The Friendship Braid Quilt Top; Adding the Borders

Hello! Yes I’m alive and back from my little hiatus.  Life has certainly caught up to me these past weeks and I have neglected my quilt top. With a two year old and a two month old I have gotten pretty distracted, but I’m sure many have had their moments of distraction from their projects. So, on to the quilt top! 🙂

This jelly roll quilt has been quite a long task, not necessarily difficult just time consuming. I’d consider myself a beginner with sewing and I have to say that this quilt top turned out much nicer than anticipated. As I mentioned in my previous posts, I used the Missouri Star Quilt co. tutorial using a binding tool to get my pieces for the braids. The tutorial was pretty self explanatory but I wanted to add borders around my braids and not just one, but three borders!

This was my first time using a jelly roll and using borders and I didn’t have a whole lot to go on for the borders, so I winged it! I knew that I wanted the focal point to be the braids so I used a neutral cream color to frame the braids. I cut my strips at 2 1/2 ” by 44″, I lucked out because after I cut the braids they were an even 44″. I did still have the sew a couple together for the outer part of the first border.jelly roll quilt top

I sewed the strips to the long sides of the braid right sides together at a 1/4″ (everything that is sewn for this quilt is at 1/4″) and added each braid sequentially, i.e. braid>strip>braid>strip>etc, making sure to press each seam as I went along.

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From what I’ve seen on Pinterest typically the braids are sewn in the same direction, but I liked the added movement having them in opposite directions. I added the last two side strips and started on the top and bottom (not pictured). For the top and bottom I had to sew a couple strips together as they were too short for the total width. I sewed the strips together like you would for a binding, if your not sure how to do that use this tutorial (skip to about the 55 sec and you’ll see how to sew them together). Now my braids are nicely framed and ready for the second border, here’s a baby for scale :).

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I thought adding the scraps from my jelly roll would make a really nice contrast for the second border. Plus I got to use more of this lovely fabric! The scraps I had measured 2 1/2″ by 13″ and I used about four per side. A few pieces were cut short but I love it because it gives it a more scrappy look. (Keeping it real with toys and socks haha)jrquilttop10 “Sew” pretty! Yes I just used that dorky pun stop judging! 😛

jrquilttop11 When I finished my second border I looked at it and thought “I could totally leave it like this and love it just as much”. It was a pretty decent size at this point and looked very pretty. However I really liked the idea of more contrast for this quilt. So for my third and final border I used the same cream color and had just enough fabric to cut 6 1/2″ strips. Using the same method for the binding I sewed my strips together to have one long strip. Measuring the right side, middle, and left side of my quilt top I figured out the length for my side strips, which came out to 54 1/2″. I laid my strips right side down and pinned it in place. This is totally personal preference I usually end up taking the pins out and readjust it anyway.jrquilttop12So I have my sides on, now for the top and bottom!jrquilttop15

I measured the same way for the top and bottom strips as I did for the sides which came out to 64″. I pinned these strips the same and finished up my border.

Gah!!! It’s so pretty! And so much bigger than what I was planning for. There were a few mistakes made and some puckering here and there, but overall I am very pleased with how this turned out. It was certainly a learning experience and I will most definitely be getting more jelly rolls in the future!

I really want to try out FMQ with this one but I’m not sure if I have the space or the right machine for it. I know for sure I don’t have the right foot for my machine and I may end up doing stitch in the ditch around the braids, first and second borders, and maybe criss-cross for the outer border. At the very least this turned out to be a very beautiful quilt top and I’ll be happy once I’ve finished it. I may even have enough jelly roll scarps for a scrapping binding!

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Thanks so much for reading, be sure to subscribe or follow to keep up on my latest projects! As always happy sewing! 🙂

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A Lovey for Your Little One

My oldest daughter has this duck with a little blanket that its holding. Its dirty and even stays dirty looking even after washing it in hot water three times. At one point it was thrown in the trash because the security guard that found it when we lost it at the mall thought it was so beat up that it must be garbage. Needless to say this duck is my daughters “lovey”, her baby, her security blanket and I know that a lot of kids have them.

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So I thought why not try and make something for baby Amelia in hopes that one day this “lovey” will be hers and she won’t want to part with it. I had some left over minky fabric and some purple satin and thought that it would be perfect!

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What I had left were scraps from a pillow case and another blanket I had made and I’m pretty sure it was from one of the first blankets I made because the minky was cut really wonky. I ended up with these 11″ squares from what I cut. I figured that was a decent size for a little one to cozy up to.

Once I had my squares cut, putting right sides together, I pinned the two as best as I could. Sewing these two fabrics together was a little bit of a pain because they are both kind of slippery. The fabric shifted a lot more than I was expecting, even after pinning it the way I did. Looking back though I probably should have pinned more on the sides. lovey8

I sewed the edges all the way around and left a small opening on one end so that I could turn it right side out. I trimmed the corners as well because it helps to create that nice pointed corner when turning it right side out.lovey2

After I turned it right side out I pinned the opening in place so that it would blend nicely with the rest of the edges. I used a zig zag stitch all the way around to give it a little more character.lovey3
The final piece turned out ok, but I wasn’t entirely thrilled with it. I felt like (and still do) it needed a little bit more to it. I think I’ll add something I just haven’t decided what. (Suggestions?)lovey4 lovey5

*Update*

I actually found some scrap pieces from a nine patch baby quilt I had made a while back. The squares were 6″ and I made two more squares from some fabric I made burp rags from. Using the same minky and this self binding baby blanket tutorial I made a second lovey that I just love! Once I sewed all my squares together the front piece turned out to be an 11″ square. In the tutorial she is making a baby blanket and obviously the measurements were different, so I guesstimated the back piece and cut a 19″ square from the minky. These measurements worked out great for me and the lovey turned out so cute. I would still like to do something with the first lovey I made and I have been browsing Pinterest for some ideas. When I do find something I’ll be sure to give you guys an update! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial, or rather my learning experience by trial and error haha. Be sure to click the follow button to get the weekly updates and as always happy sewing and thanks for reading! 🙂lovey11 lovey12

Lily’s Quiet Book

A few months before Amelia arrived I was trying to come up with something to give to Lily as a “Big Sister” gift. Something that she would love and use for a long time. I remembered seeing some tutorials for quiet books and thought that would be a great thing for her. Plus the versatility of it was very appealing to me since I could simply make and add more pages appropriate for her age.

This isn’t really a tutorial but more of a “sew and share”. I will include the links that I used as a guide for my quiet book. I didn’t follow the instructions for them exactly rather I used them as a guideline.

The whole project took me about a month and a half from start to finish. Some pages were a little bit more challenging than others, but that’s mostly because of the tediousness of it. Other than the first couple pages, which I only spent a day or two on, I spent about a week on each page. I used Pellon 70 for the pages and felt for all the pieces, and I used flannel for the cover.

The pages that took me the longest were the airport pages. So many tiny pieces! For those pages there was quite a bit of hand stitching, but I managed to use my machine for most of it. The airport pages are really my pride and joy of out of the whole book. I didn’t have a tutorial or a guide for the helicopters so I had my Hubby help a little with that one. I wanted the helicopters to look like the ones he flies and not something completely cheesy. I even went as far as googling pictures of R44 and Bell helicopters to get the right body shape. I can be a perfectionist like that haha!

The whole thing was a lot of fun to make and I’ll have fun adding more pages for Lily. I may even make another for Amelia to play with when she’s ready for one. 🙂

Quiet Book page tutorials:

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Button Flowers and Lady Bugquietbook4

The Shapes and Numbers pages I did not use a tutorial. If you would like to know more on how I did it leave a comment and I’ll put together a tutorial for you. 🙂quietbook5Airport Page I mainly used this tutorial as a idea for what I wanted. If you would like more info on how I did it let me know and I’ll make a tutorial. 🙂 The hangar door actually opens and there is Velcro inside to stick the helicopters to it.

quietbook6Farm Animal Finger Puppets Pagequietbook7And lastly the Cover 🙂 *btw if you do use flannel for the cover be sure its decent quality. I had a really hard time sewing the darker color flannel.*quietbook1 quietbook2

This is what I put the quiet book in along with a few other big sister gifts. She was so excited and still plays with her quiet book! Can you tell I have a thing for owls haha 😉bigsisgift

Thanks for reading! I hope you guys enjoyed my “sew and share”. If you have any questions about the pages let me know in the comments or feel free to email me. Be sure to click the follow button to get weekly updates! Happy sewing everyone! 🙂

Conquering the King

And by king I mean the beast of a quilt that I decided to make for myself. For a while I had contemplated on buying a new bed spread because I was getting really tired of our harsh red, black, and white combination. We’ve kept the same color scheme through out our apartment since we got married and I was over it. I wanted something softer and more appealing. I found myself browsing Pinterest looking for ideas on how to tone it down and I discovered that I was very drawn to the blue, gray, and yellow decor that was seemingly all over Pinterest. So with that in mind I went shopping! But the more I looked for bed spreads to replace the current one I had the more I realized that there wasn’t any that I was crazy about. I had this specific vision for what I wanted and I wasn’t finding it. That was when I set out to make a quilt of my own. I had figured that since I started sewing and making blankets for my daughter, how much harder could it be to make one for my king sized bed. It wasn’t difficult per se, rather it was a much bigger project than I was anticipating.

Once i made up my mind about starting this endeavor I went to search for that perfect fabric. Not really knowing exactly what I was looking for because I had this idea and not an exact print in mind. Lo and behold to my surprise I found the perfect fabric, or at least the first pattern of the few fabrics I chose, at the first quilt shop I went to. I found this lovely bird and floral print and I instantly fell in love! It reminded me of a beautiful china plate and I thought it was just so elegant and classic. Unfortunately what I had found was the last of the bolt (about 1 and 3/4 of a yard) and I was told that they wouldn’t be ordering more. *sob*

ChinaplateSo with that in mind I went looking for the rest of the fabric I needed and found four other prints that went nicely with it. I got 2 and 1/4 of the other fabrics just to make sure that I had enough for the size quilt I needed. When I was deciding on what pattern to use I got a little overwhelmed with the wonderful patterns that I liked but knew that my experience with sewing was lacking. I’ve also never taken any quilting classes and figured it would be safer to go with a pattern that I had already done, so I chose the disappearing nine patch pattern. The first time I did this pattern I used the Missouri Star Quilt tutorial, as far as beginner patterns go I think this is probably the best one especially for such a large quilt.

The hardest part for me was probably figuring out the best sized squares that I wanted to cut without wasting any of the fabric. For some reason that is where I struggle the most when it some to sewing any kind of quilt. Could possibly be because I am absolutely terrible with math haha! Once I figured out the size of my squares (which came out to be 8 1/4″ squares) I laid them out, sewed them together and cut accordingly. I ended up with 64 blocks that were about 14″ (give or take think my math was off haha). Although I had all of my blocks I ended up putting off my project for a couple months, otherwise it probably wouldn’t have taken me so long to finish this. Collectively it maybe took me about a week to get the whole thing together, from cutting to sewing all my blocks together.

I also ended up with quite a bit of scraps and i think I will be attempting to turn those scraps into some cute throw pillows or pillow shams. Or if I have enough both!scraps

This is the largest quilt that I have made, although it was a little scary I would definitely do it again! It still needs batting and I still have to figure out what to do with the back (dark blue maybe?). But the whole thing turned out beautifully and I am so proud of myself! Albeit time consuming and a little tiresome, to be able to say “yes I made that big ass beautiful quilt on my bed” makes me feel pretty good about myself. I may not do another one of these anytime soon, but I’ve certainly learned from this experience and I think I may try a pattern a little more challenging next time.

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And voilà!

king quiltSorry for the terrible lighting it was really late when I finally finished piecing it all together. (Thank you to my awesome Hubby for holding up the quilt for me!) I did manage to get a nicer picture so you can see all the prints used. 🙂kingquilt

So tell me, what are some projects that challenged you? What are some things you learned during your own little adventure? Feel free to email or comment if you have any questions and as always happy sewing! 🙂

Easy DIY Nursing Pads

As some may know I have recently given birth to our second girl and I am breastfeeding. For those who have breastfed or are currently breastfeeding you understand that the “let down” is intense and can leave those lovely rings on the front of your favorite shirt for all to see. Yes, breastfeeding can actually be pretty messy and can sometimes involve multiple changes of shirts. Unless your like me and say screw it and wear the milk stained shirt for the rest of the day.

With my first I do not recall leaking this much! I swear my boobs are like the Super Soaker Nerf gun. So i tried out the disposable ones, which do work but not really that comfortable. They itch. Bad. Try discretely itching your boob in the middle of a highly religious town without getting dirty looks. Its quite difficult. So I took to the internet and tried to find cloth nursing pads, thinking that maybe I could buy some for fairly cheap. I did find a few that were pretty cheap on Amazon, however given my current budget and my dire need for nursing pads I decided to check my stash and make my own.

Nursing pads are typically made with cotton fabric such as flannel. I didn’t have as much flannel as I would have liked to have, but I ended up using some muslin fabric that I got on sale at JoAnns a while back. Muslin is another type of cotton fabric and cotton is what you want as its the most absorbent kind of fabric. Typically you can find flannel and muslin at JoAnns for pretty cheap and you can usually use a coupon for an additional percentage off. (*JoAnns also takes coupons from Hobby Lobby and Michaels, so long as they are not expired*). I wanted my nursing pads to be absorbent but breathable and not so thick that you see that funky circle through my shirt, so I figured the fabric I had would be perfect.  So onto the more important details…

Tools you will need for this project

  • Any Flannel, Muslin, or another cotton fabric
  • Fabric scissors
  • A large cup or a bowl
  • Frixion pen (or other type of sewing pen/pencil)
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron

The flannel fabric that I had were scraps from some burp rags that I had made, so there wasn’t very much. I probably used about a fat quarter of flannel and about 1/3 of a yard of the muslin. Why so much muslin you ask? Well this is going to be my “filler” fabric. You can choose what ever pattern you like for the flannel because that will be the fabric you see.

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Once you picked your fabric lay it out and using your cup/bowl and pen trace your circles. *Note: it helps to iron your fabric first* The muslin is your “filler” so you will want about 6 to 8 layers to go in between your flannel pieces. I didn’t want to have to trace and cut a ridiculous amount of individual circles so I folded the fabric over until I got the right amount of layers that I needed then I traced and cut. Don’t worry too much about your circles being perfect you can trim later. (I realized after I finished everything that I had an odd number of pads. I blame residual pregnant brain. Ha!)

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Once you’ve traced your circles cut them out. For the layered muslin I found it easier to cut and keep them together if I pinned the circles.  IMG_2038      IMG_2037

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After cutting out your circles put your nursing pads together. Carefully take the pin out of your muslin and place flannel on either side and pin the pieces into place.           IMG_2040IMG_2041

Now that you have your lovely booby pads pinned, its time to sew them together! I highly recommend using a walking foot for this project since you will be sewing through so many layers of fabric. It can be difficult using a regular presser foot. You can use a simple zigzag stitch it will hold just fine. I used a decorative stitch on my sewing machine. You want the edge of your fabric to be at the edge of the presser foot, so about 1/8 of an inch.

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Once all your pads are sewn together iron them and trim any excess muslin that may have shifted (not pictured) to give them a nice even finish.

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And that’s it! A great easy project that can be done in about thirty minutes and are a perfect gift for any expecting Mommy that is planning to breastfeed. These are so much more comfortable than those itchy disposable booby diapers! And for a newly breastfeeding Mommy myself the 8 layer muslin filler is perfect for me, especially at night when my little one decides to sleep past her feeding time. No more milk stains on my shirts or my sheets! *Happy Dance*

If you have any questions feel free to email me or comment. Don’t forget to subscribe for weekly updates and blog posts. Thanks for reading! Happy sewing everyone!