Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Small Projects

I'm still trying to clean up my sewing room. I've been having a hard time avoiding the distractions that are inherent in trying to control creative chaos. This means lots of quick little projects to try to keep me in line. My main goal is still trying to cut my scraps into uniform sizes. I've made progress, but it still seems like there are SO MANY that even after the time that I've put into it there is still a lot of work to do. Eventually I'll be caught up and hopefully I'll stay that way. 

My 2.5" squares box was starting to get a little full so I started sewing them together in sets of 4. That night I was over at my parents' house with Hubby watching my little girl play with one of my old dolls in a wooden cradle. The blanket that accompanied that little bed was horribly '80s. And girly. Anyone who knows me will tell you I'm not a fan of pink or "girly" things. So I decided to fashion the 2.5" squares into a scrappy doll quilt.

Unfinished doll quilt, about 18" x 22"

I decided to tie it instead of machine quilting it because I used a really high loft polyester batting and I hate putting that stuff through my machine. I finished tying it last night and I'll probably machine bind it later this week. 

I'd been courting the idea of making myself a new pincushion. I'd been prowling the internet for fun and interesting designs and came across a quilt guild website that linked to a bunch of patterns for an exchange. I wish I remembered that website, I would share it with you!

I made this lovely "Cathedral Window" Pincushion with a square of my beloved Parisville fabric. I love that shade of teal with it!

4.5" picushion

Quick and easy pattern through the Moda Bake Shop. Have your iron hot for this one! I'm amazed that this pattern takes a 10.5" square of fabric (the teal) and turns it into the window frame. It's beautiful though, I'm looking forward to making another one... some day.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

In the bag.

The annual celebration of my birth was last week, and I wanted to give myself a little something. I'd been lugging around the same purse for two years and have had the same wallet for more years than I can count and I had fallen out of love with both of them. So, what's a girl to do? I fell back on my Pinterest addiction. I scoured posts for a free purse pattern and tute that wouldn't be too complicated and still fit my needs. I discovered The Madeline Purse tutorial by imagine gnats. I LOVED this tute. She made it so clear and simple, especially with something like installing a zipper pocket, which I had never done before.

Pretty in purple!

I have gotten a ton of compliments on this purse. I used mostly leftovers in my stash for this with the pretty purple petal (say that three times fast!) fabric coming from a baby quilt I made umpteen years ago, the trim of multicolored Maori dots is a scrap from my good buddy Jessica, and the lining was the leftover teal dots from the changing pad I wrote about last week. I love it. I may make more as gifts! :)

Part two of my birthday project was the wallet. Unfortunately the tutorial  I used was horribly written. So much so that the project took me twice as long as it should have because I kept having to re-read the instructions - that will teach me to read through ALL of the directions before I start on something. I'm not going to link to it because I don't want to cause you the same frustration. 

Wallet exterior. Not happy with the interior showing!

The exterior is a print from Tula Pink's Parisville collection. My sewing bud Brittany gave me a quarter yard of it for my birthday. I thought it was from her stash - but we'll get to that later. I was so terribly in love with this print that it hurt me to think I wouldn't be able to use it in anything else once I had started on the terrible wallet tute. I had thought about cutting my losses and scrapping the project. A quick web search showed that since this print came out in 2010 it is not very available - I did find a fat quarter on Etsy for $15... but that's way more than I'm willing to pay. So, I pushed on and finished it.

Inside with a coin pocket, a place for cards, and a slot for bills to the right.

I'm using the wallet, though I'm not incredibly happy with it. I will mention that I'm very happy I made the purse first, because I reused her zipper pocket tute for making the coin pocket. I'll probably track down another pattern in a project lull and try again. 

This past weekend Brittany and I took a trip out to Cool Cottons so I could experience the awesomeness and spend the gift certificate she had given me. On the way there I was telling her my story of woe with the Parisville print and she told me she had gotten it at Cool Cottons. I was giddy. When we got to the store I tracked down the bolt and finished it off to be mine all mine! Maybe it was a little greedy to take the full two yards? My excuse it that it's a great blender and has all of my favorite colors in it.

Have you ever used a favorite fabric on a project that was ultimately doomed?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Changing Pad

A friend of mine is pregnant with her first baby and her baby shower was the last weekend in March, and you know me, I wanted to make her something. Now that I've had the benefit of having a child I started thinking about the things that made my life easier. I thought about the changing mat that came with the diaper bag we had registered for and how nice it was to have that. I am not a fan of putting the kiddo straight onto the public changing station. I also liked that I could easily clean it. I also considered the things I didn't like about that changing pad: 1) It's covered with a thin layer of clear plastic vinyl that started cracking and ripping after a little while and 2) it's really short. Little Girl was hanging off of it after 6 months.

So I started prowling the internet and found two patterns that I really liked this "diaper clutch" and this "sushi roll changing mat" and made a hybrid of the two with my own alterations. I liked the fold away aspect of the clutch making it easier to stash in a large tote or backpack. I also liked that you could put just what you needed in there to have it easily at hand. With the sushi roll I liked the extra cushion of the batting layer making it a little more comfortable experience for the baby. 

Folded away. Closure is a piece of 1/4" elastic and a large button.

I used PUL (the fabric they use for the outside of cloth diapers) for the changing mat side, it's a lot softer and easier to wash than straight laminate. I used quilting cotton for the outside, and a layer of cotton batting in the middle. 

The PUL has owl's saying "Whoooo's Cute?"

I used the width of the backing fabric for the length of the changing pad and folded the pocket up from bottom about 10". I also quilted the three layers together so there shouldn't be any weird shifting after it gets washed & dried. And that's the best part, it can be machine washed!

Just enough space for a few diapers and a travel pack of wipes.

What item can you not live without when you're out and about with baby?