Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Fabric Document Holder

Part two of bridal shower presents:

Along with the cashmere pillow I also made this fabric document folder. It's purpose is to be an elegant way to present the botanical prints I found a few weeks ago. Since she has her BS in Horticulture I thought a "hort-couture" theme is the way to go. I am heading there anyways!

The pink floral fabric is from the new Heather Bailey fabric line of FreshCut. So pretty. I walked into the store and the delivery man just dropped it off. They just put the price tag on when I made my purchase.

On to the apron now.

BTW: I made the mistake of looking at new sewing machines when I was at the fabric shop. Now I am not happy with what I have! ***I really do love the very FREE machine I am currently using*** It is FREE afterall.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sunday Snow Day

Not very much of a view, but it's the only one we got! Needless to say, we weren't venturing out to church today. This was taken at 11am. And it hasn't stopped snowing since early this morning. Before it gets dark I may go outside and brush off the cars to make it easier on ourselves Monday morning.

But we are taking advantage of our snow day. Jeff decided to refurbish some meatloaf he made for dinner last night. He was in a cooking mood, so why would I stop him? I tried not to peek, but I happened to look in when I saw him put spicy nacho Doritos and fennel seed in the food processor, together. Fennel is my least favorite herb. And I am not a big fan of orange cheese. And certainly I am not a big fan of them together. I surprised him in the kitchen waving his hands over the pot as if it would magically turn into some wondrous dish.

He decided to make a southwestern style soup with the nacho cheese/fennel meatloaf. My first taste testing proved to be delicious.

And since we were snowed in I decided to finish my first ever embroidery project. I started it yesterday. Since we have a red couch I thought it would be whimsical to have red monkey pillows. I drew up 3 designs and settled on this one. I am not in love with it. I will probably fold this attempt up and start another. I still have a ton of thread.

Friday, February 23, 2007

For the love of cashmere!

I finished turning my $1.50 cashmere thrift sweater into a pillow. I really liked how this one turned out. This is a gift for a bridal shower (among other things). What's great is that everything is washable.

I used this tutorial for the flowers on the front. I really enjoyed making these. I need to make a few more. I need a cashmere flower pin for my winter pea coat.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Oldies but goodies

Work continues on my 3 year quilt. After coming home from a weekend in the Pocono's, I seemed to have enough energy to stay up till 4:30 Monday morning to finish the top of my quilt. Wait, what?! Finished?

As in "I didn't use my seam ripper once to tear it apart a gajillion times."

I ended up not being so "artsy" and did a very simple, balanced border. I think after looking at this quilt on our living room floor for days it must have grown on my husband. He asked if I was going to keep this one. So I am.

Yesterday I headed over to JoAnns to take advantage of their Presidents Day Sale and found a plain, neutral flannel backing to appease hubby. Only $9! And consider that all the other fabric was either recycled or given to me, this is a pretty cheap quilt. Never mind the time involved.

I also randomly stopped by a store called Wonder Books. I am not sure exactly what this place is. It seems like they get every book I would never read and sell it cheaply. But what they do have are old magazines and prints you have to shuffle through. Boxes upon boxes that are everywhere. On table tops, under table tops, on book shelves, stacked on top of each other. You really have to do some searching. They are moving locations so everything in this store is $1! I can spend a dollar. Want to see what I found?

Dating from 1948-1956!

I was beyond excited to get my hands on these. And there were a ton more too. Lots of McCalls from the 70's. That time period doesn't appeal to me, so I found the 1940-1950's issues. Now if you are into knitting, crocheting, or needlework these are for you (lots of free patterns and directions). I don't do any of these (yet) but seeing the designs, reading the old ads, and reading the tips and tricks sections all amused me. I did take a few pictures of the contents.

Friday, February 16, 2007

All things shiney are pretty

I had to take a break from the denim quilt I am working on. (Wait, didn't I take a 3 year break from it?) I had sewed the borders, even sewed one side on and I hated it. So I got my seam ripper out and took it apart. Onto Plan F. (not sure what that is yet)

But in the mean time, I decided to try my hand at beads. I have a ton of old necklaces acquired over the years from friends and thrift stores. I took some apart. Went to a local bead store to get some inspiration (how convenient it's right across the street from the library!). I saw some wonderful pendants and said "I can make them myself!" And that's what I did. I just had to purchase some rings and head pins. I even had a brilliant idea on how to present them. Look how purty they are:

My next plan of action is to read my owners manual for the digital camera. I couldn't get the focus right. It doesn't help that the apartment only has two windows. I just keep telling myself I will have a house sooner than later. *a house and a puppy*

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

What once was lost, now is found

Last night there were no excuses. I WAS going to finish the quilt blocks I started 3 years ago. They were taking up too much space in my tiny sewing area.

I am using recycled denim left over from another project. Years ago, my old college roommates gave me beautiful stacks of quarter flats as a gift in the pink/green color pallet. So, I married the two together. I did a modified log cabin design for each block. As an added feature, I did a "peek-a-boo" window in each center block that will fray when washed. I only needed to sew 9 more blocks to make a twin sized quilt. And I finally sewed the last 9 blocks. But I didn't stop there. Amazingly enough, I even pieced the entire thing together (minus the border)!

It feels *so* good to see it coming together.

In Valentine News, my hubby thought V-day was Thursday instead of today. No biggie. I love him anyways. Maybe we will make it a tradition. Celebrate V-day one day after. Think of all the 50% off sales! Not that we go all out for this special day. Normally just a sweet hand written card and a few sweets for our bellies.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Recent sewing projects

I have this love/hate relationship with sewing sometimes. Three years ago, I was at my sewing machine every night. And then work got hectic and things got more serious with the boyfriend (now husband!) and I stopped sewing.

But I suppose my new unemployment status has changed things a bit. The sewing machine's new home is at my once very cluttered home office desk. It certainly is a new change not having business plans, market reports, orders, and lists cluttering my space. Now there is a lot of thread bits and fuzzies everywhere. But when inspiration hits you run with it. And when we finally purchase a home (instead of renting) I will turn into crazy curtain making wifey.

I want to hone my sewing skills and I decided to step away from straight lines and 2D projects and try something new. I wanted to learn how to construct a 3D object. I want to get some new feet for my sewing machine so I can add bias stripping without all the hassle and I want to sew in a zipper. Simple things, but you need to start somewhere, right?

My first lesson was to learn how to make a lining. I choose to make a purse and used Amy Butler's "Swing Bag". Directions were very easy to follow and I made this bag in an evening sitting. I was happy with my sewing skills, but in the future if I made this again, I would make some minor changes to the pattern.

These flowers are also from Amy Butler Pattern found in the "Madison Bags" Pattern. I had alot of fun making these.

My most recent adventure was to construct a purse using fusible interfacing to give it support and structure. I used Amy Butlers "Uptown Handbag" pattern. With this pattern I learned how to use a new sewing product and to construct a bag with a bottom. I was not in the right mindset when I started sewing this bag. I could not follow directions to save my life and had to rip out many seams. And when I finally had everything pieced together my sewing machine gave me a lot of hardship in making the final top stitch around the top of the bag. And the lining is very loose inside. I don't like that at all. But here it is. I still want to try to redo the top stitching. This time around I will pin the lining at the bottom of the bag so not to get any unwanted puckers at the top.

I used a solid for the outside because I knew with a pattern you would see my mistakes more easily. However, I am not totally put off by this bag. The "Downtown Purse" is more practical for my everyday use, so I plan on making that in the future. I just need to right fabric.

Monday, February 12, 2007

My new blog adventure

This blogging is so new to me. I only recently discovered the vast amounts of people who share their wonderful talents through blogs. And I have enjoyed reading about their creativity and free tutorials that I decided not to be a lurker any longer.

Plus I have a few projects and hobbies I would love to share. I always got an "E" for excellent on my report cards in sharing. Even when my baby sister destroyed all my toys, I still shared with her. It's love.

I am currently in between jobs. My husband and I recently moved back to the east coast for his career and as a bonus we are closer to friends and family. I am back in the job market. So when I am not interviewing or searching for jobs, I have been cultivating my creativity. The library and I have become *thisclose*. But don't ask what I read because its all boring nonfiction books. Even though I have a college education I never want to stop learning and have become a self-educating nut.

I also started volunteering at the Humane Society. I grew up on a farm and I have been missing the open space and working with animals. And I figured I better do something with my education while I am unemployed. I have lots of experience and education to offer and I can't wait to get more plugged in.

I want to thank you for stopping by. If you keep a blog leave a note and I'll come over for a visit!

PS. The beginning image was something I created for my sister's Xmas present. I drew it and did a t-shirt transfer on some great Old Navy long sleeve t-shirts. We love cows. And we are both clumsy.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Thrift Store Finds

This weekend I went out on the town with two other girlfriends in search of thrift store finds. I simply love finding useful items for cheap. And I am always on the lookout for great fabric to reuse including cashmere sweaters.

I have been searching for a few household items every time I visit a thrift store. One of those items is a white gravy boat. And lookie! I found the perfect one! For $1!!! I also scored some yarn balls for $.10 each and some vintage fabric ribbon ($.35). And you'll notice the lovely cotton sweater($1.50) they are sitting on. It's rather large and I intend to make a pillow out of it for my living room. I was attracted to its texture. I can't wait to start that project.

I also found a great selection of fabric's and wool sweaters. I have had a 9 patch quilt in mind for years and when I found the light blue floral patterned full flat sheet ($1) I knew I found the backing I was looking for. There is a dark blue paisley patterned pillow case ($.50), 2 yards of a creamsicle delight fabric ($1), and one white cashmere sweater ($1.50) that I already felted and cut apart to make a pillow for a bridal shower coming up. You can see the coordinating flower I made from the sleeves to attach when finished. In the background you'll notice two more felted sweaters ($4 each). They are the heaviest wool sweaters I have ever handled. They are both made in Ireland and I know one brand, Blarneys, is quite popular and expensive. I'll keep these around until inspiration strikes.