Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Christmas in July Projects

If would like to see my Yuma Quilt please click here.

Okay! Hello! It's WIP Wednesday already!? I can't seem to get my baby to take a nap today. Maybe she'll konk out in her playpen while I'm writing this. It's almost 2:00 p.m. though and WIP Wednesday is more than half over so I need to write my blog post quickly. I might be sewing into Thursday tonight at the rate I'm going.

So, without further ado, here is what I am working on this week.

These are the scraps from my Christmas quilt and tree skirt that I have as ongoing projects. Or, WIPs (works in progress). I have had these scraps sitting for two years. I actually threw them in the (clean sewing room) garbage can on Sunday. Then I pulled them out on Monday and sewed them together as they are in the above photo.

Yesterday I pressed them and trimmed them all to 4 1/2 inch squares. Now I have enough to make several of these blocks and I will sew them into a table runner. (Hopefully today!)

I have a backlog of quilts to be quilted and my Christmas quilt is one of them. It's basted and ready to go so I'm going to work on this today (or more likely tonight) too.
 :) Merry Christmas in July!

Saturday, 25 July 2015

Fairy Tale Mini Swap: Snow White and Rose Red

If you're here to see my Yuma Quilt please click here.

I've been meaning to share this with you for a couple of weeks! I recently participated in the Fairy Tale Mini Swap and this is what I made for my partner. She wrote on her swap survey that her favourite Fairy Tale is "Snow White and Rose Red". I had never heard of this fairy tale so I googled it and read it and now I love it too! If you want to read it click here.

I used raw edge applique to attach the girls and animals to a batik forest background. I bought the batik while on vacation in Jasper National Park. The forest animals are from "Forest Friends" line by Ingrid Snyder for Moda.

I wrote the girl's names with thread using my sewing machine as well as a quote from the story (upper right of photo). The girls are from a pattern kit by Carrie Payne of Believe Magic. You can buy them in her Etsy Shop - Believe Magic.

I used a Heather Ross gnome for the dwarf in the story. Here is the bear shaking his treasures from the dwarf's pockets. In the story the bear swipes the dwarf with his paw but I took some artistic liberty here. The beads that I have sewn on are actual semi-precious gemstone beads of garnet, amethyst, jade, carnelian and quartz that I bought one year in Jasper, Alberta at a shop called "Jasper Rock and Jade".

Here you can see the quote from the story in the upper right: "What one has she must share with the other."

Here is a closer look at some of the forest animals.
I really enjoyed learning about this fairy tale and making this mini for my partner. She really loved it so that was wonderful. Thank you for coming by to see it today. :)

Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Reversible High Chair Cover with storage pocket Tutorial for IKEA BLAMES High Chair

When we found out we were having our third baby it was a bit of a panic because we hadn't kept any of our baby stuff. We sold our second vehicle and went on a major shopping trip at IKEA. One of the things I bought was the BLAMES high chair. (It's in caps on their website so I'm going with that but I can't get the little o over the A.) It's an affordable and stylish looking high chair but it's not very comfortable for baby. We were using bath towels for padding for the past few months until I decided on the spur of the moment to sew a high chair cover. Here is a tutorial for you if you want to make one too.

Please read the whole tutorial before you begin. You will need: six fat quarters, poly batting and bamboo or cotton batting, two hair elastics, four buttons (optional) and good thread (Especially if using the buttons). If not using the buttons you will need strong ribbon (like grosgrain) or hook and loop tape.

Here is the high chair of which I speak. It is cool looking but a bit hard. Especially when a little baby throws her head back and bangs it on the back of the chair. The ensuing screaming is not conducive to feeding time.
 If you have one of these I doubt the measurements would be different from mine but you might want to measure yours anyway just to be sure. For the back I have a measurement of 10" wide by 14.5" tall. For the seat I have a measurement of 8" from the back rest to the front of the seat and 14" wide. The straps are about 3/4" to the right and left of the back rest and half an inch towards the front of the seat. You can check this and mark with a fabric marking pen when you get to the part in the tutorial where the straps come in.

To make this as comfortable as I could I layered two layers of polyester batting and one layer of bamboo batting with the fabric on top and backing fabric on the bottom. (You can see backing in next photo.)

That's a lot of layers so I spray basted with 505 spray (I find the best price on this at Walmart unless your local quilt shop or big box store has it on sale or a coupon.) Spray a little bit of adhesive between each layer including between the fabrics and batting.

Quilt through all layers. I just sewed simple straight lines. Getting too fancy here will cut down on the puffiness, which we don't want and, could also cause shifting issues with so many layers. Keeping it simple on the quilting is best here. Determine approximately where your safety straps need to come through, mark with a fabric marking pen and sew an oval there with small zig zag stitches. (Or use the button hole feature on your machine if you want to.)

Cut out a little half circle where the safety bar between baby's legs is if you want to. You can get by without doing this and it is tricky to bind it so it's not a problem to leave this step out.

Cut a small hole inside your zig zag stitched ovals for the safety straps to come through. Try your seat cover on the seat. Cut the holes bigger as needed, without cutting through your zig zag stitches, until you can get the plastic buckles through. If you made your ovals too small and you need to cut through them then just sew new zig zag stitches around the cut when you get back to your machine.

Attach binding to your seat and seat back covers as you would a quilt by sewing it to the front and bringing it around to the back. To speed things up and make both sides look about the same so that the cover is reversible I machine sewed the binding. I recommend Clover Wonder Clips if you have them. They are very handy for holding the binding in place while you sew.

The trick to machine binding is having your quilt top trimmed right to the edge of the raw edges of your binding. (1/4 inch from the seam that attaches your binding to the quilt front). Fold the binding over to the back and hold in place with Wonder Clips or pins. Top stitch on the back side close to the left hand edge of the binding. (The folded edge.)

When your binding is stitched down it looks like this on the back side.

Here is the front side.

The bobbin thread running around the edge right beside the binding just looks like part of the quilting.

Sew the seat to the seat back with a ladder stitch in the bindings. Use a double thread for strength.

Here is the seat and seat back sewn together.

Here is a closer look at my strap holes. I went around twice with the zig zag stitch.
 To make the optional storage pocket for behind the seat back:

I determined that I would cut my fabrics at 10" wide (the width of the seat back) by 17" high. This allows for a half inch seam allowance and boxing the bottom corners.

Cut two outer and two lining rectangles 10" x 17". Put them right sides together and sew around the two sides and the bottom with a half inch seam. Leave an opening in the bottom of the lining (as shown by the pens because you can't see my thread) for turning.

Remember the opening for turning! I have forgotten that so many times and had to get out the seam ripper.

Square off the bottom corners of both the outer and lining. Match your seams. (You may need to put your hand inside and feel around a bit to do this.) Put your seam allowances in opposite directions (pin if needed). Draw a line that is 2 1/2 inches long about 1 1/2 inches in from the corner. Do this on all four corners. Sew on the line. Trim away the excess corner fabric 1/4 inch from the seam as shown below.

Corner after sewing and trimming.

Turn your storage pocket outer right side out. Put it inside the lining so right sides are facing. (The lining is inside out still.) Match up your side seams and pin. Take two hair elastics and tuck them between the outer and lining fabrics. Pin them in place about half an inch from each seam on what will be the back edge of your storage pocket. Ensure there is enough hair elastic inside the fabrics to fit over your buttons that you are going to sew to your seat back. Sew around the top edge catching the hair elastics in the seam. Trim away excess hair elastic from this side (the wrong side) of the pocket. Then turn pocket right side out through the hole in the bottom of the lining. Pin and machine stitch the hole closed. Press your pocket and top stitch around the upper edge. This makes things tidy and also double secures the hair elastics.

Sew buttons on the front and back side of your seat pocket. Sew through both the front and back button at the same time using a double thread. Sew several stitches to secure (like 7-10 times). Knot your thread under a button and travel through the batting about two inches from the button. Bring your needle out and trim thread close to the fabric.

The pocket serves two purposes. You can store bibs or clean wash cloths in it and it hold the seat back up. It should go without saying but DO NOT LEAVE BABY UNATTENDED IN THE HIGH CHAIR. Especially when there are buttons that baby might decide to chew on.
 The pocket and buttons are your choice to use. Keep an eye on your baby and the security of the buttons. Mend as needed! (Or remove the buttons completely if you don't have time to mend.) If you do not wish to use them for safety reasons you can add some grosgrain ribbon ties stitched onto the binding and tie the seat back to the chair. Or, attach the pocket with with hook and loop tape. I find hook and loop tape (Velcro) very hard to stitch through and that is why I did not use it.

Here is the storage pocket from the back.

Here is the seat cover from the other side. Very handy when Grandma decides to drop in for a visit and you don't have time to wash the high chair cover.

My baby is very happy with her new seat cover and she noticed it right away when we put her in the high chair. "No Princess and the Pea" here!

The fabrics I used are from the "Far Far Away" line by Heather Ross for Windham Fabrics. All thread is Aurifil 50 weight #2021.

Friday, 10 July 2015

Q3 2015 Finish Along Goals List

It's time to link up our goals for the third quarter of the year with the 2015 Finish Along. (If you are looking for my Yuma QAL Post please scroll down to the next post.)

2015 FAL at On the Windy Side

I had four finishes from my Q2 list and the rest are rolling over to Q3 as I still try to:

1. My 2011 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery Block of the Month. I now have the top pieced together which you can see here. The quilt is basted and I just need to quilt and bind it now.

2. My Penny Candy Christmas quilt is basted and ready to be quilted and bound. The Chicopee quilt was finished in Q2.

3. I have made no further progess Christmas tree skirt from Sherri Falls' book "Holly Jolly" so this needs to be pieced, quilted and bound.

4. A cherry and strawberry low volume baby quilt. Probably for my Etsy shop. These pieces are still sitting too.

5. My table runner made with scraps from the napkins and place mats I made a few years ago. No progress here either in Q2. It would be nice for summer though so I must try for a Q3 finish.

6. My Halloween quilt using the "Lucky" pattern by Thimble Blossoms. No further progress was made on this one in Q2. I want this for Halloween this year so I hope over the summer I can get it done.

7. My April Showers "Charm Dash" quilt. No progress in Q2 so it's moving into Q3.

8. A dinosaur baby quilt for my Etsy shop. No progress and since the dino quilt currently in my shop has not sold this is not high on the list of priorities but it could happen. I cut more squares for it in Q2.

9. A bugs baby quilt for my Etsy shop. This is in the same boat as the one above. The current bug quilt in my shop has not sold.

10. My Starflower quilt made with blocks from "We Bee With It" bee. The top is now pieced and I am waffling about adding more blocks.

11. My Houndstooth quilt made with blocks from "The Bee Hive, Bee Hive Swarm Anita". The top is pieced but I want to make it bigger so I need to sew more blocks.

12. 2012 Fat Quarter Shop Designer Mystery Block of the Month. I have four more blocks to go and I am using the scraps from this quilt for my Snapshots quilt (which may be done in Q4). I sewed two more blocks on this in Q2 so I'm getting there.

13. My Great Granny Squared (by Lori Holt) quilt. Still haven't started this one.

14. My Swoon quilt. No progress here either. Does thinking about cutting it several times in the last three months count? ;)

15. My Cotton Blossoms table topper from Camille Roskelley's first book. No progress in Q2 so it's going into Q3.

16. Peter Rabbit baby quilt. No progress on this on in Q2 so it's rolling over as well.

17. Joy Christmas wall hanging designed by Gnome Angel.

18. My Cotton + Steel Scout quilt. All strips are cut. Just need to sew!

The list is down to 18 from 22. I also wrote a quilt pattern in Q2 and sewed two sample quilts for that but they don't count because they weren't on my goals list. I have plans for another pattern too but I'll leave it off the list.

My maternity leave is up and I'm not returning to work outside the house so I'm really like Mrs. Bobbins in the below photo now! :)

Yes, I am the one with the cup.