Tuesday, January 18, 2011

6 inches isn't big enough!

Sorry for the inuendo in the title...thought I'd try to get some Google traffic. Not.

For my denim quilt, I decided on 2-inch pieces in my 9-patch blocks for no particular reason. Just thought 6" finished squares would be a nice size.

I wanted to put the jeans' pockets as individual blocks, but I just measured and the pockets themselves are larger than 6 inches. I've got a big butt! (Sorry, Pam.)

So here's a new idea...what do you think if I separate the pocket from the back fabric and square that off into a 6-inch square? Then I have the pocket stitch pattern, which should hint at the pocket without actually having a pocket. The drawback is that I don't get to use the label. The other option is that I just don't use the pockets. Opinion?

Friday, January 14, 2011

This is how the evening ended

I've decided my denim quilt will be a 9-patch. Sort of. I don't like to plan too much when I make a quilt. But I do like 9-patch blocks because I can strip piece them. I didn't finish cutting all the 3-strips tonight, but I like knowing exactly where I am and what I'll do when I leave a project (because it's usually a few days before I can get back to it). I need to finish cutting all the 3-strips into 3-patches and then assemble and sew the 3-patches into 9-patch blocks. Usually I sew and cut 'til I'm exhausted (because I don't do it enough, I want to do as much as I can while all my stuff is out). I've decided not to do that this year and see if I'm more productive. Perhaps it will be conducive to having more sewing sessions of shorter duration as opposed to infrequent marathons.

So, I'm thinking that since it's blue denim, that maybe I'll add some patriotic fabric that I have leftover from a 4th of July stack-and-whack quilt I made my MIL for her b-day 2 years ago. Some of the fabric is a thickness similar to denim, so it should work nicely. I could make those into 9-patch blocks, too or just blocks the same size as the 9-patch blocks. Best of all, I have a built-in goal date to finish by. Booyah.

To add even more interest, I'm going to use the pockets as there own blocks. I haven't figured out how to do that yet; I left some fabric around the pockets so maybe I can just square them off. Or I can cut off the pockets and stitch them onto another fabric. I'm definitely going to try squaring them off first: less work! There are 4 pockets now, but depending on how many jeans I need/use, there'll be at least 2 more, maybe 4 or 6 more. It will be so fun to plan out the blocks!

I thought for 2 seconds about making the quilt to donate, but the thought of the using a quilt of someone else's jeans made me a bit squeamish (yes, they've been washed!), so I decided to keep this. I am thinking of donating the green scrap quilt though (see earlier blog...I should link but I'm not gonna, sorry). I was originally making it for BonnieBlue, but now that she's decided her favorite color is blue and that she loves horses, I kind of want to do something with that.

The 'squeamish' factor is why I can't go to a thrift shop to pick up more jeans. I have one more pair that is definitely worn out at some seams enough to use for the quilt, but then I'm looking at a couple of pair that are still fine but are just too small. Only one size! I love these jeans, so I hate the thought of cutting them up when I'm just 10-12 pounds away from wearing them again! So, here's an idea. If I'm not into them by the time I'm ready to piece the blocks, and I need more blocks, I'll cut 'em up!

This is how the evening started

 2 pairs of size 10 jeans produced 4 pockets (duh), 5 4x6ish blocks, several 2.5 in strips, and several thinner strips. I've decided how at least some of the blocks will look, so I'll get started on those tonight.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sneak Peak

We had our Christmas pictures taken after Christmas this year, thinking we would send Happy New Year's cards. We just got the pictures back but the Costco photo uploader is being twitchy so they may end up being Happy Groundhog's Day cards.

Here's a sneak peak at one of the photos we might use:

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Princess Tutu

We're having a bit of a difficult time getting BonnieBlue to sleep in her own bed. Our fault, because we let her go to sleep in our bed with Rhett (who hits the hay early because he gets up so early), and then I move her when I go to bed. Two nights ago we were all going to bed early so we tried to get her to go to sleep in her own bed. She procrastinated like crazy and finally, after about 30 minutes of calling for Mommy, asking for water, whining, etc., she came to us looking like this:

Even though I took the picture 2-3 minutes later, this is exactly the look on her face when she came to us. She KNEW she was being cute and clever!

Guess what project I just started?

Saturday, January 8, 2011

2011 Quilting & Crafting Goals

I decided not to make New Year's resolutions, but I did do a January resolution. I'm going to try to cover 100 miles this month, either on the treadmill, elliptical, or outside. I can do the bike one day a week, but no more often (too easy to cover the miles). I started out pretty well, then hurt my back on January 4. I'm going to get back to it this Monday. It will be hard to get caught up, but I love the challenge. The trick, I think, will be doing two-a-days.

Instead of resolutions for my sewing/quilting/crafting, I'm setting goals. Here are the 6 things I want to do this year in that arena:

1. Start a denim quilt. I saw one today that I thought was adorable, so I'm going to go ahead and charge on. Between Rhett and me and all the jeans we have grown out of, I should have plenty of denim.

2. Start AND FINISH a tie quilt. This one will be tough and I will need lots of help figuring it out so I'm hoping to get some followers as I progress. In fact, Mama Pea, do you know of a pattern? Do you think you could put a shout-out on your blog and ask if anyone knows how to do it? I've been searching the Internet for 5 years now and have not been able to find one. If I can't find one, I'll use the Dresden Plate pattern as a foundation and ad-lib as I go.

My dad died in 2002 (3 months after I started my doctoral program, 2 months after I finished my breast cancer surgery, chemo, and radiation therapy; that was a tough year). I rooted out all his ties, but there weren't enough, so I will round out the collection with some of Rhett's and perhaps some thrift store ones. The first thing I will do is pick out the seams on a few to figure out how to sew them together. I want to put a picture of my dad in a circle in the center, and then I have clothes from many of my family members that I solicited 4 or 5 years ago for a heritage scrap quilt. Then I will put this quilt in the trash-or-treasure my family has every year at Christmas. (Depending on how well this turns out, I would have this professionally quilted, although I think 'stitch in the ditch' would be the obvious choice, and perhaps I could pull that off myself).

3. I have a scrap quilt I need to finish. I need to sandwhich it, quilt it, and bind it.

4. I saved a bunch of baby clothes that my younger sister gave me that her children wore. She loves pigs, and I found a cute pig fabric to use as the backing. I want to make her a quilt with these items. My goal is to at least start it. Depending on how this one turns out, I might have it professionally quilted.

5. Make a few batches of these Christmas ornaments:
There are 3 quilted ornaments in this picture (from my sister's tree): the shepherd and sheep in the lower left, a snowman in the top part, and a gingerbread man (kind of turned sideways) at the very top. If I could upload more than one picture, I would show a close-up.

6. Do a spread-a-month scrapbook. I haven't been able to keep up with scrapbooking for BonnieBlue, so I figured I would do a spread a month, and I would actually theme them by the month. So this month, I will do Dec. 2010, so that I have a spread done for January. During January, I will take pictures of BonnieBlue doing fun things, and in February I will scrapbook a spread (or two) of January. And so on. I should be able to not only keep up but go back and catch up on these past 2 years.

(of course, I want to do a better job of keeping up with my blog, too.)

So there you have it...my sewing/quilting/crafting goals for 2011. Wish me luck!