Make a Decision Monday – #4

Happy Monday lovelies! I woke up very tired, yet very energized (is that possible?). I must be going crazy. I just feel ready and pumped for what August has in store and all months to follow as each month unfolds the new mysteries. Maybe I am just savoring the last bit of summer as best I can… either way, I am going to enjoy it.

I won all of this lovely stuff from MSQ! I went and ordered the Daily Deal which was the cute pink polk-a-dot tin with all of the cuteness included (minus the Riley Blake Charm Pack… I splurged and ordered it hehehe).

This week I am working on my first official attempt on an actual quilt… HAND BINDING. Every time I have thought of that “H— B——” word I almost would shutter. I will get more into my adventure of it later this week. I chose this binding as I thought it fit the theme of what appeared to have been made with my first attempt at FMQ. The picture really doesn’t do justice with how well all of the colors blend in while the flowers are still very defined. So far, it is turning out to be the absolute perfect binding.

I have decided to change things up with Make a Decision Monday… I have decided that it will be bi-weekly; merely for the fact that life can get in the way at any time and alter plans and reasons why you couldn’t get to something as you intended. I have found that I was rushing too much with every week. I enjoy a good push, but working a full-time job and then rushing so much that I was making sew many mistakes (NOT OK!) that were pretty easy to not make had I been focused on it instead of a deadline. Just need some breathing room on my time restraint. So… this will now be done bi-weekly. :o) I think it settles it all pretty well.

Any exciting plans or goals you have before the end of summer? Lets get to sewing!

Sew Stitching Cute

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Morning Madness and Time Wasted

Ok, it is Friday and I should feel so much better about today. Unfortunately, I don’t. It is Friday and I will be at work late, let alone I have some major quilting to be doing this evening!

I am very excited though to show off the label that my husband made for me. We have gone through a few mock-ups, and this ended up being the result. I have the empty space for a specific reason and will have others that don’t (those are in the process of being produced). The only thing different with these ones will be my name will be made larger by one point because the letters run into one another too much for my last name. All in all, I am quite pleased and my husband has done a great job! Thanks babes!

This is what my ironing board looked like this morning as I got up early to try to get some sewing/ironing in so that I could be more prepared when I got home from work. 

 

Aaaahh! I have added the borders and what not; however when I went to work on the back last night so that I can begin basting and quilting this… I ended up spending ONE HOUR (YES, ONE HOUR) on designing the back. I was trying to be creative and trying to give a little something extra to the quilt. In the end, I ended up doing a much simpler plan (you will see once all completed) and I was mad at myself for allowing such good honest time to be wasted on something I wasn’t and didn’t even end up doing to begin with!
I ended up finding my balance once I reminded myself that I can use this for another back… or even the front of a quilt top! Sometimes I stress myself out more than I should, just because you want it to be loved and perfect, the exact way you see it. 
Well, that was and is my Friday as of now. This is all sitting at home waiting for me to finish it up. I’m hoping to not be stuck too late today this Friday. Wish me luck! I wish you all luck in your weekend activities and/or sewing projects… did anything this week frustrate you?
Sew Stitching Cute

A Pop at What is Coming Up

It’s is Wednesday! I swear it feels like Friday to me though! I wish I had more to post for a WIP; however my actual full-time job has not allowed me good picture taken times… and sometimes the photos aren’t even worth posting up if they are horrible in themselves and nobody can get the feel for what you’re trying to put in.

I did have the chance to work a bit last night on something I have coming up. I am pretty excited about it – so here is a picture of the layout I did (on excel). Simple squares (a.k.a. blocks) to create a layout. I worked on my measurements last night and filled it in to make it look more appealing for visual effect while picking fabric. It will all be scraps (the squares).

This one is going to be pretty special, and what is going to make it so special for me is that it will be the very first quilt I make that is all for myself. I will finally be having something to snuggle with all on my own, and this will have a very special touch to it as well. I intend to post a lot about this quilt as I get going on it… so just a heads up you will see this around quite a lot!

If all goes well, I hope to do a Sew-A-Long with another layout I have that is similar in nature! I have no doubt either will be Sew Stitching Cute!

Make a Decision Monday #2 + Free Motion Quilting

Welcome back!!! I apologize that I have not been present in about two weeks. I had to step away as there were some family emergencies that came about and I believe we can call agree that, “family comes first”. I am back now though, and ready to start it off with the 2nd Make a Decision Monday!

I have done very little sewing or quilting, only continued with the baby quilt crib set, which that will be finished this week. My goal for this week for Make a Decision Monday is to complete the set and mail it off to the new family so they may welcome their newest addition! Along with that, I have my “Black and Yellow” fabric blanket that I need to finish the top to as well… I don’t have much left on it but I need to finish it. That is my goal for this week, what is your goal?

What I DID do this past week though, last Thursday to be exact was finally have my Long Arm quilting class. I had the opportunity to work with a Tin Lizzie… I AM IN LOVE! If I didn’t love quilting enough already, this through me into over drive, especially after speaking with the owner/instructor of the store Beth as she was impressed with how new I was to the long arm; she got me all pumped up again and I told her she will be seeing me quite often! (until I can afford my own long arm machine… hint hint husband)

This is all its glory! I intend to trim, bind and hang this on my wall. I am going to forever have a reminder of where I exactly FIRST began… I even added in some cute little thing in it that I thought would make it that more special. Can you see them?

Sew Stitching Cute – Megan – 2014

I absolutely had SO much fun… I even got daring and tried to make a sun with some cool glasses. I am excited for what will keep coming my way!

As you can tell, my curves need more practice, but I did get better as I got comfortable with the machine, it definitely can be intimidating at times. That Tin Lizzie is a BEAST! I will be majorly working on my feathers as well, they are such an old fashioned yet very popular quilt design. Off to more sewing and quilting!

Thanks for sticking around… I’m back and in action! What are you working on this week? I’m excited to hear about it! Also… for any of you long arm quilters out there, any advice would be great! I found that I was better as free-hand than trying out any design pattern; although it is great for starting up to get the feel for design, the machine, flow of curves, etc.

Sew Stitching Cute
                                     

Make a Decision Monday #1

Who is ready for another successful week? I know I am! I have been up since 3:19 a.m. and I have been going ever since. I am ready to definitely get going on this week.

I wanted to pop in and discuss Make a Decision Monday… the first of many many weeks to come of it! This week, I have chosen two projects to work on, simply because one I can only get so far until I quilt it (which will not happen until June 29th) and the other will be to complete the 2 sheets and baby bumpers which will complete the base set for the crib quilt set. I will be using the pretty pink (Kona Solids – Peony; it can be found here).

I just need to make the back for this quilt and then it will be ready for the Long Arm! The fabric I’ll be using for the back is Sunshine Rose – Hanky Rose Pink, I’ll be adding in a few additional pieces just to link to the front… possibly.

I have already found that I am making more progress and I just introduced Make a Decision Monday last week. I have found that I am forcing myself to complete a little each day, and with that… I am COMPLETING “something”. It may not be 100% a quilt top, but the goal I make on Monday is what needs to be completed, which only continues to grow with progress.

What does everyone else have going on? A project to finish… progress to make… time to make for sewing…? Make sure to keep yourself up-to-date with Make a Decision Monday!

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. 

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!

Baby Blanket Crib Set – Layout Playaround

I literally just got done ordering the remainder of the fabric I need (hopefully) for my first full order of a baby crib set. The set includes:

  • 2 crib sheets (we all know sheets are always changing; spills, overflowing diapers, the niagra falls of a baby’s spit up and so on)
  • 1 quilt 
  • 1 set of breathable baby bumpers
  • *A little something extra that is different each time

I have made baby quilts; however a full set I have not done for one specific person. I am lucky enough that a dear ex co-worker/friend from back home in CA is having her second precious baby girl in September and she has asked that I make a crib set.

This was the final decision

No sugar-coating anything here, I am scared sh*tless about her loving it the way I want her to. It is one thing to create something and then someone falls in love with it who then decides to purchase, because well, they already love it; however it is scary to create something out of commission when you aren’t sure the other person can really see your vision and yet still have this confidence you’ll do great. One thing that I have found that has helped me was this UH-MAZING app that I found months back for a small price called Quiltography (it is on sale for $9.99, original is $14.99) for my iPad that I use obsessively. While there are some things I wish you could do further with it and some things that could be updated, it does its job and gives you a good visual measure. It really has saved me tons of cutting up fabric for no reason because in the end, well… it just didn’t end up looking that great. I don’t use it for everything, but when I am trying to create something in my head of a look/design, I use it as it saves pulling fabric out left and right and sometimes the fabric uh-oh’s. My favorite thing is it has helped me not purchase fabric that while I may love it, didn’t end up going with my design afterall… because I can place the fabric picture in my design and save myself some money!

Above is the picture directly from the App that I was able to send, along with several others (another plus of the app). The vintage floral print was hand selected from my friend as that is the theme of her new daughter Emma’s room will be. As I said, there are a few things I wish you could alter or do more with the app, such as the border will not be as thick as it appears it would be in the picture/design; however they only have one standard size for a ‘border’ – it gives the overall feel though. You still have to use your creative juices people! :o)   Here are a few other layouts I had sent/played around with.

How does everyone else deal with their creative overflow? Do you have tons of pieces of paper around your home or sewing area, with all of the ideas that you have in your mind… do you keep it all on Pinterest for future ideas… or do you have multiple ways of saving ideas/designs so that you don’t lose it for later? I’d love to hear what others do and how they manage it all, as I sometimes swear I can’t fall asleep at times until I calm my brain down enough and assure myself enough that ”all will be fine”. Another great thing about the App that I just thought of, is that while one blanket may lead to tons of different designs, you can still always create the other designs as well! 
Now… I hope you stick around and be sure to follow me (links on top right) on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Blogger and see how it all turns out along the journey and hope that the end result is Sew Stitching Cute!
P.S. I lost count of how many WIP’s this makes me have in progress. Oh my!

Husband Chimes In: T-Shirt Memory Quilt

Hello finally everyone! I feel so neglectful, I have not posted since last Friday; however I have had a busy weekend that did not allow for me to schedule my post and then I ended up sick and am finally feeling better today. Still, I intend to make it easy as I need to play a lot of catch up as I do have my introduction for the New 2014 Quilters Blog Hop hosted by Plum and June that I shared last week here.

This was to originally be Mondays blog post; however it will be today’s; my husband wanted to chime in regarding the T-Shirt Quilt that I made his mother earlier this year for her birthday. I posted about it earlier in April and was my first blog post I believe under Sew Stitching Cute. Again, I apologize the pictures are not of great quality, it had to be mailed out the next day and it was at night… inside… where you get the worst photos (although since this picture, I have exchanged all light bulbs in my house for natural light bulbs, and BOY what a difference it makes in your home… no more yellow tint!).

“My name is Michael and I am Megan’s husband. One thing that my wife forgot to mention about this quilt was what it meant to my Mother. She mailed it to my Mom for her birthday earlier this year with one request – she was not to open it until I called her so I could hear her response. I wish my wife and I were able to be on the phone at the same time, because she deserved to hear how much this quilt meant to my Mom.

I’m a momma’s boy and I have also been away from my family for the past 17 years. My mom held onto all of my old clothes and could never bring herself to get rid of them. It took a lot for her to give them to Megan when she asked, but it was the right thing to do as Megan is my wife.

Being the good son that I am, I will not give up my mother’s age. I am 34, so it is fair to say that she has had a few birthdays and with that, received many gifts. She is also a talker, so when she opened the package and was silent, I knew it was special. She immediately broke into tears and promised the quilt of my old clothes was the best gift she has ever received.

In no way is my mom a fan of Slayer, Pantera or the Dallas Coyboys – but I am. She went over every square off the quilt and told me her memories of me wearing each piece of clothing. It meant the world to me because I had not heard her this happy in so long.

Thank you babe. 1434″

I made the quilt not as your usual t-shirt quilt because I had a limited amount of t-shirts to work with. I ended up wanting to make use of as much of the fabric as I could, which explains the off center, etc. of some. The whole purpose of the quilt was for her to hold onto those memories with her at all times, of the old childhood clothes – I think its purpose of met.

It’s nice sometimes hearing about appreciation of the quilt from the other end. All smiles here!

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!