Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Goodies in the mail

My fat quarters are on their way to the members of my swap group:-) I hope those receiving the goodies enjoy them!

To those who are participating in the swap, I would love to see pictures (or blog posts) of the fabric you receive, or the projects you make with the fabric! Remember the "deadline" for the swap is the second week of April, so please put your FQs in the mail before Easter.

A sling for Jen

Saturday, March 28, 2009

A blue and brown theme

There seems to be a color theme here--lots of brown and blue/teal/aqua! I love brown myself, but most of these fabrics were picked because I thought others would like them:-) These items are not designated for anyone; I made them to have on hand as gifts or to sell, so if they strike your fancy, please let me know!

Nursing Cover in "Tossed Salad" from the Hello Betty line.

Diaper Clutch in "Pistachio Paisley" by Michael Miller

Diaper Clutch in "Damask in Espresso" by Joel Dewberry

Friday, March 27, 2009

Giveaway of Good Folks fabric

Okay, I love colorful fabric, and Anna Maria Horner's new Good Folks line of fabric definitely suits the bill. Wondermommy is giving away two yards of Good Folks fabric to a lucky winner here--go enter! Of course, if I won, I don't know if I would be able to cut into the fabric...I would probably just want to look at it and dream about using it:-)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Jeni's apron

At Christmas, my best-friend-from-childhood, Jeni, asked me to make a fun apron for her boss. I made that apron, and told Jeni to pick out her fabric so I could make one for her. Well, it took me THREE months to finish (not because it was hard, but because I just didn't do it), but I finally completed her apron. I love the fabric, and I have waited to post the picture until Jeni received it. She got the apron yesterday, and loves it, so it is safe for me to post!

Jeni-I love you, dear friend, and am so thankful that the Lord has seen fit for us to be friends for 20 years now! The apron is a small way to show how important you are to me.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

New additions to my stash

These fabrics are for nursing covers and other 'big' projects:

L to R: Damask in Espresso, Full Moon Polka Dots in Cherry, Dancefloor in Teal, Hummingbird in Pink, Lotus Lacework in Olive

I am trying to find fabric to make a runner for my dresser, so I ordered some swatches to 'test':

Props to Fabric Closet on Etsy for these excellent fabrics and swatches. Let me know what I can make for you!

Monday, March 23, 2009

New bag for spring

A few weeks ago, I started seeing these really cute bags made from dishtowels popping up everywhere on people's blogs. The inspiration behind these bags is the Orla Kiely line at Target. I loved the pear pattern, so I picked up a set of towels and decided to try my hand at it. (As an aside, I normally don't make bags. Just isn't my thing, you know? But I was inspired, and couldn't resist). I used a tutorial* I had bookmarked months ago from Little Birdie Secrets, and here is my end result:

I used the second, solid colored dishtowel to make an inner three section pocket. I tried to take a decent picture, but it didn't work too well:

For more ideas and tutorials using these adorable dishtowels, check out Homemade by Jill's spring tote tutorial and Film in My Fridge's
beach bag tutorial.

*I did alter the tutorial some to accommodate the dishtowel pattern--I didn't want upside down pears on one side of my bag, so I cut the towel in half and then stitched it back together across the bottom so the pattern would be 'facing up' on both sides. I also added an inner pocket:-)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

The one that started it all...

Two years ago, I made my first nursing cover (for myself, quite selfishly:-) based on the dimensions of a "real" nursing cover that a friend owned. I did not follow a tutorial of any kind, and to be honest, I am surprised it turned out as well as it did. My sewing skills were very rusty then! That cover was a labor of love, and has definitely gotten its workout over the past two years (it is now covering its second baby!). I love the fabric--my eye and heart is always drawn to batiks, yet this cover is the only thing I have that is batik. I loved the green and purple together with the leaf pattern. It wasn't until I brought the fabric home that I even noticed the deer in the pattern (I prefer to think they are gazelles, since that sounds more exotic). Anyway, here is my beloved cover, still looking spiffy after two years:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Needed--two more players for my swap

As of today, Friday, March 20, my swap list is complete! I miscalculated somehow, and instead of having 50, I have 45. That is still a wonderful number, and a blessing to me (I was worried that I wouldn't have 5!). Emails to be sent out to participants soon.

I have just a couple players short of a perfect number--50--for my fat quarter swap. Any takers?

And thank you thank you thank you for everyone who has asked to play! Fifty participants greatly exceeds my expectations.

New discoveries

Okay, so I am a little behind the times with this, but I just discovered Moda Bake Shop. It is a website with lots of tutorials and projects using Moda fabrics. I love it! It has given me a lot of ideas, and may even help me break my 'quilt phobia' and actually get into making a quilt...we'll see.

Speaking of Moda, my newest favorite fabric line is Wonderland by MoMo. It is inspired by Alice in Wonderland, and is just tons of fun. Pistachio, Tomato and Jam are the color names and inspire just as much whimsy and imagination as the fabric itself. I want all of the collection, but narrowing down what to do with it is a completely different story...

So what is your favorite fabric collection right now? I would love to hear about them! PS--Fat Quarter Participants should be hearing from me by tomorrow night at the latest. Thanks for your patience!

Monday, March 16, 2009

FQ Swap signup closed (sort of :-)

Okay, my deadline for signing up for my Fat Quarter Swap was yesterday, March 15. I am going to spend today compiling all the names and trying to sort them into groups of five. All that to say, if my list is not easily divisible by 5, I may send out a 'call' for a few more participants! To those who have already emailed me, thank you SOOOOO much! I will be emailing everyone by the end of this week. If you do not hear from me, please send me an email--it is possible that your original email got lost in the shuffle.

Oh, one last note: people have asked about the swap date. Let's plan on having the FQs swapped by the first week of April. Hope that gives everyone plenty of time!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Twin, no, triplet, nursing covers :-)

I have cranked out several nursing covers recently, but couldn't share them because they were gifts. Finally, gifts have been given, and we are now just waiting on the cute little babies to arrive!

For Anita (and baby girl S)

For Lindsey (and baby boy G)

For a friend of a friend

Skirt in progress, pt. 2

Waistband installed:

My first buttonhole (at least the first in years-since I have been out of my parent's house):

Only thing lacking is the hem!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What can $5 buy?

Other than a Subway $5 footlong? I don't have an exhaustive list, but I know that five dollars can buy a lot when you are careful and frugal. My husband and I used to have a "10 times" rule when we were (really) poor students--everything really costs 10 times more than what it says. For example, that CD may "only" cost $10, but that is like $100 when you are a poor student. And the reverse is true--it may only be $5, but that is like $50!

Which is why it is SO aggravating that I cannot find the five dollar bill I received as change at the grocery store yesterday. I don't know if the cashier did not give it to me, or if I dropped it on my way out. It was early evening, I had both (tired and cranky) kids, so though I did make sure my coupons cleared, I did count my cash and I THOUGHT I saw the cashier pull out a five dollar bill, I have no idea where said bill is.

And there goes fifty dollars!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Update on FQ swap

Thanks so much to everyone who has responded! I am astonished at the number of people who want to play along. I was concerned about having 5 people sign up, and I easily have 5 times that (or more). This is going to be so much fun. Please don't forget to send me an email by Sunday, March 15, with your name and mailing address if you would like to play along. I did not think about this with my first post, but I have several people overseas who are interested in playing along, so please indicate in your email whether you will be willing to ship internationally. I will contact everyone playing via email after March 15 to confirm their information, and then I will assign each to a team. Then the fun begins:-) I think it would be great to have all the fabric 'swapped' by Easter. Thank you again for playing along. I hope to see pictures of the fun fabric that is swapped.

Little sewing sloppiness

Don't you hate it when you make a mistake on something that you have done often enough you shouldn't make a mistake? Like making your famous cookies, and leaving out an ingredient. Or in my case, stitching in the boning on a nursing cover completely BACKWARDS yesterday! Since the boning is crucial to the cover, it has to curve a certain direction...and I stitched it in the opposite way. Oh well, I just took out all the stitches and redid it. It must have been a complete brain cramp. No worries, though, Linds, you are worth every stitch:-)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cleaning your crockpot

I hate cleaning my crockpot. If it gets "gunk" built up on it, I am often tempted to just go out and buy a new one. That really isn't a wise use of my money :-), so I have found a couple of options that help me with the caked on nastiness that is often my crockpot.

1--Reynolds Wrap Slow Cooker Liners. These really are amazing. I think many packaged products are a rip-off, often something you could make yourself, or something that has slightly newer/different packaging that makes it seem better but it is not. However, these Slow Cooker Liners are the real deal. You put the plastic liner in your crockpot, cook away, and when you are done you take the liner out and throw it away. All you have to do is wipe the crockpot down. Easy as pie!

2--But suppose you don't have slow cooker liners? Here is my tip for cleaning out icky, sticky, caked on crockpot stuff. Fill the crockpot with lukewarm water, add a dryer sheet and let it sit for a few hours. Science is not my strong point, but something in the dryer sheet helps the food particles to soften and loosen. After a couple of hours of soaking, it should not take much elbow grease to clean out your crockpot.

And since we are all big crockpot fans, we know we need an easy way to keep it clean. It works for me!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Skirt in progress, pt.1

You can't tell it from this picture, but I have cut out the skirt and sewn together the body of the skirt. I am using the Wrap Around Beach Skirt (it has a cuter title than that, but I can't remember it) from Sew What! Skirts. I will show more pictures as I also sew more!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

My new sewing machine

I love it.

Brown scrollwork nursing cover

I have now made three nursing covers from this gorgeous brown scrollwork fabric from Sis Boom Basics. I bought this fabric on a whim, and everyone loves it! Unfortunately, it is hard to find now, so this may be the last one...

I am working on other things, but several of them are presents, so I cannot post pictures yet! Those will come soon.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Anyone interested in a Fat Quarter Swap?

One of my favorite sewing blogs, Sew, Mama, Sew, had a "Fat Quarter Month" during the month of February, where they spotlighted all the wonderful projects you can make with a fat quarter. That is where I got my inspiration for fabric bookmarks. They have conveniently put all of their links together in one place here. I am especially excited about their Doll Quilt "quilt-along" which gave instructions on piecing and quilting a small quilt--it is perfect for someone like me who knows how to sew but not how to quilt! ANYWAY, Sew, Mama, Sew hosted a fat quarter swap but I was unable to participate. To celebrate the month of March, and the hopeful approach of spring (though you can't tell with the snow in my yard), I wanted to know if any of my faithful (few) blog readers would be interested in having our own FQ swap. Here is how it will work:
--Send me an email with your name, email address, and mailing address by March 15th.
--I will then send you a list of people that you will mail a FQ to. I would love to have enough participants for each person mail off 4 fat quarters, but we will see.
--Not sure what a fat quarter is? Check it out here. You can cut up one yard into 4 fat quarters, or you can send four different fabrics. The fat quarters should be 100% cotton.
Let me know if you want to play!