Aunt Millie’s Garden

I just finished glue-basting this first block from Aunt Millie’s Garden by Piece O’ Cake Designs. I’m super excited about it, and instead of being exhausted, I can’t wait to start the next one! I’ve been collecting Denyse Schmidt fabrics for about six months in preparation for this project.

aunt millies garden-1

I also found a few new gems on the web – these are some super awesome embroidery sites:
First I found PimpStitch (don’t miss their blog), thanks to a photo on Flickr. From there, I found Stitchy Stitcherson’s blog (I really love that name), which lead me to AnnieOakLeaves (awesome – free patterns!) which lead me back to Floresita, whose blog I already love (and is chocked full of free patterns), which lead me to Stitchy Britches (another great name), where I ended up at Exceedingly Curious’ scans of an 1886 pattern book! What a cool find! Thanks to John Governale for all that hard work!

So that’s it for the black hole of productivity (a.k.a., the internet) for today.

I’m stoked about Joe Biden. Excellent choice. I sad the Olympics are over, but glad I may actually get some sleep this week. I’m excited that my husband has a job interview this week and things may be changing soon.

Now, it’s 7 am, so it’s time to head to the park before it’s 100 degrees outside!

current projects

I made all these fun iron-ons of superheroes – admittedly, I stole all the images off of the internet – and put them on t-shirts for my kid. Just like his super cool Thomas cape, he cries his face off if I try to put the shirts on him. Here’s an example. I put this shirt on him, he wears it all the time. Then, he looked down and saw Aquaman.

But I’m working on some new stuff. I’ve been making these cool little bags…I may even get around to putting some in the Etsy shop I opened 20 years ago. I also finished a little table topper convergence quilt (from a Ricky Timms book) and I’m over halfway done with the hand quilting on my snake charmer quilt.
cat bag-5

convergence-2

time wasters

As if I didn’t waste enough time on Flickr, iTunes and regular old Google. Now I’ve found this little game on Facebook called Word Challenge. I’m totally addicted. I’ve been playing for about two hours now, and I can’t beat Mike Holland’s score! It’s making me crazy. It’s more fun than riding a bike or swing sets.

Speaking of Flickr – I’ve got a mini-quilt swap to make. Our requirements this month are all hand-made…I’m thinking hexagons, but I think a lot of people will doing that. I finished a small table topper and I’m hand quilting my snake quilt. I tried machine quilting it, but my squares are kind of goofy, and I kept getting wrinkles. Even though hand-quilting takes longer, it’s way more forgiving. Pictures coming soon!

Applique and t-shirt surgery

BettyNinja left me a nice comment saying I should write a tutorial for my appliqué aprons. Betty, I’m afraid the only tutorial I’m qualified to write is to say that I think everyone should take an appliqué class at a local quilt shop. I took one class, and the teacher (Susan Prioleau) taught a great technique and answered all my questions. Now I feel like I can follow any pattern, and I’m even working on my own designs. I seem to see appliqué everywhere.book illustration

I was in a used book store the other day, and I saw this great book of stories with all these fun medieval illustrations. Here’s one – I think it would be a very cool appliqué design.

My other current love is t-shirt surgery. Indigo Girls are headed to Humphrey’s in San Diego next week, and I really wanted to wear one of my old concert t-shirts, but they’re all awful. They’re huge men’s shirts that look terrible. So, I took my favorite one (sorry for the inappropriate picture on the front), resized it, added better sleeves and a hood! It’s not perfect, but it fits great, and it’s much better than it was before. I read a lot of tutorials on craftster and on other blogs before I got started, but it was pretty straight forward.

(Pictures after the jump)

Step one: lay a shirt that fits you on top of one that doesn’t. Trace around it. Pin the shirt and cut away the excess.

Step two: cut out your pieces – sleeves, hood, extra pockets, whatever you’re adding.

Step three: sew your extra pieces (close up the sleeves, hem the hood).

Step four: attach new pieces to your old shirt.

Step five: sew up sides of your old shirt.

There was a lot of debate about the best stitch to use on stretchy fabric if you don’t have a serger. I just used a straight stitch to join things, and then topstitched the seams open with a straight stitch using a twin needle. It worked great, and allowed me to add in some contrasting thread. Let me know if you have questions.

tshirt surgery - complete!

for pictures, click here… Continue reading “Applique and t-shirt surgery”

applique complete!

My friendship group is making an applique apron quilt for the auction at our annual quilt show. We all made two blocks. I finally finished the embellishments on mine – I kept them pretty simple, but I’m happy with the results. The apron patterns are from Lori Holt’s Apron Club pattern. I don’t think she has a website, but I’ve seen her patterns in a few online shops. The cup and cupcake were embroidery patterns in Sublime Stitching. I decided to applique them first, then embroider over them. I had a few problems because I doubled the white fabric so my print fabric wouldn’t show through – made it hard to stitch, but I think it’s alright. Once the whole thing is assembled and it’s been washed, I know they’ll be great.

apron 1

apron 2

gems on the web

Some new and excellent web finds for the crafty:

This month’s Real Simple had these cute little cocktail napkins that had fortunes on them. I went to the website, and it turns out it was an Etsy shop – Avril Loreti! How awesome is that. A national magazine – great press for all Etsy sellers because even though only one product was highlighted, how could a shopper turn away from all the rest of that handmade goodness?

By the way, her ideas on coctail napkins and heat transfers are super creative and wonderful. I will be copying them (for personal use, of course) very soon.

If you’re not shopping on Etsy yet, you’re missing out.

can we build it?

In addition to watching Bob the Builder on a seemingly endless loop (for no more than an hour a day), I’ve been getting some sewing done. I finished my Bow Tuck’s bag, thanks to the patient instruction from Marcy and excellent pressing by Lynn. Here’s a photo.

bow tuck's tote

Then, for inside, I made this fun little wallet.

wallet

wallet open

This cool wallet is from this pattern on craftster.com. I’ve sent it to my sister already – so she should get it in plenty of time for Mother’s Day. I also finally sent her the rice and lavender heating pad I made her for Christmas :)

heating pad

After I finished up the wallet – which came together in less than an hour(!), I made us some napkins for the house. I’ve been meaning to do this, but I always find something else to work on. But since we use paper towels for napkins around here, I figured I better get a move on. I had random Surf and Sand by Marcus Brothers fat quarters with no project in mind, so following Amy Karol’s pattern in Bend the Rules Sewing, I cut them into 14×10.5 rectangles – each fq makes 2. I used a little starch when folding and ironing the first folds on each side. This made the ironing and folding the second fold really fast and easy.

cloth napkins

In other crafting news, I’ve been working on my hand-quilted challenge quilt. I used a blue water-soluble marking pen to make some quilting lines, and even though it initially disappeared with water, the marks came back after it dried. Does anyone have experience with this? The brand is Mark-B-Gone. And all the marks are not coming back – only some. I can’t figure it out.

weekly events

moo package

My Moo cards arrived this week! I really love the packaging. I think that sleeve around the box would make an excellent quilt design. Here’s a sampling of my cards…I got the pack of 100, with 10 different photos from my flickr.

moo cards

On the back, they have my name, number, email and website. Pretty cool. I also got a fun little carrier for them, but the picture is blurry. Trust me, it’s cool.

watercolors

William has been doing lots of painting lately. He’s really getting more imaginitive. I mean, all the paintings kind of look the same to me – masterpieces, of course – but he says things like, “Look, Mommy, waves! A bird! A whale! A road!”

haircut

Today, we took him to a cool little barber shop on Main Street and got all of his sweet messy hair cut off. I was a little sad to see it go, but he does look pretty great with shorter hair too. He didn’t cry at all – probably because of the orange lollipop he had a death grip on throughout the entire process. His second lollipop ever.

wee wonderfuls!

And I’ve been hard at work stitching up some Wee Wonderfuls stitchettes. For Pauline: I’m using 3 strands of floss for most of them – sometimes less strands on their eyes or mouths. My backgrounds are 10-inch squares of mostly white cotton. I plan to copy dontcallmebecky’s awesome quilt eventually.

hexes

And finally, my hexes are pinned, and I’ve already appliquéd the big one and three little ones down. Not in this picture. But they’re coming along great. I’m excited that the whole project will be done by hand. Hand pieced, hand appliquéd, and eventually, hand quilted.

So that’s it for me. What’s happening with you?

today’s link

What a wonderful day! A sew-in at Quiltygirl’s…some sewing, lots of blabbing and snacking. Then Pauline sent me this great link…a new blog to love: http://www.dontcallmebecky.com/. Not only is it full of awesome crafts, but she does a lot of tutorials, offers her patterns, and even offers some fixes for published patterns. Unfortunately, I tried to post some links to specific posts, but I couldn’t figure it out. Thanks, Jay! Thanks, Pauline!