Friday, April 30, 2010

cath kidston purse

Just before I went handwork crazy with all those hexagons I got this book for my birthday.
Fun projects and great pictures, but the best part - it comes with PRECUT pieces for making the purse on the cover. PRECUT! Ready to sew. How wonderful is that?

Talk about a quick way to have a sense of accomplishment. I love to sew - I hate to do the prep work (kind of like painting a room). I did add a lining to the bag to give it more structure and included a zippered pocket, but still, the rest was already cut out!

Now if only all the garment projects I have in the wings would magically prep themselves for sewing. I need some elves to come visit me.
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Thursday, April 29, 2010

thrifty thursday

A few new additions to my vintage apron collection.
I'll never tire of gingham.
And ric rac. I cannot stand how cute it looks sew on that way.

This one's a sheer little number with lilac polka dots.

Hand finished trim on the pocket.

I've really got to come up with a way to display these. Right now, even though I use many of them, they primarly live in a drawer. Seems a crime to hide them.
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Wednesday, April 28, 2010

itching to do some stitching

I wish I could say this great piece was mine. Sheila, a quilting friend in town, shared it with me last week, knowing I'd fall in love with it. She said her sister got it for her at the Kane County Flea Market years ago.
While it looks like a dresser scarf I wonder if it was used to drape a sewing machine to keep off the dust.

The motifs are just killing me.

And all that crocheted lace. Oh my.

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Tuesday, April 27, 2010

rebekah's butterflies

Posting this is such a good feeling. Ever get stuck on a problem and it only seems to get harder with time? I needed to make pink the predominant color in this block and also wanted to include embroidery in some way. Squares and rectangles were in order, but not as log cabins or square in a square blocks. I hemmed, I hawed, I ignored it.
Finally I refused to let myself start in on any other sewing until this block was done.
And now I'm happy I waited on it because this is one of my favorite blocks I've ever done.

It's a little stripey, but it does include squares and rectangles (that section of berry dots on the left will be a square when the seam allowance is used as the quilt is pieced). I was heavily influenced by the tiny strips of fabric used in the blocks I received during my turn last year. Those 1/4" pink stripes thrill me.

The embroidery was what I was trying to work around at the beginning. I had it in my mind to embroider a chrysalis, but sketch after sketch only looked like poop hanging from a branch. Once I gave that up and focused solely on making the block first, it fell into place. The butterfly above is a white one from the motif fabric. Perfect for outlining in any color I chose. The pink sashiko stitches were done to emphasis the predominant color of the block.
It should be in your mailbox in a day or so, Rebekah. Think of it as a graduation present!
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Monday, April 26, 2010

the kids

So, a quick update on the kids.
Glenn has started his lacrosse season this past week. Luckily it didn't start over spring break when this picture was taken. We were at the arboretum and he would much rather have been chasing his sisters around instead of drawing. Unfortunately, he'd sprained a muscle during the break and was off physical actvity for a week. He's lucky I didn't post the picture of him in the double stroller at the zoo the following day. When we got there, all the wheelchairs had been rented, making a large stroller our only option. He likely spent the entire day praying we didn't run into anyone he knew.
Ellie's begun figure skating lessons. She took to the ice incredibly well during a PTA event at the YMCA a few months ago. I had to drag her off the ice when the event was over. She was in the center of the rink attempting to do spins and jumps. I think we may have found "her thing". She's already asked to continue lessons this summer and wants to join a friend in a class this coming fall called "theater of skating". Oh yeah. Looks like I'm going to learn how to sew spandex and sequins.

And little miss Trixie - She had her first piano recital a week ago. Her piece was "The Tooth Fairy". Everytime I reviewed what she needed to do - sit still while you wait for your turn, bring your music to the big piano, etc. - she would finish off the instructions with, "and then I bow!!"

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Friday, April 23, 2010

baby hexagons

The hexagon diamonds have been a great lap project for sitting outside with the kids and as a go to project to take to my quilting group on Tuesday. However, it doesn't exactly fit into a purse and I like to have a small project that I can take out when I'm waiting for a piano lesson to finish up.
Some of the hexagon diamonds for the larger quilt had leftover pieces. Others were colors that didn't work with any of the blocks. I also had a stack of hexagons that I don't think were ever intended to go with the larger diamonds since there were only 6 of each pattern.
These are the result of those leftovers:
For now I'm just putting them together one flower at a time. (To give you an idea of the time commitment - each flower takes me about an hour from start to finish.) I think I'm going to sew them one to another as below to make a doll quilt.

I wish I'd put something in the picture for scale. A quarter fits nicely on each little hexagon to give you some idea. So far I have enough sets to make 27 flowers. We'll see where they lead me.
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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

nadia's forest

One more block done. This one is for Nadia and her new baby, Gus.
How can you not love those little animal faces?

Posted here with a little more explanation.
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Tuesday, April 20, 2010

cross my heart, I'm catching up

As promised, I'm catching up on my long overdue common threads blocks.
These are for Jacquie

They're little - 6.5" square.

My favorite is the little cross below.

I posted them here as well.
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Monday, April 19, 2010

why i've gone missing

Nothing dramatic. No problems here. Just life - spring break, family stuff. It's so easy to just get out and enjoy the sun and warmth and forget all about the computer. I'll try to catch up on the kids' lives for family this week. For my quilting friends, I've managed a few more blocks and I'll post those soon as well.
With spring's arrival, I'm spending more time outdoors with the kids and need some handwork to keep me occupied. (I also think my local quilting group - many of whom hand quilt - has rubbed off on me.) I decided to continue working on those hexagon diamonds I posted a while ago. I love working on this project, but because it's all done by hand and takes so much more time than machine work, I simply don't have as much to post each week.
This is the design wall in my studio with some of the hexagons in my final arrangement. You'll notice it looks like many are missing.
That's because they're here:

I'm hand appliquing each diamond onto white fabric. Because the hexagons were sewn partially by another woman, I was somewhat forced to continue assembling them in the same way. The seams are a bit wonky and none are exactly 1/4". A steam iron and starch did wonders for getting the diamonds to behave and lay flat, but there's just no way they'd all go together neatly with one another. Nor would making a path of hexagons between them work.

So hand applique it is. I've wanted to try a new skill and this is definitely giving me practice. At this writing I have about 7 more to add. Each one takes me about 45 minutes - I'm new, I'm slow. I'm trying not to think too much about how long this project is going to take to finish.
-Especially since I feel I should finish it with hand quilting.
Later in the week, I'll post another related project. I'm a little hexie crazy right now.
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