Sunday, June 30, 2013

Baby shoes

I finished my last bit of pre-baby sewing...a pair of baby shoes. 

I was hoping they'd be like bait and lure her out, but I doubt it.  At least I can just quilt away until she comes...working on quilts is so much more relaxing than working on clothing or other things that are three-dimensional.  That works out a whole different area of my brain.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


I'm trying to make light, but I'm seriously not amused.

We have three cats - Lucky Lou, Edison, and Juneau.  Edison has the tendency to wake me up around 5:30 AM by walking on my face, and Lucky Lou thinks litterbox use is optional.  I find both of these habits highly annoying, so I often refer to Juneau as "the good one."

Two days ago I finished the quilting on the central star of my mom's quilt.  I decided to bring it over to show her before I finished anything else, to see if she liked the direction I was headed.  I was going to visit her the next morning, so I carefully folded it and put it on the couch so I'd remember to bring it with me.  Juneau promptly curled up on it and went to sleep.  I laughed and thought, That's cute, it's not even done and it's cat-approved already.

The next morning I woke up and found her sleeping on the back of the couch near the quilt.  And the quilt?  Covered in cat vomit. 

I was so upset that I just put the quilt in the basement.  I couldn't even deal with it then.  Last night I brought it back out to survey the damage.  Luckily because of how it was folded only one corner of the back got stained.  However, I needed to wash it, and I couldn't very well put it through the washer and dryer in its half-quilted, half-basted state.  So I hand washed it and hung it in the basement to dry.

Today I'll inspect it in the bright sunlight.  Hopefully all of the stains will come out.  Otherwise I'm not sure what I'll do.  I've already quilted through a big chunk of it...I'd hate to rip it all out and replace the entire back.  I just really hope it all washed out.

This is the quilting I've done so far.  My mom wanted all straight lines, so I hope she likes this.

Oh, and Juneau seems fine by the way - not sick at all.  Honestly, why couldn't she have just jumped onto the floor to do that?

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Pressing on

I'm 37 weeks pregnant and still using my treadle sewing machine.  I'm surprised that I'm able to do it still, but it's been pretty easy.  The only problem I had was with winding my bobbin - I usually run my machine super-fast to do it, and I get out of breath. 

Quilting goes just fine, though.

I'm finally at the quilting stage with my mom's Carpenter's Wheel quilt.  She requested a lot of straight-line stitching, which I thought would go quickly...unfortunately, it's become more challenging than I thought since I like my quilting to make an interesting pattern on the back of the quilt as well as the front.  I'm still working on laying it out but I have a general idea.

I've also been doing baby sewing - I sewed up a second flannel blanket for my baby, and a flannel and minky fabric blanket for my cousin's baby shower next week.  I want to make a pair of baby shoes too...I had intended to sew one pair in each size before the baby came, but now I think that may have been ambitious.  If I can sew a pair in the smallest size I'll be happy.

Luckily my sewing area is in the basement, and my kids ask to play in the basement at least once a day...I've been getting a lot more sewing time in.  I love summer!

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Quilting the Log Cabin

I haven't been quilting much lately - why is that a constant statement on this blog?  Jeez.  My school year is almost over and I'll have about three weeks before the baby is due, so I hope to get some progress done on these the baby blanket I still have to make for the baby blanket I have to make for my cousin...

...I should do less blogging and more sewing.

Anyway, I basted my scrappy log cabin quilt and finally got a start on quilting it.  I was stuck on how to quilt it...I figured straight lines would make the most sense since they would just follow the lines of the quilt.  But I'm planning on doing straight line stitching on my mom's Carpenter's Wheel quilt, and I didn't really want to be doing tons of straight line quilting.  That would be boring.

So I figured a free motion design might work well on this one.  I thought and thought about what to do and felt totally stuck.  I looked up free motion designs on Pinterest and Leah Day's blog, but nothing clicked.  Then I found a blog called The Inbox Jaunt where she posted free motion quilting tutorials where she stitched things that looked like real objects.  That kind of clicked for me...when I thought about how I wanted this quilt to be used, I thought about my kids snuggling under it for years to come.  I wanted them to be able to be able to look at the beautiful variety of fabrics I used to make it, but I also wanted them to be able to spend time cuddled under it, running their fingers over the quilting.  My daughter loves the pink and red quilt I made, which I quilted all over with spirals.  I thought they'd love this too.

Also, wow, was it ever nice to get my beautiful Singer 115 out of its cabinet.  I hadn't used it in forever!  Free motion quilting is such a pleasure on that machine...smooth, speedy, wonderful.  It's by far my favorite machine.

I used one of her tutorials (the flower one), but mostly I'm just making up pictures as I go.  It's like doodling with thread.  It's fun and low-stress, since the design is so busy that the quilting really isn't center-stage anyway.  It's slow but enjoyable.  I'm making flowers, some meandering lines, some shapes like hearts and concentric circles, phrases and words in cursive, and some random pictures.  It's kind of hard to photograph, but below you can see one of the things I did tonight - a happy cat.

It's a long way from perfect.  It's a long way from beautiful.  But if I can fill this quilt with designs like this one, I know I'll be so much better at the end than I was at the beginning.  That's really what it's about...that, and creating something cheerful, colorful, and warm that my husband and kids will use over and over again.

I think both of those goals will be met by the end.