Thursday, February 26, 2015

Lucas is 1!

This is a picture post today, cuz pictures say 1000 words, right? 

My nephew, Lucas, turned 1 yesterday. I can't believe that the year has gone by so quickly. Here are a few pictures of his first year.

1 month old: Hanging out on my tummy (Maggie)

Don't look at the camera!


1 year old

More to come,

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Mama Elephants - Done!

I am so impressed with myself!  :) I have finished the large elephant from the Elephant Parade Quilt Along from Sew Fresh Quilts. I am calling them the mama elephants.

I started with this:

Pieces for mama elephants picked out and waiting...
And ended up with this:

5 Mama elephants waiting for their babies

I am finding this to be a real learning experience. I have been really careful with cutting and piecing, and my blocks have come put pretty good. A few of things worth noting are,

1) When the instructions call for you to do something different than you normally do, say for example, pressing seams open instead of to the dark, pay extra attention to make sure you do. I had to go back and repress a few seams when I realized that I had pressed them incorrectly. As I got to putting together the sections of the block, I was glad that I went back and repressed.

2) If piecing multiple blocks at the same time, and there is a directional difference...PAY ATTENTION!!  As you can see above, all my mama elephants are facing the same direction. I realized that issue after I had pieced together the far left section of the block. I didn't want to pick everything out, so they will stay that way, but lesson learned.
All left facing trunks.Oops!

3) Finger pressing before using your iron can help prevent some burnt fingers. There were a couple of close calls, but no burns.

4) I am not a very fast piecer...And that is okay. It took me about 3 hours and 10 minutes to go from pieces sorted to finished block. That seems slow to me. Maybe it is not...I really don't have anything to compare it to.

Mama Elephant

Next up, the babies! Today, I am linking up with Freshly Pieced for WIP Wednesday and Sew Fresh Quilts for the Let's Bee Social Linky Party.

More to come,

Monday, February 23, 2015

Maggie Monday-Newborn Photos

Here is installment 2 in the series of Maggie photography sessions. 

25 days after my maternity photo shoot (see that post here), Maggie decided to make her entrance. Love at first sight doesn't even begin to cover it! (You moms know what I'm talkin' about.)

Our newborn photo shoot was then scheduled. Again, shot by the fantastic Jennifer Hall, in her home studio. Check out her portfolio here.

 How cute were those squishy newborn photos going to be?!? Well, you be the are four of my favourites. 

Wise Winnie

Grumpy sleeper!

A kiss from Goober

My grandmother crocheted the blanket

And really the only reason I had maternity photos taken, was to get this before and after photo. I first saw this kind of photo in a People magazine article when P!nk was introducing her first daughter. I knew that when I had a baby, I wanted the same thing. Jenn did not disappoint.

Look at the love!

Thanks for indulging my over-share!

More to come,

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Cutting, Cutting, Cutting...

Huge exciting night at my house last night! Maggie went down when we got home from book club and I went downstairs to finish cutting for the Elephant Parade blocks. I am behind on this quilt along, but persevering nonetheless. 

Last week, I tackled cutting up the off-white fabric I purchased from my LQS. It is a Northcott ColorWorks Premium Solid, but I'm not sure what colour number it is. Looking from the swatches on the website, it may be a 9000-11 or 9000-14. I'll find out the next time I'm there...if I remember to bring a swatch to match.

All done! Er...not quite.

Here's how I label...I think I need smaller stickies!
One HUGE mistake I made was not labelling the strips early enough. I started hacking cross-cutting my sashing strips into block pieces and got through 3 sashing strips before I realized it. OOPS! I have a little bit of off-white yardage left, so I think I'll cut new sashing strips and grab some more yardage if I need it. Would you buy and/or cut new strips? Or use the cut ones?

Needless to say, I was very careful when cutting the colour fabric last night. It took me about 3 hours to cut the remaining fabrics. Here is the result.

Can you see the blocks aching to be put together?

So glad that's done. Now I can get to putting blocks together, and perhaps get a little caught up to the quilt along. This week is week 3, which is an adorable frog. Check out the instructions at Sew Fresh Quilts. I'll post updates as I muddle my way through.

More to come,

Monday, February 16, 2015

Maggie Monday

I never thought I would say this, but: My photographer is Jennifer Hall. (I mean, who has a photographer?) I must be so fancy!  :)

I started having pictures taken by Jenn when I was pregnant. In these photos, I am 4 weeks away from Maggie making her entrance. I was swollen and felt huge, but Jenn found a way to find the beauty.

Maternity pics:

Love this quote!

Me and my mom

More to come,

Friday, February 13, 2015

Elephant Parade Quilt Along

Elephant Parade Quilt Along
When I was getting caught up on my Bloglovin' feed (it gets out of control so quickly!!), I came across this post on Sew Fresh Quilts. I love me some elephants, so when I saw her final design, I was swooning!  Here it is:

Elephant Parade by Sew Fresh Quilts
Isn't it adorable? I knew that I had to give it a shot.

I took the fabric list to my LQS and got to shoppin'. Here's what I decided on and purchased:

The original design calls for solids, but I decided to go with some subtle patterned fabric for everything except the sashing. The grey fabrics have some sparkle, as well.

As the quilt along is going onto its 3rd week (posts on Sundays), I am a little bit behind, but I am getting some sewing done when Maggie is sleeping, so hopefully I'll catch up at some point.

More to come,

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Mustang Race

Look at what I found at my LQS! Beautiful Cotton + Steel fabrics in Mustang. Michelle also had a little grab bag of threads that just happened to match, so I had to grab one, of course. Thank you, Simcoe Sew & Quilt

I went in looking for a jelly roll. I had watched a Missouri Star Quilt Co. tutorial on YouTube the night before, and thought that it might be my best chance of getting a quilt top finished!  :) This is the tutorial I watched: Jelly Roll Race!

I didn't have a recipient in mind for this quilt, because I wasn't quite sure what I was going to find at the store. When I found the new Cotton + Steel lines, I targeted a quilt for a little girl who is due at the beginning of March.

The video says that the quilt top will come together in 45 minutes to an hour.  This was not so true for me, but I think that I am on the slow side.  In total, it took me 2 hours to put this quilt top together, 3 separate times while Maggie slept . I am pretty happy with that, and I feel like I accomplished something.

Sewing strips together

Strippy goodness

A quick run down of how to jelly roll race:
1. Unroll the jelly roll and sew the strips to each other consecutively so it forms one big strip, with right sides together.  (The tutorial shows a diagonal join, but I'm not so good at those, so I joined them with a straight seam.)
2. When the long strip is done, fold it on itself so the ends are together and sew down the long side. When you get to the end, cut the loop open and you have a 2 row strip that is half the size of the original strip.
3. Keep folding the strip on itself until you get to 32 rows (5 times).
There, you are done! Easy peasy, grilled cheesy.

Here is what mine looked like:

I didn't like the big chunk of aqua that was plunked in the middle. So, I unstitched between the middle of the aqua, and sewed the two pieces back together with the aqua separated.  This is what it looks like now:

A little better, but to be honest, I'm not loving it. I'm not sure what I am going to put on the back, but I'm thinking either pink or aqua minky.  Off to the fabric store to see what they have.

More to come,

P.S. I've linked up with Sew Fresh Quilt for Let's Bee Social...first link up ever!!

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

It's Elementary Soft Book

Last night I dusted of the sewing machine and revved it up! I had done some sewing for Christmas gifts, but as I was sewing last minute, I had no time to take pictures, let alone write a blog post. Someday I will catch you up on what I made.

I bought this soft book panel at Sew What?, a lovely quilt shop in Buffalo, NY, when I went on a shopping trip with friends in December 2013.  I was 6 months pregnant at the time, and having strong nesting feelings at the time. I bought a whole bunch of fabrics, most of which still need to be used in some way.

It's Elementary soft book panel by South Seas Imports

It was so cute, I couldn't resist buying 2. And they sat and and sat and sat. I even took them to my mom's place when I moved there just before I had the baby and for 2 months after. And they sat there, too. 

My nephew is going to be 1 year old on the 25th. It is hard to believe that the year has gone by so quickly! I mentioned Lucas in this post. (I am also planning on completing The Quiet Book.) My own baby girl is now 10 months old.  10 months! Since my sister-in-law is planning Lucas' birthday party, I figured I should finally put this together.

I was a little nervous about this project. I have used my machine for piecing and for sewing clothes, but never with a layered quilty project like this. I read the instruction panel and a bit of it didn't really make sense, but I figured if I just started, it would straighten itself out by the time I got there.

First step was to cut out the book panes on the dotted line. There was a note about leaving 1/4 inch for the seam allowance, but that is already included in the dotted line space. That was confusion #1.

2 panels cut out

Next, I layered the listed pages with right sides together, then placed them on a piece of quilt batting.
Pages layered with batting
All lined up and ready for pins

The batting I was using was iron-on, so for the first couple of pages, I used the iron. I found that the batting would stick to the ironing board, then to the cloth I used, so I decided to skip the iron and just pin the panels and the batting together.

All pinned up and ready to sew!
Next, I sewed around the outside. There was a white line on the front of the panel that I could see through on the back, so I sewed just to the outside of that line. 

On my first page, I left a 3 inch gap so it could be turned inside out...I learned my lesson! On the remaining pages I left 4-5 inches open to make turning easier.

The seam
The gap - needs to be larger!
The edges need to be trimmed to reduce the bulk near the seams when the pages are turned right side out. Also, the corners nipped off so the corner is a pointy as possible.  Here, I learned an important order to hand sew the gap after turning, you need to leave more fabric at the other words don't trim the fabric off. The batting at the gap, however, should be trimmed lower than the seam, so that it does not get in the way when closing the gap by hand.


...nip off the corners...
...and turn.

I closed the gap by hand sewing, using a blind stitch (I think).

For Maggie's book I decided to top stitch around each box on the page. It turned out a little wonky, so I skipped that on Lucas' book.

Last, the pages were stacked together in the correct order and I sewed the all together down the centre.


All in all, it took me about 1.5 hours to put both of these books together. I am quite happy with how they turned out. An easy project, made with love. I would definitely buy another soft book panel.

More to come,