Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thank you, Grandma! & a Dresden Plate

Remember that post awhile ago about the puckering issue I kept having with the baby quilt? Well, I got a phone call not a day later from Grandma. She let me know, with all seriousness, that I was using the wrong foot and that I needed a walking foot. Of course! THANK YOU, GRANDMA! You were so right (aren't Grandma's the best?!). You can see that awesome walking foot below and how flat and straight those seams turned out! I love it. Totally worth it. But of course, this wouldn't be a proper story without some drama...

I looked through my Bernina book and saw the walking foot I needed. I remember using a similar (if not the same) one at Grandma's when sewing in the past. Cool. Easy. Well, I went in to Bernina that weekend and of course they are always so helpful, "What can we help you with today?" "Oh, well, I need a walking foot please for my 440QE". Both of the ladies looked at me, and then each other, like I was crazy. "Do you have any in?" I timidly filled the silence. "You should have gotten one of those with your machine. Did you open it here or at home?" I was stunned! I should have already had this?!! "Um... I opened it at home, brand new, but it was already threaded so I assume a tech must have oiled and threaded it for me." They kept asking me questions like I was trying to swindle them out of a walking foot. "Oh wait, I remember you picking up your machine!" (Thank goodness!). Long story short(ish) one of the ladies remembered me and they apologized that a walking foot wasn't included when it should have been. No problem, I just need one. And... they were out of stock!!!! Oh man! "They should be in in a week, we'll give you a call".

1 week passes.
2 weeks pass.

Luckily, I had other projects that didn't require the walking foot going (aka I cheated with binding and dealt with some wrinkles). I called in to see if they had any yet. Again, they remembered me and I think my insistence on getting this foot was humorous to them for some reason. Finally I got the call. I ran up, grabbed my foot and ran out. Time to sew!

And finally I got to use it! I've had it for about a week and just haven't been doing a lot quilting that required it until last night. I finished Devon's Dresden Plate! I hope you don't mind that I used you as a guinea-pig, Devon! I found a cool clover/flower quilting pattern and wanted to try it out. Again, far from perfect, but I got a rhythm toward the end and am really happy with the turnout. There are definitely some ugly-flowers, but hopefully Devon won't look too closely (Right, Devon?!).

Here's a picture of the back, I think that the quilting shows up better on this lightly printed yellow. Don't you think?

A close-up of the clovers.

And a close-up of the front. I love the color combos. Pretty muted. Should look good in her apartment (plus they were all scraps left from wedding fabrics).

You know, it's funny. I had a friend ask, "What's she going to do with that sized quilt?" and I whittily replied, "Put a basket of fruit on it in the middle of her table... or something like that". I think mini-quilts are pretty impractical but the instant gratification and honest practice time I get making them is TOTALLY worth it. I forsee many table and nightstand surfaces in my house, my sister's house, my parent's house, my grandma's house being daintily covered.

Oh! And, the hubby and I are picking out our Christmas tree and decorating on December 3rd! I've got Christmas fabrics on the way from for a paneled tree skirt. I was thinking of quilting it with the clovers above. What do you think?

But I'm getting ahead of myself:  Happy Thanksgiving!! and Happy Crafting.

Monday, November 21, 2011

A Smattering of Projects

Tadah! The BBSK was completed, blocked, and sent with love! You can see the buttons made it on the booties and everything was packed up! I did a simple tissue paper wrapping with a purple ribbon to seal it up. I then took up way too much space inside a card detailing how baby-safe all the materials were. I know the package made it to VA on Nov 17th just two days before the shower! Whew! I made it! No feedback yet, but I'm so anxious to hear how she liked it. Below is just how I packed it. Pretty visual to open, huh?

And from afar, just before sealing it up. Neti helped, of course. She was sad I was taking away her soft little quilt. I feel like she deserves a quilt, but that's just crazy, right? ... Right?

I've had this fabric cut for the next Dresden Plate for awhile now and just needed the BBSK out of the way before I would allow myself to move on to other fun sewing. I got it all sewn together and the batting ready. Hopefully I can get it basted tonight and quilted for my darling sister by Thanksgiving. She's doing a huge favor of letting a million (slight over-exagerration) people come enjoy the holidays with us, so the least I can do is give her a mini-quilt. She deserves a big one. The mini will have to do for now. Don't think I haven't been imagining a big one for her. :)

And then there is my Saturday project. My brother just had a birthday! We are celebrating it together over the Thanksgiving weekend and he doesn't know it yet, but we all chipped in to get him a Kindle! Thank goodness he doesn't read my blog, ha! I found this great tutorial for an IPad case that I just loved. Anything with a zipper I'm a sucker for. So I got online, found the dimensions for the Kindle we purchased and shrunk the pattern. Needless to say I'm a little nervouse it's too small, but here's hoping! I haven't really played with Kindle's too much. I'm really relying on those technical info dimensions. I guess we'll find out this weekend. I can't wait to give this to him.

Super excited about the pocket being a different interior fabric. My brother is incredibly picky about his stuff. If he had it his way the whole case would have been black or navy blue with no fun. I like fun (obviously) so I had to work really hard to compromise on the fabric. I went with green, because who doesn't like green and not lime green either. He's gotta like that choice. Plus, all boys like robots, right? :) I love this Robot Factory line from Robert Kaufman. I allowed myself a little artistic flair with the inner pocket lining being very colorful. But it zips closed so he can get over it. It's all the gearing also from the same fabric line.

The big pocket for the Kindle itself isn't part of the Kaufman line, in fact, I don't even remember what it is (I'm terrible with fabric names). But it just matched so well! I think he'll be happy with it.

And to suit is blasé mood I topped it with a Kona solid (LOVE these solids) of dark grey. It's not called dark grey, I think it's called Charcoal, but whatever, it's awesome. I think it works well. Look at those happy little robots! I hope he likes it! Regardless, he better use it!

Once finished with the birthday present, the BBSK shipment, and the dresden plate I moved on to the next Building Blocks quilt. Neti of course helped ensuring my fabric didn't slip off the table. She's a great helper that way. (Sometimes a little too good, if you know what I mean).

Super excited about this one. My coworker is pregnant and right on cue with Baby Baker's mom! The timing couldn't be more perfect. I had a bunch of layer cake squares left from her quilt so I figured, I should just make another one for my coworker and hubby. Although it makes the baby sound like some sort of awesome DJ, I have lovingly been calling their soon-to-be born son, Baby F-M (future last name initials). I think it has a certain ring to it. Before I knew it I'd cranked out the whole top! I LOVE the blue pop on the sides. I got the backing and batting all ready to baste. Maybe I can get that done tonight after the office closes... we'll see.

 Sorry for the delay in blog posts, as you can see most of my time has been spent over my machine. And how! The hubby is excited that once this little quilt is finished his is up next. I think he's really looking forward to picking out his fabric. I am slightly terrified, but it's his quilt afterall. For a full-sized quilt he's now telling me I have to do all the quilting. I was not expecting that.

Three more days until Thanksgiving! I can't wait to see family. Now what knitting project should I take on the plane? Hmmm.... Happy Crafting!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Spoiler Alert for Baby Grayson

The BBSK is FINISHED! Even the little extra surprise. How adorable is this stuffed elephant?!

I got the pattern from a good friend of mine. The elephant is so small my friend has made about 5 of them and turned them in to a little baby mobile, which is the cutest thing I've ever heard! I figure sending 5 elephants may be overkill, really, along with all the other gifts. I'm just so happy I finished the BBSK by the baby shower, I should have these put together and mailed mid-way through the week, getting them to Virginia in time for the shower. Yay! I feel so accomplished.

I keep walking by this elephant, who is standing on top of Baby Grayson's quilt and just oogling over him. The heart was a last minute decision and I'm so glad I added it, that teeny zig-zag just makes it for me. I love the pop of red on his adorable patterned body. Stuffing him was so much fun too. In fact, I have so much stuffing left over I may just have to make a million of these.

Plus, I found the fat quarter of fabric for the elephant in a massive pile at Pacific Fabrics here in Seattle. What an awesome find! The fabric matches so perfectly with the quilt. I washed and dried the quilt in order to ship and look at those wrinkles! That is absolutely my favorite part of quilting, getting that wrinkle. It just looks amazing.

Finally, the elusive baby sweater. I didn't even have time to post interim pictures of it. I have never knit this fast in my life. I started this on Monday! My hands were cramped last night finishing the collar but I love the look of it! I may have put that buttonhole a little too high, but it's pretty stretchy so I hope it works.

I also realized that seaming is not my best or most favorite part of knitting. If I can avoid it I will, but I'm satisfied with how this turned out.

I also sewed the buttons on the little booties. All the knits are blocking as we speak so I figure I've got at least a day before I can ship. I'm super proud of myself for finishing all these projects by the shower. I feel like this is a huge load off my back but I'm so tired today I'm not sure I can start a new project, which is very unlike me. I'll just take a quick break. The next quilt is calling me.

Happy Crafting!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

A Fresh, Winter-ready Look

Hope we didn't scare anyone with the new layout! We just wanted a cleaner look where the crafts could shine.  Speaking of... that baby sweater is almost done! Can you believe it?! Progress pictures soon. Plus, a little extra surprise craft for the BBSK.

Happy Crafting! It's almost Friday!