February 29, 2008

any day now….

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 12:27 pm

    ravelry > antsy

    patiently awaiting your invite?

    Found you!
    • You signed up on February 18, 2008
    • You are #110857 on the list.
    • 196 people are ahead of you in line.
    • 7200 people are behind you in line.
    • 93% of the list has been invited so far

    Okay, so I’m a patient person.  Basically.  I’ve been #197 for a couple of days now after moving up the list at a pretty good clip.  I’ve been checking my email just to see if my invite has come.  So I’m about to drag out my college statistics book to determine my chances of the invite coming tomorrow, while I’m at the SewExpo for 12 hours. 

    I guess I can use this time to think up my ravelry name.  I’ve been using the same user name at various sites for years, maybe this is a chance to try something new.

    And while I’m waiting, I’m making one of my periodic attempts to learn to knit:

    Between the Idiot’s Guide and “even a 5 year old can do this” video, maybe knitting will finally get a solid foothold in my brain and I can start making some of the oh-so-lovely things I see on other blogs.

    No sewing today…I’m getting the house cleaned up in preparation for not being home all day tomorrow…so that when I come home tomorrow night, it will look about like it did before I started this morning, lol, and not worse!

    (My husband is a great and wonderful man, who works hard to provide for us and never complains when I get so caught up in sewing I forget to make dinner.  However, when I’m gone, his only job is to keep our children alive.  Housework is not part of the deal. 🙂 )

    Gotta go check the email, maybe my ravelry invite has come!

    February 28, 2008

    Going to SewExpo in Two Days!!!

    Filed under: crochet, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 12:44 pm

    I had a wretched headache yesterday.  The ibuprofen I took only brought the pain down to a level where I could be up and about.  Putting together two logical thoughts in a row was impossible.  I knew better than to try to sew or do anything that requires remembering what you’re doing.  So I did housework, laundry and watched a friend of our neighbor corner the swan and take him to his new home far away.  🙂  The swan was beautiful, but once he starting charging at my children, wings spread and trumpeting loudly…well, either the neighbor did something or animal control would. 

    Later last night, I was feeling a bit better and tackled some simple sewing.  First up was curtains for my fabric stash.  My sewing room is a converted sun porch with windows on three sides, with the fourth open to the living room.   I like having the blinds open all the time, but of course I don’t want my fabric to fade.  So I made some very simple curtains from a bolt of $1/yd Walmart fabric I bought before I knew what good fabric was, lol!

    This is just a teeny part of my stash, but it is the easiest to take a picture of.  These half height bookcases support my cutting table.

    Next I made a new cover for my ironing board.  I just laid the board on the fabric, traced around it, adding a few inches so it would wrap all around the board and a couple of inches underneath (something my old cover didn’t do well).  I did a quick turned hem all around, leaving an opening for the string I reused from the old cover and it came out perfectly.  Now, if I can just keep this one from getting fusible gunk on it…..

     You can see it below, along with some of the tote bags and scrubbies I’m making for a swap.  The board fabric is Alexander Henry Picnic, my mostest favorite fabric (at least right now!).

    Today and tomorrow I will be working on finishing up the swap items (must mail by Saturday) and continuing to work on my friend’s jumpers.

    But on Saturday, it’s my day away!  I’ll be spending the day at “the nation’s largest sewing show!”, the Sewing & Stitchery Expo  in Puyallup, WA.  This is my third year going and it’s just so much fun!!  All kinds of new products to look at, classes to take and all the major sewing machine companies are there.  Which is part of my excitement this year, as I’m starting to shop for an embroidery machine.  It will be a while before I buy one, but the Expo is the perfect place to see all the different models on the same day at the same place!

    I’m also going to try to list a few things on Etsy over the next couple of days…a few hairsticks and an apron and a couple of bags, so check my Etsy store to see what’s new there.

    February 26, 2008

    a pretty everyday hairstick?

    Filed under: ideas — Tags: , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 1:31 pm

    I have really long hair…it is around hip length, and since I’m nearly six feet tall, that’s a lot of hair.  I wear my hair up during the day and I prefer to use a hairstick to anchor my twist or bun.  I can almost always get the entire length wrapped up and secured with a single hairstick in about ten seconds.  I don’t wear much jewerly, so I think of my hairsticks the way some women think about earrings.   I want them to compliment my clothing and general style.

    The problem is most hairsticks are either very plain or very fancy.  Nothing wrong with that!  It’s just that most days I want something in the middle:  pretty, elegant, simple, classy.  So I made some and I’m thinking of listing them in my Etsy store.

    What do you think????? Please leave a comment. 🙂

    (still playing with my camera and light box, seeing what I can do)

    February 25, 2008


    Filed under: crochet — Tags: , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 8:48 am

    We had a busy weekend that didn’t allow me much time to sew or do housework. 🙂  So I will be focusing on getting the house back to a livable state after we finish our homeschool time this morning.  I will post my weekly “to-sew” list either late tonight or tomorrow.

    In the meantime, if you missed the post over at thekidneybean’s Whole Lot of Craft about these tawashi rosebud scrubbies, you missed a great way to use up scrappy yarn and get a useful item out of it!

    I hooked up a few of these in just a couple of hours.  Sometimes a little project like this, quick and uncomplicated, is just what I need.

    (I was playing with my camera settings this morning, can you tell??)

    Have a great day and I’ll be back when my house is presentable!

    February 22, 2008

    sewing after midnight or “oops”

    Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , — Lady M Quilts @ 10:00 am

    I spent yesterday finishing up two jumper style dresses for my friend and the coming and going bag for Retro Femme, and getting the RF items listed.  It was pretty late when I finished hemming the second dress, almost midnight, which is when I usually go to bed.  But I recently bought a new pincushion pattern and wanted to try it out. It’ll just take a few minutes, I thought. Ha!

    I decided to try the turtle.  It was a close contest with the owl.  I picked out the fabrics, and started cutting the pattern pieces.  The whole thing was smaller than I thought and I had to sew the leg pieces together on top of a piece of tear-away interfacing to keep my machine from eating them.  The baby ric rac tried mightily to wander off the seams, but I (mostly) wrestled it back into place.

    Around 1:30 AM, I got to the point in the directions that said “baste the legs, tail and head to the bottom”.  Ha! I thought.  I’ll just pin and pinch.  I grabbed the top and started sewing it to the bottom.  I got around to the last bit and discovered the top was slightly too big for the bottom, so I eased it on.  Looked good.  I turned it through the seam in the bottom and discovered…

    I must of let go of the leg while I was easing the top.  sigh.  poor guy.

    I’ll try again this weekend, but first I’m going to enlarge the pattern by 50%.  And use regular ric rac.

    We’re off to a playdate this sunny and mild morning, but this afternoon I’ll be adding a circangle tote to my Retro Femme offerings.  Stocking is at 10 PM EST, 7 PM Pacific.

    Have a fun day!!

    February 20, 2008

    Feb 20th ~ Midweek Project Update

    Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 3:35 pm

    I’m moving along at a pretty good clip on my sewing to-do list for the week.  Of course, this means that my housework is sliding, but that’s a small price to pay for feeling so productive!

    I’ve finished both the zippered lined pouch (tutorial below!) and the apron.  Here is the apron, made from Alexander Henry’s Kleo fabrics.  I really like this fabric, it has a very nice hand.

    And I’m a little past half-way done with the Coming & Going bag.  I need to decide which fabric to use for the handle…either the blue denim (it’s a nice, soft non-stretch denim) or the red home decor weight.  I’m leaning towards the red…

    Notice the very nice free motion quilting on that top piece?  Yes, it is nice, thank you very much. 🙂  Both these items, plus the pouch below, are listed at Retro Femme.

    My toddler is awake, now, so it’s the housework’s turn for my attention. I’ll finish these tonight.

    February 19, 2008

    Zippered Lined Pouch or Bag tutorial

    Filed under: sewing, tutorials — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 3:01 pm

    Making a zippered and lined pouch or bag is fun and a great way to gain experience with zippers.  Here is how I do mine, which may or may not be the same as everyone else. 🙂

     To get started, you will need:

    *fabric for outer and lining of bag, cut to the size you want your bag to be, plus 1/2 inch seam allowance.  I cut my lining pieces about a 1/4 inch smaller than the outer, I think it makes the lining fit better.

    *zipper that is the same length as the top of your bag will be.  There are ways to make a too long zipper work, but that’s a tutorial for another day. 🙂

    *interfacing for bag outer.  This is optional, but if you are using cotton woven/quilting weight fabric, a layer of interfacing will give your bag some body and strength.  If you are using heavier fabrics, such as home decor weight, you can skip the interfacing.

    *handle.  Another optional thing, but if you want one, it’s easy to make.  Take a piece of fabric that is twice as long as you want the handle to be, plus about an inch.  Cut it to a width that is four times how wide it will be.  Fold it in half the long way and press.  Open up and fold each long side in towards the center crease and press.  You should end up with a long double folded strip.  Stitch down the open side.

    *a zipper foot for your machine.  Yes, the zipper foot.  It looks like a ski.

    Here are my pieces, cut out, interfaced and ready to go.

    oooh, a bit of glare there, sorry.  The piece next to the zipper is the handle.

    Lay one piece of the outer fabric right side (RS) up and put the zipper wrong side (WS) down, centering it on the fabric.  Lay one piece of the lining WS up over the zipper.  The top edges should be even and the fabrics are RS facing each other.  Pin if you want.

    Sew along the top edge, using your zipper foot.  (Just before you get to the zipper pull, stop with the needle down and lift the foot and carefully slide the zipper pull past the foot.)  Press the fabric away from the zipper.

    Next, do the same for the other side.  Lay the other outer fabric RS up, then center the zipper with its attached fabric WS up on the outer fabric.  Lay the other piece of lining WS up on top.  Pin.  Double check that the outer is facing the outer.  In the pic below, the top fabrics are the lining.  The zipper is face down and the outers are RS facing under/behind the zipper. 

    Again using the zipper foot, sew along the zipper.

    Press the fabric away from the zipper and it should look like this.

    I like to topstitch along the zipper at this point, as you see in the picture.  I think it looks nice and it keeps the fabric from jamming up the zipper.

    Next, flip the sides around until the outers are on one side and the linings are on the other.  Starting at the zipper, line up the edges.  I like the zipper to fall towards the lining.   I tried to show that here:

    See how the teeth of the zipper are poking towards the lining?  Another way to think of it is to have the seam allowance fold towards the outer.  This will push the zipper towards the lining. Pin.  Yes, really, you want to pin on at least one side on each end of the zipper.

    VERY IMPORTANT DETAIL YOU WOULD REGRET MISSING:  Open the zipper! Not all the way, but as far as you can before it would be in the path of your presser foot as you sew around.  If you do not do this, you will be unable to turn your bag RS out.

    If you are adding a handle, now is the time to do that.  Lay the handle inbetween the outer layers with the ends sticking out.  Like this:

    Here is my pouch, ready to sew around.  I want rounded corners, so I traced ’round a thread spool for those.  I’ve also made marks at each end of the zipper to show where the zipper stops are.  I want to sew right next to them, so that there are no gaps at the ends of the zipper.

    See the pink headed pin on the left?  Start sewing around a bit below where that pin is.  Backstitch where you start.  Stitch all around, going slowly over the zipper.  Stop a bit above that pin and backstitch, leaving an opening that is at least half the width of your pouch. 

    Trim your seams.  Especially at the ends of the zipper.  Trim off the extra handle.  I don’t trim anything away from the turning opening, which might make it harder to sew closed.

    Now the fun part:  turning.  Pull the outer side out through the opening.

    There is a moment when I’m turning a bag that reminds me of childbirth.  That moment when you think “there is no way something that big is going to fit through there!!”

    But it does…whew!  Push out the corners and make sure it all looks good.

    There are two ways to close up the turning opening.  You can use your machine to stitch it closed, which leaves a visible seam.  I do that for bags I’m keeping.  But this one is destined for Retro Femme so I will close it by hand.

    Tuck the lining down into the bag and you’re done!


    February 18, 2008

    Projects for the week of Feb 18th

    Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 12:28 pm

    First off, it turns out that the large bird my husband had to chase out of our yard with a broom is a swan, not a goose.  Yes, I’m a transplanted city girl.

    I want to share my “maybe, just maybe, I can get this all done” list for the week.

    I am sewing jumper style dresses for a friend.  I’m almost done with the first one.  I just need to gather and attach the skirt, let it hang for a day, then hem it.  She has brought me fabric for 3 more and says that JoAnns pulled her in and she has bought more fabric.  These are pretty simple jumpers and are fairly quick to sew up.  I want to have at least 2 and hopefully 3 done to take to her on Friday when our 15 children get together to play (10 for her, only 5 for me).

    Next up, Retro Femme stocks this week, on Friday.  But I want to have my items listed for preview on Thursday morning at the latest, so I’ll be working on these later today and tomorrow.

    Top left:  a basic half apron, with towel loop and pocket.  The floral will be the body, the dots will be pocket, loop, ties, waistband and a border across the bottom.

    Bottom left:  a zippered wristlet/pouch, maybe with a beaded pull for the zipper if I can find my beads.

    Right side: a coming & going bag, my favorite bag pattern.  Hopefully the slim profile magnetic snaps I ordered will arrive in time, or I’ll have to use the huge ones from JoAnns.

    And when I’m not sewing, I want to finish the blue crocheted string grocery bag that I posted about last week.

    If I can get all that done (ha!) I want to do a tutorial/sew-along for the reversible toddler dress with the fabric on the left below

    The fabric on the right is a lovely lovely lovely stretch twill which will become a skirt with a knit waistband for me.  🙂

    After I finish those (ha! ha!), I have some grocery sacks/bags to make for a swap at (link —>) from these spring colored home decor weight fabrics that have been living in my stash for quite some time.

    I probably won’t get to these until at least the weekend, but I have this stack sitting at the end of my cutting table, just so I won’t forget.

     Time to get to work!! 

    February 15, 2008

    Best laid plans…

    Filed under: random stuff, sewing — Tags: , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 1:33 pm

    As usual, I accomplished less than I hoped to.  Of the three projects I wanted to list at WeepingWillows today, only one made it.  This is not a surprise to me.  Life as a homeschooling mom of five under nine is rich in experiences like this.

    Part of what derailed me yesterday was our neighborhood goose.  We live in a semi-rural area.  The closest neighbors have a goose, who wanders through our yard on the way to and from the pond nearby.  We rent and our landlord isn’t too keen on fencing our 1+ acre lot just to keep out a goose, so I spent quite a bit of time yesterday hustling the goose through the yard so my children could play outside.  The goose now starts to get very upset when he? sees me coming and I have taken to arming myself with the broom to avoid being bitten…again.

    It turns out the some of my children have been accidently feeding the bird by leaving goldfish crackers “swimming” in our yard.  My husband had a firm discussion with the aforementioned children last night, as leaving food outside is not allowed, for just this reason. 

    Our oldest son was one of the culprits and part of his reaping was having to clean goose poop off his shoe.  (Reaping comes from “you reap what you sow”)

    Onto what I managed to get done:

    I really like my version of the Amy Butler Frenchy Bag.  If this doesn’t sell, I’ll definitely use it myself.  But if I does, I have plenty of this fabric to make another one…so don’t worry about depriving me if you are thinking about purchasing it.  It’s listed at WeepingWillows.

    Well, we have some errands to run and then I need to tidy up my sewing room.  I have four simple tank top-style long dresses to make for a friend from church that I want to get a good start on this weekend and I’ll need the full length of my cutting table for them.  Maybe I’ll even get it clean enough to take a few pics.

    February 14, 2008

    A trip down memory lane…

    Filed under: random stuff — Tags: , — Lady M Quilts @ 11:52 am

    how very sweet that on Valentines Day, I found something that celebrates my loving marriage.

    I learned to cross stitch when I was 9 years old, from the “Auntie” who watched me after school.  Over the years, I gave away most of what I stitched.  I knew I had kept a few things, but I had stopped cross-stitching about 5 years ago when I decided to focus more on sewing…which seemed more practical.

    Then a few weeks ago, my oldest daughter spotted the “cross stitching” box in the basement and nagged  asked me to teach her how.  Today, Valentines Day, she cornered me came down while I was doing the laundry and I opened the box, looking for a simple project she could learn on.  And found these last projects…completed but forgotten.

    I’m almost tempted to start stitching again…

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