Monday, January 27, 2014

Robots & Pluses

(...or is that Plusses?)

I couldn't bear to cut up these friendly robots (donated by Fat Quarter Shop)... I just backed the whole panel with some soft dimple minky from the stash, quilted parallel lines (my walking foot takes all the pain out of working with minky!), and bound in a bright red/orange splash cotton donated by a quilting friend.

I'm pleased with the binding - entirely machine bound! Such a time saver. I cut it at 2.25", press in half, and then stitch on with 1/4" seam allowance, mitering the corners. Then I press the binding away from the quilt top, flip it, and press the binding down at the back. I got a nice crisp edge on this one because it's not very thick. I only pin the binding at the corners and stitch in the ditch from the front of the quilt. I can feel a little ridge next to the "ditch", which lets me know if the binding is going to be caught in the stitching or I need to adjust a little. On a thicker quilt this is a bit trickier as more of the binding is taken up in the fold, but same idea.

This one was fun too! A Plus Quilt, using the pattern from For The Love of George. The floral was given to me a few years ago - nearly 4 yds! It's a difficult print to work with so I'm happy to have found a use for it. Dimensions: 38" x 52".

The white is Kona Snow and the blue stars and purple foliage-y print are quilting cottons from my mother-in-law (thanks, Mom!) -- happy accident that they coordinate!

The fabric was a bit wider than normal, I think about 44", so no piecing required to use it for the backing! See what I mean about difficult to use? :/

I quilted 1/4" inside each plus with cream thread -- thankful again for my walking foot. I had barely enough fabric to do the binding so had to hand-stitch it down, too narrow for the machine.

And finally a nice stack of bibs! They are all flannel Yo Gabba Gabba print (donated by our local quilt shop, Quilt Essential Co) on the front, lime cotton chenille on the back. I did the first two with bias tape, as called for in Alisa's pattern, which she kindly donated for the sew-along.

The other six I added 3/8" seam allowance to and turned and topstitched. I quilted each very simply along the lines made by the chenille. They all close with a poly-resin snap.

All in all, another good stack to add to my pile for the Pregnancy Care Centre!

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Flowers & Sunshine

Finished this soft, pretty quilt yesterday!

Very simple. My friend Annette had cut the flannel squares previously so all I did was chain-piece them, arranging in a basic checkerboard pattern. The backing is also flannel, the batting is a leftover chunk of high-loft poly batting from years ago, and the binding is a striped cotton print.

I quilted it in with straight lines one direction through the squares and wavy lines the other way, just for fun. As with some of the other quilts for the Pregnancy Care Centre, I'm practising machine stitching the binding on - not perfect, but pretty good! First time I didn't have to go back and redo a corner. I think it helps to press the binding away from the stitching on the right side, and then press around the edge toward the back, before sewing it down from the front.

Soft and cuddly, reminds me of flowers & sunshine on this snowy day!

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sock Monkeys and Pirate Sharks

First quilt finish of the year, and first for the Pregnancy Care Centre Sew-along!

Made with sock monkey fabrics donated by FatQuarterShop plus a few coordinates. I love that I get the chance to practice free motion quilting on these! This is a pretty little baby quilt, so not too intimidating and bulky to do on my domestic machine.

It's not perfect - have to work on getting my meandering even, but at least I figured out (by accident) the best settings on my machine to free motion! When it turns on, the sewing machine defaults back to left needle position. I'd only ever tried centre position before, but forgot to change it once when I turned it back on, and it was smooth sailing! Suzanne is quilting the second sock monkey quilt.

And just sewed the buttons on this little baby shirt:

Also from fabric donated by FatQuarterShop. I had to cut everything with 1/4" seam allowances, a little tight, to make it fit, plus I cut the underside of the collar as well as the sleeve placket and back hang loop in aqua.

Pattern: #8 Ringmaster from Ottobre Winter 6/2013
Fabric: Shiver Me Timbers by Jamie Wood for Clothworks, contrast aqua cotton/poly blend
Size: 62 (3 months)
Mods: Underside of collar in constrast, added hang loop in the yoke seam.

I loved the details and accuracy of this pattern! It was a joy to sew up - lots of details, so it took some time, but worth it. The sleeve placket binding is something I've never tried. The directions were very clear and it turned out very well.

Next up: receiving blankets and flannel quilts. Happy to stash bust for a good cause!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Pregnancy Care Centre Sew-Along 2014!

Fenna over at FABulous Home Sewn is hosting another sew-along for the Pregnancy Care CentreThis is a worthy cause, an organization that provides pregnancy information, adoptive and post-abortive support, as well as maternity and baby items to women and babies in need. For ideas of what to sew:
"Part of what we provide for our clients is a big baby hamper full of blankets and clothes. So it is really up to you what you would like to donate. We love receiving quilts, toques, clothes to add to our layettes and all our clients love them as well."

I'm joining in again this year! So far here's what I've got - 2 sock monkey quilts on the go, pieced mostly from the fabrics FatQuarterShop generously donated last year! Suzanne and I plan to finish them together.

Fenna's also planning some giveaways during this two-month sew-along, so keep checking her blog for more details. There's also a Flickr group where we'll be sharing what we've sewn.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Welcome, 2014!

Happy New Year!

2013 was a busy year! So many things for our family to experience, now that our "baby" is 2 and we can do more big kid stuff. We're so thankful to *only* have been in the hospital once this year - Abigail was hospitalized for pneumonia for a week in February. Since then things have been much calmer health-wise than we've ever had since starting our family! Hopefully this New Year will be more of the same. 

Crafty hour wise, I hope to try out some new quilting techniques, make myself some more clothes, of course more things for my little lady, possibly something for my boys too! I also hope I can get back into spinning again, as that hobby's been sadly neglected of late. Lots to look forward to!

Warm wishes and blessings for 2014 from our family!