Archive for the ‘sewing’ Category

Halloween 2014

03 Nov

I’ve been doing a lot of knitting lately but one thing I did make was a Halloween costume for Davy! He’s been really obsessed with horses lately (if we forget to put away the computer or ipad he will point to the screen and demand “Neigh!” videos). So I thought it would be adorable to dress him up as a cowboy. I am fully aware that next year, when he will be nearly 3, he might have his own opinions on costumes! I also know that homemade sometimes can cost more but I really love the look of it.


So luckily, I found an awesome tutorial for Cowboy chaps and vest. Looked totally doable! I scored when I went to buy fabric – I found two different costume faux suede microfiber fabrics in the remnants bin. The main fabric cost I think $6, and it has an awesome weathered look to it. So here is Davy modeling his costume!

Davy Halloween 2014

In addition to the vest and chaps, I made him a little belt (since he doesn’t actually own one) and I used some foam to make a belt-buckle with an illustration of a horse’s head on it.


Here is the entire ensemble, with purchased hat and bandana (the button shirt and jeans we already had, both hand-me-downs):

Davy Halloween 2014

And here is a rear view so you can see the fringe on the back of the vest and the star patch:

Davy Halloween 2014

My little cutie pie! It was really very easy to make and I’m so glad I did it. It’s a little big so I’m hoping it will do double-duty as an outfit for playing dress-up. He enjoys wearing the hat so that’s getting a lot of use already, and I’m glad we sprung for a slightly nicer hat instead of a pretend foam hat.

Trick-or-treating was a little overwhelming for him (all 3 houses we went to) but he enjoyed being all dressed up and handing out candy.

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Posted in Davy, FO, sewing


Stalled out

04 Aug

I haven’t posted about the Charity Baby Quilt because I have made exactly zero progress on it. I want to FMQ it, and I haven’t done it, and so I’ve decided to take a class at my LQS. So it is on hold until then.

In the meantime, I decided to start a new quilt project (So much for that “one project at a time” thing I was attempting). My MIL and FIL were visiting in June and my MIL bought me a jelly roll of Hubba Hubba as a hostess gift (yeah, she is awesome). So I decided to bust into that and see if I could size up the Modern Crosses pattern from Modern Log Cabin Quilting to use with the 2.5″ strips. I think it looks good, and if I did my math right I should come out of it with a nice large quilt – twin to full, depending on how many crosses I end up doing.

I spent a bunch of time cutting my center squares and strips out of my neutral fabric (Kona White) and getting them assembled into sets of 4.



Here is my first cross block:



And here are the first two together:



I’m pleased with how they are coming out so far. I definitely need to work on my precision and my 1/4″ seam but I think I am getting better, and hopefully the less-than-perfect parts won’t be noticeable once it is finished and quilted.


My favorite little helper – he picked up his sit & spin, carried it into the little space behind my sewing chair, sat on it and just happily spun around for awhile. Toddlers are so funny. And no, I don’t actually get quilting/sewing done while he is in the basement with me – at most I can do some pressing and cutting, but he is fascinated by my sewing machine and wants to push all the buttons and grab the knee lift and stick his hand under the needle. So the cover stays on and the machine stays off when he is around!


But he’s just so darn cute I don’t mind.

I’d hoped to get another post together on Wed but since that didn’t happen I’m linking this up with WIP Wednesday!

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Posted in Davy, Quilting, sewing


WIP Wed – Hexie Fever

16 Jul

I think I’ve caught hexie fever and I’ve got it bad. I’ve been busy and sick and not doing much sewing but every time I sneak down to the basement I try to cut some hexies from my (meager) scraps. Since my homemade set of EPP templates were not as uniform as I would like, I ordered a set of 600 1″ hexies from Paper Pieces. I also ordered one of their acrylic fabric cutting templates; the nice thing about this is that it has the outline of the piece minus seam allowances, which helps with fussy cutting.

So here’s what I’ve done so far. These are cut from scraps of the only two projects I’ve made with quilt-shop quality fabric – Davy’s quilt (which I should do a post on) and another quilt that’s been in the UFO pile for awhile.


They mostly coordinate, but I don’t have an immediate plan for them – I think I’ll try to find a nice container to store them in and save them for a future project. To that effect, I’m making the hexies with thread instead of glue basting – I worry about the stability of glue over years and years.

Irresistable, right?

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!

Oh, and my little guy turned 19 months last Fri so here is a shot of him (with his quilt in the background).



FO – Hexie Zip Bag

14 Jul

I finished my first English paper piecing project! I made some 2″ hexies, sewed them into strips, and appliquéd them onto fabric which I used to see a bag.
Hexie strip:



Finished bag:


I kind of winged the bag making using this tutorial as inspiration (basically used the instructions but not measurements). The hexies are all from the 30’s Playtime collection and the background is Kona white. Lining is random cheapo fabric from Joann’s. I did straight line quilting with my walking foot, going from point to point on the hexies. Thread used to quilt is Sulky 30 wt.

Incidentally, there is a huge difference in the feel between the premium quality fabric and bargain bin stuff.

Now on to the not so great stuff. I cut the EPP templates myself and they were not all the same so my hexies could be better/more uniform. Also, I used a fabric glue stick to attach the fabric to the paper templates. I had trouble removing them later and I found that since they were so tightly wrapped, it was a little unforgiving. Next time I think I will try thread basting.

I was rushing a bit on the quilting so there are some spots where the lines don’t intersect right.


I didn’t account for my seam allowances when I did the fabric ends on the zipper so it looks sloppy.

And I probably should have cut the lining fabric slightly smaller than my exterior panels because it lays kind of funny.

Still, I’m very happy with it overall, and I have already ordered precut 2″ paper templates for future EPP projects.

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Posted in quilting, sewing


WIP Wed – doll quilt time

09 Jul

I have only one in-progress project to show – I’m using an orphan block to make a doll quilt for a friend’s daughter.


I added some borders and now I just need to figure out what fabric will work for backing and quilt it. It’s kind of a win-win project – I get to practice some FMQ and friend’s daughter gets a doll quilt.

So the block is a rolling stone block – I used this tutorial from Lillian’s Stitches. I was originally thinking of making a couple and using fabric choices/placement to make them more flower-like, with the idea of making a table runner. But I ran out of time on that deadline, so the hexie bag was born instead. I’m still really slow at cutting/piecing/pressing and this one block took me forever.

I finished my hexie bag and so will hopefully have a FO post up once it is gifted to the intended recipient. I have some in-progress shots up on instagram (link in sidebar).

No progress on the charity quilt because my focus has been on finishing the hexie bag. I could have worked on it this morning but since my son wakes up anywhere from 530-730, I didn’t want to start anything I couldn’t stop in the middle of. Now I really need to do some quilting though! I’m trying to stick with just a few projects at a time so I’m forcing myself to finish this quilt before I start another one.

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!


Progress and frankenbatting.

07 Jul

I have made some progress over the long weekend. Since the fourth was Fri (which is our usual knit night), I had an impromptu get together with a knitting friend on Thursday. We chatted and had a good time and I made it to the heel of my Turkish sock.


I also got some decent sewing done. I finished the quilt back finally (no photo since it looks pretty much the same as last time, just with borders on the sides).

And I repaired a mistake on the front – I don’t think I’ve shown the front before so here it is:


Here’s the oops. I cut one of the squares too small while trimming and just used it making sure it was an edge piece. Not sure what my logic was. So I went back, ripped out the seam partway and added a strip of background along that edge. Not very pretty but hopefully it will be somewhat hidden by the binding, or I might use it as a spot to label the quilt. I would have remade this if I had the fabric but I didn’t, and I’d already messed up making the squares and had to trim them down a bunch.
I also made some frankenbatting out of a bunch of scraps. I did two smallish pieces so I can do some practice FMQ before tackling this quilt. And because the quilt top is an odd size, I had to lop off one side of crib sized batting and sew it to the other to make it square.


I make sure both sides have a freshly cut edge (they pull out of shape easily), put them with edges touching but not overlapping on either side of my blind stitch foot (I also have an edge stitch presser foot that would work – to my untrained eye they look almost the same). Zigzag on widest setting and go. I would be concerned on a project that was going to be tied or very widely quilted but for what I’m doing it should be fine.

I also finished my hexies, got them appliquéd to some fabric and added some fusible fleece. Now I need to quilt the panels.



This is the only project I have on a real deadline so even though I made good progress on the quilt I doubt I’ll work on it this week. The plan for the hexies is to echo quilt following the shape of the appliqué using my walking foot.

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Posted in knitting, quilting, sewing


WIP Wed – 2 x 2

02 Jul

I have 4 WIPs to show off today, 2 quilty and 2 knitty. First off, I am almost done with the pieced back for my charity baby quilt!

The only thing left is to add the left and right borders. I’m really happy with how it’s looking – I might like it better than the front.

I’m also plugging away on my first paper piecing project – 2 strips of hexies I will appliqué to a bag. One strip is done and I’m partway through the second.



In knitting, both my current WIPs are future Christmas gifts. The first is a simple sock good for working on in the car. Not sure who they will go to but they are a good color for most of the womb in my family.


The second is a sock I’ve been planning to knit for several years (and have had the yarn in my stash for some time). Stranded color work, but one of the yarns is a self striping with longish repeats. I know who these are for!


Details on the socks-in-progress can be found on my ravelry page. I’m composing this post from my phone so hunting down the info for patterns and yarns is a bit of a pain.

I’m hoping to get the quilt back finished so I can at least baste and hopefully start quilting over the upcoming long weekend. I’m itching to try some FMQ!

Linking up with WIP Wednesday!


FO – Gregg’s Musketeer Socks and more Quilty WIP

19 Jun

I finished a new pair of socks! It only took about 3 months (sheesh!) The first photo is the best closeup of the pattern while the second is a truer representation of the colors – there are some greenish and purplish shades of brown in there but they are not as noticeable as they appear in the photo.
 IMG_6027 IMG_6025The pattern is the Porthos sock, a free pattern from a set all named after characters from the novel The Three Musketeers. The yarn is STR lightweight, in a rare gems “Earth” colorway I bought during a mill-end sale. I have more details, including my mods, on my ravelry page for the socks. Gregg really likes the pattern, color, and feel of the socks so this is a big yay since some of the socks I’ve made him have not fared too well (I’m looking at you, Araucania Ranco socks that claimed to be superwash and have felted all the details away).


I’ve also been plugging away on blocks for the back of my charity quilt. I think I’ve hit a bit of a wall – I’m basically done and just need to come up with a layout, but the teensy HSTs (they are 1.5″ unfinished) are giving me trouble. I’ve tried a few different layouts and I’m not thrilled with any of them. Part of the problem is that I’m limited to what I have – I have used every last little scrap – and that I would like a rectangular block to play off the rectangular mod mosaic block.

I think this is roughly the layout I am going to go with. The corner blocks are (mostly) 12.5″ unfinished so I need to bring the smaller blocks up to size. I’ve never done a pieced…anything like this, with negative space. So the plan is to bring the blocks to the same size and then work on filling in the spaces between. I need more of my background fabric as well, but since I didn’t like working with it I want to buy the minimal amount I can. And since I’ve been getting up between 530-6* to sew and I’m not quite awake enough for complicated math in the morning, that part will have to wait until I have some evening sewing to do.


*Not intentionally, but that seems to be my default wakeup time lately. I’m nice and I let Gregg sleep in until Davy wakes which is usually between 7 and 715

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Posted in knitting, sewing


Throwback Thursday FO – Nature Explorer Bag

05 Jun

I’ve made a bunch of cool stuff over the years and since my crafting time is severely limited by my (awesome) toddler, I figured I would try to post my own Throwback Thursdays and write about projects that I’ve made in the past. So here we go!


Sewing project! I made this last March for my niece’s 4th birthday. Her mom mentioned that she is not especially into toys and would like some kind of purse or bag to carry around some dolls. Niece is also really into bugs and outdoorsy things. I found this bag linked on How About Orange, which sadly has recently stopped updating, but is still a great source of crafty ideas.

Nature Explorer Bag



Niece’s favorite color is purple, and she is really into mermaids, so I used a nice purple canvas for the exterior and found this great mermaid fabric for the interior. The cotton webbing for the strap was originally an off-white, but I used an iDye packet in Violet that I purchased at AC Moore to dye it purple. I originally overshot the color – it was a purplish black – but at the advice of the awesome Paula Burch I boiled it again to remove the dye and it ended up the perfect color. The bias tape is from Joanns, and the fabrics, cotton webbing, and D rings are all from


My only complaint about this pattern, honestly, is that I found the font it was in hard to read. That’s it. I thought it was a clear, sensible pattern. I did make a few modifications but I think the bag would be fine as written. My mods were to cut two pieces of lining fabric and sew them together (I wanted the mermaids all facing the same direction), I made the strap adjustable and I went ahead and sewed a closure on the bag.  I also had some fun with the pocket linings, fussy cutting out some mermaids to peek out at you.


The only difficulty I had was sewing through all those layers of canvas and honestly, I think that’s mostly because I had (at the time) a relatively inexpensive sewing machine. I used my walking foot and was just really persistent and it worked, though I did have to pull out the seam ripper quite a few times.

I would totally make this pattern again, and I’m kind of hoping Niece’s siblings might want their own bags (and hopefully Davy will be interested too when he gets older).

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Posted in sewing, tbt