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!