WIP: Sewing Together Wonky Blocks

My son has always been interested in my sewing hobby. He’ll stand next to me and watch the machine whirl away, laying down neat little stitches. When he was younger he liked to push the pedal down and “help”. As he got older, the mechanics of the machine interested him more and he would ask questions and open up my old machine, Shelby, just to see how she ticked.

Then he took an interest in fabric and colors and patterns. He’s very creative and loves to put things together, Legos being his favorite medium. Using the colorful blocks to build ships and rockets and towns helped him see how fabrics could be used in a similar fashion to build using color and texture. So he’d help me arrange blocks and pick out fabrics to finish off my projects.

One day I bought a cheap fat quarter set of some bright chevron patterns and gave it to him to do with it however he wanted. It was his project and I would only sit by to help.

Jake calls these

Jake calls these “zebra stripes!

I gave him some tips on how to cut with a rotary cutter (a little tough for my southpaw) and then let him sit at the machine himself to sew.

Let's sew!

Let’s sew!

He enjoyed the time together and really got a kick out of creating something himself.

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Ahhh, look at how little he was! This was back in May of 2014. He’s now grown so much, cut his hair, and he doesn’t look like a little boy any more. He’s more grown and looking more… adult. Sigh…

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So grown! He started 4th grade this past week and it’s amazing how time has flown. He’s still super creative and loves to build. This past weekend, while we had some downtime, we brought out his project again and this time he got to sew on the big Elna!

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This time he was fascinated not only with the mechanics of the new machine but also the technology on Elna. His favorite: the button that allows him to cut the thread with one push! He even had a few suggestions for improvements!

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Taking off from his starting point over a year ago, he sewed together strips and then paired them together to make groupings of four. With some help from me, we cut the strips on an angle and made Wonky Blocks. After, we put our heads together to create a block using what we had cut.

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TADA! A diamond Wonky Block made from four smaller blocks. He was very proud of all his work, including his ironing. The end result is a bit crazy and colorful but he loves it!

We don’t quite know what the end game is yet for his first project but there are a lot of options: placemat, table runner, mug rug even.

Check out our vlog as we put our heads together and work on his Wonky Blocks.

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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Shop My Fabric Stash!

The holidays are around the corner and I’m gearing up with some holiday projects in mind. But instead of buying something new, I went through what I already own to see what I could put together!

Found some cute stuff in that box and now I’m excited to get started on something fresh like a table runner or some placemats!

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Quilting in My Dreams

I have very vibrant dreams. Sometimes my dreams are so intense I wake up from my husband gently shaking me because I’m moaning and crying in my sleep. Well, those ones aren’t really dreams as much as they are nightmares, but you get the picture.

I’ve never struggled with remembering my dreams because they stick with me no matter how I sleep. Rarely does a night go by without some odd images floating through my brain while I’m passed out all cozy in my bed.

Recently, I woke up from a dream that really stuck with me. In it, I imagined working on Jake’s Marvel Quilt, a project I hadn’t touched in months. I had all the squares cut but nothing else done and I was stuck on how to go forward. How did I want to finish my blocks?

I knew they needed borders and while I had an original plan already in mind, in my dream I saw a different way to go about it.

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This was my original plan. Border opposite sides with the same color in the first round then switching the colors and making thicker borders the second round. But in my dream I saw one color in opposite corners then switching those to the other corner.

After getting up with this new idea in my head, I had to sew. I got all my chores done then headed to my mom’s house to work. I even managed to film a bit of my thoughts and process through the day!

In the end I came up with this!

Not bad!
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After making this initial block, I put it aside for a few days then resumed work. It’s a bit tedious, this process, but I like the way the blocks come out. Bright, vibrant, and a little different.

So far I have four blocks cut and started: one completed (above) and three in progress. In the end each block comes out to 10-10.5 inches squared, depending on how closely my cuts are.

It’s definitely a messy undertaking as I have to sew, press, cut for each row making this an extremely tedious process. While I’m glad to have movement on it, I’m a little overwhelmed at the thought of ALL THOSE BLOCKS I’ll need to make to complete a proper quilt for my son.

Along with my CIRCA 1934 quilt, my Playful Colors quilt, and the Friendship quilt, all of which are in progress in different stages here and there, I’m adding to the pile this Avengers Heroes quilt, too. The diverse projects I have going really gives me a lot to do and to work on without feeling like I have to stick to just one at a time.

Hobbies Up To Here Episode #11

Welcome back, hobbyists and crafters!
How are you this hot, sticky August day?

My mom and I got together and talked about life and gray hair and quilting.
Join us!!

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I’m cranking out and cutting up my fat quarters for my new Friendship quilt. It’s been a long tedious journey cutting and cutting but it’ll be worth it!

But what now? Do I put my blocks together randomly? Or do I go about it in a systematic way? Well, I made a video asking the same question.

What do you think?

IMG_4767And my mom is working quickly through her Pinwheel Twist.

 

Check out this video if you want to join her and make your own Pinwheel Twist quilt.

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Isn’t this cut darling?

We also take off on a personal topic. Dori has decided to cut off her hair! And to allow it to grow out to its natural gray color. Have you done the same?

We talk about the good and bad, pros and cons of allowing your hair to age naturally with you while still keeping your funky, youthful attitude.

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The Friendship Quilt

There is nothing like a fresh set of nicely matched fabrics all wrapped together in a pretty yellow ribbon. At least those were my thoughts when my mom brought home this beautiful kit for a quilt pattern called Friendship. She sent me a picture of it via text messages and I was a tiny bit envious of her new, shiny things.

To my surprise, she showed up yesterday with the set in hand and gave it to me as a gift! My dad had spied this quilt in the Orange Quilt Bee in Orange, CA and thought it was beautiful so they purchased the kit for me to have fun with.

Some girls like jewlery and some like flowers.

I’m happy with some fabric and a new sewing project any day!

I was so floored and a tiny bit confused (wait…wasn’t this her kit?) but also super appreciative that they had thought of me. It’s not everyday you get a gift of new fabric in beautiful earthy tones to play with!

I didn’t get the chance to dive right in due to nursing a severe sunburn but today I finally got to break into the kit and look at all the lovely fabrics and colors I have to play with.

I can’t pick a favorite because they are all too beautiful. I like the differences in the greens and the yellows and the little pop of color the blue lends to the whole thing. Just stunning!

Here are all the fabrics on display, organized by color family. It was a beautiful sunny day so I took advantage of that natural sunlight to really bring out all the beauty of these swatches.

  
  
  


  
  

Now I’m not done with either my Playful Colors Quilt or my CIRCA 1934 quilt but having this new project in my hands has made me itchy to start something new.

After talking with my mom about my “quilters guilt” (the feeling you get when you put aside an almost finished project to start something new), I’ve decided to do what I want and not what I feel I’m obligated to do.

I have this strong need to complete the work I’ve started and feel bad about starting something new without finishing the others first. But my mom reminded me that it’s pretty common for crafters to have multiple projects going at the same time. If a project isn’t fulfilling something in the maker, it’s perfectly fine to jump to another project to keep them happy and creative.  
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Live Randomly Simple
Peeled Wellness

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CraftyAllie

TGIFF: QAYG Easy Diamonds

Whew! It’s finished! I’ve enjoyed this process so much, and I’m really pleased with the final result. I began with a Fun & Done Easy Diamonds Quilt pattern in the crib size. A friend of mine was due any minute, and I wanted to present her with a gift filled with love and one that could be used until it fell apart.

I chose fabrics that were bright and comforting at the same time. I pre-washed the fabrics to make sure they wouldn’t bleed into one another, first folding each one in an accordion like fashion, then using my quilting pins to hold them together so they wouldn’t get twisted in the machine. I ironed and starched the fabrics before cutting them into strips so it would be easier and more accurate to cut and sew. I even double starched the triangles so strengthen the bias side lol!


Using a tool called the “batting buddy”, I then cut out all of the backing and batting squares. After I organized all of the strips and backing and batting piles, I was ready to sew! I loved how the sashing and binding were all figured into the squares. I used a feather stitch to sew down both my sashing and binding.

The backing (wrong side up), batting and the strips sewed directly onto the sandwich.

The squares sewn wrong sides together to create the beginning of the sashing. After sewing the sashing, the rows will be sewn together in the same manner.

Opening the sashing.

After the sashing is pressed open, each side is folded over to the edge of the batting, then folded again over the strips, then sewn down.

The binding is created in the same way as the sashing. You can see the sashing sewn down with a feather stitch.

This is the finished quilt…


Have an amazing, creative and FUN weekend everyone!

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Crazy Mom Quilts

WIP: Sew Day

Today my mom and I got together at her house to spend the morning sewing together. Some states have “snow days”, we have Sew Days!

The set up was in her spacious kitchen with two ironing stations and both of our machines. We had cutting stations on the island and lots of room to move around and get stuff done!


 I decided to work on my Playful Colors quilt top. I’m missing the fifth square so I’ve had to adjust my pattern. Instead of five squares with four filler squares, I’m using the remaining four and sashing them together. 
At first I was worried my fabrics would clash and be too busy but as I pieced it together it started really looking good. I’m happy with the stripes and how well they pull all the other crazy fabrics together.


My mom chose to work on her QAYG pattern. I’m super proud of her for working through this no matter what. She found one mistake and is working through some pretty bulky binding but she’s not given up yet!!!


She’s super close to wrapping this thing up! And I’m only a few sew days away from finishing too. We’re planning another sew day AND making time to podcast.
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Sew Fresh Quilts

CraftyAllie

TGIFF: 4th of July Table Runner

Last week I started a table runner for my in-laws to celebrate their annual 4th of July BBQ. I’ve been going to these BBQ’s for five years now so I wanted to thank them for inviting and including me for so many years.

It was apart of the Southern California Quilter’s Run we participated in last week. I picked up this kit to go along with the block pattern we received for free. I really like how it turned out, all these different blues and reds and whites. Very patriotic without being overdone.
I learned a lot with this project. I hand stitched the binding and it comes out SO CLEAN and neat! I’ll be doing that again!

I also used starch to help with my fabrics. They lay so nicely and are so much easier to sew with, it’s a step worth taking from now on.  
My corners need some work. They came out too loose and that because I didn’t sew down from the edge when I turned to attach the binding to the other side. I started down about a quarter of an inch and that left a gap. Not how I wanted it but I’ve learned for the next one.

This is my first free motion quilted project. I’ve never had a machine that allowed me to do this and I loved it!! And I feel in love with multicolored thread. It really ties the colors of the runner together in both the fabric and colors.

 

  

I can’t wait to make my next runner!

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Hobbies Up To Here Episode #6

And welcome back! It’s podcast time again! This week we’ve recorded episode #6 and it’s here for your enjoyment!IMG_6544

We’ve got some crafty events coming up! In a few weeks, Dori will be taking a trip to the coast to enjoy the Sawdust Art Festival . Can’t wait to hear all about it and hopefully see some awesome pictures of some of the art works there.Even bigger than the Sawdust Festival is the Row by Row Experience about to start this weekend!!

The Row by Row Experience started in 2011 and has spread across the US and Canada. It starts June 21 and stretches through September. You collect patterns at each shop you visit. If you are so inclined to put together a quilt using the rows you’ve collected, you can enter it to win prize! You have until October 31st to enter your finished row by row quilt.

This year’s theme is H20 which is slightly ironic for us here in Southern California due to our lack of rain hahahaha. Either way we’re excited to participate. Will you be visiting your local quilt shops and playing along?

If you are a Southern California local, there is the Southern California 17th Annual Quilters Run beginning this weekend and ending June 28th. Check the list of shops to see if your quilt shop is having their own block party.

Thanks to Melanie over at Thousand Needles for sharing this with us! Maybe we’ll see ya at a quilt shop next weekend!

Layer cakes, jelly rolls, and charm packs OH MY! My mom shares some of her purchases from The Quilt Cupboard and begins her foray into the world of precuts. Her first attempt using some precut sets will be to make the Five & Dime quilt. Check out our post about our day shopping together.

She has the Ambleside precut packs and some great Christmas packs to play with. 

My first sewing attempt didn’t pan out like I wanted but I’m determined to make something my son can wear. Maybe I’ll skip this pattern and just make my own, ha!

In the end, I made this! It’s not done yet but my son loves it! Time for handles!

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Today we’re linking up with:
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Oui Crochet

Fabric Shopping Day with Mom and Doctor Who

The other day I went fabric shopping with my mom. We stopped by The Quilt Cupboard near us and I exposed her to the wonderfulness of charm packs and layer cakes and jelly rolls. She’d heard of them before but she kept asking “Can you make something with this?” At first I rolled my head back and laughed. OF COURSE!! But she wasn’t convinced.

As we looked around more and more, the ladies there got into the discussion and before we knew it, my mom was purchasing a few items to add to her stash for a future attempt at a five and dime quilt. Below is a video from the Missouri Start Quilt Co. demonstrating a five and dime using a layer cake and a charm pack.

After we said our goodbyes, we headed over to the new JoAnn’s in my city. It’s big and glossy and still smells of freshly painted walls. As we walked around, my mom got hooked into a conversation with a gentleman at the sewing machine counter and I was left to my own devices.

I hadn’t gone in there to shop for anything. I have enough on my plate as it is. But I couldn’t help poking around my favorite section where they keep all the geeky selections like Star Wars and Marvel. In between my favorites, I found a few bolts of another favorite, Doctor Who!!


 Then it hit me! I should make some pajama pants for my growing son out of these prints! He loves Doctor Who also (even though he’s not seen too many episodes. We just show him the fun clips without the scary stuff).

But I’ve never followed a pattern let alone made some clothing so I was a little hesitant to jump into it. While my mom continued to talk I jumped over to the pattern drawers and looked up a Simplicity package for men’s and boy’s pajama outfits. Hey, this looks simple enough! So I grabbed it, some elastic for the waist band and two Doctor Who fabrics for my little man.

I got myself all set up and washed the fabrics. Then I got out the pattern and instantly regretted my decision. Ugh. I forgot how annoying patterns are. They are so fussy!

But I powered through and cut them out, pinned them as the instructions said and cut out the front and back to the shorts for boys.

Then I got to the sewing instructions…

Ugh… What fresh hell is this? I was surprised at how minimal the instructions were and felt instantly dumb. They were so simple I didn’t understand them. I felt like I was reading a book with a chapter or two missing. But I went ahead and gave it a try. I did as the instructions said but found myself stuck at step number two.

Yup… I didn’t even make it to number two before I was lost. I had sewn the inner thigh seam closed. Then, looking at the instructions, I couldn’t tell how I was supposed to sew the inner thigh seams together. Did I just line up the seams and run my machine down them? That didn’t make sense so I had to go back and rip out those seams and leave it be for a while.

Then  got smart and got some help. I took it to the machine shop where my mom bought my Elna and asked the lovely folks there what did I miss and how should I proceed. Cricket, a wonderful creative soul I totally felt a connection to within the first 5 minutes of meeting her, pointed out that I needed to open the fabric and press the seams down THEN join the front and back together by sewing the seams in a U shape.

THAT made more sense! So I took pen to the instructions and made some notes so that I would better understand it in the future.

Now I don’t know if I screwed things up from the get go, if my cutting is really THAT BAD or if the pattern  just stinks but nothing was lining up like the instructions said and I was about to chuck the whole project.

Instead I sat it down for a bit to come back to later. It wasn’t worth all the stress it was causing me.

I intend to finish it no matter how it comes out. There is something in me that needs to complete a pattern and learn the skills that go along with making a piece of clothing. I NEED to do it.

So I will. Maybe…