Sunday, September 30, 2012

Help! I Have a Question

Remember I mentioned my husband's gonna build me a fancy schmancy sewing table?  Well, my question is how big do I want it.  We bought a 4 foot by 8 foot (sorry metric users, I have no idea what that is in meters) piece of wood.  I'm keeping the eight foot, but the question is the 4 foot.  Do I keep it four feet deep or do we cut it down to just over three feet (a meter-ish, I know that one).  I plan on keeping it at least three feet so my cutting mat fits well, but four feet is a bit of a stretch.  Really, I mean that literally.  I can't quite reach the back without standing and leaning across.  Do I ever really need to reach the back?  Should I take all the space I can get?
Do any of you have big 'ol tables and love them or are they just a bit ostentatious?

With the humongo table came the acknowledgement that the guest room is really my sewing room.  I was a little embarrassed to have taken over an entire room just for little me, but my husband was the one who said it out loud and is okay with it.  So I guess I can admit it.  My name is Amanda, and I have a sewing room.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

I'm Hustling

Kelsey Sews
I'm doing it.  I'm joining the hustle.
Here's my goals in no real order and potentially conflicting.

My husband is making me a big 'ol sewing table for my birthday (it's a big one, I'll officially be starting the end of young) and I am setting the goal of achieving organization.  A place for everything and all that.

I need to get at least the top done on my youngest's twin sized quilt.  Otherwise he will be scarred for life.

My in-laws are Christmasing us in quite a big way this year and I wanna make them a quilt.  (it's like a disease, the "i should make them a quilt" fever is getting stronger every year; i suppose it will get me in the end when i'm buried under an avalanche of gift quilts.)

And I need to make my daughter's dresses before the daily asking makes me crazed.

I Haven't Made It Yet

It was coupon commotion over at JoAnn's recently so I took the girlie one and we looked at patterns.  Yes, that's right, I took her with me.  Our daughter is what one would politely call opinionated.  Others might call her very, very, very, very, stubborn and unyielding.  So my husband thought it best to bring her along to avoid her younger cousins getting some handmedowns in mint condition.  Admittedly, a wise precaution.
So we looked at patterns to decide what "shape" dress we wanted.  I pretty much go on the theory that if I say it enough times I can brainwash my kids.  I did not want her thinking we were making the dress in the picture so I talked plenty about choosing a shape.  We managed to agree on two patterns.  She loved the hunt to find the patterns in the drawers, especially with the added excitement of the number labels on the drawer front being only a jumping off point rather than an accurate account of what was in the drawer.
Then we were off to fabric.  I showed her the back of the pattern that lists what kind of fabrics work with the pattern.  And I reminded her as we walked past the taffeta and chiffon and fleece and terry cloth.  We made our way to the cotton and went immediately to pink and purple. 
You know the fabric that you see and just wonder how it came to be made?  The stuff that is so much too much that there's a whole bolt sitting on the shelf?  Well, apparently it was made for four year old girls.  After what felt like eternity, we managed to compromise.  I think I won a bit more ground on the purple which makes up for the ground I lost on the pink. 
We came home with a bright pink with decent sized white polka dots; think Minnie Mouse.  The purple is a medium value with a smaller white floral. 
In the parking lot on the way out she told me she wanted to wear the pink dress when we got home.  I told her it wasn't ready.  The next morning she woke up and told me she wanted to wear the pink dress to church.  I had to tell her again I hadn't made it yet.  Same thing yesterday.  And again today.  I'm noticing a pattern forming. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Trust Me, It's Funny

Hand stitching around the heart
So aside from the Muppet pelt pillow, which I made despite my husband's doubts, I also made a blanket that he went on record as considering over the line.
My husband says my family has a cavalier attitude towards death.  I disagree.  I think we just have a really certain belief in what comes afterwards.  I attribute it to my mom's dad mostly, but it likely goes even farther back.  "You can't kill a Swede" had to have come from somewhere.

backed in flannel
In a nut shell, we believe that we will be resurrected and get our physical bodies back.  But not the old, practically bionic ones.  Rather the record setting backstroker one. 
My mom's hip dislocated again, and as I was told it didn't warrant another walker bag, I got creative.  I made my mom an "old lady lap blanket."  And I put words on it. 

my first ever reverse applique project
This is where I "cross a line."  I was so certain that I was right that I went ahead and made it, but then I did start to worry so I ran it by some siblings and they agreed; it was funny.  So I went ahead and mailed it to my mom with the big star quilt.
And I was so right!  Not only did she think it was funny, she knew her sister would "get it" too.

Can't you just see it in fifth joint replacement post-op recovery?  Really, it's funny.  Trust me.

linking up to tgiff and whoop whoop

Told You My Mom Would Regret It

First, I think we may need to establish something.  Recently my mom's magazines have all been showing ways to decorate that I've been doing for years and was generally scoffed at.  So just keep in mind that you will eventually see these at Target.  At least that's what we tell my mom.
Behold, I give you the Awful Pillow.
 That's right, I used blue fur.  Let's remember that this blue fur originated with my mom.  I can't remember it ever not being in her stash when I was a kid.  Whatever it was used for was before my time.
I made it round with a side panel, originally planning to tuft it in the middle.  That is so not happening, in part because I can't find my really big needles (probably not good, I'm sure I'll discover them someday, hopefully not in a painful way) and partly because I used the old pillows guts and Houdini himself would be impressed that I managed to shove them inside.  This pillow will not be tufting.
 My kids love it.  My husband even admitted that he did like it, quite a turnaround for his original "you aren't really going to use that are you?"  O, ye of little faith.  Maybe I should start showing him my mom's decorating magazines. 
Wanna know the worst part?  Seeing as it's now a part of our family room, I have to stop calling it the Muppet pelt.  That fabric has been the Muppet pelt for over twenty years, but for the sake of my children I'm trying to at least take it down a notch to Muppet fur.  Maybe someday it will be simply the blue pillow.
I made something else my husband was unsure of, I'll show you that next.

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Well, I made the "awful" pillow. And it's fantastic. The kids love it. Even my husband had to admit that he likes it. You don't get to see it yet because I made something else that I might get in pretend trouble once my mom gets her surprise I'll show you both. So until then you can let your imagination run wild with awful pillows.

Friday, September 14, 2012

I Made a Dress!

Lately I've been thinking that I should make our girl some dresses.  Mostly for an end to the frustration of trying to find a dress that fits her, forget about trying to find one with sleeves! She wears a t-shirt under her sleeveless dresses and I for one would not miss hunting down a white tee on Sunday mornings.  Consequently, my resolution to make her some dresses.  Plus, she likes wearing dresses in general so it's a win/win.
I so have no plans to take the troops to JoAnn's to flip through pattern books for all eternity, so this plan was waiting for a someday trip alone.  Enter Peek-a-Boo Patterns.  She's offering a free girl dress pattern (size 3 mo to 8) on her site.  It was cute and I had fabric so I thought it was the perfect dress to start the revolution.
I made it longer as per the girl's request, and my madchen is skinny, I expect it's a bit fuller in general.
It's a pretty distinct dress, so I won't be making another in different fabric, but if I did make it again I would tighten up the neckline a bit, 1/2 or a full inch.  And it seems to run a bit small.  I went up two sizes from the sizing chart and could have given the girl more space for getting in and out.  Seeing as this was my first dress from a pattern, I figure that's really just something I'll figure out as I go.  My mom recently told me that she ignores zipper directions and just puts a zipper in "her" way. 
For a first go at a dress, it's certainly wearable.  It's doesn't look "home made" in a bad way.  And it's purple, even if it was awful, Pie would love it.
linking to tgiff and whoop whoop

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The Big Star Quilt

All bound and washed and ready to go.  Here's the thing though, so I used two almost whites in my surround.  I didn't quilt have enough of one so I used some of another fabric I had that matched well enough that it wouldn't be noticeable to the casual observer.  Then I washed it.  Ironically, the fabric that absorbed a teensy bit of almost a pinkish hue was the fabric that shouldn't have.  Really, they didn't become a name in solids by changing color.  So yeah, now my two creamishes aren't a practical match.  You'd have to be a pretty casual observer to not notice.  But, c'est la vie, that's the end that will be tucked by the bedframe and hidden.
See, the rest looks fine.  And it crinkled up nicely, just the right amount, it totally says snuggle up and get cozy; which is always what I go for.

linking up to tgiff and whoop whoop