Saturday, September 29, 2012

More of the Travel Pouches--Shoe Bags

On our last trip I wished I had a few of these--

shoe bags.  Sand does have a way of creeping into every little crevice.  I didn't want to just put shoes in the suitcases.  This is much better.

I went with pink zippers this time.  The shoe bags join these other two pouches from last week.
I'm feeling so very coordinated and ready for another trip!  Brian does not share my enthusiasm about another trip, however.

Who else thinks a set of these would make a great gift??  Okay, maybe I'll tone down the bright factor for gifting.  These practically require sunglasses.

 I tried to do fancy zipper pulls.  I had these beads that I though would look so nice with the pink zippers and tropical flowers.
 See, would have been nice, huh? 
Unfortunately I know so little about beading.  The cording I bought would not fit all the way through the bead.  I stuck a large pin down through only to find that the bead was not evenly drilled through.  It got thinner and off kilter at the center.  I'm sure that really fine wire would have worked.  I have no idea, though, as to how all those beading supplies work.  I ended up with five different kinds of beading supplies--none of which work together to create a pull.  Until I figure this all out, a simple cord will do! 
I still don't quite have the zipper ends looking as they should, but each bag is getting better and easier.  Practice makes perfect, right?  By the time I finish a set for my daughter, I should have this all worked out...or not. 

Linking to:

More the Merrier Monday

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Want to See an Ocean Sunrise--kind of??

Here you go!

 I blew these up to 8x10, matted, and framed them.  I'm putting them on the stairwell wall so that I  can see the sun rising over the ocean as I go downstairs in the morning.   Going upstairs, I'll see a setting sun;-}

Monday, September 24, 2012

A Little Pouch Sewing Yesterday!

 Both fully lined...
The boxy one at the top is from It's a Pretty Modern Life and free!  I had no trouble at all with this tutorial.  It is a great one.  I am going to be making one more of these soon.  Did I change it?  Of course.  It's an inch or two bigger in width.  Since the markings required use the ends of the fabric and measuring in a half an inch from that, changes in size are really easy--for me that's sayin' something.  I am somewhat challenged in this area as demonstrated in the second pouch.

The second one is from a Etsy pattern from Projects by Jane.  It's called the Sexy Zippy Wristlet.  I think I lost the sexy part, but consider it a bit zippy.  This one has some instructions that are great for even the really new sewer.  I still had a hard time, though, with understanding the edge sewing on each side of the zipper.  I'm sure it's me.  I have trouble with these things.  I really needed more photos to understand how to sew the edges around the zipper ends. I finally just pushed on through, but think I should have been doing it differently. 

Yes, I changed that one, too.  I always want bigger so...
instead of cutting the ends of the paper and matching the squares, I just left that extra in there.  It was easy enough to do even with the longer zipper required because, like the boxy pouch, it used a measurement in from the edge for setting the zipper.

I thought I had a metal piece to make the handle detachable, but it turned out to be too big.  I'm happy with the sewn-on handle, though.  One thing I would do next time:  cut the darts out when cutting out the pattern.  The lines there are sewing lines, so the cutting triangle would be in a quarter of an inch from there for me.  I found it cumbersome to get the darts together later with the zipper in place.  I think the cut lines would be easier for me to work through.

Thank you to sewing muse, Sandra, whose blog I "mine" for inspiration and tutorial and pattern sources. Now I've got to go visit her to find ideas for zipper pulls.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Most Expensive Piece of Quilting Fabric I've Ever Purchased

Cost of one yard of fabric:  $17.  $5.50 of that was shipping.  Yes, I really like the Winterkist collection.  I've been following the Winterestkist blog hop leading up to the recent release of this line of fabric for months.  Lecien's free quilt pattern using the gnomes kept screaming, "Make me!"  I decided not to go overboard, though.  I wanted to see some in person first.  It was $11.50 a yard from Fabric Worm!  That is more than I have ever paid for fabric. 

I should have stopped when I got to shipping costs, but...I didn't  I did, however, email the company to find out why shipping cost so much.  I just mailed a heavier envelope a longer distance for less than $2.  Answer:  They use a flat shipping rate.  They told me I could have ordered 10 or 11 yards for the same price!  In essence, those making small purchases are subsidizing those making large ones.   My son has an on-line business.  Using the USPS website, he can figure out exact postage for the dimensions and weight of each package,  pay for it,  and print out the completed shipping label.  Customers with large, heavy items need not subsidize those with lighter items.

Lessons learned:  check shipping costs before getting too committed to placing the order OR just be patient and wait for fabric to come to the local quilt shop to see it in person.  I'm also going to avoid blog hops like this.  It build the same dumb frenzy that is presently going on with the new IPhone.  Well, at least it wasn't as expensive as an IPhone. You know you are addicted to fabric when....

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Continuing Saga of the Garden Steps Quilt

Let me begin by saying that I have grown to love everything about this quilt including my amateur stitching.  It has flourished far better than my actual garden-growing and growing!  The original kits from Clover and Violet were for six and twelve blocks.  I got the twelve block kit.  Then I decided that I wanted it to fit a bigger bed.  That would require eight more blocks.  I needed another twelve block kit. The four extra are turning into pillow shams.  Okay!  Way to turn a big project into a massive one!  So I'm down to the embroidery on the last two squares, and the quilt top is together  ready to pin. 
It is a rainy, dark day here which I am blaming for this rather dull photo.  I find that the time to fix photos is often what keeps me from blogging.  I'm trying not to be such a perfectionist.  You guys forgive me, right?  (She says as her few blogger buds hit to drop-this-blog button:-o)
Anyway back to the quilt.  Increasing the size left me with lots of blocks that needed embroidery designs.  I combed through some from Clover and Violets past projects, the internet, magazines, and books to find designs to complete the blocks.  Here are a few that will receive proper credit as soon as my life calms down to its normal frenzy.

from this site,

From a quilting magazine that I won't look up unless you want to find it.

Another online one.

The idea is from an online source though there are lots of changes.
From a photo!  I could not find a Hosta drawing.
These are the last two that I need to finish.  I wanted a squirrel because I have an abundance in my garden.  We also have a few toads which always delight me when they turn up.  I couldn't find a drawing of a toad, though.  The tree frog in the last one will have to do.
Finished!  The squirrel is from Aneela Hooey's Little Stitches book.

Toad drawings were too detailed or dark for me to use.
 Best place I've ever sewn:
In a comfy chair on the beach.

I've got to leave you with one last photo.  I promise--last one.  It's my new favorite spot to compute.
Right now, despite the rain,  I've got a downy woodpecker, purple finch, three gold finches, house finch, too many sparrows, and a cardinal feeding.  So cool to get to watch them up close.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Tilly and One-Eye at Virginia Beach

They tried to relax on the beach.  They really did.  First the wave hit.

 Stuffies do not like getting wet.

Then the wind pick up--picked them up!
 Still, they were holding out for that day on the beach.  Don't they look like a sweet couple.  Odd, but sweet.
Unfortunately this guy below started moving in quickly.  Tilly does look a bit like one of those giant marshmallows they're selling, and One-Eye could easily be mistaken for some sea creature.  Honestly, this bird was not cowed by my chaperoning a bit.  He was going for one of these little beasts.  I was NOT gonna be chasing a bird down the beach screaming for him to drop the stuffed animal.

Tilly and one Eye will be seeing Virginia from the balcony.

Friday, September 7, 2012

What To Do With that Ratty Old T-shirt Your Mate Won't Throw Out

Frame it!
This shirt was wet when thrown on top of some piece of rusting metal and left for days.  My husband REFUSED to part with it.  He's not usually this crazy about a shirt, but this one was from his first "century."  (That would be a hundred mile bike ride for those who are not rabid  avid bicyclists.)  Brian insisted that I should be able to get deep-set rust stains out.  I tried.  I really did.   

I finally realized that he really just wanted that graphic.  I cut it out taped it to the back of the $20 on-sale frame that came complete with matting, and voila!  We are both happy.

It even matches the three dimensional Father's Day card I framed a few months back.
Both are hanging in his home office.

Mostly, though,  I'm happy that I will not have to worry about seeing my husband out and about in a nasty, old, stained shirt. 

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Mudding and Taping and Painting, Oh, My!

Don't you just hate it when life interferes with sewing?   First, we had this nasty leak from the upstairs pipes. It ruined the kitchen ceiling and wallpaper.  No big loss on the wallpaper, although I do miss the perfect ceiling.
Fixing the leak required making a big hole in the ceiling, removing wallpaper and, even worse, the nasty wallpaper glue residue, taping, mudding, sanding, mudding, sanding, mudding and more sanding, and painting. 

We hired a plumber to fix the leak, but I am the repairer of walls and painting here.   It has taken me a week, but I did it!  Note Kiefer applauding the practically-finished job below.  Yes, it's an awful photo.  Since it is past 7 o'clock and I'm covered in spatters of ceiling and "Coconut Milk" paints, it will have to do.     Did you notice that I also got supper on the table--Lasagna no less?  I'm accepting virtual applause in addition to Kiefer's, thank you.    Frankly, though, I'd rather be sewing.  Must start buying lottery tickets so I can hire this crap out.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Shaz's Sock Creatures Arrived

So here they are all the way from the U. K.

 Are they not the cutest? 
I've been eyeing Shaz's creations for a few years and finally bought these two.  I make stuffies, but Shaz is a professional.  Look at those stitches, all tiny and perfect.  I'm in awe of her beautiful sewing.  You can see Shaz's stuff on Folksy (and she does special orders, too.)
The one-eyed monster is already breaking hearts (of children
who want him but can't have him.)

Love how Tilly is hold onto her tail.

They are guarding my button box til we leave on vacation.

Since they have already traveled so far, I've decided to continue their adventures.  I don't travel much so they will have to do most of their traveling with friends and relatives.  Their first adventure will be with me, though.  They are off to Virginia Beach soon.  

Thanks Shaz!  They are worth every penny.