Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Megan Makes a Quilt (or two)

As you may or may not know, besides this blog, I also run a book blog (Megan Likes Books, if you're interested). With that, I joined a group of fellow bloggers while I was living in Edmonton and we would meet up every month or so. One of them recently became a first time mom and another will be in just two weeks! Someone suggested we all make quilt squares based on our favourite childhood books and make them baby quilts. Everyone agreed this was a good idea and, since I'm the only one with a sewing machine, I volunteered to put them together.

And this is where I learned a few things from my first time sewing with others.

1. Don't expect everyone who initially agrees to follow through.

Of the people who originally signed up, a few had to drop out due to time constraints. We were already short on squares to begin with, so this meant fewer personalized squares and more plain fabric squares.

2. Be flexible.

We agreed squares would be 6.5 x 6.5 inches. When the submitted squares arrived, some were cut a bit wonky, so lining things up was a bit difficult. One lady misread the instructions and her squares were quite a bit bigger. So I decided to be flexible and changed up my plans for the quilt to put her large squares in the center. They are the cute Beatrice Potter squares that she quilted to be kind of 3D, which is cool.

Once everyone's squares had arrived, I was feeling a bit of a time crunch, so I didn't make any personalized squares myself. I was also shocked how difficult it was to find bookish quilting fabric. I found hamburgers, but no books. I did find some Richard Scary fabric which I was loved and the little boys in the one fabric kind of reminded me of the boy from Where the Wild Things Are. The other two fabric are kind of generic baby.

The Winnie the Pooh is actually cross-stitched!
The backing is a special baby fleece that I just thought was cute. The batting is some kind of natural fibre product in a package I bought because the store was packed and I didn't want to go back into the cutting table line (there was a huge sale going on). The edges are bound in extra-wide, double fold bias tape I originally bought to bind the insides of my Albion I'll be starting soon. But the ribbon I was originally going to use ended up not working out, so I made due.

So this is my first time attempting a quilt of any kind. I think it turned out not too bad. Not everything lines up and the corners are a bit dodgy (on both, even though I tried a different method on each). It's not 100% square, as I found when I was folding it. Although it's nowhere near as bad as the angle of the photos makes it look. But I doubt the babies will care! And the mom's seemed to really like them!

Do you recognize any of your favourite childhood books in there? Besides the Richard Scary fabric I mentioned, there's also Peter Rabbit, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh and Harry Potter!

Friday, 3 January 2014

2014 New Year's Resolution - Sewing Edition

Last year I joined Em Sew Crazy and Cation Design's Stashbusting Sewalong. And I did pretty well! I think I sewed 6 pieces from stash fabric, which is pretty darn good considering how sidetracked I got last year.

And while sewing through my stash was great and I need to continue, this year I need to do a different kind of stashbusting: my pattern stash. Since beginning to sew, I've amassed a LOT of patterns. Indie patterns go on sale: I buy them. Big 4 patterns go on sale: I buy them (not-so-much lately as I've been feeling the indie stuff). While I doubt I can get through them all, my goal is to sew one previously never sewn pattern from my stash per month.

Because I like to quantify stuff, here's the count of my unsewn pattern stash.

Indie patterns: 5 (not including patterns from Gertie's book or the Colette book and not including freebies)  - I will do all of these this year!

Big 4 patterns: 25

I also found 2 patterns that I totally bought in the wrong size. So if anyone skinnier than me wants this pattern in 6-8-10 or this pattern in 4-6-8-10, just email me and they are yours for the cost of shipping (1st come, 1st serve).