Friday, February 1, 2013

Travel Wallet Scrap Buster

Yes, it is the first of February, but in my defense I started this post last night and the pictures messed up so... I'm only putting it up now. This past weekend, I did the very first Stashbusting Sewalong 2013 task! This month's theme is "Itty Bitty." If I would have had more time, I would have actually done something else, because mine doesn't really use very small pieces, but the instructions did say that, as long as it was less than one yard, it was fair game. I just felt like a bit of a cop-out for not doing something with challengingly small pieces, because I do have them. I took this picture of what I found in my scrap box. The bobbin is there to give a little bit of a scale...
Honestly! What was I thinking! It's perfectly cut, I'll give it that, but even calling it a 1" x 1" square is being a little generous. It's a pretty fabric and I honestly don't remember what I used the rest of the fabric for! It's pretty mysterious.

Anyway! I got the idea for this travel wallet from Jessie's project from this tutorial. This was actually a very selfish project, because I made it all for ME. The weekend before, I got new luggage and it is BRIGHT pink (I'm talking, blinding; there will be no missing that guy on the conveyor!), so this will match perfectly! I want to make the luggage tag too, but I didn't have a plastic folder to cut up to use for the transparent bit. I'll show pictures of that when I get around to it. Not like I'm really going anywhere soon.... When I do, though, this little guy will be right with me! I love how convenient it is.
I took advantage of my sewing machine's ability to stitch letters. I thought it was pretty cute :)

The button was actually the last of a pack of cover buttons that was just floating around in the bottom of my box, and I thought it would be perfect for this project! I've had bad luck with those falling off, but I bit pressed down SUPER hard so hopefully I won't lose it.
This is probably the brightest combination of colours I have ever used, and they don't go together perfectly, but all in the name of stashbusting!

I made some slight changes to the tutorial. Firstly, the pink fabric with yellow flowers was actually upholstery fabric so I didn't think it was necessary to use any interfacing. Also, since I sewed down three of the sides of the passport pocket, I didn't use interfacing there. I followed instructions, like I should have on the ticket pocket, and used interfacing there, because it had 2 open sides, so I wanted it to be a bit more rigid.

This was a really easy project that I did in an afternoon so I was pleased. I love how it turned out. It quite suits me... and my extremely pink suitcase :)

I already have an idea for February and I'm so excited about it! <3 p="">

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stashbusting Sewalong 2013

To force myself to stay committed to my blog this year, I am joining the Stashbusting Sewalong 2013 hosted by Cation Designs and EmSewCrazy. I have a giant box of scraps which is NOTHING compared to the beautiful stashes of many of the bloggers I follow, but I should really get around to using what I already have instead of always buying new fabric. I don't even really know the complete contents of my stash (which is a clear indication of how necessary this project is for me!) so I pledged to use at LEAST 10 pieces of my stash, but in reality will definitely use more than that, given that there are 12 months!

Over the course of the year, I will make a themed stashbusting project for each month. The themes of the first 6 months have already been released, and the last 6 will follow eventually (quoted from Cation Designs) :

January: Itty Bits! Sew up those remnants left over from another project, use up some of those tiny scraps that you've been saving... as long as it's less than a yard of fabric, it counts!

February: The Love Challenge

March: Impending Seasonal Change. Regardless of your hemispherical location, the weather will be changing soon... what will you make? Something fun for the coming spring, or something cozy for fall?

April: The Vibrant Color Challenge

May: The Knit Challenge which will REALLY be a challenge for me!

June: Containment! Get ready for those long car trips, summer outings or some good old fashioned cleaning and organizing. We're thinking bags, boxes, totes, purses, pouches, you name it; this month is all about making things to put other things in.

So that's the plan! I have a good idea for my January project that I will HOPEFULLY get around to this weekend!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Recyclable Coffee Sleeves

Hello Blog World!!

It has been entirely too long since I have posted here, but I started university and found myself with very little time during the semester to craft. I was pressured into lovingly encouraged me to get my blog up and going, because I still craft quite a lot during breaks from school. I have made it my New Years Resolution to post somewhat more regularly.

So, these next few posts (hopefully!) are projects I have done since my last post, but I will not disclose exact dates out of sheer embarassment. The most important thing is that I actually remembered to take pictures!

This Christmas present was inspired by a product Jess, Jenna and I saw at a farmer's market when we were in Canada in the summer of 2010. A stall there was selling reusable sandwich/snack bags and had a couple of these reversible, reusable coffee sleeves. I thought it was a pretty practical way to go green, and this Christmas followed a semester where I had 7:30AM classes 3 days a week, so coffee was pretty much a staple! I kept the coffee sleeve I had purchased at that farmer's market in my backpack at all times, so I could just whip it out at my daily caffeine serving. It's a pretty small act, but it's a good way to save all of those cardboard coffee sleeves that I'd otherwise have just thrown away everyday, and I thought my friends would feel the same.

What you need:

1 Cardboard coffee sleeve
A clean paper coffee cup from desired coffee shop
2 pieces of fabric (coordinating, or identical) large enough to accomodate the opened up coffee sleeve
A piece of batting also large enough to accomodate the opened up coffee sleeve
Coordinating thread

How to do it:

1) I opened the coffee sleeves at the glued together seam and traced around it leaving a 1 cm boarder on the back side of a piece of fabric.

2) I used that fabric to trace onto the back of a coordinating piece of fabric (or identical, depending if you want the reversible side to be a different pattern). Really not the most scientific method, but I wasn't looking for perfection!
3) Roughly cut the batting around the fabric, but this can be trimmed later (advised, so you don't get excess batting on the seam making it bumpy when you turn right-side out)

4) Stack the pieces from top to bottom: one piece of fabric (wrong side up), the second piece of fabric (right sides of the fabric pieces together) and batting on bottom.

5) With ths stack in this order, I sewed around the edge, leaving a 1/4 inch seam allowance and leaving a gap large enough to turn it inside out. (I left mine at the bottom in the middle to make it easiest to sew closed).
6) Turn inside out and blind stitch the opening closed.

7) Top stitch (if desired) around the sleeve with a 1/4 inch boarder.

8) Using the coffee cup to measure an approximate size, blind stitch the 2 edges together to close the sleeve, in the most discrete way possible. You're done!

These are my final products! The first picture is one side and the second picture is the reverse side. They're in the same locations in both pictures, so you can see the fabrics I put together! It was so much fun picking out fabric that I thought would suit each of my friends' different personalities, as it always is when making gifts!

Monday, August 9, 2010

summer bliss

Hey guys!
I just wanted to put up a quick – well not really since it’s been so long since I’ve posted - blog entry to show you what I’ve been up to lately. So, I finished hemming my second quilt and squeezed in a photo shoot with my cousins before I had to leave them. (Jamie's acting crazy in the top one, there)

I love this quilt so much! It’s so happy. They’re both super happy. I was carrying the two quilts to my grandma’s house and I had them folded up in my laundry basket and even though they don’t go together at all, they still look good together because they’re bright and cheery. I think I’ll do my whole dorm like that. Exciting! Oh and I have a dorm picked out. I found out who my roomie was and it sounds like we’re going to have lots of fun this year I’m in Futrall Hall in room 314. I liked that because it was pi. Yes, I am a bit of a nerd but I had good vibes about that room.

I also got one of the two books I ordered in the mail, i heart patchwork by Rashida Coleman-Hale. I love it. I even had to drop her a little note to tell her thanks. I saved reading it until I was on the plane home from Sikeston so I’d have something to look forward to. And it was a good thing because it was really hard to leave this time! I’d just been there too long and gotten too used to it and then I was wrenched out of there before it even felt like I’d been there 2 weeks.But anyways! So I got that book JUST before I left and I wasn’t sure whether I’d have enough time to even try one of the patterns out before I left. But! I did and it was excellent. My old math teacher (well, she’s not old, just… she doesn’t teach me anymore. You know what I mean!) had a baby over the summer and I didn’t get to see her before I left so I wanted to try and visit her before I went to Laos. So my two friends Kate and Jenna and I worked together to make the patchwork ball. It looks SO cute! And it was a lot of fun to just sit and sew with my friends. People don’t DO that enough anymore! Just sit around, not watching TV or anything and just sew and chat! I’ve expressed my fondness of this before, but it was just so fun to catch up with my friends AND make something awesome all at the same time. So here’s a photo from my backyard. It’s precious.

Then, when I got back from Laos/Vietnam I made this apron for the friend (Jenna) who I stayed with while I was in Canada to say thank you:

I absolutely love it to pieces. It was really hard to give it away, but I know she’ll put it to good use with her baking and whatnot whilst looking beautiful in her apron :) to toot my own horn there a little. It was really a good pattern. I was very confused about putting the band on the top because the instructions were a little unclear, but I had a chat with my friend, Liz and we basically made up a way to do it, although it was a little different and it still turned out fine.

I also bought my first knitting pattern online. Ysolda’s Elijah. It is probably the cutest thing I’ve ever made. I gave it to my neighbours who are having a baby boy. The picture is a bit crap because I was in a rush. It was so cute. Another thing I was a bit sad to get rid of:

I made a few of my own personal touches to the Elijah. I curved the trunk up, just by tying the yarn at the end of the trunk to the back of his head. Plus I added the tiny little bellybutton and a braided tail which you can't really see in the picture, but I didn't think he was complete without it.

I had some excellent knitting adventures whilst in Canada! I dragged Jenna and Jessie to some yarn stores in Winnipeg and we all ended up buying some very excellent yarn from the Ram Wools Yarn Co-op and I bought one skein from Where the Wool things are but I much preferred Ram. We even got to use their swift to wind some yarn!

I look very silly in that picture, but I knew if I put up the one of Jess she'd kill me. Anyway, I made one simple guy’s slouchy hat and started a pair of mittens but I think I’m going to have to unravel them and start again because they’re a tad too small. It’s the first thing that I think I’ve ever unraveled so it’s going to be a little tough. But I’ll get over it because I think they look ugly now anyway. Jenna started a big project that I don’t know if I’m allowed to say what it is, and Jess learnt how to make a hat, so she whipped up 2 while I was there and has another on in the makings! I was very proud of her because she had to learn how to purl, increase, and decrease all on circular needles!! I was definitely a proud teacher.

Blog in mind, I snapped some pictures of us knitting on the back porch of Jenna’s cabin:

I can’t really believe my summer is practically over. I am lapping up the last sweet, sweet minutes of it :)

I hope you’re all enjoying your summers, whatever you’re doing!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

I have some catching up to do...

Oh goodness. It’s been ages. I’m going to be horrible at this when I’m ACTUALLY busy. I really think that I keep waiting on things to blog about so I can make it into one jumbo entry, when really I should be doing it in smaller chunks so it’s not so tedious to read. I’ll work on that, I promise.

Anyway, I have a few things to share with you. I finished hemming my very first quilt EVER and I FINALLY did a photo shoot with it. I was waiting for 2 things: good weather, and models. I’m sick of strange looking photos taken from my basement room and I felt that natural light would do wonders for my photos, and that was entirely true. As for the second thing, I had some cousins lying around willing to do the job for meager aka no pay.

So this is my lovely quilt:

As you can see, it is entirely girly. I really like this picture, if I say so myself. The stormy sky looks so pretty and it’s such a contrast to the quilt.
You can’t really see the fabric so I’m going to throw in another of my close up shots:

And this works out pretty well because now you can see the pretty quilting design! If you can’t really see it, it’s supposed to be a sort of heart pattern with a 3 leaf clover in the middle. It’s really pretty, especially on this quilt. There are 3 places where, when hemming it, I went all the way through to the front (so you can see the white thread, which you don’t want to happen, basically) that I need to fix. No one else can see them, but knowing that they’re there means I can’t view it as completely finished. I’ll get around to it…

Now, these are my 2 cousins, Jaden and Evan. Jamie was at a friend’s house so he missed out on this excellent modeling stunt. They look entirely angelic in this photo, but don’t be fooled. Especially the dapper young lad on the right. Trouble is his middle name.

See, look. They’re crazy.

Unfortunately, as I said in my previous post, my knitting is falling slightly by the wayside, however it has not been entirely forgotten. I have mentioned Helen, my aunt who helped me make my quilt. Well, I wanted to make her a ‘thank you’ hat to replace the crazy one that a lady made for her, who is admittedly quite old to still be knitting, but has seemingly lost her knack for picking out colours and yarn types, to put it nicely. I look all over for a hat pattern and finally settled on this one. I really am in love with this pattern. Not necessarily the hat pattern itself, but the mock cable pattern. It is so easy and is really quick. I definitely recommend it to knitters who like the cable look but don’t want to fuss with the thousands of needles and other such nonsense.

This is Jaden modeling the hat. Behind her is a Purple Martin hotel, effectively. I thought it looked quite cool.

And I really had to throw in this super close up shot of the cable pattern so you could fully enjoy it. I really hope Helen likes this hat, but based on her hat history, she isn’t all that picky, so that makes me more confident she’ll at least wear it (and possibly retire the old one). I still have to give her the hat, but she doesn’t have a computer so she won’t see this post (But for all of you who WILL see it, please don’t say ANYTHING to Helen until you are 100% sure she has the hat in her possession. Otherwise it would spoil the surprise terribly. You know who you are.)

I really will try and post more regularly. I need to do some more knitting for my near and dear so that should provide some material. Until then, I will leave you with this cliché sunset shot. I looked out the window and was in a particularly snappy mood, so I dashed out there and took a few photos. There’s no harm in a few cliché shots sometimes. As a friend once said: “Everyone likes a good sunset photo”

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Hello again readers.

I have a confession to make. My knitting has been falling slightly behind, but that is because something ELSE was taking up a huge majority of my time. That something else is called “My Absolutely Adorable Fit-For-A-Princess Pink and Flowery Quilt.” It is so so so girly it’s verging on being ridiculous. No, not ridiculous, I think I am in love with it. I finished the top about 2 weeks ago (sorry!!!) and it is now back from the quilter’s.

So, this quilt was actually quite a special project, because I was working with my Aunt Helen, a very experienced quilter, herself. It was so cool to be able to learn it from someone who is really talented, and especially someone who I care so much about. I always think it’s cool to hear stories about knitters who originally learnt to knit with their Grandmothers, because I really love the idea of a craft being handed down through generations. Plus, when the quilt got back from the quilter’s Helen took me to her sister-in-law’s (Mary) to learn how to hem the quilt by hand. This was mostly because Mary is right-handed, whereas Helen is a lefty through and through. So that was awesome. To be in the company of two excellent quilters, just chatting and sewing away. Mary was telling stories about living with her sister and making quilts together. My favourite one was what they would sit opposite each other, and start hemming and “here directly” (as Mary said) she would come to her sister’s stitches and it would have come full-circle. That would be so much fun, to live with someone who you can sew and chat with the whole time!

Like I said in my last post, I get too excited about starting things, so I forget to take pictures during the process, but I’m working on it! So I don’t have a picture to show you, but I’ll get some pictures before and after I’ve hemmed it (however the after one might take a liiiiittle longer). It actually took far less time than I had imagined it. But that’s probably because Helen helped me with the cutting and basically did ALL of the pinning. But I really did do ALL of the sewing. Helen sewed part of 1 block, but that was only because she forgot. It was so fun to go over to her house after work and sew and “visit” with my Ninny and Helen and hear all of the local goss! It was tiring, but really fun.

Now, I do have SOME pictures to share with you guys. This Friday, after I got home from a gruelling week at work, I had an entire MASS of goodies awaiting me! I recently got a Paypal account, and the wonders of internet shopping have opened their loving arms to me. Firstly, my rucksack which I’ll be taking to Laos this summer got here! It is SUPER tough. I am going to look absolutely hard core and basically awesome. Additionally, one of the 2 books on Laos I ordered on Barnes & Noble got here. I had no idea, but Barnes & Noble can hook you up with second hand sellers so I got the books for about half price used and they still accepted the gift cards I was trying to spend. And last but certainly not least, it is in fact verging on being the very best news of all, MY YARN ARRIVED! I ordered some yarn from Yahaira from Bitter Purl and it arrived a mere 2 days later! It is gorgeous. It came in two HANKS!!! I’ve never had yarn come in hanks! I’m so excited to wind it up and my cousins will be glad to know, because they did such a good job with the yarn from my unwound sweater! I snapped some pictures. Oh yeah.

This weekend, I went on a much needed shopping trip to Cape Girardeau (honestly, I had to look up the spelling for that. Here, we lovingly call it “Cape”). I had driven up there for the first time all by myself to take Jamie to baseball practice last Tuesday, and I nipped over to Hobby Lobby to have a look at the yarn. I also had to peek at the fabric, and I was absolutely in awe. They had the COOLEST fabric 30% off, but I didn’t know what I was going to do with it! So I was talking to the cashier about it, and she told me the sale was only on until Saturday! So when I got home, I found an idea of a pattern I wanted to make, but I can’t remember the blog I saw it on! If it comes to me, I will certainly reference it. It’s not even entirely the same one, it’s just a similar idea… ANYWAY! It’s going to be awesome. My family doesn’t necessarily appreciate spending a long time picking out fabric or yarn or any crafty things, really, so there was a lot of pressure to pick the fabrics out super fast and get out of there. It was a little crazy, people grabbing fabrics left and right, getting rid of ones that just weren’t right, but it was so much fun! I picked 8 different patterns and got a picture of them folded up all nice in a little circle:

I’m still iffy on some of them, but we only got half a yard of each, so if I decide to exclude one or two, they can be easily replaced. I’m sure I’d find a different use for them. My favourite one is the one with the butterflies on it! Which one do YOU like the best?! Let’s get some reader involvement :).

Ok, that’s more than enough from me. Hope you all have an excellent week!

P.S: This Easter, I got to die some eggs for the fist time in a VERY long time. I took it very seriously and was being severely rushed by the end of it. I thought you might like to see my b-e-a-uuuuuuu-tiful eggs :)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Something to think about

Hello Readers,

Ok, ok. I know I haven’t blogged in a while, but my real excuse is that I like to have pictures with each of my entries because otherwise it’s just incredibly boring. The only problem with this is that I get too excited about what I’m doing to take a minute to snap some photos. I’m going to have to work on that.

Speaking of getting excited about things, the reason I’m blogging is not to share what I’ve been knitting, but to talk about something that has struck me to the absolute core. I was reading all of the new entries of all of the bloggers I follow (over there >>>) and “a Friend to knit with” had written something new. When I read it, I was nearly brought to tears! In the previous entry on her blog, someone had written the ignorant and pointlessly hurtful comment “Get a life.” The tactful post she wrote in response was so touching and true that it made me SO mad at whoever had the nerve to write something like that on her blog.

I think she is exactly right. Exploring and sharing your passions and hobbies could literally not have any MORE life in it! Why in the world should anyone change what they like to do or talk about based on the opinions of a complete stranger?! Or based on the opinions of anyone! Knitting receives a fair amount of slack from the general public because it’s considered boring or old-fashioned. What no one besides knitters understands is how exciting the tiny things about knitting are. The huge amount of colours and the search for the one perfect for whatever you’re making. The wonderful feeling of caressing every inch of the luxuriously soft yarns that are gradually being sculpted into something that the recipient will (hopefully!) love. I really feel like more people need to appreciate the small things. I get made fun of because I get so excited about tiny things, but if you don’t get excited about things, if everything just goes unnoticed, you’re wasting the fact that it’s there! If you waste time being unhappy or grumpy or not enjoying things, what is the point of you being here? That is time you will never get back.

What’s actually funny about the comment is how this human landed on that blog? I mean, if you don’t enjoy knitting or reading about knitting, what are YOU doing wasting your time reading them!? And then to insult the person who wrote it? Who was forcing you to read it!? And what did they even have to gain from saying something like that?? I guess I’m giving them exactly what they want by getting upset about it but no! I really felt like the message that a Friend to knit with’s entry carried (much better than mine) was a really important one. I, too, hope that everyone finds something that makes them happy, whatever it is, and shares that joy with the people around them, because if you aren’t reminded to appreciate every little thing you might miss something important, mightn’t you? You never know.