Wednesday, October 19, 2016

My Handmade Wardrobe : Relaxed Raglan

after reading Overdressed by Elizabeth L. Cline, i wanted a mostly handmade wardrobe. first off i can't stand most ready to wear (RTW) clothing, it is so cheaply made, and never seems to fit my post two kids body very well.

after preparing myself, mostly mentally that i could sew my own clothes. i started giving it a serious go this year. i began with woven garments, since as a quilter i am most comfortable working with them. well woven garments are nice, but nothing compares to the versatility of knits. after a different attempts that were okay. i discovered Patterns for Pirates and my knit sewing game has certainly stepped up.

as a mom with little kiddos, having clothing that lets me be comfortable is key! i never know how the day is going to shape up. so while i love sewing up woven garments, right now those are perfect for church or the occasional date night with the hubby. but my knit garments are perfect for day to day wear and i can dress them up too.

i picked up the Relaxed Raglan to give knit sewing a try again. i LOVE this pattern. Judy does a fabulous job of walking you through cutting and sewing up your raglan. and since it is raglan sleeves this is an ideal pattern for beginner seamstress. i have since sewed up 2 and have one more ready to go! and my oldest daughter is asking for a few shirts for herself.

the pattern comes with lots of ways to customize your shirt: long, elbow, or short sleeves; shirt or tunic length, curved hem or banded hem; and with the add on pack you can make yourself a hoodie or other cozy shirt.

time to sew up a few more shirts, now to just work up the courage to try pants!

Happy Sewing!

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Sunday, October 16, 2016

Simply Love : A Finished Quilt

coffee and quilts go hand in hand. my hubby and i are big coffee drinkers. all of the baristas at our local Biggby know us and our girls pretty well. during the week, the girls and i spend a bit of time in the morning hanging out at BB (as Nora tends to call it). well the manager of our store is getting married this coming weekend. and since my girls love her and she loves on my girls, i decided to search through my stash and make her a quilt.

i had a couple Simply Colorful II charm packs that i knew would be perfect for her since she loves blue and purple. so i had my charm packs, now what to make as I was trying to keep to what i had in my stash. as i'm trying to keep to a pretty light fabric budget as of late. finally after searching for a few days i landed on a disappearing nine patch after watching the video tutorial from Missouri Star.

i love a quilt pattern that takes time, but i'll tell you what, when i can make a quilt top in just one afternoon of the girls napping and playing that makes for one happy mama! after i pieced my blocks together i knew i was going to have to purchase some fabric for borders. but i'm happy to say that is the only fabric i needed to purchase for this quilt. besides the borders, everything came from my stash!

i kept the quilting simple, with a serpentine stitch and one accent set of stitching. i am finding that i enjoy the piecing and i like simple quilting. at this point i just don't have the time to do some of the detailed quilting that i admire, maybe one day.

here are a few outtakes from shooting this quilt. Nora loves to try and get into all of the photos. as you can see from the first pictures she had to help daddy hold the quilt.

Enna had to join the fun as well. the gloomy day made for difficult pictures, but i wanted to get the pictures takes, since we are giving her the quilt when we visit Biggby on Monday.

silly kiddo!

Quilt Stats
Pattern: Disappearing Nine Patch
Dimensions: roughly 56 inches x 56 inches
Quilting: Serpentine stitch
Fabric:  Simply Colorful ll by Vanessa Chistenson of V & Co. for Moda, inner border Moda Essential Dots

Happy Sewing!

Linking up with Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Friday!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Silent Sunday : Staycation Edition

a nice week with the hubby at home. plenty of fun with the girls. making progress with house projects. now to enjoy our last day of our staycation.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

WiP Wednesday : Disappearing Nine Patch and some Curves

so my girls favorite barista at our local Biggby is getting married in about a month. so being a quilter, i went digging through my stash and found two Simply Colorful II charm packs that were just the perfect colors. i settled on a disappearing nine patch and with a couple of borders this turned out to be a pretty nice quilt top. i just finished piecing the back together, now to just pick up some batting and it's quilting time!

i can't wait to surprise her with a quilt! now i just have to convince Nora not to tell her the next time we see her at the coffee shop.

in addition to my nine patch quilt, i played around with my mini QCR. since Christmas will be here before too long, i found some Christmas fabric in my stash and figured it was time to use it!

first up a cute curved star block that will be turned into a cushion cover.

next with my leftover squares, i made up a small cushion, that i just know the girls are going to be fighting over. i love that i'm starting to accumulate a nice collection of handmade Christmas decorations for my home. maybe one of this years, i'll finally make a tree skirt or some stockings.

now if only the weather would cool off, i'm ready for fall!

happy sewing!

linking up with Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social

Monday, September 12, 2016

How I Find Time to Sew with Kids at Home

my current scrap project from leftover charm squares

whenever i tell someone that i quilt, the next thing that comes is how do i find the time with two young kiddos at home.

to be honest, this is still a work in progress, since every single day is different. one important thing that i have learned is to just roll with the punches and working in those precious minutes that my kiddos are happy playing.

for me, it is all about working in short bursts! without it i wouldn't be able to get any sewing, or lets face it cleaning done if i didn't do my work in short bursts.

i have found that 15 to 20 minutes is a good amount of time for my kiddos. i have the mentality with my kiddos that i am not here to entertain you 24/7, so now is as good a time to learn to how to occupy your time. right now my girls are pretty good for about 20 minutes of playing either by themselves or together. it just depends on the day. These 15 to 20 minutes are good for me and for my kiddos. they allow me to step away for a little bit of time, which is good on stressful days, but it is also necessary to help manage my anxiety. i can always tell and my hubby can tell days when i haven't had much time in my sewing studio. my anxiety gets the best of me and i will sneak away once my hubby is home from work so i can get my anxiety back under control. plus my kiddos learn that it's okay if mom is not right next to them all the time.

so working in 20 minute bursts i try to have a few projects that i'm working on, so i can always have something to do during my creative time. i try to have my projects in various stages since some days i can have happy kiddos and i can chain piece until my heart contends. then other days i'll work on a fabric pull for a project since i know it is going to be a day that i'm going to have to keep stopping and starting. if i don't have any projects i usually go back to working on scrap management, for example right now i'm working on a scrap quilt from leftover charm squares.

an ideal day i have 20 minutes in the morning, nap time (anywhere from and 1.5 to 3 hours), another 20 minutes in the afternoon, and maybe another hour after the girls are in bed. unless i am working on a project with a deadline, i try not to sew after my hubby gets home as that is family time.

i use this idea for cleaning as well. it is amazing what can be accomplished in a short amount of time. plus those little times of getting things done, especially sewing helps me to be a better mom. 

of course some days my 20 minutes are 5 minutes here 5 minutes there, but i've found that the more i practice letting my girls learn to occupy their time, they are getting better at it. though they do know my weakness, if they come to me with a book i will stop whatever i'm doing and read to them; regardless if i'm sewing, cleaning, or cooking (if i know i'm not going to burn it). And of course as they get older, i will be able to spend more time sewing, but for now those 20 minutes really help me while i'm in the trenches of motherhood.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Morning Light : A Finished Mini Quilt

it feels so great to have another project done from my 3rd quarter finish-a-long list!!

i started this project during a retreat. i had it all cut out and started piecing. But like most quilters i have Project ADD and started another quilt before i finished this one. well at the beginning of the summer i finally finished the piecing and again it sat. finally last week i decided it was time to tackle the quilting.

i had just finished my Two at a Time quilt so my machine was primed for quilting and went for it. i tried to match the thread as best to the solids as possible. the quilting to simple, a straight line echo around the half hexagons and filled in the yellow. i used Dream Wool batting and with the echo quilting it really made the un-quilted areas pop.

you can really see the quilting from the back. which i love almost as much as the front. this was a great little project to finish up and it is just so nice to have another project done!

now maybe when i can find some time, i can create this mini again, but this time in cool or evening colors.

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Mini Northern Lights by Jaybird Quilts
Dimensions: 13 inches x 16 inches
Quilting: Straight line echo
Fabric: Moda Bella Solids, binding; Grunge Basic by Basic Grey for Moda

Happy Sewing!

Linking up with Lorna from Sew Fresh Quilts for Let's Bee Social and Amanda from Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Two at a Time : A Finished Quilt

earlier this summer i was asked if i would like to lead one of the block of the month programs when they started back up in the fall. of course i said that i would love too!

so i started looking right away at what pattern would be a good BOM. well needless to say I kept coming back to AnneMarie Chany's book Sister Sampler Quilts. i particularly loved the Vice Versa quilt. i love taking traditional blocks and setting them in a modern way. plus i have really enjoyed half-square triangles from the modern half-square sampler from Alyce of Blossom Heart Quilts.

i chose to follow AnneMarie and make my sample quilt up in solids. i have only recently started to enjoy working with solids and well this quilt really raised my love of solids. i used all Moda Bella solids and chose bright saturated colors with the addition of the dark gray. the lighter gray for the background and sashing allow the blocks to really shine.

for the quilting, i decided on straight (straight-ish) lines. in the center my quilting lines are unevenly spaced, then in the sections I broke up with the quadrants I evenly spaced my quilting lines either by an inch or inch and a half. plus with the straight line quilting, the blocks really become the stars as then should be in a sampler quilt.

i loved working on this project. it was nice to have a deadline to get a sample made up. i really had to push myself a bit to keep on schedule. thank goodness for an understanding hubby who kept the girls occupied if i need to work on this quilt. honestly i couldn't do most of my quilting without him helping out in the evenings. he really is the best hubby and father!

now i can drop my quilt off at my LQS and i can't wait to see it hanging in the shop!

Quilt Stats:
Pattern: Vice Versa from Sister Sampler Quilts by AnneMarie Chany
Dimensions: 73 inches square roughly
Quilting: Straight line
Fabric: Moda Bella Solids

Happy Sewing!

Linking up with Amanda from Crazy Mom Quilts for Finish it Up Friday