Friday, January 30, 2009


I started Brian's quilt this week. I had planned on doing a log cabin-ish quilt but he saw my sketchbook where I had sketched out some designs and he really liked the strip quilt look. So that's what I'm doing. It's going to be a lot bigger than I had originally planned.. so I hope I don't run out of fabric. Maybe if I'm motivated I'll finish it this weekend.

Thursday, January 29, 2009


February is create-a-thing-a-day month. I played along a couple years ago but I didn't finish the month, so this year I'm planning on taking a photo a day. That way I figure I'll get to the end of the month. I like thinking that I'll start this project in winter and finish it at the end of February with a little bit of spring poking through. In reality I know that I'll be starting and finishing it in winter.. but at least the days will be a bit longer...

It's pretty free-form: for 4 weeks starting on Sunday February 1st, participants create one new thing a day. Choose your own themes, one per week (I don't know if I'll do this). Work in any medium. And post your work on the group blog every day. Again, I don't know if I'll post stuff on their blog, but I did sign up just in case. You can do that from their site here.
Play along with me won't you? :)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

maybe I've gone too far

Sorry if this grosses some of you out. I almost didn't post about this but I think it's awesome so I'm just going to assume that someone out there will agree with me!These came in the mail the other day... yep, cloth pads! I read about them in the Etsy forums (just do a search for "cloth pads"). You can find lots of info on the internet as well. I read that cloth pads can actually make your period shorter and less painful. Plus it's much better for the environment than all those disposables! I absolutely hate disposable pads so I can't really believe it's taken me this long to get some cloth ones.

I did a lot of shopping around on Etsy and I finally decided on these two sets to start with so I could test them out. The polka dot ones are from Pleat and you can find them right here. The white ones are from gogreengirl and you can get them here. I got the sets that have a liner, a regular pad, and an overnight pad.

I haven't been able to try them yet, but they all look very well made and up for the task. ;)And looking at them in person I think they would be pretty easy to make myself.


Completely unrelated... Julie from knitsational is having a really cute giveaway on her blog, so check it out!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

and so it begins...

I read this a few days ago on Keri Smith's blog, the Wish Jar:

"There's a point where you can give up on winter--when temptation can enter your soul, prying its way in like cold air through the cracks in your cabin--around January sixteenth or so, and this can make you realize that February's coming, and beyond February, March.

See, I don't yet realize that March will be the hardest month. Early February's the coldest, and often the snowiest, but March, strange, silent March, will be the hardest.

The danger in yielding to thoughts of spring--green grass, hikes, bare feet, lakes, fly-fishing, rivers, and sun, hot sun--is that once these thoughts enter your mind, you can't get them out.

Love the winter. Don't betray it. Be loyal.

When the spring gets here, love it too--and then the summer.

But be loyal to the winter, all the way through--all the way, and with sincerity--or you'll find yourself high and dry, longing for a spring that's a long way off, and winter will have abandoned you, and in her place you'll have cabin fever, the worst.

The colder it gets, the more you've got to love it."

~Rick Bass fr. Winter -Notes from Montana


I don't love winter. Not at all. But I try to... you know "live each season as it passes" and all that. I've actually been doing pretty good... more or less content to be inside by the fire, sewing or knitting or watching a movie.
But yesterday I got this in the mail:
And before I could stop myself I was reading and planning and dreaming about seeds and vegetables and the smell of the soil and the warmth of the sun and the wonderful tired feeling of a day spent working in the garden... and just like that, I was lost to spring.
But it's too bad that this is what my garden looks like right now! :) So I guess I'll be working on being loyal to winter.. I still have lots of time to practice...

Monday, January 26, 2009

pleated beauty handbag

Here's the bag I mentioned last week, the pleated beauty handbag from Bend-the-Rules Sewing. I decided to leave the linen plain and not embellish it like the directions say to do. I also made the lining fabric different than the outside of the bag (I didn't have enough linen). I like the bag a lot but it might be a little too big for everyday use, although I like that I can easily fit a journal, camera, or some knitting (or all three!) in there.
I had more problems than I thought necessary on this bag.
I think Bend-the-Rules Sewing is a cute book, but there was some important info left out on a few different occasions and the directions in general weren't very clear. I had to do a little guessing (Is that why it's called "bend-the-rules"??).

Another thing I changed a bit is I sewed up the middle of the pocket to make two smaller ones. The size of the pocket in the directions was huge. And I meant to include some small magnets in between the lining and the outside fabrics but I completely forgot! It seems ok without them though.

Friday, January 23, 2009

a little project

The other night I made this cute little clutch from Amy Karol's Bend-the-Rules Sewing book. I don't really need a little bag like this. But I had my eye on making a bigger bag that's in the book and I thought making this first would be a good way to get the purse lining technique down. It was very easy and I think it's really cute.
I wish I could say the same about the bigger bag I'm working on now... I'm having some problems! Hopefully I'll finish it this weekend though and I'll share next week.
Hope you all have a great weekend!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

shop update

I've been adding a few new things to the shop this week: custom baby rings (you pick the colors)...
Some new colors for the baby rings (more are in the shop)..
And some more matchbook notepads like the ones above, just in time for Valentine's Day. :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

more quilt inspiration

As I was collecting those wonderful quilt images from Monday I was reminded of a quilt exhibit Brian and I went to last winter at the Henry Ford Museum. It featured quilts made by Susana Allen Hunter dating from the 1930s to the 1970s. They were such an inspiration so I figured you would all enjoy them as well.Several were made from old work clothes.. see where the jeans pockets were removed?
A saying I tell myself often (and try to live by) is "Use it up, Wear it out, Make it do, Or do without."
These quilts are proof that you don't have to go out to the fabric store to get brand new pretty fabrics to make a pretty quilt, don't you think?
(this one's my favorite)

I have more quilt photos from this exhibit that I'll post sometime soon.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

out my window

Happy Inauguration Day!I've been watching these icicles forming outside my craft room window for a while now and the light was so pretty last night I decided it was time to photograph them. I love the upward branching of the trees in the background and the icicles reaching downward in the foreground.

Monday, January 19, 2009

quilts on flickr

The other night I was looking for quilt photos on Flickr because I'm in need of some inspiration for Brian's quilt (that's right, I haven't started it yet. I'm horrible!). I found quite a few amazing quilts. Some of my favorites are pictured above. #2 is my most favorite of all of them, I love it so much. Looking at these all together I see that I'm drawn to square(ish) blocks surrounded by white space. I guess that's a starting point for Brian's quilt.

Here are the links:

1. a quilt of our own 2. cecilia's quilt 3. WIP: A quilt for me. 4. Quilt top 5. Paintbox Quilt on the Sofa 6. Aqua Daisy Chain quilt top 7. A field of flowers quilt top 8. quilt top 9. #3's quilt 10. Rainbow baby quilt 11. button quilt up close 12. quilt paint box whole 13. Quilt for the crib 14. red and aqua quilt 15. Study in Blues and Red - Modern Art Quilt 16. Log Cabin Baby Boy Quilt 17. I found a quilt top today! 18. Quilt from Grandmom 19. sun and moon 20. Colorway Quilt

Friday, January 16, 2009

in the mail

Today the mailman brought me new business cards for the shop. I ordered them from Overnight Prints and I'm really happy with them. I've never ordered business cards before (always just made my own) and I must say the quality is great. I'm all for doing it yourself but I just can't compete with actual business cards, you know? :)

I hope everyone has a great weekend and stays warm! I'll be spending it nice and snug by the fire.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

felt food

I've been a little into felt food lately (never mind that I don't have kids!). They're so cute and the perfect thing to work on while watching a movie. I figured a purchased pattern would be a great place to start, so I bought this one from Etsy seller umecrafts (she has a bunch of really cute patterns. I'm still thinking about getting the veggies).

Pictured above are my creations. The banana has a removable skin.. neat right? And the apple has velcro on it so it can stick together, but I won't make any more apples like that. It wasn't fun hand sewing the velcro on and it looks silly all stuck together, not at all like a whole apple.
But anyway, when I was searching around for free tutorials and ideas for other foods I found a few links that I thought I'd share:

- A pattern for a loaf of bread from cherrymix. I just noticed that she also has a pattern for a cupcake and a fortune cookie (and more) on her site.
- A couple tutorials here including a strawberry. (This is umecrafts's blog.)

- Finally, here and here you can find a ton more ideas, photos, instructions, and tips.
Oh, and about the felt. I used this ecospun felt that's made from 100% post-consumer recycled plastic bottles which I think is awesome. It's a good quality, nice and thick and strong. I bought it at Joann's on sale for 8 for 96 cents or something like that. If you want real wool felt (which I love.. maybe someday I'll make some out of wool..), you can find a large selection here, or here if you want to shop from Etsy.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

estate sale finds

Here's what I found on Sunday..
Two paint-by-numbers.
And I saw this old falling apart envelope that looked to still have fabric in it.. I thought it might be pieces of the aprons.
But it was the entire piece! All three tea aprons, including waistbands and teenie tiny pockets for each one. I couldn't believe my luck. It wasn't even ever washed, so when I washed it it faded a lot, but I actually like it better this way.
(I think Henry likes it too.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

monday morning

Out my backdoor.

I went to an estate sale over the weekend and found a couple things.. I'll share those tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

save handmade toys

Many of you have probably already heard about the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act (CPSIA) that will go into effect in February (if you haven't, you can read more here). I just wanted to urge you all to vote to have this issue amended so handmade children's items can continue to be sold legally in the US.
You can go right here to vote on the site. There you can also email friends and post a widget on your blog.

Friday, January 9, 2009

100 things to make

This is my 100th post. To celebrate I compiled a list (have I mentioned before how much I love lists?) of 100 things to make. I included things you can sew, knit, make with paper, cook, and a few other miscellaneous things thrown in for variety. Some have links.. maybe eventually I will make a link for all of them?

The next time you're itching to create something but you just don't know what, hopefully the list here will help you out a bit. And sorry if some seem a bit random (fairy wings?), coming up with 100 ideas wasn't as easy as I thought it would be. :)

Ok, here it is:

1. purse
2. lunch bag
3. tote bag
drawstring bag
5. sachets
6. quilt
7. pillow
8. napkins
9. apron
10. coasters
11. placemats
12. table runner
13. oven mitt
14. tea towels
15. tea cozy
16. juggling blocks
17. cloth book
19. burp cloth
fabric blocks
21. doll
22. doll clothes
23. stuffed animal
24. felt food
25. fabric ball
26. banner (bunting)
27. dress
28. skirt
29. smock
30. pajamas
31. slippers
32. sewing machine cover
33. curtains
34. pin cushion
35. wine bag
36. checkbook cover
37. book jacket
gift bags / wraps
pencil roll
41. scarf
42. cowl
43. gloves
44. mittens
45. fingerless mitts
46. sweater
47. hat
48. bonnet
49. baby booties
50. socks
51. leg warmers
baby rings
53. felted ball
54. pot holder
55. blanket
56. felted bowl
57. wash cloths
58. felted tote bag
59. magnets
60. fabric covered Altoid tins
61. matchbook notepads
62. cards
63. books
64. notepads
65. scrapbook
66. flash cards
67. book plates
68. recipe cards
69. postcards
70. calendars
71. stationery set
72. to/from tags
73. place cards
74. memory game
75. magic wand
76. fairy wings
77. cape
78. finger puppets
79. play dough
80. finger paint
81. dollhouse
82. dollhouse furniture
83. origami
84. snow globes
85. rattle
86. wooden blocks
87. ornaments
88. mobile
lip balm
90. lotion
91. soap
92. shampoo
laundry detergent
94. candles

Thursday, January 8, 2009

handmade gifts : part III

This is the last of the handmade gifts.
I made this felt checker set for a six year old girl that loves games and the color pink. The board turned out just how I pictured it. That doesn't happen very often so I was thrilled. :)

I made little bags for the pieces and sewed ribbon into one side to tie them shut.
And yep, it all fits nicely in a drawstring bag. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

handmade gifts : part II

Here's what's in that drawstring bag, a bowling set! I made this for a little three year old girl I know (well ok, I didn't make them, I bought them, but I did paint them!). I love this little set so much I almost didn't want to part with it. :)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Tutorial Tuesday - Drawstring Bag

I love drawstring bags. They are so useful! I use them to store little projects and my toiletries when we're camping. I think they're such a better container than plastic bags or bins. So it's no coincidence that all of my handmade gifts for Christmas were housed in drawstring bags. The last time I made one I took some photos and wrote up a little tutorial for you all.

You can find the tutorial right here.

Enjoy! Oh, and tomorrow you'll see what's in the bag pictured above. :)