Friday, September 30, 2011

oliver + s backpack: DONE!

It's still September for a few more hours and I made it- I finished the backpack!

dino backpack 1

dino backpack 2

The completion of this backpack has been trying, to say the least. Not by any fault of the pattern, just annoying circumstances. I'm still without my new sewing machine,a matter that is making me increasingly grumpy, so I had to struggle through by using a combination of my two older, only-partially-working sewing machines. And I had the worst time trying to find the strap adjusters and zipper for this project. I never did find the 1.5" strap adjusters so I made due with 1" adjusters by using 1" webbing for the bottom section of the straps.

dino backpack 3

As I started piecing this together I thought it looked so small and it would be absolutely dinky on A, but I guess I'm just used to his ginormous superhero backpack because it looks just right on him. Unfortunately, it's not big enough to hold his homework folder so he won't be able to use it for school.

dino backpack 4

Phew. So glad to have this project done.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

No Sew Zone

I think I have angered the sewing gods.

I mentioned when I first got my new sewing machine that it made a very noticeable sound when it was on- sort of like really loud florescent lights humming. I chalked it up to the machine being new to me with new sounds to get used to, but it seems that it IS a problem. And it will be in the shop until Wednesday, AT LEAST. Because that's when their technician comes in- apparently repairs are not a Monday morning kind of priority.

Obviously this bums me out because it's a brand new machine and it's already in the shop. But now I probably won't be able to finish my oliver + s sew along backpack by the end of the month. Not only does this mess with my perfectionist-like need to finish things by the "due date", but I also won't be eligible for the pattern drawing. Super bummer.

I did try to use the ol' Brother machine this afternoon to see if I could power through sewing the backpack, but the old problems are still there and way too frustrating to deal with. At least I can still feel justified in buying a new machine!

Since my machine is out of commission for a while, I thought I'd concentrate on some hand sewing. I finished the wonky stars quilt top a few days ago and planned to hand quilt around the stars. Well, I stitched around one star and I'm not crazy about the look. *sigh* I might let it sit for a few days and re-evaluate. Is the universe telling me not to sew, in any form?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wonky Stars: Progress Report

I've been working on my wonky stars quilt!

wonky stars 4

After arranging my stars up on the design wall, I decided to make a few more smaller stars to fill in some of the white space. I'm tellin' ya, these blocks are addictive. Now it's a matter of measuring, shifting, and readjusting to fit in all the white patches (and not create too many crazy partial seams in the process).

wonky stars 5

The plan is to hand quilt this puppy using this:

wonky stars 6

I'm hoping it will accent the little bits of pink in some of the fabrics, which you can see a little better in this block:

wonky stars 7

I'm excited to see this one come together. Hope it turns out as good as what I'm picturing in my head!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Fall Coasters

coaster 1

There's a big fundraising event at A's school in a couple of weeks and each class provides a basket of items for the raffle. The kindergarteners' basket theme is fall holidays. I thought it would be fun to sew up a little something for our contribution, and I decided a bundle of coasters in fall colors would be nice.

coaster 2

I randomly pieced together these little guys and layered them with some cotton batting. A nice quick sew, although I've only made two so far and I plan to make a set of four for the basket. I really have no idea what other parents send in for these raffle baskets, so I hope I'm not totally off the mark with our contribution!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

oliver + s sew along: starting the backpack

I finished tracing and cutting out the pattern pieces for the Little Things to Sew backpack (month 2 of the oliver +s sew along!). Holey moley, that's a lot of pieces!

backpack tracing

And I'm not even cutting out the little pieces to make the penguin! I'll be using that dinosaur fabric under the pattern pieces. No one really needs a new backpack in our house, so I didn't want to buy new fabric. I'll be using the leftovers from this project. Here's to hoping I don't need a full yard of fabric!

Monday, September 5, 2011

Finding my inner WONK

wonky stars 1

I carved out some time this weekend and tried out some wonky star blocks. As I mentioned in my last post, it's hard for me to get that free pieced/wonky look because I naturally want to fit things into nice straight lines. But now that I've gotten a taste of these free-form stars, I love it!

wonky stars 2

The lighting isn't great in these photos because it's been overcast all day (hello, fall!), but I wanted to share anyway. I made a handful of these blocks and love the movement the wonky points make. These blocks are a little addictive; I've got fabric cut for several more but I think I need to stop soon so this little wallhanging doesn't get out of hand.

wonky stars 3

I think this little quilt might also be the perfect opportunity to try out something else on my "to sew" list– hand quilting.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hexagon Block Pouch

hexblock pouch 1

I finished sewing the hexagon block into a little zippered pouch. Projects like this really make me miss having a Joann's in town. We still have a Hobby Lobby, but their selection of certain items (like zippers) is pretty lame. I wanted a fun bright color, but they only had basic (i.e. boring) colors in the 9 inch size. There were only two colors that I thought would work for this project– the bright pink was only 7 inches, so I had to go with the 22" lime green zip and cut it down.

hexblock pouch 2

And here's the other side of the pouch. I don't know if I can really call this "free piecing" because all my lines are pretty straight and parallel/perpendicular. I gravitate towards orderliness, so it's hard for me to get that wonky look. But I do have a wonky star project on my mental "to sew" list that I hope to work on soon.

And now for something totally unrelated!

I came across this doll diaper post the other day on Happy Together and had to make one immediately.

doll diaper 1

I've been wanting to make K some cloth doll diapers for a while, but this is so much easier than what I had in mind. It involved taking a regular cloth diaper pattern and scaling it down to doll size—way too difficult for me to actually get around to sewing.

doll diaper 2

It's a tad big for her favorite baby doll, but that probably makes it easier for her to put on and take off herself. She loves it! And I can't wait to make her some more- fast and easy!

doll diaper 3