Go BIG or go home. {a.k.a. The Tale of my first Quilt)

Last week when I shared the intersecting lines whole cloth quilt, I mentioned that it was not technically my first quilt.

Nope.  It was my second.  I began my first quilt (the one above) a year ago with a dream, a pin (of the Pinterest kind), and some fabric.  Forever ago, I mentioned that making a quilt was on my bucket list.  At the time, I didn't have a sewing machine but apparently my husband was listening (err, reading) because on the following birthday, he gave me the best sewing machine in the world.  The lady who sold it to us mentioned that free motion quilters love the vintage model that I now own--I nodded as if I knew what she meant and made a mental note to "google free motion quilting".

In all honesty, I thought making a quilt would be something I'd try later on--muuuch later.  Like retirement age.  But one fateful day, I came across a quilt on Pinterest that really piqued my  interest.  This quilt:

photo used with permission

Awesome quilt, right?  Yeah, I thought so, too--so armed with the inspiration, I moved forward.  It took a few weeks to choose the right fabric and I settled on Domestic Bliss by Liz Scott for Moda.  I used a layer cake, which, if you're unfamiliar with the term (as I was) is a stack of precut 10"x10" fabric squares from the coordinating fabric line.  It's a great way to showcase lots of fabrics that were made to coordinate.  (Just for your info: I bought the majority of my fabric from Donelle Fritz on Etsy and was very pleased with the service I received over two different orders.)

There were so many lessons learned along the way.  Now that I've made two quilts, I'm working on a post specifically about the what I've learned so far as a rookie quilter.  I thought there may be others who want to dip into the world of quilting and perhaps my noob's perspective could be helpful.  A lot of the advice I found on quilting came from seasoned professionals, and though extremely legit, there are some tidbits that could be gained from a beginner--for instance--don't feel the need to buy all of the things the quilters specifically suggest, like curved safety pins, because it may be overkill for your first quilt.

I am SO proud of the quilt that I made for Elliott's bed.  It's fun, colorful, and girly, and though very imperfect it's structurally sound and should last a long time.  As I quilted along, I'd think back on the pioneer women who did everything by hand from scraps of fabric from here and there and I felt so proud to be joining the many who have wrapped their children in blankets made with love.


Intersecting Lines Quilt

Like many days, today is a busy day, and though I have 3.5 million things on my to-do list, I'm using some coveted naptime--a.k.a. my 'freetime' unwisely to share a quilt.  I just feel like it and I don't want to let the feeling get away, you know?  I'm sure you do.

I made this quilt for a friend who recently welcomed her third son to her beautiful family.  Being the third boy, I know there's plenty of hand-me-downs to share, but certainly little baby Ridge (cool name, right?) could use a quilt that belongs only to him.

I wish I could say that this is an original idea--it's not.  I found this quilt on katie did and just knew I had to make one.  I love the idea of whole cloth quilts.  It's economical, fun to customize, time-friendly for moms of babies, and great practice for new quilters like me.  If you're new to quilting (like me) this is an excellent place to start.

The colors of nature provided the perfect palate for this cozy blanket.  Robin's egg blue, leafy green, and tree-bark brown worked together well for a masculine yet still baby-ish quilt.

The front of the quilt has a small square of Joel Dewberry faux bois fabric with the new baby's name embroidered into it.  The quilt was begging for just a bit of personalization; after all, it is rather plain otherwise.

The intersecting and imperfect lines of this quilt proved to be a great way to practice my quilting skills and a super-fun way to get aquainted with my new walking foot.  In case you were wondering, I fell head-over-heels-in-love with my walking foot.  It makes this teeny tiny clicking sound that's just so comforting as it marches along the fabric with ease and confidence.  Didn't know a sewing machine foot could have so much character, did you?

I haven't shared it yet, but this baby quilt is actually my second quilt.  Earlier this year, I completed a MASSIVE undertaking by making  a queen-sized quilt for Elliott's bedroom as my first.ever.quilt.  It's a chevron design made of half square triangles and I even learned the sacred art of free-motion-quilting (and consequently fell in love).  If you're thinking "boy, she's crazy for making a queen-sized quilt as her first", I wholeheartedly agree with you.  It was crazy, but sometimes diving in head-first is the way to go.  Maybe soon I'll share that finished quilt that has become so near and dear to my heart.

Much love,

5 1/2 Hour Throw

If you follow me on Pinterest, you know that I love to pin crochet ideas.  The problem with all of the lovely crochet inspiration I pin  is that often each afghan you're looking at takes like 8 months of stolen moments, and though I'd love to make it happen, I tend to gravitate toward projects that are achievable in a weekend or two at most.  There's just something about having kids and their need to eat and have attention and such...

Enter the 5 1/2 hour throw from Lion Brand.  Yeah, it takes a lot of yarn.  A lot of expensive (yet super-awesome chunky-textured) yarn...but it's totally doable in a weekend.  Have you worked with Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn yet?  I'm telling you, it's so satisfying and smooth and buttery... Luxurious might be a good word.  And they don't even pay me to say that!

This 5 1/2  hour throw took me like 4 months to make.  Funny right?  Granted, I started it right after I had Bennett--so--you know, the whole newborn thing can be a real crochet-killer (and sleep-killer--but pretty awesome in every other aspect, right?).  I made it as a Christmas gift for my mother-in-law last Christmas (and I'm just now getting around to sharing it with you) and I'll be honest, I'd love to make one for myself one day--so yeah, it's awesome. 

If you're looking for some doable DIYs for Christmas gifting, this may be a fun one to try!  Maybe I'll make another this year!

Oh, and in the time it took me to make this throw and post it... my kiddos  Elliott is in preschool now and Bennett (who we pretty much only call Benji) is walking around like a pro.

Doesn't time just fly?

Vecco DIY Rug Kit

Okay, okay, yes, I know how long it has been since I've posted.  I'm aware.  But with the invention of Pinterest and the million awesome craft blogs that are out there, can you really say you've missed us much?  Probably not.  But for sure, I've missed blogging.  So here I am.

I'll freely admit that I'm here primarily because someone lit a fire under me--in terms of a DIY with a deadline.  In other words, the fine folks at QVC offered some fun DIY rug kits in exchange for feedback-- naturally, I had to give it a try!

Specifically, the product is the Vecco Design Your Own Rug Set.  In the kit, everything is provided to make one 18"x30" rug for your home.  Here's what the kit and all the little bits look like:

I'm totally a sucker for nice packaging, so I was pretty happy with how the rug and the supplies were displayed upon opening the box.  It's nice to have a DIY project where you don't have to go and gather your supplies (because mine tend to be in a disastrous and disorganized state the majority of the time) and everything is already set up for success.

The kit I used is called "Geometric" and it came with lovely pea green and sky blue paints for the rug.  Truthfully, the hardest part of the project was designing how I'd make it my own.  In true Tristin style, I ditched the included stencils and made my own monogram template with Contact paper.

I also taped off the edges with painter's tape to create a border.  Then came the painting--and boy was I ever nervous!

Surprisingly, it went pretty well, and once I got over my painting anxiety, I was pleased with the results.  

My westie just couldn't resist photobombing--and can I blame him?  He looks especially dapper with his fancy short haircut (which for the record costs way more than my own haircuts).

All in all, I was happy with the project!  It was definitely different than anything I've done before, but it's not rocket science so almost anyone could be successful.  There were a lot of stencils included, but I really had a hard time finding anything that felt "right", which is why I took the slightly more complicated road of making my own stencil.  Is that surprising?  I try to customize everything--even rugs that come with tools for customizing, lol.

One thing I'll point out is that the paint colors can be quite deceiving--I actually made two rugs and when the spray paints dried they were both significantly lighter than the color of the initial application.  Doing a second layer of paint is not recommended in the kit (though it's not advised against either) so perhaps a second layer of paint would be beneficial.  Also, the paints tended to be drippy/runny at the beginning of application--once I'd sprayed for a few seconds it seemed to fan out as was intended (and yes, I shook the cans as the directions said to do).  I'd recommend spraying a little paint onto your drop cloth until you get the good "fanning" action that's desired for optimal spraying.

All in all, the Vecco DIY Rug Kit was super fun to try!  Wouldn't it make a cool gift for your DIY-lovin' friends and family?  You realize that Christmas is around the corner...right?!

Oh, and guess what?  I have like a million projects to share.  Seriously, in my long hiatus, I've made a LOT of things.  Come back soon... I'll have some new things to share!


P.S. The Vecco DIY Rug Kit will be featured on QVC on Wednesday night @ 7pm (8/28/13) on "You're Home with Jill".  Tune in if you're interested!

About You’re Home with Jill: Watch You’re Home with Jill Wednesday’s at 7:00pm ET.  Hosted by Jill Bauer, an active working mom with a keen eye for design, she’s been serving up simple solutions for a busy lifestyle on You’re Home with Jill since 2000.   Inspired by simplicity, Jill shares creative decorating ideas, entertaining inspiration, delicious dishes from the kitchen and more!

Disclaimer:  The products mentioned in the above post were received free of charge; opinions are 100% my own.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...