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,


Tuesday, October 4, 2011


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!


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,


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!


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,


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,


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Cheaters Cross Stitch

After finishing the Victorian Lavender bookmark, my eyes were crossing a bit from reading the pattern. Counting those tiny squares late at night...not recommended.

So, for my next hand stitching project I decided on something easier. WAY easier :) It's so easy it's kinda like cheating. But it is a nice little no thought project that is perfect for right before bed. It's called Stitch & Zip. The one I am currently working on happens to be a glasses case.

The zipper and back are already attached, all you need to do is the needlework and VOILA! Instant project :)

There is no pattern to read, you simply cross stitch the corresponding thread color where it is printed on the design. The kit comes complete with thread (or floss) and a needle. Seriously, brain dead, but like I said, perfect for when you don't want to have to concentrate too hard.

Here are some pics of my progress...

Interested? They range from around $12.00 to $36.00 depending on the size of the kit. They even make them for your Kindle or i pad. Here is one online source for them, there are some beautiful patterns, as well as some grandma-ish ones... Its a great easy way to try your hand at something new :)

Happy Sewing,


Sunday, September 4, 2011

Cross stitch bookmark

I finished the Victorian lavender bookmark last night, and was really surprised at how quickly it came together. As per the instructions, I inserted a piece of card stock between the felt and the design, the result was great! The card stock really helped stretch the piece out so everything ended up even and straight. Here are a few pics of the finished project:

Quilt top still in progress, I have been thinking of my next hand-stitching project. I'm going back and forth between doing a felt pillow based on this super cute owl lunch box, or attempting some embroidery for the first time. Anna Maria Horner has some beautiful patterns I would love to have a go at...

I'm enjoying the hand sewing so much, I'm making it a goal to keep a constant hand stitching work-in-progress on my nightstand, it is much more relaxing to go to bed to that, instead of a blaring TV...

Happy sewing,


Friday, September 2, 2011

What to do?

Now that all the unpacking, laundry, and general tidying is done post vacation, I'm back to finishing this little quilt. Still un-named, I'm having difficulty deciding between these two layouts.

Option 1:

Option 2:

I know there isin't really a great big difference between the two, but Option 2 seems a bit more haphazard than Option 1...As of now the organized side of my brain is beginning to win out. While Option 2 is the original pattern I was going for, after messing with it for a bit, I'm really leaning towards Option 1. (Not to mention Option 1 is WAY easier to put together ;)

I seriously think I have a problem. Every time I am in the middle of a project, I say "I am not going to buy new fabric until all my WIP's are done." Does that ever really happen? I'm guessing that for all those out there who share my affliction, the answer is NO. Lo and behold, I find my self at a labor day sale looking at fabric that is 40% off. This is the result of that little outing...

Piles and piles of felt.

I've been oogling felt projects all over blog land, and have decided do dive in head first, or at least fabric first. I am making myself promise that I will not touch this until all previous started projects are finished, as well as things that are on order. Hopefully this motivation will result in a very productive Labor Day weekend :)

Happy Sewing!


Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Back in the stitch of things

Back from Hawaii, and coming from Phoenix, the 80-90 degree weather was a pleasant and and welcome break from the heat! Phoenix reached record breaking highs while we were gone, yuck. Here is one of my favorite pics, first time at the beach, playing in the sand :) It took a little while for the Howard Hughes Syndrome to wear off when he would come over every time sand got on his hands, and ask to be wiped off. By the end of the trip he was trying to bury himself in it!

On to more crafty things. I didn't bring anything to work on this vacation, and about 2/3 of the way through, my fingers were getting itchy... So the first thing I picked up when we got home was an abandoned cross stitch...

Eventually this will be stalks of lavender tied with a bow. I am embarrassed to say this has been sitting gathering dust since 2007... In digging this relic up, I also found a finished cross stitch project, a Scottish Highland Cow. He is about 3" square, and I have no idea what to do with him. I was thinking of maybe creating a patchwork pillow with the cow in the center...or maybe putting him in a frame?
Once I finish my lavender stalks, I want to try my hand at some embroidery, as well as working with felt. Anna Maria Horner has some cute patters of and owl and a table scarf, as well as the Purl Bee's Apple Coasters.

I have my current quilt all laid out, I'm hoping to finish piecing the top this week, and quilt it over the weekend :) I'll post pics as soon as I'm finished with it.

Happy sewing,


Friday, August 5, 2011

New Quilt

I've started my next quilt, its been a long time since I've had a fresh pile of fabric in front of me, all ready to cut up!

All these beautiful muted colors, were cut into a bunch of triangles...

And sewn together to create this pattern of half-square triangles...

I'm excited to see how it is going to look when the whole quilt is laid out instead of just this one block... That is my next step, measuring, and more sewing...

Happy sewing,


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Projects and fabrics

While I haven't been especially fastidious in the blogging department, I have been quite busy at the sewing machine as of late.

I have knocked out a to do list stretching back MONTHS! And, in the spirit of feeling exceptionally productive, even purchased new fabric for some new quilts.

First, I finished putting some names on chefs hats and a baby blanket. These have been sitting in my to do pile for around 7 months. YIKES. It really is depressing when you finally do sit down to tackle projects you have put off for ever and ever, only to find they only took an hour or two at the most to complete. But, none the less, they are finished, and no longer occupying space in the back of my mind.

These headbands were a more recent addition to the to do pile, only a few weeks thankfully. I don't know which I think is better, the fact that a 7 year old girl picked out a furry leopard print, or that her mom said "Go for it!" I hope she likes them :)

And finally, brand spankin' new fabrics. I can't wait to show you what I am planning on for these amazing solids...

And of course, the more subdues earthy-toned prints. I love the stars, very sweet.

Stay tuned, now that I'm feeling more my self, my machines have been getting a work out. Bring on the baby things!
Publish Post

Happy sewing,


Monday, May 23, 2011

Bump! (Baby Under Manufacturing Process)

I'm back! Sorry for the temporary hiatus, but I have one of the best excuses :) Morning sickness and some serious fatigue drained all of my posting energy :( Yup, baby No. 2 is due Dec 9! Once we find out gender, you can bet I will be back at my sewing machine with a vengeance!

The past month has been filled with lots of nausea, and exhaustion, but I am slowly getting back to my old self, and ready to dust off my sewing machines. Right now I am deciding on my next project... I am thinking of doing an activity book for my little guy. Buttons, snaps and Velcro are his favorite things right now.

I'm thinking of making a book like this. But in a little boy version. I think all of the fasteners and closures will keep his itchy fingers busy, at least for a little while...

Hopefully I'm over the hump of the fatigue, and will be back soon with pics of my progress :)

Happy Sewing!


Friday, April 8, 2011

The Bees Knees

Today is the first post in little tour of the places now carrying my headbands! This shop is called The Bees Knees. If you live in Phoenix it is located on 16th street just south of Oak. You can't miss the mural that takes up one entire exterior wall of the complex.

Julia (the shop owner) is a former work mate, she was the librarian and the school I taught at. Now she has ventured into the world of the vintage clothing/handmade craft boutique. Her store is just beautiful! Everything in it, from the lighting, to the changing rooms, to the little nick knacks and conveniently placed baby toys, is just too cute. So cute in fact, words don't do it justice, so here are some photos...

Super cute, right?

Happy sewing,