Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday!

Ugh, man I have not been doing a lot of sewing lately. Between being 35 weeks pregnant, twice a week doctor visits, housework, and chasing after my two girls, my energy level has just been zapped. 

Last week, my brother showed up at my house with two friends in tow, and I got a wild hair and recruited them to transplant my sewing room from the main floor down to the basement. It was crazy and not well thought out, but I now have approximately double the space to spread out and organize! So, this is my work-in-progress for this week :)

I positioned my sewing desk right in front of the huge windows that look out to the back yard. It was dark (obviously) when I took the pics, but those windows actually let in a ton of light. It doesn't feel like a basement dungeon at all :)

And since I now have actual walls, my hubby helped me put up a design wall! I'm so excited to finally have one. I keep seeing all these great crafty blogs where people show you their creative spaces and it seems like almost everybody's got one. Now I can be part of the 'cool' crowd, haha :)

This is my cutting table. I've got it on bed risers to make it counter-height. This really saves on back ouchies. I've got it positioned in such a way that I can stand on any side of the mat. And there's another set of huge windows to let in lots of light. I like hanging things in the window and having the light shine through, makes it look sort of like stained glass!

My stash shelf, all neatly stacked and organized!

This little nook will be nice if I just need to sit down and sketch something out, or do quilt-math :) I've got lots more room to utilize, and still plenty of things that need to be brought down from the old sewing room. I'm taking my time because I don't want to just bring down piles of stuff with no clear idea of where to put them and end up making a big mess. I've even contemplated the idea of somehow offering sewing lessons! Oh, the possibilities...

The only real, fabric-related news I've got, has to do with my quilt along. I've done the cutting so I could post instructions, but in doing so, I finally decided on a plan for my crib bumpers!! Here's a sneak peek:
I think this will look really neat, or at least it does in my head. More to come on those. 

I'm linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced! Head on over there and check out everyone's awesome projects!!
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Garden Fence QA Cutting Instructions

Hi everyone! My Heirloom selections have not arrived yet, and I know some of you are itching to get started. So, I went ahead and cut some other fabrics from my stash, so that I could take pics for the cutting instructions. Interestingly enough, in doing so I managed to finally decide on a bumper pad design for my crib bedding! Woo-hoo! :)

Alright, so if you'll remember from the last post, I said you could use either fat quarters OR regular quarter yard cuts for this quilt. You will get three blocks-worth of cut pieces out of each quarter yard of fabric. I've taken pics for cutting both ways. 

Cutting from FQs:
First, iron your fabric. Once on your cutting mat, square up one long side and one short side, and you're ready to start cutting:

Lining your ruler up against the longer (21") side of the FQ, cut 5- 2 1/2" strips, and 1- 4 1/2" strip:

There will be a little scrap sliver about an inch or so left. Discard that, we don't need it. 

Then, cut the strips as follows:
- Cut 3 of the 2 1/2" strips into 5" pieces (you'll get 4 per strip, 12 total)
- Cut 2 of the 2 1/2" strips into 3" pieces (you'll get 6 per strip, 12 total)
- Cut the 4 1/2" strip into 3, 4 1/2" squares. There will be a scrap chunk left, but we don't need that for this quilt:
Repeat these cutting guidelines for each remaining fabric.

Cutting from regular quarter yards:
These instructions are a little trickier to explain, but hopefully my pictures make sense. If you have any questions, please send me an email!

So, start with your quarter yard of fabric:

Unfold it just a bit, and cut a 4 1/2" strip off of one skinny end:
Sub-cut that piece into 2- 4 1/2" squares:
Then fold the fabric back in half, like it came off the bolt, and square up one edge. Be careful to remove as little fabric as possible.

Cut one 2 1/2" strip:
Now, unfold again, and cut off another 4 1/2" piece, and trim to 4 1/2" square. You now have your 3 center squares for this fabric:

Fold the remaining fabric back up again, like it came from the bolt, and cut 2 more 2 1/2" strips:

That last strip on the right is now scrap. This is what your three 2 1/2" strips should look like:

Now, from the first strip you will cut 7- 5" pieces, and 1- 3" piece. 
From the second strip, you will cut 5- 5" pieces, and 3- 3" pieces.
From the third strip, you will cut the remaining 8- 3" pieces. 

You should now have 12 each of the 5" and 3" pieces, in addition to the three 4 1/2" squares. This is the exact same number of pieces as you would get from a FQ: 
Repeat these cutting steps for all remaining fabrics. 

As for the sashing, I didn't think we really needed a picture of a whole bunch of 1 1/2" strips. For each block, you will need:

2, 4 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips
2, 6 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips
4, 2 1/2" x 1 1/2" strips

Multiply these quantities by the total number of blocks you plan to make.

I hope all that makes sense to everyone. Please let me know if I was unclear, or if you need any help!! I can't wait to see fabric stacks in the flickr group :)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Garden Fence QA Fabric Requirements, and the giveaway winner!!

Whew, man! I cannot believe the response I've gotten so far on this quilt along! I never expected so many of you to jump on board, but I am loving it! So, SO excited to do this with all of you :)

First off, I know you're all wondering who the lucky $25 gift certificate winner is... Mr. Random Number Generator had 41 comments to choose from and he came up with... #15, Jenniffier! She said:

"What a fun quilt along. If I finish my current to do list I can definitely join. I would have to use my stash though. I have gone way over budget since summer started. That is unless I win the giveaway. Thanks for the chance to win."

Congratulations, Jenniffier! I'll be emailing you shortly, and passing your information along to Brenda! Have fun picking out fabulous fabrics!!

And thank you, again, to our wonderful sponsor, Pink Castle Fabrics :)


Now, on to the quilt along! Fabric requirements for the Garden Fence quilt, are a little harder to define than most quilt patterns. First of all, you'll need to decide what size quilt you want to make, and determine the number of blocks. Each individual block will be 10.5" square, before the sashing. 
So if you wanted to make a baby size, approximately 30"x40", you'd need 12 blocks. Three across, four down. 
A lap size, approximately 50"x60", would need 30 blocks. Five across, six down. 
Queen size, approximately 90"x100", needs 90 blocks. Nine across, ten down. Make sense??

If you're going for a scrappier look, you may want to choose as many fabrics as you will have blocks. This lap size GF quilt that I made has 30 blocks, and I used 30 different fabrics from my stash:

Print/colored fabric requirements for this type of scrappy quilt are: 1, 4.5" square, and 1, 2.5"x32" (or WOF strip) from each fabric, or for as many blocks as you intend to make. 

If you intend to use yardage to make this quilt, you will be able to get 3 blocks-worth of cut pieces from one fat quarter, or a regular quarter yard. FQs are usually a little pricier than regular quarters, so know that you have the option of purchasing either cut for this project. So for the Baby Size (12 blocks) you would need 1 yard of print/colored fabric total. Could be 4 quarter yards, or 12 scraps/stash pulls. I know this 'math' can get a little confusing. If anyone has ANY questions, please don't hesitate to send me an email. I will help you figure it out :)
Sashing fabric requirements are as follows:

Baby Size 30"x40"  --  1 yard
Lap Size 50"x60"  --  2 yards
Queen Size 90"x100"  -- 5.5 yards

I hope this makes sense to everyone. Again, if you have any questions, please contact me. I want to help you! As you gather your fabric choices, don't forget to post pics in the flickr group!

Oh, and guess what! The amazing Brenda has another surprise in store for us! Now through July 27th, get 15% off your fabric purchase for this quilt along! Head on over to Pink Castle Fabrics and check out her ever-growing selection :) Use coupon code GFQAL at checkout. 

Happy shopping everyone!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Let's get it started, uh huh!

The giveaway is now closed.

I'm so excited that people are interested in a Garden Fence QA! Seems like most of you wanna get started ASAP! I'm gonna get working on the posts, and get the fabric requirements up soon. I know I mentioned that this quilt is an awesome stash-buster, but I've been drooling over Joel Dewberry's new Heirloom line, and I've just got to have me some :) Here's my fabric selection:
This is the Ruby palette, and I'll use Kona Snow for the sashing. My buddy Brenda over at Pink Castle Fabrics, has just listed this line (and some other really great stuff, too!) so be sure to check her out!:

She's really great at helping you put bundles together, so give her a shout if you need any help. 

And now for a little surpirse...! Brenda (who is awesome, as I've mentioned) is graciously offering a $25 gift certificate to her fabric shop to one on my lucky readers!!! How exciting! Who doesn't LOVE free fabric?! All you have to do for a chance to win is leave a comment telling me what fabrics/colors you're thinking of using to make your Garden Fence quilt! Super easy :) I'll randomly choose a winner this Wednesday the 20th. Good luck everyone!! BTW-- Brenda is also having a little giveaway on her blog, so make sure to check that out too! I heart giveaways :)

Next post will be the fabric requirements!! Stay tuned :)

Friday, July 15, 2011

Quilt along, anyone?!?

Hello everyone. 

Sorry I've been kinda out-of-it lately. This summer heat is really getting to me! I'll be 34 weeks pregnant tomorrow, and so far the most unpleasant side effect is simply that I'm constantly sweltering! Even inside, in the air conditioning, I somehow manage to sweat. I mean, on what planet does sitting still in front of a sewing machine cause you to become overheated??? It super un-fun.

Anyhoo... This will probably sound crazy, coming from a hugely pregnant person with 2 other littles to chase after, BUT, a friend recently posed the idea of my hosting a Garden Fence Quilt Along. As most of you probably know, I made one of these quilts last month and it was a total blast :) Its an awesome stash-buster pattern because you need very little of each fabric, and can even use large-ish scraps! Here's a few different example pics:
from Hyacinth Quilt Designs
from Don't Call Me Betsy
from Adventures of Savy Girl
from McIntyreGirl
from Heidi Gone Aussie

Aren't these quilts dreamy?! I absolutely how color/fabric choice has the ability to completely transform a quilt pattern. I've started a flickr group for pics of this kind of quilt, and for progress photos. 

So what do you think, people?? Would any of you be interested in making your own Garden Fence quilt along with me? I know there are several other quilt alongs in process right now (and I'm participating in most of them, lol!), so this one wouldn't have to start right away. I will mention, though, that I'm already negotiating a potential fabric discount source for you, if we get this going! Leave me some comments, let me know what you think! Can't wait to hear from you!!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Definitely nesting.

Not much sewing has been happening around here lately. I was all pumped up on the baby sling making, but the holiday weekend really slowed down the progress of some fabric I had ordered, and the wait forced me to find other things to do with my time. I think I've decided on the placement of things in my "nursery nook":
It looks kinda cluttered at the moment, but I promise this is a definite improvement. The crib had been completely full of bags of baby clothes that were sent back from a friend I lent them to. I finally forced myself to go through them last night. The sheer volume of clothes was pretty overwhelming to me. Why does a tiny baby need SO MANY freaking clothes!??!?! The stacks on the changing table are some larger sizes that I'll store in a plastic tub til she's big enough to wear them. I've already got about 60 sleepers and outfits on hangers in the closet, and an entire basket of onesies in the little bookshelf. I think that's more than enough for now, don't you??

Our house technically has 4 bedrooms, but one of them is in the basement. I'm not ready to send my 6 year old down there just yet, so for now the baby will be in my room. The nook I've organized was originally intended for the TV and stuff, but I've rearranged everything and I think the crib fits pretty well over there now :) I still have yet to begin the crib bedding, however, now that the crib is emptied out I think the likelihood of me dealing with it has increased slightly. 

The Eudora quilt guild had their annual show this weekend. I managed to get my shiz together and enter three of my quilts to hang in it:



This was my first time adding sleeves for hanging. I cheated and just safety-pinned them on, but hey, it worked!

I also managed to FINALLY sew on the label I'd made for Ardyn's quilt:

It took all of like fifteen minutes. Why it sat around on my shelf since last November, I'll never know... Pretty cute, though, right!?

Well, now that my long-awaited fabric order has finally arrived, I have lots of sewing in my future. I need to keep working on my Kaleidoscope quilt, and I have plans for several more slings. I went ahead and listed the new fabric options in my shop, and will update the photos as I get them made. Everybody wish me luck in finding the energy to start on the crib project! Back soon :)

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Garden Fence - FINISHED!!

Whew! My fingers are sore after a marathon binding session, but I'm delighted to say that the Garden Fence quilt is finished!!
I'm completely in love with the way it turned out. The circular/swirly quilting really offsets the harsh lines of the quilt. And oh, how I do love a quilt fresh-from-the-dryer! The softness, and all the wrinkles and crinkles just make me want to snuggle in it :) 
The finished dimensions are approximately 52"x63". A generous lap/throw size, but I also think it would be great for a toddler bed! 

Check out my *dreamy* binding choice! Its Eucalyptus shot cotton. Extremely soft, and I think the dark teal/navy weave goes perfectly with the colors in the quilt.

I've really been doing so good lately, getting things completed and listed in my shop. As you may already have noticed, I have a slight addiction to buying fabric, and its only logical that I try to recoup some of my expenditures by selling the goodies I make! So, this big beauty has just been listed, as well as a couple of rainbow charm square bundles, cut from my stash - just in case anyone's interested :)

My husband (who does appreciate my crafty abilities, whether he likes to admit it or not) absolutely loves to see our girls enjoying the things I make. He especially likes it when I make them dresses :) But today, I had to snap a few pics of them snuggling under quilts, while watching Tangled:

Dylan the eskimo :) You'd never guess by this picture that its 101 degrees outside right now...

And my little Ardyn :) This is her "big girl" quilt for when we move her into a twin bed. I had originally planned to do that this summer, before the baby comes, but she seems perfectly content still sleeping in her crib! She is capable of climbing out of it, but she doesn't do it. So I figure as long as she's willing to comply, I'm not gonna mess up her comfortable sleep routine. There'll be enough 'life changes' coming up for her to have to process.