Monday, January 16, 2012

Block of the Month , here I come!

Last year, a lot of quilt a longs and block of the month groups came and went. I oohed and ahhed and considered joining, but I didn't feel my skill was at the right level yet. I didn't want to get too frustrated trying to enjoy myself!

I did decide to join the Farmer's Wife group last year. And I love the two blocks I made. But I haven't progressed past that point (YET!).

I joined the Swoon-along, and then without much thought, I joined the HST Block of the Month group hosted by Jeni at In Color Order.

I'm really happy with my first block! I'm looking forward to the directions for February's block!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Spoon Swoon

I had already planned to make a Swoon quilt this year, but I was thinking it would be a spring project, kind of a birthday present to myself.

However, Katy at Im a Ginger Monkey decided to do a low-pressure Swoon-along. And sewing with a group of people sounds like a lot of fun! Plus, I figure if I have any questions (which I already do), the Twitterverse will be a great place to turn.

I am using Lizzy House's first fabric line, Lizzy Dish to make my Swoon quilt, and I'm calling it my Spoon Swoon quilt.

The quilt calls for 18 fat quarters. Right now I have 11 of the Lizzy Dish fabrics collected, and I just ordered two more from ebay. There are at least three more I would like as well, and I'm hoping I can track those down somehow. I'm also going to add in a few jewels and pearl bracelets.

I'm a bit stumped about what to use as a background though. The pattern is done in white, and most of the quilts I've seen in blogs and on flickr are done with white. But that much white scares the crap out of me! Not only do I have two little boys, but I'm a bit of a slopass myself, unfortunately. So I have some cogitating to do on that front.

Here's my fabric stack as it is right now

What do you think?

Thread Bag - another wip finish!

I keep my thread in this bag a friend gave me when I'm at home

 And when I travel, I end up throwing it all in a grocery bag, so that I can tie the top shut

But another wip finish provides a nice ready-to-travel home for my thread!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wet Bag Success!

I've been wanting to try making wet bags for six months, at least. Our older son swims as part of his preschool class, and our younger son is (should be) in cloth diapers.

My poor medium boy went through a whole semester of toting his undies/wet suit in a plastic bag. How uncool. How wasteful.

We already had the fabric, but getting invited to a fellow preschooler's birthday party was just the kick in the pants I needed to get the bags done. My kiddo helped me pick out zipper colors and straps for the handles, and I started the bags by doing some research during naptime.

A few tutorials that use PUL warned about it being very slippery to work with. A Lemon Squeezy Home recommends using baby powder to reduce the slippage, and I'm sure that would work great. However, I can't come near that stuff without getting it EVERYWHERE, so I opted to try my new glue stick. And it worked so well!

I ran a line of glue down the top of the PUL, then put the zipper on top. I could adjust the zipper, but the glue added just enough friction to keep things together.

One problem I have with installing zippers is the fabric seems to start "scootching" down as I sew, and by the end of the bag it's below where I started, and looks like an uneven mess. (Does this happen to anyone else? Is it because the zipper foot doesn't provide as much stability as a presser foot?)

To combat this, I usually pin the crap out of everything. But I didn't think pinning PUL would be a good idea, so I did this instead:

Oh yeah. I was so excited when I thought of it! And it worked pretty well.

I made my son's first, to work out any kinks. On his, I sewed all sides of the PUL, pulled the bag through, and sewed the outside bottom of his bag shut. On his friend's, I sewed the outer bag completely, pulled it through, and sewed the PUL together.

I liked the way the PUL lining finished better (and I usually pull through my linings), but I'm interested to see if either bag has wicking or leaking issues.

I'm really happy with how well these turned out, and I'm looking forward to making more in the future.

Of course when you give a little bag, you have to put something in it. DS1's friend had admired his Green Bay Packer zipper pulls, so when we were at the Christmas Day game, we picked up another set. A wet bag may not be super exciting to a four year old, but I know he will like the zipper pulls. GO PACK!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Sewing {S P A C E}

One of my hopes for the new year is to stay more organized. I like organization in all parts of my life, as I feel it is efficient, and I hope that it maximizes my time doing things I love with people I love, rather than dealing with stuff.

My sewing space is small, but has a lot of useable space. I just need to learn to use it.

Before I headed out for some end-of-year downtime, I spent some time cleaning and reorganizing my sewing area. I'm really happy with how things are now (and we won't discuss the fact that my spare bedroom is trashed with all the stuff I don't know what to do with or where to put!)

Here's hoping this space manages to stay clean and organized for most of 2012!

A bookcase full of wips/ufos

What is behind that magical door?

Diaper and wipe boxes may not be the best organizers, but they're already paid for!

And hopefully all of this organization will lead to an increase in fun times with these two goobers: