Wednesday, July 22, 2009

sew crazy!

This week, my crafting endeavors have been Ellis-centric. In part, it was need based, in part because I love to sew (when my machine is not jamming, which I discovered is mostly due to lame thread) and in part because I’m just plane nuts. The “nuts” part refers to the fact that I decided I "needed" to make a mini-quilt for Ellis to take on vacation with us next week. As in, we leave on Saturday. As in, I haven’t even started my to-do-before-we-leave-list nor my multiple need-to-pack-lists. Oh, and I've never made a quilt before.

But because we didn't have a scorching hot week like the week before, it was a good excuse to spend lots of time indoors playing...and when it wasn't raining, a little time outdoors, too. Honey took this picture of Belles and I at the Mendenhall Glacier this past Sunday.

This bib was crazy-cheap to make (gotta love the little projects!) and something I could actually start & finish in one sitting provided Ellis is napping. The pattern is modified from Amy Carol’s Bend the Rules Sewing, and if you’re familiar with Manda at Tree Fall, it should be pretty obvious where I get much of my inspiration from. And where does one draw the line for inspiration versus just plain stealing? My sincere apologies to Manda if I have overstepped.

I was so pumped for having FINISHED a project ~ two even! ~ and from having just finished sorting & organizing my fabrics that I couldn’t stop there. My mind started formulating color & fabric combinations & as soon as Ellis woke up from her morning nap, we were off to Joann’s. I picked up a set of square quilting templates, a rotary cutter, and hello? Why have I never purchased one before? That little baby made my life INFINITELY easier. At least in terms of sewing :)That evening I managed to get all my squares cut (seriously loving the rotary cutter) and put together my pattern. This actually came easier than I thought it would. It only took a couple tweaks to get the pattern the way I wanted it, and then a bit longer to fix my mis-placements. Around 11:30pm, I called it quits. Then all day yesterday, I could not. stop. thinking. about getting home to work on Ellis’ quilt! I was determined not to let this much needed burst of inspiration and motivation slip by.

Last night, I pieced together my squares & after laying out my rows, discovered only one mistake. After a short deliberation & virtually no anxiety (yay me!), I decided to leave it as is. I figured that after I added my alternating rows of off-white fabric, the mis-placement would be hardly noticeable, and more importantly, it’s good for me to be okay with producing something less than perfect. Ellis will love it and is she really going to care that there’s a green square where a red square should be?

I’m a little over half-way done with the front of the quilt, and barring any complications of either the sewing machine or of the toddler variety, I should be able to finish tonight. Am I being too optimistic? Maybe, but I really, really want to have this finished for our trip. Don’t ask me why, I’m just compelled to do so. I wanted Ellis to have a little lap quilt while we’re away, something from mama, something from home.

I foresee another quick trip to Joann’s this evening for batting & possibly the backing fabric as I’m not sure if I want to use something I already have or not. Maybe a nice chenille backing? Maybe something lighter?

Be sure to check back for the finished product!