23 September 2012

My summer vacation

Last month I spent a week at my sister's house in Walla Walla. I had the best time.  I wish I lived closer and was able to get there more often.   Whenever my sister and I get together, we work on 'projects'.  The sewing machine is going pretty much non-stop and  fabric is scattered everywhere.

The sewing fun started before I went.  I wanted to bring something for everyone ('cause it's fun for favorite Aunts to bring presents).  I made my niece A the small version of the cross-body purse.

 I made my niece K two 'wide open zipper pouches'. 

These are the quite possibly my favorite sewing project of all time.  They're quick, fun, easy to sew, and turn out fantastic.  Plus they really do open wide!

They're now being used as K's toy and diaper bags for church.
I wasn't sure what to make for C.  He's 6.  And has opinions. :)  My sister suggested a pencil case after seeing a tutorial on make it and love it.  I liked the idea, but C is into monsters.  So I made a monster zipper case - with the zipper as the 'mouth'.  I used duck cloth for the case and fleece for the monster parts - zig-zagging around each piece.  (At first, it looked a little like an angry bird.  The purple horns helped!)  I think it turned out pretty cute. 

 I had so much fun making K's 'wide open zipper pouch', that I also made two more for C.

For A (not to be left out!), I brought fabric and let her make her very own pouches.  She did a great job once I remembered to put some blue tape on the sewing machine to mark where the seam allowance should be.  She did everything on the bags except for the final top stitching around the zipper and the hand sewing.  Yup, she sewed in the zippers all by her self.   For almost 8, she's pretty good with the sewing machine (as she reminded me several time that she knew what she was doing.)

Now for the 'projects'.  Last year we made bags.  This year was all about pillows.  The first up was a double flying geese circle - called 'Windmill'.  I first found this on flicker and tracked it back to Lily's Quilts.  She had a tutorial up on her web site and then took it down because it was supposed to be coming out in a book.  I waited a while ... and then drew up the pattern (in publisher!) for a 12" square.  (It's now available in 'Modern Blocks'.)   

We sewed a 'test square' to make sure I had drafted the pattern right and then dived into the project.  This was my sister's first try at paper piecing and she did awesome.  Here's mine - complete with safety pins as it's waiting to be quilted.

The great thing about paper piecing is that if you take your time, your points come out awesome.  The hardest about this block (other than deciding what fabric to put where ... and I made my sister choose that) was the center point.  There are a lot of fabrics there and it's tough to get the point pretty.  It's a little bumpy in real life, but I like it.

Next up was 'lone starburst' or 'bordered star'.   I found it on pinterest and the paper piecing template is from the 'Quilting Climber'.  It turned out amazing.  The hardest part was deciding how to quilt it.  Here's mine:

I quilted about 1/16" away from all of the edges and then echo quilted the star out to the boarder. 

Last up was 'alphabet soup' inspired by this quilt pattern - Circular Reasoning by Carolina Patchworks.  Everyone looks at a quilt that is 75"x75" and decides that it would be really cute 12" square - right?  A trip to her local quilt store 'Stash' (perfect name for a quilt shop) and we had fabric and started tracing, ironing and then I cut them all out.

This is as far as we got.  The next step is to blanket stitch around all of the letters and then I think a boarder of dark brown around it will look nice.  I'd like to pebble quilt stitch it ... but since my free-motion quilt skills are non-existent, I'm not sure how I'll quilt it.

One night - I think it was Tuesday, a little boy prayed that I would have enough time to sew his pajamas.  So I spent the next day sewing monster pj short's.  I had just enough fabric to sew two pairs.  I used the left over fabric to sew shapes on two of his t-shirts - a circle and rectangle.  I think he likes them. :)

We also ran 3 mornings (I fell and skinned up my knees and hands really good the first time, but the rest were injury free).  We back-to school shopped for clothing for the kids, made a Costco run, watched a you-tube video and then cut A's hair (a bit scary, but it turned out cute!), celebrated my birthday, found and bought a mountain bike for C, practiced 'launching' and stopping on the new bike, sewed, visited parks, rode bikes, embarked on the 'great library book hunt' (they were found in the Candy Land game box), bought and played with legos, ate frozen yogurt, sewed, had 'Popsicles with the Principle, sorted school supplies and labeled everything, played on playgrounds, sewed, made sidewalk chalk paint and played with it, went to the library, read 'Ninjago: Jay, Ninja of Lightening' with C every morning (he read all but one chapter to me!), made cookies, made bread, made dinners, played with toys and kids, embroidered 'church' in C's new church pants (so he could tell them apart from his brown school pants), fixed the stuffed snake Slither, fixed a bag, and sewed, sewed, and sewed some more.  I had so much fun.  It was the very best part of my summer.

I had so much fun that it was hard to leave and come home.  Now to start planning for next year's trip!