Wednesday, October 31, 2012

More WIPs

I have quite a few projects on my table that need the smallest little detail (think a button or a 2" seam that needs to be sewn) to be finished.  I simply get distracted with all of the new projects that I see out in blogland and forget to finish one thing before I move on to the next.

Sadly my Halloween quilt will not be ready this year.  It has taken major strides since last year when it was just a stack of cute fabric on my shelf.  The front has now been pieced and most of the back is put together.  I decided to use a tutorial I found at ocd: obsessive crafting disorder to quilt it with spiderwebs using some silver thread I picked up last weekend (when the time comes).

I volunteered with Kristy at Quiet Play for pattern testing and she actually sent me one to try out!  I was shocked (but thrilled).  I ended up with her Chopsticks Pattern (which I'm sure she will be adding to her Craftsy Shop soon).  It went together quickly and easily and I'm thrilled with how it turned out.  I'm planning on turning it into a little utensil pouch for storing our chopsticks (yes, we have our own set of plastic chopsticks, don't ask me why) so they aren't rolling around loose in one of our drawers.


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Finishing Touches

The majority of my weekend was spent cleaning the house.  This involved the massive undertaking of reorganizing my fabric.  I had it stored on mini bolts (comic book boards) but after seeing the sewing rooms of other bloggers decided I liked their method of folded fabric best.  I cannot bring myself to sort ALL of it by color but most of it is.  I separated out the collections to make them easier to find and the yardage and busy prints that cannot be categorized by one color and the juvenile prints.  If I ever get it finished I'll post some pictures since that sounds about as clear as mud :).
I managed to get a little bit of sewing done Sunday.

I started and finished the two Block 13s for the How Far Will You Go QAL (linking up to BOMs Away! at What a Hoot Quilts)...

Added the border to my Owl Wall Hanging...

And quilted and cut the binding for my Polar Bear Wall Hanging.  This is the first time that I have ever done any quilting other than just outlining the blocks and it seemed to warp (I'm sure there's a proper term but I don't know it) a little and I'm not sure what I did wrong or how to prevent it in the future.  Any suggestions?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Lesson Learned!

Ever have one of those days where everything you sit down to do gets put on hold due to some missing component?  That was my Friday night. 

I finished piecing the exterior of my Weekender Bag only to realize that I had never bothered to buy the lining...or the zipper...or the cording (whoops!).

On to project #2 - a project I found in a magazine I picked up last week.  I pieced together the front with no problem then realized I had no backing or binding materials (whoops again!). 

Third time is a charm, right?  Not in this case.  I had printed off a new paper piecing pattern from Shape Moth that I was eager to get started on so I jumped right in using some of my scraps.  No trouble finishing the.  Again to realize I had nothing for backing or binding.  No pic, sorry.  Also I ran out of several different colors of thread while piecing everything.  Luckily since it wasn't going to show I just switched to a new color and kept going. 

So Saturday morning Squeak & I spent a couple of fun filled hours at the store picking up some supplies.  A few necessities, a few stash builders, a couple fun new toys to try out and we're set for awhile!

The lesson here?  Plan better!!!  Oh well, off to start finishing the above mentioned projects!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

The Neverending 100 Day Hustle

I've been seeing posts about the 100 Day Hustle for quite awhile now.  I'm envious of those who can make this list.  My list (and I am a list person) grows and multiplies everyday!  I have accepted the fact that I will never catch up on all of the projects that I have earmarked for future use.  The projects that I would really like to get done this year (whether they meet the deadline or not) are:

The Travelling PicStitch I still need to pick my fabrics AND my project for this one

The Long Weekend:  Piecing of the exterior is in process.  I did make a little bit of headway last night

Pervalong:  Falling behind-I need to do the borders

Cathedral Window:  Need to pick and purchase fabrics

Value Added:  Will be using a Thimble Blossoms pattern and Mama Said Sew fabrics

Scrappy Stash Quilt Along:  not having scraps to choose from will never be an issue for me (I am forever buying scrap bundles, remnants and other goodies from Ebay and Etsy) so I simply have to pick a project and get started

There are sooo many more small projects that I would like to get finished but for the purpose of the 100 Day Hustle I'll stick to my Quilt/Sew Alongs :)

Hope everyone else is well on their way to meeting their goal!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

My First WIP Wednesday

Today is the first time that I will be linking up to WIP Wednesday over at Freshly Pieced.  I will admit I'm more than a little intimidated.  There are some amazing projects to look at and I hope mine will not stand out (in a bad way, of course).  I made no progress on my Weekender Bag last night but hope that will change tonight.

About a week ago I finally put the velcro on Squeak's Carseat Canopy.  I had finished the sewing a while back but couldn't find the adhesive velcro that I was looking for.  I picked some up at JoAnn's and here is the finished product.
I didn't have a tutorial for this so if I decided to make another one I would definitely make the back shorter.  As it is now, it drags the ground (whoops) but all in all it will serve its function this winter by keeping the freezing Oklahoma wind, drizzle, and snow off of my baby.  Speaking of Squeak, we have another round of shots this afternoon so wish us luck!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The Start of the Long Weekender Bag

When I started sewing about a year and a half ago, the first pattern I bought and used was Amy Butler's Style Stitches.  The Cosmo Bag was probably not the easiest beginner pattern but I jumped in and never looked back.  I have heard a lot of criticism lately concerning this book but since I started with it, I became used to it and everything else seems fairly easy compared to it.  Looking back I'm glad it worked out this way :-).
The point of this story is that after doing a couple of the projects from that first book I became somewhat obsessed with Amy's patterns and bought all that I could find (this includes her other books).  I then became distracted by other patterns as my sewing radar expanded and never started, not to mention finished, most of the projects I had originally intended to make.  I even went as far as to cut out the pattern for the Weekender Bag before I got pushed to the side. 
Enter Heidi at the Farbic Mutt and Lori of Lori H. Designs (please forgive me ladies, I still haven't figured out a lot of this blogging stuff-linking back to things being one of the things on my list):

The perfect way to hold myself accountable and actually finish the bag!  This is what I have so far
It may not look like much but it took me about 5 hours last night.  Improv piecing is so much harder than it looks!  I discovered that I need a pattern.  I have yet to come across a pattern that I couldn't figure out (there was one close call involving a pattern that had missing pieces and horrible instructions, but you don't want to get me started on that!) but put some scraps in front of me and tell me to piece them with nothing to look or go by and I'm lost, lol.  Most of the exterior is finished.  I only need to piece and cut the top and bottom panels - so about 3 more hours :P.  I'm thinking a nice, soft gray for the lining and piping.  I will most likely end up changing up a few things on the pattern - I have no idea what cording is or how to use it, so I will probably use piping instead. So far I'm optomistic and eager to get back to work!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Romance in Retro-spect: Squeeze Your Own Bundle

I saw this on Blossom Heart Quilts and couldn't wait to get started.  I love putting fabrics together but will admit that I often cheat and buy all of my fabrics for a project from the same line to make sure that they will go well together.  This was a bit of a challenge - - in more ways than one. 
I have never used any photo imaging software (unless you count instagram)...this should be no surprise to those of you who have seen my photos on my blog or Etsy.  I used the Picasa 3 as recommended by Alyce and it was pretty simple even for someone like me :).  I did have trouble saving the Fresh Squeezed Fabrics logo box though so sadly my collage is without it.  I am also amazingly UNcreative when it comes to naming things...again no shock there.

In the end I came up with this:

Romance in Retro-spect

 I am really loving the fabrics and the way the work together.  My focus fabric and the fabric that I started with and decided to build around is the large, bold floral on the top, left.  Not my usual fabric, as I typically go for bright, fun, explosive colors.  Maybe that's why I like it so much...
The name of the bundle stemmed (I promise I wasn't intending on making a pun, but if it fits...) from the beautiful floral prints and somewhat muted, yet still vibrant due to that pop of red, colors that remind me of old time romance and since part of the competition is the name I wanted to do some kind of catchy twist.

Hopefully everyone else will love it as much as I do.  A big thanks to Fresh Squeezed Fabrics for sponsoring this contest/giveaway! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ear Gear-Fleece Ear Warmers

I finished up my first batch of Fleece Ear Warmers just in time to send them to Crafted with the rest of this months inventory.  I wanted to try a variety of different things.  This is what I came up with:

I used a little bit of everything...studs, crocheted flowers, ribbon, fabric, buttons, embroidery thread, brooches.  One of the best things about making these was that I got to use up some of the items I have been hoarding for quite a while (I'm one of those people that finds a good deal on something and buys it so that I will have it on hand IN CASE I ever need it).  These were really simple to make.  I simply cut the desired shape from the fleece and added the embellishements and buttons and cut a slit for the buttonhole.  No seams necessary.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Glutton for Punishment: The Long Weekender

I know my previous post was all about how over extended I am so I must be a glutton for punishment since I'm going to join in The Long Weekender Blog Hop.  I'm planning on using my Super Penguin Popsicle Blocks that I previously made as the pocket on the front and patch working the rest!  It will give me a really fun, unique look to my bag and give me an excuse to redo the first set of blocks for my Super Penguin Quilt.  Can't wait to get started.  I've had the pattern cut, ready and waiting for inspiration for months now.

Small & Simple v. Long & Lengthy

My favorite thing to make is handbags.  All different kinds.  I love trying new patterns and watching the bag come together.  Unfortunately I haven't been able to focus on bags lately.  I have over extended myself a bit.  Between working full time, being the mother of a very active, and now mobile, 7 month old, my Etsy shop, all of the "A-Longs" that I've signed up for, trying to stock the shop in Claremore, and housework (which along with my poor husband is being badly neglected) I simply do not have time-or energy-for new, just for fun projects.
Crafted has put out a call for Christmas inventory.  They are trying to get their shop stocked up for Christmas and have asked for all vendors to up the number of items that are being sent to them.  Therefore, this post is about quantity over .... I don't want to say quality because the items will be made with the usual love and care, but they are not my favorite thing to make-more of a necessary evil :). 
I am introducing quite a few new items in an attempt to make small, quick projects to send their way.
Hopefully these little (unfinished) candy cane mice will be a hit.  I have several more cut in other colors but I haven't been able to find candy canes anywhere yet but hopefully soon!
I saw this adorable flannel on another blog and while at JoAnn's I had to pick some up.  I'm thinking I deserve some new pajama pants :)
This was another little splurge.  Anyone that knows me can tell you how much I love owls so when I saw this I had to have it.  I'm thinking of making it into a little sewing tin to stick in my purse.
Business Card Holders seem to be the most popular item at that I have in stock at Crafted so I'm sending more of those their way.
I'm also trying my hand at Fleece Ear Warmers.  Very simple to do since they're fleece and do not require any seams or stitching around the edges.  Without some sort of embellishment I thought they looked to plain to I'm trying out different things:  flowers, bows, appliques, blanket stitches, buttons, studs, etc.
More Ear Warmers waiting for inspiration.
And introducing Coffee Sleeves.  These are fun little things to make-unless your not paying attention and cut all of your one directional (is that the proper term?) fabrics upside down and have to start all over (sigh).  I think my favorite one is the bottom left with the fun, antiquey looking button.
I also made a bunch of Bottlecap Magnets using OKC Thunder, OSU, Dr. Suess and Little Monster images.  Forgot to get a picture, oops!
I have fallen slightly behind on the Super Penguin QAL and after looking at my first blocks I'm thinking I would like to redo them to make a more cohesive quilt in the end but am not sure I could handle that right now.  The Cathedral Window QAL has been entirely neglected but I haven't given up on the hope that I can join in.  The Stash QAL is another one that I haven't even started on yet.  I am happy to report that the How Far Will You Go Quilt is up to date (YAY!) and the Pervalong Quilt-which finally got started last week- will be where it should be by the end of the week.  This is where it is at the moment.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Falling Behind

Thanks to a nasty case of the flu (for me & my husband) and a very needy (but adorable) little boy I have fallen way behind.  Things I still haven't finished:

Super Penguin QAL Block 3
How Far Will You Go QAL Blocks 10 & 11
Pervalong Blocks A & B
Cathedral Window QAL Blocks 1 & 2
Items to go to Crafted
Crocheted fedoras
And sooo many more!

The one thing that I did manage to get done this week was a trip to JoAnn's for supplies

I picked up most of the fabrics for the Pervalong-I'm a little confused by the amounts they said to get so I only got the 1/4 yard cuts for now and will go back for the yardage later when I figure out where I'm using it and what color it should be.  I also picked up some beautiful autumn fabrics for the embroidered turkey pillow I want to put together.  I finished up the turkey last night and hope to get started on it next.  The three fabrics on the right are for a heavy duty car seat canopy for Squeak.  It was a chilly 47 degrees when we left for work this morning and it will only get worse.  Now that I have the yarn for the fedoras I hope to get those crocheted this weekend as well.  I keep seeing everyone using washi tape so I finally broke down and bought some (it has birds on it, how could I refuse!) and at the checkout I broke down and picked up the new copy of Sew News-I'm dying to make the clutch on the cover and I have the perfect fabric in mind, and last but not least, three spools of thread on basic colors just to have handy.  I also bought an amazing gray semi solid and some cream for embroidery but they didn't make it into the picture. 

After seeing some amazing mug rugs that are being made at Saltwater Quilts I had to give them a try.  The binding was my downfall on these.  I got progressively better as I went.


This was my latest attempt and while not perfect I'm definitely making progress.  They will all be finding new homes with family and friends soon :)