Monday, May 7, 2012

New Year Resolutions FAIL

Pinterest Project #1 from Chase and I made this together.
We found some pressed flowers in an old magazine and decided to modpodge them on.

My New Year Resolutions Were:

  • Work out at the rec center at least twice a week-That didn't last long. Life feels like a workout at this point!
  • Sew Along with the Sewing For Boys Book- Only got three projects sewn
  • Sew a Star Quilt- did not happen, not even an attempt
  • Improve my quilting skills by practicing a new FMQ skill each month-Well, I made it one month
  • Spend more time with my friends and less on facebook- Now, I have more friends on Facebook. 
  • Be more patient with my husband and kids - nope
  • Actually DO a Pinterest inspired project- YES! Got two done.
Pinterest Project #2 Modpodge garden tray decorated with fabric cut-outs

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

We're Adopted!

I can't believe it's been over a month since I have posted anything! March was a whirl wind of activity. First, the week before spring break is always crazy at school. Secondly, March is Iditarod time and this town is extra crazy and busy this week. Lastly, (and most important!) we adopted our son Michael. Michael has been with us for two years and we were asked to consider adoption over a year ago. It's taken that long! Someday, I'll have to blog our story but for now, we are just kicking back and enjoying being a family.  Here we all are at court on "Family Day".
Michael Leo Marvin officially joined the family at 11:11 a.m. on March 9th, weighing 40 pounds and measuring 43 inches long. =)

He really is happy. He is sucking on a piece of candy which makes him look as if he just realized, "Oh crap, I'm stuck with these people for the rest of my life."  Marvin to the third power!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sewing For Boys Sew Along:Kickin Back pants and Mr. Two Faced Pants

The "Kickin Back Pants" were a fail.  I had intended to make them for my little buddy Kail (who's two and this was the size 2-3 pattern) but they were much too long. I tried to hem them to fit but by the time I was done, they were all crotch and very little leg. I appliqued a cute pocket but decided I hated it and took it off.


The boy tried them on so I could get the legs even. He loved the feel and the short length so I let him keep them. They could be summer short pants except I lined them in flannel, which seems contradictory.  So, they are sleep shorts in the 80's Jams style. Totally Awesome dude!

I wasn't giving up on making pants for Kail though so I sewed up the "Mr. Two Faced" pants which came with smaller dimensions.


These are the 12-18 month size. I didn't have two contrasting knit fabrics so I just used one fabric. Now, this is a cute pocket! These were fun and EASY to make. No hemming required on these super casual pants. I used a 70/12 ball point jersey knit needle and set a zigzag stitch at 3.0 long and 1.0 wide. I also top stitched all the seams down to make them more comfortable. I'll be making more of these. I just wish I could find some affordable and cute cotton knit fabrics for boys. Slim pickings out there for the guys.

All this knit sewing is making me think I need a serger...

Tip: To make the pocket, I used double sided, light weight fusible web, and fused the two fabrics together. To get the pocket to stay put while I sewed it on, I used Elmer's washable school glue and a hot iron instead of using water soluble basting tape (which the book calls for). The glue washes right out after laundering.

Here's  a silly picture of the boy flying. Such a happy kid, kicking back in his Jams. The 80's are back and he's styling!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

February Free Motion Quilt Challenge

This is my February entry for the free motion quilt challenge which is happening over here,

Participants who take the pledge to improve their quilting and complete the monthly challenge (regardless of the quality of the work) are entered into a monthly prize drawing. To be entered to win a prize I have to complete the challenge, blog about it, and then submit a link to the above host site.  I'm always up for the chance to win free sewing supplies! I particularly like that the emphasis for this challenge  is not on winning prizes but improving skills. I'm in!

February's challenge was a free motion feather/plume. Here are some before and after shots of my first and second attempts.

1st attempt-just going for it. It was MUCH harder than I had anticipated  to control everything!

Second attempt, after drawing practice

Back of Block. Still having some thread tension issues.

 The first one was done with no marking, and no advanced practice. It's terrible! The second feather was also stitched on unmarked  fabric but after I had spent an hour or so drawing the design on paper. I went through A LOT of paper. Then I had a "duh" moment and started using a drawing app and stylus with my ipad.

I want my feathers to be fat (more like the first picture) and although my second attempt was more controlled than my first, I still have much practice to do before I am confident enough to stitch this onto a quilt. Fortunately, I still have the rest of the month to practice!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Chaos and Neglected Fatties (Free Fabric!)

Saturday was grand. Really. Who wouldn't want to spend 5 hours of a raging blizzard getting cozy with restless boys, a few dogs, and cats? Not having heat, electricity, or water, really added to the family chaos fun.
Taking decent pictures of quick moving boys, in a power outage, is a little challenging.

The boys work off some energy with a quick game of No-Contact Air Ninja during the power outage.

After working off some physical energy, it was time to get creative. Brian helped the boys draft and build  paper boats. These aren't your grandpa's paper boats!
Yes, the lights and heat are on in this picture. They started the project the night before.

"The S.S. Amazon"-named for the up-cycled box.

While chaos was reigning in the living room and I was feeling inspired by this post, I decided reorganizing my fabric stash seemed like a low-key way to spend the forced inside time.  If you can use any of these (mostly fat quarters) of fabric, leave a comment telling me what your favorite sewing tool/notion/trick is and tell me the fabric that you want. If you need me to ship it to you, I will. I want to see these neglected fatties go to a home where they will be appreciated.

3 fat quarters of Nicey Jane-one of my favorite fabric lines. I've used this yellowish green and blue fabric in a quilt and it adds a nice pop when used in moderation.-Sending it your way Erika!

Amy Butler "Love" - 2 fat quarters-For Marjorie!

Orange and Gold Joel Dewberry "Modern Meadow" - One fat quarter

More Modern Meadow, green and brown- 3 fat quarters

Modern Meadow, larger scale trees and birds in yellow-green; 1 fat quarter-This one is going to Jenny of

Amy Butler "Love"- 3 fat quarters-Sending these your way Tammy and Jenny!

Moda "Berry Delicious" - 42 X 22 inch piece-Going to Tammy!

42X39 inch piece-This is a really beautiful fabric. The colors don't show well here and the centers of the flowers have some sparkle. I made some baby kimono shirts out of this for a friend.

If you don't have a favorite notion or sewing tip, tell me how you spent your last storm day, don't forget to tell me which fabrics you want. The odds are good-not a whole lot of readers here so I am sure everyone will get something they want!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Quilted Media Cases

Media Cases
I've been entertaining myself through this LONG stretch of -30F temps by sewing media cases. I've made them to fit Kindles, Nook Tablets, and ipads- with zippers or without, with straps, without straps, etc. So easy to customize. I didn't intend to make these to sell but it just sort of evolved into that. I've been asked for three this month. I certainly don't mind adding to my fabric money fund! The amount I make on one of these is pretty laughable if you consider the cost of the materials (about $22) and the time spent sewing. Good thing it's just a hobby!

Velcro tab top ipad case. This one is a bit small for the old ipad but fits the ipad 2 much better.

Older Style Kindle Case

Zip Top Kindle Case

Back of Nook Tablet Case with strap

Zip Top Nook Tablet Case with Straps

ipad case with lined front zip pocket and zip top

Inside of front zip pocket

Zip top ipad Case

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Raw Edge Raglan Tee

Sewing this shirt is a breeze if you can read directions and follow diagrams which is not a strong point of mine. I'll be upfront, it is certainly less expensive to buy these tee shirts for $5 than it is to make them. It's not as fun though, and I cut costs by up-cycling my husband's ugly tee shirts and one of our jersey cotton bedsheets. I did purchase that skull cotton on sale at fabric. com though.

This shirt is meant to have the raw edge seams on the outside, giving it an inside out look. More comfortable next to kiddo's skin with no seams on the inside. I LOVE that there is no hemming involved!

M's shirt pictured here is my third and only successful attempt at making the shirt. The other two were super cute but sadly would not fit over any of my boys' melon heads. Tip- After sewing the neckband into a circle, check to make sure it fits over the kid's head before attaching it to the shirt. That was a duh moment for sure.

This ^ product wins the MVP award in my sewing arsenal. It comes in super handy for this step of the project:
I don't have water-soluble basting tape. I can't buy it in town, I'm sure. Frankly, I don't even know what it is. Elmer's School glue works great for stabilizing the neckband when it comes time to top stitch it down. No pins! Just squirt a thin line of the glue on the seam allowance, fold the neckband down about 1/8th inch past the seam and set it with a hot iron. Be sure to use "School Glue" though because it washes right out when laundered.  It's also well worth it to follow the authors' stitch length and width suggestion. I tried the stretch stitch on my machine instead and it didn't give me as much stretch.

This book is great if you have LITTLE boys to sew for. Sadly, M is the only one still small enough for these projects. My goal is to sew through this book faster than he can grow out of it.  Here's a link to the book if you are interested: