TGIFF: Another Minky Baby Quilt Done!

What a joy it is to give the gift of a quilt! Even if it is 6 months late and to a little one who doesn’t quite understand that he’s getting a gift made with love and sweat and tears. Even with all of that, it’s still a wonderful moment to gift to someone a quilt you’ve made with them in mind.

I was blessed with two nephews in one year. They are two months apart and both are the sweetest things. I adore them both and enjoy being their Aunty Keki.

For their first birthdays I decided to make them a minky quilt each. For Logan, I made a grey and neutral colored quilt with zoo animals and it matched his crib and decor perfectly. After working with minky on that quilt, I grew more confident and knew that I could make Watson one, too!

And I got lucky! I found this great off-the-bolt fabric in colors that matches Watson’s nursery with nautical animals. He’s all about that narwhal.

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With minky and fabric in hand, I put together this little baby quilt but ran into some technical problems. My machine was struggling with the minky this time around, something it didn’t do with the first minky quilt. I ended up taking it in to be services and that slightly solved the problems.

In the end, I got through it with a simple wavy line quilting pattern and I ended with some hand binding. I do like to attach the minky binding to the back and hand stitch to the front because it gives it a nice, cozy edge to the whole thing. And for a little guy I wants as much cozy as possible!

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Well, it finally happened (6 months late…) The quilt is finished and Watson now has his own Aunty Keki quilt of his own.

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Even though quilting on minky is kind of a pain in the tush, it looks great and just blends in nicely. And I love that minky binding. It may seem crazy to bind in such a thick fabric but it looks great when finished.

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And the little man loved it too!IMG_1613

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Shenanigans and Tantrums Episode #67

Happy Easter hobbyists and crafters!
We sat down and chatted about our current projects and frustrations a day early so we can enjoy a day hunting for eggs and visit with family!

We both struggled with some of our projects this week. But we got through it and made some great project.

Dori used this video below to help her figure out her binding tool.

She’s also been enjoy Angela Walters’ Midnight Quilt Show. Definitely check it out!

I stuck to my goal and made five days worth of videos (plus a bonus video)on our YouTube channel. We attempted 5 different Pinterest pins and shared our process and our end results.

I’ve also started using my Splendid Sampler blocks in different quilted projects. I’ve started a table topper and attempted some pebbling.

Dori is almost finished with her most current quilt, the curved log cabin.

Dori’s going to be receiving the Hello There! Aida Cross Stitch box from The Fat Quarter Shop. Check back to see what she thinks about receiving cross stitch goodies in the mail.

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TGIFF: Easy Peasy Jelly Roll Quilt!

Happy Friday!  I’m finally making a dent in my rather extensive WIP pile of quilts.  I finished my Jelly Roll quilt, and just love the Fall look of the colors.


I used a Moda jelly roll called Sunflower Song by Kansas Troubles Quilters.  I love these fabrics so much, I ordered a second jelly roll to use in a different quilt top!

 

IMG_5826.jpgThe tutorial I used came from (surprise!) Missouri Star Quilt Company.  Though Jenny Doan says you can complete this quilt top in 45 minutes to an hour, I confess it took me more like three hours.  With practice, I’m sure I can better that time!

Because this was a quick make, I made the choice to quilt it by stitching in the ditch with Isacord (which I LOVE), and instead of hand sewing the binding, I did it all by machine.  I also chose not to include any borders. This is the part of quilting I find so fascinating…the learning curve is HUGE, and finding my personal preferences is constant.  After finishing this quilt, I am convinced that hand binding is my thing.  I really enjoy the process and the look.  Live and learn!

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I used my binding tool to join the final seam of the binding.  It wasn’t as clean as I would like, so I’m thinking I have a bit more practice ahead of me in order to make my binding smooth and wrinkle free.

Have a wonderful weekend, and remember….be crafty, be creative!

Hugs,

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Quilt As You Sew Hotpad

Periscope has become one of my favorite places to hang out. I hear my phone notify me of a live broadcast and I flock to see who is sharing and what they have to say. I’ve learned so much and have really felt apart of the Honest Craft Roomies community.

While on one day, Marcia, from Crafty Sewing and Quilting, was sharing a simple hotpad quilt as you go project. We watched her work and listened to her share with us when she announced that she would send the pattern for her hotpad to anyone participating in the scope that day.

I was thrilled! I’ve been wanting to make some small projects just to practice some simple techniques and to improve my quilting. Plus I find that when I have a successfully completed project under my belt, I’m more likely to pick up another project and work on it.

So  I emailed Marcia and received the pattern with a simple request, to tag her on Instagram if I got around to making one. I made sure to do just that and share with you, my readers, my finished hotpad made with my Java set by Deb Strain for Moda. If you want to purchase and use this pattern, check out this link to her Craftsy store for the step-by-step instruction with pictures.

I love the rich colors of this fabric set and I’ve been waiting for a reason to use it again. Having this pattern from Marcia and the itch to work on a quick project for some instant success had me chomping at the bit to go. So I began with some strips, cutting them between 1.5-2.5 inches wide and varying the fabrics. I tried to allow it to build organically with enough variety but with just a touch of organization.

I used a heat resistant batting so that this project can be used as a hotpad or even a mug rug. This was a first for me and while I see its purpose, I may not go out of my way to make sure I have some on hand and might just continue using whatever batting I have available. But it’s nice to know that if I gift this, the batting will protect any surfaces or hands!

After everything was sewn together, it was time to trim the strips down to the batting so that I could fold and bind with the backing fabric. That’s when it happened…

WHOOPS! In my haste to continue working, I snipped my backing fabric. Damn!

Yeah, it’s not supposed to look like that. And try as I might, it would not work for the binding so I ended up trimming it off and going the old fashioned way with my binding. I made a simple double fold bias binding and used a decorative stitch to seal the deal.

Not too shabby! I used a red thread for the quilting and I like the way it came together. It really matched the fabric well. And it came together in under 4 hours. I am bummed I didn’t get the chance to use the backing for the binding but that just means it’s time to give it another go and this time be a little more careful with the trimming.

Thanks Marcia again for sending me the pattern and giving me the opportunity to create my own hotpad!

If you want to see some of my 2015 finishes, some WIPs I have for 2016, and my new projects for this new year, then check out our recent YouTube video sharing some 2015 successes and all that will be for Hobbies Up To Here in 2016!

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TGIFF: The Music Quilt Is Done!

I did it!  Whoo hoo!  The Music Quilt is finished and ready to be a birthday present for my youngest!

I began with a layer cake called “All Amped Up” that I got from Missouri Quilt Company. The pattern I used was from MQC’s YouTube video Double Slice Layer Cake Quilt Tutorial.  This was so much fun, I’ve ordered the same layer cake to make this quilt for my hubby!

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The rows almost finished and up on my design wall. Yay!

I love the backing fabric! 
When it came time to actually quilt, I froze a bit.  This was my first time, and I was intimidated.  The hubs came to the rescue, both by inspiring me, and mapping out a simple diagonal straight stitch pattern that I could do with some confidence.  He even marked the whole thing!   

Fighting the bulk of the quilt was my greatest challenge, but I got it done in one day.  Here’s the final result and it’s label! 



I originally chose a different fabric for the binding, but found it easier to trim the backing and wrap it around to the front.  Katie found a tutorial about this process to help me along called Quilt Binding Without Binding.

Check out our side bar for all the great sites we link up with weekly. Today this post is linked to Crazy Mom Quilts, TGIFF at Quilt Matters, A Quilter Passion, and over at Richard and Tanya Quilts.

Thanks for all of your support and love my friends!  Have a wonderful weekend!

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WIP: Binding the Playful Colors Quilt

I’m there!! I’m sooooo close!

I started the Playful Colors quilt on a whim. It was just something to do with a charm pack of crazy colors. It slowly grew into something that involved patches, sashing then borders. Slowly this whimsy of a project turned into a full blown blanket that is now on the verge of being done.

You can check out the vlog I made showing the sandwiching of my quilt. Thank goodness for smooth floors!

As of today, I’m officially binding it! WOOHOO!!! I started hand stitching my binding on this weekend after I butchered the quilt to near demolition. My binding didn’t attach properly and I took a short cut that ended up making a mess of everything. Still bummed about that but it’s working out ok as is.

I really like the way the quilting came out.

 

  
I did a simple wonky square inside every other patch. I used a gradient yellow-green thread on top and a solid green thread in the bobbin and that came out perfectly.


Now I’ve got my Wonder Clips in place holding my binding in place. I tend to stitch while my husband plays video games or watched football. That way we’re still hanging out yet I can wrap this project up at the same time.

My mitered corners are a bit of a mess due to the issues I had with the binding going on in the first place. But I’m happy to see this quilt wrapping up!

Check out our side bar for some great link ups around the internet! This is linked up with Sew Cute TuesdayWIP Wednesday and Let’s Bee Social!

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Quilter’s Questions: In A Bind

I’m not sure what it is but I’m awful at binding!

I’ve had success before but lately my binding is getting worse and worse.

This project was the real kicker for me. It pointed out how poorly I was doing and how much I still had to learn.

When I started quilting I didn’t realize all the steps that went into completing a quilt. I just thought you played with color and patterns. I didn’t realize so much went into it.

This has been my go to video and has worked for me for some time. But it’s still not really feeling comfortable. Maybe I just need practice. But I’m curious to find out if there are other ways to bind a quilt that might be easier .

So I’m on the hunt! I’m looking for different ways to bind a quilt. Here is another tutorial I found using a different method to make the binding. Instead of folding the binding strip in half, you fold and press the two edges into the center. I’ll have to try this one soon.

On Pinterest, I found another way. It’s considered a cheater binding but I’m all for finding  simple way to do something if I can 🙂 I don’t consider it cheating.

My quilter’s question is: What is your favorite way to bind a quilt? Do you stick to what is the usual way to bind or do you have a method that is a little different?

I’m open to suggestions although I realize that most of my problem is just that I need to practice.  

TGIFF: Old Yeller

12 years ago I bought a fat quarter set. It was bright, obnoxious and I had NO clue what to do with it.

12 years ago I brought home this fat quarter set and decided to make something with it. Using a book, I sewed and cut and pieced and made a few squares of mismatched colors.

It was a mess. But I loved it anyway.

Then, I put it away with all my quilting things and forgot about it.

That was 12 years ago. And last night, I officially finished it.

This little project was probably my longest lasting UFO (unfinished object) and I really didn’t know what I was doing when I started it. Most of the blocks are crooked or wrongly pieced together. Even so, it’s got a sweet spot in my heart as my first attempt to piece a quilt together.

To me it’s beautiful and bright. It signifies for me my humble beginnings and also shows me where I need to improve and also how far I’ve come. It’s small so it’s not going on a bed nor will it be used as a blanket but I hope to hang it from my wall as a simple reminder of what I can do.

Now for pictures. I realized that I wanted this one done SO BAD that I didn’t take the time to really slow down and do things right. My binding is atrocious! So look away!

  

My big take away from this whole process is I need to learn how to bind. I mean, I know how to do it, but I think I need to learn over again. I’m not doing a good job of it and I could definitely use some tips and improvement there. In the past I’ve been proud of my mitered corners but I won’t be flaunting them today. They are just awful and I’m not sure what I did wrong but it’s definitely something I acknowledge as a weakness in my sewing and something that needs to be improved.

Yikes! As you can see, some MAJOR improvement is needed in the binding department. It’s very inconsistent and that bugs me… A LOT!

Even with all it’s flaws I still love it. It’s been nicknamed the Old Yeller project because it’s a hot mess and should have been put down instead of completed, or at least that’s what my husband thinks! He saw this “thing” while I was finishing it up last week and after I had pointed out all my mistakes, he asked me why I was still working on it. When I explained that I just needed to finish it he said to me that not everything needs to be completed. Some things I can “old yeller” and put down. HAHA! What a ham…

Here is my little man all ready for school this morning. He did his own hair and dressed himself all nice with a collared shirt because he’s getting an award. We don’t know for what so I’m excited to see what he receives today.

He very nicely modeled my finished project before taking off.

I adore that black and rainbow polka dotted fabric. I may need to do a whole project focused around just that.

Well I’m off to take a shower and get ready for the award ceremony. Here on the west coast it’s only 9:00am and I’ve walked the monster man to school, went on a 3.5 mile run and now this post is wrapping up. Feeling pretty accomplished so far!

After the awards ceremony, I’m heading over to my mom’s house to visit, make some body butter and also to record our very first crafty podcast. We don’t have a title yet but we’re hoping to create a reoccurring podcast about hobbies and crafts that I can post here!

Fifth Quilt: The Peaceful Planet

On August 12th I started the Peaceful Planet Quilt with the intention of giving it as a gift to my niece for her birthday. She was to visit from Washington as a birthday gift from her mom and my plan was to have it done by then.

Everything came together pretty smoothly. I used a simple jelly-roll to sew together all the strips and made a long quilt top with simple borders and a yellow binding. The colors were all green and blue and soft with a very serene nature theme to it.

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I ALMOST made my goal! I was super close to finishing it when she arrived for her visit, then I hit a snag. I was using a needle that wasn’t conducive to sewing through so many layers. This was something I had no clue about! But Lisa over at Lisa in Port Hope popped by and left me a wonderful comment and a link to give me some insight into needles. I had NO CLUE about needle size and the different types! Talk about learning something new everyday, this was news to me.

I ended up finishing my quilt binding with whatever needle I had left and just took it slow to make sure I didn’t snap this one because I have no others left. And you can bet your sweet tushies that I’ll be buying new ones but this time with more information and knowledge about the types of needles I need!

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This quilt got finished up pretty late in the evening but I can’t express how happy I was to have it done and in record time! This one was finished in 3 weeks, rather than 3 months. Or even 3 years! I tend to let projects languish and hang around while I move onto other things. Because this blanket was meant as a gift and I’ve been on a kick with the finishing of things, I really had the spark to get things done.

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I’m super excited to send this gift up to Spokane to my sweet niece who got to see the almost finished project and loved it even then. It couldn’t go to a more loving and sweet girl! And I told her, when things get tough, she can wrap herself up in it and think peaceful thoughts and remember her trip to California!

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The finished product!

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Ok so now to think over this whole process and find a few good points and some learning points.

The good:

  • Sticking with a project from beginning to completion and finishing in record time.
  • The quilt top itself is beautiful and the colors are well organized.
  • Love the color combination of the light blues and greens bordered by the darker star fabric and bound with the clean yellow.
  • The forethought of making extra binding which saved me time.
  • Sticking with a simple top and not trying to get all fancy.
  • Taking my time, not rushing through the steps, and not jumping ahead.
  • PRESSING! I really did make it a point to press the seams opens and to take the time to press in between steps.

The Bad:

  • Basting. I need to improve this area because I rush through it and then things get all wonky.
  • Measuring. I still skip this step in places and that caused some unsightly issues with the back of the quilt.
  • Using the correct needle size! This is new to me and now that I have some stuff to read about it, I’m going to bone up and learn how to choose my needles.
  • Alignment. Instead of aligning the strips from the center and then squaring things off, I lined up one side and the whole thing kinda went crooked. If I had lined up the strips from the centers and pieced them together, I think I would have had a straight top.
  • Quilting. I didn’t do enough to anchor the layers together. Next time I’ll make more of a effort to tie down or quilt the top better.
  • Binding. This is still an issue for me. It’s so 50/50. Sometimes it goes well and I adore my mitered corners, and other times I suck at it. This time? It sucked!


Crazy Mom Quilts

Fourth Quilt: Jake’s Twin Bear Quilt

A lot can happen in three years. In three years you can meet someone, get engaged and get married. In three years your son can grow out of all his things and donate his baby toys for bigger more menacing toys.

In three years, a quilt meant for a little guy who loved his teddy bear can be finished only to find that bear is no longer with us and that baby boy is now a kid who out grew the quilt before it was finished.

Taking on Jake’s Twin Bear Quilt, a quilt to match one made for his buddy the teddy bear, I had the best of intentions. In my mind, it played out like this: Jake and his bear would picnic together in his room, playing on their quilts and then at bedtime he would slip into sleep under his blanket with bear safety tucking into his next to him.

Little man!

Little man!

I started Jake’s quilt in April of 2011 when Jake was 5 and still a sweet little boy. He loved his bear and wanted a quilt to match the one I made his bear. Thus started his twin quilt.

Then life hit and time marched on while the quilt sat unfinished. Kindergarten rolled by and soon he was no longer into bear. His tastes had changed and he had grown. He was now into Transformers and Marvel comic books. He could read on his own (sorta) and loved playing soccer.

Life, it seems, had caught up to me and passed me by.

My young man!

My young man!

Jake will always be my baby but I didn’t realize how much he had grown until I finished his quilt.

Last weekend I sat down and kicked it into high gear. I had encountered a snafu with the binding but I was determined to finish the damn thing by Sunday. Well, I must have been really ready to finish because I got it done on Friday night.

IMG_1180 I sat down after work and undid all the binding then went straight to sewing the RIGHT sides together. After I was done, I had a beautiful pile of golden binding to work with. I felt like the Queen made to spin gold. It was a lovely sight.

IMG_1181 Ahhhhh! Much better!!!!

After all the sewing was done, I pressed the seams then pressed the binding in half. I had a good rhythm using my clear cutting ruler to store it while I moved a long and pressed everything.

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In the end I had more binding than necessary but that’s definitely not a bad thing. I will find something to use this for!

IMG_1184It was now time to wrap this project up. I sat down and placed the binding bundle in my lap. I was surprised how easily it came together to attached the binding to the back. Just like getting back on a bike. You never fully forget how to ride! I did keep the video on binding handy just to refresh my memory.

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After getting around the back, I turned it over and pressed the binding from back to front. Now I was ready to lay on the final stitching. That’s when I ran into some issues. Could have been because I was tired. Could also have been because I was in the mood to finish so I was rushing a bit. But the binding just wasn’t catching on the front as I stitched in the ditch. Ugh… So many seams I had to rip out because I had areas on the front where the binding didn’t catch. There were pockets all along the front and ugly stitching lines just dithering about. Even with these small set backs, I pushed through and finished!!

The next day I happily presented the finished quilt to my son whose first reaction was “Cool!” quickly followed by “But mom, it seems a bit small.” And he was right! Because I started this damn quilt over 3 years ago when he was a wee little man, it was fine then. But I ran into issues with adding borders and then it just got put aside for way too long. In the end, he outgrew the quilt before it got finished! Oh man…

My son is a great kid and still appreciated that he had his own quilt. It may be a bit small and the pattern may be a bit young for him now (my husband mentioned this and then asked “Can you find Marvel fabric? Maybe you can make him a comic book quilt next”) but he still loved it and was super thrilled to have it.

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Front and back. And to think, this quilt was just his size when I started! How time flies!

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One of the better mitered corners.

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When I finish up a quilt, I always try to find something I’ve learned from it. This one taught me to finish what I start and to finish it within a reasonable time. Waiting too long can run you into problems. Also, I need to get out of my comfort zone and work with a bigger finished product. I’ve been sticking to these smaller quilt sizes out of some unknown fear. But I’m making a promise to myself to work bigger: more squares, added borders, you name it, I’m going there! No more piddly little quilts.