Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Washington T-shirt for BabyStitches

Here is a little t-shirt I made for BabyStitches for Christmas. I saw the idea on someone's art/craft blog, and thought I'd try it. It's an outline of Baby's state, with a heart button marking the spot where she lives.
The original idea was to make a template from freezer paper, iron it on to the shirt, and use fabric paint to paint the state onto the shirt. At first I was going to do that. But then I thought, I'm really more of a sewing person than a painting person, so why don't I sew it instead?

First I found an outline of Washington state on the internet. (Easy) Then I figured out what size I needed it to be, and reduced it to fit my little shirt. (Also easy)

Then it was simple to trace the pattern (backwards) onto fusible, fuse it to the fabric and cut out the shape, and iron it to the shirt. I used my machine blanket stitch to go around the outside of the state. I experimented a little bit on knits, and decided to put some muslin on the inside of the shirt, just to give it a little more "substance" when doing the blanket stitch.

I'm pretty happy with how it turned out. Because of the muslin on the back, though, it is just a little bit stiff. I'll have to ask BabyStitches if she minds this.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Barn Quilts in Iowa

While I was in Iowa (and Minnesota) visiting family last week, my parents and I drove from northwest Iowa, where they live, to Ames, home of Iowa State University. That is where my NephewStitches received his diploma. We had a good day for the drive: clear roads and sunny skies.

Eventually we came to Sac County, and were greeted by this sign.
Barn Quilts!! Awesome!!! It being winter, with the trees bare of leaves, and all the white countryside, it was easy to spot the barn quilts.
It was almost like a game to us.
We'd see who could catch sight of the next barn quilt.
It was such a treat to see them. Little random spots of unexpected beauty. They are so pretty.
It made the drive more interesting. I previously posted about BrotherStitches's barn quilt here.

All of the above quilts were taken from the website http://www.barnquilts.com/

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Cold Outside!

Dear Bloggie Friends,

Sorry it's been so long since I've posted anything. (I think it's a record for me for longest time between posts!) I have been busy working on things, but either they are secrets, or I haven't had any good photos to show you.
I spent most of last week in Iowa and Minnesota. Man, was it ever cold! Yes, I grew up there, but now I've lived more than half my life in California, and I'm just not used to cold weather and walking/driving on ice. I was able to sneak in between snow storms, though, and had good roads for driving. I went to see my NephewStitches graduate from Iowa State University. We're all so proud of him. His degree is actually a double major in environmental science and agronomy. I think he feels a big relief now that all the tests are over. We had a good time celebrating with him.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

It's Only Been a Year!

Way back in November of 2009, I showed you this photo of blocks I had cut to make a quilt. (Blog entry here) I got them all arranged on my design wall and sewn together into the quilt shown in the next photo.

Yes, I am embarrassed that it has been so long since I started it. The top itself actually went together quite quickly, but for some reason I just didn't get around to finishing it. From the photo above it looks like it is a lot of crosses or x's sewn together, but it's really much simpler than that.

From the photo above you can see that I sewed two rectangles together, made four sets of those, then joined the four together. It's a very simple process; it just takes a bit of planning and laying out of rectangles.

I didn't have a pattern, but followed a photo I had seen on someone's blog, and now I can't even remember which blog it was! But rest assured that I didn't come up with the design. And thank you to whomever posted this quilt on her blog!

I had to take a little care not to stretch the quilt top, as all of the edges were on the bias. Gentle handling seemed to do the trick. I pre-measured the borders, and made them fit the quilt.

I had chosen fabric for the borders and binding quite a while ago, and this week set about to finish it. The blue border strips can be seen above. Unfortunately, they were not long enough for the sides, so I had to piece them. Because the pieced blocks were placed en pointe, I decided to use diagonal seams to join the strips, hoping that the joins might be less noticeable. The photo below shows a close-up of the diagonal seam.

And here it is again, all finished. Now on to the quilting part of the project. I may just use straight-line quilting along the diagonal lines.