Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Getting ready for a new year

Yesterday, I started on something new. I am thinking of it as a kick-starting project to lead me into the new year. I've got it all cut and have started sewing up half-square triangles like a madwoman!

Crazy for Baby, piecing in progress pic

Pretty pinks, yellows, and oranges in a Me & My Sister Designs pattern from their book, Crazy for Baby.

book cover, Crazy for Baby

It should be a happy little quilt!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Holiday gifting

I hope you have been having a happy holiday season! It has been a crazy couple of weeks here. How do the holidays manage to slip by so quickly??? I haven't done a lot of crafting lately, but I did manage a couple of things.

Noodlehead Gathered Clutch teacher gift:

Noodlehead Gathered Clutch, aqua edition

Love this pattern!

And another:

Noodlehead Gathered Clutch, clock edition

I can't seem to stop making them.

Emmeline Apron hostess gift:

Emmeline Apron, holiday version collage

Having recently made one of these, this one went together very quickly (even the hand-stitching part!). My only complaint this time around has to do with the fabrics. I initially bought some American Made Brand solid in brick for the accent (straps, ties, etc.). But when I went to prewash it, there was bleeding. So I washed again. And again. After the fifth time (and it was still bleeding), I decided to go get some Kona. I've never had a problem with Kona solids bleeding, but sure enough-- when I went to prewash the Kona burgundy, it bled. And bled. And so on. Gah!

Finally, I took the time to do a little research and learned about Retayne. It is a wash additive that works to set colors and prevent bleeding. I ran to my LQS and picked up a small bottle. I used a couple of teaspoons in a load with both fabrics. After a dry cycle, I washed them both again with just a little detergent. The color catcher came out white. It worked!!!! This stuff is chemical magic! Suffice to say-- after the bleeding stopped, the project went very smoothly. And my friend loved it!

Iron-on transfer sweatshirt:

Big Bear wearing his new Rogue Legacy sweatshirt

Big Bear's favorite video game of late is Rogue Legacy. It is an indie game made by a small company. Unfortunately, because they are so small, they don't sell any cool game-related swag. So I created my own and gave it to my son for Christmas. I purchased a plain navy sweatshirt (it was a 50/50 poly/cotton blend), and then used Avery Dark Fabric Iron-On Transfer Sheets to print out the game title logo. I just followed the instructions with the sheets, and it worked great! My only complaint is that the colors in the transfer definitely dimmed and yellowed a bit in the ironing process. But it still looks okay. And he LOVES it. He has been wearing his new sweatshirt every day. Yay!!!

In addition to the above, I also gave my boys new pillowcases and gifted the "Serenitea Quilt" to my mother-in-law.

The projects were all pretty low-stress (excepting the apron... bleeding fabric stresses me out) and I gave myself plenty of time to get them finished (excepting the apron... finished a couple of hours before the event). (Of course, what kind of holiday would it be if there was no stressed-out crafting going on???) Overall, it was a good season for crafty gift giving!

Monday, December 1, 2014

On the design wall...

Last night I finished a couple more blocks in the Sea Breeze Quilts "Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler" quilt-along.

Chocolate Marshmallow Sampler blocks 1-5

This brings me to five total. One more block, and I'll be caught up.

two more gathered clutches ready to sew

However, my immediate plan is to work on a couple more gathered clutches for teacher gifts. I have two more cut out and ready to sew. Now that it is December, I find myself suddenly feeling holiday pressure. So I wanna get these off my plate!