Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Let's get to the crafty stuff!

I want to get to the good stuff now...not that talking about myself and my family isn't fun, but my one of the purposes of this blog is for me to share some of the sewing, quilting, and crafty stuff that I do with others in hopes of getting some good ideas from other women like me as well. 

A good friend of mine, Anna, introduced me to the world of quilting last year. When I first heard the word "quilting" I totally pictured my grandmother sitting at her ancient sewing machine making some ugly blanket for her old friend or something (which is weird, because I only have one living grandmother and as far as I know, she hasn't sewn anything in a good 15 years or so). Anyway, back to my friend. 


This is a pretty old picture of us, but I love it. It's from good old Glen Dow Academy of Hair Design circa 2007. Don't you love the I heart customer service pins we had to wear? Anna is a great friend of mine and we obviously went to beauty school together. She's gorgeous, has a great sense of style,  has a lot of tattoos like myself, and I had no idea she had all of this craftiness inside of her and I couldn't imagine her quilting, let alone owning a sewing machine. (She also has the cutest little girl named Violet who is about 3 months older than my daughter...they're BFFS!)


I saw a few pictures of quilts Anna had done on her Facebook page and they looked SO good. I was at her house one day and she had some of her quilting blocks sitting out on her dining room table and I started asking her questions...what I needed to get started (like a sewing machine!) She assured me that quilting is not just for old ladies and that it's actually really fun and that I should try it. After seeing the quilts she made I didn't need much more convincing. So then I had to ask my husband to buy me a sewing machine, and I was surprised that he said yes right away. Apparently he'd been wanting me to find a hobby besides watching TV and reading Cosmopolitan, so he didn't have a problem handing over the money for a sewing machine. I looked online and read some reviews and figured out which machine I wanted to start with. I figured probably shouldn't buy a $500 machine if I wasn't even sure I'd like sewing or if I had never sewn a straight line in my life just yet. I settled on a pretty decently priced Brother machine. It's nothing like the old Singer I borrowed and never used from my mom years ago. This one is digital & is light as a feather, and actually the selling point for me was that it's a limited edition Project Runway machine (I'm a sucker for reality TV, or really anything on Bravo for that matter!)


My husband then headed out to buy me a desk, a lamp, and a few other items and we got my area all set up next to his computer, guitars, and painting stuff in our office. (He was nice enough to give me a corner in there next to him, and he even bought me a Twilight poster so that I can gaze at Edward while I'm trying to work on my sewing projects). Here's what sewing corner looks like:


I decided that my first quilt I'd make would be for my mom since Mother's Day was only a few weeks away. I picked a blue and brown color scheme, chose the pattern I wanted, and picked out all the fabric and materials I needed to start my very first quilt (actually, my first sewing project ever!) It took me a few weeks and a lot of money to finish the quilt in time, but I did it! Lesson learned though, don't buy all of your fabric from specialty quilting stores. Use your coupons for JoAnn's and shop when things are on sale and you'll cut down on the cost a lot. 

It started with the fabric

Then those turned into quilt blocks

And then I laid all of the quilt blocks down and arranged them how I liked them

Then I sewed them together

After that I added the border

After that I had to figure out how I wanted the quilt top, batting, and backing put together. Anna has a friend of hers free motion quilt hers together for her, and I liked the look of that. (The swirly stitching all over it). I went to the specialty quilt shop where I'd purchased the fabric from and the ladies were all very impressed with my quilt, especially since it was my first one. They said I could rent their quilting machine in the store to free motion quilt it together, but I was afraid that I'd mess it up. So instead, I decided to pay the fee to have them quilt it together for me. Apparently there was a miscommunication somewhere because I was not aware of how much this was going to cost me. Believe me, I was completely shocked and caught off guard when Shayne and I went to pick it up later and the lady rang it  up for $155! Shayne shot me a look and sighed as he gave her the money for it and I got a lecture in the car later about how I needed to make sure I knew how much something was going to cost before I agreed to it. (Remember, it was a miscommunication though! It wasn't really my fault). Anyways, it did turn out beautifully.


And a week later I gave it to my mom for Mother's Day. She loved it!


Now, that was a twin sized quilt, which was quite a project! After doing that I realized I probably should have stuck to baby sized quilts. I made 2 quilts for Lily to get some practice in and I was hooked! Baby quilts! That would be my thing!



For those two quilts I just "stitched in the ditch" to sew the layers all together. After these quilts though I figured I should buy the special presser foot for my sewing machine so that I could do the free motion quilting myself. It took a little practice but I quickly got the hang of it and I'm able to do it myself now! It's very very fun and it makes the quilts really beautiful and durable...plus it saves me a lot of money!

Here are some more pictures of quilts that I've made for my friends' kids. Some of these were made as gifts and a few of them were actually sold after I was asked specifically by people to make and sell them.

This one was made for a friend to give to her friend as a baby shower gift for her new baby girl...pink & brown scheme to match a bedding set she already had in her nursery.



Free motion quilting on my machine

Finished pink/brown/teal quilt. This one was supposed to just be pink & brown but I fell in love with the teal fabrics & she gave me free reign to do what I wanted.

Hard to see, but I wrote "Lilly" on it for my friend's daughter's quilt.

Finished pink quilt...very girly for a little 2 year old girl.

These 2 were made for sisters :) 

Free motion quilting on a quilt for my best friend Breann.

For my best friend's birthday.

Finished lap size quilt for Breann's birthday

Another pink/teal/brown quilt


I just love the pink/orange/teal/brown flowery fabrics...perfect spring colors for a little girl!

This one was tricky. The asian theme was all based around 1 fabric that's in this quilt. I'm not crazy with how it turned out just because I went in a different direction than I originally intended. It looks more mature & not as babyish.


The last three quilts, the pink/teal/brown one, the spring colored one, and the asian one are all my current projects and are unfinished. I'm in the middle of free motion quilting the pink/teal/brown one right now and it's supposed to be a gift for someone, and the other two will most likely be sold. After that I'd love to make one for myself...funny how I don't have a quilt for myself yet. I want a pretty one as a throw for my living room so I can snuggle up with it while I drink my coffee in the morning. Now if only I could decide on colors...

Anyhow, there's a little look at some of my projects. I hope to post many many more in the future and will probably have a more step by step blog with detailed pictures of my next sewing adventure!

1 comment:

  1. Great idea with the names! I want to make a beach quilt for my next one to throw down on the sand. Maybe I could do my kids names on it or all of ours : ) They are all great... so many! I only finished one baby one and it took forever! haha

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