Saturday, August 28, 2010

First Pass: The His 'n Hers Kindle Cover

I've got a to do list longer than my grocery list right now, and since I haven't shopped in 2 weeks that's saying something. So when my husband's new Kindle arrived in the mail I saw an opportunity to procrastinate even more and make up a cool cover for it. He ordered the new Kindle 3 with wi-fi, it's really pretty stinkin cool. It's super small and it seems really delicate. I had grand plans of making a cool, quilted cover - but those were traded for, make it quick, get it done now because the kids are going absolutely crazy, and what did you feed them??

So I did some quick measurements and calculations (ok, my computer did the hard work) and came up with a pattern that should fit this little guy really snug and protect it pretty well. I wanted something that my husband would be happy to carry, but was still cool. The Echino bus fabric was perfect. I did a simple flap closure, and had the hubby cut 1" circles out of orange velcro on the laser cutter for a closure. I thought of a snap first, but I didn't want to have to put pressure on a point on the Kindle to close the cover. I normally don't like working with velcro because it always looks like a kindergarten craft project when I'm done with it, but the laser cutter and some super slow sewing solved that. I know you can buy pre-cut circles of hook and loop tape, this would work well too.

As I was thinking about all the innards and lining of this bag, I thought about how cute and cool it would be to make a little patchwork pouch. Then I thought, well why not make one for when I use the Kindle? Well, I don't have time for that - it's redundant anyway. Ah ha moment - I should make this bag reversible!

Flip it on through and this is what you have! I think it's really cute, albeit unpolished. Hence, the title - First Pass. It's a little poufy, and the topstitching is terrible. It barely fit around my sewing machine to topstitch it - a problem I haven't figured out how to remedy yet. Having the plain linen blend fabric at the top of the pouch prevents any 'girliness' from showing when it's turned out to the 'his' side, but gives it a clean look on the patchwork 'hers' side. It's lined with a layer of sew-in fleece (I would have used fusible, but it's more expensive so I don't keep it on hand), and a layer of PUL - that's polyurethane laminate - the stuff used in diaper covers to prevent leaks. So it's also water resistant - in case I happen to be carrying it in a diaper bag with a leaky sippy cup.

I think it was a good first pass, it was super quick, I like it and it will get used. However, I feel the need to refine it a bit and do a second pass. Next time, I NEED to photograph my process so I can do a little tutorial. I do have drawings for the pattern too. Does anyone else have the new Kindle? I'd happily share the pattern - it does fit like a glove. Have a great weekend!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Easy Piece

Phew - that was a busy week!!
Kind of glad it's over - even though there was a lot of fun involved...

I'm starting to think about Christmas gifts (I know - a little late off the starting block...), and I have all of these super fabulous vintage sheets laying around. I decided to try to make 4 comfy couch quilts to give as gifts but I wanted something that went together really quick. This is what I came up with. Just a simple patchwork design, 4" finished squares, with some 8" squares thrown into mix it up a bit. I also added some kona solids to give it a more bold looks, and I love the way it came out. I got some minky at fabric depot for 50% off (!!) to back these with. I haven't done a minky backed quilt yet - so if you guys have any helpful tips or tricks, let me know!

Also, this week was the PMQG's August meeting. It was a blast! Christina did a great presentation and demo on free motion quilting, and she's also hosting a quilt-a-long on her site - check it out. There were several other people demoing as well, and I feel like I got a lot of good tips. Can't wait to have some time to myself to try it out.
There was also a hexagon swap at the meeting - these are the castle peeps (and coordinating) hexagons I brought in, and Tania picked them. Hope she has fun with them!

These are the hexagons I picked - how cute! I don't know who made them though - let me know if they are yours, I want to say thanks!

Last but certainly not least - I want to show off the super adorable needle book and fab lush fabric that Megan gave me. Seriously, how cute is this? I LOVE the wizard of oz fabric, and look at the inside - it's the yellow brick road! It really was a good week - just a long one.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

An Orange Pillow and a Cool Class

Last weekend I had the chance to attend a Freestyle Quilting workshop at Modern Domestic (our local sewing studio). The class was taught by none other than Elizabeth Hartman of Oh Frannson!. There were some other ladies from the PMQG there too, which made it extra fun! Joan, Amber, and Katie were all in the class.

We started off the class cutting and making 12 mini quilt sandwiches. Elizabeth then went over the walking foot and we all did a bunch of practice quilting with the walking foot using different methods. We did some 'wonky' straight lines, some random diagonal lines, some offset outline stitching, and a continuous geometric design which I ended up using in my mini Castle Peeps quilt.

Next we put on the darning foot and worked on practicing some different styles of free-motion quilting. We worked on stippling, long loopy lines, and pebbling. Elizabeth had us first draw these patterns on paper to get the hang of it. Then off we went. It's a lot harder to get a nice even stitch out of these patterns, but I'm surprised at how quick you can fill up a 12x12 area. The pebbling took the longest, but seemed to be the most forgiving. The stipple went quick but was the hardest to make look good. I have a lot more practicing to do before I use these methods on a whole quilt, but I really like the look, and enjoy doing it.

Thanks to Elizabeth for a great workshop and giving me the confidence to jump in to free-motion quilting. Here is Elizabeth's example pillow, and here is the one I came up with. Covered in a baby:

Monday, August 9, 2010

I've Developed a Leak

Did you ever feel like you have so many ideas bubbling around in your head that if you don't use some of them they will leak out of your ear? I think that's started happening to me. I feel like I've been blogging about the same projects for months with a huge backlog of ideas.

The truth is, I don't really get a lot of time to sew. My 2 little ones keep me pretty busy most days. Last week however, I was able to take a few hours to myself here and there and knock out this little doll quilt/wall hanging that I've had in my head for awhile now. It was intended to hang on the wall in my daughter's room. It matches the decorative painting that I showed you in my last post. It was inspired by this doll quilt. I was able to get it quilted at the PMQG's sewcial at Modern Domestic on Saturday night. Loads of fun. I may have had a few margarita's beforehand, but I don't think the quilt suffered much from it.

Before the Sewcial, I was able to attend Elizabeth Hartman's (Of Oh Fransson), freestyle quilting workshop. It was super informative and super fun! I had never tried free-motion quilting before, and this helped me to jump right in. I haven't finished my project from the class yet, because I wanted more practice time with my free motion skills. Elizabeth is a quilting guru, and I would recommend this class to anyone looking for a jumpstart into quilting, or to hone their skills. I'll post more on this when I actually get the pillow done!

I did finally finish my daughter's new wave quilt, and even got the chance to wash it. So crinkly and lovely...

(This quilt is so bright and lovely, why can't I get a good picture of it? They all look washed out! Any photography buffs out there that can give me some tips? I work with a point and shoot - Canon powershot SD1100. I have no idea how to use it to it's fullest.)

The other exciting thing that happened this week was receiving my lovely package of hexagons from Shelly at PinkPunkBoutique! These were from the flickr swap organized by Heather and Kerri. Thanks ladies for organizing, and thanks so much Shelly for my super cool hexies and pouch, I'm in love with them! I've decided that I need to use the hexagons on something that I will see/use every day. I have a few ideas in the back of my head. I'm hoping I can keep them from leaking out. ;)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

A Step Closer

I made a quilt for my son, and was feeling pressure to make one for my daughter as well. She loves to climb into his bed and roll around with his quilt and it makes him pretty mad. I love the idea of using old sheets for quilts. Especially the really 'retro-cool' ones from the 60s and 70s. I got some vintage sheets from my Mom, and did a few flickr sheet FQ swaps to build up my stash. Alot of the sheets have really cool patterns or stripes that I thought would look better with a bigger, pattern that has simple geometry. I really love square patchwork type quilts, but thought that I'd do something to compliment the cool painting we did on her walls.

Anyhow, I came across Oh Fransson's New Wave pattern (available for free on her website), and thought it would be a perfect match for Syd's room and the vintage sheets I'd been collecting. I made myself a plastic rotary cutting template with the laser cutter to make cutting the pieces easier, and it really did make it easy. This pattern is quick to piece, and I love that it makes such a statement for not so much time spent.

I really love when you have the binding sewn on and flip it over and clip it, and for the first time you get to see how the 'finished' quilt will look. Such a cool little sneak peak. I wasn't so sure how I was going to feel about this one while I was working on it, but I'm really happy with how it's turning out. My favorite thing about it is that it's made with sheets from my folks. One was a wedding shower gift (the one right next to the blue flower one), and the binding was cut from pillow cases that belonged to my Dad before he met my Mom.