Friday, January 27, 2012

sew & tell v3.16 - ruffles make everything better

Hey there! I realized that I finished this project up during the holidays and never posted pictures.  I made myself a new bag.

I'm not going to lie, I'm a little tired of this bag pattern.  As much as I love it, I think I've made so many of them that I'm a little burnt out.  Plus, I had bought this lovely Secret Garden (Sandi Henderson) in Utah in October to make it with.  I've had ideas about embellishing my signature bag with some ruffles, but wasn't sure what I wanted to do exactly.  And the reality is, the bag is super functional, and I love that about it.

Then one Sunday my cute friend had a leather bag with a two toned double ruffle across the front.  I had found it! I took a picture on my iPod and figure out what to do to make it work.

sneak peak

 I really love the way it turned out, I might do a few things different the next time, like gather it a little less, it was hard to sew on without a walking foot.

double ruffle

I love this fabric! It's Sandi Henderson's Secret Garden.  The interior and contrasting ruffle and strap is one of my new favorite tone on tone prints - Garden Gate (I think).  It reminds me a bit of Henna Garden, another favorite.

ruffled signature bag
It's has a great drape and I bought enough to make some dresses/skirts for sister and babylouwho. I may have just bought some more this past week in different prints.




Your turn to share!  Show us what you've got finished!
Linky Rules.  Please follow along for a fun party!

1. Please write the post for sew & tell - or add a blurb mentioning sew & tell to a post written since the last sew & tell.  If you are linking to a post with your own tutorial, please make sure it was a finish from this week and that the completed project is shown first.
2. One linky per person. (please put multiple projects in one post.)
3. Link to your specific post.  (See here for permalink instructions - or email me.)
4. Link back here with a link or a button (HTML on my sidebar).
5. Be sure to visit and leave comments on other's posts!

Please put your (blog)name instead of your project name, it helps us get to know each other better!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

tablet keeper blog tour with Nancy Zieman

I was so flattered and a little intimated when I was asked to participate in this fun blog tour!  I used to watch Sewing with Nancy on PBS with my mom when I was little, before I knew PBS was cool (and would bring us things like Downton Abbey - but I digress).

I knew I was buying mrlouwho a kindle for Christmas and thought it would be really cool to re-purpose some of his old uniforms to make the outside of the keeper.  He had other plans though and ordered a leather cover before I had time to tell him what I had in mind.  It's okay, I forgive him...

After that, the longest part of the process for me was to figure out who to make this for (as I don't have a coveted tablet. Yet.) And then choosing the fabrics. 

e-tablet keeper
Luckily, my sweet friend and neighbor just received an iPad for Christmas.  She lived in Okinawa for several years and I have some really cute fabric from Japan that my supplier a friend sent me.  I thought it would be a perfect combo - a salute to their many years in the Marine Corps and her time in Japan.

She didn't know what I was up to when I asked her if she had a spare name tape I could borrow for measurement purposes.  And then I asked her to come over so I could take a picture of the keeper with the iPad inside.  When I asked her if she wanted to see the front I closed it and handed it to her.  It took her a minute to realize I had sewn her name tape on and she was so surprised! And happy!  I'm not very good at surprises so it was fun to pull this one off!
personalization

I think one of my favorite parts of making this was the Create-A-Strap interfacing. Just iron it on, fold, press and you're ready to go!

create-a-strap interfacing
Don't mind my worn out ironing board cover! A new one is on my to-do list.


create-a-strap interfacing
The strap was so crisp and even and I didn't burn my fingertips once while ironing!

What a nice new home.

I used hair elastics for the corners as they have grips on them that I think will hold a little stronger.  I liked the idea of using those stretchy headbands that are flat with the grips - but I didn't have one on hand.
e-tablet keeper

I've realized that I'm not very good at following patterns and I just have to dive in with fabric in hand and go for it.  This pattern was well written and easy to follow.  It had diagrams for every step and once fabric was selected and cut, I would say this only took me a couple of hours to put together.  It would have been faster but you know what it's like with little 'helpers' around.  :)

This plastic template is pretty ingenious.
I wish my clothing patterns would come like this!  It was so easy to mark placement lines, although I don't recommend using a pink marker on red fabric.  The templates will also make it really easy to reuse the pattern to make a different size.

I've told you before about my problem and fear of trying new things for fear of messing them up, well, I'm glad I made this.  And now I'm excited to make some more, in different sizes, for e-tablets and paper tablets!  I even think I want to make a little iPod Touch wallet.  I'll let you know how it goes.



The blog tour is going on for 20 days in January.  Here is a list of previous posts as well as who is next!  Be sure to stop and see what everyone is doing with their pattern!  It's really fun to see how unique each project is.

January 3            Nancy Zieman 
January 4            Amy Ellis
January 5            Sharon Pernes
January 6            Vicki Christensen 
January 9            Joan Hawley
January 10            Pat Sloan
January 11            Eileen Roche
January 12            Liz Hicks
January 13            Fran Ortmeyer
January 16            Ilene Miller
January 17            Julie Herman
January 19            Natalia Bonner
January 20            Frieda Anderson
January 23            Cindy Cloward
January 24            Beckie Hansen
January 25            Amy Webb – you are here!
January 26            Allie Robertson
January 27            Mary Mulari
January 30            Laura Wasilowski 
January 31            Carol Porter

The lovely people at Clover have added a Giveaway to the Tablet Keeper Blog tour.
nancy_zieman_Clover_Tablet_Keeper_Blog_Tour_giveaway

For chances to win one of three prize packs, please post comments on the post at Nancy's blog for an entry to win!

Thank you to Clover for sponsoring the Tablet Keeper Blog Tour!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

One year ago

Babylouwho is growing up and this picture from last year makes me feel a little sentimental.

Hope you have all enjoyed a lovely weekend!

Friday, January 20, 2012

sew & tell v3.15 - an almost finish

Hey everyone!!  Hope you've had a great week and found some time to sew!



I got a little bit of sewing in, but didn't actually finish anything.  I got together with a friend earlier in the week and we both tackled a project we had been putting off.  This is a practice layout of a hexie block I am doing for my bee, BeeTweet.  I think it's going to be really cute once finished.  I just have to applique them all down.

So I hope you don't mind that I don't have a real finish to share today. Maybe I'll have something done by tomorrow and I'll link up with everyone else!!

If you just can't get enough of me, AnneMarie of GenX quilters featured me today!  She's so great and you will love her blog!  Go check it out!


Your turn to share!  Show us what you've got finished!
Linky Rules.  Please follow along for a fun party!
1. Please write the post for sew & tell - or add a blurb mentioning sew & tell to a post written since the last sew & tell.  If you are linking to a post with your own tutorial, please make sure it was a finish from this week and that the completed project is shown first.
2. One linky per person. (please put multiple projects in one post.)
3. Link to your specific post.  (See here for permalink instructions - or email me.)
4. Link back here with a link or a button (HTML on my sidebar).
5. Be sure to visit and leave comments on other's posts!

Please put your (blog)name instead of your project name, it helps us get to know each other better!

Monday, January 16, 2012

cooking: another creative pursuit

There's something I've noticed over the last little while about people who sew, quilt, or are generally creative. For the most part, they also like to cook. And not just from a box, can or mix. From scratch.

It's not really that surprising to me, since cooking is a pretty creative process. Creating something of worth from lots of little pieces. Plus, as many of us care for families, it is something required everyday. I figure I might as well make it interesting and delicious!

potage a la libournaise + artisan bread in 5 minutes a day
Much like sewing, having the right tools makes a huge difference to me. A good chopping knife, and block are essential. My knives are courtesy a nice tax refund several years ago. The chopping block? My husband. He made it for me 5 years ago and it's one of the most useful and attractive things in my kitchen. I love it!
top-bottom: celery, carrots, rutabaga, leeks, onions
I love soup, and pureed soups are one of my favorites, with some good crusty bread.  I've decided with everyone being sick lately that we should be eating more vegetables.  And with the leeks and onions in this soup it's almost sweet when cooked.  And really, who doesn't want an excuse to buy a rutabaga!?
 
So I made some of this soup the other day.  It's from a soup cookbook I purchased in France.  It reminds me of those delicious, creamy first course soups.  But I like them for lunch.  With that bread.  Of course with the bread.  Did I mention bread?
My sweet mr.louwho is the best gifter.  He got me this lovely food processor for my birthday and I've LOVED using it!  Especially for this soup.  Basically you simmer the veggies for about 20 minutes and then puree it in the food processor.  Then mix it back up with some cooked rice, the liquid, and some milk.  Oh, and butter.  Of course.
And this bread.  I blogged about it a couple of years ago.  With the right tools (a baking stone and container to keep the dough) this is the EASIEST and prettiest bread you will ever bake.  Try it.
Now don't think I'm just going to leave you without the recipe!  Here it is.  Hope it warms you up on a cold winter day!

Potage a la Libournaise

4 2/3 C Water
4 2/3 C Milk         
2 carrots
2 turnips (or rutabagas)
2 branches celery
4 leeks
2 large onions
4 large soup spoons rice
2-4 tbsp butter
salt/pepper
parsley for garnish (optional)

Cut the vegetables in julienne (matchstick size pieces).  Bring them to a boil in a large pot with the water and salt (1 tbsp).  They should become soft to the touch (about 20 minutes).  

Strain the vegetables and reserve the water in a smaller saucepan.  Cook the rice in this water, about 20 minutes.  

While the rice is cooking, put the vegetables back in the pot and mix with melted butter.  Be sure to not brown the vegetables, just mix them well with butter.  

Puree vegetables in a food processor.  When rice is cooked, add rice with water to the food processor to combine.  (Or use an immersion blender straight in the pot.)

Pour soup back in the pot.  Stir while adding milk and let soup reheat.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Garnish with chopped parsley in the center of each bowl.

Bon Appetit!

Friday, January 13, 2012

sew & tell v3.14: oh my stars! and bags! etc...

Hey friends! I had every intention of sharing a fun recipe with you this week.  Unfortunately as it goes, me (aka mom) got the sickies that everyone else in my house have been sharing for the last month! I thought I had successfully avoided it this time, but alas, the ear infection would prove otherwise!

I managed to get a guest post written for my friend Vicki's Focus on Free Motion Quilting series!





She is having link ups, guest posts, and prizes at the end of the month!  Go check it out, it's sure to be a good time.

For sew & tell this week, I thought I'd share a few other finishes from some December sewing.





I have had this bag in mind for a long time. In fact I had it almost finished when I took it to a sewing group back in the fall! It sat around being neglected and I finally finished it up.

Megan's bag
The fabric is Oddysea by Momo for Moda.  I really love the shell print and the subtle colors.  It's a little change from my bright and vibrant Amy Butler and Sandi Henderson choices.

Megan's bag - interior

I love making these quilted dishmats.  I think it's very cute and kitchen-y!
quilted dish drying mat

I do love this citrus print.  It's from Patty Young's Sanctuary line.  I'd like to get my hands on some more!


I also made another quilt top this week.  I actually made the SAME one as the giant star from last week, but started with 10.5" squares, so it's finished at about 40" x 40".  It's a group effort for a mutual friend.  Another friend is quilting it and a 3rd doing the binding.  So it counts as a finish, right?

giant star round 2

It was raining the day I finished it, so I had brotherlouwho hold it up inside so you could have a little perspective as to the baby quilt size compared to the last one.

Your turn to share!  Show us what you've got finished!
Linky Rules.  Please follow along for a fun party!
1. Please write the post for sew & tell - or add a blurb mentioning sew & tell to a post written since the last sew & tell.  If you are linking to a post with your own tutorial, please make sure it was a finish from this week and that the completed project is shown first.
2. One linky per person. (please put multiple projects in one post.)
3. Link to your specific post.  (See here for permalink instructions - or email me.)
4. Link back here with a link or a button (HTML on my sidebar).
5. Be sure to visit and leave comments on other's posts!

Please put your (blog)name instead of your project name, it helps us get to know each other better!

Friday, January 06, 2012

sew & tell v3.13 - giant vintage star

Welcome back everyone!  I hope everyone had a joyful, restful and happy holidays!


I wanted to share with you a quilt I made for my sister-in-law for Christmas.  I decided that I really wanted to sew something for her and asked my Tweeps (twitter friends) if anyone knew of a quick easy quilt I could put together in time for Christmas.  Jeni at In Color Order suggested her lovely Vintage Star Quilt Tutorial.  It was a match made in heaven for the fabrics I had in mind.
One Big Star

I had the 4 Amy Butler prints (Daisy Chain) for quite some time, but alone, they just weren't doing much for me.  Which may be why I had never used them!  When paired with some AB Lotus Full Moon Dots in Lime, and 3 Sandi Henderson prints (Henna Garden in Chocolate and Leaf and Garden Gate in Fuschia), I was in LOVE.  Seriously.

just a quilt blowing in the wind

I was worried that the Kona snow I was using for the background would be too stark, but I actually really like it.

free motion quilting

And I think the quilting on those sections really pop.  I love a nice wrinkled fresh from the dryer quilt!

machine binding + FMQ

The back is a Robert Kaufman Pimatex Basics.  I was able to pick it up at my local Hancock Fabrics.  Even though they had already closed, I was able to sweet talk my way in to make the quick transaction.

Binding and backing


I machine quilted on the binding.  I had never tried this before, but I was kind of in crunch time mode.  Jeni also has an awesome tutorial for machine binding.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it would be, and I wouldn't have finished the quilt in time otherwise!  I still enjoy hand stitching the binding, but in a time crunch, I'm totally not going to shy away from this.

requisite folded quilt shot

This quilt was a first for me in another way.  Started and finished within 3 weeks.  It's a Christmas miracle!!  I'm pretty sure she liked it! Which always makes me happy!

Did you do any gift sewing? What have you got to share with us today?  Can't wait to see what you all have been up to!
Linky Rules.  Please follow along for a fun party!
1. Please write the post for sew & tell - or add a blurb mentioning sew & tell to a post written since the last sew & tell.  If you are linking to a post with your own tutorial, please make sure it was a finish from this week and that the completed project is shown first.
2. One linky per person. (please put multiple projects in one post.)
3. Link to your specific post.  (See here for permalink instructions - or email me.)
4. Link back here with a link or a button (HTML on my sidebar).
5. Be sure to visit and leave comments on other's posts!

Please put your (blog)name instead of your project name, it helps us get to know each other better!

Tuesday, January 03, 2012

busy bee

I've been cleaning and organizing like a mad woman. My husband took everyone to grandma's and left me here to clean and organize uninterrupted. I should clarify that he was only acting on my request, they would have stayed if I'd let them! He took 3 sickies with him too.

But here's a few things I've done in the meantime. (again pictures via my instagram. I may or may not be addicted.)

Relocated the art wall (to the bathroom),
 

and hung up my pot and pan rack a la Julia Child!

Took all of this crap out of ...
 

...here, in order to purge, organize and refill.
 

Hung up my shelf with the hooks for my quilts a la Rachel.

And possibly my favorite idea, a $7 jewelry tray for all of my hair accessories!

I have more to share later this week!  Have you got the new year organizing urge too?  What's your current project?
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