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Monday, February 28, 2011

Quite A Beautiful Mistake

This purple and white floral 9-square was one of the "mistake" squares I made for the block swap. It, along with many others, was too small for the swap by 1/2 an inch. I have 12 of these little 9-squares stashed away without a purpose for now and I didn't expect them to find a home so soon! I started out using left over blocks from a quilt I made but wasn't paying attention and sewed one of the blocks on completely upside down. Luckily, I decided to simply switch fabrics instead of getting out my trusty seam ripper. The imperfect 9-squares worked perfectly for Heather Bailey's "Square Deal Pincushion" pattern. I found this pattern browsing one day and couldn't wait to make it. I'd like to make a bunch because they only take about 20 minutes to make, if that. 
 Unfortunately, the two buttons I put on this are my last two big buttons and one of them wasn't even big enough to qualify for the project according to the pattern. I really need to go button hunting. Big buttons or not, I can't wait to use my new pincushion! That shade of green is one of my favorite colors and now I get to look at it every time I sew. I suggest everybody tries this one out, it is simple and worth it.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Uneventfully Busy.

Today was one of those days that are painfully boring AND busy. About half way through the day I stopped working on my seemingly endless To-Do list and took a two hour nap. After two hours of extra sleep and a large cup of coffee, I continued to trudge through the rest of the work I had to do. I also spent at least an hour procrastinating by surfing the web and ended up with some new inspiration for projects this week. My next goal is make this cute pin cushion I found. I have had the pattern printed out and sitting on my desk just begging me to make it for a few days now. It shouldn't take me very long to make.
 This little owl here was made out of recycled sweaters that I was getting rid of. This was my first attempt at making recycled owl pillows and I learned a few things from my experience.
1-shrink the sweaters first, it makes for a stiffer [yet still soft] pillow which I am assuming will be easier to cut. 2-cut the fabric a lot bigger than you intend your pillow to be. This ended up at least 2 inches smaller than I was planning it to be. 
I went to the Abiding Place in Honeoye last week and picked up a few wool sweaters to use for this project. They ended up in the wash almost as soon as they arrived at my house and they shrunk quite a bit because they are all 100% wool, I think. So, I'm ready to start my next pillow hopefully sometime this week. I've been looking for some buttons lately, too, because I'm really running low. I only have about 10 buttons in my whole sewing room and I'd like to have a collection of at least 50-75. Anyway, I hope to get a stencil cut out of thin cardboard for these so I can make them all the same, make them quickly and eventually get them up for sale on Etsy. Well, that is that. Hopefully these things actually get done this week. Nothing sooths after a stressful day like sewing does.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Firsts & Seconds

Today, I made my first quilt in one day. I woke up and quilted from about 10- 6. I took a break to eat and snack here and there but, for the most part I was a quiltaholic all day long. At one point I tried to force myself to take a break because my boyfriend insisted that if I didn't I would have a heart attack from "sewers distress". I ended up right back in my sewing room workin' away, though. This is not only my first quilt done in one day but, it is my second quilt ever! My first quilt I finally finished this fall after working here and there on it for about 2 years. My aunt got it for me as a Christmas gift with all the little pieces cut out, even the little triangles. Apparently, it was a pretty challenging quilt for a beginner to tackle. The owner of the quilt shop told me that making difficult quilts is "discouraging" for first time quilters. Making the Ohio Star quilt as my first quilt had the opposite effect for me. I am now practically addicted to making quilts and have decided there is hardly a greater feeling than to cuddle up in a quilt that you made yourself. Anyway, today I decided to go for the scrap quilt/ charm square quilt. I really wanted to try out that 9 square technique where you cut the 9 square in half both ways and rearrange it. So, I started off with my 200 5x5 squares I cut out the night before and made a 9 square to test it out.

 I used almost all of my fabrics that I have laying around besides my floral fabrics that I have to save for the block swap. These fabrics turned out nicely together, though.
 First, I cut my 9 square in half vertically. The first one I measured out exactly where half is but, found it was easier to just fold it in half, snip, and fold it in half the other way and put a snip to mark where half was in both directions.
 Then I cut it in half horizontally. Once the 9 square is cut up you are free to rearrange the individual blocks however you would like to. I really like this technique because it makes it look like a lot more work was put into it than really was. It is really simple to do, too.
 I ended up squaring up my blocks so they were all the same size and mixing them up between 4 different cut up 9 squares. This made the new block combinations more random in the end.

My quilt ended up with the mix and matched blocks in the middle, surrounded by a green floral fabric [stolen from my block swap fabric], and then the rest was filled with the original 5x5 blocks. I had a lot of fun making this today and now I need to get quilt backing for it and figure out how to do "binding" on it. Since I'm a beginner i have a lot to learn about quilting, especially since I don't even know how to do a "binding" for my quilt yet. I knew if I didn't power through this and get it for the most part put together then I wouldn't have time to finish it for a while. I start school again on Monday and I don't know when I'll get enough time to slam out a  quilt in one day again, or to even get a lot of one done. I've got a few more projects on my mind for the near future, though. So, I'll see where that takes me.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Just the Beginning..

I've been working on a lot of projects lately and sometimes my creative juices are running low or I have some questions on how to go about tackling a certain project. In this case,craft blogs are basically my go-to. I figured i'd get going on my own to keep myself inspired and to hopefully inspire others along the way. Plus, I can keep track of my recent crafts and what to do differently the next time I make something, all in one place.

I recently made this "52 Reasons I Love You" book for my boyfriend for Valentine's Day. I took a red deck of cards and put a reason why i love him on every card, with a picture on the back of the card before each reason. 

I used some ribbon that I cut off of some sweaters I had to bind all of the cards together.

 The last few cards I made out of the Jokers in the deck and put "Alec & Amanda" on one and "Happy Valentine's Day" on the other.
I also just joined the "Block Swappers Club" at Carriage House Quilts in my town. Its a quilting group where you create 12, 9 square blocks a month and swap them with everyone else every month. In the end everybody gets together and puts their quilt together. I'll add some pictures of my blocks later. Tomorrow I start sewing my charm pack quilt that I spent all night cutting 5x5 squares for.
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