Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Darn and YAY!

So last Saturday was our techniques or project sewing day at Whipstitch and even though we had a house full of company coming I was bound and determined to get there and get this adorable bag sewn. BUT my machine had not been right since I had it "serviced", the topstitching was completely loose no matter how I set the tension and it was making me want to cry. Especially after dragging it back (along with my toddler) only to be told that it "worked fine for them". Grrrrrrrrr. So on Saturday after I got all my pieces cut out and my interfacing ironed on and set down to sew I realized that I just couldn't do it. It was so not right. I kind of wanted to cry. Thankfully one of the girls (Meaghan) told me about the place she uses to have her machine serviced and it was open and close so I left early and headed over there, fully prepared to leave my machine and spend whatever it took to get it back to working (the way it was before it was "serviced"). So I went to Southeast Sewing Products (also known as sewingmachine.com) on Ottley Dr. in Atlanta (near Sweetwater for those of you familiar with that area). It took the technician literally 2 minutes and a teeny tiny screwdriver and my machine was working as good as new - YAAAAAAY! Again I could have cried but this time with JOY! All this to say that having to leave early was such a bummer, the Whipstitch girls and everyone who comes to sew are so fun to hang out and chat with that I hated to miss any of that grown-up, creative time with my people (you know, the people who can name all the fabric designers and know when their new lines are coming out and think it is perfectly reasonable to own a machine to cover buttons or set snaps in) but I had to and it paid off. Thankfully. And I can tell you where I'll be getting my machine serviced from now on!!!

So after the company was gone and the doodlebug went down for her nap I pretty much raced to my sewing machine. This bag came together so quickly and easily - I was going for a zakka look and I think I nailed it. Not to brag, just love how it turned out! This is the Jennifer clutch from ithinksew.com and I would highly recommend it. I used a rough linen for the outside and a black and white gingham for the interior. And that little felt and embroidery ladybug? Just for fun.

We are trying to decide which pattern to use for next month's project day so check back. the AMSG meetings for June will be Saturday the 11th (open sew day, bring whatever you're working on) and Saturday June 25th (project day, project tba) both days the shop is kindly opened early for us, from 8AM till noon. If you haven't come yet you really should stop by one Saturday!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We take a break from our regularly scheduled crafting...

To bring you new flowers for the front corner bed. The pansies were more than done and I was feeling sad watching the hostas we'd planted there march toward their slow, seemingly inevitable death-by-sunburn so I decided it was time for some new faces out there. Hopefully some faces that will thrive in the absolutely ALL DAY full sun that corner gets. I did not get the green thumb in my family and I'm okay with that - the watering, weeding, pruning - UGH. Don't get me wrong, I love how a nicely landscaped yard or garden or park looks, I just can't ever seem to make it happen for myself. So this is a bit of a departure for me and I hope it works out. I just went with "full sun" on the labels, hoping for the best. As for those poor sad hostas? They got a new, shadier home.

In our courtyard. The doodlebug "helped" me dig the holes and plant and especially water everything. And then water everything some more ;-) I trimmed the bushes which seemed way overgrown and I'm hoping my little green friends like this spot a bit better. I did put one hole in a spot on the other side of the house that gets more sun than I realized as I'm looking at it today and may have to be moved again. But I am tired so that move might happen next week. After our company is gone. Oh yeah, company for the long weekend, and so much still on my to-do list it isn't even funny. But isn't that always how it is when company's coming? You suddenly see all the things that aren't that bad as awful and urgently needing to be fixed/changed/cleaned and end up with new flower beds all around.

Too sunny? I think a few 90 degree days will let me know sooner rather than later.

6/1/11 - Moved those poor plants again yesterday. It's supposed to be in the mid to UPPER 90's all week and those poor babies were still getting too much sun. Hopefully their new shady spot will be their home for longer than a week :-)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

3x6 Mini Sampler Bee Blocks

Hey there! Back from our graduation trip to lovely Geneva, NY and back to the sewing machine ;-) All my bee blocks are done and ready to go in the mail and I am SO HAPPY with how they turned out! I kind of wanted to keep them all - I'm thinking this would make an awesome scrappy quilt. This was the Antique Tile block from the Modify Tradition blog - I found many blocks here that I love, love, love.

This was the first bee I've participated in and it was easier than I thought. The hardest parts were finding just the right block and choosing the fabrics (I hope my partners like my choices). Some of these color combinations weren't ones I would have chosen but I ended up loving how they looked together.It's fun to have "new eyes" once in a while! I'm excited to get my squares in the mail and turn them in to something fun - keep an eye out and I'll post a photo once all my squares have arrived.

The next thing on the sewing table is a sample Jennifer clutch from ithinksew.com for our techniques (or project) sewing day at Whipstitch NEXT Saturday from 8AM - Noon . And can someone please tell me where in the world May went??? I blinked and it's gone!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Very nice, thank you.

You know what being a mother is? Some days it seems like it's all getting up at 6AM, dirty diapers, spit out food, grumpiness and worse. But not on Mother's Day!

Mother's Day was all about sleeping in, breakfast in bed, flowers, gifts and cupcakes. I have a lovely husband who treated me like I hung the moon and a sweet daughter who reminded me why being a mom is pretty great most days.

We had a nice relaxing kind of day with breakfast and lazing about and a leisurely walk to the park in the afternoon. There was even some sewing during naptime! What a treat of a day - I felt like one lucky mom indeed.

Butter cake cupcakes topped with a salted caramel pecan frosting - I made these for my mom (and ok, myself - luckily we both love caramel!). My dear husband claimed that these were the best cupcakes I'd ever made and I have to say I might just agree. That caramel frosting was almost like caramel fudge and I could have (and might have) eaten it with a spoon. Dangerous and delicious!

And the last slouch bag - probably not really the last but the last for now (quilt blocks! Jennifer clutch! table runner...) and it was a gift for my mom. The interior fabric is Alexander Henry's Griffith Park and I could not love it any more than I do. I'm trying to think about whether or not it could be a shirt or a skirt...but I digress. This bag was a plain black twill on the outside and the lovely leaf print on the interior. I so wanted to keep this one for myself, ah, the high road. But no, no, I can always make another! I added a silver and marcasite brooch on the front to dress it up a little and I was really pleased with the overall effect.

Detail of the pin - I settled on something mom can change is she doesn't love it. I hope she likes it enough to actually carry it!

Now back to reality. Waiting on the plumber who may or may not show up tomorrow. Trying to get the garage emptied out of our move-overflow. Interviewing management companies to rent our other house. Oh and a trip to NY next weekend - oh wait, in three short days, to see my favorite baby cousin (*sniff, sniff*) graduate...from COLLEGE! Never a dull moment around here!

If I catch a few moments to sew I may have some more blocks for my 3x6 partners to show and if not this week, then certainly by next. Oh and have I mentioned our next Atlanta Modern Sewing Guild project day at Whipstitch on Saturday May 28th, 8AM till Noon? ;-) We're making the Jennifer clutch from ithinksew.com and it's a cutie (and on sale now for $2.75 - you can't beat that)! Check back for a sample of that coming soon too. Hope everyone has a great week started!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

3x6 Test Block

All I can say here is "OOPS". I'd like to say I'd been drinking or something that would give me a reason (excuse) for sewing half my block together exactly backwards but I have none. This WILL be getting ripped and re-sewn later today. But that's why a practice block is a good thing, right? ;-)

Oh and it was only 12.25" - BLERG. Why is it that when I use the foot for my machine that is supposed to be exactly a quarter inch, nothing ends up measuring right in the end? I've actually started sewing LESS than the marked quarter inch to get the right seam allowance - which is crazy to me but seems to work.

TA-DA! Of course after the oops block I was determined to sew a correct one and this time I PAID ATTENTION while I was sewing - oh, what a difference. I LOVE it! I already have all the fabrics cut for my block mates and I can't wait to see how great these are all going to look when they're done. (And this block measured a happy 12.5" - yay!)

This block (Antique Tile) came from an awesome blog that even though apparently quite popular was utterly unknown to me - the Modify Tradition Blog. If you're looking for fantastic block ideas and tutorials I highly recommend it! I am so not a math person and this blog has so many great blocks with very clear and well photographed instructions that it was EASY to understand the block process. Love that.

Hope everyone has a great weekend and a Happy Mother's Day! I'll be back with my Mother's Day gift next week after it's been gifted :-)

Monday, May 2, 2011

Crib quilt that actually fits the crib!

I know this is a crazy thought but when I think of a CRIB quilt, I think of one that actually covers the mattress and fits the crib! Clearly not everyone thinks this way because you can find crib quilts and patterns for them that come in literally all sizes. My BFF said when she hears "crib quilt" she thinks of any quilt that you would put over your baby/kid in their crib, so maybe that explains it. BUT what about not using blankets or quilts or any coverings when they're really little? This is where the quilt that fits the bottom snugly comes in! The baby can sleep on TOP of it and you can still cute up your nursery.

We'd been using the same quilt since we brought the "baby" (who is now almost 20 months old) home! So it was time for an update! I used 8 different prints from Anna Maria Horner's Innocent Crush line and 8 solids I picked to compliment them. I cut the front pieces 7.5 x 14.5 and used the scraps to make a pieced strip along the back. The room is a kind of light aqua blue so I used pink for the back, knowing it would pop against the walls. I think next time I might up the sizes to 8x15.5 just for a little extra coverage on the sides. Bit overall I LOVE how it turned out! I just did some straight line quilting to echo the fabric shapes and bound it in another print from that same line (Mixed Signals I think) and used Rita's awesome machine sewn binding technique - which I'm getting better at (I do still use 2.5 inch binding though). So this was my weekend project and I'm so happy that it's done! Also so happy that the doodlebug approved and is happily napping on it right now :-)

The other project I've been working on are my first 3x6 Bee blocks - so excited to have my block picked out and all my fabrics cut! More on that later this week!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Great sewing day!

Are they slouch bags? Well, nooooo BUT there were several cute slouch bags sewn (mine did get cut out and about half done). But since we had FOUR hours to sew (when you have a toddler at home four whole hours to sew uninterrupted seems like such a luxury!) and these babies needed to be done for Easter morning I went ahead and snuck them in. Cute right? And once filled with eggs and chocolate goodies they were very well received!

We had a lovely day sewing, some regulars and one completely new person, which was awesome! I think most everyone enjoyed making the slouch bag and I heard plans for a couple more! We even picked our project for next month: the Jennifer clutch from ithinksew.com - go check it out, another cute and easy pattern that will make a cute bag for summer! Put it on your calendar, Saturday May 28th from 8am till noon at Whipstitch. Hope to see you there!

Hope everyone had as relaxing and productive a weekend as we did, new ceiling fan put up in the guest room ( thanks to my lovely husband) and tomorrow I'll show you the new crib quilt I whipped up!

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