How To: Sew a Diagonal Strip Quilt

January 18th, 2014


Strip quilting with the Quilt As You Go method is pretty much the only way I can quilt these days. It’s such a quick and easy way to make a simple quilt, and be done with it in a matter of hours. I call it my 2-nap quilt, as I really can only quilt when my boys are napping, and a strip quilt takes about 2 nap times to get done start to finish. And lets be honest… I haven’t had much time to practice extensive quilting techniques, so this is pretty much as good as it gets for me right now.

Here’s a quick tutorial on my diagonal strip quilt, it’s a little bit more tricky than a standard strip quilt. First step is super easy – I cut 5″ strips out of all of my fabrics – You can do this with any size strip – a jelly roll would save you time on the cutting, but take more time on the sewing. I like the 5″ because I can cut all the left-over strips in half and use the 2.5″ for binding strips.

All the fabric is from my new line with Riley Blake Fabric – Lost & Found 2.

I laid them out in an order that I liked, and then moved onto the batting and backing. You want to cut your backing to your final quilt size (give or take for squaring up). For this quilt, I used the whole width of the fabric – so like 44″ and for the length I went about 64″ Then I cut the batting to match. I use a 100% cotton backing because it has a nice tack to it and sticks with the cotton fabric without any shifting. I iron the backing to the fabric with a hot iron to make the two pieces stick better to each other, and to remove any wrinkles. And I’m laughing as I look at this really wrinkly picture! I must have ironed it after this!

I wanted to make a diagonal strip quilt (never done this before), and thought it would be cool if I started at one corner, and then reversed the diagonal. So first step was to make a base-line to end my first set of strips.


I used my fussy cutter, to get a good straight edge from my fabric. I used my long ruler to follow that line and draw directly on the batting.


Okay so I don’t have a photo of the next step, but basically I laid out all my strips FACE-UP on the batting, starting on the baseline I just drew, and trimmed the ends about an inch longer than the end of the quilt.

Then all you do is start sewing. I rolled up the majority of the quilt so it would fit in my machine arm, laid down my first strip and sewed it down right-side-up. I just use a standard sewing foot and keep my feet in a normal position.


I took my second strip, and placed it right-side to right-side – matching up the seams, and sewed down. quilt_sew2_theprojectgirl

Flip the strip over – exposing the right-side. I recommend pressing this down to keep all your seams nice and flat. Then you take the next strip and again place it right-side to right-side – match up the seams, and sew.



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Our Yo Gabba Gabba Halloween – Muno, DJ Lance, Plex, & Foofa

November 3rd, 2013

Growing up my mom always made our costumes. I don’t think I even knew you could get costumes at the store until I was grown up. So I guess thats just where my mind goes when it comes to halloween. I’d love to just buy costumes and be done with it, but for me, making the costumes is part of the fun and challenge of halloween.

I don’t think I’ve posted pictures from the past two years – I’m all about the experience first and the photo taking second, so excuse these poor photos (I don’t even know how people get their kids to hold still for photos?!?). Anyway when ollie was 7 months old I decided he would be the cutest little gnome (we love gnomes in this house). Ollie always loved wearing hats so I was pretty sure he could pull off wearing a hat as the main part of his costume. He did not disappoint and kept the hat (and beard) on all night long. Here he is *not* looking at the camera.


Because this was my first time making a costume, I kept it pretty simple.  A felt hat just rolled into a cone with a button sewed on for decoration. I used some pillow/drapery fringe trim for the  beard which was sewed into the inside of the hat.

I sewed the blue felt shirt using one of his shirts as a guide for a pattern, and then made a quick belt with some black elastic and a belt buckle. I also attempted to sew some pointy pleather shoes which looked cool but didn’t really stay on.

Here he is trying the hat/beard on as I was making it. Isn’t he just scrumptious?


Such a cute little baby! Look at those kissable cheeks and lips.


The next year I was feeling a bit more confident. We thought he would make a cute little Domo Kun and so I bought some fuzzy brown fabric and just went to town making a 3D rounded rectangle. It worked out great and he was so cute – although he still didn’t quite get the idea of Halloween. Pictures this year were even harder – this is the best one I have!


This year – he totally got the concept of halloween. For the whole month of October he kept asking if we could “get in the car and go to halloween” haha. I kept asking him what he wanted to be for halloween, he didn’t really seem to have a preference, but when he watched Monsters Inc. for the first time, he immediately said that he wanted to be a “firefighter” (actually a CDA agent whom he calls fire fighters) for halloween. So I thought, hey cute… he can be a CDA guy and Leo can be Mike Wazowski and they’ll be super cute. So to go easy on myself, I ordered a yellow rain coat and pants, and figured I’d make a backpack with tubes etc. A few days later it comes in the mail and Ollie would NOT put it on. Not even get close to it. And now he did NOT want to be a “firefighter” not even a little bit.

So back to the drawing board. I kept asking him what he wanted to be and he would say random things/characters/people etc. But he always said a different thing every time.  So I never pulled the trigger on anything. About 2 weeks before halloween I asked him what he wanted to be and he said Muno! For a whole week he kept saying Muno (and added that he wanted daddy to be Plex and mommy to be Foofa). So I told him no changing his mind and I promptly went to the fabric store. I bought fabric for Muno, Foofa (for me), and Dj Lance (for Leo). For the Muno costume I googled Muno costumes (imagine that), and found someone who sewed an awesome Muno costume and had some basic instructions online. This helped me a lot in building my Muno costume though I did a lot differently than they did. The whole time I was cutting/sewing/glueing Ollie was so so so excited about being Muno. I finished the headpiece at night and the next morning when he woke up told him that his costume was done and he could try it on. He was like a kid at Christmas – practically jumping out of his skin and so happy to get to BE Muno.


He kept dancing and saying “wiggle wiggle wiggle stop!” haha I should have taken video!! I did get a cute back-shot when he held still enough to look out the front door.


The balls are styrofoam balls cut in half and covered in fabric and hot glued on.

When Halloween came 3 days later, he couldn’t wait to get his costume on that evening. Here he is posing and dancing. theprojectgirl-muno-costume-montage

And outside getting ready to go!



Not to be too outdone I also threw together Leo’s DJ lance costume.


For both costumes I purchased this simple halloween jumpsuit pattern:

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It was actually my first time ever sewing from a pattern (those things are HARD to read!), but the pattern was super simple and  the jumpsuit part of each of their costumes took less than an hour to sew.

Here they are both with Grandma who came over to see them and pass out candy while we took to the streets.


Did I mention that Ollie wanted me to be Foofa and daddy to be Plex? So I bought pink fleece and put together a quick outfit (used pajama pants as a pattern, and then just made a bodice by measuring myself). Once Spencer saw all our awesome costumes, he wanted to dress up as well. So the day before Halloween, I ran to the store and bought stuff for his Plex costume and the morning of Halloween, started his costume and finished it a few hours later. It would have been nice to have a little more time to work out some of the details, but I think he turned out great, and the neighborhood kids LOVED seeing a big robot running around.

Here we all are together as an awesome Yo Gabba Gabba ensemble. I’m so glad we got a great group picture and everyone is actually LOOKING at the camera and HOLDING STILL!


Here Spencer & I are in a quick selfie while trick-or-treating.


And a quick shot at Muno and Plex.


And I cant forget our very adorable DJ Lance! He did so great while we were out. Perfectly happy to be on a walk with the family and actually kept his hat on until the very end.



After making those 4 costumes I feel practically like a pro! My sewing machine saw more hours than ever before, and I feel way less intimidated to sew anything including clothes. I also learned just how easy it is to sew pajama pants or comfy pants for kids, so I may just pick up some fleece and sew a bunch of elastic waist pants for the boys this winter and save (a lot) of money.

The whole night was magical and really just wonderful happy moments watching Ollie so confidently run up to doors, knock, say “trick or treat” pick a candy and say “thank you”. He was the absolute perfect age for such an event, and was grinning ear to ear and dancing all the way. We all had the most perfect evening and are already looking forward to Halloween next year, and planning how we could make our costumes even better.

Have you attempted sewing your own/your kid’s halloween costumes? Did your mom sew all of yours like mine did?

Updates at The Project Girl

May 2nd, 2013

Hi readers! We are working on a full redesign of the site, but I’m not quite sure how quickly that will happen with the whole designing and building a house thing right now. But I did want to point up a few updates that we (Mr. Project) just put into place! And you’ll totally want to read to the end because there is a cute picture there!

Pin-it! You’ve asked for it and we finally got around to doing it. All of my original photos should have a pin-it button show up in the upper left corner when you scroll over the image. For best linking results, make sure you are clicked into the actual post and not just my website in general – this way you’ll actually be able to find the post that you pinned!

Instagram & Pinterest links. I don’t know if anyone’s been asking for it, but I am totally loving instagram, so please add me — I promise I’m worth it —  I post pics of my projects and my cute babies! These links are in the right column >>>>> go click on them! (like me on facebook too!)

Advertising/Sponsorships. I get lots of emails from people who want to sponsor my site, but I never get around to making it happen because it’s such a pain to maintain and update. Well I recently found out about Passionfruit and its soooo easy! So if you have a site/shop/product you want to promote, click on the sponsors link to the right and check out how easy it is to get started. I’ll even throw in a 15% off coupon code for your first ad – first15 (expires June 30, 2013). Also don’t forget to check out my cool new sponsor – Polka Dot Barn (hopefully there will be more than one soon).

Well thats about all the blog excitement I can handle for now. With the new design I’ll have a search bar, and lots of great pages for items such as home tours, downloads, and projects. If you have any other requests/suggestions, just leave a comment.

Here’s a cute pic to end on – my Ollie “driving” the truck and looking so grown up with his new haircut.