Tuesday, May 31, 2011

My first baby shower - Silly Kitties Baby Quilt

A couple of our very dear friends here in Malta are having a little baby girl in about a month. So this Friday I'm going to my very first baby shower! I'm super excited! However, since the dad of the family is Swedish and thinks a baby shower would be weird they've arranged a "Baby BBQ" (no babies will be barbecued I promise ^^) instead and the men are invited too. =)

I thought this was a lovely opportunity to finish up my Silly Kitties baby quilt, I ended up binding it with black Kona instead of the fabric I was hoping to use. I've also made a few matching onesies to go with it with little appliqued motifs.

I even made my very first label! I'm ashamed to admit I up until now always "forgot" to put one on...

The onesies, the baby is to be named Alexandra, hence the A and the doggy is because her parents are more dog then cat people so I figured it'd be good to balance out the cats a little.

On the back of the doggy one I put a big, pink pawprint on the tushie, isn't it adorable!

All wrapped up good and girly in pink tulle and ready to go. My first baby Shower/BBQ gift - I'm growing up ^^

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Tutorial - Sunkissed Summer Squares Table Topper

I've been playing with the scraps from my Sunkissed project and I've been having so much fun! The result amongst other things is this adorable little table topper which I thought I'd create a quick tutorial for as it's a great way to use up a few jelly roll scraps.

Sunkissed Summer Squares - Table Topper

18 jelly roll scraps (or 2,5" strips)
2 2,5"x white width of fabric strips for borders
2 2,5"x width of fabric strips for binding (or leftover jellyroll pieces)

Step 1 - Cutting
Sort your jelly roll scraps, you'll preferably use 18 different ones - the longer pieces will be the borders, the shorter ones will be centers. Cut nine 2,5" squares for center pieces. From your longer scraps cut one 2,5" squares and one  4" strip from each.

Split the border pieces down the middle so you get two 1,25" wide pieces from each.

Step 2 - Assembling your blocks
Attach the short border pieces to the sides of the square and then add the longer 4" borders.

Make 9 blocks.

Step 3 - Assemble your top
Choose a pleasing layout for your blocks and sew them together.

Step 4 - Add borders
Add 10,5" of the white borders to the sides and then add 14,5" inches to the other sides.

Step 5 - Add applique and quilt
Add your applique using your preferred method, I used raw edge applique and Steam a Seam fusible web which I think is a great product, really easy to use. The flower applique I used will be available for download in a few days should you wish to use it. =)

I attached the applique with the batting and backing in place hence quilting it at the same time.
Quilt as desired. I quilted it with a loop the loop pattern with some flowers mixed in.

Attach binding and you're done. One super summery, really quick to make 14½" x14½" table topper!

If you decide to make your own table topper based on this tutorial, or any pattern of mine - I'd love if you add it to my flickr group and thereby share it with me and the world so we all can enjoy it and be inspired by it: Not Only Quilts - Share Your Creations 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Sock Monkey and Sock Kitty!

Me and Tova has spent the day finishing up our sock monkeys, however as I really don't like monkeys (I know, I'm a terrible, terrible person - who doesn't like monkeys??) I decided to go for a sock kitty instead! =)

We have to take lots of step by step pictures for Tova's teacher in Sweden, and since you stuff a sock monkey through the crotch we wanted to take some pictures of sewing it up. However, we did not realize exactly how weird this photo would be until we actually saw it, safe to say - it did not get sent to her teacher =D

Sock Monkey Factory - I just love this picture, we have so much fun during our classes!

When we where taking pictures of the fruits of our labor, Diana of course came to join, which resulted in the sockies going for a kitty ride. My sock kitty is named Kiki and Kiki and Diana are becoming very good friends ^^

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Fairy decision & I'm in a flyer!

When I was in Sweden I picked up a couple of these flyers from Mias Quiltbod as they to my great delight and happiness contained one of my WIPs from the summer quilt camp! I was so honored and happy and I just can't believe I've forgotten to blog/brag about it from February when I found it!

Do you recognize my my somewhat wonky cubes in the top right corner from this post: UFO - UnFinished Object.html? I'm ashamed to say that nothing more has happened to those cubes since that post. But maybe later, I have so much fun new fabric to play with that I can't very well stay in the past now can  I (poor excuse I know, now when they're famous and everything ;) )?

I also made a decision regarding the Fairies and I decided to remove the pink line,  turns out it was a good decision no?

I've also been playing with my Sunkissed by Sweetwater scraps, this fabric line is so beautiful that I'm determined to use up every single scrap of it! I'm turning them a Sunkissed version of this beautiful table runner from Moda Bakeshop: Skinny Verna Taberunner. Right now I'm having fun playing with color and values. There's so much joy for me in working with these pretty colors you wouldn't believe it!

Me and my sewing student have "sewing in stretch fabric making a soft toy" on the schedule lately and we've been turning a pair of socks each into sock monkeys or in my case something similar, will share more about that later and I leave you with this image of one of Tovas socks in preparation mode.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pretty Fairies!

I've been playing around a little with my fairy fabric that I bought when I was in Sweden. I want to make a shadow quilt, inspired by one my mother had started on when I was there. It was just to adorable pass up on making one of my own when I found the fabric in a friends quilt store! Right now I'm trying to decide weather or not to keep a little pink around the edges of the fairy panels or not?

I'm having trouble deciding but it's leaning towards bringing out the seam ripper and removing the thin pink border... What do you think? I'm thinking the shadow effect will look nicer without it?

I think I'll leave the decision for now and ponder it for a bit as it's much to late to make any major decisions and after hearing the thunder and seeing the huge lightning storm that's brewing over the Mediterranean as I write - I think it's time to pull the plug on my beloved machine to protect it, go to bed under one of my beloved quilts, turn on a good movie and try to fall asleep despite my major fear of lightning storms.

While on the topic of my machine, it seems to have sort of "self healed" for most part, it still makes some bad noises from time to time but in between those sessions it works perfectly. Very weird but makes me a very happy camper! Now I just hope it will hang in there until the Janome guy can give it some much needed TLC this summer ^^

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My fantastic student!

My friends daughter is being home schooled and I'm her sewing teacher. She'd never touched a sewing machine when we started this fall and I just had to brag a little about her because she's such a fantastic student! We have so much fun during our lessons and she's quick to learn and to my big delight equally picky about stuff as as I am.

Our latest assignment was embroidery (her initials) and then preferably incorporating the embroidery in something sewn. So we made a fabric case for her pencils and pens for school. We wanted to shine a little so she made it sort of triangular with lining, zipper and everything, really impressive work!

Embroidering for her first time ever, cross stitches in the shape of her initials, her stitches are so neat!

Since she's attending my "classes", we're cutting the fabric when possible, not clipping with scissors =) Also, since she like me is a night owl, this particular class was taking place about two at night, hence the dark pictures.

Adding the embroidery to the front of the case, I just love how she choose a green text on the grey main fabric and coordinated the lining fabric with the embroidery.

And the result, one super luxurious pencil case!

She's just the best student!  Next up in our classes are knitting and soft toy from stretch fabric, we'll be making a sock monkey, stay tuned =)

My poor baby! My Horizon!

So what is it with me and killing sewing machines? :(

3 months into having my beautiful, fantastic Janome Horizon it goes and breaks on me! I was going to sew with some invisible thread, I thread the machine, tested it on a test quilt sandwich - no problems with anything, move over to the real quilt, sew 10-11 stitches and then a loud "bang" and the thread digs in. I cut loose the quilt and there I have the reason, the bobbin case holder (the plastic thing you can remove when you clean) has hopped out of place (which should really be impossible). 

I quickly unscrew the screws holding the metal plate over it and it pops up like a jack in a box from the pressure from the case. And no, the needle hadn't broken, it hadn't bent or anything, the darn thing popped out on it's own! Andreas just says he'd been waiting for something to break considering how it sounded since I got it - I thought it sounded normal if a bit louder then I thought it would?

Anyhow, now the case won't lie still (something must have gotten bent in the pop), it makes bad noises from time to time and I can only sew very, very slowly and for short amounts of time, then I have to restart. :( Which really sucks and sewing slowly and FMQ doesn't really match.

Anyhow as no one on Malta can fix these types of machines I'm hoping that someone out there reading this will have experienced the same thing and can give me a tip on what I dare to do myself adjustment wise to get the case to stay in place so I can sew somewhat for real again until the wonderful person on Janome Sweden who will be helping me with servicing on his vacations in Malta (seriously, how sweet isn't that?) can come and rescue me?

*big blue puppy eyes* Any and all help is SO appreciated! <3

"You can quilt that out"
On a happier notice, I've been listening to this hilarious quilting music video called "You can quilt that out"  that I just had to share with you all, makes everything seem a little better thinking about all these poor long arm quilters has to go through ^^

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Finally! A Finish! Poppy Log Cabin Table Topper

Remember this post: I said I wasn't going to play around ?

Well it's finally finished! Since I didn't have any orange thread at the time it remained unbound, and for some reason I'd decided to sew the binding down by hand (maybe because it's a table topper and will be closely looked at?) so once I got the thread I didn't really do the binding anytime soon XD But as of yesterday it's finished!

It's quilted on my old machine (the one that constantly changed thread tension on it's own and skipped stitches) with a walking foot so I'm really quite happy with it. =) The more I look at it the more I love this little quilt and the fabric in  it, it's really bright and happy and I LOVE poppies so it's right up my alley really.

The pattern comes from: http://miasquiltbod.se/ if you want to make your own, it's really quick to make and much fun!

Kitty update: Apparently she doesn't have any stones or any atypic cells in the urine and it appears to be "just" a really nasty infection. So she's on antibiotics, painkillers and some kind of cramp solver to relax the urine bladder so hopefully this will take care of it.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Many WIPs but not much work done

I have a big number of Works In Progress right now but work and Diana being sick has left me with very little time for crafts lately. Diana has some kind of infection in her bladder and it's most likely reached her kidneys and we're going in to do a urin sample directly from the bladder today to see what we're dealing with here. Hopefully nothing a big dose of antibiotics can't handle.

However, yesterday I actually got some sewing done which resulted in this pretty pile on my table.

Sunkissed by Sweetwater is such a fantastic line! I'm loving working with this fabric so much that I don't really want to finish this project =)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Silver on Silver

For the first time ever I tried out my silver colored lambskin. I've seen others use it online and it always looks so pretty but I haven't really been able to make myself use it until now as silver on silver always looks so boring in person to me. But after this first attempt I'm a lot more confident, it actually looks quite good! I have no idea what the braid is called, it's just something I played up while trying to learn a completely different braid *lol* If it has an official name and you know it, I'd be really happy if anyone enlightened me =)

Again, the skinn of the bracelet looks a little bumpy because it's never been worn, it'll get all nice and even with use =) I have to show you later how great the silver bracelet looks when mixed with others. You see, I nearly never wear just one bracelet, I almost always wear at least 3 or more on the same arm, looks great I think!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Black Jenny braid bracelet

I had some leftover braid from making my Three Tier Bracelet so I decided to utilize it by making a somewhat thicker but still simple bracelet of it. It's a Jenny braid with two skin inlays. Made with black lambskin and it has a reindeer antler button.

I'm currently teaching myself some new braiding techniques so hopefully I'll be able to share some brand new stuff with you all soon =)