Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Post Hiatus

So that was quite a hiatus I took. When I last posted on this blog it was November (ahem…November!?!) and my husband and I were preparing for the holidays and our dream trip to Thailand.  Well, Thailand was amazing and the holidays were fun, as they always are.

Jumping forward to today..I’ve been busy sewing with lots of little projects and one big one to show for my last few months.  If you’ll recall, I had been working on the Flurry Christmas quilt with my mom.  She is a regular visitor to my house on Friday nights and this was a project we took on together.  She has really no experience sewing on a machine and while I have a couple of years of sewing under my belt, I would still consider myself a beginner (still afraid to tackle clothing patterns).  Anyway, we toiled on this quilt one block at a time, and it took us until long past Christmas, but we both finished our quilts.  What I am most proud of is that I machine quilted both of them on my little Brother machine!


Also new for me is making my own scrappy binding, which turned out to be quite easy. I used all of the leftover scraps and love the effect.


That’s an in process photo of my mom on an old Kenmore machine she borrowed from my aunt.  My mom was so proud of her quilt, and enjoyed the process so much, she ended up getting herself a new sewing machine identical to mine. It’s been fun to have a project together and our Friday night sewing sessions have become a regular part of the work week. 

I have lots in process now including working on putting together last year’s $6 quilt, while I complete this year’s $7 quilt blocks.  Boy, this year’s quilt is going to be huge! I am also gearing myself up to try to sew my first item of clothing. I was inspired by the annual Spring Top Along hosted by Rae of Made by Rae.  I don’t plan entering, but I definitely want to give it a try. I’ve picked out the Sorbetto top and am going to pick out some fabric this weekend. 

Lastly, I joined a mini quilt swap put on by Leona of Leona’s Quilting Adventures. I got my partner assignment this evening, have some ideas purcolating, and can’t wait to get started. 

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Here come the holidays

The holidays are barreling towards us and I am in happy happy crafty land right now.  I just LOVE this time of year and have too many ideas swirling in my head from so much amazing internet inspiration. I’ve been a complete blog junkie lately and my bookmark list has gotten totally out of hand.  Speaking of which… if you aren’t a frequent visitor to the Sew Mama Sew blog, you will be now.  They are in the midst of their annual Handmade Holidays series that happens every November.  There are lots of contests, tutorials, patterns and handmade gift ideas galore so you may want to check them out.


Also speaking of holidays, my mug rug has made it’s long trek to Oregon and been received. My partner’s chosen holiday was Thanksgiving so I went with this pieced pumpkin pie.  I really wanted to do something paper pieced since I’m just starting to get comfortable with the process, and I wanted to think a little out of the box. 


So, I did a little searching on the internet and found this pieced pattern here at 365 Paper Pieced Quilt Blocks. I was really happy with it when I was finished and hope my partner was too. 

My next project is to finish my October $6 block for the local quilt shop meeting in 2 weeks, finish the pieced borders on the flurry quilt (quilt top almost done!!) and finish the quilting on the 2 year old crazy 9 patch quilt.  We’re having our first truly cold, windy, damp day of the season here in Florida today so maybe this is my golden opportunity to get some projects finished.  Happy November!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Fall Inspiration

About a month ago, we here in Florida had a cold front swing through dropping our normal 80 degree days into the 60’s and 70’s.  That first run of cooler temps was finally the first true sign of fall and when crafty floodgates opened.  I don’t tend to make all that many homemade gifts, mostly because some of my family members are struggling right now and fun gifts tend to make way for more practical, needed items.  Plus, as I’m sure you know, not everyone appreciates homemade gifts like us crafty peeps do.  Nonetheless, something about the cool weather and impending holidays really got my crafty mojo revved up. 

I’ve completed all of the Flurry quilt blocks, and now need to arrange them and start adding the sashing.  Last month I went to the local annual Quiltfest and picked up a yard of Amy Butler fabric along with a cute mini quilt kit. The blocks in the kit were all paper pieced, and were SO addicting!  Not to mention it’s just the best thing to have a fun project that you can whip up so quickly.


The little kimonos are so cute!  I have another kit like this one waiting in the wings that is all birds and birdhouses. It’s actually one my mom picked up, but I talked her into letting me put it together for her. 

A couple of weeks ago I started seeing those yarn wreaths popping up all over the place again, and decided to jump on the bandwagon. Voila, an easy little fall wreath for the front door.


I was pretty happy with how it came out except I wish I wouldn’t have been quite so clumpy with the flowers. Still, it does look nice from the road.

Finally, one of my friends is having her baby shower this weekend and she asked me a few months ago to make her a diaper bag.  I figured that since she knew I’d be making her one, I might as well let her pick out the fabric. So I sat her at the computer one afternoon, let her peruse the online fabric store, Hawthorne Threads (one of my faves!), and she chose this gorgeous Joel Dewberry fabric from his Aviary 2 line.  I used the Hip Mama Diaper Bag tutorial and this is what I came up with:


It’s difficult to tell from this picture, but this is a really large bag. I think it will be perfect for filling with diapers, bottles, pacifiers and all those baby things that need to travel.  The bag also has a huge zipper pocket on the back, velcro pockets on each side, 2 large pockets in the front under the flap and 2 large elastic pockets on the inside.  A word about the was really well-written and so easy! I really sailed through this project without much difficulty.  The only issue I had was in the amount of fabric. I ordered the 1 yard called for in the lining, and ended up just shy of what I needed to do the additional 2 elastic pockets on the inside of the bag.  The recipient will never know they were supposed to be there, but she may miss the added storage.  I think it was probably my own error, but for the newbie trying this pattern (like me), I might suggest adding just another quarter yard to the lining requirements. 

That’s a pretty good recap of what I’ve been working on. Coming up are the 2nd mini quilt, finally completing (after 2 years!) my wonky 9 patch quilt, a mug rug for a swap I’m in, and the cutest little cupcake potholders ever! 

Saturday, September 3, 2011

What’s a girl to do?

What’s a girl to do when she has more started projects than finished ones, and too many WIP’s to count? Easy answer…start another one!

This week in our Friday night sewing session, Samantha and I decided to get started on our Christmas project, the Flurry quilt (free pattern!).  My mom happened to be with me when I went to the local quilt store to pick up fabric and decided she wanted to make one too. So, last night she joined us in our weekly session.  I have to say, having not sewn a stitch in maybe 35ish years, my mother did great.  She completed three blocks of her own, though I unfortunately did not take a picture of them before she took them home.  I must admit that I’m completely smitten with this quilt. It’s SO easy and the Christmas colors and patterns are so festive, just working on it makes me happy happy happy.  I can prove it too!  I went nuts on these blocks completing 9!


Please excuse the not so great picture! I’ll try to post some close-ups this evening. I didn’t actually use any Flurry fabrics because I haven’t been able to locate them in either of my local quilt shops.   Instead there’s lots of Robert Kaufman mixed in with a little Joanns.  7 blocks to go and I can start the sashing and border..I can’t wait!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Friday Night Sewing

Most every Friday night, my friend Samantha and I have our weekly speakerphone sewing session. Sadly, she and her family moved to New York from here in Florida a few months ago. Some weeks we work on our Farmers Wife Blocks, and when it’s about to come due, we work on our monthly $6 block.  This week we decided to do something new and make a little bag.


The pattern is the Buttercup Bag from the Made by Rae blog. The pattern was free (bonus!) and was pretty easy to follow. It has a magnetic snap enclosure and the lining is a solid pink that matches the flowers on the outside of the bag. The only modification I made was to sew the handle into the bag versus adding it at the end.  The bag is pretty small, but would be fine to stuff into my file drawer at work. There is a pattern available to make the bag larger that you can purchase.   I would definitely make this bag again, but would probably enlarge it and add some interfacing to make it a little less flimsy. Of course, heavier outside fabric would do that too.  Overall, I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.  You can check out Samantha’s bag over at her blog, Sweet Tea & Grits, it’s super cute!

In other news, I joined the Mug Rug Adventure 3 swap on Flickr.  It’s a holiday themed swap where you choose the holiday you would like your rug to reflect.  There’s still time to sign up so if you want to join in the fun, head on over to the Flickr group and sign up!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A Quick Little Project

We were quite busy this weekend between a trip to IKEA and our regular errands, but I did manage to whip up a little bag.


I wanted something small that I could take with me to my evening exercise class. I needed something that would hold my keys and my class membership card, and that I could shove in the little cubby in the changing room without worrying about it.  I think this little pouch will do the trick!  The main part of the bag came from a Heather Ross fat quarter and the band, handle and lining are from Denise Schmidt’s line at Joann’s.  The bag came together really quickly and was quite easy.  The free tutorial can be found here.