Vintage Pink Rose Progress

It is finally Friday… it seems to have been a long week. Yet once again, my husband prevails! I am telling you, I sometimes can’t brag enough about him.

So on my very first Make a Decision Monday, I chose to really make some leeway with my Vintage Pink Rose commission quilt. All of the fabric aside from the solids were selected by the friend/mom who requested this blanket, we also went over the layout, etc. Last week I was gone in New Orleans for 3 days which put a cramp in my style for completing anything and it also through me off sleep wise, house work, cleaning, laundry, blah. blah. blah.

I was talking to my husband on the phone last night and he asked me where I was at with my Make a Decision Monday project… I told him and his response was, “Well how are you going to Finish it Friday!?!?” (Crazy Mom Quilts) My response was simply, “Well, I’m not”. He didn’t have much to say after that other than how much he just tries to help me continue to be motivated (I’m horrible at doubting myself). Don’t get me wrong, I had been making progress, but I could have been a lot farther along.

Natural Lighting – Indoors

When we got off of the phone, I sat there and thought for a few minutes and realized how much of that small push my husband gave me was one of the biggest pushes I needed. Thanks, babes! I immediately got going and set out to complete the first part of the quilt top. I did it smiling the whole time, knowing that my husband really loves me and loves to see me excel or he just wants to get rid of me that much more because I am in my own space when I sew… hhhmmm… LoL 

One thing you may notice that I do a lot of in my sewing, is chain piecing. I can NOT get enough. I am so frugal that I try and save as much thread as I can! After all HST were trimmed to 6” squares, I matched two sets up with RIGHT SIDES TOGETHER, following the pattern I originally created through the App Quiltogrophy which I discussed here. I then placed a pin along side the edge that needed to be sewn together so that I may chain piece away, plus with the pin it makes me not loose which ones need to go together. 

  

Once all of them were chain pieced together, I ended up with a stack of two HST together, that looked like this. 

I should have used a different one for the top, as my point was not great on this one. How embarrassing.
What do you know?!?! I did it! I completed the first part of this quilt top. While it may not be finished enough for Finish it Friday, it sure is so close! I have to add two borders to the top, then it will be sandwich, quilting and binding!!! I was very pleased with myself and fell in love with my husband just a little more for his good motivation… always knowing what to say (and not say) to make me think and get going. 

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Late WIP Wednesday

I’m a little late on WIP Wednesday, although I did share a picture on my Instagram. It may not be Wednesday, but it is still a Work In Progress and there is no stopping on this one. Every free moment is being dedicated to it and I am almost excited to work on it. I spoke about this baby quilt a few weeks ago, introducing the layout and the process of selecting the layout.

All cut, squared and ready for chain piecing for HST

This fabric selected is absolutely gorgeous and precious, all for a new baby girl, named Emma entering the world in a few short months! I have been loving having this fabric between my fingers, it is absolutely so soft to the touch that it will be perfect for a little baby girl. The prints selected are:

Sunshine Rose – Pink
Sunshine Rose – Hanky Panky Pink
Rosey – Roses and Mums Green
Bella Solids – Weathered Teak
Kona Cotton – Peony

I decided to do my HST not on the bias, for the simple reason that this is a commission quilt; that means more nerves on how well the quilt turns out and me freaking out in my head. For this method of HST, I cut my squares at 6 1/2” (1. because I like extra room for triangles, more accident prone. 2. because I have a 6 1/2” square rule. 3. because I can). I then put two squares Right Sides Together and drew a line down one of the backs. I simply placed a pin to hold and not loose which squares are to be sewn together.

I then got to sewing down the line, using the line at my 1/4” seam allowance ON BOTH SIDES. I chain pieced all the way down one end and chain pieced down again on the other side. I never even broke the chain when I went down the 2nd time, made it much easier having one after the other trailing right behind!
The green-brown color is truly a nice pale chocolate brown – terrible lighting.
I then cut each square down the drawn line, between the two 1/4” seam allowances just made. You are then left with quite a few double sided triangles. 
Head to your ironing table, set your seam, open up your triangle and press down your seam again however you like your seams to be. I decided to go one direction for this, all towards the darker of the fabric it was matched with. You are then left with your HST! Now… to get to snipping those little corners AND re-cutting. The joys of accuracy and my OCD!

I’m not done with these, but I should be tonight. There is about an extra 1/4” extra over a 6” HST. I am trimming all with straight edges to 6”. Once it is done, it will be a Sew Stitching Cute Chevron baby quilt!

Make a Decision Monday: Introduction

Afternoon! This is a late post – and it will be a quick post. I am going to be quite candid as well… because not all of the time can things be “easy” nor will everything “work” per-say.

I have spoken plenty of my practically over-supportive husband (Not sure how that makes sense… but I mean it, there are times I have to tell him to tell me no); and here I am, talking about him again. He is the spark plugs in my engine, because he assists in keeping the fuel going when I just want to sputter out.

Current baby quilt set – Vintage Pink Rose theme

I was talking to my husband this past weekend and sharing with him the responses and disappointment I had in the charm quilt swap that I am all jazzed about and still determined to do it, even if it doesn’t get completed until next year when I try the swap again. I expressed other concerns also and that while I may be heavy into quilting, that I was unsure that blogging was the direction to go for me; and if so, how far did I want to take it or ‘promote’ it? I told Michael about Crazy Mom Quilts – Finish it Fridays, Freshly Pieced – WIP Wednesdays and now from Polka Dot Chair – Selfish Sewing Sundays. He heard it all… from how much I wish I could join in on it and become a part of it, all the way to “I just wish I had more time!”.

I really love how MSQ neatly packages everything

My husband is always telling me to ‘make a decision’. So while silence stepped in for a few moments during our conversation, he looked at me and said, “Made a Decision Monday”. We have this weird connection that when the light bulb goes off, it tends to go off for both of us then once the initial idea is uttered out. I almost instantly admitted that it was a great idea, but scared of the commitment I still had to put towards it. He asked me a few times again yesterday about doing something and I believe he was no longer giving me a choice but informing me that this is what I would be doing.

Sew Simple and Elegant

My problem is that while I love quilting, I also love reading about quilts, staring at pictures of quilts, finding new patterns, new designs, new quilter friends… all of the above! I really do in all sincerity have TOO many WIPs, I have spoken of these before in my blog. I can’t wait to have them narrowed down once I finish quilting them. With so many WIPs, when I think about starting up on something I sometimes panic because I have too many options (I feel so weird admitting I have too much, it is almost foreign) and therefore I feel less and less gets done.

A little something extra I ordered on sale for $2.95!

So, I took up my husbands idea and said I’ll go for it and introduce it and begin. This week will be simple, as I do have a commissioned Vintage Pink Rose baby quilt set to make and send off in just 3 weeks (I spoke about it here). This might be it for those next few weeks… but maybe I’ll just sneak something small in.

All in all, the concept is each week (Monday) it is a fresh start of the week and a fresh start of what to work on for the week. I welcome anyone to join in (even if you do stray away)… the point is to try and focus on one specific project that week, not that you have to abandon everything else. This will hopefully help me (and you too) to continue getting something done when things can be overwhelming with life getting in the way: kids, animals, husbands, and too many fabric decisions sometimes keep us from completing what we set out to do!

Hope to see you around for more Make a Decision Monday!

Scrap Pillow

So, as usual – this weekend had the list of the standard cleaning, laundry, dusting and so on. It never ends, does it? I woke up at 7:15 a.m. on Sunday morning (which is way too early, especially if you don’t have children) and I swear it is because my mind wants to see creation and my hands want to make it… out of bed I was. I did my normal morning routine and by 8 a.m. I was in front of the sewing machine. I found myself sitting there and thinking more of what I was going to do than actually doing it.

18 x 18

I looked around the house and I knew what I needed to be doing, but that is an entirely different story in itself. I finally decided that I was going to begin cleaning, and that I would reward myself with being able to do some sewing whenever I finished any house work – I almost gave myself my own chore list. First I needed to know what I was going to make. Within a few minutes, I remembered I had a pillow I had yet to make a cover for and I was finally going to do just that.

Once I switched laundry and loaded the dishwasher, then I could select the fabric; in which I ended up going with these colorful beauties. Then I did some more house work, I allowed myself to cut some of my pieces… this continues so on throughout the day. The pictures are in order as to what I did in each step… and some I forgot to take pictures (hence why a few blocks were missing out of the layout… I had just begun to sew them all together).

(Left) Front – (Back) Right

In the process of making it, I wasn’t too sure I was going in the direction I had originally intended or even wanted to… I was really even skeptical of the color choices I had selected to go with it. Even now with it sitting side-by-side with the front and back next to one another makes me scared. The colors are so vibrant and the picture scares me more than looking at it… as those little squares are pretty vibrant themselves. I wish I had more teal to tie into it, that seems to be what it needs. Does anyone else have suggestions of what they would have done or would try to any in the future?

I was determined to have it finished by the end of the night, which did end up resulting in not hand sewing the final side closed… I ended up doing an edge blanket stitch – which also would have worked around all edges because of the vintage fabric used. Once I did have it completely done… I actually tossed it on the couch, went across the room and stared at it, and quite honestly – I found myself smiling from ear-to-ear. I felt accomplished and I felt like I had achieved a big challenge within myself on my comfort zones. I almost had decided not to finish this and try something different another day. I am very happy I didn’t and stuck with it, because while it probably is not my first pick of normal ‘taste’.. I can’t help but feel happy when I look at all the bright colors and design starring back at you, and makes spring and the coming into summer almost feel like it is (I live in crazy Kansas weather…).

Front

Back

Here is the end result – please tell me what you think! I am trying to step outside of my box and comfort zone more!

Quilted Sewing Mat

This past weekend I had a lot of laundry and cleaning to do. I have a few fur things that run around the house and I am always finding their hair within 5 minutes of sweeping or vacuuming while they are shedding their winter coats. It looked like I hadn’t cleaned in weeks.

I reasoned with myself and decided what I had to achieve in order to allow myself any free time for sewing. I also needed to make sure what I wanted to make I could complete in that day as I have too many unfinished projects that I am currently working on. It finally hit me after thinking about it for a few… I had been wanting/meaning to make myself a sewing mat. I needed something handy to go anywhere with me and my sewing machine, whether room to room or somewhere adventurous with electrical outlets. And yes, I had to decide all of this before cleaning.

After the success of cleaning and having laundry done to the point that I could take myself off of time-out from sewing, I decided it was time to cut my fabric. I selected the fabric below because it is bright and cheery, I also had the teal with sewn-in lined dots that fit perfectly with it also. The teal dots is also much more durable which I thought would be perfect for underneath as well as where the sewing machine would sit, it would wear and tear with more grace than cotton.

For the size I made, it was approximately 18 1/2” x 20”. I measured the width of my sewing machine and added 2 inches so that it gave extra space as well as allowed for any little ”oops” in sewing that perfect quarter inch. 
I decided on doing the full back in the teal and half and half for the front (teal being the part where the sewing machine would sit on). After I cut the fabric and sewed the front halves together, I then sandwiched it and cut the basting to size. 
I then cut a piece of fabric (flowers) to the height I wanted and the length of the sandwiched fabric, as this will become my pockets. I honestly wanted this as painless as possible, there are a few ways to do this but this was simple enough for me. To make a simple edge for the top of the pockets, I simply finger pressed a 1/2” seam along the top of the pocket fabric just cut and sewed it down. 
I then sewed all 4 pieces along the right side to lock it in place. Now remember earlier when I spoke about allowing for some ”oops” on that perfect quarter inch seam? This is where I ”oops-ed”. I had forgotten to change my sewing foot when I did the first sew down the right side and ended up sewing a 1/2” seam instead of 1/4”. No biggie… I just trimmed it down. 

I decided to draw the lines with a washable fabric pen, for the width sizes of the pockets.

 I also created a mini pocket for my seam ripper that I am always loosing (hence why it is also not featured in this picture, I could not find it once again).

I continued sewing down the lines I had drawn, going over the original hem stitch on the top of the pockets by about 1/8”, but that is completely a personal decision.

I ended up using my new Simplicity Rotary Cutter Machine to cut the binding strips into 2 1/2” strips. By the way, I am absolutely satisfied and happy I ordered the Rotary Cutter Machine, it is a dream and much quicker for creating strips of fabric. I have not written about the success of it yet as this was my first shot at it… but that shall be another blog.  

I decided to use the teal to wrap it up. The flower pattern was busy enough.

Once it was binded… I ended up with a result that was Sew Stitching Cute such as this!

Tell me what you think or what your ideas were/are for something you made or would like to make? I’m always up for more perfection tips! 

Rotary Cutting Machine

As I am doing more and more quilts, designs and have my mind full of more things than I know what to do with, I am some who likes a clean, organized mess. It is an oxy moron, I know; however it is kind of like what my husband calls my “Megan Lingo”… I consistently use words that don’t describe the meaning of what I am trying to say, yet somehow when I say it, it makes sense. In either case, I am used to being qwerky. I like it.

Another small OCD thing about me is that I love odd numbers/placement and I look to always find the more sufficient way to do something without cutting corners. I found that I love yards of fabric but I love the use of Jelly Rolls because of their pre-cut form of 2 1/2” with all of the uses that it provides for almost any design of quilt. Cutting away strips and strips of fabric is timely and quite honestly, the other part of me dislikes the lines I put in my cutting mat, all over strips of fabric I need. I knew that there had to be something or some other way that was more efficient. I almost refused to cut any further fabric manually until I resolved this issue of mine.

Yes, I shop at Wal-Mart. Whenever I am there for any reason, I must stop by the sewing/fabric section even though I know everything that is there… you just never know. I had seen the Simplicity Rotary Cutting Machine for $60 in Wal-Mart. Every time I am in the sewing/fabric section, I always pick the box up with the intent to go ahead and make the buy and give it a shot, at the worst I can return it, right? Each time, I put it back. I could not reason with myself the money when I had two viable hands to do it myself, yet I knew I wanted to produce more rather than spend most of my time cutting just the simple strips, I will cut everything else but the strips.

 

I needed help, and I needed back up… so I spoke to my husband about my issue and what I thought could be a possible resolution. I gave him all of my reasoning that I was giving myself on how I can justify spending the money. I have such a hard time reasoning to spend money on myself or for anything that I may want/need as I hate taking from others or other things. He did not hesitate once. He found some way to make it to where he was getting it for me, even if ‘just because’. He was going to be sure I got it. He is so patient and never once denies me of anything I may need on any hobby or dream I have. I explained to him my reasoning of why I felt it would help cut back time and I found that I still was trying to justify everything. He finally had to just tell me to quit rambosque (rambling) and get it. That was that. 
I still hadn’t gotten it about a week after that conversation and he never asked either, probably assuming I had already gotten it or ordered it. For some reason, I could not justify the $60 and would not allow myself. I decided to really search deep on the internet and to my beholding, I found it online with Wal-Mart but it was only $40!!! The bummer was now, all the reviews I read were horrible. The more and more I read, I was saddened. Yet I didn’t find another machine out there at a decent price for this nature. I saw other comments on other sites and everything was so up and down. I went to Simplicity’s site and saw them stating that many times it is not adjusted correctly and/or all the way even when some believe it is. I watched and searched for videos everywhere and decided… well – at the worst I will return it and no big deal. I am the ultimate optimist and hope that if anything, I can get it to work! :o) I did not waste another moment, ok that is half a lie – right before I submitted my order I made sure I was justifying myself. I ordered it and now it is on its way. I should get it some time next week and I intend to update on the status, maybe a short video of how it worked for me if I get a good one or get it to work. I’m going to for optimism and hopefully you’re cheering me on! Until then…