Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Sunday and a pattern review


I hope you all had a wonderful Easter! Ours was fantastic! After church, we went to visit some friends who have a beautiful field of Texas Bluebonnets in their yard. Ally got dressed up all pretty and let me take some pictures of her in the bluebonnets....

Back at home, Ally had made me a basket this year! What a treat (you can see her basket behind mine)
 My basket has a pretty candle, a puzzle, socks and notebooks and pens.

I spent the rest of the day sewing. I had bought the Washi Dress pattern months ago. I confess, I was hesitating to make it because I was afraid of the elastic thread shirring on the back. Silly me! I followed the directions, used all of the hints and tricks in the pattern and it was a breeze. In fact the whole pattern was easy and fun to make. Oh, and it has POCKETS! Yay for pockets!

 My only complaint is the sizing. This pattern is not sized for gals with big busts (like me). Despite the fact that I have lost quite a bit of weight in the last year (and inches just about everywhere) I made a large (which matched my bust measurement). The dress is quite tight in the bust. I let the side seams out as much as I could, but if I make it again I will use an even larger size.
 Also, the cute little scoop cut out in the front is quite revealing on me. I solved that by popping a tank underneath which is fine. Again, next time I make it, I will leave this little detail out. This time around I left off the little cap sleeves and faced the armhole openings with purchased bias tape. Easy as pie!

All in all, I really like this pattern and will probably make it again, using the adjustments shared here. Have you made anything for yourself lately?

Saturday, April 19, 2014

getting ready for summer

Spring is here (FINALLY!) and summer is right around the corner. As much as I hate the summer weather in Texas, I am looking forward to some things. For one, our new house has a beautiful front porch. Yesterday we bought some new furniture so we can sit out there and watch the world go by (aka spy on the neighbors, HA!)

Another thing I'm looking forward to this summer is teaching sewing to the teens from church. It's been a while since they've come over. They're just so busy! I want to teach them some new quilting skills, but making a whole quilt is probably too much for their schedules. I came up with the idea to teach them some new things making pillows! That way they can finish up a project in a day or two. So far I have 2 pillow samples ready for them. This one, using 4 economy blocks to make up the front...
And this one, with half square triangles (which they can have great fun arranging in any configuration they want.)
 Did you see who is helping me in the studio today? Lexi loves the sun that comes in through my skylight!

I'm a fan of dressing up the backs of pillows too, usually with a little ric rac. The first pillow has contrasting ric rac tucked under a binding...
 I didn't have contrasting ric rac that worked on the second pillow so I used a matching ric rac along the edge....

So, in making 2 pillows they will learn to make economy blocks and half square triangles, do some straight line quilting on the machine and big stitch quilting by hand and learn to assemble envelope style pillow covers. Should be fun!


Thursday, April 17, 2014

pincushions

I'm blogging about pincushions over on the McKinney Modern Quilt Guild blog today....

Monday, April 14, 2014

little things

Hello friends. Yes, I know I've been a slacky blogger. One of those darned spring colds hit me last week and I was as lazy as can be! Ok, enough excuses. One day I did get it in my head I needed to play around with a tumbler template that I've had for ages. I dug out a charm pack of Wishes and put together this little topper....

 Cute, huh? Maybe it will become a pillow. Or a mini. Not sure just yet, but it was fun and easy to do. I also put my new paper piecing skills to good use one day and created this pincushion for an upcoming swap....
The pattern is in the book Patchwork Please and I just love it! It was fun and quick to do. There are several more paper piecing patterns in that same book that I plan to try out soon.

That's about it from here, pretty pathetic, I know! But, I am feeling better and will have more to share soon. I promise!

What have you been making lately?

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

chalkboard for the studio

I like to have a chalkboard in my studio space where I can keep a list of projects that need to be finished. In my old space I had a small chalkboard. When we moved, I decided I wanted a nice big chalkboard! I found this awesome frame at Hobby Lobby and purchased it half price....
 Bought a nice smooth board and had hubby cut it to fit. Also purchased chalkboard paint. I debated between the spray paint and the regular paint. In the end I decided rolling on the paint would be less messy...
 A small roller was definitely the way to go. The paint went on very smoothly
 I used four coats of paint (and have plenty left over for another project!)
Look how great it looks hanging in my space! The chalkboard space measures 18x20 inches. Plenty of room for my list (if I write small!)
 My minis wall is evolving too! I added the clock I bought at the general store when we went to the Jefferson Quilt show (I love how it looks retro even though it is brand new) and my word of the year, GRACE.

 I love how my space is evolving.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

learning something new

I like to do things that I'm good at, things that I've known how to do for a long time! I like to sit down to sew & zip through a project without thinking too much (and have it come out great!) Anybody else? Well every now & then it's healthy to step outside the old comfort zone and try something new. 

Yesterday some friends taught me to foundation paper piece. Mom had taught me once, years ago, and I never ever did it again after that. Let's just say it did not stick in my head! So yesterday I started from scratch. First, I made this simple block (just to build confidence and let me know I could indeed do this!)
 And then, are you ready? I tackled the paper pieced version of the Marcelle Medallion center! My friend Lisa had drafted it up for us and it worked like a charm!
I am so thrilled with my all-solids version of this incredible block that I am going to move on and put the borders on it. Yay! AND I am NOT going to let this new skill slip away like I did last time (sorry Mom!).

Have you tried anything new lately?

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Calendar journal

I can't believe March is over and April has already arrived! March was such a busy month here, it just flew by! Since moving to a new house was such a big part of my month I made "home" a focus for my March calendar....
 I had so much fun doing this that I have already created a calendar page for April. I decided to journal in raindrops hoping we will get some much needed rain this month....
Can't wait to see this page all filled up too!