Friday, August 23, 2013

Finish It Up Friday

The Great Pumpkin Quilt is finished and I love it!  Too bad the weather has been icky so the photos aren't that great :(  I thought this was the Sunshine State...

This little guy will be hanging on my wall this Fall.

Close up of the quilting and my favorite pumpkin- the jack-o-lantern!

And a peek at the back- a fun pumpkin print I found at JoAnns last winter- it has recipes for pumpkin pie and pumpkin butter on it!  The pumpkins were all made from fat quarters I bought at JoAnns last year, so I have no idea what they are.  The binding was a Denise Schmidt print from JoAnns too.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Today's task, to finish up the binding on my pumpkin quilt!  I'm so excited to get this one finished!

And how is this for binding math- I ended up with 4" leftover.  I'm actually impressed I even had this much leftover, I only had a fat quarter of this fabric and was pretty sure I could make it work without making bias binding.  I was right, but just barely! 

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Finish It Up Friday

Continuing on my Fall sewing kick-

Meet my newest pillow!  This little guy was started two or three years ago as part of a Fall themed applique quilt I was going to make.  I believe he was copied from clip art in an old Facebook game, (fluff)Friends.  I never did make the quilt (obviously).  One of the other blocks, a trio of pumpkins, I made into a pillow last year.  I started doing the same with this block then too, but there was a whole heck of a lot of blanket stitching to secure all those parts onto the scarecrow and I got bored last year and stopped.  I found the block again a few days ago and decided this was the year to finally finish it up.  Once I had the scarecrow (which of course took no time at all) done I grabbed some scraps for the border. 

The backing is a fabric I picked up at Joanns on sale last winter.  I intended for it to be the backing of my pumpkin quilt, but it turns out I had already bought (better) fabric to back that quilt- but the colors were perfect for this little scarecrow.  I love when that works out.

Typically when I make a pillow I do an envelope back, but I never really like it.  I think I do something wrong because the fit is always too tight and the envelope part bulges and I always worry the fabric is going to giveway.  In this case, I made a pillow that was not a standard size so an envelope back was not an option anyway because there was no pillow form that would fit in it.  Invisible zipper to the rescue.  This was my first time sewing one.  It came out ok, but I cannot for the life of me figure out how to get the end with the stopper to be invisible.  I couldn't get the teeth of the zipper to flatten down enough by the stopper for me to sew it well.  I used a this tutorial from Craftiness Is Not Optional.  Does anyone have any tips for invisible zippers or know of any other good tutorials?

Fun Fact: the stuffing for this pillow was taken out of airline travel pillows.  When my husband was traveling a lot for work he would often get upgraded to first class and I quickly informed him that the pillows he was given needed to find their way home to go.  Free pillow forms/stuffing, yes please!  I now have a cabinet full of airline pillows- it got to the point where I had to tell him to stop bringing them home.

Linking up with CrazyMomQuilts for Finish It Up Friday and Fabric Tuesday at QuiltStory.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Charity Quilt (I think)

Ok, newbie here needs some help/advice please!

I made this quilt top last year (or maybe it was two years ago..) and quilted it up earlier this week when the itch to quilt suddenly struck (a great way to go through some WIPs- love when the quilting bug arrives in full force!).  I thought it would be a good quilt to donate for the 100 Quilts for Kids drive over at Swim.Bike.Quilt, but now I'm not so sure.

Here are my concerns:
1. I was reading on a charity website and it said quilts had to be "heavily machine quilted".  Do loops count as heavy quilting? 
2. I bound it by hand with fabric from an IKEA pillowcase.  Will it stand up to kids/many washings?
3. If it is ok to donate, any recommendations on where to send it?  I live in Central Florida and would like to send it someplace locally, but can't seem to find anywhere asking for quilts.  We have a Nemours Childrens Hospital, do they take donation quilts?  Or is there a charity you send them to and they pass them on to hospitals/kids?

I would love to hear your thoughts please!  I would like to donate the quilt, but not if it is just going to come apart and eventually disappoint a child.  Am I better off just holding on to it for my own (one day, not yet) baby?  (yikes, is it bad that I don't want to disappoint a child I don't know, but I'm ok with it happening to my own one-day, not-yet child??  Geez, didn't know mommy guilt could strike before you were even pregnant!)

Thank you for your help!

Linking up to CrazyMomQuilts Finish It Up Friday.

EDITED TO ADD: Thank you to those who commented with advice and suggestions, looks like the quilt will be ok to donate- yay!  Now I just need to find somewhere to send it to- off to Google now!

EDITED AGAIN: After a little Google searching I remembered a Central Florida resort I visited with friends about 10 years ago- Give Kids The World.  I doubt my words can do justice to this place (seriously, click on the link and take a look- amazing).  It was built by a hotelier with help from our local theme parks back in the 80s and is a 70 acre resort facility for families of children with life threatening illnesses.  The resort is a kids dreamland- mini golf, trains, a carousel, a theater, pool, ice cream shop (always open and free, everything here is free),...Even the trashcans are fun- I specifically remember an elephant one where the elephants trunk would suck the trash out of your hand.  GKTW works closely with Make-a-Wish, as it is so close to Disney which is one of the top (if not the top) Wish locations. 

It looks like a quilt shop in Haines City donated a bunch of quilts to GKTW back in January.  I wonder if they would take my quilt too.  I would LOVE to donate it to them- I fell in love with GKTW and their mission when I visited and would love to help out (I would volunteer, but I'm pretty sure I would be crying my eyes out everyday which is probably not the image they want - I was lucky and went to visit with friends as a guest of the recreation director, so the family I was with did not have a sick child, though we did met one and he broke my heart.  Such a sweetie, so hard to believe all that he was going though).

I am going to email them and see if they would like my quilt.  Is there anyone else in Central Florida (or anywhere) who would like to send a quilt to them?

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Oh My Lucky Stars!

I'm sorry if you are tired of pictures of this quilt by now! But today is the day to link them up over at QuiltStory, so I wanted to post it one more time all by itself (instead of hidden in with other finishes).  I also dragged it all around the house looking for a good/better photo spot.  Hope these photos are a little more interesting than just having the quilt up on the design wall :)

This little quilt top is still up on my design wall, but that is working for me.  While staring off into space yesterday (and avoiding the last border to a small project- I seriously procrastinate adding borders, even tiny ones) I figured out how to quilt this.  Woohoo!  I had been planning an all over pattern, but then I was torn on thread color because I like it to match, but now I am thinking of mixing it up.  Maybe quilting loops in the navy part, following the seams in the patch blocks, diamonds in the star blocks, not totally sure about the square block yet.  No idea if this is how it will work out or not.  This is supposed to be a baby gift, so that might be too much quilting for it.  We'll see. 

I had so much fun with my first quilt-a-long!  When is the next one??

Here are the past posts on this quilt can be found here-

WIP Wednesday

It's the Great Pumpkin(s)!

Once again I was inspired by a Pin- I thought it was a such a fun quilt for the Fall with all the pumpkins on it.  Yeah... apparently the name of the quilt is Fresh Squeezed, as in citrus/oranges.  But with a simple little modification, the elimination of a leaf and addition of a stem, it becomes pumpkins!  At least, I hope it does :) 

I started this last year, then lost interest after Halloween.  Now I am getting into a Fall state of mind and enjoying going through some old WIPs and finishing them up in time for the season this year.  I still need to add the white border to either side of this little quilt top, then I can baste it and quilt it.  I'm thinking of getting creative with the quilting- green loops, maybe some leaves, in the white spaces above the pumpkins to look like vines that the pumpkins are growing on, on the pumpkins I am thinking of trying to mimic the lines/ridges on a pumpkin, and - inspired by Angela Walters latest piece of advice to "make a rule, then break the rule" - quilt one pumpkin with a jack-o-lantern face.  Really hoping this turns out as cute in real life as it looks in my head. 

Linking up with Lee over at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sweet Southern Sewing

Sweet tea is a Southern staple, but what's a girl to do when restaurants do not have the appropriate sweetener?
Further proof that I am turning into my grandmother, I now carry Sweet n Low around in my purse for just such occasions.  I still have a long way to go before I am at her level (she also has honey, tea bags, hard candies...and pretty much anything else you could need), but I am getting there. 

DISCLAIMER: I am a Florida Belle, not a true Southern Belle.  Yes I like my tea sweet, but actual "sweet tea" that restaurants serve is too sweet.  So I order unsweet (blasphemy!) and add my own sweetener.

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday over at QuiltStory.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Oh My Gosh!

I made a shirt... like an actual shirt... one that can be (and was) worn in public... and I wasn't laughed at for wearing it and it didn't fall apart!  I call that a (major)  Sewing Success!

This is from a Simplicity pattern (1614) and I made version D.

The navy piping on the front is 1/2 single fold bias tape, not sure I would use it again- boy that is narrow!  It looks good on the tank, but it was a pain to sew on.  Of course, I didn't sew it on the "right" way and instead chose to sandwich the fabric between the bias tape and sew/top stitch all at once, so that could have something to do with it being a pain to sew.  I was trying to catch fabric in the tape but I couldn't see the fabric because it was in the tape- so on the front neckline I did have some spots that didn't get caught and I had to undo it and sew it again.  I did get the entire back caught on the first try though. 

I don't really know why they had me do the bias the way they did on the back, it is behind the straps which seems weird.  Then again, I'm not sure how else you would attach the straps to the bottom piece without the stitching showing if you did the straps after the bias tape. 

The shoulder seams are definitely not done the way the pattern said.  I could not for the life of me figure out what they wanted me to do and my front straps were wider than my back neck piece anyway, so I kind of fudged it.  It works, but that part does look ever-so-slightly homemade (and not in a good way), but I think I am the only one who notices. 

I'm pretty excited to have made my first piece of real clothing (as opposed to the poodle skirt I made for a costume party a few months back).  This is something I will actually wear again!

Linking up to Finish It Up Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts.