Saturday, August 30, 2008

the kids

End of summer trip to the arboretum.

Happy Labor Day weekend everyone!
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Friday, August 29, 2008

crafting with crayons

I started this summer with visions of all sorts of crafty things the kids and I would do together. Then it got kind of hot. And I remembered that I don't like to be outside that much - especially when it's hot. This is my attempt to get one fun crafty thing in before school starts on Tuesday. (If they're lucky, I might whip out some paint on Labor Day.)
We've been saving all the little nubs of crayons that gather at the bottom of the bin, but no one ever uses. Between our house and the neighbor's we had quite a few. You'll have to take off all the paper wrappers that might be left and then chop them into little pieces - the size of peas. This should be done outside if possible, because there will be teeny tiny bits of crayon all over the place. May I recommend using something other than a cutting board from your kitchen. However, if you foolishly grab that one, I found that baking soda and a scrubby will clean it up rather well, though you may still have some technicolor residue left for your carrot sticks at snack time.
After all the crayons have been chopped up, you can throw them in a pile or get all anal and make the kids separate them by color. (I swear it was easier for them to make their color choices when they were organized!) This is also a good time to preheat your oven to 150degrees.
Using a thrifted mini-muffin pan(I did think ahead about this part of the project), let the kids fill each cup with colors of their choice. Then get all anal again and make a little diagram so you know which one belongs to which kid.

Stick them in the oven for 25 minutes or more - til they melt together. Do not get all antsy when you look at them 20 minutes into it and see that they still look like individual nubs and crank up the heat to 175 and go watch the news forgetting about them. If you do this, you will get mini crayon soups. All will not be lost though because most will still turn out pretty cool and you will know that next time, they just need to be in there a lot longer or that the heat should be turned up just slightly.

Color and enjoy!
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Thursday, August 28, 2008

thrifty thursday

Thanks to Patty at Pipstitch for the sweet award she sent me!
According to the rules I'm supposed to link to at least 7 other blogs that I love. How about 12? If you haven't visited them already, go check out the blogs of my quilting buddies at Common Threads. You can link to any of these talented women over in the sidebar. And while you're at it, check out Patty's blog too. She's always got some good crafty links. She has Vintage Thingie Thursday as well. Which leads me to this:
Found at the local Salvation Army. I replaced the original red binding because it had ripped away from the apron in several places. Redoing the binding was far easier than trying to fix the areas where the fabric had been shredded at the edge. Yes, the binding was thrifted too.
The mushroom reminds me of Rebekah's first quilt blocks. Ever since she sent that fabric I'm seeing them everywhere.
ps- Tuli is posting thrifty thursdays too. Any other good thrifty links out there? Post them in the comments.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008

little baker's set

Another model for a class I'm teaching this fall.
The pattern is Little Retro Aprons for Kids. Fabrics are by Moda. The pattern includes the size for the doll's apron. There's also a pattern available for matching adult sized aprons.
In addition to the aprons, there'll be a demo on how to make some pretend play cookies with wool felt and buttons. I love how these turned out.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2008

neglected skirt

I should consider August a "finish what you have" month. I've been working dilligently to get UFO's out of my sewing room.
This one had been cut and all the notions were gathered and tucked away with it. I think it was started in the spring of '07. No idea why I stopped working on it. Fear of the invisible zipper? (Which really, with the right presser foot, is nothing to be afraid of.)

Anyway, it's done now and it still fits(a bit of concern when walking away from a project for that long...). The pattern is McCalls 4306. It's a good basic pattern for a bias cut skirt. It was hemmed with thrifted bias tape. Can you believe the color match?
I might get to wear it a few times before it feels too much like fall around here.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

monday's laundry day

Our neighbor just headed off to college. We sent her off with a gift card for Target and a way to tote her stuff down to the laundry room.
This was a class model that I'd sewn about two years ago. The pattern is from In Stitches. The fabrics are by Amy Butler as well. As much as I love how it turned out, it never got used here. Best to send it off where it will get used and appreciated.
This wasn't in the pattern, but was part of the class. It's a matching coin purse to hold all those dimes and quarters you'll need. The strap was made extra long so it could be wrapped around a belt loop or strap and have the purse run through it to keep it handy.

Now I need to go face the mountain of laundry in my own basement.
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

the kids

Local adoption group picnic today.
Plenty to do:

Mini Golf

Batting Cages

Playground Daring Do

And best of all-
Splash Park!

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Thursday, August 21, 2008

thrifty thursday

There was an estate sale in the neighborhood last week. I knew the homeowner was a sewer and held my breath when I asked if there were any sewing supplies. Sadly, there was no great stash of vintage patterns or fabrics, but I did get my hands on this:

It's a little too stiff for a funky skirt, but a library tote might be just the thing.
And I have a little confession. While I was hoping for the above mentioned items, I really had to run in for a sneak peek at the house. A new friend is moving into it this weekend!

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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

caught up!

(You'll also find this post here. Go on over and look at all the gorgeous work from the other quilters.)
Finally, after some summer months that seem to have run me ragged, I'm up to speed. And as I can see it's just in time to receive my next bundle of fabric from Betty. I've also stayed away from the Common Threads blog a bit as I'm finding that I'm either intimidated by the cool and creative work of the other quilters or I feel something might be too close to what I was imagining. Am I the only one who worries about these things? Once this post is finished, I plan to enjoy an evening of marveling at everyone else's work while I browse through the back entries that I've missed.

This block is for Liz. I had originally wanted to do a log cabin block with the green homespun in the center, but found I was limited with the length of my fabrics. However, I'm finding the fabric sizes I'm given to be the fun part of the challenge. It forces me to use what I have and rethink my first ideas. In the end, I think I've got a nod to a log cabin block. In fact, I'm sure this is some sort of official quilt design, but I've not looked up the name.
I adored the little nuts and wanted to play with those a bit. It seems I can't stop myself from embroidering, so I added a little accent to the green.

Finally, I have a block to send off to a very patient Melissa.
Let's just say that I should not have been so freaked out by wavy seams.

Yes, more embroidery. (Seriously, if you don't want this sort of embellishment on your blocks, you'll have to come right out and tell me. I can't promise anything when left to my own devices.)

I'm headed to the post office tomorrow, ladies.
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

look! more linen

Yeah, I bought a LOT of linen this year. In fact, I still have yards of it left. I'm hoping to get a skirt and some dresses and/or pants for the girls out of it yet. Too late for those this summer, but I can tell myself I'm working ahead for next year.
This was made in time for the New York trip (which I can't believe was a month ago).
It's from the same Built by You Simplicity pattern as this top. This one, however, was incredibly easy. I altered it slightly by cutting the back piece on the fold and eliminating a seam in the center back. It's a pull on style so there seemed to be no reason not to do that. I also left the elastic out of the bottom portion of the sleeve. No need to accentuate an area that is in serious need of toning. The pattern tapers in a bit on the sides keeping it from looking maternity. If you're looking for a beginner's project. This one is it.
I'm thinking about doing some machine embroidery in black along the bottom edge... for next summer.
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Monday, August 18, 2008

sister dresses

I wonder if the day is going to come when the girls hate me for dressing them alike whenever I can. In my defense, they seem to enjoy it now. My mother did the same and I think I was in the third grade before I refused to do it anymore.
That gives me two more years to enjoy stuff like this.
These are from an old McCalls pattern(not vintage, just a hand-me-down from about 10 years ago). They have a zipper up the back. I think any jumper pattern would work for this. Just add a second layer in the skirt for the apron and insert some ties into the bodice side seam. (I love jumper patterns because they make great sundresses for now and in the cool weather, just add a tee or turtleneck for a year round dress. These are going to be pressed into service for Thanksgiving.)

Just be sure the skirt is very full.

Because you have to be able to twirl.
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Saturday, August 16, 2008

11 !

Happy Birthday, Glenn!
Kind of stinks to be sick on your big day.
Off to middle school next year. No more carrying a lunch box or animal themed school supplies.

You decided you were too old for a lot of your toys this summer. I couldn't even come up with anything to sew for you this birthday. Guess my little boy is gone.

But I really like the young man you're becoming.

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Friday, August 15, 2008


Happy Birthday, Trixie!

The cake is now cooling and waiting for frosting. All of which will be green per the birthday girl's request. (Note the food coloring to the right. Also note the box of cake mix. This is how you know I'm just a wannabe craft blogger. No cakes from scratch around this house.)

Tonight she'll be opening these:

A new dress for her sock monkey. (All the fabrics are from Moda's Five Funky Monkeys line.) Pattern was improvised, bias tape was thrifted.

And since this is for Trixie, a boo-boo pack. It's a small rice warmer(like I made in a previous post) that has a removable cover. Apparently, these can be frozen to comfort small bumps. We get a lot of those around here.

Some jammies made with leftover fabric from her Christmas quilt. Grandma gave her the slippers.

(Scroll down for the rest. I've yet to figure out how to get more than 4 photos in a post.)

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