Category Archives: Sewing (not quilting!)

More for Mom…

My final finish of 2014 was a birthday gift for my mom- I know, she made out like a bandit this year, right? 😉 I made my parents a set of 8 quilted placemats many years ago. They were blue and white and matched their dishes. Last year, my mom got new dishes: fiesta ware in Paprika and Ivory. The old placemats clashed horribly.

Also a few years back, okay more than a few, I made my folks a quilt for their living room.

bento box quilt

It was PERFECT for their living room in South Carolina, even though the colors were so very very very far from my style. (Also please note my dad was well known for never smiling in photos- he actually was happy with it…)

bento box 2

Anyway! In my mom’s new home here in colorful Colorado, the quilt is still in the living room- right next to the dining area (sort of one big room). So I busted out the copious stash of leftovers and set about making her a new set of placemats.

IMG_0172 IMG_0173 IMG_3189

I used this tutorial from Ellison Lane. It worked well with the fabrics, and was fast and easy. No two placemats match, front or back, but I did bind them all in the same fabric for continuity. I just did simple straight line quilting- worked well enough.


She loved them! Hooray! And as an added bonus, it turns out they have another fan. Mom left them in a stack on her dining table, and found her cat Anna curled up asleep on them. Maybe I should use the remaining scraps to make Anna her own quilt? Probably more sanitary, right?

Of course, when the kids saw these, they reminded me about my plan/promise to make OUR family unit some custom placemats. Gotta get on that…

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday and TGIFF.



Filed under Finish It Up Friday, Gift, Pinned it AND made it!, Sewing (not quilting!)

Pillowcases: The Final Frontier

Do you remember a Sunday Stash way way back (okay, just back in March…I’m a drama queen) when I showed you some fabulous nerdy novelties?


I *finally* busted out the Star Trek fabrics for their intended purpose, to make pillowcases for Henry. He’s now got a super nerdy bed, what with the Trek pillowcases and the Minecraft blanket




I think he likes them…

Meanwhile, my husband REALLY liked the fabrics. I don’t really want Star Trek on our bed, so I came up with another idea. I’ve long wanted to make place mats for the entire fam a la this blog post by Weeks Ringle. But then I thought, wouldn’t it be fun to have the kids help pick their own fabrics and sew their own slabs? (Thank you, Cheryl, for that term and technique!) And lord knows, we have enough bits of leftover novelty fabrics to make that very wild and fun. So Rich can have a Star Trek place mat, and our bed can stay matchy matchy, so, win win, right? Maybe we’ll even start that this weekend.

Linking up with Finish It Up Friday, TGIFF, and Fabric Frenzy Friday



Filed under Finish It Up Friday, Henry, Sewing (not quilting!)

Sunday Stash: Sewing with my Brony

Now that I’m back to sewing regularly, it seems I’m back to fabric shopping regularly. Going to have to keep an eye on that… It could get both dangerous and expensive…

Meanwhile, since I am doing both more, I thought I’d join up with Sunday Stash for the first time. I’m a little hesitant, as I don’t have quilt shop quality fabric to show you today. BUT, it is fabric that made my kiddo exceptionally happy, so that has to count for something, right?

My Annie (age 12) is obsessed with My Little Pony, in a semi-ironic way. She liked them as a wee one, and rediscovered them last year. She chooses to call herself a Brony, even though she’s not a boy…


Before Xmas, I searched and searched for some My Little Pony fabric, so I could make her something, since her brother was getting this. But I had no luck 😦

And then, we were at JoAnns to replenish her Duck Tape supply, and JoAnns was having one of their massive sales, plus I had a coupon for 20% off my entire purchase. And lo and behold, there it was… My Little Pony licensed fabric. Annie’s head nearly exploded. We got 3 yards, at the very good sale price of 40% off…


On the off chance you don’t know your Ponies, the blue one is Rainbow Dash, the pink one is Pinkie Pie, and the purple one is Princess Twilight Sparkle. Annie’s faves, Muffins, Dr. Whooves, and DJPon3, don’t tend to make it onto the mass market stuff.

The solids are random from my stash. Annie wanted a pony pillowcase, and also one for her BFF. Instead of me making them for her, I helped her make them herself. We passed Sunday morning in the sewing room… I did the rotary cutting but she did everything else by herself.

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I’m super proud of her work. And her generosity. She’s keeping the one with blue, and her BFF gets the one with purple. The pillowcase looks right at home on her bed already.


(Oh, did I mention we also bought a bunch of MLP fleece because it was also 40% off?)

Hope you had a fun shopping week. Do you craft with your kiddos?


Filed under Annie, Sewing (not quilting!), Stash Enhancement, Sunday Stash

Equal Loving

Just in case you think that I provide one kid with more handsewn love than the other…


Annie got her own brand new pillowcase this week!


I waited until weekend sheet-changing time to grab some photos, as normally Annie’s bed resembles a pile of fabric and stuffed animals more than it does an actual bed. I seized the 15 seconds AFTER the clean sheets and quilt were on, but before the billions of stuffed animals had returned. (Don’t worry- she’s got them all back where she wants them now…)

This pillowcase was even cheaper than Henry’s, as all the fabric was from stash. A few years back, I spent forever making Annie a doggie themed quilt. You can just barely see it in the 2nd photo. I still have quite a bit of dog-themed fabric bits laying around…which probably means I should crank out some more pillowcases for her. If you’re curious about the quilt itself, you can see photos of each block as well as the finished project in this Flickr photoset of mine.

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Filed under Annie, Sewing (not quilting!)

How much does it cost to be a supermom?

It turns out, under $10! (Plus about 10 minutes.)

Recently I went to JoAnns to pick up some notions with one of their 50% off coupons, and I stumbled upon this fabulous Marvel fabric. It’s got Avengers, X-Men, and Spidey… Henry has been a huge fan of Captain America for years now, because, and I’m quoting here “he was just a normal guy who got made into a superhero.” No giant fortune, no brilliant mind, just a normal soldier. So I picked up a yard of this stuff, which happily was on sale.

Yesterday I finished up piecing a quilt top (more on that later this week after I manage to take a decent photo of it), and still had a few minutes left in the episode of Battlestar Galactica that I was streaming. So I used those few minutes to whip out a pillowcase for Henry… I have a favorite standby pillowcase pattern that I’ve been using for years, and I’d love to link to it for you, but it was on the website of a store that has since closed and I only have a printout. There’s nothing like a pillowcase for a fun, fast, and super personalized gift!20130311-171055.jpg

Both Henry and his friend Captain Kermit approve of the pillowcase 🙂


After making this, I realized that it has been quite a few years since Henry has gotten a new quilt. Maybe it’s time? Last week, I stumbled up a fabulous website, Fandom in Stitches, that is chock full of (free!) paper piecing patterns for all sorts of movies, books, and other characters. There’s quite a few Cap related goodies. And, oh, the Hobbit-y goodness!

It’s so rewarding when such a small amount of fabric and effort make someone so happy. Do you have a go-to pattern or project for a quick happy fix?


Filed under Henry, Sewing (not quilting!)

Annie, Junior Sewist, Redux

As much as I might like to be, I’m never going to be one of those moms who is excellent at coming up with and executing crafty projects with her kiddos. First, I have no patience and am a fairly lousy teacher, but second and probably most important, my sewing/knitting/crocheting time is MY time- my escape. And I selfishly don’t feel like sharing it.

And yet…I’d still very much like my kids to enjoy crafting. Annie had some knitting lessons from a talented friend years ago, but it didn’t click with her. And then we signed her up for for Kids Sewing 101 at Fancy Tiger. she loved it, and loved Christina, the instructor, very much. A year later she took Kids Sewing 201 and made a skirt of her very own… She was so proud, and she loved the process.

Over the last year, Annie has become more and more of a giant Project Runway fan- we watch together every week when there is a new episode. This has made her even more eager to sew her own fashions… So she was thrilled to get the last spot in Christina’s new class, sewing your own PJ pants, yesterday.


I left her there at 10:30 with a 3 yards of rather wild newly washed and dried flannel plus one yard of elastic, and picked her up at 1:30, with these:


Her own, brand new, freshly sewn PJ pants!

We stopped at Target on the way home to pick up a matching shirt.  I think she’s pretty proud, what do you think?




ETA- clearly the pants are quite functional, as she slept until 11 am today!



Filed under Annie, Sewing (not quilting!)

Dressed to the Max(i)

As always seems to happen, lack of progress, or interesting progress shots, has derailed my attempts to keep a blog going. Maybe I should just give up?

Maybe. But not today.

Because I have some fun photos to show you of a new finished project… I took another DIY clothing class at my beloved Fancy Tiger– this time it was the DIY Maxi Dress class. SO much fun- and so simple- taking a store bought tank top and attaching a fabulous skirt to it. What a perfect excuse to buy a giant pile of Tula Pink’s wonderful new Nightshade line

Here’s where I started.

ready for class

The process was super simple. And fun- look at that selvage!

best selvage ever

In under 3 hours, I had a dress! We hacked our tank tops off, made a giant tube of fabric for the skirt, attached elastic to one end of the giant tube, and then sewed the giant now gathered tube onto the tank top. For added awesomeness, we made fabric sash belts. I chose to go with a contrasting fabric for mine. Hence the green bit.

the new dress...that I made

I may look like I made a cute floral dress, but if you look closer at the fabric, you’ll see skulls, cobwebs, lightning bolts and crescent moons.

I’m calling my new style “Laura Ashley Goth.” And I’m already planning to make another one… And PS, I did buy more fabric from the line, because oh my goodness, I love it so much. Some of it is destined to end up in my never ending modern crosses quilt. and the rest? Who knows?


Filed under Sewing (not quilting!)

Like daughter, like mother…

A few weeks back, Annie took a class at Fancy Tiger and made her first ever skirt.

This weekend, with one of my fave people in the world along for the ride, I did the exact same thing.

Skirt time!

Much like when Annie graduated from preschool a mere week before I received my Masters, my achievement is a bit more impressive, but because she got there first, she’ll never believe it.  Her skirt is wonderful, but has an elastic waist. Mine? A zipper! An invisible one! My first ever, invisible or not!

I made an invisible zipper, but you can't see it because it's invisible!

Hmmm, I sound more like a 10 year old than she does. But I am pretty darn happy with my creation. I splurged on some pricey but fabulous Japanese fabric. I saw it and fell in love, and felt super original and artsy, until I realized I probably subconsciously picked it because it just happens to be the fabric used in the skirt featured on the website listing for the class. D’oh. Accidental copy cat, that’s me! Regardless, I love it. And I made mine longer than Jaime’s, so I’ ll hopefully look like less of a stalker. (And also because I really enjoyed the length…)

Me, in my new skirt!

Have you ever sewn clothing?What’s your favorite piece to make? And do you have any to die for tips for a newbie?

This was my first foray into the field- and I kind of bought fabric for two more skirts already. It was like the universe was telling me to- an email from Purl SoHo arrived in my inbox tonight, featuring 50% off of some of my favorite Japanese prints. Hopefully, there will be a mushroomy skirt as well as a london-themed one in my near future!


Filed under Sewing (not quilting!)

Sadness, and some sewing too.

I’m posting today through a lot of sadness. Yesterday we had to put Ursa, our 13 year old chow mix, to sleep. Sometime between Friday and Monday she developed an infection that raged through her system so quickly, it led to seizures and loss of ability to control her legs. The vet was not able to offer us any hope, and as Ursa was clearly in agony, we made the tough choice. Ursa was part of our family before we had the kids, and last night was pretty awful for everyone.

Before all of this happened, I had some sewing time. I finally decided which fabrics to remove from my stack (thanks to everyone who offered advice) and cut out all the pieces for the duvet cover’s top. Since they’re huge pieces, sewing them together took very little time. It would have taken even less if, when cutting the 12″ by 34″ pieces, I had remembered that 17 (not 16) was half of 34. I had to go back and add bits to all of those pieces to get  them up to size. D’oh.

duvet cover, top

duvet cover, top

Looking at it now, I might have made different fabric choices. I love the green, but it may pop too much. And as much as I love the hairdo fabric, I might have used only ONE 23″x23″ square of it instead of two… But overall, I quite like it.

Next up is piecing the back, the sewing on contrast strips and making ties… The kids and I took today off from work and school to be sad, and I’m too sad to sew.

Meanwhile, I’m linking up at
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

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Filed under Sewing (not quilting!)

WiP Wednesday: Duvet-To-Be

I took my kiddos to visit my Grandma (96 years young) over spring break this week, and as that meant air travel and being a long way from home, I got knitting done, but no sewing.

I did, however, start to pull fabrics for my next project. A few weeks back, one of the many online fabric stores I shop from sent an email that featured a project from Joel Dewberry‘s Sewn Spaces– a patchwork duvet cover. It’s such a lovely, simple project, and I couldn’t get it out of my mind. I had the perfect fabric for it…one I’ve been hoarding for ages with no actual plan.

Cameo from Tula Pink‘s Parisville. The ladies have the best hair ever! But they are large- 5″ or so. Hard to show off in lots of projects. I was thinking maybe curtains, until I saw that duvet cover.

I pulled fabrics, but didn’t have time to start cutting. Which might not be a bad thing, because there are 2 too many fabrics in that pile. I think I’ve decided on one to pull, but not the other.  What do you think? What 2 fabrics would you remove?

Duvet cover to be...

Duvet cover to be...

Duvet cover to be...

As you can probably tell, it’s the same color scheme as the Modern Cross quilt- both are destined for my own bed…

So that’s my WiP Wednesday- a tiny bit of progress is better than none, right? I’m linking up over at
WIP Wednesday at Freshly Pieced

And I’d like to say thanks to all the new folks who came by and left comments last week- it was great to “meet” you all!


Filed under Sewing (not quilting!), WIP Wednesday