Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blogger's Quilt Festival: 40th Anniversary Quilt

This is my first time participating in the Blogger's Quilt Festival, and I'd like to share with you the 40th Anniversary Quilt I made for my parents!

40th anniversary quilt 1

I have three other quilts I'm working on right now, and I had considered trying to quickly finish one so I could show off a new quilt for the festival. But I decided I'd rather just take my time with them. I like to keep my sewing/crafting on the fun side, and rushing for a deadline kind of takes the joy out of it. Just ask me how much fun I'm having 2 days before Christmas when I'm trying to finish up all my handmade gifts. ;)

So instead I'm showing off the 40th Anniversary Quilt I made in celebration of my parents' wedding anniversary. I spent a lot of time finding and/or drawing blocks that are meaningful to them and their life together. Designing this quilt gave me the opportunity (or maybe the motivation?) to really think about my parents' marriage and what it means to be together for 40 years. And I think that's a wonderful way to honor an anniversary!

4 blocks

Pansy: Mom enjoys gardening • House: they built their house together • O: they met at the Ohio State University • Pig: they were hog farmers when I was a kid

more anny blocks

Heart: for love! • Truck: my dad's job • Boat: boating is an activity they like doing together (this isn't the right kind of boat, but after several failed attempts at drawing a motor boat, I went with this easy-to-sew sailboat!) • Fish: fishing is another hobby they both enjoy

Not only did choosing the blocks take a lot of time, but finding just the right layout for those blocks was a big part of my design process. I wanted something more creative than a straight horizontal set. You can see some of my rejected layout ideas back in the original post.

40th anniversary quilt 2

I just love this quilt! And so did my parents, which makes all the time and effort well worth it. I even like the back:

40th anniversary quilt 3

Amy's Creative Side

Blogger’s Quilt Festival Stats
Finished quilt measures: 40″ x 40″
Special techniques used: paper piecing
Quilted by: Me!
Best Category: Wallhanging

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Halloween 2012: My Little Mermaid

mermaid costume 1

Our first dress up event of Halloween was this afternoon and I actually finished K's costume a couple days ago. I could have kept going with accessories, but I decided more accessories = more things I end up carrying. Example: The wig only lasted long enough for the photos and the bracelets fell off shortly after.

mermaid costume 2

I used an exposed elastic waistband on the skirt/tail (which is what I was practicing with this circle skirt). I like the way it looks, plus it's so much easier than trying to make an elastic casing with this slippy, stretchy fabric.

Even though K insisted she needed a REAL tail and we would just have to carry her for trick-or-treating, I designed the fins at the base of the skirt for easy walking. I found lots of cute mermaid skirts with really flowing tulle fins at the bottom, but I knew she'd be tripping on them all night. So I purposely left a space between the two fins in the front. And rather than leave the tulle loose at the ends, I folded it in half and sewed both edges to the base of the skirt.

Glitter is the herpes of the craft world and my sewing room is badly infected. Thanks to this glittery tulle, myself and all my sewing projects will have at least a few bits of glitter stuck to them for the next 6 months. Maybe I'll just embrace it and say it's my attempt to make everything look fancier.

mermaid costume 3

I wasn't planning to do the seashell bra thing, but when I told my husband about my costume plan he said the seashell thing was a required accessory of the mermaid. So I guess I had to do it (and it is pretty cute).

halloween 2012

I ended up letting A pick his own costume at the store. Crafting FAIL. That's two years in a row he's had a store-bought costume. I think I owe him big time next year.

Friday, October 12, 2012

BBSA: Block 1

Over on the EQ Blog, I'm hosting the BlockBase Sew Along and today is the link up for the first block in the sew along. I really like this first block, so after making one at work (which you can see here), I decided to come home and make another one!

BB Block 1

I love how different the same block can look, just by changing the fabric placement. And this one is much smaller than the one I made at work- only 4". If you have BlockBase, come over and join in the fun!

BlockBase Sew Along Blog Badge

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Seersucker Circle Skirt

It's a tongue twister! Now say it 5 times fast!

seersucker circle skirt 1

I whipped up a little circle skirt today for K. I used this tutorial from MADE and boy does it come together fast! I'll definitely be making more of these skirts. Fast. Easy. Fun! I wish I had a grown-up sized one for twirling.

seersucker circle skirt 2

This skirt is really more for practice than anything else. I tried making a skirt like this once before and I didn't stretch the elastic enough while sewing and all the stitches popped the first time K pulled it on. Lesson learned. Much better results this time.

seersucker circle skirt 3

I know seersucker is not the first fabric you'd grab for making a fall time skirt. But as I mentioned before, the purpose of this skirt was practice, not function. I bought this seersucker more than a year ago, all ready to make some summery frocks. But when I unfolded it at home, I saw that it had some pretty significant flaws in the weave. Like a thread away from being out-right holey in a couple of places. Do not buy the seersucker at Hobby Lobby-- it's so cheap for a reason! But now I've got a successful circle skirt under my belt, and no good fabric was harmed in the process.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Wee Wonderfuls: Mermaiden

I've had this little mermaiden on my "to sew" list for quite a while. It's the third project I've made from the Wee Wonderfuls book (previous projects here and here).


There's been some waffling on Halloween costumes, so I hope getting to snuggle with this little stuffie helps cement the idea of being a mermaid in K's head. For a long time she wanted to be a ballerina, then she switched to tiger, then "a lizard! that eats flies!" And now we're on to mermaid. And it better stick, because costume fabric has been purchased!


How perfect is that green scale fabric for a mermaid tail?! And I suppose I could still pull off a lizard costume... if I really have to...