I FINISHED a Quilt!

IMG_5542I made this for a friend and her soon-to-be-born son. It’s my first finished quilt. Until now I was an excellent quilt top maker. I think I have 3-4 unfinished tops in boxes around the house somewhere.

I like that this one was much smaller and easier to handle. Putting the binding tape on was  kind of a bear though. I ended up being an hour late to the shower because first – spare threads EVERYWHERE! Every time I thought I was done, another 20 would pop up. Then, just as I was folding it to wrap I noticed I completely missed the binding tape. Like by an inch. How I didn’t notice the dark blue thread on the red background, I’ll never know. I had to rip out and re-stitch almost one whole side of the quilt. Had to force myself to slow down, too.

Anyway, it’s a very basic quilt. I just used my ruler to cut the strips then stitch them together and cut the strips into squares. I couldn’t decide how to do the quilting because half the squares were a textured fabric that I didn’t want to flatten. What I ended up doing was crisscross quilting on the Marvel squares which I think looks cute. I’m pleased with the final results.

I think I’m going to try a more abstract strip quilt for my next project.

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Why Didn’t I think of That?!

Cassie Stephens' DIY Planters

Doncha hate when you’re cruising along admiring the sites on the Internet when you find that one thing, one idea that is soooo simple you want to slap yourself in the forehead and say, “Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?!”

Cassie Stephens’ blog has super fun ideas on DIY and fashion and art with kids (she’s an art teacher). I just got my mom a Meyer Lemon tree for Mother’s Day because, apparently, not living in a desert means you have to buy (what?) citrus at the (get this) grocery store. You can’t just pop out the back door in your jam-jams and pluck oranges and lemons right off your own tree – or your neighbor’s tree if there’s overhang. Even my condo complex has lemon trees that produce most of the year. Buying lemons – really? What’s this world coming to? Anyway – where the heck was I driving this train? Oh yeah, planters. This lemon tree will probably go through 2-3 planters in the next couple of years (if it lives that long). I’d like to start it off in something more economical than the $60 planter I found at the garden store.

Here’s an idea that saves you money, upcycles something that was headed for the landfill and looks like something original that 900 other people don’t already own. No cat? Try a pickle tub or an old plastic trashcan. Just paint it up and go!

Cassie Stephens: DIY: Kitty Litter Containers to Pattern-y Planters!.

If you don’t need a planter, I bet you do need a doughnut hat. Am I right?

Old Lamps, New Wiring

Lamp Rewire

4 the love of wood: VINTAGE ISN’T ALWAYS SAFE – lamp re-wiring tutorial.

4 the Love of Wood has a great tutorial on rewiring lamps yourself. Wish I had known about this about a decade ago. My grandmother wanted her lamps rewired, but I thought it would be too complicated. You don’t want to experiment with electricity.

Still, this is easy to follow and the photographs are very helpful.

Handbag Quest

I’ve been tempted to buy a new handbag. For some reason, the perfect handbag is an elusive beast. I guess you can never know when you are in the store unless you empty your current purse of belongings and stuff them in the contender then walk around for a bit waiting for the opportunity to find your phone, keys, tissue or lip balm in 5 seconds or less.  Stores tend to frown upon the testing of their products in such a fashion.

Features I want: an outside pocket that can be secured. An inside pocket. Room for a book, some knitting and my wallet (which changes sizes regularly). A place that is super accessible for a lip balm or two. Features I don’t want: chains, superfluous pockets, tassels, heavy findings – all things which serve to make the purse heavier than it ought to be. Trust me, I’ll make it heavy enough!

I talked myself out of spending $30 (who am I? A Rockefeller?!) on an okay looking bag at Target by reminding myself that I can make a mighty fine handbag.  So I’ve been combing the internetz for styles and patterns. Boy! There’s a lot to choose from!

The Market Tote from Sew 4 Home is one of the first ones I’ve considered. My variation would likely be less deep and feature a wide outer pocket with a snap or button.  And I’d lose the ribbon. Incorporate a loop closure, I think.  We’ll see if this becomes the dream bag. So many others to look through!

Pincushions

It used to be that every woman with a sewing basket had a serviceable pincushion. Probably the most popular from my mother’s day is the tomato pincushion with the little strawberry filled with steel wool attached. That was supposed to keep your needles clean so they flowed through your fabric easier. Never really worked for me though – I would leave my needles in there and next thing you know I’ve got rusty needles. Probably left them in there too long.

I have my grandmothers old pincushion and it is a little pillow of embroidered felt. The embroidery is little flowers and French knots – very feminine looking. I’ve some similar looking ones on Etsy. Check out Sea Pinks and Maria Down Under for some beautiful pincushions.

But it’s always nice to make your own.

Spincushion has a tutorial for a delightful pincushion frame that you can definitely make in a short time. It would make a great little gift for a sewing-minded friend. I like how you can definitely tailor it to suit any personality or preference.

Tipjunkie has a nice roundup of 21 pincushions to make – all shapes, sizes and uses.

 

Garland O Hearts

Valentine’s is on it’s way. I think a simple paper heart garland is a nice touch.  Easy enough to do at the last minute (that’s when all my best work comes out!)

If you aren’t familiar with sei lifestyle, it is a great blog with lots of tutorials and excellent photos. It has several different authors so the projects vary in style and appeal. The tutorials are well laid out and easy to follow.

Go take a peak and enjoy these talented artists!