Sunday, October 30

Happy Halloween!

Cindy Lou Who wishes you a Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, March 2

More First Birthday Photos

Elephant Talk Birthday
Make it a happy birthday with personalized Birthday cards.
View the entire collection of cards.

1st Birthday

Tuesday, November 9

First Halloween

I did make a portion of her Halloween costume - her hat and leg warmers. However, the dress still hasn't happened.

Thursday, September 16

Further Quilting and A Few Lessons Learned

I'm taking further baby steps on my quest to become a quilter.  I made this quilt for my new little niece.  She lives far away, so I had to find another baby to stand-in as a model.  *Wink*

I learned many things while making this quilt, but mostly, I learned what not to do when quilting.  Here is my short list: 

1.  Don't sew together the pieces if you plan to add a binding.  With the patchwork quilts I previously made, there was no quilting involved.  The fronts were squares sewn together.  Then, I sewed together the front, back and batting, flipped it right side out, and voila!  With this quilt, and all of my future quilts, I expect I will actually quilt the pieces together and then add a binding. 

2.  When the pattern for the binding says "baste together", pay attention to the word baste.  This ties to number 1 because I sewed the quilt together, and then took it all out.  But, then I did it again when the seaming instructions only told me to baste the pieces together.  This time, I couldn't take out the work, or I would have risked putting a hole in the quilt, and that would have led to patching, and so on. 

3.  Use a medium loft batting, or at least not the lowest loft.  This isn't just because it's softer and becomes more yummy and plushy when washed.  Also, the higher the loft, the more hidden the quilting will be (if you need to hide your quilting as you're learning what the heck you're doing, like me).  I used brown thread to quilt, and I really regret it.  It's just tacky, and when I realized this, I thought that it would disappear into the batting better once it was washed. 

4.  Don't rush.  I actually learned this lesson on the previous patchwork quilts I made.  Instead of quickly trying to finish the work I was doing, I left the quilt on the machine with the needle down to hold my spot.  Then, I went to bed.  While I made countless mistakes on this quilt, I would have made far more had I not stopped when I was exhausted.  Each time I stepped away, I realized things as I was dozing off that I would have otherwise missed. 

5.  Use a pattern.  I learned the colors of my niece's nursery - pink and brown, then shopped for fabric.  Shocking as it was, I wasn't able to find many fabrics at the store that were exclusively pink and brown.  So, I purchased what I could find (and liked) and decided to work from there.  It is common for me, unfortunately, to try to design something, and then I work out the math incorrectly.  Remember the ridiculous camo blanket?  I found a square that I liked, and it involved the number of fabrics that I had purchased.  I decided to replicate the square as the quilt itself, and then computed cuts.  Of course, my math was wrong.  Very fortunately, a little sashing with the backside fabric, and I'm actually happy with the correction. 

6.  Be good to your machine, and it will be good to you.  I did a side project that I think bent the arm on my machine.  Now, I can't use my 1/4-inch presser foot or the needle hits the foot and breaks.  Shooting broken needles across the room (and directly at my eyes!) is scary!  I'm now having to make-shift 1/4-inch seams because even the markers on my machine are off, due to the bent arm. 

That's my short list so far, but I have more projects coming! 

I'm truly enjoying sewing, but I miss knitting.  As the weather is turning cooler, I had to visit one of the over-priced baby clothing boutiques in Hoboken.  I spent $32 on a small knit sweater for my little girl, and that was after a 20% off coupon.  When I stopped for a brief visit at my former job today, I was asked by my friend and former co-worker, Stephen (who also happens to be the greatest quilter, hand and machine sewer, and all around creator of all things fabric, fleece, and fur who ever lived), whether I made it.  I told him how guilty I felt buying it.  My husband, little girl, and I are hoping to take a trip soon, and if we do, perhaps I'll finally make the Baby Surprise Jacket I've always wanted to make.

Monday, August 9

More Photos

I've been working through some photos today for some thank you cards, and I just can't help but post these last few. I shot these within seconds of each other, but her most common expressions are all here.

Let's Do It Again!


Saturday, July 24

Sewing: New Hobby, New Projects

I learned quickly that trying to complete knitting projects was futile now that I have a baby to tend to.  It took me several weeks to complete this knit hat, which she wasn't terribly excited about it, as you can see.  (This picture is from when she was 8-weeks old.  She is almost 5-months old now.)

Sewing has proven to be a much better option, which I realized after making my first baby quilt a few months before her birth.  Last week I completed my second patchwork quilt, which I made the same way, but with a border this time. 

It is for my unborn niece, who is due in October. (My brother's baby.  Incidentally, my husband's sister just had a baby girl yesterday!  Stay tuned for her gifts!)  She'll be the little sister to the cutie pie I knit several blankets for a couple of years ago. His primary blanket was a blue basket weave, but there were many camouflage blankets as well.

Here he is with his sister's blanket.  He's 2-years old!  Time just flies.

With the scraps from these first two quilts, I made a little cloth burp rag, the pattern to which I found on Sew Mama Sew, it's scrap buster contest.  I've been wanting a burp rag for when we are out in public or at church.  The cloth diapers we've been using are quite worn and tattered, which is fine for home, but slightly embarrassing when we're out and about.  I've been tempted to buy the ever popular Aden and Anais burpy bibs, but hope that my handmade one will now satisfy my needs.

Here it is with the original quilt I made. 

I found several patterns that I will make in the coming weeks, so stay tuned!