Simple Hello

I was looking through pictures of my completed projects and I realized I hadn’t posted this sweet little card. It’s such a happy, cheerful card with the bright yellow in it. 🙂

The card was made with the Lyrical Letters cartridge for the Cricut. One thing this project showed me was that I’m still not very good at guessing what sizes I’m going to need. For example, I cut out 4 or 5 of the little black coffee cups in different sizes to hold up and see which one I liked. Maybe I’ll never get very good at judging the sizes, but I hope to start wasting a little less paper in the future. 😉

Every card I make brings such a smile of satisfaction. Not because I think it’s all that amazing of a card, but because there’s nothing like seeing a design in your head and seeing it come out bright and happy and even better than you imagined. I think that creativity is such good therapy! And yes, I’m someone who needs lots of therapy! 😀

 

‘Tis the Season for Secrets

This time of year means many fun activities, one of which is secret keeping! Fun and challenging, especially when you have a blog that seems to call for awesome pictures of my projects. 🙂

So, not to give too much away, but here’s a little bit of something that’s getting made for someone for this Christmas. Ok, no more, mustn’t tell!

Finally Finished Hobo Tote

I’m hearing echos of the Hallelujah Chorus as I write this post. Drum roll, please. I’ve have finally and completely finished mom’s hobo tote! Whoooooooo! To get an idea of how long I’ve dragged this out this project has taken, see this post from May, which is actually a couple weeks after I started working on it.

This is one project that was hard and challenged me and so, while I’m very excited that it’s done, I’m also pretty proud of myself for not screwing it up any worse than I did. 😉 The feature I’m most proud about is learning to do the inset zipper in the bag. Thanks to this fantastic tutorial, I was able to be a success. 🙂

But, without any further ado, here’s the proof that it’s done.

My First Quilting Adventure

After the success of the potholders, I decided to try a real pieced quilt something. Again, not wanting to bite off more than I could chew, I decided to make a centerpiece for my table. I had seen a video tutorial on making a double four square piece, so I used that to come up with a design I liked and went from there.

My first block!

My first block!

For the last few weeks, I’ve been reading everything I can find on the internet about quilting and watching video tutorials left and right. In my head, I feel like a real expert. 😉 However, theory and real world sometimes aren’t the same. In this case, it wasn’t anything too different than what I expected, but the end result looked pretty different than what I thought it would look like.

The whole thing was fun and quick and I highly enjoyed making it. Overall, a giant success. 🙂 Next step, quilting and binding!

Finished table topper

Finished table topper

To Begin With

This post should have been written a month or so ago, but as my schedule was beating me up daily, it didn’t get written. So here’s an update that’s already outdated. 🙂

I have decided that quilting should be my next adventure. However, due to my tendency to start things and stop halfway through, I decided to start small and get bigger from there.What’s small and quilt-able? A potholder, of course. 🙂 Actually, I decided to do applique, as that seemed more interesting to me, at least to start with. Blocks seem like too much work for a beginning project, just to see if I like it.

New quilting supplies

New quilting supplies

To begin with, I did by a rotary cutter and mat. One thing I’ve learned so far is that it’s worth it to by the right tools at the beginning. If I don’t have the right tools, it makes it much less fun and I make way more mistakes. Also, I had a 40% off coupon. That helped too.

Beyond that, I wanted to buy as little as possible for the project. I had to buy batting (Insul-bright and cotton batting came recommended from many, many forums that I perused), but that was it. The fabric I used was from my stash.

Sewing the butterfly

Sewing the butterfly

Beginning the applique

Beginning the applique

The patterns I used came from my head. I tried to keep it simple (the flower one, not so much, too many curves) and work with the colors I had. Since I didn’t want to buy anything for this, I had to also use the thread I had on hand. I didn’t have enough colors to match all the fabric, so instead I just used black. I love, no really, love, how it turned out. 🙂

Quilting lines

Quilting lines

Practicing quilting

Practicing quilting

After finishing the applique, I did some sample quilting and binding to make sure I knew how it would work. This piece has some diagonal lines running across some scrap fabric so I could get the feel of it. I stitched around the designs for the quilting, nothing too fancy.

So here they are, my two finished potholders. And, if you were wondering, I think I’m hooked on quilting!

Completed butterfly potholder

Completed butterfly potholder

Completed flower potholder

Completed flower potholder

Finished Headwarmer

I realized that I had finished this project a while back and forgot to post it as done. Well, ok, moment of honesty, I finished the knitting, but I hadn’t sewed the button on yet (you know, the part that takes 5 min. and could have been done months ago? yeah, that part), so technically, it wasn’t finished. I sewed the button on it today and wore it for my run. Wonderful. 🙂

Headwarmer for me

Headwarmer for me

Saving and Spending

Last night was payday for the choir I’m in, so today was… shopping day! There were some really good Veteran’s Day sales going on and I think I managed to get a pretty good deal on what I bought. Look at all my fun new toys!

Veteran's Day purchases

The entire haul

My primary focus was fabric, as I’m wrapping up some of the sewing projects I’m working on and all the ideas I’ve had for next projects require fabrics I don’t have. I also needed yarn for a project that I’m going to see if I have time to complete before Christmas to give as a present. If I can’t (which right now, it’s not looking that way) I’ll just make it a birthday present for next year.

Buttons

My new random buttons

For the most part, I was able to stick with my two objectives. For some unknown reason, I got stuck in the button section and bought some fun but kind of random buttons. Who knows, maybe I’ll need buttons in the future.

Autumn tablerunner

Autumn tablerunner

I got fabric for three specific project. 1) An autumn themed table runner. I don’t have a pattern for this, so I got some fabric that goes together and I’ll see what pattern works with them. I like the fabric enough by itself, it may just end up being some variation on strips. Who knows?

Christmas fabric

Christmas fabric

The next fabric is sort of spoken for, but could change. I’m wanting to make a tree skirt for our small tree. My hesitation is that next year we’re planning on buying a house and I doubt I’ll be real happy with as small of a tree as we have in our new house. So, do I want to make a skirt for a tree that I don’t think I’ll be using next year or at the latest the year after that? I’m going to look at patterns for them and see if I can make one that will be flexible size-wise enough to use it for both. If I don’t use it for a tree skirt, then I have no idea what I’ll use it for, it’s just really fun Christmas print. On a side note, as far as I can remember, this is the first time I have ever bought Christmas themed fabric. For some reason, I think that’s a little sad, but I guess I just never had a reason before.

Ranges of blue and purple fabric shifting cube quilt/wall hanging

Ranges of blue and purple fabric shifting cube quilt/wall hanging

This next project is one I was really excited about. And, yes, unfortunately, I’m saying was. Not sure what changed, but as the lady was cutting the fabric out, I just kind of went, meh. Of course, this was as she was cutting out the fabric, so there was little I could do. I’ll try it and see where it goes. Basically, it’s going to be a tumbling block/shifting cube quilt. Something I am excited about it the 60 degree ruler I bought to help make all the diamonds. I’m weird, I know. Anyway, the idea and design is not really cemented in my mind, so we’ll have to see where this one goes (and when).

Material for a rainbow version of cathedral window

Material for a rainbow version of cathedral window

I don’t know that much about quilting, but I’m thinking this next project is going to a really awesome quilt. Hopefully. Anyway, it’s going to be a cathedral window quilt with black as the back and rainbow colors in the windows. Dramatic enough? 🙂 Cathedral windows look like a lot of work, so I’ll see how many days months years this takes. But I’m excited about it (even after the lady cut the fabric :P). I didn’t know how much of the black fabric to get, so I got enough to start. I’ll need to figure out how much more I’ll need soon so I can go back and get more before they run out.

So that’s my (large) haul. I’m pumped about getting to dig into these fun colors!

Embroidery Revived

In high school, embroidery was often my craft of choice, both counted and free-style. (Is free-style the right name? I doubt it…) Then there was this one amazingly beautiful counted cross stitch pattern with a violin and roses and music. After some intense work on it, however, I miss counted one row. Frustration and a lack of enough floss to rip it out and try again led to the project being abandoned. That was my last foray into the world of embroidery. Until our vacation, that is.

I had been given this dresser runner as a present during my embroidery days and it had been stashed away since then. While digging through some old supplies, I ran across it and it seemed like the perfect project to take with me and work on while we were on vacation. It was also fairly simple and usable; two aspects of a project I appreciate. So, it got packed and I surprisingly actually worked on it. And more surprisingly, actually enjoyed it.

As you’ll be able to see in the pictures, my technique is a little bit rusty, but on the whole, I’m pretty pleased with how it’s going so far. How long will it take me to finish it? Now, that’s a difficult question to answer… 🙂