A BIG Project Finally Finished!!

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Back when I was planning for Christmas, I got it in my head that I would make each of my kids a quilt. Now, keep in mind, my previous foray into quilting was a small rag quilt and some patchwork baskets. I had read about quilting, but never had any lessons on how to do it. I had read about quilt patterns, picking fabrics and the “quilt sandwich”, but beyond that, I was on my own!

My daughter’s quilt actually came together quite easily at first. I had purchased a ton of flannel for her as a baby since I used it to make diapers. I had a lot leftover and I started gathering fabrics I thought would work well together. I played with the fabric until I finally decided to do a pinwheel type pattern. Now, for any quilters out there, I will warn you now that I didn’t use any particular pattern, so any resemblance to a “real” quilt pattern is completely incidental! I had to get a few more fabrics to finish the quilt, but I had a lot of fun picking those fabrics out! I was worried at first that the patterns would clash or look bad together, but, as I pieced and played, I realized that I really liked the way they turned out and I lost a lot of fear of patterns and picking fabrics! I did stick with flannel, since that is what I had started with. I am not sure it was the easiest way to go since it made sewing a bit more difficult with the extra weight, but the end result was wonderful!

The quilt top. Lots of pink and flowers!

After putting together the top, I went to the bottom. I had seen several quilts where the solid bottom was put together with a strip of fabric squares. I decided to do the same thing, especially since I needed just a bit more length. I love the way it looks!

The strip on the bottom. You can also see my quilting job.

The hardest part was the quilting. I don’t have a free motion foot for my machine, yet I didn’t have the patience or the time to hand quilt (remember, I was hoping to have this done for Christmas!) I decided to just have fun and do some wavy lines. They don’t look fabulous or anything, but they work for a little girl’s quilt. Moving that quilt around as I sewed was not easy! And I was glad I wasn’t trying this in the middle of summer either!

After quilting it, I really got stuck. I put it down and started on a quilt for my son. I currently have the quilt “sandwich” made and it is waiting to be quilted. Obviously, these didn’t get done in time for Christmas! I suddenly had developed a mental block and it was all from one thing: the binding!  I was scared to death of the binding! I didn’t know what fabric to choose, I was scared of not cutting it straight and messing it all up, I had no idea how wide to make it. It was terrible! And then I ventured to JoAnn’s and found premade blanket binding! Yes, I know it may be considered cheating by some, but it helped me break through that blockade! It isn’t flannel, but it works well for the blanket. Once I bought it and sat down to sew it on, it went on fast! I sewed it on to the first side with the machine, then decided to hand sew, using a slip stitch, to sew it to the bottom. My mitered corners left a bit to be desired but I got at least one good one!

A mitered corner!!

I finally finished the quilt tonight! Thankfully, my daughter adores it. In fact, she, her daddy and her brother were all cuddled under it before bed while watching a DVD together! I can’t recall the exact dimensions, but it almost completely covers the top of our CA King bed. I wanted to make sure it was big enough for her to get use of it as she grew. I am proud of my first effort. I think I may invest in a free motion foot within the next year. And most of all, I am happy she likes it! She doesn’t care if the quilting sucks or if the miters are perfect!

The finished quilt!

Being enjoyed by its’ new owner (and her brother!)

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Kid Room Redo

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In November, my baby boy turned 3. I knew that I had to accept the fact that, while he will always be MY baby, he was no longer A baby. Up to that point, he had a room I loved – it had a wild animals theme with soft yellow, sage green and tan and his walls were a gorgeous brownish-orange (a color called Copper Penny.) I simply adored the warmth and gentleness I felt in his room, even when it was scattered with toys and crowded with his train table, bookcase and toy box (all fairly recent additions.)

Starting a month or so before his birthday, I started to ask his opinion on what kind of room he wanted. He wavered for a while between Cars and Thomas the Train – either of which would have been fine with me. He finally settled on Cars. I started to go into planning mode. The first thing I knew had to change was the wall color. Since the color in there was already rather dark, I knew we would be OK painting the walls red. We chose the Disney paint from Behr called Code Red. Wow! His room is RED! (This picture was taken by my son one day while I was trying to keep him busy by letting him use my camera! The color is a bit more on the orange side, which you will see in other pictures.)

My husband made the toy box for him and I painted it dark blue and we used Cars stickers all over it to decorate it.  Unfortunately, I don’t currently have pictures of it.

For curtains, I made a trip to the fabric store and got black and white checks. I made a simple valance. I love the look it gave the window! I had fabric leftover, so I cut them into triangles, stenciled his name on in red fabric paint, then used a zigzag stitch to attach another triangle to the back. I used blanket binding I bought at JoAnn’s to connect them all and hung them on his wall with quilt tacks. The bunting was great since it took up quite a bit of room on one empty wall (I think it is nearly 3 yds in total length.)

The valance.

The bunting (well, part of it!)

I also added some pillow cases to the room. Now, these don’t fit the Cars theme, but they made my son so very happy. He LOVES dogs so we use a lot of puppy patterned flannel. I am currently making him a quilt with puppy patterned fabric, so I used scraps to make a cover for a small pillow and his body pillow. He is thrilled with the result and so am I!

His puppydog patchwork pillowcase.

The body pillow case, already in use by my guy!

While I don’t have pictures, we also accented his room with a Cars poster and two road signs I found at Hobby Lobby – a speed limit sign and a stop sign. I am also hoping to add a personalized street sign to the wall for his birthday.

While I miss his nursery terribly, this room fits my guy and his personality so darn well! He is so happy with it and so am I!