Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Baby Quilt that Almost Wasn't...

...then was again.

I started with this stack of fabrics for a commissioned baby quilt. The request was simple patchwork or another simple design for a minimalist-loving nature-y mama. The customer asked that I use scraps I might have on hand because the mama is a big fan of no waste and recycling. (I'd made this baby's big sister a quilt using scraps, and they really liked that about it.)

No problem, right? I have a kajillion scraps on hand, right? True. But I was trying to stick to the original quilt, which used 5" squares, and I don't have a ton of charm squares on hand. I found a stack of olives and tans, bought a navy solid, and that's where everything went terribly wrong.

Stella refused to sew the navy fabric. It turned out to be a cheaper blend than I'd anticipated, and it pretty much dissolved when it made contact with the needle. Rather than push through what would certainly be agony, I decided to forget about this fabric pull and find another idea.

But what? What would be a useful, thoughtful fabric project that would equally excite this mama?

What about some old school fabric from my grandmother's stash? A wholecloth quilt, so no waste whatsoever. This felt like a decent alternative, and I'm hoping the recipient will be excited by it.

(My quilt holder is in training. Also, he's kinda teeny. But he's a cutie patootie, so it's all good.)

I backed it in this brown minky. Oy vey, is this quilt soft! This was my first time quilting with minky, and honestly, I expected it to be a bigger deal than it actually was. I took my time basting it, and I quilted slower than usual with my walking foot. It probably would've been a bigger deal if it was a bigger project, but I wouldn't mind sewing up another minky-backed baby quilt. The most annoying bit about it was that it shed A LOT.

I bound it in the same stripe as the front, and I did it entirely by machine. I wanted to finish this by the end of April, and I barely made my deadline, but I'm chalking it up as a win.

Finally, I had to share this picture from the other morning. One of my sons decided to sit on my lap as I quilted, and he thought the quilt would serve better as a parking lot for his cars.

Finish numero dos from my FAL list, woo!

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Hot Pink Socks!

I made some socks. While riddled with mistakes, they are definitely wearable, and I'm not sure I'm ever taking them off of my feet because they are soooooo comfortable.

Dear Hot Pink Socks, 
I love you. Be mine forever. 
Love, Audrey

I have no idea what kind of yarn I used to make these. I went into the yarn store, riffled through their sock yarn collection and was mildly disappointed at the demure, quiet, and respectable selection that they had. Tucked in a bottom cubby behind lots of other skeins was one powerful skein of self-striping hot pink glory. Honestly, the store was probably thrilled to see the skein sell--it obviously didn't fit in with any of the other yarns.

Also...these are totally my first finish from my FAL 2016 Q2 list. YES.

Monday, April 18, 2016

April, So Far.

My family is moving in less than a month. I had known for over a year that we would be moving sometime this summer, I had just thought it would be more on the July side of the summer. But nope. May. Because May is waaaaay more fun than July.

Of course, it's beautiful and finally warm outside, and we've been soaking in some Vitamin D like no one's business. I truly love the neighborhood I live in--walking distance to a small grocery store, a stellar park, our amazing library, and several of our friends' homes--and I've been trying to soak all of that in too. When we moved to the midwest, I didn't expect I would ever like it here. And while I am more than happy to say goodbye to tornadoes and massive amounts of snow--oh wait, that's coming with me--I am sad to consider all of the wonderful things we are leaving behind.

This girl, Audrey? She's nostalgic. Gets attached. Can get a wee bit, well, weepy.

I've been self-medicating with cookies and tea. And trying to read every last book in the library because I have this fear we're going to move somewhere with a really crummy library.

And with my dearest Stella out for a week or so, I'm reduced to handstitching, knitting, and finally trimming these blocks. Seriously, I've been meaning to trim them for ages. So it's good to finally get that done, make a plan for setting and do the math. I've done math for a few other projects too, calculating fabric requirements and looking at my timeline.

Oh, but before Stella went bye-bye, I managed to wip up this bee block for Stash Bee. I'm pretty stoked that I finally managed to get all of my stuff to line up directionally on the first shot. It really does make for a classy looking block.

What are y'all up to? I know a ton of other quilters who are moving too, so apparently it's the season for moving.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Q2 2016 FAL List

Friends, Q1 saw three finishes--almost four!--from eight proposed WIPs. I am pretty stoked about those finishes because they were well earned. And this quarter has a list just as exciting as Q1, if only because I have about a kajillion baby quilts to finish. (This list only has the three I've planned so far!)

1. Negroni shirt for husband 
I completed a muslin that was waaaaaay too big. 
I need to make another before proceeding.

2. Hot Pink Socks
One sock is knitted; I've turned my heel and need to finish up.

3. Midnight Mystery Quilt
Top needs borders, baste, quilt, bind

4. 241 Tote for Me
Planning to use some C+S and other prints; materials gathered
This will probably not happen. But I can dream.

5. Baby Quilt for Mel
Fabric cut; needs assembly

6. Baby Quilt for B
Fabric and pattern assembled

7. Baby Quilt for A
7/9 blocks made; need to sash and join

8. Quilt for K
blocks done; need to sash and join

I'm linking up! Are you? 
2016 FAL

Friday, April 8, 2016

FF: Baby Geranium Dress

With about a kajillion friends/family members who are pregnant, I thought I'd try my hand at some baby pants. When I started sorting through my bits of fabric, I stumbled across this Cotton + Steel panel print that I had been saving to make some new cushion covers for my living room. And while it would make some sweet cushion covers, it would also make some awesome baby pants.

Then I had another moment to think. Forget pants--this fabric would make an even COOLER baby dress. So yes. I spent a bit of a weekend sewing up this oh-so adorable Little Geranium dress. The top bit is also a Cotton + Steel print, and I sewed up the entire thing in white Aurifil thread. This pattern was super easy, and it should have been a quick sew, except I kept thinking I knew more than the pattern did, and instead of reading directions, I would wing it, and I ALWAYS did something silly. There was more than my usual seam ripping with this bad boy.

But even with all of the seam ripping, I would totally make this dress again. You know, if I HAD GIRLS and needed baby girl dresses. While the infant version of the Geranium dress is a free download, if I ever need a big girl dress, I know what my first choice will be.

Best of all...I still have plenty of the feature print left to make cushion covers. Woo!

Friday, April 1, 2016

FF: Frozen Watermelon, Part 2

This is Frozen Watermelon in all its pink and green glory! (If you caught my post from yesterday, you'll have seen the finishing touches that were put on this quilt, including my work to fix a seam that busted in the wash.) This quilt was originally made because I had a couple of orphan paper pieced star blocks for which I was eager to find a home. I opted to do some improv business, a process that originally terrified and annoyed me, and I am slowly finding that I enjoy it. In fact, if I haven't pieced in this fashion for awhile, I start to crave it. It's a puzzle, and I'm learning to let go of the stress and the voice that says it won't come together.

I quilted this baby with 60 degree diamonds in hot pink thread because I COULD. And that was so powerful to me. Since this quilt doesn't have a specific recipient--it's Project Linus bound--I felt free to do whatever I liked. (And it was so much fun!)

The binding was a fun green and white stripe from my grandma's stash, which I attached by machine. I prefer the finished look of handstitched binding, but with FIVE BABY QUILTS on my to-do list, ain't no one got time for handstitching perfection in this casa.

I pieced the backing using these two pink fabrics. They're old--1979 for the pink solid!--but they washed up super soft and cuddly. Overall, this is a soft, comfy quilt that measures around 48" x 59", and I'm excited to drop it off for Project Linus. Added bonus, it's another finish from my FAL list! I'm hoping to knock one more finish off before the final link-up. I'm close! But like I said before, FIVE BABY QUILTS. I think that's the most I've ever had at one time! And while I have started cutting fabric for one, the other four are in the planning stages. I'm tired just thinking about it. But on I go!

Have a lovely Friday!


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