Friday, July 29, 2011

Fun Things

Saw this today at JoAnn Fabrics. Awesome!!!

Here are a few quilt blocks that I have started for the quilt I'm working on. 

And here's a new onesie!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

For the baby mamas!

For all the baby mamas, those who have friends that are baby mamas or soon-to-be mamas, I have some items for you! I now have onesies available on at my etsy shop. Here is a preview...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Sew Busy

I take after my mother and can never sit still. I have to always be doing something! Well there certainly hasn't been a shortage of things to do this summer. Multiple quilts have been sewn, and my love for batik has been found. As I'm entering the final weeks of summer vacation things definitely haven't slowed down. 

I am putting my scrappy quilt on hold as I have had other projects pop up that need prioity. I have had several people request these super cute owls.

I also have this custom order quilt to make. I cut all the center squares using the fabrics I was given. I need to make a fabric store run to start buying solid color fabrics to add into the quilt. I am modeling the quilt off of Elizabeth Hartman's design that can be found here.

In addition to all of that, I bought some onesies that I am going to batik and sell on my Etsy shop. Batiked onseies are just tooo cute and I can't resist! I started one of them today. Should have it finished tomorrow. 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Skirts, thread and quilting, oh my!

Completed the navy wrap skirt! It is available for purchase at my Etsy shop here.

On a different note, I need to always remind myself that when I start a big quilting project that I need to have enough thread on hand! There is nothing worse than starting to sew a quilt block and then run out of thread half way through. Ugh. Luckily I live 5 minutes from JoAnn Fabrics and boy it's convenient! I swung by there after yoga all sweaty and gross just to pick up thread. I know I spend too much time in there because I was at the cutting counter a few weeks ago and the woman cutting my fabric asked "Weren't you just in here the other day?" Yes. Yes I was. 

In the middle of all my batiking fun and starting my scrap quilt, a friend of mine wants me to make her a custom made twin-sized quilt for her daughter. All the scraps are from leftovers from custom diapers she had made for her. I am really excited because this is my first custom made quilt for someone! Usually I'm making quilts for people as gifts, never have I been asked to make a quilt for someone. Thanks Julie for making my day and giving me a quilting challenge!  What an eclectic bunch of fabric and what a fun quilt it's going to be! 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Etsy Shop is Now Open!

It's official! My Etsy Shop is now open HERE. I have my wrap skirts as well as a climber's knot t-shirt up. All are custom order items. 

I'm in the process of batiking a new tank for me and a guitar t-shirt for my fiancé. I also have another wrap skirt in progress. It will be dyed tomorrow. Here's a sneak peak at my new tank and the skirt...

My tank: I painted some dye onto the flowers to give them some more color. I will let the dye sit over night and then I will rinse the excess dye out. After it dries I will put wax over the dyed spots , so when I do the final dying the colors aren't affected.

Here's the skirt before it's dyed.

On another note, yes, I am still working on my quilt. Slowly but surely I'm getting it done! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scrap Quilting has Begun!

In between batiking and starting to plan my curriculum for the upcoming school year, I am starting to work on the quilt top with all the scraps that I cut out a while back. The quilt pattern is a bit more complicated than expected, not because of difficulty, but because of lack of space. I don't have the ability to lay out all the pieces ahead of time so I can see how it's going to look. What I'm doing instead is cleaning our bed off, laying out three rows at a time, taking pictures of the rows and stacking the fabric back up and setting it aside. I reference the picture when I need to start adding new fabric to the rows. But why not lay the whole quilt out a head of time, take a picture of the whole thing and then just set the fabric aside? I could just reference that picture instead, right? Yes, I thought of that, but I can't lay all the fabric flat! From the pictures below, you can see that the quilt top doesn't lay flat on our bed. Instead I'm just doing it a little bit at a time. Hey, it's worked thus far! 

I clean off our bed and lay the rows out. 

These are the rows I laid out before stacking the fabric back up and setting it aside. 

 Here is the start to the quilt top. 

I'm really excited about this quilt because, so far, I haven't had to buy any fabric for it! You can use your imagination to picture what the end result will be because I'm not going to post anymore pictures until the quilt top is done! Happy sewing! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

Completed Skirts

The batiked skirts are completed and I am in love with the purple skirt! It's very comfortable.

I ordered more dye today so I can make some more of these skirts as well as more climbing t-shirts for my fiancé. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

My introduction to Batik

One of my goals this summer was to teach myself how to batik. So for the past 3 days I have set aside my quilting and have immersed myself in this new technique. Everything I learned about batiking came from looking at pictures and reading various instructions including: 

Dharma Trading: Batik Instructions 
Paula Burch's How to Batik

For those who don't know what batik is: Batik is originally from Indonesia and is a method of producing designs on fabric by dying them having first applied wax to the parts to be left undyed. 

I'm hooked! This is such a fun technique. I have previous experience with dying fabric, so luckily that part was pretty easy. I did try to do some low water immersion dying (see blue skirt below). Unfortunately, I let the dye sit for too long, so it bled together more than I wanted. 

I dyed 4 shirts and 2 skirts. I originally was going to make a reversible wrap skirt, but after dying the skirts I decided to just make 2 different skirts. The skirt pattern came out of Chic and Simple Sewing by Christine Haynes 

Here are the two skirts that I'm going to sew this week: 

I also made a shirt for my fiancé. 

He is a rock climber so I thought a double figure eight knot would be fitting for him. As soon as he tried the shirt on he immediately asked me: "Can you make me some more of these?" I told him that I don't have a lot of dye. I directed him to the website where I buy the dye and he immediately picked out several colors that he wanted. I guess I have a bunch of shirts with knots, carabiners and quick draws in my future...

Important things I have learned about batiking: 

  • Buy a melting pot like the one here.  Using a double boiler sounds simple enough, but it's hard to get the wax to the right temperature and maintain it. I learned this the hard way. Besides, you would have to stand by the stove to apply all your wax.
  • When you first put your tjanting (pronounced chanting) in the wax, let it sit for a couple minutes so the wax heats up the tool. 
  • When boiling the wax out of the fabric, weigh your fabric down. I happen to have some large stones that worked great! 
  • Have some Goo Gone. It takes wax out of pots, spoons, etc! 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cutting Fabric!

 I looked at all my fabric a few weeks ago and came to the conclusion that it is time to make a scrappy quilt. I found a great pattern from American Patchwork and Quilting that was perfect for what I wanted to do. Unfortunately, I'm always drawn to patterns that are throw size or wall hanging size. Luckily the pattern is pretty straight forward and was easy to adjust to make a queen size quilt. 

I spent all morning cutting fabric (except for the half hour when my fiancé needed me to help him work on his car). It wasn't until my stomach started rumbling that I realized it was time to take a break. I looked at the clock and saw that it was already lunchtime! When cutting fabric I find it very easy to get into a flow and lose all track of time. 

There are 58 different fabrics in that pile and I still have more to cut...