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

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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
                                     

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!

Quilt: Black and Yellow, Black and Yellow

A few weeks ago I had been thinking of an idea to make a quilt. I am not ready to share that specific idea yet for two reasons: #1 The final idea and actual product has not yet come together, and changes are bound to happen on newly thought ideas and #2, well… is because I am actually really excited about this project and want to wait to reveal the final quilt.

While I was thinking of the idea off and on for about a week, figuring out just what fabric to make use, if I would want to stay with solids or try print… maybe even a mixture of both? All the normal thoughts and questions you ask yourself before diving head first into it… or sometimes we dive in before we even know what we got ourselves into. The magic that happened here was that I had finally made up my mind design wise and how it would lay out. I did decide if I could, I was going to use a jelly roll. Once again, in the morning of my determination to create this quilt, MSQC came to the rescue. Right around 6 a.m. I had an e-mail of their daily deal. Low and behold, it was this lovely Modern Folkloric Jelly Roll on sale for almost 50% off! I knew it was fate.

You guessed right if you knew I ordered it right away. I was even more blown back when I received it just a few short days later… I was stunned at just how vibrant the simple colors were… for being just basic Black/Grey/White/Yellow, they really stood out. I have been overly impressed with this fabric.

 Fast forward two weeks. Now that I had the fabric in front of me, I had not been doing anything with it. Instead I had been working on other projects… even a fast immediate gratification project of finally making myself the Sewing Mat that I posted last week. I found myself wanting to be so certain, that last night I realized I would never begin if I didn’t even pick up the fabric to well, basically start.

Into the wee-hours of the night last night I began working up all of my measurements and my idea… laying it out on the floor and not my wall (I ended up working in the living room instead of my own space… how crazy am I?) and this is what I have ended up with so far.

Now that I have begun… I will be a “busy bee” and am really excited about creating it. I just hope it turns out as good as it does in my head! This will be hopefully my real first finished project that is Sew Stitching Cute!

Pushing my comfort zone

So yesterday I said I would share what else I worked on this past weekend. This isn’t terribly too much, as I did make that pillow cover on Sunday. Saturday I worked on a quilt I had been cutting pieces for.

A few weeks ago I saw an advertisement for this beautiful quilt on Craftsy and when I looked at it, I saw there other selections. I am not one who really wants to follow a specific pattern on a quilt other than the pattern of a block. I was falling more and more in love with the fabric and decided to go for the Atmospher fabric.

I received the kit early last week and right away, I fell in love with the fabric. The picture honestly does not do it justice with the gold metallic highlights in it. It really is beautiful, almost too beautiful to do anything with other than display (and after making it… I sadly wish I had done just that).

After cutting… on to sewing I went. I followed the pattern as it gave…

As I was laying it out, I did realize I made a mistake. The mistake being that because the center pieces should represent an ombre effect, the center where the ombre happened, for some reason I had sewn each piece on the opposite ends, so while the inside panels go light to dark, they do not represent the ombre effect it called for. This was my mistake, even though I did check twice… third time is a charm was not what I followed in this case. It may have turned out better had I done that.

You can’t tell in this picture of the lighter colors as I draped it on my clothes line in my backyard (yes, I love the clothes line and yes, I do have a dryer as well – the clothes line works great for photos. hehe). In the end, I am unfortunately not satisfied with this quilt and wish the pattern was different for this type of fabric… it almost deserved more elegance than what it got. The red fabric pattern is what only seemed to work for this… but I don’t think the others do. Overall though, it was fun to make and get some extra sewing in. I am more excited to finish this quilt and hope there is someone who will want/like it. I really wish I was happier with this quilt – I am hoping that once I quilt it and find the right backing that I will love it more. It could happen, and hopefully end up being Sew Stitching Cute!

In other quick awesome news… I did receive last Friday in the mail these AMAZING threads that were on sale for $1.95 a piece from Connecting Threads. I will probably never buy thread elsewhere unless it is an emergency! I do want to give metallics a shot though… and this quilt might just be the one to use them on. I will have to showcase how well this thread turns out on future quilts!

Their color selection is FABULOUS

Hexagon Flower Patch Quilt

There isn’t much to share today, other than what I did this past weekend; unfortunately I left the device in which my quilt pictures are on, at home. I will have to share that tomorrow. I have been wanting to share what I worked on a little over a month ago and have not yet finished.

I say this all of the time, and I will say it again – I love Missouri Star Quilt Co.! I love their story, their products and how personable they are overall. They are a huge reason, well, Jenny and her tutorials (but we all know it is team effort here) as to what helped me fall more and more in love with quilting, knowing that it is not as difficult as it has to be. Even though I am always up for the challenge.

I saw Missouri Star Quilt tutorial for their Out of Bounds Quilt and I knew I had to make one. I had just received all of that fabric from the lovely lady which I spoke about on my blog here and all I needed was the Hexagon tool. I did end up ordering that from who else than Missouri Star Quilt! While I awaited anxiously each day for it to arrive (and the mail man is lucky he had only my dog to deal with, not me at the door each day – we still have the mail man that walks to each house) I cut my fabric into 5 x 5 squares. It did finally arrive and I got right to work.

(LEFT) – The fabric I cut to make the hexagon Out of Bounds quilt
(RIGHT) Fabric selected by a co-worker buying her first home. I am slowly working on that one. 

I had the fabric laid out for about a week or so (flower fabric – left picture above), off and on I found myself lost because I was not settled with it in the end on how it would turn out. That or I was too chick pooped to go out of my comfort zone, always scared others won’t like it. In the end I don’t mind, as long as I do; but in the process, that is another story. I decided to lay my fabric out differently and this is what I came up with.

SIDETRACK: If anyone is wondering, I used a jelly roll (grey) and 5” squares. The easiest for hexagons is just buying the charm pack for that fabric… but with the ones I had I did not have that option. Either way, it is a pretty fast build.

After a few weeks of working on it off and on with putting it together (I go back and forth with projects or house work… I have to reward myself with sewing time or I will never come out of it) I was then not sure of what color to use for the border or for the back… or if I was going to use the same color border as the back… so on and so on. Anyone else experience those quilting dilemmas? One morning on the weekend I had went to the store and saw the most perfect red… I loved it so much that even if it did not match the red already in there, that I didn’t care. I got to work right away for the border, still questioning my decision, but decided to stick with it (and yes, the red did not quite match the more dominant red… but thankfully… I think it still works).

I have yet to quilt this lovely beauty, as this one will require drawing the lines of what I would like to do. That is on the agenda here soon, because I am anxious to complete this one.

Sew Stitching Cute
For the future, I will applique stems on them with a few leaves… maybe with a more cheery bright background color. Heck… I may end up doing it for this one in the end! Not sure yet. Any opinions?
Here is a sneak peak at what I worked on over the weekend – I wish the picture did the metallic’s justice. 

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! 

Fabric – A kind gesture by a quilting stranger

I met a lady a few weeks ago; it was what I would consider my first ‘quilter’ meeting. I have yet to meet anyone else who also loves to sew or make quilts; I have only admired from a distance through the Internet or spoken through a few e-mails with others. I have bought fabric for particular projects, but I have never just bought fabric. I want to, but because I can  not validate and reason with buying it for no need at the moment, I put it down each time. I know, huge sad face as my husband would say!

I found a lady who was selling tote loads of fabric for $2/yd!!! Tell me that is not a deal!! I could not pass it up. I called and we eventually met in which I was able to then meet her and her little studio that her and her husband had built in their back yard, her husband had a matching studio for the lawn mower and his tools – I am determined to one day have this in my own back yard. hehehe (Lucky for me, the husband did not oppose)

Before even digging into the fabric, we spoke for a while and shared ideas, she showed me quilts she had made or was currently working on. She shared her ideas of sewing machines, types of fabric, thread, etc. We eventually swapped e-mail addresses and vowed to continue to stay in contact.


*Sidetrack: I have misplaced her e-mail address and am saddened I did not protect it more. I do feel it is around somewhere in the mess of all my quilt notes and fabric, but I have been intending to e-mail her and show her what I have made with the use of her fabric. Aside from the grey background, the hexagons were made with the fabric stash I gained from her. I will update if I end up locating her e-mail.

In the end, I ended up spending about 1.5-2 hours with her at her house and went home with so much fabric that I almost could not contain myself with the overwhelming ideas that were going through my mind and what could be created with what was in front of me. She ended up giving me so much as she said she would like to pass down some of her stash that has been passed down onto her. I couldn’t be more grateful for someone who had never met me. It restores human kindness. I know I should have taken a before shot of all of the fabric before folding it, but I am not one to also share hugely on the disorderly mess that artists may have. We all know what it looked like.

It was dark by the time I got home, so this is an indoor picture and indoor lighting. It does not represent the colors well enough at all in some of these fabrics. I have a few I absolutely love:
I love this one so much that I took the entire bolt of fabric from her!
The pink is so subtle and gorgeous in the print. I almost don’t want to ruin it by cutting into it.
The other fun one that I can’t wait to really do something with, but unfortunately don’t have a lot of – is this fun children’s 1+1 count, etc. Absolutely adorable and if I ever find it I will definitely buy. It is Sew Stitching Cute!
Now it is time to find out how to display and organize all of my fabric. Until then…