Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Dog Gone CUTE

I was browsing through some quilt blogs when I came across a Blog Hop by Sew Fresh Quilts. I was instantly enamoured with the Dog Gone Cute quilt. Without a second thought I knew I had to try my hand at this quilt.

Now a blog hop is a big commitment and I did not want to be tied down to any time lines. So instead of signing up for the HOP I purchased the pattern from Sew Fresh and decided to work at my own pace.

I found some fat quarters from an online Canadian fabric store Fridays Off specifically for this quilt. The customer service of Fridays Off was excellent and there are some really great fabric options on there, for a reasonable price.I find it hard to find online fabric shops that will ship to Canada without it costing me an arm and a leg.

Fridays Off offers $5.95 shipping anywhere in canada and orders over $125 ship free !!! That sold me right there. Oh and to top it off when I got my package in the mail there was a darling hard written note. Way to make a customer Happy! Way to go Fridays Off !!! Happy Customer right here

Before I started the Dog Gone Cute quilt I had one more baby quilt I needed to finish as there was a dead line ... the baby was about to arrive! You can see that quilt in the "Winner of a Quilt" blog post which was posted earlier this month.

Check out my fabric choices below - can't wait for it to all come together.

Like any other sew day I called my Mom up last minute and invited myself over. The deal was that if we are doing a sew day I needed to do her hair first. She got new rollers and wanted to test them out. I begrudgingly agreed ... I say begrudgingly only because if you have tried to put rollers in your hair with those darn pins it is a big pain in the B . U . T . T!

Alright lesson learned my Moms rollers are high tech and WAY better than the older style ones. They heat up fast, easy to put in and make amazing curls.

PS. FAMILY - I would like to add these rollers to my Christmas List ☺☺

With the hair done we now started on cutting all the fabric for the Dog Gone Cute Quilt. We worked out a system where Mom read the instructions and I cut the fabric.

The hardest thing I find when cutting fabric from a pattern is I always end up going back and forth from the pattern to the fabric. The whole "Measure Twice, Cut Once" idea. Well I second guess myself and end up measuring for about 5 minutes per cut. Having a reader and a cutter makes the whole cutting process go by a heck of a lot faster.

In one afternoon we managed to get all the background, ears and nose fabric cut + one patterned fabric for one dog. In the below picture you can see the first dog we selected to do.

We used the highlight as you go method. As we cut we highlight so we do not end up duplicating cuts that have already been made. This seems to work well for me.

In the initial layout of the pup (below) he looks more like a gremlin instead of a Cute Dog ha-ha.

This quilt is a work in progress. I am taking my time, trying to match up those points the best I can. As usual my seam ripper has become one of my best friends. My BF knows I have made a mistake when he hears the machine abruptly stop followed by several grumbling sounds.

Pup One- When I saw the final block I was like a kid hearing an ice cream truck in summer

Pup Two - One of my favorite fabrics from my Fridays Off purchase

Pup Three - This is the BFs colour choice

 Pup Four - For some reason I found this one the trickiest so far (I may have been tired at this point)

This one is so cute I am going to keep it for myself.
Stay tuned for the completed quilt!
And don't forget to leave us a comment !!! We love hearing from you

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Teddy Bear Diapers

It was one of those days where the BF and I didn't have any big plans so I decided to head down south to my Moms for a sew day, leaving the BF to work in the garage (he could be in there all day anyways). This day turned into more of a cutting day for me but all the same it was great.

My mom had a small project she wanted to work on for the little man. Due to the limitations with her hand she is only able to do certain things and for short periods of time. My Moms physiotherapist is a genius she has worked out how she can do her at home therapy while doing something she enjoys *SEWING*. I thought this was so clever!

Here's an example. One of the exercises she has to do is take her pointer finger to her thumb, sounds easy ... trust me after her surgery it is anything but. You start to dread your exercises when they are painful. However take that same exercise and put two pieces of fabric in between your fingers and line up the edges, much better. You are still completing your exercise however now you at least have nicely lined up fabric to show for it.

On this sew day my Mom was was creating these cute little fabric diapers for the little mans teddy bears, doing double duty by working out her hand.  So she instructed and I assisted, worked out well.

First she took a simple template, placed it on folded fabric (she used flannel) and cut out the shape, she did this twice with 2 different types of flannel.

Next she lined up the two cut flannel pieces (right sides together) using that pointer finger to thumb exercise and sewed all the way around leaving a small opening to turn the fabric.Then she turned the flannel right side out and TA DA, the makings of a teddy bear diaper.

Once flipped so the right sides are out she sewed all aound the diaper, ensuring to nicely secure the once existing hole where the fabric was turned.

My mom decided for the fanciers she was going to use Velcro. It was definitely comical watching her try to peel the Velcro apart. I shouldn't laugh but it was funny. Finally she looks at me and say "I may need your help" I took one end of the Velcro and she took the other in her good hand and we pulled it apart.

A little more sewing and the teddy bear diapers were all done. Lastly was the final fit test!

Mom was gone and back in a flash with "Ryan" the little mans teddy bear. The teddy diapers went on and sure enough are extremly adorable. I might have to whip up a couple of these for our cute little neighbours little dollies.


Saturday, October 31, 2015

The "WINNER" of a quilt

Have you ever made a quilt and you had all the best intentions in mind. You had the perfect fabric and the perfect pattern ... it really was going to be a winner of a Quilt!
Well I had the "Winner" of a quilt a few years ago. I had this stash of fabric just sitting in my closet waiting to be transformed. I just needed the right project for it.
A year or two goes by and this fabric just sits and sits and sits, patiently waiting. Then BAM my mom gets an Accuquilt. The gates of heaven have opened and there is the inspiration I needed. I go over to see what this new "gadget" is all about.
I learned very quickly that the accuquilt is amazing and I needed one ASAP. The accuquilt is a cutting system which allows you to cut fabric 90% faster without having to use your rotary cutter. Basically you take your fabric and place it on a die. The dies has metal blades that form your desired shape (flower petals, 2x2s, you name it). So you place the fabric on the die, run the die through the rollers and TA DA your end product is perfectly cut fabric.
There are many many designs you can get. My mom had the tumbler die and that's what I choose to use for my "Winner" of a quilt.
Below is the "Winner"... alright so now, after it was all put together I stood back and looked at the finished product. What do you know ... I HATED IT! I could not stand how it turned out one bit. I felt defeated after finishing it not elated.  So this quilt now sits in my closet waiting for its next home.
 Alright alright so where am I going with this long rant about this "Winner" of a quilt?? Well after having a good ole' time using my Moms Accuquilt I went a little cutting happy. I ended up with a large amount of extra tumblers.  

Just to bring you up to speed I have just finished redesigning our front room and turned it into a sewing room. After I finished decorating I had to put away all the sewing gear I have collected throughout the years away. I hauled up box after box to the new sewing room and started to rediscover all the little treasures I have acquired.  I quickly found out I had way more scraps then I thought and tonnes of little baggies full of left over odds and ends from past quilts.
One of these odds and ends was a baggie full of excess tumblers from the "Winner" of a quilt. A light bulb went off and I knew I had to try the tumbler quilt again and hope to the high heavens that it wasn't a failure.
I did not have enough fabric to make a big quilt and I really did not want to have to go out and buy more fabric. So I settled on a baby quilt and what do you know everyone around me is having baby's (something is definitely in the water).
I convinced my Boyfriend to help me lay out the tumblers on the floor ... he grumbled while doing it but I really did appreciate the help and the extra set of eyes. I figured out what I disliked about the previous "Winner" of a quilt, it was how symmetrical it was. So this time I went random and with the help of my Love this is what we came up with. Much better in my opinion


Next was the border. In my stash I did not have any fabric that would compliment the tumblers so off to the store I went. It was difficult to match the tumblers so the mint green was the colour I choose. Not my first choice (I was leaning more towards pink) but the mint looks fantastic.

My attempt at mitered corners. I need some practice however I am slowly getting better with each attempt. A dozen more and I think I will have it down to a science!
I have yet to quilt my projects myself as my current sewing machine is no way capable. Once I save enough for my dream machine I will start learning how to quilt them myself. In the meantime I sent off this project to be quilted. I am so happy with the way it turned out ☺
All that was left was the binding. UGH hand sewing, however I really do believe this part is crucial and must be hand sewn. The finished quilts look more refined in my opinion.  OF course there are exceptions to this hand sewing rule. 
I had to put the above picture in because this thread has a little story to it!
My mom likes to share with me her sewing items, the ones she has extra off or no use for anymore. She is helping me build up my sewing room. One of the items she gave me was a box of misc. thread. This thread was in there and I am lucky it was a perfect match for this project.
The great part about this thread is that if you look closely it was chomped on ... by our family dog SAM. Sam was the best golden retriever and family dog you could ever imagine. As I was using the thread I smiled a little because I could not get this tiny image out of my head of Sam chomping down on Moms thread.

To help with the tedious task of sewing on the binding I used these great clips. My Mom got them for me for my Birthday. My Boyfriend thought they were hair clips when I first showed them to him. He caught on rather quickly when I gave him one of those "you got to be kidding me" looks.
Those little "hair clips" are a God send, my binding looks more uniform and it was less of a pain to sew on.

 Enough of my talking here is the end result. Check out the lily pad design on the back, I just adore it!

Until next time - The Youngest

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Boy Sewer

I know I am not sewing...but look who is!

he said it would work better without his sock!

Teddy diaper!

Talented boy!

Keep on sewing all!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

The Youngest and the Adventures of the Baby Quilt

IT'S A ME MARIO ... Just Joking it's the Youngest
Alight - I have taken a small hiatus from blogging .... however I have not from sewing.
Now that my beautiful sewing room is done, the sewing fairy has sprinkled her sewing dust on me!
(probably fabric dust from a day of cutting)
With a little nudge from my Mum I have been using up what scraps I can find and putting together baby blankets. Why so many baby blankets you many ask HA well my oh so lovely Mother kindly reminded me that all my friends are at the baby age and wouldn't you know ... that's all I see ALL over my social media these days.
SO I might as well stock up on the quilts and hunker in for the baby storm that is blowing my way ☺
I have just recently completed a quilt for our neighbours. They are having their second child and the sex of the baby will be a surprise. Usually when you don't know if someone is having a beautiful baby boy or gracious baby girl the colour I find most are drawn to is that gender neutral yellow.
Well surprise surprise, I am not the biggest fan of yellow or overly bright colours ... but I stepped outside of the box on this baby quilt. I'm starting to learn that every time I venture out of my colour comfort zone I am astonished at how much I love the final product.
Lately I am all about being thrifty and using my left overs so I decided to use this jelly roll. I had it already half cut up and pieced together for another project that didn't quite see the end so I picked up right where I left off. My mom showed me a quick and easy way to turn those jelly rolls from just strips to really neat squares. I believe there is a quilt tutorial on this from Missouri Star Quilt Company - with 3 Dudes Quilting.  https://youtu.be/L5Ixvjje310

Below are some of the blocks sewn together.
Oh and as a side note - If you have not got the APP (application) for Missouri Star Quilt Company on your Phone or Tablet, it is a must. There are excellent tutorials on there. Also a good place to start if your looking for some inspiration.

Below is a picture of what the APP Icon looks like.
If you don't already know I am not a consistent quilter. I quilt in big spurts. I get a project and I have to work work work work until it is done and then I may not quilt for months after. My Mum laughs at me for this. Before I had a sewing room I would show up at my Mums door with fabric in tow and a BIG idea for a new quilt. Then I would basically squat at my Mums house until I got enough of the quilt done that I was satisfied. Sewing 12+ hours straight is a common occurrence when I get the quilting bug. Good thing my Mum is patient.
Well that sewing fairy sprinkled her sewing dust on me and I was bit by the quilting bug so I knew I had a long day ahead of me. I managed to get all the 3 Dudes Quilt blocks together in no time. However the quilt was a bit to small, even for a baby.
It definitely needed a boarder!
 I wasn't so keen on driving 45 minutes into the city just to get some extra fabric. So ... I drove 45 minutes and saw my Mum instead ☺ She had seen the project I was working on and had some spare stash that she said would work perfect.
Can't argue with the sensei.
My Mum gifted me the orange bumble bee boarder and the polka-dot binding.
(What a lucky girl I am)

Once I had the bumble bee border on it still looked a bit unfinished to me so I added a piano boarder with whatever remaining scraps I could find. The quilt really was about being resourceful.
I usually try my hardest to convince my Mum to sew the binding on for me.  The reality is that she is way better at it than me and you can NEVER see her stitches. But unfortunately for me she is out of commission since her hand surgery and I had no other choice but to go solo on hand stitching the binding.
Don't nit pick to much, but I am slowly getting better with each quilt binding I stitch on. My corners are turning into less of a monstrosity and the stitches are getting less and less noticeable. I do however have a new item on my wish list seeing that I will have to stitch the binding myself now.
BINDING CLIPS - Where have you been all my life !!! These are like gold.
With all the bright colours in the quilt just about any backing would have looked great. I chose to go with a baby soft fuzzy teal. What a good choice, I absolutely love how the bright orange pops against the teal. This is a winning colour combination, and I will definitely use it again! 
This quilt is just so fun looking, I can't wait to see what my neighbour thinks of it!

As always thanks to my Mum for all the help !!!

Until we meet again - The Youngest