Tag Archives: crafts

Pinning is Important

I started a dress for the daughter a few weeks ago.  A simple sewing project.  One that I did a little here and a little there.  I probably could have had it done in a few hours had I really committed myself to it but, I like taking my time on things like that.  Tonight, I decided to finish the dress.

I had everything pretty much set up so that it was only a matter of connecting the bodice and the skirt.  Simple enough…

I pinned everything together and, satisfied with my pinning, I sat down to sew.  I sewed it once and then the second time, as directed by the instructions.  Then I prepared to press the seam.  That is when I discovered my horrible mistake.

Have you ever tried to remove stitches from knit jersey?  It’s not fun.  Not just one row of stitches, but two rows, needed to be removed.  Not fun.

Lesson of the day:  Check your pinning before you sew.  I don’t care how sure you are that it’s pinned correctly.  Check it.

Guess I’ll be finishing it tomorrow, much to the Daughter’s dismay.  What’s done though does look pretty cute.  Thankfully it’s a simple enough pattern that I will definitely make another (I do have a bunch of great fabric waiting to be made into something) so next time, I will remember this simple step.

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Filed under Crafts, Sewing

Mission Completion: One Rag Quilt for One Satisfied Customer!

I finished it.  It’s not a major accomplishment because it’s really a small little quilt but it’s finished nonetheless! (Sorry about the somewhat blurry pics!)

The Daughter and her new quilt!

It was a fun little project.  I used her old baby receiving blankets so it really is one of the softest quilts ever! The top is fraying nicely because of the cotton squares.  It’s going to look great once it really gets a little more frayed on top.

The Front

I had a helper and I’m sure that’s why the pattern on the front is a little off.  I didn’t notice it until this morning.  I guess I was just so focused on finishing that I somehow missed it.  It adds character though so I’m okay with it.  Beside, the Daughter isn’t too upset about it.  Just my OCD is a little bothered by it.  Oh well.  It could look a lot worse!

The back ended up being a little different from the original pattern called for only because I didn’t have enough squares for the back.  So my improvisation was to just make larger squares and patchwork them across the back.

The Back

I had slightly different receiving blankets for the back but thankfully they sell those soft blankets in sets of three and usually in some kind of matching color scheme so they all look good together.

The Daughter has spent the morning with the quilt wrapped around her, just enjoying it so much which is good enough for me.

Using the machine did make for quick work and did make me feel a little better about the construction.  I don’t know why I always doubt my hand stitching abilities but I do and for some reason, I feel like the machine makes it more durable.

I think this little quilt will become the daycare nap time blanket.  The Daughter’s daycare does not allow fleece blankets so this cotton blanket will fit the bill perfectly!

An example of a Sampler Quilt

I think I’m going to start figuring out what is needed for the sampler quilt I’m going to tackle next.  That one is going to be a lot more intense and a lot more time-consuming but I’m excited to do it!  I need to really work on my skills.  My cutting skills in particular.  I guess I know a few things I’ll be asking for at Christmas!

It will be fun though and I’m excited for it.  It’s always fun for me to learn something new and actually have something to show for it in the end.  Who knows, maybe I’ll enter one in the Barnstable County Fair some day, though this past year, there were some pretty amazing quilts in the exhibition house.   Either way, it’s a fun hobby and it keeps me from grazing through the kitchen at night so that’s a MAJOR plus in my book.

I keep thinking of when I quit smoking.  I had to relearn how to do things in a way.  Like starting my car did not mean lighting a cigarette.  It’s the same thing with my relationship with food.  I need to relearn that even though I’m bored or stressed about something, I do not need to eat.   I need to do something else.  Quilting at night is perfect.  So is writing. It’s something that makes me forget about the kitchen.  I wish I could explain why I feel the need to eat when I get bored or stressed.  I am not sure I am ready to put that into words or even if I can put it into words now but, I can say that I’m happy to have a new hobby that will help me battle my bulge during those nighttime problem times.


Filed under Crafts, Healthy Me - Yay!, My Relationship with Food, Quilting

How Did She Use a Paper Template?!

I started cutting squares last night.   The pattern that I’m doing requires six 6″ squares of six different kinds of fabric.  My aunt always did it with paper templates, cutting the pieces one at time or doubling it up somehow.

These aren’t my squares but some pretty squares that are the product of someone’s more skilled hand.

I don’t know how she did it.  After one set of squares, I was annoyed. I usually don’t mind things that take time.  That’s why I like doing cross-stitching.  It’s slow and calming.  Cutting those squares was not calming.  Pinning the paper didn’t work so well.  Holding it didn’t work so well.  I came close to just rolling up the fabric and tossing it all into the corner of the room while yelling some not so nice things at it.  As if it were the fabric’s fault that I couldn’t cut right.

Needless to say, a trip to the fabric store is in my immediate future.  I will be buying a cutting board and a rotary cutter.  Clearly, I am not yet at the level where I can hand cut all the pieces.  I feel like I failed kindergarten – basic cutting.

She did not fail cutting in Kindergarten

On a more positive note, at least I started.  I don’t think this will be a hard project as it’s just a rag quilt nothing fancy required.  I’m thinking that I might be able to work on it while I’m recovering from my surgery later this week.  That was partially my motivation for trying to cut the squares before Friday, the date of my surgery.

So, time to get moving and make the trip to the fabric store to stock up on a few supplies.  Hopefully I will be able to cut a little better once I have something to make cutting squares more easy!


Filed under Crafts

Quilting in the Summer – Crazy or Crazy Smart?

I learned how to quilt from my late aunt.  She was crafty before crafty was cool.  She quilted six baby quilts for me, my three brothers, and my two cousins.  They are all treasured mementos and I know that, at least for me, it’s one of the few things I will be sure to grab if the house ever caught on fire.  When she was diagnosed with Cervical Cancer in 2008, I was 6 months pregnant.  We had just laid my Nana to rest and then the news of my Aunt’s illness came almost instantly on  top it.  We knew she was sick, we just didn’t realize it was Stage 4 Cancer.  Needless to say, wrapping my head around all of that at once was an impossible thing.

I had trouble with the emotions – missing my Nana, happy about my healthy baby girl, angry about my Aunt’s cancer, excited picking out nursery items…it was a roller coaster that might have rivaled Kingda Ka.

One day, when I was going to Stop and Shop, I got a phone call from my Uncle.  My Uncle hardly ever calls me so when I saw his name pop up on my phone, I didn’t know what to expect.  What followed in the next few minutes were intense and at the same time so beautiful in retrospect.  He was asking me to spend time with my Aunt and make my daughter’s baby blanket.  It was hard.  I didn’t know if I could do it.  She was practically my second mom and every day I miss her because I look at my daughter and know how much my Aunt would have loved her and laughed with her.  He didn’t want me to regret not spending the time with her to make something so special – my lasting memories.

She taught me how to quilt over those months.  I would go and sit and stitch by hand each piece into the pattern.  We would talk about life, memories of the family, how the baby was moving, cute clothing I saw for her, doctors appointments, chemo treatments, religion, music, books.  It was wonderful.  She had it mostly finished by the time my shower was held.

She worked tirelessly to complete it despite going through some of the sickest months of her life.  But she finished it.  She lived to see my daughter who was named after her mother.  She held her.  She laughed with her at my daughter’s first Christmas.  She played with her.  My heart smiled.

After she passed, I was told by a few people that it was now up to me to continue the tradition of the baby quilts since I was the one who was taught how to quilt from her.  The woman once made curtains out of throw blankets and they were the prettiest curtains I remember seeing…and it was so simple!!

Fast forward to now…I’m going to attempt my first quilt.

I am trying not to be too nervous.  And it’s weird because in the back of my head, I keep thinking that I wish I could call her for some advice.  I just have to trust that she taught me the basics and once I master those basics, I can continue on.  The pattern I found was on a free site and it claims that it’s “easy.”  We shall find out if their definition of easy and my definition of easy are the same.

The pattern is nothing crazy.  I’m still a little nervous. I am pretty sure I picked an easy one….check it out – this blog has some pretty awesome ideas.

So, over the next few days, expect to see a photo or two of my progress.  It says that it’s a weekend project but I’m going to really take my time and make sure I do it correctly.  I might also cheat and use my handy dandy sewing machine.

Wish me luck!

I also promise that my next post won’t be so heavy…don’t know where that all came from but it was good to get out there.  Next time I’ll post something about milk shooting out of someone’s nose, the latest “Call Me Maybe” cover, or something…



Filed under Crafts, Family