Friday, January 22, 2016

knitted dish cloths

After a long break, I finally picked up my knitting needles again. I've been so immersed in sewing, that I forgot how much I loved to knit. I don't do anything fancy..just things like hats and dishcloths. They are useful and easy to make. Here are my latest:

What motivated me to dig out my needles again, was the Creativity Challenge #2 that Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts is doing this year. For this past week, it was to:

Make your initial out of something.

At first, I was going to do it in needlework, but figured that would take too long. So then thought about knitting and a search of the web, turned up THIS wonderful page of free knitted monogram dishcloths. I'm sure I'll make more in the future for my family.

And it's not too late, if you want to jump in on the fun of this challenge. You can read all about it HERE on Shelly's blog. The supplies she recommended to have on-hand, I found that I had them already!

 The only thing I didn't have, was an adult coloring book. I was going to just use my daughters', but then found some beautiful one's in our local craft store.
Just look at this page!
I'll just have to do this one and frame and hang it in my sewing room!

So if you're up for a different kind of challenge this year, to spark your creativity, hop on over to Shelly's blog! I'm sure this will be a lot of fun!

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching, drawing, quilting, painting...whatever makes your heart sing!

Friday, January 15, 2016

pot holders

To go with the apron in my previous post, I made up some pot holders.
 Tutorial used: pretty little pot holder found at Nana Company
What I did differently: instead of the ruffle, I used rick rack.And I hand stitched the binding down on the back instead of by machine.
Where I goofed: the fabrics I used were too thick. Next time I'd be sure to choose lighter weight cottons. And the pieced front I'm not keen on, but I only had scraps to work with.
Will I make it again? Sure. It was a great pattern, clearly explained and easy to follow!

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching!

Friday, January 8, 2016

an apron

While folding fabric and trying to organize my sewing area, I found some fabrics of my mom's. She needs a new apron, so I decided to try to make her one.
I took an old apron and used that as a pattern. I had just enough fabric left to make a neck strap, but not enough for the waist straps. So I used some cotton belting for them. For the hem/edges, I used some old rayon seam binding that I had never tried before. THIS tutorial taught me how to use it. I really liked gave a nice, crisp and smooth finish to it. I'll certainly be using it some more to finish hems.
Here is a close-up of how the edges look on the back:
 What I would change when I make another?
-  make smaller pockets
- don't line the pockets

Overall though, I think it turned out okay. And I have my first finish done of the New Year on a Friday, which is what I'm going to aim for each week.

Thanks for dropping by and happy stitching!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Final Countdown Challenge - Task Three

The last challenge Shelly has for us, you can read about HERE on Prairie Moon Quilts. It is to:

Get out of your quilt box!

Learn a new technique.
This shouldn't be particularly hard to do, but just something I haven't done with any of my quilts yet...that is to tie them with yarn instead of machine quilting. I recently came across a large bag of polyester quilt batting that we had stored in the attic. I think it will be hard to use it in machine quilting as it's very puffy, but tying should be fine. It would be a great way to finish up some of my UFO's, so the quilts can be actually used and not in a box half done!

Use a different color palette than you usually do.
 I'll have to think on this one some more. I do have a few UFO's that are not my usual color choices, but I'll have to think about what new project/fabrics I could try.

Take the leap. Challenge yourself.
It's not quilting related, but it is sewing. I have the patterns and supplies to make Waldorf style dolls. I would dearly love to make them for my daughter before she's too old and not interested in them. They are made with wool stuffing, knit fabric, and wool yarn and are constructed in a particular way. So I'll challenge myself to just get them done this year!

Join in on something you haven't before.
I'm still researching this one. Maybe a block-a-month group or a quilt-along?

And just because I like posts to have pics, here is one of a beautiful bird that stopped by my yard awhile ago. We think it is a young Northern Goshawk,

Thanks for stopping by and happy stitching!

Friday, January 1, 2016

The Final Countdown Challenge - Task Two

First of all, Happy New Year everyone!

This next task of Shelly's was a good one to do. Again, Shelly wrote a great post about it, that I'm sure to refer to often. You can find it HERE. The task is to:

Organize ALL our UFO's.

So I went through mine and they are now all stacked like this by my machine, to remind me to get them done!
I broke my list down, like Shelly mentioned that she does, into columns. I discovered that out of 23 total UFO's, 12 just need to be quilted and the remaining 11 projects are still in progress.
I went through each one, and I feel that I do want to complete them all. So what is holding me up, especially for the 12 projects that just need quilting and binding done?...
It's the quilting aspect and deciding what batting to use. And the backing...should it be cotton, flannel or fleece? I tend to ponder these questions too much, and then put it aside and move onto something else. It's time to change that.
So in the coming weeks, I'll aim to finish up those 12 UFO's that are almost done...maybe even post a finish each Friday? Now that would be great!

And Shelly also mentioned about having a wish list of things you'd like to make. This is a great idea!
Since I've got enough quilts on the go, I'd really like to make more things for my daughter while she's young. They include Oliver & S dresses and Waldorf dolls.

So here's to hoping for a productive sewing year! I'm really looking forward to it. Hope you all are too!
Happy Stitching in 2016!

Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Final Countdown Challenge for 2015

Shelly of Prairie Moon Quilts, is once again hosting her Final Countdown Challenges, which are three tasks to help us get the New Year off to a great start. You can read more about it HERE. We have until January 4th to complete the tasks, so it's not too late if you want to join in on the fun!

For the first task, Shelly wrote a great post, which I'm sure I'll return to many times. There are lots of questions to ponder! You can find it HERE. The first task is to:

Take a good hard look at your fabric stash.

Do you like the way you have it stored?
No, not really. For the last few months, this is basically how my room looked:

(BTW, what's on my design wall to the right, is the project I worked on this Fall. I couldn't blog about it, as they were Christmas presents. I'll try to do a blog post about them shortly.)
 See all those bins on the floor? They hold my fabric collections and various supplies such as zippers, ribbon, elastic, lace, etc. I'm constantly shuffling them around to find things, so this didn't work.
Also, the shelves to the right looked like this:

My seven year old daughter pointed out that this looked rather messy. So we decided to remove the bags, and put all the small bins on the shelves. Now it looks like this:

I think this will be much better. In the coming weeks, I hope to go through those boxes and organize them better and maybe toss some things. All the Ziploc bags are now under my drafting table, which I plan to also go through. I hope to eliminate them completely by cutting the shirts and pants up for future projects, using the fleece for quilt backings, using the t-shirts for a quilt, and donating the rest.

We also decided to rearrange the desks and as of this morning, this is how it looks:
 Yes, that is my cat in the middle. I'm having an awful time, keeping her off my cutting table and fabric. Anyone else have this trouble? I'm hoping by having a designated basket/bed for her, that she will stay off what I'm working on! She can get quite feisty if I shoo her off too many times!

Other questions Shelly had for us, were:
Do you like the way you have it sorted?
Well, it's okay. I sort mostly by the type of fabric it is. So I  keep fleece all together, poly/cotton in one spot, knits in another, etc. It works out fine for me. I just need to keep at it as I have some bags that still need sorting.

Do you like all the fabric you have?
Mostly. but I'm sure there is some dated fabrics that I should purge. Also, I need to look at some of the old clothes and really think if I'll use them. Perhaps they should just be donated?

Do you like the system you have, but aren't working it like you want to?
I don't really have any system yet. Maybe some day, when I have a larger collection of quilting fabrics. I think having fabrics cut to specific sizes, is a good thing to do.

Have you seen a system you'd like to implement, but haven't taken the time to implement it yet?
No, not really. I do like Bonnie Hunter's scrap user system though, so maybe someday I'll try that when I have more quilter's cottons.

So with all this re-arranging in the past few days, I decided it was time to change a book case and a pantry holding my magazines. And it just so happened that today there was a sale on the units that I wanted. I'll post before and after shots when I get it done.

Happy Stitching and Happy New Year!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

studio organizing update

For Shelly's week 30 of the studio organizing challenge, which you can find the list of posts HERE, it was to:

deal with the scrap pile.

I tend to deal with my scraps in two ways...if it's a line of fabric I'm using for a project, then the scraps get tossed into baggies, then into a drawer. That drawer was a big mess, so I decided to use cardboard to separate the various collections. It now looks like this,which believe me, is alot better than what it was!

If it's just odd scraps of fabric or from clothes, I toss it in another drawer, to be sorted later into baggies by color. My drawer looked like this:

That drawer is now empty and it's all in a basket by color.

One day, I hope to get around to cutting those scraps into certain sizes, but for now, this will have to do.

Now when going through scraps, does anyone else find it impossible to not start a new project?
I found these wee baggies of triangles, and just had to sew them up.

My daughter played with the HST's and we ended up making a wee bean bag for her and a block, that may become either a mugrug for her or a pincushion. She also came up with a mini quilt, but I'll save that for another post.

Then we found some other scraps...what could I make with them?

Well school is starting soon, and she could use a pencil case. So I made this up, using a Gathered Clutch tutorial found HERE. I've made this one before, and really should make more for gifts. It's a great pattern! I added the wrist strap and loop to hang a toy,just for fun.

Inside, I think is the best part.  I pieced the divider using the salvages and scraps.

The line is called Love U by Deb Strain for Moda. My daughter really liked that!

And something happened while I was making this, which I'll mention so I don't forget it...
I was unhappy with how certain parts of it were turning fault of the pattern, just my sewing skills! I was telling my daughter what I did wrong and how I might not finish it, when she say's, "Oh mommy, you have to finish it. I don't care if the seams aren't perfect. It's made with Love. And do you know why I say it was made with Love? Because you are making it especially for me."
Yes, that made my day and helped me finish it up for her!

As for week 31 of the challenge, it was to: eradicate a pile. I'm still working on that one!
So I'll end this post with a sunflower from my garden.

Happy stitching!