Tuesday, February 23, 2010

If Only...

...I spent as much time updating my blog as I do reading blogs...
I [heart] my Google Reader.
: )

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Where It All Happens

I had one of those days last Friday where I felt exceptionally motivated.  And since these days are sadly not all that common, I took advantage.  It feels so good when you get a bunch of things done before 10am.  One of the things I did was clean up my craft area a bit.  I had just picked up a few more supplies on a brief shopping trip last week and they needed an organized home.  I'm pretty happy with how clean it looked so I snapped a couple of pictures yesterday.

My area is just a little corner in the second bedroom of our little house.  I use my Great Grandmother's desk as my sewing table.  The side table is actually the top of an entertainment stand we got for free.  We use the bottom part as our TV stand but the top is the perfect height for a cutting and ironing table.  Plus it comes with some shelves that make visible fabric and supplies storage.  I also have those plastic stackable drawers slid underneath.

I use a shelf or part of one on our too full bookcase for more fabric storage.  It holds the colors of fabric that i have the most of...blue and green.  And the green pile is soon going to become blue and green because I have a hard time resisting a good blue.  I'm learning tho!

A few things I'd like to point out:
  • My laptop is usually sitting in the corner of the "L" shape and is playing music or an episode of a TV show I missed.  
  • I never wear shoes around the house but recently we've seen a mouse and it just really freaks me out...especially when my feet on the foot pedal are right near the wall.  But I can't sew very steadily with sneakers on, so I have to tough it out anyways.
  • I keep a blanket around because we're cheap with out heat.  Usually it's wrapped around my waist so that I can stay warm even when I stand up to cut or iron.
  • I have a little table top ironing board that tucks beside the desk.  It's not very old and already I really should make a new cover for it.
  • One of my dear friends got me the 2010 Day-to-Day Sewing Calendar for Christmas just because she saw it in the store and thought of me and it's so fun to have it on my desk.  I'll admit that I get impatient for the next project and often peak!
  • The heart on the wall is the other one I made and still haven't decided what to do with it...I'm hoping it will come to me if it's always staring at me up there on the wall.
And I course I had to make sure there was a WIP in the picture.  I had some St. Patrick's fabric from last year (only a half yard of each...what was I thinking?) and decided to get a head start on some kind of decoration.  Like the heart project, I'm still thinking about what direction I want to go with this.  There might possibly be an attempt at machine quilting...if I'm brave enough!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Thursday's Finish

I finally finished a project last thursday...seems like it's been a while.  

My mom really liked the patchwork heart that I made and blogged about.  She had some ideas about how it would work for a table runner.  And since it was her idea and she said she'd use it, I made it for her.  She even gave me the solid red fabric because she never used it for the project she originally got it for.  It ended up being about 33 inches long and just under 15 inches high.  I just eyeballed how long I wanted it.  She has a large oval dining table and the size seemed to work.

The back gave me a little trouble.  Mostly boils down to me not always being a very straight cutter.  I thought I had measured a bit extra, but as you can see, I had to add just a teeny bit of fabric on the ends.  Annoying but it was better than making the solid red on the front left side shorter than the embroidered side.  So you just can't flip it over.  : )

Monday, February 15, 2010

Extra Padding

Part of this busy weekend was celebrating more family birthdays.  My mom and BIL share the small birthday.  So we actually celebrate for both of them on Friday night and then just had a family dinner with my mom on Saturday.  It was a whole weekend of family.

I made a camera case for Mom.  She carries her camera with her all the time.  She sometimes uses a case but I really wasn't sure.  So I decided to make one up anyways.  I used this tutorial from Sew-Mad for the design.  I drew out the pattern and ended up enlarging it as I went along because I thought it looked way too small.  Turns out I didn't have to add as much as I did.  But now she has room to grow.  : )

The purple fabric is the same as the purple in the totebag I made for her last birthday.  The green polka dot is darker than the one from the totebag, but matching anyways.  : )

I'd also like to say that I am so grateful and ever thankful for the wonderful people of blog land who post tutorials.  They are the reason I'm sewing!


Tuesday is one of my Grandma-in-Laws' birthday.  She's a very young 71.  I love her.  I joke sometimes that I married my DH for his family...especially his grandparents....I'm only partially kidding : )

The whole family got together at a very nice asian buffet place on Sunday...which happened to be Valentine's Day also.  On that note, I threw together a quick 'card' for her.  Well actually, it was supposed to be a card, but things didn't go anywhere near planned.  Long story short, this is what came out of my 'morning of/last minute scramble.'

(Sadly I only had time to snap a super quick photo and I thought it was clear...)

It was supposed to be a card, but turned into more of table decoration.  It's only roughly an eight of a piece of card stock and leaning back on fold with a smaller piece in back.  I sewed around the heart with some pink thread and my presser foot smudged a bit, I punched a hole in the card (breaking my hole punch in the process...) and stuck the little flower in.  I'm actually happy with how the flower turned out.  I found the tutorial on Polka Dot Pineapple, and I was worried that because I just had Elmer's glue, they wouldn't turn out as pretty as hers.  But I'm seeing more of these in my future.

I'm blaming my super full weekend and a lousy cold for not completing my original idea of either a full bouquet of flowers or making this little one into a pin and for the card that kept getting smaller and smaller.  But I'm thanking my DH for comforting and encouraging me through the problems this caused me.  Now I just have to get him to put my hole punch back together...

Monday, February 8, 2010

xo Hearts xo

I'm taking a break from posting old projects to post about new one I worked on this weekend.
I've been wanting to do a Valentines project and as I was going over my Google Reader and ran across the project I tempted this weekend.  Freda's Hive blogged about Random Red for February and mentioned a pattern she had posted a while ago.  Her Valentine Flag/Banner seemed like an easy and colorful project.  So I got all my squares set up, moved my blooming hyacinth to my sewing table for the wonderful smell and started watching Season 1 of Fringe.  (The latter thanks to my boss who lent me the DVDs and keeps insisting I watch...I may be hooked...)

(Sorry for the crooked picture...just tilt your head a little.)

The hearts I made ended up a bit bigger than I was picturing...but that's my own fault for not reading the pattern and realizing what 2 1/2" squares means for final size.  Either way, I really like how they look.  And since I've got a bunch more pre-cut squares, I might be making one or two more this size.  But I suppose there's aways a use for 2 1/2" squares somewhere down the line.

I'm not sure how I want to finish them.  At first I was considering keeping them as two separate squares as wall hangings.  But maybe I do like the vertical banner look also.  First I have to decide if I need another border of white around the heart before a small red border.  I'm also considering embroidering a "B" and an "R" in opposite corners as a little personalization.  : )

(And ironically, as I update this, I'm watching another episode of Fringe where hyacinth plays a roll.)

Friday, February 5, 2010


I had a wonderful shopping trip to Wal-Mart today.  How often can you say that?

First I saw they had the areca palms I was eying up last month at half price.  They were pretty cheap to begin with and I almost got one as a birthday present for myself then.  But today I really couldn't pass them up.  There were also some larger house plants for sale at pretty decent prices too.  I want big plants but I'd rather get them cheap as babies and grow them up big myself.  Luck was really on my side today.  I eyed up the palms first and chatted with a lady about how it's the perfect time of year to 'buy green.'  I had just about convinced myself not to get one but I was less than two aisles away when I changed my mind and went back for one.  Perfect timing.  An employee was changing the price on the bigger guys from $11 to $6.  How could I leave without one of the beautiful rubber trees?  I have always wanted one and here they were at a perfect price.  So now they're sitting pretty in my house and I hope the cold floor doesn't bother them too much.  : )

Aren't they pretty!!

Just so you believe me and for my future reference, I took close ups of the price tags....  

To top it all off - when I got to the fabric department, I found out that they had a TON of fabric marked down to $1.00 a YARD.  Say what you want about Wal-Mart fabric, but there was absolutely no way I could resist this.  I got a yard or two of 11 different fabrics.  I know that I'm going to use some and ask myself "why didn't I get more?" because these are discontinued patterns.  And I have no specific projects in mind, but what a great and cheap way to add to your stash!  I was so pumped!  And p.s. I made sure to ask the fabric lady if they were getting rid of the fabric section like some Wal-Marts have, but she reassured me that they were just getting ready to put out some new lines.  Whew!

What do you think? (The yellow one at the bottom has purple and green stars on it)

All-in-all a good shopping trip.  I smiled the whole way home.  : )  I'm still not sure I got all the groceries I was supposed to tho...

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Jessi Bag

Like I said...I like to make bags.
Lucky for me, I have two sisters to like to HAVE bags.
And they believe in having different bags for different seasons.
For me that means, I get to try out different styles and use different fabrics.  Only problem I have is a limited number of occasions to gift these bags.  Keeps me from getting too carried away I guess.

One of my first official full-on purse was for my sister Jess for her birthday (Apr 2009).  She had a couple of requests on size but otherwise I had full reign.  I really liked the Keisha Bag on Cut Out + Keep, but the size wasn't quite right for her.  The fabric and accents really caught my eye so with that in mind and several zipper tutorials, Jessi's bag was born.

The pattern on the fabric is a navy paisley-like super cute, wish-I-would-have-bought-more floraly pattern.  I was so close to keeping this for myself!  It made me so proud that I even managed to insert a recessed zipper that looked pretty decent.

It's on the smallish side and ended up not fitting the new wallet she got, but overall it was a success.  

I also made her a fabric reversible belt.  One side had the fabric from the purse lining and the other was a fun blue and brown.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Bags Bags Bags

I really love making bags...purses, tote bags, grocery bags...all those fun things.  I'm still learning so much about them from the picking out the right fabric to putting in a zipper.  I just stumbled across a super cool site that posts a ton of online (FREE!!) bag tutorials for all kinds of bags.  I've seen lists before but this one is great because it has the picture instead of just the name.  I'm probably going to spend the rest of the day looking at these...I've been looking for a pattern for a new purse for me!

DIY Bag Lover

Another Birthday Present

My mom is big into tote bags.  I made her one for her birthday in Feb09.  It's based largely on the Lazy Days Tote from BHG.  I even picked similar colors because I liked what they did.  The bag does have a fairly thick lining so it's a bit padded.  The lining fabric is the same super cute green polka dot as the handles and the green triangles.  There's a small inside pocket.  I just love the colors and the simple, but lovely pattern.  I've seen a similar pattern used as a small quilt on Quilt Hollow.  I think it would make a nice baby quilt or lap quilt.

I also made a matching travel tissue pouch (detail post coming soon) and a sunglasses case for her.  Mom goes through so many pairs of sunglasses and so far she's been using it.