Thursday, January 31, 2013

Hexagons for Stocking #2

As I mentioned in this post, I'm determined that we will have Christmas stockings next Christmas. Which is why I'm working on them in January. Inspired by these lovely stockings, I decided that mine will be made of hexagons. I don't have too much of it sewn yet, but this picture shows you what I have so far.

Hexagons for stocking

I love all the hexagon work I'm seeing all over the place these days, and I'm coming to appreciate it even more as I've been working on them! There are about as many opinions on the best way to piece hexagons as there are people sewing hexagons, so I've read and read and settled on my technique. I'll post more on that later, but for now, my preferences are:

  • cardstock for hexagon templates
  • basting on the back, without sewing through the paper
  • joining hexagons with a running stitch
Those seem to be the most debatable parts. If you're looking for a good comparison on hexagon options, this post at The Sometimes Crafter was extremely helpful! 

Have you jumped on the hexagon bandwagon? What's your favorite approach?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Modern Medallion Quilt: Part I

I'm finally able to start on my quilt for Handstitched class! It's been pretty challenging rounding up all the fabric & supplies in a place where all the fabric stores are a decent drive and I have an 8-month old in tow.

Here are the main prints I'll be using:

Modern Medallion Fabric

It's mostly Joel Dewberry Modern Meadow, with a little Joel Dewberry Heirloom. I'm planning to add in a few other smaller scale prints with at least a little more navy.

I managed to get to the store yesterday to get my solids... so off I go to start working! Yay!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Susanna Cate's Quilt

As I explained in this post, I haven't been sewing consistently for very long. And for quilting... I'm even more of a novice. I've finished 2 {baby} quilts, a practice quilt for my dog, and a tablerunner. That's it. But, the engineer in me really loves quilting! Why not - the more precise I am, the better the quilt turns out. So great to have a way for meticulousness to merge with creativity for a fun finished product!

One of those two finished quilts was for my newest niece, born this past November. It's featured in my header and I love it! I've had a few requests to see the whole thing... so here it is.

Charming Lucy Front

I used this Charming Lucy quilt pattern from A Bright Corner featuring a Tradewinds charm pack. I didn't really plan for this, but the fabric matches my sweet niece's nursery. Bonus!

I attempted free motion quilting for the first time in a loop-de-loop pattern. It definitely got better as I went.

a little of the back

Anyway, I'm hooked. There will certainly be more quilts to come.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Pantone 2013 Color of the Year

The color of the year for 2013 has been selected... and it's EMERALD. I can't think about that color without thinking of the Wizard of Oz... sure I'm not the only one. As a fun celebration of this color, Stitched In Color is holding a contest sponsored by Fat Quarter Shop.

There are SO many choices of fun green fabric, but here are my two contest entries:

Emerald Mosaic #1

I'm always partial to blues and greens!!

Emerald Mosaic #2

Yes, there is some overlap between the two mosaics. I had wanted to pick completely different fabrics for both of them, but there were certain fabrics that I just loved & couldn't get rid of.

And, in case you're wondering, the mosaics were created using this FREE mosaic maker tool. I'll definitely be using the mosaic maker in the future!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Handstitched Class

Handstitched ClassI'm so excited to be participating in the Handstitched class offered by Rachel from Stitched in Color! My mom took this class when it was first offered, and I loved seeing what she was making. When I saw shortly before Christmas that the class would be offered again, I dropped some not-subtle-at-all hints to my husband that I would really like to take it.

Here's why I really wanted to take the class:
  • I love challenges and learning new things. What could be better than a class?
  • I've never taken a sewing class before and thought it would be fun.
  • I saw my mom make some amazing projects last summer!
  • If my mom, who in my opinion knows everything there is to know about sewing, could learn from the class, then how much more would I learn?!
  • January was stretching out ahead of me without any sewing goals. (Other than the Christmas stockings... see previous post.)
So, class officially starts today and I am ready! (Well, almost... still rounding up supplies. I live in a pretty supply-limited area.)

If you're visiting from class, so glad you stopped by! I'm excited to start sewing with you & see all the fun things we'll make! As way of introduction, like many of you my first ventures into sewing were crosstitching as a kid. My mom (as I've mentioned) has taught me a ton. My only regret is not learning more while I still lived at home! When I got married in 2008, I decided that I really wanted to start learning to sew. Unfortunately, the old machine I was using lasted for 1 project before it died. It wasn't worth the price to fix, so my sewing was put on hold. Fast forward to 2010 when I got my masters. My parents gave me a sewing machine as my graduation present and I was once again able to sew. Enter a full-time job with a long commute... and sewing again took the backburner. Whew, quite the rollercoaster! 

That brings us to this past year. I didn't go back to work after our son was born in May 2012, and now am able to spend more time sewing. (As long as Isaac naps!!!) Most of my projects use the machine, so I'm really excited to learn all about handwork from Rachel's class. I do love having a project to work on while riding in the car or sitting & visiting with friends. 

So, here goes! I'll be posting class progress here on Homemade Engineer. You can also keep up with my projects on Flickr.

Isaac's Christmas Stocking

We've made do without our own stockings for the five Christmases that we've been married. However, every single year I've told Javier that we would have stockings by the next year. And the next year would come... and go... and we still wouldn't have stockings. This year, though, I decided that we *must* have stockings. It was Isaac's first Christmas, after all! After scouring the web and the large number of stocking tutorials, I finally decided to use this lovely tutorial. I liked the shape, and the quilt-as-you-go seemed pretty fun. I modified it slightly in order to add Isaac's name at the top.

Isaac's stocking front

The fabric came from The Little Fabric Shop, which is a new favorite place to shop for fabric! I searched for a while to find an online store that would cut 1/4 yard of fabric and also have reasonable shipping. (No, I'm not affiliated with them at all - they have no idea who I am!!) I LOVE the fabrics - there's quite a mix: some Brrr by Robert Kaufman, a little bit of Cherry Christmas by Aneela Hooey, and Joy by Kate Spain.

Isaac's stocking back

This has been one of my favorite sewing projects ever! It was so fun to try the quilt-as-you-go method and I love how the stocking turned out! (Certainly helps that I love the little guy it's for!!)

Happy boy with his stocking on Christmas day

Unfortunately I ran out of time and mine & Javier's stockings were not finished in time... BUT in order to make sure that they really are finished for next year, I'm working on them now. :) Nothing like Christmas sewing in January! Stay tuned - I'm making them all different!

Friday, January 11, 2013


Hello and welcome to Homemade Engineer! I'm so glad you stopped by. A first blog post is always a bit intimidating - so much potential lies ahead! So, here goes:

As the name might suggest, I went to college for an engineering degree and now am staying at home with our (almost) 8-month old son. My brain still works like an engineer's, though, and certainly shapes a lot of my homemade pursuits.

Since I'm home so much more now than before the little guy was born, I've been squeezing in sewing time when I can. I've found I need my own web home so that I can join in all the fun in the blog world. I'll share my projects with you - successes, failures, what I'm learning, things that inspire me - and hopefully we can help each other out.

I like to make other things from scratch, too (especially bread), so there might be a few posts on that sort of thing - we'll see what happens! I hope you keep stopping by to see what's happening!