Wednesday, April 27, 2011

WIP Wednesday- a new quilt


The lighting is terrible, as is my carpet, but I had to snap a picture when I laid out these blocks yesterday.

I actually got this top mostly put together after this photo was taken, too, so there will be a cute new baby quilt showing up around here soon!

I am having issues deciding other things for this one, like backing…binding…should there be borders…any input would be greatly appreciated!

Oh, and my purple scraps were so abysmal I had to borrow some from my mom. Yay she had lots of purple scraps!

More on this one soon!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Easter Revisit

Seeing as it is almost Easter, and I don't have a whole lot going on at my sewing machine right now (ok, so I do have some scrappy blocks I just started, but I don't have pictures yet), I thought I would share my Easter basket tutorial again. Enjoy!

Alright, at the urging of Melanie, I have created a tutorial for these adorable baskets! And I warn you now, there are a LOT of pictures in this post! Like, going crazy waiting for all these dang pictures to upload, a lot of pictures. Anyways, on to the tutorial!
The first two steps are deciding on your basket size and choosing fabric. They kind of go hand in hand, because they might influence each other! The larger one has a 9"diameter and is 6" tall. smaller one has a 6" diameter and is 4" tall. I will give the cut sizes for both sizes, but feel free to deviate if you want!

Cut sizes for 6" diameter basket (fat quarter friendly)
Main front fabric:
1 strip 19 3/8" x 3 1/2"
1 circle 6 1/2" diameter
Lining and banding fabric:
1 strip 19 3/8" x 1 1/2" (front band)
1 strip 19 3/8" x 4 1/2
1 circle 6 1/2" diameter
Handle fabric:
3 strips 18" x 1 1/2"

Cut sizes for 9" diameter basket
Main front fabric:
1 strip 28 3/4" x 5"
1 circle 9 1/2" diameter
Lining and banding fabric:
1 strip 28 3/4" x 2" (front band)
1 strip 28 3/4" x 6 1/2"
1 circle 9 1/2" diameter
Handle fabric:
3 strips 22" x 1 1/2"

Other supplies:
12/32" cording
fusible fleece
normal sewing/cutting supplies

Once you have chosen your fabrics and size, cut them all out! The handle fabric size might seem long, but remember that it will end up shorter once it is braided! If you want handles longer or shorter than the ones pictured, you can adjust accordingly. Figure out how long you want the handle and multiply by 1.5 for the take up in braiding.

* 1/4" seam allowances are used throughout this project except when specified!

There are many ways to cut circles, but here is my way. Use a string (in this case, I had a needle with embroidery floss on it within arm's reach, but a piece of yarn or other string tied around a pin would work just as well), put it in/on your fabric, mark the string at HALF the cut diameter(for a 6" dia. basket, mark at 3.25). Then use the mark on the string to mark your circle, like so. Hint: once you have one circle cut out, lay it on top of the second fabric and use as a pattern!

You should now have 8 cut pieces.

Now, take your main outside piece and outside banding piece, sew long sides together, and press.

Cut out and iron your fusible fleece onto your basket front, lining, and both circles. The only pieces NOT "fleeced" are your handle pieces. Hint: lay your cut pieces onto your fusible fleece and use as a cutting guide!

Next, take your two outside pieces, and stitch the short side together. Be sure to line up your banding seam or it will not look continuous.

Press your seam open. The piece should now look like this.

Now, fold the tube you just sewed, in half, with the seam on one side. Mark the fold. I used a disappearing marker. Then match the seam with the mark you just made and mark both new fold lines. Now you should have "quartered" the tube. Continue matching up your marks and marking the folds until you have "eighthed" the tube.
Grab your outside circle and fold it in half. Mark those folds.

Then line up the marks and mark the folds again. Continue until your circle has eight marks as well. Kind of hard to see in my picture...Sorry!

Now pin the pieces right sides together, matching your marks.

Sew together! I find it easiest to sew it with the circle on the bottom.

Press the seam. This part is kind of a pain since it is on a curve, but it makes it look much better! ps I have no idea why my camera put the line through this picture. It has been happening a lot lately...anyone have a tip for me?

See? The seam should be all pretty now.

Repeat all of that for the lining pieces, omitting the part about the banding but use a 3/8" - 1/2" seam allowance to stitch the lining bottom to the lining side!! Oh, and pressing the bottom lining seam is not necessary, but you can if you want to. I didn't. Once it is seamed, trim the bottom seam allowance down to 1/4".

Press the top edge over 1/4", to the inside for the outer piece and to the outside for the lining. That doesn't sound confusing at all... :)

Insert the lining into the outer piece. It will look like it could never fit, but don't worry, it will! Set this aside for now.

Ok, time for the handle. Take a few deep breaths, this part can be a little tricky! First, take a handle strip, fold right sides together matching the long edges, and sew to make a long tube. Stop about 1/2" from the end, and backstitch! Now, get your cording. Stitch it to the end where you have the little flap.

Ok, get out your bodkin (if you don't have one, a big safety pin will work too.)

Slip the bodkin into the fabric tube. See it sticking out there?

Clamp it around the end of the cording. Now you are going to turn the fabric and pull the cording through at the same time. I'm not gonna lie, this part is a pain. Push the bodkin through the fabric tube and pull the fabric down over the cording. I actually made a video to help show how to do this, but it's not loading....If your bodkin comes unclipped inside the tube as you turn it, don't panic! It happened to me at least once every single one of my tubes. Just push the bodkin back into place and reattach it.
Cut the cording about 1/2" below the end of the fabric once it is completely turned.
Repeat with the other 2 handle strips.

Once you have 3 covered cords, stitch them together at one end. Then braid! I pinned to my ironing board to hold it in place while I braided.

Stitch the end of the braid to keep it from unraveling.

Alright, now you have a braided handle and a handle-less basket, time to put them together!

Put one end of your handle between the front and back pieces at the seam. Pin. Now start pinning the outside and lining together, working around to the side opposite the seam. Pin the loose end of the handle between the layers directly across from the end in the seam.

Topstitch 1/4" from the folded edge of the fabric around the top lip, and then again at 1/8".

Guess what? You are done! Stand back and admire your handiwork!

If any of you use my tutorial to make this I would love to see! Either comment with a link or email me at maniacalmaterialgirls [at] gmail [dot]com! Oh, and if you have any questions or trouble with the tutorial, email me for that too!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Presenting…(plus a giveaway!)

My pattern, Toss Up!

Basic CMYK

It is officially done and up for sale! Whew! That was a lot more work than I expected :)


I had quite the adventure crash-course learning how to use Illustrator and Photoshop, let me tell ya. But it was definitely worth it!


While I worked on writing the pattern, I had the quilt sitting, basted, for at least a week while I waited for inspiration to strike on how to quilt the dang thing. I felt like it needed something a little different, but I was fresh out of ideas. Finally, with the help of my awesome quilt consult(aka the hubs!), I came up with these random interlocking squares, set on point. I just used my 9 1/2” square and marked as I went along. I think it turned out pretty cool at least :)


Oh, and notice all these fantabulous pictures? They are courtesy of my incredibly awesome friend, Melanie, who offered to help me get some good shots. SHE is the one who pushed (and shoved) me to write this pattern(mostly because she wanted it, tee hee), and I am so glad she did!


Speaking of Miss Melanie, she is hosting a GIVEAWAY for me, starting today, to debut my pattern. So, head on over to The Crafty Cupboard if you want some free fabric(and a pattern!) to make your own Toss Up quilt :)

Oh, and in case you don’t want to make it yourself, I do have the quilt listed in the shop as well. At least for now. I still can’t decide if it wants to stay and live with me or not :)

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Current Projects

Just so you know I'm still part of this blog, here are a couple of pictures of my current projects.  One not so quilty or sewing related.

This bathroom has been the domain of 3 teenage boys for the last 7+ years and I was a little afraid to go in there. I'm still kicking myself for not taking any before pictures. You would think I would know better by now!  Anyway, after the youngest boy moved out last fall, I decided it was time to take down the fishy wallpaper border and make this room grow up a little!  I made my husband remove the toilet and throw it away because I refused to even touch it. Along with this little project, I also decided it was time to update all the toilets (3) in our house to more water efficient models, so I didn't need to keep the boys old, nasty toilet. (BTW, lesson learned...I used to have the attitude that as long as the boys wanted to live in dirt, it was their bathroom and I never went in there, so when they told me they had done their chores and cleaned the bathroom, I rarely verified it was actually done.  Now that they are all out and I decided to start working on this room, I have discovered that if I had been checking up on them, I wouldn't have had to spend hours scrubbing the tub to get it clean. There may be a cleaning deposit required of any children desiring to move back home, refundable upon their departure, pending inspection of their vacated living spaces!)  Anyway, I decided the 13 year old linoleum needed to be replaced, but I'm trying to do this remodel on a tight budget, so I headed to Home Depot and discovered this tile. Isn't it great?  Wanna know the best part?

It's peel and stick vinyl tile!!!  Yes, you read that right, it's VINYL!!!!  Those are real grout lines. This tile is made to be installed either with or without grout and we decided to go with.  It looks amazingly like real ceramic tile, even installed! It's thicker than other peel and sticks that I have used and cutting it was almost more difficult than ceramic tile (I've installed ceramic AND travertine!) but I'm really pleased with the results!  I was able to lay the tile and grout, all in 1 day. I probably would have been finished in 1/2 a day, but I can't ever go with the simple, straight layout. I just love the look of tile set "on point" :)

On a quiltier (I just made up that word!) note, here's what I'm working on in my sewing room (right next door to the bathroom with the beautiful  new tile).

Here is the beginning of a new quilt! Those are all rows of different shades of purple Kona cotton. They are getting matched up with some Kona charcoal and Kona ash.  I'll post more pics when I have more to show. I just thought the strip sets looked so cool all lined up in the project tub, so I sent a text pic to Kirsten and she told me to post on the blog.  Now back to more cutting and sewing!

Friday, April 8, 2011

You don’t think about how big a twin quilt is until you start quilting…


So here is my latest finish. I really did mean to post pictures of this WHILE I was making it, instead of just popping up with another completely finished project, but the camera and I didn’t get along very well.


So, now it’s done :) And it is BIG! Well, relatively big. I haven’t made anything bigger than a lap or baby quilt since probably this time last year, so it felt rather massive, finishing at 70” x 91”.

I quilted random lines all over; a first for me. It turned out so cool! And was easier than I expected it to be, hurray!


Thank you to my awesome husband for carrying the ladder downstairs and then standing on it to hold up my quilt! He’s the best :)

I used Anthology Fabric’s High Society line and Kona Charcoal for this puppy. When I first saw these fabrics, I went meh, they are ok I guess. Then I kept walking by them in my favorite LQS…and then the exact quilt I wanted to make with them popped into my head. That’s when I started collecting a fat quarter here and therefor this here quilt. Don’t even get me started on my MESSED UP math for my border fabric…there was originally only one border….and I was NOT going to go buy more fabric! So I stole my mom’s :)


Check out the awesomeness of this back!! I LOVE the grey with yellow flower print, it is my favorite!! And I had ONE extra block, and I did not want it floating around my sewing area forever, so there it goes!

This one will be going up in the shop if it is still around after tomorrow’s boutique. Which leads me to…..if you are local, come visit the Handmade Boutique at Recker and Guadalupe in Gilbert tomorrow! We are crossing our fingers that we won’t get poured on…it is rather blustery out today, and tomorrow’s forecast is for rain…But POSITIVE THOUGHTS!


And I leave you today with a picture of my wonderful helpers. Oh yeah, and check back Monday for info on a fantastic giveaway being sponsored by ME!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Yes this looks familiar

It looks familiar because you have already seen it (or its lookalike) before. When I was putting the blocks for this quilt up on the design wall, I realized I had made a few too many blocks. So, instead of working them into the back, I made a couple more blocks and put together another baby quilt for the shop.


Isn’t this photo amazing? Yeah, SO NOT my skills here! I went over to my BFF Melanie’s this week for a photo shoot for my pattern quilt, and took this one along as well to take full advantage of Mel’s skills (and better camera!)


The back looks pretty familiar too….I stuck with the same design, just different fabrics, and went with the green stripe in the middle. Note to self, get better picture of the green in this quilt…

Ooh, and my fun quilting stands out really well on the back. LOVING my new machine! And loving these flowers!


Here was my attempt at an artsy photo. But, between the breeze and the shadows, and the girls , it didn’t work so well…

Anyways, this quilt will be up in the shop if it is still around after the boutique this Saturday. Oh, and speaking of which, if you are local, here is my first plug for a fantastic boutique this Saturday! Corner of Recker and Guadalupe in Gilbert, 9am-2pm, come stop by and say hi! I will be the one with the quilts :) Well, actually I will not be there for the first couple hours, but my wonderful mom(and co-blogger) will be there to Vanna White my stuff! hope to see you there!


ps- I’m so annoyed. I had this entire post written and LiveWriter CLOSED on me…rrrrr….hope I remembered everything I had in it!