Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Mardi Gras!

I hope you've had a good Fat Tuesday! I didn't do much this year - no king cake, no beads, no purple, green, or gold. We'll see if I can manage to make it to church tomorrow. This weekend I sewed up the last of my kid clothes project pile - puppet show shorts. That's the name of the pattern, not that you have to wear them to a puppet show. I decided to make them for MG and her "tiny heinie" since her shorts were always falling down. I don't know how often you wear shorts in Monterey, but whatever, they're done.

Also, Saturday we had a birthday lunch for Zeek and his brother Nick. Sunday I stayed for a few hours with Ami watching Peter - Ami was recovering from a bug and Zeek was sick in bed. I made a chicken and artichoke lasagna for book club Sunday night. I finished the last book in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series. I guess I will read the next one as soon as I can get it from the library. I started working on a new quilt using a fence rail pattern. Not much else right now.

This picture does not want to be straight.  Denim shorts on left, green chevron pattern on the right.  You might recognize the watercolor pocket/leg binding fabric from a dress I made Shannon last year.  The green fabric isn't really as bright as it looks, and it has a subtle green on green chevron pattern.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Shannon's Birthday Goodies

Shannon said that opening gifts from Aunt Juju is the BEST!

birthday skirt

beautious sweater

Fairy Tale Quilt!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weekend Sewing, Snow, and Super Bowl!

This weekend I did lots of sewing, saw some on-and-off pitiful excuse for snow, watched the season finale of Haven (finally!), cooked spaetzle, and watched the Super Bowl (and also Downton Abbey).  And hey, my Super Bowl contestant adjacent city beat your Super Bowl contestant adjacent city!  I think I'm probably actually closer to Baltimore than you are to San Francisco.

I continued with my finishing theme, detouring only to finish up some birthday presents for some special January babies!

First, fraternal twin coffe cup cozies:

These are for Stephanie and Elizabeth.  Sleeves for your cup of coffee or tea, whichever you prefer.

They were a little experimental.  I used leftover scraps from the bags I made last summer, batting scraps, buttons I had and pony tail holders.  So, a project that costs me nothing.  Nice!

Rebecca's birthday dress.  When I first saw this line of fabric (Out to Sea by Sarah Jane) I wanted to make a sailor dress for it.  I looked but didn't find anything I liked.  Some old 80s style dresses, but nothing quite right.  Then I found a brand new pattern, the Goodship Dress by Karen LaPage, and new I had found what I was looking for.  I wanted to make it for Rebecca, because hello, how many sailor dresses did Melissa wear?  But Rebecca is girlie, so I wanted to make sure it wasn't just plain blue and white.  I'm not sure if the colors show up well (it was late and the best light I could find was in the bathroom) but the tie is bright pink and so are the hulls of the ships (not sure of my nautical terminology).  I was going to make the center pleat section pink too, but didn't have quite enough fabric.  I think I like it better this way anyway.  The arms are lined with bright pink bias tape too.  Hopefully Rebecca will like it too.  I watched Beasts of the Southern Wild and Green Zone while I sewed this.
This is the Oliver + S Playdate Dress.  This has been sitting around,  cut out pieces mocking me for months.  This weekend I finally sewed it together.  It really didn't take that long, and not too fussy, considering how long it's been waiting.  It was not my favorite dress of theirs, and I didn't love the finishing, but the green fabric is very pretty and drapes beautifully.  It has pockets too!  And I made fabric covered buttons!  It's a size 7, and I intended it for Shannon.

Blogger isn't letting me put text below the bottom photo, so I'll tell you that it's Mary Grace's Snow White dress.  It's the Geranium Dress from Made by Rae, and the fabric is from Far Far Away III by Heather Ross.  It's adorable.  It's been finished, just needed to be photographed, though with our horrible weather it's just got another bathroom photo.  You'll have to take pictures of MG wearing it for me.  I have one more dress I started toward the end of the Super Bowl and then finished on Monday, but no photos of it yet.  That actually crosses off almost all the clothing projects in the already cut out pile, so I'm doing pretty well on my finishing!  Just need to quilt some of those quilt tops so I can work on all the ideas piling up in my head!

Friday, February 1, 2013


I'm not really a New Year's resolution person.  I generally think we should make new goals whenever we want or are motivated to do so.  And part of me still feels like the "beginning of the year" is in the fall with the beginning of the academic year, even though I'm not in school anymore.  But this year, when I got back home to DC after Christmas, that changed a little.  Maybe it was seeing the shambles I had left everything in while I rushed to finish some Christmas presents before heading to Atlanta.  Maybe seeing the piles of something left undone for who knows how long.  I have a tendency to think if I leave it in plain sight I will be more likely to do it.  I think it just makes me feel guiltier for not doing it.  So, looking around at this and with some unplanned weekends and New Year's in front of me, I decided I was going to finish.  I'm not really a "theme for the year" sort of person either, but my theme for 2013 is FINISH.  Finish what I start.

I made a list of little projects I had been meaning to get to, and I did a bunch of them.  I finished all the mending in my pile in about an hour.  I sorted out my shoes (including two bags brought home from where they'd been living under my desk at work) and filled up two bags to donate.  I filed away paperwork that had built up into a towering stack on my desk.  I moved some things into the basement storage unit (though this organization has been disrupted by very needed waterproofing work down there).  There were a few other things, but I don't remember them all.  And I turned my eyes to my sewing and quilting works in progress, some just needing one final thing to be finished.  I suppose I started this part of my resolution at the end of the year, since I finally finished up Melissa's two-years-in-the-making Hope Valley quilt and quilted Mom's, which had only been waiting since the spring.

In addition to the projects below, I sewed buttonholes and buttons on a couple projects that were just waiting for them.  Once I'm finished with that, MG will have a blouse and Shannon a dress that I sewed during Hurricane Sandy back in October.  My sewing machine can be very unpredictable with buttonholes so I end up dreading them.  I also worked on MG's Snow White dress, which is now pretty much finished.  Must take a picture of that.  While I was working on that one, I also made a top for Shannon from the same pattern.  It's finished except for the buttonholes, because my machine again became possessed and I set it aside.

I have a bunch of quilt tops that need to be basted, quilted, and finished.  I stocked up on batting in JoAnn's 50% off sale, so now I have the supplies for that and can get started.  I finished my Swoon quilt top (the one I emailed you photos of taped to my wall when I was trying to decide the layout).  I also went through my fabric, particularly the pre-cuts and made plans for future quilts.  For some, I had clearly bought fabric for borders and backing but couldn't figure out what I had planned.  I think I came up with some good options and should be busy on the quilt front for a while.  I've nearly finished one new/old quilt top from this pile.

I fixed the collar and hemmed this top.  It's a Wiksten Tova top for me!  Made out of some cotton lawn or voile from  It's very loose and floaty, and the fabric is very fine.  I wore it this week during our bizarre 70 degree weather, in between the ice storm Monday and the rain/snow at the end of the week.  The sleeves, all loose and a little poofy, make it hard to wear a cardigan over, which is a requirement for me.  I might try making a sleeveless version.  I can use more tops for work.

Shannon's birthday quilt, made with Far Far Away II by Heather Ross.  I bought a bundle of this fabric when it came out a few years ago, pretty much because of the owl and the pussycat fabric, and knew it would be something for Shannon.  But I didn't know what.  It's a cotton/linen blend and heavier and thicker than regular quilting cotton.  Then I saw this Storytime Squares quilt by Made by Rae and knew this was the way to go.  I made the quilt top in the fall with a cream colored Kona cotton as the background fabric and it drove me crazy.  It looked weird and the texture was all wrong together.  So I ordered some Essex linen, and ripped the top apart and re-did it with the linen.  It was so much better!  I watched The Bourne Legacy while I did this - funny how you remember those things.

This is the back of the quilt.  I didn't have enough linen for the whole back, and I thought it would be fun to use some of the larger chunks of leftover fabric from the front.  I watched Mulan while I pieced this.  The binding is scraps from the back, once I trimmed it after quilting.  I think it was finished right on her birthday, but of course you didn't get it in time.  These pictures are all wrinkled because I realized I had no pictures, so I took it out of the box and spread it on the floor of one of our conference rooms to take pictures with my phone.

Another finish - this past weekend I sewed up the jammie pants for Catherine's kids.  They each picked the fabrics from the sale section of a quilt shop we visited in Monterey in November.  I cut them out sometime in the fall so they were just waiting to be sewn up.  Jack's pants in the foreground are Anna Maria Horner's quick change trousers.  Connor's (the ant maze), MG's (the yellow candy), and Shannon's (pink ice cream) were made with the Oliver + S Sleepover Pajama Pants pattern.  I think they may be too big, but I guess that just means they'll be able to enjoy them longer!  Connor's and MG's are actually the same size.  These were made during my Saturday sewing and movie marathon - I watched Pitch Perfect, Looper, The Bourne Legacy, and then I started on the Alias.  Side note - Catherine, you should watch Pitch Perfect.  Not with your kids, though.

This is what I finished on Sunday - my Washi Dress by Made by Rae.  I cut these pieces out sometime last year, I think late summer?  I was super nervous about making something for myself.  It's so much easier to make things for kids - if it doesn't fit, they'll either grow into it or just pass it on to another kid, and they don't use so much fabric.  But I'd already cut out the pieces (without making a bodice muslin - I was pretty much on the measurements, so I winged it) so I didn't have much to lose.  I didn't use the little cap sleeves because sleeveless is a lot more versatile for me.  There's smocking at the back waist to help it fit, and because of that there are no closures.  The bodice fits well - my darts aren't perfect, but the dark fabric helps hide that.  It has a high, empire-ish waist, and the front skirt is pleated.  These photos aren't great, but it really is a flattering cut.  I wore it to work this week and was very proud of it!

I wore this cardigan with it.