Monday, January 21, 2013

I'm a Dance Mom.

Progress on my Maple Leaf Rag quilt has been pretty minimal this week due to upcoming dance performances and festivals.

I'm a dance mom.

My daughter is dancing the Cake Walk on Saturday at Robbie Burns Night. So in the last week, I've made a circle skirt, a pair of short pants and a vest.  I upcycled my old Highland costume from when I was a kid to make the skirt and vest. And I used a cute dark blue corduroy for the pants. Please cross your fingers that they will all fit. I only have 5 days until the big show! (I think I'm more nervous about the costumes than my daughter is about the dancing). I used these tutorials for the skirt (I used a band rather than an elastic waist), Burda 2622 for the vest, and McCalls M6143 for the pants. However, since making the skirt, I found this great tutorial on Sew Pony, and I would use it next time.

I did manage to get a couple of webs done. But realistically, I doubt I'll get the quilt top done this month. And I think I'm okay with that. It has been so long in the making,  I'd rather not rush it at the very end just to get it done.

More Webs
More Webs
More Webs

 Thanks for all of the encouraging comments on my last post, and I am so sorry I didn't get a chance to reply. Please know that I love all of your comments, and my goal this year is to be a better communicator. So that means responding to comments too. I am a work in progress.

Anyone else making costumes?

I'm linking up.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

A Lovely Year of Finishes

I'm a joiner. Are you? I mean, if there is a group, any group, I usually want to be part of it. Lately I've tried really hard not to join every quilt-along that is in progress. (And I am forcing myself to sit on my hands to avoid the Scrappy Trip Along...have you seen these quilts? They are stunning!) But I found a group that I think it a good fit for me today. So I'm joining.

It's called A Lovely Year of Finishes and it is hosted by Melissa and Shanna.  Each month you just pick just one thing to finish. Then you blog about it, finish it, blog about it again, and link up. I'm hoping it will help me to actually get things done. I love the idea of focusing on just one finish each month.

Over half way done!
Over half way done!
In January, my goal is to finish my Maple Leaf Rag quilt top. This baby has been over a year in the making, so it is time to finally finish it. I am trying to use my most favourite and hoarded fabrics. It is so satisfying to see them all together in one quilt.

Here are some blocks in progress:

Maple Leaf Rag - In progress
My favourite so far. Love the HR, FMF, and Red & Aqua. Sorry for the fuzzy photo!
I am going to splurge and have this top long arm quilted, so finishing to top is a huge step in finishing this quilt.

Maple Leaf Rag - In progress
A bright block!
Maple Leaf Rag - In progress
Love that bright blue Katie Jump Rope!
Maple Leaf Rag - In progress
My favourite half-block.

Wish me luck! What are you finishing in January?

PS - Thanks for all of the encouragement about blogging again. It is so fun to read all of your comments and emails.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Amy Butler Sling

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend. We did. We took full advantage of our last weekend before everything starts up again. Skating outside on a beautiful community rink, lots of sledding, and even an afternoon of cross-country skiing. And I even had some time to sew. My husband has been so helpful lately in giving me chunks of time to just sew. And the kids are getting some quality time with their dad. What could be better?

AB Birdie Sling
Don't you love that hint of orange peaking through?

Today I am happy because I finally made and mailed an Amy Butler Birdie Sling that has been on my to do list for way, way too long. Like 2 years too long. The back story is that my mom's friend bought me the pattern and asked me to make one for her. This same friend knits gorgeous socks and sweaters for my kids. I will often go to the mailbox and find 2 or 3 pairs of hand knit socks waiting for me. So I felt a ton of pressure. That put me back 6 months.

Then I had to choose some fabric. I know what I like, but I have so much trouble choosing for someone else. That part delayed me for at least a year. I finally settled on some Amy Butler Love for the main and handle, and a fun orange kona solid (sorry I forget the name) for the inside.

I know everyone and their dog has made a Birdie Sling, but it has always intimidated me. I made her Nappy Bag a few years ago, and to be honest, I wasn't all that impressed. But when my mom was visiting at Christmas time (read: entertaining all three kids), I managed to cut out all of the fabric, interfacing and fusible fleece. That was the hardest part. Then after she left, I just had to sew it together. And to be honest, it went together pretty well.

AB Birdie Sling
AB Birdie Sling made with AB Love fabric

The only part I'm not thrilled with is the final top-stitching on the top edge of the bag (notice there is no close up picture). I had a heck of time getting it nice and straight. And I probably should have taken it out and tried again, but I was just so happy that it was done, that I didn't bother. And I didn't want to risk another 6 months. Hopefully she doesn't look too close.

So the final verdict on this pattern is a thumbs up. I like the size of the bag, and the round shape and pleats make it quite stylish. I didn't love the top stitching, but I think if I use thinner fusible interfacing it will go better next time. Next time? Yup, I think I'll make another. Hopefully it won't take me 2 years to make!