Monday, January 26, 2015

New orchestra dress for the college girl

Our college daughter is certainly enjoying life on her own.
I knew she would.
It makes it so much easier than when I was a freshman in college (30 yrs ago) to have a cellphone and to be able to text whenever.  Her siblings love getting pics of her roommates and whatever other college life stuff she decides to send us.

She decided to continue with orchestra while in college and is involved with the University Orchestra at BYU-I. Although she tried out and didn't make it into the orchestra group above this one, I am so proud that she even tried out.  It was tough music and most of those kids in that orchestra are actual music majors.  She is not.  She was a bit upset about not getting in, but now that she has had a couple weeks under her belt she is happy with this orchestra group.  She is familiar in part with at least one of the pieces they will be presenting this semester and so that makes her happy.  Her best friend and roommate is also in the same orchestra group and so they are happy having at least one class together.

Now here enters the problem.
Her black orchestra dress is packed up here in MN.
We did that when she graduated last June and so it was one of the first things to go in the storage POD.
I have no clue which box it may be in.
I'm positive it is against the back wall of the POD somewhere.
We will not be digging it out.
She needs a black dress for their upcoming performance on February 11th.

I texted her (I'm new to texting and there are times I just love it) pics of a couple different pattern options for a new dress.  She picked one out and told me what adjustments she'd like and I found some fabric.

Then voila! I made a new dress.

It doesn't look like much just hanging there.

Her younger sister is modeling it for me.
She needs some pretty good heels in this picture so it won't be dragging the ground.
But since she is about 4 inches shorter than our oldest, it should be just about right.

Neckline detail

Sleeve hem and hem detail with double needle topstitching.
This sleeve hem looks a little crooked, but I assume it is because of the way I am holding it.

Another plus about this dress.  It had been folded up and ready to get sent when I realized I hadn't taken any pictures.  We pulled it out and my daughter put it on immediately--not a wrinkle in sight.

I love that kind of fabric.

  • 4 yds of jersey knit at $4.50/yd.
  • Lengthened dress to almost floor length--this equaled to about 13 additional inches.
  • 3/4 sleeves instead of full length.
  • Added ties to sides to adjust the waist fitting (similar to her HS orchestra dress)

Thursday, January 22, 2015

More photos from our home listing

This house selling business has been quite the journey.
Last Thursday afternoon our listing went live and from Friday thru Monday of this week we had 15 showings, plus an open house with 15 people attending, 4 offers, and we sold on Monday night around 8 p.m. for higher than our listing price.
Even then we had another 4 showings scheduled for Tues. and Wed.

Absolutely CRAZY!!!!
I'm still trying to wrap my head around it.

We had more showings and people seeing our house in those 4 days than we did the entire 5 months of it being listed last Summer/Fall.
We have had people ask us what has made the difference.
I mean, we sold our house in 4 days in January, in Minnesota.
For us I would have to say that the staging advice was key as was having the right realtor.
That has made all the difference in the world.
This second realtor was so much more motivated and aggressive and when you are dealing with your most expensive investment that is what you want.  Someone working FOR you!

Now onto finding the next house.
The one I had wanted and was available for MONTHS is gone.
Already cried over that and got it out of my system.
Our realtor assures us that he has never left a client homeless and that he will find us an even better home.
I am holding him to that.

Here are some final shots of the rest of the house and what we did to get it sold.

Boys' room.  The bed is a trundle so they both sleep here at least until we move and then we'll figure out different sleeping arrangements and accommodations.

Girls' room sans metal bunk beds.  Queen bed up on risers so we can shove all their stuff underneath the bed. And I do mean stuff--laundry basket, viola, American Girl doll and her paraphernalia in a large bin, some blankets folded up that only get used at night.

Hubby's workshop.  Mine is right next door on the right.  It wasn't presentable enough at the time to take pictures and share on our listing.  It looks more organized now.

Interestingly enough a single gal has bought our house.
She is going to have so much room to work with.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Master BR Staging

I have to say that I have this weird-ish feeling about showing you my master bedroom.  It feels like I am showing you the deepest part of my life.  I'm not sure how I feel about that.  But really, putting your house on the market is a weird experience.  There are friends of mine who haven't ever been in my bedroom and now I am posting pictures online to sell it and letting total strangers meander around my house to look at whatever they want.

It's just weird.

Our master BR is 10 feet by 13 feet (plus a few inches).  Decent size for a 1960 built rambler.  We have a king size bed with a very large headboard.  That doesn't leave a whole lot of extra room.  But we haven't really cared.  However, in order to sell our house, the staging ladies recommended we remove the headboard so the room will more accurately reflect the size.

6040 Ensign Ave N, New Hope, MN 55428

Here is the picture of our master BR from the first round of trying to sell.

And here we are after completing their recommendations.

Same room, same bed, same big pillows just recovered differently.

And here is our little powder room / master half bath off our bedroom.

We moved the entire headboard out to the garage.
Added risers so we could have some more storage space underneath the bed.
Flipped the duvet to the plain navy side.
Got rid of some pillows and changed the coverings of others.
Added this quilt to the end of the bed for some color.
Took the lamp table from the LR and put it as a side table.

  • Bed risers bought at Wal-Mart for $7 and some change for a 4 pack.  We needed to buy 2 packs  because for a King size bed you need 6 risers.
  • White bedskirt/dust ruffle made from thrifted Queen size flat sheet.  Used the piece that goes between the boxspring and mattress from the previous dust ruffle.
  • White European pillow shams from a thrift store fabric purchase.  Paid $4 or less for about 4 yards of 60 inch wide white poly-something fabric.  Tied like this.
  • King size pillows--made simple white satin pillowcases from thrift store fabric hase for less than $2.
  • Quick reference for standard pillow sizes.
  • Paint for baskets in the bathroom is Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover Paint + Primer Satin in Eden.

Monday, January 19, 2015

LR Staging Changes

This past weekend we started round 2 of trying to sell our house.
This whole process has been an "experience" to say the least, and not one I hope to repeat any time soon.

The end of November we cancelled our contract with our previous realtor, took our house off the market after 5 months of lots of showings and no offers, and took a breather of sorts.  I could do a whole rant post about our previous realtor but I will spare you those details.  I am trying to move on and move forward.

Two weeks into December we had picked a new realtor, met with their staging ladies and got their recommendations and started feeling hopeful again.  Some of their suggestions we could do easily and right away, others needed more time, energy and muscle power.  And really I just couldn't deal with a lot of it right before Christmas and trying to get our oldest daughter off to college the first week of January.  My brain could only deal with so much.

Here is the previous photo of our LR for our MLS listing last year.

6040 Ensign Ave N, New Hope, MN 55428

The staging recommendation was to move some of the larger pieces out to make the room appear as large as possible.

The bookcase on the left and the 2 side pieces of the TV cabinet were moved out.
Packed up most of my quilts and just about every single book we own.
I think I only have 4 or so on my side table in our room and that is about it.
The furniture placement was altered as well as the rug placement.
And the shoe bin/bench (lower right corner barely visible above pic or below about the middle of the pic by the couch) will get put in the back of the van for showings, along with 2 cellos.  With as many people as we have in this house and trying to reduce clutter, there is no way we can completely eliminate shoe storage, in Winter no less.

6040 Ensign Ave N, New Hope, MN 55428

Thankfully we didn't have to move the piano.

Here we are now that the changes are completed.

What a difference!

In the first 4 days after our listing went live we had 14 showings and an open house where 15 people attended.

Seriously, what a difference!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Quick quilt gift--Scrappy 16 patch

I had this quilt waiting to be sent to Lynn for her quilting magic when we found out that a family at Church was in need for Christmas.  So instead I did some easy straight line quilting--since that is really all I can do with any of my machines--and we gave it to this family along with other items and money that members had donated.

I like that it has an Irish Chain feel to it, but it isn't really...

I have to say my kids were very encouraging when I asked them if they thought this family would like the quilt.  You really just don't ever know what people are going to like.  Not everyone can appreciate the beauty of scrappy.  And for anyone who sews or quilts, even "easy" projects take some time and effort.  But they thought it was a great idea and reminded me that we have plenty of quilts.  Yes, yes, we do.

Taking pictures wasn't that easy.
During this time period we had overcast days for almost 2 weeks straight.  Yuck!!
This was the best I could come up with before giving it to this family.

  • Cut 3 inch squares sewn in a 4 by 4 block configuration.
  • Made 30 blocks.
  • Each block has 4 different fabrics in it.  And I am pretty sure I didn't repeat any fabrics.  I actually went back and changed 2 or 3 blocks that I noticed did have a repeat.  It was kind of bugging me--just a touch of OCD.  So that means in the end I used 120 different scrap fabrics.
  • Sashing between blocks cut 1 1/2 inches wide.
  • Border sashing cut 3 inches wide.
  • Yellow check fabric for binding.
  • Backing was a soft red chambray type fabric.
  • Finished size 59 inches by 69 inches.

I received a couple Pilot Frixion Ball Erasable Pens at a "Favorite Things" Party back in December.  These pens are amazing!  I used them for the first time on this quilt to mark my lines in the border.  All I had to do was to wash the quilt and the lines were GONE.  But I could see that they would disappear with just a little water alone.  The pen even comes in light colors so if you need to mark on darker fabrics you can.  AMAZING!!  You may want to try one out for yourselves.  The giver said she bought them at her local Staples store.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Modern Wonky Log Cabin Quilt

This quilt was an exercise in trying something new and different--mainly, using more negative space than I have before.  And I didn't want it to be white space.  I have plenty of white sashed quilts.  So I actually bought some Kona light grey solid for this quilt.

I wasn't quite sure how it was going to turn out, but now that it is all completed I think that it might be one of my favorites.  I love the wonky blocks, I love the wonky layout, and I love the backing fabric.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Merry Christmas 2014

From our house to yours
We wish you a Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Quilt for #1 Son

I made this quilt for my oldest son (for his new bed in the non-existent new house).
He picked this pattern because it looked like Ninja throwing stars.
Now that's a teenage boy for you.

I tried to get him to help me sew it, but he wasn't all that thrilled.
Once I got my sewing system down with these blocks they went rather quickly.

I finished this back in September and sent it out to Lynn for quilting because my parents were going to be in Utah in October.  They brought this quilt and 2 others back for me and then I just got them over Thanksgiving when my parents came to visit.  I hadn't planned on giving this to my son for Christmas, but at this point, with it being so close, it is going to get wrapped up.  He does know what it looks like--at least in theory.  He hasn't seen it all quilted and bound.

Lynn's quilting really did add to the quilt.  Now I have to get busy on boy #2's quilt.

  • Pattern called "Shuriken" from 25 Ways to Sew Jelly Rolls, Layer Cakes, & Charm Packs by Brioni Greenberg, pg. 58-61.
  • Original pattern called for 80 blocks.  I did 99 and assembled them 9 across and 11 down.  My son is 13 and already 6 foot so I wanted to make sure it would fit him for a long time.
  • Kona Charcoal for the background and then assorted Kona colors for the stars.
  • Quilted by Lynn
  • Finished size 78 inches by 95 inches.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Speedo Fridays

This post scares me ever so slightly.
I've made Speedos a joke....for a baby shower gift.
I never thought I would actually be making them for real....for my teenage son.

Let's just start this by saying that swim team boys are C.R.A.Z.Y.
Maybe it is from holding their breath so much or breathing chlorine fumes, not sure.
But one of the team traditions is "Speedo Friday".
And it is exactly what it says: anyone who wants to wears a Speedo to Friday's practice.
My son wanted to participate so badly last year, because that is the "cool" thing to do, but I never got around to making any for him.
I didn't want to buy one, because let's face it, I knew I could make one.
Hello! I've been making tankini bottoms for girls for years.
The only real difference here is adding a drawstring.

So this year will be different.
He can participate in style on Speedo Fridays.

Wow, that is not much fabric.
He modeled for us and his older sisters about DIED of embarrassment.  Let's just say that gold piece looks an awful lot like your skin color.

Here's a hint for drawstrings--when you thread it through, pull the right side drawstring through the left side hole and vice versa.  The drawstring will be crossed underneath inside the casing.  This will help eliminate your kid pulling too hard and ripping the buttonholes.  Just saying....from very recent experience.

  • Kwik Sew pattern 2881 (which is out of print).  I can't remember where I found the pattern, but it was brand new unopened.  Score!!  
K2881, Shirt, Shorts & Trunks
  • Swim fabric from the stash--gold was bought at Jo-Ann's I know for sure, the rest were thrift store finds.
  • Drawstring from 3/8 inch polyester ribbon.  We tried 100% cotton, but once it is wet it is dang near impossible to untie.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

4 Pack of Snowballs for Fall

I started these blocks a year ago last September (2013) and found them this past summer (2014) as I was going through some of the things in my sewing room.  I had sort of forgotten that I had them.  I decided that I just needed buckle down and put them together in a quilt top and so this Fall I did it.

I didn't have the "correct" amount of blocks once I was done to do a traditional 4 by 6 block layout.  I was just ONE block shy.  Arghhh!!  But in the end I like this layout better.  I put 3 rows of 5 blocks interspersed with 2 rows of 4 blocks.  I actually think it gives it more interest.

Hubby doesn't ever comment much on my projects unless I flat out ask him, but he told me he really likes this quilt.  So that means it will probably stay at our house once it is all completed.

Just need to get it sent off to Lynn for some quilting.

The 2 fabrics I used for the backing.

Monday, December 8, 2014

"Reindeer" Pillows

While rummaging around at SR Harris a few weeks ago looking for something else, which at the moment I can't remember what, I found this fun deer fabric.

It was a total impulse buy, I admit it.  However, I knew I could have fun with it.

I wanted to change it up and make some pillows for Fall.
Hubby and kids hunt quite a bit, so why not have some deer pillows.

They didn't get done in time for that season, so instead they are now "reindeer" pillows.
Technically they are Mule deer--per hubby--and he would know.
But for my purposes it will work for the season.

I added a red button on one "reindeer" and voila! we have Rudolph and the gang.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Swim Jammers

Boys swim team season started this week.
What our boys swim team members usually wear for practice and competition are what they call "jammers".
They look like bicycle shorts.
I'm sure they are super comfortable to swim in.

I "had" to make a couple pairs for my son this year since he outgrew last years.
I say "had" only because I have tons of fabric and it is just sitting there.  So why spend the money on new suits when I can make a couple pairs for much less.
Last year he was 5'7" or so and wore a size 9 shoe.
This year he is 5'11" pushing 6' as a 13 yr. old and wears an 11.
He eats a ton and takes up a lot of space in our house and his voice it getting deeper and he can lean down on the shoulder of one of his older sisters and he loves it.
She does not.

But back to the jammers.
I had lots of fun swim fabrics to choose from and he did.

Here's how I lined these.

  • Kwik Sew pattern 2881 (out of print).
  • Swim fabric from the stash.
  • Bought polyester 3/8" black ribbon for the drawstrings.  

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Celtic Cable Scarf

This beautiful scarf is only the second cable project that my oldest daughter has tackled.
And usually she prefers crochet over knitting.
She may just have a gift for yarn arts.

I LOVE the braided side edge.

I was having problems getting the color right because this is what you would think of as traditional kelly green.  It sure doesn't appear that way in any of these photos.

She really did a great job.
There were a couple times she and I had to unravel and fix a couple spots.
Fortunately that only happened about 3 times, which is pretty good considering how complicated this cable scarf was.

Side note: She happily wore this to the Celtic Thunder concert last Friday in keeping with the theme of the night.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Zebra Beanbag

I hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving break here this past week.  Ours was eventful starting out with a slight concussion (daughter #2), snow delay for my parents coming to visit, chocolate birthday cupcakes on Thanksgiving along with vegan and gluten-free pumpkin pie which was actually quite good.  Can't vouch for the cupcakes because I didn't get one.  We also saw the Celtic Thunder Christmas concert, took our house off the market and went and looked at the house we still want to buy and inexplicably it is still empty and still for sale.  That pains me a lot.  We'll take a break for a couple months and then put our house back on the market and hope to high heaven it sells this next round.  Because really I'm not sure that we can take much more in that department.

Anyway, enough of all of that business.
There are times as a mother I feel I am constantly telling my children "no".
This is not one of them.

My youngest son wanted a zebra beanbag for his birthday (Thanksgiving Day last week) or Christmas.
Kinda random, but O.K.

I found 2 pieces of zebra print fleece (about a yard each for less than $2 apiece) at the thrift store along with a beat up beanbag ($3) that I cut up and used for a pattern as well as the inside "beans".

Here is the end result.

He was super happy with it and won't really let anyone else use it.
That's fine.
As the youngest he should be able to tell his siblings all "no" at times.

Here he is enjoying a treat and a good movie.

This was probably one of my better thrift store/recycle projects to date, if only for the mere fact that this boy is happy.

  • I first made a muslin beanbag and filled it with the beans and sewed it shut.
  • The outer fleece panels are lined with a thrifted sheet so that it wouldn't stretch out too much.  I made this so I could pull it off and wash it if need be and not have the beans going every where.
  • Zipper opening on the side panels.
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