is holding the kids clothes week challenge this week and I have jumped on board! The concept is to work one hour each day, for seven days on clothing for your kids. Anything counts, just so long as it is related to making something for your kids to wear, and it doesn't have to be just sewing, it could be knitting or whatever. I figured I probably won't get a whole hour to work, so I'll aim for 4 - 15 minute intervals, and even if I have to wait until the children go to sleep, I'll work at night.
What are my plans?
1. To fix a pair of pants I bought for my 4 year old from Old Navy that unraveled the first time I washed them. Either fix them or throw them in the trash.
2. I want to sew a pair of pajamas for my 4 year old from the Star Wars fabric I recently found at JoAnn's, using the book Sewing for Boys.
3. I want to sew a romper for my baby boy from the Natalie and Nate pattern by Patty Young that I also bought recently. See photo below! So cute!
It isn't to late to join in, the fun starts today! I hope to be back during the week with progress updates and hopefully some finishes! Wish me luck!
Here it is, my precious. Macaroni Love Story by Heather Ross, I've been hoarding it, and now it is time to cut it up, stitch it up, and then love it up! I've actually decided to join in two quilt-alongs at the same time (as if I don't have enough on going projects.) I think fate threw me head first into both of these quilt-alongs and that it is meant to be, so I'm going with it! The first is the My Precious QAL
hosted by the lovely Kelly over at Kelby Sews
. The second is the Cosmic Burst QAL
hosted by the also lovely Julie over at Distant Pickles
. Both of these quilt-alongs will result in one quilt, I will be using my precious fabric to make the Cosmic Burst quilt.
I wont be killing myself to get it done by any certain deadline, but I do hope to get cutting soon. First, I have to decide on fabric placement and that is where I need your help. When you have fabric this precious, you don't just cut into it all willy-nilly...no YOU HAVE A PLAN. I have roughed up three fabric placement images, and I would love to know which of the three you like the best. Husband and I mutually agreed on one last night, but I would love to get your opinion too!Several things to keep in mind. The orange is going to be Patty Young's Creamsicle Stitch fabric, and the Gray is probably going to be Alexander Henry's Heath
. Kind of undecided on the Heath as of right now, we shall see. The scale of the fabrics is a bit off also, (this is a rough layout) and keep in mind this quilt will measure 40" x 40" and will showcase these prints nicely. This quilt is one big block. Here we go:
Option 1 - Purple Star Spokes, No Yellow
Option 2 - Yellow Star Spokes
Option 3 - Pink Star Spokes, Different Yellow Placement
Linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced, this is my newest work in progress, and honestly what is the point in listing the 100 other on-going projects that you all have heard about over and over again. Heck, I'm tired of hearing about them too! Maybe from now on, I'll just feature one work in progress, we shall see. Thanks in advance for your help in choosing my layout.
Have I ever mentioned the insane amount of Blackberry bushes that are around and behind our house? When I say an insane amount, I am talking about if we hired crews of people to pick, I don't know that they could pick them all. INSANE AMOUNT! When we first moved in we had a bush that was literally 10 foot tall and about 20 foot around, and covered in berries. I think inside the bush was actually a tree, but who knows. Unfortunately, not long after we moved in construction crews tore it up (not our choice or decision, but it was technically "city property.") Even with that loss, we still have tons and I spend a few hours every day during blackberry season picking until my hearts content. My husband says that I am the caveman definition of a "gatherer."
This past year wasn't any different, and I picked a lot, not as much as I normally do, but if memory serves, I was just starting serious morning sickness and not quite up to my normal routine. I froze two gallon ziplock bags with the intentions of making Blackberry Jelly with a family friend for the first time, after trying hers last year, and deciding it was the best thing ever. Time passed, morning sickness continued, and it just never happened. Sometime in December I started cleaning out the freezer preparing for the approaching holiday, and discovered all my frozen berries. I realized I needed to do something with them, or toss them out. Why not just make blackberry jelly myself? So I did some basic research (I've never canned anything before) had the recipe from the friend, and bought a box of canning jars.
Blackberry Jelly Recipe and basic canning directions HERE
. These are the only things I did differently and a few hints:1. I didn't want seeds in my jelly, so at first I started pushing the berries through a strainer, which worked, but was very slow. I ended up putting about two cups in my blender, processing them, and then pushing the puree through the strainer to remove the seeds. This worked really really well, and I'm not quite sure why some of the recipe comments say not to do it, it worked just fine for me!2. Two gallon bags of frozen berries produced exactly the amount of juice needed for this recipe (5 cups) and filled around 9 8 ounce jars.3. On Step 11, I didn't have a fancy canning pot, so I just used a large pot that I filled with water, and laid a towel inside. The towel inside kept the jars from clanking together while the water boiled. Make sure the water is 1" above the lids during the boiling process. Be extra careful removing the super hot jars from the boiling water after you are done, this part is rather dangerous and especially so if you are using regular tongs and not specialty canning tongs.
Go slow and be careful!Enjoy the fruits of your labor year round! We have already eaten our way through three jars, and I can't wait to make more jelly during the next blackberry season!P.S. I wrote this post before I gave birth, and just never had the chance to post it, so fortunately for me, blackberry season is in full swing right now
and I swear there are more than ever out there ready to be picked! I am ready!
Linking up to Tuesday at the Table over at
Ughhh...Fail. I didn't meet my ONE goal in the first quarter of the Finish-Along over at Quilter in the Gap. I came really really close, but alas my little one was born, and it just didn't happen. The pictures below show the last photos I have taken of that quilt, but it is further along than that. I have the four pieces sewn together, and since I am doing quilt as you go, I really only have one middle panel left to quilt, quilt the border, and then bind it. About two days worth of work really, not much. So this project is getting carried over to this quarter.
I also am going to add another project that has been sitting for far to long. These two handbags that I am making for a friend. They are also further along than this, I just need to take the time and finish them up. This is also about two days worth of work. So let's see if I am able to muster up about 4 days worth of sewing time during the next three months! HaHa.... don't hold your breath.
Fabrics for Uber Handbags
I have decided to set a new resolution for the year, a more realistic resolution. Originally my resolution was to finish all my WIP's from 2011, which is about 14 projects. Not going to happen, honestly. So... my new resolution is to get one quilt finished per quarter. I am happy to say that I did meet this goal in the first quarter by finishing the little boy car quilt that I shared last week. I just didn't have that one on my Finish-Along list originally, hence the fail. But that is OK, I finished one quilt last quarter, and hopefully can finish this one quilt this quarter! Wish me luck!
2012 Finish-Along Second Quarter Goals:
1. Finish Sherbet Pips Quilt
2. Finish the Two Uber Handbags
Yes, I am aware that we are now well into April, it seems that I have no problem actually sewing and getting things done around my house, but as far as blogging, returning emails and computer time...I am seriously lacking. The good news is that I mailed these blocks weeks ago, and all the owners of these blocks have actually received them, so I'm not really delinquent, just delinquent in posting photos of these lovely blocks. Sorry for that peeps. On to the blocks...
Front and Center designed by Monika Wintermantel
Potager designed by Yvonne Malone
First up are two blocks for "Kritta22" in the Modern Blocks Bee
. She sent us two solids and we were allowed to make any blocks from the Modern Blocks book that we wanted to make. We were allowed to add our own fabric just so long as it fit in with the color palette. I picked these two lovely blocks, both of which were fairly easy to construct. The first Front and Center on pages 74-75, and the second Potager on pages 146-147. My husband really likes the first and made the off hand comment that if I ever made him a quilt, it should be in this color palette. Well, now i know, and knowing is half the battle right?
Next up is a great mosaic block for "QuiltGenius" in the Always Bee Learning
group. She requested a free form block and to just start constructing and not to stop until you ran out of fabric, which is the lovely Plume by Tula Pink, just in case you were wondering. The block is rather large, like 18" x 20" and I think this will be an amazing quilt. The tutorial for this block can be found HERE
. I certainly don't have a problem making wonky blocks, I just hope she likes it!
Last, but not least are two great blocks for "kintx" in the Quilting newBEES
group. This block is called Attic Window, and the tutorial can be found HERE
. I think these are the first bee blocks that I really messed up, and honestly had to rip seams three separate times. After ripping seams that many times I seriously was beginning to think that maybe I shouldn't be sewing anymore. No, not seriously, but man, I was frustrated. It was all my fault and the mistakes were made from simply not reading the directions thoroughly. Thankfully I was able to salvage the blocks and if I weren't confessing now, no one would have ever known! I have to admit that this will be one stunning quilt, and I can't wait to see how she lays out these blocks!Now I just need to work on April's Bee Blocks! Here's hoping you have a great weekend!
Oh my goodness, I actually finished something! I started this quilt almost a year ago, and this past weekend it was gifted to my just turned one year old nephew. I ended up with a bunch of random scraps that were roughly all the same width, and I didn't know what I wanted to do with them for a while, but last summer when I joined Stashtacular! and this pattern was released, I knew it was perfect and meant to be, my scraps were the same width the pattern called for! I quickly stitched up the rows, but then the project stalled out for quite some time as I tried to decide what fabric I wanted to use as the sashing. Nothing seemed right and I bought several solids that didn't quite work. About six months later I bought the green circles and knew that I would use it, even though it is quite busy, I like all the colors and patterns on this quilt. In an effort to finish up all my works in progress from the past few years, I worked hard the past few weeks to get this quilt done on time. I am so happy to actually have met my own deadline!
This quilt pattern comes from Jenna over at Sew Happy Geek, and was a featured tutorial last year during Stashtacular! You can find the tutorial for this quilt HERE
. The fabric is My Mind's Eye by Riley Blake Fabrics and is the Wheels collection. The green and white circles print is Metro Living Circles by Robert Kaufman. I used a polyester high loft batting for that extra puffy feel, and machine quilted it with straight lines and simple "x's" or from the back view it looks more like wonky diamonds. The binding is an abstract floral print from Micheal Miller, but since the print is so large and abstract you can't really tell that it is flowers, and the best part is that it matches all the colors so perfectly! Jenna's pattern calls for six rows on the front, but knowing that I wanted the quilt to be a certain size to accommodate the backing fabric, I used the last extra row on the back, and couldn't be happier with how the back turned out. I really feel this is a reversible quilt, which is perfect for a little one who has no idea of a "right side" or "wrong side!"
I learned a little something while making this quilt. I used my walking foot for the quilting, and everything I had read about a walking foot always mentioned to go slower, so that it worked correctly, but the last few quilts that I quilted, I had problems with the foot not really working right. Out of sheer frustration and lack of free time, I put the pedal to the metal on this one and stitched a lot faster than I normally would, and found out that on my machine, the foot worked much better and I had absolutely no puckering or problems. So from now on, I'll be stitching much more quickly than I normally do!
Quilted x's on the front.
Quilted wonky diamonds on the back.
What was my four year old doing while I was snapping these shots? Desperate to be included in the photo, of course. So this one is for him, Easter basket, cheesy grin and all!
Since i forgot to measure the finished quilt before I gave it way, this picture serves as a great example of scale!