Tuesday, June 30, 2009

More gifts for Baby

My first taggie! How much fun are these to make? And what a crowd pleaser. I have an instant order from my other cousin for one now. I used flannel and minky with both satin and grosgrain ribbon. And of course, top stitched for extra strength to keep those ribbons from pulling out. I love the little poodle applique, I got it from Sew Forum. I did have a little problem with the stitch out, but it was because I originally had the "fur" part in a silky fleece, but decided against it after I got the basting stitches in. So I took it out, but then when I tried to resume machine embroidering the minky, it wasn't lining up with the gray body stitches. So I trimmed it up as well as I could, and used my sewing machine to stitch it in place. It wasn't that bad, and I think I am getting better with my control. I may be ready for that free motion quilting foot soon!

Here is a shot of the minky back:

Next up, a vinyl covered fabric bib. My friend Allie suggested using a Teflon foot when sewing on vinyl. She is so smart. I'll be getting one of those, because I have a feeling I'll be doing alot more of these!

Remember I told you my gifts were the shower decorations. So I hung the name banner, then I strung up a pink "clothes line" and hung all of the gifts along the string. Not too original, but very cute! And I didn't have to worry about wrapping anything!

Of course, all babies need a burp cloth:

And bloomers:

These were quick and easy, thanks to my serger! And, thanks to Heather Ross Weekend Sewing, I decided to try elastic thread around the leg openings. SO SO EASY!! I used to dread doing that teeny tiny casing for the leg elastic! I WON'T be doing that anymore! The elastic thread makes it "gather" so cute. At my niece's birthday party, there was a 4 year old little girl in a pair of red gingham bloomers with elastic thread around the leg openings...she was TOO CUTE! Now I have added several pair of these for my almost 3 year old to wear for the rest of the summer!

Speaking of the birthday party... the Grandmother Aprons were a hit! They were very appreciative and got almost as much attention as the birthday girl!

I was also very happy to see alot of Handmade clothing on the little girls at the party. I was very flattered when people assumed I made some of the things, but I set them straight and oohed and aahed like everybody else. Just another reason for us to move back "home", I could be around all of that creative goodness more often! Oh well, I can dream... I do love Lafayette, but there is something to be said about having family live "down the street". I know my kids would LOVE it! Well, off to bed with me. My cute as a button teen-aged niece is here for the week, and I tend to take full advantage of her "occupying" my children tomorrow. Until later...

Monday, June 29, 2009

Her Name in Flowers

It was a great baby shower! She loved everything, and got lots of good "stuff"! One of my gifts, which made me decide to use all of her gifts as decorations, was a flower garland for the baby's room. My inspiration? The fabulous felt creations from Kindershop! I regularly read her blog and visit her Etsy shop to see what's new. She has the cutest name banners! Go check them out! OK, so when I checked the link, she is currently on vacation...the LUCKY girl, but please check back in a week or so, she really does have the cutest things!
My name banner was specifically inspired by Allie. If she can make Wonky Houses look so darn cute, then why not Wonky Flowers?
And WOW are they wonky! I used stiff craft felt from Hobby Lobby for the backing to make sure it would be strong enough for the machine embroidery. It was, but the yellow is regular felt, I thought it would be ok as the top or middle layer. In the picture it is hard to see, but I did do a small amount of hand embroidery, just to add a little "something". And it also worked well to string the ribbon through, which I wasn't sure HOW I was going to do that. The baby's "theme" is jungle babies, and I thought about doing animal faces or shapes, but decided to go a little more "girly" so it would grow with her. I actually did a jungle baby theme with my first, and I knew it was a girl. After she got to be about 2, I was ready for butterflies, and princesses...so I kinda went with my own feelings and am happy to say they were right! So, I will be back to post more baby shower goodness tomorrow, until later...

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Aprons for the Grandmothers

I have been very busy this week! It is my niece's first birthday, and I am also a hostess for my cousin's baby shower this weekend. I am sorry I haven't had anything finished to post, but I will be making up for it next week! I decided to do these aprons for the Grandmothers to wear at the birthday party. I am very happy with how they turned out! I started working on them, around 3:30 or so in the afternoon. It is now 3:30 or so in the MORNING!! I am tired, so this will be a short and sweet post!

I bought an apron at JoAnn's for $1 and pretty much just laid it out over my fabric and cut around it! I am not a perfectionist, as you can probably tell by now! :) I just thought I'd wing it! The birthday girl's "theme" is lollipops. You may remember the hat and bloomers I did for her already. If you would like to see them again, they are in one of the slide shows on the left, or you can go here. So anyway, I thought it would be super cute for the grandmother's to have on aprons since the party is a Sweet Shop theme. I machine monogrammed the lollie and name, on some fabric, then made it a pocket. I decided to use ribbon for the waistband and tie, because it was quick and easy! The most difficult part was the ruffle, of course! I decided to get some practice by using my serger! I only had to pull out the seam ripper once! That is a success for me. :D I have a ruffler foot for my serger, it is pretty neat, you put the fabric that is to be gathered on the bottom. Then the fabric you want to attach it to in the slot that is on "top", for lack of a better word, of the foot. It takes some getting used to, but all in all I really like this option! It is very fast and once you get the hang of it, pretty easy. I did press and top stitch the seam to make it nice and flat. I think they will be very happy with them!

Here is a close-up of the lollie applique, isn't it cute? This is for my SIL's mother. It is what her first grandchild called her, so it will be her "name" from now on! My mother is Grammy.

I also did a bib for the birthday girl, so when she digs into the cake, her dress will stay nice and clean! Another first! I usually just do the monogramming on some vinyl and sew on an absorbent backing, but I have been wanting to try adding clear vinyl to fabric. I had some difficulties at first, but once I smartened up and realized the vinyl was sticking to my presser foot, it all went together easily! I know to use tissue paper when sewing vinyl, but I needed to see my top stitching, so I grabbed a small square of scrap stabilizer and just slowly walked it under the left hand side of my presser foot. A little bit slower than I tend to go, but I got the results I wanted! To achieve this effect, while I was sewing my right sides together with the vinyl sandwiched in, I made sure there was enough excess vinyl sticking out for me to gently pull to make sure it was not too loose. If you pulled too tight, the vinyl distorts. It is also important to make sure there are no stray threads or fuzzies under the vinyl before top stitching the opening closed! I hope this is all making sense, my eyes are starting to close and I still have a few more things to do before I leave in the morning! Hope you all have a great weekend, and if you are getting rain....SEND IT TO ME!! We haven't had any in at least TWO WEEKS!! I'll be back Monday with all of the goodies for the shower...I am "decorating" with my gifts! Until later...

Monday, June 22, 2009

For my Father

Well, it is now officially NOT Father's Day anymore, but here is a dedication to my daddy. As you probably don't know, my father is my BIGGEST blog follower! You don't know this because he has yet to figure out how to comment! This could be a blessing because there is no TELLING what stories he would tell! :) He tried to comment during my giveaway, but it didn't go through, so I'm thinking he just gave up. Instead, he calls me and tells me his comment! So anyway, to my daddy...I LOVE YOU! My father worked alot, like most father's do, so as I was growing up, he couldn't make it to middle of the week school functions. But he made up for it by taking us down the river on the weekends! He was very strict on us when it came to school work and grades. He made my sister memorize ALL of the Presidents, IN ORDER! But he would reward us by taking us on really fun vacations, like Washington D.C., Niagara Falls, and lots of Gulf shore Beach destinations (my mom's favorite!). We never got brand new fancy cars when we turned 16, but no matter how many "accidents" I was in (and there was ALOT), he always made sure I had a car to drive. My father taught me right from wrong, and gave me advice when he'd think I needed it! He taught me to put family above all else, because they are with you for the long haul! And most of all he taught me love. When you are a kid, you always question why your parents do the things they do, why do they yell and punish, why do they stop you from going to that party or club? "Don't they love me?" When you become a parent, you understand. Thank you daddy for loving me enough to punish me FOR LIFE every time I got in trouble! You kept me safe, and you helped guide me toward the path I needed to be on in order to succeed in life! I love you, and I hope you had a nice day!

In sewing news...I am working on a lot of little things that have to be finished this week, so hopefully I will have something posted soon! Until later...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thinking of my Granny

I think of my Granny often since she left us a little over a year ago. She was magnificence in action! Everything you would think a Granny would be. While I was at my parents this past weekend, I spent most of my time reading my awesome Library books. You may have heard of them, Seams to Me and Weekend Sewing? I was very excited to find them at my Library to say the least! Anyway, Heather Ross talks about her vintage Singer Featherweight in her book, and it got me to thinking...my Granny sewed and so did my mother. Now, not full-time sewing and not as voraciously as me, but none the less, they sewed. So I asked my dad what kind of sewing machine did Granny have..."I don't know, but it's upstairs...if you want it." IF I WANT IT! Well....yeah! "Your mom's is up there too." DOUBLE YEAH!

So I run upstairs, dig around, and finally find this:

It is a Singer 301A Slant Needle Sewing Machine with a hinged Long Bed extension. Fabulous! I have only started doing some research on this machine, but I found some interesting things here and here. Thankfully the second link is picture heavy so much better views than the ones I've taken, and there is a link to the history of the machine....sweet!! According to the Singer dating site, this machine was manufactured in Anderson, SC starting in 1951. I haven't sewed on her yet, but once I clean, oil, lubricate, I will be giving her a test run. I am anxious to try quilting on her, that long bed extension and generous opening looks like it will be a dream to quilt on! Here are some more shots I took...

Like I said, there are much better pictures at the second link! Anyway, I am excited that I will have this connection to my Granny with me always! And every time I make something with it I will imagine her seeing it and being proud! I love you and miss you every day, Granny!

So, my mother's machine stayed behind because it will need a little more room because it is in it's own cabinet!! I haven't started the research on it, but believe it is Japanese. Once I do the research and make some room, it too will find a new home here! Well, back to my WIPs! Until later...

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Camera Strap

Hi! How was your weekend? Mine was nice and relaxing yet again. We went back to my folks to get Ms. Priss, and decided to stay the whole weekend! SO I have several WIPs, but nothing completely finished! I did, however, decide that it was time for me to have a camera strap cover. It seems everyone has one, and now there is a HUGE selection on Etsy to choose from, I figured it was time to make myself one. Here it is:

Of COURSE it is LSU! Because of all the quilts I do, I have TONS of little scraps to choose from! I was going to monogram our name on it, but was in a time crunch and didn't want to add this to my LIST of unfinished works!! Aren't you just HAPPY when you actually have something to SHOW for all of the time you spend at the machine?

I whipped it up rather quickly, and kinda by the seat of my pants, so there are a few things I would do differently next time. But it will do lovely for now and I will always know which camera is mine, since I have a "problem" laying it down and forgetting where I put it!!

While I was at my parents, I FOUND a gem...stayed tuned because it will be a treat! Until later...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Calling all Knitter/ Sewers!

Run, don't walk to Ralvery! Sign up! Get the invitation! Sign In! And this weekend you can be making this:
This too stinkin cute design is from Natalie Larson and is a free PDF download for Ravelry members, so...

GO NOW!! Sorry the pictures are so awful! I took them outside at the worst possible time, I was just so excited at how cute and EASY this was!!

It is called the Two Summer Dress, because it can be worn for two summers! The straps cross the first year, and go straight the second year! Natalie even has an adult version, but sadly no pattern that I've seen... I am so thankful to Karen at Karen Squared for bringing this pattern to my attention!! I will try to get better pictures this weekend when she wears it again!! So why are you still here? Go to Ravelry!!! Until later...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Busy Friday...relaxing weekend!

I had a baby shower to attend for a dear friend having twin girls, and in true form I waited until the last minute to finish up the gifts! But aren't they cute? I decided that tutus would be the best gift from me! These will be her first babies, she has a HUGE family, she is a lawyer, and has lots of friends...so I figured NO ONE would give her tutus! And so far...I was right! I tried something different with the onesies this time. Instead of monogramming on the onesie, I did and applique on fabric then sewed it onto the onesie with a zigzag stitch. What do you think? These are 0 to 3 months size which is very tricky to maneuver in my hoop, so it was a little easier to do it this way and I kinda like the outcome, although I am still not sure about the color of the name thread, it is maybe too light. So next time, I'll know! Here are some closer shots of the onesies.

Next up, my sister decided she needed some burp cloths for some friends' showers, "if you have the time"! Who has the time!! But she is my sister and I owe her money so...

These were for the mom-to-be of a baby boy...and the ones below are for the mom-to-be of a baby girl!

And since I was on a roll, I decided to make one for my cousin, since I have been neglecting her lately! Thankfully she is too tired to notice!

You know, I don't like to leave my machine embroidery bobbin side showing, so I added the fabric on the back of the burps to cover it. While I was having fun making up little patterns, I thought...why not a pocket? So the middle fabric square on one of the blues is a pocket, and the single fabric square on the pink is a pocket. What would you use it for? Any ideas. My sister kinda looked at me funny, rolled her eyes and said "thank you!" She is not the sewing type, but for their anniversary she booked a pottery class for her and her hubby...I was surprised at how lovely their creations were! I love seeing craftiness in someone you don't expect it from!
So after my busy Friday, I went to my folks for the shower, which was very nice with lots of yummy food, and then relaxed the rest of the weekend by the pool! AAHH! This week, I'll be back to the machine, hopefully finishing up WIPs, and maybe starting some new things. And I will post the tutus from the giveaway as soon as I know the recipients have them!! Speaking of...Amy from During Quiet Time is PATIENTLY awaiting the birth of her baby girl, she is being shy about entering the world...go check her out, wish her well, and see what she is up too while she is waiting!! Until later...
*I am having problems linking to Amy right now, please keep checking until the link is back up! :D*

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Meet The Brothers

In honor of Sew, Mama, Sew!'s Sewing Machine Month, I've brought out The Brothers for an interview. So here are the questions, I'll answer to the best of my ability!

What brand and model do you have? I started with the bottom and am still working my way up! As you can see, I am a Loyal Brother user, simply because it was what I started on and I understand their temperament. My first machine (not shown, but still in use) LS-2125, next upgraded to the CE-4000. My serger is the 1034D, and this is my second embroidery machine PE-700. I had the Disney SE-270D, but a circuit card died and it was not cost efficient to replace it so I upgraded instead.
How long have you had it? I got my first machine in 2005, then I got my first embroidery machine a year later. I got all new machines last year.
How much does that machine cost (approximately)? My CE-4000 was a refurbished machine from an Ebay dealer and was $95. My serger was a gift from my parents and was $250, and my most expensive is the embroidery machine which was $700.
What types of things do you sew (i.e. quilting, clothing, handbags, home dec projects, etc.)? Well...if I could direct your attention to the left of the screen, you will see my slide shows...I have tried pretty much EVERYTHING! :)
How much do you sew? How much wear and tear does the machine get? I am a terrible procrastinator...so my machine gets a work out a couple of times a week. We are talking ALL DAY marathons to get things done! On weeks that I try to plan out, no less than 3 days a week.
Do you like/love/hate your machine? Are you ambivalent? Passionate? Does she have a name? You know, my machines work pretty well, and when I get stuck on something I automatically think "Operator Error!". I do LOVE my serger, it is a time saver. I had difficulties with my machine when I was sewing with the elastic thread, I am convinced that it has something to do with the drop-in bobbin and I am going to try it again on my old machine to see if there is a difference. My embroidery machine...definitely LOVE/HATE!! We have needle issues, we have thread issues, we have tension issues. But sometimes I think that it all comes down to a design issue. I download a lot of "untested" designs which I really love AND they are free, but I think that has a little to do with certain problems that occur...you know everyday really is a learning process. This is why I am still in the "low-end" machines. I don't want to break a really nice expensive one, I am already scared to mess with my embroidery machine because of the cost!
What features does your machine have that work well for you? I love the threaders! I HATE to thread the machines manually. I don't know why because it is not that bad, I guess I am spoiled! I have to thread the serger all of the time, so I guess NOT having to thread my other machines is a bonus! But I do love that the serger cuts the fabric as it sews!!
Is there anything that drives you nuts about your machine? On my CE-4000, there is a button you have to push to backstitch, whereas on my other machine it was a lever and foot pedal action. I am not crazy about the button, it only does ONE backstitch at a time and is inconvenient to have to slow my roll to push that button a couple of times.
Do you have a great story to share about your machine (i.e., Found it under the Christmas tree? Dropped it on the kitchen floor? Sewed your fingernail to your zipper?, Got it from your Great Grandma?, etc.!)? We want to hear it! My machines take a CONSTANT beating from my kids. They love to come in my sewing room and push buttons, pull threads, throw pedals... That might have been what happened to my first embroidery machine. I had to "fish" out a pair of tweezers from my NEW embroidery machine, TWO days after I got it! I'm not sure how they even got in it!
Would you recommend the machine to others? Why? Most definitely! If you are a beginner sewer and don't have alot of money, I think Brother makes solid machines. Their instructions are clear and the manuals are okay. You can go to their website and download manuals for free. I also have an AWESOME dealer and even though I didn't get my sewing machines from him, he is always very helpful. I think he knows one day when I am ready to make that BIG purchase, I will come to him...well I sorta already did with my embroidery machine! Anyway, I am happy with what I have now, but I know that as my skills improve I will eventually upgrade to a more expensive machine...but I want to make sure I won't break it first!
What factors do you think are important to consider when looking for a new machine? Threading is a big deal for me, I would love an automatic backstitch, and maybe a bigger sewing area for quilting.
Do you have a dream machine? No, I try to stay ignorant about the greatness out there until I am ready to make a purchase! :)

WHEW! That took a lot out of me..hopefully I did ok, and if I didn't clarify myself please feel free to leave a comment, just try not to be too hard on me! :D Until later...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I have Followers?

How? When? I am SO honored! Just think, THREE people LIKE me enough to actually call themselves my followers!! Now, I'm a rockstar! Oh, but...does that mean I am going to feel pressure to blog everyDAY? Nah...too hard! :D Thanks you guys! You've made my DAY! I don't even know HOW to follow blogs, I guess I need to figure it out...

So if you haven't noticed by now, I've been pretty NOT busy sewing this week! And I need to be. I have a baby shower this weekend and I haven't even decided WHAT to make. And with all the awesome blogs I've been visiting, you'd think I would have TONS of ideas! Ok, the all caps are starting to annoy me...

Here is another hooded towel I did for a birthday gift a couple of weeks ago, I just didn't have the picture ready until now. This applique gave me fits...

It is the same paw print applique I used on the brown/ green cammo towel, so double the fits. Once I figured out the stitch out pattern it was ok, but at first....sheesh! And then the cutaway!! Those "toes" are pretty close together, so cutting away the applique fabric was tricky, especially with the terry cloth.

Well, I am sure after this sorry excuse for a post, my followers will desert me...sorry! I am finishing up the tutus for the giveaway and will hope to have them out tomorrow, which is the deadline we were given! So ladies...be watching the mail! :) I'll send you an email when I officially have them sent! Thanks again to all who participated, I had so much fun. So much in fact that I have decided to join my new friend at Urban Craft in a PIF, which for those of you who don't speak "blog" is Pay It Forward! Details of this will be coming up so stay tuned! Until later...

Monday, June 1, 2009

And the WINNERS are...

True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 32 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
This is Tam at Blake + Boo makes Two!
True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 16 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
This is Amy at During Quiet Time
True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 145 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
This is Michelle in Minnesota
Ok, so I figured out where to go and how to use the Random Number Generator, but not how to get the fancy box like the one on the web page! So I didn't feel like grabbing my camera and taking a picture because, you know, it's LATE! And I am TIRED! I am sleeping in today so I am posting this now and emailing all of the winners!
And about those WINNERS! I figured every 50 or so comments deserved a chance...so hence the THREE winners. First up, Tam. She is a mum to two; one boy, one girl. I'm pretty sure she lives in Australia, at least that's what google told me "The Gold Coast" was. Check out her blog, she is just starting up again and enjoys sewing and knitting! Next up is Amy! If you frequent Sew, Mama, Sew! like I do, you probably know Amy! She is always in the forum giving out compliments and advice and showing off her beautiful, mad sewing skills! She has a 3 year old daughter, and is probably giving birth AS I TYPE! :D Nah, according to her latest post she is still awaiting the arrival of daughter #2! I guessed a May 31st birth on her giveaway...I was wrong! And Amy, no mother should EVER have to chose between children so you will be getting a size 4t AND a 0-6mo size! Amy's blog is on the left under People I learn from. Lastly is Michelle. Michelle has a 3 year old daughter who loves pink! She is a Scorpio and is located in Minnesota. Ok Michelle, it would have been nice to have more information about you OTHER than what Blogger Profile could tell me!! I expect a 300 word comment telling me all about YOU! :D Just kidding! I'll send you an email...we'll talk, I mean type.
Thank you all so much! It has been an EXTRAORDINARY giveaway! I've been all over the WORLD visiting many blogs and making new bloggy friends. And the comments...so sweet! I would have had one more if my DAD could figure out how to post a comment! :D He did it as an Open ID/URL not knowing what it meant! Thanks for trying Daddy! I love you!
So there you have it! A nice ending to a wonderful May Giveaway Day! I will be working my fingers to the bone to make up for everything I DID NOT do during the giveaway! And I will get those tutus out by June 3, just like Sew, Mama, Sew! told me too! Until later...