Friday, February 27, 2009

fun in the mail

I've had so much fun this last week getting all the fat quarters in SewMamaSew's Fat Quarter Swap! First to arrive was from Lindsey in North Carolina. She loves chocolate brown just like I do! Thanks, Lindsey!

The next day I got this cute bunny print from Lori in Wisconsin. She also sent along some vintage buttons - so fun! Thanks, Lori!

Then a couple of days later Lesley from Virginia sent this gorgeous print from Amy Butler and the red yo-yo. Thanks, Lesley!

And today I received my last fat quarter from Lisa in Massachusetts. I love limey green with blues and browns. Thanks, Lisa!

I hope you all enjoyed the quarters I sent to you. If you make something soon, please send me a photo! I'll do the same and will also post photos here. This is so much fun getting to know new people in the crafting and sewing world. I hope we can keep in touch.

Have a wonderful weekend. We're looking forward to sleeping in tomorrow after a very busy week. Speaking of that, I stayed up late finishing up my mom's birthday gift compilation. I kept getting inspired to add to what I had already done. I only stopped because I ran out of coordinating fabric! I'll post photos in a few days.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

welcome home gifts

Our friends are safely back home from Ethiopia with their daughter and newly adopted son. We can hardly wait to meet him! I've been busy working on a fun welcome home package for the kids, and I just hope everything fits! You can find the cute shoes tutorial here.

My mom is coming for a visit this week - we're all very excited! Our birthdays are coming up (hers is March 2, mine is March 8), so I'm going to work on some fun things for her. I'll have to display the projects later so she doesn't get a sneak peek.

Sarah and I have a Sewing Day planned later on in March. I'm really looking forward to that! I think the plan is to have the guys watch the kids! Luckily it's not a lot of work since our kids love playing with each other so much.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

ahhh ..... completion

What a great feeling to finish making my first purse! I'm very happy with the results, and at the same time, I plan to get better at lining up those handles next time around! If you didn't catch it on the last post, this is the Marlo Bloom Handbag by Heather Bailey. I added pockets to the inside of the purse because I always like to have a special spot for my cell phone, keys, chapstick, whatever.

I'm heading over to the post office today to mail it out to another birthday girl in our midst (she's too busy in college right now to get involved in crafty blogs, so I'm not worried she'll see it before she gets it!).

Although I'd love to jump into my next purse, alas, I'm going to shelf that project for a bit so I can get started on those baby and toddler gifts for Kylia and Solomon! Here's a peek at the fabric I picked up the other day - the clerk hadn't even unwrapped the bolt yet!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

mini iron saves the day

I'm so thankful for this new handy little tool. I meant to buy thick fusible web interfacing for these purse handles I'm making, but when you're at the fabric shop, shopping for multiple projects and have all 3 kids along because of the President's Holiday, ya tend to take some shortcuts! As it was, I didn't realize that regular interfacing measures 22" wide, instead of 44" like most fabrics. So I ended up heading back to the store because I thought they cut it wrong - oops, I just didn't pay attention! I had forgotten the magnets too, so I picked those up.

So far the Marlo Bloom Handbag by Heather Bailey has been pretty straightforward. I've got the main body of the bag done, and now I'm working on the handles. But this will take some time because I'm using Quilter's Edge to tack down all the little pieces around the handles - there are 2 handles, each with two sides, so that's four handles essentially! This is where my Wonder Iron comes in - at least I'm not pressing the whole project over and over again with a large iron! It's been great for this detail work.

Alright, no more avoiding the hard stuff... onward!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Sarah!

What do you get for a great friend who is incredibly crafty herself?? Something handmade, that's for sure! And now I can finally put up the photo of this cute top that can either be a summery dress with leggings, a funky top over jeans, or something colorful to put over a longsleeve shirt during the drab days of winter! I used Simplicity's Pattern 3807.

And since I loved the fabric myself (from Joann's), I made this camera case using SewMamaSew's Fat Quarter Project of the Day Tutorial.

Some friends of ours are traveling home right now from Ethiopia with their new 1 1/2 year old son! He joins his now 3 1/2 yr old big sister in the family who is also from Ethiopia. So I'm endeavoring to make some toddler booties, matching bib and a coordinating skirt for sister. I've been scouring tutorials trying to find some cute and easy ideas. If anyone has ideas to pass on, feel free to let me know! I'm itching to go to the fabric store tomorrow to see what cute, hip (they're pretty hip parents) fabric I can find!

My kids had fun decorating cupcakes with their babysitter on Valentine's Day. They even made one for Gavin and I to have when we got back home! Guess who's got eaten right away!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

fat quarter fun!

I've been having so much fun with SewMamaSew's Fat Quarter Month! So far I've made these cute doorstops for the kids (Worker uses his like a beanbag rather than holding his bedroom door open!), I made one super-easy travel tissue holder so far,

I'm participating in the Fat Quarter Swap, and I'm looking at making some cute purses or wristlets! Here are my fat quarters all ready to get mailed out. I can hardly wait to see what I get!

It's funny, because I've been telling myself that I'm a painter (watercolorist), and yet I haven't painted very consistently at all. And when I do sit down to paint, it feels like it's a chore. However, now that I'm NOT calling myself a 'painter' anymore and I'm just being creative with fabrics, I'm having a blast! I'm so much more relaxed about this whole creativity thing now. I'm still working on my art quilt, and I'm really enjoying that. But for now, participating in Fat Quarter Month has given me little daily fun to dabble in my creativity using fabric.

Thanks to Sarah, I made this cute sewing machine cozy.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

some housecleaning and progress

On the SewMamaSew blog, they've requested fabric stash secrets. I took this as a challenge to actually organize my fabric stash. Surprisingly, it didn't take as long as I thought it would and I even found fabric I thought I had used up! The 'before shot' will give you a better idea of the mess I had to work with.

On to answering the stash questions...

I sew all sorts of things - home decorating items like curtains, pillows & knick knacks, baby quilts, some kids' clothing and costumes (of course!), I've made a few items of clothing for myself - skirts being the most successful, cat beds, cat and dog toys, purses and bags, and now I'm trying my hand at art quilting.

When I shop for fabric I usually get fat quarters because I can get so many! Of course if I really fall in love with the fabric I'll get 1/2 to a full yard. Most of the time I buy larger yardages when I've got a pattern or project I'm working with. I allow myself to be more impulsive with the fat quarters.

I'm only a pre-washer if I'm making clothing (I'm so paranoid about things not fitting right) or if I think the colors will bleed - although I don't always think that far ahead. I never pre-wash my fabric until I'm ready to use it that day - and of course I then kick myself for not doing it ahead of time because I don't want to wait to get started!

I never iron my fabric unless it's while I'm making the project.

Since I just sorted my fabric for the first time today, I decided to sort it primarily by color. I kept some juvenile and holiday prints in their own group. I also kept the flannels separate.

I wish I had a fail proof folding technique. I have too many folds showing in my stash and I thought about re-doing it, but then it seemed like too much work!

For storage, I have some cool raw wood shelves from IKEA that my husband needs to put up for me - I could do it, but in a few years it would probably fall off the wall! He's definitely the perfectionist in our family. So I sought out some baskets throughout the house today, chucked whatever was in them and set them up in my IKEA GORM storage shelving. For now it fits the bill and doesn't look to bad either!

I have no tips for building a well-rounded stash. I either buy for a project in the moment or whatever looks good in the store.

I love, love, love fabric, so I don't think I can ever have too much! (at least not yet)

For stash-busting, I look at SewMamaSew and other blogs for inspiration and new projects. It's really great to just grab some fabric in my stash to get started.

This is my favorite fabric right now. I got it at Stone Mountain and Daughter Fabrics and I unfortunately I can't remember the name of the fabric. I used it to make a dress for my oldest daughter.

The perfect stash would be having a fabric store in my closet complete with someone to keep it well-stocked and organized!

On to other things...

Here's a photo of my progress with my art quilt. It's a simple tree, a copy of the mosaic tile floor I did in my craft room. I'm having a lot of fun with my new mini iron, and fusible web is really cool stuff!

And lastly, we now have green eggs, too!