Friday, November 2, 2012

Mini Box Pouch (aka the webcam bag)

Some of you know that there have been some big life changes around here, not the least of which is that my hubby is working (and living) 170 miles away from me Monday-Friday.

We spent alot of time anxiously thinking about how this change would affect us and ultimately decided to try it for a year, so that we can each move closer to what we want to be,  professionally. 

We have "Skype dates" almost every night, so that we can see each other and talk to other about our day. Cute right? It's been a great tool for us... there was just one problem.

Or webcams didn't come with a case, and we didn't want them to get dirty or broken during his travel or around the apartment.

Enter a sewing solution!

I found this great tutorial from Sew Like My Mom.

{photo source}

Look at her cute bag!
Her pattern finishes at a useful sized cosmetic bag (9″ long, 5″ tall and 5″ wide).

I used the methods and construction techniques but I scaled it down, and used only cotton fabric (no vinyl).

I used a 7 inch zipper, scaled the exterior/interior pieces to 7" x 11.5" and cut out 1.25" squares.
It finished at a fun little size, apx. (4″ long, 3″ tall and 3″ wide).

I had hubby pick out his fabric and it was kind of adorable to watch him walk around the store looking for the perfect combination. He did pretty well, I think. Don't you agree?  

So... I kind of love our his & hers webcam bags. And I love that we we can keep in touch during our time apart without having to worry about scratched lenses or tangled cords.

Have you modified or resized an already awesome tutorial? Or do you always play by the rules?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

This is what catch up looks like...

So here I am. On the 2 months mark from the move and starting the new job.

you know what?

There are still random half-unpacked boxes scattered throughout the house,
and I am still not quite current on my sewing commitments.

 But I am happy with where my life has taken me in the last 10 weeks.
More on that later.... for now, I will share my new sewing space and some of the blocks that have zoomed out of here at a crazy rate now that I am set up and and have time to indulge in my crafty endeavors.

I got my sewing space set up. I am not blocking a doorway or windows, and I have a real desk!
Gosh feel like I am moving up in the world.... LOL!

Sewing/Office Desk

Sewing nook all set up. Time to get my craft on ;)

Here are the first of many goodies I hope to sew in my new home.

July Wonky House - OYG Bee Teacup quilt block for Cat Bowtie Block Boxed In Block Arrows Block Chutes and Ladders Block  Antique Tile Block

Pennant Blocks

It feels good to be home, with a cup of pumpkin spice coffee in hand and squishy fabric all around.

Have you been sewing your way through your transition into fall?
Perhaps like me, you are just happy to leave windows open while you take care of weekend chores.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Getting back to normal... maybe.

It's been a whirlwind couple of weeks!
I sent out fabric to two bees and a swap....

charms stacked

cosmic blue basket weave block

maroon and orange scrappy x block 

Wooh! My living room floor is clear again and I am done trekking to the post office with laundry basket full of squishy envelopes.

I won't be hosting another swap round right away (I promised hubby at least a few weeks of postal normalcy) but it was a huge success and I want to thank everyone who participated.

Just look at the beautiful variety we came up with! Charms

And somehow I did manage to get a bee block sewn for someone else in the fabric frenzy.
Moody Blues for Susan
This block was super easy, and only required two 10" squares each of the print and the background.
I like the movement of the dots in it, don't you? Here is the full tutorial if you would like to check it out.

I don't love the color on its own, but it will look great with the other fabric Susan has chosen.

How has your June been? Are you getting into summer craze or summer laze?

Monday, May 28, 2012

1000 ( x 8 ) words

They say a picture is worth a thousand words. I don't know who 'they' are, but let's say they are right.

Here, in "8000" words, is why you haven't heard much from me here in blog-land.

escalator block for Lisa

stacked coins block for shawn

monkey wrench/churn dash

Basket Weave Blocks - for Solidia

square in square blocks

Gone Quiltin Bee May 2012

MBB May Wonky Star

In addition to sewing I've been getting fabric and instructions out as June host for 3 groups!
The lady behind the counter at the post office has no idea what's in store for her tomorrow ;)

I have to say, May kicked my butt- the heat and stress made for a very cranky, unproductive vibe for alot of the last few weeks. 

A & T at Buttermilk FallsFortunately, I got to clear my head a bit with a 26 mile bike trail ride along the Lehigh Gorge last week.

Here's to an equally productive (and hopefully less stressful) June!

Friday, May 4, 2012

Basket Weave Block: (free) Pattern Review

Hey Folks!  It's FRIDAY!!!
I have a few more things to do today before I can officially give into weekend indulgences, and one of them is sharing a little pattern review with you!

basket weave block

I saw this stunning purple block from Nydia a few weeks ago. I became obsessed with it, and would seriously 'visit' the photo every couple days. I am not telling you this not to make you think I am a freak, but because it was one of those blocks that made me think 'that is way to gorgeous and hard for me to make!'

Neural or Not Bee - braided star
 Well I asked Nydia for her pattern, and she was generous enough to share it. She has posted a FANTASTIC (FREE) tutorial on her website.

Here are a few things I've learned:

  • It is a dramatic looking block, but it is not hard to piece! Speaking as someone who is terrified of paper piecing, this is the perfect block for the first time pp'er or newbie. 
  • It can be time consuming, if you are new to it and only work one quadrant at a time, but it has no weird angles, and is easy to do.
  • Do a practice block. Once you get a feel for it, you can easily 'pseudo' chain piece and work on several quadrants at the same time. This reduces the trips to the ironing board- and makes it go a bit more quickly.
  • I recommend using real foundation piecing paper, or a light weight craft paper. Copy paper can get a bit thick in some of the seams. The craft paper is easier to tear off at the end too, which means you don't have to shorten your stitch length quite so much. I used a fisher price 'Doodle Pad' that I got from a dollar store at a whopping $1.  It's just slightly heavier than newspaper and I printed the template straight onto it. Easy!
  •  It is very scrap friendly.... but don't get too skimpy with your scraps, if your fabric moves you will have to rip a seam.  If you give yourself a little extra fabric to play with you can trim it neatly, and it will looks very crisp once complete.

Still scared? Don't be! I asked a few others what their first time with this block was like. They echoed the sentiment that it can be slow going at first, but is easy to do, and well worth the time!

Basket weave
(Nydia's color wheel interpretation)

A start for Solidia :) 
(Katy is working on a beautiful aqua and green version) 

 basket weave block

Give it a try- you won't regret it! Thanks for sharing this block Nydia!!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

WIP Wednesday (4/25/12)

I have been absent from the weekly WIP linky lately... but it's time to catch up!

I gotta share some major fabric loot with you. I haven't bought fabric in a while (times are tough and I've been trying to keep all my projects stash friendly) but I did score these pretties for $2/ yard!!
It's okay to hate me.. I would.
In my defense they are going to be cut into charms for swaps. That makes it okay, right?

I've been sewing up a storm over the last few weeks, but feel like i don't have much to show for it.
Maybe I do? Let's take a look.

Bee Blocks for March & April count as progress, even though they aren't for me, right?

April was my host month for the Gone Quiltin' Bee, so I am now getting wonderful blocks back from my bees. The quilt will be going to my sister, for her college graduation. I know she doesn't read this so I'm safe talking about it :)  It will be a blue and yellow version (her school colors) of the quilt pattern by Nancy Rink (pattern in Quilt magazine June/July 2011 page 45).

Sample Bee Simple Block

I also made some major headway on my Made in Cherry Quilt - 4 more points down, 3 to go. 
I just have one problem, it has no name.. Made in Color? eh.. Color Wheel Cherry?  not feeling it.

pretty points
Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Design drama

I love sewing. I really do. I'm a very textile person, and this craft satisfies my need to touch stuff, in a way that is both legal and not as creepy as some alternatives. just saying. When I buy clothes - i actually feel it before I consider anything else. Scratchy sweaters? not for me!
but I digress....

I have realized lately though, that as much as I love the hum of working on my sewing machine, I really much prefer the design process.

Picking a pattern (or even designing one), auditioning fabrics, the digital mockups...

I think I spend more time on this than the actual sewing a lot of the time. 
Do you have that experience too?

It's part of why I seem to have so many WIPS at a give time - some are in the design stage, some are in the cutting stage, several are in the piecing stage..

It annoys me, but that seems to be my system...

so why not just roll with it?

I'm starting to think about my design for  the Modern She Made Swap, and came up with these options...

modern she made possible design sketches

Modern She Made- Color Palettes
I can tell you now that if I go with this design, it will morph, change and vary from design concept to a different product. I never seem to stick to my 'plan.' I think that's okay though, when you end up loving the outcome, does it matter how you get there?

Do you sew to satisfy your need for design, 
or would you rather skip the doodles and just get to stitchin'?

Thinkin' and Linkin' with Rebecca Lynn today...

Thursday Think Tank

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Liebster Blog Award (and some good blog karma)

Yesterday I got an email that Lori from  adventures in fabricland had bestowed a little award on my little blog.
It's called the Liebster Blog Award. Liebster is a German word, which from my understanding means darling, beloved, or sweetheart. 
I was so honored that she thought of me!  I was curious about the original source of the award, and here is what I found out:
"The origins of the Liebster Blog award are somewhat unclear but the general consensus is that it originated in Germany, Liebster meaning favourite or dearest, to showcase bloggers with fewer than 200 followers. Upon accepting the award the recipient can then pass it on to five more blogs of note. A way of introducing other bloggers to the blogs you enjoy."

Perhaps my favorite description of it was as "the award is for those smaller blogs just starting out on their quest to become world super-powers..." from
HAHA! Well, becoming a world super power is nowhere on my to do list, but I do appreciate the kindness and support of my fellow crafters and sewers. You are an amazing group of people.

Now, apparently the 'rules' of the award are the following:

  1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog.
  2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you.
  3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog.
  4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed. 
  5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog.
Simple enough right? Well I immediately thought of  1 person who I would love to nominate for it, but it turns out they had 200+  followers. And they should! After all, if I like them, I am sure tons of other people can see how cool they are. 
So I am going to be a little rebel and bestow on them an 'honorary' Liebster - because nobody seems to know who started this thing, I don't think the Liebster police will come after for giving this 'bigger' blog a little love.  and because they are super cool so you should check them out. and because i can. so there. ;)
Don't let her blog name fool you, in addition to being a very talented quilter, she is perhaps one of the sweetest, most genuine and organized Bee Mamas out there.
Fortunately there were a few others who popped  into my head who did fit the criteria, 
so to them I bestow 'legit' Leibster awards. I did some blog stalking and I don't think they have gotten this before, but if they have, that's okay. Just means they rock and totally should be reminded of it ;)
2.  Sana @ Sana Saroti
Sana blogs from Berlin Germany but I feel like she could be a neighbor - she is kind and quick with a cute joke or comment, a total kindred spirit. She and I have been a few swaps together too, I just wished we lived closer!

3.  Allegory @ {sew} allegorical
Like Sana, this girl has a knack for making me laugh when I read her blog. If you haven't 'met' her yet, stop reading and get over there now. seriously. why are you still reading? You back from your visit? I told you you'd like her ;) She is quirky and spirited quilter - we share a certain soft spot in our hearts for ugly fabric. and it makes me smile.
4. Katie @ there & back  
I know Katie from a few swaps and bees. She's super talented! Check out her mad skillz here ;) Be prepared to stay a while - the chick's got talent!
Now, Mary says she follows these rules:  1) Do what you love; 2) Finish stuff; 3) Don't aim for perfection; 4) Enjoy the process; 5) Don't take it too seriously.  Need I say more? If her blog doesn't fill your appetite for quilting eye candy, her flickr photostream is here.

So thanks again to Lori for thinking of me. 
And a big blog hug to all of you who take a little time out of your day to see what I'm too. 
I have loved getting to know you all and continue to look forward to getting inspired by you and sharing our stories of crafting chaos  :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My house has a trampoline.

That's a lie. I have never owned a trampoline.

My April Stash Bee block has one though, and it makes me smile.

Stash Bee April 2012 House block 
I have to say that  this block was sort of experimental for me.  Stephanie asked us for "house" blocks and specified the size, and colors for the sky and grass. She gave us full creative reign on style and technique.

First I decided it was about time to face my intense, irrational fear of curves and put a nice rolling hill in there. Not bad for a curve newbie right?
 Please excuse the terrible I-sew-at-night-with-no-natural-light-cell-phone-quality photo. 

The last block I did was heavy on the piecing, so I decided to do some raw edge applique for this one. 
I'm always curious about other people's design process, so if you are curious, 
here is how I approached this block:

I found a simple house clipart image that I liked via a google image search. I right clicked, and saved the image to my computer.

I used Microsoft Word to scale it up to size and make it mirror image and traced each part onto the paper side of Heat n Bond.

Then I played around with the original image to test out a few color schemes.

Once I decided on my 'paint' scheme I dug through my scrap stash... and built a house!

I decided the lawn looked sad and empty so I added a trampoline. 

The other 'new to me' technique that I tried was using tear-away, self adhesive stabilizer behind the trampoline (where I had to stitch the 'legs').

House Block Details
It definitely won't be the last time I use that stuff! I was yanking pretty hard on it to do the free motion stitching on these smaller parts and didn't have any of the stretching/tension issues that I usually have.

So, overall it took me several hours (5? 6?) to complete from start to finish, mostly because I had to start and stop a few times. Over all though it was a very easy block, and I am really happy with the results.

If I didn't think it would take me a decade to finish, I would love to do a whole town's worth of little house blocks.

Stash Bee April 2012 House block
Block stats: 12.5 " square, background pieced, house/trees/trampoline are raw edge applique
Fabric: sky is Kona Bluebell, grass is Kona Green Tea, assorted stash scraps
Based on this clipart image: Coloring Pages

So how'd I do Stephanie? Does my house meet your building specs? ;)