Monday, September 9, 2013


I started this blog to chronicle a secret quilt for my brother. After he had the quilt I kept using it for general sewing/quilting posts, but I still had the url of I kept using it, but the weirdness and I have reached a breaking point. We had an it's-not-me-it's-you conversation, and I am now over at sewn barefoot.
'Cause I sew barefoot no matter how unpractical.
Although how much did we love having my brother's name associated with quilting?

Anyway, my latest is over there and will be from now on.  I hope you come visit.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Princess Leia

I can finally show you! 
Our oldest started school last year and with that came Star Wars.  We started slowly with LEGO Star Wars video games to introduce the story.  Then we stepped him up to the movie.  Of course, his sister got caught up in all of it and not too long ago got her chance to watch the movie.
It was love.  Seriously, love. 
So I made her a Princess Leia doll for her birthday.
 It was love.  It went over as well as we could have hoped, which is always nice after having made something. None of us like having a homemade FAIL.
I used the Kit/Chloe/Louise pattern from Wee Wonderfuls as my starting point.  I tweaked the placement of the buns to be more Leia-like and the dress and belt I came up with on my own.  
 The pattern was fantastic!  It was so clear and easy to use; I super recommend it to anyone interested.  This was my first foray into doll making and I really enjoyed it.  Good thing too, the girly one has already requested a Luke Skywalker doll for her next birthday.

linking up tgiff, whoop whoop, and crazy mom

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Time Consuming Truth of Hand Quilting (and what I've been doing instead)

I've been slowly working away at the youngest's planet quilt, but truth be told I could have been more diligent. In the meantime-
 I've been working on my mending pile! I know right?  I decided to use it for more than just sewing room d├ęcor.  I fixed skirts, pants, and various other things.  And of course I still have a few more holes to patch, but the pile feels like its not judging me quite as much as it used to.
Next week I can show you my favorite thing I've been sewing lately.  I pawned off my two youngest for a morning and I finished Princess Leia.  She is awesome!! I can't show you 'til the girl is five and has been fully celebrated, but I then so will.
Hmm, I've been on a zip pouch kick.  I needed one for letterboxing before I followed my husband on a business trip.  It holds our stamp and ink and keeps my purse clean.
And since that went so well, I finally got around to making the puzzle pouches I've been meaning to for six years.  Yeah... But at least my kids still play with puzzles so it's not like I'm way too late.
 Pretty much I sewed a zip pouch with boxed corners and hot glued it to the back of our puzzles to hold the pieces.  Heaven!  The puzzles still lie flat with all the pieces out and there is no more frustration about a missing piece.  And I was pretty impressed to discover that considering all our puzzles have been in a heap in a basket, we are only missing one piece.  We are now all on the lookout for Indiana.
This took way too long to get to, but has turned out to be just as fantastic as I thought it would be.   
And this morning I managed to snag a ticket to sewing summit.  I'm way excited.  Crashing at my SIL's, here I come!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Have you heard of Sew-vivor going on over at Family Ever After?  Oh, it's stinkin' fun and has plenty of sewing eye candy.  And if you've been around here long enough you've seen my entry; the impractical baby quilt, of course.
I have an aversion to patterns or making things like someone else has made.  Even at Church craft nights I tweak the project to be more me or whatever.  I also like to try things.  Calvin (and Hobbes) calls it "great ideas in action,"  I think of mine as "bad ideas in action."  Sometimes the seam ripper gets involved but mostly I make it work and have fun experimenting and finding a way to accomplish what I set out to do. 
When I found out my nephew's nursery was going to be jungle theme I ran with it.  I had wanted to do something with texture and more interactive than just a baby quilt.  I think I pretty much nailed that, but you can't wrap a kid in it so I call it impractical.  Now, on to the pictures! (the initial post is here if you want more details and pictures)
I think there are eight animals hidden in here.  Wait, no, it's nine.  I forgot the plover that cleans the crocodile's teeth.  (who knew it was a plover?  I sure didn't until I googled it.)
 I made a bunch of movable parts.  The croc's mouth opens so you can see his teeth and the plover.  The elephant's trunks move.  The toucan's tail hangs loose.  The gibbon swings on his vines. Baby Elephant's tail is loose too. 
 The leaves and grass were really fun.  The leaves are double sided so there's no ugly back and I pinking sheared the edges for even more texture.  The grass is batik and flannel in a huge crazy field.  Can you see the tiger?  The grass also ended up covering my gorgeous curved piecing on the shore line, which was kinda lame.  You can uncover the tiger, but that beautiful shore line exists only in my memory.  Sigh.
 I added a bunch of little details with embroidery.  I am a detail person and loving giving things the extra attention to really bring them to life.
 I used texture in my fabrics as well.  The corduroy for the tree trunks is one of my favorite parts.  The wale going opposite directions added an extra bit of depth to my jungle.  I kept the flannel of the elephants kinda loosey goosey so they'd be wrinkly.
 I rolled up some batik strips for my vines.  They criss cross in the tree tops beneath the leaves.
Aside from the tiger, I also hid a leopard and the toucan.  I think I learned at least two new embrodiery stitches for that toucan.
 Just look at all that texture!  The hand quilting has made it extra soft after being washed.  I saw this quilt at Christmas and it is texturing just as I had hoped.  And I so took the opportunity to run my hands through the grass again.  I could do that all. day. long.
 And here's the full quilt.  It's about a 45 inch square.  (Oh, that's a snake on the tree.)  I consider the texture part of my goal accomplished and my nephew has clocked plenty of time being busy with the interactive parts, so I'm satisfied with that too. 
I especially enjoyed making this as I just kinda went at it.  I didn't measure, I didn't use rulers, I just did it and had fun.  It was way fun.  And makes me want to do an ocean texture quilt sometime.  Can't you just imagine the sea weed?  

Don't Tell My Mom

Despite spending the last month with sick children (anyone else in the States led to believe this is courtesy of Australia?), I did manage some sewing.  Not much, seeing as the oldest was camped out in the sewing room to keep him and the other sick boy from waking each other all night long, but some sewing was managed.  I made something for the madchen that I won't tell you about until after her birthday; I'll give you a hint though, it rhymes with Lincess Peia and I made it from this pattern.  I also got the latest planet quilt basted and ready for some handquilting. 
But, my mom knows all of that. What she doesn't know is what I've made for her latest hip problem. Yep, it dislocated again. That makes three. Seeing as she already has the walker bag, and the ridiculous blanket, we went a completely different route.  Meet Dr. Parker.
 However it started, in my family my husband is often referred to as Dr. Parker.  No, he's not a doctor; but he will dispense medical advice and is yet to be wrong.  Perhaps the classic Dr. Parker story is diagnosing one of my brothers at my sister's wedding reception and finding the solution that months of tests from actual doctors hadn't.  He's become my mom's go-to for a second opinion on just about anything medical. 
During one of the hip episodes (a surgery maybe?), the box of goodies we sent involved some Dr. Parker Miracle Pills.  They were a success.  They were also sugar babies.  We made them a cute jar with directions.
Right now, Dr. Parker and a sizable stash of Miracle Pills are UPSing their way to my mom.  And we're brainstorming what to give her for the next hip event.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013


My poor little hustle intentions.  Sigh.  I did keep my sewing room organized.  Really.  It's really organized.  I love the gigantic space of my table.  I finished my youngest's quilt top, but it was last week not last year.  Either way, a finished top is a finished top. 
Have we discussed that I hate making the same square over and over again.  It's a big part of my quilt style; avoiding block repetition.  But, alas, this is the pattern I chose for Boy One so Boy Two's is gonna be the same.  Making it last time was a pain, I had to have everything super organized and laid out just right across the room and I had to reference the pics on my phone a million times to make sure I wasn't putting a block in the wrong order when I was piecing the top. (I'm not the only one who relies on phone pics am I? It's so much nicer than all the zillion labels I used to have for each row)
Enter the gigantic table.  Seriously, I love that table.  This was so much easier and way faster.  I have to iron the backing and then I'm ready to baste.  We'll see how long it takes.  I'm currently involved in another venture with the youngest boy; potty training.