BlueflowerTreasures

August 19, 2008

Wait! I can’t catch up!!

Filed under: random stuff, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 5:48 pm

There are times when my life (and probably yours, too) feels like an old-fashioned carousel ride.  It keeps spinning and I’m trying to catch up and jump on, but I just can’t run fast enough to get on a horse, let alone grab the brass ring.   Just when I think I’m getting close, the ride speeds up or I stumble and I get farther behind.

I didn’t step foot in my sewing room for almost a week.  We had several days of above average temps (around 90 degrees), which makes my west facing, used to be a sunporch, sewing room into a sauna…minus the steam and naked people.  One day, just for fun, I put a thermometer in there…105 degrees.  No way was this pregnant lady about to spend more than a few seconds there!

But the heat did bless us with this…a gorgeous sunset

Then, over the weekend, I was visited by a tummy bug.  I will spare you the details, but I was totally useless all weekend.  Thank the Lord above that I was the only one honored with this visitor.

Yesterday, I surveyed the wreckage of my house.  And decided that even though the balance of clean to dirty dishes was tipped way to the dirty side and that parts of the rug crunched when walked upon, the thing that really needed to be done first was to organize our home library and homeschool area.  Hmm, could I be nesting already?  I have reached the third trimester of my pregnancy, yeah!!

Today, I had a grand plan to spend the first couple hours of my day (while the baby was still sleeping) sewing…or at least getting my messy sewing room ready to sew.  Alas, the baby woke up early.  Then, I spent the first half hour of my day unclogging the toilet.  My sweet husband had already left for work, so the job fell to me.  

Finally, I was able to spend a few minutes on a huge job I’ve been wanting to get to for a while:  taking & posting photos of all the fabrics I have available for custom orders.  This is a huge undertaking, and I’m going to be doing it in little bites.  I took 9 pictures before the camera batteries ran out (note to self: find the battery charger).  And I opened a new photobucket album for my fabric pics.  I debated between pb and flickr, but picked pb because if I wanted to add another flickr album, I’d have to upgrade.  Since I’ve spent a little too much on fabric recently, I decided to go the free route.

Then I made a little button to put on my sidebar. 

Pretty cute, eh?

So, I did finish rehemming a friend’s linen shirt.  I put away all the (home)school supplies I’ve been gathering.  I shelved about half of the book the toddler pulled off the shelves when I was busy elsewhere.  I went to a long overdue eye appointment (yeah, it’s been over five years…).  I picked veggies (cukes, beans & tomatoes) from our garden for dinner.  And made dinner.  I’m done for the day.  Ugh.

Tomorrow, I will spend time picking, shredding and freezing zuchini and figuring out the easiest way to make pickles without a pressure canner.  I need to return some overdue books to the library and stop by the optometrist, because when I went today, I left my wallet at home and funny thing, they won’t order my new glasses until I pay for them.

I will try to take another set of fabric photos and finish another A is for Apron apron for the Retro Femme stocking on Friday.  I need to call a repair person for our fridge, which occasionally leaks water out the bottom.   I need to do some laundry and start packing for our annual trip to the beach next week.  Making sure that 6 other people have enough clean clothes for 5 days at the beach when the weather is doing a hot today, cold tomorrow thing will be fun. 

If I can do all that, I will start on a set of Bible covers for a local customer.  I want to try out the new Amy Butler Birdie Sling bag pattern I just received. 

HA!  What are my chances??  Can someone push the button to stop the carousel??

August 4, 2008

Getting Back to Business

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 7:11 pm

My break is over…and not only was it too short (aren’t vacations always too short?)…I didn’t accomplish half of what I wanted to.  Sigh.  At least I have another month before we start homeschooling and three months before the baby is born.  Maybe, just maybe, I can cross off a lot of projects from my sewing to-do list before our newest son makes his entrance.

In the meantime, I’ve listed a couple things at Beautiful Enchantments.   The Waldorf apron and a new tote I made today.  I’m really liking this tote…I will definitely be making other totes like this.

            

If I can, I’m going to make a little zipper pouch tomorrow, using some very cute Japanese hedgehog canvas and deep chocolate corduroy, with a turquoise ribbon trim.  Check back to see if I can get it done!

July 16, 2008

A is for Apron: Provence Smock

Filed under: A is for Apron, sewing — Tags: , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 10:47 am

click for link to Amazon

 

This apron is one of the reasons I bought the book.  I love the look and style of it and knew it would be a great pregnancy apron.  And now that I’ve made it, I love it even more.

This apron is designed by Joan Hand Stroh.  It is one of the more complicated aprons in the book, but well worth the effort.  It took me about 3 hours all together to cut and sew it.  A large chunk of that time was dealing with the bias binding.

Most sewists have things they don’t like to do.  For many, it is zippers or buttonholes.  For me, it is narrow bias tape binding.  I struggle to keep the fabric tucked it and sew the very narrow tape in a straight line.  If I were to make this again, I think I would go through the hassle of making my own bias tape in a slightly wider width…or maybe just alter the pattern to do regular hems.

I made a couple changes, the most important is that I lengthened the neck straps by about 8″.  I’m a plus size woman and pregnant to boot.  When I pinned together the pattern pieces to do a quick test fit, the strap that should stretch from one’s shoulder the the side of the apron only reached just past the middle of my back.  So anyone sewing this apron who is “plus size” (I’d say size 14 or up) should do a test fit and lenghten as needed.

One thing to double check before you start is if you have enough fabric.  The pattern say 1.5 yards.  I needed closer to 2.  My fabric was directional, so that may have something to do with it.  But just to be safe, lay everything out before you cut.

The instructions, as I’m finding to be typical in this book, are sometimes confusing or strange.  For example, instruction number 3 says to attach “the bias tape across the top front of the apron”.  What they want you to do is attach the bias tape all around the edges of the front (skirt) of the apron but NOT the top:  that is where you will be gathering.   The last step tells you to fuse a small square of interfacing for the button to the neck strap, rather than the apron front. 

The instructions also have you jumping back and forth.  Add interfacing to the neck straps for the buttonholes, then trim the yoke, then sew the pockets together (but not onto the apron).  It says to stitch the gathering stitches for both the pocket and the apron, but then set them aside and pick up the yoke and neck straps again and join them together. 

I think it makes more sense to do all the steps to the neck and yoke at once, then stitch and gather the apron front.  Oh, and those pockets?  I think they would be easier to put on the apron before it is gathered, rather than after as the instructions say…but maybe that’s just me?

Here are my pockets.  I used some vintage ribbon I have rather than the dreaded bias tape.

This pattern is another of the ones I had enlarged at the local copy place and that brings to mind one more thing I wish the book did:  put the name of the pattern on the pieces.  It’s written on the page the pattern is printed on, but once you cut out the pieces, the name is gone.  I’m a pretty organized sewist, but still sometimes find random pattern pieces wandering around my sewing room.  It would be helpful if the name were printed on each piece in little tiny letters that would be clear to read at 400% enlargement.

Summing it up:  great apron, good pattern, fair instructions and a lovely end result.

July 7, 2008

A is for Apron: Waldorf

Filed under: A is for Apron, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 6:06 pm

click pic for link

As I was cleaning up my sewing room in preparation for my month of family sewing, I found this apron, all cut out and ready to go, it just needed stitching up.  It seemed the work of just a few minutes to put it together.  This is the Waldorf apron, designed by Erin Harris, from A is for Apron.

Here is my version, in Amy Butler’s Brown Lacework:

Here are the changes I made:

* I used wider bias tape.  I did this for two reasons.  The first one was that I wanted to really highlight the pink in the flowers.  The second was that it was what I had and I’m trying to use what I have this month.

* I added a muslin lining.  Again, for two reasons.  The first is to further protect the user’s clothing.  The second and more important is that I’ve have terrible luck with bias binding staying on a single layer of fabric after multiple washings…it tends to pull off. 

I’m thinking of adding a pocket to this…but can’t decide.

The directions in the book for this apron were much better than the Josephine apron.  No skipped steps, but some were a little fussy for an experienced sewist…taking two steps to do something that could be done in one.  For example, when sewing the ties, the instructions say to sew along the long edge (right sides are folded together).  Then the next step says go back and sew the 45 degree angle on one end.  I did this all at once.  Minor stuff and easily combined for those with experience.

This is also the first pattern from this book that I used an actual enlarged pattern.  I took the book to our local office supply store, made a photo copy of the pattern page and they scanned it and reprinted it at a 400% increase.  Each extra large copy cost about $3, so I’m doing two or three at a time.

Overall, I’m very happy with this apron.

June 24, 2008

Big Ol’ Catch-up Post

Of the several languages I studied, Latin was not one of them. But when I think about all the things that keep me away from my sewing room, I call them craftus interruptum. Almost definitely not accurate Latin, but a very precise picture of what happens sometimes in my life.

Then there is blogus interruptum. Things that keep me from blogging. Usually the same things that keep me from sewing.

All that to say…this is gonna be one of those great big catch-up posts, so get comfy and grab whatever you drink and here we go!

Jo-Ann’s had a big sale this past weekend and the weekend before. I was able to use several of the 50% off coupons floating around plus grabbed some stuff that was on sale. Here is some of my haul:

haul

Some fun quilting cottons across the top and more muslin and interfacing on the far right. Several cuts of snuggle flannel to make a gift for my neighbor’s new baby (since the crocheted blanket is going so very slowly). A pattern for maternity tops and thread, a tube turner and some fat quarters that caught my eye.

What’s not in this picture is the new 6×24 cutting ruler I had to buy three days ago when mine jumped off my cutting table, hit the leg of my rolling stool and broke into 3 pieces. Thankfully, I had one more 50% coupon.

Before all that shopping, I did finish some sewing. First up, the custom Mix It Up Apron using MM Ginger Blossom:


Very pretty, eh? I really love how these fabrics look together. I’m planning to make a couple more of these for my stores after my break (more on that in a bit).

Next up, I finished the skirt and dresses for my patient friend Bekah.

skirt
Strawberry circle skirt. Being the picky sewist that I am, I wanted the strawberries to be upright all around the skirt. Plus the fabric was not quite wide enough for a full circle skirt. So, I cut four panels instead and sewed them together, making a circle. I think it looks great and it has lots of twirl potential.

appleskleo
Two dresses from the same pattern. The left is AH Apples & Pears with MM Dumb Dots in pink for accents. The right is AH Kleo floral and bangle dots in sage. Very cute dresses, both fully lined and the hems are double sided…I don’t know the technical sewing term for it…but it gives the skirt a little extra weight and a nice clean look…no worry about the hem flipping up.

So, for this week, I’m working on the custom Aviary bag (we hammered out the details last week) and hopefully an apron or two for tomorrow night’s stocking at Beautiful Enchantments. We’ve had our store redesigned with lovely new colors and moved our stocking time to 9:30 pm EST on Wednesdays.
Please come check us out!

This will be my last stocking for a month. I’m taking the month of July off from business and custom sewing, to focus on family sewing and to spend time with my blessings, work in my garden and enjoy our summer weather. I’ll be stocking again in early August. But I will be posting here during the month! Showing off the lovely creations my children have been begging for. Maybe even a pic or two of the bounty of our garden. 🙂 And if the littlest one is cooperative, we’ll soon be able to share if our newest blessing will be a boy or a girl. 🙂 🙂

Hope you enjoyed the big ol’ catch-up post!

June 13, 2008

Retro Femme tonight

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 5:27 pm

I’ll do a big finished object post tomorrow (after I finish a couple more objects!), but here is what I’ve listed at Retro Femme tonight…

                   

The sun is finally shining and I’m going out to play with my children until their Daddy gets home.  I’ll see you all tomorrow…..

June 11, 2008

WIP Wednesday

Filed under: crochet, sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 6:47 pm

Just thought I would share what’s in the working pile on my sewing table.  In no particular order:

This is a baby blanket I’m crocheting for my neighbor, who was due today, but had her baby boy a couple of days ago.  She doesn’t know I’m making it, so that buys me a little time.  I’ll be working on it while watching So You Think You Can Dance tonight.  The pattern is the Tiramisu Baby Blanket, I found it here.  The pattern calls for single crochet, but I wasn’t paying attention and started doing half-double crochet.  I decided to just keep going, because I’m not the fastest crocheter and doing it in hdc will just get it done that much sooner.

Next up:

This is the fabric and a half-drafted pattern for a diaper bag.  My midwife has asked if I would make up a couple things, a bag and maybe a changing pad and some bibs, and she will display them in her rooms.  Why I am drafting a new pattern when there are tons of bag patterns out there???  I’m not sure, but I’m doing it anyway.  My next appointment is in about 3 weeks, so I’ve got some time to work on this.

This next pile belongs to a VERY patient friend of mine.

The top two piles are the cut out pieces for dresses…simple tank dresses with full gathered skirts.  The bottom is a circle skirt that needs a hem and a waistband.  I really feel bad that these have been sitting on my table for about a month, so I’m going to finish them THIS WEEKEND, I promise, Bekah. 🙂

Two customs in the works:

Left is going to be a Mix It Up Apron, I just need to cut it out and sew it up now that I’ve finalized the layout.  The right is the Aviary bag.  The customer and I are having a blast discussing the details (like I sent her an email about some ideas, but didn’t attach the pics that showed what I was talking about, duh!).  I think we are really close to finalizing those details and then I’ll get started.

A diversion:

 

Last, but not least, being the sucker for new bag patterns that I am, when I saw this Kwik Sew (3612) pattern on a blog (jenjerpeach) I ordered it within minutes.  It came today and I dropped everything to start the big tote bag (view B) with the AH Kleo on the outside, the yellow floral for the inner.  I’ve only spent about 20 minutes on it sew far and I’m halfway done, so I think it’s going to be a quick thing.  The bag is huge and will make a great tote for the park or beach or pool.  When I have time, I’m going to try the pattern in a smaller size, see how it turns out. 

Retro Femme stocks this week.  We are doing a wonderful surprise auction box.  It’s a box filled with goodies from most of the vendors.  The surprise is you don’t know what’s in there.  The only clues are the name “one size fits all” and a small, very close up pic on the listing. 

For my listings, I’ll be putting up the bag in the bottom pic, plus an apron…I haven’t picked exactly which one yet.

Well, that’s all for now.  Thanks for visiting!

June 4, 2008

Double Tagged

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

I’ve been double tagged (does that mean I’m a real blogger now?) by summersadie and by see mommy sew.  Since I’m taking a sewing break today, I thought I’d post my answers.

#1…What was I doing 10 years ago?

I was working full time, attending college almost full time and having long discussions with my husband about what we really wanted to do with our lives.  We decided to start our family and leave the rat race behind for a simple, children filled life.

#2…5 things on my to-do list for today?

The same 5 are there almost every day: dishes, laundry, homeschool, sewing and gardening.  Today, only some dishes and laundry got done:  I slept wrong last night and have been dealing with a pinched nerve or something that is making my right arm alternate between pain and tingling numbness…so I’ve been resting and using the heating pad today, more than anything else.

#3…Snacks I enjoy

Pretzels, M&M’s, popcorn, chips & quacamole.

#4…Things I would do if i was a billionaire

Yikes, the list would be endless, but start with paying off all our debt and that of our parents.  Build a house on acreage for our growing family.  Donations to causes that we long to support, but can’t.  Travel with our children.  More donations to great causes.  A really really nice embrodiery machine. 🙂

#5…Places I have lived

Born in Seattle, WA.  Grew up 20 miles away in Mountlake Terrace.  Spent a year in Sweden as an exchange student in high school.  Spent 18 long months living in San Diego before I came to my senses and came home to WA.  Bothell, then Lynnwood, then Marysville, then Tacoma and now Port Orchard…all in WA.   The good Lord willing, I’ll never leave WA state.

Okay, my right arm is getting tingly again, and according to the tag “rules”, I’m supposed to pick people to tag.  Well, I’m going to take a shortcut and say that if you would like to share your answers to the above questions, consider yourself “tagged” and leave a comment with a link to your post, ok?

Sometime before bed, I’ll be listing a couple things at Beautiful Enchantments for Friday stocking:  the Josephine apron and the Circangle purse.  Tomorrow, I’ll hopefully be back to sewing, I have two wallets to finish up and I’m working on a skirt and a couple of dresses for a friend’s daughter.

Thanks for visiting!

 

May 30, 2008

Manly Aprons for Dad

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 2:12 pm

Yes, my second finished object post today!  woohoo!  First the circangle bag, now a couple of (hopefully) manly aprons for Retro Femme’s Father’s Day stocking tonight.

I tried to choose a print that could be worn by either a man or a woman.  Keeping that in mind, I stayed away from the sports themes and muscle cars.  I drafted my own pattern for this apron, based roughly on what would fit my 6’2″ hubby.  I’d hoped to have him model these for me, but I didn’t get them done before he went to work today.  So the backside of my dress form will have to do.

         

Pretty neat, eh?  I wouldn’t mind wearing one of these and my hubby…well, he didn’t express a definite opinion in the affirmative…but he didn’t say “no” either.

I hope to have one more thing to show before the end of the day, a custom coming & going bag using the Ginger Blossom line of fabrics.  It just needs a couple of things finished up before it’s picture ready.

Oh, I have some things on clearance tonight at Retro Femme:

             

See ya later!

 

Chocolate Lollipop Circangle Bag

Filed under: sewing — Tags: , , , , , , , — Lady M Quilts @ 7:53 am

I’ve been busy busy sewing all week and so today will hopefully be the day of finished objects!  First up: a circangle bag from the Chocolate Lollipop fabric collection.  I made two..the smaller is about 10 inches high (from bottom of the bag to the bottom of the handles) and 12 inches wide at the widest point.  The larger is 11 x 14. 

       

 They each have a small pocket on the striped side, just big enough for a cell phone, and dark rattan handles.  A fellow mama from Beautiful Enchantments asked me to make a bag for her, and I decided to make two, let her choose which size she’d like and the other will be up for grabs.

Can you see the pocket?  This bag is reversible, so I tried to disguise the pocket.

Next up will be the two aprons I’m listing at Retro Femme’s Fathers Day stocking tonight.  Unfortunately, I didn’t get them done before my hubby left for work, so they won’t be only somewhat unwillingly modeled by a real man…I think the back side of my trusty dress form will have to do. 😀  Check bag later to see!

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