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December 31, 2012

Giveaway Winner



I was a little busier than anticipated during my vacation last week, so I just now had a chance to pull a winner from Mr. Random Number Generator for the Pearl Bracelet bundle.


Comment #85: Katie B. "I'd love to add this to my stash!"


I just emailed the winner, and if I don't hear back from her within 72 hours, I'll redraw for a new winner. 

A big thanks to Caitlin at I Don't Do Dishes for supplying the fabric, and to all of you for playing!

December 20, 2012

Pearl Bracelets Giveaway!



Lizzy House's long anticipated Pearl Bracelets line finally came out earlier this month, and to celebrate the holiday season with you fantastic readers, Caitlin and I have put together a 1/2 yard bundle for one of you to win! As we all know, I'm rather partial to cool colors, and it is winter (well, at least in the rest of the country...it's a balmy 65 degrees here in New Orleans), so I picked 9 different shades of blues, purples, and greens to celebrate seasonal sewing :)

Caitlin currently has the Pearl Bracelet line in her shop I Don't Do Dishes for the uber-reasonable price of  $8.25/yd, as well as bundles of the entire line - woot! And for the Tula Pink fans out there, keep your eyes peeled next month because she's going to be teaming up with Mara for an Anchor's Away QAL!


Keychain Clutches for my coworkers (used this pattern)

And speaking of holiday sewing, my Etsy shop was hopping this month, so I'm just now starting on my personal holiday sewing. Thankfully I got all the big stuff out of the way a few weeks back, but all my smaller gifts like bags and stocking stuffers are still on the To-Do List. And did I mention we're leaving for Kentucky for a week on Saturday morning? Eek! And did I also mention I'm coming down with the flu after struggling with a cold for two weeks, and it's that time of the month? Yeah...I'm about as friendly as a badger in a burlap sack right now. Which is not friendly at all, as my Great Uncle Hilliard could tell you.


Mama pouch and baby pouches. (Mama pouch made using this pattern)


Yes, that is actually my great uncle's name.

And yes, his four brothers once handed him a burlap sack that, unbeknownst to him, contained a badger. He was up on a horse, and they gave it to him and told him to toss it over his shoulder. Naturally, it bit him in the back through the sack. And he screamed and flung it involuntarily....whereupon it caught on the saddle near his leg, and the badger bit him again on the inner thigh. That's mountain humor for you. My grandpa nearly cried he was laughing so hard when he first told me that story, and I know I should have been horrified by it as a child...but I couldn't help but think he kind of had it coming, because who blindly accepts a burlap sack of unknown contents from their 4 teenage brothers? I'm sure there's a life lesson in there somewhere.




And I'm going to stop typing now, because somehow we've gone from Pearl Bracelet bundles to badgers. I blame the DayQuil.

GIVEAWAY RULES:
  • To win the badger Pearl Bracelet bundle, just leave a comment!
  • For a second entry, become a Follower (or leave a comment letting me know you already are).
  • Giveaway closes next Thursday, Dec. 27th at midnight, and I'll announce the winner via Random Number Generator on Friday. The winner will be emailed immediately, and if I don't hear back within 72 hours, I will re-draw for a new winner.
Good luck, and Merry Christmas!

December 17, 2012

Prep School Quilt Pattern



Hi readers! As promised, here is the free pattern to make the Prep School Quilt - follow this link to download the pdf.

Please leave a comment or shoot me an email if you have any issues with downloading. IMPORTANT: if you leave a comment, be sure I actually have a way to reach you!!! I've been getting a lot of comments lately from "no reply" readers that don't have an email on file, so I have no way to respond to their comment/question...soooooo frustrating! I feel really terrible because I don't want any of you to think I'm ignoring you, but unfortunately my hands are tied because I have no email address to reply to! You can click the "no reply" link up above if you aren't sure what that means, or want to fix the problems (there are instructions at the linked site on how to do that).

December 7, 2012

Whiskers' Midnight Snack

This is what happens in our house after Midnight. The crazies come out.

Ray was eating Ritz crackers on the couch when I asked him to come look at something in my sewing room. So he sets the bag on our end table and heads my way, and after a few minutes I'm like "what's that crinkling sound?". Ray goes to check it out and yells back "BABE! You gotta come in here right now!"

I will be narrating as the voice of Sir Whiskers.


*crunch crunch crunch*


Curse you infernal bottom-of-the-bag crumbs!!!


GAAHHHHH!!! You're so delicious, yet making a mess of my scolarly beard! But I must have you! IT HURTS SO GOOD!!!


What a delightful midnight snack. I award myself 10 points for the dismount.



Ray and I were pretty disappointed by the ending. We let things play out uninterrupted because we figured the end would be the best part - watching him try to wrestle the bag off his head once he was finished. I was envisioning several minutes of fruitless head shaking, rolling around, light growling, and maybe even some running around where he bashed into things because he couldn't see. But no. Immediately after finishing his snack. He used one paw to press the bag to the ground (see above), and expertly extracted his face from the belly of the beast.

Which leads me to believe he's either some kind of dog genius, or he's done this before.

Happy Friday :)

December 6, 2012

Fat Bottom Pouch Tutorial


 finished pouch measures about 4" x 3" x 2.5"


When Em and Elaine first approached me about participating in the Happy Little Pouch Blog Hop, I knew I wanted to do a tutorial for a simple little pouch. Something no-fuss that could be made in a few short hours. I don't know about you, but I have a TON of friends, family, and coworkers that I have to make birthday and Christmas presents for, so as much as I love show-stopping gifts and elaborate bags & pouches, sometimes it's nice to have a small, quick gift in your repertoire :) 

And if you end up using my tutorial, I'd love for you to post photos of your finished pouches in my Flickr group so I can see them!

MATERIALS
  • You will need the following for both your Exterior & Lining:
    • (2) 5" x 6" pieces
    • (1) 3" circle (click here for a template)
  • Rounded Metal Frame measuring 2" tall x 3" at it's widest point (base)
  • NOTE:  I didn't need interfacing for the Exterior because I used a heavier weight linen-cotton blend material. If you use a lighter material (like regular quilting weight cotton), you will need to interface the exterior fabric. Pellon 931TD is my go-to interfacing for bags and pouches. 

INSTRUCTIONS

Find all your Exterior pieces
 


Grab the first 5" x 6" piece and fold in half along the width, and finger press the seam. Open back up, and mark a line 1/2" from the center on either side. Then make a second mark 1/2" to the side of the 1st mark (on each side).


Pinch and fold the 1st mark so that it lines up and touches the 2nd mark, creating little pleats on each side. Secure in place with a basting stitch about 1/8" from the edge.

Grab your 2nd exterior piece and repeat.

Place your two Exterior pieces right side together (I didn't, but you can secure together with a few pins if you'd like). Making sure your frame is no less than 1/4" from the top of the Exterior panels, center on your fabric. Mark a line 1/4" away from the frame all the way around, extending about 1/4" past the hinges on each side.


Using a ruler, mark a line from the end of your frame arc to the bottom corner. Do this for both sides. Cut through both layers along the line to create your pouch Exterior.



Place your 2 Lining pieces right sides together (pin in place if you're having trouble with them shifting). Lay one of your Exterior pieces on top, align, and trace around the outside. Cut through both Lining layers along the line to create your Lining pieces.




...aaaand I just realized I forgot to take pictures of this next step (GAH!), but what you'll do is place your two Exterior pieces right sides together, and pin in place. Starting at the spot where the curve and the straight line meet (I like to think of it as the pouch's "waist"...lol), sew a 1/4" seam all the way down to the bottom point. Repeat for other side.

Leaving it wrong sides out, pull your Exterior pieces away from each other so they're no longer lying flat. It should look like a little tube of sorts, connected along those linear bottom sides.

Grab your Exterior circle, fold in half, and finger press the seam. If you want, on the wrong side of the circle, you can mark two little notches where the fold is (sometimes those folds can be hard to see...if you look on the left and right edges of the photo below, you can see my little blue lines).

Line up the seams at the bottom of your Exterior tube with each fold line/mark. Pin in place. Now that you have two pins in place, you can start edging the sides of the Exterior along the edge of the circle. You can see how I started pinning one side of the circle in place below, before moving on to the next.


Once you have your circle pinned to the bottom, flip it over and sew a 1/4" seam all the way around. It's easier to sew from this side because you can make sure all that fabric stays out of your way and doesn't get caught in the seam. It also allows you to prevent little "pinches" in your seam where it tries to bunch on you.


It should look something like this when you're done.


Cut notches all the way around the bottom.


 Repeat for Lining pieces. When finished, turn your Exterior right side out, and snuggle it inside the Lining so that they're right-sides together.



Line up the rounded tops of the Lining & Exterior on one side, and pin in place.


When you get to the other side, be sure to leave a small 1-2 inch opening at the top.


Starting on the side with the opening, begin sewing from the pin that marks the right edge of your opening, and sew down the right side just until you reach that side seam. Watch your Exterior piece underneath as you get close to that existing seam, because it can curl in on itself a little, and you might not catch it in your seam if you're not careful.


Flip to the other side (the "mouth" of your pouch will be wide open, as if you're jamming its face down on the sewing machine). Making sure you haven't caught the side you just sewed underneath, begin sewing just after that pesky side seam.



Sew happily along the entire curve of this side, since you don't have to leave a pesky opening here. Again, stop a hair before the side seam, flip around to the other side, and sew until you reach the pin marking the left edge of your opening.

When you're done, it should look something like this on the inside...


Turn right side out through the opening.


Iron the edges to set. Pin the opening closed, and sew a seam 1/8" from the edge to close (this is important because you want it to be hidden inside the frame).


Now, this part isn't necessary, but I think it makes the pouch look more polished, I like to edge-stitch along the exposed part of the pouch that doesn't fit inside the frame. Starting about 1" above the hinge-curve, sew a seam 1/8" from the edge. As you approach the curve, tug your fabric so that it fans out away from the needle. I slow my sewing down around the curve so I can smooth out any bunching as I go. Stop when you've sewn about 1" up the other side as well.

Make sense?


How about now?


Now that we're done with all that, it's time to glue the pouch into the frame. Starting from one end, work a thin layer of glue around the inside of one side of the frame. I use Gutermann Creativ glue purchased from While Baby Naps on Etsy. Me and all of my frame-pouch making friends swear by it. It's the bees-knees.

I know $11 might seem like a lot for one tube of glue, but it lasts FOREVER. I've been using the same tube for about a year and a half, and still have about 2/3 left.


Once you've finished applying your glue, quickly work one side of your pouch inside, making sure it's tucked up all the way in there on both sides. If you have trouble using just your fingers, a butter knife works well to help jam it up in there. I'm dainty like that ;)


Sit back and let it ruminate (while I illuminate the possibilities...). After about 10 minutes or so, I use a pair of clampy things to pinch the frame more tightly around the fabric. A lot of my friends skip this step, but it doesn't hurt, and I'd rather be safe than sorry.

I picked up my clampy things in the jewelry-making section at Joann's. No idea what they're actually called, but I like them because they have those little white foamy pads that keep the frame from getting dents/grooves when you clamp it.


Let your pouch ruminate a little more. About 30 minutes to an hour...or the length of an episode of Parks & Recreation, which is usually my gauge. You want the glue to set a little bit so that the side you've already done doesn't tug free while you're wrangling the other half into the frame.

Repeat glue and clamping process for the other side, and let your pouch sit for a while. I usually leave mine open like this so it can dry nice and good-like before I close it.

I looks kind of sad though now that I stare at it...like a fish gaping for oxygen. I'm sorry little pouch, but it's for your own good *pet pet*


And voila! Once it dries, you have one happy little pouch!


December 4, 2012

Prep School Quilt



Prep School Quilt
finished quilt measures 56" x 70"

I've had this quilt designed since the beginning of this year, but as per usual, there was the complication of actually finding time to make it. I had to put the rubber to the road last month though, because it's a Christmas gift for a family member, and there is NOTHING worse than trying to finish a quilt under the gun. I know, because I've done it the past few Christmases....and I'm about 72% sure that waiting until the last minute to make all my Christmas presents last year (and having to finish 20 gifts in 2 weeks) is what led to my herniated cervical disks the following month. So yeah, definitely don't want a repeat of that!

So, on to the good stuff.

Meet the Prep School Quilt! I know it looks super complicated, but I promise it is not! It's actually made of only 2 types of blocks, one of them being the mirror image of the other. So when you alternate the two types of blocks in your rows, it gives you the "woven" illusion.


I straight line quilted each woven "strip" to enhance the woven illusion. It was a pain in the butt to have to constantly stop & start (not to mention use 3 different colored threads)...but I think it was worth the extra effort in the end, and I'd do it again.


For the backing I used Lizzy House's "Foxes" in Pink Lemonade (it's from her Outfoxed line).


I'm going to post a free tutorial for this pattern later this week, so keep your eyes peeled. And no, this isn't like the time when I said I was going to post a Wet Bag Tutorial, and then never did (...which reminds me that I need to finish that). *sigh* There just aren't enough hours in the day. I really did have every intention of getting that tute up, but editing the photos takes HOURS and I just haven't had time. I'll probably post it when I'm in Kentucky for the holidays, since I'll be off work that entire week and will spend most of my days lounging around my parent's house in my pajamas.



To make a quilt exactly like mine, you'll need 1.75 yards of white, 1.5 yards of navy, and 0.5 yards of hot pink. I used Couture Cotton in Bright White from Caitlin at I Don't Do Dishes, Kona Cotton in Windsor (navy), and Kona Cotton in Bright Pink.

Brenda at Pink Castle Fabrics is offering a coupon for 20% off your entire purchase right now with the code INVENTORY20, so you can get a great discount on your solids if you'd like to go ahead and order them!

December 3, 2012

NYC Trip, Pt 2

I wanted to get these posted the day following my 1st post, but I contracted the Bubonic Plague from Ray and was under the weather all last week. Still have a cough that sounds like I'm one foot in the grave, but feel mostly normal other than that :)

Here are the rest of the photos from the other two days of our trip (Friday and Saturday). We flew out at butt o'clock in the morning on Sunday (had to wake up at 4 am aka "cave troll time") , so no photos from that day.

I love books, so one of my lifelong goals has been to make it to The Strand. It didn't disappoint! We headed out bright and early on Friday (my birthday!) to hit up my wishlist of The Strand, Purl Soho, and Zabar's. We got off the train on our way to The Strand, and ran into this adorable little Farmer's Market.



Apple cider + apple cider donut


Awesome comic book store next door to The Strand



Here's my haul from The Strand (and Zabar's when we visited later that day...the food was long gone by this point). Both books were brand spankin' new and I got them for $10 each - score!


Ray has been dying to try one of their hot dogs ever since watching Fools Rush In as a teen.


Mission accomplished


PURL SOHO!!!!!!!!!!!



Adorable wee sweaters that made my ovaries twinge.


Purl haul



Loving those felt buttons and Scottie hankie! I'm obsessed with getting Whiskers a tam o'shanter now.


Adorable wee marzipan Scottie at Dean & Deluca. Got in a 20 minute discussion with the pastry counter lady because she's been a lifetime Scottie owner and we started exchanging stories and sharing pet photos from our phones. Ray did a lot of eye rolling and went off to pant on the glass at the cheese area.


Zabar's. Completely mind blowing for a foodie like me. Ended up buying a tote bag, some lavendar & honey goat cheese + fancy crackers for that evening, some locally made artisan saurkraut, and a giant bag of chocolate rugelach (one of things I miss most from Chicago...can't really find them anywhere in New Orleans because there aren't any bakeries around that sell them).


Lucked out and the Brooklyn Renegade Holiday Craft Fair was that Saturday and Sunday (17th and 18th), so we went there first thing in the morning.

Hilariousness spray painted on the building next to where we parked in Williamsburg.



The Renegade Fair was at the  East River State Park in Williamsburg. And bonus, they had a food tasting fair going on in the area next to the craft tents, so after we were done at Renegade we all went over and sampled food from their trucks. There was a booth from a shop that specialized in homemade s'mores and treats, so I got a dark chocolate and peanut butter s'more that was TO.DIE.FOR. Everything about it was made from scratch...the marshmallow, graham crackers, etc. Mmmm...


Bought a couple things at Renegade, but my favorite was this Alice in Wonderland print from FlowersinMay.  I really wanted to get her circus one too for future babies, but managed to reign myself in...hoping to buy it after I get my Christmas money :)



I'm seriously contemplating applying to be in Brooklyn's Renegade Fair next year, because they didn't really have many sewn accessories like what I have in my Etsy shop. Most of the sewn items were clothes and baby items, so I think my chances are pretty good. I'd be happy if we went and I broke even with the cost of flying there...mainly I'd love the opportunity to get my business cards out to such a huge population in Brooklyn. So there's some food for thought.... :)

And make sure you guys check back tomorrow, because I'm posting a new quilt that I designed...hoping to get a free tutorial up for the pattern sometime early next year :)
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