Monday, October 7, 2013

While on Vacation...

While on vacation in southern California, I had a bad itch to sew! It didn't help we went to a quilt show down in San Diego. It was my first quilt show EVER and I was so excited! It was a lot of fun, and I can not thank my mother-in-law enough for taking me! My mother-in-law, my sister-in-law and myself all made the drive down to San Diego one afternoon and spent a long few hours away from our kids, away from our husbands, and away from life!

A quilt made by one of my mother-in-laws favorite local quilt shop.

Love the colors and the quilting on this quilt.

The show was larger then I thought it would be. There were TONS of quilts, and I could not believe the work some of these ladies (and a few gentleman) did! I was shocked to see that even CHILDREN were making quilts! Can you believe that? Teenagers and young adults were submitting quilts. How cool is that?

I lived in Japan for four years, so this felt like home!

Details of one of the blocks... amazing!

WWII military patches. This young man was collecting them!

Mother-in-law is part Hawaiian, so this reminded me of that.

Not only did they have quilts for the show, but they had a guest speaker, and a few vendors. I can't remember the guest speaker, but we did stop by her booth and she has done some amazing quilts. The vendors were fun to walk through, as they have quilts on display so that you can see the fabrics and patterns in a piece of work. The Halloween quilts were some of my favorite! I absolutely LOVE Halloween, its by far one of my favorite holidays! I just love the costumes, dressing up, the fun stories, and of course the decorations! I saw two or three Halloween quilts that blew my mind. My mother-in-law was kind enough to purchase one of the patterns for the Halloween quilt that I just could not get my eyes off of, again can not thank her enough for it!

This was one of my favorites!!!

Look at the detail, and quilting, amazing!

So cute right, look at the feet and the window details.

The witch, so simple yet so cute, and look at the candy corn border!
The pattern that my Mother-in-law bought for me.

In the end, the quilt show was a blast to go to (and this was all before my knee injury), so I could walk around and enjoy every second of it. However, after my knee injury I just was so bored just sitting around all the time, I asked my mother-in-law if I could do some sewing. She had a few pieces of fabric she let me have/use, and I started right in on designing the quilt. The following day I had a design for the quilt, now playmat, and I was cutting material!

this is my horrible drawing of what I wanted to do with the material.
 The alphabet pieces you see once was a panel, my mother-in-law had cut it up and was trying to make it work as a book. However, after putting it together the panels never fit well, so I took the "book" apart, and cut the alphabet squares into individual pieces. I made all the pieces even in size (with the help of a friend), and started to cut strips of the off white minky and the dark brown minky.

Putting the rows together.

Front is done.

Top, batting, and back all safety pinned, ready to quilt!
 Once everything was cut, I began to piece the quilt/playmat together. While I was piecing the rows together I began to add the taggies (ribbon and knots) along the way. It was a lot of fun to sew that minky, and it made for an interesting challenge but I really learned a lot about sewing minky when I was done. A quick note of advice when sewing minky, pin about every 3-5inches, double check as you sew (to make sure you are still on track), try not to pull or push the minky, and a walking foot helps a lot!

The knot, to clip toys on or for the little guy to chew on (when teething).

All the taggies.

Once the front of the playmat was done, my mother-in-law (again too the rescue) found some giraffe minky on sale and bought a ton of it! She then said I could use it for the back of the playmat!!! I was shocked, but totally thankful, because it was so soft, and heavy! I then layered the top, batting, and minky back all together, safety pinned and safety pinned some more. I just did a straight across quilt, from one side to the other. This helped keep the mink from shifting, bunching or pinching. The binding was tricky, as it was hard to sew with the minky facing up, but it turned out pretty well. I finished the entire thing off by hand stitching the other side of the binding to the front, and the end result was beautiful!

Front.

Back.

Front and back together.

I could pet this playmat for days! It was so soft! I also started in on some hand sewing projects (as it was about the only thing i could do while sitting on the couch with a bum knee), but I am yet to finish it up! I hope to use these once I am done with them, in my sewing room as inspiration!

Hand stitched this patch on. Mother-in-law has tons of these, they are so cool!
My hand sewn project/inspiration piece for my sewing room.
The second piece I started but am yet to finish.

Happy quilting,
Sarah

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