Friday, November 15, 2013

Little Frogs Quilt for Kids

I made this quilt in June 2008, for my daughter Jessica's 2nd birthday.
I called it "Hoppy" Birthday.  (Brilliant, eh?  LOL)
I still wish I'd used that dark purple for the binding, too!

I had lots of frog fabric left in my stash so when my mom told me her church group was making quilts to donate to Quilts for Kids, I decided to pull it out and finally use (most of) it up.  The top has been done for about 6 weeks, I just finally found time to do the quilting and binding last weekend.

I got to practice my FMQ a little bit.  I still need lots of practice!

The back is the same pink with the tiny purple box-shaped dots.
This measures 45" x 50" after washing.

While I really love subtle, girly colors, I need to break myself out of my shell and use some of the bright, colorful fabrics in my stash.  I always tend to do "matchy match" (as my daughter Rachel calls it).  Hoping my next quilt will be much different from this one.

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Journal cover experiment

I decided that this year's holiday teacher gift would be a journal cover, using a composition notebook. I'm planning to personalize them for each teacher and have seen some awesome tutorials around the net. However, never being one to follow instructions well, I just measured my book, grabbed a few pieces from a batik jelly roll and dove right in. This one will be for my own project notebook, so I was going more for "decent measurements" than perfection or over-the-top creativity.

This is also my first time uploading pictures to Blogger from my iPhone, so hopefully the photo quality is at least OK.

This was fairly simple to make, it came together in under an hour.  

Front, back, inside

Inside with my composition book added.  I love this one because it has graph paper instead of just lines... good for sketching things out when I need to for a project I'm playing with.

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Friday, November 8, 2013

Classic Pooh Baby Quilt

My sweet friend Rachel is pregnant with her first baby, a girl.  Her shower is later this month and she's decorating Baby Girl's nursery in Classic Pooh.  Last Christmas, she asked me to make some quilts for her nieces and mentioned that someday, if she had a baby, she'd love a quilt also.  Ask and ye shall receive!  (Oh, who am I kidding... she would have gotten a quilt even if she didn't ask!)

I wanted to use Classic Pooh but not make it *all* about Pooh.  I chose soft greens and pink from my stash, as well as a beige solid, since the Pooh fabric was a tea-dyed ivory color.  This is a classic Churn Dash block, each finished at 12".  The quilt (12 blocks) started at 36" x 48" before washing.

Just a few of the block centers --- Pooh, Piglet and Eeyore.

Thought I'd try something a little "fancier" in those beige diamonds.  Far from perfect, but it was fun to practice.

I stitched in the ditch (columns and rows) for most of the quilt, and did an all-over meander in the green and pink sections.  No quilting on the Pooh character blocks.

Even though the front isn't all Pooh, the back is :-).  This fabric is so sweet.... and the quilt is small enough that I didn't need to piece a back, so I used the fabric as is.

This little guy (gal?) will keep the quilt safe until the shower on the 23rd.

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Monday, November 4, 2013

Needle Book swap

Upon returning from my vacation, I found the most lovely package waiting for me -- a needlecase from my swap partner for this month, the lovely Leona from Leona's Quilting Adventure.  How beautiful is this??  I just love it!  

Front - ladybugs in the center :-)

Inside -- she sent all those notions with it and how cute are those button pins?!?

The back - more ladybugs!

She also included some more ladybug and bug fabric for my stash

Plus a pattern and a note pad.  How generous!!

This is the one I made for Leona.  The photos are a little dark :-(.
She told me she likes patchwork, solids and hedgehogs!

Inside front cover.
The hedgehog print was a little big, so I had to keep that inside.
I used it for the pockets and the binding.


Inside back cover
(I forgot to take a picture of the back --- it looks a lot like the front)

I hope Leona will enjoy this.  I also sent some hedgie fabric for her stash.  I'm looking forward to finding out who my next swap partner is and what our next project will be!

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Halloween Projects

I know that Halloween has already passed, but I wanted to share photos of two costumes I made this year.  We went on a 5 day Disney cruise (for my birthday!!) and we were on the boat for Halloween.  We decided to do a "theme" for our family but didn't want the obvious Mickey, Minnie, etc.  We opted to be characters from Peter Pan.

I was not originally planning to make these, but a few were hard to find.  Peter Pan (me) and Tinkerbell (for my 7-year-old) were easy enough to find, so I just bought those.  (I don't usually make clothes, so wanted to avoid that as much as possible!)  However, I couldn't find anything for Wendy Darling (my 10-year-old) and an adult size Captain Hook (for my husband).  There were lots of Pirates of the Caribbean adult costumes, but no authentic Captain Hook for grown-ups.  Here's what I came up with:

My darling Wendy Darling (Rachel).
I made this costume using a Simplicity nightgown pattern (1575).
I made a few modifications to the bodice so it was lined, left off the collar and added a sash that ties in the back.

Captain Hook's jacket was made with a Simplicity Costume pattern (0209).
I made some modifications to add the gold strip and didn't add all the pattern embellishments.
I used red faux velvet for this, so it was warm!
The pants are from a Simplicity pajama pants pattern (9871) cut short.
The hat --- I can't even describe how I made that, and I could probably never make it again, lol!
The ruffled shirt is just a white t-shirt with some ruffles sewn down the front.
This costume took For.Ev.Er. to make -- but it looked great! 

Here's our whole Neverland crew.

Here I am saving Wendy and Tinkerbell from the evil Captain Hook.
I just love my girls' expressions in this one!

And, just because I can, here's one more family photo from the cruise.  We were dressed up for their "Pirates of the Caribbean" night, which was the night before Halloween.

And one more just to prove that costumes are not always required (but I did make our shirts and the 2 skirts my girls are wearing):

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~
Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Thursday, October 24, 2013

If Sewing Paid the Bills....

Ah, wouldn't that be nice, if sewing paid the bills?  Alas, at least in my house, it does not....

In my job that pays for the fabric, I am a project manager for the technologies division of a major credit card company.  Every project I manage goes through phases and busy times, usually 4-6 weeks at a time.  The project I'm working on now, though, is actually multiple projects and I've been working 10+ hour days since May.... and will probably do so until at least February.  That (plus 2 active kids --- ballet, karate, band, kickball) doesn't leave much time to sew, let alone blog.... but I do have a few things to share (finally).

First, and looooong overdue, is a little friendship bag swap I did back in September.  This is the gorgeous bag that Mary (from Needled Mom) made for me.  I just love these fabrics!

Sweet little polka dots on the inside, though you can't see them well, because my bag is always full and put to good use :-).  This bag will be boarding a Disney cruise ship with me on Sunday as my family takes a much needed 5 day vacation.  Can't wait!  It started in California, made its way to me in Florida, now it's going to Mexico.  How many bags are that well traveled??

This is the little bag I made for Mary, using batiks.  (Red may have not been the best color to use in the backdrop but at this point, any picture on my blog is better than nothing, right?)

I actually have a lot of other WIPs.  Below are 2 (out of 6) 12" blocks I made while on a "purge the scraps" mission.  These are all with light blues.  I also made a string quilt top (not shown - yet) with light blue scraps, as well.  The goal is to go through my scraps and make as many monotone (ish) blocks as possible, then start combining them into colorful rainbow quilts. 

In addition to the blue string scrap quilt, I made a quilt top (also using stash) for Quilts for Kids.  Photos to come if I ever get it backed, quilted and bound.

In the meantime, I started making Churn Dash blocks with Classic Pooh centers for one of my best friends who is having a baby in January.  Her shower is November 23 and at the rate I'm going, I probably should have started in April.... but one block down, only 11 more to go!

Last but certainly not least are a few projects I made to take on our cruise.  (Not shown are the Captain Hook and Wendy Darling Halloween costumes I made... I'll wait and take pictures when they have actual people in them.)

These started out as plain fabric bags from the dollar store, similar to (but smaller than) a reusable shopping bag.  Amazing what some paint and fabric scraps can do!  The character was dictated by the bag color, as there were only 4 color choices when I purchased these.  Now each of us will have a little bag for the cruise, to carry a bottle of water, sunglasses, etc.... rather than the usual, "Here Mom, can you hold this?"  I've got Kermit and Mickey for my husband and me, then Minnie and Ariel for my girls.

I also made this little outfit for my 7-year-old.  I used Heat 'n Bond to adhere a Mickey head to a plain white shirt, appliqued around the edges and added a bow.  That skirt took less than an hour to make --- it's a giant rectangle of fabric with elastic at the top.  I'm already anxious for her to outgrow this so I can cut it up and use that fabric for something else :-).

Many more WIPs from the past few months.... hope to turn them into FINISHED projects one of these days, and get back to blog writing / reading soon.

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~
 Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~

Monday, September 9, 2013

New Sewing Space

Busy, busy, busy.  So much going on here for the last month of summer, I can't believe it has been so long since I blogged.  I have done some sewing (not as much as I'd like, but still some!) and hope to post a few projects soon.  One of the main things I've been working on is relocating my sewing space from my dining room table (downstairs) to the other side of my home office (upstairs).  It is almost complete now, so I thought I'd share some Before and After photos.

My apologies in advance for the poor lighting... I couldn't take either room outside to stage these photos any better :-).

For the past several years, this dining room table was my sewing space:

We have a large kitchen table, so I only needed the dining room two days/year -- Christmas and Easter.  These photos were actually taken on a "not so bad" day... the table usually looked a lot worse than this!

Sewing supplies were shoved hidden in every possible corner:

After a lot of sorting, organizing and trips up the stairs, I now have a dining room again!

My daughter's birthday party was the day before I took this picture, thus the decorations.  I left them there for a week to "celebrate" finding the dining room again!

The real challenge, though, was where to put everything.  We have a large sized loft which has 3 walls and 1 open side, at the top of our staircase.  A few years ago, we had California Closets do built-ins on 2 of the 3 walls, and had a large daybed on the 3rd wall.  We kept the daybed for guests but in reality, it just ended up a "dumping ground" for everything I didn't know what to do with.  I don't have a picture of the daybed, but everything on this dresser came off of it (plus a lot more that was not sewing related).  Look at all the fabric and batting I had that I didn't even remember!

Here is the home office we already had.  I work in the back corner (behind the chair with the pink sweatshirt on it).

You can see here that I'd already unloaded all the books off the bookcase and started stocking it with fabric, which used to take up a lot of space in the guest room/play room closet.

Our original plan was to have matching built-ins done on the 3rd wall, and that seemed well and good until the price estimate arrived!  While it was in line with what we had paid a few years back (so not unexpected), my husband asked me to think long and hard about what I was getting.  Would it really meet my needs?  Is it everything I'd ever want in a sewing room?  The answer, unfortunately, was no.  The counter space was only 25" deep... no design wall space... no good place for a cutting mat.  We decided to scrap that idea (I was heartbroken at the time!) and look for something else.  I'm really glad now that we did!

Here's what I ended up with -- a large dining room table that I bought unfinished and stained to match the rest of the wood in the room.  It measures 40" x 72" so it's big enough for my regular machine, embroidery machine and cutting mat to be set up and accessible at all times.  If my kids want to sew, I put their machine on the left end (where the cutting mat is).  Not to mention, it cost under 8% of what the built-ins would have cost.  This leaves lots of room in the budget for more fabric :-).

My fabric is all nearby (on the bookshelf), which makes it easier to find and I love the color it adds to the room.  I also have a (small) design wall now, which I never had before.

I put some of my favorite things up on the wall, including special pictures, patterns my grandmother made by hand (cut from the side of cereal boxes), some plaques I purchased years ago, embroidery hoops, my FMQ thread and even a framed piece of wallpaper taken from my daughters' nursery when they outgrew it.

I have some cubes underneath the table that contain tiny things (zippers, magnets, velcro, magnets, etc).  I would like to swap this out for something nicer, but it works for now so I'm taking my time to find something I really love.

I found this idea (and soooo many others) on Sew Many Ways.  Have you been over there?  Karen has *THE* best sewing/craft room!  Anyway, this is all of my ribbon, on tension rods attached between the table legs on the right.  It makes the ribbon easy to see / access (who knew I had so much?!?!), adds color to the room, and blocks the (not so) "hidden" storage under the table from view as you come up the stairs.

While there are still things I'd like to do/change/update (and a few minor things I've already done since taking these pictures a few weeks ago), I really, really love the space.  Now that everything has a "real" home, I've been much better about keeping the space neat, cleaning up after every project, etc.  I can't do as much late night/early morning sewing as I used to (all the bedrooms are close by, machine is too loud if others are sleeping).... but I can still carry it down to the useless empty dining room table if I want to.

Now that I have the space, all I need is the time... then back on track with my (very long) project list!

~*~ May your day be full of Love and Ladybug Hugs ~*~

Thanks for stopping by!
~ Kat ~