Saturday, December 17, 2011

Train bag (a pain in my caboose)

I stayed in last night in an attempt to get a Christmas gift for my nephew done.  The back story is here, but the abridged version is the boy has enough toy trains to fill a tub. 
or swimming pool. 
or any other arbitrary 'large' object. 

He brings them with him everywhere, and they inevetably end up under someone's feet. 

Bad news for the trains, and bad news for the feet.

Since we are gifitng on a budget this year - I pulled out my stash of train fabric and went to work.

I got about 1/2 way done (hopefully that was the hard half since it involved a zipper, some swear words and a seem ripper.)

My brain fizzled out around 10:00pm .

I had to walk away and complete some flickr/blog therapy at about 10:30pm.
Today is a new day, however. 
I've had my coffee and ready for the final face off with Thomas and Friends...

Edit: 12/17/11 6:00PM  
I win ... I WIN!!
I am happy to say it's all done!
..and it's my first successful zipper install!  

The artsy fartsy shot of the zipper.

Just don't look too close - it's a bit, special.

Fabric: Assorted Thomas the Tank Character Fabric
Pattern: Tutorial by Anna from Noodleheads

Friday, December 16, 2011

Men in tights? (aka his & hers stockings)

I've spent a good portion of my free time this week working on a project that is a full year overdue, and it has a song stuck in my head. 

Needless to say I am relieved to have the project done and that song gone from my poor brain. What project you ask? Ahhh, well let me tell you!

Even though last year year was T and my first married Christmas together, we kept it pretty minimalistic.

This year, however, in addition to our little 3ft artificial tree and some homemade decorations...

...we will have our very own stockings!

I had gathered some inspiration from pictures and images over the last month, and had a pretty specific mental image of what I wanted to make.

I knew I wanted them to look like a set, but to each be unique. I also knew I had fabric leftover from my table runner project. Hubby  requested squares and even humored me when I asked him to "pick 6" from a pile of fabric (he has this weird aversion to making fabric choices). 

My vision and my ability do not always quite match though, so I was a bit worried that I was going to fudge seam allowances or misjudge curves and end up with an amorphous blob, but I think I did all right, for making it up as I went along! 

His and Hers Stockings :)

Once I got the front and back pieced I used a tutorial here from Allison of Cluck Cluck Sew to do the lining. Look ma! No raw edges! I did have a moment of sewer's regret when I realized I had sewn the hanging loop on the first one backwards and upside down. D'oh!!

I was so annoyed at the error that I forgot to take a "keeping it real" photo. Trust me, it was pitiful. But I got it (sort of) fixed and made sure to pin more carefully on the second time around.

I am really quite pleased with how they turned out. I hope I made them well enough, and chose a neutral enough design that they will last us a long time. But, once I do have to make more, I know I'll be up for the task, and that is a really great feeling.

I am going to try to rally some energy up tonight to get a gift sewn for my nephew.

Are you doing any last minute holiday sewing or crafting?  

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday Night Sew In (12/9/2011)

 I had a pretty hot date last night. Well, of the sewing variety anyway.

Handmade by Heidi

I made myself a cup of hot cider, 2.5" ruler, and copy paper,
put on Miracle on 34th Street and got to work!

I originally signed up to do 16 of these blocks (they are a 6.5 inch version of this tutorial), back in October.

They go together really quickly.

I got 10 completely sewn and trimmed, and still have lots of strips cut and ready to go.

Oh, and the fact that my drawer of scraps is not overflowing anymore? That feels pretty darn good :)

I have a sneaky suspicion that I'm going to stop once I hit 16...

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Tutorial: Scrappy Tree Ornament

I've done my best to give you a step by step picture tutorial, 
but this is my first tutorial, so speak up if you have questions or need clarification!

Here's what you'll need:
  • Background fabric (about 8x4 inches per per ornament)
  • Bright fabric scraps, in strips (generally 1-2 inches wide)
  • Ribbon, ricrac, ace, or trimming of choice (get resourceful here)
  • Regular Thread
  • Embroidery floss or thick thread (not pictured)
  • Poly fill (optional)
  • Random round thing to trace (I used a tape roll)
  • Fusible web (I used 'heat n bond')
  • Scissors
  • Pencil
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
Ready to get started?!

Love this tutorial? Hate it? Don't get it? Let me know!  I'm always glad to get your feedback :)
If you've used this tute, take a moment to SHOW OFF!

Just leave a link to a picture of YOUR creation in the comments!

Spreading Christmas Cheer (A Tutorial for YOU)

A few weeks ago I sent my first swap parcel off.

It was for the 2011 Modern Christmas Tableruner Swap.

Not bad for a first time swapper, right?

My partner loves scrappy trees, so that was the inspiration for the little extra I sent along.

Get this- It only takes about 15 minutes and some scraps to make! (and who doesn't have scraps?)
It's cute.
It's simple.
...and now it's broken down into a tutorial, just for you!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Oh happy day!

First off, I want to say a big hello ya'all to anyone visiting from Small Blog Meet being hosted (once again) by the wonderful Lynne from Lily's Quilts!  If you'd like the "who I am, how I got here, and what's with the nut story" check out my about me page.

Small Blog Meet
The abridged version is I ....
... am a scientist by trade
... am a part-time nanny whille I pursue said scientific career in a small apartment with my husband in beautiful central Pennsylvania easily distracted by shiny things
... always have more projects on queue than I have more time for when I can, about whatever is relevant to my life at the time
...and I hope you enjoy your visit here and come back to visit again soon!

To all ya'll old timers, hey there friends, did you miss me?

I missed you!  I have been very absent from blogland, but I promise to make it up to you with some fun progress pictures and 'real' life anecdotes.

Hope you don't mind an excessive amount of photos for my first update -

I still have that slighty euphoric feeling that comes over me when I have a finished project to share with you!
I am soooo happy with how my Christmas tablerunner turned out!

It seems like FOREVER ago that I did this digital mock up of a design I had floating around my little brain.

Tablerunner- mock up 2

I got this far...

... and life happened (aka all creative progress seized).

A few job interviews, roadtrips, and other rather dull misadventures later..

I got my little pretty layered and basted. When I was closing up the binding, I had a little, erm, brainfart.

This is the first time I used spray basting. I am happy with it and will definitely be using it on other small scale projects that will be smushed, twisted, folded and generally abused in the quilting process.

Just a few days ago, Leanne from she can quilt posted her thoughts on spray vs pin basting.

The seamripper and I had some quality time to get that binding snafu sorted out

 and..... drum roll pease!

ahhhhh.. so satisfying!
 I even gave it a wash and dry so that it has that crinkly goodness to it.

That was the longest 12 minute cycle of my life (I was nervous about reds bleeding, but it was just fine!)

It's winging it's way to distant lands (or is it??) right now with an ornament.

I do hope my secret partner is happy with it. I'm a bit sad to see it go.
I'd be lying if I said it wasn't the nicest thing I've made. Ever.

Now don't think I'm bragging - it is so not perfect. But it is 100% my design and my first go at hand quilting with Perle 8 cotton.


Now. I promised a few real life ancedotes to give you a peek into what my time away from blogland involved. If you are one of those people who are not into the non-crafty stories, avert your eyes.

If you like those stories, then keep going!

- I let the fridge get empty in the week before Thanksgiving, so that food wouldn't spoil during our time away. Once we got back, my subconcious wouldn't let me forget that grocery shopping was necessary.
I had a dream that I was trying to find gluten-free rice puffs in a huge food store.
Now it gets weird because
1- I am not alergic to gluten nor do I regularly seek out gluten free anything and
2- I was trying to get around the store on roller skates. Yup. Strange, I know.

- I found out that dogs can get 'reverse sneezes'. and when they do, the sound like the are dying.
It's freaky, funny and all together nervewrecking when pet sitting for a good friend.

Ask me how I know. 

The dog got excited, drank his water too quickly, and just about gave me a heart attack! I was way too disturbed by the sound to take video of it myself, but  this video is fairly close to what it sounded like.

So, there you are. A finish, a dream, and a dog with reverse sneezes. Welcome to my weird little world :)

Linking up to:

Boogieboard Cottage

Sew Happy Geek