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Friday, July 27, 2012

Kim is in trouble!

amylouwho here!

In case you were wondering where Kim is, I kidnapped her.  That's right.  I brought her down here to the horrible heat and humidity.  And then I made her run.

I made her bring her sewing machine.

And some projects to work on.

And next I'm going to force her to go to the beach.

I'm such a slave driver.

Whatevs.  Maybe I'll let her go home after she cleans my house.

Monday, July 23, 2012

So close...then POP...POP...POP!!!!!

DANG IT!!!!!  I was so close to having something to share!!!!  Something I was excited about and was in LOVE with and then I hear...POP! POP! POP!  and my iron DIED!!!  Without warning ( I suppose the pops could be considered a warning) with consideration so my project has to wait a bit longer.  Stupid iron!

I was gobsmacked last week by these beautiful Dear Stella Fabrics that were sent to me last week!  Thank you Dear Stella!!!!!   This stack SPOKE to me!!! It is the line It's a Shore Thing.  The fabric is so soft and the colors are PERFECT!!!! Perfect for a string quilt!!!!  I looked at tutorials and found this one on p.s. i quilt.   I think it will be perfect for another 100 Quilts for Kids project.

This is how far I was able to get before the possessed iron died...

So, off I go to drag the kids iron shopping, this is going to be FUN!!!!!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Alex is having an Aurifil Contest OMG!


I love my Aurifil thread, it is the best thread I have used and so when I saw Alex at Aurifil post today that he is having a contest on pinterest for the new Pat Bravo Quilting Heart thread case, I knew I had to share! It is for TWELVE full sized spools of the best 50wt thread in bright beautiful colors!!!!!!

It is SO EASY!!! We all love us some pinterest and are super AWESOME at pinning. Go to Alex's pinterest board here and simply repin the threads and the case photos to enter (14 opportunities to WIN)...I can even do that!!!!!

Go to Alex's facebook wall or Aurifil's facebook for more details.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

July Bee Blocks Completed!

YAAY!!!! I am so HAPPY...I finished something!!!!! I needed to have something on my long list completed and this was the ticket :o) My Queen Bee for July ask for offset  center ( not wonky) blocks with beachy colors and this is what I came up with. I REALLY hope she likes them! I love them and now am adding something else to me seemingly endless list of todos...OOPSY!

Block One

Block Two

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Putting the word out for a new venture for Sara!!!!

You all know I love this girl, she is the kindest, most thoughtful, most generous person you could ever meet. She is also very talented, passionate and driven when it comes to one thing...SEWING! I have never met anyone that has sewing in ever fiber of her being like Sara does! I hope you will consider helping her out by donating or spreading the word. Thank you so much!!!!

Please Help Me Meet My Goal!!!

If you've read my blog for any amount of time, you're probably familiar with my free bag sewing patterns. I think it is so helpful, especially for beginners, to have great instructions as well as step-by-step photos, which I try my hardest to do. I would like to move my pattern-making skills in 2013 to the next level and produce clothing that is both easy to sew and fun to wear!

I am trying to raise $6800 on Kickstarter to begin a pattern-making business, which will begin with clothing sewing patterns. Of course, I will continue venturing into the world of bag-making with more great designs! I want to do this more than anything, and I desperately need your support to make it happen!! Please follow the link to my Kickstarter page to read more information on my goal, and see my little 20-second video. :-)

I know I am trying to raise a lot of money, so let me explain what it will be for. Half of my Kickstarter goal minimum is to raise the money to buy a package of quality garment pattern drafting software. Tentatively, I would like to produce my instructions as a pdf, which will come on a cd inside of a case. The pattern pieces will be printed on tissue and included in the case. They will contain my easy-to-follow instruction style and color step-by-step photos to get you sewing a dress in no time! Because of the high minimums for printing, the other half of my Kickstarter goal will go toward printing costs for 2 patterns. I really need your help; I wish I could do this on my own, but I just can't!

Please help me reach my goal and life dream!! I know times are tight for everyone. I have thought long and hard about this. Even $1 or $5 will help so much, but even if you can't contribute right now, perhaps you can help get the word out with a link on Facebook or Twitter?



Monday, July 16, 2012

Getting my groove on...NOT!

No grooving around here! School will be starting in about six weeks and I KNOW that all the blogs will be a twitter with excitement and wonderful new projects to share but for now I have been just been plugging along with regular life, the house full of kids and a little project here and there. Did I say SIX MORE WEEKS!!!!???!!!

I have my blocks finally sewn together from the design wall! It is about time!!!! I need to finish this up for 100 Quilts for Kids. If you have not read about it...GO NOW!!!! And the linky is UP!!!!

Then there is the Farmer's Market!!!!!

My thrifty find, I have always wanted a Brownie!!!!

And last night I started a new embroidery project!!!! I did not get very far since I was sewing but I will work more on it tonight!!!! What colors should I do the center...Hmmmmm...

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christmas Swap in July!!!!!!!

I know with ALL the HOT as Hades weather we have all been having the last thing we all really thinking about is Christmas!!!!!  My friend and online bee mate is hosting a Christmas In July 5in charm swap!!! She is a smart girl and is very kind to be helping the less than stellar planners, like myself, to at least LOOK like they are preparing for the holidays that are ALWAYS here a month or two TOO EARLY for last minute planning,LOL!!

So to join up, go visit Manda's blog, Manda Made Quilts, and participate in the flickr group. There are already 20 good planners so try not to miss out on this one!!!!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Creating new addictions...I mean hobbies

I  first want tho thank the Dynamic Duo that were so kind to guest post of me last week!!!!! I went on a car trip with the family to see my grandparents in Normal, IL and then a quick side trip up to Chicago to see my beloved Sara ( did not get to spend enough time with her but there will be more time later)!!!!

Rachael and Katy!!!!! THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!! You gals are so wonderful!!!! If you have not visited their blogs, DO! They are both amazingly talented and have lots of cool tutorials with great directions :o)

As for me, I spent many hours in the car and decided it was time to learn to embroidery. Why, because everyone else was doing it so I guess I just gave in to peer pressure, you know, the kind you mother warns you about...the kind that leads to a NEW addiction that requires new STUFF that you have to hide from curious eyes as you walk into the door with yet another Joann's bag or you run out to get the mail to see of that box with the word Aurifil is taped across it and stuff it under your shirt so no one will be the wiser ;o)  Yes, I have it BAD...or GOOD depending on what side of the embroidery needle you are on.

So I asked on my fb page who had some good FREE patterns and Thomas Knauer  immediately posted these that he had post a bit back on Sew Mama Sew. They are great beginner patterns and so flippin CUTE!!!

I printed them up and put them on my pile. Did I mention I decided to do this the night before we were leaving? The other requirements were Aurifil thread  Mako 12wt, Lana 12wt, Mako 28wt and Mako 40wt.  I wanted to see if I could use only Aurifil for the patterns I tried and it worked beautifully for everything! I used a 6in hoop, a needle threader, small sharp scissors, embroidery needles and some +2.00 cheater glasses that I wore on top of my regular glasses that was not a very sex kittenish look but very effective when trying to see the stitches.

 I tried different methods of putting the patterns onto the fabric and I like the iron on pencils the best. The markers left too wide of a line, the pencils have a finer line so it is easier to follow. See how the red line is very fine? And it washes right out! This giraffe is another Thomas Knauer FREE pattern!!!!

Here is my first completed embroidery

I also fell in love with Aneela Hoey's flower pattern last week! It is on her blog and it is another free pattern.

While I was in Normal, I went to the fabric store with my G-ma and found some iron on patterns. They had some super cute retro kitchen patterns so I snagged them and OMG!!!!! Time for some WalMart tea towels for this mama!!!!!

I am home again and will be back to sewing as soon as I can tear myself away form my new little hobby,LOL!!!!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Liberty Circle Frame Purse

Hi everyone, I'm Katy and I blog over at The Littlest Thistle.  In an effort to make her blog look popular while she's away sunning herself, Kim's asked me to step in and do a post this week (or is that to make me look popular whilst she's away sunning herself...? ;o) )  Anywho, how could I say no to the friend that hooked me up with some gold dust like Heather Ross?  Because of the aforementioned HR goodness, I owe her a pressie, and I thought I'd be ultra-cheeky and post here how I made it, and also incorporate another challenge that I'm running this month for Candi at Raccoon Creek Creations.  The question is, what to give a woman that has everything goldfish?  Why, Liberty of course!

Since the Fat Quarterly Retreat in London at the beginning of June, frame purse fever has swept the Brit crowd, and we're knee deep in a post-retreat swap right now, which in turn kind of gave me the notion to make loads of these babies!  Not wanting to make a plain outer for my purse for Kim, I thought I would incorporate an inset circle of feature fabric, which brings me to the challenge I'm running, which is to try out a variety of inset circle methods from tutorials scattered around the interweb... (I'm a big fan of bumping off a whole flock of birds with one boulder ;o) ) 

To create one of these, you will need:

1 purse frame, around 5" wide
1 fat eighth main outer fabric
1 bunch fabric scraps for the inset circle (bunch being one of those technical measurements ;o) )
1 fat eighth lining fabric
1 fat eighth low loft fusible fleece or thermolam
1 fat eighth fusible woven interfacing
1/2 yard piping cord
freezer paper
compass and ruler
paper scissors
small sharp pair of fabric scissors (I use embroidery scissors)
fabric glue stick

To make it up:

1. Design your purse pattern onto the freezer paper - Making By Rebecca Lynne did a great job on a series on how to make up your own pattern using the frame you have.  I'm not going to put my pattern up for you to grab since there are so many shapes and sizes of frames, and it's unlikely you'll have one identical to mine (not that I don't like to share, honest!)  Go and check out this link on how to design a pattern using your own frame.  You'll want the bit below the frame to extend about 4 1/2" straight down as we're going to box the corners too.

2. This part of the tutorial was gleaned as the 'best of' from several blogs, so I'll walk you right through.  Now you've got your pattern, work out what sized circle you want (this is a very organic tutorial, choose a size to suit you/your frame, bearing in mind you need to leave a seam allowance for the purse body)  I'm intending to box the corners by 1 1/2", and to use a 1/4" seam allowance, so I've drawn a line 1 3/4" from the bottom of my pattern to mark out my 'no go' area for my circle.  Use your compasses to draw a circle the size you want your end circle to be, then draw another circle inside with a radius of 1/2" less than the end circle.  

3. Now use your freezer paper pattern to cut out the following pieces:

2 x outer fabric (note that because I used linen for this, I also used fusible woven interfacing here - don't iron the freezer paper to that when cutting out ;o) )
2 x lining fabric
2 x fusible fleece/thermolam

4. Using your paper scissors, cut out the inner circle on your pattern piece, then transfer the circle marking onto your fabric and cut that out too.  Now cut the larger circle out of the freezer paper, and iron the freezer paper onto the back of one of your outer fabric pieces.

5. Take your small, sharp fabric scissors and make regular snips up to 1/8" from the edge of the freezer paper all the way round, then fold the fabric 'teeth' over the edge of the freezer paper and press very well in place:

6. Now set your purse pieces aside and grab your bunch of scraps and your fusible woven interfacing.  Cut a square of the interfacing at least 1" wider than the circular opening you created.  Now take everything over to your ironing board and using your scraps, arrange them in a pleasing manner on top of this square in a rather crazy paving type way.  You are best armed with a pair of small fabric scissors for trimming things to fit at this point (bearing in mind you can leave bits overhanging the edges too as they can be trimmed off afterwards).

7. Once you're happy with your placement take your iron and press according to the fusible interfacing manufacturer's instructions.

8. Head over to your sewing machine, choose a short, narrow zig zag stitch, and stitch along every join in the scraps.

9. Picking up your purse outer fabric again, get your fabric glue stick and apply a little glue to the top of each of the 'teeth', then carefully remove the freezer paper from underneath.  Place your scrappy fabric piece right side down onto the glue, then press in place.

10. Turn your fabric over so that the purse outer fabric is facing up, showing off your circle of scrappiness.  Gently lift the outer fabric in one section to reveal the teeth glued to the fabric.  Using an open toed or clear foot on your sewing machine, follow the pressed line from step 5 to stitch all the way round.  (Note that in the effort to try being scientific, I tried out my walking foot (which I usually use) my zipper foot and my regular presser foot, and the regular foot was the best)

11. Press very carefully in place, then trim off the excess seam allowance at the back, leaving about 1/4" in place.

12.  Now you're going to assemble your purse, so I'm going to send you back over to Rebecca Lynne's to see her purse assembly tutorial, including boxed corners.  I boxed mine by 1" either side of the seam, in case you were wondering.  And here's the final result:

In the manner of full disclosure I should say I fluffed my side measurement a bit below the hinges, I'm sorry Kim, but I'll make you another one if you like!

The verdict on the circle was good, I actually have a round circle (the photo in the frame above is somewhat distorted by the pouch being stuffed with things, hence it's not lying flat, but trust me, it's round...)  I'm not sure I'd want to be doing a whole quilt of blocks where I had to glue things down though, I fear I might get a little flak happy in the end (if not high on the glue - can you get high on pritt stick?!)


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

pillows from imagine gnats

hiya! happy tuesday, and guess what?? i'm. not. Kim. *gasp* before you call the blogger police, my appearance today has been approved by the very lovely Kim and i'm quite certain that she would have used this space to tell you all kinds of very lovely and mostly true things about me... had i finished this guest post more than five minutes before it was posted ;) 

instead, i'll tell you briefly that i'm Rachael, the crafty lady behind the world-famous blog imagine gnats. well, kind of... i do write that blog. world-famous? well, who wants that anyway? i mean, having to keep wigs and sunglasses and fake mustaches in your purse at all times in case you should need a disguise because you can't possibly discuss all of the many things one could make with just two fat quarters (ahem, like this pillow) one more time... that just sounds very tiring. 

2FQ quilty pillow cover

moving on, i recently taught a class at the very lovely sewn studio (my "real job" if playing with fabric all day can even be called that) and today i'm sharing with you the tutorial for a pleated pin-tuck panel pillow (say that five times fast!).  you can see the great pillows that my students whipped up here. the pin-tucked panel of this pillow was also the inspiration for this pleated pin-tuck pillow (you can find that tutorial here).

pin tuck pleated pillow

i've put the instructions for the paneled pillow into a handy pdf that you can download here. if you stitch up one of your own, i'd love to see it shared in the imagine gnats flickr group!

now i'm off to design a new pillow that somehow incorporates ice packs so that i can sleep at night when it's eighty-some degrees in our currently non-air conditioned house. bleugh!

and have you heard about shorts on the line?? make sure you stop by imagine gnats this week to check out all of the fabulous guest posts! i'd love to see you there.

thanks for letting me hijack your Go-Go fabulousness today, Kim!!! XO
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