Saturday, February 26, 2011

when will I learn??

The pattern very clearly said 
to make a sample shoe out of cheap material
without interfacing.
Did I listen?

I also didn't put the sole lining in properly....

I thought I'd handled all sizing issues on the front end
and the sample shoe wouldn't be necessary,
and besides,
I'm no stranger to making shoes
(never mind I still haven't mastered them....)
I'm not exactly a beginning sewer....

I should have made the sample!
My only consolation is
the second shoe isn't entirely made,
only mostly made....

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

this week's stitches

I have the hardest time laying out my blocks.
I knew I was going to be moving these blocks all around
wasn't really going to work for this quilt.

I calculated
and re-calculated (twice)
how much I would need, then I carefully cut my batting
and tossed it up over a curtain rod in the living room,
 stuck in a few pins so it wouldn't slip off
and ended up with a nice little temporary design wall.
I left it up several days and moved blocks around occasionally.
I got it to where I was satisfied.
Not thrilled, mind you, 
but satisfied.
And then 
 knocked over half of my blocks off!!
and I was back to square one.

I ended up completely changing my plan
(again ~  this quilt has had a mind of its own)
and went with 6 x 9 rows
instead of 7 x 8.

Once I got them rearranged
I stuck a pin through each one;
they weren't going anywhere this time.

I got a little sidetracked in my sewing on Saturday
but then Saturday night, 
I sat down to put the white thread back in the machine.
I had to get those blocks sewn together!

As soon as I had my machine threaded though,
my stack of to-do's stuck behind the serger 
caught my eye.
That cheery sunshine started calling my name.
And before I knew it - I'd made this little number,
inspired by a little girl's dress I'd seen at church 6 days earlier.

When I showed it to Lex' in the morning,
she was so tickled!
"A tutu dress? Thank-you, Mommy!"
I love that she says thank-you without being prompted to.
Of course, Lily wondered where her dress was...

Taking some time here and there throughout the week,
I finally did get around to sewing those blocks together.
Then I added the horizontal sashing
and I'm getting close to getting the whole top sewn up.

I'm stuck on what to use as a border, though.
I don't typically do borders,
 but I think it'd add to the 'paintbox' feel if it had one.
Plus, it could stand a few extra inches;
I like my throws nice & big.
The back will be gray 
with one 3" block of each fabric.
Should I use gray?
Two narrowish borders ~ gray, then white??
Something different entirely???
Whatdya think??

Saturday, February 19, 2011

it just sorta happened

It isn't as though I don't already have 
plenty of projects in the works.
This one just sorta happened though.

I have a book I've been supposed to bring to a friend 
for over 2 weeks.
It's waited patiently right by more door.
Since I've been so slow in getting it to her,
I thought I ought to make a little gift to go with it.

Months ago
she posted on FB that she needed a business card holder
Last time I checked, she hadn't ordered one.

I'm not sure that this fabric is 'her'
but I thought it was better than anything else in my stash.
Problem is, I don't really know her well enough
to know for sure.

It was fun to make 
and went together pretty quickly
even though I was figuring it out as I went along.
I'm a bit irritated with myself for having the curve on the flap
going the wrong direction.
Silly thing is - I had my fabrics cut for the other way
but somehow convinced myself I had it backwards.
So I changed it and guess what?
I got it backwards.
Oh well ~ it'll still work just fine.

in retrospect - I should not have used black thread!

It always amazes me how much mess I can make 
working on one little project.

You'll be happy to know, though
that my sewing desk is still clean :-)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

the sewin' lane

When we first set it up,
Jeremiah called it 'the sewin' lane'
and the name sorta stuck.

My sewing space is pretty small - just a 20" x 56" piece
of the dining room,
but let me tell you - I am happy to have it!
To have a machine out 
and ready to sew at any moment
 is a real blessing.

My sewin' lane has gotten a bit messy lately.

You got me.

It's a disaster area.
It's gotten so bad - I barely have any room to sew!

So today,
I got to work!
Actually, I started yesterday evening
but I didn't get any farther than dumping everything 
onto my dining room table
when my daughter called to tell me
that the baby's heart-rate was too high.
The rest of the day is a blur,
but thankfully, Baby is fine now
and it looks like s/he's decided to 
peacefully stay put for another day or so.

I found all sorts of things buried in the mess:
A t-shirt & fabric that should have been made into a dress
last month for Lexi's birthday.
Some pants I'd forgotten I told Tyler I would alter.
(sorry, Hon!)
One of Tony's work aprons that needs a 2 minute repair job.

Lexi's blanket.
About 3 inches of the crocheted fringe had come undone
and I wasn't entirely sure how to fix it.
I had inkling, but wasn't sure, so I just put it off.
For almost TWO years!!
The ridiculous thing is
- in the middle of my sorting and putting away -
I fixed it.
It worked just like I thought it might,
and it only took 7 minutes.
Why didn't I do that sooner??

yards and yards of FOE :-)

I also unearthed fabric I'd purchased ages ago
 to make a wrench roll for Tyler.
I guess that's what you'd call it,
like a crayon roll - or a case for crochet hooks,
only for wrenches.

As usual
the job took longer than I anticipated
but it's soo nice to see the table-top again.

Now I can get back to work on my current project
so I can hurry up and get goin' 
on my
next one.

I'm joining Adirondack Momma's Sewing Bee today.
 next week? perhaps actual sewing

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

birth day suit

Up 'til about midnight last night,
I'd never heard of a birth day suit
(besides the original one :-)
but when Lana sent me a note
asking what kind of fabric.....
well, I couldn't get it out of my head.

as soon as I got up this morning
I went digging through my stuff
to see if I could find anything that would work.
I found a gray slightly stretchy embroidered curtain panel
that my husband had picked up at a yard sale for $ .25
thinking I might could make something out of it....

I whipped up a skirt after reading through this tutorial
and quickly decided Lana'd need a little top, too
so I made a simple tube top
with straps
and ruched the center a bit.
I mis-figured where my opening should go for the elastic
and it ended up on the outside,
instead of inside.

That's when I decided that a bit of ribbon would look awfully cute.
I cut my elastic 2 inches shorter than I needed it
then sewed some ribbon on to each end
before threading it through.

I added my usual tag :-)

Now she's got the birth suit,
all we're waiting on is the day.

I love you, Baby Girl!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Friday, February 4, 2011

teensy tiny tute

I finally got a chance to work on my paintbox blocks again.
I'm certainly no expert
but I have made quite a few of these blocks
and in doing so 
have managed to develop a system that works pretty well for me.

I like working with 3 colors at a time,
which makes 6 blocks.
2 colors / 4 blocks don't quite create a 'circle'
when chain piecing
and 4 colors just don't fit on my little ironing table,
so 3 it is.

First I lay out all my pieces in order 
so I can grab them quickly.

I sew the top seam first for all six blocks
one right after the other 
without cutting the thread
then grab the one I'd started with
and add the bottom piece.

I snip the thread between the last and the first block that I sewed
and bring 
what had been the last block in my six-set
around to the front 
(creating the 'circle' I mentioned earlier)
and continue sewing the other 5 blocks

When I have both the top and bottom pieces of the block
sewn on
I remove my little circle from the machine
 and cut the blocks apart,

press the seams toward the outside,

and then repeat the process - this time
adding the sides of the block.

With this method
the only thread I waste
 is that little bit up there on the left.

After pressing the seams 
I give the square a spray of starch, 
iron again,

and then repeat the whole process again.
In no time at all
I've got six blocks ready to be squared up.