Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Keepin' It Real

My cousin owns a cleaning business, one of the best things she posted to Facebook was an ecard saying "I get most of my cleaning done in the 5 minutes before company arrives".  Yup!  Pretty much sums me up!  I have friends coming into town tomorrow night, otherwise this room would have stayed like this but Kim likes sewing so I know she will want to see my sewing room and I just couldn't show it to her for the first time looking like this.

Ahh, here we go.  Let's note the Kitchen Aid box on my cutting table.  The box of fabric on the floor...

...the pillows stacked up on the futon, the bag from Joanns (more on that later), the binder of knitting patterns dating back to the 70s, the random shelf... it was a mess!

And the after pic!  Look, I have a floor!

And a sofa you can actually sit on and more things on the walls...

And a desk that is visible and usable!  (More on the desk another day- it deserves a post all to its self.)  Of course, in the process of cleaning up I found three quilt tops that need to be basted, one that I need to finish quilting, a knitting project that just needs the ends woven in, another knitting project that is just getting started and needs a lot of work, and the fabric that mom chose for her next quilt using her current color scheme... seems it was smart of me to walk out of a quilt shop last week empty handed, I have enough projects that I need to work on!

How many projects do you typically have going at one time?

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Hippity Hoppity...

Easter's on its way!

I guess this isn't really a craft post, but it is my most recent finish.  Normally I decorate a good two months before Easter, but with Easter being early this year and my being sick for a week in February I'm a little later than normal with my holiday stuff.  Above is a section of my Easter village.  Yes, some people have a Christmas village (I have one of those too), but I also have an Easter village.  My guess is I have had it for a good 20 years now and I love it just as much now as I did the first year! 

In addition to the village, I also have three Easter trees in the house (but could only get good photos of two of them).  This tree was from William Sonoma a few years ago.  They have the best Easter trees!  They hold up better than anyone elses, so well made!

This little pink feather tree I love to pieces.  It is so festive and fun!  It has gotten to the point now where half of the lights don't work and the branches are kind of flimsy and don't stay in place well, but I just can't part with it.  I have scoured the internet looking for a replacement for years, but haven't had any luck so this little guy lives on. 

Do you decorate for Easter?


Friday, February 22, 2013

In the Words of Reese Witherspoon...

"if it's not moving, monogram it!"

As a good southern girl, I LOVE a monogram!  Even my gym shorts are monogrammed.  My fiancĂ©e does not have a middle name and has already been informed that our future children will have middle names- specifically because their names will need to be monogrammable :)

I had some knit fabric laying around from a previous (and failed) tshirt sewing jaunt, so I salvaged what I could to make a casual little infinity scarf. In order to make it a little more interesting though, I stuck it under my embroidery machine first to add those three little letters that instantly make everything better- AJG.

I have monogrammed a few knits and I get a little better each time, but still no where near perfect.  The fabric always ends up stretching and when I take the stabailizer off the monogram is wavy because the knit is stretched.  Any tips?  I tried a sticky back stabalizer this time and did not hoop the fabric and it definately helped, but I know it can be improved on.  I would love any feedback you may have!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Tutu Wreath Tut

I have a bunch of oh-so-cute door decorations that have graced my front door over the years, but when we moved into the rental house most of those decorations could no longer be used.  The door here is metal so I super glued magnets to the back of a Command hook so I can hang things on the door, but I can only hang lightweight decorations

Not one to accept a bare door as a fact of life, I turned to... Pinterest!  I had pinned a few wreaths and finally had the perfect excuse reason to make one!  I figured a tulle, tutu-inspired wreath would be lightweight enough to work and was thrilled when I wandered into Hobby Lobby a few weeks after Christmas and found huge rolls of red and white tulle on sale for 60% off!  The wreath was perfect on the door but now that Valentines Day is over it needed to be changed out.  I figured as long as I was making one, why not make it my first tutorial! 

Making a Tutu Wreath

I started by removing all of the tulle from my current wreath so I had the plain wreath form.  I managed to get double duty out of the wreath form by taking a bread knife and slicing the form in two - each with a flat side for the back, so it sits even better against the door.  (the purple polka dot ribbon is what I use to hang the wreath.)

I chose six colors of tulle and cut them to 21" in length.  They were sold in rolls, so I just used the width of the roll.  If you are buying tulle by the yard and need to cut the width too, I would say it is about 8".  I then folded the tulle in half and placed it under the wreath form.

I put my pointer and middle fingers through the loop that was created by folding the tulle, and then brought the other side of the tulle over the top of the wreath and placed it between my two fingers.

I was then able to pull the tulle easily through the loop

and pull it tight.  You may have to get closer to the knot afterwards and wiggle the tulle to tighten it a little more.  On the new tulle that I had just used I had to do this, but on the colors I reused from the Valentines wreath, the tulle was already bent from being on the wreath before and it fell into place without really needing to be tightened.  Continue in this manner until you have made your way around the wreath.

Here is a photo of the back of the wreath, the purple polka dot ribbon / wreath hanger can be seen here.  I tied a piece of ribbon onto the wreath form as I was making the wreath and just made sure that the tulle covered the ribbon on the front, but not the back. 

And, of course, a photo of the new Easter wreath on the front door!  I love this wreath and think it is so fun and spring-y, and the color combinations are endless!  If you have any questions, I will answer them in the comments. 

Do you feel the need to always have something festive on your door too?

Edited to add: I love my Easter wreath, but the colors really do not show up well from a distance.  Even pulling into the driveway you can tell there is a wreath on the door but it all kind of blends together.  If I were to do it again, I would make sure to have more contrast in my colors.

Monday, February 4, 2013


Crafting ADD: a disorder whereby the infected cannot simply find one favorite craft and stick to it, but must instead jump around from craft to craft and project to project.

Proof that I have this disorder- you have seen the quilting posts, here is the current knitting project.  I should mention that I am by no means an expert knitter.  I am a beginner, so much so that I only know how to knit.  I have never tried to purl.  I'll get there, but I want to take my time and enjoy this.  This project will (eventually) be a cowl.  The knitting needles I am using are from my grandmother and have been in our family for generations.  I love that my grandmother is teaching me a new skill and that I am learning it on the same needles that the women in my family have used for over 100 years (literally!).

Who taught you how to knit/sew/quilt/craft?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Let's Twist

Remember that quilt I was making for my mom?  The one she was so excited about?  I went to visit her the other day and when I walked into the living room I saw she had redecorated it again (the third time in as many months) and the quilt she wanted so badly is now the wrong colors.  On the bright side, it meant that 1) I get to keep that quilt, 2) I get to keep all the fabric which I love, and 3) we went shopping for new fabrics for her and I managed to sneak two charm packs for myself into her bag.  One of Vanessa Christian's Simply Color and one of Kate Spain's Cuzco.  I sewed them up into a simple patchwork...

then added a 3" boarder (white with gray polka dots, from Jo-Anns)...

and then took the Lil' Twister tool to it! 

I haven't decided if I like this look or if I wish I had kept the simple patchwork.  It is awfully busy now with the pinwheels and the patchwork was so clean and classic and made such a nice impact.  I do have the small 2" squares that were leftover after the Lil' Twister, so I can still do a small patchwork project with them.  Too late to second guess myself on the big quilt now, I suppose.  The picture above is before I had sewn the blocks together.  I have a few together now and like it a little better since the pinwheels are smaller.  I'm still not convinced I love it, but I will finish it.  It could look cute and bright hanging over my couch for a pop of color, or it could always go on the wall in the sewing room- bright, scrappy, and colorful always looks good there!

Where is your go-to spot for hanging a quilt?  Do you have them around your house?  Or confine them to a sewing/crafting space?