Monday, August 31, 2009

Birthday Necklace

Today my M. turned 10 years old. Hard to believe, but it happens to the best of us, I suppose--we get older.

Part of what we did today was to make a necklace together. She loves the color orange and anything somewhat funky. So we decided on this style of necklace where the beads appear to "float" on the wire. She picked out the beads and put them in the order that she wanted and then I attached them for her and crimped them in place. It turned out really cute and she was very happy with it.

We had the book, Jewelry Just for YOU!, from the library and got the idea for this necklace on pgs. 46-49.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Colorful Coins Quilt {Finished}

After months of sitting in my sewing room, basted, and waiting to be quilted I finally finished my coin quilt. It feels really good to have it done!

This quilt was my original inspiration. I saw it a couple years ago and loved it! I started collecting my coins right then for my future project. I started out making this so that no two coins were alike, but since I wanted it to be big I ended up using some duplicates. I don't feel bad about that at all, it still has a great scrappy feel!

(This picture isn't doing the back any favors, but I wanted to show you the scale of the print and stripe.)

(This picture is much more flattering and true to color)

Once I saw this quilt I knew I had to find a similar piece for the backing. I used Alexander Henry's Mod Dot Multi. And in a reoccurring theme, I miscalculated the amount I needed for the backing so I had to throw in the star piece (leftover from this quilt) to make it big enough.

The binding is a piece Leslie gave to me. I think it was once a sheet or something like that. I love that it has a sort of ticking feel. I LOVE ticking!! A lot.
For more beautiful inspirations check out the Coin Piece Along group on flickr. My quilt is in there somewhere.

The details:

Finished quilt measures 60" by 72" (152cm by 183cm)
My coins are 3" by 5" (7.6cm by 12.7cm) before sewing, sashing is 3" and top/bottom sashing is 6" (15.2cm) before sewing.

August Winner!!!

The winner of the toddler skirt is REBECCA who spent the summer

"relaxing at home and playing at the playground with my daughter. and lots and lots of sewing while she napped!"

Congrats and please email us your address so we can send out your skirt.

Happy Friday!  and hopefully some weekend sewing.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

August Giveaway

Leave a comment to be entered to win and tell us how you spent your summer vacation.

Toddler skirt in navy with white polka dots. Fits age 2 or 3.
10.25" in length
waist is 16.5" around.

Winner will be announced Friday, Aug 28th.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Selvage Edges Pencil Case

The beginning of the new school year is fast approaching at our house. It may be already upon you and yours. School supplies are always a pain to round up, and this year it will be no exception with 4 of my 5 kids in school full time.

As I was checking out the various lists of supplies I decided to try a little something different for pencil cases. I know you can go buy them cheap, but then they don't last through the school year and you have to go buy another one down the road. So this year we decided to make some.
This was definitely a "wing it" project. Next time around I would probably do a few things different, but for now I'm happy and the kids are happy. And it used up some of my scraps.

I decided to try my hand at using selvages--topstitching them down on a piece of muslin or other scrap fabric about 13" square. Added an exposed zipper, and then some straps to put them into their binders. If you want to see some serious selvage seamstresses go to Google and type in "selvage" and you'll be amazed at some of the awesome quilts and other items people have made using their selvages. I think the original one where Emily first saw this kind of sewing was at Vintage Ric Rac. But hey, if you're like me, start small--like a pencil case.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gifts Ungiven

I am wondering if anyone has ever had this dilemma:

I have been working on a project for a little while and from the beginning have had the intent to give it away as a gift. However, now as it is almost completed I am having second thoughts--which I find a little weird for me. I am actually making 2--one for me to keep--but now I am not sure I want to give the other one away. It is not that I think the receiver won't love it--they have somewhat requested this item--or won't appreciate it; I know they will. And it isn't like this project is so overwhelmingly wonderful and perfectly put together, or so expensive that I can't part with it. But for some reason I am feeling rather selfish and stingy about giving it away. Really, I don't need two, I could use them both for sure, but I definitely don't NEED two.

So has anyone else ever had this situation arise and if so, what did you do? If you haven't ever felt this way then maybe I am just going through a selfish period and need to keep it to myself until it passes. I'd love to hear what you ended up doing when faced with a similar situation. How did it all work out?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Recycle Redecorating

We repainted our house over Memorial Weekend after a much too long time period. However, we didn't have a lot of extra money to upgrade some of the things that I would've liked. So one of the things I recycled was the front porch light.

Old house view above--glad to be rid of the yuck brown.
We had actually bought some carriage light fixtures a number of years ago to replace the ones on the house. They've been in the garage all this time. When we brought them out we found out that they would not fit on the house due to the placement of the junction boxes. They are a little too close to the overhangs. Bummer!! I ended up putting those on Craig's List and sold them.

Old, rusty looking light fixture
So, instead of buying another new one I just took our old one and spray painted it to match the new shutters on the house. I used Rust-oleum in midnight blue.

I had to tape up the entire glass portion on all sides before painting and put a bunch of newspaper inside the fixture to keep paint out. If you happen to get any overspray inside on the glass it cleans up really slick. I just used a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser--came right off.
I am pleased with how it turned out--and for not much money at all. I also used the same spray paint for our house numbers--same old ones we had on the house before, just now a nice new color.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Puppy Love Pillowcase

Miss M. has been invited to a birthday party next week for her good friend E. One year E. subtlely requested a personalized tote for her birthday, so we know she likes handmade gifts. M. wanted to make the gift herself this year and so one of the things we did for her was to make a custom pillowcase. E. is a big animal lover--and although we couldn't find a fun pig print (that is the b-day party theme this year), or a combo dog/cat print that we liked, we did find a great print of just dogs. That was the winner for this project.

This is the fabric she chose for the contrasting band.
M. was able to make the pillowcase all by herself--only straight seams necessary--and I walked her through it easy enough. Total cost for the fabric: $5.49

Below are the measurements that I have been using since I got them from a Hancock Fabrics Holiday Craft Show in 2000.

Basic Pillowcase

Approximate pillowcase sizes—
21” x 31 ½” Standard
21” x 35 ½” Queen
21” x 41 ½” King

Materials needed:
¾ yd. fabric (standard) OR 7/8 yd. (queen) OR 1 ½ yd. (king)
1/8 yd. coordinating fabric A (narrow band)
1/3 yd. coordinating fabric B (wide band)

27” x 43” piece (standard) OR 31” x 43” (queen) OR 37” x 43” (king) of main color (MC)
2 ½” x 43” piece of fabric color A
9” x 43” piece of fabric color B


1. With right sides together (RST) stitch both the narrow band (A) and wide band (B) each along their short edge. You'll be making a circle of sorts.

2. Press open seams and then fold each band in half wrong sides together (WST). Still maintaining a circle.

3. With RST, fold pillowcase (MC) in half, stitching one end and the side piece. Finish seam allowance. Press.

4. Align both the narrow and wide bands with raw edges matching. If you need to baste the raw edges together. Still maintaining a circle.

5. With RST match the narrow band side to the pillowcase and stitch. Finish seam allowance. Press seam towards pillowcase.

6. Topstitch along band seam, if desired.

This is the other part to her present--matching tees that she ironed on some cat and dog decals.

The two shirts and all the iron-ons cost us less than $10--barely, but still less.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Long time, no post....

I've decided to take on less projects and focus on the ones I really want to do. Instead of pumping out project after project (I had a phase) and multiples of the same thing (another phase) I'm going to make things that I really love. So many of the things I made 6+ months just don't have the same luster. They weren't thought out and I didn't really consider L's personality when making them.

This is one I've been wanting to finish. It's a size two. The white tee is from Target. I used scrap fabric for the yo-yo's. The skirt is made from fabric I purchased at a local quilt shop a very long time ago. I used this skirt pattern.

This was inspired by a JCrew outfit I loved, but refused to buy. Here's the JCrew version (no longer available):

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Swimsuit Answers

We've had a number of questions concerning swimsuits and we've tried to answer them as best we can. Here are a few more answers or hints about swimsuits.

I buy my fabric locally at Mill End Textiles. I went on their website and they specifically say they do NOT take internet orders. However, if you live in North or South Dakota, Minnesota, or Wisconsin you can locate a store near you and head their way. Love that store and their prices!

I came across this site as I was searching for something swimsuit related--Pattern School--for free patterns and how to tweak your own style of swimsuit. I haven't delved too much into that site just yet, but I am going to more thoroughly check out how she designs her suit. I really like the look of this suit--Empire tank suit. Pattern school also lists on their website where they have bought fabric online around the world and their recommendations.

You can go visit Dana and Su as they are doing a swimsuit sew along. They have a couple good hints too. Dana says she bought fabric from Spandex World. Based on what I am used to paying their prices look a bit spendy to me. But if you can't find anything you like locally then it appears they have a great selection. I did find a coupon online for Spandex world if that is something you are interested in.


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