Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Tedious Blanket

Even look at something online and think- that's so easy!  I can make that!  Yes?  Good.  Does it get you in trouble and take of every inch of free space in your brain too?  No, just me?

Meet the tedious "quick and simple" baby blanket-

And now, allow me to list some "fun facts" from this project-

- Applique on minky is NOT easy!  I saw something online that suggested heat setting the letters, then using the machine to stitch them down.  So I grabbed some WonderUnder and made my letters, but guess what, you can't really iron dimple-dot minky, it makes the dots disappear. 

- So I tried using a very low heat- either didn't work or I didn't have the patience.  Either way that was a no-go. 

- I tried using a very hot iron and holding it above the fabric and hoping the heat would melt the fusible web from there.  It kind of works, assuming you don't get too close to the minky and burn the fuzzies off of it. 

- Then I got the brilliant idea to get (as in, go buy) a hairdryer and use the heat from that to set the fusible.  Yeah, that just blew the letter around- including the ones I thought I had already fused down. 

- Next try was fabric glue.  Fabric glue that no longer had the tiny little pour spout, because it broke off.  So I used my fingers to apply the glue.  #messy  Again I thought it had worked, but when I went to sew the letters down it really hadn't and the minky was popping up through my stitches and bugging me. 

- It all got chucked at that point. 

- Finally yesterday I found another tutorial online and gave it another go.  Steam-a-Seam (NOT WonderUnder!), a warm iron, and a cotton scrap over top of the minky to iron finally got the letters attached! 

- Before sewing the letters on, I pinned some stabilizer onto the back of the minky/applique and also pinned the letters on for added stability.

- I tried to use a regular foot on the machine to attach the letters.  Too much trouble around the curves, so I switched to the fmq foot.  Much easier.

- Finally the letters were attached!  Yay!  The hard part was over!  #famouslastwords

- I pinned the minky to the cotton backing and sewed around the edges with a walking foot.  Turns out that is not the best option for minky.  It didn't pull the minky enough and I ended up with extra minky (in the photo above you can see the fabric pulling at the bottom corner, that is where the extra minky ended up).  Finally I was happy (enough) that I went ahead and turned the blanket and topstitched it- with my regular foot on my machine, which worked perfectly. 

- WHEW!  That was one heck of a "quick and easy" project!  See why I refer to it as the Tedious Blanket?  Also, to all the people on Etsy who make and sell these- I don't know how you do it! 

Of course, I couldn't just make a blankie- so I made a matching taggie too

This project went together much easier.  This project also has minky on the back, but with the regular foot on my machine I had no problems sewing with it.  The only issue I had on this little guy was when I pinned the ribbons on right-sides-together.  Turns out ribbons don't invert when you flip everything else :)  Thankfully I realized this before I got to that point- I only had one side of the ribbons attached when I saw my mistake, so it was an easy fix. 
And the two projects together-
I think it is cute.  I think I might run out to Babies-R-Us too though.  There are some pirate monkeys in the cotton print and one of the things on their registry is a monkey hooded bath towel, so I thought I might go and search for that to go along too. 

Linking up to QuiltStory for Fabric Tuesday.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Ribbon Star Pillow

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Christmas holidays are in full swing down here in Florida!  Continuing with my goal to add more festive pillows to our couches I present you with my newest finish-

I used a tutorial from Freshly Pieced for the Ribbon Star block.  The block has way more pieces that I typically will handle (I think I counted 49 pieces, I usually don't look at blocks with more than 5- I like a quick finish!) but the end result was so worth all the extra pieces.  I also need to give some Major props to Lee for the awesome tutorial- all those pieces and I NEVER used the seam ripper!!  Unheard of!  (My 5 piece blocks normally need a seam ripper, lol!).  She literally showed you how to lay out the pieces so that you would not get confused. 

As for the quilting, I am in love.  Inside the start I did a little dot-to-do quilting a la Angela Walters and it came out exactly how I envisioned it would- looking like a snowflake inside the star.  Perfect for this Christmasy pillow.  Inside the green ribbons I quilted a swirl and in the red just a simple stipple- hoping it would give the feeling of snow floating down. 

And, though it is not the best photo, it only feels appropriate to show a photo of the pillow on my couch with the Christmas tree in the background-

Linking up to Fabric Tuesday over at QuiltStory.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Tis The Season

I'm one of those people- I begin decorating for Christmas the day after Halloween (and really, that is only because the husband puts the kibosh on doing it any earlier :)  I put out my Christmas quilt, table runners, and pillow the other day.  Wait?  What?  Pillow?  Singular??  Yes, somehow I only have ONE Christmas pillow!  Obviously that was not going to do.  Enter my finish for this week-

I found some red and cream strip sets left over from the trimmings of a Christmas tree skirt I made a few years ago and paired them up with a green holiday fabric I had.  I also learned (once again) that I am horrible about using scraps.  I am so worried about getting as much fabric out of extra bits of fabric as possible that I mull over ideas again and again- and ultimately a pillow this size take 3 hours.  Oh, I can procrastinate like no one else!  I just stare at the scraps, like I am looking at a puzzle and trying to figure out how to use them effectively without cutting into them too much.  Anyone else like that? 

And here is the new pillow with the one I already had.  I am loving the pops of color on the couch.  Hubby teased the other day that he must be in the wrong house, because he could sit on the couch without having to move pillows.  Well that won't do :)  Off to go make more!
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts.