Wednesday, March 30, 2011

I Can Hardly Wait

I am beyond excited to share this quilt finish with you! But you'll have to wait for it to come out of the dryer and for me to get some proper photos taken. Here's a peek:

Monday, March 28, 2011

Crazy Weekend

We've spent the last several days at home with some kind of yucky flu-ish virus, complete with ear infections, which we still aren't entirely over yet. But I thought I'd share some images of our sugar-laden-cold-treats-that-make-a-sore-throat-feel-better weekend.

This was a total sympathy popsicle because Bailey is the only one of the four of us to be left unscathed by the sickness. But she had a pretty boring time of it so what the heck - have a blue raspberry popsicle.

And this is her "monster face" after some chocolate ice cream.

Owen can't keep a fierce monster face for too long. He cracks himself up!

And a couple of signs that things will surely be better soon. Looking forward to sharing a couple of recent quilty finishes!

Have a great Monday!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Happy Mail

You know it's a good day when something like this shows up in your mailbox:

Kerry is a new blog friend and we've been chatting a bit back and forth. She has a wonderful blog full of inspiring and creative projects so be sure to check it out and say hi. A little while ago I posted a picture of some homemade cinnamon rolls and that prompted a little personal swap.

I sent some really strong cinnamon along with a potholder and some little fabric bits that I thought Kerry would like along with the recipe for the cinnamon rolls. And this is what she sent to me:

Am I lucky or what?! I should mention that there were also two fabulous chocolate bars that obviously didn't last long enough to make it into a photo and some tasty tea.

Really beautiful fabric - all new to me!

And here's the back of the potholder, complete with one of Kerry's handmade tags, which I adore.

And a better look at the front of the potholder. I have it hanging in my kitchen with strict instructions to my husband to not use it! I just want to enjoy looking at it!

Here's the potholder I sent:

And the back has a pocket for your hand:

Thanks for such a fun swap, Kerry!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A New Tutu

I will apologize now for the quality of the photos in this post. It was crazy hard to get Miss B to keep from dancing around like a whirling dervish because she has a...


In that pic above she's clearly thinking, "Mama, you gave me a tutu but you won't let me dance in it? Why do I have to stand still when I want to be dancing?"

This is from the new Oliver + S book Little Things to Sew and it's AWESOME!

My kids want me to make pretty much everything in the book: mittens, a messenger bag, reversible bucket hat, you name it. If it's in the book, they want one. Great stuff for both boys and girls, though I did have to start with the tutu because I knew I could get it done FAST!

It's really constructed like a full wrap around apron so no elastic or any kind of funky waistband issues. Just tie it up in the back and she's good to go.

And go and go and go!

Have a great day!

Monday, March 21, 2011

A Birthday Purse

My mother-in-law had a birthday this past weekend. She didn't want anything, she never does. She's frugal and has quite a personal history, raised in Russia, living in Germany during WWII and even being imprisoned for part of that time before coming to America as a young woman. So, she didn't want anything.

But my husband noticed that her purse has seen better days. He bought it for her decades ago and the strap is now being held together with duct tape. He asked me if I would make her a new one.

And this is what we came up with:

I had an old Butterick pattern and Gary thought his mom would like this particular style. And the home dec weight fabric was his choice as well (and a shout out to Jill who gifted it to me awhile back - hey, there's still MORE!).

Here's the back.

I tell ya, this thing was not easy to put together. Especially since it was for a gift. I get hyper critical of my sewing when I know it's a gift. But all in all, I like how it turned out. It's fully lined and has two interior pockets and the whole thing is nice and sturdy because it's interfaced with fusible fleece.

Here are the exterior pockets under the flap. And I love the green zipper - it makes me smile.

Now maybe I'm ready to tackle my Amy Butler pattern and make a Sweet Harmony handbag. Maybe.

Friday, March 18, 2011

New Needlebooks

I've made two more Hexagon Needlebooks using this sweet sewing and notions print. I love how these ones turned out!

One has this crazy cute safety pin print on the inside.

And the other has tiny red dress forms.

Both are listed in the shop!

Thanks for visiting!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It's the little things...

This is my favorite saucepan:

Note the all metal handle, which makes it great if you want to also use it in the oven but also makes it hot whenever you use it on the stove.

This is the standard issue leather handle cover:

Poor, sad, plain little thing.

So I dressed up the handle with this little number:

A little bit of linen, some scraps, insulbrite, and binding are all my favorite pan needed! what's for dinner?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Paper Piecing

This is my first paper pieced block (other than a string quilt block made using a paper foundation).

And very helpful tutorial here.

There are a few little "oops" but I'm still really happy with how it all turned out. I had a lot of trouble starting out because I just did not "get it." But boy, once I figured it out and everything clicked, it was amazing. And fun! It's really kind of magical to watch it all come together because it seems so unlike any other kind of sewing I've ever done. Using solids was very helpful because at least I didn't have to be worrying all the time about whether my fabric was facing the right way or not.

If you want to see some paper piecing at it's finest, cutest and most creative then head over to the Ringo Pie group on flickr and prepare to be amazed. I've been stalking the group and it's members because it's so incredible!

Oh! Before I forget, there's also this nifty little tool that was very helpful. The add-a-quarter ruler helps to trim your paper-pieced seam allowances to a perfect quarter inch and keeps everything nice and tidy on the back of the block.

This block was made with kona ash gray and charcoal, and three random oranges that you'll be seeing in another upcoming project.

Friday, March 11, 2011

New item and a sale!

Just added this sweet FMF tote to the shop AND put the last three snack sacks on sale.

Check it out! And remember that 100% of the shop's proceeds benefit the Arthritis Foundation's Camp JAM. Thanks!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Best. Dinner. Ever.

Popovers, I love you so.

Ever since having popovers at my friend Gretchen's house a few years back, I've been in love. They are dreamy. It's like the very very BEST bread crust with an airy interior, almost hollow but with just a perfect amount of doughy goodness clinging to the sides to soak up some butter.

I wish I had one to eat right now.

They are sublime with a big bowl of vegetable beef barley soup.

True confession: I have been known to sit in front of the oven with the interior light on just to watch the popovers "pop" because it is a beautiful and magical thing to behold. Yum.

Monday, March 7, 2011

A Birthday Pillow

Today is my mother's birthday. She has been wanting a "tan" pillow for her bed for awhile. I just so happened to be working on a little something that created a bunch of leftover squares.

Voila! A patchwork pillow in a nice natural color palette.

It's a little bit embarrassing how quickly and easily this all came together. But since I just started it yesterday afternoon, it's a good thing I didn't make it any harder or more complicated.

The quilting is a simple grid outline to let the fabrics really be the main attraction. There are LOTS of different types of fabrics here because I was playing around with texture. Linen, cotton, linen/cotton blend. flannel, corduroy, dupioni silk, canvas, monk's cloth, muslin, kona, kona crush...whew!

And the whole thing is bound in Modern Meadow Herringbone. I wish I had yards and yards in every colorway because it's my new favorite for binding. Sigh.

So, happy birthday Mom! Hope you like your new pillow!

Friday, March 4, 2011

Tutorial: Tooth Fairy Pillow

Okay! Let's make a little pillow!

What you'll need:
2 squares (these are 4.5", my first pillows were 6.5") main pillow fabric front and back
1 square (same size as the others) for pillow pocket
1 piece 3"x13" for hanging strap


sewing machine, thread

All seams are 1/4" unless otherwise noted.

Take your pocket square and fold in half (wrong sides together) and press.

Press your strap fabric in half lengthwise.

Then open and press bottom and top to the center as shown above.

Finally, fold in half again and press closed.

Top stitch along both edges of your strap.

Top stitch along folded edge of pocket. I did two lines here, just because I like how it looks.

Lay your pocket on top of your pillow front fabric.

I stitch along the edge at about 1/8" to hold everything in place.

Next, center your straps and pin in place.

Stitch the straps to hold in place at 1/8" as well. Then tuck the strap neatly into the pocket to keep it out of the way when sewing the pillow together.

Pin your remaining pillow square (wrong sides together) to the front. Your pocket and strap are on the inside of the "sandwich" now.

Sew around the outside edge using a 1/4" seam allowance and leaving a small opening for turning.

Clip the corners and turn right side out.

Use a knitting needle or turning tool to poke your corners out nicely and give everything a good press.

Stuff with your fiberfill.

And hand-stitch your opening closed. I like to use a ladder stitch because it completely disappears.

You're all ready for the Tooth Fairy!

I made this version smaller than my previous ones just to see if I like the smaller size better. I do want my kiddos to be clear that the Tooth Fairy only leaves a small surprise. I think either version is fine and it really is such a simple project you could make it any size you choose. Just remember to cut all your squares the same size.

Have fun! If you make a Tooth Fairy Pillow for a special kiddo in your life, I'd love to know about it!