Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Quiet Books

I was recently introduced to the concept of Quiet Books...little fabric/felt books for your little kid.  The most amazing Quiet Book maker seems to be Stephanie from Imagine Our Life.  She's seriously crafty with the felt and all of the books are so interactive.  Love!  

I mentioned this to my mom and she sent me a bunch of sheets of 9x12 fancy felt from the craft store.
Fun!  I just need to find the time to create some of these.  I like that Imagine Our Life has all of the directions on how to make the pages into a full book, because I have a hard time conceptualizing dimensions and sizes.

I really want to make a pirate-themed quiet book, with a shooting cannon, One-Eyed Willie, treasure chest, treasure map, pirate parrot, and a peg leg.  I have a lot of ideas for it floating around in my head.  Again...just need the time.  But in the meantime, check out these pirate quiet book pages:  Imagine Our Life (love the rolling map and the treasure chest), another version of the same by More Holiness Give Me (I like the contents of her map), and a pattern for sale.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Recreate Art: Choices

Back in June I mentioned that I would be recreating some art, specifically this piece:
I also mentioned that I wanted to buy the cotton for this quilting project from a local store.  Well, in the three or so months since I posted about this project, I have not made it to a quilting store.  Blah.  So I've decided to buy the fabric online.

Here are the fabrics that I've chosen that will (hopefully) match:

What do you think?  Too dark?  I don't know.  It doesn't have to be exact, only close.  Anyway, I chose these fabrics from Purl Soho and these are the names of the colors:

Now I have to figure out how much to buy of each.  Quarter yard each?  I haven't even considered the backing fabric or the seam binding.  Maybe I should get extra of the pool fabric and do backing and binding in that color.  I'm also considering doing those print-yo-self labels for the back so that I can put my name and date on it.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Another package...

My mom has been on a rampage with the packages lately.  Her most recent package was filled with tons of little Halloween trinkets for Halloween trick-or-treaters.  Our neighborhood got like 200 kids last year and the year before (I think they are shipped in from elsewhere in the city, I swear, because there are not that many kids around here...or maybe there are and they just hide when they see me coming), so I can make up some little gift bags with a toy and a trinket.  Will keep you posted on how that goes.

Otherwise, it was another box of fabric, featuring polyester fabric:
 There's about a yard of that and am I the only one who thinks of Where in the World is Carmen San Diego when you hear the word "polyester?"  It's because one of the characters was called Polly Esther Fabrique.  Love that.  Actually, I wanted to work it into a blog name, but nothing ever came of it.

On with the fabrics...she sent me a bunch of little scraps, which is actually good, because I've been thinking about an I Spy quilt and scrap quilts, so maybe some of these fabrics could be worked into those projects.
 And then she sent me two more pieces of chintz.  Not really sure if I like these at all.  The white one is definitely vintage.  We'll see.  I could wash them first.
As for the rest of the box, there was some interfacing, another craft book, and some felt.

Thanks, Mom!

Friday, September 21, 2012

I Spy Fabric Has Arrived

As mentioned here, I joined an I Spy swap hosted by Crafterhours.  My fabric from Spoonflower showed up in the mail this week.
It looks sort of pink-ish in this photo, but it's really more of a purple.  Here's the link to the fabric.

Now I have to chop it up into 56 5"x5" squares.  Still no word on whether or not I have to wash it first.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Thrifty Three

I found three separate yards of fabric at the Goodwill recently.
 Hmmm...that picture doesn't do the fabric on the left any justice.  It's pretty sparkly and transparent...
Ah, that's better.

But as with most fabrics lately, I just added it to the top of the pile for sorting.
If I had more hangers, then I would add it to my fabric closet, but I'm out of those.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Another Craft "Book"

I owe you a post, don't I?  From that last package that my mom sent, right?  So the final craft-related item in that box was this book:
 Awesome!  I've been looking up ways to use my scraps.  A few months ago I organized them by color into those plastic zip bags that sheet sets come in.  Here are some of my favorite projects from this book.

Scrappy quilt...
 Weird monsters...
 Various kid toys...
 And then the vagina bouquet pillow...
What?  It's not a vagina bouquet pillow?  But the pattern looks sort of like a swollen vagina, doesn't it?
I mean, isn't "oval flower" a sort of euphemism for vagina?  

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

I Spy Swap

I'm participating in an I Spy Swap.   Basically, it will cost me the price of a yard of fabric from Spoonflower (not to be confused with Spoonriver, which has the best French toast ever with coconut milk, rose water and cardamom...).

**wipes drool from chin**

Um, what was I saying?  Oh, yes, the swap.  So I buy a yard of fabric, then it comes to me and I chop it into 56 5x5 inch squares, which I then ship to the swap hostess.  She then sorts all the swatches and sends out a package with 56 different squares to each participant.

So this is what I've chosen as my yard:
You can see all of the other selections here.  Why this fabric?  Vintage glasses are fun and I didn't have a gazillion hours to dedicate to looking through the seven billion fabric examples on Spoonflower. 

I have been interested in making an I Spy quilt for my niece and nephew and this may be my chance.  There's no way I have enough novelty fabric to come up with a quilt on my own.  I've been pinning some stuff and the Swap hostess has a good board started, as well.

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Three Year Apron

Okay, so it was probably more like three months, but the apron that I mentioned here and here is finally finished.  My coworker passed her motorcycle license a while back and this apron has been in the works forever as a congratulations gift. I'm tempted to hold it for her birthday next month, but it's done and I want it out of the house!

So, as a reminder, here was the fabric choice:
Tasteless whores on bikes for one side.  Red and white pillow ticking for the reverse with white and blue stars for the accent pieces.

I used the Emmeline apron, which I had previously made a few years ago (as featured on my old blog).  As mentioned in that post, this apron takes a lot of fabric.  Luckily, I had all of this in my stash.  The pillow ticking was left over from another apron, the tasteless whores were from an ill advised purchase when I first started sewing, and the blue and white fabric was probably picked up at a yard sale.

So here is the finished product:
 And the reverse:
I don't like the bias tape binding along the top sides.  It turns into the neck straps, but I think there must be a better way to get straps on there.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Game Day!

We have a lion.  It's not a real lion, of course, because that would be crazy.  He's a stone lion and he came with the house.  It's the general consensus that the lion needs to be dressed up for each holiday.  So, last October I found a witches hat at the Goodwill and he looked like this:
When we got our steps redone this spring, we moved that eight ton lion to the top of our stairs leading down to the sidewalk.

And one morning our neighbor decorated him for the Fourth of July.  Or was it Memorial Day?
 And...we left that flag there until this morning.  But, really, what holidays are there between July Fourth and September 9th?  Well, Labor Day, but a flag could represent that, right?

Anyway, today is opening day of the Minnesota Vikings season and my husband LOVES them and even bought a ticket for the game.  A few weeks ago he found a plastic kids helmet with the Vikings logo on it at a rummage sale and was convinced that it would fit on Lion's head.  It did not.  So I decided the lion needed something to wear and we could use the helmet as a prop.  

Two weekends ago we went to the Goodwill and I found a $4.99 t-shirt with the Vikings logo on the front and some dumb stuff about a player on the back.  I cut off the sleeves and the back, but left the logo and the neckband intact.  I then found some yellow satin in my scrap stash from a cape I made years ago.  I sewed that onto the butchered t-shirt and made a cape for Lion.
 And here's the back:
I didn't bother hemming the bottom of it, but I was lucky to have large enough pieces to use the selvedges for the cape edges.  I did not bother ironing it.

We also put out the flag.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

New Foot

That's an invisible zipper foot (and some new bobbins).  Remember that Alma blouse pattern that I bought?  Well, I didn't pay much attention to the details of it at the store, but when I got home I realized that it needed an invisible zipper.  Well, crap.  I've never installed one before, so I've taken the first step and purchased a foot for it.  

In other zipper news, after browsing through the Colette Sewing Handbook, I've come to realize that I've been using the regular zipper foot incorrectly all this time.  I can't explain it, exactly, but I seem to be sewing on the wrong side of the foot somehow.  Double crap.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

More Rolling

On Saturday morning I took an hour and made a crayon roll-up for my young friend in kindergarten. On Monday morning I made this colored pencil roll-up for my friend's daughter's eleventh birthday.
 I couldn't find a tutorial that I liked online, so I used the measurements from the marker roll-up that I made at Christmas and followed the crayon roll-up instructions.  And do you recognize the fabric?  I found that at the Goodwill a few weeks ago.  And here's my "Oh, shit!" moment of the project:
 This one-sided ribbon should have been installed differently so that the polka dots went around the roll-up, but I guess this way is okay, too.

To complete the gift, I'm sending her the colored pencils.  I found a pack of eco-friendly pencils and a pack of metallic pencils (also labeled as eco-friendly).  I also found these coloring books.
 I love these.  They are so modern and fun and pretty.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Rolling on Up

So a few years ago, I made these crayon roll-ups for my friend's kid.  One for the girl:
And one for the boy:
To date, these have been some of my favorite fabrics.  I love the butterflies and have used it in various projects.  I think I'm down to just six inches of scrap at this point.  And then I've always adored this SpiderFrog fabric.  So much fun.  Not much left of that either.

Anyway, one of my young friends is heading into kindergarten next week and her mom threw her a little gathering on Labor Day to celebrate.  I decided to revisit this old crayon roll up.
I don't remember where I found the original pattern for the butterfly and SpiderFrog roll-ups, but this one was made using the tutorial over at The Pleated Poppy.   I found some awesome glitter crayons for it.
They are not marked as washable, so it may have been smarter to have used a dark liner fabric, because whenever they get put into the pockets, they leave little crayon schmears, but live and learn. 
The only thing I changed from the Pleated Poppy tutorial was the closure method.  They suggested sewing on a hair tie and a button to keep it closed, but I went with some twill tape I had left over from the puppet theatre project.
I had a moment of regret later in the afternoon when I saw my young friend making knots with the tape to close it up.  I voiced my regret to her mother, but I was instantly reassured that the twill tape was better, because it would help her daughter learn how to tie a bow.  I also learned that velcro shoes are a non-negotiable must for kindergartners and first graders.  Seriously?  No laces for those first two years of school?  That's so weird.  I know that I was the last kid in my kindergarten class to learn how to tie a shoe, but it's still weird that laces are banned.  

What do you think?  Should kids only wear velcro shoes in school?  Or are we setting up future generations for developmental delays in their hand-to-eye coordination skills?  Nuts!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Falling Apart

This window shade is above the changing table and little Miss Grabby Grabby got a latch on it and pulled the lovely trim off the end of the shade.  Blah!  Maybe I should just go and sew it on?  What a hassle.
 But that's not all, folks!  Black Bear Rocker is also falling apart.  
Those bottom rungs/spindles/whatchamacallem have some crusty glue on the ends, so it looks like this has happened before.  One leg is also coming out of the seat.  Waaaaah!  We moved a chair from our bedroom into the nursing corner, but it's just not the same.  At least it doesn't crick-crick-crack every single time I get out of it with a sleeping baby.  I don't know how many times that cricking woke her up, but it did.  I don't know.  Do we glue it back together or call in a professional?  I just don't know.