One Year Sew-iversary

One year!

It was one year ago today that I borrowed my mom’s sewing machine.  I was most intimidated by threading it.  When I first sat down with it, I pulled all of the thread out, pulled up a video on YouTube and re-threaded it.  Whew!  Step one done.  I used a piece of scrap material and and sewed a few straight lines to get a feel for the machine.  Then I set out to make a cute little triangle pouch I found online.  I followed a tutorial on YouTube and it was much easier and way more satisfying than I could imagine.  I was hooked!

Here is a look at {most of} my sewing projects from the last year.

My first time running fabric through the machine

17015460_10211972445885555_683388806_o

Very first project…a triangle zipper pouch

Practicing quilting

17191776_10212058634160208_2207741348530167573_o

First fidget quilt, for my grandmother

17621792_10212269608034423_2080038248325580696_o

Trying my hand at a half-square triangle quilt block

IMG_3472

Wall quilt, made for my grandmother…but it now hangs on my wall

17388852_10212196134077620_8131781800593232528_o

Cricut covers for my mom and myself

18012786_10154481684482322_1029277457_o

Cricut cover for a friend.

received_102129270472299922001872923.jpeg

Guard equipment bag (I also made another one but don’t have a picture)

received_10212163484901411661230728.jpeg

Bag made from a thrift store mumu

fb_img_1518820751063616489645.jpg

Another tote bag made from thrift store clothes

Set of five placemats

Scrappy Monster

Pin Cushion

Quilt for my king sized bed (still unfinished)

IMG_3518

My first baby blanket, for my cousins new baby

tetris quilt back

Tetris blanket for my dad

snapchat-16953473171401459401.jpg

Not quite ready to share this one yet 😉

fb_img_15193027655381584420201.jpg

One cat block, I made this just to see if I could lol

received_102130259304220101920271441.jpeg

Fidget quilt, for someone to gift to their elderly mother

19849055_10213253885440743_2227116_n

Weighted blanket

fb_img_15193027205561870274233.jpg

Another set of placemats, better suited for fall

fb_img_1519304818459581040091.jpg

One matching curtain panel (this has since become scrap fabric – although I really should make some curtains)

fb_img_15193047917951805917489.jpg

Wine glass coaster

received_102141397454666901419599156.jpeg

Drawstring bag (vinyl done by my mom)

fb_img_1519302918679704162436.jpg

My Dollar Tree quilting gloves 🙂

fb_img_15193028848931677275497.jpg

An evening “wine down” at my sewing machine

IMG_4616

My first t-shirt quilt

26036569_10214771530580923_1930080578_o

Another t-shirt quilt

snapchat-1810692549280030828.jpg

Chapstick holders

20180215_2110062145175732.jpg

Practice memory bear, made from a shirt and scrap fabric

snapchat-2117219691459551426.jpg

Girafficorn

20180224_231329334706048.jpg

Pencil pouch

20180224_2146361652670638.jpg

Cosmetic bag

20180224_1531542109211693.jpg

Cut pieces for one block

20180224_1604281132393916.jpg

Completed block for memory quilt

img_20180212_001847_938768095644.jpg

The first blocks for a memory quilt, made from my grandparents’ clothes

If you’ve made it all the way to the end…thank you for looking.

And thank you to my family and friends for the continued support and encouragement in all that I do!

To the Moon and Back

I am not quite sure what it is about weighted blankets but the calming and relaxing affect is amazing.  Studies show they are beneficial for sleep disorders, ADHD, restless leg syndrome, anxiety and autism, to name a few. I have seen these around…mostly on Pinterest and was intrigued.  So when a sweet friend asked me to make one for her son, I gladly accepted the challenge.

I wanted to share the process of making this blanket, tutorial style.  But let me preface this by saying that I am still a brand-new baby sewer.  I was not following a set of instructions, but rather, random instructions I found online and on YouTube (which, there aren’t enough for this style of blanket, by the way).  My measurements, formulas and methods are probably not conventional or an exact science but merely what was working for me.  Well…now that I come to think of it, that describes most of my life…not just the construction of this blanket lol.  Ok…now on to the tutorial.

I was asked to make either a throw or twin sized blanket.  According to research, the blanket should be 10% of the recipient’s body weight, plus a pound or two.  This blanket is for a little boy who is 46 pounds, so I rounded up to 50.  I was shooting for between 6-7 pounds, since it would be a larger blanket.

I started by cutting the fabric out around 43″ by 76″.  With right sides facing, I sewed three edges together, with a quarter inch seam (and again with a half inch seam, for good measure).

19866537_10213252141797153_642528290_n

Then I flipped it right side out.  I knew I wanted 3″ squares.  So I sewed three inch columns that I could fill with the beads that would give the blanket weight.  These beads are called Poly Pellets.  They are non-toxic and machine washable!  I picked these up at Joanne’s.

19758258_10213252315361492_2029575778_n

Whoever said you don’t need math after high school clearly wasn’t a crafter lol.  Since I knew I wanted 3″ squares, that meant I would have fourteen columns and 25 rows.  This equals 350 pockets to fill with these beads!

19832442_10213252138197063_393991776_n

I borrowed my dad’s scale and it only used whole numbers.  So even though I estimated 7.77 grams per pocket, I had to guess where that was on the scale…somewhere heavier than 7 grams but lighter than 8 grams.  Since I had 14 columns, I used 14 bathroom cups to divide up that rows amount of beads.  Then I could easily pour the beads into each column, the cups acting as a funnel.

19668129_10213252137397043_1821493686_n

After I emptied all 14 cups of beads into the columns, I laid the blanket on the floor and raked the beads to the bottom of the blanket.  They were pretty stubborn and got stuck all along the inside of the blanket.  Using my ruler to rake the beads into their pocket was helpful.

19832820_10213252138037059_1719348424_n

Since I didn’t have a proper marking utensil meant for sewing so that I could mark straight sewing lines, I used this doohickey that came with my machine to sew in a straight (ish) line.  After looking at my sewing machine manual, I see that it is called a quilting guide.  And after looking at my sewing lines, I see that it (ie, me) doesn’t work so well.

19832377_10213252137557047_171864246_n

Even though this isn’t that heavy of a blanket, lifting and pulling it for a few days definitely left my arms feeling sore a few times.  After hours of Netflix marathons of Criminal Minds and a string of thriller action movies and what seemed like a never-ending series of measuring, pouring, raking and sewing…it is complete!

The finishing measurements are 42″ x 75″ and it weighs 6 pounds 15 ounces.

19832392_10213253802118660_1941818298_n

19873696_10213253885360741_1906185920_n

19832456_10213253800998632_1373182012_n (1)

19679657_10213253801358641_728713983_n

I had my friend write a message to her young son and added it to his blanket using vinyl, as well, so that her words could be with him always.

As with most projects, there are things I love about it, they are things I dislike, things I hope the new owners will overlook and most of all, a sense of pride for lessons learned and challenges tackled.