quilting

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures in Sewing & Quilting: Les Amis Quilt (2)

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As I mentioned in my last post, I've been working on my big quilting project of the year: a 69x90 inch quilt.

All the fabric has been cut. That means I've started sewing! My grandma has been interested in what I'm doing, so I've moved my sewing machine and supplies to her house, so she can hang out and help a little as I work.

She can't wait to see the end result because she swears it's going to be one pretty quilt, and I can't help but agree.

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I've put together one block (there's six of these). I really enjoyed doing the Flower Star and they came out pretty good. I didn't make too many mistakes either.

And then, there were the Flying Geese Stars, the second block I'm to make. Although I know I did everything right, nothing was turning out the way it was supposed to.

I have no idea what I was doing wrong or why it wasn't working and turning out the way it should.

But I kept powering through, even though my frustrations kept rising.

My grandma, as it turns out, is a bit impatient. She wanted to see at least one finished block and this block did seem to be taking for-freaking-ever. 

So, I started gathering what I needed to put at least one Flying Geese block together and I was really getting pissed because I realized this block was not going to look as pretty as my first set of blocks. And it doesn't. The rest might not either. I still don't know what I did wrong, but it's okay. 

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This is my first intermediate quilt (and I've only done one beginner quilt), so mistakes were bound to happen somewhere. All I know is I learned when frustration sets in during this hobby, it's most definitely time to stop and take a break. Once I finished putting that block together, I didn't even want to think about doing the rest or the rest of the quilt for that matter. 

Therefore, I'm on a little sewing vacation right now, but I'll get back to it sometime next month, I'm sure. I've made progress on the quilt, so I wanted to post an update. 

Are you working on anything right now? Be it a sewing/quilting project or with another hobby? Let's hear about it!

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures in Sewing & Quilting: Les Amis Quilt (1)

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One of my goals this year is to start and finish a quilt for which I bought a kit. The good news is I've started it! 

If you follow me on social media, you may have seen a post or two, but if you're in Lindsay's League, you've seen more regular updates about this project.

This quilt is the Les Amis quilt by Shelley Cavanna. I love the colors and the patterns on the fabrics. I'm so excited to put it all together.

Les Amis screenshot

But so far, I've spent eleven hours cutting fabric and I still have three pieces of fabric to go! However, I haven't put together a post about what project I'm currently working on, so I thought I'd do that.

This is what the quilt will (hopefully) look like when it's done.

It's for intermediate skilled quilters, so I'm really pushing myself since I'm definitely a beginner still. However, if I finish it, I'll consider myself intermediate. 😉

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To begin, I had to cut out all of these tiles. There are so many different fabrics (as you see in the picture at the end of the post) and so many cuts to make, that the tiles are supposed to help keep things organized. It's daunting to realize just how many tiles there are (46).

It's been a long process to cut the fabric, but also interesting because this is the first time I've really had to do this, especially so much of it. And I get to use new rulers! See those triangle rulers? Yep. I get to use those. Yay for new experiences!

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I'm hoping to finish cutting all my fabric this week and finish all of one block this month. The first block I'm supposed to do is called Flower Stars; there will be six. I'll post again when I get around to working on or finishing that!

Wish me luck because I'll probably need it!

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures in Sewing & Quilting: 2018 Goals

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I haven't talked much about my 2018 goals in general, but I thought it might be nice to make a list of my goals in this area. After all, it'll give me a to-do list of sorts and a way of knowing for sure if I accomplished the minimum of what I hoped to do for the year when it comes to sewing and quilting.

Without further ado, here's the 2018 Goals:

- I recently bought a kit to make a 69x90 inch quilt and I want to start and finish that this year. (I posted a picture of it in Lindsay's League.)

- Bartley is still waiting on his quilt. I want to at least figure out what I want to make for him and maybe get the materials at the very least as well.

- I want to do at least six rows from the Row by Row trips I've made (three from 2016 and three from 2017).

- Create some sort of system where I know what kits and patterns I have, what I haven't done, and what I have done.

Other than that, I just want to have fun and continue learning.

What are your 2018 goals?

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures in Sewing & Quilting: Bowl Cozies

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It's been quite awhile since I posted about my latest (mis)adventures, but that's because this latest project was a secret. I was sewing Christmas presents! But since all have been delivered, I can now post about how things went.

So, as you learned from the title, this latest project was a bowl cozy. I learned about these from a group I'm in and instantly knew I had to at least make one for myself, but the more I thought about it, the more I thought my family and a few friends might enjoy one as well!

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Here's what mine looks like. Bowl cozies are essentially hot pads for hot (or cold) bowls. Just plop a bowl in there and never fear burning or freezing your fingers off again! 

These were really fun to make and fairly easy! 

But this wouldn't be me if I didn't have a few issues.

For most of them, I used pre-cut fabric (layer cakes), but on one, I didn't. And I had to buy more fabric because I messed up while cutting the fabric.

I saw my seam ripper quite a few times, but I also broke two needles whiles making these gifts. *sniff sniff*

Everyone was pretty excited about their gifts and I have a little more experience under my belt now. I can definitely make these without looking at the pattern.

I'm calling this a success. Time to figure out what will be my first project of 2018!

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures in Sewing & Quilting: My Nephew's Baby Quilt

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As I've mentioned in the past, I couldn't exactly say what this project was, but now I can because it's done and I've told and shown my brother that I made a baby quilt for his son. This has been quite the experience, but it has only solidified that I want to continue learning and exploring this new hobby of mine.

So, the last time I posted, it was time to start sewing the rows together. Once that was done, it was like steamrolling to the finish line!

There was laying out the batting (after cutting it), making my quilt sandwich, pinning it all together, sewing that, trimming the excess, turning it inside out, closing the opening, doing the topstitch, doing the ties with the yarn, and THEN...making and stitching on the label. After all of that? TA-DA! I was finished! Lindsay had a baby quilt! My first finished project!

The front of the baby quilt.

The front of the baby quilt.

The back of the quilt.

The back of the quilt.

This has been SO satisfying. I can't wait to use the same pattern and make one for Bartley. If I wasn't hooked and invested in this new hobby before, I definitely am now!

What I Learned:

- Next time, I'm buying 3 charm packs instead of 2. This way I can have more options when making my layout for the quilt top. Yes, that is still haunting me and that was from the very first step.

- Those yarn ties? So much faster to do when two people are working on them. Thanks for helping, Mom!

- I had an appreciation for quilts before, but WAY more now. These things take LOTS of time and effort and money. Getting something handmade should not be taken lightly! Heart, soul, and lots of effort goes into it!

Okay, enough learning, haha! That's all for this project. Check out the photos below to see those last few steps.

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures in Sewing & Quilting (#3)

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It's been since June since I posted one of these, too, but I have a good reason, I promise! 

I started a new project, deciding to set the (cursed) table runner off to the side. I haven't posted because it's a gift, but since my deadline has passed and it's been so long, I'm going to make it work.

My new project is like a 40x40 inch quilt and I have made loads of progress, but like I said, I missed my deadline and have a new one.

Since this is a gift, there are some photos I'm not including on the off chance that the recipient reads this post. But they will be shared once it's finished and they have the little quilt (hopefully by Christmas).

Picking out fabric is hard. There are loads of cute fabric, but geez! Finding the perfect fabric for this seemed impossible. But I did find some while I was Row by Row shopping in both Raleigh and in Morehead City. Score!

Then came something that was even HARDER! I had to lay out the fabric the way I wanted it. I spent at least four hours moving pieces of fabric around and just standing and staring at the layout to see if I liked it and was perfectly happy with it.

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With this particular project, the top of the quilt is charm squares, so there is no cutting involved, which I really enjoyed. After I had my layout, I was able to label my 9 rows and start sewing the squares together until I had 9 rows.

After that? Mom pressed the seams and then I pinned two rows together before I began sewing them together. I still have two rows left before I then have to start sewing the rows together again until I have a quilt top. EEK!

This, compared to my (cursed) table runner, has been a seamless process. (There is a sewing joke in there somewhere, haha!) Well, except for a few things, which you'll learn about in the What I Learned Section. There are more photos below as well!

What I Learned:

- Not all charm squares are created equally. At least, that's what I'm assuming. Because my seams can be perfect and somehow, it still turns out wrong. Plus, some of them do look bigger.

- My machine hates me every other time I work on it. I was only able to work on it for an hour yesterday because this black ooze/gunk started running down the needle and I couldn't wipe it all off. I'm hoping I have better luck fixing things today.

- The longer I do this, the more things I find I want to do. Like a bookshelf quilt. A rag quilt. A little quilt for Bartley (using the same pattern I'm using for this current project). And the list goes on and on and on!

That's it for this edition of my (Mis)Adventures, which surprsingly doesn't have too many oopsies. I promise not to wait so long until I post again. I'm actually hoping to start sewing 30 minutes to an hour (almost) every day in the mornings. That seems to be the best way to make consistent progress, especially when I'm in the middle of a project.

Do you sew? What are you currently working on?

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures of Sewing & Quilting (#2)

First attempt at chain piecing

First attempt at chain piecing

Oh, boy, y'all. The things I have to tell you! My latest adventures? Well, they're a doozy. And not in a good way.

I thought things were going well. Of the past two times I've sat down to sew, I've only had to take apart my machine 3 times because of missing the thread coming out and it getting caught inside. I consider that a success.

My lines were getting better and straighter.

I tried chain piecing for about ten seconds.

But then, yesterday happened.

All lined up! EEK!

All lined up! EEK!

 I had to take apart three things because I accidentally did them backward (Mom actually took them apart while I kept sewing). 

One had to be taken apart because it wasn't quite straight, so the seam wouldn't be right.

I started sewing my little blocks together to create bigger blocks, getting all excited when things lined up, BUT...

It hit us that it was looking mighty small for a table runner. We began to investigate. 

And this is where things really start to suck.

Somehow, of all the fabric, it seems I didn't cut all of the fabric I needed for the patterned fabric. That's why it was so short. I only had half of it.

Mom started laughing, and I did, too, at first. Here we were, thinking we were halfway done, but looks like I made a HUGE oops.

We read the instructions (again) and I still can't understand how I didn't cut enough, because in one way, it makes complete sense that I should I have that fabric (and just don't), while in another way, it doesn't. But I also know that the day I was cutting the patterned fabric, a Penguins game was coming on, so I stopped once I thought I was done. It's totally possible I didn't pay enough attention to realize I only cut half and was more "done for the day" and not "done completely" because of that. That's what we're going with anyway. ;)

But we still had a problem. We thought we were going to have to UNDO all that hard work I just did. All of those accomplishments! So that when I cut up the rest of the fabric, it would make sense in how it looked.

After about fifteen minutes, we decided to keep what we had, though it wouldn't exactly match the eventual table runner, and use those for the placemats I'm supposed to do after this. 

Problem seemingly solved. We stopped for the night after that. I'm still a little irked at myself for somehow missing this, frustrated with the process, and yet, somehow I still want to keep on chugging. 

I'm starting to think I need to stick to my quilt boards because this is stressful work haha! But it takes practice and patience, right? That's that I keep telling myself anyway.

So, there you have it. There's my (mis)adventures. Maybe in the next post, I'll be able to pat myself on the back more than I've done with these first two posts. :) 

Thanks for reading and letting me share my experiences with you! 

Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures of Sewing & Quilting (#1)

My History & The Beginning of a New Hobby

So, y'all have heard me mention at some point in the past that I wanted to learn how to sew and quilt, whether it be on Facebook, in Lindsay's LeagueInstagram, or in my newsletter. Let me first announce that I am not crafty. I've known from the get-go this would be an uphill battle, as this is simply not an area I'm even remotely skilled in. There are no hidden sewing instincts within me.

For example, I think my sister would probably rock at this. She can decorate cakes, make a cute wreath for Christmas, re-cover a chair/upholstery, and she turned an old door into a headboard for her bed. She's one of those people; she has whatever magical instinct I feel like I should have to be able to do this. She could totally pick this up, I'd bet.

I can't do any of that stuff. My brain doesn't work in those areas. I'm pretty sure it doesn't work in this area either, but I want to learn so badly (even if I'm terrible and never improve), that I don't care. I'm prepared to be irritated all the time from my errors (there's already been many, you'll see), have hardly no patience sometimes, definitely have no clue what I'm doing, but most certainly persevere through it all. Because damn it, I'm doing this. (Not to mention, I'd like a hobby other than reading.)

Hence, my new series of erratic blog posts: Lindsay's (Mis)Adventures of Sewing and Quilting.

So, that's my history. Let's move on to how my new hobby is going so far. Because I LOVE doing this, I will start by saying my only "experience" and what I used to delay the start of my learning were no-sew quilt boards. Those things are awesome and fun.

Moving on because I know you're dying to see all my (mis)adventures. Feel free to giggle. I did. 

For the first project, I'm doing a table runner. I feel like I should've chosen something else at this point, just because, but I'm here and I'm committed, so...

I didn't have hardly any problems cutting the fabric. That part was easy, but what I didn't quite expect was that it was going to take half of my life to do it. There was cutting and the subcutting and the subcutting AGAIN. Like, OMG! I was cutting fabric for HOURS! Not even kidding. That's a day's work right there.

And then, my next step was to layer squares onto rectangles. Okay, that's easy. 

The next step was more daunting.

I had to sew. DIAGONALLY! 

Like, come on! Maybe I've been overthinking this, but that just seems ridiculous for little ol' newbie me. Not that my instructions knew that or cared.

But I'm brave and I'm doing this no matter what, so I got started.

Boy, oh boy. Diagonal lines were the LEAST of my worries. I did get ten of those squares and rectangles sewn together, but it was not an easy process. Just look at the photos if you need evidence.

There you have it! Those were my (mis)adventures.

Let's end on a positive.

What I Learned:

- How to REALLY use that seam ripper! 

- I really need to pay more attention to when that pesky thread comes out. (I feel like there is a lot to pay attention to when sewing.)

- I learned this before when cutting fabric, but it should be repeated. This is a time-consuming hobby. Those ten pieces took me an hour.

- I can efficiently take my machine apart. ;)

That's all I have! If you're still reading this, like wow. You're awesome. See ya next time!