Monday, August 19, 2013

Jack's First Skate Contest!

Jack entered his first skateboard contest and took 3rd place!

It was a big day.  We were so proud of our boy!  He had lots of fun and really went for it.  Since we were in Seattle, we hit 3 other skateparks that day and I snapped a few more pics.

At one park we ran into Jack's favorite pro-skater, Nolan Johnson!  I tried not to be THAT MOM and start talking to him, but I did sneak this photo:
Since we saw him when we pulled up to the park, I even left my hand sewing in the car!

Finally washed Jack's skateboard quilt and now it's all puckery and soft.  The skateboards are appliqued on so there was some trimming of threads to be done.  You can read more about his quilt here.  I'm making another right now for a customer order.  Fun, fun!

Yesterday I let Lisa know she won the second Fabric Polaroids give away! Want to be in our swap?  Details are here.  There's 8 days left to make your blocks and mail them.  You can see over 75 photos of our swap on IG under the hashtag #fabricpolaroids.  Every time a package arrives, I post a pic there!

Duke and I are still out and about!  He's been enjoying skateparks this summer.

Safe to say this boy loves the skateparks the most!


Thursday, August 8, 2013

Fabric Polaroid Swap Winner!

I'm hosting a Fabric Polaroid Swap and having fun doing it! Over on Instagram, participants are posting pictures of their progress at #fabricpolaroids. I'm doing a weekly winner drawing just because I love to give prizes! This week's winner is WindyLou. Jack chose a random number between 1-44 (the sign up comments found in this post). He chose #1. Next week's winner will be chosen from the IG photo stream I mentioned above. #fabricpolaroids. Leave a comment on this blog post if you are wanting to join and haven't yet. There's still time. I'm about to make some Star Trek and Family Guy Polaroids. :-) Any Trekkie fans reading this?

A shout out to Greenbaum's Quilted Forest in Salem, OR. They donated a pattern to our prize loot! The store is amazing and they offer free shipping! Shop with them here!
I do, every time I go to Salem to see my college student, Mitch.

We just moved Mitch back to school and stopped at many skateparks on our way back home, for Jack's benefit. His new favorite is Lincoln City skatepark in Oregon. Any Oregonians reading this? I love your state! It's so beautiful with a twist of weirdness that makes us smile! Love it.

Duke had a sitter. He spilled his food out of his doggie bowl to let us know how he felt about that!


Sunday, August 4, 2013

Skateboard block tutorial

Hello to my bee-mates and anyone else reading along. It's "my month" for the block of the month in my sewing bee, Stitch that Stash.  I'd love for you all to use my skateboard block pattern.   I recently used it for a quilt for Jack, found here.  The pieces are cut out and then appliqued to the background fabric.  I then added a log cabin border, going twice around the main block.  I'll spell it out for you below but I'll bet you with the measurements you'll be off and running on your own.

Let's get to it.

Colors: I've chosen "girl" colors for this sewing bee skateboard quilt.  The center fabric is the color inspiration.  It is Forest Hills, in Sweet, by Anna Maria Horner.  The colors in this fabric are yellow, purple, orange - (called toast cause it's not a bright orange), turquoise, light pink and white.

Fabrics:  I like to combine textures so along with quilting cottons feel free to use flannels and voiles.

Block size:
The background fabric is 10"x 15"
The rectangle for the skateboard (before trimming corners) is 5"x 12"
The wheels are 1.5" x 1"
The fabric strips for the log cabin border are cut at 1.5" wide and trimmed to length of edge

Examples of ways to decorate/create the skateboard:
Here are some blocks from Jack's quilt to show different ways to combine fabrics for the skateboard.  If you chose to combine fabrics just trim the rectangle back to 5x12 after you sew and press the seams in your skateboard.  You can also go with just one fabric.

Color Values:  Use a light background and a dark or medium skateboard/wheel fabric OR use a dark background and a light or medium skateboard fabric/wheel fabric.  This way the contrast in the values will make the skateboard show up well.  My least favorite block above is 2nd row, 1st block, because the background fabric AND the skateboard fabric are both of medium values.  You can use a solid background fabric or chose one that has a subtle print in it.  All four wheels should be from the same fabric.

Begin cutting the skateboard:
Here are the cuts, step by step, for the skateboard with trimmed corners.

Cut your background fabric and your wheels next:
The background fabric is cut 10 inches wide and 15 inches in length.
The wheels can be cut with a long 1.5" wide and 4" long strip.  Cut 1 inch at a time for each wheel.

Arrange all of the pieces:
Now place it all together with the board centered on the background.  The wheels are placed at each end of the sides by the corner.  Lay the longer side of the wheel next to the board.   Leave a little space between the wheel and the board (I hand quilted around each board on Jack's quilt and this gave room for the stitch to show).

Log cabin border strips:
I like to lay out all of the strips next, to decide which fabrics work best with each other and in what order.  At this point I still have not done any sewing.  The strips are all cut at 1.5" in width.  The length will vary depending on when it is added on.  The first strip will be 1.5"x15" and lay along the bottom side of the block.  The next strip will be slightly bigger, and so on as is the case when making a log cabin block.  I cut them plenty long at this point and trim them as I sew them on.  (no sewing yet)

Now that all of the fabrics are selected, applique the main skateboard to the background. 


Sewing the skateboard and wheels to the background fabric can be done with a variety of stitches.  Use whichever you prefer!  I've done it with a straight stitch just inside the edge of the skateboard, a zig zag stitch that catches both the skateboard and the fabric outside of it, or you can use any other fancy stitch your sewing machine may have.  If the fabric you are sewing does not feel stable, you could opt to use some Pellon interfacing ironed to the back of it.  I didn't do this on any of mine.  I DID do this on the snowman block I made for Nicole last month because of all of the seams.  I don't recommend anything too heavy though or the block will be stiff.  

How about that new pin cushion?! So handy! 

Wheels:  I used a straight stitch and went around twice.

bottom strip, cut to the length of the block

Log Cabin Border:
It's time to put the log cabin border on. I used a 1/4" seam on my strips (cut at 1.5" wide) and went around the block twice.  I started at the bottom, sewing the strip on face to face, then iron it away from the block, and go to the right side to attach the next strip and so on.

Press toward the outside of the block before adding the next strip

Right side strip, cut to the length of the right side, plus the additional strip on the bottom

Cut longer, and trim after sewing it on

Press towards the outside of the block before adding the next strip

Top strip sewn on, now trim off those overlapping ends and press the top strip away from the center. Repeat for the final side and trim and press towards the outside of the block.

 Trim up the first border
The first border is now on all 4 sides.  I trimmed each one to be somewhat straight - they should be roughly 1" wide now.  Do the same thing again, adding a second log cabin border.  Trim again so that they are also 1" wide.  It doesn't have to be exactly straight or exactly 1" so just trim it and it will be fine!

This is what the back looks like with all of the pressing going away from the center block.

You are finished!  
Your block will measure at approximately 14" wide by 19" long depending on how much trimming you did.  When I assemble the quilt I will add extra narrow strips here and there to balance out the size difference.  If your block came out a little smaller, it is fine.  My block above is 13.5" by 18.5" because I tend to sew with a slightly larger than 1/4 inch seam and I trimmed a bit more in places.  

If you look at Jack's quilt again, you will see that the number of log cabin borders varies throughout the quilt.  In Jack's quilt, I cut some of those strips 2 inches wide and I did not trim them before adding the second log cabin border.  I decided to go a bit more narrow and a little less wonky this time to allow the skateboards to have their glory!!

Thanks and I'm looking forward to seeing a bunch of skateboard blocks.  If you aren't in our sewing bee but do decide to make one, I'd love to see it!  I want to make skateboard place mats next.  I've made several skateboard pillow cases for my boys.