Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gone, but not forgotten...

Apparently having a second baby means all time you have for anything other than babies goes bye bye! As you can see by my nearly one year hiatus, it has taken me about 10 months to get my grove back. Finally, both kiddos are taking a nice nap in the afternoon, which means I have been able to slowly get back to working on a few projects here and there.

While I can't promise posing with any regularity, I can say that I'm back to it. In the past year I've missed posting, missed writing down what I'm working on, missed chronicling things that I'm doing, and missed the little extra motivation to get things done. 

Also, as major motivation, I've discovered Pinterest and Instagram, to both of which I am thoroughly addicted.

So here we go, again :)

Happy sewing!

Janice

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Stitched by Hand

My Sweet Cream Dream quilt is finished, and I even accomplished the embroidered label. While it shows that this was my first time hand stitching a label on a quilt, I'm happy with the end result. Just don't look too close :)





Some of the letters are a little wonky, but overall not terribly embarrassing. It definitely looks better from a distance.

I also finished my cheater's cross stitch project. This is another project that I think is a "close but not quite" candidate. The colors were not blue enough to really make it look like Irises. It was good practice thought, and definitely got me back in the swing of doing things by hand (without a machine).

My stitches turned out pretty even, and overall I like it. A little grandma, but that's not a huge surprise for those who know me ;) For my next "nightstand" project I'm going to make baby 2 a crocheted quilt.

Happy sewing,

Janice

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Limbo

I have all of my fabric cut for my next project using some wonderful bright colors. I'm still in limbo a little bit on it because I'm winging it, so there is no real pattern to follow. I'm nervous to start, and need to just bite the bullet and go for it.

Here are the colors again:


I'm hoping the recent completion of my design wall will aid in the process. I finally got it finished, and even have massive amounts of thread storage on one side :) Although from the photo you can see it is mostly used up already...


I ended up making it with a thin piece of melamine for the back, then used spray adhesive to attach 1/2 foam insulation sheets (3 total) from Home Depot to give me something to put pins into, and covered it with a layer of poly batting and then white cotton flannel.

In hind sight I think I should have used cotton batting for my final layer over the flannel, it is much clingey-er than the flannel. But if/when the flannel gets dingey looking, I can always re-cover the board with it and put it back up.

Total cost for the board was around $30 including the cotton flannel, and it has been everything I thought it would be. It makes quilting so much easier when you can put your blocks up as you go, and really see your progress! I hope it helps with my next project... My goal is to have the top pieced for my next post :)

Happy Sewing!

Janice

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Sweet Cream Dream

This quilt is going to a girlfriend whose favorite color is cream. She is due just weeks after me, and the gender is a surprise.

I hope she likes the colors I chose. Even if they decide to go with blues or pinks for the nursery in the end, I know this quilt will look great in her living room.

Here are some photos of the quilt in various stages...

Fabric selection...

Half-square triangles all made...

First block pieced...

Quilt top pieced...

All quilted and bound :)

My quilting, an attempt at straight lines, but I'm still figuring out my walking foot...


Yes, satin blanket binding.
Un-traditional, but then so is the super soft chenille back.
I thought it was baby appropriate. :)

All done!
Amazingly I am not finishing this one the night before the baby shower (its in December!) In this specific instance it would have been disastrous, considering her shower is just days after my due date :) I think I'm going to try my hand at embroidering the label for this quilt.

Hope you like it! I really loved the muted colors, but working with all of these soft, earthy tones has me wanting to do something really bright next, like this ... Bring on the solids!

Happy sewing,

Janice

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fancy Little Boy



These are my latest creation:




Both of these were made from full sized men's ties, and are scaled down to fit a 3-4 year old boy. I use elastic for around the neck, and did my best to get the dimples in the right spot for the ties so it looks like they are actually knotted, even though they aren't.

Everything was hand sewn, and they took about 20-30 min each.

I have a HUGE pile of ties that got sorted out with our last major closet clean out... some of them are definitely destined to become ties for my two little boys :)

Happy sewing!

Janice

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Words to live by...

I have decided on a new mantra, or motto, or resolution.

"Don't let it pile up"

The more I think about it, the more places I find these words are good advice. On the most basic level, I was thinking about doing laundry. I always regret it when I've put it off and now have several monster loads to tackle. The same goes for ironing, dusting, basically all forms of cleaning. Really it applies to any responsibility for that matter, bill paying, studying, working, ect. Getting to it while the job is manageable makes it so much less work, and (with the exception of the laundry) it usually ends up being less work that you thought in the first place.

On a deeper level, I think this is also a good thing emotionally. Let it out, discuss, don't let things pile up and fester. It only makes the problem bigger and harder to deal with. Easier said than done, especially for a professional emotions bottler, but something I need to work on.

This same rule I am going to try to start applying to my sewing. This, however, is proving just as difficult as applying it to the other aspects of my life. Looking at my to-do pile now, it is daunting.

Headbands, baby burp cloths, baby bibs, book covers, and 3 quilts. And that does not include the long list of things I want to sew for myself or the new baby.

I'm hoping that by writing all of this down it will encourage, no, force me to get around to these things that I have let pile up. My goal is to be project free by the new year. A clean slate... all obligations completed and nothing but inspiration to worry about.

Here's hoping at least.

Yet somehow it is just so much easier to let yourself be distracted. Case in point, writing this while those to-do's stare me down from across the room...

And living with this guy doesn't make it any easier...



Although he serves as both a distraction and a motivation to get things done :) And pretty darn cute to boot!

Back to work...

Happy sewing,

Janice

Friday, September 9, 2011

Fabric ipad case

My hubby got a new ipad a few weeks back, and while he had a store bought cover for it, it was lacking in some areas. Enter my sewing machine! A little creative problem solving, and I am very pleased with the end result.

A while ago I oops'd and washed a pair of my hubby's dress pants. His wool dress pants :( Needless to say, they were ruined. But I saved them anyway in the hopes of being able to re-use the fabric to lessen the blow of my bone-headedness. Today was that day! The Glen Plaid was the perfect manly/professional look for his ipad case.

Here are mt assembles materials:
  • Clear plastic vinyl
  • 1 piece Glen Plaid
  • 1 piece black fabric (mine was a synthetic polyester, but you could use anything)
  • 2 sheets card stock
  • 1 piece black felt (not pictured)
  • 1 strip elastic (not pictured)


I cut the fabric about 3/4in bigger than the ipad and cover to give me a little wiggle room in sewing the edges together. I made sure to leave an opening big enough to put the cut pieces of card stock through. The card stock sheets are both about 1/4in smaller all the way around than the ipad.

After you sew, clip the corners, and turn inside out. Here is what it looked like while I was still considering a button or snap closure:


And here I am putting the card stock inside the cover...


Make sure you scoot the separate pieces of card stock all the way to the edges, there should be a good 3/4in gap in between them...

I'm not sure if you can tell from this pic, but I covered one side of the case with the clear plastic vinyl. The ipad works perfectly through the plastic, and it has already saved the ipad from at least one spill!

When sewing on the vinyl I increase my stitch length so I have fewer punctures in the plastic. This makes it less likely to tear with wear.

On the other side I went with a felt sleeve for the store bought cover to slide into. I left it open on both sides so the magnet built into to cover would still work to turn the ipad off.


Because the magnet was no strong enough to hold the case closed, I attached an elastic band that works to hold the cover open as well as closed.


Overall, I think it looks very neat, professional, and manly (to toot my own horn;) Interested in a full blows tutorial? Let me know!

Happy sewing,

Janice