Leo’s Mane Sew Along

Wednesday 30 March 2011

Look what I found.......

I was out, briefly, yesterday to go to the library, and to pick up some thread, and elastic for the diapers I'm doing. When I came home, I looked in one of our front garden beds, just out of curiosity to see if something was coming up yet. I was quite surprised to see daffodils, and they are almost 4 or 5 inches tall.  YIPPEE!!! WOOHOO!!! Spring is actually here!!!!! And there are already flower buds on them.

I've been working on the diapers both yesterday and today, and am pleased to say that there are now a dozen made. I've switched over to doing them assembly line fashion, six at a time, and have gotten the time down to 40 minutes each. And that was with some thread breakage issues, which slowed things down a bit. They are sooooooooooo cute. I'm getting rather impatient to see the little guy in them. Rebecca is coming over this evening to use our kitchen for some secret baby shower preparation stuff. There is more room in ours, than in hers. She volunteered to do some stuff to help out with the shower. I'm taking bets on how long it takes before I hear  "Mom, can you come and help me?" LOL

Sunday 27 March 2011

More about diapers

 So, I put together 2 diapers this afternoon. By the time I got to the second, I had the method figured out, and got the time down to 50 minutes, including the time to take the pictures. So, once I really get on to it, the time should get shorter than that, I hope. The first step was to take the soaker pad, and fold it into fourths, and centre it, and sew it down the centre of the wrong side of the outer layer of the diaper. That's the part to do all the hard work. Four layers of what is supposed to be very absorbent hemp terry cloth fabric.
 Then it was time to work on the "mess containing" gussets. Fold them in half, stitch a casing to hold the elastic, then thread the elastic through the casing and secure in place on either end so that the elastic will stay firmly in place. They end up looking like really funny quarter moon shapes. I used the microfleece for the gussets, since I think they will be softer on his little legs.

 Next, layer the diaper outside and inside together, pin well, something I don't normally do when sewing, but this stuff is really stretchy, and I didn't want it to stretch out of shape. The gussets don't get pinned on, but stretched to fit the leg opening while sewing. I've been using the serger stretch stitch on my machine, so that the edges get finished at the same time as sewing them. I tried sewing one with seams and turning it yesterday, but it ended up really bulky, and almost double the time, because the whole thing would have had to been top stitched around the outside once it was sewn, in order to finish it. And I didn't like the way it looked, or how it would have fit.
And here is the finished product, wrapped around a pressing ham, to give it shape, and show what it looks like. The size can be adjusted just be folding down the front, or the back, and by wrapping the waist tabs tighter or looser. This is pretty much the biggest size. It can be used with a special kind of fastener that grips the terry cloth loops. I can't remember the name of it off the top of my head. But they are meant to be used with waterproof, fitted diaper covers. So, 2 done, 34 to go...........

Home made cloth diapers

 I've been absent from blogging for most of the past week. I've had a rather nasty, hanging on sinus infection, and sore throat. Then Thursday I had some dental work done, and when it comes to the dentist, I am a complete and total coward. So I had it all done at once, with sleep sedation, which made the experience not near as bad, but it wiped out that day. Friday was spent at work. Yesterday and today have been spent laying out the fabrics, marking and cutting, for the diapers. First, I took the pattern, from a company called Poo Pockets which has to be one of the cutest names for a diaper, and transferred it onto some bristol board so that I would have a template to trace around with a washable crayola marker.
 Then, I traced around all the template shapes I needed for the diaper outside, inside and gussets, which are supposed to keep all the "messes" inside the diaper onto the various fabrics.

And that process ended up with this collection of fabrics. On the right hand side of the picture are the 3 colours for the outside of the diapers, yellow, chocolate brown, and baby blue, made out of french terry cotton. In the centre of the picture is the hemp terry fabric that gets folded and sewn into the middle of the diaper to act as the absorbent layer. On the left of the picture is the microfleece fabric that will go on the inside of the diaper, up against his skin, and the gussets, also made out of the microfleece fabric. There are going to be a dozen diapers out of each colour. Not a bad 2 days worth of work. Now, to start sewing them. I think I'll take pics as I go, to give an idea of how they go together from this point.

Monday 21 March 2011

Design Wall Monday Week 12

 I have another UFO finish. Woohoo!!!!!! The Hexagon stars baby quilt is done. I'm doing a happy, happy dance. I didn't have anything in my quilting designs library that I thought would suit this quilt, so I took a chance and for the first time, designed a pantograph. What a challenge that was. It gave me a whole new respect for the people who do all those wonderful designs we use so frequently. Coming up with the basic design was easy. I knew I wanted fish. But, getting it to all fit together, and nest properly from one row to the next was where the challenge came in. The close up shows a really good shot of one of the fish. I'm really quite pleased with the way it turned out. Then, while going through the design wall posts last Monday, I found a link to a wonderful tutorial on how to do a Faux piped binding that could be completely sewn on by machine. I tried it, and it was wonderful. To make it even easier, I used the same fabric as the piping as was in the backing, so that there were no thread matching issues. This is definitely a keeper technique, for me at least. And, I really like the little bit of extra colour and detail that the piping gives it. To see more design walls, go on over to Patchwork Times Who knows, someone might have another great idea or technique that could add to, or change the way to do something to make it faster, prettier, and easier.

Sunday 20 March 2011

Stash report Week 12

It's been a productive sewing week here. The hexagon stars baby quilt is done, backed, quilted and bound. I'll put up a picture tomorrow. I have to work this afternoon, so I'm going to spend the rest of the time, after I finish this post, prepping shapes for the 3rd My Tweets BOM square. The fabric that came in yesterday for the diapers isn't being counted, since it isn't related to quilting. I'm just shy of 50 yards used so far for the year. Next week should break that number. So, to the numbers:

Fabric used this week:                       5.2 yards
Fabric used year to date:                  49.1 yards
Fabric purchased this week:                 0 yards
Fabric purchased year to date:         91.5 yards

To see how others are doing with their stash numbers, go over to Patchwork Times There are some pretty spectacular numbers in some of them, both in the amounts used and the amounts purchased.

Saturday 19 March 2011

Big box in the mail.

 We went up to see Noel and Laurie Thursday and Friday, and it was great to be able to spend some time with them. We hadn't seen them since Christmas. We talk online a lot, but it just isn't the same. Laurie is doing well, other than not sleeping very well because the baby has decided that her bladder is a good substitute for a punching bag. LOL. While we were away, the post office left a notice that there was a delivery to pick up. The fabrics for the diapers has arrived. So I went this morning to pick them up from the post office, and this is what i got. Inside the box was a collection of lovely, soft, diaper fabrics:

Microfleece, to go on the inside of the diaper to keep him dry and comfy. It is soooooooooo soft. I wish you could feel it.

 Then there are 3 different colours of waterproof fabric to go on the outside of the all in one diapers, and also for the diaper covers that will keep everyone else dry.

Then there is organic hemp that will act as the soaking up fabric in the middle of the diapers. Research says that it absorbs an awful lot in very few layers of fabric.

And then there was 3 colours of french terry cloth to go on the outside of the diapers. These will be used with a diaper cover, which is the same, but much more sophisticated idea as the old fashioned rubber, or vinyl pull up pants that used to go over cloth diapers.

I still have to order a snap press that will add the snaps to keep the diaper covers, and the all in one diapers closed. This is a totally new thing, that I have never done before, so the process should be interesting. The first thing I have to do with all this is wash it. The french terry cloth, and the organic hemp all take a couple of washes and drys on hot to shrink them down the full amount. So, guess what I'll be doing for the next few weeks?

Monday 14 March 2011

Design Wall Monday Week 11

On my wall today is the finished flimsy for the UFO challenge My hexagon Stars baby quilt. I am hoping to get the quilt that is on my machine finished today, so that I can load and quilt this one. For the first time, I designed my own pantograph pattern for this, so I'm curious to see how it works out, and how the rows nest together when it is done. With the desire to finish that quilt on the machine in mind, this os going to be a short post. The second picture here is a close up of the border fabric that I think is just so cute. To see more design walls, go to Judy's Patchwork Times 

Sunday 13 March 2011

Stash report Week 11

Not a whole lot of sewing going on this week, just like last week. Still working on finishing up the customer quilts I have. I loaded a 104" x 104" on Thursday, and have finished 2 passes on it. It should take 10 more passes of the pantograph pattern to finish it, which should be doable this coming week. After this one is done, I'm down to one left, and I think I'll sneak one of my own in before it. I did manage to get the borders cut, and 3 of them sewn onto the hexagon baby stars. I'm hoping to get the rest of them on before I go to work today, with pictures tomorrow. Now, on to the numbers:

Fabric used this week:            1.9 yards
Fabric used year to date:       43.9 yards
Fabric in this week:                0 yards
Fabric in year to date:           91.5
Balance:                            +47.9 yards

Go on over to Patchwork Times to see how others are managing their numbers.

Saturday 12 March 2011


What is it about disasters that glues us to our TV sets? What is it about us that causes us to sit and watch the same photos, the same film footage over and over? September 11th, the boxing day Tsunami, and now the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, all have created the same phenomenon. There even used to be a television show on the history channel called "Disasters of the Century", which told of all different disasters that happened all over the world. And then there is the whole genre of disaster movies that always seem to draw huge audiences. I find myself sitting here, watching the footage of cars floating off, and houses being removed from their foundations, hoping and praying that there was nobody in them. It certainly puts my complaints about a few inches of snow to shame.

On a happier note, we had dinner over at Matt and Becca's last evening. Becca cooked up a beef pot roast in her slow cooker, and it was absolutely wonderful. She's come a long way in the last 6 or 7 months, since she got married. It used to be impossible to get that girl into the kitchen to cook anything, let alone a full dinner. Marriage and Matt have been so good for her. While we were there, I put the last stitches into the binding of the Chocolate Swirls quilt. It has been washed, and is now waiting its turn in the dryer. I just might leave the final reveal until after the baby shower in April. Laurie reads my blog, so I have to have some secrets. (Sorry Laurie).  I have to work this weekend, so I'm going to go see if I can get a couple of borders done on the baby hexagon stars, and get it to the ready for quilting stage.

Monday 7 March 2011

Design Wall Monday Week 10

I have finally finished preparing and glue basting the second block of the My Tweets BOM. I am so totally enjoying doing Erin's designs. I love the graceful curves of the stems, and of the feathers of the birds' tails. I know some people call applique the "A" word, as if it is something bad, and to be avoided at all cost. But, the more I do of it, the more I enjoy it. I love the way My mind can go quiet, and wander where ever it wishes to go, while I quietly stitch. I do a lot of the stitching at work, on supper and coffee breaks, and it is amazing how it can take my brain, and just settle it into calm paths as I stitch. The only snag is that the cataracts in my eyes are getting noticeably worse, and everything has shadows and halos around them, which is making the stitching, and especially the
needle threading, a challenge.

The other occupant of my wall is the quilt I am doing as my #1 in the Ufo challenge, which is the Hexagon baby stars for the upcoming grandson. I am hoping to get all the rows sewn together tomorrow, and maybe even the borders added to it as well. To see more design walls, go on over to Patchwork Times Judy has a quilt up on her wall that she is going to turn into a pattern that I would love to add to my want to do someday list.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Stash report Week 10

There wasn't a whole lot of sewing going on here this past week. I managed to get 2 more customer quilts finished, both of them baby quilts, so my backlog number is down to 2. The first of those 2 is scheduled to go onto the machine on Wednesday. It's big one, though, so it will take a couple of days to do.
This first quilt is one of Sandra's . It's quilted with an all over stars and loops meander, using King Tut in the top thread, and Bottom line in the bobbin. I love how quilting can take a very basic pattern and add a whole new dimension to a quilt.

This is one of Charlene's quilts. A baby quilt for her grandson, It's quilted in a Dave Hudson ABC's pantograph, using King Tut thread in the top, and Masterpiece thread in the bobbin.

Now to the stash report:

Used this week:            2 yards
Used year to date:       42 yards
In this week:                 0 yards
In year to date:            91.5 yards
Balance:                   +50.3

So, there was no new fabric added again this week. Woohoo! Unless, of course, you count the fabric that I ordered this past week for diapers. But, since they aren't quilt related, I'm not going to add them in. At least, that's my story, and I'm sticking to it. LOL! To see how other people are doing with their fabric numbers, go over to Patchwork Times I'm hoping to get the hexagon baby quilt, which I've designated as my #1 UFO, finished up on Tuesday, and loaded onto the machine after I finished the king size one that is due this week. If that works out, the amount used number will go up from the borders and backing numbers.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

100 block challenge squares

I am pleased to say that there are now 5 less blocks on that 100 block challenge to do list today, than there were yesterday. Blocks 102- Norse Bloom, 105- Hope Blooms, 139- Hugs and Kisses, 147- Dot Goes to School, 175- Vanishing Squares, are done. I made modifications to Hope Blooms, by leaving off the corner triangles, and the words in the square, which I might put in later. I have a large collection of finished, but not yet put into a quilt, applique squares that I've done over the years. I think some of these applique squares are going to get added to the ones already there, to make an applique sampler. They are all different sizes, and different background fabrics, so they will sit in their box until I come up with an idea to set them all together.

UFO challenge

As I posted yesterday, in my design wall Monday post, I finished my UFO for February, Crazy Curves, I decided, after all that work, it deserved its own post to honour it. LOL. The pattern is Crazy Curves, and I really can't say that it is my favourite quilt in the world. All of the batiks were purchased quite a few years ago, when I had a dream of making a New York Beauty quilt.  After doing a couple of the complex squares for it, I realized that it wasn't going to happen in this lifetime. Hmmm, now would not be a good to to realize that I should have put the ones that I did finish into this quilt, would it? Oh well. Judy, at Patchwork Times has pulled this month's number, which is #1. Checking my list, #1 is the Cactus Rose quilt. I really, really want to get that one done this year, but, with the amount of work left on that one, to finish the complex paper pieced borders, it isn't realistic to think that it will happen this month, with grandbaby stuff to finish, and a backlog of customer quilts also to finish. So, I'm going to switch it out for the Hexagon Baby quilt which needs to be finished soon. Good thing the rules for this challenge are flexible.