Saturday, February 28, 2009

the kids

We had a reunion with Ellie's China sisters a few weekends ago.
She's still the tiniest one of the bunch. (She weighed under 17lbs when we got her at 13 1/2 months.)
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Friday, February 27, 2009

trimmed towels

I've been meaning to do this for ages. We have a bunch of plain white towels. Boring. I bought several spools of the Martha Stewart twill tape at Michael's a couple years ago with this project in mind for the sage color.
A nice improvement.

For those who are interested: The trim fit within the decorative band that's woven into the towel. I folded the ends of the twill tape under at the edge of the towel. An edgestitching foot with the needle moved away from the center put the seam right where I wanted it. Sage thread was used in the needle and white was in the bobbin.
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Thursday, February 26, 2009

thrifty thursday

The latest treasures-
Love this - a cross stitch holiday apron that's yet to be done.
The sequins in the package are little reindeer.

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

guest project

Even with all my complaining about that scarf yesterday, Norma still made me a present for my birthday. This was a special project that we planned out together to celebrate my fortieth. Those of you who know me are checking your math. Yes, I turned 43 this year. The extra 8 months I took on that scarf aren't bothering me so much anymore.
I love having friends who could care less when things show up. We just enjoy knowing someone was willing to make something with their own hands - however long it takes.
Norma knit the bag and then felted it. It's huge!! -Big enough to hold a magazine with my other stuff (great for sitting in a carpool lane). The polka dots are done in tapestry wool in a stitch that escapes me at the moment. It's sort of a spider web woven pattern. I love how they're raised off the surface.

Thank you so much, Norma!
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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

hand rolled hem

Sorry, not a tutorial, just stating a fact.

This scarf was supposed to have been finished in July for Norma's birthday. We were out shopping and spotted this fabric that matched nearly half the things in her wardrobe. I offered (naively) to cut it into a square and finish the edges.

This fabric has a mind of its own. I thought getting it to lay still so I could cut it was hard. Then I tried to hand roll the hem. Good grief. It turned into one of those projects that get avoided at every turn, yet they taunt you each time you move a pile and see it peeking up at you.

I used the Reader's Digest Complete Guide to Sewing for my instructions on how to do the actual stitching. (I chose not to do it on the machine because I thought a hand finish would look more elegant.) The instructions were good, but until you develop a rhythm, it's slow going. I didn't find my groove until about halfway through the 3rd edge. The scarf measures about 36X36. That's a lot of practice.

So, after all my griping and months passing. Happy birthday, Norma! Next year we'll choose something machine stitched.

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Monday, February 23, 2009

in progress

Lately I've been feeling a lot more like sewing, cleaning, and organizing and a lot less like blogging.
In the works:
A quilt for ME! The top is pieced and the back is close to done.
Silence in this space usually means a lot of activity in my sewing space. I'm hoping to have more than a quilt top to show you soon.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

jenny's block

One more block finished!
We were asked to stick with a log cabin sort of theme on this one. Wonky was also a suggestion. Wonky makes me nervous. I nearly paper pieced this which sort of negates the whole point of a wonky, improvisational block. Doing several smaller blocks that I joined together instead of a larger single block calmed my nerves.
Here's a rejected one that I'm hoping she can use on the backing. It felt too large in the middle and the other pieces got too narrow. I would have lost a lot of the edge pieces when I cut it to size for the block above. (This is why improvisation with limited fabric makes me nervous.)

I'm liking the little miniquilt that came out of this challenge. Tilt your head to the right when you look at the first picture. I think I like it better oriented that way.
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Thursday, February 12, 2009

thrifty thursday

This just might be my favorite piece of thrifted furniture ever-
A child's desk bought on a "half off day" for $25.
Trixie is incredibly jealous of Ellie's desk/vanity and would like her own place "to work". This will make the perfect gift for her birthday this year or next. (We'll see how she does with keeping markers on paper...)
The finish is a bit shot, so it may get a coat of paint or a sanding and fresh coat of poly. The legs needs some serious gluing and probably a screw or two from underneath.
But look what's underneath:

The paper portion scrolls through a over a dozen "lessons" and the slate slides out completely to reveal a hidden cubbie underneath.

I didn't see this part until I had it at home.

I think it was meant to be ours.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

a day at the beach

A friend sent me some upholstery swatch books that she'd saved for a time. I added them to the stash, revisiting them every now and then, but still had no idea just how to use them. It took another friend to see the potential - "Make a quilt for her!" In one instant it was clear.
A beach quilt, named as above.
For a friend who loves the beach.

No batting, backed in a twill I had on hand and tied with embroidery floss at all the corners.

I had four squares left over, perfect for a matching tote to carry it to the beach or park.

Our weather today (65 degrees in Chicago!) had me hoping it gets used soon.
(To that friend: I'm headed to the post office later this week.)
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Saturday, February 7, 2009

the kids

Last weekend's Lunar New Year parade in Chinatown.

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Friday, February 6, 2009

project bag

Just a quck little bag I sewed up using a Valori Wells sewing card. I like the way the casings are applied to the exterior, though I did make mine more narrow and longer than the pattern calls for.
The fabric is several years old, but I love the women on it. It's lined with the same fabric that was used for the casing.
All in all, a nice little tote for a small hand project. As she states in the pattern, once you understand the construction of one, you can alter the dimensions to make larger sizes. Mine's about 9 X 11 with boxed corners that make it about 1 inch deep.
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Thursday, February 5, 2009

thrifty thursday

I may be the only one who thinks this pamphlet has some potential for bags or kids' clothes.
Ruth gave it to me when I was preshopping her garage sale.

I haven't tried out the instructions yet, but if I do, I'll be sure to report back.

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

chris' birthday



for a dad who's turned

The CD recorder was purchased as a Christmas gift for Chris. We have an orange crate full of his old albums and no working turntable to play them (never mind that he didn't play them even when we had a working turntable). I had a feeling he wouldn't take it out of the box for some time which worked out great for me. With a birthday just a month after the holidays, I'm often short on ideas for gifts by then. The kids and I got it out and I sat recording his old Joe Jackson lps for a few hours. The kids did the artwork based on the name of the album and viola! Birthday presents for dad. I later found that I'd overlooked Beat Crazy when I went through the crate. Guess what he's getting for Valentine's Day.
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