Wednesday, July 31, 2013

WIP Wednesday

My newest WIP/Challenge-

Yes, that would be a shirt!  Ok, so a tank (I didn't want to mess with sleeves on my first attempt at sewing a garment).  I still need to add the bias binding to the shoulder seams and back, sew the shoulder seams and hem, and then serger my seams.

I did opt for a pattern with a fun little back detail.  I couldn't make this completely easy on myself :)  And turning those little straps took way longer than I care to admit. 

I learned quite a lot about (garment) patterns this week.

#1. The back of the pattern lists all of the sizes.... the front tells you want sizes are actually in the pattern you are buying.  Not to name names, but someone might not have realized that and bought a size 12-18 pattern...and is a pattern size 4. 

#2. Muslins are a really good idea!  I am usually one for avoid extra work and contemplated skipping this step and just diving right in, but since I was working with a limited amount of fabric (and bought a 10 yard bolt of muslin at Joanns for $17) I decided to do a muslin first.  So glad I did!  Apparently I can't measure myself worth a darn and thought I was a size 8... turns out I am a 4.  I thought an 8 seemed awfully big, but you always hear about patterns running small (I am an X Small/0 when I buy tops), so I just figured they run really small.  Apparently not quite that small.

#3. You cannot mix the front of one shirt with the back of another, even if they are in the same pattern package... at least not in this case.  Those four little straps were not what I was planning on, there was another back on another top that was a back V neck with a strap across the top of the V.  But I wanted this front because it was all in one piece and I didn't want to cut up my chevrons.

Linking up to WIP Wednesday and Fabric Tuesday (shhh.. don't mention I am a day late on that one :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

Frenzy of Finishes

I didn't realize how much I had accomplished this week until I sat down to write this post.  Suddenly I am feeling very productive! 

My finishes, in no particular order:

#1. QuiltStory's Lucky Stars QAL Quilt Top

I was so excited to be sewing the last seam on this yesterday, I ironed the top, stuck it up on my design wall, stepped back ...and realized there were supposed to be borders.  So today I took it down and added the borders. 
Do borders take you forever to put on too?  I have realized that I do not like sewing long seams and I will procrastinate like crazy when it comes to doing them.  We are talking 2 full episodes of The West Wing for me to cut, iron, and sew on these four strips of fabric.  Sad I know.
#2. Lilly Pulitzer Pin Cushion

I enjoyed making pineapple pin cushion so much last week that I decided some fun pin cushion sewing was needed after finishing the above quilt top.  This little guy was whipped up in no time (seriously, less time that it took me to add those borders).  The Lilly Pulitzer fabrics are actually a belt/sash that I had.  I just sewed it up like a jellyroll race quilt, folded it in half, sewed up the sides and there we go.  It is filled it with the crushed walnut shells again, since I have quite a large bag of them now. 

#3. Cat Carrier ID Tags

And from the world of totally random things I think of to sew, I introduce you to luggage/ID tags for my cats' carriers!  Can you say #crazycatlady?  In all fairness there was a little bit of logic, I had to take my cat to the vet earlier in the week and he stayed for a few hours.  I left his carrier and they put a sticky label on it with his name and my contact information.  It seemed like a good idea to have that info on there, but obviously a much cuter solution was needed :)
A little bit of coordinating fabric (more thought that I care to admit was given to finding appropriate fabrics for this project), some stabilizer, a tiny piece of Velcro, a piece of paper with the address information and "laminated" with clear shipping tape, and this little ID tag was born.  And yes, I excitedly showed them off to my husband the second he got home.  He was very supportive and said "oooohhhh" and had a big smile on his face, and didn't tease me once about making them.  #heisakeeper

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

WIP Wednesday

Time to bite the bullet and get working on this today.  All the blocks are done, they just need to be sewn into a quilt top- but I had some trouble with those patch blocks and they might not be the exact right size, so I am kind of dreading putting all this together and hoping it goes well.  Lots of chocolate may be needed while working on this :) 

Linking up to WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Attack of the Crafty Wife

Hubby is back in town after working in Texas for the last 7 months- YAY!  While he was gone they moved things around at the local office and he was kicked out of his cube.  What was he to do?  Swipe one of the open offices of course!  And what was his crafty wife to do?  Make something to decorate his walls (and help him claim the office) of course!

So what do you make for a executive's office?  Needs to be professional.  And I was told "no pink, purple, or Lilly [Pulitzer]".  Hmm...

Enter fabric covered board boards with custom pushpins-

Just a few cork boards from Walmart, some fabric, some spray glue, and some hot glue = custom cork boards.  I figured it would add a pop of color but still be practical too.   

As for the pushpins-

I found baseball themed buttons at Walmart (pure dumb luck, definitely did not expect that), grabbed some thumbtacks and the hot glue again and suddenly there were custom pushpins. 
I think he likes his office (and decorations :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

All Pins Welcome

I decided I wanted to just sew for fun the other day and was scrolling through my Pinterest boards for some inspiration when this little guy jumped out at me-

For those who don't know, in the South the pineapple is a welcome sign.  You see them all over town-welcome mats, address plaques, mailboxes, lights on homes, door knockers, ... you get the idea.  Charleston even has a fountain in their town park that is shaped like a pineapple. 

Suddenly that humble pin become a MUST MAKE. 

I have never tried Y seams so I made a few adjustments to the leaves.  I really like the way it came out- especially considering it was all free pieced.  Maybe it's the bright colors, or getting to use up some scraps, or the challenge of figuring out how to make it, or maybe the satisfaction of accomplishing this little guy.  Either way, this little pineapple makes me SO HAPPY!

I'm not really sure why I chose to make it so small.  The colors don't really work with my house so making it bigger for a pillow or wall  hanging didn't appeal to me (guess I don't want to welcome people into my home, lol).  I knew I couldn't toss it into the pile of random don't-know-what-to-do-with blocks, it was too cute for that!  But a girl can always use another pincushion, right? ;)
Now, me being me, I couldn't just sew a back on and leave it at that.  Oh no, I needed to punch it up a bit with some ric rac trim around the edges.  I'm SO glad I did, I think it added just the right POP to this little project.  I smile every time I see it! 
Oh, and to anyone who has been desperately searching for crushed walnut shells at their local pet store for 2+ years *cough* me *cough* I finally figured out what I was doing wrong.  Turns out that Petco (or at least, my Petco) does not consider it reptile bedding like I had always heard and instead had it over with the bird bedding.  Now I have a nice big bag...and plans for many more pincushions! 
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Jellyroll Troubles

That is the best way to describe these blocks.

How on Earth do I have a harder time with these, should-be-simple, patchwork blocks than I did with my star blocks??  Actually, I can answer that- #1. I stink at sewing long, straight seams (I really should have just chopped up the strips into squares vs. trying to do this the "easy" way) and #2.  pinked edges on jellyroll strips and I are not friends.  I never know if the pinked edge counts in the 2.5" measurement or not.  Do you cut off the little triangles?  Ignore them and sew 1/4" down from their lowest point?  Count them as part of the 2.5" square and match the top points and sew a 1/4" from there?  Does any of that make sense? 

Either way, I tried to ignore the little triangles and it did not work in my favor.  Well, it might have if I hadn't ignore them for one batch of patches and included them in the seam allowance for another- so when I tried to match seams between the two sets it did not work.  Yeah, that was fun.  Started these blocks last Wednesday as soon as the tutorial was posted and finished them today, 7 days later, since I (being a typical, type A) had to resew some/most seams. 

On the brightside, they finished now (and up to my own standards) and look good with the rest of the blocks!

We are getting so close to the end of this- I can't want see all the finished quilts!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Finish It Up Friday

For a while there I thought I wouldn't have a finish today- which actually made me really sad!  Turns out I love linking up to Finish It Up Friday (or maybe I just love getting comments :) 

My Lucky Stars QAL blocks are giving me a hard time right now, I used a generous 1/4" seam for some rows and a scant 1/4" seam for others, so now when I go to join them the seams/corners don't match up.  #perfectionistproblems 

I decided the best approach was to step away for a bit, but I really wanted to sew something!  Enter Cheryl's Just One Slab project.  I dug though my tiny scrap basket and managed to pull out enough pinks for this project.  Seriously, I have a tiny scrap basket, this was the only slab I could make because I don't have enough scraps in other colors for these big 15.5" blocks.  Yikes, I could probably get asked to quit linking up to Amanda Jean's blog by admitting this :)

Anyway, here was the start of my block.  This slab sewing stuff is fun, but it required a little more thought than I expected.  My type A personality had a hard time with the randomness and really wanted to make a log cabin block.

And... my finished block!
Now here is a silly question for everyone- how the heck do you send blocks?  Don't they get all wrinkly in the mail?  I'm guessing I could put it between two pieces of cardboard to send, but this is a 15.5" block so I feel like the enveloped and postage to do that could really add up.  Any ideas? 
Linking up to Finish It Up Friday.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Perfect Portable Project

Just as I suspected (because everyone in blogland has said it for years)- hexies are the perfect portable project!  I took my hexie supplies (in my new pouch, of course!) down to South Florida for the weekend.

I would say that must have been inspired by the Fourth of July holiday because my hexies were all patriotic red/white/blue, but in all fairness I always like those colors.  Nautical colors and prints get me every time!

As I was finishing up, hubby decided he wanted to try one- and couldn't believe it when I agreed to give him a turn :)

He did very well for his first ever hand sewing project!  A few extra threads, but a he produced a very nice hexie!

Now I'm working on making these hexies into a pillow cover.  Probably going to be a bit of a long process, but I'm hoping to finish it before the summer is up and the coordinating quilt moves off the back of my couch for the fall.  With all the travel I do though, it shouldn't be an issue.  I always get so antsy when I am out of town and away from my sewing machine.  Glad to finally have some handwork to keep me occupied. 

Monday, July 8, 2013

Lucky Stars QAL

Reasons why I am loving my first ever Quilt-a-long:

#1. someone else has figured out all the math
#2. someone else has figured out all the cutting
#3. it's just a few blocks a week to make, so it isn't overwhelming
#4. the pattern is so cute!
#5. posting photos on Instagram and seeing others what others are making is so much fun
#6. chatting on Instagram with the QuiltStory girls and getting feedback on my blocks from the girls who designed the quilt is awesome! (I have read their blog for years and always get so excited when they chat with me- feel like I am talking to celebrities :)  #giddyquiltinggroupie
#7. the pattern is so cute!  (yes, that deserves to be mentioned again!)

And now, for the newest Lucky Stars blocks, the square-in-square

And all the blocks together so far

I'm so happy I used navy for the background and got out of my white rut.  The navy looks so sharp with these prints (and is much for practical for a baby quilt).  Many thanks to QuiltStory for showing me a Lucky Stars quilt with a navy background, its what pushed me to do the same!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Cause and Effect

I finished my first hexie project- a zip pouch to put my hexies in.  Amazing how one thing leads to another :)

I have tried zip pouches in the past, but not with very much luck. This one came out cute, but I think there is still room for improvement. I wish the zipper was straight across the top and the corners up there didn't turn in, especially since that happened after I followed a tutorial I found on Pinterest telling me how to avoid it. #pinterestfail

On the bottom of the bag I use a contrasting fabric- kind of on purpose and kind of not.  I wasn't thinking about needing extra fabric to box the bottom so I had not cut the right size pieces of the green (and had already sewn on the hexies, so I needed to use that piece).  So I grabbed the gray polka dot fabric and planned on having some of it show on the sides, but after I boxes the bottom it exactly covered the bottom.  Couldn't do that again if I tried, and I think it ended up being even cuter that way.
And in another great cause-and-effect example, I made a matching needlebook to put in the hexie pouch. 
So the way it went- hexies -> zip pouch -> needlebook.  Story of my life!  Same thing happens when I do chores or run errands, and people wonder what I do during the day.  One simple task always leads to 7 more!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


Ok, I just jumped on the bandwagon and signed up for Bloglovin.  I have actually never used a reader before, I would just go down the list on the side of my blog and read from there.  Hoping this bloglovin thing makes it easier to catch up on blogs on the iPad. 

Anyway, for those who want to-

<a href=""> Follow my blog with Bloglovin</a>

Stars and Hexies

New projects have been started!

Project #1
Lucky Stars Quilt-a-long with Quilt Story

Here are my first six blocks for the Lucky Stars QAL.  I think the actual pattern calls for 9 stars, but I want this to be a baby quilt so I only made six (well, that and maybe I bought a jellyroll with only 18 strips vs. 30-something, so I needed to adjust for that).  My points turned out really well on these stars- turns out pressing and trimming really do help with sewing accuracy!  Who would have thunk it :)
Project #2.
I got it in my head a few weeks ago that I wanted to make hexies, they just seem like the perfect portable, stuck in an airplane/airport project.  Of course, I decided this less than 24 hours before having to get on said airplane so I didn't have a chance to get everything I needed to be able to take this project with me.  Instead hexies turned into my Wimbledon project!  I get obsessed with the tournament every year (seriously, at work the last three years I did a split screen on my computer and had it on yeah, not much real work got accomplished during those weeks).  I'm so happy to be home now and able to really watch and enjoy it!  I knew I couldn't just sit on the couch all day without getting a little antsy though, so on Middle Sunday (aka no tennis matches being played) I ran out to JoAnns and picked up some hexie templates and spent Manic Monday (aka all 16 of the players remaining play!) making hexies and cheering for my favorite players. 

Now that I have hexie supplies though, I clearly need something cute to put them in.  Started working on a zip pouch for them last night!