Thursday, July 28, 2011

and then it got a little crazy

With my mug rug completed, I was super inspired to do something bigger. I guess it's a good thing that I had no concept of how much fabric 'two big handfuls' actually is. LOL! I had almost enough to put together the Fenced In pattern in a large lap size! So, I added another print and a solid and got busy.

It took a couple of days to get all the strips cut out... especially since the unborn one makes it difficult to sit down for an extended period of time, however I got it all cut. Then I laid it all out on the living room table, rearranged, was happy, oops... switch out some more, and then left it out overnight so I could look at it in the morning.

After some breakfast and coffee, I was still satisfied with the layout and started the fun part... sewing. It's amazing how much you can get done in one day! Especially when the munchkin is spending time with the grandparents.  ;-)

This is how it looked when I decided to stop for the night.  The top is all sewed together!  :-)

I still need to add a border. And I have some fabric coming in the mail tomorrow that I plan on using for the back. In the meantime, I need batting!

Monday, July 25, 2011

how I started with quilting

Quilting is something I've been interested in for many years. I have vague childhood memories of my Big Granny, an ancient little woman, sitting in a rocking chair in the living room of my Granny's house working away on quilts by hand. I have an awesome sister that can whip out a full size quilt in a weekend just for fun. I have an appreciation for the Amish and their amazing quilts. You get the picture.

But, my own personal quilting experience was a baby quilt for my oldest child (that I only made the top and my sister had to finish for me), and two beginnings... meaning I cut up fabric and may or may not have started piecing them together. And all of those were simple nine patch.

So, when my friend Sarah suggested we crash a Dallas Modern Quilt Guild meeting, I could not believe my ears when my mouth said "OK"!

Really? When do I have time to quilt? And these women have certainly been quilting for far, far longer than I had. I have to admit I was a bit scared. However, I went. My husband was convinced I'd walk into a room full of little blue-haired women, but this was not the case. This was a room full of woman my age and younger! Yes, there were a few older than me, but only a few. And they were so nice! I have to admit I was even a bit surprised. So this is Modern Quilting! I thought "I'm liking it here!". Halfway through the meeting I knew I'd be back and even wanted to join the group. And so on June 21, I did.

When I walked into the July meeting, I could not help but notice a large box of long skinny scraps in my favorite colors: pale grey, turquoise, white, red and black. It turns out Moda Fabrics sent the fabric for an upcoming collection and challenged the group to "create a mini quilt measuring anywhere from mug rug size (10" square) to wall hanging size (24" x 24")" and show it at the September meeting. I got two big handfuls of fabric and went on my way.

My brain was spinning. I had recently purchased The Practical Guide to Patchwork by Elizabeth Hartman. The first project in her book is 'Fenced In' or Rail Fence. This fabric would be perfect! But the challenge was for a mug rug, so after spending some quality time with Google, I decided on a pattern and within 48 hours went from a pile of scraps to my very first finished piece!

This was just the beginning. Stay tuned!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I have a slight handbag obsession

I love handbags. There, I said it. Whenever I come across a new bag pattern or tutorial that I like, the wheels start turning. The most recent was the Ava Rose Tote from artsy-crafty babe, Rebeka Lambert.

Conveniently, my daughter needed a bag to carry her crochet supplies. I told her I would make her a bag... because she needed one and I wanted to try out the pattern before making one for myself. Win, win!

I took her to Jo-Ann Fabric to pick out her own fabric. After looking at everything, she picked fabric with pink cat silhouettes. I didn't notice until we got to the cutting counter that it was paneled fabric. *sigh* I'll make it work.

It took a while to get everything figured out since I had to work around the design (and I had to splice some of the longer pieces), but I got it all together. As soon as I finished I thought I didn't like it as much for me, but by the next morning I had thought of a few ways to tweak it a bit. And by 'tweak it a bit', I mean drafting my own pattern and winging it.

It had taken me a while to find just the right fabric, but I did find it at Hobby Lobby. And as I was deciding to add outside pockets, I noticed some striped fabric I had on hand would work with the new fabric I had bought specifically for this bag. Sweet!

It took most of the day to put together because I slowly thought it through (meaning I didn't have to rip it apart and redo anything). I think it came together nicely.

In case you are wondering about the tweaks... this bag is one inch shorter, the straps are 1/2 inch wider, the top of the bag is more square and I added outside pockets.

The button I've had for years, but it was black. Good thing I had a can of white spray paint just sitting around. ;-)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

living room re-do

The transformation is complete!

I would show you a dramatic 'before' photo of the living room, but apparently I didn't even like it enough to take any photos. :-O However, feel free to check out the previous blog post with the old rug and curtains.

I made slipcovers for the pillows in bright turquoise, floral and striped fabric. You can never have too many pillows! Craigslist came through with the purchase of a new-to-me neutral 8' x 10' frieze area rug. That alone really pulled the room together.

Next was locating the perfect curtain fabric. Once again Golden D'or rocks my world! I found this awesome neutral striped fabric and whipped up the new curtains in a couple of days.

Now I really like my living room! <3

But to love it, I'm thinking that lamp needs a new shade and to be painted turquoise. ;-)