Friday, February 28, 2014

Finish It Up Friday

So happy to have crossed the second, big item off my baby sewing list- crib bumpers!  (And yes, I know the risks). 

I ordered the bumper foam on Amazon and was very happy with it. And also happy I read some reviews- one person mentioned having to trim the bumpers down in order for them to fit her crib and I had to do the same. So glad to have been warned about that before hand vs making all the bumper covers and then realizing they don't fit. Just one more reason to read those Amazon reviews!

The back bumper gave me the most trouble, but it was mostly in my head. With the solid part of the crib back there I couldn't make two separate bumpers with ties in the middle the way I had for the front. Instead I made two bumpers each with a very long tie across the back so I could wrap it around the wood panel and tie it there. That meant sewing the two bumpers into one big one too, and it took a few weeks for me to wrap my head around how to do that and have the seam inside the cover. Thankfully a few 1-2 hour wide-awake-at-2am bouts gave me some time to think and by the time I was ready to sew yesterday I had it all worked out and I'm happy to say it worked perfectly!  My only oopsie was not buying enough fabric, so one of those back bumpers is pieced with three pieces of scraps, but I figure I am the only one who will ever realize it. It is up against the crib rails and the wall, so it won't be seen. 

The baby will come home to this house when she is born, but our lease will end about 2 months later so I am keeping the decorating to a minimum. Once we get our own house there will be a very cute Anthropologie wallpaper on the wall behind her crib- I'm so excited to see my vision (eventually) all come together!

Linking up to Finish it Up Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Finish It Up Friday

Hi All!  Remember me?  Probably not, seeing as how I seem to disappear from here for weeks (ok, in this case months) at a time.  Oops!  I seem to be favoring Instagram lately, it's just so easy and convenient (@flipflopsandquiltblocks if you want to follow along on my adventures in sewing- and some kitty pics for good measure).  I have been in the sewing room though so I thought I would pop in and share what I have been working on.

With Baby Girl due to make her appearance in less than 10 weeks (eek!!) I figured it was time to get going on her nursery.  I fell in love with a floral wallpaper from Anthropologie so the color scheme for the nursery is based around that- shades of pink and mint green.  And yes, the photo below does not show the wallpaper.  Chances are good that we will only be in this home for a few more months and it is a rental, so there is no way I was wasting Anthro wallpaper here.  It will go in her real room when we get our own, real home.  Nesting did take over the beginning of January though and I had a sudden NEED to build the crib.  So with that came a few sewing projects.

First up on the list of needed items was a crib skirt-

I used a solid mint for the main part of the skirt and then a tonal mint printed ruffle peeking out the bottom.

As any good 21st Century sewer, I took to Pinterest before making the crib skirt and found this awesome idea of how to attach it to the crib-

Ribbon!  Meaning that when I lower the mattress as Baby Girl grows, I can just adjust the crib skirt instead of having it puddle on the ground or having to make a new one.

The sides of the crib turned out to be a little trickier than the front-

Though it may be hard to see in the photo, there is a bar that attaches to the side of the crib to support the mattress, so that messed with my plans on how to attach the skirt to the crib- I couldn't put a tie there as the bar was in the way.  And if I tied something to the bar, it might work now but it wouldn't when I lower the mattress.  Sure, I could have left it as it was, let's face it, I would probably have been the only one to notice the gap... but my OCD tendencies would not let me leave well enough alone like that.

Instead I attached a piece of velcro to the bar (as seen in the previous photo) and then made a small, 3" wide panel and attached it to the bar.  And yes, I even made a little ruffle to go on that piece :)  And by "that piece" I mean "those four pieces" as each short side of the crib had two bars that I had to do this to.  Yes, even the bars in the back got the treatment.  Again, I refer back to my OCD tendencies.  Figure I might as well give into them now, from what I hear babies/toddlers/kids/teenagers are all messy and will test my OCD-ness in the coming years!

Linking up to CrazyMomQuilts for Finish It Up Friday!

Friday, December 20, 2013

Finish It Up Friday

The table runner I am making for my grandmother for Christmas received some matching placemats today! Well, placemat tops at least. I still need to quilt them. 
I do have a few little issues with the placemats though.  First up is the size.  Above is a regular, store-bought placemat on top of the one I made.  See the difference?  I'm hoping the quilting and a wash and dry will shrink them down a bit.  Not that I have had the best luck with washing things lately...

Second up, I couldn't even make the two placemats the same size!  I was using my 1/4" foot, but about halfway though the first placemat I realized my seams were not the scant 1/4" I always aspire to (though rarely accomplish) and were instead just slightly bigger than 1/4".  So I started adjusting my sewing to get the right seam size.  Of course, on the second placemat I did everything with this adjustment.  Turns out those little 1/8ths of an inch can really add up!  The placemats will be across the table from each other, so I think I will just trim the bigger one down and go with it.  They are for my grandmother, she won't mind, right... :)

And one last shot of the placemats with the table runner.

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Baby's First (Momma Made) Toy

A few months ago I won a prize for the QuiltStory Lucky Stars QAL- a $35 gift certificate to Southern Fabric.  One of the items that I chose to use my gift certificate on was this Heather Bailey Happy Stacker ring toy, as I had just found out I was pregnant, I couldn't resist this cuteness!

I was slightly intimidated by the instructions, so over Thanksgiving I took everything to my grandparents house, figuring if I worked on it there my grandmother could help me if I had any trouble.  In the end I needent have worried.  The pattern was very well written and came together without too much trouble- if you don't factor in my newbie sewing pattern follwing mistakes.  Who knew you had to actually mark those notches and things when you cut your fabric?  Yeah... so there was a little backtracking.  The middle part (aka the hole) required handsewing and was probably what took the most amount of time- not because it was hard, but because I didn't feel like hand sewing and was taking my sweet time.
Most fun of all- when I finished and posted it on Instagram Heather Bailey herself wrote to me!  I had commented that I "hoped" to finish up the other rings, now that I had made this one.  She suggested "manufacturing" them, ie cutting everything at once and then doing each step like a production line.  Probably a very good idea and what I will do going forward- but I wanted to test one before cutting everything.  That way if I hated the result, I wouldn't have wasted any extra fabric :)
Oh!  And this ring is a little off kilter because it is not fully stuffed and stitched closed yet- I had almost a whole bag of fiberfill with me and still needed to buy more!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

When Nothing Goes As Planned...

Well, I suppose that everyone with pets (or, probably kids) knows that things don't always go the way you like.  My kitty managed to shall we say... stain... my quilt that was on my bed Saturday morning.  Of course, hubby and I were on our way out so I was rushing around trying to treat the stain before leaving for the day.  So I grabbed some Shout gel, treated the stain, and tossed it in the washer to soak, but Pregnancy Brain struck and I completely forgot to add a Color Catcher.  Yeah....

See that nice blue floral fabric... it should be white.  My first thought (at 9:30 at night when I opened the washer and discovered this) was that the cheap navy fabric had bled, but in the light of day I realized it was the floral fabric.  While that fabric was also from Joanns, it was the only designer fabric in the whole quilt!  A Denyse Schmidt print that I absolutely love (or, at the moment, loved, past tense). 

With this discovery I did what any reasonalbe, modern quilter would do- I googled, looking for blogs where people had had similar issues and how they solved them.  The next morning, I started my quest to salvage the quilt.

My salvage tools- (lots and lots of) Color Catchers, Oxiclean, and pins (because I read that pinning the color catchers on can lead to even better results).
50 (yes, 50) color catchers, 98% of a bottle of Oxiclean, countless pins, and 3+ hours later, I was ready to give this another go in the machine and hope for the best. 
I put it on a Soak cycle, but that turned out to only be 30 minutes and did absolutely nothing from what I could see.  So the quilt is now soaking in the machine until I decide to push the button and turn it back on.  It has been about an hour and a half now and I think the water is ever so slightly tinted blue (but that could just be wishful thinking).  I used cold water since that is what I always use (and what it soaked in yesterday that lead to this), but maybe in another few hours I will let it drain and refill with hot water and hope that works better. 
Any other ideas if this doesn't work?  Sadly, this is the only big quilt (aka queen bed sized) that I have made.  There are matching pillow shams and matching throw pillows.  It has some florals in it, but the fabrics are manly enough that my husband doesn't mind it.  I'll be so sad if I ruined it!  Why oh why did I not just spot treat the stain instead of soaking the whole quilt!?!?
UPDATE: I did take the quilt out and refill the machine with hot water.  I let it soak overnight and then took it out, the water was blueish, the Color Catchers were blueish... and the quilt was still blueish.  Ugh.  I had grabbed some Syntrapol from the local quilt shop, so that was the next try.  Washing in Syntrapol like the directions said... no change.  Next up was an entire bottle of Shout plus a Syntrapol soak and more Color Catchers.  The quilt still has a blue tint on those blocks, but I have officially given up.  The quilt is back on my bed and I am just living with it for now.  About the only good thing I can say is that the blue stayed on those blocks and didn't tint the entire quilt.  So to the untrained eye, I think it looks fine- I am the only one who knows what is wrong with it.  

Cheater Christmas Pillow

I found the cutest Christmas print at Joanns a few weeks back and thought I could use it to knock out a quick pillow for the holidays.

I figured I could knock out a pillow quick if I just traced over the prints as a quilting guide- famous last words, right ;)
Turns out switching colors all the time and lots of tracing can also equal lots of time.
The end result was definitely worth it.  It may be hard to see in the photo, but tracing over the snowman's features really gave him some nice depth.
As I was going along with the other squares, I got bored with tracing and started free handing.  First up was a Christmas Tree.
Second up was some holly leaves.  Both of these designs were found in the book Doodle Quilting. 
I still have lots of work to do on the "quick" pillow, but with Christmas fast approaching and a sudden gift to make, I think this will have to be put off until next year (or until the Summer when I start itching for Christmas to come around again :)

Friday, December 13, 2013

Drift Away for Christmas

Nothing like deciding to make a Christmas gift 2 weeks before Christmas :)  After weeks of being stuck, I finally thought of the perfect gift for my grandmother- a table runner and two placemats for her kitchen table!  She has sewn all her life and is the person who taught me how to sew and quilt, but she doesn't like quilts (she is always too hot to use them, lol), she has plenty of pillows on her sofas and beds, but she is always looking for a tablecloth or something to cover her (very large, 60") table.  How have I sewn for years and not thought of this before??

Thanks to Google, I found a new-to-me fabric and sewing shop this morning and figured I might as well take the 45 minute drive to check it out.  So glad I did!

The fabrics up top are for the table runner and placemats.  The fabrics on the bottom were fat quarters I just couldn't pass up- so stinkin' cute!  I have a baby on the way, so they are justified purchases...right ;)  And the two feet for my machine are ones I have been meaning to get for ages and just never "bit the bullet" but at 25% off I took the plunge.  An open toe foot and a stitch-in-the-ditch foot.  Thinking that second one will be awesome for attaching binding by machine, something I could use some help with.
When I got home I discovered a fun little find in one of my fabrics- a hidden submarine!  Leave it to Tula Pink to do something like that (this is from her SaltWater collection, for those who are curious).
I decided to keep it simple for the runner- being low on time will do that to a person.  I love the way these fabrics play together.  The print that started it all was the painted pallet print, which I thought looked like a boardwalk.  Pretty much a perfect print since my grandparents live a half mile from the beach and my grandmother loves blue (and my grandfather hates flower prints, so I had to keep that in mind while searching for fabric too).  The teal print is a pale background with teal coral on it.  The very pale fabric is a pale blue gingham and the cream fabric has white circles on it that remind me of sand dollars.  The beachy theme has had me singing "Drift Away" all afternoon while making this.
Another shot, where you can maybe see the fabrics a little better.  Pictures at 7:30 at night is not easy!
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday at CrazyMomQuilts.