Things I’ve Been Sewing

I know I’ve whined ad nauseum about how little I’ve been sewing (sorry!), but looking back I have done some nice little sewing projects over this year that probably don’t deserve a post all on their own, but can’t hurt to mention briefly. So here’s a super post of some of the sewing projects I have taken on lately:

Divided Basket (from Noodle Head)

I bought this pattern (the Divided Basket from Noodle Head) a few months ago but only within the last week or two did I get around to sewing it. When I saw the pattern I knew it would be perfect for holding diaper changing stuff all in one place. I’ve never done a project like this and I’ve also never tried anything from Noodle Head, although she has some seriously cute bag/backpack patterns that I’ll have to try at some point.

As far as this pattern goes, it was great. The instructions were straightforward (no fluff), and easy to follow. The sewing portion took me less than two hours and even for my first go around I think it turned out really well. There were, surprisingly, no glaring errors. The hardest part was sewing around the lining, but I think it’d be quite a bit easier if I had clips (I just have pins). I love projects that use quilting cotton just because the options become endless. I used scraps and my stash for my fabric, but I did have to buy foam stabilizer (I didn’t have enough leftover from my Trailblazer backpack). I’d like to try making the pattern a couple inches bigger but that’s a someday project, not a tomorrow one. All in all this was fun and fairly easy and the end result is practical and useful and would make a great gift too!

Pillows

Making pillows is probably the least exciting project I’ve taken on, but one that has had the biggest impact. I’ve been wanting to update the pillows that came with our couch since we got the couch and finally this fabric I’d been eyeing at Joann went on sale. It was normally $40/yd, but I got it for under $10/yd. Good things do come to those who wait! They are envelope covers that I just kind of eyeballed and made up as I went along. I really do love them so much (the fabric and the color). I have two more pillows that need covers that I haven’t gotten around to making yet but hopefully soon (although I think I’ll piece them or do embroidery or something).

Appa Plush

Well, Ben was about a decade late to the party, but he’s become a fan of The Last Airbender. I haven’t seen all the episodes but it’s a really good show! The girls actually like watching it too. Anyway, Ben said he wanted a giant Appa plush and asked if I could make one. He found this pattern from Choly Knight that is FREE and includes 3 different sizes. The largest size isn’t as big as Ben was dreaming, so we knew we were going to have to size up. However, I was NOT about to take on making a jumbo plush when I’d never made any sized plush before. So I decided to practice with a couple small Appas that the girls could have. I bought just 1/4 yd each of the pink and the brown fabric, because just using my stash wasn’t going to cut it. I made the medium size pattern (the finished plush is about as long as my forearm) and was surprised at how doable it was. The pattern and instructions were very clear and easy to follow. It took a bit more time and effort, there’s a decent amount of hand sewing involved, and these little guys turned out a little big wonky (due entirely to my own skill set). BUT I think they are pretty cute all in all and it made me think that I can handle a jumbo sized one. That one isn’t in the works quite yet. I need to find a place that will print the pattern on a large enough scale and I need to buy fabric, but I’ll be sure to post about it when it’s finished. It’s fun to be trying something outside my comfort zone.

Entirely as a side note: while I was in the process of making these, I had an experience that pretty well sums up my role as a mother. So Ben had the idea of the giant Appa but I’m the one who decided to make the smaller ones (two specifically so each girl would have one) and then proceeded to follow through. But while I was in the middle of sewing these, the girls were watching me and Wendy said, “I can’t believe dad is letting us have Appa stuffies!” And that perfectly illustrates my experience thus far in motherhood. I do 90% of the work (give or take) and get 0% of the credit {insert eye roll}. (P.S. I’m being a brat; Ben does plenty;)

Floor Pouf

One concept that was new to me (among many) as I started sewing a couple years ago was the sustainability aspect of fiber arts. I read that in an effort to be more green, many sewists keep all their scraps and repurpose them for stuffing. So I started saving my scraps as well and I finally got around to making this floor pouf that is filled entirely with bits of fabrics and threads that otherwise had no future. I mean, I saved everything. Turns out, this makes for an incredibly heavy and lumpy pouf, but it’s all in the name of sustainability, so…I followed this tutorial (obviously skipping out on the painting aspect). I added a zipper on the side, so I can keep filling it if I want. And I didn’t have piping so I ended up using a length of yarn which, for this, seemed to work quite well.

Here’s a pic for size reference (yes, that’s my 3 year old wearing an 18 month onesie intended for the boy child). It’s pretty huge. And, again, the stuffing makes it pretty heavy. The girls, if they’re feeling particularly strong, can pull and drag it around the room but mostly it sits in the corner. I guess our dog occasionally lounges on it! I do really love the earth, but I don’t think I’ll be saving my scraps in such a hardcore way in the future. Using it as stuffing is sturdy and fills a need (no pun intended), but the results are lackluster, in my opinion. We don’t really have the space for holding onto stuff like this (especially as our family expands). So I will look into options for recycling fabric in my area but otherwise I think I’ll focus my sustainability efforts in places that make more sense for where I’m at in life.

Back to the pouf, I like it. I think it turned out cute. Sewing it was quick and painless. But we actually haven’t used it a ton.

Quilt Show

My La Passacaglia was in a quilt show! And you get to see a rare photo of me pregnant (at least this time around I’ve been avoiding cameras fairly successfully). Every summer, the art museum in my parents town (Springville Museum of Art) does a quilt show and while I was working on my Passacaglia, I knew I wanted to enter it into the show. Unfortunately the show was canceled last year due to CoVid, but they were able to have it this year, so both my mom and I entered one of our quilts. We heard they had more entries than ever and had to be a bit picky about what made it in, so I felt very lucky that mine did. I know it’s silly, but I felt pretty proud having my quilt hanging on the wall of the museum.

Here’s my mom with her quilt. Ugh, I feel like my skills are nothing compared to hers! She is exceptionally talented and her quilts are always gorgeous. Anyway, it was really fun to go to the museum and see not only our quilts hanging up, but all of the quilts. They had some really beautiful and unique quilts and it was fun to see others’ perspectives and creativity.

English Paper Piecing

I do love my EPP and I’ve slowly been chipping away at my next English Paper Pieced quilt-this one entirely of these hexies. You can find more info on this particular project here.

And that’s that! Some easy and manageable projects that I’ve taken on during this pregnancy. I’m hoping after the baby is born that I’ll be able to return to clothes making with a little more excitement. But I am grateful for these small projects I’ve been able to turn to. They’ve helped me remember how to use my sewing machine and that sewing is good for my soul.

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