Tuesday, August 26, 2014

State Fair Recap

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The Iowa State Fair is over and last week I picked up the items I submitted to the Fabric and Threads exhibit.  I received 4 ribbons and one Honorable Mention.  You can see the full list of items I submitted here.  The four ribbons I received were for children's clothing.  All were in categories with very little competition and were mostly second or third place out of two or three.  And based on the comments I received I wouldn't had placed at all if there was more competition.  That makes the ribbons a little less special.  Some of the judge's critiques I agreed with, others I did not.  

I received second place for my Batman hoodie (the Hulk pullover next to it did not place):  

Second place (of two) for Elephant shirt:

Third place (of three) for Shark Man costume and third place (of three) for Angry Bird Cargos:

What struck me as funny in the shorts/pants/skirts category there were four submissions. Two of the four were the same pattern.  Can you see the resemblance of the cargo pants?  The other cargo pants received first place.  

I did receive an honorable mention for the quilted pillow I made.  I'm pretty proud of that and am happy with the ribbon.  There were some awesome pillow submitted.  

My Dad did pretty well, too.  He submitted four photos to the photography exhibit and two of his were selected to be displayed.  Only something like 20% of submitted photos are selected.  That is much more impressive than my ribbons for participation.

Do you recognize that butt?

Overall, we had a pretty good time at the fair.

Crappie selfie

Have you been to the fair?

Saturday, August 23, 2014

The Super Hero T-shirt Pattern with Built-in Cape

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I recently released my second pattern.  The Super Hero T-shirt pattern is available on Etsy and Craftsy.


This pattern is a long-time coming, but I am happy to say it is finally to a point where I can say it is ready to share.  

The pattern includes pieces to help you create a t-shirt (long or short-sleeved) with a built-in cape.  The shirt body and waist may be made different colors to mimic the look of built-in underwear of many classic super hero costumes.  A belt completes the look.  


There are eight applique patterns that may be personalized.  They are inspired by Batman, Robin, Captain America, The Flash, and Superman.  


The pattern is unisex and available in 9 sizes (12M, 18M, 2T, 3T, 4T, 5, 6, 7, 8).


The shirt is great for Halloween, birthday parties, photo shoots, play dates, trips to the park, running errands, and every day pretend play!  With this pattern you can help your little one become whatever superhero you can dream of!

Pick up yours today!



Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Off to the Fair

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The Iowa State Fair starts tomorrow and this year I submitted ten items (to be judged) to the Fabric and Threads Exhibit.  I dropped them off a couple weeks ago and we'll go next week to see how I did (and enjoy the fair, of course).  

The items I submitted (in no particular order):

Category - Children's Garments (3-12): Play Clothes
Mini Man's shirt is sized 18 months.  I submitted it into the children's sizes because it didn't fit into any of the categories for toddler clothes.  As a result, a lot of Little Man's clothes were submitted while Mini Man's had to be left out.  The categories for kids' clothes in general are pretty lacking.  

Category - Hand Knitting; Cap or Hat (multiple yarns)
I wanted to submit Little Man's knit dragon hat, but it was looking a bit worn.  I decided to try my chicken hat. 

Category - Children's Garments (3-12); Coat or Jacket
I originally had this in the Play Clothes category.  Only one item can be submitted per category so I had to find another category for this so I could submit the Hulk Pullover. 

 Category- Sewn and Other Items for the Home: Tote or Utility Bag

Category - Toys and Dolls: Stuffed Toy, Other Than Bear, Non-jointed

Category - Quilting: Pillow

Category - Quilting: Pieced (with perimeter of 144-300 inches)

Category - Children's Garments (3-12): Pants, Skirt, or Shorts

Category - Infant/Toddler Garments (0-2): Sleepwear
An oldie but goodie.  It isn't really sleepwear, but is the only category that it really fit into.

Category - Children's Garments (3-12): Costume
When I brought my items I only brought the jacket which I was going to submit to the Coat or Jacket category.  After consulting with the ladies working there I moved some of my items into more relevant categories and was left with the jacket.  I could have submitted just the jacket to the costume category, but decided to run home and grab the rest of the costume to display.  I'm not sure if everyone will get it, but I'm pretty proud of that costume.

I'm looking forward to the fair and seeing my items on display.  I would love, of course, to get a few ribbons, but I'm just proud to show-off my work.  

Do you go to your state fair?

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Double Rainbow Quilt

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My sister-in-law recently graduated from college.  To congratulate her I made her this lap-sized quilt that I'm calling the Double Rainbow quilt after this rather hilarious viral video.  We saw a double rainbow out our back window once when Sister-in-law visited us a couple years ago.  None of us and seen a double rainbow before and were all awed.  Sister-in-law was especially excited about the rainbow without knowledge of the video.  This quilt is my tribute to that hilarious moment.

I made this quilt using string scraps.  My scrap bin runneth over so it was nice to thin it out.  I organize my scraps by color so working on each row was pretty easy.  

I started with a square of muslin for the foundation.  I added the black stripe to the middle of each block then began to add stripes to each side. This tutorial explains the process.  I used the black in the middle to create a chevron effect.   

My black stripes didn't meet up perfectly so I appliqued a gray triangle over each point.  It helps emphasize the zig-zag while also hiding my sloppiness.  I left the edges of the triangles raw so they would fray.  I think it adds to the scrappiness of the quilt.  

With each block having a muslin foundation the whole quilt was pretty heavy before basting.  I decided to forgo the batting and used sweatshirt fleece as the backing.  The fleece is the perfect weight to act as thin batting and the backing.  I managed to find fleece that had no stretch.  I"m not sure of the purpose of fleece without stretch, but it was great for quilting.  I didn't have to worry about distortion while quilting.

The quilting is pretty simple.  I didn't want to quilt too densely because there is so much going on and I thought it would be a pain to sew through.  I quilted in the middle of each black zig-zag line and then between each line.  I matched threads for each color.  I hoped it would show up more on the back, but it faded into the gray pretty well.  

The binding is a black-and-white print I had in my stash.  I had a rainbow striped print cut and ready to use, but when I started sewing it on I changed my mind.  It was waaaaay too busy.  I ripped it off and picked a different fabric.  The black looks much nicer.  

I have a lot of blue scraps.  In order to use more blue I created two rows of blue.  The bottom one is supposed to be closer to indigo (ROY G BIV).  I tried to keep lighter blues at the top and darken as I went down.  I think I was moderately successful.  

This quilt was pretty fun to make and rather quick and easy.  I enjoyed looking through my scraps and thinning out the pile.  

I've decided to submit this to the state fair.  I have no delusions that this will win any ribbons.  It is not the most technically challenging and the quilting is nothing special.  But I think the colors are nice, the corners are square and the sides the same length, all the points match, and I did a great job on the binding.  I'm proud of it even though it most likely won't be a winner.


Friday, July 25, 2014

Children at Play Pillow

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I'm in the process of updating/replacing a lot of the pillows in our living room.  Some are from our wedding (going on eight years), some are from before children, and some are relatively new, but they are all looking pretty ragged and worn.

This is my first one that I've completed.  I finally got around to using the scraps leftover from one of Mini Man's baby quilts.  It was the orange and aqua color-way from Michael Miller's Children at Play by Sarah Jane line.  I adore this fabric and was glad I finally got around to using the rest.

I made a three-by-three pattern of square-in-squares.  I wanted to frame the cute scenes of paper airplanes, bicycles, and paper hats.  I used the prints for the frames.

 I didn't do a great job of lining up the stripes on the front.  In my defense, I had a limited amount of fabric.

I quilted one inch squares on the front and back.  The back was pieced stripes of fabric.

I love the paper hats.  I made an envelope sleeve to allow easy access to the pillow.

Both the front and the back were quilted with a fabric backing and batting in the middle.  I used binding on the edges to keep the corners of the pillow nice and crisp and to ensure there would be no raw edges of any kind visible.

I took extra time and was a precise as I could be through-out the whole thing.  The pillow is 16" square so there isn't much room to hide mistakes.  I'm planning to submit this to the State Fair next month.  I'm pretty proud of it and hope it does well.