Sunday, 29 January 2017

A Finish - A Snake Suit

I joined the Finish Along this year again and I've completed my first UFO.

This is a snake suit for my oldest niece. She wanted one that matched a snake stuffy she has - she picked out the fabric, zipper, and cuff fabrics. She wanted me to sew with silver metallic thread but I managed to talk her out of that. Our trip to the fabric store was fun - the kid has taste, because I couldn't talk her into some very ugly Xmas sombrero/cactus fabric.

The pattern is this one:
My younger niece got a dalmatian costume for Hallowe'en using this same pattern last October. I had to lengthen the torso, arms, and legs for both girls - I don't know if that is a reflection of their body proportions or the pattern design. Either way, the alterations were simple enough and the pattern easy to follow.

Here's my finished product:

And a close up of the hot pink zipper (which coordinates to something on the snake stuffie).

E will get the costume next weekend when she and her sister are over for a crafternoon and sleep-over.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Q1 Finish-A-Long

Last year some wonderful bloggers set up a finish-a-long, and there are great prizes. Happily, the group is continuing this year and I'm going to join again.

If you're interested, you can find all the details here.

For this quarter here are my entries:

1) A Christmas tree skirt I started in time to finish for Christmas, then I came down with a nasty sinus infection and it got put to the side. It's #1 on the list.

2) A one piece snake suit for my eldest niece. The fabric was bought around Hallowe'en but she said she wasn't in a hurry, so it's still sitting in my sewing room. Honestly, I'm stalling a bit because it's a knit and I haven't sewn a real knit for quite some time.

3) A pair of red and white mittens for myself. I've had the pattern for a long time and finally got a suitable yarn for them.

4) A quilt for a friend at work who is having her first baby, a little boy, and she wants a sports theme. I know the pattern, I just can't find it in the mess of my sewing room right now.

5) Finally, this fabric (plus a few others currently in my dryer) will be turned into a variety of pillow and bolster shams. The colour looks awful here, but in real life they look much better.

I'm linking up to She Can Quilt to sign up. Wish me luck!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Happy New Year!

I knew I hadn't posted for awhile but I didn't think it was that far back in September. Life sometimes gets in the way of blogging. I've continued by sewing and other crafts, but work got in the way of reporting on it.

I'm not big into those posts about reflecting on the past year and setting goals for the new one. My primary crafting goal for 2017 is to make something for members of my family to commemorate Canada's 150th birthday - I've made the offer to everyone to request an item. I have a few ideas cooking but I don't want to rush into anything. I also want to clean up and organize my crafting space because I spend too much time re-arranging things and looking for things, when I could use that time for sewing. (The same goes for the rest of my house lol).

Here's what I'm working on right now...

I started a new Christmas tree skirt for myself a couple of weeks before Christmas and I was making good time until I came down with a wicked sinus infection. This is immediately on the radar to finish so it can go away and is ready for next year.

On the knitting front, I decided I needed warmer mittens for when the weather is really cold. I found this pattern years ago and even bought yarn, but I couldn't get the right gauge with that yarn so this holiday I got some finer yarn and my gauge is now much better. I also found a hat pattern I like to go with this (I'm not a big hat wearer, but it never hurts to have one around).

Since I last blogged I finished a few things as well, unfortunately, I don't have photos. I did some sewing for a colleague at work and made some window seat cushions and some throw cushions as well. I finished knitting a sweater for my oldest niece for Christmas and didn't get a photo of that either. I also fixed a snow mobile cover for someone at work. And I knit myself a shawl. I must have worked on more, but alas again, no photos.

Monday, 19 September 2016

Useful and Good Looking

Just like the kids, when September hits I'm back to school. This year I'm not in the same room all day so I needed something to help me be portable and keep me organized.

I decided on the Caravan Tote as a good sized bag. It will fit my binders and whatever marking I collect. It got great reviews online, which is always helpful. I didn't make all the pockets and zippers it called for - I didn't need them and I wanted to keep the cost down.

I used Essex linen as the dark base with Mon Ami as the floral and a dot pattern as the inside. I bought .5m of each fabric and had very little left over. The base has a quilted cross hatch in it - hard to see in this photo - of 2.5-3" squares to help hold the fusible fleece in place. Sorry I don't have a photo of the inside. I put in a small zippered pocket and a hook to hang my keys on. I've been using it every day for the last two weeks and it works great. It's the perfect size and I love how it looks.

I also made myself a marking pencil case to go in this bag. I don't do any marking at home so I need a small case that holds my essential marking supplies for when I'm marking - usually at Starbucks.
I used some of the fabric left over from the bag to create this:

It holds all my essentials - kleenex, pens, highlighters, clips, and post its.
I used this pattern (by the same designer as the Caravan tote, but free) and made the size small. It's big enough to hold pens and plenty more.

Finally, I needed an every day pencil case to hold all my other supplies. Pens, pencils, clips, elastics, everything I could possibly need. I used the Sew Together Bag pattern and put this together. The fabric is "Apple of my Eye" by The Quilted Fish - it's part of the first fat quarter set I ever bought. I've been saving it, I don't know for what, and broke it out for this project. This bag is great and holds everything I could possibly want in a day.

And maybe the best thing about everything I made - I love my fabric choices and they make me happy every time I see them.

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Q3 Finish

One of my 4 projects on the Q3 Finish Along is a pair of mitts for myself.  I finished them and I'm very happy with my results.

This is my first major foray into colourwork and these mitts had a lot of it. None of my stitches are too loose or too tight, which is good. I can definitely use more practice to improve. They fit perfectly, which is awesome (since most of the mitts I've knit to date don't quite fit the way I'd like). And the pattern was free so that's a bonus as well.

The pattern is on ravelry: bird mittens. I used Koigu wool, size 3.0mm needles. And the coral ran when I blocked them, but not into the white, which I can live with. I may add a bit of elastic to the bottoms to pull them in a bit. My knitting is looser where there is little or no colourwork, and that is giving these a bit of a gauntlet look.

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

It Runs In The Family

I've been trying to tidy up my sewing room lately. It's been a huge mess - which I can function in - but it's also the first room you see when entering my house.

Last year I got an Ikea drawer unit but I wasn't making good use of it because everything I put in rolled around. I measure and got my Dad to make me two sets of dividers for my threads - one is for quilting and specialty thread, and the other for general all purpose thread. I love the results.

Quilty and specialty thread

all purpose thread
 The spools won't roll around anymore and I can get them out of the plastic storage unit in my dining room.

I also got my Dad to build me a ruler holder

 this should help keep them all in one place.

My Dad is talented - he can fix anything and build almost anything. I was lucky as a kid and lucky as an adult - I just have to think something up and he can get it made.
Both my grandmothers sewed - my maternal grandmother grew up in a Mennonite home and some of her crafty makes include some traditional items like leaf mats and some quilts. She only did that type of activity in the winter - during the summer she was too busy on the farm. I don't think she considered herself very crafty but I think she was. My paternal grandmother sewed, knit, crocheted, cooked - everything. She sewed anything and everything - I learned from her. She did it all the time - she always had something on the go and didn't stop until she lost her eyesight. My Mom says I got my talent from her but I think I got it from both grandmothers.

Sunday, 21 August 2016

Show Ribbons Part 2

I've totally finished this wall hanging and delivered it back to its original owner. She is very happy with it! And I'm so glad.

Here are a few more process picts and the final product...

A finished square (more or less, its a bit off square) but it still needs to be trimmed. There was a buckle/bubble in the middle of the star that I was really worried about. I took in the seams a bit - lost my points in the centre, but I felt more encouraged that it would lie flat. Incidentally, when I basted it before quilting, it stuck down with the spray adhesive and there was no more buckling.

Auditioning borders and binding:

What I did for the binding was take some of the leftover ribbon and sew it on the front, with a 1/4" seam allowance. I did opposite sides of the wall hanging first, and just trimmed those tails square. I wrapped the binding around and stitched in the ditch from the front to catch the binding on the back - like you'd do for regular sewn on binding, except it wasn't folded. On the remaining opposite sides, I wrapped the ribbon around the bound side and secured it

Then when I flipped it

Then I trimmed a little and folded it like wrapping a corner on a present. When it was stitched down, all the edges were neatly enclosed and I didn't have to wrestle with trying to fold  the binding in the corners.

I added a sleeve and 2 triangles in the bottom corners - in case it needed to be held in the bottom too.

Here's the finished product. It's roughly 36" square.

And the back side. It's very lightly quilted (around the outside of the star, the spines,  and in the middle; then both borders).

I am happy with how it turned out and the struggles while making it were worth it. My friend is very pleased and will certainly enjoy it. I included some fabric so she can make a label and a sheet of care instructions for it as well. I would make one of these again - now that I've done one I know what I'd charge and what I can and can't do.