Charly's Quilt

I love the idea of quilts... problem is, I think a lot of them look outdated or pioneer-y. That in itself is not a problem. There is definitely a place for pioneer decor in this world. But I'm more into mid-century vintageness, rather than handcart pioneer type stuff, and quilts don't scream mid-century modern to me. When I saw this quilt from The Crafty Traveler on Pinterest, I fell in love. So modern. Fresh. Unexpected- other than the fact that chevron is totally overdone in blogland right now. I haven't jumped on the chevron bandwagon until now. But c'mon, can you blame me? This made me realize quilts don't have to be granny. (and on that note, Emily Henderson did a blog post about it just as I was coming to this conclusion)

I've never made a legit quilt before. I made a t-shirt quilt in high school... wonder where that thing ended up. Anyway, like I said, this was my first REAL quilt, and it was a great beginner project. The squares were really easy to create using her tutorial (seriously, check it out... I wouldn't have thought to do it that way!) and it was easy to assemble. I made mine larger than the original. I realized that what I really wanted was a quilt that could be used as a bedspread for her toddler bed (when she gets to that point) so I needed to expand. I added two rows of width and four rows of length to make it just about the size of the crib size quilt batting I bought at JoAnns. I showed you all this progress picture a few weeks ago... remember this stage?
Since then I've sewn the squares together, quilted and bound, and this is the final product:

I decided to machine quilt it myself. It made me really nervous, but I went for it anyway. It certainly isn't flawless, but I'm happy with it. For a perfectionist like me, that is all you can ask for! The process for assembling it once the squares were made went something like this:
1- Sew squares together to form rows. Press seams out.
2-Sew rows together. Press seams out. 
3-Lay backing fabric wrong side up with batting on top, then cover with quilt top. Backing fabric should be larger than quilt top to allow for binding later (unless you do a separate binding strip... but that's too fancy for me.)
4-Safety pin like crazy! The more pins you use, the less your quilt will shift in the quilting process.
5-Using a straight stitch, sew all three layers together in the pattern you choose to quilt (more on why I chose lines rather than free motion or following the zig zag in a minute)
6-Once all quilting is done, trim batting and press backing over to create a binding. 
7-Hand stitch binding in place. Voila!
Here is the back view:
My backing fabric had a natural pattern of stripes that I sewed along to quilt. This made it so I had a pattern to follow as I quilted. The fact that it was really just sewing straight lines gave me the courage to machine quilt it myself. I love how it looks from the back and the front!
My perfectionist self  LOVES that the lines from the binding line up with the stitch lines on the front of the quilt.
I really debated on whether to hand stitch the binding or machine stitch it. In the end, I decided hand stitching would give it more of the heirloom look, which is what I hope this quilt will be!
Total cost breakdown for this project:
Fabric: $6 (I used a lot of fabric I already had, and the white fabric is from a salvaged white sheet)
Batting: $7- I used a 50% off coupon at JoAnns
Thread: $2
Total: $15
Although I'm positive Charly won't show an ounce of excitement when she opens this on Christmas, I'm delighted to have this great gift for her to treasure in future years. I kinda like the idea of doing something handmade for my kids each year. Maybe this will be the start of a new tradition!

Strip Tease

Its not what you think... this is a family blog- we like to keep things G-rated. PG maybe. So when I titled this post 'Strip Tease' it was in reference to this:

This bad boy is getting stripped. As in, we are using chemical stripper to remove the paint. It is in process (started last weekend), but as it turns out stripping that many layers of paint is quite an ordeal. The 'tease' part of this post is the fact that it is unfinished- just a teaser of what is to come! I'm not sure when we will get a chance to finish up, since our weekend plans have drastically changed due to automotive issues. This is basically the last thing we need to finish up Charly's room, so once this guy is all stripped and stained we can have a nursery reveal! About time, considering this girl is getting closer to being one year old every day. Really, not too much has changed from the nursery that was 99% done in our last house, but you will see a few changes that I'm excited about:)

The tease doesn't stop here, though. I've got a whole slew of unfinished projects I'm working on, and I thought I'd give a sneak peek of a few.

I'm working on this quilt for Miss Charly for Christmas (don't tell- she doesn't know!)

I'm excited to start assembling it!

I'm also working on some stockings for Christmas, since we need some of our own now:

I'm loving how they look so far and I"m excited to share the end result!

Looks like I should have some finished projects to share next week!   Are any of you in the thick of holiday crafting yet? Happy weekend everyone!