knew it, I had finished a twin sized bed quilt in a week and a half! That's a record for this tired momma who usually gets only an hour or two a day to set up my sewing area, sew and clean  it all up again so that the family has somewhere to eat dinner that night.

I will definitely be creating more quilts that will allow for this sort of piecing! 

But I have plenty to keep me busy in the meantime . . . like finishing a king sized quilt, sewing more charity dolls, creating Halloween costumes and perhaps finally taking a stab at paper piecing. Until next time . . . happy sewing!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Creating Dolls from our Daydreams

Oh my! Where did August go?! I swear I have been sewing, only the sewing has been done in such small doses that it seems like it is taking forever for to finish projects. I am in progress on 2 bed quilts and still greatly enjoying working on items for the hospital. I also tried to work on a few dolls for ourselves this past month too.
I got through 2 more batches of charity dolls. I cannot stress enough how wonderful the Cuties for a Cure pattern is from Dolls and Daydreams. I cannot wait to deliver my first box of dollies to the hospital.

I have been trying to complete a doll for charity between working on each personal project.

I have almost filled a box with the dolls. I really cannot stress how excited I am to deliver that first box.

A few weeks ago my son was watching the show, "Sarah and Duck" on Sprout and turned and asked me to make Sarah. I absolutely love that he can request things from me now and I love watching his face light up when I make it happen. So I immediately got to work. 

That night I went back to the Dolls and Daydreams website and found a doll (the Wendy Poppet) that had a nice round face like Sarah from the show. I swear, I am not affiliated with the pattern store and I do not get paid to write about it . . . I am just a woman obsessed with these adorable and easy to follow patterns. 

My son absolutely loves her . . . he didn't even wait for me to finish her shoes before swooping her and running off with her. He has slept with her every night since. He had me create Duck too but, as happy as he is with the duck I designed, I see too many flaws and am too embarrassed to share it. Haha.
I also started working on a doll for myself finally. I absolutely love old movies and one of my favorite actresses was Marilyn Monroe. So I knew I had to create a little Marilyn to keep at my sewing table. I, of course, used another Dolls and Daydreams pattern, the Tiny Tot. Again, I swear to you I am not affiliated . . . just obsessed! I traced the pattern head and then designed a completely different face and hair to make my Marilyn come to life. 

I also switched her body up a bit to create her white dress from "The Seven Year Itch". It was so fun to finally make something for myself!

I am hoping to finish up one of the bed quilts this weekend! The other one is a great frustration to me right now and ended up angrily balled up and thrown into a corner in my bedroom. I have put in way too much time on it (4 months and counting) but at the moment I daydream of tearing it to shreds with my fabric shears! Perhaps next week I will try to calmly tackle it again.

Until next time . . . happy sewing!