Thursday, December 29, 2011


I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas! I've had this saved for a while, so here's something to read while I work on a post for Christmas gifts I made.

I don't have any friends that live close that really like to sew. They will go to the fabric store with me to appease me and happily accept anything I make, but that's about the extent of it. I keep hoping I rub off on one of them and I think I finally have!

 Back in October, I was making a "quick" trip to my lqs and asked a friend if she wanted to go. I think she agreed just to see what the fuss was about. And, I promised we could go to In-n-Out after (she used to live in LA). She ended up buying a yard of Moda's Hometown line, thinking she would use it for some kind of art work in her new house. While we were there, she casually asked if I would teach her how to sew! She started off asking about a bag or purse, but since she's never sewn, I suggested something a little easier, with more straight lines, like a pillow. Fast forward 2 months and we finally had our sewing date! She came over for dinner with her puppy, Tosh.

Tosh got to play with my fur-baby, Lucy while we sewed. I helped with the cutting out and pinning and gave her a brief sewing demo and she did the rest!

Pardon the photo.... I got the good camera out for puppy pictures, but not for finished product pictures.

I think she enjoyed herself! I have a request for a follow-up trip to the fabric store to pick something out for another project!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Hey Girl. Coasters.

Tell me that you've read the Handmade Ryan Gosling quotes. You haven't? Ok, I just discovered it this week, too. Not sure how I missed out on that. Anyways, go read them. Now. For additional hilarity, read Quilt Dad's post. There's also a Feminist Ryan Gosling and a Law School Ryan Gosling, but Handmade is the best imo.

One of my friends and I have the same sense of humor... not everyone gets it all the time (like my husband- most of the time he does, but he didn't find this funny). I immediately thought of her when I read this and knew she would love it! A commenter on Quilt Dad's post said something about how these should be magnets, so I immediately thought coasters! What a great Christmas present!

I copied a few off of the handmade website and used a few of Quilt Dad's quotes and put them on pictures. I had to redo some of them so that I could crop the picture once they were printed. The text on some wouldn't have fit on the coaster.  Once I had them how I wanted, I uploaded them to Walgreen's to have them printed (since I had to go there the next day anyways, I'm not really partial to Walgreen's, just wanted to save myself a trip. And when I got here, there were only 2 parking spots! Last minute Christmas shopping at Walgreen's? Come on, people. You can do better than that! Walmart is just down the street.)

I stopped by Lowe's and got some 4x4 tiles.

I think next time I'll go with some that are a little more flat-ish and not so textured. Why that wasn't obvious this time, I'm not sure.

I cut felt squares to go on the back. I used my rotary cutter and cut them to 4x4, then ended up rounding the corners before I hot glued them on.

I didn't take pictures of the hot-glue process... I assume you are all familiar with that :)

I picked up my pictures and trimmed them down to slightly smaller than 4x4 (I did between 3.5 and 3.75, depending on the picture). There was only one I couldn't get trimmed down to the right size. This could be avoided by measuring the picture while editing, or something, instead of just "eyeballing" it.

I finished them this morning. I added a layer of mod podge.

Then the picture. (And yes I am working from home today... hence the keyboard in the background. I needed to get this done before leaving town this afternoon. So, I answered emails AND mod podged this morning. Multi-tasking at it's finest.)

Then more mod podge.

Then I let them dry.

I did two coats on a few of them... some had some picutre over hang and I wanted to make sure it was on good. This was the longest part of the process. Here are the finished semi-dry products:

This one needs some explanation... words will not suffice, but I'll take a picture this weekend.

Why are men the only ones that step on them??

This one isn't quite dry...

This won't be much of a Christmas gift, I'm pretty sure she will know it's for her as soon as she sees it. I hope you all have safe travels over Christmas! I need to go pack now....

Monday, December 19, 2011

French General Quilt

I had a request from a friend to make a quilt for her mom for Christmas.... last year. I wasn't able to do it at the time with finals, etc, but told her to ask again sometime. Back in May she asked again and I said yes.... surely with 7 months to finish, it would be possible, right? Well, I actually did!

She requested reds and tans, which is a little outside of the norm for me. I'm more of a blue, green and gray girl :). I was at my Mom's store,, and she had just gotten in the Mason de Garance line by French General. I really loved this line! Since I was afraid I wouldn't get it done, I just went with a disappearing nine-patch pattern. I also through in some dark brown for good measure and I'm glad I did. Before I put the border on, it was looking very Christmas-y to me and I was not liking it. I think the border de-Christmased it. I kept the back pretty plain and used one of the prints in the line and bound it with a stripe, which always makes me happy :).

I did a loose stipple for quilting on my Mom's long-arm at her shop. I don't have a walking foot and free motion quilting is rather difficult on my tiny 20 year-old machine. It was a little nerve-wracking quilting for the first time on the long-arm on a quilt that was being made for someone, but I was happy with the way it turned out! I hope her mom loves it!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Christmas PJ's

I finished the other pj's and they were delivered in time for Christmas!

I used this pant pattern. I just added the bottom band of fabric onto the pant pattern. The shirt was on sale at Walmart for $2. I ripped the pocket off and added a raw-edged applique from this fabric. I originally bought the fabric at, but I cleaned them out (see this post). They were a little big in the waist, so I took the elastic in a bit. Overall, it was a success. It's hard making things for people when they aren't around to try them on. A's Mom liked hers too, but I didn't get a picture of those.

A wasn't feeling well that night, but she was a trooper and let me take pictures anyways. Here we are in the finished products!

 I have some other finishes to show you as soon as I am home in the daylight hours to get pictures. A few others will have to wait until after Christmas so we don't ruin any surprises!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

One of those days...

Do you ever have one of those sewing days where nothing goes right and your best friend is your seam ripper? I had that times 2. All I wanted was a pair of Christmas pajama pants for myself and a friend.

I picked out some flannel Dr. Seuss Grinch Christmas fabric for our pants. I was at my Mom's for Thanksgiving and we couldn't find the pattern we always use. So we went with another that she had, which just had two pattern pieces (it's a "learn to sew" pattern-- how hard can it be?).

 We were thinking clearly enough to realize that one piece of fabric was a directional print, so we got that right. However, (mistake #1) we didn't flip the pattern when cutting out the second piece, which left us with two of the exact same cuts. So. had we sewn them together, one leg would be inside out. So I bought more fabric (what was all that was left on the bolt). The other pair wasn't a directional, so those were fine (for now).

We started sewing those together and they were huge! They would have easily fit my husband. Not so much me. I tried to just trim them down a little by taking a bigger seam, but since it was just the inseam, it didn't work well.  So we decided that the only thing to do would be to rip them all the way out and cut them down to the next patten size. We measured and apparently kept comparing measurements to the crotch seam instead of the hip area (mistake #2). So we cut them down two smaller sizes AND took an inch off of the middle. Then we trimmed the other pair down exactly like that (mistake #3). When we sewed my pair up, you guessed it... WAY too small. Which also meant the other pair would be too.

To avert a disaster, and save me from buying another 3 yards of fabric, we cut the pants down the sides, added a strip of fabric, matched up the pattern and sewed an extension on. The pieces we added on were also not the same size. I'm cheap creative. What can I say?

                                                                                                   There's the seam we added.
Yes, they fit a little wonky, but they're pajama pants.... don't judge. The other pair we didn't really try to save. I brought home the extra big leg we initially cut and went to another store and bought enough for another leg. I'll only cut it down a little this time. We are dubbing this the Great Pajama Pant Debacle of 2011.

Here is the finished green ones:

I will add pictures of the others when they are done. It's going more smoothly, so far.