Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Bee Wallet

I've been needing a new wallet for awhile.  My first attempt didn't work so well, so I tried again today.  I got the idea of having it zip up around itself.  This is the first time I've done a zipper around a curve.  I'm happy with how it turned out but I think that I won't be making these for the Etsy shop.   Bees aren't my favorite, but I happened to have a yellow zipper that was long enough to go around the outside of the wallet.

Front of Wallet.  I added a zipper pouch to put change it. 

The entire outside.  You can sort of see the zipper all around the edge

The inside of the wallet.  I added a clear vinyl window to put my I.D. in so I don't have to hunt around for it in my wallet.
 The zipper was a pain in the butt to work with.  It's really hard to put them in so they open up like that.  I don't think I'll be making this again.  It's certainly not something that I could make to sell.  It's to fiddly to work with.  If I could find a different way to close the wallet, I kind of like the shape.

I have to try it out and see how I like carrying it around.  I don't do the purse thing.  Usually I just throw my wallet into my pocket and this one is a bit larger than what I'm used to.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bark Bark Baby Quilt

I just got done pinning a quilt.  Hopefully, I can start quilting it tomorrow.  I thought I'd share a bit of my quilting process. 

The first thing I do is lay out the back of the quilt.  I live in an apartment and I use the linoleum floor and I use masking tape to tape it down.   Makes it a lot easier to NOT have the quilt moving around when you pin it.

Next the batting on top.  And if you have a super fluffy cat named Smudge, he helps with this process.

Anyways, if you get the cat off it eventually, you smooth the batting out like so:

 So now comes the fun part, you put the top of the quilt down and smooth it out again.  Now it's time to pin.  I might overpin in some people's opinions, but for machine quilting, I find it so helpful to have that many pins.

 Smudge thinks he's helping again.  In typical cat attitude, he appears to be ignoring me!

A good way to figure out what thread is good for quilting, you can pool it on the quilt and see how it looks.   This is a blue and brown sulky variegated thread.

In the middle of pinning:

Close up of how close I pin.  I usually do about 2" apart, but it kinda varies, I just put lots of pins to keep everything flat and held together.
Finally, all the way pinned.  Takes at least an hour and I don't want to even think about the number of pins that I put in this quilt.  This is only a small baby quilt so  I didn't use all my pins. 

Now I get to decide how to quilt it.  I'm leaning toward a loose stipple.  Loose in the sense that it's not super close together.

Monday, February 27, 2012


Well, it was most definitely a Monday type of Monday.  Woke up with a massive headache that is still lurking in the background.  However, I was able to be mildly productive today and got a couple of projects finished. 

I have two new pairs of pajama shorts!  I still have a pair of pajama pants to cut out, but I just haven't been motivated to cut them out.  I feel like I've done enough garment sewing for awhile. From the scraps of one of the shorts, I made a pair of Big Butt Baby pants for little miss R!  The pattern comes form Made by Rae. These pants have pandas!
Here's the front of the pants!  Aren't the pandas adorable!

Here's the back of the pants so you can see the "big butt" part.  I played around this the pattern and did some flat felled seams on the legs and crotch seam.  I don't recommend it for the crotch seam for sure.  it is such a small space to sew in and it's a pain in the but.  Maybe if I did that seam before the leg seams it'd be okay.  I can't wait to see little R in them.  It'll be a couple of months though before that happens.

Little R will be one week old tomorrow and I just put together a package for the family.  In addition to making the panda pants, I made an octopus hat.  The dad, G, is apparently obsessed with octopi.  A and I were planning on making him an octopus stuffed animal, but instead, she went into labor!  So I made a hat with an octopus design. It's a bit tricky to see, but you get the idea.  I found the pattern on Ravelry.

So you can kinda see the octopus.  The black beads are the eyes.  This is the first time that I've added beads to a knitting project.  I was so glad that there were good directions.

I modified the pattern from the original.  I did a 2 x 2 rib at the bottom and cast on 80 stitches instead of the 64 the pattern suggested.  I did 64 originally, but it seemed so small.  I haven't seen this baby's head, but I figured bigger was better.  I also like the ribbed bottom better.

Here is a better (?) picture of the octopus.

Could you tell it was an octopus if I didn't tell you?

And this is the top of the hat.  I was able to use the same decrease that was in the pattern.  I think it turned out pretty cute.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Cute Storage

Yesterday's Project:  Storage basket based on the tutorial found here on Sew4Home.

Project notes:  Definitely use fusible heavy weight interfacing.   For this basket I used some scraps of pellon.  At least I'm pretty sure it was pellon.  I also used batting like they suggested for lining the inside.  However, I think I want to try using fusible fleece next time.  That would eliminate some basting.  I also made handles my own way.  I cut 4 3/4 inch side strips and sewed them together along one long side.  Then I ironed the seam open, ironed the other edges in half, meeting in the middle.  Next, I folded the entire handle in half so one side was orange and the other blue.  I added a strip of batting to make them sturdier.  I finished them off by top stitching along each side and down the middle I didn't quite have the right length so the handles are a little short.  The handles seem awfully wide to me.  I think on the next ones, I'll make slightly skinnier handles.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Niece

After 29 hours of hard labor, my friend had her baby on Tuesday.  I'm so happy she is here.  This family has "adopted" me into there's and I am honored to be the aunt of sweet R.  I am giving the new family time to adjust and then I will go up to visit them.  Just to add to the tears welling in my eyes from happiness, here's what the new mom said about the quilt: "J, everyone is gaga for her AND the quilt! It was my touchstone for so much of labor. I leaned over it while I had contractions and buried my face in it. In the hospital I had it on my bed as a reminder of what we were aiming for and it comforted us all to have a bright beautiful focal point and a warm nonhospital blanket. What a gift the whole process of the quilt has been. It means so much to me and I cant wait to tell R the story."

Monday, February 20, 2012

Waiting Anxiously

I was supposed to have a crafty day with friends yesterday.  However, plans changed, when one went into labor.  She has been in labor for 30+ hours and still no baby.  I'm so excited for them. 

I was honored to help the mom with a quilt for her and her new baby to snuggle under.  "A" did an amazing job choosing a great pattern for a beginner. Her husband used some "quilt calculus" to make the pattern bigger.  They did a great job.  We also added an outer boarder of starfish fabric (blue).  This baby has been referred to as Starfish from the beginning.  We put the almost the entire top together in one day.  My baby shower gift to the new parents was to quilt it for them.  I used a free motion quilt pattern that reminds me of water.

From some of the scraps of the quilt, I put this little guy together.  His name is QT, for Quilted Turtle.

I used a this pattern from the Make It & Love It blog.  You can check it out here.  I added some quilting to his shell and also changed the shell to 8 pieces instead of 4.  I also added some top stitching on the feet to add toes.

Okay, back to waiting anxiously for baby news!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Experiment: Shell Shaped Wallet

It all started with the snap failed on the wallet I made a number of years ago.  So I looked around and didn't see a wallet I really liked.  The only thing intriguing I found was a shell shaped wallet.  When it's open it really looks more like a peanut.  Only problem: it was HUGE!  I hardly ever carry a purse/bag with me so I need something small I can just throw into a pocket. 

So after cutting up a couple of pieces of paper, this is what I came up with.  Please excuse the horrible picture.

Of course, I woke up and thought about this.  Now I'm rethinking the idea of a zipper.  If I want to make these to sell, zippers are kind of a pain.  I hardly ever carry change around with me so just having another card slot might be more helpful. 

We will see what happens today.  It could possibly blow up in my face and I'll waste some fabric.  On the other hand, it could turn out cool and I might have another item for my Etsy shop.