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:

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Feeling Scrappy

This is week four of -20 temps or lower, without a break. Our water is frozen every morning. You'd think with this cold weather, I'd be getting a lot of sewing done but it's quite the opposite. The three boys have been confined to the house too often, as well as the dogs so I have been running interference between big brothers and little brothers, dogs and cats.

We have been in the final stage minutes of the adoption process (yay!) and for anyone who has ever adopted, you  KNOW what a time eater that is! Round #2 of the stomach flu began today and it's just too cold to sit in my sewing closet and sew. I pretty much just want to hibernate under a blanket on the couch, drink coffee, and watch the amazing sunrises we have been getting - around 11:00 a.m.

Despite the general state of CHAOS (Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome) I have managed to make another small dent in the scrap pile and threw together a few of these blocks:

Not sure what I am planning to do with them yet. Maybe another one of these:
A PIF project I made for a friend last spring.

 On another note, the U.S. Coast Guard Icebreaker Healy finally arrived with the Russian tanker Renda, bringing us our heating fuel and gas. What a journey!
In this image provided by the U.S. Coast Guard The Kigluaik Mountains can be viewed as the Russian tanker Renda transits toward the Port of Nome Jan. 13, 2012. The Renda has been assisted by the Coast Guard Ice Breaker Healy since the vessels left Dutch Harbor, Alaska. Now comes the tricky part: getting more than a million gallons of diesel and gasoline to shore through a mile-long hose without a spill. (AP Photo/US Coast Guard, Petty Officer 2nd Class Charly Hengen)

I'm certain fuel prices will rise well above the $6.00 a gallon they are now but it could be worse (and would have been if the tanker had not arrived).
You can follow that story here:
Emergency Averted

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Quilter's Butt and a New Resolve

It's cliche but one of my resolutions this year was to get rid of what I am not so fondly calling "Quilter's butt". I'm blaming it on bad weather, facebook, all those handmade pay it forward projects I committed myself to in 2011, and the fact that everyone was having babies and needed quilts. In reality, I'm just getting old and lazy and decided it was time to get in shape. I made it through my second hellish workout and am starting to think I really don't mind getting fat.

I also resolved that I would not buy anymore fabric quilting fabric this year. I am going to make a dent in my mounds of scraps and use up my stash.

 My first scrap project of the year was this super cute pincushion from Anna Maria Horner's book, Seams to Me.

This is my first project from the book and it was a pain in the quilter's butt. It's a bit wonky even after a near catastrophic attempt at putting it in the microwave to reshape the fusible interfacing (Note to self-take out the pins first) but I kind of love it. I was super frustrated by some aspects of the project so I did a little research and discovered there are errors in the pattern. Now that I know the tricks, guess what everyone is getting for gifts this year? Smile.

I also used up some stash by creating this customized ereader pouch for a friend. It was my first time trying to adjust patterns for size and only my second attempt at zippers.

 The pouch was way to small for her reader but is just the right size to hold my new rotary cutter and blades! I'm liking the zips though and I now want to put them on EVERYTHING.  My kids might be rocking some 80's style Jackson pants this year. =)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Dead Blog

Well, I need to either kill this blog off or start posting again. I first started this blog as practice because I had planned on blogging with my students. We went Wiki instead. =)  So, I 'm trying to figure out what the purpose of this blog will be this year and I think I have it figured out. The reality is, there are so many GREAT blogs out there that the likely hood of anyone really taking time to read this (for any reason other than to be polite) is slim. My writing skills are mediocre and my photography even worse but I think my kids, pets,  husband and town are an eclectic mix of odd and wonderful (and certainly funny).

My focus this year will be to use this blog as a record of the silly-weird mix of our family life and to document my various sewing projects. Really, just a project journal for myself but if it inspires someone to take up sewing or quilting, great! Besides, I think my facebook friends are getting rather bored of reading about and seeing pictures of all my funny little sewing projects. So happy new year to myself (and anyone else that might be listening). I hope 2012 inspires you.