Monday, September 26, 2011

New Quilt

Pinterest is addicting. I am going on a craft weekend at the end of October and I need to figure out what I'm doing for Christmas gifts, so I've spent far too much time on Pinterest lately. I came across this A.MA.ZING chenille quilt and had to make one. Right away. Seriously, it's like this quilt is made with crack and somehow it came out of my computer monitor and sucked me right in. The day I saw it I went to the store & bought fabric, layered it & squared it up. 10 rows were sewn that day.

When my son came home from work that night, we had this conversation:
Micah: What are you making now mom?
Me: I saw the COOLEST quilt EVER on a blog today and I have to make one right now!
Micah: Really? The coolest one EVER?
Me: Yes! Wait til you see it! It's chenille you make by layering flannel... (I went on and Micah's eyes kind of glazed over. Read the blog post at Aesthetic Nest - all credit to her!
Micah: Great mom. Don't stay up too late. (They know me so well!)

That was Thursday. Friday night I finished the quilting on over half the quilt, Saturday night I finished the quilting, cut the chenille strips, rounded the corners (my first rounded corners ever!) and bound it. I also added a funky little zip-zag on the binding. Thursday night - Saturday night: Quilt - done! Here's my photo log, not a tutorial, but includes any hints or ways I did it that may (or may not) vary from the inspiring blog post.

Background fabric. It's a really fine textured corduroy that I thought could possibly be girl or boy material. (I know it's flowers, but the blue and red are really prominent and until you get close you don't really see that they are flowers.)
Had to roll and fold the material to get it through the machine.
168 lines of quilting. I counted.
The inspiring blog post says it takes a long time and I thought, "It can't take that long, it's only about 45" square." Well, it does take that long. I probably spent 3-4 hours quilting this sucker. Of course a bunch of that time is refolding the material. Oh! And redoing a line when your bobbin thread runs out. (Don't you hate that!?!) Keep your eye on your bobbin! I always forget to look, or think I can do just one more line - and then forget to change it! I used a spool and a half of thread, part of that being 5 full bobbins.

Cutting through 3 layers only, leaving the back layer whole. I don't know how people do it without the Olfa Chenille Cutter! That's a lot of cutting!
My hint for this tool is to actually follow the size gauge. (I know - why wouldn't you do that in the first place?) The guides on each of the 4 sizes looked a little too big for the 1/2 inch rows I was doing, but it's SUPPOSED to be a little bit big so it spits the row. So trust the sizing guide. Also, make your cuts while the quilt is laying on a flat surface to keep the line uniform. I have a couple rows that I am unhappy with the way they were cut, but it's totally user error, and I'm considering ripping out those rows and fixing them. (Would anyone but me notice them? And can I get over it? I'll probably re-do them!)
Rounding corners.
Binding, pre-wash.
Rounded corner binding, post-wash.
My chenille layers were a white backed red on the bottom, followed by a teal that matched the back, and then the cornflower blue.
Don't you love how it gets all wavy and soft looking when it's been washed?
It looks so interesting you just have to touch it.
I love how soft and pliable this quilt is! I'll definitely make more. 

I don't even know who's getting this quilt!

I think it costs a little more than a 'regular' baby quilt, you need 4+ pieces of material instead of 2 or 2 1/2 -ish needed for a quilt, but no batting, no piecing... I'm going to try to pick up neutral colored flannel sheets from yard sales to supplement new material costs.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Surprise!!! This tarn necklace!

Blog posts two days in a row! Woohoo!

I just wanted to show you the scarf/necklace thing I made with tarn. (See yesterday's post if you don't know what tarn is.)

Our son was all, "What are you wearing?!?" last weekend when I wore this the first time. But everyone else was complimentary and touching it and how-did-you-make-it-ing, so what does he know? Grace wants one, maybe we can make one together.

I like it. It makes me feel festive. You should make one, too! You could make knots in it, twist it, add beads, braid them, make them longer/shorter... Do it. Tarn is so darn fun!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Oh the things you can think...

♫♪♫ ♪ when you think about.... T-shirts? ♪♫♪♪ ♫♪♫ ♪♫♫♪

(OK, you might recognize that from the Suessical musical, the tune of which I can't get out of my head thanks to Grace replaying her dance recital DVD over and over.)

I LOVE repurposing things. A couple years ago I made Micah a quilt with old jeans (mostly donated to the cause). You can check out the result here. There is just something that appeals to me about taking something meant for the trash and turning it into something new. I find myself looking at the items at home, at rummage sales, and everywhere, with an eye toward what it could be with some time and elbow grease.

My latest passion is t-shirts. Who doesn't have a drawer full of t-shirts? And who ever wears them all? If you are like everyone else I know, you wear the top 4 or 5, wash them and then put them away on the top of the drawer so they are the easiest to grab again. You probably have T-shirts you thought you gave away years ago, pining away in the back of a dark drawer.

One of my brothers-in-law (or sister-in-law's husband, to be more accurate) donated some of his t-shirts to a fundraising sale for their adoption, and some of them were shirts commemorating things that we knew were important to him. My husband and I talked to his wife and nabbed all the Tshirts to make a quilt. And then she hit up some of their friends to get other T-shirts from them, duplicates of shirts he currently wears and would miss. I also begged my friends on facebook for a Vikings shirt I could cut up, because he would SO notice if one of those went missing!

It was way more work than I anticipated, I should have cut right across the bottom of the t-shirts to make loops for tarn, but I didn't know about tarn yet, lots of cutting, more cutting the logos to size, cutting the fusing, ironing on the fusing... finally assembly and quilting. No batting, just t-shirts, fusing & a layer of navy fleece on the back. I quilted simple frames around each t-shirt logo. I'm very please with how it turned out! Total cost was only for 2 yards of fleece and a bunch of fusible backing.
It's bigger than I anticipated, too. It's almost 5 X 6 feet. I hope it's a good snuggler! When it turned into such a big project I suggested my s-i-l plan on giving it for Christmas because I couldn't do this for every in-law. She came and got it the next day, and b-i-l got it for an early birthday present because s-i-l said she couldn't wait. My only request was that she take pictures so I could see how he likes it.


 He looks like he likes it!  : )

What do you do with all the scraps? How about:
(I made at least one of the above items, but can't post it because it's a gift...)

Or make 'Tarn' (T-shirt yarn) and make:
Tarn tutorial (this is what I wish I'd known! I would have cut all those T-shirts differently. You live, you learn.)
(I picked up a $.50 tie-dyed t-shirt at a rummage sale and made a t-shirt necklace. 
I must take a picture to post!!)

And FYI - I tried to make these lists all pretty and multicolored and Blogger is so awesome that it will only let me change those three links, nothing else, and now won't let me change them back so they'd all match either. It's the thought that counts! 
Oh look, it'll let me change this, though!

OK, what do you repurpose?
And do you have any colorful T-shirts you want to pull out of your rag bin 
-- to give to me???