Monday, May 31, 2010

In need of a summertime project: Hooked on Hexagons

Last Friday was our official last day of school.  (Thankfully not quite as eventful as last year.) Which means increased flexibility to our schedules (nice) and increased chaos (scary) trying to keep track of everyone around here. I am still trying to decide how I feel about the whole thing. I think some summer laziness is a rite-of-passage for kids,  but I'm also a little worried about my kids getting addicted to eating popsicles while watching Phineas and Ferb. We'll see how this goes!
While there is much to love about summer: good food, warm nights, flip-flops (no socks!), sprinklers, decent tomatos, etc., I know that it will also mean less time hanging out with my sewing machine. And that's okay. But I decided I need a good hand-work project to take with me to swimming lessons, the park, or on vacation.
I've had my eyes on hexagons for a little while now, but never took the plunge. Until now. There have been some really good posts about how to make hexagons recently.  Watching Angela get started was the final kicker for me.  She has a great post with links to other hexagon-quilting sites.   Texas Freckles (love that name!) also has some great hexagon-quilt-making videos.
And so I'm off to the races! And it is every bit as addicting as everyone says.  You've been warned.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Baby Nicey Jane

A new little quilt for the store where I work (American Quilting.) This was so much fun to make. I've been eyeing Nicey Jane since I heard Heather Bailey speak last fall. There are a few other prints thrown in.  Do you recognize the pattern? It's the same as the Mr. Roboto quilt from last summer.  I used this off-set square tutorial.
 
The back.
I finished the binding while watching the end of Lost.
 
It's really fun making quilts with other people's fabric.
I get the satisfaction of designing and making something fun, without having to buy anything.
And I get paid to do it. I know. My life is rough.
 
And here is my "helper". He thought it would be really funny to flop down on top while I was trying to take pictures.

The socks. I'm trying to convince him now that it's warm outside (most of the time) that he shouldn't wear just socks when he plays outside.  I've made his shoes readily available, even told him it's okay if he goes barefoot. But no. He insists on the socks. And our sock collection is wearing out quickly. Yesterday he came home from a friend's house and proudly told me, "Eli wears socks outside too! And guess what? His have holes just like mine!"  Gosh, one of my favorite parts of summer is not having a monster sock pile to sort every time I do the laundry. At least that is what I'd hoped. But at the rate he's going there will be no socks left to put holes in.


Many thanks for the awesome travel tips. I can't wait to put them to use!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Start spreading the news . . .

In June my husband has a business trip to New York, and I'm tagging along! My sister used to live in Manhattan and I stayed with her a couple of times. It was so much fun to see New York through the eyes of a 'native'. I loved it! So when she moved to California last summer, although I was happy to have her only a couple of states away (and within driving distance), I will admit I was sad about not having the excuse to visit Manhattan. So hurray for business trips! It will be quick, but worth it.
 
There are a few places I want to visit like this one (the Metropolitan Museum), ride the Staten Island Ferry (free!), sit in Central Park, and walk the Brooklyn Bridge and get some great pizza.  I don't really feel like I need to do the mid-town touristy stuff.  I'd rather find something off the beaten subway line.
 
Last time I visited my sister two years ago, I found this little place.  It was within a short walk of where she lived.  (This is my picture.)  I LOVED it, and then come to find out a couple months later, it has quite the online presence. It's Purl Patchwork!  I'm so excited to checkout their new, bigger digs.

I don't plan to hit Madison Avenue or buy any couture goods, but I'd love to find some hidden gems (read: cheaper deals) or cool locations.  Last time I was there I went to a sample sale for Hable Construction.  SO COOL! I bought some gorgeous upholstery remnants at like 90% off. That's the kind of stuff I'd love to find.  Has anyone ever been to the Fabric District?  I'm trying to decide if I have the guts to try it. Is it worth my time? Any other great suggestions?? (Like good food?) I would LOVE to hear them. Really! Really.

Maybe I'll bring something back for my favorite suggestion. :)

Monday, May 24, 2010

One good turn, deserves another.

My youngest sister is expecting her first baby.  To add to the fun and excitement (i.e. craziness), she and her husband are moving to Brazil. They asked if I would help them make a bumper pad for the baby's crib. Because it was bulky, we needed to do it asap so it could go on the container being shipped to Brazil.
 
With fabric like this, how could I refuse? 
Think how literate this kid is going to be with a bumper like that.
 
To make it even more of a party, my brother-in-law wanted to learn how to sew. He is quite the renaissance man. (He's the one who installed and then re-installed our light fixture when it got flooded last summer.) He's also taking an upholstery class right now. (Sweet! So good to have upholsterer in the family! - except he'll be in Brazil for a few years. Maybe in the future.)
 
Within a couple hours, we had this.  
Now it just needs a quilt to go with it. 
Those are little more portable, so I think it can travel in a suitcase later.
And in return, guess what my kind b-in-law did while we finished up the bumper? Hung this mirror over my couch. I've had it ever since we moved in (7 months ago), propped against the wall, waiting for me to get my measuring tape and my act together.  He hung it securely in about 35 min.  I call that a great trade. I'll sew baby bumpers, while someone with better drill-skills than me, hangs the heavy mirror. Thanks B & L!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Winners!

 
A random, spring-time picture that has nothing to do with this post.
 
First of all, holy smokes! I think we set a new all-time DofaQuilter record.  Thank you so much for stopping by and for such kind words. Very, very much. I wish I had I-spy Charm Packs and Vintage Sheet bundles for all of you.

And now, the giveaway winners. They are:
 
Nancy Sue said...
Thank you for your generous giveaway! Hope it is sunny skies for you today. We have had a week of rain. You brightened my day! And
 
Sheila C. said...
Would love to win! thanks
Congratulations Nancy Sue and Sheila C!
Nancy was randomly generated first, so she will get first pick.  I will be contacting you both to get address info.
It has been such a fun crazy week in the quilting/blogging/universe. (Between Sew Mama's giveaway day and Amy's Quilt Festival, I think I've developed carpal tunnel syndrome.  Have you seen any of the quilts? Oh my, some beauties!) It's been a nice diversion for all of us waiting to see pictures of Quilt Market. :)
Thanks again!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Red, Aqua and Pink Quilt

I've been promising my 8-year-old daughter for a quilt for some time. She grew out of the pink/purple/princess/unicorn/little-girl phase a while ago.  She decided her new favorite color was red. Last year I made a baby quilt using this color scheme because I loved it and wanted to try it. Well, she loved it too, so I promised her I would make a big one for her. It is finally done!
 
It's not a complex design - just simple squares. But it's the greatest way to showcase the fabric. This is the quilt where I finally used those fabrics that I was saving for "just the right thing." There are lot of little things that are sentimental to her like seashells to remind her of going to the beach with Grandma, or elephants which were her favorite animal.  Also lots of texture like chenille and a square of red velvet.
 
This was part of the inspiration. A while ago, my mother-in-law gave me the curtain panels that hung in her room as a little girl in Bath, Maine about 60 years ago.  Aren't they fabulous?
 
We finally hung those in her room this week.
 
And here's the finished look. Well, almost.  Right now her room is hosting the bottom half of the bunk beds until we move both in her brothers' room. I have an old brass headboard that I'd like to paint white.  When we bought our new house the walls in her room were already the perfect shade of pink. Providential.
The cute painting on the wall is by Sarah Jane, one of my favorite childrens artists. 
I need to make some pennants like that to go in her room!
Thanks for coming to visit! I can't wait to see the other quilts at this year's Quilters Festival. Always amazing quilts and stories.  So much inspiration. Happy surfing.







Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Vintage Sheet Dress

I've been collecting vintage sheets for a little while now.  I went through them recently and realized, it was time to actually DO something with them. Last summer I planned to make skirts and dresses and quilts. Instead, we moved. SO HAPPY not to be doing that again this summer. So this year, I sew!
 
The new dress came from this sheet, which I really love.  It's funny because I found a flat sheet and a fitted sheet in this pattern and different times and locations. (Isn't it funny how often you find repeats of patterns when looking for vintage sheets? If you've been collecting a while, you know what I mean. Not as much variety 20+ years ago. Which is not necessarily bad. Okay, I'm waffling. . .) 

Anyway, I loved that bright pink edge. Then I had the brilliant idea to make that the bottom edge of the dress. No hemming required! I know, I'm a genius. (That, plus I'm lazy. I love shortcuts!)
 
I used this much of the sheet (I think it was probably a Queen size originally.) I measured and cut the finished length. For the width, I doubled the finish measurement. I hemmed the top edge and sewed one seam up the back. All I had left was the shirring (gathering the bodice).
 
I've wanted to try shirring every since I watched Heather Ross make it look so easy on Martha. (You can watch the video at this link too!)  Sandi Henderson also has a great tutorial.  The secret is elastic sewing thread. It's pretty snazzy. I found it at a chain sewing store.
 
And here are the end results.  It takes a little bit of time to sew all those seams, but I basically finished this dress in one evening. My daughter wore it to church on Sunday and played in it all day. Perfect for a warm, sunny spring day.  The fabric is so soft and durable - I also love the thought that because it's a blend, I won't need to iron it. I will probably make more. Especially considering the fact that the whole dress (elastic thread included) cost less than $6. Nice.

Monday, May 17, 2010

CLOSED - Giveaway Day!

 
Hello friends! Welcome to Sew Mama's Giveaway Day.
This is always a fun event - I can't wait to see what else is out there.
Connect here to see more.  Oodles more. Like, it may just blow your mind.

My giveaway this year is representative of personal favorites of mine.
This year I am giving away one of my custom cut, I-spy Charm Packs from my Etsy shop. This little bundle of goodness contains 45 pre-cut 3 1/2" squares, each with a different I-spy novelty print.  I'm especially fond of vintage reproductions and Japanese prints.
Here's a little sample of what you'll find inside! I used these blocks to make the quilt in the previous post.(If you've recently purchased one of these charm packs, and you win the randomly-selected drawing, I will refund your purchase!)
 
Second, (yep, that's right. Two giveaways with two winners!)
is a collection of 8 different FQ's all from vintage linens.

I've been collecting vintage sheets for a while now, wanting to make a quilt.
So I've cut-up the remnants into fat quarters.
 
All you have to do to enter is leave a comment. Short and simple so that you can get looking at other giveaways.  This giveaway will be open until the end of Thursday, May 20.  Have fun!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Finished I-spy

 I recently finished this I-spy quilt for a friend. 
I made one like it last year and gave that away.
 
 I fell in love all over again with this one. Almost didn't let it go.
Maybe I should finally just make one to keep!

 
I've also restocked I-spy Charm packs in the shop.

Here is some other upcoming fun:
Monday starts Sew Mama Sew's Spring Giveaway week.  Come back here because I'm participating!

The following week is Amy's Quilt Festival. This is always an amazing collection of quilts.  I'm in the process of binding the one I'm going to share. It's one that's been in the works for a L O N G time, but I'm finally finishing! Hurrah.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My first Schibble

Have you Schnibbled?  If you've visited Sherri you know what I'm talking about. 
I've seen the adorable Schibbles patterns for a while, but I've never made one.
Until now.
This one is for the store where I "work". For the one I made, I basically used whatever American Jane stuff was still on hand at the shop, plus a few other retro looking prints. 
It came from this pattern book. Includes LOTS of great patterns. 
I made the small version. I think I want to try the big version too and keep it for myself. :)
 
Speaking of American Jane, did you hear that she has a new collection coming out in August?  
Exciting news!  I'm not even sure how many American Jane quilts I've made.
Or how many more I could make with the stash I have.

Post edit: I'm linking up to Amy's Sew and Tell.  She has pretty much the cutest finished project (new baby!) this week. I can't even to begin to compete. :)

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Some weekend odds and ends

 Mother's Day I decided I needed a corsage to perk up my outfit.
After seeing lots of cool inspiration at the Beehive Bazaar on Friday,
I decided to make one.
 
So I did. I'm not exactly sure how I did it, I just kind of made it up as I went along to be honest. I was pleased with the outcome.  And when my daughter first saw it she said, "Oh, did you buy that at the Beehive Bazaar?" Which I took as a great compliment.
 Speaking of my daughter, look what that brilliant child sneakily bought me for Mother's Day. 
(At the Beehive Bazaar, of course!)  I love them!
Here is what I bought at the BB.  A package of vintage trims and some adorable hedgehog note cards. I can't help you out on the trims, but you can buy the same note cards here!  You don't even have to come to Utah! She has lots of VERY adorable things there. (Don't say I didn't warn you!)  So you could call the BB a great success. Lots of inspiration and some good loot too.
 
And while we're on the subject of vintage trims, every once in a while my Grandma brings me a collection of random things from her house.  I was kind of excited by this lot.  I don't know what I'm going to do with any of it yet, but I'm excited to have it on hand when the inspiration hits.  Always good to have some burlap on hand.  I've been collecting strawberry stuff recently, so I was excited to see that bolt of ribbon.  I love the roll of blue decorative stuff. Guess what it's on? Elastic! I think it's so pretty, but I don't know how to best use it.  Suggestions?
 
Lastly, our resident artist is back at work.  I guess I need to come up with a better threat.
At least it wasn't the quilt, right?