Saturday, January 17, 2009

Friday projects

Since I have Fridays off, this is when I normally do the bulk of my crafting. Well, it is also when I try to do fun things with Griffin, but often those things can be combined. He loves coming to the fabric store with me, especially if I promise to make him a costume of some sort. This week, since I had just made him his Buddy the Elf costume, I was free to finish the lap quilt I had started for Rowan.

But first, we had to do something fun together. We decided to make muffins. Or cupcakes. I'm not sure what you'd call these. Griffin was calling them "muff cakes" but I don't think that is entirely appropriate. Since I'm back to a "healthy eating" lifestyle (read: Weight Watchers) this year (it is that or buy a new wardrobe people) I am trying hard to make things that the entire family can eat without blowing my points. My girlfriend Jen made these muffins and they were delish. And easy...they are a box of yellow cake mix, a can of pumpkin and 3/4 a bag of cinnamon chips (yes - cinnamon, right next to the chocolate ones, if you look hard enough). We made them Friday mid morning and both kids ate 2 a piece at snack when I'm sneaking good things into their "treats".

While I was waiting for Griffin to fall asleep at nap time (before I ventured into my craft room a whole floor away), I worked on my knitting. I have been struggling learning, but am seeing improvement. The book learning has been augmented with conversations with knitters at work, thankfully. I just picked up the bamboo needles and like them a lot more than the metals ones I had been using. I'm working on some easy washcloths. That way, they don't have to be perfect, but I won't be wasting the yarn. Doesn't look like much, but it is a start!

Now, let us talk quilts. My first disclaimer, I do not know how to quilt. I am scared of quilting and all the intricate designs and patterns that I have seen since I started sewing. I don't understand the terms (What in the world is a log cabin?) or have the gear (walking foot! It is now on my list). It seemed that there were 2 types of sewers out there - quilters and everyone else. Since I don't quilt, I guess I was part of the "everyone else" category. BUT,that didn't mean that I was not intrigued by all the cool quilts I've seen on blogs and flickr. When I made the decision to try making one in 2009, I had so many new decisions to make it was almost frightening. What pattern? What design? What colors? What material? What size? ACK!!
Second disclaimer, while I had started out promising to make Rowan a new bedspread, after reading different tidbits of advice all over the crafty Internet, we decided a smaller lap size quilt would be a good start. Have I mentioned I have not made a quilt before? I was scared people.
OK, now onto the rest of the story. Rowan is in the midst of having her bedroom updated to reflect the big girl she now is. She wants her new room to be aqua and red, so that is what we used on the quilt. I had a lot of the scraps on hand, but did get a few new pieces (Valorie Wells fabric from here on Etsy. Amazingly fast shipping!), especially for the binding and the back fabric. While I did not copy the exact design from Amy Karol's Bend the Rules Sewing book, I used it to find out how to put this together, quilt it and bind it. The book was extremely helpful, especially since it was my first time attempting a quilt (have I mentioned that?). All said, I think I could have made the quilt a bit more even and squared up. My "stitching in the ditch" got a bit crazy, too... that may have been controlled if I had opted to slow down, but I am a speed demon. Sometimes my stitching veered to the left of the ditch, sometimes to the right, and sometimes I could not even find the dang ditch. I enjoyed playing around with the design - laying it out and then changing it. I hemmed and hawed with embroidering or appliqueing on it, but decided to keep it simple (hee hee) since it was so busy with the differing fabrics. Thankfully, I was able to accomplish the hand stitching portion of the binding in the company of friends and a glass of wine. Thanks Kim and Theresa for the conversation and vino to keep me going! All in all, it works to keep her warm, so mission accomplished.
Here is the front... (sorry it is on my busy rag rug. I did not realize how difficult it is to take photos of a quilt. I can't imagine how I would have shot a queen size one.)

And the back...

And Miss Rowan all snuggled in. It averaged about 16 below here last week... without the windchill. Brrr....

1 comment:

Brianna said...

I also made those diet muff cakes and I used mini chocolate chips, only 1/2 the bag and they were way too yummy too! However, no one else in my house eats them, just me!