Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Kids-3, Mom-0


I snapped this picture today as he was pulling fabric off of my shelves…right after he had shoved toys down all of our heat vents.  At least he keeps himself busy while I’m feeding the baby right?
Besides digging toys out of the heat vents I cut this stack of squares…hopefully it will manifest itself as a finished quilt + pattern someday soon (don’t bet it on it though)

I have to admit that I’m TIRED…and keeping 3 kids fed, clothed, and happy takes 100% of my energy.  At the same time having a new baby is also a good reminder of what’s important…so the rest of my house may be a disaster zone and we’ve had cold cereal for more than a few meals…but at least my kids are fed, clothed, and happy (and cute)!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Love


Thank you for all the baby well-wishes…we are adjusting well and even managing to sleep well at night…imagine that!
Luckily I finished up this quilt just before she was born.

I backed it with a minkee fabric I bought locally.  It has a really nice weight to it and is super soft (by Shannon Fabrics).  I quilted it with minimal straight lines here and there to keep it from being too stiff.


The quilt matches her perfectly…I can’t get enough of all the pink!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sophie



  

Sophie Dianne was born Thursday after a quick (almost too-quick!) labor.  We sure love her and are soaking up every second with her.  She was a chubby 8 lbs. and is just as sweet and easy as can be.

I wish you could all smell that sweet little newborn head…there is nothing better in the whole world!!!  Don’t worry… I’ll kiss and smell it enough for all of you.  :)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Soaking






Every once in a while I pre-soak/shrink my batting…and since I get a lot of questions about it I thought I’d answer it in a quick post.

I usually don’t pre-wash my batting unless I’m concerned about shrinkage in the final quilt or I’m using a Chenille backing, as was the case this time.  I like the crinkly look of a washed quilt, and even with pre-shrinking I’ve found that my quilts still shrink a bit.  Out of the package batting is also thinner and way easier to work with/fit under my sewing machine foot, so that’s another main reason I usually don’t.
When I do pre-soak …I cut my batting at least 4" larger than my quilt top around all sides (if I’m quilting it myself).  Then I stick it in my washer in hot water and let it soak for the day or overnight.  I use a tiny bit of detergent, or you can use a product like this made for soaking.

After it’s soaked at least 5 hours or so I spin cycle the batting in the washer (don’t agitate it though!) to remove the water.  Then I throw it in the dryer on low just as I would with any delicates.  Because it dries fast, I check it often and take it out right when it’s dry so it’s not bouncing around in there needlessly getting too hot.

I use mainly Warm and White batting.  This roll in the picture is long gone (can you believe it?)…but now I usually buy it when it’s 50% off in King sized packs because that roll takes up a lot of room!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Free Baby Quilt Tutorial: A Pink Classic



After staring at fabrics for too long trying to decide what pattern to make my baby a quilt with…I went with classic hourglass blocks. There are probably loads of good tutorials for these blocks already, but since these are one of my favorites I wrote one up for this quilt:

Baby Hourglass Quilt: Quilt size: 32" x 41" , Block size (unfinished): 5" x 5"

You’ll need:
32 print 6" x 6" squares, and 32 white 6" x 6" squares (approx. 1 yard cut into 5 strips 6" x the fabric width, then subcut 7 squares from each strip). For this particular quilt I used about 8 different print fabrics, and cut 4 squares from each fabric.



1. Draw a diagonal line in pencil from corner to corner on the wrong side of each white square. I know…I hate this part too….if it helps this is how I line up my squares then I draw lines on multiple squares at one time:



2. Pin a print square and a white square right sides together with the pencil line facing up. Sew 1/4" from the line on each side ( I usually don’t pin these squares…but you should…I’m just lazy). Continue until all of the 32 print and white squares have been sewn together.



To make this process faster you can chain piece all of the squares. Sew on one side of the line on all of the squares, then without cutting the threads in between the blocks put them back through the machine and sew down the other side. Then when you’re all finished clip both threads in between each block.



3. Place a square on the cutting mat, and cut down the pencil line from corner to corner. DO NOT MOVE THE PIECES YET! ( I pulled mine apart a little just so you can see the cut)



4. Cut another diagonal line from the other corner to corner on the same square.



5. Press the triangles towards the print fabrics. You should be able to lay out 2 hourglass blocks from this one cut square:



6. Match and pin the center seams, then sew the pieces together to make 2 hourglass blocks. Press seam to either side or open.





7. Now for the fun part (not really) squaring up the blocks to 5" x 5". Everyone has their own method of squaring…this is how I do mine:

Align the diagonal lines of my block with the diagonal lines on my cutting mat…



Measure from the center 2 1/2" out on one side, and trim off the excess. Do the same on the top or bottom, then you can align the edges along the grid lines and trim the remaining edges to make a 5" block. If your mat doesn’t have these handy grid lines you’ll have to find another way, but simply measuring 2 1/2" out from the center on each side should be fine. You can even cut more than one at a time if you’re not a perfectionist.





8. Lay the blocks out in 9 rows of 7 blocks each, rotating every other block. Sew the blocks into rows, and press the seams towards the print fabrics (that part is important so you’re seams will match up nice and tidy when sewing the rows together). Pin and sew the rows together to finish the quilt top.



Apparently it’s 5 year old boy torture to make him hold up a pink quilt…heaven forbid…you should have heard the grumbling.



*To make hourglass blocks in any size… cut your starting squares 1" larger than you’d like the (un) finished squares to be.

* The fabrics in this quilt are Daisy Cottage by Bee in my Bonnet Designs for Riley Blake (here, here, here, here, and here), and the bright pink small floral and polka dot are Children at Play by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller.