Do you quilt?

I recently visited a local flea market that sells vinyl so I could get the material for a truck decal that I promised a friend.  Of course I can’t go in and not mosey around, taking in all that I find so visually pleasing.  I just love antiques and shopping in thrift stores, yard sales and the like.  Among the timeworn items, unique decor and random treasures was a basket of fabric!  So much fabric!

I wanted it all!  I am obsessed with vintage quilting fabrics and especially random fabrics in the same color group.  Walking through a fabric store is overwhelming with all of the pretty fabrics, bright colors and modern prints.  But there is something about muted colors or those in the primary group, small floral prints or fabrics that you can tell what decade they belonged in.  I would love to someday make a rainbow quilt so scrappy that no two fabrics are the same.  That is definitely on my quilting bucket list!

I knew I needed to show the teeniest bit of restraint and not grab the entire basket of fabric scraps.  In hindsight, I wish I would have rescued all of the pieces and brought them home with me!  However, I plucked out the red fabrics and headed to the register while trying to hide my excitement over this haul.

20180808_1819161296714647399903992.jpg

The shopkeeper asks me, “Do you quilt?”

It was a simple yes or no question.  But I didn’t know how to answer!

Since I do not quilt in the fancy ways of more experienced quilters with long arm quilting machines and I have only made a few to date, could I really consider the few blankets I have made as quilts?  Would that actually mean that I have quilted?  Does that make me a quilter?  To say that it is and that I am seems a bit silly to me.

I said, “Well, I like to collect fabric and sometimes sew them together”.

That was just about the dorkiest answer I could have given!  I have never been very good with words, during a real-time conversation.  I usually get tongue-tied, forget words completely or just draw a blank on how to respond.

But it is the exact truth.

I love finding fabric that has spent years hiding, tucked into a closet and long forgotten when its intended purpose was fulfilled.  I love taking them home and filing them into my grandfather’s old chest of drawers, reserved for my own collection, which my youngest daughter so thoughtfully arranged in color order.  And I love to see the large variety of fabrics I have been able to collect in the last year and a half.

I collect fabric and sometimes sew them together.

Mario Bros.

As with most of my previous projects, I saw a picture of a completed quilt and thought to myself, “I can do that!”  I started this project shortly after completing my dads Tetris quilt.  I printed a picture, counted out the squares and did some sewing math (see kids, you really DO need math!) and planned it out.  I cut all 864 squares before starting to sew, which is unusual for me because I typically get too impatient to get to the fun stuff and cut as needed.  But given the large number of squares needed, I wanted to make sure I was organized.

fb_img_15334169868811658710204596684381.jpg

fb_img_15334169897815269989737013715745.jpgfb_img_15334169940387241498380723489649.jpg

This kind of sewing is peaceful to me.  I don’t have to think much about what I am doing…just sew in a straight line.  I was likely binge-watching something on Netflix, sitting quietly in my own thoughts, or gabbing with my girls about the latest high school goings on.

I finished the top.  I quilted it.  And then it sat on the back of my couch, folded, for nearly a year!

Finally, recently I found the lost fabric I was going to use for the binding and got to work to complete it.

20180727_0859143589731748252642549.jpg20180726_193625258291874713685935.jpg

This was a challenging and fun quilt to work on.  And I just love the finished product!  It takes me back to the 80’s, when playing Nintendo was one of my family’s favorite past-times.

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!

A T-Shirt Quilt or Two!

Been there…done that…got the shirt!

There are many memories to be preserved from our younger years.  From sports teams, academic and service clubs, to performing arts and commemorative events.

The t-shirt quilt was one of the first projects that caught my eye and turned me on to the thought of learning to sew.  My own kids are still collecting shirts but I was happy to make a quilt for a couple of friends whose kids have graduated.

I did a lot of research.  The first quilt took me probably way longer than it should have because I was trying to make sure I was doing things correctly…and of course, I still made mistakes along the way.  The second quilt didn’t take me as long to construct but it was a bit bigger and the quilting process took me longer (because wrestling a large quilt whilst sewing on the floor can be hard…and then being unhappy with the quilting and ripping it all out and redoing it tends to add to production time as well).

IMG_4616

This quilt is made from 16 different shirts.

IMG_4618

Flocked heat transfer vinyl was used to add her name to the back of the quilt.

26036569_10214771530580923_1930080578_o

This quilt is made from 22 different shirts.

hailey

She loved it ❤

I have found with my quilting, I tend to want to get hung up on the mistakes I make.  I don’t know why it’s so hard to see past those imperfections and appreciate the whole piece for what it is.  It’s a struggle but it is something I am working on.

With each project I work on, I learn more than just the skills it takes to complete the project.  I learn a little more about patience.  I test my problem-solving skills and push myself to see how many times I can complete the same task in an attempt to get it just right, all while keeping my cool.

I have recently learned that sometimes life takes you sideways but there’s still so much beauty around us and so much to be thankful for….we can’t get fixated on our mistakes….even when it was the mistakes that took us sideways.  😉

I hope the two young ladies that received these quilts were surprised by them and will stay wrapped up in warmth by the memories for years to come.

Merry Christmas, to all!

Throwback Throw

One of the best joys of creating is gifting.

Of course my family will be the ones to reap the benefits of what I sew (see what I did there…lol).

Recently my dad mentioned that someone made my grandmother a quilt and he’d like one also.  So naturally, I’d have to make one, right?!?

The hardest part of (most) any project for me, is starting.  There are so many decisions to be made.  Patterns and fabrics, oh my!  There are so many to choose from.

My dad has always been a gamer, of sorts.  I do not remember him playing it but I know we had an Atari when I was really young.  And I can remember him teaching me how to play The Oregon Trail on our Texas Instruments computer.  Then when I was around the age of 7 or so, my parents bought me a Nintendo.  I played Super Mario Bros. at my friends’ houses and was so excited to play at home.  Such fun!

When I was trying to decide which quilt I would make for him, my first thought was something neutral, maybe with beige and blues.  I would make a traditional quilt with a Missouri star, maybe.  But then I saw something like this on Pinterest and knew this was the one I had to make for him.

tetris quilt

Tetris!

This was a fun quilt to make.  There are definitely things I would change about it if I could go back.  I learned a few things.  And remembered some a little too late.  Like the measurements of the binding.  But hopefully he won’t look too closely at (or he’ll just overlook) those parts.  And hopefully he won’t try to fold it nice and neat because it simply won’t as it isn’t square like it should be.

A day or so after I finished quilting, but before I completed the binding, my mom called. She asked if I wanted to put a patch of my grandfather’s shirt on the quilt.  He’s been gone five years now and she thought it would be a nice, sentimental touch.  I agree.  And sure.  I have finished piecing and quilting at this point but no reason not to find a way to add it in.

tetris quilt back
I will preface this by saying that I am a pretty sentimental person.

I took a square above the left pocket, the one that rested just on his heart and added it to the corner of the quilt that would sit closest to my dads heart.  I sewed the folded square into the binding of the quilt.

All in all, I am pleased with it.  My dad was also.  I love how fun and nostalgic it is.  And I can’t wait to make another 80’s video game inspired quilt!!

Kid, you’ll move mountains!

IMG_3506

Often times, I think of a project long before I have the means, way or need to make it. But these ideas stick with me, sometimes they just roll around in my head for a while and sometimes they get lost in one of my notebooks.

But not this one.

My (not-so-little) little cousin and his wife were expecting their first baby, a boy.  For the baby shower, they asked for books instead of cards, with messages inside for the baby.  I thought this was the sweetest idea.

I couldn’t make it to the shower because my family and I were camping.  Don’t be fooled by the goofy faces, my kids were having a blast.  It was the perfect weekend with family and friends.  We played games, visited and ate lots of food!

camping

Even though I couldn’t be there for the baby shower, I still wanted to do something special.  What if I made a little blanket he could lay on while he played?  Or one he could snuggle with while all of these new books are read to him?

I bought the focal fabric weeks before but put it away for fear of messing it up.  One day, I finally decided that this was one gift I needed to make and now.

And not a moment too soon.  Baby Parker arrived just two days after I completed this quilt.  I hope he will enjoy this for years to come.

Congratulations to the new mom and dad on your perfect baby boy!

IMG_3513

IMG_3502

IMG_3508

IMG_3507

IMG_3518

IMG_3510