I hope to inspire and entertain you with a lot of sewing and a little of everything else!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Crazy Quick Curtains

 My Quilt Guild has a Fall auction every year at which members can donate anything sewing-related that they no longer need. This year the pickings were particularly fabulous. Our Guild usually makes about $500, but this year we made $980! It is so much fun! Some members help by donating things and others help by buying. I am one of the latter group!  I bought 3 large shopping bags of goodies. One whole bag was cranberry, sage, and taupe home dec fabrics- pretty plaids and florals. I got the lot for $15.
There was at least 10 yards of this cranberry floral and it is 93" wide! It feels like a heavy organdy. Yucky for clothes, but perfect for valances with some body. I did something I have never done before: I used fusible hem tape to hem these. So quick! So easy! So cheap! This project was charmed. I cut everything once with my rotary cutter- no mistakes. The 2 rolls of hem tape I bought were just right with 4" left over! I didn't run out of thread or bobbin. Everything went perfectly and with about 15 minutes per curtain, for 5 windows, it couldn't have been better! I love the way they look. They add a wonderful splash of color to our family room. 
I am getting ready to run a baby shower for my best friend (and 21 others) tomorrow! Back soon with pictures and ideas from that.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Austin & Ella

I haven't posted in a week! It's not that I haven't been sewing, it's that I've been so busy sewing and doing tons of other things! I'm absolutely overhauling my house, partly in preparation for the Baby Shower on Sunday and partly because it needed it!!
Here are 2 baby gifts I made this week:
My friend had a baby boy this summer and I found a soft minky blanket to embroider, as well as a little fleece outfit that co-ordinated perfectly, even though they are different brands.
 Of course, I had to embroider it with a monkey!
Here's the set. I think it will be cozy for Fall and winter!
Katie bought this pink hooded towel for my friend who we are having the shower for on Sunday.
 We added the name and a little elephant with a "shower". She picked the elephant to go with the name, "Ella" Get it? Every time I think of it, I remember the Ramona books and her stuffed toy, "Ella Funt". I won't tell my friend that one!

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm a Cheater

I feel very blessed to have a talent, even a passion, for sewing. I love being able to make things I couldn't buy. OOAK (one of a kind!) Sometimes, though, it is fun to cheat. I wanted to make Andy something for Thanksgiving. Then I saw this PERFECT smocked outfit on ebay. I especially like it because it will be cute for Fall in general as well as Thanskgiving or Halloween. 
It really takes the pressure off to have this outfit all ready to go! Isn't it cute? Do you ever cheat and buy something you could make?

Saturday, September 15, 2012

A Fun Challenge

 My Quilt Guild is doing an "Orphan Block" Challenge over the next few months. People in the Guild were invited to donate left over, unloved, or random quilt blocks. I donated several machine embroidered blocks that were tests I did. The program chairs organized the blocks into paper bags and we chose a number. I picked 2, because I usually attend both the day and evening meetings. I think I got lucky! I got blocks that will make a good start on a baby boy quilt and a baby girl quilt. The blue flying geese/boy novelty blocks will make a nice vertical row. I plan to do 5 vertical rows with a different color in each row combined with more novelty prints.
 The embroidered mouse is a square I donated! It was packaged with these pretty pink rail fence blocks. I'm thinking about taking them apart so I have 12 individual squares that I can stitch around the mouse. Then add another row of something on the outside: perhaps 9-patch squares or just a big row of squares alternating light and dark.
Here's a close-up of the cute mouse. We can take apart or cut up the squares if we want- almost anything goes. We can make a quilt of any size or even use the squares for a pillow, apron, etc. I'm wondering if I can quickly get the pink one done as a decoration for the baby shower I'm running in 2 weeks. Probably not! But I might try.

Monday, September 10, 2012

In the Hoop Teddy and Blankie

The other day I did a fun, quick project. It is a little Teddy Bear in a pocket on a blankie. The pocket and teddy bear are made "in the hoop" of the embroidery machine.
 The bear comes in girl and boy versions. It is from Oma's Place. I really like her designs: I have many and they have always stitched very well.
There is a little bit of sewing to prepare the pocket and back the blankie, but the rest is a quick stitch on the embroidery machine. I think it's cute!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pink Smocked Old Fashioned Baby Dress

I'm thrilled that I finished this dress for my friend with 4 weeks to go until the baby shower! I love it. I wanted something simple, elegant, pink, lacy, with a little smocking. The Old Fashioned Baby pattern Baby's Smocked Layette was perfect. This dress only took about 3 hours to make. Other than the hand smocking, I did everything by machine. 
The embroidery is from Linny's Heirloom by Artistic Designs. I used Madeira 60wt cotton thread for the embroidery and in the bobbin and it looks great, with no puckers.

I like the little bit of lace on a baby without it being too much. Because the smocking is only at the center front and sleeves, it didn't take too long to do. 

There are buttons down the back, so it will be easy on/off. My friend is more a Baby Gap kind of girl, so I wanted something that would be classic baby, but not too frilly. I used Imperial batiste and French lace, so it is also machine washable. I really think she will like this!
The funny thing is, I started this dress and then a few days later, Jeannie B at the Old Fashioned Baby made the same one for a gift. Of course, she was quite a bit faster than me and already has photos of the baby in the dress. I was happy to see it modeled! It looks big for a newborn to me, but hers fit a 9lb newborn as a long dress. That's the great thing about a "bishop" neckline- it fits for a long time. I hope this will be a gown when my friend's baby is born (due Dec 4) and then a dress around Easter time. I will make a simple slip next, then move on to Andy's Thanksgiving overalls. I also have a lot to do to get ready for the shower, so I'll be sharing some of those projects soon.