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

Friday, December 30, 2016

Bye Bye 2016 and a Little Redecorating

I have not blogged all month. Ugg. The addition of a part-time job this year has made my free-time even more rare. It's hard to keep up with everything, but I enjoy working and making extra money. We had a great Christmas and I hope that once I get everything cleaned up, life will settle into a quiet winter rhythm!
Like Harry Potter, Davy and Andy share the smallest bedroom. It has been messy with laundry and legos sprawled over the rug and was still decorated with trucks from Davy's toddler days and a changing table holding Andy's wardrobe.
So, it was time for an update. Several days of folding, sorting, and cleaning and a few new things and their room is more suitable for 6 & 12 year old brothers.
The bunkbed is not new, but Santa brought new bedding for both boys: Davy has Star Wars and Andy has Pokemon. The book baskets on the wall are new. Andy's clothes moved from the babyish changing table to the drawer-steps on the bunk bed.
We bought a new cube organizer to fit under the window. Each boy has a chalkboard bin for small toys, a canvas bin for PJs and a canvas bin for books. Some of their new Lego kits are also shown.
I made the simple blue curtain and a fuzzy blue area rug is not shown.
The boys love their "new" room. Now on to the 10 other rooms that need cleaning- ugg.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Happy Cake! and Pie...

This could be a piece of cake for my Birthday today!! But it's not...
It's a part of this quilted wall hanging I made for a friend. She has an independent bakery and is in a new premises. I wanted to make a decoration to make the space welcoming. My vision was of someone looking through the window of a bakery and seeing a shelf of treats with the sign on the wall.
The pie is Key Lime and the cake is Carrot Cake. I have tried both of these and the Carrot Cake is absolutely scrumptious! I paper-pieced the cake and pie slices from free patterns online. Paper-piecing is my absolute least favorite quilting technique. I always put the pieces to the wrong side of the stitching line, so when I flip it it's too small. I had to fix that pie a few times! I tried to add dishes under the treats, then quilted a "wood grain" on the table and added a lace tablecloth. You got that, right??
I digitized the logo for machine embroidery. I will say it is "inspired by" her logo.
I wanted it to look like a sign, so I used the frame. The clouds are on the fabric, rather than digitized. I think it came out well. My friend loved it!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

A Quilt from Tests

I had so many "test" squares from my embroideries that I packed them up to work on at Retreat (in September!)
I had not picked off all the stabilizer, so that's why you see the white shadows. I used 8 of the 4x4 design tests to make this baby size quilt.
I love 1930s prints, so I used those for the 4-patch blocks and borders.
With an extra duckling, I made this square, which might end up being a preemie quilt or pillow square. Of course, I have not quilted these yet!
I still have a whole pile of 5x7 designs and more 4x4s too!! I have to think of some other projects to use them in.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Halloween Wrap-up

I managed to finish a few projects for Halloween. For Davy, I made this "Humerus" t-shirt. I thought it was more appropriate for sixth grade than the one I made last year, which Andy wore as a re-run.
Yes, Andy was quite happy to remind everyone of his "Dibs on the candy!"
We made different colors of slime in Andy's class. We found spooky potion bottles for the "magic" ingredient- the colors we made matched the bottles- orange, purple, and green. We added googly eyes and it was fun! If you want to make some, here's the recipe:
Mix 1 cup water in to
1 cup Elmer's white glue
then mix in 1 cup liquid starch
(I found it at Walmart)
 and add food coloring.
Stir and work with your hands until it comes together. This is a really fun project!

I used mini cookie cutters to make Fall shapes from the cheese. I bought thick slices of cheddar and Jack cheese at the deli so I had a bigger surface to cut from. 
That night, Darth Vader and a Knight went trick-or-treating. We had a great Halloween!! Now, on to Thanksgiving projects!

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Happy Breakfast!

It has been a long time since my last post. I started working outside the home and I love it, but it does cut into my "creative time."

I am still sewing and I have plenty to share, but we've been busy with birthdays and Confirmation, jobs, etc.
This flannel is called "Happy Breakfast" and I love it! I first found a little remnant, then had to go back for more. I made these little flannel lounge pants for Ella, size 4.

I digitized the motifs to embroider on a t-shirt, but I haven't done that yet. I did add the Happy Oranges to the pants cuff.

I have to choose which embroidery to add to the shirt. They are all so cute! Maybe the Happy Pancakes? or the Happy Cereal?? I have today off, so maybe I will finally get to finish this cute outfit.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Goodies for the Girls

My last post described the quilt top we worked on at the retreat. I made a bunch of mug rugs as thank yous for everyone who made quilt blocks. I also found some little seam guages on sale at fabric.com to add.
I used sewing-themed fabrics to do these. This cute dressform print was on clearance at Joann's. I liked it so much that I had to buy another yard after I used my initial bit.
This vintage pattern fabric is fun! I have a few of these with girls/ladies. I didn't get pictures of each mug rug, but the orange/turquoise/white fabric looked like ric rac to me. The mug rug designs were very simple and only took about 15 minutes each. I recently got a 5x7 hoop for my machine, so that saved a lot on stabilizer. I hope all the girls who got these are enjoying them!!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

A Hasty Retreat

I spent the past 2 days on a quilting retreat at a camp nearby. The last time I had been there was 7 years ago. I accomplished quite a lot, which will give me several posts! This picture is a string quilt top that I organized for the group. We were a small bunch this time, just 11 ladies. I wrote a PDF file with directions and sent it to everyone 2 weeks ahead. Most of the ladies made 2 blocks- I made 4, so we ended up with 20.
This is one of my blocks as I was making it. You stitch random-width strips onto a white 12.5" foundation muslin. The white strip in the middle is left exposed, creating a diamond pattern on the finished quilt.
Here are the 4 blocks I made.
One more of the pieced string top. I brought it home to add a neutral border, which will make it about 60"x72", a very nice lap size for our Comfort Quilts. More about the retreat soon!

Saturday, September 3, 2016

Reunion Kitchen Towels

My Mom is amazing. She is super busy working full-time, doing things with her grands, helping me out, traveling, and getting together with friends. In a couple of weeks, she will be hosting 7 college friends for a mini-reunion at her beach house. She is making beach themed goodie bags for each "gal."

I offered to embroider some of our favorite thick & thirsty Williams-Sonoma kitchen towels. My Mom wanted a lighthouse design and I added the words.

I chose several color combinations. 
They stitched fairly quickly- maybe 15 minutes per towel.
Which color combination do you like best? I ended up liking the first one I did the best (the first single photo). Isn't that always the way?
There is an eighth towel, but the words stitched poorly. I am going to fix it by stitching a narrow band of beach pebble fabric over the mistake. That one will be my Mom's. 
It seems I am on a "multiples" roll. The next project I will share, I made 12 of! Can you guess what it is?

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fabulous Floor!

This week was super busy. I started a new part-time job and we had a new wood floor installed in our kitchen, breakfast area, hallway, and entry.

BEFORE:  The floor was an inexpensive vinyl from 14 years ago when we built the house. It had lost its shine and was scratched, dented, and grubby. The area by my desk had peeled and kept getting worse.

AFTER: The wood looks so warm and inviting. The whole kitchen looks more elegant to me. 

Here is the new floor in the kitchen table area. It is so shiny and smooth. Andy went "skating" in his socks. I really didn't want to bring the table back- it looks so nice and empty!

I have done a little sewing since everything got put back together. It is also "back to school" here this week! Never a dull moment!

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Children's Corner Pleats 2 II Dress: My Favorite!!

In the 7 or 8 years I have been a vintage pattern hoarder collector, I have seen this pattern come up only a handful of times. I was able to get one for a reasonable amount twice. Somehow, they are both size 1-2. (My extra is listed on EBAY)

Anyways, I have always LOVED the "Candace" dress (on the right). I mean, it may be my favorite pattern ever made. Everything about it appeals to me: the double-breasted front, pleats, collar, etc. It would be a classic as suitable for 1936 as 2016. How often can you say that?
So, you are thinking, "if she loves it so much, why didn't she ever make it?" Well, my littlest 2 kiddos are boys, so I've done a lot of boy stuff. But I think another reason is that I am afraid to mess up something that is my "favorite.". It is a bad character trait that I have recognized and I'm trying to change it. Do you ever not do something because you don't want to fail? It has to be perfect or nothing? It really sounds ridiculous, but I think I do that. So, not only did I jump into making this dress, but I cut into one of my favorite fabrics that I have been "saving." And I love how it turned out!!

I just need to do the hem. The whole thing took about 3 hours at most. It looks complicated, but is actually faster than gathering to yokes. Both front and back are pleated from shoulder down, so I felt like I was doing origami more than sewing!
Another time saver was that Children's Corner patterns are not "nested" so each piece can be used fresh from the package- no need to trace. I did waste a bit of time and (horrors) fabric because I initially cut the back with the cherries going upside-down. I knew it would bug me, so I re-did it.
This dress was really fun to make!!

I used the puffed sleeves from the "Camille" view instead of the cap sleeves. My fabric is called "Sweet Treats" from the Clothesline Club, but I can't find it for sale anymore.

The collar is white 100% cotton pique. The piping is called "whipstitch" and was from a piping grab bag. All I had to buy was the buttons!

Here's a side view. I haven't hemmed it yet because I was trying to figure out the length. This pattern is from the 1980s, so it doesn't quite have "Brady Bunch" length as I think of the pantie-showing 60s dresses. 

It is meant to be just above the knee, so I can do a regular hem or I could use a fabric facing. Red gingham would be cute for the facing with matching panties.

Friday, August 12, 2016

Looking for Mr. Right

My son's best friend's mother was getting re-married last weekend. He was invited to the festivities, but I was at a loss for a gift idea.
I don't think two "mature" people who are combining households need another toaster or blender. I wanted to make something. My son has a tremendous sense of humor, so I wanted the gift to reflect that.
It was important to honor how "right" they are for each other, so here is hubby's sham:
and here is wife's sham...
I originally thought about embroidering pillowcases, but then I found these lovely quilted shams at Walmart. The color is a pale aqua with the embroidery in teal and gray. I wish I had taken a picture of the whole sham. They have pretty box edges. They had many more colors in the store and the quality is great. CLICK HERE to see them online.
I digitized the sayings myself. The words are actually the same height:

I am offering this design in my ETSY SHOP. It is for the 150x240 or larger hoops only. Right now, it and all my other embroideries are on sale for 25% off until Sunday, no coupon needed!

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Tiny Bishop Gowns

I received some ready-to-smock and assemble Wee Care gowns from my facebook friend Liz. There were about 15 in 2 small sizes. Several went to members of my Smocking Guild and have been completed. I smocked a few while at the lake with friends. My boys are finally old enough that I can sit in a chair and sew while watching them. I wanted to try something different and fun. Here's what I came up with:
This one opens down the back. I smocked it in 2 shades of purple and yellow. I digitized the pansies and embroidered them.
 Then I added a lavender gingham neckband and hem. The tiny sleeves have Swiss edging and elastic. I am planning to add a tiny crocheted pansy to the center front of the smocking if I can find a pattern.

I flipped the next one so that it would button down the front:
I might use tiny snaps and sew decorative buttons on top. Buttonholes that tiny would be hard to fasten.
The smocking is very simple and I used candy pink gingham to pipe the neckband and sleeves. I trimmed the sleeves to make them short and puffed. I love them!
I did a very simple featherstitch machine embroidery design at the bottom. It still needs to be hemmed.
These little gowns are fun to experiment on because they take so little trim, etc to dress them up.