Saturday, June 9, 2012

Denim Button Basket

So the sewing muse (aka Sandra of Suddenly Sandra) mentioned  making fabric baskets from denim and this picture of my denim scrap pile came to mind:
Actually I only had to look in the corner of the sewing room to see this.  I took my stash of scrap denim out about a week before when I was thinking that I really should do something with it.  It was supposed to turn into a rag quilt long ago.  Stealing Sandra's ideas has become a habit, so here is my new button basket!
I liked the idea of "labeling" the button basket with buttons.  

My previous button storage:

Okay, maybe I do buy too many buttons.  
My plan was to use my twin needle again, but you know how plans go.  I broke the needle on the first row! My own fault, too.  Must remember to make sure the needle is screwed in tightly in the future.  Instead, I used a simple decorative stitch to attach the batting to the denim.  The dimensions are the same as I used for the Asian fabric basket in the last post, 24x18 1/2 inches,  I left the handles off this basket, but I miss them.  The new denim ribbon basket will have handles--with ribbons, of course.  Check out Sandra's blog for her fabric baskets and a link to the original tutorial here.
It's not even full.  I may have to get more buttons while I'm shopping for a new twin needle or two.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

One Apartment Warming Gift Finished!

"Somebody" is using black and red for her new apartment.  I decided to make kitchen towels, but my Savory Swirls designs didn't look good in black and red.  I found these Asian embroidery designs, and I love, love, love how the towels came out.  Rather than paper wrapping, I made a fabric basket from some Asian inspired yardage I had on hand.
I bought a bolt of Huck toweling a while back at Joann's, prewashed the whole thing, ironed it, and put it back on the cardboard.  So nice  to have it in the house when I want it!  These designs are from The Embroidery Library.  I posted about making the Huck towels before.  You can see the dimensions I use here.

The fabric basket idea was from my sewing muse.  Yes, I have a sewing muse.  You have to get one!  I've adopted Sandra from Sandra Sews.  She's always using techniques, fabrics, patterns, and "things" that encourage me to kick my sewing up a notch.  Sandra made some small fabric baskets recently.  You can take a look here and get the link for the free pattern.  (Free is always great!)   I doubled the size of the pattern and used solid pieces of fabric instead of piecing squares.  My main pieces were 24x18 1/2.  The handles were double the size of the original pattern as well.

With the batting, my bag is a bit wobbly which doesn't matter if the basket is full.  Next time, I will probably  use a mid to heavy interfacing instead of batting, or, maybe, with the batting.

Back to my muse.  I would never have tried the twin needles if I hadn't seen how nice that perfect double line looked on Sandra's projects with batting.  I decided to try it on this fabric basket.  Sandra said it was easy and gave me a few tips.  I watched a few YouTube videos, too, to get up my courage.

Turns out, it IS easy! Doesn't that look nice?  I might try doing more of this on the next basket. That may well provide enough stability so that I won't need to the interfacing.  I shall let you all know!

I put in some red dish clothes--store-bought.  I CANNOT find terry fabric at the fabric stores that I like.  I make hair towels with Joann's terry cloth, which is okay, but it really "wrinkles" up with one use.  It doesn't look pretty hanging.  It works great, though.

Should the recipient see this before the gift arrives, there will still be a surprise.  There is something special under those towels!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Do You Bring Along Sewing When You Travel??

The Clover and Violet blog has a linky going for readers to show the sewing they take along when traveling.  These are pics of my travel sewing complete with kit.  I make yo-yos for the most part, but have put in some hexagon supplies now, too.
Recycled containers to hold everything.  The Pandora box holds my scissors,
thread, and needles.The padded top is perfect for the needles.
The plastic zippered bag is recycled from some Adidas item.

Yo-yo makers, material scraps, box with needles, thread and scissors, a bag to
 keep the hexies separate, and another for the finished yo-yos.
There you have it!  I hope you will head over to Clover and Violet to let us all know what  sewing projects you do when traveling.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Literary Quilt Top is Together!

I really need to take this outside for a photo.  The colors look drab here.  Actually they are drab in comparison to most of the print out there right now, but it's supposed to be a manly/scholarly kinda quilt.  It does still need a border, but I'm getting there! I'm going to practice my machine quilting on an old quilt top before tackling this one.

Now the rest of the day is for playing OUTSIDE!  The weather is just beautiful.  Here in the northeast, one needs to make the most of these kinds of day.

Happy Memorial Day to all those who celebrate it!  I do love having my best friend home for these long weekends.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

We Survived Graduation! (and I even got a little embroidering finished)

That's Kyle, Brian, Kiefer, and me.  The brand new graduate also has a brand new job--in his field.  That's not easy to do in this job market!!  Here are the two graduates, Melissa is Kyle's girlfriend.

The speaker was Judge Judy.  Yes, that does say Judge Judy.  Turns out her three kids graduated from the University at Albany.  I expected the judge to give the graduates a hell fire speech about how to behave.  Instead she was funny, informative, and motherly.  I was so glad when she said her kids had beach wear under their robes when they graduated.  My boy's jeans didn't seem so bad then.

Who else graduated from UA?  Me.  I liked it so much I got a master's there, too.  

As for the embroidery, it proved to be a way of relaxing at the end of these last two weeks of hectic days. Since I'm going to have 20 blocks instead of 12.  I took some of the embroidery designs Clover and Violet used on another project to fill in.  This is the fifth block (as in the actual block everyone else is doing) in the garden steps series with a few minor changes.    I tried to make that one on the right look like Queen Anne's Lace.  

Here are the pilfered designs.  Is it wrong to take designs from another project?  I hope not.  These work well with the garden theme.
All around happy with this one.  Played with some new stitches.

Those are supposed to be little windows and window boxes on each side of the
door, but I could not make it work right.  Mostly happy with this one, however.

Mostly happy here, too. That butterfly is pathetic, though.  It looks like
a mutant!

Happy as a pig in you-know-what with this one.  

Not bad.  The leaves didn't work out as I wanted.

This does not photograph as well as it looks.  I tried seed stitches in the
clouds.  I think that gave them a nice look.  I took the butterflies
from another one of the designs.

Love this except for the beak.  I don't like the
black outlining.  I'm trying not to keep making
changes, though.  I'd be at this forever if I did.

Now I've just got to finish this quilt, the two Craftsy quilts, the literature quilt, the baby gift, and the apartment warming gift.  Did I mention that I'm taking a Craftsy course in machine quilting?  I'm going to need to know how to do that for sure.

I'll leave you with a pic of two other graduation attendees.  Since they were not wearing robes, I assume they are undergraduates.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Garden Steps Quilt Top is Together

I'm such a rebel. I'm supposed to be getting my house ready for the double graduations coming up in a couple of weeks.  I was also supposed to wait to put this quilt top together until after finishing all the center square embroidery designs.  However, I HAD to see what it was going to look like sooo....

I love it!!  I'm even becoming fond of my amateur embroidery--looking forward to the next design being posted.   It will fit a twin bed with a border added, but I really want to make it fit a queen-size bed. My husband suggested making six more blocks. The thought of keeping all the pieces in the right piles and colors in the right direction is daunting--tough work for my small brain. Maybe by the time I'm finished embroidering these blocks, I'll be in the mood to make six more.   Maybe now that I've run out of the Poetica fabric, I'll get some housework done.

Friday, May 4, 2012

A Little Quilt Progress

I'm a bit behind on my hand embroidering for the Garden Steps quilt.  The next one is probably already available, and I've FINALLY finished these two.  I have to keep reminding myself that this is my first experience with hand embroidery other than cross stitch.  The black flower center--who knows where that came from.  I thought I could just put in a few french knots, but it looked bare.  I just kept filling and filling.  Now, it looks furry!  Same with the centers of the petals.  I thought they needed a bit.  I think I was supposed to use a single strand instead of two.  Of course, actually doing the stitches right would help, too.  I could not remember which side I was supposed to be coming up on.  Sometimes--those loopy areas--I was just making it up as I went along!  No more late night hand embroidery for me.

While doing these, my machine was helping with the other quilt. I finished two more of the literary figures squares for the other quilt.  I feel guilty taking credit for these.  My machine is much better at this than I am.

Wow!  I'm gonna be late for work!  How is it that I can get up at four in the morning and be late for work when I don't need to be there til nine??  Must be off!