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Happy Leap Day!

I know Leap Day comes around every 4 years, but I honestly don’t ever remember having a leap day before.  Weird.

I finished my husband’s T-shirt quilt top.  Thanks to everyone that has commented on the last couple of posts.  I promise I read them all, but I didn’t quite get to the email thank you reply.  One thing I really liked was how Kat tucked some of the shirt tags into her binding.  I saved a couple and am going to do the same thing, neat idea Kat!

I’m really pleased with how it turned out.  This is the second t-shirt quilt I’ve done.  The first one I did for me, and it was much different.  I cut all the shirts the same size squares, and I used much stiffer interfacing.  The thicker stuff made it not so cuddly, and this one already has better drape.  Not sure if I’ll add borders or not, I’ll let hubby decide.  I like the puzzle piece arrangement.  It was a bit like a puzzle trying to figure out how to sew it all together, but a fun challenge.  Something I haven’t done before.

So I now have 3 tops ready to be quilted, and 1 quilt that needs finishing touches.  I’m moving in a couple weeks, so hopefully I can stay on track to get at least one quilt done each month.  And, once I move, I’ll get to start on my new sewing room redo, Yay!

Moving On

I’ve finished another quilt top, but think I’ll wait a bit to quilt it.  I quilt on my mom’s machine, and I think we’re going to have it set up for some embroidery for a while.  We got this great ambitious idea to each make an embroidered Sunbonnet Sue quilt, and so we each have about 1000 hours of embroidery coming up.

So I’m starting on my next top.  My next challenge is to turn this stack of t-shirts…

…into a quilt for my husband.  I showed him several examples on the internet for him to choose between.  He liked the more puzzle pieced looking ones, rather than cutting everything the same size and being uniform squares.  So I’m thinking it’s going to look something like this…

There’s already been a few more edits to this as I’ve cut one shirt wrong (so far that I know about), and then wanted to spread out the colors some more.  But it’s turning that huge stack of shirts into something more manageable and useful.  He loves all those shirts, and now he’ll be able to see them more often, rather then them being stuck back in a box in the closet.

This will be my second t-shirt quilt.  I’m using much more lightweight stabilizer this time, as the first one was pretty stiff.  But I’m always stumped on how to quilt these things.  I want it to be enough quilting, but I don’t think I want to quilt over the design on the shirts.  Any suggestions?

2nd Finish and 2nd 1st

I finally finished the Hideaway quilt. I’m not sure what to call this quilt. It was the ‘Moda Hideaway Had a Lot of Potential but Went Downhill Quickly’ quilt, but that’s an awful big mouthful, so I’m just going to call it the Hideaway quilt. I quilted the middle with an all-over meander in a green variegated thread, which I regret. I should have used a lighter thread that blended in better, but oh well, live and learn.

After machine binding the last quilt, I decided to do it again since this is a monster big quilt. It went much better this time, and I’m pleased with the results. The other thing I really like on this quilt was the quilting pattern I did in the outer border. My 1st 1st of the year was the machine binding on the last quilt, my 2nd 1st was quilting a design other than meander. I did trees, and just absolutly love them. They were fun to do and actually turned out pretty good. It’s a bit hard to see on the front, but easier on the back. I’m much less afraid to try other patterns on my next quilts, so I’m excited about that.

So I have another OPAM finish for February, and quilt 2/12 for 2012. I’ve already got this quilt on my bed, and since our temps have just gotten colder, it’s been great.

Saved From the Trash Bin

About 5-ish years ago, I decided I wanted to make my future mother-in-law a quilt.  I didn’t know anything about quilting.  But, I knew I liked quilts, other people liked quilts, and I knew how to work a sewing machine…..so how hard could it be, right?  I saw a picture of a quilt I liked online, and figured I could come up with how to make it.  So I drew out what it looked like, figured up some dimensions and went down to my local craft store to get some fabric.  I enlisted my mom to help me, who also at the time didn’t know anything about quilting.  The particular pattern I picked had lots of triangles, and I distinctly remember sewing them up and them not being the right size, but we thought, hey…enough steam and stretching and we can make them the right size.  I know, are you just cringing in your seats?  Anyway, I made the top, but didn’t ever do anything with it after that.  I decided not to give it to her for some reason, although I don’t remember why.  I’m glad I decided not to, looking back at it.  I might have never gotten married, HA!  My MIL, who I didn’t know at the time had also made some quilts, would have taken one look at it and told her son not to marry that girl 🙂  I did end up making her a proper quilt a couple years ago though, so all is well.

Anyway, I tucked the top away, but never intended to do anything with it.  I was cleaning out some things the other day and ran across it.  I hadn’t seen it since I made it, and it was funny to look back at it.  Not many of the seams match, and most of the points were cut off, but I love the pattern, and I love my fabric choices.  I think it’s actually a really pretty quilt.  I figured I needed to bite the bullet and either chunk it or finish it.

As I continued to clean out my fabric bin, I came across a piece of fabric that worked perfect for the back, and was exactly the right amount, and the same for binding.  I figured it was a sign, and the next day I had it quilted and bound.  I’m really pleased with the way it came out, and I’m really glad I decided to finish it.  It’s pretty small, I’d say about lap quilt size, and will be perfect for Avery to drag around some day.  Since I wasn’t too invested in the finished project, I decided to try machine binding for the first time.  2 sides came out pretty good, and 2 pretty not good.  But the binding step is my least favorite, so I’m glad I did it.  It will take a little finesse and practice, but I’ll definitely do it again.

So, first finish of the month for OPAM, and first quilt done out of the 12 I want to finish this year out of my WIP’s.

Eyecandy

Great site I stumbled upon. Lots of pretty things.
Sweet Home Style

Target Here I Come

While browsing on Pinterest last week, I saw this fabulous cutting table by Georgia Peachez.  (If you click on the picture, it will take you to her blog).  Anyway, my sewing room has become a nursery, so I knew I couldn’t use it, but my mom has a huge sewing space and lots of need for storage.  I showed her the picture, and told her she simply must do it for her room.  While we didn’t make the whole table, it did prompt a sewing room re-vamp, and she got some of these cubbies to put along one wall of the room to store stuff.  One cubby consists of the 9 storage squares. It looks fantastic, but I’ll leave it up to her to put up some pictures.  Check out her blog here.

And then I got to thinking about my sewing space.  When Avery took over the sewing room, I didn’t have any place to work.  For a while that was okay because I wasn’t in the sewing spirit.  But now that I’ve gotten the bug back, I want a place to work.  I’ve been using the dining room, which is less than ideal.

We live in an apartment, so our dining room is small, about 7 feet by 10 feet.  Right now this is how it looks.  I can use the table for scrapbooking, sewing, or cutting at any given time, but not at the same time.  I have to clean up one project before I have room for another.  With all the put up and take down, it doesn’t leave a lot of time to actually do anything.

But, that’s all about to change.  We’re moving to a different building in about 6 weeks, and I’m going to change out the dining room to an actual sewing room.  We never eat at the table, so that’s going to go. I’m going to make a work table like the top picture, although mine won’t be as big.  On the solid sides of the cubbies, I’m going to use the Command hooks to hang rulers, etc.  I’ll put my fabric and other notions in the bins.  For the top, I’m going to make an ironing surface table top, that I can put my cutting mat on top of.  That way it will do double duty for either.  On one end of the table I’ll put my sewing machine table so that my machine doesn’t take up room on my worktable top.  So, I just need to decide how big I want my table.  I came up with 3 options.

I drew them out on graph paper, so I could see how big this would turn out before I went out and bought cubbies.  This is option 1, the smallest.  The outside line is the outline of my dining room, each square being 6 inches.  The dotted line is what I want to keep my work area inside of.  That gives me 2 feet of clearance to move around all sides.  This would be my sewing table on one end, and just 2 cubbies back to back.  My work top would be just large enough to accomodate my 24×36 cutting mat.

Option 2 is the same arrangement, but the table top is larger.  I would have 3 cubbies total.  2 back to back, and then one on the end.  Like the inspiration picture, minus one of the end ones.  My sewing table would go there instead.


Option 3 is the largest.  It has 12 inches that would overlap one side of cubbies.  That would hopefully give me enough room to get my knees under to have a stool one on side.  I think it would be nice to be able to sit and work.

I’ll have to get some good lamps, as the room is pretty dark most of the time.  What else can you think of that I need to think about?  I want to have a fully functioning sewing/quilting/scrapbooking/work space in a small area.  I was originally going to have some pegboards on the wall, but in the small space I don’t know that I want anything sticking out that I could knock my head on.  Do you think 2 foot around is enough moving area?  Do you think I should have the overlap part of the table top to sit and work at?  Is 12 inches appropriate for that?  With this plan, my ironing/cutting top will be about 37 inches tall.  That’s a bit taller than most, but I’m a little on the taller side, so I hope it works out well.  What do you think?

Interesting tidbit

Since I’m trying to get back into scrapbooking, I’ve started following the blog Write.Click.Scrapbook. Today’s posting is talking about all the new things in paper crafting coming out at this years CHA tradeshow, and she showed some pictures of new paper lines. I think y’all should check it out. Looks like they’re taking some cues from the quilters…lots of zigzags and hexagons in scrapbooking this year!

The name of this paper pattern is Honeycomb Quilt.  Maybe next time you need some quilt inspiration, you should walk through a scrapbook store!