Sunday, July 31, 2011

Cog and Wheel Quilt-A-Long {Part 1}

Goodbye July, 
hello Cog and Wheel Quilt-a-long!

Oh how I've been looking forward to really diving in to this pattern. Here we go!

What you'll need today:

-Your Cog and Wheel pattern
-your assortment of fabrics
-quilters template plastic 
-marking pens/pencils
-permanent marker

I like to streamline my piecing process as much as possible so my instructions will follow along that mindset.  I will say, however, that this pattern, more so than the single girl, does lend itself well to cutting out your pieces as you go block by block if you decide to go that way. 

1.  Pre-wash your fabrics 
(if you want to, I don't.  I like it to shrink up a little once its quilted to give it more of that antiqued look but if you are a pre-washer/ironer/starcher, now is the time to do it)

2. Cut out your templates.
First of all do NOT cut your templates out of the pattern page.  Pick yourself up some quilters template plastic (its cheap as can be at your local craft store) and trace it with permanent marker.  Its WAY easier to work with than the paper and you save your pattern (which is particularly important if you intend to hand-quilt your quilt).

Make sure you label them once you cut them out.  Many of the pieces are quite similar and you don't want to confuse them.  It also helps so that when you trace on your fabrics, you know you are tracing on the correct side.

3. Trace your templates onto your fabrics.
I started with my background fabric since its the biggest fabric piece and most cumbersome to deal with.
I was able to fit one 5R piece in between two the outside pieces which isn't how Denyse did it in her original layout but I'm all about squeezing as many pieces out of my fabric so I can minimize leftover bits.

4. Cog and Center pieces
To cut out my cog pieces I took all the fabrics I was using and cut them into sets of four 4.5" squares so I could mix and match which fabrics I liked in which combinations.  

I did the same thing with the center pieces.  I chose 9 fabrics that I wanted to use for my center pieces and cut one 4.5" square of each.

Once you have your squares, take a pile and the corresponding template, trace it on the top piece and cut all four while stacked up.

MAKE SURE: you have the template facing the proper direction.  I traced on the back of my fabrics so I used the template backwards.

Then get to cutting!

Feel free to email me with any questions!

Next up on 8/8: Piecing and sewing those curvy curves~~~~~~~~

Friday, July 22, 2011

Just popping in for a minute...

I remember loving fabric and sewing and all things crafty as a kid but since my mom wasn't really that way, I never felt that that desire was really encouraged.  And in fact since both my parents have fabric store "issues" from their own childhoods that was just never a path I really got to do anything with until I was married and had time and a little money to explore it on my own.  (sorry mom, I know you're reading this and feeling the guilt......) Anyway,

So when Mady came to us this summer and announced that when she grows up, she has decided to become a fashion designer, I could tell this was something she was really excited about.   So in an effort to encourage her dreams, the next day she and I went to the library and checked out a few books about design which she studied and poured over the whole first night and then on the 15 hour drive up to Washington and 6 hours to Idaho where we spent the last two weeks.  Once up there we picked up her favorite Taff cousin and the girls began talking about how Mady was going to design Ashley's prom dress someday.  Then yesterday the girls decided that they wanted to take a trip to Goodwill on their own.  Its only about 100 yards from the house so we said have fun and be back in a half an hour.

And they came back having spent $50 on a wedding dress.

A big, white, fluffy wedding dress at least two sizes too small for Ashley.  They announced that Mady was going to alter it into a prom dress for Ashley.

"uh.. okay," I said, "how much did that cost?"

"Don't worry about that!"  They told me.  "We're going to make it into a prom dress! It will be a dress fit for a princess!  It will be so beautiful!"

When I told Joshua initially lets just say he was not pleased. He had stopped by Goodwill on his way back to work to check on the girls and apparently they were trying it on and he told them it was a bad idea since A. it was a wedding dress and B it was too small for the intended wearer.

But since they came home with it they have been holed up in Mady's room with a seam ripper and a million ideas and have been hacking the thing to bits.  Last night they were up late googling you tube videos about wedding dress transformations and then this morning they asked me to help them with their idea to address the size issue.

The girls worked really hard and Mady sewed on little loops to do sort of a corset lace up back.  It was fun sitting with her and showing her how to use the sewing machine and helping them figure out ways to execute their ideas. We even put an episode of Project Runway on in the background to inspire us.

The next step was to address the way to long length of the dress.  It was with a cringe in my heart that we took Grandma Linda's sewing shears to the satin but it had to be done and the end result was pretty good.

We took a break for lunch and met up with Joshua and some of his work buddies for what they call *Cardio Club and as we were driving to the Dairy Queen I told him about our morning.

"Its like how you always said that when the boys got older you'd buy them old washing machines or engines to take apart and put together again to learn how to fix stuff, " I told him, "I think this is the same thing only girlier and with fabric.  Its really a good thing that they blew all their spending money on this.  This is a memory."

This annalogy seemed to speak to him and then I told him how all morning I keep overhearing them giggle to each other and say, 

"this is so fun!" 
"I can hardly believe how fun this is!"
"You are going to look so beautiful!"
"I feel like a princess!"

along with other such phrases that really are what summer vacations should be filled with.

*The Cardio Club is a group of Josh's work buddies that go out to lunch on Fridays to places that will give them all sorts of Cardiac problems, favorites are Costco for pizza and hot dogs, Taco Bell, Dairy Queen and Burger King.  At first when Josh mentioned it I said, "oh great!  you are going jogging during your lunch break!  good for you!" and he said, "no, its doing stuff thats BAD for your heart.  Its BAD for your cardio club." 

Monday, July 4, 2011

Gone Fishin'

Or something like that. Our Mady girl arrived Friday morning bright and early and since then there has been a non stop flury of family fun which has left little time for me to even remember I have this blog.

Hence the forgotten Finished It Up Friday.

I wondered how this bloggery would go with Mady and the husband home and all the activities and it appears it would be best to just call it an official blog-cation and relieve myself of the guilt. Why do I have guilt? I don't know. Let's just say I'm out of the office until August 1st when we shall commence with the cog and wheel quiltalong.

Happy July!
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