Instead of unpacking…

I’ve been doing a bit of quilting…

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stitching…

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dressmaking…

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and finishing up (VERY) old projects (it’s a weekend bag I promised Andy ages ago)…

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and hanging out with this dude.

photo-5I’ll be sure to update you with photos of the new apartment very soon! Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Patchwork for Baby & a Super Fun Weekend

I’ve been a little MIA lately… It’s been so busy lately organizing for the big move (in a few weeks! ah!) and having lots of visitors. Andy and I just love having friends over and were super lucky to have four great friends from med school spend the weekend with us. One couple’s expecting a baby this summer and I really wanted to make something for the kiddo.

Did you know how many crazy cute sewing patterns are out there for kids? Of course you do, but I did not. I decided to make a little patchwork soccer ball—from Anna Maria Horner’s Seams to Me book—and I’m so happy I did! I found a charm pack of flannel in this super cute animal/ alphabet print, and paired it with some blue cotton from my stash.

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Once all the pieces are cut out, it’s super simple to sew up. The most difficult part is just sewing up the opening after filling the ball with stuffing.  And there you have it! A snuggly toy that will hopefully bring a lot of smiles to the little one.

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During the weekend, we got to soak in lots of Chicago fun-ness: a (super cold) Cubs game and gorgeous Argentinian restaurant.

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Seriously, it was cold.

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The happy couple (and bun in the oven)!

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Our crazy hat hair.

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Brothers!

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Cheers! To Minnesota friends!

photo-1And when we came home, we got to watch our two puppies play and snuggle with one another. It never gets old.

A Finished Quilt

Is there anything better?

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I finally finished my Nicey Jane quilt! I had so much fun quilting this one, probably the most fun I’ve ever had. It’s great to see myself getting better at it, if only just a bit.

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Here’s the top made from the Crazy 8 quilt pattern. I added a few scraps of my sold fabric to break up all of the beautiful Nicey Jane prints.

In the end. it’s actually a fairly small quilt: 46 by 68 inches. But I think it’s the perfect little quilt for the couch.

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And here’s the back. I added a white strip of fabric to the print to the main print fabric. I really like the modern look of it. I used up the scraps of this print to make the binding.

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My little Bernie proved to be quite the pest when I was hand stitching the binding. He wanted to lie and drool on it. He kept whining to sit on my lap, telling me to put that needle and thread away. Now that it’s finished, he can snuggle up with it all that he wants. Such a spoiled dude: a couch, pillow and a pile of blankets all for his snuggling whims. 🙂

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I’m just so happy to finish this up. Now I’ll add it to my little stack of quilts!

Craftsy Courses & a New Home

I heart Craftsy!

Crafting, like all hobbies I suppose, can become addicting because there’s always so much to learn. That’s why I love it! It’s fun to discover new techniques, try out new projects and see yourself improving.

I received my first Craftsy class a while ago (thanks, mama!) and wanted to share the love. I’m just so impressed with the quality of the courses. I’ve now watched several of their free courses—all of which are super helpful with lots of detail. I also have been watching the Couture Dress and Mittens & Gloves courses—I’ve been learning a lot! If you’re a part of Craftsy, follow my profile!

I also have to say that their app was my lifesaver this week. When I flew back to Chicago from Boston, my flight was delayed from the snow storm. I just sat and watched Quilt Con lectures (for free!), happy as a clam.

Despite the long trip home, it was a success! Yaay! In the end, my mom and I viewed two great units that would have been wonderful homes. We also saw many terrible ones, but I won’t focus on those.

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We signed a lease on a very pretty 2-bedroom apartment (in the yellow house!) with a nice backyard for Bernie to roam and for me to plant veggies. Now my head is happily spinning with ideas for curtains to sew and rug colors. We’ll move sometime in May, so for now I’m going to relax and enjoy the next few weeks before the moving madness!

Log Cabin Pincushion

I have quite a few projects in the works right now, as you know! I still finishing up a quilt and a sweater, and just cut the fabric for a new sorbetto top the other day. Does this keep me from starting another project? No way.

After seeing this post on Red Pepper Quilts, I  was hooked. I wanted to make a little patchwork pincushion right away. And when inspiration strikes, you just have to go with it. 🙂

Here it is!

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This took only a few hours to make and was so much fun! I love how bold and colorful it is, and in such a little package too.

It’s simply a log cabin quilt block folded in on itself and sewn together. First, I chose a few fabrics from my scrap bin and then fussy-cut the center square. The print has a square pattern, so it was super easy to cut into a perfect square—I just followed the dotted lines!

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Then, I cut the rest of the scraps into 2″ strips and sewed then onto the center square, generally following this tutorial.

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I then squared up the entire blog to make it as straight as possible. It’s certainly not perfect, but close enough. This quilting project is so fun and uses scraps beautifully.

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I ironed on some fusible fleece to the back, just to give the block some more stability and weight. Once I cut off the excess fleece, I sewed the four edges together, leaving an opening in the last side.

photo (46)It kind of looks like a wonton, right?

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Here it is flipped out to the right side.

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And here’s the back. I think it’s super cute on this side too. After stuffing the entire pouch, I sewed up the opening with a blind stitch.

photo (43)I thought I was finished here, but I kept thinking that it needed something more.

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After a few minutes of staring at it, I sorted through my buttons and found the perfect bright blue one. Ta da!

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It’s a great little addition to my sewing table. I haven’t quite decided how I’ll use it—maybe for right near me at the machine or maybe a special spot for my hand stitching needles?

Either way, it was a super quick and fun project! I keep thinking that this technique would make an awesome pillow, you would just have to enlarge the dimensions.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Progress

I’ve been plugging away on a few different projects. They aren’t finished yet, but I wanted to share the progress I’ve made. Some people prefer to work on one project at a time… Obviously, I’m not one of those people! I tend to have a few things in the works and bounce around from one to another. I’m not sure why, but I have so much more fun creating this way than if I feel like I need to stick with one project until it’s done.

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Right now, I’m working on the Nicey Jane quilt, embroidered “home” pillow and my first-ever sweater!

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Since this quilt is super scrappy, I wanted to balance it out with one, big cohesive pattern for the quilting stitches. I finally landed on creating a large diamond that is echoed at different widths. I’m only about 50% done, but I’m happy with how it’s coming along! photo (22)

The cross hatching and corners are my favorite details. Aren’t they pretty? The dense quilting is new for me, but I love it!

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Here’s a peak at the back and the simple, diagonal stitches. I love straight-line quilting, maybe from reading Red Pepper Quilts blog for so long. She’s such an inspiration.

Unfortunately, while quilting away my my mama’s sewing machine starting having problems. Ugh. It’s in the shop now and should be ready to go very soon. In the meantime, I spent lots of time knitting and stitching.

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I’m tackling Quince and Co’s Annabel pullover. AH! It’s pretty nerve-wracking since it’s my first sweater. So far, however, it’s been smooth sailing!

photo (16)Last, but certainly not least, is the “home” embroidery I finished using a pattern Anna Maria Horner embroidery book. Once the machine is back from the shop, I’ll whip this up into a pillow cover to add to our collection on the couch! I’m so happy with this project so far!

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This chilly Chicago winter + having a husband that works late a lot = lots of crafting time! I certainly miss Andy when he’s away, but having lots of projects at hand makes the time go by so much faster. I always love the process of making something and, of course, get excited for the finished product!

How about you? What have you been working on lately? Do you like to work on several projects at once? Or just one at a time? Can’t wait to hear from you!

2013 Goals

Now that it’s 2013, I want to take a few moments to think my goals for this year. I wrote up a list of projects I’d like to make throughout the year here. I’ll keep you updated on all the progress!

Here are my goals for crafting:

:: Focus on sewing quality clothing. When sewing up clothing, I tend to get really excited for the end product and rush when I should spend more time on the details. This year, I want to work on creating a few muslins that fit me really well and sewing up clothing that will last for a long time.

:: Try more difficult projects. I want to try sewing, quilting and knitting a more complicated patterns. Especially when it comes to knitting, I tend to knit things that I’ve done before. Luckily, my super-generous parents gave me a few craftsy courses for Christmas–the gloves and mittens cours and the couture dress course! This will definitely give me the push I need to challenge myself.

:: Take more photos! I’m pretty terrible at taking pictures of my projects. This year, I want to take many, many more photos, and try to make them a bit better!

:: Always enjoy the process. I love creating and I want to always enjoy every step and stitch. It’s a hobby, not a chore. If something is no longer fun, I’ll set it aside.

What are your goals for the year? I’d love to hear them!

Rainy Day Sewing

It’s been dreary here in Chicago. All clouds and cold temperatures. Good think that sewing is so cozy and the perfect rainy-day activity! I’m just plugging away at a few ongoing projects with a cup of tea nearby. It’s the best, right?

-3A Colette Patterns top that will be a much-loved addition to my wardrobe. I’ll post more photos once it’s hemmed and pressed!

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I also pieced the back and sashed the top for this quilt. I pieced the patchwork top a while ago (like over a year ago…), so it’s high time that I get it sandwiched and quilted up! It seems like Bernie likes the look of the quilt, but he likes anything that he can snuggle up with.

I just love this fabric collection and think the entire quilt will come together super nicely. Can’t wait!