Wednesday, October 28, 2009

camera strap cover

Item 1: The ragged square quilt is done! It is bound, washed, dried, and the frayed ends are clipped. I am going to make something little to go with it, so I need to get working on that, but I am really happy with it and can't wait to post it and share it with the world.

Item 2: The quilt shop hop was great! I didn't buy too much either, just a few really cheap quarter yards, and the beginnings of a holiday quilt. It was good to go see all the places in the area and be able to figure out where it is worth driving an hour to and where it isn't.

Item 3: I have already pieced the front and back of the stacked coins quilt I have been wanting to make. I still need to baste, quilt and bind and really, who knows how long it will take me to get to that, but I'm moving right along. Before I can quilt it I want to learn how to free motion quilt so I can stipple I'm going to make a scrap quilt and practice on that and then do the other one.

Item 4: I would like to show off the awesome camera strap cover I made recently. I had seen a few for sale and was convinced I could make one to cover the Nikon strap my camera came with and add some padding for my neck. I also decided that I could figure out how to put a lens cap pocket in it and I love it! I used the pattern here and then modified it, making it a bit wider to accommodate the little pocket for the lens cap. It took me while to get pictures to put up since I already had it on my good camera and wasn't going through taking it off again so I had to find and charge my little kodak the pictures aren't quite as good. I think if I make another one I will make the pocket a different fabric so it stands out. Anyway, here it is.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Can you believe that I didn't own a pincushion of any kind?? Well really I don't use pins unless I have to (I know, I'm bad) but I thought it was about time. So I found a pattern by Heather Bailey, took some scraps and got to work. It is so cute, much better than those stupid tomato ones :-P and I had everything I needed to make it already so really it was a free project! It has come in handy so far and I'm sure it will continue to do so.

That's about it for now, I still have a few other things I have to take pictures of, so those will be coming along shortly. I also will be done my binding this week I think, so I'm pretty excited about that. I am also going quilt shop hopping this weekend for the first time so hopefully I will come away from that totally inspired and with loads more ideas that I don't have the time or money to complete :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

50th anniversary card

Alright, I know I'm a slacker....I just get so easily distracted! I'm just sure this can't be entirely my fault....genetics or something :-P Anyway, I have been working very hard on this quilt that I will continue teasing you with. It is very large and therefore difficult to quilt. I took the ragged square quilt that she posted on crazy mom quilts, and basically made it 72 blocks instead of 30....I must be insane! 3 days later I am 1/3 done the quilting part and hopefully another 1/3 will get done today. I am pretty excited for it to be done so I can just sit and stare at it for hours while considering how freaking proud of myself I will be a good day. And then I will proceed to make baby size blankets for a while haha.

Anyway, on to the good stuff. About a week and a half ago (October 2 to be exact) my grandparents celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary. I feel super lucky that I have been able to see both sets of my grandparents reach that huge milestone in their lives and relationships and I find it really inspiring. I can only hope that I will reach that point still as much in love as ever. In honor of the event I decided to make a card for them with a collage of pictures from their years together. Starting with the wedding they were both in when they started dating (2 years earlier...but it started it all) and continuing to include pictures of them, their children and grandchildren through the years. I could tell as we all sat at dinner honoring them and silently thanking them for....well our existence, that they are proud of the family they have created. I thought it would be nice to post the card....and show off my mildly impressive photoshop skills (at least I like to think they are).

It's a little hard to see, but you get the idea. I am still doing a bit of digital scrapbooking, but not as much as I might like. Soon I hope to start working on a wedding scrapbook and ultimately I'd like to make a physical one and a digital one. Who knows how long that will take. But there you have it. And now I am off to another full day of quilting :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

tote bag

September 24th was my wonderful sister's birthday, and at her request I made her a tote bag for the beach/gym. It was a pattern I had picked up a while ago and just never got around to making and it was just perfect for this! It is a huge bag, more like a weekender then anything else, but I love the way it came out and so does she. Since I saw her and gave it to her over the weekend, I can now talk about it and put up pretty pictures. The pattern is burda 7674 and I just kinda modified it until it made sense to me. I couldn't find the right snaps so I used my snazzy new automatic button hole maker (totally awesome!) and the directions for putting the top band on made no sense to me so I did it my way and it worked out great. I love all 3 fabrics that are used, and of course the lime green polka dots are just for her. It is just such a happy bag and I hope she gets lots of use out of it :)

Just for the record, it looked better stuffed so you can really see the shape of the bag....and in the pictures it is holding 2 of our couch pillows, that's how big it is! It's a beast! If that doesn't fit beach towels, etc. then I don't know what will.

So that's that. Tomorrow will be a big sewing day for me but unfortunately since it is a Christmas gift I won't be able to share it for a few months. Not to worry, I have other things I am working on to post. And once I am done this quilt I have another that I can start on pretty much right away and that one will be posted as soon as it is done. I am guessing both will be done by the end of the month if all goes well, but we shall see.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

a yarn bag

I just had a ridiculously productive two days. I am now finished all the sewing projects that I wanted to do that weren't quilts. A few of them are gifts so their posting will be delayed, but I have a few goodies to share next week. This weekend the hubby and I are taking a little drive down to Jersey for some family festivities, but once we get back, the quilting will be in full swing :)

Anyway, since we are going to visit and my dad asked me to make him one, I have created a little yarn bag for him to hold his current project. I tried one once before but it was a bit too small for some of the yarn he was using so this time I tried it out with a bulky yarn I had sitting around and it fit perfectly! I didn't really use a pattern, I just kinda made one up....ya know, hemming the top, sewing around the sides, and putting a handle on. Easy peasy. One day I may try one that with a little slot for needles too, but we'll see when I get to that. So here, in wonderfully manly fabric, is a yarn bag for my dad (and yes, it matches his needle holder) :)

You'll just have to excuse the crappy images....the sun has apparently decided it has had enough of Binghamton for the year so I have some major flash going on. Next week I have a few other little projects to put up and hopefully in the next month, a quilt that I can post! The quilt I am starting next week is a gift so that won't be up until after christmas since you never know who is reading these things.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Lola is my sewing machine :) As we finished up our first project together the other day, the song Lola came on the radio and I just knew she was speaking to me. Ha, don't think about it too hard, it doesn't really make sense. At any rate, project 1 is done and so far I love her. The sewing goes quick and the stitches are even. It is a quiet machine which is nice and in general, things just went well. The only problem I ran into was putting the bobbin in the second time. The tension is supposed to be adjusted automatically and if you don't hit the tension spring right, it won't be adjusted I put it in again and it worked. I am still not sure what made the difference, but I assume I will figure it out in time. I can not, at this time, reveal the project due to it's gifty nature, but I promise to do so as soon as possible.

I am also curious to see how Lola handles a quilt. I read some reviews that some of these machines don't seem to be able to handle thick fabric or too many layers, but we will see. I love my attachments and can't wait to use them. As it turns out, I have become quite obsessed with quilting recently. I just want to make so many quilts! I believe I made that clear a few posts ago haha, but seriously, I can't stop thinking about it. Tomorrow, I am even going quilt shop hopping! I have been avoiding the quilt shops (and didn't even know there were so many in the area) because, let's face it, I'm pretty poor and can not be spending $15/yard for fabric and I didn't want to get sucked in. But now I have a friend that I have slowly coaxed into the wonderful world of quilting and we are going to venture out together. Now, the last time I went in search of a fabric shop around here, I could not, for the life of me find it and ended up very frustrated, so let's hope tomorrow goes better than that. I am super excited though, even if I don't end up buying much it will help give me an idea what is out there for when I plan future projects. We have four shops we are planning on hitting and we'll see where it takes us.

Looking forward, I have 3 projects I would like to try and complete next week and then the following week I plan to start on a quilt (the Ragged Square quilt for a christmas gift in fact). All the squares are cut out and I am ready to lay it out and start sewing but I want to finish a few smaller things first. And I should really do some knitting too but we'll see how that goes. In fact, I think I'll go work on that now for a bit. Next time I promise to put up something involving pretty pictures :)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Going Green

I like to think of myself as an eco-conscious person. I try to stay aware of my impact on the earth; I recycle, I use my reusable bags whenever I grocery shop and even keep one in my purse for those random shopping trips. I try to use the plastic bags I do get for other things instead of throwing them away, and slowly but surely I am trying to transition this attitude into my cleaning.

Enter: the knit swiffer cover. Made of cotton yarn, it is a washable cover that just slips right onto the swiffer. I ended up spending a whopping $.97 to make this glorious little number and let me tell you, it picks up cat hair like a dream. It comes from a free pattern that Lily, the makers of Sugar n Cream cotton yarn, made for Michael's. I actually think it may work better than the disposable covers that you buy, and then you can just throw it in the wash and you are good to go all over again. I think, assuming this first washing goes well, that I am going to make a bunch of them and have them around when I need them. The only problem I can foresee, and this may be a personal issue, is that to avoid putting so much cat hair in our washing machine I have to pick a lot of the hair off before I can wash it, but I don't really mind so no big deal. Here is what it looks like (I am not showing pictures of after it was used because I don't even want to admit how much cat hair was hiding on our fur blends in with hard wood you'll just have to take my word that it works)

This also may have inspired me to make some cotton cleaning cloths to cut down on our paper towel use. I will have to knit some of those up and see how it goes. Every little thing helps!

P.S. an update on my sewing machine, which I love so far, is coming as soon as we are better acquainted and make something together :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


There are many things in my life that I wish to accomplish, and my crafty life is no different. Ever since I discovered this love of quilting, I have gone absolutely crazy with ambition and the number of projects I would like to accomplish. While there are certainly other projects that will have my attention, a variation of sewing, knitting, scrapbooking, and other random things, I think that quilting is going to become a main focus for me. I like to set goals for myself although often times the achievement of said goals is inconsequential, largely, I think, as a way to keep myself organized. And when I realize that I may not get it done, I don't usually worry, I just reevaluate and figure out where I stand and what I should be working toward. All this by way of saying that my goals are constantly changing as I think they should be, especially when the goals are long term. That said, I am still writing a post about my current goals as they pertain to quilting and we will just have to see how it goes. Currently I have 7 quilts that I have found that I would really like to make, and I have most of the fabric (or will once it arrives) for4 or 5 of them, which should keep me pretty committed I would think. Here they are:
  • Ragged Square Quilt -I just have to buy the backing fabric for this....It should be done by christmas seeing as it is a gift
  • Stacked Coins Quilt - There was this fabric I had been eyeing that went on sale for 45% off (um hello $3 a yard!) so once it gets here I will have a pack of strips, the backing and the binding fabrics and just need the sashing
  • Scrap Quilt - I have a lot of scraps and I save them all, so I am aiming to get a quilt like this one out of only fabric I currently have in my posession...that should lead to some interesting creativity since I don't know what I have big enough for a backing but I will absolutely make it work
  • Ticker Tape Quilt - I am in love with this and I think it would be a good way to use a lot of my smaller scraps that won't work in the other scrap quilt.
  • Log Cabin Quilt - I saw this posted and could not get over how beautiful it is. I am getting a bag of designer scraps that I think will be my starting point...I love the bright colors and fabrics and hope to come up with something similar
  • Tumbler Quilt - Ridiculously cute. Enough said.
  • Wonky Log Cabin Quilt - I think this looks so cool and would make a really interesting quilt. I may actually try this before the regular log cabin because it gives more room for error I would say.
I am giving myself a time frame of approximately 1 year to complete these if I can. I am guessing I will at least get half of them done and hopefully be on my way with the others. I am not going to stress myself about it, I just wanted a record of the things I would like to do. I will try to check in and give a progress update every once in a while too which should be a good thing. Of course I don't know what in the world I am going to do with most of these which is the one thing that might slow my progress. Most of them will be lap/baby size and I don't know many people having babies right now so we'll see. Many of them will probably turn into gifts or something. There are also other quilts I have seen that I would like to do, but they don't seem as pressing right now....I may or may not add and subtract from this list.

Before I end this, I have one other goal that I would like to share. I have come a long way with my quilting, especially in the past few months. Over the next 6 months, I would really like to learn to free-motion quilt. So far I have only done stitch in the ditch, and a grid and I am ready to expand. The ragged square quilt has the quilting already set out, but with some of the others I would really like to try something different. I am planning on doing the swirly like quilting on the seams of the scrap quilt as it is pictured so I think that may be my starting point. So there you have it, my possibly ridiculous quilting ambitions :)

Sunday, September 13, 2009

An early Christmas

It seems my sewing machine is sick :( Yesterday I went to work on a project and it sounded kinda funny and kept skipping stitches...which I might have been able to deal with if I wasn't topstitching, making it ridiculously obvious. Needless to say, all that will have to be ripped out and redone....with my NEW MACHINE!!!! That's right, I ordered a new machine yesterday. I have been using my parents machine for the past couple of years (the one they got around the time they got married 25 years ago...) and well, it was time for an upgrade. After a couple hours of research, this Brother machine was the winner. I am really looking forward to getting it this week and spending some time getting to know it. I have a lot of projects planned for the next couple of months and hopefully this baby will help me get through them with ease. I am particularly happy it has a table attachment which should help me quilt!

In any case, I am really excited, but it also does put a number of things on hold. I am hoping that by next weekend we will be familiar enough (me and my machine that is) to get to work on a few things. In the meantime, I am hoping to get to work on some knitting projects that have been sitting around for ages. I am also working on some project goals for the next year or so that I will be posting soon, kind of a sneak peak of the different things I am looking to accomplish.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

my first *really real* quilt!

Here it is, the moment you have all been waiting for! That's right, the wonderfully bright yellow quilt is finished! Now, like all my projects, it certainly has it's imperfections and I don't pretend to ignore them. However, I am ridiculously proud of this quilt. I say it is my first really real quilt because I would consider it my first proper quilt -- the cat quilt was my first real quilt, one involving quilting and binding, but this one is so much more special then that because I took the time and hand sewed the binding on the back. I think this gives it such a nice finished look and it makes me really proud. It only took me 2 movies to get the binding all sewn too, which isn't bad at all. I even managed to wash it and it didn't fall apart which is definitely a good sign!

So let's see, the quilt stats: I got the pattern from Your Space which I got for my birthday and is the same book that gave me the instructions to cover my memory box. The pattern itself seemed to have some issues (like not accounting for how pieces were put together when measuring...or I could be crazy, I'm not ruling it out) which did not help my already handicapped measuring, but that is besides the point. It measures 40.5"x46.5" instead of the intended 45"x51". I got some really great binding help online from a number of sources, but primarily used a tutorial from Heather Bailey, and some great instructions on turning*turning for both how to do an invisible stitch, and believe it or not, how to knot the thread (as an aside, I am being completely honest when I say that not being able to easily knot my thread was a major hand sewing roadblock for me....mine were ugly nests and endlessly frustrating....I think this discovery may have turned my life around, no lie). Anyway, on to the pictures!!!

Now I have a bunch of smaller projects coming up and I am going to start working on some christmas gifts. Of course what I really want to do is make approximately a bazillion quilts now that I feel like I know so much more and have a TON of cute patterns I would like to try. I will just tuck them away and slowly gather fabric for them :) I think I may have found my crafty calling here!

Monday, August 31, 2009

Quilt Teaser

Last week I was hard at work on my sweet quilt and amazingly, it is all finished....all except for hand sewing the binding on. So instead of spoiling the surprise of the finished product, I am just going to post this, a hint of the glory that is to come:

Thursday, August 20, 2009

laptop case

As promised, here is the laptop case that I made for the husbands new laptop. I used a pattern found here, and he picked his fabrics and I went to work. I'll tell you, my sewing machine sure did not like the zig-zag stitches to attach the velcro, but I made it through. I did have my needle snap in half when I was sewing all the bottom layers together at the end which was odd. Anyway, the big point here is that the bag actually fits the laptop as intended! This is a totally new thing for me since I am so bad with measurements, no matter how hard I try. It was a fun project though and it went quick and with all the pieces cut, it was sewn in an afternoon.

Today I will be cutting fabric for a quilt that I have been waiting for months to make! I can't start sewing until I get my new thread (finally making the switch to cotton....which I should have done ages ago but I didn't know) but once I get it, it shouldn't take too long to make. It will be my first attempt at making my own bias tape binding, and probably hand sewing the binding on. So on second thought, maybe it will take a bit longer than I'd like haha. I also have another quicker project I may sneak in, but I guess we'll see :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Cat Quilt

Well here I am again, back from a long break from crafting, necessitated by a long stay in NJ, including a wedding and honeymoon that were delightful :) The past week or so, after we finally got all our new things settled and got back into our routine, I was able to start back on my projects. I decided that I wanted to try binding a quilt, and that instead of starting with something that I really liked and was afraid to mess up, I would start with a scrap quilt for the cat. I had been thinking about making something for a while to go in his little cube, in case he ever decides to use it or something. So I designed a simple pattern, which incidentally did not use nearly enough of my scraps, and off I went. It is a 26"x27" quilt that when folded fits perfectly in his little box (it was supposed to be 27"x28"....close enough). I just stitched in the ditch around the rectangles for the quilting and used pre-made double fold bias tape from Joanns for the binding. It worked surprisingly well and I think after reading a lot and after this practice run, I am going to try to make my own bias tape and I am going to hand sew the back of the binding on my next quilt. More on that when I get to it. Anyway, aside from a (*ahem* crooked rectangles...and borders...*ahem*) I am really proud of it. It is small and was a great step for my quilting.

There are about a bazillion and six other quilts I now want to make and I know that every time I will get a little better at it. I have to be willing to overlook my inability to cut or sew straight, but other than that it is getting easier and more fun even :-P Tomorrow I have a laptop bag that I made to post, and get this, it actually fits the laptop! So there you have it, something to look forward to.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

wedding goodies part IV

One of the first things we bought for the wedding, and don't ask me why, were some 9 inch wooden letters. They were on clearance at Michaels and I had a grand time imagining what I would do with them. We got an F that was turned into an L, and O, V, and E and figured we could put it on the cake table...back when we thought we might have a cake. I finally decided to cover them with a layer of batting and then some fabric so they would be kinda squishy. It was not the easiest thing I've ever done, but it came out well. I did two letters in all one fabric and two in patchwork. Let me just tell you, elmers craft bond glue is the best stuff you will ever find. Seriously, it adheres anything!

This is the final result. We still have to figure out where we are going to put them....details, details ha!

I don't think I have any projects lined up that will be finished in any sort of short time frame, but you never know what I'll come up with!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Tote Bag

My new purse is finished! I managed to get it done last week but then slacked on uploading pictures and such, but here it is!

I followed a tutorial on this blog, but kind of modified it to fit my needs. Mainly I made it smaller since I wanted it as a purse, and I added a few pockets inside. I put two smaller ones for my cell phone and chapstick and whatnot, and then a longer one for my recipets and coupons and so far it is working out really well. I also used a layer of flannel inside instead of fusable fleece because I had it already and I didn't need it to be too thick. I really like the way it came out.

I don't know yet what my next project will be. I don't have anything pressing so I think I am going to collect some coupons and go to joanns periodically and get some fabric for a quilt. I have one fabric already that I want to use and the other day I saw some others that would go with it perfectly. That will probably be a more long term project though. And I think I need to make myself a pin cushin if I can find a cute pattern I like. That's all for now! I will put up a wedding craft later this week :)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

covered boxes

I know it may be hard to believe, but I actually think I am going to get both of my intended crafts done this week! Hopefully I will be finishing up number two before dinner.

I know that this is not new and I must be the last person to do it, but I decided that I needed to cover some ugly boxes in fabric. See, I have been storing momentos for years in this ugly box:

And it needed a new life. It was dirty and kind of falling in, but behold! it has new life! I just never knew how to easily attach the fabric before and after looking through Your Space, I was inspired and off I went to Joanns. I ended up getting some Heatnbond iron-on adhesive and let me just tell you, it is fabulous! So easy to use and now my box looks like this:

Weird fabric choices, absolutely, but I wanted to use what I had and I kinda like it. And it is still much prettier than it was before. Oh the possiblities! The things I can cover in fabric with this stuff! Man, I am so excited haha. Anyway, that is my first project for this week and maybe tomorrow I will put the other one up.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


Alright, it has officially been forever since I posted any of my crafts. Tax season just kinda ate my life and I didn't get a whole lot done or have the time and energy to post about it. But, that is all over now and I am settling into a summer of crafts :) Hopefully there are a number of things I will get done this summer, but before I start on all that (the two projects already lined up for this week) I have two very important projects that I did manage to get done this spring.

The first is a set of curtains. We moved to a new place the end of February and I really wanted to make some curtains for the bedroom. They are huge and block a lot of light and it is delightful! I used 3 fabrics, a stripe one for the front, a plain brown for the back, and a blue and white design across the bottom that goes all the way around. I kind of made up the design from a number of things I had seen and just threw it together and I am really happy with them. I opted for tabs on the top and, while not the easiest hanging solution, I like the way they look although next time I think I would make them a little wider. The picture is a bit blurry, but you get the idea.

The other project is what I consider my first real quilt! Mostly because it involved actual quilting ha! Anyway, for my cousins baby girl, I thought it would make a nice blanket for her to play on the floor using an old snoopy t-shirt (they wanted a snoopy theme) as the center piece and I found a pattern that is basically waves of triangles. Let me start by saying that as cute as it turned out, I will definitley limit my work with triangles in the future, I hate them. I took a pattern for a single quilt square, and just enlarged everything so that it ended up about 40" x 40"....I say about because well....I'm not even sure how close it is. Have I mentioned I have a problem with measurements and exactness?? Well anyway, I am really happy with the result. My quilting was very simple and I just stiched in the seams to hold it together through washing. Good thing too since the batting did bunch a bit when I washed it. I also decided not to pre-wash the batting so it would get a slightly puckered look (I used 80% cotton batting) and I like it a lot. I thought it was a good start.

I have two other small quilts that I would like to make sometime this year, but I haven't decided exactly when or for whom said quilts will be made for. They also require minimal quilting, but I figure starting basic and small will help build my confidence up in case I ever get crazy. My project for this week has me using piping for the first time so hopefully that will go well. Hopefully there will be one, if not two, finished projects to post this week or early next week. I also have a wedding craft or two that I finished. Alright, that's enough out of me for now, but I promise I'll be back and it won't take 4 months.

Monday, January 12, 2009


So this year for christmas, I started working with felt a little to make some things from a kit I got. The only thing I don't have a picture of is Manfred the pencil case who is adorable, but I forgot to photograph. Ah well. I still have many projects to show.
First up is a makeup bag that I made for my mom. Really it just reiterated that I should not hand sew, but overall it didn't come out too bad. It seems like it will stay together fairly well although I suppse that really remains to be seen.

Next up we have a laptop case, one of the projects that just didn't come out that well. They have you use two layers of felt with batting between them which really just makes it impossible to sew up the seams cleanly. Not to mention my sad attempt at argyle....made with love, that is the important thing to remember here.

Finally, I made a checkbook cover which I think came out the best out of all of them. I decided to use some of the bazillions of buttons I have to decorate it which I think is so cute. It may be a little less that functional if you put it in your purse and it gets stuck on things, but lets just focus on the finer points.

Stay tuned for the next installment which will hopefully not be another two weeks away.