Monday, July 4, 2011

Stars of all Sizes Quilt

Happy 4th of July Quilt: Stars of All Sizes

It was hard to make something "manly" with absolutely no flowers, but I loved the end result.  This quilt was a Christmas present I made last year - Stars of all Sizes.  My little star is shown above at Christmas time :)  ((His daddy wore that outfit as a baby!!!))

To piece it, I took discard 12x12 sheets of scrapbook paper and cut them into many sized rectangles.  I drew stars on each with a ruler.  First, a horizontal line across the center.  Then I diagonal  line from the center left to the bottom right.  Then two diagonals on the top for the top point, and four more on the bottom for the center triangle and bottom two points.

After I cut the paper into the pieces, I replace each piece with fabric.  Once I had the fabric for that star cut, I would sew together that block.

I found that this was a very inaccurate way to piece because I hadn't accounted for seam allowances.  But, since it didn't matter the end size of each block, or the mis-figured shapes, they just ended up smaller.

I  started cutting the outside edges much larger for the end-effect of a small star in a big background.  This resulted in a lot of wasted background since the background peices started overlapping terribly the bigger the block was.

I also started using bunches of strips sewn together for my star pieces and for accent squares, creating little vinettes for each star - shown on the left.

I drew every star different every time.  Then I arranged the stars into the future quilt, and started replacing each paper with a fabric star when the block was completed.  On the right is a picture of the paper quilt with some stars replaced.

For the quilting, I wanted to dress up my solid brown sashing, so I chose to quilt stars.  It turned out to be quite a challenge.  Here was my plan, drawn on the computer.  And that's about as good as the actual quilting.

The finished size was about 68"x60".  I used Sandy's cheater binding method (fold the back over to the front and topstitch).  That saved quite a bit of time at the end, and I had NO time left at the end.  It took 30 hours to piece and 10 hours to quilt.  In the end, there were a couple disappointments (there always are).  First, I thought I would like how randomly placed the stars were, but I wish it lined up better.  I just threw sashing in and hoped for the best.  Second, I wish I'd used flannel on the back.  A nice soft functional flannel, maybe thicker batting, so that it would have been more blankety.  I didn't have time to wash it so I don't know if that would have helped.  But I was very happy with everything I learned and I still love how the vinettes turned out.

Happy Fourth of July!  Who is Your Star This Year?

Monday, May 30, 2011

Spring is for Service

I've been participating in a few service projects this spring.

The first was in February.  I was on a committee to help prepare these kits for Little Dresses for Africa.  I made 200 yards of bias tape and made 10 of the 350 dresses. 

Next, getting these two quilts ready for a quilt tying party with the young women.  The plaids quilt is made from 9"x13" rectangles and the 3" sashing required 3 yards of fabric to end up with a full size quilt.  I saw this quilt in a book from the library called Quick Quilts to Make in a Weekend.  The greens quilt is just 221 squares 6" large and also made a full sized quilt.

The last project is making 50 doll kits for this humanitarian doll, which mostly involved baking doll hair.  Just wrap knitting needles with yarn and bake for 10 minutes at 200 degrees.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

More Vanilla House Samples - Patterns for Babies and Girls

Day 2 of the Vanilla House Samples I sewed for my mom:

I sewed a couple of these Bopple Balls (the picture does not do them justice).  The arms take a while so do it in front of a movie.  The actual construction is very fast.  I'm keeping one of these for myself too.  Babies love 'em. favorite (I've made almost ten) is the baby girl bib called Diva Babies.  I wanted to call it Breakfast at Tiffany's but I suppose that's not very original.  These are so so cute.  When I first started sewing baby bibs, I felt like they were a lot of effort when you can buy them for cheap.  But I love being able to use really neat bibs because I take lots of pictures of the baby in the high chair!  And they make great gifts.  Now I wish I had a girl....

Speaking of girls, I made these doll dresses and went over to two little girls' house to put them on these American GirlsKit (from the 30's), and Julie (from the 70's).  You know, I was worried they'd look squarish but they were pretty cute on the dolls.

Sample Sewing for Vanilla House

As I get more interested in sewing, I've been sewing more and more of my mom's patterns.  This spring, I was so excited about the patterns I wanted to sew many of them, so I signed up to make samples.  Making samples was fun because there was a purpose, a deadline, and best of all - I got to sew on the latest fabrics!

First, I love how easy and fast this gathered-layered bag goes together.  I've made several and more to come (I want one for myself).  PS.  I got my buttons in the upholstery section of Hobby Lobby.  PS2.  The fabric on the right looked ugly before it was made into a bag but the bag was the cutest!

Second, I made the snail and mushroom.  SOOO cool but I was in a hurry and forgot to take a picture before I mailed them off.  I plan to make more mushrooms of various sizes and smurf colors :).

I'll show my other Vanilla House samples in the next few days!

Garden Picture

It's not sewing but it's been keeping me busy!  I'm trying to do a garden this year since it's my first year with a yard.  I've pulled out a 2'x8' area of grass and planted germinated peas (the paper towel method) and carrot seeds (burlap over the top for the first week to keep them moist).  Also onion sets and beets (discovered they aren't thrilled with cold) and radishes (which grow faster than Maxwell).  The middle of the yard, a lettuce garden (4'x8').  On the tall fence, I'm planting chinese snow peas.  I'm about to plant my starts.  I've started cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes, and peppers (pic below).

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Animal Print Slippers

Need some inspiration for mother's day?  How about making some slippers.  My Favorite Things Patterns has a good selection of slippers patterns (this one is...advanced).

Everyone knows my mom loves animal prints.  So when I saw this suede lined with fur, I had to make her some slippers.  These are the same slippers Kristy made me.  You can find the pattern here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Big Swaddler

I had to make our baby a new swaddler.  But being 9 months when I made 12 months old, I think we will call it a "sleeping bag."

The pattern for the swaddler isfrom Craftzine, found here.  To make the big one, I increased the length by a bunch of inches and everything else by about an inch.  If I did it again, I would make the "flap" be able to fold down more because it's hard to get his legs in sometimes.