Christmas Recap

When I was little, my mom always made me a special Christmas gift. The year Zac turned one, I started that same tradition myself and made him a sock monkey. Last year, I upped my game and made him a truck quilt. This year, I really struggled as to what to make. I wanted it to be something useful, and the child did not need another blanket. It was over Thanksgiving, while I was packing his stuff to go visit the grandparents, that I realized Zac didn’t have his own suitcase. There was my answer! I spent the drive to my parents’ house browsing the web for patterns. A friend shared a link to Sara Lawson’s page, Sew Sweetness. My friend has made a few of her patterns before and assured em they were great and easy to follow. After browsing the different patterns she had on her site, I decided on her Aeroplane Bag, and immediately went to fabric.com to pick out fabric. Sara’s pattern was great and gave exact dimensions for your stabilizers and fabric pieces, and I was able to order it all at once. Because this was a bag for Zac, I wanted something fun. He loves trucks, and a quick search led me to the Riley Blake, “On Our Way” collection. It was perfect!

My fabric arrived about a week later, and I let it sit while I finished up Etsy orders and t-shirt quilts. Like last year, I greatly underestimated the amount of time I would have between Thanksgiving and Christmas to get work done for others. I was a bit of a crazy lady, and apologized to my husband daily for the disaster that my office (formally known as our dining room) had turned into. Exactly one week before Christmas, I got started on Zac’s bag.

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My friend was right, and the pattern was incredible easy to follow. I consider myself a pretty advanced sewer, but I’ve never done anything like this, but I think I did pretty well, if I do say so myself! I messed up once while adding one of the inside zipper pockets, and I’ll confess- I was too frustrated to fix it, so Zac’s bag has one pocket instead of two. But, I finished the bag in about two days, and for a rookie, I don’t think I did too shabby!

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This bag is the perfect size for a weekend trip away. It holds all of his clothes, plus books, a blanket, and bedtime essentials. It’s soft, but with the stabilizers, it holds its shape really well. I hope that this bag lasts him for years to come.

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D.O.N.E. done!

I finished the quilt! With time to spare!!!!! As you know, I started on the binding yesterday morning, but because we went to IKEA, I didn’t have the oh-sew-important nap time to work (see what I did there? haha). Last night, after Zac went to bed, I curled up on the couch with my husband, a drink, the quilt, needle & thread, and got to work. 2 and a half hours and 3 beers later, I finished. I love this quilt, and while I know that my 2-year-old has no idea the time and energy that went into it, one day he will. For now, he can look and say “tuk! car! go!!!” and I’m OK with that.

The binding, while time consuming, was not as terrible as I anticipated. I stabbed myself repeatedly with the needle, and I now know why seamstresses wear thimbles on their thumbs, because pushing that needle through three layers of flannel was painful. The finished product though was worth the extra effort.

This quilt measures 41″ by 53″. I used 6 different flannel patterns for the blocks of the quilt, grey flannel for the sashing, aqua blue flannel for the back, and the yellow polka-dot flannel for the binding. The batting is 100% cotton. I had extra car fabric because I got 1 yard instead of the 1/2 yard I ordered (yippee), and because I’m me, I used that to make a pillow case to match.

Not sure if I’ll blog again before Christmas, so I’d like to take this opportunity to wish you all a very Merry Christmas! I hope your holiday is filled with joy, and wish you all many blessings in the new year. 2013 was an amazing year for me and my business. I did over 200 sales on Etsy, made 15 quilts for customers (maybe more, I lost count), and purchased the embroidery machine. I am so excited about what’s in store for 2014, so stay tuned!

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Binding the quilt

Because of an impromptu trip to
Ikea to have lunch with my sister and parents, I didn’t finish the quilt today. I can see the light at the end of the tunnel though, and hopefully I can curl up on the couch with a beer after Zac goes to bed and knock this out.

This morning, I sewed the binding onto the front of the quilt, and I’ve begun hand stitching it to the back. Definitely more tedious that is anticipated.

Here are pictures of today’s progress.

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The truck quilt… Almost DONE

I am amazed at how quickly this quilt came together. I am forever indebted to my friend Emily who helped coach me through text and Facebook. She sent me pictures of her work and YouTube videos explaining the quilting process. I could not have done this without her.

This morning I ran to Hobby Lobby and picked up batting for the quilt and as soon as Zac went down to nap, got to work. I laid the back of the quilt down in my entryway and taped it down. Then, I used spray adhesive to baste the batting and again for the front of the quilt. I used safety pins around the border for added security.
I was most nervous about the next step, petrified my machine would crap out or I’d get a lot of puckering. I didn’t think things through completely as to how I’d stitch the borders. I stitched down the center of the grey sashing strips as opposed to around each individual block. Oh well, I’m pleased with how it turned out.

No sooner did I finish trimming the excess fabric did Zac wake up. Not really though. His new thing is to come downstairs and snooze on me. I’ll allow it. I hope to finish this quilt tomorrow, so stay tuned!! 20131218-144722.jpg20131218-144733.jpg20131218-144742.jpg20131218-144750.jpg20131218-144756.jpg20131218-144804.jpg20131218-144815.jpg20131218-144900.jpg20131218-144907.jpg20131218-144915.jpg20131218-144921.jpg

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Christmas Craziness

Since Thanksgiving, my sewing room has felt like Santa’s workshop. In the past week, I’ve sewn 5 quilts, 2 toddler pillow & blanket sets, and over 30 scarves. Many of the quilts I’ve completed are Christmas gifts, so I won’t post pictures until after the holidays, but I trust that these kids don’t have internet access, so I can post pics of their presents. Now that I’m caught up on work for others, I was able to start on Zac’s truck quilt so here are some pictures of that too.

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