Thursday, January 17, 2013

more handwork!

One of my goals last year was to make at least one project involving handwork.  After my fun with sashiko, I saw some adorable embroidery patterns to try.  I got the Penguin and Fish pattern for  "L" because my daughter's name starts with L, and the little lion was super cute.  I've never really done embroidery before.  It amazed me how fun it was, as well as how little time it took!  I took this to a barbecue and finished it while chatting with folks and drinking beer.  This will also go on my daughter's wall (her room is generally jungle-themed already, with pale yellow walls).

I think I may have more embroidery in my future....

Monday, January 14, 2013

Garden Gate Quilt finished

This is one of those quilts that has been lying around for a long time, waiting to be finished. I had no urgency to complete it, as I started it after my daughter was born and I was hoping to hang it on the wall in her room.

I wanted to do something different for the quilting, so I took a cue from the gate and looped up into the top of each "gate", then back down, in a sort of figure eight.  Then I kept going to the next piece. To stabilize the quilt, I quilted in one direction, flipped it, then repeated in the other direction.  I think it worked well because the quilt lays pretty flat now. I later learned this pattern has a name! It is called "wishbone".

All that is left is to add a hanging sleeve and hang it up!  Although, when I left it out, my daughter pulled it off the chair and started laying on it.  It was super cute and made me think that maybe she might enjoy it as a blankie instead.  She has been enjoying laying on it for the last few months and I still haven't had the heart to put a hanging sleeve on it. It may happen some day, or maybe not!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Little Girl Aprons

As I mentioned before, Pinterest has encouraged me to try some new sewing. I thought it would be fun to make this apron and chef's hat for my daughter for Christmas. She loves to "help" in the kitchen when we are cooking so I thought it would be something special for our cooking time. I decided to make one for my niece as well. Of course, I forgot to take pictures before I gave them away and they got dirty, but here is my niece wearing hers.

Here is my daughter wearing hers, standing on the kitchen tower, ready to help Dad.
It is really quite adorable and has a little ruffle along the bottom. When we take out the apron she gets excited and points to Dad's apron so he can wear his as well (his doesn't have a ruffle).

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Christmas tree ornaments

I admit I am pretty addicted to Pinterest, but I feel like it has been really good for me, actually. Instead of having bookmarks all over the place and trying to remember what they are, my Pinterest board helps me keep the link and a photo to jog my memory. I've even got an entire board of recipes that I've tried from Pinterest. Basically I try to put things into action rather than just pinning like crazy.

One of the ideas I found on Pinterest was this lovely tutorial for fabric ornaments from V and Co. It was lots of fun and is a great way to use up those fabulous fat quarters you have been hoarding but weren't sure what to do with.

I decided to do all of mine with Japanese fabrics that had some sort of metallic thread in them. This makes them a little more "fancy" and the metallic shines nicely next to the Christmas tree lights. I really love how they all turned out!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Christmas Tree is no longer naked

For a long time I have been meaning to make a Christmas tree skirt. Of course, I see them at the store and think maybe I should just break down and buy one.  Well, it was one of my goals for 2012, so I made it happen.  I decided to use a bunch of scrap strips to do it, rather than cutting into yardage.  This hit two goals with one project!

I have to admit, I don't *love* it, but at least I have something, and when it is under the tree, with presents, you hardly notice if it isn't the most gorgeous thing you've ever seen.

I'm just glad to be able to check it off the list!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Goals 2013

As seen in my goals review for 2012, I did alright but there are still things I'd like to accomplish.  I have to say, the process of setting goals at the beginning of the year is a very helpful one for me. It helps me to focus when I know I want to sew or make something, but don't know what. Once I get into the actual doing of it, I find it hard to stop. With that, I have some different goals this year:

1. Spend at least two hours average per week doing something sewing related. Looking at Pinterest and blogs does not count! By this I mean things like: designing quilts, cutting fabric, washing fabrics, ironing fabric, sewing, basting, quilting, etc. Honestly I think this is the key for me to growing as a sewist and reaching my goals. I don't spend enough time doing sewing related things, so it's no surprise that sewing doesn't happen. This can definitely be hard because of my work travel schedule, but I figure there will be weeks where I spend much more than two hours on sewing and quilting, so it will all average out.

2. Make a piece of clothing for myself (finally). I should probably pick out the exact piece of clothing to increase the likelihood that I will actually complete it. I'm thinking some sort of skirt. If you have a favorite skirt pattern, please comment below with a link!

3. Make at least one pillow with each of the below enclosures:
Can you believe I've never actually made a pillow cover? I have various orphan blocks that would make great pillows but for some reason I've never actually made it to turning them into a pillow.

4. Make a bed quilt. My husband and I have a lovely down comforter, but it would be nice to have our own bed quilt instead. Maybe in time for our 5th anniversary (in August)? In addition, we're moving to Austin, TX in July, so we may not really need a big down comforter anymore.

5. Put together my bee quilt. I have some lovely blocks made by fellow bee members in the Hip 2 Bee Square bee, but I have yet to put them together. I think it would look great, I just have been tripped up by the lack of a design wall in my house, which would make the layout process much easier.

6. Give away at least one charity quilt. I have some quilts in mind already, and as I mentioned, I'll be moving in July, so it might be a good time to clear out the closets a bit.

7. Actually post about my sewing and quilting in a reasonable time frame!

Just to fill you in a bit--as I mentioned, I'll be moving to Austin in July. My husband will be a professor at UT Austin, and we're thrilled for him to take this next step in his career. I'm sad to have to leave my lovely friends at the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild, but I know that Austin has a great arts scene and has its own modern quilt guild there. It should be an exciting adventure.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Goals review 2012

As the new year begins, I always like to take a look at my goals for the past year and see how I did.

1. Make a piece of clothing for myself, and one for my daughter
I sort of met this one. I made a dress for my daughter but didn't make anything for myself. I also made her an apron and chef's hat (still need to blog about it).

2.  Make at least one project involving handwork.  
I met this goal, twice! I did a sashiko piece and an embroidery piece as well. Both were super fun and made me wonder why I have avoided handwork in the past! I still need to blog about the embroidery piece, I know.

3. Use more of my scraps.
I sort of did this. I made a scrappy tree skirt, so that counts. But I'd like to do more to work through the pile.

4. Make 8 quilts.
I definitely didn't do this. I finished 5, three of which I haven't yet shown. Anyone notice a theme developing here?

5. Finally make a tree skirt.
I did it! Once I got going on it I also wondered why it took me so long to do. It was actually really easy.  I'll be blogging about that one as well.

As you can see, one of my big "misses" in terms of goals for the year was that while I was making good progress, I wasn't blogging about it.  That will probably be seen in my "goals for 2013" post.

What about you? How did you do on your goals for the year?