Saturday, January 18, 2014

A few fun links to click

Sometimes, I look at links I've collected and wonder why I collected them. And then I click.

These three have free suggestions and patterns for ways to use up some of your scraps, bigger pieces of fabric, or even recycled clothing or sweaters.

You have any favorite links to patterns?

Hippie pants - basic pants made with muslin and patches, but give you a good idea of what you can do with a little imagination.

Baby clothes patterns using creative fabrics, tee shirts, old sweaters, etc. Right up my alley!

Free clothing patterns including a quilt block apron and drawstring pants. Others too, not to mention lots of patterns for other crafts.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Let there be light!

In addition to new sewing projects, I have old ones that need to be finished up. Those pesky UFOs. We all have them, right?

I'm tying two small quilts these days. I get bored with it quickly, but I keep going back. Can't just do the fun stuff like the piecing! One problem, though, is that I have 58-year-old eyes and can't see as well as I used to. The solution? An $8 lamp from Walmart with a bendable stem so I can direct it where I need to see. It did the trick perfectly!

Lesson learned - don't not do something if you are looking for reasons not to do it. Go buy a lamp. Such a simple thing that makes such a huge difference!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

And a pillow for my daughter's friend! & a mini how-to

My daughter met her bestie at Busch Gardens many years ago. They both worked at Land of the Dragons as teens and have been inseparable since. When her friend saw the pillows I made for my daughter, she was verklempt! She had to have one. Her boyfriend also worked at Busch Gardens as the engineer for their train. So, I got the fabric I had leftover, found a coloring page of a military train (he works on a military base now), made a train with fabric and Wonder Under, and voila, a pillow for the friend and her feller. 

Here's the front and back:

This is the front in progress. It is a simple log cabin block variety. I always do log cabin freestyle without really measuring anything other than the center block. For this pillow, I knew I would run out of the Land of the Dragons fabric, so decided to do it more like a Courthouse Steps design. Here are some really simple instructions for log cabin blocks. You can do them simply or complicate the heck out of them with paper piecing and foundation piecing and fussy cutting. I like the freedom of cutting all the strips the same width and just place, sew, turn, finger press; place, sew, turn, finger press; etc.

I printed the pattern, then traced it (so it made a mirror image), tracing also the windows and star on the side. (Source - Military train coloring page)

The pieces were placed on cloud fabric that had been enlarged with the blue print used for items on the train and on the reverse side of the pillow in the log cabin design.

I chose a light blue to outline the windows and star on the train itself, and since there was black in the bandanna used for the train, I used a black satin stitch to outline the train. I always use stitching on a piece that is placed with Wonder Under to keep it from fraying and to give it an accent. In this case, I set the zig-zag to a fairly thin width. 

And that's that. It's been a good sewing week!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Pillows for my daughter's new home

All of my children worked for Busch Gardens in Williamsburg at one time or another when they were teens and older. My daughter, who is moving into a cute little house this weekend, worked in Land of the Dragons, designed for little children. We found a couple sashes from her old uniforms and I put 2 and 2 together and came up with pillows! Who wouldn't, right?

The front include the Land of the Dragons fabric, which I had cut from the sashes, along with some complementary prints that I had on hand. The back is a simple 4" recycled denim 9-patch. She can turn them to the denim side when company comes.

I had fun making these. I haven't made pillows in a while. I still have 2 bags of Poly-fil! I guess I see more pillow making in my future.

Happy Housewarming, Allison and Judge!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Sewing Resolutions for 2014 (Updated 1/30/18)

Did you make any resolutions for the year? I make pretty much the same ones every year when it comes to sewing, so with that in mind, here are this year's goals:

  1. Sew something at least 5 days a week, preferably every day. If it's not sewing, it'll be something with fabric, like my new addiction - folded fabric ornaments! - I sort of stick to this. I either paint, sew, or fold fabric nearly every day. 
  2. Organize fabrics and donate that which I will not be using. This is the hardest one. Thinning the stash does not come naturally! - Done, along with the remodeling and moving/organizing the sewing room. 
  3. Makes some clothes! - Ongoing. 
  4. Build a small stock of items for sale at the indoor yard sale in Williamsburg. 
  5. Continue with as much sewing with scraps and in a frugal manner as possible.
  6. Format prior tutorials for this web site. - Working on it!
  7. Do at least 3 more tutorials for this site.  - I think I did a couple.
  8. Finish the Cathedral Window doll quilts. - Finished a bunch and made more.
  9. Finish tying the lap quilt that is made. - Done
  10. Finish tying the Halloween quilt that is made. - Done
  11. Finish and tie the two hexagon quilts for the guest room. - The two tops are done. I started tying one and wasn't happy with it, so I'm looking for someone to quilt them. They're 100% done by hand and I want to do them justice. 
  12. (See a trend there?)
  13. Pet my stash. 
Italic comments added January 30, 2018. 

You have a list? Even if you don't write it down, think about what you'd like to accomplish with your needle, thread, fabric, yarn, or whatever else you create with!

Happy new year everyone.