Monday, April 30, 2012

30 days has september, APRIL...

Well, it is the last day of April, and I can't figure out where the entire month went!

I have been doing everything BUT sewing!  The bloggy girls (plus one) all got together to sew last Monday night and it had been awhile...there was much talking, much laughing...and a little bit of sewing.

I'm working on a fun primary colors quilt, with some airplane fabric you may remember...

I think when it is finished it's gonna end up on this cute guy's new bunk bed!

I'm using a "pattern" from my favorite quilter/blogger, Allison, at Cluck Cluck Sew.  It's based on a quilt she did for her son...basic stack and whack blocks...check it's pretty easy.  I'll let you know if/when I make any progress on it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Tutorial Fail

Well.. you win some, you lose some... right?! Last time I posted I wrote about this awesome Weekender bag, here, and decided I could make the instructions way easier and have an inspired tutorial. Turns out, it was basically a glorified tote bag. When I was done I decided if I was ever going to make this again I would do it way differently and cut down the time involved by 4 hours. Therefore, no tutorial as was previously promised.

Reviewing the original tutorial did not give me any insights as to why I am so unhappy with the results, other than I think my expectations were too high. I did use the bag on my vacation to Oregon to hold fabric and sewing stuff... I will not let my time go to waste :) But alas, no pictures.

I did however find a backing for my Cal King quilt, sneak peeked here. I was looking for something that could be all one fabric but I would like looking at if I wanted to reverse it on my bed. I like change and rearranging furniture occurs frequently in my house. Since there aren't a lot of options for how to arrange my bedroom the ability to change the look of the bed is very appealing. I settled on Valori Wells' Wrenly Wren in Gypsy, pictured below:

It picks up all the colors on the flip side of my quilt but is also very different (which is good for the changing of the bed). I first saw it at the Stichin' Post in Sisters, OR while on vacation but found it on for a way better price plus free shipping (bonus). I only feel slightly bad because the Stichin Post is owned by Valori Wells' mom, Jean Wells. But not bad enough to dish out the extra cash. I have decided to get it quilted by a local quilter so that it looks extra awesome. I will definitely show you when it's done.

While at I also found some super cute patterned gauze which I plan on turning into swaddling blankets inspired by MADE. Check back next week for the finished project!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Fat Tuesday's busy Tuesday

Sorry folks, this has been a crazy week leading up to an even crazier week, (i.e. mostly stay at home mom suddenly begins working three full days a week without giving up any of her normal "stay-at-home mom" busyness), so I'm so sorry to say it, but this post is not in the cards for me this week. You'll have to make due with a slightly blurry photo of the Easter skirt in full bounce down the hallway. Ta-ta for now!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

little (huge, actually) drummer boy

This is the closest I will come to a tutorial in the near future.  Get ready!

Marshall practicing his paradiddles

So, music has been on my mind lately, and even more in my day to day schedule.  I love playing for musicals, and I got the opportunity to play for the upcoming show at Hilltop High School.  Come to think of it, I'm not just playing piano for it, I'm the musical director (oooh! aaaah!) for The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee.  That's the name of the show...I'm not playing the piano during an actual spelling bee.
As the musical director, I get to assemble a pit orchestra, and luckily for me, this show only has parts for about six other players.  I was able to find them all, and we have a really great sounding orchestra.  A key component to that group is our drummer, none other than the...(drumroll please....) Chris Holz - my lovely husband! read that right.  He's our drummer, and he's great!
For his world premier debut as a professional drummer, he had to get some gear (check!) and he also needed me to sew him a little somethinsomethin.  What did I make for him?  An animal print spandex onesie for all his 80's rock gigs?  A grunge rock headband with hair extensions?

A stick bag.  To keep all of his drum sticks, mallets, music, and (as every good musician knows) pencils.

This is what I started with:

 The grey material was the bottom of a set of Ikea curtains that came wayyyyyy too long that I chopped off.  It's a canvas material.  Very masculine.
Some airplane fabric that I wanted to use as an accent.  Didn't use it.
A package of red bias tape.
Extra bonus: the curtain tie backs, which I turned into the straps for the bag!

 one of the tie backs, cut in half
one edge was finished (hemmed) and
one edge was not.

ENTER: bias tape!  
(below, you can see both edges.  I wanted to get rid of that raw edge on top)

 Ironing the bias tape around the edge you want to use it on is a must!
The only other time I tried bias tape I was frustrated because it was very wiley and didn't like staying in one place.  I don't think I  ironed it.  I was impatient and just wanted to finish good.  It didn't want to stay under my presser foot when it was time to sew.  
THIS time, the iron made everything different.  I didn't even have to pin it!

 bias tape sewed onto raw edge = no more raw edge
this was a breakthrough for me, folks.

Construction: I basically made a big flat bag with one big pocket all across the middle, which I then separated into different sized pockets.  Not rocket science here.  Then the "bag" really just folds up the middle and ties to close.  He's not traveling great distances with it.  It's basically going from gig to gig, and he also wanted it to hang on one of the drums (the floor tom) so he could access different sticks mid-song(common occurrence in musicals).

I made the bag a bit too big, as all his sticks fit on one side of the bag, but then I realized I could make the other side just for music and pencils!  Isn't it lovely?

The pencil slots were just a ribbon sewn into a loop, then sewn down to the bag through the middle of the loop, making two slots for a pencil.  And to make sure they won't fall out, I made them semi-tight, and with two anchor points, they're not going to just slide out.  Kind of an after thought, but a darn good one!

left side

 right side

cute little drummer boy 
(phone picture = blurry)

All in all, the project took about an hour, and I didn't have to go to the store AT ALL, from conception to completion.  So I was quite impressed with myself.  Chris likes it too.  But he did tell me he wants me to find a pattern for a leopard print unitard. :)  I'll keep everyone posted on that.

p.s. if you made it this far, you deserve a round of applause!
p.p.s. come see the show!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Fat Tuesday's T-Shirt Quilt

I used to like the idea of a t-shirt quilt. I've been saving these t-shirts since I was little....I have shirts in here that I've had since I was nine ( I won't say how long that is, but it's over twenty years by a decent bit...).  They've moved around with me from place to place; quite honestly by the time I got around to it I was kind of over it. 

I cut them into pieces about two years ago, right when I started to sew and got all excited about quilting. Then other projects got in the way and my little rectangles fell by the wayside.  I almost didn't continue on it but it seemed a waste to go thru dragging those t-shirts around for all this time and then do nothing with them. So sew them together I did, and look how fun it turned out! The top of course, it's not done. I need to sew on the ironed on patches and then  quilt and bind it- I'm procrastinating, I'll admit it. Actually I'm hoping that posting the top here will inspire me to finish it by next week to show y'all. It's certainly not a work of art, but it's memories and it's mine and I'm so glad I went ahead with it. Here's to being back next week to show it off!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Fat Tuesday's Easter 2012!

Annnd, done! Yay! No last minute Easter eve sewing for hurried stressing... Well, that last part is not true. I received one of those lovely Shutterfly coupons last week for ten free cards and I wanted to do Easter ones but those coupons only last for two days. Quite honestly there was quite a bit of hurried stressing. Trying to get the skirts done, shirts bought, pictures taken, and cards designed in the one day I had left by the time I noticed the coupon in my inbox- But didn't they turn out cute and summery?

(darling popsicle fabric from JoAnn Fabrics- Lisette by Liesl and Co)
 My middle child despises dressing up so I went for a little bit more toned down and casual summer in hopes that she might wear it more than once without being forced.

The patten is the Layered Skirt Tutorial by MADE- go check out her darling seersucker version on her cutie pie Lucy- ADORABLE. Super easy and fun. I will say that while you can totally do this without a serger, the serger made it so much faster/easier/bouncier. Let's hear it for sergers!

Can I just say I adore this photo and my sweet youngest trying to cram a pink plastic egg in her mouth? Good thing they have little holes in each end- she has a VERY large mouth. Look at that forehead wrinkled in concentration while she tries to get it in...
Happy Easter my readers. May it be full of remembrance, and joy, and God's love, and bouncy skirts on bouncy babies.