December 18, 2011

Christmas Mug Rug for cookies & cocoa

Unfortunately I didn't get to keep this one :(  I made it for a swap, so it has a new home. But I love the simplicity of the tan linen with the red dots and the retro design look it has. It was fun doing the embroidery. Yes, this was another original design.

Merry Christmas!

November 30, 2011

Halloween Table Runner

I loved this panel fabric I found at JoAnn's, so I decided to make a little Halloween table runner.

November 1, 2011

Thanksgiving banner ~ Thankful

I wanted something to show how lucky and thankful I feel and this is what I came up with

I found maple leaf templates online. I glued fall fabrics to felt squares then used the leaf templates to cut out my left shapes. I just had to spot-glue here & there, but this was a very quick project! I cut a strip of this fun paisley fall fabric, selvedge edge to selvedge edge and about 4 1/2" wide (though technically it's length of yard). I folded it in half (2 1/4" wide), ironed, then folded the 2 halves in half toward the inside so the edges are tucked inside. Iron. Top stitch along the length. Pin on the leaves so they look centered. Top stitch just at the top of the leaf. You're done! Quick, easy & fun.

I hope you and your family had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.

October 29, 2011

Halloween candy buckets

Another tutorial that I've wanted to try is for these little buckets. I just switched them up so they are Halloween themed!!

Here is the original tutorial blog. I used fusible fleece instead of "wadding," and I would suggest you make the strip of liner fabric at least 6 1/4" wide b/c at 6" it came up 1/4" short :( Also, skip the interfacing if you are just using sturdy fabrics like these Halloween ones. You only need the interfacing if you are going to applique like she did. Anyways, I love this Halloween candy fabric & thought it would be fun with the solid orange. This is a great size for your desk or living room to stash a little candy. I'm thinking that maybe I should add a little embroidered plate that says "Halloween," or even better~ "Ours" and make a larger one that says "theirs!!" What do you think?

I thought these might be fun to hold all that make-up clutter like lipsticks & eyeshadow pots laying around my sink. It works terrific ~ see? Now I need to make some for Christmas too :)

October 28, 2011

Halloween Costumes!

Halloween is here & I decided that it was high time that I tried my hand at making costumes. The store bought costumes can be kinda cute, but I wanted something special. I decided to make my boys Count Draculas & my costume is Mama Dracula! I kept it simple~ 2 reversible capes and 2 reversible vests. Everything can be re-used. I think it all came out SO cute! ...but of course I'm biased :}

For the vests I used a tutorial that I've wanted to try for SO long. Here's the tutorial blog. She is one super talented lady! She actually teaches you to make your own pattern! Once I actually got hands on this project it wasn't too difficult and I made them in 2 days.

The vests are reversible. I did crazy red flames on the outside & simply black on the inside so I can use them at Thanksgiving or Christmas :) Make it multipurpose when you can, right mamas?

The vests are supposed to have pocket tabs, but she has you add them at the end & hand stitch them on. I don't have that kind of time! Next time I will add them before sewing the 2 halves together so I can simply sew them on. I machine stitched the opening closed too & it looks fine. Just the shoulders needed to be hand stitched closed & it really makes them look professional! I also left off the buttons cause they don't really like them anyways & wear their vests open :)

I made their capes!! I used Simplicity costume pattern# 2571. I changed it a bit so they are reversible because I really wanted the red satin lining. They came out gorgeous and the satin is SO soft... and washable!

So now we wait for Monday. This will be the 1st year they've actually gone out Trick-or-Treating. We're just going to a few houses in our neighborhood to show off their costumes then heading home, but it'll be a huge new adventure for them. Does your family celebrate Halloween? Have you ever made costumes before?

October 16, 2011

Sewing Summit Project~ Sunflower Clutch

Baby Lock Sewing Machines were a sponsor of this year's Sewing Summit. They set up a "sewing room" for us to sew & try out their wonderful machines! This was especially fun for me as they have sponsored a couple sewing shows I like to watch~ "Martha Pullen Sews" and "Fons & Porter Quilting." I had heard of their company but never seen or tried one of their machines. Wow, they stitch so nicely & I freaked out about how EASY it was to change feet on their machines!! I was pretty close to bringing one home... :)

Anyways, one morning at breakfast they surprised us by giving us little kits to make a clutch. They included this placemat fabric, pretty polka dot ribbon, thread and some other fun little goodies. I loved the yellow color but didn't have time to make the clutch while I was at the Summit. I brought it home because I KNEW I had just the fabric to go with their yellow fabric~ yellow sunflowers! I kinda pimped mine out. I lined it and added a matching bow on the front and a velcro closure. Don't you love the yellow with this lovely sunflower fabric?

Thank you Baby Lock

October 12, 2011

Sewing Summit ladies ~ Good times!

It was a terrific time at the Sewing Summit in Salt Lake City, UT. This was the first annual summit, but it was well put together and very well received. The hotel was lovely & my room was beautiful. The classrooms were pretty & comfortable. The teachers were incredibly well known. It freaked me out how well known they were! I felt kinda bad that I didn't know that they were such celebrities! Anyways, I learned some fun things from each class and met tons of new people. I had something in common with everyone, so it was easy to talk to whomever you sat next to :) This is just my summary blurb. Specifics are down below the photos ~

This is the name tag I made to wear all weekend. I think it came out super cute.  I put my name plus my Flickr name so my online "friends" would know me.

Do you like my little self portrait?

Photos from Gertie's hand sewing specialty stitches class

Pic on left is mine. Picture on right is from Amy Ellis ~

I made this in the Modern Starch Applique class
We had 2 hours to... spray starch and iron 6 chunks of fabric 7 times each. THEN think of a design we'd want to applique onto the white background block. THEN sketch it out. Iron on the freezer paper template to the starched blocks. Cut out the applique pieces. Glue stick them in place. Finally stitch around the raw edges. Whew! That was a challenge! I did the final zig-zag edge stitching at home today. I tried it twice in the sewing room, but they had very sturdy needles & the gray thread did nothing to make these letters pop.
Do you like the blue I chose to use? What should I do with the block now?

Here's me in my little sewing studio. Oh, the mess right now! Don't worry, it's controlled chaos. All my projects to be worked on are there on the sofa behind me tucked cozily into plastic zippy bags just waiting for my attention. I got a little behind from not sewing for the last week!

I won this "refashionista" shirt from Dana's blogging class.
Thanks Dana at Old Red Barn!!

 I thought the shirt seemed fitting because today I was working on refashioning an old sports coat. I am holding one of the pockets here. It will be a purse, to be featured soon.

I didn't take many pictures of people at the summit. Mostly I was there to learn better blogging and to attend the author's panel because I'd really like to publish a book and some magazine articles. I was also really hoping to meet some of my Flickr friends in person. I enjoyed meeting lots & lots of new people, but I guess maybe I'm a little too shy or a little too chatty, or just the only one who lives in Vegas but I didn't really meet a specific "buddy" here. I met a few really great ladies that I enjoyed spending time with, but I guess for me this was also a trip about getting away & having a little quiet "me" time. I'm not much of a big group follower, so Saturday night when the groups went to taco stands & cafeteria style eateries I headed out for sushi on my own. Why didn't anyone want to go for a sit down meal??? I walked the 3 blocks and enjoyed the fresh air, the fresh fish & a lovely glass of chardonnay. For this mom of toddler twin boys I guess I didn't really mind a bit of quiet peace and a special dinner. No mac & cheese or tacos tonite! No cleaning up my own dishes. It's a sit down meal with chop sticks & wine glass and spicy wasabi!

This was my first time away from the twins and as much as I was there to learn, I really needed a bit of recharging of my batteries too. I needed some fun without worry. I needed some quiet space. I needed cooler temperatures than Vegas has this time of year! I needed a day without TV. I needed to learn something new, somewhere new, and to get out and meet other people who like to sew like I do. I needed to talk fabric & bobbins, project malfunctions & excitement over upcoming projects. I think all my goals were achieved here and daddy did a fantastic job manning the fort. Thank you sweetheart! Thank you Sewing Summit!

The Little America Hotel. Salt Lake City, UT ~ thumbs up!

I know, this blog is about sewing but the hotel was so pretty that I wanted to document it. Maybe YOU will go to the Sewing Summit next year and you'll want to know what the amenities were like. Take a peek at the pictures. Would YOU want to stay here for the weekend after reading this post?

My suite at Little America, 17th floor corner room

This was THE most comfortable bed with the squishiest, fluffiest pillows.

I should have taken a picture of the bed after turn-down service. Two little chocolates on my pillow, the corner of the bed turned down, a soft white robe laying there ready for me, soft lamps glowing on the nightstand, curtains all drawn closed & classical music playing softly in the background. Such bliss!!

My suite also had a little dining room w/glass top table & two period chairs. I had breakfast & socialized with the others down at our group breakfast each morning. They had such a yummy set up ~ oatmeal & fresh fruit, sausages & potatoes. Hot tea for me!

Exactly opposite the bed is a sliding glass door opening to a balcony (see below). Weather was rainy with temps in the mid 50s. Yay! Isn't this an amazing view?!?

There was also a little dressing room w/vanity & closet, plus a separate bathroom w/HUGE oval tub & glass door that swung in or out to open. Luxurious amenities :)

This was just the most comfortable & wonderful suite through & through!!

Excellent rooms, excellent food, a roaring fire in the lobby and enthusiastic bellman ~ I whole heartedly recommend this hotel to anyone & I hope that on my next trip it will be our family all together or a little weekend away with my hubby. SLC was lots of happening theatre! I was shocked, actually, to see what progressive or scandalous shows were in town or coming to town! SLC is not a prude town!

October 7, 2011

On the road to Sewing Summit

Las Vegas to Salt Lake City is about 6 hours. Maybe longer with all the stops "I" like to make. I stop for gas. I stop for diet Dr Pepper. I stop for Starbucks. I stop for bathroom breaks LOL. I stopped to take a picture of the snow on the ground! I wish I had stopped to take a picture of the 80mph speed limit sign! I also stopped in St George, UT to go to a quilt shop, and was disappointed. Read on...

Lazy Daisy Quilt Shop in St George, UT

WHAT a cute shop! It's an old house & you have to search the rooms for your treasures. Most rooms have fabric, but one was full of purses & another was all little girl clothes & accessories. I found some wonderful fabrics but I also found unfriendly service :(  While I give the shop a thumbs up for the terrific items they carry & how they are displayed, I give thumbs down to the owner's daughter & niece (?) who were too busy talking to each other to be bothered to talk to me.

Note to the owner: Talk to your girls about customer service! (see 1,2,3)

1) Explain to them that when a person comes in & says she just drove 2 hours to get there, that she's excited to be at the shop & that she's on her own personal shop hop that that person probably intends to buy fabric! I came there specifically TO buy fabric. Why so rude? 

2) If you have bolts of fabric that are not for sale then put a note on them! Don't let me look at them all, choose one and THEN tell me I can't have it! 

3) Do not push people to leave. Sure you can ask if I want help finding a fabric or if I'm finding everything ok. DON'T keep asking "are you ready" and "anything else" in a bored manner. I was obviously still looking! You should ask if I'd like to put my fabrics on the cutting table so I don't have to carry them.

I was SO annoyed to be rushed. I wish I hadn't wanted that stupid yellow gingham so bad because then I could have just walked out. Maybe I'll call before going next time & ask if the friendly staff is on hand that day. Truly though, I really shouldn't have to call in advance & ask the staff to be nice when they see me!

Question: Would you go back here? Or go here yourself after reading this?

These are the coveted fabrics I bought here. Do you have a favorite from them?

My toes in the snow on the road to Utah. It was just so pretty!
It was cold ~ as cold as 38 degrees. Speed limit signs for 80mph and NO traffic! What a fantastic drive!
Do you wear flip flops when you go on a long drive too?

October 6, 2011

Travel bags for shoes & laundry

Last minute goodies for my trip~ I made 2 shoe bags so my shoes don't get everything dirty, and a matching laundry bag. I'm loving the fruit fabrics, oranges with blues and the citrus oranges right now :)

I wonder if anyone would be interested in a tutorial on these... They are SO easy to make & quick too! I used my serger :)

New fuzzy scarf!

I saw this Tommy Hilfiger ad for his new fall 2011/12 collection & fell in love with their infinity scarf. Here is my impromptu version. I used a fuzzy, dark gray kind of snow leopard fabric with an Asian inspired, red satin lining that has cherry blossom trees on it. Sorry you can't see the print here. Also, I used these 2 big fat buttons instead of a toggle. JoAnn's does not have a very interesting selection of toggles! The latest fall Vogue Patterns Mag has a toggle tutorial!, but I needed this done for the Sewing Summit this weekend! Next time maybe :)

October 4, 2011

Sewing Summit ~ October 2011. SLC, Utah!

I am SO excited to be going to this! This will be the first time I've been without my twin toddlers overnight since they were born! I'm going to miss them, but mommies need mommy time too!

I'm thrilled that the conference is in SLC. It's supposed to be SO beautiful there, but also nice & COLD! I am so ready for a change from the frying hot temperatures of Las Vegas! I want to wear pants! A scarf! Boots & a jacket!

Here are the classes/lectures I'm taking:

* Blogging & social media
* Hand stitches for garments
* Specialty seams in garments
* Modern appliques
* Aspiring authors panel
* Modern Home Decor ideas

No quilting classes, unless you count the applique. It's so hard to find garment classes, but BurdaStyle is hosting this summit so the teachers should be great. I just can't wait! So much to learn & so many people to meet! fabric too!

October 3, 2011

Revitalizing the blog & getting more active

Ohhh... I have been really bad about posting! SO sorry! But one of the reasons that I am going to this sewing conference is for the blogging class. I wonder what we will learn...? I've also started reading "Artful Blogging" Magazine, which is gorgeous AND interesting. It has inspired me to get my tush in gear. I have been posting all my projects to Flickr, but not here where they need to be. Let's see if I can make the switch & get this blog rolling!

April 15, 2011

April showers ~ baby showers, that is!

My friend Melinda is expecting baby #4. It's a girl! I made her a 2 sided baby blankie that folds up & snaps shut w/a little carry handle. She can use this as a changing pad, play mat, shopping cart seat cover, etc!

Baby sock roses!

My friend Eboni is having baby #2, a boy! She loves monkeys, so this is the blankie I made her:

April 1, 2011

April 2011

Trying some more paper-pieced blocks & free pieced blocks. I love the black & white with red

Ladybug Soup
Free-pieced spiderweb

March 4, 2011

March 4, 2011

My original bag took FIRST place at the Desert Quilters Guild of Nevada's annual quilt show 2011!!
This is my 1st ever submission of any kind! It's also the 1st bag I've EVER made!!

There is an added sweetness to this win~ I showed the bag to a gal who is one of the owners of my favorite local quilt shop. I was very excited about my latest creation & wanted to show it off. She said it was "OK," as she made a face that said she didn't like it. Lesson learned honey, don't knock others because of your own jealousy! There is room for ALL of us to create together :)

The blue ribbon is HUGE. I am completely overwhelmed!

Sorry, I can't seem to get the blog editor to upload this picture correctly. It's saved straight, but sideways here

March 3, 2011

March 2011

This month I tried my hand at paper piecing! I used a tutorial by Pink Penguin for the lucky teapot shape.

The little cups & mugs I designed & just free pieced. Ok, that's not technically paper-piecing, but it's the same concept ;)

Teapot tutorial

Lucky teapot post on Flickr
Teacups & mugs on Flickr

February 5, 2011

Feb 2011

Finally tried my hand at embroidery! This month's swap theme was "space / alien." I found some super cute fabric with ray guns & space ships to use. Then I was thinking about a great fabric I had w/kittys on it & thought "ray gun kitty!" I think they are really funny. Hope you like them. The small blocks are 3 1/2" for the Bitty Blocks swap on Flickr. The large block was a special side swap for a very nice lady who just fell in love with the little blocks & wanted one for her grandson :)

Death Ray Kitty

January 5, 2011

A few recent projects

My first dress! Made it as a little gift for our play group friend London ~ Dec 2010. 
Happy 2nd Birthday London!

Here's my twin boys on their grandma's birthday present ~ Nov 2010. 
Happy Birthday Mom!

I had so much fabric left over that I made her this matching wall hanging & pot holder

My October 2010 project ~ "Victoriana," a Christmas quilt

Here's a close up of one of the blocks. Such pretty fabric! Moda's "Fruit Cake" roll of strips

September's project was this funky ironing board cover that I designed & created a pattern for. Am still working on the pattern for a matching sewing machine cover & fabric weights

A few of the pillowcases I donated this year. I did 55! Five more than my goal :)  They go to children with cancer. Each time they go to the hospital for chemo they get to choose a new p/c. What a great idea!

I made these baby blocks for my babies! Their names are spelled out on the sides

January 4, 2011

January blog ~ what am I working on?

Well, it looks like I'm going to average a post a month, but I'm ok with that. As the SAHM of twin toddler boys under the age of 2 it is amazing that I get any crafts done at all, let alone any blogging! But I said I'd try, so here I am :)  I'd also like to try project swapping, so I need to look into that...

I have so many projects in the works.

1) Am working on my blanket & doll set and their pattern. Looks really cute so far, so hopefully I'll sell some patterns.

2) Am working on altering a "kimono" dress/top pattern so it will be short sleeved & snap at the top of the sleeves so it can be put on or taken off if hooked up to an IV. Need to make simple little pants to go with it too. This will hopefully be my charity donation project for 2011. It would be nice to sell some of them plus the patterns too, of course.

3) I want to make a spring quilt for our bed. I bought the American Jane strips roll for strip club & they decided to disband the club! So, I found an even cuter pattern than the one they gave & would really like to make this up :)

4) It is the 150th anniversary of the Civil War this year. There are a ton of honorary repro fabric lines & I came up w/an interesting art quilt/portrait design of a Civil War woman. I'd like to start work on this & it's a perfect way to try out my new EQ7 quilting software! Wish me luck on this ambitious venture!

5) I have a paper dolls Christmas quilt to put together. I have an idea for the blocks, but I'm still mulling around ideas, so it's on the back-burner. Hey, I have an entire year to procrastinate on this one!

So my friends stay tuned. I have LOTS to do!  -wendy

January 3, 2011

Jan 2011 ~ Dr Seuss quilt & block swap

January 2011
I cut fabric & divided it into 16 packets that were sent out. Each person made a block for me & sent it back. I made blocks for each person out of their fabric also. This was the resulting quilt. I added the Thing 1 & Thing 2 blocks. This summer quilt (no batting) is for the twins' room story reading chair :)

Below are the blocks I made for my swap partners & a few mug rugs I made as fun extras for them
Yes, there is a distinct "art quilt," modern flair to the blocks I made :)