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Friday, September 11, 2015

Soft Play

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of attending another one-year-old's birthday party.  Remember the butterfly quilt I made a year ago?  Same sweet little girl.  I was at a loss when figuring out what her gift would be, but was inspired when looking at old issues of Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine. 
I saw these cute little hand-sewn balls that I knew I had to make with some of my scraps from the Happy Home collection (which I sell in my new shop!).  It uses EPP, which is by far my favorite quilting discipline. 
Check out those lovely pregnancy nails!
I had never made a three dimensional object with EPP, so this was a fun new challenge.  The instructions were very straightforward, so making them was a cinch.  I wish I had some toddler-safe rattles to put inside, but I found myself running out of time to finish them, so they were gifted sans rattle.  I used some fun glitter floss to hand embroider her initial and a heart:


I would definitely make these again!  What do y'all think?  I've finally gotten some sewing done for #babyschep, so I'll update y'all on that soon!  Until next time, God Bless. 

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Wednesday, September 2, 2015

BOM Parts 8 and 9

Well, hello!  BabySchep keeps draining all of my available energy, so I just haven't been doing a whole lot of sewing lately.  I have managed to keep up with the Lakeland Modern Quilt Guild's block of the month program, so here we go!

August's block was the boxy pinwheel:  It was super easy!  Here's my first attempt with some Northcott fabrics:

My second go-round with my pre-selected coordinating prints:

I just don't have enough of that Madeline print to include in every block!  That being said, I like this particular combination of prints.

And here they are together:

September's block is the ribbon star block.  Here's my first attempt using only Toscana blenders:

I know the points don't match up perfectly, but they are pretty darned close!  I'm actually rather proud of this one. 

And here it is in my pretties:

I actually like my practice block better, but hey, it works! 

Here's the two star blocks together:

And now, with nine months of blocks behind me, my design wall is looking mighty fine:

It sure feels good to be caught up on something for a change!  Until next time, God bless!

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Monday, August 10, 2015

E is for Emma

About two months ago, I had the privilege of attending a party to celebrate sweet little Emma's first birthday.  It was a low-key, family and friends affair, but it was absolutely perfect.

Now my husband and I are best friends with Emma's parents, so of course, she was getting a handmade gift for her birthday.  I spotted a softie alphabet project in Love Patchwork and Quilting Magazine, and I immediately knew I had to make it for her. 

These were designed by Manda McGrory and they're quite simple to make.  You print your desired templates, use fusible fleece and scraps, and stuff them with polyester toy filling. 

So I cut out my templates and got started.  I got through the A, B, and C, before I realized I made them waaay too small.  Redo. 

Here's a sample of what they look like (and how I felt when I was finished):

Then I had to play with them:

I only made one of each letter, so I was surprised to discover that you can spell Lady Schep without repeating any letters!
What really makes this project stand out is the linen drawstring bag to store the letters in:
Next time, I'll applique the letters farther down on the bag, like Manda did on her bag. 
You can't really tell, but the bag says Emma!
It's still pretty cute, though!

This was my first time using the blanket stitch on my Singer Quantum Stylist 9960:
I used a high contrast thread to pull it all together, so I was stitching super slowly to it just right.  Not bad for my go-round with the machine blanket stitch!  I have to admit, though, that I stitched so slowly it would have been just as fast for me to blanket stitch the letters on by hand. 
I learned lots of things during this project, namely that you have to know when you will save more time by ditching what you've finished to that point and starting over, rather than trudging through a project that will only cause pain and suffering in the end.   Fortunately, I did that early on in this project, so I cut down on the agony part.  I'll have to make one of these for #babyschep, but I'll have to make them much larger for ease of turning. 
So what do you think?  I think it turned out super cute!  It was fun watching her pull the letters out of the bag, especially the letter T, which she immediately shoved in her mouth!  So cute! 
Until next time, God Bless!

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Wednesday, August 5, 2015

2015 MQG Riley Blake Fabric Challenge Complete!

I've been agonizing over this project for quite a few months now.  I find fabric challenges to be very, well, challenging, because it's never a collection of fabric I would have purchased on my own. (Not to mean they aren't awesome!)  Check out the beautiful bundle of fabrics generously provided by Riley Blake at no cost to me through the Modern Quilt Guild:

 These prints are from the Cottage Garden Collection designed by the Quilted Fish for Riley Blake Designs.

The rules were simple: make something quilted using the Cottage Garden Collection and matching Riley Blake solids/blenders, and try something new.  Being a brand new quilter, it wasn't very difficult to challenge myself for this project. 

I got to see Nancy Zieman in person at the Original Sewing and Quilting Expo in March of this year, so I picked up her Dresden templates after being wowed by her fabulous Dresden quilts.

The bundle I received consisted of fat eights, and I was determined to only purchase solids and blenders, so I had to play with Nancy's template to figure out the best way to construct the blades of the plate.  It's a flexible plastic template, so you mark the shapes with a pen, then cut them out, or you risk cutting your template with a rotary cutter.

My hubby helped me lay out the blades in a "random" pattern.  He's so over-analytical!

I ordered the solids and blenders from the Loopy Ewe.  My experience with them was great, and I really love these Riley Blake colors. 

I decided to hand embroider the center circle.  Good thing the Tampa Bay Lightning made it to the Stanley cup Final, because it gave me plenty of couch time to get this all stitched up. 

Here's the completed embroidery.  I found the sparkly cotton floss at the same Expo back in March.  It sure does stitch up pretty, but it's a bit of a hassle to deal with due to the metallic filament that runs the entire length of the floss. 

Here's my Dresden, ready to stitch down!  You can't really appreciate it in any of the photos, but the background blender I chose is called Snowshade from Riley Blake.  I regret not buying more of it when I did! 
I'm not the most adept at machine sewing yet, so that in and of itself is a challenge to me.  I even managed to make my machine mad at me by sewing through a pin! 
In the end, I think it turned out okay.  I chose the offset design after seeing a similar quilt made by Nicole Calver in Love Patchwork & Quilting magazine.  I ended up getting very frustrated with this quilt in the end due to my less-than-stellar machine piecing skills.  I am, however, rather proud of my handwork on this mini. 
What do you think?  Do you participate in fabric challenges?  Let me know!  Until next time, God Bless!

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Monday, July 20, 2015

BOM Part 7

It feels so good to actually be on track with something for once!  I'm all caught up with the Lakeland Modern Quilt Guild's block of the month program.  Here's July's installment:

One for the guild, made with Northcott fabrics, and

one for me, in my chosen color scheme.  By the way, if any of you know where I can get my hands on more of that Madeline by Blank Quilting print, please let me know!  I am dangerously low!

Here's the two blocks together:

And the moment you've been waiting for--a preview of my sampler quilt with all 7 blocks so far!

It's really going to be fabulous.  The only question is, do I add sashing?  I have plenty of that blue/black checked print.  Hmm...

Well, it won't be too long before I write again, so until then, God Bless!
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Sewing for #babyschep

It's begun!  The first of many, many things I will sew for my little one.  First off, I simply cannot believe that I'm going to be a mom.  We had our 20 week ultrasound this past week, so here's a peek at my kid:

So what did I make for baby?  The oh-so-popular 1 Hour Basket.  The pattern is free from Hearts and Bees in the Craftsy shop.  Here's my first crack at it:

This particular one went to my mom's house.  She seemed truly excited about it, so bonus points for me, right?  I made the first one using home dec fabric from Ikea, American Made Brand solid for the lining, and Pellon Thermoloam Fusible Fleece for the interfacing.  Not so bad!  The only tricky part is making the gussets--I've always had trouble matching the seams up just so.

My second go-round was specifically designed for the nursery, which I've chosen to decorate in a neutral jungle theme.

Yes, I made three!

 I chose a neutral home dec fabric from Ikea.  The lining fabric was from a mystery sale table at Fabric Warehouse, so I can't tell you what it is.  If you recognize it, let me know!  This time, I used Pellon's new Flex-Foam, and boy, was it fantastic!  I even managed to match up all of my gusset seams!  Woot! 

I even added a little label:

Of course, I picked the messiest one to photograph!

I'm not sure why my baby needs to know this was made by mommy, but whatevs.  These were quick and fun to make--I'll probably make some more in the future.  Until then, God Bless!

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Sunday, July 5, 2015

2015 BOM: Parts 4, 5, and 6!

As y'all have heard me say quite a few times on this blog already, I've been behind on my work.  So much so, I did three (read 6) blocks of the month at a time.  I'll keep this short and sweet, so here they are!

April's BOM from SewMamaSew:

One for the guild...

...and one for me!

May's BOM from SewMamaSew:  This one involved paper piecing--not bad for my first try, huh?

One for the guild...

...and one for me!

June's BOM from Toefeather:(this one is my favorite so far!)

One for the guild...
...and one for me!
 I did one marathon sewing session to finish most of these up, because I was so far behind!  I bet y'all are curious about what my design wall looks like now...

And that, my friends, is half a year's worth of BOMs!  Hey, it's never too late to start!  Every pattern is on the guild's Pinterest page.  Check us out!

Until next time, God Bless!

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Thursday, July 2, 2015

My first Instagram swap!

So these ladies in my guild have been doing these super cool Instagram swaps for a while, so I decided to get in on the action.  By the way, check me out on Instagram!  I'll follow you back...

Anyhow, I just happened across the #IGNeedlebookswap.  Whaat?  I really needed a needlebook, so why not make one for someone else and receive one in exchange?  Brilliant!

Signing up was easy.  Anorina over at Samelia's Mum organized the swap, and the form was simple and easy to fill out.  I wanted to go international, so I opted in to swap with an international partner.  My assigned partner was from Brazil! 

Well, while the swap gave us plenty of time to stitch up our creations, I found out I was expecting my first child and spent the next month or so hugging the toilet bowl and/or languishing about in a perpetual state of exhaustion.  I managed to stitch together a needlebook the day it was due:

It's my understanding that little "extras" are customary to gift to your swap partner, so of course, I had to start with needles.  These are embroidery needles, since I noticed my partner does some embroidery.

My partner said she adores hexies, so I EPP'ed some hexies together from some scraps from my Millefiore quilt along.

I cut out some felt to match the size of the hexies, and finished it by machine, including some glittery ribbon as a tie-closure.  Not my best work, but I ended up running out of time. 

Due to the international nature of the swap, I decided to include a little gift unique to Florida, and what's more Florida than Disney??  They have these super cute international pins at Disney, so I found the Brazilian flag pin and included it in her package along with some colorful floss and a small spool of wool thread. 

My partner was very gracious when she received her package, and it really made me feel better about it all. 

Now for the receiving end:  I was completely blown away by what I received from Jennie at Porch Swing Quilts.  Well, just look at it!

It's not just a needlebook, it's a whole flippin' sewing kit!  There were some really fun goodies inside, too: a few pins/needles, seam ripper, measuring tape, and scissors.  Bonus--made with some of my favorite fabric--Geometric Bliss by Jeni Baker for Art Gallery Fabrics.  I hit the jackpot with this swap!  Next time, I'll try to be a bit more awesome for my partner. 

Do you swap?  Your feelings on it? 

I've got a lot more on the way--I'm just pacing myself.  No really!  Until next time, God Bless!

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