2011, The Year of the Rabbit!

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Project 365 Year 2 by jenib320
Project 365 Year 2, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Wow, I can't believe another year is already over! So much happened in 2011! I don't even know where to begin! I graduated from college, Michael got accepted into graduate school, we moved to Wisconsin, I taught at Sewing Summit, made some wonderful friends! It's been a crazy year of big changes and opportunities! I am looking forward to what 2012 will bring!

I am very happy to have completed another Project 365! For those who aren't familiar with it, you take a photo a day, every day for a year! This is the second year I have completed it and it was still just as fun! I had one random day in November that only had an Instagram photo, but that's okay.  I hope to get them printed soon! You can see my last Project 365 here.

Quilts 2011 by jenib320
Quilts 2011, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I sewed and quilted like crazy this year! Minis included, I completed 36 quilts! Not too bad! I have lots of quilts planned for 2012! :)

Favorite Sewing Projects 2011 by jenib320
Favorite Sewing Projects 2011, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
A few of my favorite sewing projects from 2011! Lots and lots of bags! And pillows too! A little garment sewing as well! You can see all of my 2011 finishes here.

George 2011 by jenib320
George 2011, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
And of course, LOTS of George bunny! It was the year of the rabbit after all! I had no choice! ;)

I love the possibilities that a new year bring. It's like a second chance! I have a lot of goals for 2012, crafty and otherwise. I hope to share a few as well as kick off our Half-Square Triangle Block of the Month soon! For now, I'm taking off for a few days to enjoy family and make the drive back to Wisconsin!

Until next year! Thank you for all of your love and support this past year! It really means a lot to me!

Happy New Year!

This Week

Friday, December 30, 2011

High Tide Mini Quilt by jenib320
High Tide Mini Quilt, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
A few more crafty finishes for 2011! I finished up my High Tides mini quilt this week!  I had a lot of fun with this little quilt! It uses fabrics from the Horizon colorway of Morning Tides by Mark Cesarik! I added in a few Kona cottons and Heath by Alexander Henry. I backed it in a fun vintage sheet stripe and finished it off with some Mingle by Monaluna for the binding. It's quilted with a few simple diagonal lines.  It finished at 20" square. I'm really happy with how it turned out, it's so bright and cheerful! Now to find some wall space for it!

Drawstring Bag by jenib320
Drawstring Bag, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I was itching to sew something with these lovely Echino fabrics I received from my Aunt for Christmas! Another drawstring bag seemed like just the thing! This one was made using the project size in my Lined Drawstring Bag Pattern!

Cozy by jenib320
Cozy, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Right before we left I made myself a new camera strap cover. It was time for something new! I use this tutorial!

Thrifting by jenib320
Thrifting, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Did really well thrifting! Will be reopening the shop with these beauties next week! :)

Dansk Kobenstyle by jenib320
Dansk Kobenstyle, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Also managed to find some enamelware! At an antique shop, but still! I found this Dansk Kobenstyle fondue pot and it even has it's stand! In love with it!

Snow by jenib320
Snow, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
We finally got a bit of snow, although it hasn't lasted long. Still looked pretty though!

George by jenib320
George, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
George!

I'll be back tomorrow with a final recap of 2011!

Today I love the..
Smell of: Pancakes
Sound of: Harry Potter 7 part I
Taste of: Cheerios
Sight of: George
Feel of: Wool socks

Good Things about Today:
- Making Bretzel later!
- The sun came out for a minute!
- Got a Hello Kitty Xmas t-shirt!
- Snuggling with Blackie kitty!

Giant Neutral Plus Quilt

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Giant Neutral Plus Quilt by jenib320
Giant Neutral Plus Quilt, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
The big secret! I made my parents a quilt for their queen bed! I came up with the idea over the summer, but of course didn't actually start it until about a week and a half before Christmas, hehe.  Their bedroom in the new house will be a rusty color so I knew neutrals would be a safe bet.  I decided to go with all solids so that it would keep it from being too busy. I used 8 shades of Kona cotton: Earth, Taupe, Stone, Raffia, Khaki, Straw, Sand, Champagne.  It took 1/2 yards of all 8 colors.  This is the third plus quilt I've made, and honestly, they're fun! It comes together really fast.  I used my tutorial but cut 7.75" squares and a 12x13 layout to end up with a 87"x94" quilt!

Giant Neutral Plus Quilt by jenib320
Giant Neutral Plus Quilt, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
For as quick and painless as piecing the top was, the quilting was a disaster! I think my walking foot needed oiling, and perhaps I could have used a few more pins when basting.  That on top of the fact that it was really a bit too bulk for my machine and too heavy for me to maneuver properly.  So, don't look at it too closely! Their are a fair number of pickers and wonky lines. Thankfully a good washing does magic to hide the mistakes!

Giant Neutral Plus Quilt by jenib320
Giant Neutral Plus Quilt, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I ended up backing it in this fun vintage sheet I was saving for something special. It's a nice pop of color compared to the front but still has some brown going on!

Giant Neutral Plus Quilt by jenib320
Giant Neutral Plus Quilt, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I bound it using a brown dot/stripe I had in my stash purchased at Joanns a few years ago. I had planned on using a solid but thought the front needed a little more interest and this print did just the trick!

Giant Neutral Plus Quilt by jenib320
Giant Neutral Plus Quilt, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Our Maine Coon kitty, Bobbie, matches the quilt! How convenient, she's practically camouflaged! ;)

Giant Neutral Plus Quilt by jenib320
Giant Neutral Plus Quilt, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I am so glad I was able to get this quilt finished in time for Christmas. This is the first bed-sized quilt I've given away! I think since I knew that when I started, I didn't get quite as attached to it! But, I'm very happy with how it ended up turning out! :)

Handmade Holiday

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Orange + Gray Improv Mini by jenib320
Orange + Gray Improv Mini, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I'm excited to finally be sharing the secret gift sewing I've been working on the last few weeks! I tried my best to keep it a handmade holiday again this year, with the exception of Michael's bar set. Although I did make him little cocktail napkins for it! Anyways, on to the sewing!

I made this little orange and gray improv mini quilt for my younger brother.  He just finished up his first semester of college and I thought he might need a little something to brighten up his dorm room. My Mom made him a wall organizer in a gray and orange fabric, so I made his quilt to match it.  I pulled mainly from my scrap bin and went about piecing it haphazardly.  The top came together quickly and it was fun to make!

Orange + Gray Improv Mini by jenib320
Orange + Gray Improv Mini, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I used more scraps and Kona in medium gray for the backing. I quilted it using my walking foot, just some simply wavy lines using gray thread.

Orange + Gray Improv Mini by jenib320
Orange + Gray Improv Mini, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I bound it in more scraps! It ended up at about 18"x20".  It was well-received! :)

Vintage Bear Claw Quilt by jenib320
Vintage Bear Claw Quilt, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
This quilt was one of the big secret gifts this year, the Vintage Bear Claw Quilt. My maternal grandmother started this quilt for my grandfather many years ago. She pieced the top but never ended up finishing the quilt. So, my Mom decided to finish it this year for my Dad for Christmas. We thought something this special needed to be professionally quilted, so we turned to Christina! She has quilted two other quilts for me, and her work is really beautiful. She quilted it with a brown variegated thread in a very pretty swirly pattern.  It really made the quilt!

Vintage Bear Claw Quilt by jenib320
Vintage Bear Claw Quilt, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Close up on the quilting. Isn't it gorgeous? Can you believe she does it all freehand!? :)

Vintage Bear Claw Quilt by jenib320
Vintage Bear Claw Quilt, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Originally my Mom was going to finish up by binding it, but I ended up putting the binding on when I got home. We backed it in a leafy brown print, we wanted to try to keep it as manly as possible! It's about 62"x74" finished :)

Kindle Case by jenib320
Kindle Case, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
At the last minute I made one more Christmas gift, a kindle case for my Mom using Christina's tutorial! I used a Cape Ann mini charm pack, love those sweet floral burst prints!

Manly Toiletry Bag by jenib320
Manly Toiletry Bag, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
My Dad's birthday is the 23rd of December, so I decided to make him a new toiletry bag. I was so happy with the way mine turned out that I made this summer. I made his using this tutorial, the bigger size. The exterior is Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen and the inside is Tula Pink Prince Charming laminate fabric!

I have one more big handmade gift that I'll share tomorrow! It needs it's own post! :)

Catching Up

Monday, December 26, 2011

Santa Bun! by jenib320
Santa Bun!, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Hope everyone had an enjoyable and relaxing holiday! :) We had a quiet morning here at home and then went down to our Aunt & Uncles for visiting, eating, and Christmas bingo! It's a fun family tradition! We play in the evening after dinner for knick-knacks, small gifts, and most importantly gag/white elephant type gifts!

Patched by jenib320
Patched, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
It's been weird being away from my sewing machine the last few days. I did manage to finish repairing my jeans. They are of course my favorites and I tore a big hole in the knee. Never fear, paper-pieced hexagons are here!

New by jenib320
New, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I made myself a new notebook cover last week! I use Vanessa's tutorial!

Fabric Spoils by jenib320
Fabric Spoils, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Did a little day after Christmas shopping! I was quite good! I finally caved and bought some of those elephants though, love them!

Snip-Snip by jenib320
Snip-Snip, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Speaking of fabric! I ordered the scissor prints from Half Moon Modern by Momo last week and had to get a group shot with the other scissor prints when they arrived.  The top red, pink, yellow, second green, middle blue, white, and gray are all from Half-Moon Modern. The second red, pink, top green, top and bottom blue, and brown are from Wonderland. Finally the bottom black (and not pictured, black on white, couldn't find it in my stash for the photo!), is from Half Moon. All by Momo! As you can see, I LOVE this print! :)

Overnight Snow by jenib320
Overnight Snow, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
We got a tiny bit of snow before we left Madison, but it melted very quickly.
Are we sure it's actually winter?

Vintage Bar Set by jenib320
Vintage Bar Set, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I gave Michael his Christmas present before we left! I put together this vintage bar set for him.  The shaker (my favorite part!), and the metal rimmed roly poly glasses (Mad Men style!) were found on etsy and everything else was thrifted. It was a big hit! I'm planning on refinishing the bar cart it's all sitting on this summer. Scored for $2 this past fall!

George by jenib320
George, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
George bun was a very good bunny this year. Santa brought him a tiny basket he can take into his box to work on. He loves it, of course!

I'll be back tomorrow to share all the handmade gifts I made this holiday!

Today I love the..
Smell of: Cool air
Sound of: Harry Potter 7 part II soundtrack
Taste of: Lindt chocolates
Sight of: George
Feel of: Comfy slippers

Good Things about Today:
- Safe travels.
- Going to the Cavs season opener tonight!
- Fabric shopping!
- Quiet time.

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Holidays! by jenib320
Happy Holidays!, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Hope you all have a happy and relaxing holiday! I won't be gone from this space for long, but a little break over the holiday is necessary! We're hitting the road for Ohio early tomorrow morning! :)

Happy Holidays and safe travels!

Little Apples Sparkling Cider Quilt

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It was a race against the sun on the shortest day of the year, but I finished it! I checked the last handmade gift off my list last night and was faced with an entire day to do whatever I pleased.  In an effort to finish off works in progress before the new year, I opted to complete my Little Apples Sparkling Cider Quilt!

This is the second time I've sewn up a quilt using All Washed Up's Sparkling Cider pattern. Last year at this time I finished my first one using vintage sheets. You can see it here. This time around, I added an extra row making it 80" square.

Little Apples by jenib320
Little Apples, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Little Apples is Aneela Hoey's second line for Moda, and I love it! Just like with my Sherbet Pips quilt, I wanted to be able to leave large chunks of these fabrics intact to show off all the sweet little stories.  It took a while to come to a decision but this pattern just seemed made for these fabrics. I mean let's be honest, Little Apples + Sparkling Cider? Match made in heaven, and cheeky to boot! ;)

I love Aneela's fabrics, there is something special about them, knowing the children, animals and adventures are inspired by her sweet girls and their life together. They feel so personal. I am absolutely ecstatic to already be working with her next line, A Walk in the Woods! It's adorable! You can find pre-cuts around now, and yardage will be available this spring!

Little Apples by jenib320
Little Apples, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
This quilt top came together quite quickly.  The flying geese that make up the stars are made with a Quilt In a Day Flying Geese Ruler. Have you used this tool before? I got mine at Joanns and it is fantastic! It really helps make sure you don't loose those nice points! It's my go-to way to make flying geese, thankfully it comes in a few different sizes!

I used the white prints along with some Kona Coal for the backing. The quilting ended up going super fast, only a few short hours. I did my signature loops but extra big this time!

I bound it off using this fun red and white stripe fabric I thrifted shortly after we moved to Wisconsin. It's really soft and I think finishes it off quite nicely!

I had a little trouble taking photos of this quilt, it's pretty heavy! I usually use masking tape but it just wasn't cutting it! So, it was Hello Kitty duct tape to the rescue! Hehe! (PS - it's from Target!)

I am so happy with the way this quilt turned out. It is definitely going to be one of my absolute favorites! It feels really good to get this one crossed off the list! :)

Happy Sewing!

Fabric Dyeing

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hand-dyed by jenib320
Hand-dyed, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I'm having a bit of fun this week, aren't I? Last week I got the itch to dye fabric again. I have done so a couple times (see here, here and here), and it is a lot of fun! When I was sewing up my new notebook cover last week, I cut into a little of the white on white Seed Catalog print from Annie's Farm Stand. It hit me that it would be PERFECT for dying! White on white prints are a little magical in that when you dye them the background takes the dye and the print pattern stays light.  This image, from Fabrics to Dye For, illustrates it perfectly!

Dying to Dye by jenib320
Dying to Dye, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I probably could have gotten away with using regular Rit fabric dye or something similar, but ended up using Procion MX cold water dyes again.  This is the same type of dye Malka Dubrawsky uses in her dyeing, and I used it last year when I experimented with wax resist dyeing. I figured if I'm going to do it, I might as well do it right!


Dyeing by jenib320
Dyeing, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Despite being a little labor intensive and more expensive, it really is the way to go. The colors are very saturated and bold, which I think can be hard to achieve with other dyes.  I took over our tub to do the dyeing yesterday! Nice thing about it is the mess stays contained and you can just dump the dye baths down the drain when you're done!

Hand-dyed by jenib320
Hand-dyed, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I am so happy with the way these turned out. I had hoped the text would stay a little lighter, so next time I probably won't soak it as long. I am already scheming what other colors I want to do. Definitely green and brown! Maybe orange too!

Tomorrow by jenib320
Tomorrow, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
If you are at all interested in fabric dyeing or wax-resist (batiking), I highly recommend Malka's book, Color Your Cloth. It is an amazing resource and inspiration! Rossie has some great information on dyeing too!

Annie's Farm Stand by jenib320
Annie's Farm Stand, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Had to get a shot of all the prints together. The top four prints were hand-dyed and the bottom five are the original colors from the line. I bought my white on white from Pink Castle Fabrics! One of very few places you can still get it!

Happy Sewing!

Tova

Monday, December 19, 2011

Finished Tova by jenib320
Finished Tova, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Eeeee! I got a jump start on one of my goals for 2012, to try sewing myself some clothes! Today I finished this top! It's the Tova pattern by Jenny Gordy of Wiksten patterns. I have admired this pattern from afar for a long time. I have a commercial top similar in style that I love, so I was immediately drawn to it.  I resisted because I assumed it was too difficult for me to tackle, and the price tag is quite a bit more than I usually spend on patterns.  After seeing all the beautiful Tova tops that Ashley made, I had to have it!  The other day they were in stock (they go fast!), and I went for it and bought one. 

A Start by jenib320
A Start, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I have a gorgeous woven blue gingham that Amanda picked up for me this past year, but knew better than to use it on the first go round. I ended up with this brown chambray from Joanns.  I wanted the muslin to be cheap, but still wearable if it turned out okay! I went about the pattern in a rather slow way. I traced the pattern pieces on easy pattern material (looks and feels like interfacing) and made sure to read each step at least a few times before doing any sewing! Plus, LOTS of pinning.

WIP by jenib320
WIP, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
I was surprised by how quickly and easily it all came together. There are some scary things you have to do in this pattern! Plackets, insets, cuffs, sleeves, a collar!  Honestly though, I never really felt like I couldn't do it after I read the pattern through. There are clear photographs to accompany the instructions which are really helpful. Many of these things I was doing for the first time, and I think I only used my seam ripper once on some top stitching I wasn't happy with! I don't have a serger, so I just zig-zagged all my seams!

Finished Tova by jenib320
Finished Tova, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
The details in this top are fantastic, and I look forward to making many, many more!

Finished Tova by jenib320
Finished Tova, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
The sizing for this top was great. I ended up sewing a small based on my measurements and I think I will make it just the same with no alternations for the next one! Don't let the high(er) price of this pattern deter you. I got to thinking about it while finishing it up, you really do get what you pay for sometimes. That doesn't mean you can't sew beautiful things from inexpensive patterns or that you can't sew terrible things from expensive patterns. Plus, knowing you're supporting an individual artisan is pretty cool!

Finished Tova by jenib320
Finished Tova, a photo by jenib320 on Flickr.
Here's to more garment sewing in my future! :)

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