I was working on something a while back but wasn't able to post the photo because, well, it was a gift. My niece turned 4 this week and I thought I would attempt to make her some clothes for her baby doll. It turned out to take much longer than I had anticipated, as does almost everything in life. I made a little brown jumper -- for a first attempt I think it turned out pretty well. I hope to add to her collection in the future!

Happy Birthday Mia!

September 2011

Since December is only 3 months away, I had to get started on my next Christmas project: Stockings! I wanted them to match the quilted tree skirt I finished early this summer so I had to do some "design" work with the pattern I found. We'll see how it turns out in the end but from the photo below you can sort of see what I'm aiming for.

On Saturday, my friend Lauren and I went to a fabric store in Berkeley, I didn't really need much but it was inspiring just to go! This store carries designer fabrics, which of course are more expensive, but are really cute and trendy.  They also had really cute project ideas displayed throughout the store. Like I said I didn't need anything like that but was inspired to be creative none-the-less.

It was a busy afternoon of sewing when we got back. Lauren came over and we worked on our projects for four hours straight. It was good to get a good portion done; especially since not sewing much at all during August.

stocking number one 

Lauren making bloomers for her baby niece

July 2011

Just so you don't think I haven't been working hard . . . and making a mess!

June 2008

I seem to have a running list of things to make in my head so when I went to JoAnn Fabrics this afternoon, it was hard to stop myself from buying a little bit of everything.

The rotary cutter and mat were half off otherwise I wouldn't have even looked twice.  It's super hand to have as I've had to borrow them from friends for my previous quilting project.

I picked up a few patterns for the projects I'd like to do this year -- Christmas stockings and doll clothes for my niece (I need to at least try!) I'm hoping to get a good start on them by the end of the summer.

I also picked up a few things for making more cards. I splurged on color pens since sometimes I get the urge to color and I couldn't resist getting a new stamp. And since Father's day is next weekend I need to get busy making a couple cards for my dads. (That was the whole reason in going in the first place.)

May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day! As I've been in a crafty-do-it-myself mood lately, I decided to make my Mom her Mother's Day gift this year (you know, like back when I was 7). I decided to make her place mats for her gorgeous oak dining room table. I wanted them to be something spring-y, pretty but not too pretty since my dad would have to use them too and functional (something she wasn't afraid to actually use). And since I had to keep this a secret while I worked on them over the past couple weeks (so my faithful blog-reading Mother wouldn't find out), you'll be getting the full story and how-to pictures all at once.

I decided to make them reversible so that she could have a couple choices depending on the occasion or meal. I headed to JoAnn fabrics with a few ideas in mind only to be quite overwhelmed and disappointed in my options. I probably spent 45 minutes just wandering the store looking for what I had in my mind. After coming to the realization that they just didn't have it, I started actually looking at what they did have . . . in the end, Chris actually helped me pick out a green, blue and brown striped pattern along with a solid brown for the opposite side.

I spent one whole evening cutting the fabric; twelve 19 x 14 pieces. Then on Saturday I spent the majority of the day sewing them together. 

I made a "pattern" using tissue paper so I wouldn't have to measure each piece of fabric. Then I used an fusible interfacing so the place mats would be a little stiffer.

After ironing on the interfacing I pinned the striped fabric to the brown fabric inside-out and sewed
around all four sides leaving a two inch gap in order to turn it right-side-out.
Then I sewed around all four sides again. Sewing in straight lines is always a
challenge, even more so when trying to match that line up on a stripe!


Ta-da X2 -- this is the same place mat!

Sent with love with a hand-made card. Love you Mom!

April 18, 2011

It is finished! I was able to get a lot done on my tree skirt this weekend, it had actually been almost three weeks since I had even touched it. I didn't expect to finish it, but after work this evening I was so excited to be so close to the end that I just had to keep working on it. And I did it!

Sewing the batting in between the backing and the front was a little more time consuming than I had thought. I have never done batting before. And the binding was a little more complicated. If I had followed instructions I had read online, it might have gone better but I didn't . . . I mean, it still worked out but I ended up doing part of it one way and the other part another! I didn't plan it that way, but I made a mistake that I couldn't reverse so I had to improvise. This was definitely a learning experience.

I am pretty pleased with the end result. If I look too closely I can quickly become discouraged with the edges of the binding and the corners but it will look great under a Christmas tree and by December 25th, it will be covered with packages anyway!

Here are my final photographs!

March 27, 2011

Chris was out of town this weekend so I took the opportunity to have my friends come over again. We spent almost four straight hours working on our projects! The time went by fast since we were so focused.

I finished sewing all six of the large triangles . . . and made one noticeable mistake . . . can you find it?

Yes, I had to rip it out. Next time the plan is to sew all the triangles together and work on the back. I can't wait! (And Christmas is 8 months away!)

March 19, 2011

I was sitting at my sewing machine starting to sew my last pieces of fabric together for my tree skirt when I remembered that I had promised to take photographs next time I worked on it. So, as promised, here are some photos!
Sewing strips together

All three strips sewn together and cut into a small triangle

Here are all three components of the large triangle. 
I was so excited to get to the point where I could lay out the pieces and actually see what it would look like! Up until now, this has all been in my head and to be honest, I just couldn't completely picture it. I'm finished making each of the small triangles; the next step is making the big triangles, which I know won't be as easy as it looks. I would love to say that I am a master at matching my seams, but sadly, that is just not the truth.

I know you probably don't see a tree skirt in any of these photographs, but I promise you, when I'm finished you will! (Here's a hint: There are six large triangles that will be sewn together in a hexagon) More to come . . .
March 6, 2011

A few of my friends and I have recently gotten into sewing. We had talked about starting projects for a while but hadn't actually gotten very far. Then one day I got a post card in the mail advertising the Sew, Craft and Quilting Expo in a nearby city. Well, that was the only push we needed! The three of us attended this Expo having no idea what we were getting into. Our eyes lit up and ideas started forming as we saw booth after booth of beautiful fabrics and project samples. We came home with more fabric than we knew what to do with and were excited to start.

We got together this last weekend to work on our various projects. I must admit, that sewing with a group is way more fun than doing it by yourself. I had hoped to take a few photos to document the party but I was so caught up in my project that I completely forgot. So, words will have to do for now. (My apologies.)

My first project is a quilted tree skirt. Last Christmas, I kept my eyes peeled for Christmas decorates since we now have our own place, but I couldn't find one that I really liked. And since I had watched my mom sew our tree skirt and matching stockings when I was a little girl, I knew I could do that too. I had seen an sample of one at this expo we attended and thought it would be the perfect project to get 1) get me back into sewing, 2) introduce me to quilting (yikes!) and 3) provide me with a tree skirt for next year!

I purchased a few tools and some material at the expo and finished up my fabric purchases at JoAnn Fabric the following weekend. I have learned that I'm not at all confident in picking out fabric; I find it challenging to find complementary prints and shades that will look good when pieced together. It's very hard for me to visualize the end product when looking at numerous bolts of fabric.

Also, I realized that this would end up being the most expensive tree skirt I'd ever seen. I just have to remind myself that this is about learning how to sew (again), hanging out with friends and developing a new hobby; it's not all about a tree skirt or an end product.

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