so I uploaded all my big quilt pictures, but then I realized that I still have a handful of other projects I haven’t said anything about, and they deserve things being said.  in part so I remember what I learned, because I sure learned from these.  so I’ll put this one up now and set the quilt one for soon.  sorry for being a liar.

front side:

back side:

so, first.  I never put up any pictures of this quilt I made for cassidy’s little boy.  probably because I REALLY did not like this project.  I will admit that it is WAY CUTE.  even in the pictures.  but I learned a lot about materials in this project.  (I guess that learning is a trend in projects for cassidy’s kids!  I learned a lot about color and prints in making kate’s quilt).  this was my first time at trying applique.  and honestly I don’t have any complaints about applique in general.  but since I had never done it before, I pretty much stuck to what the book said, and looking back now there are a lot of things I would have done differently.  I didn’t mind the fusible webbing that is backing the fabrics…it wasn’t terrible and it wasn’t too hard to work with.  here are the things I take issue with.

1.  backing all of the background fabric with interfacing.  I did not like this AT. ALL.  it is my main complaint.  it made the whole project WAY too stiff, and not very soft.  not very baby.  even with washes it will never loosen up much because of the stiff interfacing.  so it’s more like a hang-on-the-wall or a put-on-the-floor-to-for-the-baby-to-play-on type blanket instead of a baby-carries-it-around-and-sleeps-with-it type of blanket (which I like better).  now that it’s finished I really think it would have been fine without it, I don’t think I would have had a problem with the applique onto regular fabric.

2.  polyester batting.  DIE!!  Die poly batting!!!!  this is what the book suggested, and I was so out of my league I just went with what the book said.  BAD. CHOICE.  oh poly batting is gross.  especially when you’re used to cotton or bamboo.  not only is it stiffer (like we needed more stiffness after the interfacing), it was a medium-to-heavy-loft, so it was a nightmare to quilt.  not a fan.  it reminded me why I never use it, and I don’t think I’ll forget anytime soon.  and the poly doesn’t wear very well either (like cotton or bamboo).  why do they even make this stuff??

3.  the materials.  lindsey and I were talking last time I visited about how once you’ve used good fabric, it is SO hard to go back to anything else.  and for a project like this, I couldn’t use great materials unless I really wanted to break the bank.  you already have to spend so much for all the matching thread (which I will never, ever, compromise, cheap thread = nightmare), and I needed so many near-solids (tiny scale prints, monochromatic) that it would have been ridiculous to get designer fabric (which is what I am used to).  and I needed so many scraps…if my scrap collection had more near-solids I would have been in better shape….but alas, I ended up buying a bunch of those little folded pieces (I feel like they’re even smaller than fat quarters?  I could be wrong, maybe they are fat quarters) that you can get at joann’s and hancock.  and it just wasn’t fun to use crappy fabric.  it just doesn’t have as nice of a hand, and you can just tell when you touch it that it’s lower quality.  so even though it did turn out super cute, and I like the prints, the fabric itself just wasn’t up to the standards I think I need to keep.

4.  enlarging a pattern.  oh I am SO not a fan of this.  the pattern came from this book, and I just felt like the directions for enlarging just weren’t super helpful.  I don’t know if you can tell or not, but the finished quilt is more than 3 feet each way, so some of the pieces were close to 3 feet long.  some pieces had to be enlarged by like 500%.  and guess what?  the machines at kinko’s don’t go that high!!!  so I had to do a crap ton of conversions (I would have been screwed were I not in the correct profession to help with this) and enlarge it several times, and then piece the enlargements together.  it was pretty much a nightmare.

BUT.  it is very, very cute and I love the idea.  so while the materials and the process left a lot to be desired, it’s for a baby, and babies barf, and poop, and you know, stuff like that, so it’s okay if it’s not perfect, and I learned a lot for next time.  cassidy was very gracious and I know that I am a lot harder on my work that the recipients usually are 🙂

also, I tried to take pictures of it outside, but it was too windy.  fail.  this is all I got. (ps, poor faded powercat.)

finally, I have been wanting to make something along these lines for a long time, and finally got my act together last week.  my favorite toddler was turning 3 and he loves, loves, loves cars.  so I went to the old Hob Lob and bought a bunch of felt.  it was fun to buy felt!  felt is pretty cheap, relatively speaking.  for how much I needed, anyway.  I stole the idea very much from here, opting to make it a roll-up mat instead of a house.  I used fabric glue, and……..not a fan.  I have serious doubts about its durability.  it was hard to get it on the little tiny pieces!  and it made a mess and anywhere I didn’t get it perfect it really shows.  it was a fun change of pace, however, so I won’t complain.  I think if I did it again I might actually try sewing most of the stuff on, but I don’t think I’ll be attempting that anytime soon, or ever.  but it was worth it for ruly.  when I arrived on saturday, as soon as I walked in the door, he looked up and shouted “KIM!!” which just melted my heart, and then he said “You bring me a present??!?!?”  I just love him.  he seemed to like it pretty well, but I think some of the littlest pieces are already not doing to hot, so hopefully sharon doesn’t mind doing a little repair.  also?  letters from felt? BAD NEWS.  way too hard for me.  I think I’ll stick to quilts.

among other things, there is a hospital (with helipad!)

police, fire and gas stations

my favorite, the construction zone

and of course, bill snyder family stadium.  ruly sang the fight song for (with) us.

it also features a farm, a park, a swimming pool, a train depot, a zoo, and a target.  raul and sharon both think it’s just like the promised land 🙂