A Blast from the Past

I decided to take a little walk down memory lane today.  I took some photos of the photos in my scrapbook.  A little more about that scrapbook in a moment.  If you know me in real life you may know that I have loved sewing for a long time.  My mom didn't teach me, I learned at school.  One of the only things I learned, but at least I learned something, right?

 This photo was from the early years of highschool.  I am sewing on my Mom's old, old sewing machine.  It didn't work particularly well, but I used what I had.  Later on they bought a new machine for me to use.  As you can see, Suzanne is working on a project for school and I am just sewing.  Typical.

 My sweet little sister, Karen.  She and I are 14 years apart in age.  I sewed a lot of stuff for this girly.  And I did her hair every day.  One day she cut it....  I cried.

 Me and Karen again.  I sewed that skirt in Home Ec.  It was lined and had darts and everything.  I also made Karen's dress (not the blouse.)  I just have to sneak this in somewhere - she's getting married!!  They just got engaged last weekend and we are all super excited!

 This was the favourite dress I ever  made for myself.  It was a comfortable rayon fabric.  My friend Anne took this photo in her dungeon bedroom. :-)  Hi Anne!

 My brothers might not be happy that I'm posting this photo.  Vests were all the rage back then and I made them matching ones.  They loved them and wore them out.  (Vests are back in, aren't they?  Not in this house yet.)

 My cousin might not appreciate me posting this photo either.  So I won't mention her name.  But wasn't she just the cutest thing?!  (She still is.)  I made her this dress once upon a time.  I really loved it and would put this dress on my kids even today.  Don't you find that kids clothes are less trendy that way?

 This is me in my favourite class room of the school.  Loved sewing class.  I'm not proud of this, but I was kicked out of class numerous times for being too rowdy in class and for sewing my friends difficult princess seams.  Just imagine a very petite, 5 foot tall, 65 year old, impeccably dressed lady with a strong Dutch accent (but soft voice) amidst 15 boisterous, energetic girls.  But still, I learned a lot.

 This was the coolest thing I ever did in high school.  Every week we had one extra block of time.  At that time most people studied during that time.  But I never liked studying so I hatched a plan to sew clothes for people out on our mission post in Brazil.  We got a ton of fabric donated to us and we sewed every block X.  This photo only shows a small bit of what we got accomplished.  (And totally cool - I was actually in Brazil when the shipment arrived and could hand out some of the clothes and see some of the kids wearing them.)

And being the total sewing geek that I was, I got one of my grad photos with my sewing machine in the foreground.  I didn't actually order this one, but I had a proof and that was good for me!  (And I really can't believe I am posting this photo.)

I mentioned a scrapbook earlier.  I have a scrapbook of all my high school sewing (with many, many projects) that I made to apply for a scholarship/award.  And I actually got it!  And I didn't use if to go further for sewing (there wasn't much available) but I did use the award portion to go to Brazil with!

So, for you who care, there's a bit of my history.  I actually have another post in my mind along these lines, but I need Suzanne's cooperation for that.  And another s-i-l might need to help me out a bit too.  One day.

Have a good weekend!


Tutorial: Bow Pillow

Tomorrow I am going to be helping the Gems girls at church to make a throw pillow as part of their Home Decorating badge.  Inspired by the many bow purses, clothing and accessories I am seeing I decided to make a bow pillow.  Please tell me that 11 and 12 year old girls will like this project because I am a little nervous.  My girls love it, but they are 8 and 10.

Because I was doing all the figuring I thought I'd snap a few photos along the way and share the details with you.

You will need:

1/2 yard of main fabric
FQ of fabric for the bow
14" pillow form

1/4" seam allowances throughout unless otherwise specified.

 Cutting:  Cut a 14 x 14" square and 2 - 10 x 14" rectangles out of the main fabric.  Cut 2 - 4.5 x 14" rectangles and 1 - 4.5 x 4" rectangle out of the bow fabric.

 Making the bow.  Stitch the two 4.5 x 14" rectangles on the long sides with your fabric right sides together.

 Flip it around so your right sides are out and do a good job of pressing it flat.

 Now take your 4.5 x 4 inch rectangle.  Fold it in half so it's 2 x 4.5" and stitch that side.

 Flip it around and press it so the seam runs down the middle.

 Tuck the one side in about 1/4" and press it.  Loop the unfinished side into the pressed under side to form the loop of the bow.

 Hand stitch it closed.  Then slide it onto the other bow piece (forgot to take a photo but you can see it on the next photo.)

 Pin your bow onto the 14 x 14" piece of main fabric.  To center it, measure 5" from the bottom or the top and pin it on.  Then stitch it in place about 1/8" from the edge.  It should look like the photo above.

 Now prepare your back pieces.  We are doing an envelope closure for the back.  Press one side of each piece over 1/2 inch, then another 1/2 inch so your raw edges are hidden.  Stitch it down with about a 3/8 inch seam.

 Close up of the stitching.

 Now we are going to pin the back rectangles onto the front side of the pillow.  Place one on the left with the finished seam toward the center.  Then place the other one on top also with the seam toward the center.  They will overlap about 4 inches.  Pin it all the way around.

 Stitch it all the way around then clip off the corners.  Be careful not to clip the stitches!  Now flip it all the right way out, poke out your corners (with something with a dull point) and stuff your pillow form inside.  You have yourself a cute pillow!  Mine is going to Deanna for her bed.


Working down that "To Do" List

 Finished a few more bibs.  Some for babies that are already born and some for the gift stash.

 Love that I can get cute boy prints these days.  I really love the classifieds in the next set of bibs!

 I was using up bits of bias tape that I keep in a box in my sewing room.  So none of them are the same.  But it felt good using some stuff up.

And a few girly ones too!


Sidekick Tote

The Sidekick Tote was (mostly) a lot of fun to sew.  The pattern is very, very good.  And I love the finished bag.  I will do a few things different next time, but most of that is because of personal preference and not a mistake on the pattern.  

I love the shape of this bag and the big front pocket.  LOVE the bias tape.  Of course.

The solid gray fabric is Kona Coal, the Coral is a solid from Connecting Threads (good quality, btw, and great pricing) and the print is called Fiddlesticks by Erin McMorris.

I am quite proud of my top-stitching on this bag.  I had the perfect coral thread and I love how it pops out on the gray.  The hardware was given to me by a friend a long time ago.  She reclaimed it from various worn-out clothing.  

The inset zipper.  This is the only part of the bag I don't love.  The lining fabric is too flimsy and I should have interfaced it.  Next time.

This bag is not for me.  I'm giving it to my niece   I hope she likes it - I sure do!  I can't wait to make another one for  me.  I have fabric picked out but I am waiting for some more hardware.  I can't find what I need locally so I am buying it from an etsy shop.

One more thing on bag making.  Right now Lorraine from Ikatbag is doing a series of blog posts on bag making.  She is an extraordinary seamstress and cardboard crafter and this series is full of tips and instructions and good clear photos.  Definitely worth checking out!


Slowly Tripping

I've got 8 blocks done!  I think the slow part comes in cutting from all random sized scraps as I go.  It should get faster now that I have most of the cutting done.

So many blocks, tops and even finished quilts(!!) to look at in the flickr group!


Framed Fabric

My husband bought this oak frame awhile back at the thrift store.  But it was oak and I wasn't loving it.  A couple of months ago he was painting some other frames and I convinced him to paint this one gray too.

Fabric is Bella by Lotta Jansdotter

And as usual for projects around here, it hung on the wall empty for a couple of months before I finally today finished it off.  I love fabric, so why not hang it on the wall too, right?

Have a great week!


A Handmade Birthday - Part 2

So...finally getting back to Sophie's birthday gifts.  

I made her a diaper bag to carry all her doll necessities around in!  And some diapers, wipes and a receiving blanket (in the bag).
The flowered fabrics for the bag I just got from Alisa a couple months ago.  They were tied with the lace that I used on the front - I think it's pretty cute :)

I also made a batch of playdough.

And here's the gingerbread cake I made for her party.  I also made gingerbread boys that the kids decorated - lots of fun :)

Other than a colouring book and markers it was a completely handmade birthday.  Lots of fun and one happy 4 year old!


2013 Finish-A-Long (Suzanne)

When Alisa joined the Finish-A-Long it pushed me to go and make a list of my UFOs and I'm going to join up too!
she can quilt
#1 My dress! - Hopefully by putting this on here I'll get back to it again!  I made the muslin quite a while ago and I do have it cut from the good fabric but then I got sidetracked before Christmas.

#2 Scrappy Trip Along - I have only have 3 blocks finished (2 more are almost there) and would love to have this be a fast quilt done. It's feeling really good to be using my scraps!

#3 Doll shirt and leggings - the girls and I have been making a bunch of doll clothes and this outfit is still needing a couple things.  I'll have to do a doll fashion post soon!

#4 Bind this change pad and finish crib sheet. Okay...these have been sitting half finished for at least a year!

#5 This grandchildren cross-stitch is back in my hands because there are more hearts and names that need to be added. I'd love to be able to get this back on my parents wall soon.

#6 These 2 doll quilts and pillow sets. This is actually my daughters project but she needs my help and encouragement to finish it.  They only need to have the bindings finished.

#7 Quilted Runner for the girls room.  Tessa was begging me to sew something so I took a Kaffe Fassett charm pack that I won once in a giveaway for her to sew together.  She's a bit young yet and so far just presses the foot pedal while I stand behind and feed the fabric through.  It would be nice for her (and me!) to be done this project.

On top of all that I have a quilt swirling around in my head that's going to be started soon but it's not started yet so not a UFO yet.


Things I am looking forward to

The invite for our upcoming Quilt Retreat.  Looking forward to seeing some of the ladies I only see once a year!

Don't tell Miss C that she's going with me.  She doesn't know yet! :-)  So excited!!


Ipad Cover - Check!

I loosely followed this tutorial by One Shabby Chick.  Used up one of my favourite fabrics and my ipad is protected.  Love it!