Monday, March 28, 2011


I ordered some yarn last week, to make a birthday present for C's grandma, who loves bunnies, and it came in the most brilliant bag ever:
package envelope front

LOOK! a free pattern!
isn't that neat! I have no intention of either knitting or crocheting that scarf, but I think it's a pretty cool shipping idea. I totally want to order more stuff, just to see if I get the same pattern, or if there are several... hmmm. must get rich so I can order unlimited yarns....
I'm finally finishing up the play pants pattern (just in time, since I'm teaching the class at Sew Modern on Thursday!), so I pulled out some of my grandma's fabric, just to test out the final patterns one more time. I didn't bother hemming, as I just wanted to make sure everything went together smoothly (it did! yay!)...
contrast stitching?
If I have any of this blue leftover, after I make 2-6T samples, I am TOTALLY going to make some matching tunic tops, so the kids can play doctor (that sounds dirty, but don't these look like little scrubs? it's JUST the same shade of blue, no wonder my gram never used it!)

and last, but not least, here's a sorta-wonky square-in-a-square block for my 1st Wednesday bee...
wonky is REALLY hard for me. I think I just have problems with the trimming and wasting of excess fabric. I know it's minimal in the long run, but I use every little bit of fabric I can, (which is why fabric is slowly taking over my house), and it's just HARD. I'm trying to get over it though, and LOVED how easy/graphic/happy this block was. Hopefully the recipient will like it!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

My cool new book!

First of all, I want to apologize for my pity party last week. I get so excited, and then I feel pressured to DO everything I want to do. but I need to remind myself that I'm not competing for anything, or meeting externally imposed deadlines, or even earning moola, it's just for FUN. right?
SO, since my plate of fun isn't full enough, I've decided I really want to make books. I LOVE BOOKS. like, A LOT.

front cover. I need to decide on velcro or a button and twine for a closure,
 as my finger is not going with the book.
I've tried kits to make books, and I've played around with online tutes, and I have never really felt comfy with anything. and then at the library, last week, I FOUND THIS BOOK. (I really really would like my own copy, if anyone out there wants to buy me a present.)

open to the first page. see the cover? it's fused newspaper delivery bags. cool, huh?
Things I love: clear instructions, plenty of pictures, and the best attitude EVER.
STITCHING! it's sorta hard to see white thread on white paper,
but feel free to admire it anyway.
I've gotten bookmaking books (from the library) before, and they all tell you you need all sorts of fancy stuff, and that's awesome, but it's TOTALLY not in my budget. so then, I try to fake it, and the result is. um, well, it looks like I couldn't afford the fancy stuff. BOO
the view from above. see all those packets of paper?
book binders call them "signatures." now you know.
THIS book is all about making cool things from your recycle bin, so if you don't have the right things on hand for one project, you're sure to be able to make something else. with the things you have on hand (assuming you have something flat and hard (like a bone folder or a butter knife) and something sharp (like an awl or a skinny nail or a sewing needle), and paper and thread (although I DID find linen bookbinding thread today at a local indie art store called Walsers. very cool)
SPINE! with pretty thread stitches showing. 
so here's the "shopper's joy" book, the first of MANY I'm planning to make. 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Two new quilts started....

Ok, I got the top pieces for the pickle dish and the dresden started... one block per...
I'm trying to figure out how I want to arange the pieces here for the pickle dish... the pic above has a purply print with yellow in the middle, and a brown print with yellow on the outside...
um. this one was just included because it's pretty.
this one shows the brown one in pairs on the top, and the purply ones on the bottom..
I'm not sure what the background will be, I'm sorta thinking natural linen would be awesome....
I got a big stack of reproduction fat quarters out, and sorted them into stacks of colors.....
I cut up the black, pink, and brown tonight, but just sewed the black wheel to test size and stuff....
now I'm back to folding and ironing for the Cathedral Windows....

Monday, March 21, 2011

insane = me.

I'm crazy, admittedly. current QUILT projects (because including my in-progress clothing/designing/knitting/crocheting/embroidering/crafting projects would take all night)
1) a pickledish quilt (using the instructions/templates from HERE, but doing it more graphically like the gypsy kisses HERE, but with 30s fabrics and solids, because I love them)
2) a dresden QAL, because I like QALs, and because I already have a dresden ruler, and I obvi have enough fabric, so WHY NOT!?!?!?
(um, ok, I'll add the rest of the QUILTs in progress)
4) a doll quilt that needs binding for the Bean
5) the pinwheel quilt for my MIL (she really wanted it, and it's not a good idea to refuse your MIL)
6) a peacock quilt. (I need to have oodles of moola so I can buy the base fabric, I'm thinking Kona Lagoon or Kona Jade, or maybe being super crazy and pulling an LAMQG and using Ash or Coal.... My bee people made awesome feathers, and I really want to play with them soon.....)
7) the Bean's birthday quilt. It'll get done by the time she turns 3, but she's not 2.5 yet, so I have time. (ack, I just looked for a post to link back to, and I think I started it BEFORE I BLOGGED! ok, time to get cracking!)
8) my cathedral windows. I'm enlarging it to double size. it's more fun this time, as there's no time deadline. and I really like ironing. not so much the sewing, but man, I love ironing small fiddly bits. (I just looked up the link, guess I made myself a liar by deciding to enlarge it. Not done. Not even close. poop.)
OK, now that I'm COMPLETELY OVERWHELMED (because I also have socks to knit for C, bunnies to knit for easter, a large blanket to crochet, Play Pants patterns to finish testing, Aviatrix dress patterns to finish testing, etc, etc, etc. 
here's what I've done so far tonight, though:

128 (or more, since I didn't want to undercut) arcs, (cut from my dad's scrap paper, after the bean colored on the blank side, so they're on their 3rd use! Go Green!)

The Kiddos had the water colors out today, so I borrowed a brush to test the color scheme/block size....

4 arcs complete, with scrapped paper.

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And now I'm off to iron more Cathedral Windows blocks. PAAAARTY!

Fabric necklace, stolen.

I managed to get ONE picture of this necklace. I followed the tutorial HERE.

it's not very ME. I'm not into statement jewelry, or accessories, really, which is lucky, because after I took the ONE picture, this happened:
it became a pageant banner...
and a necklace
and, um... stirrups?

Happy Spring!

I used my Silhouette to quickly cut out some "springy" shapes from cardstock. I need to collect more pastel paper, as this purply blue and pale blue are the only shades even remotely pastel colored... Or just wait for summer...

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Little Red Riding Hood

I started this one about 6 months ago. it was supposed to be a Christmas present for the Bean.

I was super scared of the faux fur, but also insistent that it be included... I was also afraid of using buttons or snaps, and having it be a choking hazard. SO I made velcro flaps to close it.

Please ignore the filthy face, I had to bribe her to pose for a picture.

unfortunately it's like 75 degrees, so a wool cape is pretty unhelpful right now, but hopefully her head won't grow too much before next winter....
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

leather wasp bag glamor shots

I made m hubs pull out the lights and seamless backdrop last weekend to take pictures of my bag...

I love it even more now that it has a clasp at the top...

sewing all this leather was really hard for my regular sewing machine, but super easy for my industrial machine... but I had to get size TWENTY(20!) needles to sew it. the sewing machine dude i bought them from likened them to nails. and he's right.

something interesting I learned: there are leather needles for a home sewing machine, but NOT for an industrial. I was confused, but it makes more sense if you think of it in the opposite way: an industrial machine is so strong, it doesn't NEED leather needles, but they invented leather needles for home sewing....

the inside has a pen pocket on one side, and a zip pocket on the other...
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Friday, March 18, 2011

heavy duty sewing....

since my industrial is in the back of the garage, I can't really use it except on the weekends when C is home and playing with the kiddos...

I've been trying to take my time on my latest bag, and really just do a good job, without rushing

it's been really fun, but it's super stressful to sew leather. if you make a mistake, the holes are there. permanently.

hopefully I'll finish this new bag this weekend.... we'll see. I want to put bag feet, snaps, and a clasp on the leather.....
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more WIPs....

I've finished sewing this little puppy up.

it measures in at a whopping 12.5" x 13.5" so... yeah, lots of little squares (they're all about .5" math must be way off though, bc in my head that means 700 squares, and that can't be right, can it?)

i love the way the back looks

mostly i love cheater-stuff. this quilt grid stuff is super cool sometimes... hopefully it'll make a good cover for one of my machines.... I'm thinkin my industrial deserves some love....

given that I'm completely insane, I bought another box o' dinosaur nuggets for the kiddos, because dino boxes are PERFECT to use as ironing templates when making 396 more squares of cathedral windows. b/c C and I agree that the current quilt is too small. ...
so here's the stack, 6 more yards of Kona Expresso have been chopped into 9" (or slightly larger) blocks, and the ironing has commenced.... I've started using starch on the blocks, i think it makes the ironing more precise....
oh, and I'm using my Silhouette to cut up 128 arcs so I can make a pickledish quilt. it's totally calling my name.

One Sock DONE!

I finished the first sock, of my very own sock pattern, for C's b-day socks...

the yarn is a delicious teal-y color, (maybe moonlight?), silk and wool blend from Blackberry Ridge. I LOOOOVE their yarns.

I'm about 1/2way through the foot of the other sock. and I have 3 months before his birthday, so finishing shouldn't be a problem. right?
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Monday, March 14, 2011

Shamrock garland!

I cut out a bunch of large shamrocks for D's class to paint, and decided to cut out some small ones to try making a garland...
I don't know why it took me so long to make one.
seriously, the cutter made me 18 shamrocks (3 pages of green paper) in like 5 minutes...
and it took a whopping 3 minutes to sew them together...
of course, my fireplace decor would not be complete without something hanging from a hook. (D really likes hooks and tie-downs)