Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shadow Play

After working very hard to get this done while my family was visiting.  I am proud to say I completed my Project Modern Quilt entry!!! And....submitted it just in time. Yay!


I named this quilt, Shadow Play.  I love to watch how sunlight plays with objects to create interesting shadow patterns.  One of the patterns I love to see is when the sunlight comes through our windows and makes sunbeams on the tiles.  Those slight shade differences are just fascinating for me to look at.  When trying to decide on a quilt design for the monochromatic challenge, I kept coming back to the sunbeams and shadows that dance on my tiles. 


I pieced two "tile floors", one in the sunlight colors and one in the shade colors. Then I cut and pieced the two quilts together into one.  The original plans did not include the circle sun-like corner but after piecing the quilts, I felt like something was needed to pull it all together and that was just the right touch!

I chose to quilt straight close lines only in the sunbeams to emphasize the beams of sun.  Then I only stitched in the ditch and in the center of the "grout" of the shaded areas to emphasize the squareness of the tile floors.  Finally, I thought it was best to continue the pattern by piecing the binding to match. 


Final quilt measures 47" x  47" 


I have more photos that I will post later with some of the drafting and piecing woes, etc.  My family is still visiting so I need to spend more time with them before they head back to the snow! :)  

Monday, March 28, 2011

March Pattern Review

Organization of Instructions

Layout
 The entirety of this pattern is one 8.5" x 11" sheet.


Storage
The single page design makes this pattern super convenient for storage.  Just one  sheet.  This is one of the easiest patterns storage wise, because there are not multiple pages to lose. 

Of course, having all of the instructions on one page means that the instructions are more compact.  So, when you first look over them, just take it one step at a time. :)  

Also, the pattern pieces are included on the sheet, so you just trace off of that, which also saves space!  I trace any pattern I use anyway, so this just adds to the convenience of storage.  Again, I won't be losing any parts to this pattern! 

Criteria 2:
Ease of Instructions



Diagrams
The instructions are clearly written and the diagrams are easily viewed and followed. 

Are Additional Manuals Necessary

All instructions are included in the pattern.  Including how to hand stitch the binding.  Based on the instructions,  you do NOT need experience.  However  I believe that experience sewing rounded seams and applying binding would be very helpful to prevent any frustration. 



Criteria 3:
Level of Experience Required

Beginner, Intermediate or Expert

I would say this is more of an experienced beginner pattern.
  
There are some things that a beginner sewer may not have experienced yet and could find frustrating. There is also some hand sewing, which many first-time sewers may find too daunting.  
You also need to pre-quilt your fabric before you cut, so again, someone with a bit more experience than a brand spanking new beginner. :)


Also, you will need to adjust the pattern size for different slippers.  Don't worry, the instructions on doing this are very clear and easy to follow, just not something a first-time would probably want to tackle. 

Honestly, I would have absolutely no problem teaching this in person to a class of beginner sewers.  But, I would not recommend it to the first-time sewer at home.  

I know that I would have attempted this as a beginner and felt a little frustrated at times but also felt extremely proud when I completed it.


In the end I would say you can determine if you are ready for this by the following: 
If you feel you are a beginner sewer, but have sewn and bound any size quilt (even just a mug rug), as well as made a t-shirt or pants, then you could handle this.  

Either way, beginners should snatch up this pattern to do in the future because it is fun and results in yummy slippers! :) 

Criteria 4:
Amount Of Time

Each pair took me maybe an hour total if you count the tracing, adjusting for size and cutting in addition to the sewing.



Although I put together 3 pair in about an hour and half once I had it down.

Criteria 5:
Repeatability

Would I make it Again?

Yes!  I did make 7 pairs already!  This is a fabulously repeatable pattern.  Great to keep on hand so you can make a pair or two as gifts.  Also great to make yourself several pairs for around the house! 


Would I recommend this to family, friends or other quilters?

Absolutely!  I would tell anyone I know who sews to get this pattern and make some slippers!

Criteria 6:
Final Thoughts and Personal Experience

I made a LOT of slippers with this pattern.  
7 pairs so far to be exact.  
My family was coming into town when I started this and so I decided to make a pair for everyone! :) 

My little man just adores his and I love mine.



I did some up with minky on the inside which makes them sooo soft!  And I did one up with flannel on the inside.  I also did one pair with the quilted part on the inside and the outside.  

You actually need to quilt the fabric before you cut out the pieces.  I did this for 4 pairs.  For 2 pairs I used pre-quilted fabric that I had on hand.  


And for 1 pair I totally cheated.  I used wonder web fusible to attach the batting to the cotton.  While that worked great it does not have a quilted look.  So you would have to decide on how you want the end result to look before you cheat like me. :P 



And now for the giveaway!!

This month I have joined forces with the awesome Melanie of Above All Fabric!  Together we will be giving away one Slipper Cutie pattern and two 1/2 yards of winners choice fabric from the Above All Fabric Store!!  



To enter:

1.  Leave a comment.  Any comment.  Maybe you would like to suggest other criteria?  Or have a question about this pattern?

2.  For a second chance to win, blog about this giveaway and then come back and leave a link to your blog.

3.  For a third chance to win, tweet about the giveaway (ever so helpful if you add the @maubys to your tweet so I can see it.).  Come back and comment that you tweeted. 

4.  Leave an additional comment with a link to your favorite item for sale at Above All Fabric is!

Make sure you leave an additional comment for each entry so that it counts toward the drawing!


Winner will be randomly drawn on Sunday, April 3rd!



Sunday, March 27, 2011

My new Ironing Board.

We decided to rearrange our house this year and move my studio from the smallest room of the house into one of the largest rooms in our house.  

With the extra space I knew I could finally have an ironing table!  Instead of a tiny Ironing board. 


I also was in dire need of more shelving for books, fabric, supplies, etc.  So I combined those two needs into one new piece of furniture. 


To build this I got:
  • Two low cost bookcases ($25 each).
  • One piece of melamine board measuring 24" x 48".
  • Two 12" pieces of pressure treated 2' x 4' wood.
  • 3 yards of Insul-Bright.
  • 2 yards of cotton fabric.
  • Four 4" long flat head wood screws with bolts.
  • Staple Gun.


I used the 2' x 4' wood pieces to raise the melamine off of the book shelves.  This created space for the steam to go somewhere when ironing and the ability to change the cover easily. 


I used two screws on each bookshelf to connect them to the melamine and the 2' x 4'.


I sewed the insul-bright together so that it was wide enough to go around the melamine.  Then I used the staple gun to attach the insul-bright all round the melamine.


Finally, I made a removable cotton cover to go over the board.  This way I can take it off and wash it or make new ones!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

1095

It's been 1095 days since my life changed forever. 

1095 days filled with love.
1095 days of kisses.
1095 days of worry
1095 days of giggles.
1095 days of frustration.
1095 days of joy.
1095 days with all kinds of tears.
1095 days of lullabies.
1095 days of exhaustion.
1095 days of babbles.
1095 days of pride.
1095 days of fear.
1095 days of learning.
1095 days of baths.
1095 days with busy meals.
1095 (almost) days of diaper changes.
1095 days of good night stories
1095 days of good night kisses.

1095 of the most incredible, terrifying, amazing life-changing days.

It has truly been 1095 days since my life changed forever.


1095 

Days
Watching
You
grow.

Happy 3rd Birthday to my little man!

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Importance of Pressing

Tailoring Thursdays™, Tips, Tricks and Techniques for Sewers

Pressing

Wonky seams, missing corners, crooked lines and other odd fabric issues can often be remedied by pressing. 

Press your fabric before you cut. 

Press your fabric after you cut. 

Press your fabric after you place pieces together before you sew.


Press again after you sew the seam. 



Open and press again!


Pretty much, when in doubt, press!  I myself do not like to iron.  Not one bit.  But my work looks sooooo much better when I take the time to iron in between every step.  The look of the finished product is worth the extra effort of ironing!  :) 



Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Quick & Cute Hair Tie Tutorial

Sometimes a plain old hair tie just isn't cute enough! 
So here's a quick way to make one a bit spunkier and you can even use up some scraps.




Materials
  • 2- 5" Charm Squares, or 1- 2 1/2" x 13 1/2" strip of fabric.
  • Matching Thread
  • 8" of 1/2" wide elastic

Directions

1.  If using 2 charm squares, Cut in half lengthwise.
If using a strip then skip to step 5. 



2.  Cut one of the halves of one of the charm squares in half widthwise. 

 3. Sew the two shorter pieces to the two longer pieces with 1/4" seam allowance.  


 4.  Sew the two pieces you now have together making one long 2 1/2" x 13 1/2" Strip. 

 5.  Fold strip in half lengthwise and press. 

6.  Unfold. Fold in the raw edges to meet at the center fold line.  
Press. 

7.  Fold in half again, enclosing the raw edges. 

8.  Unfold, being sure to keep creases visible and ready to be folded there again. 
Fold strip in half widthwise, wrong sides together.
Sew with a 1/4" seam allowance.
The strip is now a "loop". 



9.  Refold at creases made previously, enclosing the raw edges on the inside.  





Offer the helper something sweet so you can continue on your way (optional).


10.  Sew all around the open edge, leaving a 1/2" opening to string some elastic. 

11.  Take the elastic and string it through the fabric.


12. Once through, sew ends of elastic together with about 1" of elastic overlap. 

13.  Finish pulling the elastic through and stitch the opening closed.  

Tada!  Wouldn't two of these be so stinkin' cute on a little girl with pigtails???  
  

If you make some and and have a little girl, I would love to see pictures!! :)


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