An Update and a Bit of Crafting

So for those of you who follow this blog have noticed, I haven’t posted in a while. Life around here has gotten very hectic. Both Mr. Tux and I are on rather large projects at work and my free time has shrunk significantly. I am still sewing, quilting, spinning, and knitting, but my blogging has fallen by the wayside. For the next few months I will not be able to blog quite as regularly as I had been. However, I am still crafting when I have a free moment I will do updates on here about what we have been up to. So without further ado, here is an update for the last few weeks.

Mr. Tux, Tuxley and I survived the holidays in style and we are settling back into a normal routine. I was able to spend two days at a spinning workshop with Sarah Anderson. It was a total blast, and I now have size 6 Czech beads on order to ply with some purple painted top merino I have set aside. Recently, I have discovered the Jelly Roll Quilt Race from the Missouri Star Quilt Company and I have been playing with some awesome Jelly Rolls. If you want to give it a try yourself, check out this video. For variations on the quilt check out this video and this video.

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Some good friends of ours are expecting their third child, a boy, in May. Last year, I made this quilt for them using my old Singer sewing machine. After my experience using the old Singer to appliqué the monsters on the quilt, I swore I would never quilt like that again until I got a new machine. Mr. Tux surprised me with my Janome last may for my birthday. It seemed appropriate that the first real quilt I would make after the monster quilt would be for the same awesome friends and their next baby. I used a combination of the Jelly Roll quilt race and the appliqué to make the quilt. I had so much fun crafting for them again. I may have gone slightly overboard with the crafting. By the time I was done, there was a phenomenal quilt, two receiving blankets, a burp cloth, a crocheted newborn hat, and a special knitted bunny lovey.

IMG_1829I just LOVE the monsters on this receiving blanket!IMG_1834The quilt back is so adorable. The puff ball monsters were perfect.IMG_1838Dinosaur quilt frontIMG_1836An up close of the appliqué dinosaurs. I couldn’t believe how easy they were on my new Janome!IMG_1842A fluffy yellow hatIMG_1840The bunny lovey turned out amazing! It is so cute. Big sister thought it was amazing and adorable.

Mr. Tux and I also got out and enjoyed some snow with Tuxley. We were able to go snow-shoeing. It may not have been on our anniversary, but at least we were able enjoy some snow. Overall, our new year has been going great. Busy but great. I am still around and will try to blog as often as possible.

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Kiera

 

My Janome New Home DC2014

Several weeks ago, Mr. Tux surprised me with a wonderful gift. He bought me a brand new sewing machine! I am such a lucky girl. My old sewing machine is a Singer from the 80’s. While it is a great beginner’s basic machine, it has reached the height of its usefulness. While sewing the Monster Quilt, it became painfully obvious that I had reached the limits of the Singer’s capabilities. If I wanted to continue to increase my quilting and sewing skills, I would need a new machine.

My dream machine is one of the Quilter’s Edition Bernina sewing machines. Those babies are pure heaven and cost a small fortune. Mr. Tux and I were not ready to spend that kind of money on a sewing machine. Maybe someday. On the recommendation of a friend and fellow quilter, we checked out the Janome machines. I had never heard of the brand, but they come highly recommended. After watching you-tube videos and reading reviews from sewers and quilters alike, we finally settled on a machine. Mr. Tux ordered the Jamone New Home DC2014 from Amazon and I waited impatiently. When the machine arrived, I fell in love! The Janome is so quiet. It sews smoothly, and handles my projects like a champ. I finished Mr. Tux’s new quilt on the Janome and was impressed. The different stitch options rock, and I can’t wait to use the walking foot for quilting. The best part: my sewing machine no longer bounces and vibrates across the counter. It stays in one spot. So so awesome! I am thrilled!

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all boxed up and ready to open!IMG_4988

A first look at the new machine. The picture doesn’t show it clearly, but the machine is white with purple accents!IMG_4989

Look at all those stitch optionsIMG_4990

Sewing on it for the first timeIMG_4992

It plowed right through the flannel and fleece I was sewing togetherIMG_4991

I love this little machine! I can’t wait to try quilting on it this coming fall. I want to try more complicated patterns and maybe even try my hand at some more appliqué. The other cool thing about this machine is that it will sew clothing too. I may have to try my hand at clothing again. Who knows! For now, I am just so thankful to have a machine that I can grow my skills with again. Thank you Mr. Tux!

Kiera

Weekending: Adventures at Lobstermom’s

Mr. Tux, Tuxley, and I spent the weekend up at Lobstermom’s. Mr. Tux spend Saturday night and part of Sunday morning building her a project desk. While he was doing that, I conquered a 3 year long project and FINALLY finished Mr. Tux’s quilt. Tuxley spend time with the other dogs and getting lots of love and spoiling from Grandma aka Lobstermom.

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riding in the carIMG_5024

all four dogs on a walkIMG_5052

Bentley chillingIMG_5048

Beau doing what Beau does best…sleepingIMG_5044

Tuxley guarded my lap while I knittedIMG_5068

Mr. Tux’s finished creationIMG_5055

Getting the quilt all ready to tieIMG_5063Sewing on the binding.

Overall, it was a splendid weekend. I am so thrilled to have the quilt finished and out of my project queue. Now I can finally cast on for that sweater. Guilt free.

Kiera

A Monster Nursery Reveal

Recently, I finished a very special monster quilt for some friends. Their little boy, Henry, was born this past week and I have wonderful nursery pictures to share with you. The nursery is designed around a monster theme. Our friends were wonderful enough to take pictures and let me share them here with you. So with out further ado, here are the pictures of the Monster Nursery that the quilt was designed for.

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I love the wall color and the little monsters on the wallDSC00738

The monster prints over the changing table are ADORABLE!DSC00736

The quilt has found it’s forever home. The colors and monsters match perfectly! I am so happy that everything matches so nicely.DSC00732Ta-Da! One finished nursery for one special little boy.

It is always so much fun to see the final home of the quilting projects I create. I know that the quilt and all of the blankets will be loved and well cherished. I can’t wait to finish the baby knits and special projects for Brynn’s twin girls and share with you.

Kiera

PS. The photos in my post were not taken by me and are used with special permission.

Knitting for Twins

My best friend Brynn is expecting twin girls the first part of June! I am so so happy and excited for her. It has been a while since I had a baby girl to craft for and I am enjoying the double blessing of crafting for two. One thing I am trying this time around with baby gifts for Brynn is knitting. I have never really done baby knits before, and so far, I must admit I am loving the challenge. The yarn is so soft and the little finished pieces are so adorable and delicate. The two little angels are going to be so spoiled by Auntie Kiera. I have been knitting up a storm already, and have lots more knitting, quilting, and sewing ideas in the works before June.

For my first foray into baby knits, I chose to do just simple newborn hats. It was my first time knitting in the round with four needles and making at hat. After some extensive searching on-line, I found this pattern for a simple baby beanie. The hat knits up quickly, and I can turn out a hat in an afternoon on the weekend. The yarn I have been using is Red Heart Soft Baby Steps in pink and green. I did change the pattern slightly and went with a different pattern for the flower. I used this pattern for a knitted flower and sewed it onto the hats.

Now that I have completed two matching hats with flowers, I am branching out with the hat pattern. Monday I knitted up a pink hat with green ribbing and I am currently working on a green hat with pink ribbing. I also have dreams of using the same pattern and knitting a couple pink and green striped hats. These girls will not want for hats when they are brought home. Who knows what other baby knits Auntie Kiera has up her sleeve. All I can say is, Tuxley is enjoying the reprieve from all the crazy sweater knitting I was doing for him before I switched to knitting for twins.

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A work in progressIMG_4822

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one finished pink hat with green ribbingIMG_4824

three hats finished!…so farIMG_4825One set of hats for one lucky little girl. I need to hurry up and finish the other hat 🙂

Kiera

3

{My Crafting Corner} – A Monster Quilt

My major crafting project over the Christmas holidays and the first part of January has been a very special baby quilt for a very special little boy. Some friends of ours are expecting their second child, a little boy, and I set out to create a custom quilt for their nursery. When I asked Kristen what she was planning on for the nursery, she told me blue, tangerine, and monsters. She had found some awesome monster print fabric and was designing the room around that fabric. Armed with a picture of the fabric and her color scheme, I started planning.

I started with a modern stripped quilt design and incorporated appliquéd monster blocks into the design. What I came up with is an entirely original and custom design just for Kristen and Kylan’s special little man. Using Pintrest and some quilting blogs, I brainstormed for ideas before drawing out and designing the quilt from scratch. I dragged Mr. Tux with me to Jo-Ann’s fabric shopping – my argument for him being there was since it was his co-worker, Mr. Tux had to give input. Honestly,  I really just needed him to bounce fabric prints off. I knew exactly what I wanted from the quilt imagined in my head.

The quilt was based on a crib quilt size of 40″x60″ with a 1/4″ seam allowance. The quilt top is constructed of cotton fabrics with a soft flannel backing to give it an extra cuddly side. While I was doing all my shopping for quilt fabrics and Tuxley’s Christmas blankets, I also happened across awesome flannel prints I couldn’t say no to. The end result is that Kristen and Kylan not only ended up with a finished crib quilt, but they also got two blue and tangerine chevron receiving blankets, one monster print receiving blanket, and one extra burp rag from leftover quilt backing. On top of that, I had enough fabric leftover from the quilt and in my flannel stash to make a matching doll quilt and blanket for big sister. By the time I was finished, Mr. Tux was ready to give everything to them and have me stop creating things. I can’t help that one of my strongest love languages is gifts, yes, I probably did go a bit overboard. But I had SO much fun doing it.

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Adorable monster fabric!IMG_4444

Ironing. There was lots and lots and lots of ironingIMG_4448

One finished doll quiltIMG_4454

custom name appliqué instead of a monster on the doll quiltIMG_7480

Another picture of the finished doll quiltIMG_7486

I used the same backing as brother’s monster quiltIMG_7489

The finished doll quilt and blanketIMG_4449

My pile of finished items is growingIMG_7495

the receiving blankets…I posted about making them hereIMG_7502

the first blue monsterIMG_7505

the first orange monsterIMG_7511

blue monster number twoIMG_7509

orange monster number twoIMG_7507

the third and final blue monsterIMG_7513

the last and final orange monsterIMG_4446

The first look at what the finished quilt top will look likeIMG_7515

the quilt backing worked perfectly with the topIMG_7518

One completed monster quilt with monster receiving blanket and burp clothIMG_4452

my completed pile of stuffIMG_7521

The whole and complete layout for the baby!IMG_7523

An up-close picture of all the goodiesIMG_7522

I am thrilled with how everything worked!IMG_4451

The quilt is so bold and bright! I just love it!IMG_7524

I hope they like everything….IMG_7500One last picture of the finished quilt. It turned out almost exactly like it was supposed to. The things that didn’t work will always be the quilter’s secret.

Stay tuned for another post revealing Kristen and Kylan’s amazing monster nursery and how the quilt fit into its new home.

Kiera

1

A Saturday of Sewing

On Black Friday, I braved the crowds and ventured out to the fabric store. Flannel was on sale at 75% off and I couldn’t resist the chance of yards of fabric with the lowest prices of the year. So for the last week I have had a pile of fabric sitting there calling my name and begging to be sewn into receiving blankets, Tuxley blankets, and one special doll blanket. Saturday morning Mr. Tux helped me drag out my sewing machine. I took over the kitchen counter and dinning room table with all of my sewing supplies and piles of fabric. I ironed over 15 yards of flannel and sewed a grand total of 8 blankets. Four of the blankets are for Tuxley – the two dark blue ones with ice skating polar bears and penguins, the orange and blue bicycles, and one of the pink and green flowered vines. The other pink and green blanket is a doll blanket for a special little girl. As for the remaining three blankets, they are for some friends and their special baby boy who will be arriving soon.

It had been a while since I sat down and spent a day just sewing. I loved it! It is so relaxing and rewarding to set aside time and enjoy quiet time sewing. Since I am a gift-oriented person, it is doubly rewarding to be sewing for someone else. I can’t wait to have the matching quilt finished and see our friends’ faces when they open up the custom quilt and blankets for their baby. It will be well worth all the time and effort spent.

Here are some pictures of my incredible Saturday of sewing…

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all spread out on the tableIMG_4257

fabric waiting to ironIMG_4258

up close of the green and pink blanket fabricIMG_4268

blue and tangerine bicyclesIMG_4269

I absolutely adore this fabric combo for Tuxley!IMG_4270

blue and tangerine chevronsIMG_4276

more blue and tangerine chevronsIMG_4271

I love the combination of the varying shades of blue and tangerine chevrons when combinedIMG_4297

happy little monstersIMG_4254

this dark blue fabric is one of my favorite finds of the year for Tuxley. The penguins are totally appropriate for my little Tux…IMG_4280

a finished bicycle blanket for TuxleyIMG_4290

completed skinny blue with large tangerine chevronsIMG_4291

large blue and tangerine chevronsIMG_4292

both blankets togetherIMG_4294

They turned out perfectly!IMG_4295

the monsters are amazing!IMG_4313

completed green and pink blanketsIMG_4314

this combination turned out as amazing as I imaginedIMG_4312

a little girly for Tuxley, even by my standards, but perfect for a girl’s doll blanketIMG_4315

completed ice skating bears and penguins blanketIMG_4316

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all of the completed blanketsIMG_4318

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IMG_4320all eight of the blankets finished and stacked up make an impressive pile!

Overall, it was a rather productive Saturday and I loved it! I can’t wait to do it again when I have the fabric for the baby quilt.

Kiera

Holiday Sewing for Tuxley

With Christmas rapidly approaching, I am busy quilting Mr. Tux’s quilt for his gift (don’t worry he knows all about it), and sewing new blankets for Tuxley. My BFF Brynn and I ventured out to Jo-Ann Fabrics a couple weekends ago to look at fabric. The main reason we were there was looking for flannels for receiving blankets we are working on. However, I can’t resist a visit to Jo-Anns without purchasing enough flannel for at least one Tuxley blanket. After all Christmas is coming and he needs a new blanket for Christmas. Or at least that is the reasoning I tried to sell to Mr. Tux when he picked me up from the store and I had an extra two yards of fabric. That man has amazing patience with my little quirks 🙂

So I got Tuxley a yard of deliciously tangerine fabric with white bicycles and a yard of light blue-grey fabric with white bicycles. Combined, the fabrics will make the perfect addition to Tuxley’s growing blanket collection.

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I just LOVE the tangerine! I may have to go back for more fabric. It would make an amazing quilt back.IMG_5521

While at Jo-Anns, I did find fabric for a couple receiving blankets for a very special baby boy due in February. I am working on a custom-designed baby quilt for him, and hope to have some pictures of that quilt up soon to show off. Until then though, I needed something else to sew for him and receiving blankets make a perfect gift. Especially when I can find chevron fabric in his nursery colors of tangerine and blue. I just adore this new popularity of tangerine. Such a fun color to work with and use as an accent. I am thrilled to start sewing his receiving blankets.

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just look at the wonderful chevrons!!IMG_5527

love the tangerine and blue combinationIMG_5529the large chevrons backed by smaller chevrons will be a cute mix

Even more exciting is that I will be able to start working on his baby quilt after Thanksgiving. I am still waiting on a couple pictures of coordinating fabric that is being used for valances. Once I have the fabric examples, I can pull the designs off, finish the quilt design, and start creating! Until then, I will content myself with making a couple receiving blankets in delicious tangerine and blue chevrons.

Kiera

 

Fall Is In the Air

The days are getting shorter. Our bike rides are now ending in the dark and we are having to use our lights when out riding in the evenings. The mornings are crisper. The weather is cooler. The students are back and everyone is back to classes, including Mr. Tux. This semester, Mr. Tux is working on class six out of ten towards his masters, and our blissful summer of freedom is over. Over the weekend, we went to the last farmer’s market of the season for us. They will continue on through September, but we won’t be able to make it to any more this year. We will have to find another way to sneak in our Breakfast Dates at the Co-Op. One thing that isn’t over for the summer is our cycling. With the lights and steel bikes, Mr. Tux and I can continue to ride until late this fall. We will need to obtain cold weather riding gear, but at least we have the bikes for riding this year.

With the arrival of the school year again, my thoughts, plans, and attention turn once again to crafting. I have quilts to finish. Quilts to start. A baby quilt to make for a couple friends. And of course, snuggly blankets and sweaters to make for everyone’s favorite, spoiled rotten doxie Tuxley. Monday evening I ran to JoAnns on an errand and picked up the cutest flannel print to make him a blanket. The print is adorable and will match his DoggyRide trailer. I was quite estatic about the find. With Mr. Tux back in school, I will have time once again to start working on my sewing and quilting projects which of course I will share with all of you here. Besides having the free time to craft again, I have plans for upcoming blog posts, Tuxley photo sessions, and other miscellaneous activities. I might even actually get to play the computer games I purchased this summer during the Steam summer sale. Maybe one of the nights this week I will sew Tuxley’s new blanket. He can always use another.

What about you? How are your days changing now that Fall is approaching?

Kiera

My Quilting Projects…Right Now

In my quilting line-up right now I have four different quilts in the works. One is still a neat stack of nicely ironed fat quarters that will be cut once I decide which pattern to use. One is a finished quilt top that is waiting for Mr. Tux and myself to  choose the backing and haul it up to Lobstermom’s to tie. The third is a pile of squares that I have cut out, arranged on a flat surface, and stacked back up in the order I need to sew them together. And the final quilt is nine finished squares that I need to press and square the edges of before sewing the blocks together. Here are pictures of two of the quilts. The blue one is destined for the back of the couch in the living room. I am having trouble sewing together. I am using this book and while the book makes it look super easy, I am having a dickens of a time getting the curves to line up squarely. As for the retro-colored orange, green, and yellow quilt, I am using a pattern you have seen me use before for my other quilts here. It is also the pattern I am using for Mr. Tux’s red and black snuggle quilt that is ready to be tied. I love the pattern because it is easy to use, quilts up rather quickly, and has many different color combinations.

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I am really enjoying my quilting right now, as you can see. Mr. Tux will finish up his class for the semester this weekend, and we will have free time again. He can video game in the living room while I quilt in the dining room. We are such homebodies. A perfect match made in heaven.

So what projects are you working on in your craft room?

Kiera