Web Site: http://quiltaddictsanonymous.com/
Bio: I'm a social media marketing professional by day and a quilter by night.
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The big day is just five weeks away – that is if my little guy or girl decides to arrive on time – and I still have a lot of nursery sewing to do.
I’ve already gotten quite a bit done, but I still have a ways to go until the room and all my sewing projects are complete.
First and foremost, I need to finish serging about three dozen soakers to go inside the cloth diapers I made. This is pretty essential as the soakers are what catches and holds the moisture and keeps the diapers from leaking all over. I’ve borrowed my neighbor’s serger for the task and have figured out how to use it, which is half the battle. Now I just need to buckle down and get sewing.
The rest of my to-do list remains unchanged from the last time I posted about my nursery progress. That needs to change quickly.
Make puppy crib quilt
Sew crib skirt
Make bobby covers to match the nursery decor
Make fabric baskets for the cube shelf that will double as toy box/book shelf
Paint the nursery Get new carpet
Recover the rocking chair cushion
Set up the nursery
My baby hasn’t even been born yet and already he or she could use their own quilt rack.
Thanks to wonderfully talented family and friends, my baby is definitely going to be spoiled in the handmade department. Here’s a little eye candy for your Thursday as I share the wonderful creations that have been made for my little one.
My aunt and I have talked before about how the recipients of our quilts often have no idea of the cost or work that goes into the gift. That of course doesn’t apply when she gave me a quilt for the baby at my shower. She searched high and low for dog fabric, which is not in style right now. She fussy cut out all of the dog faces for the square design and backed it with super soft minky fabric. I think the soft backing will make this quilt a favorite for middle of the night feedings.
Plus she gave me all her leftover fabric, which as my cousin noted, is a gift only I would appreciate.
Next up is my sister, who finished crocheting this blanket at the last minute before my shower. That’s how I know she’s my sister, we’re alike in our procrastination. Her son loves the holes in this crochet pattern. He puts his little fingers through them and holds on when he is sleeping. She made it to match the colors in my nursery.
And on a side note, the jeans she is wearing used to be mine. I keep swearing I’m going to steal them back someday, but that’s probably going to take several hundred miles logged in the jogging stroller.
At Christmas time my mother-in-law cleared out several of my husband’s keepsakes from his younger years and gave them to us. One of the cherished items is this blanket my husband’s grandmother made for him when he was a baby. His grandmother is no longer with us, so this is a very special gift for the next generation of Soebbings to use.
My friend Heather from quilt guild also made me a crib quilt that captures my personality and my husband’s. The front features batik fabrics, a weakness of mine. And the back is Illini fabric and a strip of orange, which my husband will love. He’s a big fan, and says our child is doomed from the start to a life of rooting for the Illini.
I also have an assortment of flannel receiving blankets, burp cloths and bibs from my cousin Alisa and friend Theresa. I’m so grateful to have such talented family and friends who are sharing their love of sewing with me and my baby. There certainly will never be a shortage of quilts and blankets in the nursery thanks to them.
I gave feathers a try for the first time on the longarm, and as you can tell by the feathers going in two different directions above, it is safe to say it didn’t go so well.
I’ve been taking Free-Motion Quilting with Feathers by Angela Walters on Craftsy. I’ve taken other classes from Angela on Craftsy and she is a very good instructor. She makes feathers look so easy. I had practiced drawing my feathers for weeks and was finally ready to load my Christmas panel quilt on the longarm.
The idea was to practice feathers in the border of the lap quilt before tackling the maple leaf log cabin. On that quilt I want to quilt feathers in the blocks on the light and dark halves so the feathers swirl around the center of the quilt.
At Quilting by You, where I rent time on the longarm, there are three machines. The only one that has a frame large enough for the log cabin is one that I am not used to quilting on. So I figured I’d get used the machine at the same time I learned to quilt feathers. It is older, has a hoping foot and the entire quilt vibrates as you run the machine over it. I got through half of one pass before I decided this was not the machine to learn to quilt feathers on.
The hopping foot and vibrations made it next to impossible to track over my stitches or get back to the spine. So I switched back to one of the machines I was familiar with. The top pass went much better, but once I got to the sides the quilting was a mess again. The feathers going in opposite directions in the first photo of this blog are an example of one of my feathers that didn’t go so well.
I kept on trying, but gave up halfway through the border. I’m still deciding whether or not I’m going to pull out all the stitches and start over, or just the ones that look truly awful. Either way, the next time I try feathers it is going to be on a piece of muslin. I need a lot more practice before I try on a quilt again.
I’ve had one heck of a case of swollen feet and ankles for the past two weeks. My normal habit of coming home from work and sewing has been replaced by coming home and elevating my feet on the couch.
That means I’ve been getting a lot of knitting done, but my sewing projects have pretty much come to a halt. By Saturday night I couldn’t take it anymore. I needed to sew, no matter how ridiculous my feet looked. But I had a stack of half square triangles that needed to be pressed and trimmed, a task I normally complete standing up.
So I started improvising. I set up my work station with a portable pressing mat, iron, small square ruler and rotary cutter. That way I would be able to press and trim 160 half square triangles for the two colorways of the April Block of the Month while sitting so I could keep my swelling under control.
I managed to get all the half square triangles prepped for both colorways of the April Block of the Month. Plus I got a good start on the double pinwheels for the May Block of the Month. That’s far more than I would have been able to accomplish if I had been standing, with my feet getting larger with each triangle.
I think this is going to be the new normal for me until the baby gets here and my body goes back to normal. But at least I have a way to get some sewing done.
I’ve wrote a few times about a secret quilting project I’ve been working on and I can finally reveal it in full here.
The quilt was a group project made by my sit-n-sew for one of our members who had a baby. It has become a sort of tradition that when one of us is expecting the rest of us pick out a pattern, secretly figure out what the nursery plans are and then we produce a quilt to work with the color scheme and theme.
Each time we pick out a pattern that each person can accomplish, regardless of their level of skill and then we all make an equal number of blocks in the fabric theme, this time it was simply blue fabric. Then one of us pieces the quilt together, passes it off to someone else for quilting and binding. Then, usually six months to a year after the baby has actually arrived, we finally gift it to the new mom. We make the quilts huge since we know the baby will be practically a toddler by the time they get their quilt.
This time we chose the Patchwork Chevron Pattern from In Color Order that was featured on Moda Bake Shop. Each of us made nine patches from 5 inch squares and passed them off to another member of the group who turned the nine patches into giant half square triangles and pieced the top together.
If you ever try a group quilt, or decide you love this pattern and want to try it, I highly recommend buying a 15 inch ruler so you can square up the massive half square triangles before you put the quilt top together.
When you make group quilts it is highly unlikely any one person’s block will end up the same size as another. That’s because you’re dealing with multiple skill levels, machines, fabric and thread choices. Even if you all are great quilters, you still are going to have to square up the blocks or the quilt just won’t lie flat because there will be some variation in each person’s piecing.
In the case of our sit-n-sew the quilt was very well received. The mom has been consumed by finishing a king-sized quilt of her own design for her grandmother, and hasn’t had a chance to make her own son a quilt yet. So now he finally had a quilt of his own to snuggle up with.
For more photos of this quilt, click here to check out my Facebook page.
I was on a roll. I had sit-n-sew last Friday night and I had prepped all the half square triangles for the April Block of the Month and had them ready to sew together. Then I got home and cut all the components of the May Block of the Month and sewed together a sample for the quilt shop I teach at.
I was ready to put them all together and clear the dining room table of this project for another week or two as soon as I got home from teaching the April block.
But the combination of standing all Friday night to sew and cut, followed by walking around the quilt shop classroom all Saturday morning, left my pregnant feet about three times their normal size. I looked completely ridiculous.
I knew I had to go home, sit on the couch, put my feet up and stay there for the rest of the night. The problem is I can’t just sit still. I have to be busy doing something and an HBO On Demand marathon of “The Sopranos” doesn’t count.
I had a book on tape I started Friday night and a baby sweater on my knitting needles that I started last weekend. But the zero to three months size was so small that I was nearly done. So I swung by the yarn shop on the way home for more supplies and their knit-along for April, a striped baby sweater, this time in three to six months.
My feet were even fatter after my detour, but it was worth it. I piled pillows high on the couch, had a little discussion with Ginger the basset hound who thinks all pillows in the universe are meant for her, and put my feet up for the rest of the night. I only got up to switch CDs on the book on tape, and go to the bathroom every two hours, another late in the pregnancy annoyance.
By the end of the night I had this adorable little sweater finished. We’re going to the annual family vacation in Wisconsin a few weeks after the baby is born. There’s still quite a bit of snow up there, and evenings can get quite cold, even in the summer, so this sweater will be for those cool nights. Now I just need to wait and find out if I need to pair some pink leggings or dark jeans with it.
The pattern is Baby Sophisticate pattern by Linden Down and I used Louisa Harding Yarns in Millais. I just love the little rolled collar and buttons. I think it makes the sweater look so sophisticated and will make for one stylish baby at a Wisconsin cabin.
The next morning my feet were nearly back to normal. But I didn’t want to chance it, so I spent the morning before church with my feet up again, starting the stripped sweater. The quilt blocks are still waiting for me on the dining room table, but at least I have something to keep me busy when I have to put my feet up at the end of the day and can’t quilt.
Last week I had the flu. The go to the ER for some fluids because you can’t even keep water down kind of flu.
I went back to work Friday and when I got home I wasn’t really up for sewing, but after a couple days of sitting on the couch and watching TV, I just couldn’t spend another night doing nothing.
Enter the yarn stash.
Unlike my fabric stash, I’ve managed to keep my yarn buying under control, mostly sticking to purchasing yarn only for what I actually intend to make. I do have a weakness for sock yarn, even though I’ve never successfully made a pair of socks that fit.
But I did have several skeins of Louisa Harding Yarns in Millais I had intended to use for a dog sweater that I never started. The rich gray is gender neutral enough for a baby sweater, specifically the Baby Sophisticate pattern by Linden Down I found on Ravelry.
I’m by no means a great knitter. Button holes will be a first for me on this pattern. But the top-down construction was something I could wrap my head around. So I pulled out a pair of knitting needles and got started.
Then I kept on knitting during a car ride to the Chicago suburbs for the weekend and in the waiting room at the doctor. Before I knew it, I have an almost complete baby sweater less than a week after I started, only working during times when I wouldn’t have been able to accomplish anything else.
Granted, baby sweaters are small, especially in the zero to three months size I’m making mine. But aside from the GAP-tastic Cowl I made my mother-in-law with massive needles and yarn, I’ve never had a knitting project go this fast.
Now I just need to find some more down time so I can finish the second sleeve and collar. Then my little one will be ready for the cold nights we sometimes have in the Midwest in May and June. I’ll just need some pink or blue pants to go with it.
It’s time for the monthly accounting of how much I set out to do verses what I actually accomplished. I had a pretty productive month, although as usual it wasn’t quite as productive as I’d hoped it would be.
Finish nursery sewing
I hoped to make a crib skirt, bobby covers and fabric baskets. None of that happened. The nursery furniture is set up, so that’s one plus. But with just more than 7 weeks until my due date, I still have those final sewing tasks left.
Cloth diaper assembly line
My goal here was to make a dent in the three dozen cloth diapers I need to make before the baby gets here. I ended up finishing them all, a huge accomplishment thanks to good preparation, quilt retreat and about 10 yards of Velcro.
I wanted to make all of the April BOMs except what I need for class demonstration and sample for May. I got a few blocks done, but nowhere near all of them. I think I should be able to finish this task by the end of the week though and be all caught up by the time I teach the April BOM at my local quilt shop on Saturday.
And if you just love this block, be sure to check out the free pattern for this block and all the others in the Quilt Addicts Anonymous 2014 Block of the Month.
Secret quilting project
I did get in one bonus project that wasn’t on my goals. I still can’t share the entire quilt, but I tested out a new quilting design on the long arm for a quilt I was working on. I should be able to share more photos of this next week.
Welcome back to the Quilt Addicts Anonymous Block of the Month! This month we’re getting started on the first pieced border. There are 20 blocks, to make, but they’re easy and just 6-inches finished so the piecing goes fast.
As always, I’m making the quilt in two colorways just in case the pinks and purples in the pattern aren’t your cup of tea. This block looks good in bold batiks and traditional prints.
Click here or on the picture below to download your free pattern on Craftsy.
About four years ago I packed up and headed to my first quilt retreat. I brought so much stuff with me my husband joked that it looked like I was leaving him.
It did look like I had emptied our little overcrowded two bedroom duplex we were renting. We were house hunting, but hadn’t found anything yet in a neighborhood we liked at the price tag we could afford.
This was when the Blackberry was hot, and I was checking my email every time a new property came up that looked like it might fit our needs and sending it to my husband to drive by and check it out. Then my table-mate mentioned the house next door to her was about to go up for sale.
We drove by the night I got home from retreat, had a showing within days and about a month later were moving in to our first home, right next door to my awesome neighbor who also happens to be a quilter.
Besides being great person, she’s on my emergency list for child care backup and is going to take care of the dogs while I’m in labor, living next to a quilter has some pretty great benefits.
I’ve been able to run over there and use her machine real quick when mine broke and I was on a quilt deadline. She finished binding a tree skirt using the continuous binding method late one night when I was in charge of the Guild tree at Festival of Trees. And now she’s going to let me borrow her serger to finish the edges of four dozen soakers that will get stuffed inside the cloth diapers.
The latest offer came when I mentioned I was considering picking up a cheap one instead of turning and top-stitching 48 of them. She’s got one that doesn’t get used much and quickly offered to let me borrow it. I’m always grateful for her generosity, but this time she’s also going to save me lots of time, frustration and a good chunk of change, because even basic sergers aren’t cheap.
I recommend you all get a quilter for a neighbor. It’s awesome.