Monday, December 30, 2013

My newest craft obsession - Necessary clutch wallets!

Earlier this month I decided that my life wasn't crazy enough, so I picked the Necessary Clutch Wallet as my 'go-to' gift this year - which meant I had to make at least 4 (my Mom, both Sister-in-Law's and my Mother in Law).  The first one took me ALL day to finish, but by the 4th one, I think I was under 3 (interrupted) hours.  The hardest part was picking fabric that went together and matched the personality of the recipient.

The pattern was well written, and only had a few pieces, but they way they are put together is what really makes it!  I stared at the pictures online, trying to decipher how it was put together, then I finally broke down and bought the pattern (my reward to myself for finally finishing my mom's purse!  Only 6 months after her birthday, new record!)  There are several modifications on the Emmaline Bags blog Including how to do different closures, add a shoulder strap and a wrist strap.  The shoulder strap is perfect length, putting it just under my arm where it is easy to pinch it next to my body so it doesn't swing around.  I will probably use it as a wallet for the most part, but that added versatility is great!

My Sister in Law's were easy, one loves purple, the other loves green.  I broke into my stash of Simply Color by V&Co for them.  This was also my first attempt at the pattern and I was hoping to use a trial fabric, but had no time for practice!


Friday, December 13, 2013

2014 Quilting Goals

Andrea from The Champ Life  is doing a 2013 Inspiration Palooza (plus giveaway!), so here's my goals for 2014!!

1. Finish Mario Quilt-a-long.  I have 2 blocks done so far, and I started them in 2012...

Monday, December 9, 2013

Advent Calendar

Growing up, I loved Advent calendars.  There was something so amazing about getting a little present every day while you waited for Christmas to FINALLY arrive!  Now as a parent it seems Christmas comes much too soon, but I still love the idea of little presents.  I've done a few different ones, mainly Playmobil and Lego, which were great, but really only worked for one child and since they were cardboard, didn't hold up.  I have various ages of children, so it's nice to be able to have something they all will like.  That led to the idea of pockets to hold little treats.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Crochet Hats

I started crocheting to make blankets for my babies since my Grandmas made me special blankets and I wanted to continue the traditions.  That took me FOREVER, so when I discovered hats, and how I could finish them in months instead of years (yeah, I was that slow, no lie) it was like a new world. Pretty yarn led to simple hats.  Baby hats went super fast (only one day!!)

(this one reminds me of the cat in the peel pic that was going around for a while)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Sewing lessons .. Or, learn from my mistakes

I've learned a few thing in all my years of sewing.

1. Don't sew tired. I used to sew until the wee hours of the morning. That led to the möbius matter how long I pulled on the pieces, some part was always wrong side out.  No pictures, but it did take me at least 10 minutes to realize a toddler sized vest shouldn't take that long to flip.

2. It helps to cut precisely.  It's amazing, but if you precisely cut along the lines or measurements, your corners align so much better

3. Be consistent with seam allowances. Again, stuff lines up so nicely if you use the same seams throughout! Amazing!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Mug Rug Madness, continued.

My love affair with the mug rugs continues...

I needed a gift for a cousin…so this one came about in the night before I was going to see her.  I had the fabric on hand from a purse, and just upsized the previous chevron pattern.  I think these were 2 1/2" HST.

(Simply Color by V&Co)

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Mug Rug Madness

My new favorite thing to sew is mug rugs.  They are like mini quilts for your desk!  I received my first one last Christmas as a swap gift and it has been gracing my home work desk ever since.  Before that time, I’d never paid attention to them and thought they were just fancy giant coasters.  They are SO MUCH MORE!!  They catch coffee drips from my youngest using the spoon to have her “little tiny taste of coffee” and condensation from iced coffee.  They are perfect for a pile of crackers or cookies (yes, I eat piles of cookies.  I can tell you are jealous).  They are easy to throw in the washer to wash out the remains of said cookies and crackers and coffee drips.  I am a new quilter, so they are also a good way to practice techniques.  Binding seems confusing and intimidating?  Not if you are only doing about 30”!  I can hand sew that in less than time than it takes me to watch a movie! (probably faster if I wasn't watching the movie...)  Worried about quilting?  If you screw up a mug rug, it can mysteriously disappear and no one (perhaps a spouse…) asks where that giant pile of expensive fabric went.  They are quick, so it’s easy to spend a few hours and make one!  Or if you are speedy (not me!) you may even be able to finish one in less than an hour!  I suspect those people who claim to make them in only half an hour are related to the elves in the North Pole.  Or magic.

Here are some of my creations.  An Owl mug rug for one of my BFFs.  I paired with some instant mocha mix and she said it brings a happy spot to her desk at work.  This was my first attempt at applique and it turned out pretty cute, even if I do say so myself.  Not perfect, but that’s the beauty of ‘handmade’ gifts!  I machine stitched the binding on this, so it’s a little wonky.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Pattern Testing! Lombard Street Cross Body Hipster

(I apologize in advance, I'm not an amazing photographer by any means, so the pictures aren't anything to write home about.)

I was very lucky to be picked to test a pattern from ChrisW Designs, her Lombard Street Cross Body Hipster.  I have done pattern testing before, but for much simpler things that only took a few hours.  She asked for it in one weekend, so I didn't want to disappoint and I cranked it out.  Seventeen (yes, SEVENTEEN!!) interrupted hours later, I had a gorgeous bag that I can't stop staring at. 

First, the fabric: perhaps the most important part of a purse, it has to compliment your pattern and be awesome.  Sometimes I find the pattern first, sometimes I find the fabric first.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013


Tigers are graceful creatures, powerful hunters, and beautiful.  Top of the food chain.  Who wouldn’t want to be that?  Unfortunately I am more like a tiger in a tornado; no one is graceful when they are spinning around at 100 mph, dodging debris and scrambling to find something to hold onto.  That’s how I feel most days, like a tiger in a tornado, hurling along with no direction or control, random things flying at my head, scrambling to find a place to catch my breath.  My tornado is made up of hobbies, children, and life in general.  Some days I find the eye of the tornado, but most days I’m just along for the ride and all I can do is growl and flail.