Sunday, October 30, 2011

Feet In The Sand, Part I

I would call this about 1/3 done.  The bottom portion is a million and three thread switches.  I'm hoping I can keep the momentum to finish it before Thanksgiving.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Pleated Apron

Midget's school is hosting a basket raffle - 2nd graders are doing a baking theme.  Rather than buying a spatula or something, I decided to make an apron for the basket.

I managed to cram in a few firsts with this project:  Pin tucks, bar-tacking, and hemming.

The fabric is from Joanne's Fabrics.

This is the finished apron.  Oddly enough, I couldn't get either guy in my house to put it on and let me take a picture.  So, I tried to demonstrate how well it hangs on the side of my ironing table.

The "inside" of the pleats are the black fabric - I know this looks really, really weird, but it was the easiest way to see how they look together.

I've never done pin-tucks before, and so I'm not sure they are as small as they should be. I would estimate they are roughly 1/8th inch, but I couldn't tell you for sure (that would require me to get up and measure, and I'm quite warm and toasty in bed). 

This is the back of the apron.  I think the part I like about quilts the most is that no one sees the seams on the back - in clothing (and aprons) you see the whole shebang.  I am thankful that the seams allowances are hidden within the pleats (although I did overcast).

I got the pattern from here and followed it pretty closely.  I did the waistband a little differently, however.  Instead of folding seams and sewing, I cut (2) 5" x WOF strips, split one in half, and centered the long one between the short ones (like she suggests).  However, this is were I veer off course.  I sewed the short ends together, pressed the seams, and then folded it in half and sewed it with a 1/4" seam so that it was a giant tube.  I turned it right-side out, ironed, and then centered it over the skirt part.  I ripped out the seam about 1" past the edge of the skirt on either side.

I measured 1" down from the top of the skirt at each end and at each pleat intersection and put a pin in horizontally.  I lined the top of the waistband up with the horizontal pins, pinned like crazy, and then stitched like she says to in the directions.

I'm not a huge fan of pre-pressing seams, and apparently that is a huge part of clothes-making.  I think the tube/seam-rip method went faster than burning the tips off my fingers and removed the potential error for measuring the seam allowance incorrectly.  As for the bottom and side hems?  They are clearly imperfect, but I tried.  I wasn't willing to sacrifice having fingerprints to make them perfect (this time). 

Out of the entire thing, what was the most important lesson?  Someone needs to start manufacturing 1/8" feet for pin-tucking.  I would run into a burning building for my 1/4" foot, and I can see the same potential dedication for an 1/8" foot.

And while this has NOTHING to do with the apron, I have spent the better part of today playing part of the Twilight: Breaking Dawn Part I soundtrack over and over to the point Midget said, "Will you just stop playing that song, please?!  You're driving me nuts!"  Ha.  Payback is a bitch, little boy.

You can listen (and watch) here:  A Thousand Years

"I have died every day waiting for you..." A Thousand Years by Christina Perri

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Melinda's Heart in Blues and Plums

I started cutting this on the 2nd anniversary of my 29th birthday (September 2011).  So far all I've gotten to do is cut and sew the strip sets.  I'm hoping I'll have an opportunity to at least iron them this weekend.

When I sewed this pattern for my mother in 2009, I found out just how important accurate pressing is in bargello, so I'm making myself take my time and keep everything parallel. 

I also learned to make an extra of each strip set in case I develop a twitch or sneeze when I'm cutting.  Seriously, it's an issue sometimes.  Don't believe anyone who says they have zero issues when it comes to cutting accurately, consistently.

Worst case, I pull the staples from my fabric key and use these strips if I exhaust all my extras. 

"They all think I'm crazy but to me it's perfect sense." - Nothing by The Script

Monday, October 24, 2011

EOD Wounded Warrior Quilt 2011

About a month ago, I was approached to create a quilt for for an injured EOD tech.  With the help of another EOD wife, we were able to create him an Americana-themed Rail Fence quilt with some really cool personalization. 

First, I put the embroidery machine to use and made a Master Crab

We chose a red stars / blue stars block design.

One of the coolest parts of the quilt was a picture of the team that was dyed into 100% Kona cotton.  The company, The T-Shirt Diner, was able to do it in about a half-hour and for about half of what I'd expected, cost-wise. 

This was the first half completed.  I love how the seams give the top a stained-glass appearance with the sun coming through the doors.

After close to an 8-hour sewing day, I had to walk away for the night.

The quilting was completed over a weekend by a local Great Falls, MT quilter - Denise Shortridge. She did an all-over, medium-sized meander.  The quilt was bound in the lighter blue star fabric.

I feel like the crab in the middle of the border/divider looks almost like a rodeo belt. 

While I was waiting for the quilt to finish it's wash/dry cycle, I made a wheelchair bag for some mobile storage.  The interior is black.

I want to make a HUGE THANK YOU to Ship-It of Great Falls, MT.  They heard who the quilt was going to and cancelled ALL the costs associated with packaging and shipping to help get the quilt to it's new owner as quickly as possible.

If you are local to Great Falls, I want to personally ask you to consider using Ship-It to show your appreciation and thanks for their help by giving them your business.  

Their address is:
825 5th Ave S 
(Intersection of 5th Ave S & 9th S on the NW corner)

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Sometimes, Life Gets in the Way

I wish I had an opportunity to sew today (but I didn't).

I did manage to get semi-caught up on coursework.  I haven't totally cleared this week's homework to-do list, but I'm pretty close.

In lieu of actually sewing, I did mess around on here a little and managed to come up with a set of WIP lists.  They're nowhere near complete, but everything I could pull off my mental checklist is in there.

Now, I'm off to go start (and hopefully finish) my take-home midterm for The Nature of Math.  Doesn't that sound scary?  (It really isn't.)

"There are things which seem incredible to most men who have not studied Mathematics." -Archimedes of Syracus (287-212 B. C. E)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Obligatory "About Me" Post

I've been wanting to set up a journal of sorts to keep track of my projects.  I've got some albums on Facebook, but I suppose I want something a little more back-up-able. 

So, since I don't have anything new that I started today, I'm going to just talk about me for a while (courtesy of what I've already got posted on FB). 

I have a midget named The Midget who wishes he was Spiderman, Batman, Johnny Test, or Ben 10 (depends on the day which one he prefers). I like to shoot guns but don't because it scratches up my manicure. If I was rich, I'd eat Japanese food 7 days a week. I can bake like it's my profession, and my vacuum cleaner used to be the most important appliance in my life before we moved to Montana.  Now, I have hardwood floors so it's not used quite as much.  I have 4 nieces, 4 nephews (plus at least 1 more on the way), 4 sisters-in-law, 4 brothers and 4 brothers-in-law. I was in the Air Force (Nuclear, Biological, & Chemical Warfare), but now I'm just married to it. I'm from New York (the OTHER side of NY called "Upstate" although it's really WEST), but I consider Kansas home. I go to school for mathematics with the eventual goal of teaching at the high school level.  I am a terminally horrific driver which is compounded by my equally terminal lack of sleep. I am a nerd and I laugh at my own nerdy jokes. I love the smell of bleach and I hate getting my hands dirty. I am the proud mother of a 2nd grader and I'm having growing pains letting him be a little man. I primarily quilt and cross stitch.

So, why "Pie in the (Big) Sky"?  Well, I have a tendency to have amazing ideas that are frequently paired with an utter lack of desire to implement them.  Of course, that is, until I decide I absolutely HAVE to do it, right away, right now, no second thoughts.  Also, Montana is called "Big Sky Country."  And then, much to my friend's disgust, I can shorten it down to "Pits," and I want to call my (future) little quilting group THE PITS with an exclamation mark where the dot is a tiny uppercase Q.  As in, The Pie In The Sky Quilters.  I love it.  She hates it.  I guess that's how life is sometimes.

In closing, "Once you've arrived at the end of the world, it hardly matters which route you took." - Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion