Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Lounge Pants

So a very special little boy in our house loves his "fuzzy pants." Basically fleece lounge/pj pants. (Seriously, who wouldn't? He comes by it honestly.) For Christmas I thought it would be nice to make him a pair or two. I found several tutorials on Pintrest that I was really excited for but they basically said take a pair of pants that fits and make a new pattern from them. So I did! 
Freezer paper works great! I was really excited for an afternoon to myself - just me, a cup of cocoa, You've Got Mail, and my sewing machine. I found just enough gray flannel to make one pair, then since I didn't have enough "boy" fleece, I cut up an old snuggie. This was brilliant, I must say. I was able to utilize the sleeves so that I eliminated sewing a hem on the pants. Shazam! I was going to make  the hubs a matching pair but ran out of steam. Here is a pic of the original pants I made the pattern from with the gray flannel pair. I thought I took a pic of both finished pairs but apparently not. 
A little boy was very happy!! 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Finishing the top

I finally got the purple baby quilt top done! I ironed the rows in different directions (first row towards the right, second towards the left, 3rd towards the right...) so that I could nest the seams and it would lay flatter. When I first started sewing I couldn't figure out why my tension was all screwy and kept rethreading my machine until I finally saw that my "helper" had turned the tension dial way down. Duh!! I adjusted it and all was well. After I finished sewing my rows together I iron those seams and here is the finished product. I'm thinking no border and white binding. Normally I piece my binding with different fabrics from the quilt but I will stick with one color to tie it all together. Next step: quilting! 

Monday, September 1, 2014

All Boy

This is the quilt I made for my son. I used as many "boy" fabrics that I could find. I used dinosaurs, sharks, trucks, aliens, footballs, knights, dogs, animals, etc. I also used some bananas and oranges fabric that he picked out, and some shamrocks (Irish heritage), and some blue and yellow football helmets ( MSU Bobcats) and some orange polka dots. The pattern is called "Yellow Brick Road." I found it at Glacier Quilts in Kalispell, MT but I've also seen it online. 
Some of the fabrics are from my stash and of course have a story behind them. The animal fabric in the bottom two corners is from a quilt my brother Mark made at 4-H quilt camp. I was 14, so he would have been 9. The shark and shamrock fabrics were from some placemats I made him for Christmas. His nickname is Shark and he was born on St. Pats Day. The green sheep is from my stash. I used to have sheep in 4-H so I have a small collection of sheep fabric. Orange polka dots because my hubby's favorite color is orange. He also picked out the football fabric. 
Jackson loves his quilt. Even the way he says "kwiylt" is cute. I couldn't even take a picture of it without him. 
I guess I did manage one;) I used dinosaurs for the border, a pieced binding, and the back is pieced flannel. It's a mix of dark blue and a polar snow globe print. 
I'm really pleased with how this turned out. I wanted it just full of lots of boy fabric and kind of random. I hope it's one he'll use for many years to come. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Putting together a quilt top (Montana style!)

I learned a long time ago that there is a quick and easy way to sew all your blocks together. 

1) layout all your blocks
2) assign each column a number (1, 2, 3...) and each row a letter (A, B, C...) 
3) Turn the blocks in column 2 over onto column 1 so that the right side edge is where they would be joined. Pin A2 to A1, B2 to B1, etc. 
4) tricky part: put A blocks on top of B blocks on top of C blocks, etc. in order of your rows. 
5) take to your sewing machine and sew the A blocks down the right side. WITHOUT CUTTING THE THREAD, feed in the B blocks after A, then C, etc so that all the blocks are in a long seam in order along the seam between column 1 & 2. 
6) lay the long string of blocks back next to your quilt top and turn over the blocks in column 3 over onto the already stitched blocks, pinning each one. 
Be careful when you do column 3 because inevitably it will get twisted and you will end up clipping one connecting string. 

Once you have them all sewn into rows that are connected along the column seams you can press your seams. If you press one row one way and the next the opposite way it will make your life easier when sewing rows. Pin each row to the next, making sure to match up your seams when you sew. 

I used to belong to a quilting ministry at our old old old church and the other ladies didn't know this method. They would sew one block on at a time, clip threads, iron, and it took forever! I can whip out a top in a few hours using this method. 

Thanks to my old sewing teacher Sarah for teaching me this. Hopefully you all understood! ;)

Saturday, August 23, 2014

HST baby quilt

I found this really neat way of sewing half square triangles at That Girl That Quilt blog. (Link below) brilliant, right? Why have I never seen this before??? I thought it was the perfect pattern for a baby quilt for my hubby's friend and his wife's new baby girl.
So here we go: 
You put two squares together right sides together and see a quarter inch seam the whole way around (even corners) and then cut along the diagonal. I used 10" squares, which made 6.5 inch squares. I needed three additional blocks so I cut 7" squares and then cut them on the diagonal and sewed two together on the diagonal. This have me my 21 purple/white blocks, 21 purple/green, and 21 green/white. 
You can kind of see my chicken scratch layout and calculations. I'm a visual person. I have to see it before I can do it. I'm sure it makes zero sense to you but it's perfectly clear to me ;). 

It is very important to square up your blocks! I used a 12.5" quilters square ruler. Even though I used my 1/4" foot, some of my blocks were almost 1/2" big and some were just barely the right size. Agh! 

Next up: layout! .....

Thursday, August 21, 2014

A quick stitch

I recently decided that Jackson needed some new pillowcases. He has a toddler bed, which doesn't come with pillowcases, and he has been using two of my old ones I made. One is pink with ducks and the other is green with sheep. Somehow he got ahold of a pair of scissors and the edges are cut on the sheep pillow. I decided he needed some boy pillowcases. I found some leftover fabric from his all boy quilt and whipped up a pair of pillowcases.
I found my pattern at as part of the one million pillowcases project. This particular pillowcase is brown with dogs and then a white with dinosaurs as the edge. The second pillowcase was a bit different. I had some leftover fabric from the back of a quilt. It was very wide but had a seam in the middle. Definitely not fitting the 41"x26". It was more like 30" high by 100" wide. Roughly. So I cut it to 26" tall x 82" and just did a hem on the end. The inside seam was already sewn from where I pieced the backing of the quilt.
This picture shows the red godzilla pillowcase and the boy quilt pillowcase. Fun for a quick stitch up!