Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Made An Item A Day

Looking back on the month of February I can report to you that yes. . . . .I did it. . . . I made an item each and every day! We've had an extremely mild winter around these parts and it shows in the dominance of springy color schemes I worked with throughout. Today, however, it started snowing and is expected to continue doing so until tomorrow night, so in honor of the event I made up a cozy little pillow in my typical winter tendency of using black. Tomorrow, on the other hand, I'm hoping to work with white as we have yet to make a snowman this year!

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Made It Easy On Myself

Am finding it very difficult to remain up in the sewing nook to do my work. It's lacking a television you see and since the Emily of New Moon series has become my new obsession I'm sneaking downstairs far too often. Under the guise of putting the kettle on for a cuppa, I'll pop a disc in for a quick peek while the water heats up, and next thing I know I'm snuggied up in the chair totally engrossed in the storyline. Heads up to all the "Anne" fans out there however, Emily's story is a bit dark and somewhat on the spooky side. I'll have to reread the books next to see if they had the same atmosphere. But first I've got seasons 3 and 4 to view, so today I gathered up the makings of a cushion, tossed in a length of pompom trim in order to extend the construction time, and plopped myself in front of the telly totally guilt free!

Monday, February 27, 2012

Made a Mini Quilt

Truth be told it was started eons ago but I decided today would be a fantastic opportunity to finish it up. Not exactly the Kathleen Tracy variety I'm itching to take on but one step closer to clearing out my pile of unfinished projects. And if truth be told again. . . . totally designed my my youngest! He had accompanied me to the quilt store one day and spotted these fabrics in one of those Moda mini charm packs. At that point in time he was into Webkins (remember this was eons ago) and so anticipated me stitching up a wee quilt for his cozy friends.

Home again he spent a good hour laying the squares out to suit his taste. A few seams were made, attention began to wane, and so finally some scribbles concerning the rest of the arrangement were jotted down so the project could be picked up "tomorrow." Now, many moons later. . . . . .

one little sack boy has become the happy recipient as Webkins are out and Little Big Planet is in!

Considering he is such a fan of yarn I think he was especially delighted to find I'd opted for a crochet edging as opposed to the traditional quilt binding.
It's much cozier for him to cuddle in this way as well!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Made a Lily - Step 6......and a little something more!

Step 6 - Trimming the Lily Pad

If you gathered up a selection of decorative trims during the past week it's time now to have some fun with them!

Try them out along the seam line of your lily pad to see which one you like the best. I usually want to have a bit of contrast so I'm going to use the green rick rack.

An easy way to measure out the length of trim your going to need is to tack one end of it on the seam. . . . .

. . . . .wrap it all the way around the cushion and tack it once again. I suggest clipping the trim several inches beyond this second tacking point in order to give a bit extra to play with just in case. Believe me. . . . . coming up 1/2" short at the very end does not make for a happy sewing environment!

Select a thread color to match the trim. Single thread your needle.

Locate the pin we inserted last week to mark the back of the cushion. . . . . this is the best location to start and finish attaching the trim since any messiness will not be seen face on.

On the left hand side of the floss insert the needle directly below the seam line and come out again just above it.

Repeat this same stitch in order to secure the thread tight.

Now, on the top edge of your trim pull the thread through (back to front) approximately 1/2" from the end.

Reinsert the needle into the cushion, taking a diagonal stitch from top to bottom. Once pulled tight the thread should be wrapped over the top edge of the trim.

Working from the bottom this time, once again pull the thread back to front through the trim. . . .

. . . . . followed by a bottom to top diagonal stitch in the cushion. Working in a clockwise direction continue picking up the edges of the trim and securing it to the cushion with diagonal stitches.

Since I'm using a rick rack in this case, its easy to align each stitch with the upper and lower points. When attaching pom pom trim or some other straight edge piece it works well to follow the same diagonal method and to keep your stitches close together in order to assure the trim fits snug all around the sides of the lily pad.

Remember to follow the indent created by each of the embroidery floss wraps as you go around. This will help retain the flower petal appearance.

hint, hint......using a thimble to push the needle through in these tight spots is not a bad idea and your fingers will be most grateful for the assistance!

Once you find yourself an inch or so away from where you began it's time to deal with those trim tails.

Cut the first tail off 1/4" to the right of the floss.

Then cut the second tail 1/2" beyond the left hand side of the floss.

Fold this second tail back under itself and continue stitching it to the cushion through all layers of trim.

Sometimes a bit of fraying occurs around the two ends but if you make a few extra stitches wrapping around the top and bottom edges you'll find the stragglers tuck in nicely. Tidy it up but don't stress. . . . .remember this is the back of the cushion and won't even be noticed.

Finally, tie off you thread and clip it free.
The lily pad is now complete!!!

Remember these?

The doll pin, head, base, and a few 8mm wooden beads will be our focus next week.

Along with them you'll need to gather up an assortment of brushes as well as a snippet of sandpaper.

And last but not least. . . . .PAINT!!!
Colors you may be interested in having on hand include
flesh tone for the body

pink for the cheeks

red for the lips

an eye color

a hair color

black and white for details

a gloss varnish to finish it all off!

Project for the day you ask?

Am feeling a bit of spring in the air and so decided to make up a Picca-Little pillow in something other than black and red for a change!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Made Another "Gimormous" Quilt Block

Thanks to a friend I was introduced to A Sentimental Quilter today. Now it wasn't as if I hadn't heard of Kathleen Tracy and her wonderful "little"quilt books before, but I was ignorant of the fact that she hosted a blog. So inspired was I after reading through her posts that I decided to do a bit of block making myself.

Although I desperately wanted to, I couldn't justify going hog wild and cutting away at a new mini quilt project knowing that the pattern for my second "Stash Party Stars" block of the month was awaiting attention. And so I tackled the 12 x 12 inch monster and am proud to say did a much better job of it! Sure I clipped a few of the corners off in the stitching process and have a bit of misalignment here and there but overall the nook witnessed far less grumbling and ripping out of seams than it did during last month's endeavour!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Made a Dozen

I did go back downstairs last night and wash up those dinner dishes. Boy what a difference it made to wake up this morning to a shiny sink! In fact, the whole day went as smooth as silk.....even the teenagers were pleasant! I put the finishing touches on my pincushion order, packaged up the happy dozen, and sent them on their way. Then this afternoon I even found myself with extra time to catch up on a few episodes of Emily of New Moon (my new favorite series and highly recommended for all Anne of Green Gables fans!)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Made it Through

Today was just one of those days. . . . . SCRAPPY!

A little bit of this and a little bit of that.

Awoke this morning to last night's dishes. . . UGH!

Coffee filter folded and escaped grounds made their way into the pot.

Homework assigned over February vacation week makes for two disgruntled teenagers.

Youngest doesn't want to shower for rest of vacation.

May not be able to as ALL towels discovered in pile on bathroom floor.

(suspect teenager #1)

Did laundry.

Discovered kid's lunch bag with moldy sandwich from last week in backseat of car.

(suspect teenager #1 again)

Post office was mobbed.

Grocery store even worse.

Lack of gluten free bread at store makes teenager #1 even more irritable.

Numerous complaints of "someone" hogging the TV and game system in basement.

(suspect teen #2 this time)

Dog ate through plastic bag and devoured all hot dog buns contained within.

Too tired to go back to store.

Make-do dinner not well received by youngest, teen #1, or teen #2

Dog throws up during make-do dinner.

Hubby working late. . . . again.

Dinner dishes remain.

If it weren't for the fact that I'd not yet "made" my daily object I'd have pulled the covers over my head and called it a day. Now, however, after taking the time to trim out and finish up one of the little doll scrap bags, I'm feeling as if I might just head downstairs and wash up those dishes after all!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Made it Better

A good night sleep will do wonders!

Made up a batch of the wee pincushions in the correct size. . . . .

. . . . .and thought of the perfect recipient for yesterday's "oops" version. . . .

. . . . .my very own Gail Wilson basic doll Nellie!

And now that she has started collecting sewing supplies of her own perhaps she'll soon make herself a proper outfit seeing how I've left the poor dear to roam around in her pantaloons these past several years!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Made a Little BIG Mistake

I've got myself an order of Yo-Yo pincushions to ship out come Friday and so knowing it would involve a slew of stuffing and stitching over the next couple of days I decided to get a jump start on the endeavour and prep up the rounds first thing this morning.

Fabric combos were selected. . . . . including some tiny choices for a few more scrap bag and pincushion sets for wee dollie friends.

A spell at the sewing machine this afternoon had them stitched up tight.

And then this evening, I put scissors to task and things really began to take shape!

As the stack of prepped rounds grew so did my excitement. . . . . I'd come up with the perfect "made" item for the day. . . . . one of the miniature doll pincushions to be the cherry on top!

In my excitement, however, I apparently sewed ON the line rather than WITHIN the line making my "cherry on top pincushion" too big. Yes that's right. . . . . TOO BIG!!!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Made an Attempt to Work Outside

Today it was beautiful. The sun was out all day long. I had intentions to join it and maybe even putter a bit in the gardens which, due to lack of our usual snow fall this year, are still very much visible. Unfortunately how it looked outside was not how it felt.....bitter cold!

In the end I decided it was a much better idea to stay inside, browse some garden books, and sip a cup of hot tea. Did give my green thumb a bit of exercise however in the creation of this little blossom bucket.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Made a Lily - Step 5.....and my something for the day

Step 5 - Attach a Faux Yo-Yo

First off select a fabric to make the "yo-yo" out of.

From the selected fabric cut a 3x12 piece.

Fold the piece in half with right sides together.

Stitch the two ends together using a 1/4" seam allowance. This will give you a fabric loop.

Use an iron to gently press the seam allowance open.

With wrong sides together this time, fold the fabric loop in half so the raw edges meet. Make sure to line up the seam as you do so.

Pin the raw edges together all around the loop and get ready the do some gathering!

Double thread a needle with approximately 70 inches of thread. This means you'll be toting a 35 inch thread tail but I think you'll be surprised how quickly it will get used up.

Starting at the seam lines, make gathering stitches 1/4 inch from the raw edges with an average of 3 stitches per inch.

Once the stitches meet back up at the seam line pull the thread tight cinching the raw edges into a circle. Take one more stitch and knot it to hold the fabric in place but do not cut the thread off.

Before we actually join these two together it's best to take a moment to tidy up that floss tail left dangling from the lily pad last week. If not you'll find it to be quite a nuisance!

First, draw it through the eyelet to the bottom side of the lily pad.

Next, insert two straight pins into the pad and wrap the floss back and forth around them.

Finally, tuck the last of the tail under and push the pins firmly down into the cushion.

Back to the top side of the lily pad, take a moment to decide what will be the back of the pincushion. You might want to put another straight pin in as a marker. . . . .see my tiny blue one up there?

Position the "yo-yo" on top so that the seam is lined up towards the back.

To attach the two pieces together, take the needle and thread down through the gathers of the "yo-yo". . . . .

. . . . . . continue straight through the inner edge of the eyelet. . . . .

. . . . . and out to the bottom side of the lily pad.

Now from the bottom, position the needle 1/4 inch over and pull the thread back up to the top (alongside the eyelet and through the "yo-yo' gathers.) Keep passing the needle up and down this way until the entire eyelet has been circled.

On the last stitch up from the bottom pass the needle alongside the eyelet but emerge BETWEEN the lily pad and the "yo-yo". . . . .

. . . . . and then ending with a tiny stitch on the underside of the "yo-yo" seam.

Since the "yo-yo" is only attached down in the middle it tends to pop up. Although kind of cute, if left this way it would hinder the dressing of the doll later on.

Take a few moments to pin down the edges making sure to create an even distribution as you do so.

Bit by bit make tiny tacking stitches by first picking up a small segment of the base fabric. . . . .

. . . . . and then a small section from the underside of the "yo-yo."

Work your way all around removing the pins as you go.

Once you've circle round, the thread can be knotted and finally cut free!

There's a bit more gathering is in store for you. . . . .this time however it involves supplies and not fabric! Have yourself a look see for some rick rack, pom pom trim, or other such decorative garland that suits your fancy. We'll be using it next week to gussy up the lily pad a bit more.

And what about my project for the day? The weekend turned out a bit more hectic than anticipated so I found myself turning to an old standby. . . . .yes yet another little doll pillow for the shop.