Monday, September 29, 2008

great grandma

Great Grandma passed away over the weekend.

She loved to crochet, but always told me she couldn't sew a straight line. The only garment she ever made was for Chris' mother when she was pregnant. She thought the baby belly would distract everyone's eyes away from her crooked seams.

I'll be back after we've spent some time with family.

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

thrifty thursday

Recent score -

A vintage scrapbook with black pages. The photos had been removed which is good. I'm always saddened to see someone's photos in a thrift store.

This pillowcase will be the inspiration piece for Ellie's room when she moves out of the one she currently shares with her sister. She loves butterflies as decorative motifs. I do not. I can, however, get into these great vintage crocheted ones.

Finally, it was free mug with purchase day. Not exactly a mug, but I think it'll look cute on the vanity in Ellie's room with barettes in it.

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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

liberty top

Summer's over, but I keep thinking about this wall. It was mecca for me. Dozens of Liberty prints all in one place, more than I could take in at one time. I'd planned to buy enough to make one piece of clothing for myself. Since the price per yard is a bit extravagant, I settled on a pattern that I'd had success with and didn't require much yardage. In other words, I wasn't making a full skirted dress out of a vintage pattern in my "someday" pile.
I went with a top that I'd made before. In fact, I'd made it for that trip.

There was enough left for a headband/belt/scarf thingy. (Not the greatest photo here, but it was the one that hid the gray in my hair the best.)

I bought a stack of Liberty fat quarters too. I'm afraid to cut them.
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Monday, September 22, 2008

a treehouse for bettyninja

One more block under my belt. This one was for Bettyninja. Our challenge was to make a treehouse block. With no restrictions on how to put it together I chose to fuse the pieces. I knew early on that I wanted to do a lot of hand embroidery on the block and I'd only have time for that if I didn't have to figure out how to piece it or learn needle turn applique.

Look at those happy fabrics she sent. You can read more about the needlework I did here.

As I'm looking at these pictures I keep seeing places I'd have loved to stitch more details. It's a good thing there was a deadline in place.

She asked that we all sign our work somewhere. I thought a mailbox was a fitting spot. Every month it's where I get a new challenge from a new friend.
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Sunday, September 21, 2008

fabric bead necklace

I'm working fast and furiously to get some things made so I can wear them at least once before the weather changes.
Case in point:
I'm not sure how they were made, but the beads are covered in fabric. The small gold/green spacer beads were in my stash of junk/craft supplies.

*Yesterday's post was accidently published on its draft date. I just fixed it this evening, which is why it looks like two posts have appeared at once.
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Saturday, September 20, 2008

the kids

Birthday girl.
Fancy girl.

Star Wars guy.

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Friday, September 19, 2008

little hip skirt 2

Another model for a class I'm teaching this fall. Another skirt Ellie has to wait months to wear.
The pattern information is here.
One thing I like about this style is that it was easy to alter for Ellie's very slender waist. I simply drew a line connecting the 5/6 waist to the size 7/8 length. The yoke piece was cut out in the smaller size. That was it for alterations.
I'm sorry, but I can't remember the name of the fabric line. I wish I'd had more of the polka dot for the belt. As it was, I barely got the yoke piece out of the only two fat quarters left in the shop.
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Thursday, September 18, 2008

thrifty thursday

Where else but a thrift store can you buy a town for $.25?
This one's a suburb of my rotary cutting mat and rulers.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

sock monkey goes to school

Thought you'd seen the last of the sock monkey projects, did you?
Trixie couldn't start preschool without a backpack - one that wasn't larger than her.
The basic size/pattern is McCalls 5341, though I didn't use their embellishment patterns and I altered the straps.

The applique is woven fabric from the funky monkey line by Moda with wool felt for the arms and mouth. (The brown fabric was also used to line the pack.) The orange cordorouy fabric was thrifted. I sketched out one of the basic monkeys from another fabric in the same line. The ears were sewn separately with a pleat in the center so they'd have a little dimension. The applique was attached with wonder under and a zig zag stitch. The wool felt was applied with edgestitching.

The pattern calls for a standard length of strap, but there's no way the same size will fit Trixie if she has her winter coat on. I cut the straps longer and added D rings for future adjustments.
If I play my cards right, I might have a sock monkey on Halloween...
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008

happy birthday ellie!

Ellie turns seven today and I turned it into a reason to make yet another doll quilt. The pattern is called Game Board Quilt from Prairie Children and Their Quilts by Kathleen Tracy.
Basia taught Ellie checkers and it's only a matter of time before she can beat me.
I added a pocket on the back with some extra flying geese to store the button gamepieces. There's a velcro closure at the top to keep the buttons in place.

Hey Ellie, king me.
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Friday, September 12, 2008

a short time ago, in a boy's room very close by

Not the usual sort of project I post here, but let me tell you, putting these shelves up WAS a project. I spent the better part of last Sunday giving Glenn an "older room". We'd moved furniture and replaced window treatments several weeks ago, but the shelving didn't go on sale until last week.

He's now got a clear desk area for homework(provided I remind him every blasted day to clean it off before going to bed), a spot for his hamster and plenty of display space for stuff.

Most importantly, there's room for his Lego Star Wars models.

I've wanted to hang some of them up for ages, but couldn't bring myself to make a hole in the ceiling (that I'd have to eventually repair). The shelves made it a lot easier. I just tied fishing line in large loops over a shelf and then slid the wings into a loop on either side of the model. He can still take them down to play. The Millenium Falcon was propped up on a plate stand from Hobby Lobby.

He's actually played with the models more since they've been put out. Last time I checked, Yoda and Darth Vader were having a light saber duel in front of Yoda's hut.
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

thrifty thursday

Because Basia has just returned from a trip and one of my oldest friends is due back in town soon...
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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

halloween tote

Gearing up for Halloween.
Yes, I need a tote specifically for the month of October. The pattern is Haunted Handbags by Artful Offerings.
I changed a few things from the original pattern. They call for black felt as the lining, but I wanted to use some of the fun Halloween fabric I have stashed. That completely changed how I put the bag together. I changed the pockets a bit too. And while it's not shown in the picture below, I tried my hand at finishing the seams ala Vera Bradley. Because all of her bags are of quilted fabric, the inside seams are finished with bias binding. I did the same and it worked very well. One of these tools came in very handy.
The "31" charm (it's hung on the button by ribbon) was done using my machine's needle punch attachment to applique the wool pieces together with felting. The ovals were put together with a machine blanket stitch. I need to use that stitch more often. It's very easy to make the stitch larger and looks great on applique.

I'll have to plan my entire wardrobe for the month around this bag.
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Tuesday, September 9, 2008

dick and jane's log cabin

I'm supposed to be finishing up things that are in my WIP bin. Naturally, anything new appeals to me far more than what I should be working on.
I caved in last week and made a wonky log cabin style pillow. I did manage to do it in one sitting so it didn't add to the WIP pile and I limited myself to the scrap bin only (except for the backing). The pieced top was ironed onto fusible fleece and then quilted to make the process run a little faster.
Ellie has already asked if it's hers because many of the fabrics are in her Christmas quilt. No, I'm hanging onto it for now. It fits perfectly in the small of my back on my sewing chair.
The back view - I should have made it slightly larger - the pillow form is trying to bust out.

I finally found a good use for my favorite new buttons.

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Monday, September 8, 2008

lunch date - school edition

It's back to packing lunches around here.
Over the past few years we've elimated as much of the disposable stuff as we can. I've got some cheap flatware that doesn't matter if it disappears. (I learned this lesson after the second good spoon got thrown in the lunchroom trash.) We have all manner of containers for food. It never occurred to me that if we use cloth napkins a lot at home, they could go in lunchboxes as well.
I made a set of these for Ellie out of an 8" long piece of fabric. The width was cut into 5 equal pieces and the all the sides hemmed up. They're small, but how much more does a first grader need?
I'm happy to report that they didn't go in the trash at school either.
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Sunday, September 7, 2008

the kids - update

Per Jan's suggestion - a picture of mom's smiling face on the first day of school.

No one was around for photographic evidence of when I did my happy dance.
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