Archive for April 2009

If you’re reading this…

April 30, 2009

…I’m probably eating these:



April 29, 2009

So, here are the other two everything tote bags.  I’m really kind of jealous of them, because they are so much better in the way of construction than my bag, but that’s ok.  I can always make another, and another!  The idea is, I will set these out on the sofa Wednesday night, so that when my sister arrives (presumably after we’ve gone to bed), she will have the option of picking one or the other.  The one she does not pick will be going to my grandmother for Mother’s day.  I can’t for sure decide which she’ll pick, but I’m going to guess the brighter one.  I’ll have to let you know when I get back! 

Here it is, Wednesday, and I took a nap last night instead of sewing, which meant the sewing had to get bumped in favor of laundry, packing, and Fringe.  So, as a result, my sister will only have the choice of one suprise item.  But I think that she would probably have picked this one anyway.  I’ll not have time tonight to finish the other.  Here is the one she’ll be getting:  

I’ve lent out my Weekend Sewing book to the second (or first?) clever girl, which is ok since I’ll be leaving shortly for Key West.  Hopefully she’s finished with it by the time I get back from Key West!  Not to rush her or anything, but I’m excited to try something else from the book  when I get home from Key West.  

Did I mention I’m going to Key West?  Ha.   I’m really super excited about the trip, and even though I tend toward anxiety, I’m working hard to keep it at bay, instead just imagining the wonderful things that await me.  Like a room I don’t have to clean, and a pool, and the weather, and my current obsession: conch fritters!  Also, I checked the weather.  You can see for yourself how lovely it will be (at least through Saturday).

Current: Partly Cloudy
Wind: E at 5 mph
Humidity: 69%
Mostly Sunny
83°F | 74°F
Mostly Sunny
83°F | 74°F
Chance of Showers
83°F | 74°F
Chance of Showers
83°F | 74°F
I’ll be coming home on Tuesday. and Sunday and Monday don’t look much different than the above.  Aside from leaving my wonderful husband, I’m thrilled to be going.  I can’t say it enough, really.  Thrilled, thrilled, thrilled.  
Thanks again, sis!  Hope you like your bag.


Quilting musings.

April 29, 2009

I’ve been thinking about my quilts.  How unadventurous most of them are.  How they are typically from one collection of fabrics.  Of course they all go together.  Or they’re matched by someone else.  And I buy them that way.  It makes me feel like I am cheating.  I should be the one matching fabrics, picking this and that from different collections.  And I’m not, and this bothers me.

There are some reasons for this.  I’m not cheating by choice.  The first problem is that I don’t really have many places to go around here, besides JoAnn.  It is hard to find good prints there.  Modern ones, designer ones, whatever.  The second problem is that I’m on a budget.  A rather severe one when it comes to fabric.  Not that I pay much attention to it.  Ha.  But still.  I can’t afford to just buy one fabric, then another, then another, relying solely on the reliability of the vendor’s pictures and my computer monitor.  So.

I don’t think anything is wrong with using one collection for a quilt, obviously.  Or buying an already matched set of fabrics.  Obviously I do it all the time.  I’m just feeling creatively stuck a little bit.  I guess that as I build my stash (I am relatively new at this afterall) I will begin to see more possibilities.

Just wanted to get that off my chest.

Cause I’m leaving on a jet plane.

April 27, 2009

Though I do know when I’ll be back again.  So, if I’m missing for a few days, don’t forget about me.  I’m leaving early Thursday morning, and will be returning Tuesday afternoon.  I’m very much looking forward to Key West, though not the plane ride there.  I’m a novice flyer, for one, and for two, I have a tendency toward motion sickness.  That and the general awkwardness of traveling, and security checkpoints and such. 

Does anyone have any experience with taking knitting or crocheting on a plane?  I thought I’d bring a little something along so that I had something to do on the plane as well as if there was any quiet time in the hotel.  I really don’t think a crochet hook would be classified as a weapon, and it looks like they are allowed by the TSA, but I’m still not sure.  I don’t want to be the girl who holds up the line.  See the things I worry about?

Anyway.  I might be making an appearance here before I leave, or while I’m gone (though the latter seems unlikely).  I would like to post the pictures of the suprises before I leave.  But I can’t post them until after my sister goes to work Wednesday night (since one of them is for her).

And when I get back, I hope to be even more regular with the posting, and certainly more prolific with the photos.  There will be no shortage of projects when I return, either, with 2 baby quilts to finish, and bags for the shop!

Everything tote, part 2

April 26, 2009

It’s finished!  I’m very pleased with it overall.  Sewing the handles on was a little tricky, and the fabric was a little bulky in some places.

I think I’ll try a few different things next time.  I also think I’d like to make a smaller version of this.  The size is great for a day out, or a day trip, or the beach, but I think it’s rather big to be used as an every day sort of bag.  The thing is, I really really like the design, and it came together so quickly, I couldn’t believe it.  There were a couple of times that the stitches didn’t catch, and that was annoying, but no big deal. 

If you look at it closely AND know what you’re looking at, you would find a multitude of sins, but as it is, it was my first pass at it, and I’m a relatively new sewer, and it is all a learning process, and any average person isn’t going to notice the flaws.

Here are some pictures.  They aren’t great, but the bag is!  It will be perfect for Key West this week.

The everything tote, part 1.

April 23, 2009

To start, before I get into the bag talk, I just learned that I won Amber’s giveaway over on One Shabby Chick.  Thanks Amber!  I don’t usually win anything.  I’m excited to see what I get. 

So, I’ve started working on the everything tote back from Heather Ross’s Weekend Sewing.  I’ve cut out the pattern, sewn up the sides, put the two together, figured out the gathering, and am working on the binding phase.  I put it down last night because that got to be a little more precise than my tired brain and eyes could handle. 

Want to know my thoughts so far?  Here they are anyway! 

The pattern calls for 1 yard of fabric (though the book says 1/2, which Heather corrected on her website).  I bought 1 and 1/2 of each fabric just to be safe.  Sometimes I’m absent minded and/or want room to mess up since I’m not sure what I’m doing or looking at.  As it turns out, this was probably a wise decision.  I’m not sure that it would have worked out with only 1 yard.  It’s possible I traced the pattern wrong, but I don’t think I was off by that much.  I ended up having to use most of it. 

As far as the pattern itself,  I don’t get along with patterns.  I don’t know how to trace them properly.  I don’t have the right things to trace them with.  I don’t have the patience to do it right.  I decided to trace these pieces onto muslin though, then pinned them to the fabrics, then cut them out, and it went just fine.

I did double the piece for the pocket so that I could have a lined pocket.  I find it easier to keep things straight that way. 

The gathering part was way simpler than I imagined it would be.  And it didn’t need much gathering.  The picture lead me to believe there would be more. 

Then the binding.  It calls for both the outer fabric and the lining fabric.  I’m assuming this is just for bulk, or weight, or something.  I’m finding the bulk a little difficult to work with and press and what not. 

But I did it, and now I’m at the edge stitching part of attaching the binding.  My first pass wasn’t successful.  This is when I put it down and closed up shop for the night.  I’m thinking that maybe the zipper foot would be helpful?  In order to avoid dealing with the bulk?  And maybe to be able to see a little bit better? 

Suggestions would be very helpful.  I’m hoping to finish it tonight, and then, pictures!

A quilt for our mother.

April 20, 2009

My sister and I decided to give my mother a quilt for her birthday.  My sister picked out the fabrics, a selection of Heather Bailey’s Pop Garden, and a light green color for the sashing.  I came up with the design, and after approval, proceeded.  I made some mistakes along the way, mostly in the cutting, but in the end, the mistake worked to my advantage and I’m much happier with the way it turned out than I think I would have been otherwise.  

As our celebration dinner was pushed up a week, I spent Friday and Saturday finishing the quilt.  Saturday I sat on the sofa from about 10am on stiching the binding to the back.  I made my last stitch at about 4:30.  Then I threw it in the wash and hoped that I could dry it in time.  We had to leave the house at 5:15.  I managed to get it washed and dried without ruining it.  It was a big hit, and it really turned out so lovely.  Here are pictures.  Keep in mind that these are rushed photographs as we were already running late.  Since I know where it lives, I can take more pictures later.






This was my first real pieced back, and I’m in love with it.  I think I like the back better than the front!  This quilt was a beast.  Even though it wasn’t HUGE (it ended up being about 62″x62″), it was really hard to manage with my little sewing machine.  There just wasn’t a great way to go about quilting it, really.  I couldn’t get a good position.  It was always hanging off the table in one direction or another.  There was so much bunched up into the machine that I couldn’t get good movement.  I’m sure it’s just something that will take practice.  Still, I think that I will stick to smaller ones for a while.  

On to the commission next.