Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Refashion #1

These jeans have been sitting around in my scraps pile for a couple of months. They've been patched once and I don't feel like patching them again.

So I chopped them off.

I sewed the center closed.

Then I took apart the legs, added some more scraps, and pieced some strips. I double topstitched all of the seams.

Then sew right sides together, press up and topstitch.

The bottom strip I did not take pictures of during construction. I sewed the patches wrong sides together so that the eventual fraying would be a design feature. Instead of a hem, I straight stitched 3/8" from the raw edges to create a stopline for the fraying.

Here is what the skirt looks like if I take a picture of myself.

I'll run it through a wash cycle to fray and then have someone else take a couple of photos.

Because I promised, here is a pic of my Punk in her new jumper, ready to go to school. She loves it. She actually had a tantrum when I took it off of her in order to hem it.

Next project!

It has been slowly hatching in my brain that a mugrug is too small to eat breakfast on.

See what I mean? If I put one bowl and a glass on it, I can't see the mugrug in order to enjoy it.

And if I have a bowlful of berries and a dish of mango, the mugrug disappears completely.

I must remedy this situation, stat!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Just Playing

This weekend's snowstorm made the adults lazy and the kids bored.

To entertain the girls, one of the activities we did was playing with shaving cream in the bathtub. It was fun for all of us, and an easy cleanup (and good coverup!).

We spent quite a lot of time baking because there is nothing better to do while the snow falls. 5 loaves of bread and two pans of meatballs to start. Plus a raw apple pie. (So good.)

This picture has nothing to do with the text.
 On the sewing front, I dug some blue corduroy from my stash and cut out a school jumper for the Punk. My reasoning told me that light blue would make very bad play pants, but a very good play dress.

I put a zipper in the back because I don't like messing around with buttons on corduroy. I'm waiting for the Punk to get home from school so that I can hem it and take more pictures.

Free confession: On Sunday evening I spent 6 hours on my butt in front of the tv. I haven't done this in years. It felt good to veg out for a while....just entertaining ME. I couldn't have done this if there was not another adult in the house; so thanks, Mom.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Flimsy? Mais Oui!

Yesterday I sewed as fast as I could. I wanted to be able to link up this flimsy finish with some Friday linky parties.

It was not to be. With two borders yet to be added, we headed out to the grocery store to stock up for the weekend. There was a snowstorm predicted, but we beat it. Today there are many new centimeters of snow in my yard, but we have no reason to leave our cozy spot and go into the storm.

It sure makes me happy to lay out a finished flimsy on my bed and take photos. It is 84"x 68". My next step is finding a sheet for backing, locating the perfect quilting thread (<3 King Tut), and piecing some frankenbatting.

Someone must have a good idea for how to quilt this "House of Love" and what binding to use. Suggestions, please!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Makes Me Want To Grrrr.

I am not a numbers person. I barely passed high school algebra. It's safe to say that mathematics and I should not mingle at the same party. We just don't get along.

It's a love/hate relationship because Quilters need Math.

Emotional break: here's a random shot of my breakfast. Green juice and a bowlful of mango, strawberries, and bananas.

Back to math. See these strips? The sashing between them was easy to calculate. It is the same length as the blocks.

Here's a Pixie for size comparison. The blocks finish at a foot square.

I decided that the sashing should be 1/3 of the width of the blocks. Putting 4" strips between the blocks should mean that the rows are five feet long. You experienced quilters reading this instantly know that the sashing between the rows has to be either pieced or cut on the lengthwise grain.

I chose to piece. It is a scrap quilt, after all.

What a mess! I miscalculated the length and had to add pieces to both ends of my w.o.f. cuts. The only saving grace was the last piece added was exactly the length of a block and I had a seam to match for reference.

This pile of strips and sashing covered my chair for a while.

I discovered that hiding seams in sashing strips is as easy as pressing them open and not to the side.

At this moment, I have a section that looks like this:

And one that looks like this:

Plus the strip of violet for the bottom row.

After that I'll only have to add borders. Cross your fingers that those calculations work out well. I wanna finish this and get it to it's family!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


This darling Pixie is given many privileges and usually meets all of my expectations. This morning, however, the crayons were too tempting, the wall too white....

 Caught red-handed while applying crayon to wall, her only excuse was to say, "But I was drawing Pirates!" Because pirates make it okay.....

Yesterday this same Pixie commandeered my design time to request a blanky for her "toddy" bear. She spent an hour pretending to knit before discovering that knitting needles work just as well as drumsticks. Have you ever heard a toddler say "knit one, pearl two?" Hilarious.

I couldn't really say no to her request. I switched to crochet for a couple of days.

My goal is to use up the rest of the homeless pink yarn. It's been living in a plastic box for a couple of years since I downsized my hobbies to just sewing and quilting. If the box empties then I'll have more room for fabric, right?

Because it's all about the fabric.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Is It Sunday Already?

Where the heck did Saturday go? Did I miss something?

I didn't take any pictures of my girls for Grandparent Eye Candy Day. I can report that the Pixie has been pronounced "an almost perfect child" by the wait staff at a local Boston Pizza. She is polite, precise, and mannerly when influenced by the correct form of encouragement.

The Punk loves this book bag. It was the last one on the "To Create" list. Green is her favorite colour and I may have to steal it back when she outgrows it. I love the flap!

I even managed to complete a little cutting and stitching of grey for the sashing on the House Of Love quilt. Flimsy coming soon....only a couple of days behind schedule.

I'm not really working with a deadline, anyways.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Book Bags!

I started by pulling a pile of fabric that looked like this:

I did a little shuffling and rearranging (none of the final cut for my Punk's book bag are in this pile).

In between toilet training (now complete!), shopping, haircut, and general life activities I sewed up four of these bad boys.

The three on the left are for a sibling group and the one in front is for the Pixie's BFF.

I love the polka dot lining on this one.

Could anything be better than magenta linen for little girls? Or argyle and popcorn for little boys?

Of course, this means that the House of Love quilt will take slightly longer to complete. Three of these bags go to that same household.

Tomorrow I'll finish the Punk's bag. She has been so patiently waiting for one of her own. I found some scraps of black fabric printed with piano keys and notes for the shell, and some lime green for the lining. I know she'll love it.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Quick Learner

Last evening I cut these pieces from pink, denim, and interfacing. Here my Pixie wishes you to know that her pink shirt matches the pink fabric.

After the kids were in bed, I used this tutorial to transform those fabric pieces into this cute messenger bag.

It was so quick and easy. I may make another half dozen...I know a few kids who need useful cute things. I'll make two in boy flavours, and another in toddler sized girl flavour, and then lengthen the strap for two slightly taller girls who really shouldn't be left out.

I blew up some heart-shaped balloons before I went to bed.

I could hear squeals of enjoyment as I emerged from the shower this morning. They had no trouble finding something to do with the balloons. My Pixie kept saying "Happy birthday!"

 I explained to her that, in our culture, hearts are symbols of love. We celebrate love on Valentine's Day every year. I gave her and the Punk presents because I love them. It took her a few seconds to digest this new information, and then she happily started saying "happy balentine day." She's a genius. I rarely have to dumb down her education.

She also kept her big girl panties dry all night and peed on the toilet when she woke up this morning. After only one week of intensive training. I'm so proud of her.

Thanks for the advice, Gramady. Happy Valentine's Day.

And happy Valentine's day to everyone else, too.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Serene Green

These green blocks were 95% finished by supper time on Saturday.

What actually was accomplished on Saturday is a slightly larger list. Between two adults and two children, here's what we did: washed two bathrooms, swept and washed every lino floor in the house, picked up toys, did dishes twice, organized the master bedroom, vacuumed two carpeted rooms, cleared the foyer, made meatloaf, did some gluten-free baking, went shopping, sewed green blocks, [played Castleville], and picked up the Husband from work. Phew!

Sunday was marvelously relaxing. We made a beautiful and tasty lunch and brought Husband back to work. Sunday also included some necessary evening beers.

This means that all the blocks for the House of Love quilt are done! Wanna see them all? Ta da!

They look great together! I'm planning to create a design wall in my next house - very much needed. For now, standing on the coffee table for photos will have to suffice.

This is the desired orientation for the finished quilt. I l.o.v.e. it. I really, really love it.
Today is library day. Tomorrow is grey sashing. I'll have a completed rainbow scrap flimsy by the end of the week (knock on wood).

These last photos are for Gramady. I didn't post on Grandparent Eye Candy Day, so anyone who doesn't want to see my Pixie today can navigate away without any hard feelings.

A normal breakfast in our home contains at least one cupful of green smoothie. The other day, my Pixie invented a new and unique way to eat her breakfast: by painting with it.

She even tried to lick the cutting board when she was done. Cleanup was a snap. I highly recommend letting your kids amalgamate art + breakfast.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Calming Blue

This has been a very trying week for me. My stress level is at an all time high.

I've heard it said that women instinctively seek out water sources when they need to relax and calm down. This can mean a trip to the seashore or even just a bubble bath.

Having another adult in the home to help me has been a lifesaver.

Sewing and designing also helps to sooth my soul. I've decided that this month I will design a gown for my indispensable mother. She wants red. She's never felt the power that a red dress brings.

I've also heard that green is a calming influence. Today the green scraps shuffle their way under my presser foot. Tomorrow I may break out some sashing.

Sounds like a wild and crazy time, eh? Someone remind me to breathe.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Who Paints a House Purple?

The violet/purple log cabins for the House Of Love quilt were completed yesterday. I had to wait until 9:30 this morning before my sunbeam was in the correct location for my camera to capture their true colours.

I did not do a lot of productive work yesterday, but I did do a lot of good: My mom and I donated blood. It was my tenth donation.

Today and tomorrow there is no school for the Punk and we've been racking our brains trying to figure out how to keep my two balls of energy busy and out of trouble. It might be a good day to go to the indoor playground at the mall. I can shop while they play: win-win. That same mall also has a fabric store and a library. Is that not the most perfect place?

I love this last block. I made a plan so that the colours around the star did not touch themselves, but my brain couldn't remember when it came time to put the pieces together. I like it anyways. I don't think the recipients will even notice.

Four green and four blue log cabins are all the blocks that remain. I bought a Kona charcoal (?) for sashing and borders. If I could find the blog that inspired this design, I would share. I'm still looking. But whoever she is, I thank her for the initial idea.