Sunday, July 24, 2011

a pillow and a present and a book review

Today was supposed to be a get things done day...those things that have been building up.  With the heat, humidity and a busy schedule too many household chores got put on the back know what I mean.  Well, my husband spent the whole night up with a stomach bug so unfortunately and fortunately the chores are still sitting undone.  Yes, I could have tackled them myself but - naaaaa.  It started out hot, sticky and gray and it ended up being a perfect time to get some sewing done.  Mainly a pillow project that was supposed to be done for my sister's birthday in mid June. 

I used some of my vintage sheets and retro fabrics I've been collecting.

I made a base pillow by reusing just the stuffing from an old couch pillow that was at the end of it's life and some muslin.

Kind of bumpy but it only adds to the homeyness of it. 

Actually once the finished cover went on the bumps weren't so visible.  The back of the pillow was assembled with over-laying flaps so that it can be easily removed and washed.

While on vacation I picked up this really neat book called A Rainbow of Stitches.  It has a ton of ideas for stitching either embroidery or cross-stitch.  All of the line drawings are in there so you just trace what you want and stitch it up.  It's giving me that visual I need to see the line drawing and imagine what it might look like.

I have been using a regular pencil to trace my pattern onto the fabric although if I were to make this pillow over I would use either a double layer of muslin or a heavier fabric since you can see the threads on the back.

By mid afternoon, after I finished up the pillow and we all had a laid back morning, the humidity finally broke and it turned into a beautiful day.  My husband is still not feeling well so I'm hoping tomorrow doesn't bring someone else sick in the family.   

Friday, July 22, 2011

My new creative space...

It's a work in progress but my new creative space is really starting to take shape.  Not only is it my creative space but this fall I plan on opening it to whoever wants to come and learn stitching projects.  The Stitch Lounge is born!

This was our first investment property purchase about 6 or 7 years ago.  We took it from literally a falling down, rotting building to this.  The flower bed is a little out of control but that's something I'll tackle soon.  It contains a commercial space on the ground floor and 2 nice sunny apartments above.   And now it's my creative space!

I have to share some before pictures from when I started working on the space recently.  My husband was using it as a dumping ground for his business...

These photo's were actually taken after I neatened up a bit and took some stuff out.  Now to appreciate how much has been done so far...

I mudded and taped the walls where needed.  I have a special relationship with caulk now.  I LOVE that stuff!  I'm still painting..and painting... It's been about a zillion hot and humid degrees lately and I can't get in the groove.  The floors have all been given a new coat of poly.  It's nice to have a husband that's a hardwood floor man!  The table and chairs above I bought last week at good ole Salvation Army for $14.99.  It all cleaned up way nicer than I thought but I still plan on slipcovering the chairs. 

The girls and I had a little fun yesterday on one of our chalkboard walls.

Curtain and pillow material for those big windows!

One of my favorite things about this space...the kids room!   A place for them to not worry about getting into anything and be free to be a kid.  Being a mom I want to be able to do things for me and my kids.  This is just that space and they love it here.  They usually give me a hard time when it's time to leave.  I hope this will be a big plus to those moms out there looking for something for everyone to do.

Curtain material for the kids room.  I plan on painting the walls in there a cheery pale yellow.

The ladder I plan on painting so help display some of my finished bags. (Purchased at Salvation Army for $3.99!) It's really starting to take shape now.  It's so exciting!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

nice and neat backing for fabric flowers

I have an abundance of the really stiff interfacing left over from all my projects.  The pieces are just a little too big to throw out but not big enough that I was able to use them - until now.

The front of the flowers and....

...the back of the flowers.  Not too shabby, huh?!

I just cut out circles from the scrap interfacing, and a smaller piece to go over the pin and attach it to the circle.  No sewing needed is the best part for me!  Don't get me wrong I love handsewing but not when it comes to attaching a pin back.   I also love the stiffness the interfacing adds to the body of the flower.

I used Fabri-Tac to attach the interfacing to the flower.  I even used the Fabri-Tac to attach all the buttons and felt to the front.  I whipped these little babies out in no time.  It's always so satisfying when I can figure out a short cut.  It only motivates me to make more! 

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

summer beach bags

We just returned from a super relaxing 10 days at Wells Beach, Maine.  It is our favorite place to spend our vacations.  For us the beach couldn't be more perfect.  It contains all the necessary mediums to keep kids happy for hours and hours.  Sand, water, open space, peaceful napping (with our beach tent), snacks, relaxed mom and dad, grandparents.  Really what more could you ask for?


I think I can say that I was the only one knitting on the beach!  

Before we left my sewing list was a mile long.  I did get most of my projects finished except for dresses for the girls and a quilted beach blanket both out of some neat vintage sheets.  The dresses have since been completed and the quilt is half done.  However I was able to complete some sea shell bags, one for each girl and my beach bag.  All of which was heavily used every time we went to the beach!  It's always nice when you take time to make something and it is actually well used and loved!

The photo is horrible but the bag is wonderful!  First off, it is huge!  Perfect for beachin it with a family of 4.

It is actually so large that a small child can easily fit inside.  The handles are super long so that when I have it over my shoulder I can easily find what is inside without setting it down.  I have always used a standard large canvas bag from LL bean and love it but when it's on my shoulder and filled to the max my arm is way up in the air and it won't stay on my shoulder.

I added a nice deep zippered pocket in the front to put keys and cell in so they don't get all sandy.  That worked out great.

The bottom, handles and the top binding are all from a skirt I picked up thrifting.  The skirt was a real nice heavy cotton, almost canvas like but comfortable BUT when I put it on I felt like I should be wearing white shoes and tending to the sick.

I have never used binding on the top of a bag but I was not looking forward to trying to get this huge mass of fabric to line up without bunching.  I am now hooked.  It was easy and went together fast and neat!  I used fusible fleece for the interfacing and the lining is an upcycled sheet.

This vacation was also supposed to be time for me to get a couple tutorials written.  I took a vacation from my computer too which was surprisingly nice.  The photo's are all taken now I just need buckle down and it them written.