Thursday, March 24, 2011

Milestones, Dress-up and Where Did I Put It?

The girls have hit a milestone in their lives.  The transition to toddler beds.  The first night we decided to take down the cribs and put the toddler beds in was on a Tuesday.  Why we chose to do this on a weeknight I will never know.  Their newfound freedom was like an elixir that kept them up and running around in their room till at least 1:30 am.  I had to work the next day, but I refrained from going into their rooms and ruining their fun.  We have had to say bye-bye to midday naps.  So sad!  The beds start at opposite ends of the room but in the morning who knows where we will find the beds.

The girls try out their new beds.

This how we find them after a late night of romping in their new freedom.  I see they took off their pajamas. 

The last few days the girls have been wanting to play dress-up.  Jamie is a princess and Audrey a dragon.

Jamie likes feeling feminine.  She is good at it.  The more adornments the better.

A pretty witch in this shot.

Some sort of bumble bee fairy in this outfit.

Oh, and the snow still comes.  My sister lives in Texas where it is 70 to 80 degrees.  Must be nice.

I took a workshop making this pattern.  I cannot find the pattern.  It was a paper piecing pattern.  High maintenance pattern, but worth the extra effort.  I hope I didn't throw it away.

I did organize a closet trying to find this pattern.  Now to get that organizing energy downstairs where my magic happens.  

Thanks for dropping by!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bad Battery & Table Topper

I was resigned and secretly wishing I would have to buy a new laptop.  I took my laptop to the Geek Squad and discovered I had a bad battery.  So, I am stuck with my slower than slow laptop for a little longer.

To tell the truth I haven't had a desire to sew much.  My sewing area in the basement is a total mess and cold.  I have so many projects to finish I feel overwhelmed.  I feel inner conflict fighting inside me, with me wishing for a better outcome in which I clean my sewing area, and get busy completing my projects.

I discovered this table topper tossed in a box.  I was disgusted with the colors I chose for this Christmas table topper.  I really liked the pattern, but the red & white was just not too impressive to my eyes.

I look upon it now with gentler eyes.

It still looked out of place on my table.

Putting a candle in the middle seemed to balance it out somehow.

A little note about Jamie & Audrey... they are gaining independence by removing their clothes.  Because they can.  Sometimes I come home from work and see them running around with no pants on. I shiver because our house is drafty.  I guess they burn warmer with the blood not having to travel too far to their limbs and their arteries not so clogged .  Ahhhh to be young again!

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Few Tips When Making Softies

The year 2010 was the first time I tried to make a softie (stuffed toy/animal).  I was so proud of myself after I completed the project.  Reading patterns can be like doing a jigsaw puzzle.  Kind of confusing at first, but after studying it, the brain clicks and progress is made.  These softies were made from left over polar fleece fabric.  You will recognize the bear fabric from the crib sheet in an earlier photo.

What I learned from this little bear is the need to stuff, stuff and stuff again.  Over time all the weak points show up, as you can see in his left arm, a creased has formed because there is not enough filling.  Also, one has to be diligent about marking the fabric. especially for eye placement.  The left side is lower than the right.  Poor thing is lopsided. Also to clip around the whole sewing area, making sure to not clip the thread.  This makes it look 100% nicer when turning it right side out. Tedious, but so worth it!  This bear was not a big hit with the girls.  Soooo one has to wonder why I made another one????

I asked Audrey to pose with the bear and she thought it was funny to pose with a finger up her nose.  She has a sense of humor this one!

I think I made new brain cells making this elephant.  Trying to keep the nose, face and neck holes straight was a challenge.  Also making sure the ears hung correctly.  A good tip to remember when  sewing with multiple layers of polar fleece is to set the stitch length as big as possible and sort of baste a section that is tricky.  Basting crunches the polar fleece down and the walking foot isn't struggling as much.

I have too many projects to do before I can attempt another softie.  This time I will give it away because my girls are not too thrilled with them.  Although, they do know mommy made it for them.  But no emotional attachment like I envisioned as I put them together.

Thanks for dropping by.  Have fun sewing!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Polar Fleece For Cold Weathered States

If your a Minnesotan, you probably have a no-sew polar fleece blanket.  They have been a rage for several years now.  It stays cold here for so many months that unless your rich, you have to keep the house temperature just at tolerable.  67 degrees is on the warmer side that we keep it at for the benefit of our girls.  When it was just my husband and I, we kept it down a few more degrees.  Layer, layer, layer!  Ever notch up or down makes a world of difference.  My girls were born in February.  Right in the middle of cold weather.  I made ahead of their birth these two polar fleece blankets from the top of my head.  I discovered after the girls arrived several mistakes I made. The first mistake was I made them to fit the crib, which was fine when flat, but once a body got under there, it was too small.  Second, I made it double layered and it was too warm.  If there is such a thing, but my Jamie was found to be sweating underneath it. So I put them away and just recently brought them back out.  I was surprised to find the girls love them at 3 years old.  They recognized their names and thought that was just swell.  They don't care if it is too small.  I guess they appreciate the sentimentality of it.  So, if something you make is not at once a success, wait a few years, it might have a new life.  Third mistake is the how I sewed on the satin binding.  You can tell on the purple one, which I did first is rough looking - oops.  Jamie's binding turned out much better.

I found a font I liked and blew up each letter to about 70 and printed it out for my template.  Since the letters were so skinny and swirly I was wondering how I was going to quilt around them with pins and a walking foot.  Then I discovered Jeans Mender.  A fabric glue that held my letters in place so I didn't have to be bothered by all those pins around tight corners and such.  Now a days I have heard of some great spray adhesives.  This works great too and I put it on with a toothpick.

Thanks for dropping by.  I hope you have fun sewing!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Crafty Photos and a Watermelon gone haywire

They always told me when I was young not to eat a watermelon seed, because a watermelon will grow inside your tummy.  I just don't remember swallowing a watermelon seed let alone two, hmmm (ponder)...
My coworkers would always joke that from behind no one could tell I was pregnant.

Well the seeds took root in my heart and my little bundles of Joy were born! They were so cute I just couldn't resist doing some "cutsie" pictures of them.

Most cameras these days have the option to select a color while the rest goes black and white. Interesting effects can be achieved with this option.

This is Audrey  (above) wearing a baby headband with some flowers hot glue gunned to it.

This is Jamie looking like a plump little pudding pudge.

Time is limited in how long one can wait to get shots like these.  They outgrow those pots so quickly.  I was happy to get this shot.

Here is a picture of the quilts I made them.  Made with leftover stash from the curtains, bumpers and crib skirts.   Simple squares with flannel backing.

Have a great Friday!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Running on the treadmill of time

Feeling a little sleep deprived today.  My perimenopausal sleep patterns sometimes make it hard for me to get a good night's sleep.  So I am learning to operate on a deeper brainwave, like the wavelengths that are happening in REM state, so it feels to me.  Where did the day go?

Linda from Eat, Sleep, Quilt asked me a few questions on my last blog, and I am happy to have answer them.

Question #1.  How do I make the tiny half squares?
Question #2.  Did I draw the pictures on my mug rugs?

Linda, I bought a cutting ruler that is simple wonderful by June Tailor.  I feel it is going to bump my sewing projects up a notch.  The pictures were printed on Inkjet printable fabric.  I am going to post some pictures and show my findings.

This cutting ruler is so helpful. I put a white piece of paper in the back of it so you can it better, but what it doesn't show is the right and left edge where it helps to mark the sewing lines on the left and the right is the cutting slot. (love this cutting ruler!)  I got the instruction for the tiny half squares from the book Traditional Mini Quilts.

Instructions says to trim each piece to 1-1/2 inch square.  Hey that is the smallest size on the cutting ruler and with them being so tiny, the ruler is helpful.

Louise Hay's Power Thought cards are so colorful and fun to look at.  I emailed her corporation for permission to use them.  She never officially said yes, but she didn't say NO either, just invited me to a cruise that would change my life.  Having twins changed my life so much already, I just wasn't ready for more changes at this time.

I can fit four cards on a sheet.
I haven't used this brand yet, but to the left are some I have in mind to use to make more mug rugs.  

Add a few borders and some pieces of stash and there you have it. This one doesn't have any half squares but a hint of  a log cabin.

I hope you all have a wonderful day.  May you be blessed with a smile today!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How does one rate oneself? Amateur but not a newbie am I!

I have sewn on and off for several years.  I am blown away by the talented quilters and bloggers which I just recently discovered at the end of 2010.  Where have I been?  Obviously with my head in the sand.  I thought I would post tons/a few pictures of some actual sewing I have accomplished. Please keep in mind my amateur but not a newbie rating. :-)
A mug rug  in which I had a hard time with not chopping off those edges, darn! This was before I got the cutting ruler.

I bought the perfect half square and quarter square cutting mat and my sewing improved greatly.

Another mug rug
Here are some curtains I made.  I just looked at some curtains that were already in the room and followed them  for fabric amount and length.  I chose not to stuff them with plastic shopping bags so I could see the light coming in from behind.

My tools to make a polar fleece crib sheet.

This pattern looked really cute in the fabric store.  It doesn't go with the girls room, but oh well.

This is my first try at a fabric flower and of trying a template that was not meant for sewing, but for stain glass. 

This picture has nothing to do with sewing, but we all know life happens!  17 inches Sunday through Monday and I get stuck. My husband helps me out.

Another polar fleece crib sheet in actual use by my daughter Jamie.

My girls having fun with play doh. Looks like swiss cheese to me.

I believe this is a Reva Roark applique pattern.  Must make another one for a keepsake for my girls. Her clothes and shoes are pieces of fabric leftover from the curtains.

The inspiration for the fairy came from this stain glass window book.

Here is the pattern.  I had fun coloring it in with fabric.

I hope you enjoyed the pictures.