Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Smock of All Ages

Smock of All Ages from One-Yard Wonders by Rebecca Yaker and Patricia Hoskins.

Even though this pattern is from a book of one-yard patterns—it doesn't fit into one yard! It calls for quilting cotton, but if you prewash it it won't fit (and who doesn't prewash before sewing a clothing item?). Also, the pattern also calls for a package of bias binding—Wrights, the only packaged bias binding I can find, is cotton/poly. So you have to prewash your fabric in order to add cotton/poly binding. Ugh...

I had 2 yards of this Hoffman California Penny Lane print stashed, so it was fine. The ruffle piece is 22" wide, so does not fully fit onto the prewashed fabric. I cut it, and then trimmed it. This worked fine. The ruffle, ties, and pocket could all be done in a contrasting fabric.

The ties are placed so as to be nearly impossible to tie yourself. But this smock is cute and comfortable and offers excellent coverage for the kitchen—which I need, being a messy cook. I may use it for some crafting as well.

I am also making another, as a Christmas gift. This is actually my muslin....

Monday, November 4, 2013

Felt Clutch

This project is from the October 2013 Whimseybox--for once, I am doing a project in a timely fashion, yay me!

I chose to do the main project, a felt clutch. The directions are for a plain clutch with contrasting sewing. I decided to embellish mine a bit. One of the alternate projects features cut outs. I liked that.

In the end, I chose to use a Martha Stewart flower stencil. I cut out one flower, stenciled others, and then stenciled blowing petals. I used some gold plastic "jewels" as the flower centers—and they perfectly matched the yellow embroidery floss that came in the box.

Front, closed
Back, closed


October 2013 Whimseybox: pattern, 2 sheets wool felt, embroidery floss, snap, needle
Martha Stewart Four Seasons stencil pack
Martha Stewart multi-surface satin craft paint in Deep Sea
plastic "jewels" (kid-craft quality :) )
Elmer's Glue-All
Foam pouncers
General craft supplies: embroidery scissors, toothpicks, painting tape

Linked to:
Take-A-Look Tuesday

Kookaburra quilt finish

So, I finished nearly 6 weeks ago, and am only getting around to doing this post.

The Kookaburra quilt is done!

You can find info on the fabrics used in this post.

Quilt labels are my absolute least favorite part of quilting. I have tried using an applique, I have tried writing on the quilt, I have tried a square tucked into the binding. I have found all of these things either incredibly frustratingly difficult or nerve-wracking (that would be the writing!). I found the idea of using the silhouette to make cloth labels at Sew Nocturnal. I used the same kind of pen, but used twill tape. I chose twill tape because I wouldn't need to finish the edges, but oh was getting it centered impossible. I am hoping to find some smoother cotton tape to try in the future, because it could be very quick and easy.

Pieced Back

Trying to get a decent shot outside—and for scale

Simple label using my Silhouette
Simple—except for trying to get it centered!
Happy boy

The pattern is from All People Quilt: Fat Quarter Twin Bed Quilt. I made size adjustments because my son has an Ikea Kura bed, and a traditional twin would not work!

Linked to:
Take-A-Look Tuesday

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Back from the Big Vacay!

Yes, it's been a few months. A few months of whirlwind busyness.

Kid 1 got out of school at the end of May, Kid 2 nearer the end of June. Less than a week after Kid 2 was out, we were off to Europe for 6.5 weeks! (Which, in hindsight, was too long—Kid 1 and I are both feeling overwhelmed with his starting school in 4 days!) London, Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris, 3 weeks in Italy (2.5 in Genova/Rapallo), Salzburg, Munich.

6.5 weeks with no crafting, though I did get some magazines in Italy and some yarn in Salzburg. And in Venice I managed to find some nice affordable (cheap!) glass beads and pendants from Murano. I didn't get to GO to Murano, but ah well. I wish I had bought more beads, already.

Less than 24 hours after we returned, we had Kid 2's spring soccer team party. And we really wanted to do something for our fabulous team manager (who also managed our last fall team).

Bead a Murano bead from Venice. Cord purchased in Germany. Findings from my stash. The little bag came in a Whimseybox that arrived while we were gone (I am not sure what month's box), ring blank from the stash, letters stamped with a Pick Your Plum stamping set I purchased last spring, wild plum and stream alcohol inks.

Simple, yet very very satisfying to make.

Take a Look Tuesday

Tuesday, May 14, 2013


Yes, wings. That was the theme for Le Challenge #2.

Before the theme was announced, I was already working on the Kookaburra quilt for Kid 2. When he originally saw the backing fabric, he actually asked if I could just frame that for his room., because 1) then there wouldn't be nearly enough for the back and 2) that would be one BIG frame.

But I thought maybe I would do something with my scraps.

Then my last Whimseybox contained string art supplies—wood base, nails, black wire, orange wire, green/white baker's twine, and blue/white baker's twine.

I am now over halfway done with the quilting (and fighting through a tough part, as much of the quilt has to fit through my machine, it's a struggle). So, clearly, I have my scraps. But not enough of the fabric I was hoping to use.

But I made it work.

Kingfisher on a Wire

Step 1--Mod Podged fabric scraps

Sides stamped with silver stamp pad

Wire under the kingfisher

 The quilt I am making is based on the Saffron Craig Banksia Bloom Kookaburra fabrics. I chose some of my scraps and mod podged them onto my wood. After it dried, I trimmed the fabric and then used a silver stamp pad to color the edges.

After looking at a whole lot of belted kingfisher (the kookaburra is a large kingfisher from Australia, the belted kingfisher is the North American kingfisher we see at a local park) pictures online and in books, I found a pose I liked. I then traced two different photos to get the pose I wanted. I scanned my drawing, enlarged it, and printed it.

After putting in the nails—the hardest part of this project—I first put on the wire the kingfisher is perched on, and then strung the kingfisher.

I added nails to the side, and more wire, for hanging. I also added felt circles to the back corners.

Of course, kid 2 decided he doesn't want to actually hang it LOL.

Linked to:
Le Challenge
Fluster's Creative Muster
Sew Darn Crafty

Friday, May 10, 2013

First Silhouette Project

I finally shoved aside the sewing machine and decided to set up my Silhouette Cameo, which has been in its box since...Christmas. I needed a birthday card for my dad, and saw a great idea in the spring/summer issue of Make It Yourself.

Setting up the Cameo was surprisingly easy—though I couldn't register through their automatic system, I had to go on the web to do it. Took a bit to connect my online account (there are no directions provided for this!).

But I got it figured out.

Then I discovered that my cardstock has disappeared. Spent 20 minutes looking for that. It's gone. I am guessing a certain 13-year-old probably turned it into a set of dumpsters. Or something.

So, I found an envelope (since it's heavier paper) and cut that to use in the Cameo. And since it's white, I found my nice scrapbooking markers to use to color the cut piece.

Maybe I should have colored it first.

I used the glue pen and the tack from the cutting mat to stick the words. They were quite hard to get off the mat.

Turns out my wonderful pens do run a bit if wet, in spite of being permanent, acid-free, etc etc etc.

I used the glue pen to glue down the baker's twine. A bit of a mess. Getting them cut to the same length was the hardest—in retrospect, I should have used double-sided tape.

All in all, I learned a bunch about how to work the Cameo.

My poor dad actually might not notice all of the annoying details that I see. Spot, smear, glue blob (it dried clear), poorly cut ends (scissors could not trim through glue!), poorly drawn flames.

Plan for this weekend: buy a variety pack of cardstock.

My first Cameo project!
Linked to:
Sew Darn Crafty 
Take-A-Look Tuesday

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

A win!

I recently won some sewn pouches from Susan of the Le Challenge blog, and they made it here all the way from England! And one of them had a whole bunch of precut hexies—I have never braved making hexies, perhaps I will finally try. Perhaps it will be the perfect project the next time I have a boy home sick.

I've been trying to get some good pictures, but I have given up. We've had bright sun, we've had rain, now we're back to sun.

The big one is currently full of washi tape—which had been living in a heap on my sewing table. I thought it was all going to fit into the smaller one. Ahem.

The amount of time I spent playing with these looking at the construction was kind of funny. Especially since I am still not clear on how they were put together!

Cookie approves!

I have 3 projects going right now—one for the current Le Challenge (which will be revealed on May 15, assuming it continues to go well), Everett's kookaburra quilt, and some mother's day gifts (which will be posted after they are received—my mother-in-law occasionally reads this blog, so NO SPOILERS).

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Piecing a back

I have never pieced a back before, but had to for my current project.

Why had to? I only bought 2 yards of my backing fabric (bought from Honey Be Good), which is a very large repeat print. When it arrived, I also wasn't thrilled by the layout on the fabric—the birds were facing away form each other! And one side had black birds, the other blue. I wanted to mix that up.

Also, my quilt top is 52 inches wide.

The front:
The back:

Fabrics are mostly from Saffron Craig's Banksia Bloom line (a got a fat quarter bundle and 2 yards of the large kookaburras). Filled in with Art Gallery Pure Elements Parisian Blue, Robert Kaufman Quilter's Linen Stone, Kona Cotton Orange, and Lotta Jansdotter Bella Ball and Leaves Poppy. I have Ann Kelle Remix Dots in Tangerine for binding.

This is all sandwiched up and ready to quilt! First, though—making dinner, eating dinner, and more laundry. Maybe some card games too.

Linked to:
Fresh Sewing Day 
WIP Wednesday

Friday, April 26, 2013

A little washi

A perfect use for washi tape—to perk up a 99 cent store gift bag, card, and tissue-wrapped gift. All of which was then crammed into a priority mail box. Any bow would have been crushed, and I am sure the bag was.

Why are priority mail boxes so odd-shaped? I simply cannot find a gift box to fit in them well, so I always end up with crushed gift bags.

Friday, April 5, 2013

big finish!

Yay, a big finish for me!

I've been pretty quiet lately, because I have been working on this. A baby quilt for a new cousin.

Pattern: disappearing 9-patch, in an attempted random arrangement
Fabrics used:
Lizzie House Pearl Bracelet Tin Man,  Riley Blake Ombre Dots Navy and Green; V and Co Ombre Solid Graphite and Lime Green; Print and Pattern Boy Toys Let's Go Sky (2 prints); Michael Miller Clown Stripe in blue and green (not sure of exact names); binding is Kona Glacier

I am entering this in the Mar/Apr Le Challenge, since the theme was geometrics and I was making a baby quilt this month. How's that for perfect? A geometrics theme and a baby quilt came together the same month. Did the theme affect my quilt? Not consciously, but I think it did because I had geometrics on the brain. I had been thinking of doing a much simpler (or maybe I should say "simpler") quilt of strips of my fabrics, different widths, etc, but all WOF. I think this worked out much much better. I love patchwork, and the trick used to get the disappearing 9-patch makes the patchwork look more complicated, but I also think it helps match up those corners, and it helps move the different fabrics around the quilt.

Linking to:
Finish it Up Friday
Show off Your Stuff
Happy Hour Friday
Sew Darn Crafty
Take-A-Look Tuesday
Show and Tell Tuesday 
Fluster's Creative Muster 
Fabric Tuesday

Monday, April 1, 2013

April Fools!

This blog may indicate that I haven't been working on anything, but that is not the case! I will have a big finish soon, and then another! Why have I not posted about these projects? Probably because I have been working on them, ha ha.

But in honor of April Fool's Day, I had to trick my boys.

A Pin Win!
After trolling about pinterest for some ideas, I settled on meatloaf "cupcakes" with mashed potato frosting and actual cupcakes  with "mashed potato" frosting.

It didn't fool the boys, but the husband was a little freaked out, and wouldn't taste anything until the boys told him what everything was. He said it was delicious, but would not put both "cupcakes" on his plate at the same time.

I am terrible at piping frosting, and I am equally terrible at piping mashed potatoes.
13-year-old says meatcakes are great, and I should always make meatloaf this way. Nooooooo!!!!!

Linked to:
Take-A-Look Tuesday
Fluster's Creative Muster

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Baby dress with flower

So, 10pm last night I was sewing on the flower. Which was much more complicated than I expected, due to flower floppiness. But I had left nice long tails, so all is well. But I was glad I didn't try to squeeze it in between school pickup, rocket building night, and cell phone contact mess.

See the dress on ravelry, and the flower on ravelry.

And for what's really going on. Note the pile of boys' hoodies/jackets, backpack of boy who is off for conferences, and random papers from their backpacks (I cannot tell if these are important or not). I managed to take 4 pictures before the cats came to check out the goings on.

Watcha doin'?

Linked to:

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Baby dress

The dress is done. The flower is done. So close to completely done, but not quite there.

Yes, all I need to do is sew the flower to the dress.

Due to some iphone contact issues, 2 days off of school for my 10-year-old (conference time), and a whole bunch of cub scout stuff to do (newsletter, awards, 2 articles for local paper), as well as actual paid work—well, maybe I can find 10 minutes to get this sewn together.

The dress is Sweet and Swingy Dress by Ellen Gormley, Crochet Today May/June 2009. I made the size 6 months.

The flower is Flower Accent by Mimi Alelis (I made a solid center rather than use a button).

Bookwise, I am still reading the same three books—Ivyland (which I give a solid "meh", I am hoping it pulls together in the final 90 pages); The History of the World in Six Glasses (disappointing for me the history major); and His Family by Ernest Poole (good, this is my "emergency" book on my phone, otherwise I would be done!).

Linked to:
WIP Wednesday
Yarn Along

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Washi and milk carton bookmarks

So, my 10-year-old loves to read. And he loves bookmarks. Demands them, in fact. And he loses them. And a piece of paper doesn't count for him! It must be a "real bookmark."

Fortunately, he is pretty mellow when it comes to losing bookmarks. And he totally gets why I don't want to buy them—because he doesn't either!

So...voila! Washi and milk carton bookmarks.

These are super simple! Rinse a milk carton, and cut out the flat sides with craft scissors. Then, with a cutting mat and Xacto knife, cut down to a nice bookmark size—mine vary, as you can see, by how much space I had on the milk carton.

My setup
I used one of my quilting rulers as a straight edge. I actually did this on the floor, so I could put all of my weight on the ruler—that milk carton plastic can be squirmy.

Trim down to a rectangle
Cut down
Once I had my rectangles, I simply wrapped washi tape around the piece. Once, or twice, depending on the size of the bookmark and the pattern of the tape. Fold it over the ends, or go all the way around. It will peel off with use if you trim it flush to the end.
My favorite tape—this one's for me.
That's all there is to it!
 Easy as pie! Easier, actually.

Linked to:
Take a Look Tuesday
Fluster's Creative Muster 
Fireflies and Jellybeans 
Happy Hour Friday 
Sew Darn Crafty