Wednesday, June 25, 2014

WIP Wednesday: I-spy baby quilt

Lisa at FreshStash always has the most adorable bundles of fabrics and a great selection of novelty prints. She recently started selling packs of 150 3" squares - perfect for I-spy quilts! They were too adorable for me to pass up. I bought a pack and added to it from my own stash of novelty and solid fabrics. I got a little carried away and ended up with 260 squares!

I have enough squares to make 2 baby quilts. Each one will have a 10 square x 13 square (25" x 32.5") I-spy center section. For this first quilt I added a 1" semi-solid border and a 5" neutral print border. I have plans for an orange and aqua binding.

I used a new (to me) basting technique to make the quilt sandwich. I used #8 pearl cotton to baste the quilt using this method. Here's the whole quilt top:

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A close-up of the front:

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And the back:

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This method takes just slightly longer than pin-basting (for me) but I like this so much better - I just clip the threads as I quilt a section, which is a lot faster than unclipping safety pins. Plus, every time I pin-baste I think I lose about 10% of my safety pins and that gets expensive. I now only have enough safety pins left to baste one baby quilt at a time. I've used spray-baste for a couple quilts recently and I liked it, but this method is way cheaper than spray baste, too. I think this will be my new default basting method from now on!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Drawstring shoe bag

One of the very first things I remember sewing, with the help of my grandma, is a drawstring shoe bag for my dad for Father's Day. I remember being so happy to sew with my grandma, and I was so incredibly proud of it when it was done. I remember my dad using it a lot when he traveled.

The bag wasn't fancy, I think it was a vellux-like material that wouldn't fray with a shoestring for a drawstring. I've been meaning to make a couple drawstring shoe bags for myself and my husband for a long time - they are much classier than packing your shoes in a plastic grocery bag!

I was motivated to finally make another bag when I saw this fantastic drawstring shoe bag tutorial by The Purl Bee. The construction is really clever - there are no exposed raw edges!

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Isaac picked out the fabric and drawstring, and he even helped sew a few of the seams. He's probably too young to remember doing this later, but he was happy to help and very happy to have made something for Dad. He was so anxious to show Dad his present that he gave it to him Saturday night!

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We used a plain chambray rather than a fancy double-sided plaid because I wanted to embroider the bag with a design from the Sublime Stitching Camp Out embroidery pattern.

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I used the "away knot" instructions from Penguin and Fish to keep the ends of the embroidery floss in place. So far, so good! The back looks very neat and it doesn't look like the ends are going anywhere.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Mini cat quilt

I knew back in December, as soon as it was posted over at Oh Fransson, that I wanted to make a Cat Quilt. It is so darn cute! I don't have enough scraps to make 25 uniquely colored cats, but I do have more than enough cats to make a wall hanging / doll quilt. So I did just that.

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The finished size is 12" x 12". The vertical sashing between cats is 1.5" (cut size) and the horizontal sashing is 1" (cut size). The vertical borders are 1.75" (cut) and horizontal borders are 1" (cut). I used 2" strips for the binding, the skinniest binding I've ever done. The background is scraps of Quilters Linen, which I wish I had bought a lot more of - it's such a nice background fabric!