Wednesday, July 31, 2013

6 Year Old's Work-in-Progress and Mine

My six year old started his first quilt today. He is so excited.

I let him have a baby quilt kit I  had bought on clearance a while ago.

I cut the pieces out for him today. He is making it for his baby sister.

He's doing a great job!

As for me, I finished the binding on my other two quilts and will share them with you once I get good pictures. This is another quilt being made from donated fabrics from my church. We are doing a service project of making lap quilts for local nursing homes.

This was my first attempt at appliqué and I was very happy with how it turned out. I finished the quilt top tonight, but these are pictures I took earlier today.

I'm enjoying the creative process of making do with limited quantities of fabric that I probably would not have picked out myself and try to make something beautiful for someone else. It's a big stress-reliever.

I'm also learning new skills along the way with no pressure to make it "worth my time and money."  I also like to think of the little old lady who will be kept warm by this little quilt. I hope she enjoys it.

WIP Wednesday

Monday, July 29, 2013

Learning to Sew at Age 6

My oldest son just turned six this weekend. He has been badgering me for his own sewing machine for  over a year now. We even bought him a toy sewing machine last year for his birthday, and he was so excited!  
...but as you could guess, it broke within the first hour.
 It was cruel. 
He was crushed.  
We returned it.
 At that point I knew we would never buy a toy sewing machine again. He continued in his interest of learning how to sew, and if I was sewing during daylight hours, he would sit and watch and even help me. 
He's ever so observant. 

I really wanted to teach him how to sew and feed that creative urge that I could see and feel coming from him. But I really did not want to teach him on my nicer machine.

So after much thought, research, and convincing the husband, we got him his own real beginners (compact) machine for his birthday! I'm so impressed with his self-control and confidence with his machine already.

Our first lesson after general machine orientation was to practice sewing a straight line. I drew straight lines on some paper for him to practice on. Our rule right now is he cannot sew unless I'm sitting right there with him. That will be until I feel confident that he's not going to hurt himself or the machine and after many, many more lessons. We are getting a lot of kid sewing ideas from the book, Sewing School 2. 

 I asked him what he was going to make first, and he said,  "A quilt for baby Lucinda for her you do for us, Mom." Lucinda is his little sister who is five months old. He adores her. My four year old (almost five year old) girl is super jealous and has been going to bed in tears because she wants to learn. We will see... I have a feeling this machine will earn its keep in this house and hopefully have a long life. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Shark Quilt

Life has a way of plowing ahead despite our best intentions. I haven't bound the previous two charity lap quilts yet, but started on a new one because the fabric was just staring at me! It's almost done, and I'm quite pleased with it. I've been out of town and I'm having computer issues right now, so I'll share a quilt that I did for my son last Christmas.
I'm linking up with Link-a-Finish Friday and TGIFF and Finish-it-Up Friday

I bought the Go Fish Quilt pattern from this Etsy Shop. I didn't have any help taking pictures, so I couldn't get fantastic full shots.

There was only one problem with this pattern; it only had fish on it. And my son LOVES sharks... I really wanted to do a shark quilt with perhaps a pirate theme. But I couldn't find any shark quilt patterns, and since this was one of my first (probably sixth?) quilts, I still really needed a pattern to follow. This ocean scene was just too fun!

Of course, I just HAD to figure out how to get a shark (or more!) on there, and I did! I found some shark novelty fabric, which my son LOVED because it was so lifelike and not babyish. He IS five, ya know. :)

I tried reverse appliqué and I was happy to find that it was super easy. I love the way it turned out and the added texture that it gave it the quilt was perfect.

He loves all things aquatic. But mostly sharks. There are some hidden whale, turtle, and otter batik prints in there, too.

The fins are left hanging on two of the fish.

The school of fish was fun to peice and I used the eyelet stitch on my machine for the eyes versus buttons.

Some fussy cut blocks here and there... A cute sea dragon. You can also see the random wave-like quilting in this one.

The pieced back made from various fabrics he had chosen and picked out for HIS quilt, but I couldn't figure out how to incorporate them on the front of the they made up the back.  

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

WIP Pink and Yellow Garden Lap Quilt

So I started and nearly completed one quilt today and almost finished another that I was experimenting with what I dub as "machine tying." 

I went to the church to help with our Relief Society service project this morning to help make some lap quilts. We are gathering and making lap sized quilts, crocheted/knitted blankets, and shawls for our local nursing homes. The goal is 100 items by November. 

So here are some teaser shots of one of them I made today from donated fabrics and someone's orphan block.

I was really excited to practice my free-motion quilting some more. I should have the both completed within the next couple days because all they need is binding! It's been a productive day!

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WIP - Lucky Stars QAL

Linking up with WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

I start new projects all. the. time.  I have several works-in-progress right five or six. Granted, there are two that are long term WIP that are just going to take a long time. It would drive some people in my family, such as my mother-in-law or my husband, crazy to have so many projects simultaneously.
But...I don't feel real bothered by it.
Yes, I want to cross things off my To-Do List, but it doesn't keep me from starting something new. (Maybe at the point that I can't keep track of what all I've got going on... Not there yet, though.)

Lighting is horrible. The backdrop is supposed to be white, not cream!

Truly, I also love to have the quilts finished and sometimes wish I would finish one before starting another. I know that is much more efficient, and the practical side of me yearns to be more methodical in my quilt planning. However, since I've been pondering this lately, I've come to the conclusion that I really enjoy doing it this way. I'm having lots of fun! Yes, the other way may be much better, but I'm really enjoying myself.
 Inspiration hits; I act on it and create...with no guilt. Or at least very little. I don't think this is one of those "excuses" to justify bad habits like a disorganized person saying chaos helps them be creative. But, I do enjoy quilting primarily for the joy of creating...not necessarily for the joy of finishing. Hopefully, the two come together to make something beautiful. Don't get me wrong, I intend to finish what I start and I honestly don't worry about that. It'll get done.

 I also enjoy the pace of quilting blocks here and there for different quilts to keep it interesting and to avoid burnout. Especially because I do this to relieve stress, not create it! :) I think there is beauty in the creation and validation in the finish.  There's just something about making something out of nothing that rejuvenates the soul.

This WIP I started this week. It is the Quilt-a-long with QuiltStory. The pattern is Lucky Stars. I had a layer cake I got for 50% off a while ago that I had no plans for and liked the pattern, so decided I would put the two together. I'm glad I did! I love it so far! (The pictures don't give it justice with bad lighting.) Or maybe I'm just surprised because the fabric itself wasn't that amazing. It's the same prints over and over in three or four colors and somewhat boring, but I added a few prints from my stash to soften it a little and add variety. It will make a great fall throw. I'm planning to finish this one up first and practice some more free-motion quilting.