Monday, July 28, 2008

Casting on!

Thanks to SouleMama's 'thank you' gift - Favorite Knit Hat - I've cast on another project. Never mind that pesky french market tote that is still on the needles...can't find the pattern anyway (embarassed). Maybe I'll get up the energy to look for it once I have this great new hat to wear.
I'm using the Manos yarn which I adore - I love the colors, the variation in thickness, and most of all the people I support when I purchase the yarn. This color is called 'wildflower.' I picked it up 2 years ago and it has been decorating my stash ever since. Time for it to decorate my head, instead.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Finished Project

I can finally move something from the WIP column to the FP column! I completed the lace scarf last night and blocked it this morning. I love the way it looks, feels and drapes. I also love that the pattern completely hides all my mistakes!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Quilt-a-long: Week 4

Week 4: Green. I also love this block. I think an entire quilt in this pattern would be pretty cool. My seams are lining up better as I go along too.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Books, books and more books

With school and writing in the air I went on a used book binge! Here is what I've come up with:

I now own:
Denyse Schmidt Quilts (Schmidt)
Make Your Own Conteporary Quilts (multiple contributors)
Bend-the-Rules Sewing (Karol,
The Modern Quilt Workshop (Ringle & Kerr)
The Creative Family (Soule,
Scrap Quilt Sensation (Guerrier)

I borrowed from the library:
Sew What! Skirts (Denhartog & Camp)
Kaleidoscope of Quilts (Fassett)
Passionate Patchwork (Fassett & Lucy)
Glorious Patchwork (Fassett & Lucy)
Quilts in the Sun (Fassett)
The Family at Home (Kaushal)

I have reserved these at the library, but won't see them for awhile - I'm last on the list for each one:
Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day (Hertzberg & Francois)
Knitalong: Celebrating the Tradition of Knitting Together (Brown & Brown)
Last-minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts (Hoverson)
Last-minuted Knitted Gifts (Hoverson)

I take a peek at the books I've received each night before bed - I love them all so far! (Plus, Dan is happier that I'm looking at books while being with him, rather than plastered to my computer screen until 2am looking at blogs!)

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Yes, another tote bag - enough already!

I can't seem to stop myself. I love these things. In fact, I won't stop until I take photos of each one and blog about them. On second thought, maybe I'll set up a flickr group instead of making all of you endure that pain :)

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Crafty Giveaways

What a brilliant, lovely idea. Jen is clearing out her stash and helping all of us learn some new tricks along the way, like how to fold fabric flowers. Amazing.

Friday's mail

Look what I received on Friday! My free yard of fabric from Sew, Mama, Sew! arrived (thank you!) as did my package from Elizabeth at Oh Fransson!

The Erin McMorris fabric I picked out from being a winner of the Free Fabric Friday giveaway it great - now...what to make with it?

The package from the vintage sheet swap is great too. What a spectrum of colors and prints to choose from. I quickly sorted them into a spectrum and removed the non-floral fabrics (there were four - each of which are strong enough to warrent their own projects! Don't you just love those orange and yellow fans?!) I am now completely inspired to work on a patchwork quilt from the vintage floral fabrics. I think they would all be lovely next to one another. Elizabeth does have some pretty amazing tutorials planned so we'll have to see what comes of that too. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Dining room chairs

Dan and I finished up the dining room chairs! We are so happy with the results. In the photos you can see the small plywood base he added to the seats to give them some extra support. Then it was on to recovering them. All told it only took about 90 minutes to get the fabric on the seats and the seats back on the chairs. The most difficult thing about the entire process was trying to find the right size staples for the staple gun (yes, three trips to Ace Hardware to get this one right). The actual stapling of the fabric to the seat was a very simple, very easy process. I didn't do any fancy corners and also covered over the piping from the original chair. I don't mind the lack of detail that much.

The family has already broken them in with blueberry pancakes (and matching blueberry stains), but that's exactly why we got this table and chair set, right? I was a bit peeved at first, but them remembered that it was a garage sale table and chair set and sale fabric from JoAnn's; I can always go and get more if need be. These chairs are made for sitting (and spilling on). Incidentially, the fabric held up pretty well to my scrubbing at the stain so I think this fabric will stick around for awhile. But, I also started thinking about some cute oilcloth seat covers for the girls...just something like a placemat we could set over the seat while they eat. Maybe a matching one to go under the highchair too? Hmmm...more ideas!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Quilt-a-long: Week 3

Week 3: Yellow. I love this block. 'Nuf said.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kids Totes

So I knew that I had been sewing WAY TOO MANY of the tote/grocery bags when the twins started saying, "Momma go sew a bag now, bye!" I was also feeling a little on the guilty side that all of the recent sewing was primarily for me - there
are so many things that I should be sewing for them too! So, with the assistance of some markers, playdoh and a lot of patience the twins and I made some bags just for them. (Madeline played the role of supervisor from her exersaucer.) Olivia even used her bag this morning at the farmer's market. I let each of them pick out an accent fabric (they both choose flannel?!) and then did a modified version of the grocery bag I've blogged about before. The panels are 10x11 inches, the pocket was made from 2 5-inch squares, the handles are 2 inch strips folded in half and the applique is a free-cut letter (no interfacing or anything). There are no french seams on this one, just a simple seam with a zigzag stitch. I basically followed the construction of the grocery bags, but didn't do anything fancy. The fabric for the body is from an old cotton curtain and the flannel accents are from my stash. We spent about 90 minutes in-and-out of the sewing room; we enjoyed ourselves. The girls especially liked their playdoh ice cream cones and I relished a bonding moment with my daughters.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Ode to Mom (and Amy Butler)

The day before my Mom went on vacation she stopped over to say that she'd begun enjoying blogs. She mentioned that she loved the grocery bag tutorial and we quickly sat down and poured over on-line fabric swatches for future bags to be given as gifts. I showed her some of the new Amy Butler home dec prints and she fell in love. Quicker than you can say "grandkids" she went out and bought 3 yards of the only remaining Amy Butler home dec fabric in town. Not our first color or pattern choices from the Nigella line overall, but stunning none the less. I can't wait to see how these turn out! Thanks Mom!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Art Fair on (and off!) the Square

What a lovely Sunday at Art Fair on the Square – the weather was perfect, the crowd was moving at a good pace and the art was incredible. Dan and I escaped the kiddos for a couple of hours and wandered around. We did purchase one giclee print (pictured here), “The Fireflies” by Hilary Berg; she was participating in Art Fair off the Square. Dan has a cherry wood frame that he made in a woodworking class last fall and it is the perfect size for this print. Now, to get a mat cut, some glass and to hang it…I think it will wind up in our bedroom which has some blue tones. This year I was absolutely taken by all the drawings, prints and paintings featuring trees. I am not sure why – Dan first noticed it and when he said something it just clicked, yeah, he was right. Maybe it has something to do with putting down roots in our new home over this past year? Here is a smattering of the artists whose work I especially enjoyed.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Girl dress giveaway!

Check it out and enter to win. The dresses are adorable.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Quilt-a-long: Week 2 (re-do)

There, that's much better!

Quilt-a-long: Week 2

Week 2: Orange. I don't really like this block. I think that the patterned fabric I choose was too big for the layout so I will give this one another try. I also TOTALLY screwed up the lower right corner so re-doing the whole thing will ultimately make me more happy. I am working on getting those pesky seams to line up properly...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Grocery Bags - a new favorite!

I found the tutorial for these tote bags at Sew, Mama, Sew! for their Summer Sewing Month. Created by Irene, they are a true classic. Perfect in every respect if you ask me. I did a quick test one from my fabric stash, utilizing an old curtain remnant from Ikea and part of a thrifted, vintage table cloth for the pocket. I was very happy with the results, but realized that cotton home decor weight fabric (as noted in the pattern) would probably work best. So far I've made the following three with seven more piles of fabric ready to be cut and sewn. Ten bags should keep our family safely away from "paper, or plastic, ma'am?" for awhile. I also have enough fabric to make a pair for my mother-in-law. As I was sewing I got to thinking that a set of these would make a great wedding or shower gift for that thrifty, environmentally friendly couple in your life too.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Thrift store fabric

My friends over at Capers and Olives and Tigerlily Tinkering inspired me to take a quick stop at the local thrift store for some fabric hunting. I came away with alot more than that - yes, one piece of cotton fabric (perfect for a crib quilt back, no?), but 15 kids books, trivial pursuit, a magnetic calendar board for the older girls and a new shirt for me sealed the deal!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Quilt-a-long: Week 1

So in my effort to become a better (more accurate) quilter I have decided to embark on Amanda Jean's (Crazy Mom Quilts) Quilt-a-long. This seems to be a project that she began last year, however she is currently in the middle of guiding the craft blogosphere thru another series, a Star Quilt-a-long. Stars seem to be a bit advanced for me at the moment, so I decided to put that one on hold and back-up to her original project. Here is week one, without trimming or shaping. I decided to wait on that part until I have all 12 squares complete and decide on placement.

I think that I am going to go with a rainbow color theme for each square - I hope that will give it an overall cheerful effect; yet folksy enough that it will fit in at our family cabin. I am certainly drawing from my contemporary fabrics with dots and stripes, but if I like it enough maybe I will return to it with my vintage sheet stash?!

Peace on the 4th of July

Here is a cute, cute, cute onesie I put together for Madeline. I found the white peace t-shirt below in a box of hand-me-down clothing from a neighbor and thought I might be able to make something just like it. So, I grabbed a stained blue shirt and old onesie and set out for the unknown world of applique. I am happy with the process and how they turned out. Next time I will put some interfacing on the back side of the shirts and onesies. I think that I will also hunt down some black thread for the outline. At first I thought it was too dark, but from the photos that is what really helps the image stand out. The intense amount of stitching from the machine seems to have weakened the cotton a bit. Now I just have to get my hands on some inexpensive organic cotton t's and I'll be all set!