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11  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Flower Garden Applique Baby Quilt on: May 14, 2010 10:01:20 AM
Another item removed from the "to be finished" pile!

I started this several months ago, and worked on it side-by-side with another applique quilt (a kangaroo). Thanks to some sick time this week (that part sucked actually), and the fact that both babies are now born, I managed to finish them both.

I did the applique with a raw edge, using Lite Steam a Seam to place the pieces. I think in the future I might use a narrower zig-zag stitch.

I love the way the design turned out, but I am less than happy with the quilting. My original intent was to hand-quilt it, but I chickened out at the last minute. I haven't mastered free motion quilting, and I didn't think that stitching straight lines across the flowers would look very good. On other quilts, I have started and stopped the lines on either side of the applique, but there were too many pieces to this one to try to attempt that. I finally decided to sew little pinwheel shapes into it all over. They're still straight lines (therefore "manageable"), but they would fit into the spaces between the flowers.

I was having a million problems with my tension. The top thread is visible on the back side. I tried a thousand things... new bobbin, rethreading, upper thread tension, bobbin tension, new needle... I don't know what I was doing wrong, but I finally gave up trying to troubleshoot and just accepted that it's not going to be perfect.

Some closeups - sorry for the crap quality of the photos. I didn't realize they were so bad until I uploaded them... by that point they were already in the mail.

An embroidered butterfly

The backing fabric

Hopefully the baby and her mom won't mind the imperfections  Embarrassed
12  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Kangaroo Applique Baby Quilt on: May 12, 2010 02:19:20 PM
I have been working on this since the weekend before the final season of Lost started... so, January? To be fair, I have another one that I've been doing at the same time.

I left the applique with a raw edge, used Lite Steam A Seam to position the pieces, and finished with a pretty wide zig-zag stitch. I haven't mastered the art of free motion quilting, so I'm sticking to straight lines for now Smiley

Closeup of the Joey Smiley

I found the idea for the kangaroo in an old book of applique that I picked up at a thrift store awhile back. I'm kind of a craft book hoarder.
13  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Crazy 9 Patch for a baby girl... on: March 30, 2010 02:09:12 PM
This sucker nearly drove ME crazy.

It really shouldn't have been so difficult, except that I started to hate it as time progressed.

I wasn't planning to have sashing between the squares, but it was just too much going on... I've done another one that way but the colors were more muted so it worked. These were too bright. I hated it... So I ripped it apart and added sashing. Naturally, I was *just* shy of having enough of the pink.

And so the green squares were born.

Then I was intending to back it with Minkee, but I couldn't find the color I wanted...

Plan B backing was a plush, super-soft fleece material, but my plan to self-bind it didn't work because the colors weren't quite right...

I then tried binding it the normal way, but the fleece material was too thick, causing the binding to look really weird and puffy, almost like a giant row of piping along the edge. Not the look I was going for.

Plan C was just a normal backing, but I had already quilted the top through the batting (a weird technique, I know, but since the original intent was to use Minkee for the back it made sense originally). I couldn't find fabric that I loved enough that wouldn't totally distract from the top. At this point I was really ready to throw this quilt in the "never to be seen again" pile, but at the last minute I had a change of heart.

I found some pink flannel that I didn't hate for the backing, but there was no way I was going to do a normal binding. I just needed to be DONE. I stitched in the ditch around sashing and the outside of the squares to give it some semblance of a real quilt... then did a self-binding.

At least I think my dog approves.

14  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Quickie Quilted Coasters on: March 07, 2010 07:07:31 PM
This might belong in housewares, but they're quilted so I'm putting them here Wink

I whipped out 8 of these yesterday morning, along with some super-simple rolled hem cloth napkins to accompany a bridal shower gift.

I have three quilts-in-progress so it was pretty satisfying to crank these out in a couple of hours! I almost feel motivated to tackle the pile of blankets again!
15  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / monster wants a hug... and stars... aka a couple more baby quilts on: January 26, 2010 06:37:40 PM
Long time...

So the friends keep having the babies... I've enjoyed working on baby-sized quilts because they go quickly Smiley These last two have been simplified a little since the baby monster ( https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=292020.0 ) and robo buggie ( https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=319480.0 ).

The first is a crazy nine patch - little boy - stars - pseudo-western theme.

The star applique and the backing are minky dot. I quilted through the top layers and the batting, then added the backing last. I think it turned out pretty cute Smiley

The second is for a monster-themed nursery (not the same as the baby monster nursery)... I decided to make him friendly.

It was my first hand-stitched binding... I kind of stink at it, but practice makes perfect... right?

My puppy Tank approves. And I think he wants a hug  Smiley

16  HOME SWEET HOME / Exterior Decorating / Yard Art / Gardening: Completed Projects / Revamped Garden Bench on: August 31, 2009 08:37:24 PM
This poor little guy has been traveling around with me for the past six years.

I originally rescued it from a former rental house before I moved (it had belonged to a previous tenant and the owner was selling the place.

It lived for a few years on the patio at the next rental, much to the dismay of the landlady. It interfered with her "style."

It then spent a few years as a plant stand/weed support/paint swatch test victim/emergency seating in the house that we finally bought. It spent most of its days tucked into a neglected corner of the yard.

Several coats of yellow farm equipment paint, and about an hour with a sewing machine later:

I love it now  Cheesy
17  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Robo Buggie and The Tickle on: August 31, 2009 08:30:00 PM
A couple of new baby quilts that I finished months after the recipients were born... Whoops!

I'm still getting the hang of binding. I have been too impatient to try doing it by hand. Maybe on the next one...

Robo Buggie:


Dance Partner:

And this is "The Tickle" - basically made straght from a pattern from "Quilts, Baby!" by Linda Kopp. I added the dragonfly.

18  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / A patchwork quickie quilt... on: March 10, 2009 01:26:27 PM
Subtitle: You can't cram for a fundraiser.

I made this quilt to donate to a silent auction fundraiser for a friend's baby. I procrastinated (shocking), resulting in a whole slew of nightmares.

In the end I hand-tied instead of machine quilting (I ran out of time for hand quilting), and did a cheater binding.

It still turned out alright though Smiley

Fabrics used were pink, brown, and green cottons, with a brown cotton backing. It ended up being twin sized.

I packaged it in a "Girl's Night In" basket consisting of the quilt, a bottle of wine, a couple of DVDs (Dirty Dancing, The Goonies), some chocolate, and a couple of books (Bridget Jones's Diary, Naked). 
19  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / A wee baby monster quilt... made in one week! on: February 12, 2009 07:05:57 PM
Hey all. I haven't checked in here for a few years now. How embarrassing.

I've recently gotten my crafting mojo back, and this is one of the first things I've completed in awhile. I'm great at starting things, terrible at finishing them Wink

Anyway, this is a quilt that I made for a dear friend's baby. I was crunched for time, so it was all machine-stitched with the exception of the embroidery on the flowers and the monster.

I'm pretty proud of it, even though there are several things I wish I would have had time to do differently.
20  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Enlarging a t- shirt? on: May 14, 2008 02:53:21 PM
So I've altered a handful of t-shirts that were too big into something smaller and more fitted with no problems.

Now I'm wondering if anybody has tried enlarging a t-shirt that's slightly too small.

I saw Flight of the Conchords last night and while I was in the ladies' room, my husband bought me a "Brunettes not Fighter Jets" shirt in medium. The gesture was very nice, but the shirt is American Apparel, and a medium technically fits, but it's a tad too tight on me. For whatever reason, they wouldn't let me exchange it for a large.

This is a concert tee that I would actually wear in public... I'm kind of bummed about the size really.

I'm thinking about maybe sewing in a 1" or 2" panel along the sides and underarms. I'm not sure this would work with the fabric though. Have you ever tried this?
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