Sunday, April 2, 2017

2017 goals

2016 was an interesting year. With a cross country move and then unpacking there wasn't much quilting done. And when we found out we were expecting, well everything got put on the back burner while I trudged through morning sickness. The two quilts that did get finished were done prior to the move and the backing for Alex's quilt was prepped and batting purchased, but I never got around to actually quilting it.

Here's a look at my 2016 goals:
1. Alex's twin size
2. Dad's jelly roll race DONE!
3. Feed Company BOM DONE!
4. Gavin's quilt
5. Logan's quilt
6. Winterberry stars (top)

So things got moved from one year's to do list to another. ;) I hope 2017 will be more productive but with a newborn, I'm not counting on it. That's why I'm trying to get as much done as I can before baby arrives. The top 3 quilts are for one of my friends, her boys have been waiting years for their quilts and she recently lost her daughter. I thought getting all 3 done at the same time would make for some happy mail for them. I'm planning on sewing up the new baby's crib bedding since I haven't found anything I like in the stores. It wouldn't be anything fancy, just simple patchwork if anything. There's two quilt tops that I hope to finish piecing (I'll get them quilted later) along with Alex's quilt actually being quilted and binding done. And the advent calendar is practically done, it just needs embroidery and the pockets attached.

Here's what I hope to accomplish in 2017:
1. Gavin's quilt
2. Logan's quilt
3. Jillian's memory quilt
4. Crib bedding
5. Treehouse Club (top)
6. Winterberry stars (top)
7. Christmas advent calendar
8. Alex's twin quilt

So there we have it. Let's see if I actually get it all done. I'll be documenting it on Instagram if you're interested. :)

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Countdown to Christmas


I recently finished up a Christmas advent calendar for my niece. Using the same pattern as my Thanksgiving countdown, I used fabric from two collections for a bright and cheerful Christmas version.


I added a red mini pom-pom trim below the numbers for a fun effect, although I didn't take into account how difficult it would be to sew on. Lots of slow sewing to make sure it was securely attached.


For the holly leaves I used scraps and the same buttons from my niece's cherry dress.


The binding was a perfect last minute find at my local quilt shop. Silly me didn't get binding fabric when I bought the other fabrics, but this bias stripe in red and aqua from the Hello Darling collection was the perfect finishing touch. It reminds me of striped Christmas candy. :)


Pattern: Quilted Advent Calendar by Sew Sweet Violet (altered for larger pockets)
Fabric:
  • Multi color snowflakes: The Cookie Exchange by Sweetwater for Moda
  • All others: North Woods by Kate Spain for Moda
  • Background: Mochi Linen by Moda
  • Backing: North Woods by Kate Spain for Moda
  • Binding: Hello Darling by Bonnie & Camille for Moda
Embroidery Floss: DMC 321
1/2" white cotton twill tape and red mini pom-pom trim found at Joann's
Stamp set and fabric ink: found at Hobby Lobby (use a coupon!)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

September Cottage

I finished this cute little cottage schoolhouse on Friday. I'm so excited that it's done, it is so cute.
I saw another stitcher had changed the cottage to an old fashioned schoolhouse and I fell in love. That is what made me want to start this project.

I changed up some colors as well and switched up the borders. The same stitcher who changed the cottage also did the ABC123 which I loved but then I thought what's a schoolhouse without books? So I added some tiny bookshelves and books for the bottom border.
I also decided to add a second color for the apples, to add some subtle dimension. I darkened the roof color and switched out the darker brown in the basket to match the roof.
It turned out so cute, I'm very pleased with it. The whole piece is starting to take shape. The next cottage I'm going to work on will be July, which will go on the other side of August.

Changes:
- Changed the cottage (obviously) to a schoolhouse
- Roof and basket uses 433
- Omitted floating flowers around month name
- Secondary apple color is 347
- Bookshelves uses 920, 825, 552, 986, 581, 351, 728, 433 and 3829 for back stitch/details


Pattern: Cottages of the Month by Country Cottage Needleworks
Fabric: 14 count Aida in Vintage Country Mocha found at 123stitch.com
Threads: all DMC

You can see my progress through the cottage of the month series here

Monday, September 19, 2016

In Everything Give Thanks

I decided this year I wanted to find a fun way to teach my son about gratitude. I remembered seeing a countdown calendar with activity cards a few years ago and thought that would be perfect. And then I saw this pattern with patchwork pockets and I fell in love. Patchwork has my heart, it's my favorite.
I had to enlarge the pockets a bit to get the cards to fit and I also made the rows have 5 pockets each (that was a boo boo on my part, but I went with it). Of course I changed the embroidery to reflect the holiday and I also added a rod pocket on the back for hanging. The muslin I used ended up having a more open weave so I backed it with interfacing to help stabilize it better. 

Now that I've made one I think I got all the kinks worked out. I plan on making a Christmas version for both my son and my niece, so you will be seeing more of this cute pattern.
Pattern: Quilted Advent Calendar by Sew Sweet Violet
Activity Cards:  Thanksgiving Countdown Cards by Everyday Celebrations
Fabric:
  • Cream cherries: Unknown designer (found in my local quilt shop's scrap bin)
  • Taupe pumpkins: Home for the Harvest by Heather Mulder Peterson for Henry Glass
  • All others: Welcome Fall by Deb Strain for Moda
  • Background: muslin found at Hobby Lobby
  • Stabilizer: Shape-Flex SF101 by Pellon
  • Backing + binding: Postcards from the Lodge by Pela Studios for Windham Fabrics
Embroidery Floss: DMC 498, 729, 367, 920, and 898
1/2" wide cotton twill tape found here (color: natural)
Stamp set and fabric ink: found at Hobby Lobby (use a coupon!)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

August cottage

I recently finished the August cottage in the cottage of the month series from Country Cottage Needleworks. I'm so happy with how it turned out.

I made a few changes to the original pattern:
- I flipped the clouds
- I used DMC 3022 instead of 3023 for the shutters (I liked the subtle green better)
- I used DMC Variations 4230 for the waves
- I came up with my own sand castle design to use in place of the seashells. Here's a better close up of the sand castle:
If you remember, I'm doing all 12 cottages on one fabric starting in the middle and working my way outward. I'm doing 3 across and 4 down. Here's a look at the two middle cottages all finished.
I've already started working on the September cottage and there will definitely be some changes to that cottage. It's going to be cute!

Pattern: Cottages of the Month by Country Cottage Needleworks
Fabric: 14 count Aida in Vintage Country Mocha found at 123stitch.com
Threads: all DMC

You can see my progress through the cottage of the month series here

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Embroidery Floss Organization

I thought I'd share with you what I've been doing for my growing floss stash, in case you need to organize too. :)

Bobbins
When I first started out I used cardboard labels but I've found they aren't very good for long term storage. That's when I switched to plastic bobbins. The DMC brand is pretty expensive and to be honest, not all that  great. I've found that my floss unravels easier because the little slits are not very tight. I ended up buying 250 generic plastic bobbins for around $5 from here and I like them so much better. The slits are smaller which means the floss stays put. I've been putting all new floss on the plastic bobbins and I'm slowly switching over the floss on cardboard.

Labels
I originally bought the little DMC number sticker labels when I was using cardboard bobbins, but I've found that they don't stay very well on the plastic. Can't have a number label go missing when working on a project! You could of course write it on with a fine point permanent marker but I liked the look of the printed numbers. So I've been using my label maker to type up the numbers. If you want to do the same here's a few tips:
- Use the label tape that is plastic coated, the paper tape will smudge over time. It comes in white or clear, either color will work.
- I use the smallest font size possible. It's actually the same size as the DMC stickers.
- Between each number I put 4 spaces to allow for cutting and trimming.
- I do large batches of labels at a time to not waste any tape. I keep typing numbers until the machine tells me it can't fit any more, then I print.
- After the numbers are printed and trimmed I put them on the bobbins right away so I don't lose anything. Then whenever I have a few minutes I wind up the floss on its corresponding bobbin. It will take me a few days to get through a big stack but since it's mindless work it can be done while watching a movie.


Storage
I originally had 2 plastic bobbin cases that can be found at any craft store. But I needed more space and I didn't like the idea of having stacks of these cases. But I'm so glad to have come across some fellow stitchers on Instagram who get just as excited over organization as I do. I saw someone's stash in this double sided case on their Instagram and knew that was the answer. Apparently it can hold the entire collection of DMC floss (#stashgoals ;) ) You can find the case on Amazon for $15 but I recently found this case at my local Meijers on sale for $6.50!! I may have squealed and done a little happy dance in the craft aisle. So if you happen to have a store in your area, hop on over there and get yourself one. I've barely filled one side, so there's definitely some room to grow.

Hope this helps some of my fellow stitchers out. If you have any questions please feel free to ask. :)

Friday, June 24, 2016

Hand stitching while I wait

We had a cross country move at the end of April and the last stitch I made with a sewing machine was for my dad's quilt. Since then I've been doing a bit of hand stitching until the room where my machine will go is painted. I've been working on my cross stitch cottages of the month. After seeing others on Instagram I got the itch to finish what I started. I finally finished May (only took a year!) and moved on to August. I plan on doing a few changes to August. I already ordered the next two I'll be working on, July and September, and I'm really excited to keep going. These cottages are so cute.



For embroidery, after I got my summer pattern done and framed (I got it framed right before we moved) I started working on the winter pattern. I'm hoping to have it done by the end of winter but we'll see. It took a year to get summer done so eh...I'm not holding my breath. ;) I already purchased the spring and fall patterns so I'll be able to start on them whenever I get done with winter.
I'm hoping my sewing machine will be set up soon because I've been feeling the itch to sit at my machine again. My poor Farmer's Wife has been calling to me and I really want to get back to it. And I finally found a backing for my son's twin size quilt so I really want to get that one finished as well.