Monday, May 13, 2013

Summer vacation

We took our summer vacation very early this year, last week in fact. When we left Minnesota for Florida it was too chilly for shorts, I had to make Isaac try on his summer clothes to make sure we packed things that fit. Turns out he had plenty of shorts and shirts but had outgrown all his hats.

I used the Betz White bucket hat pattern for probably the seventh time, this time in a medium. I can't say enough good things about the pattern - it is easy, comes in a wide range of sizes, and fits well. It's a little big on him but he likes to pull it down over his eyes so it works out ok. Here's the little dude playing his first game of mini golf in his new hat.

I used Kokka Trefle vehicles, linen, and 2 layers of medium-weight fusible interfacing. I like the amount of interfacing, it keeps the brim from flopping in his eyes.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Where we've been

There has been a lot of cute map-themed decor on the interwebs lately. I've been motivated to make some wall hangings lately. Hence this "where-we've-been" map.

I downloaded and printed a US map, then enlarged it. To transfer the map to the fabric I taped the map to a window, taped the fabric over it and traced the state outlines using a water-soluble pencil.

I used fusible web to iron states to the map, then I machine-appliqued them to the map. I quilted the outline of the US with a walking foot, and free-motion-quilted the background. This is my first free-motion project in years, and this is definitely the best looking one yet.

I washed the fabric to get the nice wrinkly look and hide a few flaws in the machine quilting. This also washed out all the state outlines I had drawn, and now the middle looks empty. I'm debating whether to quilt some of the outlines, all of the outlines, or just wait until we visit more states and applique them on. What would you do?

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Mai hairplane!

Pattern: Fly with me by I Heart Linen

I finished my first ever paper-pieced pattern! It's a little wall hanging for Isaac. He calls it "mai hairplane!" I love that he says everything with an exclamation point.

Paper-piecing is not so bad. I did not follow the directions and cut the pieces based on the templates, I just cut scraps that I thought would be big enough, thinking that would save time and be less fussy. Turns out that's a good way to waste a lot of fabric and time. Next time I will either use the template or cut scraps much much bigger than I think they need to be. I also had some trouble wrapping my brain around the fact that I was putting the fabric on the wrong side of the paper and sewing on the right side of the paper. Sigh. I unintentionally reversed a few pieces, and had to redo them. I think I also unintentionally mixed up the ordering of the background fabrics, too.

Even with all my mistakes, this took only an afternoon. And I was super happy with it until I washed it. One of the batiks bled and stained the white fabric. Sigh. It wasn't even the dark batiks that bled, it was the lightest one - third from the right. I used the same fabric to bind a quilt made with other not-pre-washed batiks - it was a block of the month quilt, pieces were distributed by a local store precut and not pre-washed. When I wash the block of the month quilt I will definitely be using color catchers, and maybe retayne or synthrapol.