Sunday, March 31, 2013

Hoppy Easter

Hoppy Easter! 
(hehe, I'm so punny :)

I hope everyone is enjoying a nice Sunday with family and friends.  My family and I will be going to brunch at a local country club- I see lots of yummy desserts in my future (why eat the actual brunch when you can skip straight to dessert - it's Easter so it's allowed, right? ;)

The above image isn't anything I made, just some embroidery from a dish towel I bought at Khols years ago.  Every year I take it out I want to make a wall hanging or table runner with bigger versions of these little bunnies, but time always gets away from me.  Here's hoping I get to it next year!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Simply Scraps

Another reason I love the Lil Twister tool- in addition to those easy to make pinwheels I get these awesome little square scraps too!  Though it does require me to be super careful when cutting the pinwheels so these squares make it through without any extra snips (not an easy task since I only have one rotary cutter, and it is not a small one).  
These fabrics were just too fun to toss straight into the scrap bin, so with a little piecing...

the addition of a border...

and a little quilting...

I soon had a bright, cheerful little pillow top!  As much as I love this fabric, I will admit I had an ulterior motive for whipping this up last night- my serger was due to arrive today and I knew I would need a project so I could play with it right away :)  I used the serger (more on it in a later post) to finish off the seams for the pillow.  I like the look of a nicely stuffed pillow, but it often means I pop seams trying to get my pillow forms in and out of my covers, I'm hoping that the serged seams can hold up against my abuse.
I love this happy, summery pillow and smile every time I see it on the couch.  Our Florida winter wasn't too bad this year and we are expected to be back in the 80s this weekend- but even so this Florida Belle is ready for summer!  Perhaps if I decorate for the season it will bring on that warm weather a little faster? 
Going to try and link up to Finish It Up Friday over at CrazyMomQuilts (never linked to another blog before, anyone's guess if I can make this work).

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pinwheels and Propellers

I finally got my lil' twister quilt (started back in February) sewn up...

 Basted it...

Quality control gave it a through once over..

And then it was time to start quilting.  I'm calling this propeller quilting (though looking at the photo now I'm not sure how well the quilting is showing up for you, sorry).  I followed the straight line on the long side of the twister and then did a curved line from the point of the twister back to the center.  I like the movement it is creating in the quilt.  It is simple enough quilting that it is not making the quilt look too busy, which I was a little concerned about.  The only problem with the quilting is that it involves a lot of stops and starts and therefore a lot of burying threads as each pinwheel is quilting individually.  There are also a lot of color changes as I am trying to match the quilting to each fabric.  I got the white and pink pinwheels quilted yesterday and started the purple but had horrible tension issues and took that as I sign that I should be done for the day.  The purple thread was very old though (decades), could that have something to do with my tension troubles?  The white and pink threads were only a few years old and I had no problems there...

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My First Knitting Tip

I posted my first ever knitting tip on Instagram the other day and was shocked to see that it got 8 likes (a lot for me at this point).  I figured I would post it here as well.  Ready?

It's a free shopping list app on my iPad called ShopShop.  Instead of making a grocery list, I entered in the number of rows that I need for my knitting.  When I finish a row I can just tap on the number and it strikes it off.  When all of the rows have been struck off, I can tap them again and the strike out line will disappear- letting me start my next repeat. 

And here is the project that I am utilizing this app for-

Obviously I have not made it very far along with this yet.  It will be a baby blanket (one day).
A close up so you can kind of see the pattern.  There is a border of knit stitch and then blocks alternating between knit and purl.  So far it is making for a pretty pattern/blanket.  I can't wait to see it as it progresses.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Friday Night Fun

Sal and I at the Brown and Brown costume party last week. 

I LOVE the way my cheetah skirt turned out!  Most people opted to dress up as 80s bands or just in 80s garb, but I think 50s rock and roll is much cuter.  For those who are curious how about Sal's costume- he is a marathoner and is wearing a tee and medal from the Las Vegas Rock and Roll Half Marathon.  Rock and Roll has lots of interpretations it seems- some people dressed as the Flintstones (from BedROCK), some were geologists, some were the wrestler the was very fun to see what everyone came up with.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

I'm a Cheeseball :)

The skirt for the work costume party just proves one thing- I'm a total cheeseball.  Company color- royal blue.  My choice of felt- royal blue.  Company mascot- cheetah.  The accent on my skirt, not a poodle but- a cheetah.  Everyone keeps telling me that people go all out for this party, so I'm thinking I should earn some brownie points for the fiancee with this blatant show of company spirit. 

So how was making a poodle skirt without a pattern you ask?  It actually didn't go to bad.  Yes, it took longer than it would have if I had had a pattern but it turned out fine.  I even managed to install my first zipper in a garment with only one phone call home to mom.  She had a handy little trick though- scotch tape!

You sew a basting stitch for your seam, then press it open and lay the zipper down the seam.  Then use scotch tape to keep the zipper in place while you sew.  Works great but a word of advice, remember to take the tape off before trying to use the zipper.  Not that I would know from first hand experience of course.  And the good news is I am an expert zipper installer now, thanks to the four times I altered the size of the skirt and had to take the zipper out, trim the skirt, and reinstall the zipper.


Thursday, March 7, 2013

For Sam

Those few little extra scraps from yesterdays quilt for Sam where mixed with a few other scraps-

and after a little sewing-

(ok, maybe alot of sewing- trying to make it baby proof!)
I had this-

And after some minky was added to the back-

(wow, huge difference b/w daylight and nighttime photos! Will remember that for the future- promise!)
Tada!  A tiny taggie toy!  The tags are made of ribbon, jersey knit, canvas, and ricrac.  And FYI- jersey and canvas are not the best things for a taggie- at least not when it comes to sewing them on.  Trying to sew over fabric, two layers of canvas, and a layer of minky was not easy!  I'm still not sure if I will actually send this along or not.  It is the first taggie I have ever made and I am slightly worried about how it will hold up to a baby. 
Would you send it?  

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Baby Sewing!

No, not for me!  My friend Angie will be having a little boy - Samuel - in the coming weeks!  She is a big fan of homemade gifts, which works out perfectly for me.  I already sent her some bibs and burp cloths when she first found out she was expecting but now that it is getting close it is time to up the ante.

May I present, Sam's quilt (or more accurately at this point, Sam's quilt top)-

I purchased some Karma Baby by Mint Blossom for Northcott Fabrics probably close to a year ago and am SO happy that I finally have the perfect thing to use it for!  I have never given away a quilt before (a blanket, but not a quilt) and am soooo excited to get this one finished and sent off to Angie and Sam!  I know it will be appreciated and that makes parting with it easy (normally I hoard the things I make).

The back is pieced using extra yardage that I had.  I have a tendency to find fabrics that I like and buy them with no real thought in mind to what pattern I will use them for.  So instead I just randomly choose yardage amounts based on how much I like the fabric instead of how I will use it.  Thank goodness it worked in my favor this time (just barely, but still counting it as a win- tiny scraps of the paisley and the green elephants which I will discuss later). 

My plan it to take this up to a Gammil dealer in the coming weeks and quilt it on a longarm- so excited!  I have been toying with the idea of purchasing one, even though I have never actually quilted anything more than some practice stitches at a quilt show on one.  I am a total Angela Walters groupie though ( and have both her books and desperately want to learn to quilt like she does.  I have done a few pillows using her book as inspiration, but feel so limited by my little machine.  I want a big ol' longarm to play with!

On a different note, check out my creative quilting hanging for pictures system- 

Nails + binder clips! I tried washi tape first- how the heck do people do that?  Maybe it works with quilt blocks since they are smaller but it definitely does not work with whole quilts.  I came up with this system instead.  You do what you have to when you are the only one home and want to take pictures!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Everybody Rock n Roll

My fiance's company has their annual meeting next week and one of the events in a costume party.  This years theme is Rock n' Roll - clearly I needed to run out to Joanns and buy yards of felt and such to make myself a poodle skirt.  Should be an interesting sewing endeavor too... since I didn't actually buy the pattern and am going to attempt to do it all by myself. 

Back in 2004 there was a lip syncing competition at my college that the social Greeks and a few (ok, just us- AKPsi) other organizations participated in and the theme was Greese, so my friends and I made poodle skirts with our business fraternity's letters (yes, business fraternity, we were nerds) and danced to Summer Lovin', Your Momma Don't Dance, Hand Jive... Lots of fun and we beat out all the social Greeks and won the competition!  And since a post is not a post without a picture I leave you with this flashback.  I am the one on the left in the purple skirt (that was too big and swallowing me).