Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Finished! Gathered Pillow

I finally got around to making my pillow for the Bloggers Pillow Party!  This pillow was inspired by the Gathered Clutch Tutorial by Anna at Noodlehead.  I've been wanting to make one of these for the longest time, but I've had other projects that have just been bossy as all heck and pushed this one out of the way.  So, I've decided to use the technique here to make a pillow instead! 

The main fabric I purchased at Joanne's in the remnants section.  I have no idea what the name of it is, or who designed it(sorry!).  The middle fabric is Monarch from the Del Hi fabric collection by Valori Wells for Free Spirit.  What a mouth-full!  It measures about 15"x16", although it was supposed to be 16" square- I'll blame the measuring mistake on this horrible virus I've been fighting.  That works, right?

Blogger's Pillow Party

Want to join in the fun, and maybe win some prizes (this month's prize is a 1/2 yard stack of Innocent Crush fabrics)?  Go here to participate.

PS.  I will get a post of the purse up soon.  I've just been horribly sick & had to get this pillow posted by this month's contest deadline!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Finished apron & shout out to Grandma.

I finally finished this Heather Bailey apron pattern that I won from Don't Call Me Betsy last month!  I love how it turned out. 
The fabric is Blue Darjeeling Tea Garden, by Dena Designs for Free Spirit Fabrics.  The large print on it is perfect for a bigger girl like me.  I do have to admit, I was a little worried about it fitting me- it's been a while since a "large" fit me, but it was just right.  Actually, when I finished sewing it was too large in the chest, and the sides of the halter kinda flapped around.  How in the world did that happen?  Luckily once I washed it, the apron shrunk to the perfect size, so no more awkward side-boob pockets.

Now, I'm not an expert sewist (sew-er?  Because otherwise it looks like sewer, and ew... gross) mind you, in fact, I'm pretty much a beginner.  But there were just a couple little things I'd do differently next time.  The patter calls for the halter to be sewed, then the halter straps to be inserted (same process for the waistband).  I think it would look better if the straps were sewn to the main pieces, then the main pieces sewn.  I could be wrong, it could be impossible to turn right-side out that way, but it was awkward for me to do it this way.  Other than that, the patter was super easy to read, and turned out beautifully!!  Love-it!

Now, a little shout-out to my Grandma, who passed away almost 6 years ago now.  Grandma had many sewing boxes.  Most of them are beautiful, delicate, floral covered baskets, exactly what you would expect a grandma to have.  But, she also had this beast (my current box is behind it):

She was a very well-off woman.  Really, she could've bought the sewing box of her dreams  But I love that
she had this, and kept and used it.  The top is cracked, and the main part of the box is a very groovy avocado green.  I found this at my mom's house when I was in desperate need for some brown thread.  I looked in (no kidding) 5 other sewing boxes before finally finding this one.  At the very bottom of the box, still in the packaging, was this:

It's a horrible photo, but it is the perfect shade of brown to match the coat zipper that I was fixing!  At the time it felt very much like she bought it just for me and left it there waiting.  I just about cried when I found it.  In addition, was the perfect thread to match the apron above, and these:

How cool is that?!?  Also in the box were some crazy Christmas applique cut-out fabrics.  It just so happened that I mentioned some of these would be perfect for an ugly Christmas sweater party within an hour of finding them.  So, I want to say thank you to my grandma.  It may be silly, but finding the threads and appliques all when needed just seems to be a little sign from her that maybe, just maybe I'm on the right path here.  It kinda feels like Mary Poppins magic carpet bag, that just happens to have everything that I need in it.  I will be hanging on to this for a very, very long time.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pillow Party!

Have you seen this yet?  I nearly squealed when I saw it (except it wasn't a squeal appropriate location that I was reading in).  Stitched in Color is hosting a Blogger's Pillow Party!  I've been dying to make some cutesy pillows, and experiment with some designs, and this will give me the perfect opportunity for both, hopefully without driving my hubs crazy.  And I've been building my stash.  The projects I've been working on as of late have mostly been fabrics that are not quite my style.  Don't get me wrong.  They're all beautiful.  But.... I really am liking more and more the contemporary styles.  Speaking of, I ordered some of this...

Melody Miller, Ruby Star Rising Viewfinders

and this....

Michael Miller, Bicycles

and this...

Tammis Keefe Tribute

Not to mention a few others.  Which reminds me- I won a Heather Bailey apron pattern around Christmas-time from Don't Call Me Betsy

It arrived while I was working furiously on several projects (ok, Christmas presents!) and now I've had some time to breathe and think and start planning for it.  I ordered fabrics for that too, but I'm not going to show them yet, I have to give you a reason to come back!  I'll be working on that as soon as they come in.  Yippee!

PS... Is anyone actually out there?  I'd like to host a giveaway.  Take a vote at the left and tell me what you're interested in winning!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

I hope you've had a wonderful Christmas (Hannukah/Yule/Kwanzaa/Festivus) & New Year!  Of course everyone is talking about New Years resolutions, and there's no exception here.  Since sharing it is supposed to make you more accountable, I guess I ought to, right??  Here's my little countdown list:

#5   Blog at least once a week!  I've really been slacking lately with my blogging, but I'll show you why shortly.  I really feel the need to blog regularly, and I want to get into a routine with it, so I don't have an excuse.

#4  Game night at least once a month with the kids.  Don't get me wrong, we spend quite a bit of our free time with the kids, but I want to have at least one night a month where we play a board game (or two).  This New Years Eve we played Monopoly and Life and had a ton of fun, and I think we need to do that more often.

#3  Work on at least 1 project a week.  I tend to do lots and lots and lots of working on projects, then I have dry spells.  I want to even this out a bit, and work on at least one thing a week, even if I don't complete it.

#2  Excercise more.  You knew it was coming.  This is big on my list.  Again, I might start this for a week, maybe even two and then stop.  But, I seriously need to lose some weight, and we will be joining the YMCA within the next 2 weeks to work on this.

#1 You guessed it: Eat healthier.  Over the last year or two, our food choices have been getting worse and worse.  We've really gotten away from home cooked meals a lot lately, and I want to get back in the habit of cooking nightly.  And by cooking, I don't mean throwing a frozen pizza in the oven!  I want home cooked meals at least 5 nights a week.  I will add more fruit and veggies to our diet.  And no more fruit snacks for the kids!

Alright- you didn't come here to read about my resolutions.  If you've made it this far without running away crying from boredom, I congratulate you.  So, without further ado, the latest project I finished was a purple and pink twirly skirt for Miss Maya (aka Misses Boss). 

1. Pouty Girl, 2. Silliness, 3. Seriously mom?, 4. Just let me watch Spongebob, 5. Slow Twirl, 6. How many pictures do you need to take?

This was made from the tutorial here at the Polka Dot Chair.  I didn't have the full yardage in any one fabric, so I ended up using 4 fat quarters, plus a little more for the waistband & ruffles.  I had some sparkly pink ric rack that I had no idea where it came from or what I was going to use it on, but Maya loves it.  Also in the pictures are leggings made from some clearanced Target socks, tutorial is here.

Lastly, here is the project that's been keeping me away from the computer:

This is my first lap-sized quilt made for my mom for Christmas.  I was very rushed, and had to cheat to complete the binding Christmas Eve, but I did it!  The fabrics in the 9-patch blocks are from Rural Jardin by French General for Moda fabrics.  The rest of the fabrics were just picked up from JoAnn's, except for the top 2/3's of the backing which is a sheet from Target.  I worked on it nearly every night from Thanksgiving until Christmas Eve, many times into the early morning hours.  It is definitley not perfect, but I love it and I can't wait until I have one made for myself.  The pattern is a slight variation from the one here, the difference being I discarded the border for time constraints.