quilting update {sewing projects}

Well the quilt is not done (shocking I know). Remember how I said I had the top and back all made and ready to be basted as soon as I got my hands on some safety pins? Well apparently after a night to sleep and think it over I convinced myself that the backing I had already made (cut, pieced, sewn, pressed and ready to go) was not in fact the one I wanted to use. So I ripped it all out and went with plan B. I didn’t love the fabric that I had used even though it was the second one I had bought. I didn’t want to go back to the fabric store again and buy even more fabric that I wouldn’t end up loving, so I went with what is in hindsight the obvious choice – I cut up a few of their receiving blankets to piece together for the back. I actually really like how it turned out and I like that it is soft and flannely and cozy. It took almost and entire day to put that together and most of yesterday to do the quilting. I also decided (like a crazy person) that I wanted to use bias cut binding tape so I spent all last evening cutting and sewing and pressing that. I got it attached by machine to the front of the quilt and I’m (still like a crazy person) working on attaching the binding on the back by hand. Last night I was getting frustrated with my thread continually tangling and only managed to get a measly 5 inches done in a half hour. Ben calculated that at that rate I’ll be done in only 14 more hours. Great. Let’s hope I can speed it up a bit.

A few more little close up sneak peeks. I don’t want to show the whole thing until it’s totally done.

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quilting update {sewing projects}

a baby clothes quilt in progress {sewing projects}

Currently overtaking my sewing room (oh who am I kidding, I don’t have a sewing room… currently overtaking my bedroom) is a project that I’ve had in mind ever since Paul and Amelia were born. One that I thought I’d do when they were a year old but I am just now getting around to it. Hey, at least I started right? I am going to take each of their infant wardrobes and make them into a quilt. I’m pretty bad about throwing things out, I’d much rather hold on to them indefinitely. Because you never know when you might need a somewhat stained onesie that your baby wore when they were still in the reflux stage right? This quilt was my answer to that problem. Instead of keeping all the clothes (including the stained bits) I’m cutting them all up (a process that was a bit painful but I think in the end worth it) and only using the clean swatches to make a (hopefully) beautiful quilt that will have all of the memories right in one spot. There are a few articles of clothing that I just COULDN’T cut up, like the sleepers they wore home from the hospital, their first Christmas and Easter outfits and their first birthday outfits, but pretty much everything else was fair game.

At this point I’m done with the quilt top and backing but have yet to baste, quilt and bind to finish it up. I was going to get through basting this evening but my safety pins went missing (maybe I misplaced them after the last quilt I made but if that’s the case they’re probably gone forever since we’ve moved in the meantime) so I had to call it a night. I’m hoping to get the whole thing quilted by the end of tomorrow night but we shall see. I remember from the last one that the binding was a very long and slow process so I’m not holding my breath on getting that finished tomorrow, maybe by the end of the week.

I didn’t get a picture of the top tonight since it was dark by the time it was finished (and you know how I hate icky incandescent lighting) so you’ll just have to be surprised when I show off the whole quilt 🙂 Here are a few sneak peeks from the piecing process.

a baby clothes quilt in progress {sewing projects}

tasty muffins for my lady {baking}

Amelia is addicted to muffins – or rather maybe she’s just a muffin hound. She can’t really be addicted since she’s not capable of going and getting one for herself. All I know is she gobbles them up whenever presented with them. The trouble is most muffins (from places like Starbucks, which I am sad to say she’s had many a muffin from) are loaded with lots of fat and sugar and junk that aren’t really staples to a well balanced diet. I tried making some “healthy” muffins at home a while ago and they were not delicious. Amelia did not love them. A few weeks ago however, a friend of mine sent me the link to these oatmeal applesauce blueberry muffins from a blog called Joy the Baker. I do have to say though, do not go visit the link unless you want to be absorbed into a frenzy of clicking and oohing and ahhing and a desire to make each and every baked good on the blog. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Most of the goodies she writes about are loaded with the aforementioned fat and sugar but these, well these are more on the healthy side. They just happen to be delicious as well. And Amelia loved them 🙂 I will definitely be making them again

Mmmmm

tasty muffins for my lady {baking}

my (4 hour) 90 minute shirt {sewing projects}

What do you get for your craft-obsessed wife when mother’s day comes around and you need to pick out a gift? Well, if you know her well you would get her a serger. And Ben does, and he did! I was so ridiculously excited when I opened it up because 1. I have been wanting a serger for months now and 2. I had no idea he was getting me one. I wouldn’t think he would want to encourage my frantic crafting behaviors 🙂 But he did get me one and it is one of the best presents I’ve ever gotten (actually he’s on a streak of super awesome presents, the watch he got me for Christmas is another “can’t live without” favorite gift)

I took it out for a test drive yesterday and what better to start with than a first attempt at the 90 minute shirt. I mostly make things for Amelia (with myself coming in second) but it’s hard to find patterns or ideas of things to sew for boys. This seemed like a perfect first serger project for me to start with.

I ended up taking close to four (yes 4) hours to finish the shirt, not even counting the freezer paper stenciling but it’s really all my fault. I didn’t pay close enough attention to the shape of the pattern pieces in the tutorial so I didn’t realize (until it was too late) that the neckline/armhole portion of mine was all wrong. I’m pretty sure that the issues started from me using a super teeny tiny onesie to cut up, instead of one that was closer to their size (since they don’t really have many onesies in their size anymore and I didn’t want to dismantle any of them that were still wearable). I did a pretty rotten job of sizing up the pattern so the pieces were just all wrong.

I was actually really worried about sewing on the knit and learning to use the serger, but those turned out to be the easy parts. As always the tutorial was very well written and illustrated and easy to follow. I was zipping right along on track to finish in just around 2 hours (not bad for a first attempt) when I got to the part where you pin the sleeve in to the body/neck. I did all the pinning, humming as I worked, and excited to flip it right side out to admire the effect of the almost finished shirt. Except when I flipped mine right side out it wasn’t a nice almost finished shirt, it was a shirt without a neck hole (certainly not going to work for Paul because he does indeed have a neck). You see my interpretation of the neck hole and sleeve holes were all wrong and way too long, meaning that when I wrapped the sleeves they overlapped (as envelope necks should) but they overlapped way TOO much and in fact SO much that the back and front covered each other entirely. Oops.

I realized pretty quickly that it was going to be a bit of a disaster to try to unstitch the neck that I’d already made so I called it a loss and just unpinned the sleeves and started cutting the entire neck line off, lowering it by a good few inches. I would snip, re-pin and check to see if it looked right. I had to do it a couple of times before I was pretty sure it was a suitable neck line. Unfortunately in making the neck line lower I also had to bring the shoulder line in (since there wasn’t any more fabric out to the sides) so I knew it was going to do some weird things to the sleeves but it was kind of too late to fix. I then made up all new pieces of ribbed edging for the neck hole and sewed it on (hey, more serger practice, right?) and finished up the shirt. It ended up a little funny looking (when it’s not on the arms stick out straight to the side due to the weird shoulder seams) and a bit like a mini muscle shirt (oops) but I still think it’s cute and good enough for a first try.

I also knew that I wanted to decorate it somehow, so I added on a freezer paper stencil of the word “pwease” since it is, after all, every other word out of Paul’s mouth.

I think it actually fits him pretty well (other than the weird muscle man sleeves) and since it’s made from an old one of Ben’s shirts (with one of my old tank tops for ribbing) I know it’s not going to shrink which is nice. Paul seems to like it too. He really wanted to put it on as soon as he saw it

And one more funny storry/picture. I really wanted to take a few pictures of him in one of our dining room chairs in the shirt up against a white wall just to show off the shirt… but he immediately got squirmy (notice there aren’t any of him just sitting straight on) so I had to take him down… but he wanted to get back up and was really sad that I wouldn’t let him (because he almost fell off it a few times already) so I decided to cheer him up with some bubbles. He was REALLY loving the bubbles, he was actually getting hysterical laughing at the dog eating them in the air. So hysterical he started drooling on his shirt and tearing up from laughing so hard (notice the drool on his shirt?) He was getting SO riled up in fact that I thought maybe we needed to put down the bubbles. But Paul didn’t agree. He wanted more bubbles. Pweeeeaaaaaaasssssseeeee?! And gave me this face. We had lunch instead 🙂

my (4 hour) 90 minute shirt {sewing projects}