Friday, November 30, 2012

Fall Quilt Blocks

Here's the fall installment of my quilt block exchange (see summer's here).

September's recipient is going to use hers to make a quilt for her new baby girl.  She requested the Blockade block in bright, girly colors.  I made this:

October's Queen Bee asked us to take a chance and try something new.  I have been wanting to try paper piecing, but was nervous since I'm not a "real" quilter. This was a great opportunity to give it a shot.  I made the 9" Crazy Amish Quilt Block, relying quite a bit on this paper piecing tutorial.  It took me a while to get the hang of it; I kept sewing the fabric with the wrong side up at first.  I think I have it figured out now and really appreciate the precision of it.

November's block is a 12" String Quilt Block using scraps.  Mine turned out a bit crazy.  I think wider strips may have helped, but hopefully she likes it.  If not, I told her I'd make a new one!

I love this last block for using up scraps.  If I ever get up the nerve to make a full quilt, I may do one like this with a white stripe down the center of each block.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Camo Fleece Hat and Convertible Mitts for the Boy

Winter never fails to catch me by surprise, despite being a lifelong Wisconsinite.  Serious denial.

O. has been wearing those cheap-o stretchy gloves, and they weren't cutting it any longer.  He really liked the convertible mittens I bought him last year, but we could only find one. So I broke out the Green Pepper Glove-itts pattern that I've had for a while, but hadn't yet sewn up.  He sketched a specific design that he wanted on the backs,and then we went to the fleece stash in the basement to "shop".  He was going to go with blue until he saw the camo, which would match his glasses.

The pattern is adult sizes, so I shrunk the small size to 90% and hoped for the best.  They were really, really, really fiddly to sew up, especially compared to quick mittens I've made in the past, but I think it was worth it.  The fit and shaping is really nice, although I never in a million years would have guessed how the pieces -- especially the finger gusset -- would go together.  You just need to roll with it!  The only issue I ran into is that the mitten flap is too long (he is only seven), even though I took an additional 1/2" off in addition to shrinking the pattern.

When I asked him what the appliqued designs he wanted were supposed to be, he just said it was his symbol.  He cracks me up. They don't show up very well on the camo, but he's happy with them anyway.

Then we decided to make a matching also.  His Badger hat from last year still fits, but now that he has grown out his thick hair, it's rather snug.  There was just enough fleece left to make another The Rainshed Convertible Bomber Hat, as long as I lined the ear flaps with black fleece.  I made the child's M/L again, but added an extra 1/4" to each side. Much better fit.

He's wearing his Death Eater shirt!

I tried to get an action shot of both the hat and mittens this morning, but his ride came a little earlier than I expected, so I got this instead:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Tutorial: Pillow Bed from XL Twin Sheet

If you've spent much time on Pinterest, you've probably seen some variation of the pillow bed.  My cousin's wife asked me if I'd make one for her son, so I did some investigating.  Some of the pins suggest sewing pillowcases together; another goes to a tutorial that no longer exists.  I based mine on this tutorial, but she did a lot of eyeballing, and I am a diehard measurer, so here's my version with measurements. 

XL twin sheet (mine was 66x96")
Fabric marker
Coordinating thread
Five standard pillows

Lay your sheet out right side up and fold one of the long sides over 15" and pin.

Fold the other side over 22", making a finished width of 28". Double-check that this is a snug fit for your pillows.  The ones we had varied in length by a few inches.  This comfortably fit our longest ones, but was a bit loose for the shorter pillows.  Pin.

Move your cat out of the way.

Sew along one of the short ends.  I serged mine, but you could also sew just inside the existing hem (on the far side of the above picture) if you don't have a serger or cut it off, stitch and then zigzag the seam allowance.

Measure 85" from the seam you just sewed.  Mark, sew, and finish as you did the other end.

Turn right side out!  I didn't do this on the first attempt, because I was rushing to finish before E. woke up from her nap and then had to do a whole lot of seam ripping. Push out corners.

Smooth it out so it's as even and wrinkle-free as possible.  Mark lines every 17" and sew, backstitching at both side edges.
The blue line doesn't show up well, but it's there.
Insert your pillows and test it out!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Rockin' Baby Gown III: Football Edition

We have a new little nephew, so it was time for yet another Rockin' Baby Gown.  I really do love this pattern.  I used a tee this time instead of yardage. It turned out to be pretty impossible to find a Bears shirt here (baby's mom and dad are big fans), but we happened to be taking a trip to Chicago shortly after he was born, so we were able to pick one up there.

I bought a 2XL for maximum fabric and ended up having *just* enough to use the existing neckband, since the navy ribbing I had didn't match well at all.

I also knitted this little football hat on size 7s.  I'm thinking it's around a 3-6m size or thereabouts.

I kind of have a thing for novelty baby hats.  They're so fun!  And the babies are too little to complain that they're "too silly!"  Ha ha.

Thanks to Kendra at Pots, Pans & Paintbrushes for nominating me for a Liebster Blog Award.  We're expecting my dad any minute now, so I don't have time to answer the questions, but I really appreciate it!

Happy Thanksgiving to my U.S. readers!  

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Playsilks Again

One of our nephews turned three early last month, so it was time to break out the pots again and dye up a set of playsilks. As I was working on them, O. was reminiscing about his playsilk use.  "I used the blue for water and the red and yellow for fire and lava.  Those were my favorites!" He still plays with them, but he was talking about them like it was so long ago.  I was amused.

This time I used the 35x35" silks from Dharma Trading Co. and the following dyes:

Blue: Sky Blue Wilton dye
Green: Leaf Green Wilton dye
Yellow: 1 tsp. tumeric
Red: 2 packets Cherry Kool-Aid + Christmas Red Wilton dye


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