Thursday, December 29, 2011

My First Zipper....

... didn't go so well.

   Here's the photographic evidence:
actually, the zipper part itself may not be too bad,
rather it might be that the pieced front and back didn't match up so well
   I'm working on an iPad case for my Hubster, with some of my new fabrics (shared in my last post here).  My Husband is a wonderful and eclectic man-- he is a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner by trade (and damn good at it, I might add), and one of his passions is playing, creating and listening to music-- that is, when he's not busy obsessing about muscle cars, Apple computers/networking, reading everything from sci-fi to political analysis, sex with his wife (despite my postpartum decrease in libido) and his devotion to his children.  He has two sons-- my stepsons-- from his first marriage (ages 25 and 27), and together, we have a 9 yr old daughter and 4 yr old special needs son. 
  Back to the zipper thing...
  I'm using  a tutorial from Freckled Whimsy [link here].   She even includes a sub-link in the tutorial on how to adjust a zipper to the size of your creation, which for me, being my first, was very helpful.
here's the front side, after turning it inside out--
didn't even iron it
a bit lopsided-- time for a do-over
but I am pleased with the design
showing the design of the back 
   So, that's what I worked on today-- in addition to doing two loads of laundry, two loads in the dishwasher, feeding the kids, visiting with my sis and her kids, going to the new ceramic pottery painting place-- which was quite fun for all.
   And now, my Sis has taken all the kids out to dinner, and Hubster and I are at the house alone. 
   The silence is golden.  
   And now, I shall end this post so that I can spend quality time with Hubster (his name is Thomas, by the way).
   Hope you are spending quality time with the most important members of your family tonight.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

New Fabrics Photoshoot

   For the holidays, my sister gave me the present of my dreams:  a FQ bundle of Kaffe Fasset fabrics and a Westminster FQ bundle.
   It's a windy, cloudy day today, but mild temperature-wise-- and not really ideal light conditions for photographing-- but I went ahead with it.  My son accompanied me outdoors-- he blew bubbles while I cut back some of the plants in the garden.  (This weather is very atypical for this time of year.  We did not have a white Christmas).  After tending to the garden a little, I commenced The Photo-shoot.

   First, here's a look at the loot from my Sis:

Kaffe FQ's
Westminster FQ's, part 1
Westminster FQ's, part 2
   My 4-yr old decided to start making mud and mud puddles, all the while singing about it.  I caught him when he wasn't looking.

   I also received some gift money to spend, so let me share with you all of my beautiful new recent purchases:

1)  Some Kaffe Aboriginal Dots and a few aboriginal prints from Jackie at Canton Village Quiltworks.
   Many of you are probably familiar with Jackie's blog or her podcasts (Jackie's Quilt Chronicles).  Jackie is a very passionate quilter (she also does long-arm quilting) and her designs and quilts have been published in a variety of popular quilt magazines.  She is a very savvy woman and sponsors a number of quilt bloggers. I am lucky enough to be in the Mod Conn Quilters Group with her.
   I am very excited because Jackie is teaching a paper-piecing class at a nearby LQS in January that I have signed up for!  It runs for three Saturday afternoons.  The pattern is Judy Niemeyer's Total Eclipse. (Here's a link to Jackie's rendition of the pattern on her blog).
   I have to review the pattern, select my fabrics and do some prep (cutting) before the class begins.  Here's my dilemma:  I can't decide if I want to go with batiks, or just brights.  I would love to hear your opinion-- please share!

2)  Some fabrics I fell in love with at Sew Fresh Fabrics (my first purchase with them)
3)  Some chicken and egg fabrics from The Quilting Hen
I will be using these-- along with a dark-ish solid gray--
to make a cover for our Cuisinart, which sits out on our counter;
and also for a set curtains to cover some open shelves
that we have in the kitchen which very quickly gather dust. 
4)  LQS's moving sale (30% off)-- and they're moving closer to my home!!
5)  Fat Quarter Shop
This will be part of an I Spy quilt for my son
6)  And from Burgundy Buttons
I love that Best Dad Ever fabric on the right;
I'm using it to make the Hubster an iPad sleeve
that should be completed in the next few days.
   So I've been on quite a little fabric binge lately!!  But there have been so many great sales leading up to Christmas, and now some after Christmas inventory sales (at 30% off)-- so I was able to get a lot for my money.  
   I hope you enjoyed seeing all my precious new goodies.  I've had to make a list to keep track of all the projects I intend them for.  I have high aspirations for 2012!
   And now it's time for me to start dinner and sneak some time in on my machine.  As part of my husband's iPad cover, I am attempting my first zipper-- wish me luck!!
   Hope you all are enjoying a more relaxed pace after the holidays, and digging into new quilting fabrics and/or supplies that you may have received.  :0)

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Happy Happy Holidays

   Merry Christmas to all of you who are celebrating today yesterday,
and Happy Chanuka to those of you [like me] who are Jewish.
   And to any of my other followers who celebrate anything different that I am not aware of-- please make me "aware".   I would like to be politically correct and honor those friends who celebrate holidays different from the ones I am familiar with.

   Last night, we celebrated the 6th night of Chanukah.  (By the way, you can spell chanukan/hanukkah about a million different ways in English-- but only one way in Hebrew.  It's an interpretation thing-- there's really no "correct" way.)

   This photo is from  a couple nights ago.  There is the Shamesh-- the candle that lights the others, and it is given the highest place, usually on the right, but this menorah was created through the eyes of a preschooler, so anything goes.
menorah created by my 4-yr old son, Sam, at school.
My son's preschool singing holidays songs this week at the senior center.
They are each wearing a chanukah candle on their head.

lighting the candles at sundown
Sammy's first "gun" (the "bullets" are styrofoam)
a lont-time fave of my 9 yr old daughter:
Littlest Pet Shop (LPS)
new this year: the "walking" ones

 The kids have received lots of fun and exciting presents, and there is a lot of creative play going on in this house.  

The young guy had to have a backpack on wheels--
just like his Big Sister has
The Opening of the Presents:
requires Patience, Time and assorted Tools!
The Big Hit:
Hot Wheels car racing
Ready, Set, Go!!

The Finish Line:
complete with battery-controlled
winner announcer
a mobile for Sammy's room
(even though its for ages 8 and up)
painting the planets
(The big orange one is Jupiter, I think-- I'm a little rusty)
     The kids have been very busy and playing so nicely together!  [I love it when there's no bickering.]
   I hope that you all celebrated your holidays with loved ones.  I loved reading about and seeing everyone's decorations, traditions and festivities for the holidays.
   Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Feeling the Crunch

   Hello, Friends and Visitors!

   Today, I would like to share with you the [sorry] state of my house before I run out and pick up the kids from school after I've returned from picking the kids up from school.
   Be forewarned: this is the unedited version.  I am trying to have a sense of humor about this, and feign being undaunted in the face of the chaos I have created during my sewing/quilting process.
  For the last week, I have been working on:
   -10 mug rugs
   - 3 tissue cozies/small phone cases
   - 2 fabric covered mini-journals
   - 2 fabric covered notepads
(all this commissioned by a friend, and does NOT include the teacher gifts I've worked on as well).
   Oh yeah, and a couple dozen origami cranes that I am going to make chains and/or mobiles out of.

Are you ready?

Here's my sewing table, along one wall/hallway of our dining room:
 To the left of the sewing table is my ironing board
artwork in background by my 4 yr old son
some kind of figure
   To the right of my sewing table, a set of drawers from Ikea and my wonderful full spectrum lamp.  Notice that I haven't even bothered to close the drawer?

Oh yes, and I cannot forget to include my stereo (if you can see it behind the stacks of CDs and boxes of holiday cards)
Here's the top of our dining room table (also known as my desk, even though I have my own desk in a different room)

and this essential item...
Can you see the slit in my thumb?
My hands get so dry that they split and it HURTS all the time,
so I either use this liquid bandage or
a band-aid with neosporin,
but if I use the latter, I can't text on my phone
without making a hundred errors.

Oh, and here's my origami crane-making stuff

Oh, and let's not forget the guest bedroom, where I store my fabric and keep my cutting board
Like there's really room left to do any cutting on this mat?
Luckily, I can close the sliding closet doors to hide this
(that is, of course, once I close the drawer)
   So doesn't this make you feel better that you have not let your home get to this state??  Yet here I am posting about it rather than cleaning it up before my husband gets home with my daughter from her after-school activity.  I still have forty five minutes.  We'll see what I can get done.
  And I really don't even have any finished products to show b/c I gave some away without photographing them, and most of the mug rugs are awaiting binding or topstitching.
   Thank goodness for the Hubster-- he just texted and asked if I wanted him to bring home take-out.  YES, PLEASE!!!
   Here's the sole finished item, for a teacher, that I can share with you:

   Okay, so there you have it.  I'll have to share again with you after the holidays.   [Thankfully, my mother doesn't read this blog or she would be completely mortified.  Her house is pristine.  But then again, she is not an "artiste."]
   How are you all holding up as the holiday approaches?  Are you all done?  Are you still chugging away?
   I still have more things to make, but I'm enjoying all the sewing and think I will be able to finish what I need to.  Hopefully I won't lose my sanity at the state of the house before then!
    Hope you''re all having a good week!!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

WIP Wednesday

   As promised,  I am posting today about some of the items I've been working on (mostly gifts for teachers that were "commissioned" by my sister and another friend).
   A couple of mug rugs:
attempt to show close up/detail of machine zig-zag binding that I used
   I used this tutorial from Stitched in Color to do the zig zag binding.  On this  particular mug rug, I used brown so it blended in, but in the next Sherbet Pips and Little Apple mug rugs, I was planning on using bright red thread to make it more decorative.
   What do you think of this idea?  Do you like the zig-zag stitching or not?  Should I continue to use it for my mug rug bindings?  (Please help this very
indecisive quilter!!)
back (binding is pinned on right now)
I love Little Apples!!
   Another mug rug with proposed binding fabric (Kaffe Fassett's Aboriginal Dots in Terra Cotta):

And more indecisiveness:  
   Which of the fabrics shown below should I use for the binding on this one?  Or none of them?  Please feel free to offer additional suggestions.
And then some fabric covered notepads and mini-moleskine journals:

(still has to be topstitched)
inside view of one of the ones below

    So there you have some of my WIPs.  I really enjoy working on these smaller projects (which is a good thing, because I have many more to do!)
   Hope you all are having a good holiday season and finding time to quilt!
   Thanks, in advance, for anyone who offers feedback/suggestions.