Isaac is thrilled that he and his brother have matching shirts. I think he’ll realize soon that matching shirts are just a ploy to get him to wear a handmade shirt (with buttons and a collar, and without superheros), and then he’ll be mad at me. But for as long as it lasts I’ll be taking advantage of the fact that he wants to match his little brother.
I made another Simplicity 2907 shirt for big brother, size 4T. He is turning 4 soon and this shirt is perfect width-wise but I think I’ll add an inch or more of length in the next shirt. Little brother’s shirt is just a bit of applique with satin stitch around the edges. The fabric is an old Riley Blake print that I’ve had in my stash for a while.
You can’t see it in these pictures, but these are the best buttonholes I have ever made. Up until now I’ve used the basic Bernina #3 buttonhole foot, which lets you make buttonholes but it does not make great button holes. The buttonholes looked handmade, and not in a good way. Then I bought buttonhole foot with a slide, like this one but without the spring or the brand name, and with a $7 price tag. Holy smokes! It is amazing. My buttonholes look 600% better than before. This has opened up a whole new world of possibilities!
Did you know this is a big year for Moomin? It’s the 100th anniversary of Moomin’s creator, Tove Jannson. To celebrate, the American Swedish Institute has a Moomin exhibit on display. Isaac was happy to see the exhibit and pose with Moomin!
Sublime Stitching recently released a bunch of Moomin patterns. I ordered one right away. I stitched a Moomin on Isaac’s plain Poang IKEA chair. It wasn’t too difficult to embroider. I used 4 strands of DMC embroidery floss. It took some practice to get used to not pulling the needle through to the back side of the fabric – I had to take little bites of fabric with the needle, being careful not to catch the foam inside the headrest.
The only trouble I had with this project was transferring the pattern to the chair. The cover is made of 100% cotton – I checked the tag – so I had my iron set to the highest setting. I ironed the transfer for about 7 seconds, and when I pulled the iron away it had scorched the fabric. Ugh! This is the first time I have scorched a project with my iron. Luckily, I was able to use hydrogen peroxide, cold water, and a little bit of soap to remove the scorch marks. No trace of them now!
Last week I successfully finished a paper piecing project. It’s the teapot from Sew Ichigo’s Kitchen Classics pattern, and it’s a replacement for the failed paper piecing project I posted about last month.
I’m much happier with this finished mini than I was with the last one (before I washed it), so perhaps it’s a good thing I ruined the previous one. I used a batik for the background, and assorted scraps from my stash for the teapot. The binding is a Mona Luna print that coordinates nicely with the flower print. I used matchstick quilting for the first time, and I love how it turned out.
Way back in January, the Minneapolis Modern Quilt guild started a mystery quilt-a-long. My talented friend Kristin is designing the mystery quilt and posting instructions each month. I ordered my background fabric, Robert Kaufmann quilter’s linen in stone, way back in January but that’s as far as I got for a long, long time.
Earlier this summer I pulled fabric from my stash for the quilt – olive greens, pinks, aquas and chartreuse. In June and July I cut all the pieces out for months 1-7. In August I finally started piecing the blocks.
I have a LOT of olive and chartreuse scraps in my stash!
For month 4, I didn’t have big enough olive scraps, so aqua was the dominant color.
I bought a yard of this pink, olive and chartreuse fabric years ago because it was on sale and I loved it. I used it for a stuffed toy but had trouble incorporating it into quilts… until now.
These little windmill blocks are super cute and not that difficult! I want to make a lot more of these. The most time consuming part is cutting all the pieces (with templates). About halfway through I was ready to research die-cutting options… I’ve been eyeing the Accuquilts at JoAnn’s for a while.
This spring I started work on a gender-neutral baby quilt for a friend. I decided on a quilt with a few hot air balloons and a lot of sky. There are not a lot of patterns out there for hot air balloons, and most of them are really intricate paper piecing patterns. I am not that great at paper piecing. so I opted for the simplest paper piecing pattern I could find.
I printed out the pattern and then enlarged it a few times. I have two tiny balloons, two medium balloons and one big balloon. I got to use up some pretty small scraps for these balloons. It’s always nice to see the scraps I’ve been
hoarding carefully saving be put to use!
I quilted this with a serpentine stitch and Aurafil thread.
The quilt went to its new home earlier this summer.
We’ve spent one month with this little guy already!
Ethan arrived a little early but we are both healthy and doing well now. He’s a pretty chill baby, loves to snuggle, and is sleeping through most of the night. We’re feeling very fortunate to have an(other) easy baby (so far). I’m taking advantage of this while it lasts – yesterday Ethan accompanied me to a quilt guild meeting with zero fussing.
I recently tackled a complicated paper piecing project. It’s from a cute pattern by Sew Ichigo called “Kitchen Classics“. It was fussy, but not nearly as difficult as I expected. I finished the piecing in a few hours. Here’s a picture of how it looked after I quilted it:
Pretty nice, right? I was really happy with it, minus a couple small stains from the Elmer’s school glue I used while piecing. I decided to wash the quilt to remove the marks. Here’s where things went awry.
I know that I prewashed all of this fabric before I started the project. When I handwashed the finished quilt in the bathroom sink the blue Kona fabric bled. A lot. I tried soaking the quilt in an attempt to remove the backstaining, or at least get the blue to backstain everything evenly, but no luck. I tried a weak bleach solution to remove the backstaining and just succeeded in bleaching the blue fabric. Then I soaked everything in a weak bleach solution in a last-ditch effort to even out the staining and fading. It was a total fail. Ugh!
I should’ve taken a picture of the fail, but it just made me too mad. I threw it in the trash right away. Today is garbage day and I just heard the garbage truck swing by and pick it up. Sigh.
I intend to make this pattern again, but probably not with a white background. And definitely not with the blue fabric. The blue fabric went to the dump today as well. Good riddance!
I’m a day late with the WIP Wednesday post, and a year late with the Wild Olive Summer Stitching Club… but better late than never, right?
I joined the Summer Stitching Club last year and then promptly forgot about it. Sigh. I’m happy to be working on the project this week though! My beloved sewing machine is (unexpectedly) in need of a tune-up. While I wait for its return I dug out the Summer Stitching Club pattern and floss, and bought some lovely pin dot and American Made Brand fabrics at PixieSpit‘s local shopping day.
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:
A close-up of the front:
And the back:
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!
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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
Last weekend we took our (very early) summer vacation. The week before we left I made Isaac a little dopp kit to hold his toothbrush, toothpaste, etc. He choose the fabric and zipper: a Japanese linen blend for the outside and a large parka zipper. I chose coordinating fabrics and the pattern – the Zipper Pencil Case from Craft Passion.
I made a couple modifications, eliminating the tapering at the top of the bag and making only one gusset. Although the pattern is originally intended to be a pencil case, with the wider top it’s the perfect size for toddler toiletries. Having one gusset keeps one side secure while giving you room to rummage around on the other side. With two gussets the bag wouldn’t open nearly as wide.
Although I’m getting better at adding piping, I’m still not great and the seams each took a few attempts. It’s worth it though – the bag wouldn’t look nearly as nice without piping. Despite some fussing with the piping this bag only took an afternoon to make. I highly recommend it!
I used one layer of batting and two layers of medium-weight interfacing for everything except the gusset. If I make this again, I would use heavy weight interfacing so the bag holds its shape better. The parka zipper worked out great – easy for little hands to open and close.
Today is Sew Mama Sew Giveaway Day! I’m participating by giving away a copy of my updated Macro Plaid Quilt Pattern.
To enter, leave a comment below by May 16th. I’ll choose a random winner by May 18th and send them the PDF pattern via email by May 18th.
Need a comment prompt? Let me know what your favorite fabric pattern/design is. For me, it’s a toss up between plaid and paisley. Good luck!
Update: the winner is Cathy, who likes geometric prints. Check your inbox for the PDF pattern, Cathy!
I’ve updated my Baby Plaid Quilt Pattern – it now includes instructions for two sizes! The original size is a baby quilt (36″ x 50″) and the added size is a throw quilt (50″ x 64″).
I was recently commissioned to make a larger size of my Baby Plaid Quilt. I know I say this a lot here, but I’m really pleased with this quilt!
The finished size is 60″ x 80″, just big enough to cover a queen-size mattress with no drape. I did straight line quilting about 1.5″ apart in the background, and straight lines following stripes.
The tricky thing about this quilt was getting it to be exactly 60″ x 80″. I did some math on previous projects and found that my quilts usually shrink about 3% after washing. I rounded up and made this quilt top a few inches bigger than necessary – 64″ x 86″. I spray basted and quilted the layers, then I trimmed just the extra batting and backing from the quilt – it still measured 64″ x 86″. I straight-stitched very close to the edge of the quilt and then I machine washed and dried it to make sure it did all its shrinking before I cut it to size. This quilt actually shrunk less than 3%, so I had plenty of fabric to spare. I squared up the quilt and trimmed it to 60″ x 80″.
I used Kona solids exclusively. The background is Butter, the stripes are Emerald, Asparagus and Berry. Where the stripes intersect I used Glacier, Laurel, Hibiscus, Periwinkle, Amethyst, and Kale. The binding is in Berry. The thread is cream-colored Gutermann cotton.
The background is mostly Kona Emerald, with a strip of improv piecing using leftovers from the front of the quilt.
Ready to ship!
For Kid’s Clothes Week day six, I put the facing on the Oliver + S Sleepover Pajama top.
For day seven, I practiced attaching snaps and successfully attached 4 snaps to the pajama top!
This is the first time I’ve used snaps in a project. I used size 16 pearl snaps and the SnapSetter tool, and it works great!
Well, everything except the facing and the pockets. I decided this didn’t need pockets after all. Getting this far on the top took a little over an hour.
Well, everything except for the elastic waist is finished – I’ll wait until Isaac is closer to size 4T to finish the elastic. Right now he’s wearing a set of 2T Sleepover Pajamas.
It took about 90 minutes for me to finish the hat, with most of that time spent on making the brim and attaching the sweatband. Those two steps take me so. long. The finished hat is adorable, and Isaac loves it!
I didn’t make a whole lot of progress because I had to trace the 2T/4T size from the pattern, and I find millinery work a little fussy – lots of pinning curves, finger pressing and topstitching. You might notice in the picture above that I should’ve been fussier with the cutting layout. It totally slipped my mind that I should be lining up the center of the hat with the center of a plaid stripe. ::sigh::
All the pinning and finger pressing is worth it though – these hats are so cute! I’ve made two of these caps before, one for my son and one for a nephew, both in corduroy and quilting cotton. For this cap I’m using Pendelton Wool and quilting cotton. The wool is pretty stretchy and ravels easily, but so far that’s not causing any difficulty.